Staying Stylish with Candace Cameron Bure

While in college I loved flipping through fashion magazines and talking with some of my girlfriends about latest styles and makeup. We would dress up, do our makeup and head out for dinner; a stroll through the conservatory at the Opryland Hotel, or walk through downtown Nashville. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in clothes, but it was always so important that I looked and felt my best whenever I was out in public.

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I couldn’t afford a Laura Ashley jumper, so I made this blue plaid one to wear in college…. Saved a fortune!

Times have certainly changed. Casual and fun conversations with the girls about style and makeup have morphed into convos more about being exhausted, teenagers and husbands. I miss the innocent chats that led to girls night out and were so stress free! I oftentimes I think as women we’ve let our style go out the window.

Pajama bottoms in public, ill-fitting clothes not made for a body type, your husband’s oversized tee-shirts, and dressing down more and more instead of taking pride in our appearances.

Y’all, I actually saw a woman get out of her car and walk to the ATM in her bathrobe and house slippers just over the weekend!

I get it.

After raising four kids, all who were heavily involved in sports and youth group while my husband traveled for work, I totally get the desire to dress down and let yourself go. I’m tired, your tired, we’re always rushed, but whether we like it or not, we live in a society that judges based on appearances (it’s been that way for 100’s of years, and is not new by any means), and for that reason I want to look my best.

And y’all, some days my best is a coordinating workout outfit (even if I’m not going to the gym), with a light touch of makeup, or LuLaRoe for a quick run to the grocery or the pick-up line at school.

The struggle is very real, but as long as you are making an effort, you can feel pretty good in just matching workout attire.

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Reading Candace Cameron Bure’s new book Staying Stylish reminds me of those times past with girlfriends talking about what to wear, what looks good, and how to wear makeup. Her laid back writing style is conversational, encouraging and uplifting.  It’s also like hearing from a friend as you read through each page.

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Candace is the perfect choice for a book on this topic for ladies of all ages.  Married for 20+ years, raising three kids, a Hallmark channel movie regular, and now helping her husband run a winery Candace knows how busy life can be, yet she always looks amazing!

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In Staying Stylish ideas are offered to help you build your own style outside of pajama bottoms and ill-fitting clothes.  From t-shirt basics to a night at the theater Candace shares affordable (and a few spurges) to help you build your own style that is appropriate for all occasions!  She even offers tips for traveling well, which is always a challenge for me!

Once you have ideas to update your wardrobe, Candace tackles skincare, hair and makeup.  While I love makeup, I do not wear it everyday but without a doubt I spend time on skincare, both morning and evening.  In my opinion I would rather invest in taking care of my skin now, than want to spend 1000’s on it for facial procedures when I’m 50. Besides, when you take care of your skin, not only do you look younger, but when you do wear makeup, it goes on much more evenly and look so much better!

Finally Candace tackles health, fitness and feeling good from the inside out.  I’ve learned from experience that taking care of yourself matters.

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Y’all, who is going to take care of you, because you’ve neglected yourself?

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From healthy eating to fitness, several great tips and ideas are shared that will inspire you to make little changes; changes you can even introduce to your family.  Self care isn’t just physical and Candace touches on that as well.

To close out her book, Candace touches on ways to nourish your spirit as well.  As wives and mommas we know how our spirit get tired affecting our daily living with the family. From encouragement in our prayer lives to tips for managing stress Candace has found an easy way to encourage us all.

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I am so excited to give away one copy of Candace’s book here on the blog to close out February!  All you have to do to enter to win is leave me a comment on this post sharing a way you practice self-care in your life.  That’s it!

The book will be coming from the publishing company to you, so it will be 4-6 weeks after I announce the winner.

And if you want to share the giveaway I would appreciate it as well!

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Tyler Perry’s Higher is Waiting & a Giveaway!

When the days get shorter, the temperatures become cooler and it feels like I’m being pulled 100 different directions with mom life, there is nothing more comforting than a cup of tea, a cozy and worn patchwork quilt and a good read.

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Those moments of peace are some of my favorite and a great way to expand my thoughts beyond, “What’s for supper,” “did I get Bradley’s wrestling gear washed,” and “is this the weekend Madeline is coming in from school?”

While I love good historical fiction, a sappy (not trashy) romance, and a decorating book full of inspiration, without a doubt I will always choose nonfiction over it all.  And this fall nonfiction seems to be dominating my reading list!

“Ever since I was a little boy I’ve always known there was something greater than myself, This holy force was protecting, loving, and keeping me close. It was helping me live through physical pain and emotional heartache and guiding me to envision and believe in extraordinary possibilities.”

~Tyler Perry (Higher is Waiting)

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Tyler Perry has established himself as a cultural icon through acting, writing, producing, directing, as a playwright, and even songwriting.  Of course Perry is most well known for his Madea movies, but the road to reach this status was rough and troubled.  Perry’s new book Higher is Waiting is one of inspiration that will resonate with me for quite a while.  A little biography, inspiration and faith this book encourages readers to keep going in their lives reaching out for a more purposeful life, looking for something greater than self, and of course, never giving up.

“My childhood was a story of discouragement, belittlement, and unthinkable abuse.  There was no way I could have found any kind of happiness, hope or vision if my mother Maxine and my aunt Mae hadn’t shown me the grace of God.”

Due to hit shelves this week, Perry’s book is described as a “spiritual guidebook, a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulfilling place.”

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Perry’s life story is truly extraordinary and in sharing his experiences he hopes to inspire others to reach for the stars.  His success with the Madea franchise, television shows and plays is a stark contrast to the hardship he faced in an abusive home living in poverty, growing up in 1970s New Orleans; an area still suffering from generations of Jim Crow law.  He recalls the beautiful moments that shaped him despite the brutality that also existed through physical abuse of his father and sexual abuse from a neighbor.  He kept his dreams quiet, but worked hard with determination to reach higher.

Throughout Higher is Waiting, Tyler Perry affectionately recalls the people that kept him going, while instructing him in integrity, faith, discipline and even forgiveness.  He shares stories of his mother’s never-ending faith who always maintained “God is good,” no matter the pain she lived through at home.  Seeds of experiencing God even in the little things planted by his aunt Mae, and the kindness of a blind man, Mr. Butler who taught him that sometimes you have to stand still, wait and be patient when looking for answers to prayer.

 With each memory shared, Perry also shares a devotional thought and scripture encouraging you to dive into your own faith.

The book is divided into four sections using the metaphor of a tree: planting seeds, nourishing the roots, branching out and harvesting the fruit.  From early childhood and dreaming big despite the obstacles in his path, it is so refreshing to read of a man’s faith developing over time in an age where so many are content let their faith sit stagnant.

Perry’s vivid recollection of recognizing God’s presence growing in his life, learning to listen, carry on in the toughest of times, and choose faith over fear will inspire you to step out of your own box and reach higher in your own lives.

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I am giving away one copy of Higher is Waiting to one of my readers.  All you need to do is leave me a comment here on the blog, telling me someone who has influenced your life and faith.  I will announce the winner on December 3, 2017.  Winners will receive their books in 4-6 weeks after the giveaway ends from Penguin Random House.

** If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again.

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for Penguin Random House. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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What I’m Reading

In a time where we all love our iPods, iPads, iPhones and Kindles, I still find so much comfort in curling up with a good book.

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A real book.

One purchased at Barnes and Noble.

{They see me at least once a week for a coffee and a read}

This time of year when the leaves have fallen off of the trees and the air is a bit chilly, wrapping up in a patchwork quilt and taking a break from the world is such a great way to relax as the holidays approach.

I am partial to non-fiction, autobiography and historical fiction, so here is what am I reading now!

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1. The Queens Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal – This 6th book in the Maggie Hope series, is a combination of WWII history mixed with mystery, action, and a bit of romance to keep you thoroughly involved until the end, and looking forward to what is coming.  I love this whole series and highly recommend you check it out!

2. The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines – Any fan of HGTV’s Fixer Upper will love the story of how the Magnolia brand came to be as well as learning a little more about everyone’s favorite reality couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines.

3. Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder – We’re all familiar with the Little House on the Prarie series, but did you know those were not the books Laura Wilder orginally wrote?  Pioneer Girl is her original manuscript that her publisher deemed too dark for children. Now it has been published for all of us who enjoyed the children’s series to read as grown-ups!  There are also a lot of pictures to accompany the story as well which makes it well worth the read.

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4. Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado –  I know Christmas day is not really Jesus birthday (the Bible doesn’t tell us when he was born), but that doesn’t mean we can’t focus on that wondrous event!  Max’s newest book reminds us that Christ came from Heaven, yet was just as human as you and I which was so important!  His purpose to rekindle your connection with Christ especially around the holiday, is a definite encouragement to your spirit!

5. Life in Season by Vanessa Hunt & Heather Patterson – I’ve met some incredible people over the years through blogging and knowing Heather Patterson has been such a blessing! Heather and her sister Vanessa have written a wonderfully, uplifting book that encourages you to find joy in each season of life. Inspirational devotions combined with crafts, recipes and gorgeous photography make this a book you’ll want to read again and again!

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What are you reading right now?  I would love suggestions to add to my fall and winter reading list!

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Jen’s Summer Must-Haves

With a sweltering Southern summer fully underway, I thought it would be fun to share some of my must-haves for the season.
Between road trips, day trips, company receptions with the hubs & chilling at home I’m always looking for ways to enjoy the summer, attempt to look good, and even make things a little more relaxing and fun.
So, in no particular order here are my summer must-haves:
1)  A good book!  High on my list for the summer is Mary Kay Andrew’s latest novel, “Ladies Night”.  I love my Southern authors and after meeting Mrs. Andrews a couple of years ago at  blogger’s dinner I love her work even more!
from my Instagram account
“Ladies Night” has a touch of mystery, a little romance, a great storyline and since the story is about a lifestyle blogger, many of us can relate!
2) New tunes on the iPod.  I have very eclectic taste in music.  Audley refers to it as schizophrenic musical taste.  My summer playlist has a little country and a little top 40, mixed with a little easy listening.
My favorite album at the moment is The Great Gatsby soundtrack.  It’s my “go to” music for working out.
Other songs high on my playlist include:
Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer
Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel
Kenny Chesney’s Summertime
Florida-Georgia Line (featuring Nelly) Cruise
Jake Owen’s Barefoot Bluejean Night
Mumford & Sons I Will Wait
Rihanna’s Shine Bright Like a Diamond
The Script’s Hall of Fame
Pink
F.U.N.
Barbra Streisand
&
a little Harry Connick Jr.
I told you I had eclectic taste in music.

3) A cute insulated cup for keeping hydrated while working in the yard, sitting at the ballpark, working out, or chilling on the beach.

This colorful one is from TJ Maxx and was under $10.

FYI: You need to be drinking at the very least half your body weight in ounces of water everyday!  If you drink sodas, work out, or are outside a lot you need to drink even more!
4) Summer color.  I love, love, love makeup and summertime is the perfect time to change up those winter browns & neutrals and add a little color!
If you prefer a more subtle look, go with the Two Faced summer palette.  Light but colorful it just makes me happy!
$36.00 at Ulta.com
If you are bold and daring, pick up Estee Lauder’s limited edition summer palette!  Bold and daring, it’s perfect for a summer night out, dining on the patio of your favorite restaurant.
$48.00 at Belk or any other department store that carries Estee lauder cosmetics
I have both of these and absolutely adore them!

5)  A good neutral nail polish.  I love Essie’s “Penny Talk”.  Whether I wear pink or orange or green, this neutral color is just perfect and the shimmer makes me happy.

It’s perfect for the gym, the beach, church and going out with your significant other.

6) A pumice stone.  Why pay a fortune for a subpar mani/pedi with who knows what chemicals are used on you, when you can spend less than $8 on a pumice stone to rub those heels smooth.
You can find this at any Walgreens, Rite Aid or CVS as well as Target, WalMart or Sally Beauty Supply.
Your feet will be sandal & flip flop ready in a matter of minutes!
I do most all of my own mani/pedis because I do not like the strong lotions & scrubs that a nail spa is prone to use.

Just give me a little Olay body lotion and I
am all set!
I have a great homemade scrub I’ll share next week that is perfect for smoothing your hands, elbows, ankles and feet.
{Think coconut.}
 
7)  Cute hair accessories.  From a floppy beach hat to a cute hair clip keeping the sun off of your face and sweat from your neck requires pulling it back or putting it up.
Have fun picking out great hair accessories.
from Scarves.net
Use a colorful sheer scarf to tie back you hair from your face or check out your local Walgreens for cute clips and ponytail holders.
Or you can do like me and cut all of your hair off.
{Yep, I sure did!}

8) A comfy beach chair.  Whether you are chilling in the back yard or lounging on the beach these great chairs by Tommy Bahama are perfect.

 

Straps allow you to carry it like a backpack for easy transportation when it is folded up.  It also boasts a cooler pouch for a couple of bottles of water, a small pillow for neck support, a pouch to keep you cup out of the sand, and a space for your keys or cell phone.
We found these at Costco for only $28.00 and they come in assorted colors and patterns to brighten up your space.

9)  A colorful beach umbrella.  Large umbrellas like this are perfect for evenings at the ballpark watching little league baseball, sheltering a picnic and of course a little shade on the hot beach.

You can order this exact stye online from World Market for only $3.74 right now!!

 

World Market had a great selection of sturdy and playful umbrellas this season and they range from $10-30.  Not too bad!

10) Outdoor games.  Right now our family favorite is Bocce Ball.

 

Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t, but I do know whether teenagers or my crazy family is having a cookout this is a must-have for us!
Kids from our youth group playing Bocce in the front yard.

You can find Bocce Ball at Target.  They have sets starting at $35, although we did pay a little more for this one.

What are you summer must-haves?  It’s just getting started and I would love to know what you need for the season!