Clothed with Grace: July 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Why I'm Not Promoting #NSale

Ok, so let me begin by saying I actually love Nordstrom. Seriously, their shoe department is top notch, they have free shipping and returns, and the people that work their are lovely. I'm not promoting or shopping this sale for other reasons which I felt like I should share today.

First off, it is July. July people. I honestly want nothing to do with fall clothes, I don't want to think about them, talk about them, or try them on. Fall clothes means school is in session and that my sandals are stored for the year. I like fall clothes....once it's fall.

Secondly, I don't want to cave into peer pressure. All I see all over the internet is blogger after blogger sharing their #NSale reviews.  It hadn't occurred to me to do this before, so it's no longer an original idea, so I don't plan to do it now.

Next, I don't run my blog as a business. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just already have a job, and this blog remains my hobby. I can imagine many bloggers make some big bucks with their links to products this time of year, but like I stated before, I don't really want to even think of fall clothes, so there you have it.

Lastly, and probably the biggest reason, I need more clothes like a hole in the head. Seriously. I feel like social media has us always thirsting for more. Buy, buy, buy. I literally just went though my closet and pulled out at least thirty things I haven't worn in at least a year to take to a resale shop, none of which I will miss. This summer I did get a few tops from Old Navy to freshen up my summer wardrobe since I was pregnant this time last year, but I'm putting on the brakes with shopping this fall.

I recently had a girl email me to remove her from my newsletter list as "I didn't wear clothes she could still buy and she could care less to see pictures of my kid." Ok, then.... Although I was a bit offended by her email (there is an unsubscribe button at the bottom of my newsletter she should could have clicked, by the way), she hit the nail on the head. I don't have a lot of new clothes to show, and I like to show pictures of my kids.

I still like blogging, don't get me wrong, but the #NSale onslaught right now really solidifies for me how different I am from how I was a few years back. I don't need to "buy all the things," and I don't need to try to impress anyone else, which used to be a huge issue for me. Clothes are something I wear, not who I am.

Maybe you need to hear this is fun but "buying all the things" will never make us feel whole. For me, my faith and my family are so much more important, and there were definitely a few years in there when fashion was taking the front seat, which was pretty foolish in my opinion.

Thank you to all who read my posts....I love to write them. Thanks for sticking around even though I'm not showing new clothes all the time, I'm sharing my faith, and I definitely share a lot pictures of my kids. ; )

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Mathew 6:21

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Making the Most of It

The sad reality is, summer for us is pretty much over. I start back to school next week, Hannah will start daycare, and Grant will be going to kids' club at his school for two weeks, because he doesn't start until the 16th-lucky guy!

This week we've tried to make the most of it. Grant went to a local amusement park with my mom, we went to the zoo, the library, and have a playdate tomorrow. I know I said this before, but being a stay at home mom is no joke. It's definitely more work than working outside of the the home is. I really feel like we've just gotten into a decent grove, and it's back to reality.  I'm excited for what this years brings for the kids. Grant will be in first grade (say what???) and Hannah is starting at a great school (daycare/montessori) I think she'll really thrive at.

I, on the other hand, am not super excited for my new school year, but I'm sure it will be fine. With curriculum changes I feel like I have a lot of ground to cover. I'm not apposed to change, but I am a bit pragmatic and a creature of habit, and I really dislike when changes are made over the summer without an time available for us to prepare for them.   I am excited to get to see my work friends more again and I do enjoy getting to wear my school clothes again too. I'm sure things will be fine once I get back in the swing of things.

This embroidered blouse just came in the mail and I adore it! The quality and fit is good and it's less than $20! It's perfect for now and will be great once I'm back to work too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Last week Grant spent a couple of days at my parents' house. He and Hannah are the only grandkids, and luckily my parents live close and have always had a close relationship with us. Grant and Grandma have been on more adventures than I can count, and a few times a year he'll go to spend a few days with them.

It is crazy how only having to take care of one child instead of two feels like a vacation. Perspective is everything, right? Brian and I had two nights to ourselves, because Hannah goes to bed at about 7:00 and Grant doesn't usually go to bed until 8:00. We've recently started watching a series on Netflix together, so we had some extra time to talk, watch our show, and hang out.

During the two days while Grant was gone Hannah took two long naps each day and it gave me so much more time to myself, which is basically non-existent otherwise. It was so nice, but man, I missed Grant! Even though he has been more challenging at times lately and boys seem to be made of messes and noise, it was too quiet around here. I can find myself wishing for a break in the midst of the craziness, but then I get one and realize it's more than I needed. Now a break every now and then is nice, of course, and Grant always has so much fun with my parents, but my family matters more to me than being apart from them does.  Perspective is everything, right?

Two summers ago these shorts were my favorite. I didn't get to wear them last summer due to my pregnancy, so I was excited to pull them out again this summer. In the past I wore them with more structured tops, which is difficult for nursing, so I thought this top from Old Navy would work perfectly! I will admit I ended up wearing my  Vionic sandals instead. I love wedges with shorts for a night out, but I'd look pretty silly running errands in wedges around here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Back to School

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B'gosh; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

It is seriously hard to believe that Grant will be heading back to school in just a few weeks! One of my favorite memories growing up was always back to school shopping. There's nothing like new clothes to help you feel great about a new school year and confident to put your best foot forward. Thankfully OshKosh B'gosh has great clothes at great prices! In fact you can use code OKBG3136 to get 25% off your purchase of $30 or more! Check down at the bottom of the post for a printable copy as well as a giveaway! 

I'm also all about versatility when it comes to clothes too. We try not to buy anything that can't be mixed and matched. One of the things Grant was in dire need of was new jeans. Now, he doesn't wear jeans daily, but having a couple of pair for school and for church are great. I love how classic and mixable jeans are too. Grant chose these jeans, which are currently on sale and have an adjustable waist, which is one of my favorite features. Today I thought I'd share three easily mixable outfits with only three pieces of clothing and these great shoes Grant picked out!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately via pictures I've shared on Instagram!

I've gotten in the habit of trying to take a quick picture with the kids before church, they are my greatest accomplishment for sure!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bucket List

I hate to say it, but I literally report back to work two weeks from today. On August 4th. It should be against the law to have to go back that early, seriously. With only two weeks left I have a number of things I want to try to get accomplished, so I thought I'd share them today.

1. Go to the zoo- we have only been once all summer, which really surprises me! We need to go again for sure!

2. Plan a couple of playdates-now this is more for me than for Grant. Grant has quite a few friends in the neighborhood that he can play with pretty regularly, which is great. We also have a few friends who are outside the neighborhood, so we don't see them as often. I want to get some dates in the books to get together, because it probably won't happen again for a while once school starts.

3. Plan some outfits- In years past I have also had an area in my closet with outfits I plan to wear. I haven't done that one time all summer. I literally pick out my clothes in my towel each morning without a second thought. However, I do have a lot of "work" clothes, skirts, and dresses that have gone unworn all summer, and some since I've had Hannah. I really want to get some outfits planned, because God knows I won't have time to think about what to wear in the morning once school starts!

4. Read two more books- I have two books from our neighborhood library I want to get read and returned. Once school starts I don't usually have the energy to read a lot in the evenings and with curriculum changes at school reading there is definitely out. (insert sad face emoji).

5. Make sure to work with Grant on reading and writing each day.  This has been hit or miss for the last couple of weeks, but I want to make sure to make it consistent for the next few weeks. Kids lose almost a 1/3 of what they learned the previous year without continued practice in the summer and I don't want that for Grant.

6. Enjoy the kids, soak up every minute, and let the house work slip a little. There will always be dishes and laundry, and cleaning, but pretty soon I'll only get to see them a few hours a day and that really stinks.

What about you?  Anything you want to get done before the craziness of the school year hits?

I have not been shopping pretty much all summer, but last week I did make a quick trip to Old Navy and Loft with Hannah while Grant was at sports camp. I found this top at Old Navy and these red pants at Loft. I already have another top like this one that is striped and I've been wearing it like crazy all summer, so getting the navy was a no brainer. As for these red pants, I love that the flare trend is back and they are on sale too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Just Breathe

The song Breathe by Jonny Diaz has been on the radio a ton lately, or maybe it's just been on when I really needed to hear it. Two weeks ago I was kind of at my wits' end in the mom department. Grant was starting to act out with some behaviors and Hannah has been teething (still no teeth) and seemed fussier than usual. On top of that, I was (and kind of still am) dreading going back to school for the first time ever. They decided to make changes to our curriculum and are wanting it in place on day 1, but aren't giving us any time to develop new lesson plans and y'all know I don't have any free time to work on it with both kids at my feet constantly.  I was not really in a great place at all.

I shared my struggles with my attitude at church in our small group while asking for prayer, decided to be more purposeful with my devotions and started to really think about the lyrics to this song, and what do you know? Last week was great! Grant was at a sports camp in the morning each day, which he loved! It helped him to burn off his boundless boy energy. Also, spending the mornings at home with just Hannah was really nice. Hannah's disposition was back to normal, and I kind of resolved to not worry about school. What good would it do, really? 

My point is, some days are great, some days are not, but in the midst of the bad days we should look to find rest at the feet of Jesus. Take a listen to this song: 


These are the lyrics I'm trying to focus on:
"Breathe, just breathe
Come and rest at My feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need"

"Is to take it in fill your lungs
The Peace of God that overcomes
Just breathe
Let your weary spirit rest
Lay down what’s good and find what’s best
Just breathe"
I'm not sure if you can relate to the craziness in my life right now, but I hope the knowledge that God
 has us covered will give you peace, like it has for me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

7 Months Old

It is hard to believe that Hannah will be 7 months old on Thursday! I have so enjoyed the time at home with her this summer!

Hannah has been learning and growing a lot too! She is crazy about her brother and the feeling is mutual! I'm sure there will come a time when they are annoyed with each other, but I'm going to soak up this mutual love as long as I can! 

The other night Hannah started dropping a toy from her high chair, Grant would pick it up and laugh, Hannah would laugh, then she'd drop it again-repeat. It was so cute and neat to see them really interacting. 

Hannah isn't crawling yet and she doesn't have any teeth either. Grant started crawling at about 7 months, and although Hannah can spin in circles using her hands, she's yet to army crawl or really crawl, I'm betting once she's back in daycare the peer pressure will get her moving. As for teeth, she's chewing on things like crazy, but I can't feel any teeth yet. We'll see when they decide to pop up.

I'm not sure how much longer Hannah will want to nurse. She's been getting really distracted, even when we're in the other room. I'd had to follow up with bottles a few times recently when she hasn't wanted to nurse for more than a few minutes. I nursed Grant until he was about 9 months, then he self weaned. We'll see how it goes.

Hannah has mostly been sleeping through the night, which is pretty much amazing. I've found if she does stir, it's between 4-5 in the morning and she'll end up nursing for a couple of minutes, then go right back to sleep. I'll tell you what, it is nice not feeling like I need to drink a million cups of coffee each day and still fall asleep on the couch at 8:00. Thank you, sweet baby, for helping me feel more like a normal person again!

We simply adore Hannah and have been having the best time with her. Her bright smile and loving nature have just made our family complete!

Monday, July 18, 2016

9 Book Club Must Reads

Reading is definitely one of my favorite hobbies, although I don't have time to read like I used to before Hannah was born. One thing I do look forward to each month is book club, so today I thought I'd share some great reads we've read in my book club or I think would be great ones for discussion in a book club.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd give you a peek into life lately here at home via pictures I've shared on Instagram!

Hannah and I have been twinning on the reg. It's totally accidental, but I'll seriously look down and notice that we match.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Kimono Love

I got this kimono and really like it! The quality is great and the medium fits well, I probably could have done a small in it though too. I definitely am not dressing up a lot these days, however, I got the chance to wear this because it decided to rain on Grant's birthday, so we had to move his party from the splash park to our house.

It was actually a super stressful morning of trying to get the house ready, get a few games planned, and take care of the kids as well. Brian took care of errands, but I thought there was no way we would be ready. Turns out kids are pretty easy to please and they basically ran around and had dart gun wars after we played a couple of games and ate pizza. I will say, we will not be having another party at our house in the future, if at all possible!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

3 Easy Ways to Give Back in Your Local Community

Thank you Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company for sponsoring this post. Band Together with Jewelers Mutual and help them donate $2 million to support three worthy causes - health, home, and hunger.

Giving back to your community and being grateful for what we've been given are so important! Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company couldn't agree with this statement more. Right now they are running their Band Together campaign and planning to donate a total of $2 million dollars to support health, home, and hunger needs through their corporate giving campaign.  St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, and Feeding America or Food Banks of Canada will all be benefiting because of Jewelers Mutual!

You get a say in how the money is shared with each nonprofit too! Between now and July 31st you can vote in the Band Together campaign. The nonprofit with the most votes gets $1 million, second place gets $700,000 and third place gets $300,000. 

Voting also gets you entered to win weekly prizes from STACKED New York. One winner will be chosen weekly to win three stacking bands ($450 value), and you can increase your chances of winning by voting for your favorite nonprofit organization daily.

There are a lot of ways to give back in your community. It not only makes you feel good, getting your family involved helps to create a culture of being grateful and paying in forward too. Today I thought I'd share some tips with you for how to easily make an impact in your community!

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Girl You Left Behind: Book Review

I mentioned a while back that a Little Free Library was put up in my neighborhood and it is the best! I've gotten a few books from it and I love the whole "take one, leave one" idea, so there is always new books to choose from. Last year I read "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes, and even though a lot of the book made me mad, I really liked her writing style, so I thought I'd give The Girl You Left Behind a try. It did not disappoint!

It starts during World War I while Germany is occupying France. Sophie runs a hotel where the German soldiers are taking their meals while her husband, who is an artist by trade, is off fighting. Inside the hotel is a painting of Sophie which captivates the German soldier in charge. An obsession is born which leads Sophie to making a difficult discussion.

Nearly one hundred years later the painting of Sophie, now called "The Girl You Left Behind" hangs in the home of Liv a young women who became a widow too soon. The painting was a wedding gift from her husband and means more to her than anything in the world. In a crazy twist of fate, Liv suddenly finds herself close to losing the painting and the memories it holds, when the question of how she acquired the painting comes up. Was it stolen from Sophie nearly 100 years ago by the German soldier and does it really belong back with Sophie's husband's family?

The uniqueness of this story kept me reading and Moyers did an excellent job of shifting back and forth through time between the characters. If you're looking for a new book to read, this is a good one, it will keep you guessing up to the very last page!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Turning to Things Instead of Jesus

If I've learned anything from being a mom, it's that your kids do a very good job of calling it like it is. Just recently I was driving through Scooters, a local coffee chain, to get an iced coffee. Grant asked from the back seat, "Mom, why do you allllwwwwaaayysss stop to get coffee?" My reply, "Because you two wear me out. Mommy is tired." 

Honest, yes....but here lay the problem. Lately I have found myself trying to get rid of stress with things, such as coffee or shopping. I may only get coffee a couple times a week, but it's expensive and not healthy. As for shopping, can cause me to pull the trigger on something I don't need in a weak moment of stress.

Hannah is just now finally sleeping through the night, hallelujah! Prior to this I could not bear to pull myself out of bed early to do my devotions or do them during the once brief hour I have to myself while Hannah takes a nap and I send Grant to his room, so time with God was really hit or miss. No wonder I've been tired, I haven't been refueling with Jesus, I've been trying to refuel with the wrong things! Duh. 

Now that I'm not nearly as tired, the time for excuses has come and gone, I'm getting back on track with my daily time with God. I have a devotional ready, and although I know it might not go perfectly all the time, I know I'm a better mom and wife when I'm in the word daily. It's in those moments of stress I need to stop and pray, instead of reaching for something that will simply pacify for a short period of time. I owe it to myself and my family!

This romper had been on my wish list for awhile, I was just waiting for it to go on sale, so when it did for 50% off, I scooped it up! I love it with this mint cardigan, but I've also worn it with my other colors of the Caryn cardigan from J.Crew Factory too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


I know I've been talking A LOT of mom life lately, but I feel like I'm deep in the trenches. I feel like our house constantly looks like a tornado, I have a mounting list of things to do, both kids want me constantly, and the only hour or so I get to myself is when Hannah takes her afternoon nap and I send Grant to his room.  Usually I'm too tired to do anything more than watch an episode of Hart of Dixie and maybe take a thirty minute snooze. If feel like the afternoon is a mad rush to clean up the house and get dinner ready before Brian get's home. I don't care what anyone says, staying at home is harder than working outside the home. At the end of each day I am exhausted. 

Brian has been having to work a number of nights, so he's home for about an hour, then back at it. In fact when I tried to type up this post, I did it last week while Grant interrupted me to ask about a million questions about the Batman movie he wanted to watch, the dog was all up in business, and I thought Hannah was asleep until she started wailing. It's in those moments I feel like being a mom is such a thankless job and oh my gosh, can I just have a moment for me! 

Then, once Hannah was asleep Grant told me, probably for the hundredth time that day, that he loves me, got me a glass of water without me asking, and said "today was a great day." That is what I need to hold onto. In our lives we go through seasons. Sometimes the season is a time in which it is NOT about us, and for me it this is one of those seasons. One day the kids will be grown and not need me like they do now and I know I'll wish for days like this once again. 

I just recently got this tassel top from SheIn. It's fun and the quality is good but it is way too big as far as mediums go, and I definitely should have sized down. It doesn't look terribly huge in these pictures, but trust me, I could pretty much fit another person inside of it with me. I washed it and was hoping it would shirk a bit, but it didn't. I was curious how the tassel would wash, and they washed up just fine when I hung it To dry.  I think I'll try to wear it with a cardigan to help minimize the bulk.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

6 Years and 6 Months

 On Saturday Grant turned 6, which is so hard to believe! Hannah also just turning 6 months old, so the kids are almost exactly 5 1/2 years apart. They love each other so much and I hope it continues for years to come. I think the age gap might be in their favor as they will each be in different stages. As it is now, Grant is an excellent big brother and Hannah thinks he hung the moon!

In years past I was good about having professional pictures taken, but honestly, I have a hard time thinking ahead these days. We went to the park and I took my nice camera and we snapped some pictures before we played. I could have had Grant wear his church clothes, but this is Grant-athletic gear all the time!