Be the Encourager

Let’s face it, it is a rough world out there! So many people are facing trials and struggles on a daily basis. Struggles which threaten their  self confidence, peace of mind, daily well being, relationships, health, mental health, and their safety. We are often overwhelmed by the feeling that life is more than we can handle- that we aren’t enough, strong enough, rich enough, powerful enough, …….. The list goes on and on. When these times hit each of us, we need people in our lives who can be an encourager! Actually, this command is repeated several times in scriptures- encourage one another.

 

One of the first reactions we have we encounter some one is to give advice. We have all been there….. You know the words… If I were you I would……… You should…….

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As great and wise as our advice might be or we think it might be, what people actually need from us is pure and simple encouragement. Not cheerleaders, but instead those who help others to not give up but to have hope and faith.

Encouragement from others breathes life into our souls. That right word given in a time of need can be the catalyst that makes all the difference for the person receiving those words!

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So many people feel like they just are not cut out to be encouragers. They protest and say no, not me!!!    The truth is quite different, however.   We can all be encouragers!!  The question is how? What can we do to be encouragers for those around us?

One way of doing encouraging others is to have a real and loving concern for other people.  By paying  attention to those around us, we become aware of what is going on in their lives. We come out of our tunnels and see their feelings, fears, and circumstances.

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We can truly listen to what others are saying to us.  When we really listen to others, we can begin to understand where they are coming from……where their hearts are….. the ways that they need encouragement.

Being a source of Hope,  is also a great way to encourage those around us. People often feel as if the situation in whcih they are in is inescapable that there is no solution or quite frankly no silver lining on the dark cloud hanging over their head. As a source of hope, we can show that situations are changeable and fluid.  Problems can be solved and we can pursue solutions to the situations threatening our well-being.

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If you are a person of faith, then pray for those around you who need encouragement! We all know that our words of prayer have power I them as our Father heats them all! Let the person know that you have sent up prayers about them! Whether they believe or not. It does not matter! Just the thought that someone cares enough to take the time to include them in their prayers brings a feeling of belonging and a warm feeling that someone cares!!  Who wouldn’t be encouraged by that!!

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We are also strong believers in the small act of encouraging others by giving them something! No, we do not mean something big and expensive! It can be a pack of gum, a flower, a note, or even something silly! The point is hat you take the time to think of them and put it into action!

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All of us are going to at some time need someone in our lives who will encourage us and offer hope during times of stress or sadness.  Think about how you have felt when others have offered some form of encouragement to you! Let’s be  the the change we want to see in the world and encourage those around us!!

Hugs and Kisses from us to each of you!!

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Back up!

This morning I had this whole outfit planned out in my head…. and then, just like that it went south- and fast!

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My skirt had a stain on it, how does this happen? Why would I not have washed it from the last time I wore it? Crazy times! So to planB it was…. which was no plan at all.

It didn’t help that I woke up an hour late! YES ONE HOUR! Talk about scrounging for something decent to wear! What can we do when we are presented with this less than desirable situation? Plan for it!

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One great idea would be to have a back up outfit- ALWAYS! Make sure it’s ironed and ready. It’s a “just in case” outfit when all else fails! Susie and I find that it’s best if that outfit is something easy to throw on and add to. Like a shift dress.

Shift dresses are easy to slip on, rarely need ironing, and always look good! They are a great back up plan!

Do you already have one established? A back up plan? A plan B? If so, what is yours?

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Sometimes ours is denim, you can’t go wrong with denim but it has to be a casual type of occasion.

One of Michelle’s back up plans often includes chinos. Especially teaching. They are professional and tailored, although definitely not a first choice- they certainly play a great second fiddle.

Susie usually opts for a black maxi dress for her back up outfit!   She realized a long time ago that when she is running late or flustered by a last minute wardrobe situation,  her back up needed to be  something that was easy to style!  Who can go wrong with a black dress!! It goes with pretty much every color and flatters your figure when your confidence has already been shaken by the castastrophe of the morning!!! A fashion vitamin so to speak!!!

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As we think about our back up plans for tomorrow and the rest of the week, we hope your work week started a little more smoothly than ours.

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Go USA!!!

The Olympics are in full swing and the great USA has 9 medals! 5 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze as of today. What a fantastic start to the Winter games in South Korea.

We l❤️ve our country and the athletes who compete and represent our country so well. When we get the opportunity to watch  our home country compete in the Olympics this brings out a huge sense of American pride from each of us that we may not express otherwise. It gives us an a opportunity to cheer on our people no matter which part of he country they are from.  We find ourselves sitting on the edge of our seats and holding our breaths as each person or team competes.<<
's loads of fun to stay up late and watch all of the exciting races and figure skaters. We love snowboarding and downhill as well as the ice skating competitions! ! What's your favorite event?<<
are learning so much about the Olympics as the days unfold. We thought we might share a few new facts with you!

  • Did you know that the city of Pyeonchang, South Korea is the smallest host city since 1994..
  • Did you know that four new events were added this year?
  • Did you know the new mascot for the 2018 games is Soohorang!

Organizers opted for a tiger due to the cultural roots of Korea and it’s place in native mythology.<<
are delighted to see that North and South Korea can compete together under one flag as a unified front.

We love watching with our families and using the competition as teaching moments as we see the teamwork, the perseverance, the sportsmanship, the dedication and courage exhibited by all of the athletes. We see the joys of the successes, the tears of defeat, and even the agony of injuries throughout the competition.<<
e Olympics just bring out the best of everyone. The Olympics bind us together and teach us all to be our very best selves! If we had to put a value on the experience of the Olympics, we would have to say that it is ultimately worth its  weight in gold, silver, and bronze!

It appears to be a time that people put aside their differences and celebrate strengths! What a wonderful world this would be if we could do that on the daily basis!

What Makes Someone Likable!!

What makes some people more likable than others?

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All of us know people who are rude, impolite, and sometimes just downright nasty and unpleasant to be around.  We try to avoid them but find that reality forces us to have to deal with them at least occasionally much to our charign!

The saving grace in all of this is that we also know people who are pleasant and a joy to be around. Thank goodness!  Those people who are just likeable!!

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The word likable is defined as being pleasant, friendly, and easy to like!  Certainly qualities that all of us look for especially in those we spend a lot of time around.

So what makes a person likable?  We decided that since this is the week of Valentine’s Day, it might be helpful to describe a few habits of likable people!

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One quality that we found is that they are people who look for agreement. They are people who don’t go looking for ways to challenge or always take the opposite opinion in discussions, at the workplace or in friendships and relationships. It doesn’t mean that they always agree but instead they look for the areas where they agree and then when needed they make their point in a manner that does not offend or make others feel that it’s a win lose situation. They make the conversation  one that leads to an open dialogue and a safe place for different viewpoints and thoughts to be discussed and offered!  Something lacking frequently in today’s world.

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The likable people are those who are not afraid to show their genuine selves. They are not afraid for others to see their weaknesses and vulnerability along with their strengths. The fact is that while many strive to hide and cover up any weakness or vulnerability, the thing  we truly accomplish with that is to act as if we are something that we are not which never lasts forever. People eventually figure out the truth of who we are.  Likable people know that ultimately those around us appreciate the real person and not the fake facades!

Thise who are likable are those who are masters at open ended conversations and listening skills. They ask questions that get you to talk and express your thoughts, feelings, and opinions.  Before you know it, you feel safe and comfortable about sharing things with them. They listen to your responseS and comments. This in turn  makes you feel important and valued in the conversation,  and thus you feel better about yourself.

Likable people also accept other people just the way they are. They are not intent on criticizing or always pointing out your faults or weaknesses. They are those who see you as you are but still enjoy the view! It doesn’t mean that they always agree or even approve of those around them, but they resist the temptation to judge or try to change other people. Instead they give others the gifts of  oacceptance and a feeling of being good enough! Acceptance of others is a gift which gives back in return!

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These are by far not all  of the traits of likable people!  Reflect on these for a bit and then think about how many of these habits you have!   We know that we will be doing that for sure in our quest to be more likable!!

Sending love to each of you, our stylish sisters!!!💕💕💕💕

The Give and Take of Constructive Criticism

Women have a hard time with these words. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. If we had to guess we’d bet each of you have that one friend you can always count on to show you the way, tell you that your outfit just isn’t working, or that you have food in your teeth.

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Those are the kinds of friends,  we like to keep around. They save us from so much embarrassment in life.

Do you ever say- ouch, she was really harsh or too brutally honest? There is a way to say things that need to be said nicely and with love.

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Here are a few tips for those of us (Michelle) who are less than gentle with the bitter truth.

1. Sandwich. Yes, we said sandwich. That means start out with a compliment, then say what you feel is constructive to a friend, and end with another compliment.

It might sound something like, your nails are so pretty, did you choose that color? What made you choose that one? I really love the length of your nails and they seem so strong.

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2. Give a recommendation on how they could improve. Maybe someone is wearing silver jewelry when the outfit clearly screams gold! Just let them know that cool colors like gray or turquoise tend to lean toward a silver scheme. You could even say that you’ve been seeing it online when perusing  fashion blogs… like this one😉<<<
aybe this should have been number 1…. but assess who you are addressing. Can this person take it? Do they have thick enough skin to realize that maybe what you're saying does have merit. We find that people with low self esteem don't take constructive criticism well. Be sure you know the person to whom you are giving the suggestion. They should be a close friend or someone who knows your heart and that the words are coming from a place of love, not judgement.<<<<
u are the person to which the constructiven remarks are being aimed maybe you could use some pointers as well.

1. Consider the source. There is no need to get all worked up if the source of criticism isn't from someone you know loves you! This world  is full of bullies, haters, and jealousy! If someone is criticizing you from those angles, let it roll right off your back and consider the source.

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s someone you love speaking- thank them! A lot of the time we are in a rush or we always do the same makeup techniques because we just do! No particular reason at all for our method- just habit. Remember this person loves and cares about you- so thank them for loving you enough to tell you that's navy blue not black or there is spinach in your teeth!<<<<
ke changes. If what the person has said makes sense to you, why not make some changes? We all could use a little switch-a-roo every now and again. As scary as change can be for some of us it's a good thing! Trying something new or adjusting your "staple" outfit might warrant more compliments or even someone acknowledging that you made a change and they like it. Fresh is always in!

77BA7B58-2B54-4F1D-B404-67B3EB9C9D2EBeing friends means talking, and talking means we tell each other when something needs fixing! Value those who feel like they can be honest, and  remember – it takes a friend to be a friend.

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Legs! More Leggings!!

The cooler the temps the more we find ourselves layering up and our legs are a large part of that!

We find that anytime we can put leggings on, we take it because the more we cover, the warmer we are.

Susie is retired now, so she is out and about much more than Michelle. She gets out in the elements and is often cold- so the best thing she can do to keep warm is wear leggings and layer up!

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Susie’s outfit centers around a  shades of grey plaid knit dress with stripes of maroon! She added some warm grey leggings  to continue the column of grey!  Pairing a maroon scarf from  Cato , boots from Tommy Hilfiger, and  a a hat also from Cato with it brings some pop and brings out the stripe!

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For added warmth, a gray cape can be used outdoors and then easily removed once in the building!  Susie’s cape is from TJ Max!  One of the advantages of layering is that as the temperatures rise during the afternoon, one can remove the heavier items and still look stylish!!

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Leggings are the happy place between long johns and pants that are appropriate to look at and easy to wear. They are comfortable and you can get some super funky ones to show your personality.

Michelle is in the building most of the day teaching, but even so leggings help when she leaves and they aren’t so thick that she is hot while indoors.

Michelle’s outfit is a pair of black thick leggings that are her “go to” leggings. She also has taken a lightweight sleeveless top that transitions well to spring and paired it with a periwinkle turtleneck that brings a little flare to the otherwise black/white outfit!

Her booties are from Old Navy and they are great for two reasons! They are suede, lace up, and have the perfect heel! Oh wait that was three reasons….. better more than less!

Speaking of more- how are you all doing with you “word” of the year or resolution? We hope you are plowing through the first of the year successfully achieving your goals.

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We are both individually and together working hard to keep our word- More- present in our daily  lives!!  On a light note- as long as it’s cold or chilly – we will be wearing more leggings!!!

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Happy Saturday to each and every one of you beautiful ladies!!!❤️❤️❤️

Wide Leg Alert!!!

2018 is here and with it – lots of new looks and trends!!! Well, maybe not all new looks!! Remember, fashion trends like everything else in the world tend to cycle in and out.  For some of us, we keep on wearing what we like regardless of the trends!!

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That being said!! A trend from the 70’s and 80’s  is back- The wide legged trousers also known as palazzos are back and ready to help us feel chic and feminine while still maintaining that level of comfort we all so enjoy!! Some of us may even remember ABBA! A little Dancing Queen!!!

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We do know one thing for sure about this style of pant! Women tend to  decidedly either love or hate this style! So in order to toot the horn about  the positive aspects of the look, we decided to provide some style information on them.

Let’s look at what this style can do for us!  Do you have big hips or wide shoulders ? They can help balance them. This style of pants can also  assist us in having a more ideally proportioned silhouette by helping to elongate our legs and slim our waist!!  That is a win-win, ladies! How many of us complain about our height and yearn for the legs for days look!  Longer legs- anyone???  A  leaner look?

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This pant style easily delivers a classy and elegant look which is what 2018 fashion trends are all about! They can also be found in so many different colors and styles making them easy to find and a way to have variety in your wardrobe. Whether you go with a to the floor length or a cropped look.

These pants are also versatile and can be paired with all sorts of different tops.  They look good with anything from fitted to baggy and loose-fitting styles!

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If you want to try on a fitted style, we suggest that  a neutral colored slim blouse, or a button-down shirt even paired with a classic blazer might be some ideas  for the office environment.  For  a night-out on the town  look, maybe  try  a cropped  top or some kind of fancy blouse.  If you want to wear a loose-fit top, then be ready to tuck it inside trousers, this trick will underline your waistline and keep your silhouette look ladylike.

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They look good when paired with sandals, heels, wedges or flats! Just make sure that if you choose a flat shoe, the length of your pant does not trip you up! Also, keep in mind that you are looking to add height and a leaner look,  you might want to go with a heel! Again this is a personal choice depending on each of you fabulous divas and what you are looking to achieve in your personal look!!

There is definitely a comeback in this spiral of fashion to the looks from the 70’s and 80’s in the pant styles!!! These pants are cool, fun, and sophisticated—- just like you!!!  So whether you decide to wear them with casual or dressy tops, just have fun with it!! They do indeed look fabulous with almost anything!!

So, play a little Cyndi  Lauper  “Girls Just Wanna Have fun”,  release your 70’s and 80’s self, embrace your individuality and stand out in the crowd!!

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