Category Archives: Uncategorized

Summer Serve

June 1, 2015

 

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“Summer is usually a time in which we pull back. We vacay. We relax. Rather, let this be a time in which we push forward and serve others,” Pastor Aldger Armstead of the Woodlawn campus of Church of the Highlands stated yesterday.

This has echoed in my heart ever since. Summer is obviously a more laid back time of the year. You envision yourself on the beach, sipping your favorite drink and catching up on your much anticipated reading list. It’s a selfish time, but shouldn’t it be? We all deserve a break from the monotonous eight hour work day.

But how often do we serve others? And what does it truly mean? When I personally think about the term, I have to put myself aside for a moment, lay down my personal agendas and look to the needs of those around. This is a counter culture mindset. This goes against the idiom of “every man for himself.”

Our minds are often cluttered with daily obligations, career goals and what we’ll eat for dinner. Believe me, I’ve seen it on the Facebook feed. But when was the last time, you took an opportunity to help someone in an unfortunate situation?

Sometimes we need a reminder that our problems really are not problems at all. Sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves, reach down our hand and help lift someone to a better position. I just wonder if we did this more often if it would create a beautiful ripple in the body of water we are in.

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I don’t typically affiliate myself with a particular group of people. But I can’t deny the inspiration I gather when at Church of the Highlands, no matter the reservations I had when first attending a large church. On July 11th, Church of the Highlands will be serving the Birmingham community through various ways, whether it be mowing the grass of an elderly person’s home, volunteering at women’s shelter or helping create a clean and safe area for children in the inner city. The last Serve Day consisted of 16,000 individuals serving the Birmingham area. Imagine what impact 16,000 people has on a community? “That’s 16,000 paint brushes,” Pastor Chris Hodges said in the Sunday message.

As a Christian, the purpose of using one’s gifts in service is to show others the love of Christ:

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen1 Peter 4:10-11

Does serving help one’s immediate needs? Of course. Will those problems still exist? Of course. However, the impact of serving can create a lasting impression, hopefully a change in a person’s heart. We as mere humans do not have the power to make an everlasting difference with a paint brush. Through Christ we can. To shed light in a dark world and offer hope through a message of grace is why we serve.

I just wonder if this summer while you are planning your yearly vacation, if you would pencil in a time to serve.

Article by Brittany Windle

Monogram Love-Shop Memento

July 14, 2014

GROUP ROBES

As a southern girl, I am obviously obsessed with monograms. I stumbled across Shop Memento on Twitter (@shopmemento) and immediately fell in love with their monogrammed frocket tees, boot socks, clutches and practically everything they had on their website (shopmemento.com), but more importantly, I fell in love with their amazing service, Godly values and overall genuine love for their brand and customers.
JEWELRY
Meet my online monogram love- SHOP MEMENTO!

Memento, LLC was launched in 2007 by Terri Johnson – a woman with a dream who never settled for anything less than excellence.

Terri had a vision to offer products that represent a person’s legacy, individual taste, or, makes a unique statement about an individual’s spirit & character. It’s a timeless reminder of a special moment, person, place or time. It’s a gift that’s fun & creates smiles and laughter.

Terri Johnson-Owner

Terri Johnson-Owner


Memento, LLC began in Terri’s basement with just one commercial embroidery machine. She wore all the hats – Customer Service Representative, Production Coordinator, Shipper, Cleaner, Embroiderer, etc. By 2010, Terri had 3 embroidery machines was able to hire seasonal helpers during Christmas and the peak seasons. In August 2011, she hired her first full time employee. In April of 2012, she moved into her first commercial space and began the Greek life branch of Memento, Greek Life Girl. Now in June of 2014, Terri is in a 5000 sq ft commercial space with 11 employees.

Perfect for summer!

Perfect for summer!


Terri continues to strive to provide each and every customer with outstanding customer service, a personalized online shopping experience, and a variety of unique products which you can only find at Memento.

“Your spark, passion, and drive is a song only you can write, If you don’t play it the world can’t hear it.” -Terri Johnson, TJD

Check Shop Memento out on Twitter, Instagram and online! You won’t be disappointed!
@shopmemento
www.shopmemento.com

Brynlea Cunniff

Boutique Feature: bevello

June 30, 2014

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Founded 2009 in the ever-so charming Raleigh, NC, bevello was born (it’s spelled with a lowercase b). With the influence of the word “bella” (meaning beautiful in Italian) and “love”, bevello captures the essence of what every woman lives for-beauty and love! Dedicated to providing a unique shopping experience, bevello is bound to shine.

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Deservedly, bevello boutique is growing rapidly! They are up to 23 stores nationwide, and I can see why. I just need to say-I am in LOVE. Something that draws me in is the genuine customer service, the charm of the store, the VIP Rewards program and of course, the amazing collection of clothing and accessories!

With every price point for every type of woman, this boutique brings southern style to the everyday woman.

French Connection

French Connection

DV by Dolce Vita

DV by Dolce Vita


The brands they carry are my absolute favorites from French Connection to Lilly Pulitzer to Loren Hope to DV by Dolce Vita. It’s a melting pot of fabulousness! The buyers for bevello obviously know what’s hot, loveable, wearable and fashionable. I have yet to see a piece in the store that I did not like. Often with boutiques, you pay for really cute clothes that lack in quality. With bevello, you get that unique boutique experience, wonderful clothing and you are buying brands that everyone knows and loves.

Casual Friday

Casual Friday

Loren Hope

Loren Hope

Find a store near you at http://locations.bevello.com/locations or shop online at bevello.com! You can also follow them on Twitter and Instagram @bevello! Ciao, bellas!

Brynlea Cunniff

Hide Your Crazy

June 27, 2014

hide your crazy

You’ve been wronged. Severely wronged. Falsely accused. Judged. Hurt.

You want justice, right? You want to see that person get what’s coming to them. YOU WANT THEM TO SUFFER BECAUSE YOU ARE SUFFERING. I think we’ve all been there-we become defensive, run our mouths, get loud, seek revenge, plot out the oppressor’s demise. It feels grrrrrrreat! Sound the Rocky theme song!

But then what? What gets accomplished? Are you truly satisfied?

In my experience, the eye-for-an-eye/take-off-your-heels-and-arm-yourself method never puts out the fire blazing in my heart, mind and soul. Never. It simply causes a wildfire not only within myself, but it consumes everything and everyone around me. My testimony is ruined. I am simply not a better person. I am not healed. I am not satisfied.

In March, I went through one of the most trying times in my life. Wait, let me correct that- THE most horrible time of my life-especially as a teacher. Wrongly treated is a complete understatement. I never knew that people could be so unjust, prideful, illogical and down right cruel. I definitely experienced a teacher’s worst nightmare-parent/student anonymity, a meme posted on social media taken out of context, unsupportive administration and politics. After the incident happened, I felt my heart sink like the heaviest ship on the sea. Waves were crashing around me. I was drowning. Can’t. Get. Air. Feeling abandoned,I was left out in the cold to defend for my livelihood, my career, and my reputation.

I truly didn’t understand why God was doing this to me-why he was letting it happen. I could understand if I was in the wrong, BUT I WAS NOT. And it SUCKED. I was an amazing teacher (yes, I’m tooting my beautifully-polished horn because it’s true). My evaluations (18 for the year to be exact) were all glowing beacons of light illuminating my success as a teacher in the classroom. I loved my kiddos of all races, backgrounds, personalities and abilities. I simply loved teaching. But sadly, in today’s education world, that isn’t enough.

And if that drama wasn’t enough, my beloved grandma passed away, and I was in a fender-bender-all within the same month. It was just too much. TOO MUCH.

crazy girl

I had two paths to choose from-the one less traveled or the jam-packed highway of human nature. How I chose to handle this situation at school truly made all the difference-not only in my professional life, but as a person. Was I hurt? YES. Was I angry? YES, YES. Did I want to run up and down the halls revealing the story of my injustice and the truth to every single teacher and student? YES, YES, YES. Did I want to slap the teacher who started running her mouth spreading gossip about something she knew nothing about? YES, YES, YES, YES! But what good would it do for me to allow all of this fuming anger, betrayal and sadness to control me? Nothing. So, I chose to rise above. I chose to handle everything and everyone with dignity and class. I chose to hide my crazy and act like a lady. I chose to trust God with it ALL. I allowed HIM to be my defender, my judge, but more importantly, I allowed Him to be THEIR JUDGE. And you know what?

It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

I finished out the year in a blaze of glory. I was nominated for a teacher celebration event, made the top 10 at the local mall, walked a fashion show and even won (let me tell you-I had to giggle as the odds were stacked against me). It was clear that my actions were being acknowledged and blessed by the Big Man upstairs. After feeling like a failure, my efforts and passion for teaching were applauded. I also received news that the healthy project I had been working on for months for our school was accepted-I helped earn $7000 and an amazing title of Healthy Zone School for my campus (even though I wouldn’t be there to enjoy the new benefits, I was pumped.)

More important than all this recognition and success, I accomplished the most amazing thing ever-I chose to be humble. I chose to bite my tongue and keep my mouth shut, extend grace and show respect to people that I felt didn’t even deserve it, and relinquish all human instincts to fight. Through this, I learned so much about myself. It was truly remarkable. It felt like I had won-I had passed the hardest test of my life. I was able to shine like a diamond-separate myself from the norm. I chose to react in a God-like manner and because of that, I was, in essence, victorious. That was my justice.

I FOLLOWED MIRANDA LAMBERT’S ADVICE-I HID MY CRAZY AND ACTED LIKE A LADY-BEST DECISION EVER! I am now living my dream-fashion, fashion, and more fashion! If this unfortunate event hadn’t happened, I would have probably chosen to stay in my comfort zone. I’m about to be 30 and enter a brand new FABULOUS chapter of my life. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Not a single thing!

Brynlea Cunniff

Etsy Store Obsession

June 23, 2014

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Meet Mrs. SassaFrass! I stumbled upon this crafting princess on Twitter since she was one of my followers ( follow her @sassa_frass_). I immediately became obsessed with her precious wreaths, hand-painted monogram wall decor, Lilly Pulitzer inspired paintings & unique crafts. She truly is talented and is staying quite busy these days with orders through her Etsy store, Sassa Frass Home Decor. I hope you check her out and order something for yourself, a friend, a wedding gift…the perfect, specialized gift!
etsy2
etsy3

A Little About Mrs. SassaFrass:
“A little about me: I’m a 21 year old working wife and step mom who needed some kind of hobby to do on the side and a way of sprucing up the boring bachelor pad that I moved into when I married my husband. I never knew I had any crafting ability but somehow I was wrong. There’s something so rewarding about being able to make things that people love!! I love crafting because it’s a wonderful stress relief for me, a way to show my creativity and make things that people love in the meantime!”

Check out her Etsy store at www.etsy.com/SassaFrassHomeDecor
Fnd her on Facebook!
Email her at sassafrasshomedecor@gmail.com
Follow her @sassa_frass_

Brynlea Cunniff
Follow her on Twitter @MrsStyle101

Music Artists You Should Know

June 17, 2014

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Ingrid Michaelson: During May I got the opportunity to see Ingrid live. She was absolutely amazing. Ingrid is a 34 year old, New York native, who sings a lot of Indie-Pop genre music. Her songs are featured on many hit television shows such as One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, and Grey’s Anatomy. You might also know her by her hit song ‘Be Ok’ (go listen and you will instantly know). She also has many other great songs such as “Girls Chase Boys”, “You and I”, and “The Way I Am”. She is now currently on tour so go and try to catch her! You will not be unsatisfied, she is amazing!

the19752

The 1975: The group is formed of four boys: Matthew Healy, Adam Hann, George Daniel, and Ross McDonald. The group is an English Indie-Rock band based in Manchester. Who couldn’t resist of bunch of British boys singing about girls!? They have many hit singles such as “Chocolate”, “Girls”, “Settle Down”, and “Robbers”. They are currently on tour in America, but not for long so get tickets while you can! P.s. Matty is just too cute!!

Article by: Carolina Grace

Summer Playlist

June 17, 2014

summerplaylist2014

Music is life. Well, at least to me it is! It can set the record for any mood or situation. As you know, summer is sneaking up on us and what better way to get ready for it than by finding some great music? I love all different kinds of music so I took my faves and combined them into a little playlist to start your summer off just right! Hope you enjoy!

Carolina Grace

Beach Babe Kit

June 13, 2014

tan2Ahhhhh. The smell of seawater, humidity lingering in the air, sand between the toes and the sun smiling down to give us golden glows…summer is upon us! Here are 8 must-haves (tried and true) that every beach babe needs for her next trip to the sandy shores!

1. Not Your Mothers Sea Salt Texturizing Spray-AHHHHHmazing! This spray is simple to apply for an effortless surf girl hairstyle. I found that the best beach waves were created when spray was applied on dry hair-not wet!

2. La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60- I use this skincare line-from cleansers to sunscreens! Anthelios sunscreen continues to win multiple awards year after year. Apply sunscreen BEFORE going out into the sun and use lots of it (quarter size for the face alone). Reapply every couple of hours-especially if you get wet! Prevent those wrinkles!

3. Floppy hat-this hat is a must! My favorite online monogramming store, ShopMemento, has tons of color combinations to choose from and will monogram your hat for free! Go to the beach in elegance and style while shielding your pretty face from the sun’s harmful rays. Definitely a must-have!

4. Fresh SPF 15 lip tint- keep your pucker protected and moisturized. I love this balm because it has SPF and provides moisturized lips with a soft hint of color.

5. Lilly Pulitzer Tote- who doesn’t love Lilly? This tote is precious, spacious and of quality! This tote can hold everything you need for a trip to the beach.

6. Bobble Bottle- stay hydrated! This bottle is perfect and will bobble along with you in the water!

7. Vera Bradley beach towel- this towel is huge and perfect to lay out on. It is super plush and super soft-hands down my favorite towel ever.

8. Secrets Over Sweet Tea- everyone needs a good read! This book is precious (see our Summer Reads article).

Brynlea Cunniff
Follow on Twitter @MrsStyle101

Jump Around

June 12, 2014

The romper and the jumpsuit, in my opinion, are socially acceptable public pjs. Super comfy, super stylish and super sassy: a great trio! Choosing the best romper/jumpsuit can be tricky. You want to avoid looking like a 5-year old who should be carrying a sloppy ice cream cone and wearing pigtails hanging on the pant leg of mommy. Here are 3 tips to choosing a great romper or jumpsuit!

1. Color-choosing the right color is everything! Solid, dark colors are always a safe and classy choice- for the curvier or more athletic body style. You can never go wrong with black! If you are slender and/or petite, have fun with florals and fun patterns!

2. Length- some rompers are super short! Unless you are comfortable showing some skin, make sure to choose a romper with a length at mid-thigh in order to avoid possible butt cheek appearances (and stares). For taller women, the long jumpsuit is a great choice-very elegant and chic.

3. Fabric- Micro Modal (super super soft) and jersey are my favorite fabrics for jumpsuits-this is where the public pjs idea comes from. They hang well on all body types, are extremely comfortable and aren’t prone to snagging. Lighter fabrics can be tricky-make sure they aren’t see-through and are flattering to the body. Some fabrics aren’t forgiving!

Brynlea Cunniff
Follow her on Twitter @MrsStyle101