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

Fashion after 50

Is that a thing? I mean, was I supposed to suddenly change my wardrobe the day I went from 49 to 50? 👗

♕ I guess I’m lying right off the bat. This photo was of me last year, taken at 49 for my last fashion Instagram account called “Love Tiffany xo” (that account name is now taken by someone else, not me by the way). It was just starting to pick up speed and I somehow let an unheard shame come on me for being a Christian with an interest in fashion and style. It didn’t seem quite ‘Christian enough’ to be concerned about looks and what to wear. I think though that having an interest in the creative aspect of expressing oneself in fashion without an obsession over looks, is an art form like any other. So here I am being me again. By the way, that blouse I’m wearing is from Winners (doesn’t fit anymore, want it?) and that dog was recently rehomed due to a bite on a kid – my kid to be exact (major tears).

That’s one thing 50 definitely brings – a not caring about what other’s think and a strength to be authentic.

♕ I still have most of the same clothes but really the only difference at 50 is that they fit a little tighter. My fashion style hasn’t changed much this past year other than the fact that I don’t get dressed up much anymore. I mean what’s the point? I work from home, teach from home, and am pretty much in quarantine still due to asthma and an impending major surgery. I don’t get out much to shop these days and I’ve also decided to step more into a minimalistic closet and wardrobe. Why waste money if you don’t need to? There’s something about simplistic living that I’m getting more and more keen to.

Honestly, too much ‘stuff’ gives me hives.

♕ So, amongst many other topics, this blog will include some great fashion finds for women in their late-30’s to 60 that are classic, affordable, and accessible. Most of my shopping comes from super basic places like Winners, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Vici, and yes, Walmart. If you can’t buy it online or in a fairly local store, I likely won’t be wearing it. If it costs a ton I also won’t be modeling it (unless of course someone gifts me something fantastic, hint, hint! ;)) I love to support businesses with heart, locality, and Kingdom-mindedness and am often sporting my own creations from my Trumpet + Tassel jewelry line. I would love to collaborate with other makers and creators to let other women know of great fashion finds that are either handmade, local, socially conscious, stunning, and/or affordable.

I won’t wear what I don’t like or believe in though, just for more followers and likes.

♕ These great fan tassel earrings come from my Trumpet + Tassel line. I’m wearing them in both photo’s and they literally go with everything. Unfortunately, that particular color is now sold out but there are lots of other great colors, especially for Fall/Winter 20, available while they last. I always like to share a great sale and this is a great one – the entire shop is 25% off! Go to this link to purchase. 10% goes to fight cancer.

♕ There’s certain trends that never die, or if they do, they take a long time to do so. Call it a a Stevie Budd look from Schitt’s Creek but it’s definitely one of my Fall go-to looks. So easy, affordable and cute! Get the boots at Blundstone and the plaid shirt at Ardene’s. Same earrings. They literally go with anything.

♕ That ends some of my past looks from 49 that still work at 50. Let’s move along and see what the Winter 20/21 holds for style gals!

Tiffany x

In the Night Hours

Awake again. 🌙

✩ I thought I’d sleep well tonight. Melatonin to make sure, but here I am. The clock flashes 4:35. Made it past the 3am grind.

✩ Being awake mid-night brings a comfort and dread only known to prayer warriors and insomniacs. There’s something beautifully haunting yet comforting about the late night/early morning hours. Reminds me of this vehicle my dad had in the 70’s. Half truck half car. Didn’t quite know what to be so it embraced both.

✩ The clock ticks so I take the battery out. Don’t need a reminder of time passing second by second as I lay here, thoughts reflecting on the strangeness of my last dream and the crossover between fantasy and reality. There’s secrets in the night hours God reveals to the available.

✩ Morning comes closer and so does the thought of

“how will I get through another day without sleep.”

Note to self. Take more melatonin tonight.

✩ The silence is beautiful yet eerie. Breath seems so loud and I realize the wonder of this body and life that keeps going at the sound of God’s voice. Note to self. Write your dream down. It could mean something. Also, thank God for the breath in your lungs. Only He knows how long it will last.

✩ Night dwellers. There’s evil and righteousness taking place right now. Such an odd thought as I lay here. Somehow we think the world revolves around us and whether we can or can’t sleep. The dark hours seem to hide the wicked but there’s many on the wall of prayer, even now, fighting for good to prevail. And it will. What’s that sound? Just my stomach. Note to self. Eat something healthy next time. Am I supposed to be praying?

☼ The curtains brighten. I know light is on the horizon. Somehow it’s a hopeful and daunting thing all at once. Turn your phone off and stop writing. Go to sleep. Yes I know, I’m trying.

☼ There’s a crossing over where God reveals in the light what happens in the dark. I’ll see you in the light, friend.

Tiffany x