My Peachy Gift Guide for Women: Tiffany’s Favorite Things

Here it is. My Peachy faves for Christmas! ❅

❅ I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite things as my 1st Annual ‘Peachy Gift Guide for Women’! Everything on the list is definitely under $80 CDN (and most way under that). I also seriously love each item and use each one, or I’m about to purchase one for myself!

❅ I hope we all know the drill right now. Try to shop small and local as much as possible because most businesses are really struggling right now. If the company that makes the item seems to be larger, you can still support a local store that carries it.

Now let’s get some amazing finds for our friends
  • Trumpet + Tassel – this local, small and woman-owned Canadian business makes handmade tassel jewelry for big causes. And I own it! Made in small-town Manitoba, Canada and operating from Etsy online, this jewelry is both super pretty and totally affordable to purchase. PLUS 10% currently goes to help The Canadian Cancer Society, a cause we can all get behind (gifting that gives back is the way to go whenever possible). There’s only 4 of these star and semi-circle tassel earrings available so snap them up quick! Buy all 4 for different outfits! A beautiful and thoughtful gift for the friend that loves accessories, and for every woman in your life this Christmas. $18.75 CDN. How to purchase: Trumpet + Tassel
  • Limelife by Alcon – this Perfect Lip Gloss. Based on the packaging alone, this makes an amazing gift for that peachy woman in your life. Seriously, how gorgeous is this? This non-stick formula can be used on its own or on top of your favorite Perfect Lipstick or Enduring Lip Color to add shine and the appearance of healthier, more voluminous lips. This one is in the colour ‘Peace’. Love it! I’ll be selling this stuff soon so you can buy from me then but in the meantime, go support my girl’s small business with your purchase. She’s a retired military veteran and a gem! This company also gives back (of course it does or would I even get involved?). An awesome stocking stuff idea for your daughters and mom friends. $24 CDN. How to purchase right now: Limelife by Alcon – Beauty is Fearless
  • Hosanna Revival – I found this small business on Instagram a few months ago and I adore their Bibles! This Provence theme caught my eye in their new ‘Winter 2020 Collection’. That lavender! Plus it has extra wide margins for journaling (which is something I want to get into) and it’s in my favourite ESV version. Small and woman-owned, the heart behind this business is so sweet. In 2015 while studying in Spain, the founder Katie had the idea to re-bind and paint her bilingual Bible. It was plain black — she wanted her Bible to be beautiful and personal, reflecting the way the words on the inside made her feel. As a business now, they’re convinced that a beautiful Bible can revive the heart of a believer gone astray by motivating them and reminding them of the truth beyond the cover. On my Christmas list! Put it on yours for your Christian bestie and that artistic Jesus lover! $79 CDN. How to purchase: Hosanna Revival
  • Carhartt -these toques are a must-have and this colour is so gorgeous! I have to find it for my toque collection! Look stylish and stay warm this winter with this on-trend brand. For every cold woman you know. $22 CDN. How to purchase: You can buy them at your local mall’s Boathouse store! This store has so many other great gift finds, I highly suggest it: Boathouse (they are also currently open for essential purchases in Brandon, MB at the Shoppers Mall so if you’re from the area, go support them!). If you don’t have a Boathouse, another Canadian store option: Western-Canadian-owned Peavey Mart.
  • Tiber River – I recently bought one of these candles in ‘Bourbon Pumpkin Smash’ and oh my gosh it’s to die for! This one smells amazing (it’s not one of those cheap and stinky smelling candles), and it has the crackling wood wick. Triple win! This company is Canadian and women-owned plus it’s based right here in Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. They also have so much more than candles and everything is made from naturally derived ingredients! I’m supporting my good friend Barbara Shram from Warman, Saskatchewan with this one. Buy from her and you won’t regret it she is one of the sweetest people I know. Great for that person that needs to relax. $34 CDN. How you can purchase: Tiber River – Barbara Shram
  • S’well – A Certified B Corp company. These water bottles are stainless steel and keep your water cold for so long! I love all of the designs! This one in particular is gorgeous and the wide traveler top is so handy as well. Many small and local shops carry their brand so you can choose one close to you and order away! I found a Coles store in our local mall that sells them and you can get curbside delivery right now. You can also order them online if need be. Perfect for your healthy workout friend! $45 CDN. How you can purchase: Canadian Coles/Indigo

❅ Which items are you going to get for a friend or yourself? Let me know in the comments! I’m looking forward to hearing from you! Happy Christmas shopping!

Tiffany x

Boho Love + Self-Care

Rock it.

⋆ That’s what I’ve been trying to do. Rock the quarantine. Rock the depression. Rock the gray hair. Get up, show up, and level up. Ok, ok, some days I don’t want to get up and other days I don’t even get up but I tell you, nothing helps the doldrums more than a fresh face of makeup and some new clothes!

Get up, show up, and level up.

⋆ I should have showed you the ‘before’ photos. Yikes. Prior to this ministry break I was burnt out, tired, unhealthy, and on the verge of letting bitterness take root in my heart. Ladies (and men) don’t let people, or yourself for that matter, tell you that self-care isn’t important or isn’t spiritual enough. It is. You can’t give people anything if you are completely worn out or worse yet, dead. You have a calling here? Take care of your spirit, but also your mind AND body too so you can fulfill it! I’m learning. Self-care is so important.

Now on to outfit deets!

⋆ As you know, I love a good basic tee. This one is from Ardene’s in an XL because I don’t love a cropped top on a 50 year old! I went a little bigger than usual so I would avoid biscuit-tummy hang-out and it also gives me some room for a cute front tuck. If you don’t like skin-tight shirts either then size up. I also love neutral colours, one of which is olive green. I honestly think this shirt was only $6 CDN. Score on this find.

I went a little bigger than usual so I would avoid biscuit-tummy hang-out.

⋆ I have to admit, the faux leather pants look is amazing! I had a pair a year or two ago, before it was cool I guess. They’re too small on me now so I got these ones at Ardene’s. Let me tell you, these leggings are so comfortable, not hot (my prior ones made me so sweaty), and they look fantastic dressed up or down! Don’t want your butt to show? Make sure your tee is longer in the back or pair it with a cardigan!

⋆ Obviously I love my accessories. I don’t think I would have spent the past 3 years handmaking custom jewelry for women if I didn’t. Accessories can really bring an outfit from drab to fab in seconds! I love layering necklaces and bracelets and really showcasing my mood and personality with the pieces I choose. You can too by going classic with a simple gold chain or by going more bold with bright colours or statement accessories. Tassels add that trendy boho look that, so far, doesn’t seem to be going out of style.

⋆ The things that you purchase can even help change the world. 10% of my brand’s income goes to world-wide non-profits that are making a difference in the world. Right now I’m trumpeting The Canadian Cancer Society, just one of the many non-profits that we have given to over the past few years. There are lots of amazing brands out there, jewelry included, that are socially conscious and kingdom-minded. Watch where you spend your money and, when you can, try to partner with businesses that align with your values.

⋆ Now let’s talk makeup. I’ve been wearing makeup since the 7th grade. For real. My sister is 4 years older than me so I had lots of beauty influence and help as a young girl growing up. Over the past few years, I haven’t really taken makeup and beauty stuff too seriously. My biggest requirement in a mascara was that it wouldn’t run when I led worship (come on where’s my church girls at?!) Most days I don’t wear any makeup, especially in the summer, but I LOVE to experiment and create with it! Honest post right here – I got completely addicted to watching YouTube makeup video’s during this quarantine. Yes, I said it. I love watching these amazing women transform themselves from pretty to gorgeous with colour, powder, and creams. It’s just so fascinating and satisfying! If you’re at all creative you probably enjoy it as much as I do or trust me, you will if you watch just one video.

For this look, I used—
  • Rimmel Insta Flawless Primer
  • Stila Hide & Chic Liquid Foundation in Light 3
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Concealer in Porcelain (not recommended)
  • Nars ‘Orgasm’ blush (sorry mom)
  • Maybelline Master Chrome in Molten Gold
  • Physicians Formula Bronze Booster bronzer
  • 3 colours from the 35OM Morphe palette on the eyes with a lighter colour from the Marcelle Quintet quad
  • Ardelle lashes
  • some sort of Rimmel brow liner in Hazel which I still have to change; since my hair is so ashy now it doesn’t work but it’s all I have
  • L’oreal Infallible Eyeliner in black, Rimmel Transparent Powder
  • and a combo of L’oreal 401 and Maybelline 540 on my lips

⋆ I really don’t own that much makeup right now so I’ve been just throwing together whatever I can dig out of my drawer. That being said, since I’ve been doing more fashion and beauty posts (and enjoying those makeup videos), I’m going to be aligning with a professional makeup brand! I haven’t started yet but I can’t wait to introduce y’all to it and to wear it in my upcoming beauty posts! I’ve been trying to find a brand that is professional, excellent quality, good for the skin, helps others, and looks amazing, and I have found it! Watch for upcoming posts to find out more and to see some looks. You’ll even be able to purchase what you like and what I wear as well from me! So exciting!

To me, the essence of truly modern makeup is the freedom to be yourself, to express who you are.

—Francois Nars

Style is something each of us already has, all we need to do is find it.

—Diane von Furstenberg

I love being super–tough, but if I need to put on a dress and do my hair and makeup, I can do that too.

—Elizabeth Rodriguez

⋆ ‘Free-spirited-creative-artsy-rocker-babe’. I didn’t really set out to accomplish that look but this outfit is definitely giving off that vibe! What’s your favorite part of this look and what would you give a try in your own wardrobe? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! ♥

Tiffany x

30-Day Gratitude Challenge

Grateful. 🙏 

◈ Today we are starting a “30-day Gratitude Challenge” in our homeschool. My sister started one about 10 days ago on Facebook so I joined her. It’s been an amazing way to start or end the day, focusing on what we are truly thankful for instead of the mess going on around us. My son does a daily journal, and in the midst of the Christmas “I-wants”, I thought what better way to refocus on what’s important then to write 1-3 things each day that he is already grateful for.

In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Gratefulness Challenge Day 10 – ‘Today I’m grateful for the gift of creativity.’ – Tiffany

Gratitude is a word used to express thankfulness and praise. 

grat·i·tude/ˈɡradəˌt(y)o͞od/noun

the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

◈ Remaining in a state of gratefulness is a skill and it takes practice. Teaching our children early to be grateful and thankful in all things is a gift that will last them their entire lifetimes. It’s a gift that especially pays off in difficult times, as we can all attest to now. Not only that, but it’s God’s will for each of us. He always knows best.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

◈ Only a few days into the challenge, I have already noticed a huge difference in my attitude. I must admit it was getting quite stinky before I started. Getting burdened down with the cares of life, rising COVID numbers, being in quarantine, cabin fever, and various health challenges can just get to you. Especially if you let it. Being grateful can bring us greater peace and inner joy and it refocuses our gaze onto the positive things in life instead of the negatives.

◈ When you’re in that state of gratefulness, it’s important to remember who it is you’re actually grateful to – it’s not some outer planetary source called the universe or some joojoobah energy (don’t know where I got that word from haha!). It’s GOD! He’s the one that supplies us with all we need and He does more than we can even ask.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:19

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

—Ephesians 3:20

◈ The Story of Hannah and Samuel in 1 Samuel 1 is such a beautiful Biblical testament to true gratitude. This story really shaped my life around the time we adopted our son (I of course ended up naming him Samuel). I encourage you to take some time to read the entire chapter, maybe for the first time or as a review. Here’s a portion of the scripture where Hannah shows here gratefulness to the Lord, saying to the priest Eli:

And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”

—1 Samuel 1:26-28
How can YOU join in?
  • Set an example – take the challenge yourself. I’m currently doing the challenge with family as a Facebook status on my personal page. You might not want to do it in such a public way but the one good thing about that is that it helps keep you accountable. Remembering to do it is key! Another way to take part is to buy yourself a beautiful journal and keep track in it. There’s lots of journals made specifically for gratitude challenges but if you’re wanting to start with us today, pick anything you have laying around the house and just do it! Another great idea is the many free app’s on the Apple or Google Play Stores. I recently downloaded a free app called ‘Gratitude: Journal & Reminders’ onto my iPhone. There’s also the ‘365 Gratitude Journal’. Be careful though. Some app’s require payment after you’ve already started (that may be okay with you, but just a heads up). Another super easy idea is Etsy! You can even buy digital downloads of pre-designed Gratitude journal pages. Here’s one example I found. So, start with us today and we will have a whole month of gratefulness posts done just in time for Christmas! What a way to celebrate Advent and Christmas (I already know what I’m going to post on Christmas Eve – guess!)
  • Have your child/ren start their own Gratitude Journal in your homeschool or home. We use the simple and free Google Docs app on my son’s school computer as a daily journal. You could pizzazz that idea up by using a paper journal that your child can decorate. They can colour a picture, take a photo of, or draw what they are grateful for each day. Go whole hog and use markers, paint, GLITTER, glue, found objects, etc. You could also try posting a white or chalk board up where they can post to each day. Maybe the whole family would want to get in on it if it’s up in a public space such as the kitchen. You could also have your child improve their writing skills by using this challenge to encourage them to write letters of gratitude to people in their lives, public servants, etc. The sky’s the limit! We are going to be making a ‘Thank you Health Care Workers’ sign for our living room window in art class this Friday. Join us!
  • Start a family gratitude jar on January 1st. Have your family write what they’re grateful for on little pieces of paper and in a year open them up! You’ll have an amazing list of things that happened throughout the year on your next New Year’s Eve!
  • Combine this challenge with a Random Acts of Kindness lesson. As I wrote about in a previous post on random acts of kindness, this would be a super way to combine gratefulness with this lesson. Have your child/ren write a list of people they are grateful for and then one random act of kindness they could do for each. In this time of quarantine there are still various ways you could do this. Write a letter, draw a picture, drop a gift at a door, shovel a sidewalk, send a text or email, call a friend or family member, share the love!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

—Psalm 100:4-5

◈ What are you going to do to show your gratefulness? Are you going to join me on this challenge? How about your homeschool?

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

—Hebrews 12:28-29

◈ I would LOVE to hear from you if you’re going to join in! Send me an note! If you homeschool, let me know what your kids will be doing for the challenge! I’m really looking forward to doing this with you in community! Follow along with me on Instagram. I’m trying to post a “What are you thankful for” post on my Stories each day. You can even post along with me on there daily if you’d like!

Getty Images

◈ I’m grateful for you,

Tiffany x

Comfy Quarantine Style

‘Comfy.’

⭒ If you ask me, it’s definitely the word for 2020 fashion. Everything is getting paired down this season. Lives, jobs, attitudes, unnecessities, and even style. Some of us are really not healthy and are battling the coronavirus. Others of us are struggling with our mental health or with another issue. Maybe you’re 100 but what’s the point of wearing uncomfortable clothes when most of our days are spent sitting around our homes? I mean let’s be honest, the biggest trip I’m currently taking is from the living room to the kitchen for more snacks (oh great, another idea for a post). And even if you’re still working in essential services outside of the home, you want to be able to come back from the stress and relax.

I remember when I worked outside of the home – the best part was getting into my PJ’s or sweats at the end of a long day. Now I work in them all. day. long.

⭒ Right before stores shut down I actually went out and bought a couple of things that are both comfortable and stylish. I know, right! It was literally my first shopping trip in months. Check out what I got, on sale no less!

my gimpy hand was trying to get into the pocket that I didn’t take the thread out of.

⭒ And of course I had to make some earrings to go with it! I paired this beautiful mauvy-pink outfit with some star + crescent baby blue tassel danglers for a soft, feminine look.

⭒Loungewear is both on trend and can be dressed up for an errand run or just because you’re tired of looking like a complete slob. Am I the only the one?

⭒ So here’s what I’m wearing:

  • This beautiful Aeropostale lounge set is from Bluenotes in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada and it was 40% off! Such a pretty colour! They have some fab sales on right now.
  • My earrings are from yours truly at my jewelry brand Trumpet + Tassel. I only made a few so get them quick! They’ll be listed on my Etsy store some time this weekend.
  • This camel-coloured coat is from Ardene. Such a great find for a good price! Note: I got this one in XL so I can easily put it over sweaters, hoodies, etc. I just looked and they have a 50% off sale on right now!
  • My burgundy purse, coin necklace, and black combat boots are also from Ardene. If you want super affordable trendy items like these, go here. Trends come and go so quickly, so I don’t spend much money on them (remember – spend more money on quality basics and less on trendy items).
  • My hat is from Urban Outfitters online (I’ve linked it in a previous post). I bought this a few months ago thanks to a recommendation from Brooke Derksen. Check her out on Instagram! This colour and style goes with everything so ya, I wear it a lot. Once again, a trendy item I wouldn’t spend much money on.
  • I went with a lot of pinks on my eye and lip for this look. My makeup was from a literal mixture of crap I dug up out of my disgusting makeup drawer. I’ve hardly worn makeup for 10 months so bare with me. I’m looking at buying and sharing a new brand though that is both professional quality and good for your skin! I’ll let you know! In the meantime and if you’re interested, I’ll do a separate post on this makeup look and let you know what drugstore products I used!
  • My hair has not been professionally dyed or cut for almost a year now so I can’t give any super great tips there lately other than if you’re can do your own, go for it. At this point, we don’t have much choice with everything shut down here right now. To be honest, I can’t imagine how much money I’ve saved! This isn’t to put my amazing stylists out of business. Y’all know we’ll be back when it’s safe, but let’s take advantage of this time and get our hair as healthy as possible! Use this time to condition it up and go au natural! Grey-hairs unite! An amazing conditioner is from the brand Olaplex. OMG you guys! By it local if you can!

⭒ What’s your favourite go-to outfit for these long quarantine days? Hope you are all staying healthy and let me know how are you are and if I can pray for anything!

Here’s the real weird-o-me saying HI and sending virtual hugs to you!

Missing everyone,

Tiffany x

5 Easy Ways to Kickstart Your Creativity

The blank page looms. 📄

◾ The cursor blinks.

And blinks.

And blinks.

“STOP BLINKING!!”

◾ Nerves kick in.

Sweat beads (or is that just menopause?).

Nail biting commences.

Ugh! “Why, oh why, can’t I think of anything to write??”

Been there?

Side note. My son has a hard time writing, or so he thinks. As his ‘new teacher’, I’m encouraging him to let his thoughts flow as he writes, just as if he was speaking them out to a friend.

And to stop saying “I can’t!”

When we make the words, the screen, or the palette, an elevated enemy, we purposely put ourselves at the end of a double barrel shotgun. It’s a really hard place to win from.

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath

Get creativity flowing.

◾ So you know where I’m coming from then. You’ve stared down that blinking cursor yourself, or maybe it was a blank canvas or graphics app or songwriting sheet. Whatever it was,

the mojo just wasn’t there.

You weren’t on the upswing of a creative cycle.

The juices were not flowing.

◾ And oh, how we want those creative juices to flow! There’s nothing like the feeling of creating something from nothing, of moving to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat. Becoming one with the Creator Himself, and bringing His beautiful ideas to the earth is the honour of a son, of a daughter, of a creator.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

—Genesis 1:1

◾ And to be honest, some of our livelihoods depend on it.

Yet, here we are.

Staring.

Sweating.

And probably eating.

◾ Well, I’ve got a couple of helpful little hints for you – a couple of easy and practical things I do when the going gets tough and nothing is coming out of the ol’ braino. Here’s to hoping these ideas help you out in a pinch and give you your creative flow back when you need it:

  • 1. Stop trying and go take a nap. For real. Just walk away! The best ideas I’ve ever had have come just as I’m drifting off to sleep or in a dream! Even if that doesn’t happen for you, the best thing you can do when nothing is flowing is to take a break, get some rest, and reapproach your project with a fresh mind and attitude. Just think about it. The best way to quiet a stinky attitude is to put it down for a nap, just like a little kid! Sometimes I’ve had to walk away from a project for a few days, go to something new, and come back to it. Other times it’s a quick nap or an overnight sleep. On your way to your bed, ask God for grace, refreshing, and new creative ideas. Remember, His mercies are new every morning!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23
  • 2. Go for a walk in nature. Get physical. Being creative is very cerebral. Unless you are dancing up a storm, you are more than likely huddled over a computer on a hard chair trying to consistently press out fresh and amazing content of some sort. It can be difficult. I’ve found that one of the best refreshers for new ideas is movement. Better yet, movement in nature where you can smell and see creativity all around you. Breathing in fresh air, moving the body around, and seeing new sites, is both invigorating and inspiring. Getting outdoors and walking might just trigger that idea you’ve been looking for better than anything else could! The worst thing that could happen is you’re going to get some exercise and fresh air – not a bad deal in my opinion! My go-to’s are taking forest-filled hikes, walking near water, and strolling to beautiful worship or classical music (get a Spotify account on your phone and hook it up to some headphones). There’s no better place to get creative flow happening then being immersed in God’s own creative expression. Have fun and breathe!
  • 3. Read a fiction novel. Drink in the words of literary giants. Let the written vision of a classic novel take you away to another time and place. Imagine the colours and people of faraway lands. Go somewhere new, somewhere fresh, somewhere alive in your mind. Consider another perspective. Another viewpoint. I personally love historical fiction. Anything good in this genre puts me in such a thoughtful mood, triggering my mind to start imagining again. Once the mind is unlocked to start envisioning the surroundings of the story, the characters, and the plotline, the mind is just that. Unlocked. Flow begets flow.
  • 4. Do a different type of creative endeavor. If you’re trying to write, bake. If you’re trying to draw, sing. When I can’t get anything very productive done on a project, my favorite thing to do is to doodle. I have these amazing Pigma Micron drawing pens and a pad of watercolor paper (although any paper and pen will do), and I just draw lines and circles with no rhyme or reason to them. It is so freeing! It’s like un-constipating the bung-up zone, if you know what I mean. It’s a great unblocking exercise and frankly, I just do it because I enjoy it and it helps with stress. If I’m stuck on a writing project I will also either worship/sing, play an instrument, make jewelry, bake, or puzzle (I’m currently going through a puzzle a week here just to let you know how it’s really going). Other ideas are knitting, planting, dancing, painting, hand-making, clay work, or journaling. There are so many amazing creative things to do that are easy, fun, affordable, and possible in quarantine. The easier the better and make sure it’s not anything like what you are feeling blocked on. Also, don’t turn this other creative endeavor into a project too and then get bunged up on that! Just let your mind wander and be free! Be a kid and have FUN!

“And, now that you don’t have to be perfect you can be good.”

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • 4.5 Scream.
  • 5. Check out what others are making. Peruse social media and the internet for inspiration. Instagram, art websites, virtual museums, armchair travel, Pinterest, poetry circles, are all great in moderate doses… get inspired! While COVID-19 continues to clobber us, now is the perfect time to travel over to Amsterdam to the Van Gogh Museum or to the Louvre in Paris for examples, all possible if you have access to the internet. Instagram is a personal favorite of mine. I’ve been so inspired by many artists, makers, and women entrepreneurs online. That being said the key here is moderation. By that I mean, don’t spend hours and hours scrolling only to get more depressed and blocked. Another issue to be wary of is comparison. Finding inspiration in other’s work is for, just that, inspiration. Don’t use it as a means to say that your work is crumby and you’ll never be as good as ‘so-and-so’. If that’s something you easily slip into, don’t even go there. Stick to virtual museums and galleries, or skip out on this one.
  • Have you ever read Steal Like an Artist? I read it ages ago but I remember it has some great freeing ideas on utilizing what others have created to inspire your own:

One last thing.

◾ This is technically number 6 on the list but then I’d have to change the name of this blog post and I don’t want to. Just let me sneak it in here —try a new brain-boosting creativity app such as the Brainsparker app (not sponsored). I just downloaded it on my phone for FREE and it seems to have some fantastic features on it. For example, one of the Brainsparker cards says: “What does this spark?” “Step into someone else’s shoes.”

Have you used it?

◾ What are your tried and true ways to kickstart creativity? Did you give one of mine a try? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! And show me what you created while you’re at it!

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Tiffany x

Sky Hi’s

Sky hi’s. 👋🏻

✈ When I was little, I was a daydreamer. I used to think contrails in the sky were God zipping by to say “hi”. A check in of sorts. A trip of love to make sure we were all okay. We could sure use that today.

✈ Being little brought a freedom of mind that I can only remember in a glimpse. Like seeing the slight outline of a figure walking through a deep dark fog. Now my mind seems so cluttered. A soupy mess of thoughts, and worries, and constrictions that only seem to grow with age. Clearing the fog is a much more trying task than in yesteryears. It used to be so easy.

It was a typical ‘movie-scene’ — young girl lays back in lush green grass. Prairies abound just beyond view as clouds whisk by in the cerulean blue sky. A slight breeze, on cue, blows virgin blonde hair around a cherub face. Deep sapphire eyes turn towards the summer sky, gaze set on a tiny white airplane going by. A slight smile upturns on rosy full lips while her eyes gently close in thoughtfulness.

– from a movie yet to be made by me

✈ Sitting here at my dining room table, keyboard against fingertips, I close my eyes and I’m transported right back to that moment. The brain fog seems to lift easier now. Maybe my mind just needed a warm up, like an old hand-cranked jalopy (the thing about hand-cranks is that it takes a certain amount of physical effort to turn them; you need both strength and skill). To be honest, the last few months have nearly wiped that out of me, but I guess strength can be mustered and skill still remains. Peacefulness settles on me now.

✈ I could write a thousand books of poems that give homage to the beauty of a Saskatchewan childhood. There’s really nothing like a warm summer day on the prairies. To be carefree again like a 70’s-born girl in pig-tails, skipping her way to the corner-store with change in hand. There wasn’t much to think about other than what kind of candy you could get with a quarter or two. Would the day end in a neighborhood game of hide-and-seek or maybe kick-the-can before settling down to sleep with skin still warm from the sun?

“The past beats inside me like a second heart.”
― John Banville, The Sea

✈ Where were you born? How has it shaped who you are today? Are those memories engrained in your mind as years try to blot out the past? Is there one in particular that brings you peace in this crazy time? What do you see, smell, and and even taste as you go back in time? As you remember, be prepared for the difficulty, for the tears, for the joy, and for the longing, and that’s all right.

As you remember, be prepared for the difficulty, for the tears, for the joy, and for the longing, and that’s all right.

✈ I encourage you to write your memories down. Share them. Speak them out. Pass them down to your children, or relatives, or a friend. Write a poem, write a book, paint them out so others can enjoy them. Whatever you do, don’t let them die. If they touched your life and helped make you who you are, they may also touch another. The beauty of a moment can change the days of the future.

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Tiffany x

Neutral Basics Love

Back to basics. 👢

◦ I love basics. Sometimes I think what I wear is so plain and boring, why would anyone else even want to know what I’m wearing? In reality though, basics are building blocks to great style at any age or size. Pair your basics with neutral colors and boom…you’ve got a recipe for classic style. Don’t get me wrong. I love a pop of color here and there, and there’s ALWAYS a place for a jewel-toned or floral dress, bright earrings, and a colorful scarf, but there’s just something timeless and lovely about neutral colors. Think beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray, and shades of white.

◦ Once you’ve got your basic wardrobe down you can start having some fun! Pair your neutral basics with a new trend or two like tassels and a hat. Finds like these bring your basics to life and they also get leveled up by your key pieces. I find that it’s in the trendy fashion elements that I can really express myself. They’re also the most fun to purchase and wear.

◦ What are your favorite basics? I have a few, but the ones I’m wearing in these photos are:

  1. Black jeans – any brand works. I love both skinny high-rise and bootcut although I would say a straight-leg is going to ride out the trends longer than the others. The ones I’m wearing here are more of a straight-leg which can be trickier to cuff at the bottom, but do make sure you cuff with booties.
  2. White T-shirts – oversized are best (the one I’m wearing in this post is a men’s). Tees look super cute partially tucked or tied in the front.
  3. Cardigans – layer, layer, layer – my most worn piece! I wear cardigans so often, mainly because I’m usually cold, but they’re also fantastic to cover the butt and they make wearing tights more modest. If you can afford it, cashmere will never go out of style but the one I’m wearing gives the same look for an excellent price.

◦ If animal prints are considered a basic, I would definitely add them to my list at #4. Quick note – if you wear animal prints, don’t overdo it! A hit here or there is just right. I wouldn’t normally wear, or recommend wearing, more than one animal print at a time, but I got crazy on y’all and have on both a leopard-print belt and snakeskin-print booties here. Ahhhh, the quarantine is getting to me! (in my defense, the belt is quite small and only peeks out from the t-shirt so as to not overwhelm). You don’t want to look like Carole Baskin. Just saying!

Hat: H&M Minneapolis; Men’s T-shirt: Boathouse; Cardigan: H&M Jeans: Walmart; Belt: H&M; Boots: Call it Spring (not exactly the same but on sale!!); Jewelry: Trumpet + Tassel

◦ I love all types of hats and toques and have just recently made a hat wall in our bedroom because brimmed hats can get really wrecked if you toss them in the wrong place (lesson learned). I’m a definite ‘Hat Girl’ if there ever was one. Yet, I’ve heard so many other women say, “I can’t wear hats.” Well, I beg to differ! If you’re someone who would love to wear a hat, do it! If you think you’re too old, you’re not! The Baker Boy/Captain’s Cap is so flattering and covers up a bad hair day (or bad quarantine haircut) really well. The one I’m wearing is from H&M in Minneapolis but there are so many places that sell them in various colors and styles for great prices such as SHEIN. Give your hair a tuck on one side or if it’s long, put it in a messy low bun in the back with some tendrils on the sides or leave it hang. Rock it!

Men’s T-shirt: Boathouse; Cardigan: H&M Jeans: Walmart; Belt: H&M; Boots: Call it Spring (not exactly the same but on sale!!); Jewelry: Trumpet + Tassel; Haircut: Me; Painting; Me

◦ And finally, let’s not forget under-garments. I recently discovered the amazing Canadian company called Knix. They have fantastic underwear in neutral colors for a variety of sizes that I seriously love! I have had such a difficult time finding underwear that fits and is comfortable and was so relieved when I found this company. They also send a free lingerie bag with purchase so you don’t wreck your products in the wash.

◦ Now don’t get cheeky on me. I’m not about to show me wearing them but check out their website just in time for Christmas (tell the hubs!) The Leakproof Boyshort in any of the Nudes is my fave for underwear, although they now have a Super Leakproof choice as well. I find their wireless bras are uber comfy – I like the Padded V-Neck Bra with the Wide Strap. I also just ordered their FreshFixAir Face Masks in Black so I’ll let you know what I think when they get here (not a sponsored review). They also carry sports and loungewear.

Tell me about your favorite basics that come in neutrals and look good on women of various ages and sizes. I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Tiffany x

Five Little Things

Sometimes we just need to breathe.

♡ I haven’t been myself this week, have you? There’s so much going on in the world and, if you’re at all sensitive like me, you feel it. Boy, do you feel it.

♡ Let’s just take a moment to enjoy 5 little things…

1. yes! a cup of hot cocoa and fresh-smelling linens. what’s your favorite comfort drink? go grab one! I’ll wait for you.
2. did someone say “beach”? picture yourself here with the sound of the surf and the warmth of the sand beneath your toes. How about a great read as you swing in the warm tropical sun? What’s one book you’ve been meaning to read? Get it – Kindle has some great options!
3. this is me not caring about the elections and covid. ok that’s a lie, but let’s just let it go. maybe you’ve done your praying. you’ve refreshed the news on your phone for the millionth time. now, I double-dog-dare you to take your socks and shoes off and go run in the grass for a minute. go!
4. here’s a cute puppy for you. ugh, so sweet! *boop, boop*
5. prefer kitties? sorry, here ya go.

♡ Don’t forget to breathe deep, take lots of time to relax, unplug, and care for your physical health. Getting good nutrition, sleep, and fresh air/exercise matters. (Yes, I’m preaching to myself). I’m also a huge fan of reading the Bible and prayer. I found a new prayer guide (well, actually it’s very old but new to me) called the Book of Common Prayer. Sometimes we just don’t know what to pray and this is super helpful. Here’s a Collect for peace in the midst of the storm. Much love, friend. ♡

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom:  Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. (BCP 2019)

Tiffany x

A Touch of France

Bonjour Mademoiselle! ♡

◦ It’s a no-brainer to say that armchair travel and virtual fashion shopping have peaked due to this darn pandemic. I didn’t go any further than my dusty Canadian closet for today’s outfit, inspired by dreams of being abroad.

◦ One of my favorite ways to bring a hint of mystery and that classic foreign vibe to any outfit this season is with a French-styled beret. Pair it with Fall’s hottest haircut, a French bob, and you’re styling in some of the latest looks a’ la Emily in Paris. You can find a really affordable beret online at SHEIN for just $9 CAD, and a super affordable haircut in your very own bathroom.

◦ Now, can we all just pause a moment and say, “thank God” for the recent white runner fad? As my age progresses, I am all for comfort. This fairly new trend is a definite plus for running around and doing errands in style without getting the big blisters that we were so familiar with wearing uncomfortable heels. The white runners I’m wearing are from none other than Walmart Canada! Honestly, these are the perfect alternative to other brands that look the same but cost way more. Best yet, these ones even have a memory foam inside. So comfy and cute! These currently look sold out online but give their Search Engine a go and grab any pair of white sneakers for a great price – Walmart. You’ll be blazing the grocery store aisles in style and comfort.

Peacoat: Old Navy; Turtleneck: Le Chateau; Pants: Dynamite

◦ I always say you can’t go wrong dressing in black. To me, it’s the most flattering and forgiving “color” there is. In addition, if you’re vertically challenged like me, a monochrome palette from head to toe helps elongate and slim the body — a definite recommendation and two thumbs up from me for any body type. I also love the artsy vibe this look gives, and it’s the perfect background for a pop of color in your accessories. I apologize for the cut-off photo’s. For some reason I was completely inept at using my iPhone camera today (by the way, the camera on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is amazing, the problem is the user). Note to self. Cutting yourself off at the ankle makes you look shorter.

Shoes: Walmart; Peacoat: Old Navy; Turtleneck: Le Chateau; Pants: Dynamite; Purse: Vici; Scarf: no idea

◦ Big Hint ➢ Buy timeless pieces and pair them with current trends. I bought this olive-colored peacoat a few years ago and it has literally never gone out of style since. A modern peacoat is being called a ‘key piece’ for 2020, with luxury labels even putting their own spin on it. I bought this one from Old Navy is a size Medium, and I see on their website that they still have a very similar style available! I would definitely size up on this and if buying a new one I would at least buy a size Large. Check it out at this link ➢ Old Navy. I totally need to buy the camel-colored one as well! No, I am not being sponsored by anyone.

◦ Well, that’s it for today’s OOTD. See you soon for more musings and style, friend!

Tiffany x

A Fence With a Gate

Boundaries. 🛑

⊗ Healthy boundaries. God is teaching me lately. How ironic though. I remember a time when I was a newly saved and zealous Christian back in a charismatic church in Canmore, Alberta. We had a good old book burning. For real. You know, the kind where you dig up all the stuff you were reading in your old life and just light ‘er up, bonfire-style? Well, during this fiery explosion of my new-found faith, I started grabbing other people’s “maybe-keep” piles. It was during this moment of passion that I clearly remember burning a book my friend owned on boundaries. “Too pop-culture-pseudo-Christian-psychology garbage,” I thought. Man, maybe I should have read it before I burnt it.

⊗ Boundaries. So hard to have yet so necessary. Why is it that nice people think having them is so mean. Us ‘nice guys’ think, “doesn’t a boundary keep people out and say I’m more important than you?” And then there’s the issue of being a person who follows Jesus. In Christianity, aren’t we taught the opposite? I mean how did Christ have boundaries? In this day of COVID-19, the big argument many have had against mask usage is that Jesus touched the lepers. Where’s the boundaries in that?

Doesn’t a boundary keep people out and say I’m more important than you?

⊗ Let’s dig into the Word a bit. Remember when Jesus said, “you stay here while I go pray”? He didn’t allow anyone to come with Him. He loved them but he said, you stay here. I have a boundary. I need this time alone with My Father.

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” – Matthew 26:36

⊗ Even when people needed Him, he would withdraw when He knew He had to. He could have stuck around and taught and healed more sick people but He didn’t.

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. – Luke 5:15-16

⊗ I’ve had a hard time setting healthy boundaries, have you? Maybe you let people walk all over you like a “door-mat” and see that as being a loving servant. Or maybe you’ve burnt yourself out so much for the sake of others that you now can’t do what the Lord wants you to. You are not being selfish for setting healthy boundaries. Jesus said, “For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light” (Matthew 11:30).

Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. – Dr. Brene Brown

⊗ I had difficulty making some clear boundaries the other day. I just knew in that moment that I had to call one of my good friends who always seems to know just what to say. And just as expected, she did. Do you have a friend who doesn’t abandon you even in your darkest times? Gives wise advice? Prays for you? Don’t lose them. These friends are definitely hard to come by in this day of backstabbing and betrayal, “leveling up”, ditching, and the popularity-gaining “cancel culture”.

A person of too many friends comes to ruin,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. – Proverbs 18:24

⊗ My friend’s advice was centered around the analogy of yards, fences, gates, and walls. By the way, many teach on boundaries, such as Dr. Henry Cloud (sorry Henry, yours was the aforementioned book I burnt and never read). This teaching may come from there, I don’t know, but I do know that the Word guides us in all truth and will give you the revelation you need on anything, including relationships.

⊗ So here’s the analogy. Once upon a time, there was a woman with children who lived in a house with a yard. The woman’s children loved to play outside in their yard. Rightly so. It was a beautiful, lush yard with green carpet-like grass and lots of trees to climb and swing from. The problem was that the woman’s next-door-neighbor had a dog, and that dog loved to come over to her yard and poop in it. That’s right, poop. Anytime the woman’s children went out to play in their yard, they would get this dog’s poop all over themselves. Not impressive and not fun.

⊗ So the woman decided to put up a fence. The fence was built around her own property with a clearly marked gate for her neighbor to use. The fence allowed her children to play freely and happily without getting dog poop on themselves. The problem was, the neighbor didn’t like it. And just like this woman, as soon as we set clear boundaries, there will be people in life who don’t like it. The truth is, we often don’t set boundaries because we are worried what people will think of us. Set them anyway. Jesus didn’t let others manipulate, guilt-trip, bait, or use entitlement against Him.

As soon as you set clear boundaries, there will likely be people in your life who don’t like it. We often don’t set boundaries because we are worried what people will think of us. Set them anyway. Jesus didn’t let others manipulate, guilt-trip, bait, or use entitlement against Him.

  • From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” – Matthew 16:21-23
  • While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:46-50

⊗ So the dog-owning neighbor, in his anger, rang the woman’s doorbell and said, “How dare you put up a fence around your yard? My dog loved coming into your yard and now he can’t anymore!” The woman calmly replied, “I have not put up a wall to keep you out. There is a clearly marked gate in the fence for you and your dog to enter through. That being said, if you decide to use the gate to visit me, you must bring a doggy bag with you to clean up your dog mess before you leave. “Well, the nerve!” huffed the man as he stomped off towards his home.

⊗ After hearing this analogy, I put a few things together. I realized that I hadn’t been great at setting clear boundaries. Maybe I expected people to just know them without being assertive enough to say what they were. Really, I was afraid of rejection. I also realized I had been a person that went from having a wide-open yard without a fence and gate to being an immediate wall constructor. “Here, poop all over my yard until I go absolutely crazy and build a wall so you can’t ever get in again.” Nope, not healthy.

“Here, poop all over my yard until I go absolutely crazy and build a wall so you can’t ever get in again.”

⊗ Ask God where you’re at with having healthy boundaries in your relationships. Maybe you’re the ‘wide-open-yard-person’ or the ’50-foot-wall-builder’. Or maybe you’re the ‘dog-owning-neighbor’? (Oh man, that’s the hardest one to confess to). Be honest with yourself and let Him be honest with you. Taking on the yoke of Christ and knowing I have the freedom and ability to set clear and healthy boundaries for myself has been life-changing and I’m sure it will be for you too. My advice? Do it. Follow Christ in all things. Keep digging into the Word – it’s really all we need and it guides us in all truth. Pray. Ask God for His wisdom and strength to do what’s right for your life. And keep your wise friends close.

⊗ Today above all days may be extra stressful for you. There’s election results and opinions abounding, skyrocketing COVID-19 numbers, and greater and greater divisions happening amongst friends. Know that it’s okay to turn off your TV and radio. In fact I suggest it. It’s okay to stop scrolling on social media. It’s also ok to unfollow and unfriend, to snooze and “lose”. I am. Put up a fence with a gate. Go outside and enjoy the warm weather today. May the peace of Christ rest upon you today and always. And me too.

Tiffany x