Thursday, December 20, 2012

Have a Blessed Holiday Season

I'm going to take a bit of a break for the holidays. I still have lots of shopping to do and very little time. Lots going on these days - just trying to find a moment to breathe can be difficult.

I hope you, your family and friends have a blessed holiday season. I will try to return for a chit-chat before 2013 arrives. In the meantime, enjoy celebrating this wonderful season.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.

- Luke:2 1- 14

To say this will be a difficult holiday for some is an understatement. I pray the families of Sandy Hook and residents of Newtown feel surrounded by love and support from near and far. There are more angels watching over us now. Peace be with them and with all of those who love them.

Image from HSA Parents blog

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Guest Blogger: Easy fashion fun for the holidays

What do you get the fashionista in your life for the holidays? Well, look no further for inspiration, because guest blogger and celebrity stylist, Anya Sarre, has offered up some great holiday gift-giving ideas. Take it away, Anya!
As the temperature drops and winter holidays approach, you may be wondering what on earth you’re going to wear to holiday parties and get-togethers. You want to make a great impression, but how can you be sure your look will turn heads?
First, be sure to select an outfit that is comfortable as well as fashionable. When you feel good in a well-fitting style, you’ll look even better. The confidence you’ll exude will grab attention and impress everyone. This secret works for the stars and all the top runway models. It will work for you too.

Fortunately, winter fashions this year offer plenty of comfortable fashions to keep you cozy and stylish through the holiday season and beyond. Knitwear options top the charts for hot, cold-weather trends.

Toss a cable-knit sweater over a button-down top and add a pair of straight-leg or skinny jeans for a cozy, casual look.
For a dressier look, replace the jeans with black silk trousers or a tailored skirt. (Editorial note from Jen: Or this fun, frilly number that I couldn't help but add!)
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If a holidaygathering is on your schedule for the day, spice up the look with some seasonal sparkle. Choose a sweater with metallic threads, or layer on a shimmery scarf.

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Winter jewelry also adds a festive touch to everyday looks. Long, dangly earrings dribbling with sparkling stones draw provide a cheery frame for a woman’s face. Smaller earrings pair well with a popular layered necklace, a great way to add a little frosting to your holiday look. Bracelets or cuffs, the bolder the better, will add even more polish to either look.


Of course, you can’t forget the shoes. For extra holiday fun, pick a fun pair of metallic pumps to go with your skinny jeans...
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...or pick your favorite pair of boots instead and keep your feet toasty warm no matter how low the mercury falls.

Holiday time can be stressful for anyone, but with comfortable fashions and a little extra sparkle, you can shine at every party you attend. Whatever your personal style, remember that self-confidence is the best accessory. When it shows, nothing will be able to stop you on your way to high fashion and holiday fun.

Anya Sarre is one of Hollywood’s most influential trendsetters. A nationally recognized celebrity stylist, Sarre is known for her impeccable eye and ability to tie any look together with the perfect accessory. Named “Best Television Fashion Stylist” for her appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and countless other media outlets, Sarre is the go-to fashion expert for Hollywood’s biggest celebrities.

Images from, Pinterest

Monday, December 17, 2012

I have no answers, just strong opinions

At what point will the leaders of this country stop trying to control weapons and focus heavily on the PEOPLE who are violent and the mental illness from which they suffer? I read this recent article posted by a mother of a mentally ill child. It's heartbreaking to read what she deals with on a day-to-day basis.

When her son is on a violent tear, her only option to protect herself and her other children is to have her son arrested. He's 13. There are more mentally ill people in prisons than ever before. That's our country's solution. Put them in jail; don't attempt placing them in a hospital for the mentally ill. In fact, let's cut funding for such facilities and make them few and far between. Yeah, that will solve the problem.

I don't want to use this forum to argue about gun control. But, if you look at some of the most horrific crimes in recent history where children and adults were gunned down - Norway and Russia for example - these mass killings took place in countries with some of the most stringent gun control laws in the world. So, at what point is the focus placed on mental illness? Take away the weapons and these people will still find ways to harm others.

Before I jump off my soap box, I also have a message to share with the media on the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy:

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

I'm disgusted with how the tragedy in Sandy Hook played out in the news. It was pathetic from the very beginning and every journalist involved should feel a sense of shame. Why are you trying to interview a 9-year old just hours after this event? (And why are those parents allowing it??) Why are you giving a face and a name to the killer so he can accomplish his twisted goal of achieving posthumous fame?? Like every other mass shooting, we will always remember the names of the killers, rather than the names of the victims.

I did not intend to start off my day with this rant, so sorry for that. But, this story has consumed me, likely because my children are the ages of those killed and because I have great relationships with their educators. There's no wrapping my head around it. It's just sitting there, weighing heavily on my mind, as I'm sure it is on yours.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Events of the Day

I started my morning off with this sweet elf and his kindergarten friends as they entertained us with a variety of holidays songs.

When I returned to my office with a warm heart after several hugs and kisses from my little man - and his older sister who was allowed to leave class and attend the show - I was hit with the horrible news about the elementary school in Connecticut. Words fail me in describing this kind of madness. Why? Why take the lives of so many innocent children? My stomach turns every time I think of it.

I will go home this evening, hug my kids and hold them for a long while, as I'm sure will many other parents near and far. We will pray for the lives lost, for those who were injured and for the families of the victims.

Image property of JMW A Place to Dwell Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Son's Mealtime Blessing

My five-year old son often sings a mealtime blessing that he has learned at school, in which he thanks Jesus for food and friends. (Keep in mind that my kids go to a Catholic school.)

He recently learned a new song, and asked the other night asked if he could sing it before dinner.

His new blessing?

"Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, light the menorah..."

Yes, a big smile crossed my face, but I managed to stifle the laugh.

Happy Hanukkah, friends. Hope you have a wonderful Festival of Lights!

Image from Miva Merchant

Monday, December 3, 2012

Royal Heir

The Royal Palace has confirmed that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting. Yay!!

Cheers to the happy couple!

Image from the Associated Press