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christmas ideas for teens & tween girls

well it’s ALMOST Christmas!
this post is coming out later than i’d like it to be (because – life)
BUT i made sure to put everything available through Amazon Prime so you can get anything on this list in time for christmas morning!
amazon prime is the best thing since the DVR!!!
this list is full of ideas that almost any teen or tween girl in your life would enjoy receiving.


yummy donut pillow


Spec-trix – a card game for Color Lovers


Infiniti Pro Hair Dryer by Conair

Style Station to keep hair accessories organized in the bathroom


Maybelline New York Lip Studio Lip Color Palette
(i use this everyday!)

41oo9k2udwlMaybelline New York The Blushed Nudes
(and i use this everyday too!)
it looks small but both of these palettes are about the size of your hand – palm to finger tips.


12 Piece Makeup Brush Set


Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual
this book was on the list last year too because it’s GREAT!


Clarisonic Mia 1 Speed Sonic Facial Cleansing Brush System


91venteej0l-_sx522_or if you want to save $100 – Oil of Olay has a very similar product that will also keep your teens face extra clean!


the Bed Head Wave Artist gives distinctive masterfully sculpted waves.
my daughter has this and loves the look it gives to her hair.

.xmas2Cosmetic Bag

a must have for any girl to hold all the STUFF they like to use on their face & hair!


xmas1a towel wrap is always nice for teens to put on while getting ready for the day
keeps makeup or products getting on your clothes!


55e87bc5c6399baf3cd38698-w1000_h1000Rainbow Colored Playing Cards
how much fun are these cards?!!!
i want these for ME!

mttdyc15_webUNO emoji card game
same UNO game just with a fun twist on the design   🙂

81ygzj8u9kl-_sl1500_Set of 48 Colored Pencils in a Roll Up Case
annie got this set for her birthday and she loves it!

this would’ve made me SO HAPPY as a teen!
every girl should have a disco ball in her room… don’t ya think?


81tlb4wo2l-_sl1500_my girls LOVE our Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera

honestly – it’s just kind of nice to have something different than their phones!
if they are using this camera… they can’t be on snapchat.

and don’t forget the extra film!


51ivgv1xtrl-_sx425_because who doesn’t need this?
there are several other animal options too.
so silly!

Hair Chalk – a nonpermanent, inexpensive way for teens to put fun colors in their hair.


51ulseswwplbluetooth speaker for the shower, beach or pool that hooks up to your phone


Power Bank to charge their phones anywhere at anytime.


PopSocket is a stand or grip for your phone or tablet and all the kids love these things!


Clip-on Phone Lens Kit – wide angle, fish eye and macro
these are a cool way to change up the regular pictures you can take with your phone.
maybe they will make lots of new artistic photographers!


crazy cute ice cream sundae socks


cute aztec print sweater poncho


these Sneaker Balls are great for stinky shoes!
there are tons of different designs & colors.


super soft plush robe


polka dot rubberized hard case covers for MacBook
i think these are the cutest!
i want ALL the colors!

these are really cool dot-to-dot books with animals or famous faces cities.
by the time they finish each page, they have completed a work of art!


Post This Book
an interactive journal that empowers kids to rediscover creativity & fun – and post the results to social media.


blanket scarves for every possible outfit


 knitted fingerless gloves in several different colors
as moms or grandmothers we look at these and think “you’ll freeze in those!”
but kids want to their fingers out for phone access and they don’t ever get cold anyway.
ha ha ha  😂


photo display stand for all their rad pics
i love this!
it’s under our tree this year for sure.


these Letter Light Boxes are so much fun!


a Wristlet Clutch Organizer Wallet available in over 30 colors!
these can hold their phone too!


this mermaid tail blanket is a hot item for this christmas!


 these books are all excellent choices for teens or tweens to grow in their relationship with Christ, love others and to understand more how God sees them as the amazing girls they are!
all girls need more encouragement to be who they were created to be!
Liked by Kari Kampanis
Journey to Freedom by Elisa Pullium
10 Things for Teen Girls by Kate Conner
You’re God’s Girl by Wynter Pitts
Cherish by Vicki Courtney
What About Me? by Vicki Courtney
Graceful by Emily P. Freeman
Live Original by Sadie Robertson
Jesus Today by Sarah Young
Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs


happy shopping!

leave me a comment if you found a great gift this year that should be on this list!
i’ll add it if i can find it!

i would love if you pinned this post (the image below)!

alice h - Ordering my daughter that Style Station (she’s leaving me for college next year). And I am ordering myself that Maybeline makeup! My daughter is getting a couple of Kendra Scott jewelry pieces also. Along with makeup and clothes.

Michelle from Australia - Thanks for the inspiration. I bought a light box for my impossible to buy for 13 year old!

Jen - Love this! But, I can tell you from personal experience, the sneaker balls DO NOT WORK. Don’t waste your money. I haven’t found one single product that can combat the stench of smelly boy athletic shoes! Ick!

Now………those rainbow cards are THE BOMB!!

Merry Christmas!

Christy - I bought the Olay Pro X, thanks to your rec and I actually bought it for my teenage son. Boys, needs good skin too. 🙂 The aesthetician recommended he exfoliate for stubborn acne and now I don’t I have to share.

tonya - i need the same kind of list for tween boys!!! Soon!

Debbie H - I agree! What a great job THIS is. You always have good ideas, but hit it out of the park this year! I thought I was done, but now a couple of these have me thinking. Always another reason for a gift later in the year. Thanks, Meg.

And received my Xmas garland. LOVE IT! Squares are larger this year – so it looks great with my older garland from you. Thanks for always sharing with us! And the merriest of Christmases to you and your swell family! Sending you stress free vibes! (I’m sending them to me too – my girls arrive home late the 19th) 🙂

Wendy - I cannot tell you how helpful this is!! I was finding it so hard to get inspired when searching for gifts for my sweet tween daughter. I can tell you right now I’m ordering at least a half-dozen of your suggestions! Thank you so much, Meg!

From a fan in Seattle 🙂

Kristin S - What a great list!

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rainbows, birthdays & big kids

a couple of weeks ago, Mr. Duerksen bought us a new bed and mattress.
it’s so grown up.
we are loving it so so much.
i’ll show some pics once i have that room in order again.

our bed we had before… moved into the guest room.
but the guest room is now the rainbow room because annie moved to a new room.
everything is getting switched up over here!
she was ready to have a room that was more HER style instead of MY style.
she’s so 12!
it would’ve bothered me (and it did!) with my first child… but thankfully i have learned a thing or two over the past 20 years of parenting.
NEWSFLASH – each child has their own personality.
crazy right?
just kidding… it’s not crazy at all!  it’s completely normal!
their style doesn’t have to be ANYTHING like my style.
and even if i don’t necessarily like their design choice – it doesn’t mean it’s wrong!  (i do like her new room)
it just means it’s not my design choice.
thank goodness we aren’t all the same!
YAY for everything that makes us unique!!!

i am grateful that we could move her to a different room so that we could keep the rainbow stripes because they are just so cheerful and fun!
we painted the old bed – i have wanted to paint it for YEARS!
i was painting in the late afternoon and looked up to see the orange & red tree glowing perfectly centered in the window around the orange curtains… it was just so pretty and so typically fall!

so now it’s all ready for guests!
the rainbow pillow & the yellow polka dot shams are from the Land of Nod.
i found the bedskirt at Goodwill several years ago   🙂
my friend sent me the rainbow quilt that was from target several years ago as well.
Talby turned 15!
she’s got such a great heart!
it’s been such an honor to watch her grow up!
by the end of her birthday evening these 3 ended up in my bed – wrestling, laughing and being crazy.
i was loving every second of it.
of course there’s plenty of fighting and normal sibling stuff but when it’s good – it is SO GOOD!!!

we went out for dinner to celebrate both annie & talby’s birthday together to a restaurant we had (half)jokingly told them we would never take them to because of the cost of 7 of us and the behaviors of the past.  But since we combined our celebration and only went out once instead of two separate times… we said yes!
It was the best dinner out that we have ever had!
not kidding.
the food was great but our time together was suddenly different.
conversations were good and real.
it was truly enjoyable!
i didn’t know if we’d ever get to this point of a time at a restaurant with all of us that was like that.
it was as dreamy as i had imagined.

i love them but i also really like them.   🙂

we still have all three dorky dogs.
kobe has adjusted and isn’t as goofy as he was in the beginning (he was terrified of grass!)
he is a good cuddler too.

i put up a few christmas decorations at the Craft House last week.
the wreath was at sam’s club (what in the world???) and then it was officially time to get a white tree to rainbowtize.
the tree is not too big and definitely not fancy but it was pre-lit so i went for it.
i got it at walmart – impulse buy but no regrets.
the ornaments are all from Michaels.
this was me on black friday.
i drove lauren home the morning after thanksgiving and thought i’d stop for a bit and check out the deals.
ummmm…. i spent THREE HOURS just in Dick’s Sporting Goods!
long story short – i came home at 10:30 pm.
ha ha ha!
just a quick 13 hour black friday shopping day… no big deal.

but seriously… i was alone.  i had coffee.  everything was on sale.
it was perfect!

renee - i love your blog! maybe because you’re a few seasons ahead. mine are 7 months, 2.5, and almost 4. i enjoy them and i’m trying to soak these seasons up and be grateful for the time but i’m really looking forward to getting to know them as they’re older too. my brothers in law are 15 and 16 and they’re so fun! love these posts and glimpses into your family life 🙂 how did you not lose your mind when they were all tiny!?! 🙂 haha

carol - hi meg- would love to know where you bought your bed its gorgeous! thank you!

Lori - Congrats on a new bed! And, I love the bedding in the rainbow room. So happy ❤️💛💚💙💜

Andrea - Prefacing with this statement: I know you are really busy being a mom and wife and businesswoman. That said, I MISSED these kinds of posts! The assortment of family stories, house projects and dog faces. It’s what drew me to your blog years ago.

Every time you say “older kids are awesome” I’m nodding my head. While we still parent, and help where needed, we get to enjoy them as humans. People we like to hang out with. I’m fortunate to have one ‘kid’ left (he turns 12 this week) and a 19 and next-week-22 year old. Watching them together is fun, being around them is the best.

Wendy C - Ditto on seeing your new room and Annie’s new room. And the boys rooms? We never see those. Please share! Even if they are messy – any Mom of boys would totally understand 🙂 My definition of “bed made” and my 16 years old son’s definition of “bed made” are very different! HA!

Tracy - I can’t wait to see your room!

Can we see Annie’s new room?

What restaurant did you go to?

My kids are now 20, 19, 17 & 17 and I feel the same way you do. They’re so fun to be around!! <3

carrie - Love the rainbow tree, and yay for you on Black Friday. We had a marathon shopping spree as well and it was so much fun!

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amazing season!

so… i am 41 years old.
i was a football cheerleader for four years in high school.
i have been to tons of games – pee-wee, middle school, high school, college!
i have “watched” football for most of my life.
but literally until Sean’s last two games… i had never really been IN it.
my eyes were seeing the games but my mind just didn’t engage.
there are so many weird rules and points and flags and numbers.
i just had no clue what was truly happening other than who had the ball and what the score was.

BUT during the semi-final game – it was like it all clicked – my head with my heart.
i watched every play.   i was yelling and cheering!  i wanted those boys to win!
i knew how hard they’d worked ALL season and what a big deal these wins were.
our town’s football team hadn’t made it this far since the 90’s.

they made it all the way to the State Championships!
they played in the afternoon in a college stadium.
and i think our entire town came to cheer them on!
we had the lead from the end of the first quarter.
those boys were making great decisions and working together so well.
i was updating scott by text constantly who was in nebraska at a basketball tournament.
i finally made craig do it so i could save my battery.
it turned into a heart breaker of a game – went into overtime at 42 – 42.
the other team scored a touchdown and all of sudden it was over.
it was silent on our side of the stands.
tears from the boys and lots from their mamas too.
we were just sure they’d win it.
darn it.
they played their hearts out!
sean’s personal cheering section!

Pam Weaver is a local photographer.
I am SO GRATEFUL that she has been photographing our sports teams!
she’s super talented at it and of course she’s an excellent family photographer as well.
i pulled a few from her blog that had Sean in them.  🙂

sean is a lineman.
i can’t even tell you the actual position… no clue.
as the season progressed i started watching only sean every play.
i wouldn’t know where the ball was but i knew where sean was…. because i’m his mom!
he’s the only reason i am sitting out there in the first place.

we had the weirdest wonderful weather this whole season.
usually we are freezing to death by now!
it didn’t even get chilly for the games until mid November.
it was really nice to not have to endure rain or ice or snow!
our team’s mascot is a Swather.
in case you don’t know what that is…. it’s that big red machine behind the boys.
our mascot is a tractor.
actually… it’s a piece of equipment that you attach to a tractor!
according to wikipedia: A swather is a farm implement that cuts hay or small grain crops and forms them into a windrow. “Swather” is predominantly the North American term for these machines.
our town has a large manufacturing company that makes those swathers.

sean was interviewed for an area newspaper after a game.
these three pictures are all the sophomores on the team.
they have already changed so much since jr high and i’m sure that won’t stop soon.
i know we will see some great football in the next two years from these guys!
what a wild season!
we couldn’t be more proud of sean and his teammates.
we hope for more dancing from their coach next year.
(see my instagram here and here and here)

and since football season lasted so much longer than it usually does… they have their first basketball game on friday!

no rest for the awesome.


Cassandra - No rest for the awesome, HA! love that! Great job Sean & team!!

Beth - I had no idea what a Swather was…and I’m married to a third generation John Deere salesman/dealer. Whoops. Well, now I know. Your blog is so educational. Ha!

Michelle from Australia - Thanks for pointing out what a Swather is and that the red tractor in the photo wasn’t a piece of machinery someone had forgot to put away! Well done to Sean and his team mates. And yes, how beautiful the weather in Kansas was in November. I certainly loved it not being cold when I visited.

Wendy C - Nothing better than watching your kids participating in any activity that they love – win or lose – although so much more fun when they win!

Lisa M. - Congratulations! That is such an accomplishment! My husband coaches for the local high school’s varsity football team and four years ago they made it to the final four in the state. That is a BIG deal around here. Our games went until the middle of December and it was the most exciting thing! And I didn’t even have a player on the team, just my husband as a coach! Our son and I went to every game and I can still remember the atmosphere of those games. Incredible. Thanks for sharing. This brought back some wonderful memories!

Southern Gal - Oh, that’s heartbreaking. Been there, done that, but great job! I love that your mascot is the Swather! I had no idea what that was. And Sean looks so much like his dad.

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Camp CREATE coming in April 2017

i have ONE spot open for this camp!
Email me at to claim it.
hurry – it won’t last long!



in 2014 i began dreaming and praying about what kind of place this camp could be…


– a place where women could enjoy a longer stay for a true break from the everyday routines.
– to create & feel confident that they were created for a purpose.
– to be reminded that they are God’s Masterpiece.
– to learn more about the plans God has for each of us.
– to explore WHY their art and gifts are important.
– to feel empowered as artists.
– to be in a beautiful space that sparks inspiration in every corner.
– to see that WHO they are..right now just as they are… matters and means something!
– to know that the desire to create is instilled in them by God and it’s REAL.
– to feel safe to share their dreams
– to be taken care of and pampered (women are always care giving… this is a time to be cared FOR)
– to grow spiritually, emotionally and creatively
– to uncover what their dreams might be if they don’t know
– to have a restful place to CREATE & PLAY
– to discover more about our identities in Christ.
– to be encouraged to SHINE everyday no matter their life circumstances

and God is continuing to make this happen!
CAMP CREATE is where for four wonderful days we will focus on the gifts of creativity, learning about God’s unique design for each of us and how God makes us artists.

even if you have never painted a painting or sculpted a pot… you are still an artist!

If you don’t consider yourself a “real artist” you will still fit perfectly at Camp.
all skill levels are welcome!  beginner to professional!
you have a purpose and goals and a heart that is worth fighting for!
God put a need to create inside us…there are endless ways that it can show itself…not just paint or pencils.
He made us in His image.
He filled our hearts with Dreams!


if you still don’t know what i am talking about you can read here about our past camps:

Camp CREATE 2016 – fall

Camp CREATE 2016 – spring

Camp CREATE 2015

Camp CREATE 2014

they were the best weeks!!!
Our speaker this April will be Jessica Thompson!
Each day she will share in the morning & evening, challenging us with questions to answer in our quiet times and thoughts to consider while we are creating.
you are going to love Jessica!
She’s a speaker, an author, podcaster and so lovely.
I loved her book Everyday Grace!

Our Art Instructors for Camp:

Rachel Denbow will teach a workshop on weaving!
She published a book this year called DIY Woven Art.
we are going to have so much fun with all this texture and color!!!
Mary Wagerin  will be teaching a workshop in paint, journaling & mixed media.
her colors and style just make me so happy.
i can’t wait to sit and create with her!
and ME!
i usually come up with projects to teach just before the camp.
it’s always a fun project but i like to keep it a surprise!

we will teach skills and techniques that are unique to each of our giftings.
our days at camp are full of creating art together that is centered in our joy of using our hands to MAKE stuff!
our time is very free flowing and open ended… it is seriously FABULOUS.

Kimberlee Jost is in charge of all the meals at Camp.
she is so talented in preparing delicious food and making it look easy and effortless.
i am so happy to eat everything she cooks!
Kimberlee takes such joy in serving women at the Craft House.

and her cinnamon rolls are to die for!

here are all the details for April’s camp!





1. this is completely separate from Craft Weekend therefore the wait list is not part of this event.

2. Tickets go on sale at noon (CST) in my shop.
there are only 11 spots available for CAMP CREATE… last year we sold out in ten minutes.

3. there will be installment plans available for registration.
– First payment of $250 will be on Friday November 18, 2016 through Paypal in my shop.
This payment is non-refundable but will go towards your total registration cost.

– Second payment of $625 is due on January 15, 2017

– Third payment of $625 is due on March 1, 2017

OR if you want to pay more or the full the remaining amount after November 18… you can do that as soon as you’d like.

4. airfare and travel is not included but we will take you to and from the airport on wednesday & sunday of camp.

5. registration will open on November 18 at noon central time in my shop.

6. leave your questions in the comments and i will try my best to answer them.


meg duerksen - KATHI!! I can’t wait to meet you!!!

meg duerksen - Christine – I contacted you but never heard back. 🙁

meg duerksen - Hi Melissa! My camp date for the fall is Sept. 6-10 but we have not sold that yet. Probably in the next month we will. And i will definitely keep you on the cancelation list. Last time we had to use it! 🙂

Melissa - Can you please share with me the dates of your fall 2017 camp and am I already too late to sign up? Would love to be added to a cancellation list or contact list for upcoming camps. Grateful!

Sarah - Would love to go, please put me on the wait list! Thanks!

kathi - Oh man – there’s still a chance?! Thank you, Meg for opening a waitlist. I am thrilled there’s still a possibility of attending Camp Create (or any event at the Craft House). Please sign me up!

Christine - Please put me on a waiting list!!! Thanks, Christine 🙂

Ruth@GraceLaced - Oh man. This is going to be so good. Jessica Thompson Gus going to be such refreshment!

Robin C - I attended Camp Create in Spring 2016 as a birthday present and early retirement gift to myself. Worth every cent ladies! You will laugh, cry and make lifetime friends. It’s perfect for you mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Physically? forget it – you will eat ridiculously WELL. Just do it! It’s so GOOD!

amy - I have to be careful when I talk about my time at Camp Create in front of my family. I might’ve accidentally said it was the best consecutive four days of my life. Apparently that can be offensive. 💚

Christine - When they go on sale can you purchase more than one spot?

Andrea Lawless - I got the chance to go to Camp Create this fall and it was an unforgettable time. It was a retreat for the craft-loving, God hungering soul…. so full of HEart as Stephanie Ackermann shared, a place where faith and art collide. Go to Camp Create and you will be filled with God’s truth, care and beauty. It’s a beautiful thing to create and discover yourself rebuilt.

Jennifer - I attended camp in the spring of 2016. I’m not sure if I conveyed this feeling at camp to my fellow campers, but I was excited to be there…LOL! I had been waiting a while to go to the craft house and my moment had arrived. I can say without a shadow of a doubt it was a life changing moment. I will forever remember and hold dear the 16 other ladies that spent those 5 days with me. I have a special connection with them and consider ever single one of them a good friend. I’m so thankful that I was chosen by God to go at that moment. I learned so much about more about myself and others and that we are all working to be better and we struggle, but more importantly we all love the Lord and we want to be worthy and loved. Its a special place and you will make new and special friends that you will have forever. Go! Do it! Buy that ticket. Its amazing and you won’t regret it!

Laura kelley - Every time I leave the Craft House I walk away feeling so loved and cared for and seen and valued. And don’t even get me started on the food and laughter. Every.Single.Time. Meg and Kimberlee are the kindest and Camp Create absolutely encouraged my heart. You won’t regret it.

Roxann Regenstreif - Having attended the September 2016 Camp Create I must say that it was the most amazing and inspiring thing I have done for myself in a long time! Creating alongside other women like myself I found that dreams I long ago dreamed of are now being resurrected. Learning new crafts from our amazing teachers was so much fun! Our daily Bible study by Ruth Chou Simmons was a favorite part of my day. I cannot forget the amazing food prepared by Kimberly Jost and her kitchen helpers! I was a little worried because I have some dietary issues but they went out of their way to accomadate me and make me feel special too! If you are thinking, oh, it’s a lot of money, let me tell you it is worth every dollar!!! I have memorie that will last a lifetime with new friends I keep in contact with. Sign up you won’t regret it!!!

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