Tuesday, April 30, 2013

{playing dress up}

I made a trip to Goodwill over the weekend to drop off a bag of the boys' old toys.

And then of course I had to go in.

I didn't have a lot of time to look so I decided to focus on searching for dresses/tunics because they are my new favorite thing to wear over leggings and skinny jeans. I searched through the dress rack first and had no luck, so I decided to head over to the blouse rack and scan the hems for longer ones.

Which turned out to be a great game plan because I found this gem within the first few minutes...

I love this Old Navy tunic/shirt dress. It isn't long enough for me to wear as a dress, but it is perfect over skinnies.

This color palette is a departure from my typical greens/blues/browns too...really nice for spring!

Have you found any thrifted treasures lately?

Linking up with...

pleated poppy

My Style Monday @ My Greatest Hits 
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Casual Friday @ Two Thirty-Five Designs
Sunday Style @ Modern Modest Beauty
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
What We Wore, Read & Made Linky Party @ Rae Gun Ramblings
Closet Copy Cat @ The Grant Life

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{new glasses...a video demonstration}

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've seen photos of my new glasses from Firmoo. As much as I would like to say I love them...they just aren't working for me.

So this is purely because I'm ridiculous and feel the need to show you all in video form why my new glasses aren't quite the right fit...

Go ahead and make the video full screen to get the total experience! ;)

And thanks again to Firmoo for these glasses...even though they aren't quite the right fit, your customer service was excellent!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

{Lisa Leonard Designs Giveaway}

I have been a fan of Lisa Leonard's jewelry for years. Not only are her designs whimsical, timeless and meaningful, they are also handmade!

I now own two of her pieces and they are both so lovely. And I'm beyond excited that I get to partner with her today to give one of you a $50 store credit to her shop...just in time for Mother's Day!

If you haven't read Lisa's blog, or know about the story of how her shop was started and how it has grown, head on over to her shop/blog! Her story is so inspiring. She was so generous to send me her gold wildflower necklace and it is so delicate and beautiful. And I love that she carries gold pieces now!

So what are you waiting for?!

Enter below via the Rafflecopter widget to win! Good luck friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, April 26, 2013

{hello friday}

Friday has arrived for me this week like the perfect song coming on the radio...the one you weren't even sure you wanted to listen to or needed to hear, but the music is so sweet to your ears. 

Of course Friday comes every week but some weeks I crave them like my sweet tooth aches for a piece {or 5} of dark chocolate. Today is definitely more on the 6 + piece scale. 

Oh, how I need today...especially once 5:00 hits, and I can go home to Dan and the boys. We'll run out to the "movie store" and let the boys pick out their weekly movie to watch tonight...grab some candy at the dollar store...and then head home to throw on our comfies and snuggle on the couch.

Looking back on the special moments of the week help to drown out the utter exhaustion that I've felt. There are SO many precious, good moments. Thank goodness for those...

Sleeping in until 10 am last Saturday and enjoying a late breakfast with the boys. Taking sweet portraits of them {at their request}. Working on my March Instalife album...creating is the best form of therapy for me.

Watching the boys play on the lawn mowers at Lowe's. Picking out a new paint color for our half bath. Spending an entire hour on my lunch break reading more of The Happiness Project {such good stuff}. And digging into this book...can't wait to start working on the projects.

Looking forward to a lot of goodness that this weekend will bring. 

In the midst of all of life's busyness...what is bringing you joy today?

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

{travel in style with HP + Intel}

Today I'm talking about traveling in style. 

Now let me first start by saying that for my current lifestyle, "traveling" consists of the 30 minute interstate drive my family and I take every few weeks to the closest Sonic and Target. 

We seriously LOVE those trips. Its the little things, right? 

And even a trip to grab a cherry limeade and spend $100 on a random assortment of absolute necessities {wink} at good old Tar-jay deserves a cute outfit, right?

I put together six of my favorite car trip/shopping looks that involve three basic wardrobe essentials...
  • unique top/tunic
  • cardigan
  • skinny jeans
In my humbly fashionable opinion, these three pieces can get you through any 45 minute jaunt through the toy aisles...

The thing I love about this combination is that you only have to own a few of each piece to create SO many different looks. I'm actually wearing the same pair of jeans in 5 out of these 6 outfits! {I kind of love them.}

Then just add a cute pair of boots or flats, and if you are feeling extra adventurous,throw on a statement necklace and you will really be traveling in style! 

And now I'm craving a cherry limeade and Target popcorn...

Looking for more travel in style inspiration and a chance to win fun prizes from HP + Intel?

Enter the HP + Intel + Project Runway Pin Your Style Contest!

Pin a photo of the HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultrabook™ via the Pin It button on the Pin Your Style contest page. Then, build a board that represents that week's theme. Check out the weekly Pinsetter images on the site for inspiration.
Submit your board's URL into the site to enter. Then, share your board with friends to earn the most votes!

Win prizes like an HP Envy 4 Touchsmart Ultrabook™ and a gift card to bring your style to life by getting the top votes for your board.
  • Then vote in the contest between April 29 - May 12 by viewing the Pinterest board submissions on the Pin Your Style contest page and vote for your favorites based on the theme.

So tell me, what is your favorite go-to travel outfit? And where is your favorite destination?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

{playing dress up}

Trying something new today!

I'm featuring one outfit from the past week that I love and talking a bit more about it...

Pin It
This outfit couldn't be more comfortable. The dress and leggings are both from TJ Maxx, and basically feel like I'm wearing pj's {the leggings are fleece lined!}. I scored the cute cardigan at our local consignment shop, and the black flats are c/o one of my favorites, maurices.

I love this key necklace from Groopdealz...it is such an easy accessory to throw on.

And yes...I have a big band-aid shaped birthmark on my left foot. It may sound funny to say, but until college, I would base my shoe purchases on if they covered it or not. I was super embarrassed by it. Thank goodness I got over that!

Do you have any crazy birthmarks?

Linking up with...
pleated poppy

My Style Monday @ My Greatest Hits 
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Casual Friday @ Two Thirty-Five Designs
Sunday Style @ Modern Modest Beauty
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
What We Wore, Read & Made Linky Party @ Rae Gun Ramblings
Closet Copy Cat @ The Grant Life

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Monday, April 22, 2013

{woozy for druzy}

Yes, we all know I have a thing for jewelry.

Necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings...I give them all equal attention.

I've noticed a lot of druzy pieces lately and I'm in love with the natural, earthy quality of the stones. They also take me back to my rock collecting days when I was a child. I had a few geodes and pieces of agate in my collection and I soooo wish I still had them.

Here are a few pieces I've pinned from searching Etsy...

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Mandy on Pinterest

What do you think of this druzy trend?

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

{we are vessels}

The truth sometimes looks like this...

Its scary. And we hide from it. 

But we all desperately need it.

Last weekend I taught my first Discovering Your Truth workshop, and I was surprised to find myself feeling both humbled and fulfilled at the same time...with a bit more weight on the humbled side. 

I shared on my vlog the other day about the idea that we often want to teach others the same lessons we ourselves need to learn...a concept I picked up from this lovely blog. And maybe it was because my workshop fell during a time period when I was already feeling particularly raw because of how hectic life had been, but I found myself falling into the role of student right along with everyone else. 

It was surprising to me that after the workshop, and even still lingering today, I feel more vulnerable and self-conscious than I feel empowered. I feel a sense of joy that the women who came left our shared space with encouraged hearts and something that they made with their own two hands to remind them of that. But at the same time I felt like, "How am I qualified to be teaching this?" and "What the heck am I doing here?"

Maybe this is the way it is supposed to be. When we feel so led to teach others something that is burning in our hearts, that desire isn't solely our own. This creativity that flows inside of me isn't something of my own making. I have to remind myself of that. And that realization comes with a healthy does of humility.

I'm simply a vessel for the work that God wants me to do in the world. 

I honestly believe it is our deep responsibility to cultivate our gifts...to honor God by sharing them with others. 

That doesn't mean it will come easy to us...I think if it does then maybe we aren't digging deep enough. This also brings me back to my vlog and the idea of stretching ourselves. I truly feel that the only way we are going to grow is if we take a few steps, or even a giant leap, outside of our comfort zone to cultivate the talents we've been entrusted with. 

Am I good at that? Not even close. In fact, I'll be the first to admit that my default tends to be the path most traveled, instead of the least. 

But I know I owe it to Him to give it a shot.

We are the vessels but we also have to do the work to bring our talents out of hiding. 

My friend Hannah talked here about how we all go through seasons of our talents being hidden...for one reason or another they need to lie dormant...but to have hope and believe that when the time is right we will be given the opportunity to let them come up through the surface like a plant breaking through the soil. {Go read her post...it is wonderful.}

I feel like it is my time to break through that ground, and that is both exciting and scary at the same time. I wonder if I will be able to do my talents justice, or if I'll fall flat on my face. But all any of us can do is have hope in His plan for us, listen to that small voice leading us in the right direction, and surround ourselves with people that encourage and want the best for us. 

Whew! So if you've made it through all that, here is a little photo recap of my workshop. It was such a fun time with some great ladies {including my Mom!}

That lady up there....that's Amy, and she is AMAZING, for lack of a better word. She helped me lead the workshop and has been my biggest encourager throughout this process. 

I am already planning my next class and find myself actually looking forward to feeling vulnerable, to being a student, to even being scared...because those are the times we grow the most.

Linking up with...

A Royal Daughter

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Friday, April 19, 2013

{on being an advocate for your children}

"Our policy is that we always put twins in separate classrooms."

Amidst the teacher-meeting, all-about-me-book-making, and school-bus-touring, all I could hear were those words echoing in my head.

We took the boys to a kindergarten kick-off event last night.


While that word can strike fear and anxiety in the heart of any parent, I didn't realize until last night just how much more weight it holds for parents of multiples.

"They are better off in separate classrooms."


To many, it might seem like such a simple decision to separate them. Most kids have to go it alone, so why are twins any different?

Because they are. In SO many ways.

They have experienced EVERYTHING together...from the moments they came out of my womb {separated by a mere three minutes}, learning how to walk, celebrating birthdays, getting their first bikes, starting preschool.

ALL of it. Together.

So it makes total sense to force them to experience kindergarten apart.*

*insert heavy sarcasm

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to shelter them by keeping them together. My reasoning is actually quite to the contrary.

These boys are SO different. Not only do they not look alike {thank God...that has made parenting SO much easier, especially in the infant days}, but they have different talents and skills, interests and abilities, temperaments and personalities.

And that's why I know they would be better off in the same class.

They are better together, not because they rely on each other, but because they should experience it together. Field trips, parties, school programs, homework, classmates. I want all of those things to be a shared experience for them. A bonding experience.

Watching how they have adapted to preschool has only made me more sure of this. The lovely thing is that, while they know the other is with them and that is a comfort, they are almost always playing separately. When we pick them up, it is usually show and tell time, and we walk in to find them sitting with different friends. Or if they are playing they are in different parts of the room. 

But they KNOW the other is there. And I know they feel that and appreciate it.

And they experience the same things, but through very different lenses. I love that. 

Maybe I'm more worried about how my own heart will handle their eventual separation in school. But isn't a momma's heart a container for those of her children? Our hearts are growing together...mine taking on the growing pains of theirs, while at the same time growing right along with theirs.

I know them. I know what is in their best interest...what will help them to thrive.

Last night I realized on a much larger level that it is my responsibility to be an advocate for my children, to be that mom. The one who puts her foot down and doesn't follow all of the rules when she knows they weren't made for her children.

I have to put on my big girl pants, be brave, act like I have it all together... when inside I'm just praying most days I can make it through.

As anxiety inducing as this is for me...it is also very empowering...this taking charge of your children's best interests. This is an anxiety that I will gladly bear.

Have you had to be an advocate for your children? Or even for yourself?

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