Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm posting merely for the sake of posting

   I feel a little guilty for my lack of post-age lately, so here's a totally random one for you. Maybe it will just go to prove how little I have to talk about...
  • I got a new car about a month ago.  I don't know if I mentioned that here...  comment and tell me if you want to see pictures or if you really don't care...
  • Last weekend was spent at the Kalahari hotel and resort in the Wisconsin Dells.  Tons of fun, waterpark, etc (I don't really swim and actually didn't even bring a swimming suit... but, the kids had fun!) The trip was a Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa, YAY!
  • Our family has 8 licensed drivers and 7 cars and we STILL have to do car swapping and intricate plans involving who will drive who where and who will pick up who's car and swap keys, etc.  Strange, no?
  • It is 9 degrees right now in Southern Wisconsin.  Up from 0 this morning.  Oh happy, frigid day.  
  • I believe I have spring fever.
  • Is it too early to order seeds for the garden?  
  • At the risk of sounding like a very extravagant girl... I also just bought a new laptop.  Tuppence (my old laptop) is decidedly an "Old Thing" and is ready to retire.  I ordered my new laptop and it should be here in a week or so, I'm thinking.  I'm so excited it's almost ridiculous.  
  • And.....  
  • That's all, folks. 

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chocolate Swap!


Go over to the IDD Blog RIGHT NOW and sign up for the CHOCOLATE SWAP!!!

I can tell you from experience it's the highlight of the year!  And you only have a few more days to sign up!  Hope to see you over there!  Maybe we'll be swapping chocolate!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Christa Taylor

Why is there such a lack of fashionable, feminine, MODEST clothing?

Ever felt the frustration?  I think all of us have asked this question at one time or another.  Meet someone who has actually DONE something about it.

Christa-Taylor is an online company devoted to providing cute, fashionable clothes for the modesty-conscious crowd.  :) In her own words "...Feminine and beautiful without compromising self respect and dignity." You can read more about how the company started and all about Christa Taylor HERE.

To start with I want to say that Christa-Taylor is not paying me to talk about her company.  She didn't send me any free products.  Everything I've ordered from Christa-Taylor has been purchased with my own money.  I happen to think that they have a great mission and I think their clothes are cute so I don't mind supporting them one bit! By the way Christa-Taylor donates 5% of every purchase to Warm Blankets Orphan Care International. which is pretty cool. 

I've ordered from them several times and every time I've been very pleased with my purchases.  I bought my winter coat from Christa-Taylor, and I wear it EVERYWHERE and get compliments on it all the time.  In fact, just today a random lady I walked by stopped me to tell she loved my coat.  

Their shipping is super fast, I always receive my order in two to three days.  Look at these sweet dresses I just bought!

Blue Best Friend Dress
I don't care if it is the middle of winter.  I wore this dress to church last Sunday with tights, a cardigan sweater and boots.  I LOVED it!

Vintage Dot Dress This one, I admit isn't exactly in my color scheme...  But, I don't care.  It's so adorable, I had to get it anyway!

Christa-Taylor also has a BLOG that she updates usually once or twice a week full of fashion and beauty advice that I highly recommend you check out.  Right now she's got an awesome post up about how to shape and maintain your eyebrows.  :) Every girl needs to know how to do this!

I hope you check out Christa-Taylor and find something you like!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

Every high school student knows those dreaded words “So, what are you doing after high school?”




Choosing a career path can be a daunting, scary and in all honesty, (let’s face it) an IMPOSSIBLE thing to do.  At age eighteen my chosen career path was “Wife and Mother.”  I was raring and ready to go.  One teeny-tiny problem: “Wife and Mother”  is one of those joint-partnership occupations, it goes hand-in-hand with “Husband and Father” and the “Husband and Father” division of the corporation was conspicuously absent.

So, maybe, I decided I should look at some alternate career options.  Something just to pass the time, you know?

I’ll just be honest and come totally clean here.  That was me ten years ago, and it’s basically still me.  Passing the time…

Don’t get me wrong.  I haven’t been completely idle.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve been idle at all.  I’ve worshipped while I’m waiting done everything I could think to do while I’m waiting, and I’ve been happy and fulfilled.

But, my future is still out there, Gigantic and Unknown and getting closer and closer.  I’m still looking at career options.  Of course, my first choice is still my first choice, and if it becomes available I’ll jump in with both feet.  Meanwhile I continue to search and pray and be led.

There are a lot of well meaning people that have tried to help.

“You should be a teacher.”

“You should be a writer.”

“You should be a makeup artist.”

“You should be a chef.”

Oh, incidentally, I want to say that I LOVE getting these suggestions, so I’m not saying that people shouldn’t offer up ideas.  Please, if you have an idea let me know!  It’s fun to think of the possibilities and I have certainly given my share of career opinions to other people.  smile.gif

At age eighteen, one person made a career suggestion to me that I am ashamed to say I rolled my eyes at.

“You should be a Virtuous Woman.”

Come on, really?  That’s not a career!

(Almost) Ten years later I look back at my younger self and I have to disagree.  Virtuous Woman is the ultimate career.

It’s the job that, if done properly and wholeheartedly will make any other path you walk successful.  The Virtuous Woman radiates success, accomplishment, wisdom, education, self-confidence, beauty, happiness, kindness, love.  All the things that we all want and need in our lives.

Ten years ago I had two opinions about the Virtuous Woman.

A) That she was abstract and unattainable.


B) That she was an overused stereotype.  And I didn't want to be a stereotype.  I wanted to be DIFFERENT.

Silly me.  Of course I'm going to be different.  God created only one me.  I'm certainly not going to be like anyone else.  What I failed to realize was that  working to become a Virtuous Woman wouldn't interfere with developing my individuality.  Rather, the opposite.  Being a Virtuous Woman gives us the tools we need to become the best versions of ourselves.  The career path of Virtuous Womanhood is created by God to bring us to our full potentials in Him.

The IDD Blog is going to publishing over the next few weeks an insightful, topic by topic look at the Virtuous Woman.  We want to encourage every young lady to make Virtuous Womanhood her goal, and we hope to offer practical advice on how to apply these principles to you own life.

We want to stress that even though The Virtuous Woman is described as a Wife and Mother that we believe that a single female supporting herself has just as much chance of achieving Virtuous Woman status as a married woman.  It's never too early or late to start!

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Helping Haiti

When I was growing up there was a little cup woven out of grasses sitting in our bathroom.  It had a little flower on it and the word "Haiti."  I remember clearly the day we got that little cup.  The person who gave it to us said "Every time you see this, PRAY for Haiti."  I was so young at the time, but I remember it so clearly.  I don't think I did pray for Haiti every time I saw that little cup, or smelled the potpourri my Mom put in it.  But, I did see it often, and I did pray often.

The last few days after hearing the horrendous reports and seeing the heart breaking pictures of the destruction in Haiti, that little cup has been forefront in my mind.  I see it everywhere now.  And I'm always praying for Haiti.

Imagine not knowing where your children are.  Imagine having no home, no water, no food, surrounded by death...  

What can we do to help?

There are many organizations you can donate food and money too.  There's a list of them at the above link.

If none of those work for you I suggest finding a local church that might be doing a food and clothing drive.  Donate your time to help them sort and pack supplies. Or donate money.  $5 can go a long way.  Maybe you have some extra canned goods laying around.  Extra clothes?  Go to Goodwill and fill a bag for people in Haiti who have nothing.  Or, just a bottle of Tylenol, or a case of water could make a huge difference in someone's life.

I encourage you to do whatever you can for Haiti.  Even if it's just a little thing, DO it.

As JJ Heller says:
I'll be praying for the widow
All alone, sewing clothes for a loaf of bread
It is not my fault that she is hungry
It's my joy to make sure she's fed.

It's the little things that make a difference
It's the little things that show love
It's the little things 
A simple cup of water
That can change the world
That can save our sons and daughters

And above all.  PRAY for Haiti.  Put "Haiti" on your refrigerator, computer, or phone.  Somewhere you'll see it all the time.  (Maybe a cup in your bathroom?) And pray for the people of Haiti.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

No News is No News

I realize I've been somewhat absent lately.  I have no excuse.  Just simply "No news is no news."
Here's some Lemony Snicket for you... to explain what I'm trying to say. 

   Of all the ridiculous expressions people use
--and people use a great many ridiculous expressions--
one of the most ridiculous is 
"No news is good news." 
"No news is good news" simply means that if you don't hear from someone, 
everything is probably fine, 
and you can see at once why this expression makes such little sense, 
because everything being fine is only one of 
many, many reasons why someone may not contact you. 
Perhaps they are tied up. 
Maybe they are surrounded by fierce weasels, 
or perhaps they are wedged tightly between two refrigerators and cannot get themselves out. 
The expression might as well be changed to 
"no news is bad news," 
except that people may not be able to contact you because they have 
just been crowned king 
or are competing in a gymnastics tournament. 
The point is that there is 
no way to know why someone has not contacted you, 
until they contact you and explain themselves. 
For this reason, the sensible expression would be 
"no news is no news," 
except that it is so obvious that it is 
hardly an expression at all. 
- Lemony Snicket

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Monday, January 11, 2010


   Are any of my blog readers on LiveJournal? 

I have a journal over there and I'd be happy to add any of you as friends.  My LJ is exclusively private entries, but if you leave me a comment asking to be my friend I'll add you! 

You can find me at Flowershopgirl's LiveJournal

Happy Journaling!

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Saturday, January 09, 2010



1st prize (Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis)

MERRILL from Bright as The Sea!

2nd prize (JJ Heller's Pretty and the Plain)


3rd Prize (Scarf)

MORIAH from Joy Like An Ocean

Congrats to the winners!  Please send me an e-mail at with your address and I will send out your prizes asap.

Thanks everyone who participated and looking forward to a fantastic 2010!

P.S. One of my commenters asked if I was the one that posted the YouTube video of Kristin Chenoweth singing The Girl in 14G.  I did.  :)  Here's the link

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


 I am inspired by Nichole Nordeman's song "Live."

Did you come that we might just survive?
Did you come so we could just get by?

Did you walk among us
So we might merely limp along beside?

I don't want to "just survive."  And I don't think I was ever meant to just survive.  There's so much more to life than that.

I want to thrive.   I want to be the best version of myself.  I want to take every opportunity given to me, whether it looks like one or not, and I want to grow.  

I don't think I'm asking the impossible or building ivory towers.  I choose to believe that I was created for great things.  That I was meant not to just survive, or just get by.  

I believe I was meant to LIVE.


You make me want to live...
You came to shake us
And to wake us up to something more
Than we'd always settled for
And you make me want to live

It is because of Christ's great love for me that I want to live. 

It is through submission to His great love for me that I can live.  

If, without Him I am nothing... than is it not equally true that WITH Him is my greatest potential?

"...We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, 
and we gave them reverence: 
shall we not much rather 
be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, 
and live?"

 Hebrew 12:9

Never give up.
Never back down.
Never despise the chastening.
Learn to grow.
And as Ralph Waldo Emerson said
"Without halting, without rest, 
lifting better up to best."

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Monday, January 04, 2010

The Best of 2009 GIVEAWAY!

 On the first morning of 2010 I snuggled up on my sofa with a cup of coffee and Tuppence (my laptop).  I looked over my blog entries from 2009 and revisted the whole year through my own words and pictures.  I remembered things I'd forgotten, and laughed again and cried again.

I've been wanting to do another giveaway here for you guys, kind of a thank you for sticking around and continuing to read my ramblings.

SO, I had this idea.  :)

I'm going to do a "Best of 2009" themed giveaway.

Here's how it works:

I'll be giving away three, THREE!!! prizes.  Essentially, my FAVORITES from 2009.

Prize #1.  Hands down the best book I read in 2009. :) C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity

Prize #2.  My favorite CD from 2009.  The one that played over and over and over in my car.  Most played tracks on my iPod.  :)  JJ Heller's Pretty and the Plain.

Prize #3.  Favorite Fashion Accessory from 2009.  This is a tough one, but I DID wear a lot of scarfs this past year... :)  So, I picked out a pretty one at
So, here's what YOU do.

 I want YOU to look back over the flowershopgirl blog 2009 entries.  I want to know what post YOU think was the BEST of 2009.  It can be any post.  A book list, Dr, Jak, Crazy ramble, whatever....  Leave me a comment telling me which entry you thought was the BEST.
You can enter twice by giving me a shoutout on your own blog or LJ.  Just let me know you did it.  :)

I'll leave this open for entries until midnight Friday, January 8th, 2010, and draw and post the names of the winners on Saturday, January 9th, 2010.

I'll draw the names out of a hat and the prizes will be awarded in order 1, 2, 3.  You are only eligible to win one prize.  If you enter twice and I draw your name for the 1st and 2nd prize than I'll re-draw for the 2nd prize. 

Have fun guys!  I can't wait to see all the comments!!!


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Saturday, January 02, 2010

December Books 2009

Well, I started out 2009 with the goal of Keeping Track of How Many Books I Read and rating them with a 5 star system.  AND writing a little snippet of my thoughts on each one.  

I am thrilled to bring you the final installment of my year in books!  

I read 128 books.  I loved most of them.  What a great year.  :)

118. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott -(*****)  Five stars because I love, LOVE this book.  I really do.  It's such a comfort read for me.  It makes me happy! :)

119.  Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott -(****) Almost as good as Little Women.  I say "almost" because a certain character dies...(I'm sure you all know EXACTLY who I'm talking about).  And every time I read it my heart breaks all over again.  This time around I was sobbing into a paper towel (couldn't find a kleenex) and when my sister walked in and made some remark that brought a fresh burst of tears, she felt guilty and offered me two chocolate kisses as a peace offering.  I wailed "What good is chocolate?!?!?  Beth still dies every time I read this book!"  *sniff*  *shudder*

120.  The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie (*****)  It must be my month for comfort reads.  This was my very first ever Agatha Christie book several years ago.  I read it, and promptly was hooked.  It's still in my top ten.  I LOVE Tommy and Tuppence.  I secretly want to be Tuppence.  I named my computer Tuppence.  Once I was delighted for a whole day because my mom said I was being very "sleuth-like" and reminding her of "That one Agatha Christie detective that Francesca Anis plays."  Um, TUPPENCE!!!  YEAH!

121.  Every Storm by Lori Wick-
(**) Well, I was in the mood for a fluff read and I definitely got it.  Ho hum.  Back in my teens I read a lot of Lori Wick's Christian Romance novels, but even then I think I knew they weren't so fabulous.  *sigh*  Her writing style is monotonous, jerky and bland.  I'm not sure how she manages to sell so many books.  Actually, I do know.  It's because the Christian book market is so...  limited?  Very disappointing.  The story itself isn't bad.  If another author had taken it in hand I might even have loved the story.  It has a lot of good elements and some potential.  Set in the 1940s which I *heart* but it feels very modern and I often forgot that I was reading something supposedly "vintage."  Oh well... 

122.  Little Men- (***)  Very sweet and vignette-ish.  Not as engaging as Little Women but still a happy sequel.  Daisy and Demi are my faves.  :)

 123.  Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfeild- (***) I wasn't as enchanted by this book as I have been by Noel Streatfeild's other books that I've read.  Part of it may be the edition I was reading.  Yearling reprinted it in 2009 and I was (to say the least) VERY disappointed in the quality.  Not only are the materials cheaper than cheap and the print hard to read there were SO many grammatical errors that my reading experience was somewhat cautious.  I didn't count how many times there was a period in the middle of the sentence, or no quotations around someone's words or no capital letter at the beginning of a sentence.  But, by the time I'd found 5 mistakes in the first 50 pages of the book I was pretty disgusted.  I even entertained thoughts of marking the mistakes in red pen and sending the whole book back to the Yearling company to let them know what I thought of their quality of workmanship.  It's more disappointing than I can say that I spent $6.99 on a brand new book with mistakes every 4 or 5 pages, when I could buy a used copy of the same book printed in 1962 for $2 and it would be in 10 times better condition. 

124.  Going Rogue by Sarah Palin -
(*****)  If I was a Palin fan before reading her book, I'm 10 times more so now.  Politics aside, she has a gripping narrative style of writing that made the 410 pages go by pretty fast.  Plenty of humor mixed in with the straight talk.  I like her views and the way she expresses them.  She's a REAL person. 

125.  Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott- (***)  Sequel to Little Men.  Sweet, like all Alcott's works, but not my favorite. 

126.  Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
-(****)  I love Peter Pan.  I love the imagery of J.M. Barrie's words. 

127.  Carry On, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse- (*****)  Very entertaining! 

128.  The Winslow Boy by Terrence Rattigan (*****)  Technically this is a play, but it came in book form, so I'm counting it.  Such a good story.  And absolutely true which is the best part.  I love all the different dimensions in this story.  On the surface it's a Father and Daughter fighting for their Son/Brother's honor.  Fighting for justice.  But, after the fight has gone on for over a year and the family has made so many sacrifices, some of them, as the Father says "[sacrifices] I had no right to make," the fight turns into much more.  Is it just stubborn resolve and pride?  Or, is it a fight for justice?  It's even more than just justice.  They fight to "Let Right Be Done."  I love this play.  There's also a movie, which was my first introduction to this story. 

Reading it this time reminded me of the first time I ever read this play.  My sister Susie and I were bored and decided to read it out loud.  We split the parts evenly between us and had a blast!  Laughing for the first time over the humor...  The best part was when Susie was Reading Sir Robert Morton (lawyer) cross examine Ronnie (Winslow Boy).  Both parts.  If I remember correctly I laughed during the first page and had pity by taking over one of the parts for the next three pages.  Good times.  Good story. 

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Friday, January 01, 2010

The New Year

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'

And he replied,
'Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!'

by Minnie Louise Harkins 1875-1957
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