Clothed with Grace: July 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Case You Didn't Know...

In case you didn't know, I really had no inspiration for today's post, until this idea popped into my head.

In case you didn't know, candied pecans from CostCo are pretty much my favorite snack right now.

In case you didn't know, Grant and I went to Target yesterday and I spent less than $10- it can happen, people. ; )

In case you didn't know, I am super anxious for next Tuesday when we find out what we're having. I'm so ready to start planning!

In case you didn't know, it seems like my outfits lately have done a good job of hiding my bump, but let me reassure you, it's in full effect in real life.

In case you didn't know, I won't actually get a chance to wear this outfit until school starts, which does make me excited for school. : )

In case you didn't know, I fully realize that being home more, just means a messier house. I feel like I spend half my day walking around picking things up and asking Grant to do the same. 

In case you didn't know, I'm really going to enjoy these next few days of sleeping in until 7:00. Next Wednesday is going to be a rude awakening...literally.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

On Being a Parent

Now that my summer is coming to a close, I'm thinking about how it's gone. Grant and I have had a lot of fun together and a lot of time together too. We've had a lot of good days, where he has been a very sweet boy, like today where we've been playing Play-Doh together as well as doing science experiments, which is totally his jam. 

On the flip side, we've had a few day too, where I've doubted my ability to be an effective parent, like on Sunday at the pool. One of my friends, Nicole (Hi!) invited Grant and I out for the afternoon and Grant's behavior was probably the worst it's been in a long time. The kid wouldn't listen, no matter what I said. He love Q, Nicole's son, but he really wasn't acting like a very good friend.

As a parent I know the verse from Proverbs 22:6 that says "Train your child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it." Brian and I influence on Grant is so great! He sees our worst and best....and I've seen him emulate both. There's a good change I see Grant's best behavior, when I'm a caring, engaged mom and his worst when I'm not. 

A few weeks ago Grant and I went to camp and while the kids were off doing some activities we adults talked about how to best teach our kids about God. It made me think about how in a plane crash you have to put your oxygen mask on first, before assisting anyone else. I think the same applies to teaching our children about God. If we're not spending quality time with God daily, how can be really teach or kids about who He is and how to be more like Him. How can be "train them up" correctly?

Although I'm still doing devotions daily, I'm not feeling super connected to the study I'm reading and my devotion time happens while Grant is watching cartoons and Brian is getting ready for work. I'm not sure I'm studying and spending time with God as effectively as I could be. Although I'm not excited to get up at 5:30 once school starts again, I know that quiet time with God was the best start to my day. I'm also going to be ready to start a new study next week too, and I'm excited for that as well. I can make excuses for not having the quality quiet time I'd like, or I can do something about it. I know the quality time starts off my day right and makes me the best parent and wife I can be too.

Are you feeling tired and run-down as a parent? I encourage you to start spending some daily time in prayer and with devotions if you aren't already doing so. If you are currently doing a study you love, share it in the comments below so we can check it out too!

This outfit is seriously one of my favorites. I scored this top for $3 at Old Navy recently. It's now sold out but I'm loving this one for fall. I also can't get enough of this Banana Republic leather bag I scored from thredUP this spring, brand new for $29! Right now you can get $20 off your first purchase from thredUp when you use this link!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Life Lately

As I get ready to celebrate the last week of summer before going back to school, I thought I'd share some of what's been going on lately via pictures I shared on Instagram.

First, I scored this top from Old Navy for $3 recently then saw on Instagram that Accessory Concierge was have a 50% off sale I jumped on getting this tassel necklace I'd been wanting all summer. It's now sold out, but this one is a cute option.

Monday, July 27, 2015

I Confess...

I confess I haven't really outfit planned all summer, most outfits, like this one were simply thrown on while I'm wearing a towel. I scored this top for $3 recently and although it's maternity, it will be easy to wear afterwards too.

I confess I have a love/hate relationship with next week. We have our ultrasound next Tuesday and will find out if we're having a boy and a girl. Then, I got back to school next Wednesday. Yes, next Wednesday!

I confess summer had gone by a lot more quickly than I'd like. Grant and I have kept busy and haven't had to spend a bunch of money to have fun, which is nice.

I confess I'm excited for Grant to start kindergarten. Although we've kept busy, I think the structure of school will be good for him again. He's so social and I know he'll make friends fast.

I confess Grant's desire to be around me has gotten nearly out of hand. We've been together nearly every waking moment this summer. I love hearing him say how much he loves me nearly a hundred times a day, but he's got to be comfortable without me or staying with dad or anyone else for that matter.

I confess I really love this Kendra Scott necklace I got in my Rocksbox. I'm not sure I'll keep it, as I really don't need it, but I've loved wearing it. This is the last month to use code "newfavoriteoutfitxoxo" for a free month, so if you haven't tried it yet, now's the time. : )

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Getting Real

I recently had a conversation with someone about Christians. What I mean by that is, they had numerous experiences in which they'd felt Christians were being hypocrites. They knew God to be a God of love, so why were all these Christians acting in ways which didn't seem loving?

This really caused me to think, and think hard. So today, I want to talk to two groups of people: those who call yourselves Christians and those you don't. I am so far from perfect, but here's what's on my mind:

To you who call yourselves Christians:

Once we accept Jesus as our Savior our lives should look differently than they did before. Spending daily time with God and others who share our beliefs should impact us.  Galations 5: 22-23 says: "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."

The fruit of the spirit are signs that God is alive in us and moving us into a better life than the one we had before. If we claim to be Christians, we better do our best to live like it. Now that doesn't mean we aren't going to make mistakes, because we are.....everyday, but it does me we should be doing our best to emulate Christ. We become ambassadors of Christ to each person we meet, and our actions and words are either going to show the love of God and Jesus, or not. 

I don't know about you, but this seems to be a pretty tall order to mr: to show God's love to everyone we meet, but what if our kind words and actions draw another person closer to knowing God? What if our bad attitude draws them further away and proves their previous thought that all Christians are hypocrites?

Now, I don't think we all need to walk around excusing personal sin, but I have never had an experience in which someone has come to know God because I've pointed out what a horrible, sinning, person they are. It's been because I've shown them love and genuinely shown an interest in who they are and their life.  Let God reveal their sins to them, I'm not so sure that's our job.

Now, to you who don't consider yourselves to be Christians:

I am so sorry that you may feel "Christians" have let you down or been hypocrites. I know that are many times in my life where I've had good intentions, but have definitely said or done things that didn't show God's love. We all mess up, we all make mistakes, which is why I'm thankful for a God who forgives. I hope you won't shut the door on knowing who God is, because we humans have messed up. Even though we fail God doesn't. Have any questions? Shoot me an email.

Ok, so this outfit seemed like a really good idea when I put it on, but man, it's gotten hot outside! I ended switching to shorts before I left the house. I do love this new maternity tank top I scored in stores for $3! I think it'll even work after I'm pregnant, which is a bonus. This cardigan from Target is also one of my favorite things, it comes in a ton of colors, so I think I might need to add another one to my closet for this fall. Although this outfit probably didn't make a lot of sense for July, I'll definitely be wearing it again when school starts!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pink Blush

Feeling good about yourself while pregnant is a pretty important thing.  I've mentioned on here before that I tried to buy very few pieces of maternity clothes for this summer, and I'm getting very sick of them. School is starting soon, so I've been looking at my maternity clothes, trying to look for holes that will need to be filled. I was very excited when Pink Blush Maternity asked me to collaborate. I'd heard great things not only about their cute maternity clothes but also Pink Blush for non-maternity clothing.

One of the things that makes me feel great are maternity dresses and I am dying over this maternity maxi dress . When my pieces arrived I was immediately impressed my the quality and quick shipping.  The dress is absolutely gorgeous, and although it's a maternity dress, I'll easily be able to wear it after the baby arrives too.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Big Little Lies

It's not very often that I finish an adult novel in less than two days, but Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty was a book I just couldn't put down. The story takes place in Australia, so it was a different setting than my usual reads, which I liked. Our main characters are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, three very different women who all have one thing in common: their children are all starting kindergarten at the same time.

Madeline is the oldest and most outspoken of the three women. While driving to take her daughter to kindergarten orientation she sees a teenager texting in the car in front of her and feels the need to get out of her car at a stop and tell the teen to get off her phone. As you can imagine, this doesn't go well and she falls in the stiletto heels she's wearing and twists her ankle.

Jane, who is also taking her son to orientation, sees this happen and stops to help. An unlikely friendship is born. Jane, who is only 24 and a single mom has seemingly nothing in common with Madeline, but it's just the friendship she needs.

Celeste, a beautiful, wealthy women has been friends will Madeline for years,  and is the third women is this tight friendship. She has twin boys and a high-powered husband who is often times away traveling.

After an incident at kindergarten orientation the school year is off to a rocky start. We begin to see peeks into an event called trivia night which happens nearly six months later. The details are unclear, other than the fact that someone ends up dead. We don't know who, but as we read through the story told from these three women's point of views the truth begins to reveal itself.

Although the book looks rather large, it is a pretty quick read. Two of Grant's nap times and two evenings was all it took to finish this page-turner. Laine Moriarty sure knows how to write, and if you're looking for a good read, this is your book.

Monday, July 20, 2015

healthy mama®

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama® , but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama

I tell you what, being pregnant is hard work! It's something I was not able to comprehend beforehand at all. It's amazing how something so first anyway can suck the life out of you and cause your body to react in ways you've never known before. That's why I was excited to find out about healthy mama® products I found at my local Target.

healthy mama®'s mission is to help you carry to full term and and take the guess work out of finding safe remedies while you are pregnant. healthy mama® has created a new category at Target for Prenatal and Postnatal moms, where you can find everything you need united under one brand, "while supplies last." They have products for all the crazy things that happen to your body when pregnant, such as "Tame the Flame" for heartburn relief and "Boost it Up," a protein energy drink which is caffeine free.

This is the last summer I'll have alone with Grant before his little sibling gets here in December, and I want to make the most of it, and issues like lack of energy and crazy heartburn (which by the way didn't happen in month eight the last time around) keep me from being my best for Grant or keep me healthy for the new baby.

We love going on walks and Grant also loves his scooter and bike and I have to be ready to move when he's ready to go.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Go and Sin No More

It seems to be that we as people can be quick to judge, and I think it's on both sides of the political arena-liberal and conservative. I honestly don't feel comfortable sharing my opinion at many times, at the fear of being judged. Anyone else with me? I was recently reading about judging on She Reads Truth. In John 8:1-11 we hear the story about the Pharisees bringing an adulterous women to Jesus and Jesus response to them being, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone." Obviously no stones are thrown.

These men had "judged" this woman according to the law and thought they knew the punishment.
Sometimes we might find ourselves in a similar situation, someone is doing something we know "isn't right," either by the law, our own moral compass, or our based on our political beliefs, but it isn't our place to declare judgement on them. After all, there is only one true judge, and we will all be held accountable one day.

Jesus, being the one true judge does say to the women, "Go and sin no more." He does recognize her mistakes, and calls her to leave them in the past and start anew. It's worth reflecting on our own lives and own mistakes, because Jesus says the same thing to us: "Go and sin no more."  Let's leaving judging others out of it and start showing love to others instead. Now, I don't say this to excuse personal sin, but we can always choose to love people and not agree with the choices they make.

"They will know we are Christians by our love."

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Best Things About Summer

I don't want to believe it, but I go back to in three weeks! Summer has been great and Grant and I have had a lot of fun spending our days together while Brian is at work. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite things about summer.

  1. Getting to sleep in until 7-7:30. That has been amazing!
  2. Having time to lounge on the couch and drink coffee while doing my devotions with the help of She Reads Truth. I'm not looking forward to my 5:30 wake up time again to make this happen once school starts!
  3. Getting back to the gym, it's so nice to go three mornings a week. Once schools starts I'm going to plan to go three days after school.
  4. Fun outings to the zoo, library, park, and pool. I've really been trying to take advantage of free activities, so I'm thankful for our zoo pass from my mom and great activities at the library, as well as great parks. I usually try to not do more than one activity a week that actually costs money.
  5. Summer clothes and sandals, especially at a great price- You all know I'm all about a deal and Brandzaffiar is a great places to find the best deals for all your favorite stores, all in one place. I'm a big fan of Nordstroms and with Brandzaffiar I was able to scope all the best deals. I found these Steve Madden Wedges for 40% off and they are exactly what I was looking for to replace the other black wedges that had bit the dust. Before doing any online shopping, I'd definitely check out Brandzaffiar  to get the best deals on you can, at the stores you love!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I Am The Messenger

I came across I Am The Messenger as a book recommendation on Goodreads, which if you haven't joined, by the way, you totally should. I didn't realize until later that the author Markus Zusak is also the author of The Book Thief, one of my favorite novels.  

I Am The Messenger is unlike any other book I've read. The story begins with our main character, Ed Kennedy and his two closest friends being caught up in the middle of a bank robbery. Ed is nineteen and a cab driver who has up to this point led a very ordinary life, and he and his best friend, Marv are in midst of an argument. 

Marv's car is sitting out front in a 15 minute spot and this robbery is going to cause Marv to get a ticket and he's not very happy about it. It's seems crazy to be having this argument with an armed robber present, but this doesn't stop them. The robbery comes to an end and the robber notices his getaway driver has left and decides he'll take Marv's car instead. He runs out, dropping his gun in the process. Ed makes a quick decision to get the gun and stop the robber, and that's exactly what he does. For the first time in Ed's life, he's done something extraordinary. 

After this, Ed's life changes. A mysterious playing card shows up in the mail with three names on it and Ed is given the task of helping these three people, a challenge he takes on. He not only changes the lives on these people, but himself in the process as well. After the first card is finished, he thinks he's done....until a second card arrives.

Throughout this story Markus Zusak shows how even the "ordinary" can do extraordinary things bigger than they every thought possible. Beautifully written, this story is one that should be added to the top of your must read list.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Current Beauty Favorites

Current Beauty Favorites

Years ago I was a manager at a makeup counter, and to be honest, I was kind of a makeup snob.  I has able to try pretty much every product under the sun, then buy them with my discount. As the years have passed, I've been less and less willing to spend big bucks on beauty products. Today I thought I'd share some of my current favorites.

Garnier® Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream- I have pretty normal skin and have tried a few BB Creams, currently I'm loving this one. It has nice, light coverage, SPF, and a moisturizer. I use it daily and it's lasting forever, which is a bonus.

Mac Concealer- This concealer is the one department store product I can't live without. It's $19, so I bit more than drug store brands, but it works so well under my eyes, it's worth it. Like the BB Cream above, a little bit goes a long way and one tube lasts me about a year.

Covergirl Bombshell Shineshadow- I really like the ease of cream eyeshadows. I had a few department store ones I loved that lasted forever, and once they ran out I decided to try this as a replacement. It comes in a bunch of colors and goes on smoothly and doesn't crease either. I sometimes use these as a base, and sometimes on their own.

COVERGIRL Clear Mascara- No, I don't use this as a mascara, I actually use this as a brow gel. I used to spend quite a bit on a department store one, then found Covergirls, which is about $4. It helps keep my brows in place all day with ease.

Maybelline EyeStudio Shadow- I just recently came across this shadow set and adore it. I had a similar pallet for years, then Grant dropped it as a baby and it shattered. The colors go on great and I use a base of concealer to help the colors stay all day too.

What about you? What products are you loving right now? 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Real Life

I wore this outfit this last Tuesday. I had my 16 week doctors appointment and my mom surprised me and said she'd like to take Grant for the morning. Since summer has started my time to myself has been nonexistent. It honestly hasn't bothered me, but that thought of a few hours to myself was pretty great. I had quite a list of things to do and threw on this outfit, which I've worn at least once a week this summer. This top from Target is now out of stock but this top is a really cute option. Though I'm only about half way though my pregnancy there are are few things I've learned in regards to clothing.
  1. I would not do well with a capsule wardrobe, I am seriously bored with my casual shirt options. I have a few shirts, like this one that are non-maternity that I've continued to wear, but having the same eight shirts to choose from gets really old, really fast. I do have some fun dresses and tops for work I haven't worn since I'm home this summer, so I'm looking forward to having more choices once school starts.
  2. Flowy tops like this are my jam, I don't feel nearly as large when I wear these as apposed to wearing the few tops I have like this. I'm just not comfortable showing off my belly, so I look forward to being able to layer these shirts with boyfriend cardigans once it cools down a bit and school starts.
  3. Buying shorts and jeans like these was not very smart. The thick elastic band is so uncomfortable and actually makes me nauseous. Over the belly or bottoms or bottoms like these I'm wearing today with the side panel are much more comfortable. I'm really made I spend money on three bottoms I really don't want to wear.
  4. Everything I wear looks better when I have a tan, I've loved getting to spend so much time swimming with Grant this summer. I do put on sunscreen, but I don't reapply, like I do on Grant. A little color makes my confidence go a long way!
What have you learned about maternity clothes you'd like to share. I'd love to hear your wisdom!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


This last weekend we all celebrated the 4th of July and our neighborhood was busy with parties and people. Like I mentioned on Monday we had both Brian and my parents over for dinner, however, our neighbors always have a big party and we tend to hang out there once we've done a few fireworks on our own.  Grant and I went over to say hi, and there was one little girl about Grant's age there, while the rest were all teens and adults.  They talked a bit, then we came back to our driveway to hang out with the grandparents a bit more. One of Grant's Grandmas went to by sparklers, because we didn't have any. Grant thought he'd like to share with the little girl across the street, which I thought was sweet.  Then we had the following conversation:

Grant: "I might want to marry that girl."
Me: "You just met her, what if you don't like the same things?" (After all, he's a bit young to get married don't you think???)
Grant: (very seriously) "But Mom, God made everyone different, and that's ok!"
Me:  (eating my previous words) "You're are right buddy, he did."

I tell this story today not to let you know Grant is now off to get  married, but I think it's such a good reminder for us all. Psalm 139: 13 says "For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother's womb." 

God created us to be individuals.  I don't share this to make excuses for personal sin in people's lives, we have free will to choice how we live our lives here on earth. I share this because sometimes we feel like we need to be cookie cutter versions of those who look like they've got it all together, when really, we each have our own struggles, some people are just better at hiding them. I think it's so important to be comfortable in our own skin and not feel the need to emulate those around us or those we follow on Social Media. Sometimes the best reminders come from our kids. The reality is, I've said that exact statement to Grant before, I just need to make sure I can take it as seriously as he does.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Dark Places

Last fall I had a friend share Gone Girl with me, and I was introduced and sucked in to the dark writing style of Gillian Flynn. Since then, Dark Places has been on my must-read list. I had this book and another one on request at the library and they both came up available at the same time. I asked on Instagram about which one I should read first and time and time again people said Dark Places.

I jumped in and although it definitely had the same dark style as Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn is definitely not a one trip pony. In Dark Places we are introduced to Libby Day, the lone survivor of a brutal attack on her family that her brother is serving a life-sentence for killing. But did he do it?

Gillian Flynn hauntingly and sometimes graphically tells the story of this nightmarish murder of Libby's family from the point of view of Libby, her brother Ben, and her mother Patty, going back and forth from the events on the day of the murder to Libby in present time.

Everyone said I wouldn't be able to put it down, and they were right. It was a true page-turner that did not disappoint. I will say, just like Gone Girl, parts were graphic and disturbing, so if that isn't something you like to read, I wouldn't recommend this book. However, if you'd like to see a fictional looking into the very best and very worst of mankind, I think this is a book you will love, I know I did!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Life Lately

It's been a busy couple of weeks, so today I thought I'd share what we've been doing. I've shared these pictures on Instagram, but thought I'd share them on here too!

I've been wearing a lot of easy outfits, like this one. Everything I'm wearing is from Target, surprise, surprise. The top and these shoes are old but these maternity shorts and this embroidered bag are still available.  This bag is probably my favorite purchase this summer and has been great for hauling around everything I need.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Slow Down

I wore this outfit last week for Grant's fifth birthday party, although I'll admit the denim jacket didn't stay on long. We had a bowling party with eight of his little friends, and lucky for all most of the parents stuck around to help and socialize, so that made it even better.

Grant had a great time, and I can't believe he's five! I feel like I have a tendency to look forward to future event, and not always take the time to slow down and enjoy each day. Before I know it the baby will be here, Grant will be a give brother, and Brian and I will really know what's it's like to be parents, because let's face it, one kid is pretty easy.

I only have a month left of summer, which I'm totally bummed about, but I really want to be making the most of it and enjoying each day. I want to soak up all the one-on-one time I have with Grant, because his world will definitely be knocked upside down once his little sibling is here!

I really do love this outfit, though. I wore it on vacation and actually got this tunic from Moxie Jean, a online resale shop for expectant moms and kids. It was only $11 and I found a few great Lauren and Nordstrom button-downs for Grant too, for only $5 a piece!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Well, it's here. What's it, you might ask? My baby bump. It's so funny because the first time around with Grant I couldn't wait to "look" pregnant, and this time around all I can think is, I'm only 16 weeks along and I already "look" pregnant.

I've had a pretty good self image for most of my adult life, but I'll tell you what, my growing belly has be anxious. I know, it sounds ridiculous, right? All I've been praying for is a healthy baby, and here I am concerned about how big I'm getting....not to mention how much bigger I'll be at 39 weeks.

I feel like I need to get a grip. It's in this I'm reminded in 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? Your are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies."

My concern about my growing size had nothing to do with God and all to do with my vanity, and I'm growing a human for goodness sake! It can be so easy to get caught up in comparison: I will never be one of those long-legged pregnant beauties on Pinterest, but God made me and I'm in the midst of creating a life of my own. I think I need to remember I am to honor God with my body, with how I fuel it, and take care of it. If I'm doing that, that's what matters.

I'm not sure where you are with your body image, but comparison is the thief of joy. God loves us as we are. I'm not sure how big I will eventually end up getting with this baby, but that's ok. I plan to honor God and get over myself.

As for this dress, I love it! It's Olian from Nordstroms, similar to this dress which retails for $134! I scored it with thredUP credits for $20 new with tags! I tell you what, if you haven't tried thredup yet, you're missing out! Use this link to get $10 off your first purchase.