Clothed with Grace: 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review: Boots

Today I'm back to show a few more favorites from this last year.  One thing I can't get enough of when it's cold is boots!  Here are some of my favorite boot looks from this last year.

I love this outfit and can't wait to wear it again.  This vest is definitely one of my favorite pieces and these boots are the perfect addition to the look.

Vest: Target same / Sweater: Ann Taylor similar / Necklace: chloe + isabel same / Bracelets: chloe + isabel c/o samesame / Pants: Target same / Boots: Born similar

I'm a big fan of booties too and I love this look below.  I think it totally makes me look and feel cooler and edgier than I really am. ; )

Cardigan: Ann Taylor similar / Top: Express similar / Skirt: Mossimo similar / Booties: Jessica Simpson similar

I succumbed to the blanket scarf craze and adore how this outfit below looks, although if I wear it again, I'm going to replace the cream sweater with a long sleeve shirt.  I was way too hot here!

Sweater: Ann Taylor via thredUp similar / Vest: Wet Seal similar / Scarf: Style This Life same / Jeans: Old Navy / Boots: Unisa c/o DSW same

I also love this outfit featuring my vest again too.  I'd been wanting a camo sweater and love this Target version!

Vest: Wet Seal similar / Sweater: Merona same / Pants: Mossimo same / Necklace: Sira Mara similar / Boots: Born similar

Here's my fur vest again for a more casual look. I love this faux leather top from Gordmans, and it's definitely a more edgier look than my normal one.

Vest: Target same  / Top: Gordmans c/o Kensie same / Necklace: Edith Marie Jewelry c/o same / Jeans: Old Navy / Bracelets: chloe + isabel c/o samesame  / Boots: Wanted similar in black (only $12!)

Linking up with:

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Year in Review: To the Max

Today I'm showing you a few more favorites from the year, specifically maxi dresses.  I went from having one to five this year and love them when it's warm outside!

This first one is the perfect color in my opinion and I love the contrast with the denim jacket.

Jacket: The Limited similar  / Dress: Oakleigh Rose c/o similar / Necklace: Forward Fashionista same/ Bracelets: Stella and Dot same / same / Shoes: Sam and Libby same

J.Crew Factory sales can be dangerous, take this outfit for example.  I picked up the cardigan and dress for $25 combined and love the bold combo!

Cardigan: J.Crew Factory similar / Dress: J. Crew Factory similar / Necklace: Edith Marie Jewelry same in silver 

I loved getting to work with Kika this year and this dress from them is beyond comfortable and the style is so unique too!

Jacket: Merona similar / Dress: Kika c/o same / Necklace: Instagram Shop real deal / Bracelets: Stella and Dot same  / Sandals: fibi and clo c/o same

Monday, December 29, 2014

Year in Review: Jeans and Shorts

This week I wanted to take a break from new outfit posts, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite outfits of the year, themed by day.  Today I thought I'd share some jeans and shorts outfits I loved from this last year.

This first one is one of my tops for the year and I've worn it a few times.  The first was for a girls weekend, then I wore it to work as well.  I love how the blazer and heels dressed this look up!

Blazer: Kika c/o same / Blouse: Target same / Necklace: Kendra Scott inspired c/o real deal / Bracelets: chloe + isabel c/o samesame / Jeans: Joe's Jeans similar / Heels: Feralicious similar

Last winter I wore a lot of layered looks like this one below and it's just getting cold enough that I'm starting to pull outfits like this together again.  This is great for casual Friday or weekend errands.

Jacket: JCP similar / Shirt: similar / Sweater: Gap similar / Necklace: Purple Peridot / Shoes: Sperry similar

I picked this jacket up at Loft last year and have worn it a bunch, I love it with the lace and white combo here and actually wore it the first time to a blog conference last spring.

Jacket: similar / Shirt: Merona same / Jeans: CAbI similar / Heels: Audrey Brooke similar

These striped shorts were definitely one of my favorite purchases of the summer, and I wore them like crazy!

Denim Jacket: The Limited similar / Top: Loft similar / Shorts: Loft similar / Necklace: Edith Marie Jewelry same in silver / Wedges: Aerosoles 

Tomorrow I'll be back to show some more favorites from this last year with you all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Christmas Story

Today I thought I'd share an awesome adaption of a song I saw on Facebook lately and the Christmas story too.


The Birth of Jesus Christ

"2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town.And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."

The Shepherds and the Angels

"8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[c]
15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them."

Tomorrow we recognize Jesus' birth, and as I mentioned last week, I feel like it's amazing to study Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus.  There are over 300, but I came across 10 that are specifically fulfilled with Jesus' birth on The Resurgence I thought I'd share with you today.  God had been planning to send Jesus for a long time.
1. Jesus will come from the line of Abraham. Prophecy: Genesis 12:3. Fulfilled: Matthew 1:1.
2. Jesus’ mother will be a virgin. Prophecy: Isaiah 7:14. Fulfilled:Matthew 1:18–23.
3. Jesus will be a descendent of Isaac and Jacob. Prophecy: Genesis 17:19 and Numbers 24:17. Fulfilled: Matthew 1:2.
4. Jesus will be born in the town Bethlehem. Prophecy: Micah 5:2. Fulfilled: Luke 2:1–7.
5. Jesus will be called out of Egypt. Prophecy: Hosea 11:1. Fulfilled:Matthew 2:13–15.
6. Jesus will be a member of the tribe of Judah. Prophecy: Genesis 49:10. Fulfilled: Luke 3:33
7. Jesus will enter the temple. This is important because the temple was destroyed in A.D. 70 and was never rebuilt. Prophecy: Malachi 3:1. Fulfilled: Luke 2:25–27.
8. Jesus will be from the lineage of King David. Prophecy: Jeremiah 23:5. Fulfilled: Matthew 1:6.
9. Jesus’ birth will be accompanied with great suffering and sorrow.Prophecy: Jeremiah 31:15. Fulfilled: Matthew 2:16.

10. Jesus will live a perfect life, die by crucifixion, resurrect from death, ascend into heaven, and sit at the right hand of God.Prophecies: Psalm 22:16Psalm 16:10Isaiah 53:10–11Psalm 68:18Psalm 110:1. Fulfilled: 1 Peter 2:21–22Luke 23:33Acts 2:25–32Acts 1:9Hebrews 1:3.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow, I know I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Leggings and Fur

I know I wore these leggings on here yesterday, but I can't get enough of them! I wore this outfit for a double date night last Friday with some dear friends.  Our kids go to daycare together and the daycare is part of a church.  For a fundraiser for the youth group they host nights for the kids with pizza, games and a movie.  We can drop Grant and his little friend off, and get a night out to ourselves.  It's always such a treat! After dinner we drove around and looked at some Christmas nights.  A few people around here take it pretty seriously and even have the lights set to line up with a Christmas radio station.  Crazy!  

As for this outfit, I love it!  I scored this tunic from White Plum recently via Very Jane  and loved the idea of dressing up these leggings with the tunic, vest and boots. 

Tunic: White Plum same
Vest: Target (sold out) similar
Leggings: White Plum c/o cute options
Necklace: Kendra Scott inspired c/o real deal
Boots: Born similar

Linking up with:

Monday, December 22, 2014

God Chose You

Today I'm going to wrap up my "God Chose..." series by sharing how God chose you, yes you, for a very specific purpose.  Jeriemiah 1:5 says: "Before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you." I believe God has big plans for you, and for me.

It can be so easy to get stuck in our own thinking, to doubt our potential, or to let the world place a value on us and set our limits for us. Romans 8:31 say: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" And he is definitely for us.

There were many days in my life when I wasn't sure of my future.  What about college? What about a husband? What about kids? What about a career?  In life there are a lot of unknowns, but the one thing that's clear is God's love for us.  He loves us so much he sent his own son to die for our sins. How could he want anything less than the best for us? 

 Jeriemiah 29:11 says: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  I hope this verse encourages you today. Even if we don't feel like we have it figured out, God does, and one day you'll look back at whatever it is you're going through right now and say, "I get it."

With Christmas just a few short days away, this can bring feelings of joy for so many of you, but it can also stir up feelings of hurt and regret for lost family members and past pain.  I hope that you can stand firm on the truth of God's love for you.  He chose you. He sees you a valuable. He put you here for a purpose.

About a month ago I picked this sweater up in burgundy seen here.  Then, last week one of my blogging friends emailed me to let me know they gone on super sale.  I wanted to black too, but was waiting for the right price.  Score. It's not often I picked up doubles of things, but this one we definitely worth doubling up on. : )

Sweater: J.Crew same
Leggings: White Plum c/o same
Necklace: chloe + isabel same
Boots: Aerosoles 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

God Chose Jesus

I'm continuing my series called "God Chose.." by sharing today how God chose Jesus. Luke 2:11 states to the shepherds "Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." But why Jesus?
Before Jesus came, we lived in a world of rules, specifically the 10 Commandments, and to get to heaven and be with God you had to follow all of them to the letter of the law. If you didn't, you had to offer burnt offerings to ask God for forgiveness.  This had to be exhausting because, let's face it, we all break at least one of these commandments each day. Let's take a peek:
  1. You shall have no other gods before Me. - Hmm I'm pretty sure I've made social media a much bigger priority than it should be.
  2. You shall not make idols. -How much time do I spend outfit planning????
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. -Not really my thing, but OMG is said in our society like crazy..
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. -Yes, I got to church to worship, but much of the afternoon is spent watching Netflix....
  5. Honor your father and your mother. -This was definitely not a strength of mine as a teenager...
  6. You shall not murder.- Ok, I'm good her, but Jesus later said hate equates to murder, and I have to admit I've been guilty of these feelings from one time to another.
  7. You shall not commit adultery. -Ok, good here too, but later Jesus said even looking to someone with lust is the same as adultery. Yikes.
  8. You shall not steal. -Feeling pretty good here now, but I do remember two specific times I did this as a child.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. -This means not to lie...Yep, guilty of this.
  10. You shall not covet. -Pinterest and Instagram...meep.
Based on these commandments I have earned a spot with my name on it in Hell.  That's why God sent Jesus.

Everyone needs salvation from Jesus because we've all sinned. Romans 3:23 says: "We have all fallen short of the glory of God."

The price of sin is death. Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is life though Jesus Christ our Lord."

Jesus died for our sins and paid the price for our death. Romans 5:8 says: "But God showed his great love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us."

We receive salvation and eternal life though Jesus. Romans 10:9-10, and 13 says:
 "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved ... For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Salvation through Jesus brings use into peace and relationship with God. Romans 8:38-39 says: "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

That's why Jesus came. God loves us and wants us to be with him in heaven, so he made a way. By believing in Jesus we are saved my grace though faith,- and this is not from ourselves, but a gift of God. (Ephesians 2: 8-9)
I know there was a lot of information here today. Maybe this is all information you knew, but maybe you have questions. email me and I'll do my best to help!

I picked up this dress for 40% off on black Friday from Target and originally was planning to wear it with my black vest, but it felt clunky, so I decided to keep it simple and wear it with my black tights and booties.  Sometimes easy is best. : )

Dress: Merona same
Necklace: chloe + isebel same
Tight: Target
Booties: Jessica Simpson similar

Linking up with:

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

God Chose the Wise Men

Today I'm continuing my series leading up to Christmas called, "God Chose.."  I've shared with you in past posts how God chose Mary, Joseph, the stable, and the shepherds, and today I'm going to share how God chose the wise men.

I thought I'd start by sharing a little bit about what it really means when these men were referred to as "wise men," also known as the "magi." These men were actually part of a religion that focused on astrology and regarded that as a science. They believed in magic as well; these men were not Jewish or followers of God originally.  So why did God chose them?

Here's the story told in Mathew 2:

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
  “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
  Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way."
There's a lot to talk about in regards to this story.  First, it was a star that led the wise men to Jesus. God used their religion to bring them to the Savior.  I think there's a lot of power in that. God can use anyone,  anything, or situation to bring us to Him. God is bigger.
The wise men told King Herod, who was not at all pleased about this. See, many Jewish people of the day assumed when the Savior would be born, he'd be an earthly king, not a heavenly one. The last thing Herod wanted was someone to take his throne.  
When they found Jesus (which was actually not the night he was born, it was probably when he was a toddler; time isn't always noted when story of Jesus' birth is shared), the wise men fell down and worshiped him.  Although they had their original beliefs in magic and astrology, they were able to recognize the one true God and Savior.  I feel like this shows the power that God has to work in anyone's life. 
When they brought the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold is a symbol of kingship on earth: Jesus. Frankincense is a symbol of deity: God on earth, and myrrh is a symbol of death: Jesus' death on the cross. I'm not sure the wise men knew the symbolism behind their gifts, but I'm sure God did, and I think that's pretty cool.
The wise men were changed because of Jesus, and I think that's why God chose them. It shows the power he has to move in everyone's lives. No matter where they are, what they've done, how they are living their lives, God can shine through and change them, and you for the better. 

On black Friday I picked up this camouflage sweater from Target for 40% off and I was super excited because I'd been wanting one, but couldn't seem to find what I wanted for a great price. I decided to pair it with my favorite black pants, boots and vest.  This combo has definitely a go-to one this season.

Vest: Wet Seal similar
Sweater: Merona same
Pants: Mossimo same
Necklace: Sira Mara similar
Boots: Born similar

Linking up with:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share some things about life lately that I've shared on Instagram

1. Grant and I made this gingerbread house over the weekend and it was super easy and fun.  I was in charge of icing and Grant was in charge of decorations. : )
2. I got together with my small group and we decorated oranges with cloves to add the best holiday scents to our home, plus they are so cute!
3.  I love looking at the tree lit up in the evening, just another week (ish) and Christmas will be here!
4.  I recently got to sing in our church choir back up to Steven Curtis Chapman.  Two of my closest friends sang along with me and it was so much fun!  Brandon Heath was there too for the concerts, it was such a treat!
5.  Our Christmas cards came and have successfully been sent out.  This is the first time we've done "professional" prints (other than JCP) since Grant was born.  It was so fun and she did such a great job!
6. We've been having fun with Mr. Jingles, our "elf on the shelf." One day he dressed up like Spider-man and Grant could not get enough of it! I'm hoping Pinterest has enough idea left to get me through until Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

God Chose the Shepherds

Last week I starting a series leading up to Christmas title, "God Chose..." I shared how God chose Mary, Joseph, and the stable for Jesus' birth.  Today I'm going to share how God chose the shepherds.  Luke 2:8-20 can be seen narrated in the video below by Linus:


An angel appeared to shepherds and shared the savior's birth with them, then they went quickly to Bethlehem to find Jesus and worship him.  Those of us familiar with the Christmas story have heard about the shepherds many times, and they have a fitting spot in nativity sets on display too, but have you ever considered why God chose the shepherds?

Here's a little background on what it meant to be a shepherd during the time around Jesus' birth: Many shepherds lived like nomads.  They had no property or home and spent their time out in the fields taking care of the sheep.  They weren't the lowest on the totem pole, but these men didn't own the sheep, they were hired by the owners of the sheep to tend to them.  Their job was very important,  but didn't earn them much respect.  They tended to the sheep no matter the weather and slept with the sheep in "sheepfolds" which were little stone-walled where they kept the sheep at night with the shepherds literally acting as the doorway to keep the sheep in and the predators out.  There was nothing glamorous about this job. So why did God choose them?

Jesus came to be be a shepherd. In John 10: 11 Jesus states, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. "  Shepherds can relate to Jesus' words, they would leave their flock to find the one sheep that had wandered off.  The sheep also knew the shepherds voice and came when he called.  The shepherds realized the need for a savior and protector, as that's what they really were to their sheep.

Just like Mary and Joseph came from humble beginnings and Jesus was born in a stable, these shepherds weren't that different from them either.  The angels came to the people, the shepherds, because after all that's who Jesus came to save- all of us.

I recently learned my lesson about buying look a-likes from shops online.  I found an "inspired" J.Crew excursion vest from a online boutique recently.  I picked it up for $35 shipped and I was pretty impressed, because it was a 50% sale and sold for double that at full price.  Then, it arrived.  It was awful.  The zipper hardly zipped and was mis-sewn and was "wiggly" the whole way up.  I'm still working on getting a Paypal refund. : (  Then, I saw that Old Navy had this vest and I was able to pick it up for $20.  It may be a look a-like to the J.Crew and not the real thing, but it's well made and a brand I can trust.  

Vest: Old Navy same
Sweater: J.Crew factory
Button-up: Old Navy similar
Jeans: Old Navy same
Necklace: Purple Peridot
 Bracelets: chloe + isabel c/o samesame 
Booties: Wanted similar