Quick Question(s)

Well, this is the second post in one day. ON A SUNDAY. I KNOW. But here’s the deal.

Tomorrow I’m talking to / visiting with some high school girls about healthy, God-honoring friendships. I had really great friends in high school and college – and there was rarely, if ever, any drama between us. So – because of my own friendships, which have been overwhelmingly positive, I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my brain around what goes on in a “mean girl” culture. I also have a hard time understanding how girls can be so threatened by / distrusting of each other, because (thankfully) that’s never been my experience.

HOWEVER. I don’t want to be unrealistic when I talk to the girls, and I don’t want to ignore the fact that some of them probably have some hurts that go pretty deep. So I want to make sure that I’m considering perspectives that may differ from my own – and that is why I have three questions.

1) When you were in high school / college, what trait did you most value in your friends? Honesty? Trustworthiness? Loyalty? Kindness? Something else?

2) If you struggled with friendships when you were in high school / college, what were some factors that made friendships difficult? Bitterness? Jealousy? Gossip? Insecurity? Something else?

3) If you could travel back in time and give the high school / college version of yourself some advice about friendships, what would that advice be?

Thanks in advance, y’all. I’m oh-so-grateful for your help!

It Would Be Irresponsible Not To Share This Sale-Related Information

Over the last three years I’ve hosted several giveaways for my friend LisaAnn and her company, Nations Outfitters. LisaAnn started Nations about five years ago, and during that time she’s designed some great-looking, modest, stylish clothes. She’s also encouraged young people to live lives of service, and she’s been focused on Kingdom-building every step of the way.

LisaAnn has poured her heart and soul into Nations, but after burning the candle at both ends for the last five years, she’s going to press “pause” on the business side of things until God tells her to press “play” again (that was a random metaphor – I do apologize). LisaAnn has four phenomenal kids (seriously. phenomenal. I would happily claim any of them as my own.), and I know she’s going to enjoy having even more time to focus on her people without the daily stresses of running a business. Sometimes it’s good to take a little break, you know?

Last week LisaAnn emailed me and asked if I thought y’all might be interested in getting the first look at her sales inventory, and I promptly wrote back and said, “UM, YEAH!” This sale will eventually be announced to Nations’ customers via email, Facebook, etc., but y’all get first dibs. And the prices are FANTASTIC. So if you need to stock up on some summer dresses / tops for yourself or for the girl(s) in your life (or if you want to grab a few things for next fall), look no further. The stuff on the Nations site is, as my mother-in-law would say, DARLIN’ PLUS.

(It really is!)

(Just darlin’ plus!)

So here’s the deal: Everything on the Nations website is on sale. Every item is discounted at least 50%, but the stuff on the sale page is discounted at least 75%. The prices listed are the discounted prices. All sales are final.

How ’bout a little sampling?

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The Sandy Dress – $25

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The Daisy Dress – $10

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Red Ruffle Dress – $20

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The Rosemary Tunic – $29

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The Carol Dress – $20

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Gold Buckle Belt – Camel – $11

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Flora Scarf – $25
(Just so you know: the Nations scarves are big and wondrous.)

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The Chandelier Dress – $10

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The Allison Dress – $10

So you get the idea. Clearly there are some very cute dresses, tops, and accessories at some really great prices.

Here are some quick links if you want to take a look at each category of merchandise.

Women’s Dresses
Women’s Skirts
Women’s Tops
Women’s Accessories
Sale Items

And not that it matters, really, but in the interest of clarity (especially since this is a business owned by a friend of mine): I don’t / won’t make any money off of any of this. I’m just trying to help LisaAnn clear out her basement a little bit. Because she’s awesome. And inspirational. And whathaveyou.

Let me know if you have trouble with any of the links – and happy shopping, y’all!

Just A Quick Link

Hey bloggy friends –

Beth Moore is doing the neatest thing on her blog today, and while I realize that 90% of y’all have probably already read it, I thought I’d put up a quick link for the 10% who might not have seen it yet.

Here’s the deal: Beth is giving young women in their 20s the opportunity to introduce themselves / share prayer requests in the comments – and she’s asking women who are on the other side of their 20s to commit to praying for one or two of the commenters for 14 days. I think the 20s can be so hard (I say this because I was a bit of a train wreck from 20-25), and Beth’s post is such a great way to reach out to some younger girls and love on ’em a little bit.

So. Here’s the link. There are instructions in the post. Hope y’all have had a great Tuesday!

Hi. I Have Some Links.

– “Because I think we need more voices gently declaring that marriage slants hard, and that’s ok. Sometimes grace finds shape in ‘me too!’ And even more than that, this recognition of shared struggles leads to the novel and frightening realization that perhaps God wants to teach us something through marriage that has less to do with happiness and an equitable sharing of chores than it does with our hearts.” – Done: For days when marriage feels impossibly hard

– “…this birthday marks the halfway point of your childhood. Nine years have whizzed by– nine years of playgroups and picture books, dolls and songs, snuggling and walks in the woods. In just nine more years, you’ll be preparing to graduate from high school, and go on to college, and start life as an adult. And I’m sorry, Punky, but that that’s just not enough time. I need more time.” – The Halfway Point

– This is beautiful.

– I’ve written a couple of TV-related posts over at Ree’s blog this past week. The first one is some spoiler-heavy speculation about Scandal, and the second one is all about The Rachel Zoe Project. As always, I’m tackling the tough issues.

– If you’re a fan of Don Draper and company, you will get a huge kick out of reading Alan Sepinwall’s weekly Mad Men recaps. His observations (and the comments) are smart, insightful, and thought-provoking (especially if you like a healthy dose of symbolism, foreshadowing, and whatnot). Good stuff.

– I saw this on Ann’s blog this morning, and it struck me as just right in light of yesterday’s tragedies.

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Praying with you and for you, Boston.

I Was Skeptical, I’ll Admit…

…when I first saw people talking about Pinterest on the Twitter.

And isn’t that so 2011, by the way? When you find out about a new social media site by way of another social media site? AND THEN YOU BLOG ABOUT IT?

Anyway, I know that Melanie mentioned Pinterest in her post today, so I thought I’d chime in, too. Mainly because I didn’t sleep much last night and I’m a little edgy and I found out this morning that I need four new tires for my car and it’ll do me some good to focus on something happy like Pinterest since now I’m at the tire place waiting to get the new tires installed and hoping I don’t go all weak in the knees when I pay for them because do you know what new tires are not?

Cheap. They are not cheap. They are the opposite of cheap, in fact.

But I just keep reminding myself that I’d rather pay for tires than buy a car.

This may not make sense to anyone else, but remember: I am somewhat crazy with the tired. And somehow it makes me feel better to think about writing a check for tires vs. haggling over the price of a car. And then having to pay for that car. So in the grand scheme of things, I’ll take the tires.

At least this is what I’m telling myself.

Anyway. Pinterest. Yes. The topic at hand.

I avoided Pinterest for the longest, thinking that I didn’t understand it and I didn’t know how I would use it and I didn’t need one more social media anything and blah blah blah. I actually de-activated my Facebook account at the beginning of the summer because it just got to be too much of a mindless distraction. I mean, I’m just as tickled as I can be that that friend of mine from middle school has been working out and that her shoulders look fantastic, but one day when I realized that she had actually posted a picture of her shoulders and that I was looking at it, wondering, Gosh, I wonder how many shoulder presses she had to do to get those results?, I snapped to attention and thought THIS, THIS IS MADNESS. I haven’t seen this person in 94 years and I’m giving great thought to a picture of her SHOULDERS?

Clearly something had to give. So I de-activated my account, and do you know that I haven’t missed it very much at all? It’s almost felt like a relief.

But this past weekend I let my Pinterest curiosity get the better of me, and I signed up and logged on and OH MY, may I just say?

Pinterest is lovely.

I don’t even know how to describe it, really, but it’s almost like you’re building your own magazine of all the things you think are beautiful. Or funny. Or worth trying with your kids. And when you see something you like, you “pin” it to a board. People can see your boards, and you can see other people’s boards, too, and if you’re a visual person like I am, it will make you so happy to see so much inspiration floating around.

And do you know what I didn’t expect? Pinterest is actually HELPFUL. I feel like it’s really helped me focus in terms of what I want to do with a few projects that I’ve been working on. I also love to see what other people have pinned to their boards, love to see what other people have discovered online.

You know, lighthearted little funnies like this:

Source: google.com via Sophie on Pinterest

And this:

And this vintage map of my home state, which I totally ordered:

Source: etsy.com via Sophie on Pinterest

And this, MY WORD at the pretty:

So all in all, I have to say: I’m a fan.

Have any of you tried it yet?

edited to add: Megan has written a super-helpful Pinterest tutorial – such good info!

There Have Been Some Changes

So. Remember last week? When I uploaded a new WordPress theme and then had no idea what to do with it?

Well. Things are ever-so-much better now.

Thanks to Jules – who gave me my last blog makeover almost three years ago – the new Thesis theme is up and running. I think it’s safe to say that if Jules hadn’t come to my rescue, the new theme would’ve remained unused FOREVER. But now that it’s activiated, the blog is way more functional behind-the-scenes, and everything is so menu-driven that I don’t think I could blow up the blog if I tried. MY RELIEF, IT IS PALPABLE.

Anyway, everything that was here before is still around – it just may be in a different place. Hopefully the blog will load faster on your end, and hopefully it’ll also be a little easier on the eyes (bigger fonts FOR THE WIN). Right now I’m in the middle of the tweaking process, but OH HAVE MERCY the tweaking is so delightfully easy with this Thesis theme that I can hardly contain myself. I’ve been tinkering with it off and on all day, and it hasn’t stressed me out even once. I think you understand that THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED.

Okay. That’s it. Just wanted to post a quick update. I’ll be back soon with my thoughts on the Miss America pageant, Mississippi State basketball and a recent (unexpected) Hibachi experience. Though not necessarily in that order. And it might not be a bad idea to keep your definition of “soon” sort of open-ended. Because I’m not very strong with the planning.

Hope y’all are having a great weekend!