Clothed with Grace: 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Our Soul Waits



Honestly, life has felt like a whirlwind lately. My soul waits for God, but I am not always doing the same. I've been feeling like I'm constantly a few steps behind and in trying to catch up, I leave God out of the picture. Oh Ginny...what are you doing????

I am so thankful that God is there for us, even when we aren't making Him a priority. I've felt disconnected from my usual devotion, so I've got to find an alternative and be getting that daily time I need!

I'm working to pray these words about and cling to the God my soul loves. He is our hope and I know I am such a better mom, teacher, wife and friend when I'm putting my hope in him than in myself.

Hoping those of you who are also feeling discouraged or disconnected now know that God has not forgotten you, even though you might not be focusing on Him.  There is always a change to return to him and be renewed!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share what's been going on in life lately. This is Sis and are getting ready to head to church. Grant is quite the photographer ; ). I've had this outfit for a few years and love that it's maxi season again. I really like this option from Gap and the Clare cardigan is a J.Crew factory staple and currently on super sale.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Confessions of a Shopaholic


I recently had a friend share the Sophie Kinsella series Confessions of a Shopaholic with me. It's normally not my typical read, but after reading a lot of "heavy" things lately I was excited for something for light.

The title obviously lets you know that the main character, Becky, has some major shopping issues. While reading the first book my jaw was continually dropping as she continued to dig herself into an almost impossible amount of debt. Even in the midst of this, Becky is a really likable character and does (eventually) begin to come around in the debt department with a redeeming storyline. 

Throughout the series we see the different phases of her life unfold: getting married, finding a long lost sister, and having a baby. I've only read the first four books, but am excited to get the rest from the library. There were definitely fun, light, reads. The one thing I will mention is the use of the "f" word though out. The author is British and I know it's very commonly used in England, but if that is something you aren't ok with when reading, I might steer clear of this. Otherwise, I think this would be a great series for you to work on this summer while your kiddos are playing at the park or swimming at the pool. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

40% Loft in Stores and Online

Currently Loving



In stores and online everything is 40% off, yay! Here are some things I'm loving:

I love an interesting top and this teal lace top is super cute and $30 today! This flutter sleeve top is also my jam completely and only $25 today! I love how interesting this plaid ruffle top is too, perfect for summer and it's only $30 too!

As for dresses I love this floral dress and it's silhouette and it's only $45! This shirtdress is also so fun and and only $40! 

I got these denim jeans  earlier this week when everything online was 50% off and I adore them! the fit is perfect and  I love that I can wear them ankle length or cuff them.

I don't know about you, but I love a good Loft sale, so I'm excited to go check it out after work today! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Time for Everything


Sometimes I find myself with a case of the "hurry ups." I want what I want, when I want it. I have my plans, my timing, my idea of perfect. I plan-God laughs. I can find myself forgetting about God's perfect timing. I think back on all the major milestones in my life, and they never happened when I expected them or had planned them myself, and I'm actually grateful for that. 

Then I'm reminded what Ecclesiastes 3:11 says: "He has made everything beautiful in it's time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end."

God has the perfect timing, so why do I try to take control of that? He has also set eternity in our hearts, a desire to be with Him.  Even in the midst of this, we still can't quite fathom all God has done, because we can't see things the way God does. We try to put our plans and thoughts into a neat little box that is way to small to really encompass all of who God really is. 

It's through spending time in God's word and soaking up the quiet I have in the morning before everyone is up for the day that I can focus on how great God is and how He has me covered. I don't need to be the keeper of all the answers because I know the God has the answers before I even ask the questions. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Weekend

This last weekend was crazy busy! We had family in town, egg hunts, and all the festivities included with Easter.

We went to church as a family. Love these spring temps and the time we can spend outside!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Girls....

I'm going to fill you in on a little secret, being a mother to a girl is no joke. Sis has more sass and personality than I was prepared for. Grant is not perfect by any means, but I definitely did not had the same challenges with Grant as I am having with Hannah.

First off, girlfriend has an opinion about every everything. She knows what she wants and she gets pretty upset if she doesn't get it. She also is still trying to learn to talk, so I think that adds to the frustration. Here she needed both her snack and cup and we would have had problems if I tried to take it.



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Small Great Things


Last week I finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I have been a long time fan of hers and this story did not disappoint. Here's what Amazon has to say about it:

"Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong."

This story was not only compelling, it is a story that will stay with me. Because of the color of my skin I have not shared the same experiences as someone who is of color, and even though I thought I understood blatant racism, I think in many cases I was unaware of how aversive and institutional racism are interwoven into so much of our society.  In my opinion, this book should be next on your to-read list.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Outfit Inspiration

Today I thought I'd show you all some outfit ideas for spring! I hope you get some great ideas! Here's a shopping list, in case you're interested:

Essential Tops: floral top / stripe top / solid top

Essential Bottoms: denim jeans / ankle pants / white jeans / linen skirt / pencil skirt / shorts

Essential Dresses: floral dress / stripe dress / colored dress 

Essential Layers: Clare cardigan / denim jacket


Essential Jewelry: Rebel pendant / Elisa Pendant /  leather earrings

When I chose all the Spring Wardrobe Essentials I worked to chose pieces that would mix and match easily, which makes creates outfits super easy. I made the following 17 outfits in less than a half hour.  I bet you could easily work with the pieces you have to create similar looks right now at home!

This first look is a more casual one, perfect for the weekends or a night out with friends. As a teacher, I could wear this to school too!


Spring Trends

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Wardrobe Essentials

I've really enjoyed share my spring wardrobe essential with you guys. Today I've put it all together in one graphic and have links to everything for you down below!



Essential Tops: 

Florals: I love this one. The colors are bright and perfect for spring. I also love the shape as it can be easily dressed up and tucked into a skirt for work or untucked with white or denim jeans for a casual too.

Stripes: Honestly, I'm crazy about anything stripes, but I especially love this one. The sleeves are one of my favorite trends right now and this could be dressed up with black ankle pants for work, or down with jeans too.

Solids with Interesting Details: I love this one from Gap. It also comes in gray and white, which are great. I love a good basic colored top, I also like a fun detail to make it seem special though.

Essential Bottoms:

A well-fitting denim: I love a good skinny ankle jean or boyfriend jean and prefer a dark wash. I really like these ones. They are from J.Crew factory and actually come in three different inseams based on if you want an ankle or to cuff them.

Black Ankle Pants: These are definitely the most worn bottom in my closet and I have three pair I really like.  These are one's I've heard a lot of good things about. My favorite are these from Loft.

White Jeans: I wear these like crazy for work and weekend. I like these and just like the jeans mentioned above, they come in three different inseams.

Skirts: I love a good pencil skirt with a blouse for work and this one comes in a number of neutral and bold colors. I also love these linen ones which are more casual. I have a number of them and they wash and wear really well. Unlike typical linen, these don't seem to wrinkle like crazy and they are easy to iron too.

Shorts: In the summer I wear shorts daily, since I'm home with the kids. I prefer a 5" or 7" inseam and these ones are great! They also come in an inseam varying from 3" to Bermuda, so they can work with whatever your short's preference is. I keep my outfits pretty basic in the summer, so I like to have colored shorts to add interest, but having some neutrals is great too.

Essential Dresses:

Floral or Print: I am crazy about prints and florals! I think everyone needs at least one in their closet. I love this one and I think it's perfect for spring, summer and fall with this color combo.

Stripes: I am also a huge fan of stripes. I adore this dress and the bell sleeves. It could easily be worn alone or with a denim jacket layers for a more casual look.

Color: Pick a color you love and find a dress, you'll feel like a million bucks every time you wear it. I love this one with the fun scalloped details. It also comes in multiple colors, which is cool.

Essential Layers: Depending if you dresses for the work or casual, depends on if a layer is necessary, so having a few basics on hand is essential.  It may be 90 degrees outside, but your office is a freezer. These easy pieces will save the day.

Cardigans: I am a huge fan of cardigans. During the winter I primarily wear boyfriend cardigans, but I don't think they translate very well to spring and summer clothes, so I prefer a more standard version this time of year. The Clare cardigan from J.Crew is one of my favorites and it comes in a million colors. I find myself wearing tan, and gray the most during the winter, but white is so great for warmer temps!

Denim Jacket: I love a good denim jacket, especially in middle to darker washes and it's definitely my go to for a layer when spring temps are unpredictable. I love this one.

Essential Shoes: Blush and nude shoes are all the trend right now and they are in my opinion worth getting in your closet ASAP. The neutral color will go with pretty much anything and they will also elongate your legs, which is definitely a plus!

Sandals: Having a go-to sandal is definitely important and in my opinion investing in a good, comfortable pair will pay off, they will probably be worn more than your other shoes. These Tory Birch sandals are definitely and investment, however they have over a thousand five-star ratings on the Norstrom website, and I have found this to rather reliable. I also love the espadrille and these are super cute! 

Dress Shoes: Depending upon your work attire, sandals like the ones above might be just fine, otherwise I am a big of ballet flats and these come in pink, nude, and black. I also love the these and they are super affordable too!

Wedges:  Hands down, wedges are my favorite thing! I love these and they come in multiple colors too!

Essential Jewelry: It seems as though the trend of big, bold, jewelry has come and gone. Now, simple jewelry is where it's at. I am a big fan of Kendra Scott and it's a good happy medium for quality without costing a million dollars. I love my Elisa Pendant and for long necklaces I still wear my Rebel pendant from Stella and Dot more than any other necklace I've had. As for earrings, I really love leather ones right now. I have a mix between Nickel & Suede and  The Leather Drop.  these which I wear more than any other. 

Stay tuned, next I'm going to share some outfit ideas!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Essential Shoes and Jewelry

I'm back again to share with you all some essential shoes to add to your wardrobe this spring. I started the series by sharing essential tops and bottoms , then followed it up by sharing essential dresses and layers, so if you missed them, make sure to go back and check them out!

Essential Shoes


 Essential Shoes: Blush and nude shoes are all the trend right now and they are in my opinion worth getting in your closet ASAP. The neutral color will go with pretty much anything and they will also elongate your legs, which is definitely a plus!

Sandals: Having a go-to sandal is definitely important and in my opinion investing in a good, comfortable pair will pay off, they will probably be worn more than your other shoes. These Tory Birch sandals are definitely and investment, however they have over a thousand five-star ratings on the Norstrom website, and I have found this to rather reliable. I also love the espadrille and these are super cute! 

Dress Shoes: Depending upon your work attire, sandals like the ones above might be just fine, otherwise I am a big of ballet flats and these come in pink, nude, and black. I also love the these and they are super affordable too!

Wedges:  Hands down, wedges are my favorite thing! I love these and they come in multiple colors too!

Essential Jewelry: It seems as though the trend of big, bold, jewelry has come and gone. Now, simple jewelry is where it's at. I am a big fan of Kendra Scott and it's a good happy medium for quality without costing a million dollars. I love my Elisa Pendant and for long necklaces I still wear my Rebel pendant from Stella and Dot more than any other necklace I've had. As for earrings, I really love leather ones right now. I have a mix between Nickel & Suede and  The Leather Drop.  these which I wear more than any other. 


Next, I'm going to put it all together for you!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Essential Dresses and Layers

I'm back again today to stare some essential dresses and layers with you all today.  I shared essential tops and bottoms earlier this week, if you missed it. Dresses are one of my favorite things, but today I chose three I think are essential for you to have in your closet.

Essential Dresses and Layers


Monday, April 3, 2017

Spring Essential Tops and Bottoms

A few years back I did a series about essential wardrobe staples, and  thought it would be fun to do an updated version.  These are just suggestions of course, but pieces that can be both dressed up and down and mixed and matched. If you're looking to re-boot or freshen up your wardrobe, these are the types of pieces I recommend.

Essential Tops and Bottoms

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Live Loved




Recently I've been loving the song Live Like You're Loved by Hawk Nelson, I'd love if you took a few minutes to listen!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Work Style

After almost two weeks of warm weather, we are back in highs each day in the 50s. Whomp, whomp. I wore this to church Sunday, but have worn this combo quite a few times. Outfits like this have been my go-to for work, and like I said, I've really been loving Loft for fun prints this year too.

These ankle pants have also been my favorite, I also have them in burgundy, which was great for this fall/winter. I also showed you these wedges from Vionic and they are the best! They've worked so well as a transitional shoe and are so comfortable! 

I have also been a huge fan of leather earrings and I stumbled across these which are less than half the price of the ones I'd previously been purchasing. She uses a die-cut for them, so they are perfectly shaped, unlike some other less expensive options which seem to be hand cut.

Monday, March 27, 2017

#Booklove



Soooooo, I have been on a total role with reading lately and going through books like crazy. I think it partly has to do with the fact that I have no desire to watch March Madness, but truly, I'm just a book junkie. I picked up Go Ask AliceLove Walked InPromise Not to Tell, and The Girl on the Train at Goodwill for a combined total of $3. I actually went on the hunt for Baby Proof which I saw there a few weeks back, but of course it was gone. I've already read Go Ask Alice and The Girl on the Train, but they were so good I want to re-read them.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Daily Style

Today I thought I'd share some daily outfits, as I haven't posted real outfit pictures in for very much. I'd honestly like to go back to one outfit a week, but it's just not working great with Hannah, and that's ok.

I really like this outfit. My top is from Loft, but a few years old. I'm loving this version though. I'm also crazy about these wedges Vionic sent me about a month ago. I've worn them quite a bit and know they'll be on constant rotation this spring!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Outside!

You guys. I have been so excited for the warm temps and the kids have too! We spent quite a bit of time at the park and outside in general this past week and it has been the best! Hannah is obviously a fan too!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Fashion Trends




Hey guys! I'm super excited for spring and the clothes that go with it! I'm sharing these looks and some outfit ideas over at Target Made Me Do It, stop by and check it out!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Little Sis


You guys. Last week the struggle was pretty real around here on the  weeknights.  It seemed like the second I picked Hannah up from school she didn't want to leave my side or be put down. Then, if I did put her down she wailed and wailed, and I have to admit that baby crying is my kryptonite. I totally couldn't deal. 

Then, when I did put her down for dinner, (which was super fun to make while holding a baby by the way), she'd be pretty happy to eat, until I sat down, then she cried and reached for me and wouldn't stop until she'd be sitting on my lap eating. It was exhausting and it made me so sad that she felt like she's sad without me.

The weird thing was that once the weekend came she was happy and content the whole time. She played, let me make dinner and clean up, and did her own thing. I don't remember Grant going through a phase like this, so I totally at a loss. Her school says she's happy, so I just didn't get it. 

Then, just as I was starting to get worried, she's been great so far this week in the evenings. She's been pretty content and happy. Little Sister is full of personality, that's for sure! That's kids for you though, they can seem to change with the weather and I guess I need to just roll with the punches. 

Update on Grant too, I shared that we started a marble system with him late last week and it's going really well! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Marble Jar



I feel like something we have had to work on repeatedly with Grant is following directions the first time and not arguing or complaining. I go between trying to figure out what is normal kid stuff and what is definitely not ok. I even remember a time a few years back when Grant asked me if he would get his way if he just kept asking. I held in a laugh and responded, "no," but I still sometimes wonder if that's what he's hoping for.

Lots of days and times are really easy and Grant will do what he's supposed to with no complaints, but there are other times that it's not so good. Take for example Grant wanting to wear his basketball jersey to school without a shirt underneath when it's 20 degrees outside. If it was nice, it would be no big deal, but when it's freezing, that's just not happening. Brian and I don't budge, but it's in instances like this that Grant will whine and complain and it drives me crazy, before he ultimately ends up following directions. Sigh....

So, we decided to try a marble jar at home. He get's twenty marbles, each worth a dine, totaling  his allowance of $2. He follows directions the first time without arguing and keeps his marbles in, he doesn't listen the first time or argues/complains, he loses a marble.  Any marbles he's lost can be earned back by following directions the first time again. At the end of the week if he has all his marbles in his jar he gets an extra $1 of allowance.

We started last week and it's going well. He's really responding to getting to put marbles back in or keep them in there, and it's helping me to praise his positive behavior too. It's also shutting down any arguments or complaining because I simply respond by saying, "You did not listen, go move a marble," or "You are complaining, go move a marble." I know this isn't something that will work forever, but I hope it can help train him into becoming a better listener the first time. Trying to figure everything out is not easy, that's for sure!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Life Lately

 We have definitely been keeping busy, here's a look at life lately!

I have really been making an effort not to do a lot of shopping, plus I still have my winter clothes out, so I don't really know what I need, but when this top went 40% off and they only had my size left, I knew I needed to nab it. So cute! The cardigan and ankle pants are also Loft but from last year.



Monday, March 6, 2017

A Dog's Purpose


Last week I finished A Dog's Purpose and it was so good! Honestly, when this book was published a few years ago I was not interested in reading it. I was hung up on the fact that the dog becomes reincarnated and that's not something I believe to be true. However, it was something I agree to disagree on when I read this book, and I'm glad I did.

One thing I loved about this book is that it was written from a dog's point of view. Without giving too much away, we see what it's like to be wild, at a puppy mill, with a family, and as a police dog though our main character dog's eye. It is powerful and made me ugly cry multiple times. I also hugged our beagle a bit tighter. Definitely a book worth reading!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately around here. This picture is from a few weeks back on Valentine's Day. Grandma bought Hannah an outfit, so I snapped a quick picture of the kids when I dropped Hannah off at school. These two have my heart!



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Work Wear for Spring

Today I'm sharing an outfit that I think is perfect for work and the transition to spring. Which I know we are all excited about. I just got these Calypso espadrille wedges from Vionic, which is one of my favorite brands for both quality and comfort. Vionic is all about creating shoes that support natural alignment in your feet as well as giving arch support that works with both flats and heels. 

These are my forth pair of Vionics and they will be perfect for both spring and summer. I also love that the wedge is not super tall, so they are perfect for days at school when I need to be on my feet. I paired them with these kick crops from Loft, which I bought last spring. They still have them but only in a few very small sizes. These are similar and all sizes are available. 

As for my tops, this cardigan is super old and the tank is from Target last spring. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

One Night in Winter



You guys. One Night in Winter is the best book I've read in a long time! I recently scored it along with a bunch of other books from the Dollar Store and it's pretty much the best dollar I've ever spent.

Based on a true story, this book takes place in Russia just after World War II. We are introduced to a group of kids who go to Stalin's prestigious school. All the kids' parents are the elite within the government, and they have a love for the Romantic Literature class, taught by a beloved professor. The kids love a Russian author named Pushkin and celebrate him with a club they've created which I would compare to the Dead Poets' Society.

 They do reinactments of his literate, but everything goes wrong when they are reinacting a scene with pretend guns, which have somehow been replaced with real guns. Two of the kids end up dead and  what started as a child's game is turned into a conspiracy to overthrow the government, after their club's book is found with some controversial information inside.

This novel gives a pretty intense view into what life was like under Stalin's Russia and will keep you up reading late into the night. You should definitively add this to your must read list today.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clothe Yourselves with Compassion


Recently in church we had a guest pastor who spoke with us about how to treat others. He referenced these verses:

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

I'm not going to lie, I LOVE these verses and the power behind them, as they impact how we treat others each and every day. I also know that sometimes it's easier said than done. 

The verse that stuck out to me was "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." The pastor went onto to talk about marital counseling he does. He talked about the pre-marital counseling and how the two love birds can't seem to have enough good things to say about each other and truly see each other through rose-colored glasses. Then he talked about those who are deep into marriage and the rose-colored glasses are long gone-they can sometimes struggle to even think of one good thing to say about the other. How time had changed them. 

I think a lot of us can relate to this, either within our married lives, with our kids, with our friends, or with our extended family members. It's the ones we love the most who we can show the least love, compassion and forgiveness too. 

I think it's time to view things the way our heavenly father does. He forgives, when we don't deserve it and he is the ultimate example for us to follow.  We all have bad days, but taking it out on those we love or holding past wrongs against them not only hinders our relationship with the person as well as hinders out relationship with God. We end up focusing on the wrongs we perceive them to have done towards us and we forgot all the good things about them. 

I'm working to let past wrongs go within all my relationships and working to clothe my self with compassion, kindness, humility, and gentleness and those are the best things to wear!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Spring Style

Today I'm doing something I haven't done in a long time, I'm sharing an outfit post. I just got this dress from Pink Blush and adore it! Back when I was pregnant with Hannah I shared with you a number of maternity clothes from Pink Blush's maternity line, so I was excited to get to collaborate with them again and share this dress with you.

It is super stretchy and flattering and obviously of good quality. I also love that it has sleeves, so I don't feel like I HAVE to layer it. Our weather is beginning to warm up, so I know I'll get to wear this soon. I think it'll be perfect for Easter too!


Monday, February 20, 2017

Five Simple Tips for Decluttering Your Home


I'm going to level with you. I feel like I do a pretty good job of keeping house, but there have just not been enough minutes in the day to declutter the way I'd like to. Luckily, Gordmans has some great bins and totes to help me get organized and decluttered.

Today I thought I'd share five tips to help you get decluttered in your home too.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Art of Fielding


Over Christmas my book club did a white elephant book exchange and it was the best idea. I ended up with The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. It won book of the year a few years back and I'm surprised it had never made it on my to-read list before.

This book revolves around a small college called Westish near Lake Michigan. We learn about the lives of multiple people, mostly revolving around the players on the baseball team. We see how their stories are connected, what friendship are love look like, and how the choices we make not only impact us, but others around us too.

I really enjoyed this book and wish we'd done it as our book club book as I think it would spark some great conversations. It'll make you think, for sure.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Self-Care


In super cool news, I have gingivitis. I guess it's a nice thing that I made it 37 years without flossing on a regular basis, but that time has ended. I've made excuses as to why I don't floss or use mouthwash-mostly because I'm tired and/or being lazy, but I really don't want to get periodontal disease, so flossing and mouthwash it is.

This trip to the dentist really made be stop and think about how I do and don't take care of myself. Reality is, I'm not going to be a good wife or mother if I'm always driving around like a car with it's gas light on.

So, today I thought I'd share some self-care tips and things I'm working to do or currently doing. We as moms have to take care of ourselves!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Life Lately

Here's a look at Life Lately!

I've been wearing a lot of easy layers lately. Loft is definitely my go-to for work clothes. These ankle pants are my favorites and I have them in a few colors. They are perfect with pretty much everything.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hannah


I feel like so many things have changed in this past month or so with Hannah. She got her tubes at the end of December, and now that she's feeling well, it's obvious how much her darn infected ears were impacting her each day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Saving Money with ThredUP


 ThredUP continues to be one of my favorite places to shop when I'm in need of clothes.  With so much "fast fashion" out there, the amount of waste created by clothing continues to climb, so utilizing places like thredUP, where you can buy gently used or new clothing is not only better for the environment, it's also easier on your wallet.  

Today I thought I'd share how I shop thredUP and show you some of the things I scored too.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine's Day Gifts for Toddles

Valentine's Day Gifts


Since getting to work with The Baby Cubby during Christmas, I have become the biggest fan. Hannah is loving all of her birthday and Christmas gifts from them, so it only made sense to look to them again for a Valentine's Day Surprise.

We don't go all out, but the kids do each get something special, along with a card. Today I thought I'd share some of my favorite things that would be great for your toddler too!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Siblings



Brian went out of town for work, so I had to mom it alone for five days, a job that is never easy. On Saturday we went out to the outlet mall to exchange something for Grant and ate at Mc Donald's for a treat. Hannah was totally distracted by the table next to us and the mom asked how many years apart Grant and Hannah were. I responded 5 1/2 and she went on to say her kids are six years a part, with the older sister away at college. She went on to say how she hadn't planned the age gap, but she was thankful for it.

I can totally relate. Taking care of two kids is no joke as it is, and I can't imagine how much more  complicated it would be if we had only a two year age gap the way a lot of people do. On any given day Grant helps me out with about a million things, and although he has tried to assert his independence by shutting his door to play (which is totally unsuccessful as Hannah just stands outside the door and cries), he really loves her and is a great brother.

I have to remind myself not to expect too much from him, as he is only 6, but I am so grateful for Grant. I look forward to Grant and Hannah's friendship blooming and all the memories that are to come.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cuddle Up with a Good Book-Must Read Love Stories

Cuddle Up with a Good Book-Must Read Love Stories

Today I'm posting over at  Target Made Me Do It to share some must read love stories. These aren't just the usual love stories though, come check it out!

Monday, January 30, 2017

#boymom



Today  I thought I'd share somethings I've had to say to Grant lately that I think only moms of boys can relate to....at least I'm hoping I don't have to say some of these things to Hannah....

1. Did you change your underwear?

2. If I look in the hamper will I see dirty underwear on top?

3. You can be a ninja after dinner, come eat.

4. Please take your game of football outside... (after toppling everything on the sofa table)

5. Flush the toilet (said eighty times a day)

6. Sit down at the table, please.

7. Please put your sister down (as he tries to dance around the room carrying her)

8. No, you didn't brush your teeth. Go brush your teeth.

9. Where are your shoes????

10. Please take your mask off at the table.

11. Please stop jumping, bouncing, climbing on the furniture, bed, chair, counter, table.....

12.  Clean socks. Please put on clean socks.

13.  How do your socks feel weird????

14.  How are you hungry again????

15.  No, you didn't take a bath last night.

16. No, you're not done in the bath, your hair isn't even wet.

17. What are you doing with that Sharpie?????

18.  Please stop pretending the play kitchen knife is a ninja weapon.

19. You want to do another blindfold taste test?

20. I love you too!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Five Tips for Loving Everything You Wear


I've been thinking a lot lately about the clothes in my closet. I shared on here that since August I've gotten rid of probably 100 things, many of which were blogging gifts, but things I didn't really love. I've been working to make sure I love everything I wear, and thought I'd share some tips with you today. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Behind Closed Doors



I saw this book, "Behind Closed Doors" on a list for people who are fans of books like "Gone Girl" and "Girl on the Train." I couldn't wait to get my hands on it!

At first glance I would compare this book to "Sleeping with the Enemy," a movie Julia Roberts was in like twenty years ago. On the service it looks like Jack is the perfect husband and Grace is the beautiful wife, but there's a lot more to the story than that.

I honestly read this book in one day, so I obviously wanted to find out what was going to happen. I will say I felt like there were some plot holes throughout though. Jack is in an essence holding Grace captive, but the leverage he has on her isn't as believable as I think it could have been. I kept thinking she could just leave.

Overall, I think it was a good book, but not as good as "Gone Girl" or "Girl on the Train." Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Life Lately

Here's a look at life lately!

We kept busy over our unexpected four day weekend due to icy weather (which honestly was not bad at all around here). We went out to the outlet mall on Saturday and I was so excited to find this Kate Spade wallet on sale. I had wanted it a few weeks back but it was still to pricey for my my taste. Luckily it went on sale for $44 and  I was thrilled!



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Playing By the Rules


Grant has always had a lot of friends, but recently he came home from school upset because of a disagreement with friends. One of his best friends from last year, who isn't in his class this year started going to the after school Kids Club and Grant was so excited! His buddy was saving him a seat, then someone else sat there, the boy wouldn't move and Grant didn't know what to do. He walked away feeling like his friends didn't like him and didn't have the tools to know how to navigate the situation. He didn't understand that just because he couldn't end up sitting my him at snack didn't mean he wouldn't get to play with him after snack. This was a little situation but Grant was definitely maximizing it.

We all talked at dinner. We problem solved the situation, and Brian and I decided to do our best at home to model good "friend" behavior. One thing we've specifically been doing is working to play games by the rules. Grant is infamous for trying to rewrite the rules to be in his favor. Sometimes I let him switch the rules in the past, because I want him to have fun, but that's not going to fly with friends-I saw this when he was playing Pokemon with a buddy over break. 

We've talked through the rules and explained why they make sense, and how if someone switched the rules it might not be "fair." We've also worked on winning and losing gracefully. This can be easier said than done, but Grant is doing well. We've talked about how he would feel if someone bragged about winning at school and why he shouldn't brag. We've also talked about not whining and saying "no fair" if you don't win. 

This is encouraging us to make family game times more consistent and I know Grant also loves the time just with us playing games after Hannah is in bed too, so it's definitely win-win.

I think so often we can take for granted the years it took us to navigate what friendship looks like, and honestly, I think we still have to work on it as adults. As parents, Brian and I definitely don't have it all figured out, but we're working on it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Kite Runner



I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I hadn't read this book sooner: it's that good. Earlier this year I read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and wrote a review here. The Kite Runner was equally amazing. 

Amazon says: "The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, caught in the tragic sweep of history, The Kite Runner transports readers to Afghanistan at a tense and crucial moment of change and destruction. A powerful story of friendship, it is also about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies." 

I couldn't put this book down and bonus, the movie is on Netflix once you are done reading. You should definitely pick it up today!
 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Train Them Up



Recently I was an onlooker to an interesting situation. A child desperately wanted to play with their parent, but the parent would not put done their technology to play. The pleas to play went on for quite sometime before the parent finally "caved." They played for a short time, then the parent went back to their technology. It was awful and heartbreaking. Not just for that child, but because I have been that parent. The worst.

It's so easy to justify time on my phone or the computer, but there is always time for that after the kids' bedtime- and even then a little bit should go a long way. When they want to play, I should put down my phone and play. My husband and I created these kids and God entrusted them to us. Are we doing our best job?

I want our kids to feel valued and loved. I want them to know that people and kindness matters. They have to see my husband and I acting this out with them each day.

Proverbs 22:6 says "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." What Hannah and Grant see from us, is what they will do. We are not just raising a boy and a girl, we are raising a future spouse and parent. What we do today matters.

I know I mentioned putting my phone down last week, but it's ringing true (no pun intended) even more so now. If I spend the little time I have with them scrolling through my phone, I'm telling them my phone matters more then they do. God calls us to be better than that, so it's a conscious choice we need to make each day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Magnolia Story



Recently, The Magnolia Story was at my Little Free Library. I actually knew nothing about Chip or Joannna. I'd also never watched "Fixer Upper." I had only heard of Magnolia Market as a friend mentioned going there. That being said, I really enjoyed the book. Both Chip and Joanna wrote sections of each chapter, feeding on each other's thoughts, like a conversation.

I ended up watching an episode of "Fixer Upper" and really enjoyed it, and getting to know them through the book made the show even cooler. I think it's really neat how they really are each other's "better half" and how well Joanna handles all of Chip's crazy ideas and how Chip obviously loves and honors Joanna.

One of the parts of the book that really struck out to me was when Joanna realized a lot of her designing within the arch of sir homes was what she wanted and not "kid friendly," then she'd spend half the day picking up after them go make it pretty and unhappy the whole time. It was when she saw their were black finger prints on her couch that she realized she'd been doing it backwards. It was then she started to think about designing her home so it was a place the kids loved and felt was their own. I love this and the mid shift she went though.

I also loved how Chip and Joanna showed how God was important to them and part of the journey all the time. So often we don't hear people in the limelight talk about God, so it was refreshing.

I think it's safe o say "Fixer Upper" is not on the list of shows I want to watch and I really enjoyed reading their story.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Life Lately

Here's a little look at life lately. : )

I haven't been shopping, like at all, but I was recently at Target with Hannah and saw this vest on clearance for $17! I've already worn it twice. : ) It had been on my wishlist for this fall, but I never saw any in stores and worried about buying online, as I wasn't sure of quality or fit. This fits true to size and the quality is great! I also recently got these earrings.  I saw them first on Jane.com and ordered a few pair as they were so inexpensive and since then have gotten a few more. I love them and they are only $12!



Monday, January 9, 2017

Winging It



Tell me I'm not the only one who feels like this sometimes? There are days that I feel like I have it all together and the stars align. The kids sleep until 7:00, they play nicely, I get the house cleaned up, meals made, and we have quality family time in the evening. It's on days like this that I feel like I've got this "mom thing" down as I high five....myself.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I Now Have a Toddler!



A weird thing happened last week: I realized Hannah was no longer a baby. I'll admit, I'm still adjusting to the idea. I think it's the fact that we've switched from bottles to sippy cups and that crawling is a thing of the past that really solidified it for me.

We also had a friend stop by with her six week old and Hannah looked like a giant in comparison! I feel like I need I'm mourning the loss of my baby a bit. The crazy thing is, so often as moms we are always looking forward to the next stage our kids will enter, that we can sometimes forget to enjoy the stage we are in now.  Blink and it's over.

A month ago it was bottles and some table food, and now my girl is eating pizza and drinking milk from a sippy cup. She's working on five teeth and now that her ears are better she's very rarely fussing or crying. This little person is changing and growing each day and I don't want to blink and miss a thing.

She may be having a snack and milk before bed, but I'm not ready to stop rocking my little girl, and I plan to keep that up for as long as she'll let me. : )

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

FOMO or Boredom?


Last week my husband sent me this video about millennials, if you have a few minutes, you should check it out. I'm not a millennial, as I was born in 1979, but Simon Sinek spends part of the time talking about Social Media and technology and he had some pretty interesting and eye-opening things to say.