VOLUME 8 - ISSUE 9 / NOVEMBER 2012
Wo m a n â€™ s M a g a z i n e
INSIDE: Girlfriends In God ~ Be Still! | Page 15 Reaching Your Full Potential ~ Leading The Next Generation Into Greatness | Page 7 Me, Myself, & Inc. ~ Do You Need To SHIFT Your Thinking? | Page 27 shutterbuggerz pg 38
INSPIRATION ~ EDUCATION ~ MOTIVATION
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From The Editor: Judy Smith
Our september 2012 Winners
There are many times that I am not sure where my heart will take me when I get ready to do this article. This is not one of those times. The fact that it is November usually dictates that I am very heartfelt about being thankful and most of you know that I believe we are so blessed to live in this country. So blessed, that we take it for granted. Some of the contributing writers are thinking about the month of November as well and approached it with the thought of thankfulness, although, I will have to say that Gracie’s approach was a little different but it made me laugh! Laughter is always a good thing and we ought to be thankful that we have things to laugh about. In my article for Journaling the Journey this month (please read), I talk about hugging. In this one, I want to make you think about laughing. Have you laughed yet today? Laughing and talking about laughing are two very different things. I was trying to describe laughter to myself so I could put it in words and I just could not explain it so I thought I would look it up. Even Wikipedia or Webster’s has a hard time. Wikipedia describes it this way. “Most commonly, it is considered a visual expression of a number of positive emotional states, such as joy, mirth, Happiness, relief, etc.” Excuse me....that does not explain laughter.
Amateur Winner: Megan Clark
“Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.” ~Author Unknown Do you know what this is meaning? I surely do and it is referred to as a belly laugh. Remember how sweet it is when a baby grins, even if they don’t know what they are doing? Just so you know I am one of those that believe the angels are whispering to them. But then remember, when a baby really starts to laugh, how we just can’t help ourselves from laughing hysterically at them. Just look how popular those YouTube videos with laughing babies are! Lucille Ball said “The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.” She also said “I’m happy that I have brought laughter because I have been shown by many the value of it in so many lives, in so many ways.” See how easy it is to bring value to someone. Make them laugh. One of my favorite comedians of all times was Red Skelton and if you have never seen any of his shows, I can’t think of a better thing to do than to find them and sit down with your family and prepare for many belly laughs. He had this to say. “Live by this credo: have a little laugh at life and look around you for happiness instead of sadness. Laughter has always brought me out of unhappy situations.” Even with the death of a loved one, there will be times of laughter just recalling a shared experience. Death is hard....Life is hard. There are times when there does not seem any way possible that there can be laughter. Dig deep and you might be surprised. So when you are together with family sharing Thanksgiving, share some laughter. Maybe you can have a game about all the types of laughter. I will start you out.... Laughing Cow or Laughing Gas?
Pro Winner: Photography by Kt
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Message From The Heart......................................pg 3 Reaching Your Full Potential................................pg 7 How To Be Fabulous............................................pg 8 JournalingThe Journey...........................................pg 11 The Fly Lady.........................................................pg 13 Girlfriends In God................................................pg 15 Health & Fitness Tips...........................................pg 16 Truth & Beauty....................................................pg 20 Sophisticated Women...........................................pg 23 Me, Myself, & Inc................................................pg 27 8 Ways To Make Your Home & Life Sparkle.....pg 28 Sounds Like Christmas........................................pg 31 Recipes For Life...................................................pg 33 The Wedding Planner...........................................pg 34 Mandy’s Misadventures........................................pg 36 Shutterbuggerz......................................................pg 38 You’ve Got To Be Kidding....................................pg 46
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 5
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REACHING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL: Leading The Next Generation Into Greatness! by Kim Fletcher, Life Coach, Author, Speaker
“Integrity, or the lack thereof, ultimately determines the quality of a person’s impact. In a sense, it is the foundation of authentic leadership.” Michael Hyatt – Intentional Leadership When the teenager in your world announces the presence of a boyfriend or girlfriend, it should cause us to get involved immediately. Such was the case earlier this year when my niece asked me to visit her in New York, in part, to meet her new boyfriend. The leader in me sat straight up… first, at the sheer joy of someone so special giving weight to my opinion; second, to the importance of influencing her in this crucial season of life. As we all know, teenage romances are not just fun and games. Life choices and decisions are made in the crucible of youthful love that can alter the course of an entire life. I entered this assignment with excitement and with caution, only to find myself more in love with this young man than she ever could be. Wow... integrity, gratitude, kindness, respect all bottled up in “American Eagle” style good looks and you have my niece’s fine choice in a boyfriend. Now, before I give him too many accolades, I must back up to the origin of meeting him, my niece Hannah. The daughter of a father with French Indian ancestry, she is the picture of beauty. Mahogany skin, crystal clear eyes, and a heart of gold make this young woman one of my favorite people of all time. My visit on their turf was fun. Then came the highlight of my year… my niece decided she wanted to be with me and my mom for her sixteenth birthday. Everything is set right in your world when someone CHOOSES to be with you to mark this life milestone. Now, she was coming to my turf and ‘the boy’ was coming too. Our week was filled with hours splashing in the lake, late night conversations about God, braving the biggest roller coasters that Carowinds had to offer, and simply hanging out. If I had not already fully ‘adopted’ Tyler, he secured his position in my heart by playing countless hours of Jack Johnson on his guitar. I sat back and watched these two young people in wonder, against the back drop of today’s typical teen behavior. Encouraged by their interaction, I wondered how I had been so blessed to be invited to influence their lives. My relationship with Hannah goes back sixteen precious years now, but I am just getting to know Tyler and find myself just as vested in supporting his life journey. Hannah is the hardest person in the world for me to leave, and we have countless ‘goodbye’ tears to prove it. It was no surprise when she wanted to stay, but Tyler surprised me. As I hugged him goodbye, he quietly said, “Aunt Kim, I really don’t want to leave. I want to stay.” Wanting to know more of what was resonating in his heart, I simply asked, “What makes you want to stay?” He said, “I don’t know how to explain it. I just feel like I can really be me here.” His words left me stunned, honored and wondering what had made such an impact. I asked God to show me the intentional steps I had taken
to build these relationships, so I could pass them along to you as you seek to influence those placed in your life: • I positioned myself to LISTEN more than I talked. Young people need to know that they are seen and heard before they will care what we have to offer them. • I took a sincere interest in what interests them. We actually share many things in common, like my shared love of anchors and all things nautical with my niece and my love of Jack Johnson’s soulful lyrics with Tyler. However, if we had found nothing in common, impact would only come by me stepping into their world. • I took a risk and went DEEP on a couple of conversations around faith and hearing God. Young people are longing for PURPOSE & PASSION. I want to empower the youth in my life to find their inner Life Compass that connects them to God and guides their choices and decisions with integrity. We choose to love and to lead. I believe many of us need to reconsider what it means to lead with integrity. In my world, it means positioning myself to connect and interact in a way that allows others to discover their highest values and their deepest purposes. The greatest gift we can give a person whom we wish to influence is to honor their authenticity and invite them to greatness. Who can you impact today? Kim Fletcher with Hannah and Tyler
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.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 7
HOW TO BE
Fabulous November is the month that we all give thanks for the blessings in our life. Sooooo, after you do that, lets have some fun! I’m gonna, once again, be politically incorrect and tell you what we SHOULDN’T BE THANKFUL FOR! Hehehe… 1.
…SLIMMERS. Seriously the most annoying things on Earth. I know that they are necessities, even for skinny people, but Good Grief! Why must they roll, just when you’re somewhere that you can’t yank them back up? And if they are ‘slimmers’, why is it that they push the fat to wherever the material ends?? What do we do with that? Oh, and eating while wearing these? Forget it. Have a green bean…nothin’ else is going to fit. …TEETH WHITENERS Why doesn’t someone just glue an ice cube to my tooth? HELLO SENSITIVITY! While I am a big advocate of all things hygenic, teeth whitening is some form of Dental Torture invented by someone who obviously doesn’t have real teeth. Besides, as soon as you drink a bottle or two of red wine…back to the drawing board. So I’ve heard…
…LEATHER PANTS HUGE fashion statement this year. Now think of Ross from the show “Friends”. ‘Nuff said. ***If you missed that episode…see it…classic.
…HONEST PEOPLE Yes, honest people. Life is too short to hear the truth all the time! I want to live my life believing that I look 29, my kids are perfect angels, my house is spotless, my dogs don’t stink, and my husband thinks I should win Miss Universe (mostly for my singing ability…tone deaf and all). LIE TO ME!!!
pg 8 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
…FASHION MAGAZINES I know…I read them too. However, anything that says that Sophia Vargara is a full figured girl just because she has breasts and a behind is crazy. I read this last month and almost choked on my Snicker Bar. A size 12 is AVERAGE ladies… we all need to get a grip. I have seen Khloe Kardashian in real life and she is fantastic. She is probably a size 6-8! No, I am NOT thankful for the plethora of magazines that show women size 2 and under. Bless their hearts, they are gorgeous at their size too…waify lil sweethearts! I just want to see the whole gamut of sizes please.
…SCHOOL BREAKS As much as I adore my chitlins (that’s southern talk for children), those breaks are dang inconvenient. I would much prefer to schedule their ‘breaks’ when I can take one too! We should have SCHOOL/NO WORK/NO RESPONSIBLILITIES BREAKS.
How do you shop for Thanksgiving dinner, go Christmas shopping, do your regular housework, along with being moms taxi and ‘entertainment director’ for 10 kids (I haven’t birthed them all…but they are still at my house for some reason)?? Well, I hate to say it, but I could go on and on! Haha. But the good thing about these “Not thankful for things” are that they are very simple and trivial. On the other hand are the things that really are meaningful. I hope you all feel thankful for those blessings in your life. Have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 9
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pg 10 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
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Journaling The J urney by Judy Smith
For the life of me, I was beginning to feel like someone had called in a Priest to exorcise Demons from my soul. Just picture this if you will. I start to walk up to someone and they make a cross sign with their hands and start backing away.
There is actually a lot of documentation out there that proves that hugging is good for you. Scientists have conducted all kind of studies. They could have just asked me and saved a bunch of money. I know that hugs can make my blood pressure drop and heart rate slow down.
What most people knew though, is that in the world of cancer, hugging is not recommended. Actually, it is more like voodoo! So here is something about me that all of my friends and family know. I am a hugger. I give lots of hugs and I love getting hugs.
Bil Keane stated “They invented hugs to let people know you love them without saying anything”. How great is that? Actually, I can’t imagine going thru the struggle of having cancer or any other illness without someone to give me a hug.
Here’s the thing. I can’t quit hugging. It is in my DNA. Most everyone I know, somehow, already knew that hugging was not good because of the contact with those nasty little critters called germs. However, I can’t help but wonder about the healing for the soul. I sort of need those. They make me feel better. And no……. air hugs are not the same thing!
So, if you see me coming, wash your hands and give me a hug! I am convinced hugs are good for me and probably good for most people. After all, why do you think Snuggies were so popular?
Please don’t think that I am telling you to go out and hug everyone you know who has cancer. I am sure there are lots of people out there who have cancer who would rather play it safe when it comes to hugging than I do.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 11
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pg 12 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
by Marla Cilley
Untying Knots As a Fly Fishing instructor, I had to teach people how to tie several knots. There is a specific knot for securing the fly to tippet, tying the tippet to the leader, attaching the leader to the flyline, putting the flyline to the backing, and lastly securing the backing to the reel. Each knot is different and each knot protects you from losing that trophy fish! Knot tying takes patience but untying knots takes greater persistence! If you have ever got your fly hung on a branch, you understand. The first thing you want to do is to pull hard. You have to stop yourself from reacting this way. This only makes the tangle harder to undo. When you think about the fly getting wrapped around the branch; you realize that it is not really tied in a knot. It is just twisted around the branch several times. Usually all it takes is a slight wiggle to cause it to gently untangle itself. Then it softly drops back to the water. This surprises you the first time you accomplish this exercise in patience. As we say in North Carolina, Rhododendron love to eat flies. I have learned how to keep my fly out of the branches by being focused on my cast. So what does all of this have to do with keeping your house clean? We have lived on a steady diet of CHAOS because of all the tangles we have made in our homes. We felt that things were so messy that we could not get it all cleaned up. We would tell ourselves that we didn’t have time. Our perfectionism would keep us from even starting to get rid of the clutter. Frustration levels increased and we blamed ourselves and everyone else. When we realized that all it takes is a little wiggle to get rid of the tangle. Set your timer for two minutes and put something away! Before you know it you too will be preventing the CHAOS with your simple routines.
The main knots we have created for ourselves are the huge tangle of stinkin’ thinkin’ that is in our heads. We can clear out those wadded up messes too just by replacing those negative thoughts with a kinder more positive phrase. If we talked to our children the way we talk to ourselves they would be hurt. Don’t do this to you or to them. The words that are in your head, do come out of your mouth and become your children’s inner voices. How do you think that stinkin’ thinkin’ got into your head? We can untangle that mess! Start by only putting good stuff into your head: Listen to uplifting music, watch wholesome television, and subscribe to positive messages on the internet and Facebook. Establish simple habits and string them into small routines to help you keep the chaotic tangle of thoughts from beating you up. Your knots did not happen overnight and they will not get untangled in a day! One habit at a time will help you to get rid of the CHAOS. Consistently pulling out one thread of stinkin’ thinkin’ at a time is going to help you untie that knot of selfloathing. I got my nickname from my love of Fly Fishing. Many of you found FlyLady by doing a search for how to get your house clean. You never dreamed that there was a much deeper message of Finally Loving Yourself. With each new habit you practice you will be untying that tangled mess in your home and your head.
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. Copyright 2012 Marla Cilley Used by permission in this publication.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 13
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pg 14 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
Be Still by Gwen Smith
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
Friend to Friend
There was a crisp chill slipping through the window as I headed to the couch to get with God before rushing into my day. I filled up my coffee mug, lit a cinnamon bun scented jar candle and nestled into my corner spot. Before I could get comfortable, however, I realized that the combination of the morning breeze and the ceiling fan were a bit much for my shorts-clad legs. I jumped up from the couch and turned the ceiling fan off … for possibly the first time in five or six months. As I got back into my comfy prayer corner, I looked up at the fan, now still, and drew a deep breath of surprise. Dirt! All over the blades of my ceiling fan! And when I say that I saw dirt, let me tell you, it wasn’t just a smidgeon … it was a good amount of dirt. Yuck. When did that happen? How did it get there? Note to self: clean fan today. I brought my Bible and prayer journal to my lap, ready to talk to God and seek His direction for the day, but before I could even lift my pen and open the Word, I heard a soul whisper, “Be still.” “I’m here, Lord! Ready to talk. Ready to pray,” my heart responded. Again…the whisper, “Be still.” “Like the fan, LORD?” I wondered? Then it hit me: when I slow my soul to still and listen quietly, God gently shows me the dirt on the blades of my heart. You see, I’m an action girl. I love to move and chat and go, go, go. Dust doesn’t settle on my days – but – as God reminded me, dirt sure can settle on my heart. I nod knowingly. “It’s Your kindness that leads me to repentance, oh Lord.” (Romans 2:4) When I slow to still and know that He is God, I am face to face with His holiness. In light of His holiness, my wretchedness is revealed. His love and kindness brings revelation that causes my heart to ache for restoration. So I confess. I confess my mess. My heart dirt. And His mercy runs. Before the confessions leave my tongue, the blades of my heart are sparkling. Wiped clean with the righteousness of Grace. Beautiful, far-reaching grace. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, ESV). This grace is for every one of us – and it begins and ends with Jesus Christ. It’s for me. It’s for you. Whether you are at work, at home, at the hospital or in a jail cell. He’s whispering, “Be still.” Whether you are struggling with life strains or are in a season of reprieve. “Be still.” Whether you have a house full of crazy noise or an apartment filled with ordered quiet. “Be still.” Whether the diagnosis is cancer, the sting of betrayal is fresh, the Hope you cling to resounds, or you
are weary and unsettled. “Be still.” Know that He is God. Know that He is good. He is in control. He loves you. He is able. He is holy. He is worthy. Oh, so worthy. Then, in the stillness … respond. O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:1-6, 23-24, NLT)
Dear Lord, I’m here. I’m still. Please reveal my heart dirt. (Pause to listen and reflect.) I confess these sins to You ________________ and I ask that you remove them as far as the east is from the west. Thanks for capturing me with Your grace once again. Help me to know and love You more today. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
• • •
Read Psalm 139 in its entirety. Pray responsively or journal about the inescapable presence of God. Be still before Him. Visit my Facebook page and leave a comment about where this finds you today.
More from the Girlfriends
The noise of life can be so loud. I’m right there with you trying to hit the mute button each day. Failing on many days. One way I’ve found to center my heart on God is to hear stories of His grace. Broken into Beautiful is a book filled with stories – real stories … gritty and honest, not cleaned up and phony. It’s also filled with Scripture that will inspire you toward the life-changing grace of Jesus. To order the book, go to Amazon or, for a signed copy, visit Gwen’s website: www.gwensmith.net.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 15
Exercises to Strengthen the Trapezius Muscles Exercise Number One- Dumbbell Shrugs
This exercise will help strengthen the upper trapezius muscle. It will also help pull the shoulders up and back to improve your posture.
Step One- Stand tall holding 3-8 pound dumbbells. Your legs should be shoulder width apart and legs straight. Hold each dumbbell at your side with your palms facing inward.
by Sharon Rashidi B.S. Health Education
Owner of The Perfect Workout
Kink In Your Neck
Workout That Have you ever sat too long in front of your computer in one position and awoke the next day with a kink in your neck? Or have you ever fell asleep while watching television with your head bopping to one side and awoke with a stiff neck? The muscle that you have kinked is part of a group of muscles known as the trapezoids (traps), located in your upper back. Weak muscles become strained faster than strong ones. This can be avoided by strengthening the upper back and neck area with some simple trap exercises. The trap muscles are located on the upper back right below the neck and are shaped like a diamond. They are made up of three muscles (upper, middle, and lower) that start at the skull and goes from the neck to the shoulder and all the way down to the middle of your back. What most people do not realize is that the trapezoid muscles are larger than the abdominal muscles. The main function of the trap muscles is to lift the shoulders. They also bring the head and neck backwards and rotate and side-bend the neck. Many things can make traps tight including sitting for long periods of time, slouching over a computer desk, high stress, past trauma from an accident, even sleeping with your pillows too high. Tight traps can cause headaches and even dizziness because the upper trapeziuses are attached to the base of the skull. Also, tight traps are overworked and will most likely have knots in them. Those knots can be relaxed by massage or selfmyofascial release using a foam roller. Once these muscles are relaxed, they can then be trained and strengthened. My favorite exercise to help with conditioning and toning the upper back is called shrugs. They also are beneficial in correcting posture because they recruit the rhomboid muscles which help pull forwardslumping shoulders back. Often women are afraid to train their trap muscles, thinking that they will get too muscular. But since women’s muscles are not genetically inclined to bulk up, unless they take steroids, you can put behind your concerns of getting bulky. Grab a pair of weights and get started on training those weak trap muscles. In just a few weeks you will see results, including standing straighter and taller. Conditioning your traps will also help maintain good upper body posture for years to come.
pg 16 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
Step Two- Lift the dumbbells by elevating your shoulders as high as possible while you exhale. Squeeze for a count of one. Lower the dumbbells toward the starting position in a slow and controlled manner. This is considered one repetition. Repeat 12-15 times for one set. Tips- Keep your shoulder blades pressed downward, and backward movement’s small, moving only a couple of inches at most. Your arms and legs should not assist in the lift. Start with 2 sets and work your way up to three sets.
Exercise Number Two- Kettlebell Sumo High Pull
This exercise will help strengthen and tone the upper back to help reduce the appearance of rounded shoulders. It will also help you strengthen your legs as well as it incorporates a squat. Step One- Place a Kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Position your feet in a wide stance, and grasp the Kettlebell with two hands. Set your hips back as far as possible, with your knees bent. Keep your chest and head up.
Step Two - Extend the hips and knees, simultaneously pulling the Kettlebell to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position for one repetition. Repeat 12-15 times for one set Tips- Remember to lift the Kettlebell to chest height only and lead with the elbows. Going higher can place unnecessary stress on the neck and shoulders. If you do not have a Kettlebell you can use one dumbbell in its place. Start with two sets and work your way up to three.
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w w w. ga r l i t z o r t h o d o n t i c s. c o m www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 17
Broyhill Center Sophie Ad 2012_Layout 1 10/9/12 4:46 PM Page 1
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Elliot Engels’ “The Rise & Fall of F. Scott Fitzgerald” Mon./Jan. 28
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 19
& BEAUTY by Teresa Pope, Esthetician
Question: I have my hair professionally colored about every 6 weeks. The problem is that the color never seems to turn out the way I want. I do have trouble explaining to her what I want. Do you think the stylist isn’t doing it right or is it just that she doesn’t understand what I am asking for? Answer: You are not the only one with this complaint. I often hear people complain that “their haircolor just didn’t turn out the way they had wished.” Now, I would have no way of knowing the cause of that problem. Rather it is because your stylist is incompetent or just a miscommunication between the two of you. Only you can be the judge of that. However, I would venture to say that it is probably the fact that she doesn’t understand what it is you are wanting. Therefore, let me help you with some of the lingo of color, so perhaps on your next visit you will be able to better explain what color you want. The first rule of speaking color is to know that stylist see’s color in numbers on a scale from 1-10. A level 1 is black and a level 10 is white. So for example; if you want your hair to be a medium brown, then that color would be right in the middle of the scale and would fall on a level 5. Once you have determined what “level” you want, then you must decide what “tone” to have. Tones are either warm, cool or neutral. Warm
pg 20 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
tones are red and gold. Cool (or ashe) tones are blue and green. Neutral tones are in the middle, neither warm nor cool. Also, your stylist may say things like “base color” which is a root or all over color, then there are “hi-lights” and “low-lights”. Hi-lights are lighter colors woven into the hair while low-lights are darker colors woven through the hair. So with all this in mind here is an example of what you might say to your stylist. “I wish to be a level 7 Neutral (dark blonde) with some golden hi-lights and a few level 5 low-lights. There is quite a science to it all. That is why a good colorist is worth their money. You may want to consider taking a photograph of a similar color that you want. However, if you do this remember that it is difficult for a stylist to match a photo precisely and so there will likely be a difference, but they can probably get you pretty close to that shade. Also, if your trying to save money and are only asking for an all over base color or gloss, then your color will likely be flat and dull. To really achieve beautiful hair color, you almost always have to get hi-lights and low-lights to get that variation and dimension that makes artificial hair color look so natural. Use these tips to talk with your stylist and hopefully the two of you will come to an understanding.
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pg 22 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
Sophisticated Women... By Nicole Greer, PPCC Founder and Principle Coach at Vibrant Coaching A Sophisticated woman has ethics.
Ethics are a set of beliefs about ‘what is right’ and ‘what is wrong’. A sophisticated woman knows that she knows that she knows what is right and what is wrong. She is sure, confident, and steadfast in her ability to discern. How does she do this? She uses the rule that is practiced around the world in various cultures, religions, and far-reaching societies. She practices the “Golden Rule”. Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you. This rule is not some old-fashioned, stodgy, tired notion. It’s a classic. Like a ’66 Mustang, a Channel purse, or a deluxe cheeseburger; this rule never disappoints. The sophisticated woman knows the Golden Rule is relevant to any situation. This classic rule is the rule that must guide all behavior to empower the ethics of dignity and respect. While this rule is most often credited to Jesus Christ in his statement “Love your neighbor as yourself”, the Golden Rule has manifested across religious, territorial, and cultural boundaries. Over the long summer with no vacation in sight, I declared a Saturday on the calendar a vacation day. I told my family that I needed a break. I announced we were headed to the mountains to hike, explore, shop and go out for dinner. We started our day by driving up highway 321 toward Blowing Rock anticipating getting on a trail to hike. We pulled into the Moses H. Cone State Park. Here we found the original estate of Moses Cone. Moses Cone was an entrepreneur deemed the ‘Denim King’. He built a manufacturing business that employed residents of the Appalachians. He was an influence that spurred the economy in a powerful way. In the end, he left his estate to the State of North Carolina so that my family and I could hike and enjoy the mountains. Moses understood the golden rule. And he lived it. When we stepped into the house to take in the history, we were impressed with his love for his family and for nature. The pictures and captions in the first floor museum demonstrated that Moses and his wife led a life full of gratitude for their blessings. History tells us that they loved the land. Took walks everyday. Cherished the fruits of their labor. And took the cue from the creator to be creative. There were tons of crafts by artisans who loved textiles just like Moses. But what captured my attention most was a display of hand painted quotes suitable for framing. Amongst the selection was a depiction of the golden rule through the hearts of various value based cultures, religions, and territories. • In the beginning were the instructions. They are to love and respect all living creatures and Mother Earth. –North American Indian • Do not to another what is disagreeable to another. –Hindu Faith • What is hateful to you do not to your fellowman. That is the entire Law, all the rest is commentary. –Judaism • That nature alone is good which shall not do unto another whatever is not good for its own self. –Zoroastrian • Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. –BaHai Faith
• None of you is a believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself. –Islam • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. –Christianity • Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find harmful…Buddhism
The sophisticated woman understands that the core value of relationships exemplified in the Golden Rule is the essence of ethics. In fact, as I perused the quotes I celebrated that there are universal rules or ethics that everyone on the planet can embrace. To be a sophisticated woman, one must grasp them and use them to influence the world. When the sophisticated woman moves toward a life embodying the Golden Rule she spreads dignity and respect. She walks her talk. She can explain why she does what she does. She builds relationships that spread universal beliefs that serve human kind in a high and powerful way. Here is the reality. There are universal ethics in the world. People can try to separate themselves from them but the reality is they can’t escape the consequences. Certain beliefs are for everyone and for always. We all need people. We need relationships where common ground is gained through shared values. A suggestion…contemplate your beliefs. Answer this Powerful Question: What are the core values you believe in? That the whole world needs to believe in? Me? I value education, wealth (not the money kind), diligence, paying it forward, listening and success. I found more quotes in the home of Moses Cone that made my heart sing. These words rang true for me. • “When I get a little money, I buy books; if any if left I buy food and clothes. –Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536 • The entire object of TRUE EDUCATION is to make people not merely to do the right things, but enjoy them; not merely industrious, but to love industry; not merely learned, but to love knowledge; not merely pure, but to love purity; not merely just, but hunger and thirst after justice.” –John Ruskin • No man can tell whether he is rich or poor by turning to his ledger. It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich or poor according to WHAT HE IS—not according to what he has. –Henry W.Beecher • In seeking knowledge the first step is silence; the second is listening; the third remembering; the fourth practicing; the fifth teaching others. –Gabriol Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Discern your values. Know what you believe. Be a woman with articulated ethics. That is the true difference between an average woman and a sophisticated woman. That’s what I believe.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 23
Located In Mooresville & Hickory, NC Give them a reason to stare this season! Tempt Boutique is very excited about their new fall and holiday collections. As always they have traveled from Las Vegas to New York to bring Mooresville and Hickory their top “picks” for the upcoming seasons. Why buy denim from Tempt Boutique? Their top stylists have grown to know each individual customer and their personal style. Therefore, whenever Tempt buys new inventory they know exactly who they are buying for. Their denim collection consists of top labels from Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, James, Paige, Miss Me, Henry and Belle and many more! Tempt Boutique offers the largest variety of Miss Me jeans around and are constantly adding new styles. Whether you love skinny, straight, boot, or flare leg denim Tempt Boutique can fit your needs! Tempt Boutique’s leather, fur, and boot collection:: Tempt only purchases top grain leather goods that suit each individuals budget. Each fall & holiday season Tempt receives a few “one of a kind” leather jackets that make the perfect gift. They offer high quality gift wrapping with each purchase at a customers request. Tempt Boutique also carries a unique selection of fur pieces. The furs come in all different styles and textures. When purchasing fur goods Tempt considers those who prefer the Vegan alternative. Therefore, the faux fur selection is just as trendy and classic as the real fur goods. A top seller for Tempt Boutique has always been Frye boots which are hand crafted with the most durable luscious
leathers. Riding boots, cowboy, campus, and dress boots... the selection continues to grow! Tempt also carries Old Gringo and Naughty Monkey boots for those who prefer a unique boot that is sure to turn heads. -The styling team:: Tempt Boutique only selects highly qualified team members that not only know each line, but specialize in custom fit. Tempt Boutique feels it is essential to offer stylist on site daily. *You can schedule appointments in advance with your favorite stylist. Tempt Boutique caters to each individuals needs and can special order any item you are looking for. The new styling team at Tempt are sure to keep you up to date on what’s new for this season and for those to come, so visit Tempt at the store soon or simply call to discuss how you can integrate some of the new trends into your wardrobe collection. Schedule a “Girls Night Out” today!! Tempt will supply the clothing and cocktails, you supply your girls! Bring 5 or more girlfriends & receive 20% off your entire purchase! Keep in mind that Tempt Boutique is not just for the lovely ladies, but for men as well! Tempt is always keeping up with the top mens ready to wear styles from True Religion denim to 7 Diamonds button downs. Let Tempt be your one stop shop for all your needs or the perfect place to purchase your man a gift. Be sure to check their facebook page daily for new arrivals, daily deals, promotions and special events. /temptboutique
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 25
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pg 26 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
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Do you need to SHIFT your thinking? In last month’s column, I shared how making four agreements with yourself could help you better control and explore your emotions for positive and empowering results, instead of guilt-ridden, deflating results. However, I know that when we have gotten into the habit of worrying, assuming the worst, believing in limitations, or blaming ourselves for any little thing, it can be hard to know where to begin to break that chain of our current reality. What it requires is a shift in our thinking and approach to how we allow ourselves to think moment to moment, day to day, inwardly and then outwardly. For those of you who read this column every month, you have probably surmised that I love acronyms as a way of bringing my points into inspired action for you and anyone who seeks to understand and realize their true and full potential in being and doing. So in helping you make this shift, I introduce to you the process of SHIFTing in order to bring you into true awareness and preparedness for each and every day of your amazing life. S = Stop: The whole idea of “stopping to smell the roses” is one that can never be overstated. Whenever your emotions or reactions make you feel badly, frustrated, limited or anything negative versus positive, it is time to stop, pause and take that deep cleansing breath of self awareness and situation awareness. Bringing oxygen to your brain helps bring clarity to your mind. Those few seconds of pausing will allow you to move on to the next SHIFT phase. H = Hear: How many times have we listened to ourselves or others, but not really heard what was being said? How many times have we read something and totally misinterpreted what was written? Hearing and “here-ing” (being in the now, the present moment) can resolve so much conflict, assumptions and selfinflicted agony. Take this moment after your pause to be truly objective and in the present moment of what is occurring to you or around you that has you in the state of mind that you are in. What assumptions are you making? What are you feeling personally that if you really looked at it objectively is more you taking it personally versus it being personal? What are you allowing yourself to believe or how are others influencing what you believe, versus what is real and true? If you are reading something, read it out loud and listen to every word. Too often, we read only what we want to read just like we hear only what we want to hear. I = Intend: Part of the reason one feels any conflict or discomfort in any situation is because our values are being tested and what we desire from the deepest reaches of our being are being
challenged. In this phase of SHIFTing, your intuition and what you honestly want to occur is what needs to surface. Truly grasp and embrace what you ultimately desire - if it were not in conflict, if it were not being opposed, if you were not feeling limited, if you were not so down on yourself or others, if you were not so emotionally or even physically exhausted. What do you intend based on your most cherished values and what you desire to be the outcome? What would be your ultimate ideal if there were not all these other “things” in your way? F = Foresee: Our vision is not just to see the beauty in the world. It is also to see the intangible and bring it into being and into our reality. We have physical vision and we have mental vision. It is our mental visioning that has the most powerful and transforming ability. Now it is time to foresee your ideal future in whatever you are dealing with at the time. See it positively. See it in detailed splendor. See it in what it can mean for others, not just you. See how it can bring joy, empowerment, contentment and satisfaction. See it and then begin to believe it by noting what small steps you can take to bring it into being. T = Transform: I like the word transform so much better than change. Change implies there is something wrong and needs to be different. Transform says to me that you are keeping the best of what you already have inside you and simply allowing that best in you to continue to help you evolve past the challenge, obstacle or belief that is holding you back. My favorite definitions of “transform” are actually as it relates to electricity and mathematics. The dictionary definition of transform in electricity cites: “To increase or decrease the voltage and current characteristics of an alternating current circuit.” The dictionary definition of transform in mathematics cites: “To alter the form without in general changing the value.” So logically, your transformation is enabling you to shift in using your positive energy as opposed to negative energy in more powerful, tangible ways without changing the true value of who you are and ultimately can be. You have it within you to SHIFT. It is within your power and enables your passion, purpose and persona to be true to you. And what results is a you that others also feel empowered and impassioned by because of your energy and your example of allowing the very best in you to come shiningly to the surface. 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
Ways to Make Your Home and Life Sparkle With Vinegar
by Heidi DeCoux
If you stroll down a cleaning aisle today and flip over the back of any bottle you’ll see a slew of names you can’t pronounce or likely identify. How do you know what is safe? There are a lot of chemicals in popular cleaners and most of which are harmful for you, your family, and your pets. Are you wondering, “Is there a better choice?” The answer is YES! It turns out Grandma was right, going to back to the basics is the solution! You can use cheap white vinegar, which is naturally non-toxic, to clean a variety of things in your house. What Exactly is Vinegar? It is a safe natural bi-product of fruits, vegetables, and grains. Why Would I Choose Vinegar? • • • • •
You can replace a bucketful of cleaners with vinegar. It’s universal + cheap! It kills mildew, polishes chrome, deodorizes, soap scum remover, removes stains. There are no chemicals. It is safe to use around children, pets, and other loved ones. You can pour it down the drain without worrying about environmental effects. It’s streak free and doesn’t leave a residue, no rinsing required!
How Can I Use It? Get a large spray bottle for the dollar store, fill it with white vinegar, label the bottle, and store it somewhere convenient. Because it’s completely safe and non-toxic you don’t have to worry about keeping it away from children and pets. pg 28 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
1. Drain Cleaner- Begin by pouring 1 cup baking soda then follow with one cup hot white vinegar. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, then flush with hot water. 2. Homemade Window Cleaner- Mix ½ cup white vinegar and 1 gallon warm water. Tips on cutting down streaks: *Use newspaper instead of paper towel *Better yet invest in a squeegee *Avoid washing when the sun is the hottest. The faster the window dries the higher the chance of streaks 3. Get Mineral Deposits Off Your Shower Head – fill a plastic sandwich bag with vinegar. Attach the bag to your shower head with a rubber band. Let it sit for 3-8 minutes. After you remove the bag you will be able to wipe your shower head clean with a soft microfiber cloth. 4. Garbage Disposal- Start by pouring ½ cup baking soda followed by ½ cup hot white vinegar. Let stand for about 5 minutes and then flush with hot water. 5. Stop Ants- Grab your spray bottle of vinegar. Spray the areas you see ants coming in. Concentrate around doors, windows, and other areas they are coming in. 6. Fruit Flies- Forgot about those bananas? Fruit fly invasions can be pesky to say the least. A small dish of undiluted white distilled vinegar will end the assault. 7. Paint Fumes- Fresh paint smell overwhelming? Leave an open bowl of white distilled vinegar in the room. It will help clear the fumes faster. 8. Shine and Polish- Mix white vinegar and table salt. Forms a great brass cleaner. Rinse with water after cleaning, and buffer with a cloth. The uses for vinegar are nearly endless – kill shower curtain mildew, soften laundry, neutralize pet orders, clean greasy dishes, remove hard water stains, and the list goes on.
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Sounds Like Thump, thump, thump on the rooftop. Is it reindeer or squirrels? The pitter patter of little feet, excited to catch a glimpse of Santa. The harmonic blend of angelic voices singing carols. Salvation Army bells ringing amidst the chatter of shoppers. Sound familiar? These are all sounds of Christmas. Tap, tap, tap of the hammer, the whirl of the electric screw driver, new furniture sliding across the floor-these are sounds of the preparation of the holiday season. It usually starts in early September- the rush to transform our homes into the best they can be. Most of us, regardless of our religious beliefs or non-beliefs, use Thanksgiving , Hanukah, Christmas, and other holiday gatherings to entertain friends and family in our homes. This is a season of togetherness and love. Some of us slap a wreath on the front door while others hire professional exterior lighting engineers. Many neighborhoods could compete for landing strip lighting at a major airport. Even though we decorate in many different ways and amounts, the Christmas season can be a wonderful time to express our creativity. I have holiday- decorated for both residential clients and retail stores. Some families desired a different look every year, while others desired items used on trees and mantles when they were children. Many people want to remember a time when life was calmer, simpler, and they felt safe and loved. They want to recreate memories of Christmases past. Some people have not had wonderful past experiences and want to start new and fresh. They want their decorations to reflect the beginning of their new life. Some of the current Christmas trends can help you spruce up what you already own, or might inspire you to do something different this year. These trends include: •
Outdoor decorations: Especially in the south where we have milder winters and entertain more outdoors, it is popular to decorate your outdoor living spaces as much as your interiors. Rugs for screened porches and pillows for your outdoor sofas are fun ways to add festive colors and designs to your landscape. Fun elements like deer and outdoor lighting can create a theme or turn your patio into a winter wonderland. Fire pits can be used for roasting marshmallows and entertaining. Outdoor sound systems can add lovely holiday ambience to your exterior party. Candles can float in a pool for sparkle. A small decorated tree on your screened porch or deck will welcome guests into your home. Remote controlled trees are a current trend. You can decorate a tree in an unusual area and not have to leave the sofa to activate the lights. This is helpful for those who decorate a tree for a disabled or elderly person who might otherwise struggle to plug in the tree. Another great reason to use a remote is to place the tree in a location out of the reach of small children or pets. Traditional trees trimmed with red and green are always the most popular colors for holiday decorations. They can be spiced up by
by Susan Guest, ASID
adding purples, lime greens, or other accent colors. You can use your existing color scheme and add a few accent ornaments for punch without having to blow your budget. Popular colors this year include desert shades of corals, plums, and orangey reds. (These reflect the current trends in clothing) Pinterest is driving a lot of the DIY (do it yourself) craft projects this year. You can create your own board of simple projects that can be used both for gifts and decorations. These can save you money and inspire you to creativity. Luxurious colors and fabrics continue to inspire holiday décor. These include silks, brocades, and velvets in dark and rich tones accented with metallic bronzes and golds. Animal prints and faux fur add dramatic flavor to the rich colors and textures.
Whether you are continuing with your traditional decorating or changing things up this year, remember the reason for the season. Pay tribute to your beliefs and enjoy time with those you love. Enjoy the flavors, sights, and sounds of Christmas.
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.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 31
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Recipes for ife
by Emily Wickham
Food for the Body
Cranberry Bread (Recipe by Ellen Dupuy) ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted 1 large egg, beaten ½ cup orange juice 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour 1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. baking soda ½ tsp. ground cinnamon ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg 1 cup cranberries, halved ½ cup chopped walnuts ½ cup raisins 1. 2.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 ½-by-4-½ inch loaf pan; set aside. In large bowl, mix sugars with butter, egg, and orange juice; set aside. On sheet of waxed paper, mix flour with baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon salt; stir into sugar mixture, mixing just until blended. Gently stir in cranberries, walnuts, and raisins; spoon into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, or until cake tester inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Invert bread into wire rack; cool completely.
Note: I omit the walnuts and raisins. Also, this recipe makes tasty muffins—just put batter in a muffin tin rather than loaf pan. Shorten baking time to approximately 10 minutes or until muffins test done.
A Prayer For God’s Blessing Loving Father in heaven, You are sovereign and wise. I confess I sometimes lack gratitude— especially in trying situations. Thank You for the treasures I discover when You move my heart towards thankfulness. Please enable me to pray “in everything … with thanksgiving”. In Jesus’ worthy name, Amen.
Food for the Soul
Though I’m not one to diligently clip recipes from magazines, this one attracted my attention many years ago. Its delightful blend of spices and its moist texture has made it a worthy discovery, which means cranberry bread usually graces our table during the holiday season. Thanksgiving Day ranks as one of my favorite holidays. The season’s beauty coupled with family joys makes it particularly meaningful. The delicious turkey dinner certainly adds appeal as well! Yet most of all, expressing gratitude with loved ones lifts my spirit. Focusing on God’s blessings significantly refreshes my perspective. As a young wife, I gained valuable insight from a library book on the importance of thankfulness. Though I can’t recall the title or the author’s name, I’ve never forgotten this lesson. Viewing daily life in recognition of what we have versus what we don’t have makes a tremendous difference. Instead of feeling downcast and unsatisfied, we can rejoice about things we might otherwise take for granted. All of this sounds well and good when life seems to be going our way. However, what about when difficulties abound? How can we be thankful amidst relationship issues, loneliness, illness, financial struggles, and etcetera? When our burdens appear to outweigh the blessings, how should we respond? With thankfulness. Philippians 4:6 instructs, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” That little phrase—“with thanksgiving”—could easily escape notice. Yet it plays a vital role in how we pray. Our requests shouldn’t stem from a demanding, entitlement type attitude. Rather, our petitions should flow from humble awareness of God’s greatness. Gratitude for Him—His love, grace, and mercy—should shape our cries to Him. Acknowledgement of what His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, did for us on Calvary’s cross should intensely impact our words and approach to God. I am finding that even in the hardships of life, thankfulness has its place. For example, my husband and I periodically have attempted over the last seven years to sell our former home. Renters have come and gone. We’ve enlisted realtors’ help and we’ve also tried the “For Sale by Owner” method. The strain and pressure of this situation seems unending. Yet I am thankful. If not for this experience, my reliance upon God would not be as strong. I wouldn’t be as desperate to see His hand or as dependent on His faithfulness. I wouldn’t know the comfort of His presence in such a personal way. I wouldn’t be learning to trust Him to this extent—to persevere in trusting even when God seems silent. How about you, my friend? What circumstance has you stressed instead of blessed? Please ask God to reveal specific reasons you can be thankful nonetheless. Ponder them and allow them to influence your prayers. Thanksgiving Day will arrive before we know it. On that day and every day, God deserves our gratitude and appreciation. Just as I discovered a delightful recipe long ago, may we discover the joys of praying with thanksgiving … in everything. 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 email@example.com. Emily resides in western NC with her husband and their four children.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 33
First of all, this is common sense etiquette, definitely not from mily Post. During the past few months I have been to quite a few weddings. And some, I would say, are very memorable. So emorable in fact that I decided to write this column about them. It doesn’t cover everything, but there are a few things that I’ve encountered recently. Now, if you are the bride, it is YOUR wedding. Saying that, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. 1. Invitations. If you don’t want children at your wedding, say so. Don’t mention them when addressing your invitations. Make sure to say “Adult Reception” on the reply card, 2 seats have been reserved in your name(s), or we are looking forward to seeing the both of you. Please put return postage on your RSVP’s. The officiant (and guest) do get an invitation even though he is being paid. 2. Second marriage. Yes, you can still wear white. ( No need to explain that one.) Your parents are not responsible for paying for this time around unless they want to. 3. Gifts. I’ve mentioned this before, but NEVER ask for money! Also, don’t include any kind of gift registry information with your invitations. That is for shower invitations or you can add a link to your wedding website. You don’t have to open your gifts at the wedding. It is actually better to do it later when you have time to write down the names of the gifts givers. And please, send out thank you’s within a month . Longer than that lessens the chance that they’ll ever be sent. 4. Cancelled or postponed wedding. All the gifts should be sent back with a thank you and simple explanation. If it’ is less than 2 weeks, all guests should get a phone call. Postponed weddings get a new invitation with adjusted wedding date. Let out-of-town guests know ASAP so they can change their arrangements for travel and lodging. Do touch base with them to make sure they have received their deposits back.
pg 34 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
5. FYI. For a formal wedding, place cards should be at the tables for the bridal party. The rest of the guests can have assigned table numbers. That cuts down on the confusion. Do sit in the same room or area with your guests. They have made an effort to come to your wedding and it’s rude to sit away from them. Don’t put family or friends together that don’t get along.
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Now for the guests. Yes, there are rules for you as well. 1. 2.
Never, never ask if you can bring other guests, including children. If your children cannot be quiet or act up, get them out of there. Don’t wait! 3. Send back your reply card in a timely manner. Don’t assume they know you are coming. 4. You have to buy a gift unless you have declined the invitation. And it should be something they can both use. 5. Some couples that have lived together for a while may not need anything. A gift certificate for their favorite restaurant or a cash gift would be appreciated. 6. If you are late, walk down an outside aisle and find a seat quickly and QUIETLY. 7. You do pay for your own transportation and lodging unless you have been told differently. If it puts a financial burden on you, then quietly decline. You can choose to buy a gift and send it if you want to. 8. If the ceremony is not of your faith, you don’t have to participate. It’s totally up to you. 9. Dress appropriately for the style of the wedding. This is a big one. 10. Use your good manners when speaking and at the table when eating. 11. Never ask for an alcoholic beverage if the wedding is alcohol free. If there is alcohol, drink responsibly. After all, you are a guest, NOT the entertainment!
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www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 35
s e r u t n e v d a s Mi ’s y d n a M
by Mandy Thomas
I think that there probably comes a time in every parent’s life where you’re hit with a not-so-subtle reminder that maybe you’re not as awesome at this parenting thing as you thought you were. I mean, sure, you get homework turned in on time, you teach your kids good dental hygiene and try not to let them watch too much television, but somewhere along the way, there was a very important lesson that you forgot about. Maybe it happened while you were high-fiving your reflection in the mirror because finally, after months of being vigilant and doling out death threats, your daughter looks you in the face at suppertime (doing nothing to hide her abject horror at the way you’re tearing into your meatloaf like something on the Discovery Channel) and says “Mama! You forgot to say the prayer!” It could’ve been the time you were so proud of the way your daughter was able to pick out her clothes and they actually coordinated, all the while knowing it was your keen eye for fashion (and not that heifer, Barbie) that taught her how to dress so well. Or perhaps it came on the heels of a compliment you received from your child’s teacher about how she was a model student, who always raised her hand and played well with others. The point is, you can’t be too sure when it was that you completely forgot about something incredibly important you should’ve told your children about. And, horribly, the only warning you’re going to get is when your child decides to let you know you’ve neglected to cover certain issues in a very public venue. That’s exactly where I found myself on a recent grocery shopping trip, when Savannah decided to do something I’d never have imagined her doing.
We had just finished a trip to one store, and made a quick detour to Taco Bell for supper before heading into Wal-Mart. Everything had been going well: Savannah hadn’t leaped from the buggy basket to the floor taking out soup cans and potato chips with her, Addison hadn’t screamed like she’d been stabbed, and I hadn’t had a break down which could only be fixed by opening a bag of Cheetos while waiting in line to pay for said Cheetos. It felt like a success. So, I figured we could eat in the car before heading into Wal-Mart, where I would further delight fellow patrons with the sweetness of my children. Why do I even think these things?
November 2012 pg 36 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | September
I was halfway through my burrito when it happened. Savannah was giggling in this way she has where I know we’ve rushed straight past mischievous and launched into complete lunacy. It’s the laugh she has used before so many catastrophic situations that I know to go ahead and get ready to send her to her room when I hear it. And if the maniacal giggling hadn’t given away enough, there was the not-so-quiet stage whisper of, “Hey. Addison. Look at my pants.” I had really wanted to finish that burrito. Still, I knew that there was something going on in the back seat that needed to be dealt with, so I turned around... and nearly choked on my supper. Because there, in the very large window of my van, was Savannah with her pants shoved down to her ankles, shaking her naked-asthe-day-she-was-born bottom. In the middle of a packed parking lot. At Wal-Mart. I’d like to tell you that I handled the issue with poise and grace, even going so far as to make up a song about keeping our privates private. I’d like to tell you that’s what happened, but sadly, it is not. On the bright side, I don’t really have to say much else to Savannah about nudity and the appropriateness of keeping her bottom hidden and un-shaken. On the downside, I’ve come up with a list of things I hadn’t planned on discussing with her until she was thirteen or married that I’ll now have to address.
www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 37 37
Our Monthly Feature
Photos from our October 2012 Contest.
Photo Submitted By: Don Anthony
Photo Submitted By: Erin Annas
Local Photos of Everyday people, places, and events as seen through the eyes of the area's professional and amateur photographers!
s h u t t e r b u g g e r z . c o m 38
Visit the website to view all the photos and to enter your photo into next monthâ€™s contest.
Photo Submitted By: Lacy Dominguez Photography
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Visit the website to view all the photos to enter your photo into next month’s contest. pg 40 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | Juneand 2012 42
Photo Submitted By: Cooper Photography
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www.shutterbuggerz.com www.sophiewomansmagazine.com | pg 41 43
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You’ve Got To Be
When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it’s your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern ‘seat covers’ (invented by someone’s Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn’t - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR! ), yank down your pants, and assume ‘ The Stance.’ In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You’d love to sit down, but you certainly hadn’t taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold ‘The Stance.’ To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser.. In your mind, you can hear your mother’s voice saying, ‘Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!’ Your thighs shake more. You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that’s still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It’s still smaller than your thumbnail .
pg 46 | Sophie Woman’s Magazine | November 2012
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. ‘Occupied!’ you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT . It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, ‘You just don’t KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.’ By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can’t figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, ‘Here, you just might need this.’ As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men’s restroom. Annoyed, he asks, ‘What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?’ This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms (rest??? you’ve GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door! This HAD to be written by a woman! No one else could describe it so accurately! (Author Unknown)
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