VOLUME 8 - ISSUE 10 / DECEMBER 2012
Wo m a n â€™ s M a g a z i n e
INSIDE: Girlfriends In God ~ Singing The Gospel | Page 15 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ The Forgotten Christmas Gift | Page 7 Me, Myself, & Inc. ~ Are You Reflecting or Regretting? | Page 27 shutterbuggerz pg 37
INSPIRATION ~ EDUCATION ~ MOTIVATION
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From The Editor: Judy Smith
Maybe there are a lot of you out there like me, which feel like Christmas has just come upon us so fast. I am struggling to get grips on it this year but please don’t tell FlyLady that (If you read her article in this issue you will know why I said that). It is not like me to be so far behind, actually, quite the opposite. Usually by Thanksgiving, my decorations are up, my presents are wrapped under the tree, my meals are planned and I am ready to just partake of all the magical festivities. Taking my grand kids on sightseeing excursions, watching the traditional movies with everyone or just my husband and I, taking part in our annual tradition of going to Tri-City Baptist church to see The Promise; are just some of the things I love to do. So it looks like I will be one of the “hustlers and bustlers” this year. However, I do pray that I will not be one of the “Scrooges”. You know what I mean; the ones that are in a long line to the register, complaining about how long it is taking. Please Lord don’t let me be one that is just getting the least I can do to just get by. Things can happen so fast that changes our mood, and that goes for most everyone. I am just hoping I can keep a perspective on the things that really matter this year. One way of doing that is to keep in mind all the victims of hurricane Sandy. There are still going to be so many families at Christmas that are devastated because of it. Those people were left without electricity, heat, food or water. I was listening to someone talk about being cold and it made me remember as a child, we did not have heat at night. OK, so I am telling you I am ancient in years. Just remember, I am still young at heart. We lived in a house that used a coal stove to heat by and at night, the fire would go out. The next morning, someone would have to restart that stove and sometimes, it seemed like it took half the day for the house to start warming up. We went to bed with so many blankets on us we could not turn over. The point is though, we still had a roof over our head, we had a bed and we had the blankets. Some of the folks in the path of the hurricane don’t have anything. This means they don’t have a home to decorate, even at the last minute. They don’t have any way of having a movie night. Their family may not have a tree or a family get together. Yes, I am running late and the fact is, I have all kinds of good excuses. After all, I have battled cancer this year along with quite a few other things. Yet, I am so blessed! My mother used to always tell me that if you look around you can always find someone worse off than you. I don’t think you get that until something really does happen to you. Then, when you start feeling sorry for yourself, take a look around. There is the old Jewish Proverb that states “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes – until I met a man who had no feet”. I am also reminded of a quote from Dale Carnegie. “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.” Think about that a moment and let that sink in. When you are feeling sorry for yourself there is no way you could be thinking about all the blessings you have. Yes, I might be running late, but thank God, I have things to run late for. So my blessings list will look something like this: I am not alone….I have family and friends I am not homeless…I have shelter over my head. I am not freezing….I have heat. I am not thirsty…I have water to drink. I am not hungry…I have food to eat. I could go on and on, but one last thing. Christmas reminds us that we are loved. Even when you feel that no one cares, our Creator that formed us also loves us. The Bible tells us in Luke to “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you.” What would you add to the blessings list?
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Message From The Heart......................................pg 3 Reaching Your Full Potential................................pg 7 Feature Biz: Hopscotch Boutique......................pg 8 JournalingThe Journey...........................................pg 11 The Fly Lady.........................................................pg 13 Girlfriends In God................................................pg 15 Health & Fitness Tips...........................................pg 16 Feature Biz: Dana’s Fine Jewelry.......................pg 18 Truth & Beauty....................................................pg 20 Sophisticated Women...........................................pg 23 Feature Biz: Oz’s Jewelers..................................pg 24 Me, Myself, & Inc................................................pg 27 The Dinner Diva..................................................pg 28 Last Minute Christmas Miracle Decorating.........pg 31 Recipes For Life...................................................pg 33 The Wedding Planner...........................................pg 35 Mandy’s Misadventures........................................pg 36 Shutterbuggerz......................................................pg 37 Tips For Getting Greeting Cards Out On Time..pg 46
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REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: The Forgotten Christmas Gift by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Author, Speaker
“What actions will move you forward this week? What must you read or learn? What must you do, or stop doing? Who should you call, or stop calling? If your dreams and goals are important to you and you’re not getting the results you want, do something different this week. Take a step. Try a new way. See what happens. And, if you like the results, do it again!” Dr. Philip Humbert Today, while reading through a coaching newsletter entitled: TIPS for Extraordinary Living, I was reminded of my newest friend. This was the line that captured me: “I like Jim Rohn’s famous observation that, “For things to change, YOU must change!” And, of course, the trick is that you must change first. Things change second. Define your outcomes in advance. List your results in real termspounds and dollars and dates - and then commit to producing the results you’ve described. That is a far more effective goal statement than any Christmas wish list!” As for my friend, I met her last week while seated in her section at an out-of-town restaurant. I was having dinner with friends when our waitress arrived to take our order. I was captivated by her ‘presence’. I liked her immediately. A quick introduction had her seated in our booth taking our order as if talking with old friends. Then, just as quickly as she had slid into our booth, she began stating how much she needs friends and guidance. She shared quick glimpses into regrets, trauma and abuse... a life she had left behind. Her new path was a devoted life of Faith in Jesus, and that life choice had already challenged her way of living and of making a living. A casual flip of her sleeve revealed numerous tattoos, hints of a former life. Before our meal ended, I pulled out a business card and invited this intriguing young woman to contact me if she would like to connect. I could not wait to learn what events had driven her relentless pursuit of God out of a life of darkness. You may be wondering how her story connects to my introductory remarks about a colleague’s coaching newsletter. Well, this young woman made me think of most individuals who are thinking only in terms of material gain around Christmas time. We begin making lists and endless purchases which leave most of us with more holiday debt than Holy-day Joy. This season of buying is followed quickly by our New Year season of self-directed change which rarely lasts. Some great ideas and strategies have emerged out of the Life Coaching profession. But human effort has serious limitations. Over coffee just days after we first met, I realized that my new friend has tapped into the secret to lasting change…
Jesus came in the form of man to bring the only path toward true transformation. If you know Him already and want to give the greatest gift ever, share your faith as your top priority in Gift giving this year. If you do not know Him, bravely ask Him to begin revealing Himself to you, along with the life He planned just for you. In his newsletter, Dr. Philip Humbert had this to say about people desiring change: “…to have those things in your life, something must change. If your current strategy isn’t working, tell the truth about that. If you’ve had a major goal for more than a year and it isn’t happening, ask why not! Question your approach. Get better advice. Do something different! And, above all, acknowledge the things that have to change in order to make room for your goal to arrive. Who will you have to become? What will you have to stop doing? Who or what will have to exit your life in order for new realities to be at home in your world?” I am a Life Coach, but first, I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Our human minds can think up desired change, but true life transformation can only be empowered by the Holy Spirit. God must enter into your heart and do the design work from the inside out. My new friend was courageous enough to invite Him in and allow Jesus’ presence in her spirit to drive some destructive patterns out of her soul. Your soul is comprised of your mind, your will, and your emotions. If you find yourself being driven by wrong thought patterns, negative emotions and decisions (the outcome of your will) that keep leading you down the wrong path, perhaps it is time to re-visit the greatest of ALL Christmas gifts – Jesus, the Christmas Child who grew up into our Redeemer. And if you want to pray a powerful Christmas prayer, pray for Him to change you rather than change your circumstances. You may find 2013 leading you to more hope, abundance and joy than you know what to do with. Just a suggestion … give the overflow away to the world around you! Merry Christmas!!!
About Kim... Kim Fletcher is a Life Coach, Speaker and three-time Author of global impact. She and her team at Kim Fletcher Associates are bringing true transformation to the personal and professional lives of their clients. Contact her directly to learn more about her newest release, The Tension Point: Breaking Through To Where You Want To Be. 828 327 6702 / email: kimfletchercoach@aol. com / web: kimfletcherassociates.com.
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Journaling The J urney by Judy Smith
The month of December last year was the month I had the revealing mammogram. In fact, it was the week before Christmas; so needless to say, we spent that week with some anxiety. It wasn’t until the first week of the year that I had the biopsy that confirmed our fears about cancer. So here we are again, almost a year later from that first brush with this horrible disease. However, I can report that I am feeling somewhat like my old self again. My stamina is coming back and the worst of the treatments are behind me. One thing is for sure. I came out with a lot of funny stories. Some of them, I have shared and some I just can’t tell you about them in a printed publication. You have heard the word “blackmail” before? Let’s just say you don’t have a lot of modesty when you get put through the ringer like I did. I still get a lot of comments about letting my granddaughters cut my hair the first time and then what I put that poor girl through shaving my head! My hair is growing again. I stretch it every morning when I get out of the shower. Just trying to add one more little tiny bit to my height. Laughter and my husband have been my best friends during this ordeal. We have laughed a lot actually and most people think we are a little weird because of it. There have been days I actually just wasted makeup because we laughed so hard, the tears just washed it all away. However it is getting close to the time for my next mammogram. That is not too funny. I keep meaning to find out who invented that machine but I know it was a man. You have to condition for that like Rocky prepared for his big fights and I need to start doing that soon. How, you ask? Well, I will Open my refrigerator door and insert one breast between the door and the main box. Then I will have my husband slam the door shut
and lean on the door for good measure. He will hold that position for five seconds (while I hold my breath). We will repeat as often as necessary. I actually found a poem that explains it very well.
My skin was stretched and mangled, from underneath my chin. My poor boob was being squashed, To Swedish Pancake thin. Take a deep breath” she said to me, who does she think she’s kidding?!? My chest is mashed in her machine, and woozy I am getting. “There, that’s good,” I heard her say, (The room was slowly swaying.) “Now, let’s have a go at the other one.” Have mercy, I was praying. Maybe that was not too good to write about. I probably set mammograms back at least a decade. My daughter tells me that I have lost my mind. She says it does not hurt at all. I will let you be the judge on that one. All kidding aside, mammograms do save lives. If you have not had yours quit putting it off. It really does not hurt THAT bad! Let me tell you about having a baby……..
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 11
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pg 12 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2012
by Marla Cilley
Favorite Holiday Words Today I was asked by a magazine editor if I could give one tip for having a good holiday season what would that be? The answer came so quick that I even surprised myself. Let go of your perfectionism! If I can talk you into letting go of your perfectionism then you can cruise through the holidays without all the stress that being a perfectionist puts on you! I know you are looking for that perfect picture post card feeling, but let’s face it, that only happens in paintings or in the movies. I want you to allow yourself the freedom to celebrate the holiday without this undue stress. Let’s look at how your perfectionism ruins your holidays!!! 1. You procrastinate till the last minute to do anything because you just don’t seem to have enough time to do it right or you don’t think you do! Then it really isn’t done to suit you or anyone else because it is just thrown together willie nilly! I DON’T HAVE TIME! This phrase is whiny! 2. Shopping is put off till the last minute because we have not planned our purchases and then we hit the malls looking for anything and spending what ever to get something to give. You settle because of that phrase again. I DON’T HAVE TIME!! Yes you do if you started a few weeks ago! 3. Do you see a pattern here; waiting till the last minute? Do you know the meaning of the word Deadline? It is the point at which you have no more time. In other words; you practically kill yourself doing it, when a little each day would have helped you process things without the stress. NOW YOU REALLY DON’T HAVE TIME! But watch you put on your Super Woman costume and kill yourself along with the rest of the family trying to save face! This is what makes the holidays miserable!
4. Because you have waited till the last minute again to purchase items; you are faced with a marathon wrapping session. No one likes to do this and it is hard on your back. Be kind to you and do a little at a time as you come in the door. If you hear yourself say, “I DON’T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW! Then just do one little package! 5. Now let’s look at decorating your home. You hear your children begging to do things and then these words come out of your mouth!! I DON’T HAVE TIME RIGHT NOW!!! They are usually said in an unkind tone because you are mad at yourself over this procrastination pressure. Do you want to know why you don’t think you have time? It is because of your perfectionism! You don’t think you have time to do it right! Decorating your home does not have to be done all at once. Break it down into smaller pieces; take baby steps to decorate your home and enjoy establishing new traditions. When you hear those nasty words come out of your mouth: I DON’T HAVE TIME!!! I want you to set your timer for 15 minutes and do something! You do have time! We all have the same amount of time in a day and it is how we choose to use it that makes the difference. When your perfectionism clouds your thinking you forget to do just a little to make things better. Holidays celebrated incorrectly still bless your family! Let go of your perfectionism and the whiny excuse of I DON’T HAVE TIME and enjoy this year. Are you ready to Cruise through the Holidays? For more help getting rid of your CHAOS, check out her website and join her free mentoring group at www.FlyLady.net or her book, Sink Reflections published by Random House and her New York Times Best Selling book, Body Clutter published by Simon and Schuster. Please bless others with your clutter by donating it to a Habitat for Humanity Restore near you. Copyright 2012 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 13
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Singing The Gospel by Sharon Jaynes
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ - the Lord (Luke 2:10-11, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I love hearing children sing Christmas carols! One little girl was heard singing that the shepherds were “washing their socks by night!” When my son was four-years-old, I overheard him singing “O Holy Night” in his best vibrato voice. I chuckled as I heard him boom, “Long lay the world in sin and everwhining!” Sin and error pining wasn’t in his vocabulary, but he definitely understood the concept of ever whining. When I became a Christian, the words to familiar Christmas carols began jumping off the pages of the hymnal. It seems the gospel was right there in the words to the carols, and I had missed it before. I began to see what God had done in my life in the words of Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. For example, let’s look at the words to Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. First, look at all those exclamation marks in the song! These angels must have been very excited, and no wonder! They were proclaiming the birth of Jesus, the “newborn King.” The second line says “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” Some people are not too crazy about the word “sinner.” But originally it was an archery term that meant the distance between the bull’s eye and where the arrow landed on the target. Therefore, “sin” meant “to miss the perfect mark.” And it still means that today. Sin means to miss the mark of God’s perfection. The Bible says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And because of that sin, we have been separated from God. The first verse of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing tells us WHY Jesus came - to reconcile or join us back together with God. It also tells us TO WHOM Jesus came - “to all nations.” No wonder the angels were so excited! Verse one tells us why Jesus came. Verse two tells us WHO He was. He is adored in heaven. He is the everlasting Lord. He is the offspring of a Virgin’s womb. He is God with flesh and bones. He is Deity. He is Emmanuel - God with us. Verse three tells us HOW the Christ child made eternal life available to all mankind. He laid aside His glorious heavenly position, came to Earth as a man, and gave His life so that we could experience second birth (be born again) and live eternally in heaven.
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing tells us WHY Jesus came, WHO He was, and HOW He would accomplish His purposes to reconcile a lost world to God. That’s the gospel in a nutshell, and it’s all packed into one Christmas Carol. This holiday season, as you sing the familiar Christmas Carols, look for the gospel among the verses and let the melody of God’s great Gift fill your heart.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the men and women who have gone before us to pen the words to the carols we sing today. I pray that as I sing the familiar words, You will stir me to praise You afresh. And I also pray for those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. I pray that as they sing the words to carols or even hear them on the radio, they will recognize the gospel and understand that Jesus came as the babe in the manger to die on the cross…because of His great love for them. I pray that they will hear the gospel and embrace the truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Pretend that you did not have a Bible handy, but only a hymnal or book of Christmas carols. Could you explain the gospel through the words in the songs? Why not give it a try. If you have children, consider using a hymnal for a family devotion, explaining the meaning to various Christmas songs.
More from the Girlfriends:
It is hard not to get caught up in the pre-Christmas swirl of activity and lose focus on what’s important. If you would like ways to keep Jesus the focus of your holiday season, you’ll love Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas by Sharon Jaynes. It’s packed with helpful ideas and inspiration.
Seeking God? Girlfriends in God P.O. Box 725 Matthews, NC 28106 firstname.lastname@example.org www.girlfriendsingod.com
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 15
Stability Leg Exercises 1. Exercise Number One- Single Leg Balance Squats This exercise targets the glutes and quads while stabilizing the hips.
by Sharon Rashidi
Step One- Stand in front of a bench, chair or couch. Standing on one leg, reach your hands forward as your hips sit back, keeping the knee over the toe.
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Owner of The Perfect Workout
Achieve Your Fitness Goals Through Stability Training Last week when I was doing a private training session with a client, who is new to exercise, he became frustrated when I had him stand on one foot. He said to me,” “Why the heck am I standing on one foot, pulling an exercise band?” You see, he wanted to jump right into squats, bench press and dead lifts. Almost everybody who is new to exercising has muscle imbalances. Their bodies are use to being in the same position and doing the same movements over and over. Just think of anybody who spends over an hour a day driving or hunched over a computer. Regardless of your goals, the first phase of almost any training program involves a great deal of stabilization training. Stability training is the most important phase of your exercise program. It teaches the body to stabilize muscles in order to provide dynamic joint balance and balanced posture during functional exercise. This results in increased muscular endurance, increased tendon and ligament strength, increased joint and muscular range of motion, enhanced nervous system activity, better balance and core function, and increased injury prevention. Without stability training, you’ll literally be out of balance and your risk of future injuries go through the roof! So why is that? Whether you want to build strength, lose weight, or just feel better on a daily basis, you’ll eventually need to be doing some higher intensity workouts. These workouts will include full-body exercises and circuits. For your body to perform these workouts safely and get the maximum benefits, you need to have a strong core and eliminate your muscle imbalances. This is exactly what stability training does! I’ll admit that stability training does sound kind of boring. It generally involves slow movements and ultra simple exercises to allow blood flow to the muscle-attachment sites. This helps them get stronger and strong tendons equal stable joints. Strengthening joints is just as important as strengthening muscles. That’s why tempo and control during exercise is so important. Controlled movements allow the joints to stabilize the body’s structure. Muscles do more than just quickly contract and release. They should also be able to slowly contract and slowly release. Stability programs often start with just body weight. If your body can stabilize itself, then it’s OK to progress to weights. I usually recommend clients to do exercises that require them to develop their balance and core strength such as single leg squats and slide circles. Follow my personal favorite stability training leg exercise routine that can do just that while proving not to be so boring - and a little challenging. It can be used for stability training as well as strength training.
pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2012
Step Two- Squat back and down on one leg until the glutes touch the chair. Return to standing position using only the leg you are balancing on. Repeat 6-8 times and work your way up to 10. Change sides and repeat exercise.
Tips- Always remember to keep your chest up and back flat. Do not let your knee collapse to the inside or slide forward past toes. Also, keep the non-working leg bent at the knee with foot off the ground. Make sure your abdominals are engaged and lifted. Your rib cage should be lifted as well and not allowed to sink toward the floor. 2. Exercise Number Two- Leg Sliders Leg Sliders are a great exercise for building control in the legs, glutes and hips. It requires one leg to be lifted so it is very effective for strengthening the abdominal and core region. I use this exercise to help the knee and ankle become more stable. Step One- Grab a bar bell or a broomstick and cradle it in your arms towards your chest. Step on a towel with your right leg. Step Two- Slide your right leg back, keeping your body straight and upright. Then slide it back inward. Go slowly with great control. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions. Tips- The rear leg provides stability, but the front leg bears almost the entire load, giving you the best of both worlds. If you put too much weight on the rear leg, the towel won’t slide smoothly, so it forces you to put the weight on the front leg where you want it.
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 17
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Dana Ramseur (pictured above), owner of Dana’s Fine Jewelry in historic downtown Newton has been involved in the jewelry industry practically her whole life and it shows. Dana’s Fine Jewelry’s current location was once home to her grandfather’s store, Gregory Jewelers, where Dana grew up developing a passion for jewelry and learning the importance and value of customer care. In an age of internet shopping and impersonal interaction, Dana’s Fine Jewelry is a refreshing alternative where friendly staff work hard to meet each individual customer’s needs and are frequently heard greeting customers by their ﬁrst names. At Dana’s it’s not about selling jewelry; it’s about service and providing the Blue Diamonds perfect piece of jewelry for all of life’s special moments. When asked about her store Dana said, “I love what I do. I don’t just sell. I help people ﬁnd the perfect piece for them, and it’s my privilege to do this. Jewelry purchases are very important experiences. It’s inspiring to be a part of an engagement, the birth of a child, or anniversary. To know what’s going on in people’s lives is very special, helping people is what it’s all about and it’s awesome to be able to meet so many great people every day!” Recently remodeled in 2008, Dana’s Fine Jewelry carries an impressive collection of jewelry lines, such as; Bulova, Charles Hubert, G-Shock, Inox, Colorez, Gabriel, Southern Gates, Forever Gold, Spitzer, Hello Kitty, masonic rings, gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, and more! But if you’re thinking traditional mom & pop values equals a traditional jewelry store, then think again because Dana’s Fine Jewelry is anything but your typical jewelry store! Dana’s carries all the latest in alternative metals like stainless, titanium, tungsten, and cobalt, as well as stocking the latest trends in ﬁne jewelry…including fan jewelry inspired by this holiday season’s hottest series: Sons of Anarchy and Twilight! Dana’s also offers completely customizable jewelry and personalized engraving on almost ANY material, not just jewelry. So if you’re buying a loved one an Ipad
or a Kindle this holiday season, bring it by the store to add a personal engraved touch! “Love prints,” are also widely popular at Dana’s where actual ﬁnger or foot prints are engraved onto charms, inside wedding bands, and onto Christmas ornaments! Dana’s can even engrave both a parent and child’s handprint onto the same ornament, creating a special keepsake you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Looking for a one of a kind piece? As a talented designer, Dana will work with you to design something unique, or re-design your existing jewelry into something entirely new. And with a newly added antiques department you never know what treasure you’ll stumble upon! Collector’s will be delighted to discover a selection of authentic items from Art Deco to Victorian, as well as ﬁne silver from around the world like; England, Mexico and Peru. Need extra cash for the holidays? Dana’s Fine Jewelry buys gold, silver, and select costume jewelry that will put extra money in your pocket just when you need it! Their other services include clock and watch repair, free layaway, and free gift wrapping. Dana’s Fine Jewelry invites you to come and experience the variety of both men and women’s jewelry and the quality of customer care that this local business has to offer!”
Free Layaway • Free Gift Wrapping • Wish List
Your Purchase Of $60 Or More (Not valid with any other offer or layaway) Expires: 12/24/2012
Bring This Coupon In For a FREE Jewelry Inspection and Cleaning
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COMING TO DOWNTOWN NEWTON
THE CHRISTMAS EXPO (BESIDE DANA’S JEWELRY)
DATES FOR EXPO:
NOV 23RD - 24TH NOV 29TH - DEC 1ST DEC 6TH - 8TH DEC 13TH - 15TH DEC 20TH - 22ND
New Year’s Eve Celebration! Tickets On Sale Now Featuring
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THUR 10AM - 5:30PM FRI 10AM - 5:30PM SAT 10AM - 4PM
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 19
& BEAUTY by Teresa Pope, Esthetician
Question: The Holiday season is upon us again. Are there any “cheap and easy” skin care tricks to keep my skin looking nice for all those Holiday dinners and parties? Answer: My recommendation for great looking skin during the holidays is both cheap and very easy. While your baking all those pumpkin pies to take along to a family dinner, just mix together some of the same ingredients to make a wonderfully nourishing masque for your face and body. Pumpkin contains the 3 ingredients I recommend for all skin types, those being Vitamin’s A, C and E and pumpkin also contains Zinc. Vitamin A is an exfoliate while Vitamins E and C are antioxidants, and Zinc helps firm the skin. Listed below are a few recipes for beautiful holiday skin: For Hands and Feet: Mix together equal amounts of pumpkin and Aquaphor. Massage into hands and feet and cover with a quart size freezer bag. Let set for as long as you have time, but at least 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water and apply your favorite lotion. (If using fresh pumpkin, cook before mixing. I recommend using canned pumpkin, because it is easier and less time consuming. You may also substitute Vaseline for the Aquaphor.) If you want to leave the pumpkin mixture on all night while you sleep, just skip the freezer bag and put on an old pair of socks. You’ll wake in the morning with satin soft feet and hands. For Faces: 2 Tablespoons canned or cooked pumpkin 1/2 teaspoon honey 1/2 teaspoon milk • • •
mixture should be thick enough to apply to face without running off If skin is dry add a Tablespoon of brown sugar If skin is oily add a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
For Body: 1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin 5 Tablespoons cornmeal 1/2 cup Epsom salts (if you don’t have the Epsom salt you can use brown sugar) 2 Tablespoons Aquaphor or Vaseline (skip this ingredient if you have body acne) •
While in the shower and skin is slightly damp, spread mixture over body in a circular motions, and let mixture sit on skin for about 5 minutes, then rinse.
When using these simple recipes you will find that great skin care is as “easy as pie”.
pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2012
Where the High Country Begins
Located on the Highway 321 corridor midway between Charlotte and Boone, Lenoir is rich in natural beauty and a strong tradition in visual and performing arts.The second largest municipality in the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA, Lenoir is home to over 18,200 residents. As our population grows and our economy diversifies, the commercial properties in our city offer excellent locations for retail and commercial development. Please visit these fine Lenoir businesses today!
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Tree Lighting Tips Lighting a Christmas tree may seem like child’s play, but time and again people struggle with the task. Untangling wires and wrapping them around boughs can be nerve wracking, but lighting a tree doesn’t have to be a chore when you follow some tips from the professionals. First, keep in mind that wrapping lights around the tree horizontally is more work and often doesn’t produce a multi-dimensional effect. Rather, string the lights from the trunk up to the top, working vertically. This is actually how the tree decorators at Rockefeller Center in New York City do the famous tree year after year. This method helps eliminate tangled wires and empty spots. Remember to plug in the strands of lights before you begin to check for burnt-out bulbs and to adjust the spacing of lights to prevent dark spots. Think about varying light bulb sizes to add more dimension. String an inner layer of small LED white lights to produce an inner glow on the tree before adding larger, colored lightson top to increase visual appeal. Just be sure to match the same wattage of the lights so that you do not have power surges and can prolong the life of the bulbs.
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strandzsalonspa.com pg 22 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2012
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A Sophisticated Woman... By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching
At this time of year, the children I observe everywhere sing a chorus of “I can’t wait!” Their anticipation of the upcoming Christmas festivities is palpable. You can see energy dancing in their eyes. There’s hope pent up in their frenetic little bodies. And there is a longing in their hearts for a magnificent delivery that answers their wishes. As an adult, I delight in their joy. I celebrate their faith. I understand exactly what they are longing for. Do you? I know you do. What about you personally? Are you in anticipation of your wishes being delivered in this season? I don’t necessarily mean on Christmas morning, but perhaps you have a wish in your creative womb that is developing and taking shape in this season of your life. Might you be pregnant with a gift for the world? I believe you are. The definition of pregnant, as we all know, does mean: having a child. But, it also means: being significant and full of meaning. My favorite definition is: abounding in fancy, wit, and resourcefulness! Indeed, you are pregnant. Each and every sophisticated woman I know grasps the fact that her life is significant. She knows that… she knows… that she knows that her life has meaning. She takes responsibility for her talents and understands that she must use them in the world as a resource. Take my client, Melissa, as an example. Melissa has a wonderful career she has laboriously (pun intended) created. She is a master of her craft. With a career as financial planner, she has strived to prove herself as a woman in a typically dominated man’s world. She started out like all of us with her raw talent, her God given intellect, and a spirited inner drive. She has won clients, the respect of her peers, earned the highest awards, and obtained coveted designations. You would think that is enough for one lifetime. She could settle for this level of significance but she can’t. Melissa is pregnant with another wish that God has placed on her heart. When Melissa first received this desire in her heart, like the Biblical Mary, she was “troubled” and “wondered what kind of greeting this might be”. (Luke 1:29) After all, Melissa had created a very solid, stable, and sophisticated plan for her life. Using her talents, Melissa had achieved what the world would call success. Even in her personal life, Melissa had literally over come the reality of a barren womb by adopting two children from China in arduous adventure to become a mother. Isn’t that enough for one women to bear? Apparently, it’s not. Melissa has an undeniable wish to be a public speaker that shares the Good News. At first she didn’t really understand her desire. But again, like the Biblical Mary, she was curious about “How will this be?” (Luke 1:34) especially since she had never done speaking before. You see she would be a “virgin” presenter! However, the creator knows his creation. The creator knit Melissa together and fully expects her to deliver to her fullest capacity. Melissa’s faith has allowed her come to terms with her condition. She knows that this calling to speak may pass all understanding. In fact, she might be rejected by her family, her
peers and even her own husband for giving birth to this calling. Despite what others thought about her condition, Melissa decided to serve. She’s taken on the role of servant. She decided this wish inside her heart had to be fulfilled. And it is. Emotionally supported by her husband, Melissa started to take care of herself in her pregnancy with this new calling on her life. She consumed information that made her healthy. She exercised her belief through researching her new calling. Melissa visited with me (her Elizabeth) to be assured that what she was expecting could and would become a welcomed and heralded reality. Now, Melissa is now an accomplished Toastmaster having won contests with highly developed speeches. Melissa has even spoken from the pulpit of her own church with invitations pending in churches from North Carolina to Ohio. As Melissa has pondered the idea of sharing the Good News in her heart, another desire to give birth to a book has emerged and is growing within her. While Melissa pens the words, we all wait with a joyful expectancy. So, what’s your wish? What do you desire? Have you identified with what calling you are pregnant? In this season of advent, I want to encourage you to sit still and ponder these questions in your heart. Like Mary and Melissa, you stand in choice. The world has need of you. Perhaps you can give birth to something that has never existed before so that the creator’s word would be fulfilled. All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:22-28 The Message At its deepest level, working with a coach frees you to indentify your birthright gifts, discern your deepest passions, and fulfill your highest purpose. A coach can pry you off dead center. As Principal Coach for Vibrant Coaching and Workshop Leader for The Lydia Group, LLC, a collaboration of individuals focused on work, life and spiritual growth, Nicole is on a mission to impact, energize, and influence people to lead a Vibrant Life by engaging the possibilities. As a life and business coach and workshop leader, Nicole views her role as a conduit to release all that you want to achieve. www.thevibrantcoach.com/www.thelydiagroup.com
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 23
Contact us at:
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Home of Â¤ÂŽÂŠÂ—ÂŽÂĄÂŽÂŠÂĄÂĽÂŽ
Who We Are
Ozâ€™s Jewelers, founded in February 1983 by Oz Hefner, is family owned and operated and is located in Hickory, North Carolina. Unlike many jewelry stores, Ozâ€™s Jewelers completes repairs in house by Oz himself. We take pride in our outstanding quality of repairs and customer service. Not only do we repair jewelry, we also sell and design pieces for our customers. We are members of Jewelers of America as well as IJO, Independent Jewelers Organization, and RJO, Retail Jewelers Organization. Oz is a board member of the North Carolina Jewelers Association and LVFHUWLĂ€HGWKURXJK*,$LQVWXGLHVRI*ROGDQG3UHFLRXV0HWDOV &HUWLĂ€HG/DVHU6SHFLDOLVW'LDPRQG*UDGLQJWKURXJK*HP 6FKRRO$PHULFDDQGFRPSOHWHGDQDSSUHQWLFHVKLSIURP 1983 at Thomas Company Jewelers. Ozâ€™s Jewelers became the 4th jewelry store in North Carolina to complete repair work with laser technology. We appreciate all of our customers and thank you for stopping by! We look forward to assisting you with all your jewelry needs!
pg 24 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2012
Shopping Made Easy Unsure of what looks great on you or what would make the perfect gift for someone? Tempt Boutiqueâ€™s styling team has a ton of experience and loves helping customers ďŹ nd the perfect â€œďŹ tâ€?... Tempt Boutique will custom wrap your gifts to make your holiday season stress free. Stop by today to create your wish list and receive a complimentary gift!
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.JTT.Ft'SZFt,BSMJFt%JBNPOETt1BJHFt3PDL3FWJWBM 4LZt(ZQTZt#MV1FQQFSt$JUJ[FOTt0ME(SJOHP 5SVF3FMJHJPOt##%BLPUB.PSF Gift Certificates & Layaway Are Back for the Holidays! Call for more info.
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Visit us online and like us on facebook to Ă€QGPRUHZD\V to Steal Her Heart.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 25
Thanks Catawba Valley, for voting Mellow Mushroom Best Pizza (National) for 2012! â€œenhancing your life through your environmentâ€?
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pg 26 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2012
Are you reflecting or regretting? The end of each year is filled with a roller coaster of emotions for most people. As December rolls around we are in the midst of the holiday season and also at the conclusion of another year. Amidst celebrating with co-workers, friends and loved ones, we feel overwhelmed on many levels thinking of all that needs to be done and all that didn’t get done. Too often, we end the year and roll into the New Year with regret and disappointment in ourselves or even others, but mostly in ourselves. Too many people reflect in a way that does not serve them well because they are really regretting, only focusing on what didn’t happen, what wasn’t as hoped, what could have, should have, would have been done, etc. Over this past year, my column has sought to help you reflect in empowering ways. As a means of underscoring this for you in the year ahead, here are cliff notes so that you can truly realize a year like none other before in 2013. To follow is what I wish for you in the coming year. Be Guilt-free: In January’s column, I proposed that you make New Year’s “evolutions” instead of “resolutions.” Focus more on how you will grow through what you have learned versus change because of what you believe you didn’t do or should have done. By being enriched through growing as a person, you can move forward without guilt, freeing you to focus on what really matters.
Be Unstoppable: In June’s column, I gave you the secret to making what you truly want to be doing happen by focusing on what you can do versus what you believe you can’t do. CAN-DO means Conscientious Action Nourishes Desired Outcome. Know this and you can be unstoppable. Be Significant: In July’s column, I shared the insights gained from the book, UP – Pursuing Significance in Leadership and Life, by Joan O. Wright. Its powerful message of Pursuing Significance lies in how we shift beyond being “Best In” into being “Best For” through allowing our natural talents, passions and strengths to create a better world for others. Be Symbolic: In August’s column, I encouraged you to identify personal symbols of meaning that could serve as inspiration to you and others in empowering ways. In the year ahead, seek to be a symbol of what is right and good in this world and what is possible for others to embrace. Be a Friend: In September’s column, I celebrated the wonderful tapestry of friendships that serve us so lovingly and pivotally throughout our lives. The strength and solace that comes from having friends and being a friend is among our greatest gifts.
Be You-nique: In February’s column, you were to explore your passions and what you love that bring out the “you-niqueness” that makes you unlike anyone else. We are each unique and have potential to bring a wonderful array of character, perspective and purpose to the world. Allow your “you-niqueness” to flourish in the year ahead.
Be Accountable: In October’s column, I shared insights from the book, The Four Agreements, which has proven to be life changing for so many who have embraced its Toltec wisdom to: 1) Be impeccable with your word; 2) Don’t take things personally; 3) Don’t make assumptions; and 4) Do your very best. Each of these agreements enables you to be accountable and authentic in how you live.
Be Confident: In March’s column, I asked if you needed a confidence check-up. If there is anything you feel less confident about, gain understanding, knowledge, insight, ability … whatever is needed to build your confidence in that area to step forward toward what you truly desire. Have faith in yourself with the courage to try and learn new things.
Be Resilient: In November’s column, I shared my meaning behind SHIFTing in order to enable you to embrace challenges or situations with resilience. So as we “shift” into the coming year, I hope that you See, Hear, Intend, Foresee, and then Transform in ways beyond what you thought possible.
Be Hopeful: In April’s column, I encouraged you to shift from “wishing” to “hoping” because hope looks forward to the future with Heart (H), Optimism (O), Passion (P) and Effort (E). While wishing is passive, hope is active … inspiring you, guiding you, and leading you to answers and options.
As this year rolls to an close, don’t view it as another year gone by in a flash, but another year enjoyed and appreciated for all its lessons, insights, and treasured moments. Then embrace these fond and focused insights with renewed belief in yourself and what you can truly make happen as you look forward, not backward.
Be Fulfilled: In May’s column, you were able to self-assess how well you were honoring the three aspects of you. To truly be all that you can be, you must feel fulfilled in how you relate to friends, family, and the community, how you take care of and love yourself, and how you embrace all that you can be for yourself and others in your work. Allow all of who you are to be fulfilled in the year ahead.
Bio: Sherré DeMao inspires millions through her monthly columns, weekly Insight eZine and national contributing writing. An expert strategist and marketer focused on entrepreneurs, her unique perspective and innovative approach has earned numerous awards regionally, nationally and internationally including being named among the Top 50 Enterprising Women of North America in 2007. Her books, Me, Myself & Inc. (www.memyselfandinc.com) and 50 Marketing Secrets (www.50marketingsecrets.com) have received national acclaim as Top Business Shelf picks and must reads.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 27
Dinner Diva The
By Leanne Ely CNC
Makes about 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutters 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) 2 cups sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 1/2 cups flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt
Beating Holiday Stress The holidays can be a stressful time for a lot of people, especially this year when it seems there is nothing but doom and gloom in the economic forecast. But folks who have lived through such times as this in the past, know a thing or two about not only getting by, but actually thriving. I think now is a good time to look at that. The first thing to look at is expectations. We all have these Norman Rockwell-sized expectations that are out of whack with reality. We have to fix our own mentalities before we can get to the more practical side of things. Bring down the expectations (and guest list, if need be) and take a look at a simpler way. There?s nothing wrong with having a potluck instead of putting on a lavish spread all by yourself. People love to show off their best dishes so this year, do the main course and divvy up the side dishes and dessert. How easy (and less expensive) is that? Use this principle with your Christmas cookies too. Instead of killing yourself baking eighteen different types of Christmas cookies, invite some friends over (and their kids) to share the workload and the cost. Have everyone bring a batch of sugar cookie dough; some sprinkles and other decorative doodads, then bake ?em all up at your house. Decorate them together, take pictures of the fun then make some hot cocoa, sit down and enjoy your company and cookies. You?ve just made a terrific memory! The burden of the cost of making all those cookies has been effectively spread out; everyone had a good dose of holiday cheer and got to take home a souvenir, too! Speaking of sugar cookies. Here are the ones I make every year. Enjoy!
pg 28 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2012
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix again. Now add milk and vanilla, mixing one more time. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add this to the wet ingredients 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. When it?s baking time, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough into fourths, and work with one piece at a time. Roll out dough onto a floured countertop and cut out with your favorite cookie cutters. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, cool on racks before decorating. Sugar Cookie Icing 1 cup confectioners sugar 1 egg white Mix sugar and egg white together to make a stiff icing. If you prefer, you may use powdered egg white instead; read directions on the label to reconstitute and use in lieu of the egg white. Add food coloring to create as many colors as you want! Want more ideas to keep your holidays stress-free? Check out our large selection of menus to make gift giving and meal preparations a snap! www.SavingDinner.com
Leanne Ely is a New York Times bestselling author of Body Clutter and the Saving Dinner series. The Dinner Diva syndicated newspaper column appears in 250 newspapers nationwide. Learn how to cook great and save significant money with the Dinner Diva?s menus, recipes and shopping lists at www.savingdinner.com
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 29
What gifts will you give this Holiday Season? The Holiday season is all about giving...and at A Woman’s View we want to give you a very special gift: quality healthcare from people who truly undersand. From our receptionists, to our nurses, to our physicians, you’ll know that we share every concern, every fear, and every celebration that you go through. Because we are women too.
Happy Holidays from:
Hours: Mon-Fri 8-1 and 2-5
828.345.0800 915pg 30Tate Blvd Suite 170 | Hickory, NC | www.awomansview.com | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | December 2012
hristmas Miracle DECORATING
by Susan Guest, ASID
Do you feel like a deer in the headlights? Have you been so busy with your regular routine that the holidays have sneaked up on you? Have events (good or bad) prevented you from having your house organized and decorated for the season? Here are some thoughts and ideas that might help you pull off a Christmas miracle yet. 1. Hire it out or delegate: if you have the money but no time, consider hiring a florist or designer to decorate your home for upcoming parties and celebrations at your home. They can most likely use many things that you already have and turn your home into a wonderland. If your decorations are stale or you need a change, they can add a few drama pieces that can quickly change the entire overall look. You might also have a teenager in your family or neighborhood who enjoys decorating and will love to earn extra money adding the holiday spirit to your home. 2. Nature is your friend: If you have time but no budget, use nature as inspiration for your décor. A walk around the block or into the woods with your children can be a treasure hunt . Magnolia leaves, a bird nest, pine boughs, branches of red berries, and pine cones can make even the dullest home more festive. Wreaths, table centerpieces, and trees can be a tribute to nature. Need more bling? Spray -paint acorns and pine cones in silver, gold, or whitedepending on your color scheme. 3. Color Scheme: Even if you are not a designer, a color scheme can keep you on track in your decorating. Instead of using a mismatch of colors and decorations, find three or four colors that you like together and stay within that scheme. The most traditional looks feature red, green, and gold. You can add interest to a boring look by adding another color such as plum or lime green to the things you already have. Blue and silver can be spruced up by adding another color such as indigo or hot pink. Some of the most elegant homes use all white and green and feature fresh greenery with orchids or white hydrangeas. 4. Focal Points: You don’t have to decorate every square inch of your home unless you totally enjoy it and need something to do after the holiday putting all the things away. Hit the high spots that will give the most impact: the front door, the mantle, and the dining room table. 5. Keep it Simple: Don’t want to open the dusty closet that stores all of your holiday decorations? Don’t! Your dining table centerpiece might feature the family Bible, Torah, or whatever your heart’s desire. Surround this item with greenery and candles. Your mantle
might consist of fresh pine garland (unless you have allergies), stockings, and candles. 6. Don’t try to keep up with the Neighbors: If your neighbors go all out in decorating, don’t try to compete. Get over the notion that you have to do everything exactly like or better than them. Start a new tradition of a simpler holiday with less stress and less work. 7. Last Minute Panic: if you find you have to give a last minute office, church, or family party and your house is a wreck, get realistic! You have several choices. One is to get over your pride and ask a few close friends to help. Turn on Christmas tunes and sip your favorite beverages while you conquer the mess and transform your home. Of course you will owe them a huge favor later, but is that not what friends are for? They might be in the same situation later. If you have no friends to help, consider cleaning the major areas like the kitchen, living room, dining room and powder room and lock the doors to the other areas. Another last minute solution is to have the party outdoors (weather permitting). Build a bonfire and toast marshmallows for smores. Serve hot chocolate and cider. Sing your favorite carols and dance around a Charlie Brown tree with 3 ornaments. Have fun! 8. Focus on the Reason for the Season! Whatever your religious preference (or non-preference), remember what is important to you and focus your decorating and celebrating around that belief. If might be the birth of the Christ child, the coming of Santa, or getting together with family and friends; this is a special time of year. Supplying dinner for a shut-in, buying toys for children who would otherwise go without, or singing carols at a nursing home can bring so much joy to both others and yourself in a season drenched in commercialism. Sharing yourself is the best Christmas miracle of all! Susan Guest, ASID is an award-winning interior designer in Hickory and owner of Guest Interiors, LLC. She is one of the designers featured in “Spectacular Homes of the Carolinas”, found in high-end bookstores around the country. For more information, visit www.guestinteriors.com.
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Recipes for ife
by Emily Wickham
Food for the Body
Waldorf Astoria Red Velvet Cake ½ cup shortening 1 ½ cups sugar 2 eggs 2 oz. red food coloring 1 tsp. salt 1 cup buttermilk 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp. vanilla 1 tsp. baking soda 2 level tsp. cocoa 1 Tbsp. vinegar Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Add milk then dry ingredients (except soda). Beat until fluffy. Add coloring and flavoring. Lastly, add vinegar with soda, fold—do not beat. Pour into two 9” greased pans. Bake on 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pan approximately 15 minutes; invert onto wire racks and finish cooling. Fluffy Icing 1 cup milk ¼ cup flour Mix cold milk with flour in the top of a double boiler. Whisk out lumps and continue whisking over high heat until mixture thickens. Set aside and cool completely. 1 cup sugar ½ cup Crisco ½ cup butter, softened 1 tsp. vanilla Combine the above ingredients with the cooled milk/flour mixture. Beat on high speed until fluffy; add vanilla. Spread between layers and on top.
A Prayer For God’s Blessing
Loving Father in heaven, You are love itself … You shelter and strengthen my heart. I confess I don’t bask in this truth enough. Thank You for showing Your everlasting love by giving Your only Son, Jesus, to be my Savior. Please grant me a deeper awareness of all You are and all You’ve given on my behalf. In Jesus’ marvelous name, Amen.
Food for the Soul Gifts! Whether material or immaterial, they’re capable of filling us with cheer. As years go by, I treasure immaterial ones more and more—the tender gaze of my husband, my children’s “I love you’s,” the thoughtfulness of friends. In comparison to extravagant presents and material niceties, these blessings are often overlooked. Yet the gifts we hold in our hands can also impact us in meaningful ways. Their usefulness, sentimentality, and/or delightfulness grant them value. When someone gives from the heart—tangibly or intangibly—and we gratefully receive, everyone benefits. My husband’s grandmother, who is now with the Lord, gifted me with this cake recipe long ago. For that reason, it invokes sweet reminisces of special moments shared with her. Though I never knew her husband, I’ve heard stories about him and his cooking expertise. Evidently he successfully blended these ingredients and baked the batter with delicious results. Results my husband, Mark, still savors today. In addition to cooking fabulous food, Granddaddy positively impacted Mark’s life in many ways. Fishing trips, bedtime stories, and beach vacations top the list. His jolly sense of humor coupled with his hearty laugh continues to make my husband fondly smile. Even the summer weeks spent at his grandparent’s home in Bluefield, West Virginia abounded with fun and memorable moments. A legacy of love—that’s what Granddaddy gave to Mark in immeasurable amounts. Our Father in heaven has given us an even greater legacy of love. John 3:16 reveals, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” The Lord Jesus Christ “became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). I don’t know about you, but if I lived in God’s presence and possessed unhindered divine fellowship, unspeakable glory, and the unending worship of angels, I wouldn’t want to leave. Yet Jesus—God Himself—did just that. He left His home on high to enter earth as a helpless baby. For us. God perfectly expresses His love in the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. But Jesus didn’t remain a baby … He grew into a Man who pleased His heavenly Father in all things. He loved the unlovable, healed the sick, forgave sins, and taught truth. He spent His short life giving love in immeasurable amounts. Astoundingly Jesus even gave His life—God’s ultimate expression of love. The babe in the manger, God’s only Son, became a Man who sacrificed His life to pay for our sins. What an unfathomable gift! Displaying His pleasure with Christ, God raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand (see Ephesians 1:20). Jesus has positively impacted my life in every way. His love carries me … I am never alone. He forgives me and hears my cries for help. Savior, Friend, Shepherd, Lord—He’s my all in all! Have you received Jesus as your Savior? If not, please don’t overlook this opportunity to receive Christ, the greatest Gift of all, so His legacy of love can live through you. You can know Him and be known by Him today: “… if you ! confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that ! ! God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9). ! ! ! ! !
Christmas joy to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, the “Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Until next time, that’s a Recipe for Life … Emily Wickham, published author, speaker, and founder of Proclaiming Him to Women Ministries, gently yet powerfully presents God’s Word. She encourages and equips women by exalting Christ through inspirational, practical Bible teaching. Visit www.proclaiminghimtowomen.com to read Emily’s blog devotionals and to learn more about life in Christ. Emily welcomes speaking opportunities at women’s events such as retreats, luncheons, and conferences. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Emily resides in western NC with her husband and their four children.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 33
pg 34 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2012
It’s that special time of year when we all should be grateful for our blessings, especially if you are recently married or getting married soon. Your first holidays together as husband and wife are something you will always cherish and remember. Regardless of your economic status, there is no amount of money that can take the place of someone you truly love. For those that will have a loved one away from home during the holidays this year, it takes on a whole new meaning. Many years ago, 42 to be exact, my husband was whisked off to serve in Vietnam. Not his choice by any means, but he did chose to do what his country required of him. This was before the technology that we know today. No emails, no phone contact, just letters. Lots and lots of letters sprinkled with a few photos. I still have all of his letters, but he had to burn mine. It was total agony not having him around for our first Christmas. Not knowing exactly where he was or what he was doing. When he left to go overseas, he had all of the obligatory stuff required by the Army, plus my picture and a copy of the scripture from 1 Corinthians 13. The day he left was one of the worst days of my life. I truly know what it means to feel empty inside. Totally empty. In life there is no promise of tomorrow. No one really knows what lies ahead. Fortune tellers and the like have made a fortune (pardon the pun) of telling us what tomorrow holds. But the only promises to be believed are those from God telling us of his eternal love for us, regardless of what we do and where we go. I found peace knowing that God was watching over my husband while he was overseas. I cherished every letter I received and read each one multiple times. There were many killed and wounded in Vietnam, but it wasn’t by the hand of God. So often we blame God for the misgivings of man. After he returned home from his tour, we settled in to making a home for ourselves, eventually our two children and two grandchildren. It doesn’t seem as though 42 years have passed, but they have. Not all have been happy years, but they have been years of love, faith, and lots of laughter. Be thankful that you have someone who loves you for who you are, not for what you have. It took several years for me to realize material things are just that. Material things can’t hold your hand, or cover you with a blanket when you fall asleep on the couch. They can’t hold you close when you hear bad news and hand you a tissue when you cry. Take advantage of everything this glorious season has to offer. To have someone with whom you can share this special time of year is one of the greatest gifts there is. Whether you’re engaged, just married or married many years, it still has the same magical appeal as that first Christmas many years ago. Regardless of your faith or belief, the word “love” means the same thing. There is no other word like it. It transcends time. It has unlimited power. Use it carefully and responsibly. And don’t use it unless you mean it! “To love and be loved is that greatest gift of all.” Mackey Carpenter Owner of MSC Designs mscdesigns.net
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 35
s e r u t n e v d a s i M ’s y d n a M
by Mandy Thomas
Other than dealing with late school projects, a seventy pound Labrador retriever battling separation anxiety, and finding myself singing My Little Pony songs at really inopportune moments, life has been pretty normal. Now that I say that, let’s sit back and watch the chaos ensue. But for the past month, all bottoms have stayed covered, most fits have remained unpitched, and the general public has been shielded from any and all things strange and/or inappropriate. Hopefully. In any case, I wanted to do something just a little bit different, and interview my kids about what Christmas means to them. Let me make a note here that will come into use later: the Beethoven Addison talks about is a Saint Bernard dog on a movie that we have watched seventy five thousand times. Yes, we have. On to the interview! Savannah, age seven. M: What does Christmas mean to you? S: It’s about Jesus. It reminds me of Jesus’ birthday and when he was born. M: Who is Santa Claus? S: He’s this big fat man who brings toys to all the children. He’s not real, though. I know because you [and daddy] are the ones who give me presents. M: What is your favorite thing about Christmas? S: Presents! Presents and Jesus. M: Is there anything special that Mommy and Daddy do with you at Christmas that you like? S: You help me decorate the tree, and you keep us warm and safe. M: What do you want for Christmas? S: That’s hard [thinks for a minute]...A treehouse! Addison, age three. M: What is Christmas? A: I don’t know. M: Who is Santa Claus? A: I didn’t say that! I don’t know him! M: What is your favorite thing about Christmas? A: Beethoven! He’s funny to watch! M: Is there anything special that Mommy and Daddy do with you at Christmas that you like? A: Play with me. [A/N: obviously, we don’t play with her at any other time...] M: What do you want for Christmas? A: Beethoven! Obviously, I have a lot to work on with Addison.
December 2012 pg 36 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | September
Our Monthly Feature
Photos from our November 2012 Contest.
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Local Photos of Everyday people, places, and events as seen through the eyes of the area's professional and amateur photographers!
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Tips For Getting
Greeting Cards Out On Time
Millions of greeting cards are sent out each holiday season. Estimates suggest that 85 percent of the United States population, or roughly 250 million people, mails out greeting cards. That adds up to billions of cards going through the postal system -- and all in a relatively short period of time. Men and women who hope to send holiday greeting cards must purchase, prepare and mail the cards early enough so they are received prior to the holiday. It is never too early to begin greeting card preparation and assembly. The majority of cards are bought in boxed packages or groupings of photo cards. Gone are the days of hand-picking individual greeting cards for every recipient. This trend toward general-theme cards has streamlined the process and can help senders start their tasks earlier than ever before. Some people like to take advantage of post-holiday sales to stock up on greeting cards for the following year at a deep discount. This means they can write the cards out at their leisure and then simply toss them into the mailbox at the appropriate time. Much in the way people begin their holiday shopping or decorating right after the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have been stored away, a good majority of people also begin their greeting card writing after Thanksgiving as well. Those who want their cards to arrive first will mail them within a few days of Thanksgiving. When sent domestically, it is safe to assume that cards mailed out up to 2 weeks before Christmas will
pg 46 | Sophie Womanâ€™s Magazine | December 2012
arrive on time. After that point, you may be risking lateness, particularly for rural delivery addresses unless cards are sent priority. For those who need to mail cards internationally, sticking close to the end of November will ensure they arrive in a timely manner. People who want to make a statement and not have their greeting cards get lost in the crowd may intentionally mail them late and lean toward wishing health and prosperity for the new year, rather than sending a card tied to a specific holiday. This gives extra time for mailing and will set cards apart from the many others. Photo cards have grown in popularity, and people interested in having a professional photographer shoot their holiday card photos would be wise to make an appointment as early as possible. Popular photographers often start holiday photo shoots in October. Keep in mind that the photographs can take a while to be processed and arrive. For those who are on borrowed time, taking a photo with a personal camera and having prints made up at a pharmacy or retail store can save time. It is unlikely that professional photos taken in December can be printed and mailed and still arrive on time. Also, be sure to heed copyright laws concerning photographs. It may be illegal to scan an image from a photographer or photo studio and have prints made without written permission. Postage is another thing that will have to be considered when mailing out cards. While many cards fall under the weight and size limits of a regular first class postage stamp, unusually shaped envelopes or heavy greeting cards may cost more. Rather than have them returned, it is a good idea to have at least one card weighed at the post office to ensure the right amount of postage is affixed. Some cards will be packaged with envelopes that state â€œAdditional postage may be requiredâ€? right on the box. Greeting cards are an important component of the holiday season. Ensuring they arrive on time requires planning and sending them out with ample time to spare.
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