Clothed with Grace: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Style

This last weekend was a real treat. Brian happened to be out of town for work and Grant went to spend the night at my parent's house Saturday night. I honestly can't remember the last time I had any amount of time to myself, so it was nice. My sister was in town visiting so Grant, Chelsea, my mom and I met for lunch, then Chelsea and I went to shop and get a pedicure while Grant headed off with my mom.

I've been saving up money for a new pair of riding boots and have had my eye on a pair of Frye boots and loved these, however I hadn't had a chance to try any on firsthand. I'd read that they had a pretty narrow shaft, but knew they had wide calf options. Well, I couldn't zip any up or pull any on. I've always had wider calfs-pregnancy aside, and there weren't any wide calf ones in my size. However I did find these, which I love, plus there was a $50 coupon I could use, so new boots scored.

After an afternoon with Chelsea, I had the rest of Saturday to myself, then I sang at church Sunday morning then met up with my mom and Grant afterwards to shop for the baby a bit. It was a really nice time and relaxing weekend.

This is what I wore on Saturday and I'm pretty sure I'll be living in outfits like this for most of the fall with boots. I got the tunic for a steal last spring at Old Navy for like $5 and the leggings are second-hand from Motherhood maternity and AMAZING, if you're pregnant, these are the leggings you need. I scored them from a Facebook buy-sell-trade maternity site and got five pair for $10- deal of the century. This Kendra Scott necklace is probably my favorite piece from Rocksbox, I can't believe how much use I've gotten out of it! Mine is sold out but I love this one.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Your Name

Recently I was reading about Daniel on She Reads Truth. It was talking about how once Daniel was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar wanted to change his name from Daniel which means "My God is Judge" to Belteshazzar "May Bel Protect His Life." Bel was one of the pagan gods of those times. It really got me thinking.  Names are powerful things, and the thought of someone renaming me seems pretty crazy.

Let's think about it like this though.  Once we accept Jesus as our Savior we could say our name means "Child of God." Then, our lives should reflect this is all we do. However, when we lose our focus and turn to things that don't glorify God, it's like we are renaming ourselves. For example: 

Let's say accumulating things becomes a little too important to you, your name now means "Buy all the Things."

Let's say working out becomes a little bit too important to you, your name means "Working out is Number One."

Let's say eating heathy becomes a little bit too important to you, your names means "21 Day Fix Times Infinity."

Let's say a love of food becomes a little bit too important to you, your name means "Food is my Favorite."

You get the idea.... 

It can be really easy to let ourselves get wrapped up in things that don't really matter. This reminds me of Mathew 6:21 "For wherever your treasure is, there your heart is also."  Today this just really has me thinking about my priorities- my treasure - I want them to lie  with God. I challenge you to think about where your treasure is, is it aligned with God. If not, today is a great day to make a change.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Nothing from this outfit is new....or even available in stores, and that's ok. I'm thankful that non-maternity dresses like this still fit me!  It seems like I'm literally growing bigger by the day. The funny thing about this pregnancy is that I haven't really been shopping in months. I think the fact that I know I'll wear the clothes for such a short time has kept from buying.  I've really become content with what I have and honestly, I probably have more than I need. Luckily, a lot of my non-pregnancy dresses and cardigans still fit, which helps me to mix it up.

My current contentment reminds me of Philippians 4:12-13 which says "I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned to be content in any situation. Whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all through God who gives me strength."

Paul, the author of Philippians is probably one of my favorite people from the bible and he spoke so beautifully about so many things. Thinking about clothes is such a #firstworldproblem . I honestly don't know what it's like to live without, my parents always had enough....or more than enough and the same goes for myself and Brian.  If feels really silly to worry about clothes and want to "buy all the things." I really want this contentment to continue after our little girl comes. I think I've come a long way since starting this blog almost three years ago, but I'm still a work in progress. 

I think a lack of contentment really robs us from peace and fully living the lives we have.  Maybe you're holding onto wanting something, just as I challenge myself, I challenge you to look for contentment right where you are.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share what's been going on lately via some pictures I've shared on Instagram.

First off, we have a new normal at our house, Grant is officially a Kindergartener!  School is going really well. He is loving his teacher and is making new friends and has been on the "good color" each day when his report comes home.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Growing a Human

I'm just a few days shy of being six months along, and I can't wait to meet our little girl! We've started doing a bit of shopping, although I think it's going to look a bit different this time around. We're not going to get bedding set, as Grant only had his bumper in for a few months, never used his quilt, and we never put up the curtains. Instead a few fitted sheets and this blanket will be perfect.  I also found the cutest pink whale lamp too.

In the midst of preparing for our little girl to get here, I've been having a hard time dealing with my growing size. I'm growing a human, I know I'm going to be big, but this last week I heard numerous comments like this:

"Wow, you're showing now!"

"You've really gotten big in the last ten days since school started!"

And the best: one of my students from last year asked a teacher friend "Is she pregnant or did she just get fat?  I don't want to congratulate her if she just got fat."

That last one just kills me! In the midst of this I'm reminded of Philippians 4:8 that says: "Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things."

Each day we are faced with many issues, and we can fixate on them, or we think about the good instead, because nothing good comes from fixating on something we can't control or fix. I'm growing a human, and that is way more noble, right, lovely, and admirable than me fixating on the comments of others. Whatever it is you're dealing with today, I hope you can find some peace in this realization too.

I'm really loving this cardigan I scored from thredUp (use this link to get $20 off your first purchase). The quality is phenomenal and came in like-new shape. I really wanted to pair it with my white jeans, which have been a real workhorse this pregnancy. I really like the pop of black with my shirt and wedges too!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Better Life Bags

Recently a friend introduced me to Better Life Bags, a custom bag made just for you, by women in need of a job. It was started my Rebecca Smith as a hobby, then once her family moved to a low income aren in Detroit, Michigan her eyes were opened to the poverty around here.  As business started to boom, she started to hire neighborhood women to help, and she saw shift in their attitudes and pride in the fact they could help provide for their families. I personally love this.

It was super fun and easy to design my crossbody bag. I got to pick the fabrics, leather, and interior, to make it just my style, then it arrived at my door in less than a month. If you aren't patient enough to wait for a custom bag, their are a lot of beautiful bags ready to ship.

When my bag arrived I was impressed with the quality and craftsmanship, there was even a note thanking me for helping the lady who made my bag provide for her family and feel honor. I already have my eye on designing this bag next. So, if you're looking for a new bag for this fall, I'd highly recommend Better Life Bags, looking stylish and helping someone at the same time is a pretty great combination!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fall Transition Tips

Since I'm back to school I've started to start shifting from my summer clothes to fall clothes. Don't get me wrong, I plan to wear my flip-flops and sun dresses for a while longer, but now that I'm back inside all day, my dress has to change a bit. Today I thought I'd share some tips for how to ease into your fall wardrobe too.

  1. Get some inspiration. I went and checked out my maternity style board and my fall and winter style board to get my mind back into thinking about how to dress for fall.
  2. Don't just go and "buy all the things." Take stock of what you have in your closet and get a wish list together. Being pregnant, my choices are a bit different this fall. I knew I needed some full panel black pants and leggings. I also needed some basic tops, and longer cardigans. I'm pretty sure outfits like this are going to be my jam for most of this fall season.
  3. Wear layers, but make sure the shirt underneath has short sleeves at least. I love this cardigan I got from thredUP recently., I'm planning to wear it to school today, but if I get warm, I can always take it off and still be work appropriate. If you haven't tried thredUP, you need to! Use this link to get $20 off your first purchase.
  4. Start to look for great fall boots. They are great now with pants, but you can also wear them with dresses, just keep your legs bare. I love these booties I was just sent from Vionic. They are all about style and comfort and have a special "orthaheel" technology to help them be comfortable all day long. As I teacher, I'm on my feet a lot, so comfortable shoes are definitely important!
What tips do you have for getting dressed this fall?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back to School with ShopAtHome and Macy's

Grant's official first day of school is today, Eek! I'm so excited for him! Getting ready to go back meant Back to School Shopping, so I'm thankful for Shop At Home who offer great deals and cash back on purchases, as well as Macy's who has great back to school sales going on right now. Use code BTS to get an extra 20% off your purchase right now, plus 5% cash back with Shop At Home.

Grant has gotten pretty particular about what he wants to wear, and thankfully Macy's has it all. From fun graphic tees like this one to Nike Sneakers,  and Nike Pants, Macy's has Grant covered. Since he's going to kindergarten he also needed a back pack and this Ninja Turtles Backpack one is perfect!  I know it's still warm, but Grant will also need a new coat this fall and Macy's has a lot to offer. I love this one.

Back to School

As you are doing your back to school shopping, back sure to take advantage of Shop At Home as well as all the great deals at Macy's

Monday, August 17, 2015

And All the People Said Amen

It's been awhile since I've shared a song with you all, but this one my Matt Maher has been in my head constantly. Sometimes we can feel like we are the only one going through something, or the only one who could truly understand what it's like to walk in our shoes. I want to encourage you today that is not the case. God sees us and love us, just as we are!

You are not alone if you are lonely
When you feel afraid, you're not the only
We are all the same in need of mercy
To be forgiven and be free
It's all you got to lean on
But thank God it's all you need
And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen
If you're rich or poor, well it don't matter
Weak or strong, you know love is what we're after
We're all broken but we're all in this together
God knows we stumble and fall
And He so loved the world He sent His son to save us all
And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen
Blessed are
The poor in spirit who are torn apart
Blessed are
The persecuted and the pure in heart
Blessed are
The people hungry for another start
For this is the Kingdom
The Kingdom of God
And all the people said Amen, whoa oh
And all the people said Amen
Give thanks to the Lord for His love never ends
And all the people said Amen (yeah)

This outfit is definitely classic and easy. As I mentioned last week, my heels and I have had to part ways, but my wedges and I are still going strong. I love these I got earlier this summer and they are great with these ankle pants I picked up for less than $10 from Gap.  I think they'll be great for work this fall, and they are elastic waist, so they'll be perfect for afterward the baby is here too.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Things I've Learned

In the last few weeks a lot has been going on. We found out we're having a girl, yay! I've also started back to school. Today I thought I'd share a few things I've learned lately in regards to this:

1. Summer Ginny is a lot more fun than School year Ginny. Case in point:

  • My body is totally rejecting the idea of getting up at 5:30 and my morning sickness is back in full force.
  • The swelling has begun. : ( My ring no longer fits and I now have knackles. I'm pretty sure all this standing isn't agreeing with me, so I think I'm going to have to turn in my heels for flats for the remainder of my pregnancy. I do have compression hose that I know will help, put that'll mean putting away my knee length dresses too, since they are toe-less. I am not to happy about this development.
2. Trying to sell Grant's clothes is a lot of work! Once we found out we are having a girl we I began pulling out Grant's tubs to sell on our local Facebook buy-sell-trade site. I have had a lot of luck, but there's a very fine line in pricing above a garage sale and below a re-sale shop to make it appealing to buyers. 

3. We bought way too much for Grant as a baby! As he's gotten older, that has changed, but his first  two year's worth of bins hold a tremendous amount of clothes! I'm pretty sure he had everything that Gymboree came out with during each season, it's pretty embarrassing, actually.

4. We are setting aside all the money we are making from Grant's clothes for our baby girl and bunk beds for Grant, as his bed will convert back into a crib for the baby and other baby needs. I am NOT going to going out a buy a bunch of clothes this time around. I'm assuming we'll get a lot of gifts, since buying for a girl is so much fun, and I don't want to overdo it like I did last time.

5. Picking a girl name is seeming to be a lot easier than picking a boys name. I think we've settled on a first name, but a middle name is still in the works. I'll share once we know for sure. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

When Bad Things Happen

This last week in class at church we were talking about why "bad" things happen to "good" people. We had a pretty healthy discussion. Did God allow it? Did God cause it? Who's to blame? It brought this story to my head from John 9:

As the disciples and Jesus passed by a blind man, the disciples asked Jesus, "Who sinned, this man or his parents for him to be born blind?" To us this might seem like a really silly question, but at that time it was believed that when "bad" things happened it was because people deserved it. This totally goes against my line of thinking. But Jesus' response is perfect, "It wasn't this man or his parents, it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." Then Jesus proceeded to heal the blind man and restore his sight.

God is bigger than anything we are going through, and he can be gloried in the midst of any hard time.  When we are in the middle of what can seem like the worst day of our life, God is still there with us. I hope this sticks with you and when you find yourselves in pain, you remember God can use you and your situation for good.

I was recently sent this beautiful pendant necklace from  Happiness Boutique. I love a good pendant necklace, and this one does not disappoint. The quality and craftsmanship is easy to see, something that isn't always true with inexpensive jewelry, and I love how it helps to dress up this outfit. Now that I'm back in school, I'm getting to wear my dress clothes again, and this jacket from Loft, is one of my favorites. This blazer is a similar option and I love it as well.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train had been on my must-read list for quite a while, so when the library finally got it in for me, I was super excited to read it.  At the beginning of the story we are introduced to Rachel, the girl on the train. She rides the same route each day from her town into London. Rachel's life is kind of a wreck, her marriage failed two years earlier, she has a drinking problem, and has lost her job in London, but continues to ride the train each day anyway.

The highlight of her journey is driving by the house of "Jess and Jason," the couple who she often sees out on their balcony while riding the train. In her head, these two have the perfect marriage and perfect life; the life she wishes she'd had with her husband. Everything changes when she sees something from the train and "Jess" turns up dead shortly after. 

Rachel goes on a quest to try to solve the mystery of how "Jess" died, and in the process unlocks some of her own mysteries inside of her head.  This page-turner will leave you on the edge of your seat and up reading late into the night. I'd definitely recommend adding it to your reading list now.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Rackroom Shoes

Well, everyone, it's officially back to school time. My kids come tomorrow for the first day and Grant starts kindergarten next week! In the midst of all this busyness, Grant and I really needed to do some back to school shopping, and shoes were at the tops of the list for both of us. Thankfully Rack Room Shoes came to our rescue. They have a huge selection of on trends shoes in all styles and brands, and always have "Buy One Get One 50% off" promotion going on. How cool is that?

Although I'm really set in the dress shoe department, my athletic shoes were literally five years old. I started going to the gym again this summer and am planning to continue doing this during the school year too, three days after school. I was super excited when I came across these ASICAS GEL Flux shoes. My husband swears by ASICAS, so I was excited to give them a try. They are super light-weight and comfortable! I also love the bright colors-they are so much more fun than my old athletic shoes.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

21 Week Bumpdate

Weeks along:
 21 weeks today

Size of the baby? 3/4 of a pound and 10 1/2 inches long- about the size of a carrot

Must haves: I really haven't been having a ton of cravings, although weirdly Gatorade and Mt. Dew have been delicious treats. I really limit my caffeine, so don't have pop daily, but it's nice once in a while.

Sleep: It's getting better as I've gotten used to sleeping on my side. I'm now officially back to school, so I won't be getting as much sleep as I'd like. We'll see if I'm able to stay awake until 10:00, or if I'm asleep on the couch my 9:00.

Baby Movement: I have been feeling little flutterings in my stomach, which is definitely fun!

Gender: It's a girl!

Weight Gain: 7 pounds

Challenges: It seems like waking up at 7 this summer helped my nausea, waking up at 5:30 doesn't. I'm going to try to put off eating until 7 and see if that helps.

 Best moment of the week: Finding out we're having a girl. We really just wanted a heathy baby, which she is, but having a boy and now a girl will be such a treat!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Thirty-One Gifts

Recently I was contacted about trying about some great Thirty-One pieces by Jennifer. I already have a few things, like the utility tote, which I love, and a few of the car organizers like the Hang-Up Activity Organizer, but I didn't have a Thirty-One bag.

While looking though their catalog I found a ton of pieces I loved like Diamond District Bag and the Canvas Crew Carry-All, but when I saw Canvas Crew Tote, I knew I'd found a winner. Plus it's the first thing I have that is monogrammed, so I'm pretty excited about that too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Back to School with Gordmans

So, this kiddo is headed to kindergarten in two weeks. Yes, it is happening!

We lucked up this summer and didn't have to buy Grant very many clothes. His short sleeve t-shirts still fit and we found some gym shorts, which he loves on sale.

Now that it's time for school it really is time to stock up on school clothes. His t-shirts are getting small and his jeans and pants from last year are definitely too small too. Luckily, we have a Gordmans close by and we could stock up on some clothes that will be perfect for Grant for back to school, and we could snag them at a great price too.

Monday, August 3, 2015

One Dress, Three Ways with Splender

As I've mentioned on her before, I've really been trying to be careful about how much money I spend on maternity clothes, since I'll be wearing them for such a short time. Luckily, I recently I learned about this great site called Splender, and it's the perfect way to shop! With over 800 stores in their network, you can find the best deals all in one place.  

With stores like Macy's Bloomingdales, and Nordstoms in their network, shopping is made easy! What I really love about this site is the cash back option. After making a purchase through their link, you get an email notifying you that money has hit your account, then once you have at least $10 in your Splender account, you can transfer it to Paypal. Super easy!

 I was also thrilled to see that thredUp is part of their network too. You all know how much I love that site, and  Splender gives an extra 5% cashback, on top to the great deals you can find on thredup. Speaking of which, right now you can get $20 off your first purchase to thredUp using this link!

I came across this great striped dress from Motherhood maternity on thredUp, and knew it would be a great addition to my wardrobe for the remainder of my pregnancy. Today I thought I'd share three ways to wear it: one for now, one for fall, and one for winter.