Clothed with Grace: June 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What to Expect

I remember when I was pregnant with Grant, I had so many questions. I asked Moms, I called my doctor's office way more than was probably appropriate, and the unknowns were just constantly spinning in my head. Then, I had a dear friend give me What to Expect When You're Expecting and I let out a giant sigh of relief. This long-running book on the best seller list is recommended by doctors and moms alike, and it helped answer a lot of questions I had about what was going on with my body as well as how the baby was developing.

Now, that I'm pregnant for a second time, you'd think I'd have it all together, but I totally don't. I still have questions and so does Grant. "How big is the baby now, Mommy???" Thanks to What to Expect When You're Expecting, which has each month of your pregnancy neatly organized, it's easy for me to answer that question.

Monday, June 29, 2015


I wore this outfit over vacation and it's such an easy combo, I've worn it, or some variation of, a few times since then.  I don't have a ton of maternity clothes, but I have enough. I really tried to purchase essential, mixable pieces, and so far it's really paying off.

Now, I did buy a bunch of things in May the second my own pants and skirts got snug, but haven't been shopping since. It's kind of funny how being pregnant has taken away my shopping bug. I know I know I have enough, so why go buy more? Wouldn't it be great if I could apply this same concept after I've had this sweet baby?

I love this verse in Phillippians 4:11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Paul definitely went though some very crazy things, being a follower of Christ, yet he learned to be content. I believe we are called to be content too. It can be so easy in our social media age to want, want, want, but all the stuff in the world will never give us the happiness and contentment that we can have though Christ.

I really want to work to feel content with what I have and not keeping buying, just to buy. What about you? Are you content or are you a work in progress?

I can't get enough of this Sandra Pendant Necklace by Kendra Scott I got in my Rocksbox. I've so enjoyed this service and have been able to get a number of pieces free due to their referral program, which everyone who has Rocksbox can take advantage of. It's the perfect pendant, and I've been wearing it like crazy!

If you're not familiar with Rocksbox it's a fun monthly jewelry service.  It normally cost $19 a month, but you get a $10 credit towards any purchases. You can also send the box back and forth as many times as you want each month. I'm really loving getting to try it out, and you can try it free for a month too. Just go to Rocksbox and use code "newfavoriteoutfitxoxo" when signing up.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tulip Team-Up

I'm excited to get to team up with Tulip Boutique in Kansas City again today. Every time I go to Kansas City to Visit my sister, I love to stop by the boutique. There are also such, beautiful, unique pieces there! Take for instance this dress I'm wearing today. I'm in love! It's the softest jersey cotton and the print is perfection. Plus, with my growing belly, it's got the perfect amount of room for me to grow. : ) If you've ever in the Plaza in K.C., you have to make stopping my Tulip Boutique part of your trip!

Also, enter down below for a $25 gift card to Tulip Boutique!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Maxi Love

I am a huge fan of maxi dresses, so today I thought I'd show a few of my favorite combos when it comes to them. I'm also linking to some of my favorite options down below too!

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Table Rock Family Vacation

Well, we're back from our vacation. Those of you that follow me on Instagram saw some pictures already, but I thought I'd share some more on the blog today. We had a really great time, even though we felt the effects of Hurricane Bill. It rained for parts of every day, which was a bummer, but we were still able to swim, boat, fish, and get some other fun activities in.

First off, just check out this view!  Table Rock is a man-made lake, which I didn't know ahead of time. It's actually shaped somewhat like a spider and measures about 80 miles long!  The deepest parts are over 200 feet deep as well. We stayed in a house in Shell Knob, the quieter side of the lake, in hopes of some good fishing for the guys.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Road Trip Boredom Busters

Last week we were on vacation, which was great. I'll fill you in more later this week. Once we are there, it's always great, it's the getting there that can be tough. Now that Grant doesn't take a nap each day that means more time in the car and more opportunities to get bored...then drive us crazy. We have a DVD player and Grant has in Ipad, but both of these entertain him for maybe an hour, and when we have seven hours in the car that leaves a lot of time. 

I decided to try to make it easier on everyone by creating some Boredom Buster activities to help keep Grant happy and entertained during the drive.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

14 Week Bumpdate

First off, I want to apologize for not having any outfit posts this week, but in all honestly, last week Grant was at Vacation Bible School each day and I was wearing a lot of tees and shorts-nothing really too exciting. So, instead, I thought I'd share a Bumpdate post with you all today. I wasn't sure if I'd plan to do these or not, but my sister talked me into it. ;) So, here goes!

Weeks along: 14 weeks today

Size of the baby? The size of a lemon- about 1lb 2oz and 3 1/2 inches long

Must haves: Just like with Grant, I'm craving smoothies and Slushies, yum! I'm also drinking a lot of water and have been pretty much steering clear of pop. I'm also loving all carbs, like chips, which I wasn't a fan of beforehand.

Sleep: Not great, but better than at the beginning of my pregnancy. I'm generally a person who sleeps on their stomach, so sleeping on my side has been an adjustment. I've also learned a good pillow is a must! I'm also generally napping during Grant's rest time, which is nice too.

Baby Movement: When I place my hand on my stomach I feel like I felt a bit of movement, but nothing huge yet.

Gender: We won't find out until August, then I'll either have a lot of boys clothes to sell, or almost nothing to buy. Either way, I just want a healthy baby!

Weight Gain: Nothing yet. I actually lost a few pounds when I had a ton of morning sickness, then gained it back from week 8 to week 12. I have been very hungry, though, so I'm a bit anxious about weight gain. We belong to the YMCA, so working out in the morning is both good for me and the baby. : )

Challenges: I'm really feeling so much better than I did during the beginning, I really can't complain. I do have to make myself eat fruits and vegetables though, I really have not been wanting them at all!

 Best moment of the week: I've just been enjoying time with family and am thankful for summers off!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Book of Unknown Americans

In my opinion, some books just need to be read, and I think The Book of Unknown Americans is one of them. Though this book is fiction, the author Cristina Henriquez, beautifully and at times tragically tells the story of a group of Latino people who all live in the same apartment complex.

Each person is from a different country in Central or South America. Each has a different past. Each has come to the United States for a different reason. I began listening to the audio version of this story, which I highly recommend if you have a commute each day or want something to listen to while working out, then ended up buying the book as well.  The chapters are told by the different characters, each with their own unique voice and perspective, and we see their lives intertwine.

Sometimes people tend to be afraid or apprehensive of those who are different from them, and the title of the book comes from that fear from those of us who were born here. The author shared through the voice of the character how many Latinos feel as though they are faceless and nameless, "We're the unknown Americans, the ones no one even wants to know, because they've been told they're supposed to be scared of us and because maybe if they did take the time to get to know us, they might realized that we're not that bad, maybe even that we're a lot like them."

If there is one book you put on your reading this this summer, I highly suggest The Book of Unknown Americans, both thought provoking and powerful, it is definitely a book that needs to be read.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kindergarten Ready: Superhero Activities

Grant is starting kindergarten this fall, and is home with me all summer. He had a blast in preschool, and I wanted to keep the momentum going, so I've decided to do about a half hour of "school" each day with Grant. I scoured Pinterest and created this Superhero Theme Board. Most of what I pinned was free, with a few of the activities costing a few bucks. Today I'm just going to share the "free" stuff with you. We've been doing it before we go do any activities outside of the house and Grant has been having a blast!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Why I Stopped Getting Dressed for Instagram

I've been thinking about this post for awhile, so I decided it was time to get it written to share with you all. Social Media can be a wonderful thing that connects like-minded people, as well as allowing us to stay connected to dear friends who have moved, and to see the day to day lives of those who are still an important part of our lives. In my opinion, though, Social Media can also create jealously, unrealistic expectations, and a "staged" ideas of what peoples daily lives are like.

Now, I'm not saying we should all go out and air our dirty laundry on Social Media, but I think being authentic is important. I say this because, I don't think I was showing a very authentic version of myself on Social Media, specifically on Instagram, for the first year or so I took part in it. I'm not going to lie, I got obsessed with how many "likes" each post got and how many new followers I gained each day.

Now, I didn't take part in loop giveaways to gain followers, as I knew that just wasn't for me, but I wanted people to follow me, and I spent way too much time trying to create and take the perfect outfit photos, simply to get "likes" and follows. This was my issue. I was way too worried about what those on Instagram thought and not enough about my real life, you know, the one outside of my smart phone.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

BUMPstyle Box

Now that I've hit my second trimester I'm starting to feel better, but I'm still at that awkward stage where my normal clothes no longer fit, but my bump isn't in full effect yet, although I'm sure it will be soon enough. When I begin looking for maternity clothes, I really tried to be sensible and stick to inexpensive pieces that would be mixable. I still stand firm that this is a good idea, but it hasn't left me with any pieces I really feel are "special" or that I really love. 

Enter BUMPstyle Box, they deliver designer maternity clothing, picked by a stylist just for you, and shipped free to your doorstep. The concept is similar to other box subscriptions, like Stitchfix, but I think that fact it's specifically for those expecting is genius. Where I live there is a very small selection of maternity clothes available, and we don't have chic maternity boutiques here either, so I was really excited to try this out.

Here's the scoop: Signing up is free. You fill out a style survey, share you due date, your favorite and least favorite parts of your body, what specifically you're looking for, the average price you spend for clothing, and when you want your box delivered.  There is a $30 styling fee, which is similar to other boxes out there, this was waived for me, and it waved for you too if you spend $150, which is nice.

After I went though this process, I got an email from my personal stylist, Hannah. She asked what I was looking for specifically, so as to make my box the best it could be. I told her I was interested in top that had special details, like lace, prints, etc. and dresses in prints.

Having never tried a service like this before, I didn't know what to expect, but I did stock the UPS guy  waiting for my box to arrive. Here's a peek at what I got:

First up is this dress from Lilac Clothing. The fabric is soft and stretchy and the length is great too. It has a bit of of sleeve, so I can wear it alone too, which is nice. It retails for $120, which is more than I generally spend on a piece of clothing, but I believe  BUMPstyle Box is about adding in a few special pieces you'd find at a boutique, not the big box store down the street.  The lovely people at BUMPstyle Box were nice enough to let me choose a piece to keep, in exchange for this review, and I didn't have a hard time choosing this dress. Due to it's shape, I think it's one I can easily wear after the baby is born, and I love that versatility.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Be Still

Now that I've hit my second trimester, I'm starting to feel more like myself again. I contribute it to prayers from friends, the fact I'm able to get about two hours more sleep each night, and not being so nauseous that I can actually enjoy a cup of coffee.

Sometimes in the midst of life's difficulties it can be so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's like we have blinders on that keep us from seeing the whole picture. It's during those times we need to "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him." (Psalm 37:7)

Our way and our timing might not be what is best, and as much as I wanted the nausea of this pregnancy to pass, that was a sign of a healthy baby, and for that I am thankful. As I move into the second trimester and a summer with Grant I'm thankful for opportunities to be still. We have the luxury of time without a to-do list. Grant can hang out all morning in his jammies (and I can to). I can do my devotions while he plays or watches a cartoon, and I can be still. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Life Lately

My summer is in full effect, so today I thought I'd share some pictures from Instagram that will fill in you on how it's going so far.

Last Friday Brian and I went for my twelve week check. I've been feeling much better, but was anxious to hear the heartbeat. Thankfully everything is going well! 

Monday, June 8, 2015

LEAN CUISINE Marketplace Meals

This shop has been sponsored by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyNewLeanCuisine #CollectiveBias

Summer is here and Grant and I are having a blast. We are busy most of the morning, so the last thing I want to do is take a lot of time preparing lunch, and kid friendly foods like hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly aren't on the list of my favorite things to have for lunch (no offense, Grant). 

Since I'm expecting, I really need to make healthy food choices, but I don't want to sacrifice flavor in the meantime. Luckily there's LEAN CUISINE®. As a teacher LEAN CUISINE® meals have been a go-to for me for years, so I was excited to find out they came out with some great new meals. These new, flavorful meals are now available in organic, protein-packed, and gluten-free options available. I don't have any dietary restrictions, but I love that LEAN CUISINE® is wanting to be considerate of those who do.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Swim Essentials

Swim Essentials

I'm so excited to be out of school for summer and to get some time to relax and hang out with Grant. One of his favorite things to do is swim. We belong to our local YMCA, there are also a number of great water parks in our area, and we have a few friends with pools, so the swimming possibilities are endless. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite essentials for enjoying an afternoon swimming.

Since I'm expecting, I needed to find a new swim suit, and I love swimsuit from Target. The print is super fun and I like how the top has fuller coverage as well. I've already worn it, and it stayed in place perfectly.

I also needed to get a new cover-up. My other one didn't have room for my ever growing belly, so I found a super cute Merona one at Target. It's not online for some reason, but it looks very similar to this one.

Probably my favorite purchase this spring was this tote bag from Target. I'm using it for a purse this summer, being I feel like I look a little silly in shorts and flip flops while carrying a leather Kate Spade bag. This tote has been perfect!  It has room for our swim stuff or snacks if we go to the park or zoo, along with carrying my wallet and a bottle of water. 

I have a ton of sandals, but when it comes to water friendly sandals, I like to stick to sandals like these flip flops that won't be hurt if they get wet, and are machine washable it they end up getting sandy and gross.

It's also obviously important to protect both myself and Grant with sunscreen. I really prefer sport spray ones like this sun screen. They are easy to apply and water resistant too.

I'm not sure how it is where you live, but our pools are toy friendly now, which is different than how it was when I was growing up. We have a number of pool toys. Grant is crazy about diving rings and I also think I might get him this cool shark water tennis game for his birthday too.

What about you, what are your swim essentials? Have a missed anything you love? 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Red Shorts: Three Ways

Although I won't be wear these this summer, I love my red shorts. Today I thought I'd give some inspiration for how to wear red shorts, and I've linked some really cute options down below too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Some books just need to be read, and in my opinion, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of them. The crazy thing is, I passed up reading this book many times, based on the summary on the back, but then decided to read it once I heard a few friends talking about it. 

What makes this story unique, is that it is told from the family dog, Enzo's, point of view. I'm not going to lie, it caused me to cuddle up a little bit tighter with our own family dog, Gracie.

The story begins towards the end of Enzo's life, he knows his time has come, and he begins to reflect back on his life. We learn about Denny, who adopted him as a puppy, Eve, who Denny falls in love with and marries, as well as Zoe, their daughter. Denny has aspirations of becoming a race car driver, but after Eve get's sick, his dreams are put on hold. Life has it's up and down, and we get the chance to hear about this family though the eyes of no other than Enzo, the family dog.

Be prepared to laugh, cry, and cherish your family pet in a way you may not have before. If you haven't read The Art of Racing in the Rain, it should be added to the top of your list. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Maternity Style: Capsule Wardrobe and Outfit Ideas

Today I thought I'd share with you all the pieces I've bought to fit my ever growing belly. I knew off the bat I didn't want to buy a lot, since the span for wearing them is so short. I also wanted to buy when the sales hit.  The first time around with Grant I had a number of friends share their clothes with me, so I literally only bought one pair of jeans. This time around, two of my three closest friends are pregnant along with me, no it wasn't planned ; ), so sharing isn't an option.

I have a number of tops that are more flowy I think I'll be able to wear through most of the summer. I also plan to wear my normal cardigans and jackets, which should work fine. I also have a number of maxis and a couple of dresses I should be able to wear through the summer too, but I was in dire need for bottoms immediately.  I know some people use Bella Bands or the rubber band trick to make their normal bottoms fit for as long as possible, but I knew I'd need to buy eventually, so why put it off?

Here's a look at the pieces I've gotten. I do have a few pieces I got through thredUP with credits (use this link for $10 off your first purchase), that aren't shown here, but I don't plan on buying anymore until fall hits.

 Navy Stripe Top / Coral Striped Top : I normally don't buy two of the same tops, but I bought the navy one at 20% off, and loved it so much I went and got the coral one too.

Coral Tank White Tank : I doubled up on these tops too. I scored them at 50% off and figured they'd be great this summer, but also great this fall for layering with sweater.

Skinny Jeans / Boyfriend Jeans / White Jeans : In store I found the skinny jeans and boyfriends jeans for $12 each and have already worn them a ton. I found the white jeans at Target for 20% off and knew I needed them, as white jeans are pretty much my favorite thing.

 Denim Shorts / Black Shorts / White Shorts / Denim Shorts : I scored the first three shorts at 40% off and the Target pair for $20. Being I have summers off, I pretty much live in shorts, so these will be great.

Lime Green Dress / Navy Dress / Black Dress Striped Dress : All of these dresses were $14 or less at Old Navy. The lime will be perfect for summer, whereas the others I'll probably keep for fall/winter.

I also decided to create some outfits with these pieces. I chose nine pieces from above and three layering pieces to create twelve outfits. This summer will be a lot of easy outfits and running around town with Grant, so I wanted to make it simple. Coming up with twelve outfits was easy when you have mixable pieces!

Although the pieces below are maternity, I think they translate into normal outfits as well, so hopefully it'll be some summer inspiration for all of you who aren't pregnant right now : )

Jewelry: Kendra Scott c/o Rocksbox and Stella and Dot
Shoes: Mossimo and Aerosoles c/o Chippmunk
Layering Pieces: Denim Jacket / J.Crew Cardigan / J.Crew similar