Clothed with Grace: June 2016

Thursday, June 30, 2016

7 Binge-Worthy Netflix Shows

Just during this last year, I've started to watch a lot more on Netflix and a lot less on cable.  I really like getting to watch a series the whole way though, and honestly, nursing gives me a lot of time to keep myself occupied.  I've tried reading, but it's too tough to hold a book, so Netflix it is!

Today I though I'd share some of my favorite binge-worthy shows!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


If I'm being honest, style has not really been a priority this summer. Don't get me wrong, I still want to look nice, but I want it to be easy and comfy more than anything. I've been wearing a lot of simple outfits like this. I got this one from Old Navy for $5 on clearance and I've been wearing it a ton. I'm loving it with these shorts I've had for years.

I think the key to making a simple outfit like this feeling special is in the accessories. I recently got these earrings in the large size and I adore them. I have a number of earrings from Nickel & Suede, but this is my first colored pair and I feel like they automatically make the outfit cooler. That along with these Jura Slide Sandals from Vionic Shoes and my go to necklace and Keep Collective Bracelet and I'm ready to run out to do anything with the kids, while still being comfortable.

More about these sandals, this is my third pair of Vionic shoes, and I kid you not, they are so comfortable!  I love that this slide style is back in and the supportive technology in these shoes seriously is the best! They are also made with real leather, so they'll last for years to come too!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Easy Turkey Pot Pie

Today I thought I'd share an easy recipe I made lately. I am not a cook by any means and tend to do a lot of basics like tacos and spaghetti, but when I come across something that's easy and good, I'll happily add it to the meal rotation!

We had a leftover turkey breast in the freezer and Brian wanted me to figure out something to do with it for dinner.  I was clueless, so I did some Googling without anything sounding great to either one of us.  Then, Brian mentioned this recipe my sister shared, but we never made. We made a few simple adaptations and it worked out perfectly!

Turkey Pot Pie
2 Pie Crusts- we used Great Value from Walmart, just as good as Pillsbury, in my opinion
2 turkey breasts, cooked and cubed.
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup milk
1 small bag of mixed frozen vegetables
salt, pepper, and Lowry's to taste

Start by presetting your oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl combine turkey, can of cream of chicken and potato soups, 1/2 cup milk, and vegetables. Add seasoning to taste.

Next, get out a pie dish and spray it with non-stick spray. Unroll the pie crusts and place one on the bottom.  Next, put in the turkey mixture and put the other pie crust on top.

Seal the edges and use a knife to add a few slits for venting.

Wisk an egg and do an egg wash all over crust to prevent burning.

Bake for 55-60 minutes, then let stand for 10 minutes before serving; this will help it to set up some and make it easier to serve as well.


Monday, June 27, 2016

My Daily Haircare Routine

Thank you Women's ROGAINE® for sponsoring this post.

First and foremost, I need to disclose that I do not have hair loss, however, I've had numerous friends throughout my life who have had this struggle. In fact, 1 in 3 women notice hair thinning in their lifetime.  Luckily Women's ROGAINE® is here to help!  It can be easily added to your daily haircare routine and make all the difference in the world.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


Yesterday Katie wrote about how there are moments in the day when she feels like she's got this "mom thing" figured out, then suddenly everything falls apart. She said we shouldn't let the low point in the day determine the day as a whole. I love this! 

Yesterday was a pretty smooth day around our house. Hannah and Grant both slept until 7:00, which is you know my kids is a miracle. We did a few errands, made it to Grant's swim lessons, the kids had some rest/naps after lunch, then we went to the neighborhood pool, and I had dinner on the table when Brian got home. It was one of those days where I actually felt like I had it figured out, but honestly, that happens so rarely. 

Raising humans is such hard work! Hannah has entered the phase where she get's upset if she can't see me while she's playing. That makes it really hard to unload the dishwasher, start or fold a load of laundry or even go the the bathroom for that matter.  The "Hannah" siren starts, then stops just as quickly when she sees me again.  I'm also having to work with Grant because he likes to imitate Hannah's cries and whines. You think it's bad with one, try too.  I can get bogged down in those moments, but that's it, they are just moments, not the whole day. 

I was so thankful for Katie's reminder yesterday and I know it can help me to make the best of each day I get with my kiddos!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Gift

Yesterday I saw on Facebook that Lysa TerKeurst had undergone major surgery where half of her colon had been removed. Aftwards the surgeon said that he doesn't throw this term around, but her being alive was a miracle. The pathology report showed her cells were in a state of death. Whoa. She thanked everyone for their prayers and praised God, but what really stuck with me was what she said at the end:

 "When the baby is crying and the deadlines are pressing and the stress is mounting and the enemy whispers "just get through this crappy day." Look up and shame the enemy back to hell by acknowledging today is a gift.
A gift from a good, good Father. And then look, seek, and dive deeply into what a true gift it is."

I can be so guilty of taking each day for granted, never knowing when it might be my last, or the last for someone in my life. But I don't pay attention to the gift each day is and each moment is with the important people in my life and those who God has my life intersect with. 

My mornings should start with, "If  I can just make it to 8:00 tonight..." I need to look, seek, and dive deeply like Lysa said above. And you do too.

Before I know it the kids will be grown and their love and need for me will look a lot differently than it does now. The hour I get each day to myself will be come the hour I "get" to spend with them. Funny how life works and perspective is everything. 

Today is a miracle and a gift, let's treat it as such!

This dress is actually maternity, crazy right? I got it last year from Bump Style Box, which is like Stitch Fix for pregnancy. I chose to keep it because I knew it would be great for afterwards and it is. I recently wore it to church with these wedges I scored in Target for $5 (I don't know why they aren't on sale online).  I also have been wearing this necklace from Uncommon Goods like crazy. It's truly one of my favorite pieces of jewelry and one I know I'll continue to wear for years to come!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

6 Months Old

Hannah is officially six months old today! I can't imagine our lives without her.

I feel like so much has happened during this last month, most of which I've been home with her. She wasn't rolling over yet, but now can both ways, although she's pretty lazy about it and not too concerned about practicing. 

She also can sit up unassisted, which means a lot more interacting with toys. 

She also like sitting in her high chair while I'm making dinner and while we are eating. She is now eating three times a day and having cereal and has made it through all the stage one baby foods, with the only one she didn't like being green beans. She eats a few tablespoons of cereal and about a half a container of a fruit and veggie at lunch and dinner, and just a fruit at breakfast. I also got her some teething treats and she's really liking them too!

She also is not sitting up in the bath like a big girl, so I was able to say goodbye to the baby bath (one less thing to mess with!) and she's liking that too, as well as splashing and "swimming" at the pool.

She also started crawling backwards on the wood floor with her tummy still on the ground and is pretty proud of herself! I'm so excited that she's doing so well, but not sure I'm ready to baby proof everything again!

Speaking of that, Hannah is also bearing weight on her legs and loving "standing up." Just yesterday she stood with me keeping her steady for the whole book Grant read to me.  I think Hannah thinks she's pretty hot stuff!

Hannah is pretty vocal and enjoys talking herself to sleep and also babbles pretty happily in the morning until I come to get her. Often times for a half hour, which is fine with me because she wakes up by about 6:30 each day.

She is still getting up 1-2 times a night and am thinking it's time to try to put an end to it, just waiting for her 6 month check next week. Grant did well with switching to a bottle at bed time with cereal in it, hoping this will work for Hannah. If it wasn't for Grant, I'd probably let her fuss a bit more to see if she'll put herself back to sleep, but she is so loud in the middle of the night when she wakes, I just scoop her up and feed her. I know this ins't going to work in the long run but am really not a fan of "crying it out" either....

I'm thinking Hannah is around 14 lbs now, she trending about gaining about a pound each month. Her height is staying at about the 70% each month, not sure where she gets that from, since Brian and I are definitely not tall!

It's also time to get rid of Hannah's 3-6 month clothes, which makes me sad. Not only because little clothes are adorable, but I am definitely looking forward to when she stays in clothes for a longer period of time, so it's not a constant buy, buy, buy situation around here!

I'm really looking forward to the rest of the time Grant, Hannah, and I have together this summer and am not looking forward to going back to work August 4th!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lake Okoboji

Yesterday we got back from our annual family vacation.  This is the third year we've done it, and it was the best one yet!  We went to Lake Okoboji, which is a popular summer destination in the Midwest. My mom rented a house on a resort where their was also a big indoor swimming area (think Great Wolf Lodge) and an outdoor pool too.

We went a couple of different times and it was great!  I got Hannah this floaty at Target and it is the best! Grandma got the turtle at Sam's Club and it was a big hit too!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Scrapbooking: How to Create Five Minute Pages

One of my favorite things to do is scrapbook. I've been at it for nearly a decade and before kids  I would spend up to an hour on one single page, just making it look as perfect as possible.  Now, things are a bit different. I try to set aside one afternoon each month to get caught up on pictures, so I only have a few hours to get a lot done.

Today I thought I'd share some pages and tips for making the most of the time you have to scrapbook too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I don't know about your kids, but Grant speaks fluent "hyperbole." What I mean by that is, he's very good at exaggerating. One little thing makes it the "best day," then five minutes later something small could go wrong and it's the "worst day ever." Can any of you relate? I know I don't voice it like Grant, but I can find myself in the same boat. I can be really tired, annoyed, whatever, then something really small, like an iced coffee can immediately turn my day around (preferably while drinking it at Target).

When I let my emotions run wild and let myself lose self-control nothing good seems to come from that.   As much as I love being at home for the summer, it means times when my family is driving me bonkers. I've been working to break Grant of a few bad habits he's been trying out, like talking back and not listening the first time. These are obviously not cool, but if I let my emotions take control when he's not doing what I've asked, I'm not setting a good example at all!

My emotions should not be the barometer for how good or bad things are in my life. Lamentations 3:22-23 says "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness!"

No matter what's happening, God's love for me and his forgiveness never end. The same is true for your life as well. Because of that, we shouldn't let the little things ruin our day. We have God on our side, and he is bigger than any bad thing that comes our way!

My dresses have been totally under-worn since Hannah has been born. Dresses are obviously awkward when it comes to nursing, but I really wanted to wear this to church recently, so I wore it anyway. I've had this dress for a few years and adore it! It's worn and washed really well and is so flattering. I decided to try it with my J.Crew Factory cardigan. I have a bunch of colors and they are usually on sale.  I felt great and it was only mildly awkward in the mother's room, thanks to Hannah's baby blanket which covered my lap.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Martian: Book Review

Recently I read The Martian by Andy Weir for our book club. I saw the movie this winter and loved it!  I don't usually see the movie, then read the book, but I loved the movie and heard the book was super good. For those of you who have seen the movie, Matt Damon portrays the main character of Mark Watney perfectly!

Although this book would qualify as science-fiction, it's not your typical sci-fi book.  It takes place in the near future on Mars where a team of astronauts are there to study the planet, similarly how they have studied the moon. Due to a sandstorm the team must leave the planet quickly and because of an accident Watney is left behind and assumed dead.

Obviously Watney isn't dead, though, and this book chronicles his journey to survive life on Mars and try to return safely to earth. It is written from his perspective like a log book, which is a unique style that I liked. Although, there are parts that are written more traditionally too. It does have a large about of astronaut-sciencey stuff in it, but it's written in a way the average person can understand, but I bet a scientist would appreciate as well.

This book was both fascinating and engaging and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!

Linking up with: Tuesday Talk

Monday, June 13, 2016

You Make Me Brave

This last week Grant had Vacation Bible School with all the funds being raised going to our dear friends who are getting ready to move to be missionaries in Uganda.  They both have been very active within children's ministries and as it is now, children's ministry is nearly nonexistent in Uganda. They'll be teaching church leaders how to get a children's ministry started and help them in the process with hundreds of churches throughout the country.   The theme "You Make Me Brave" was on the shirts and I had gotten my tee months back with the same saying. Grant thought it was pretty cool we matched!

Being hampered with fear is pretty much the worst! With God though, we have no reason to fear! He makes us brave!

If fear is something you find yourself battling, let God take that fear away! Here are some verses to lean on. Memorize the ones that speak to you, and they will be there just when you need them as a reminder of God's promises to us!

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Thursday, June 9, 2016


On any given day Grant says about 10 things that crack me up. Today I thought I'd share some recent ones and also link up with the Picture Perfect Project as well.  I have such a habit of using my phone to take every picture, so it's nice to pull out my nice camera and capture some great shots of Grant.

"Whoa Mom, I slept in today! It's 7:12!" (He usually get's up at 7:00...)

In regards to Hannah, me: "She's pretty cute, do you think we should keep her?" Grant absentmindedly answered, "Sure." Then moments later totally flabbergasted says, "Mom, of course we should keep her, she's part of our family!"

"Cool guys wear tall socks."

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Summer Trends

I feel like I'm a lot less trending than I used to be. I tend to be drawn to more classic pieces. However, I quickly jumped on the lace-up flat trend this year, the reemergence of flare jeans being cool, and am now jumping on board with rompers....only two years after they made their reappearance in mainstream fashion.

I just recently got this romper from SheIn.  I decided this was a good way to give one a try after thinking this was a trend I would be skipping. Well, what do you know? I adore it.  The quality and fit of this is comparable to ones I've seen at Target. It does have spaghetti straps, though, so I'll always wear it with a layer like a cardigan or denim jacket.  It is actually really easy to take on and off too, since it's spaghetti straps.  I am wearing a cami underneath because it was a little low in the front for my liking, but does have adjustable straps, which is nice. If you'e looking to give the romper trend a try, this is a great one to start with, for reference I'm wearing a medium. *update, this shrunk like crazy and now it's off to Goodwill. : (

As for the other trend that is big right now: off the shoulder tops....I am not a fan. I've seen them all over blogland,  but not on a person in real life yet. I just can't get on board with having to wear a strapless bra and I keep thinking I'd have to readjust the shirt All Day Long. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately via some pictures I share on Instagram!

This little girl, I can't even! We are having so much fun this summer already!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Summer Break

I can not even begin to tell you have great summer break is! After my last day I let out huge sigh of relief. Although I enjoy teaching, I'd much rather be at home with the kids.  

Although my kids are early risers, it's so nice to be able to sit around in our jammies in the morning, instead of having to go, go, go. We're trying to get out of the house for an activity at least once during the day, which is going well. We have a zoo pass, our local library has a great summer reading program, and we have a couple great parks close by. Between those things, we can have some great fun for free. 

I think it'll take a bit for us to get into a consistent routine. I want to go to the gym a few times a week and I'm working on spending some time each day during one of Hannah's nap working on reading and math with Grant. Grant has Vacation Bible School in the morning this week, then next week we're going on family vacation, which will be fun. Overall I am sooo happy to be home and just wear my "mom" and "wife" hat for awhile.

This is pretty much what most of my outfits look like these days, and easy top and shorts with sandals. I'd been on the look out for an affordable pair of leather sandals to replace my current pair which I'd wore out. Luckily DSW sent me a $20 off $49 coupon and I also had a $5 birthday coupon, so I scored these for $30 with shipping. The quality is great and I love that they are leather too!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Better Life Bags

Since discovering Better Life Bags through a friend last summer I've been hooked! They just sent over this bag, and it's perfect for a mom on the go, like myself.  I'm able to easily fit in my wallet, phone, planner, and my mini-diaper bag too, with room to spare.

If you're not familiar with Better Life Bags, they are an awesome company out of Detroit. Their mission is to employ women with fair wages and empower them to feel valued and provide for their families at the same time.  The bags are totally custom and take about three weeks to get to your door after ordering. However, they do have ready to ship too, if you see one you like that's already been designed.

I love a good bag and my husband also much prefers to spend good money on these bags, versus other designer bags with similar price points, but no mission to help others. I have to agree with him!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

That Time I Fell...

I wore this outfit to church about a week ago, it's simple and easy. Although wearing a dress while nursing is not my favorite thing to do, I decided to wear it anyway, because I really love this dress. Easy dress doesn't mean easy morning though.

The morning started out per usual. Brian helps run cameras at the 8:00 service, so we are up early and out the door by 7:30.  Their isn't child care at 8:00, so that means I sit in church with both kids. Getting out of the car that morning I mentioned to Brian that I couldn't remember the last time we'd sat in church together as a family. Until recently Hannah has fallen asleep on the way to church and slept through most of the service. Grant does a pretty good job of sitting and being entertained my a snack and a coloring book. Usually I can catch at least half of the sermon... Well.....Hannah obviously is staying awake longer. The last few weeks she's fallen asleep part way though in her carrier, with her pacifier, while I rocked her with one feet. This week Hannah was not a fan and starting shrieking in church. We quickly went out to the foyer to watch the rest of the service there. Hannah did fall asleep, but I missed out on most of the service because people were out there socializing and I couldn't hear the T.V. above their talking. 

The service ended and Hannah was still asleep. I carefully picked up her carrier and Grant and I headed to his classroom for Sunday School. At this point I'm carrying Hannah in her carrier, my purse, Grant's backpack for church, and my coffee.  I've done this every week since Hannah was born pretty successfully. Well, today I tripped over who knows what and face planted on the floor. Yep, that happened. Thank goodness I was able to set Hannah's carrier down first, but it was kind of the worst.  People were everywhere, I felt pretty foolish, and I was swarmed with people wanting to help.  Hannah was ok, but now awake and Grant declared it the "worst day ever." 

I put on a brave face, said I was ok, and walked Grant to Sunday school class.  I made it all the way to my classroom before losing it and bawling.  Brian and I talked and I think for the time being he's going to drive separately for the 8:00 service and we'll meet him at 9:30. That will give me some more time to get the kids going in the morning and either for Hannah to nap at home or fall asleep in the car on the way to church. Grant can go to Sunday school and Hannah can remain in class with Brian and I. Then, I think Grant and I will stay for 11:00 church and Brian can take Hannah home.  I don't like the idea of Grant and I missing church.  

There are so many times I feel like I try to do it all, but it's just not possible. I think it'll be years before I'll be able to mange both kids in church on my own, major props to anyone who can! I think Grant will continue to get easier, then I'll see about trying to focus on Hannah, but for the time being this will be our new normal.  

I know I don't always appreciate my husband like I should, but I can't imagine going it alone like some of you end up having to do.  It's times like this that make me appreciate Brian taking care of Grant when I need to tend to Hannah and for taking Grant to the Y and soccer too. Life can be messy and I'm thankful I don't have to go it alone!