Fall Makeunder

So last week, the Mr. was out of town.

Which meant that all the crazy broke out. Everything was in chaos, including the big dog deciding to remove his leg bandage and then try to remove his surgery stitches at midnight. I ended up staying up with him all night until the vet opened in the morning.

And I always do soooo well on no sleep.

My skin is like a dime store mood ring and I wear stress and sleeplessness on my face.

So I look awful.

And of course I'm filming this week.

I've been scouring the interwebs to see what works. I'm mixing up a cocktail of Juice Beauty's Blemish Clearing Serum, Dr. Dennis Gross peels, with the Neutrogena light thingy that looks like a stormtrooper mask.

I've resolved that I have to start taking better care of myself and maybe drink a glass of water once in a while. I'll get to that as soon as I write my blog post on balance (I kid you not.) 

Jennifer of A Well Styled Life is my go-to blogger for this kind of thing and, recently, she posted what's in her makeup bag. She always has good tips. And her discipline is admirable!

I need to take a page from her.

In the meantime, I use Cle de Peau concealer stick like barn paint. I swear, it costs me about $15 per day. That should give me some incentive to get my act together.

For that much money, I'm going to look like this, right? 

Are you a regular skincare person or do you go into a Sephora panic when things go awry?

Dayspring Friends and Family Sale

Dayspring is having their Friends and Family sale right now with almost everything 25% off.

I'm particularly loving these Philippians 4:8 mugs since that's my life verse, for which this blog is titled.

And these tea towels are awfully cute.

American readers get free shipping over $50, but Canadians pay shipping (and taxes and duties, which  - word to the wise - are calculated on delivery so you have to factor that in...)

If you are interested, here is the link. (I don't get paid to post this, but the link is an affiliate link. If you click and buy anything, I get compensated. So thank you in advance!)



The world has felt very heavy lately.

So, I've been trying to take a page from Solomon in Ecclesiastes 8:14-15

There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: the righteous who get what the wicked deserve, and the wicked who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.

In other words: this world is messed up. And while I do believe it is our duty to try to fix it whenever we can, we are also allowed to enjoy life. In fact, scripture commands us to be joyful time and time again, whatever our circumstances.

I've been going through a rough patch lately. Just the usual life is hard stuff: nothing earth shattering. So I've been making sure to put lots of coffee dates and fun things on my calendar.

The other day, a girlfriend and I went to lunch and then to Anthropologie for a little retail therapy.

This plate reminded me of Bringing Up Baby and for $16 CAD had to accompany me home.

Who says cheetahs never prosper?

And then there is this guy.

When he is not destroying our house, Teddy is really quite dear. 

I find that in the tough times, I cling to beauty extra hard. I think that one of the reasons the Proverbs 31 woman was so effective and good, was that she knew to appreciate the good things in life too. We are told that "she makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple." Back in the day, this stuff was fancy. I think that she'd totally be into coffee dates and moderate retail therapy. 

I hope that life finds you well and that the news is not grinding you down. I'm reading a bunch of encouraging books and will share them here shortly. 


Dear Harvey

Thank you.

Thank you for being so incredibly terrible.

I mean it.

If you had not harassed and assaulted so many women, we might have believed you.

If they had not been such A-listers with a public platform, we might have believed you. I mean, people pay attention when Gwyneth Paltrow says anything, and you don't get much more articulate than Sarah Polley, so thank you for your lack of discretion in who you targeted with your behaviour

If you'd only stuck to harassing women with complicated pasts, we might have believed you. You certainly did give it the college try when you tried to cast doubt on Ashley Judd's initial statement by bringing up her experience with sexual abuse and depression about which she's been courageously open. Usually that "woman be crazy and can't be trusted" thing flies so well. So thank you for messing that up too.

If your behaviour had not been so blatantly egregious, over so many decades, we might have believed you. It was particularly helpful that you also had a reputation as a tyrant - with men. So thanks for being so awful to so many.

Thank you for being such a triggering force this week that you inspired the whole #metoo hashtag. Because, of course, me too.

Thank you for inspiring other powerful women with platforms to share their own stories of other predators like you. Suddenly a whole lot of us who have been walking around with dark secrets feel so much less alone.

And thank you for trying to play the good guy. That fascinating apology invoking Jay-Z lyrics, and your Bar Mitzvah, and your mom, was enlightening on so many levels as it opened a window into how guys like you operate. When you said "I so respect all women" and then promised to focus on the NRA and funding women directors, you almost had us believe that you were this liberal good guy who just wanted to make your mom proud. I happen to know a lot of wolves in sheep's clothing who tell us they are good sons, and good citizens, and even good Christians. Thank you for pointing out that sometimes behind all of the do-gooder rhetoric lies the heart of a snake.

I've been having trouble processing things since this story broke. And it drove me into connecting with my girlfriends and reading. I finished Holley Gerth's gorgeous book, Fiercehearted, and in it there is this passage:

We will all have days when we're white-hot mad we have to go another round. We will all have moments when we want to run right on home. We will all have seasons when it seems easier just to take it. But that isn't our destiny. We are tree-swingers and babyrockers and mountain-movers. We are girls. We are women. We are daughters of Eve in a fallen world. This means we will never stop being under attack. But it also means we will never - Dear Jesus, may we never - stop fighting back.

Thank you, Harvey, for shaking off the complacency, divisiveness, and fear among the sisterhood. Thank you for showing us how pervasive the problem is. Thank you for being so disgusting in your actions that it is causing our men - our brothers in this life - to review their own participation in this process and for them too to declare, no more.

And thank you for causing the other monsters out there, who have hidden for far too long, to lose a little sleep.  Woody Allen says he fears a witch-hunt and he should.

The shoe is about to drop and it's a stiletto.

World Food Day

Today is World Food Day. On Friday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with Leanne Prescott, a New Brunswick artist who - with her husband, food blogger and chef, Dennis the Prescott - is working with World Vision to make a hunger free world. It was so encouraging to hear about improvements in farming that are making this possible in the most vulnerable areas in the world. I encourage you to watch today's See Hear Love episode and consider making a donation.


Wedding Rings and Broken Things

Happy Saturday!

I'm up early and working, which is a good thing. Busy is good.

I was in the studio yesterday. That's always a fun day, even if I am off camera. I love interesting people and See Hear Love brings in some good ones. There are a couple of amazing shows coming up. The one on forgiveness made me cry. Ugly cry. There is no kind of mascara out there that would have held up to that.

After the show, I bumped into Stephanie from Hallmark's Good Witch, aka Kylee Evans.


We LOVE that show as a family. So I was thrilled to meet her.

She's gracious and sweet and even prettier in person (I met a ton of actresses in my old career and they are all prettier in person. And skinnier. If not for the fact that most of them are also very nice, it would be rather disheartening!)

See! She's all skinny and gorgeous and I look like Columbo. 

She's co-hosting Just Like Mom and Dad, the remake of the1980s Canadian game show Just Like Mom. Remember that? Now it includes dads too.

This weekend, we are going to look at some country places to scratch the itch for the Town and Country two house plan when all of the kids are done school. I've been Pinteresting like a mad woman.

I've also put my wedding photos in an album. Look! I can too cute wedding IG too in spite of the fact I look like Columbo sometimes!

I have to concentrate a lot harder while driving post messed up surgery and I always have worship music playing in my car these days instead of podcasts. I have Matthew West's Broken Things on a loop.

I absolutely love the lyrics:

If grace was a kingdom
I stopped at the gate
Thinking I don't deserve to pass through after all the mistakes that I've made

Oh but I heard a whisper
As Heaven bent down
Said, "Child, don't you know that the first will be last and the last get a crown"

Now I'm just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it's true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I'm all Yours

The pages of history they tell me it's true
That it's never the perfect; it's always the ones with the scars that You use

It's the rebels and the prodigals; it's the humble and the weak
All the misfit heroes You chose
Tell me there's hope for sinners like me

Now I'm just a beggar in the presence of a King
I wish I could bring so much more
But if it's true You use broken things
Then here I am Lord, I'm all Yours

Grace is a kingdom
With gates open wide
There's a seat at the table just waiting for you
So, come on inside

There is a seat at the table. For you, for me, for everyone. 

Have a great weekend.



The Dynasty remake is on Netflix.


The remake is by the makers of Gossip Girl so you know it's going to be stylish.

Oh happy day.

I love terrible TV and this does not disappoint.

The weddings. The cat fights. The staircase.

Death by Wind Turbine!

It's all back.

The people are all back too.

Blake, Fallon, Cristal (the spelling is new), Sammy Jo, Steven.

Kind of loving Fallon right now.


And there are rumours - sweet rumours - that Alexis will be back. But who will play her? So many great choices. Hurley, Zeta Jones, Beckinsale. Georgina Chapman would be an inspired choice. She could give someone a dressing down for daring to wear Donna Karan to a function. And we would cheer.

There are so few things I can watch on TV or at the movies anymore. Most things are just too dark or too violent. (I found Zootopia triggering.) I'm glad there is something that is silly, frothy, soapy fun, so I can have as my guilty pleasure while I wait for Greenleaf Season 2 to hit Netflix.

What are you watching this fall?


Happy Wednesday!

I hope you had a nice weekend. It was nice having the extra time.

We Thanksgave.

The girlie and I hit the outlet mall since that seems like a Stepford thing to do. I'm not really bricks and mortar shopper anymore but it was nice to get some bargains. I got a red coach bag for $66 and a Tory Burch necklace for $35. Bobbi Brown lipstick and Mac brushes were on sale too. How could I resist?

Have you been watching Jully Black on See Hear Love? I adore this woman.

Pink! is touring, finally. Her Truth About Love Concert remains one of my favourite ever and I've seen just about everyone live. Music restores my soul. I can't wait!

So, life finally caught up to Harvey Weinstein. Just when I think there is no justice in this world, there are little bits of it. I used to finance some film companies a hundred years ago and was invited to fancy A-list parties where, in spite of a magna cum laude MBA, I'd still be mistaken as somebody's paid escort.

For all of the women and men out there still seeking justice (and I consider myself among one of them - although my story involves the church and the legal profession rather than the entertainment industry) I always take comfort in a sign I have over my desk: you're an overcomer.

You will overcome this because Christ overcame the world. That's a promise.

The plaque is still on sale at Dayspring for $8 (US) if you are craving one for yourself. I need a daily reminder of this sort of thing.

I've been reading The Lifegiving Table: Nurturing Faith through Feasting, One Meal at a Time, by Sally Clarkson, since Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy.

I was excited to read this book. I am a big believer in family meals and in spite of business travel and music and sports and a blended family, we sit down for some sort of family dinner almost every night. I was looking for some new recipes and encouragement to keep on keeping on, even when it's hard.

This book was not at all what I expected.

At first, I did not like it. And I know I'm in the minority on this one. The reviews were very good and Ann Voskamp loves her.

I'd expected a cookbook, but instead it's a family memoir about how food had helped the Clarkson family - and you will come to know that name well - solidify their faith. They seem like a lovely family: truly they do. They are loving and giving and all of the good things we associate with good people. But the book reminded me of the beginning of We Were the Mulvaneys before Joyce Carol Oates took everyone down a dark path. There is a fine line between being grateful for a blessed life, and coming across as smug. I have to admit, I felt very excluded from this particular table in the beginning as my life looks nothing like hers.

But I kept with it and I'm glad that I did.

As the book progresses, the author gets more honest. It feels less like one of those Christmas letters outlining everyone's accomplishments and more like a real glimpse into her life. She has had struggles, and having meal times has helped maintain a sense of order and optimism throughout periods of crisis. Whereas the first part of the book seemed to imply that you could avoid crisis through good planning, the second part makes it clear that we will suffer but can still be joyful in spite of that. I'm a big believer in creating a beautiful home, particularly in times of crisis, and this book certainly reinforces that belief. As Clarkson wisely writes: "in times of exhaustion, grief, or trial, holding onto a sense of orderliness and loveliness is essential." Amen to that.

I want to get her book The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming.

The recipes are decent and the book is strong on celebratory foods. I've marked up my kindle version of things I plan to make over the holiday season. Clarkson Snowballs/Russian Tea Cakes: I'm looking at you!

The most powerful part for me was the concept of teatime discipleship. I've always wanted to create a safe space in my home for sheltering the discouraged. Tea is such a perfect conduit for that and I have no doubt that the Clarkson household has proven to be a respite for many people in need. It's a practice I plan to implement in my own house.

As we enter the season of hospitality, this is a good book to remind you of what entertaining is really all about.

This and that

Happy Thursday!

In Canada, we are kicking off the Thanksgiving weekend. The kids have no school Friday or Monday, so it's an extra-long weekend. The weather is meant to be terrific: fingers crossed.

Teddy has been keeping us busy.

He likes to chew everything, from baseboards to Bean Boots. I guess it's a Cairn Terrier quality.

Speaking of Bean Boots, almost everything at LL Bean is 20% off this weekend.

I may pick up a pair of the tumbled leather, plaid lined ones.

I shall hide them from Teddy. 

I picked up this fair isle sweater a few weeks ago. It's lovely. 

I shall hide it from Teddy too. 

Teddy is so quick now. And he likes to hide under the furniture. He's a rascal, for sure. 

I've been very busy on the writing front. I've been in studio, behind the scenes, meeting various people. I LOVED meeting singer Jully Black. She was fiery and awesome. Her show airs this coming Monday on YES-TV in Canada or on the web at SeeHearLove.com.

I'm looking forward to some downtime this weekend. I think we may do some apple picking. I've been mainlining pumpkin muffins since this fall seems to require a lot of comfort food. I suspect that's why I've been so drawn to cozy clothing and home goods, as well. I sort of just want to hide under the flannel covers and watch This Is Us or Suits. 

Anybody else planning to hibernate?


Christmas Traditions: The Nutcracker Ballet

Every year, I take my daughter to see the Nutcracker. (I took my youngest son once, but he loudly complained that there was too much dancing...