Friday, March 29, 2013

{$50 Target Giveaway}


Who wants to win $50 to Target?

Who doesn't, right? :)

I'm teaming up with Kelley from The Grant Life and her other lovely sponsors to give one lucky gal or guy a $50 Target giftcard!


Enter to win via the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Thursday, March 28, 2013

{that thing called hope}


I've always been a fairly optimistic person. 

I try to see the good in others and in all situations. Emphasis on try. ;)

I believe that God has a plan for my life and every day I do my best to stay on the track that He wants me to be on. 

I don't know if it is a by-product of how my parents raised me, or just my DNA, but I tend to have a lot of hope about life in general. Even when things look bleak and aren't working out the way I want them to, I have hope that the right thing will come along when I most need it. When my family most needs it. When my friends most need it. 

Sometimes I think about hope, and feel silly or naive about the whole concept. 

Do good things, and good will come back to you. Does that always happen?

Well, honestly, not always. Sometimes we do our best and we still get crap dumped on us. That's life. But I think we have to see the beauty amongst the crap. OK...that's a horrible illustration. 

How about we have to see the shining light in the darkness...even if it is just a small flicker in what seems like an enormous black hole. 

It IS there. 

Sometimes we just have to work REALLY hard to find it. And I think all of that extra work is God's way of refining us...getting us ready for what's to come...making us a better version of ourselves.

If anything so far in my life has taught me that, it has been my journey so far as a mother. I didn't even realize how much refining I needed until those two boys came into the world. You would think there would be nothing left of me after all of the shaping, chiseling and polishing God has done to little old me. And I do have to admit that I lost hope for a few weeks right after they were born. But I'm SO thankful it came back.  

To quote one of my favorite movies...


"Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of good things. 
And no good thing ever dies."
-The Shawshank Redemption

Two things happened over the past few weeks that got me thinking a lot about hope, and the blind faith I tend to carry in my heart. One was hope for a better financial situation for our family. An opportunity came up that ended up not working out, and to be honest, I did get frustrated. I cried a bit. But then I thought about it a bit more and was reminded that we are doing OK. Yes, the money would have been very helpful. But we're doing OK. The right think WILL come along. 

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."
-Romans 12:12

I also took quite a big step a few weeks ago to heal a personal relationship. It was quite a scary leap...taken after much prayer and difficult contemplation and talks with God. Much to my surprise some baby steps have been taken toward healing, and for that I'm grateful. I believe I was rewarded for that crazy, scary leap I took. 

And I have hope. 

"For in this hope we are saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. 
For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, 
we wait for it with patience."
-Romans 8:24-25

If you can stand one more quote about hope, I have a free printable to share with you today. I love this quote from Emily Dickinson, and I am obsessed with feathers, so it makes me happy...and I hope you will find it an encouraging reminder...


*Click on the image to download*

Pin It

So tell me, what gives you hope friends? What do you lean on when things get tough. Le's encourage each other!

Linking up with...




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{InstaThis Giveaway}


Today's giveaway is such a perfect fit for me because...

1. I love pictures.
2. I'm ADDICTED to Instagram.

Oh, and I guess there is a 3rd thing...

3. I love decorating my home with meaningful photos.

So when InstaThis offered to send me a 10x10 wood print AND give one away to my lovely readers, I was ALL IN.



Have you heard of InstaThis? They print your Instagram photos on either wood or acrylic. So fun, right?

You can connect to your Instagram account directly on their website, choose your favorite photo(s), the size and material you want, and order your beautiful artwork. They can print from 6x6 inches up to 12x12 inches so there are so many possibilities.

For my print, I chose one of my favorite photos of the boys and they printed it on a 10x10 wood plaque...



It is the perfect addition to the little gallery wall we have going in on the family room...



And I love how easy this thing was to hang. Each wooden piece comes with this super easy track system and a specially made screw that slides right into the notch on the back...



As someone who is lazy about hanging things correctly, this is like a dream come true.

So do you wanna win one of your very own? Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below!

Good luck friends!


a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

{playing dress up}


Every week I struggle with what to talk about in these posts.

I feel like I should have some deep message to go along with my outfits...something to inspire you or encourage you or...geez I don't know.

But to be honest, right now I think these posts are just what they are...cute outfits to give you wardrobe ideas, and nothing else.

Is that OK?

I hope so because you all...I've got nothin'. I love sharing my outfits with you but I feel like this format is getting old and boooooring.

What do you think? Do you like how I share my outfits? Should I spice things up a bit somehow? I would love to take my photos in more interesting locations but realistically I work full time and when I get home I have two boys to take care of, so my free time for fancy photo shoots is rather limited. My office and my dining room are as exotic as it gets right now.

Until I figure this thing out, here are my outfits for the past week. :)

#1...

thrifted dress // Target cardigan // TJ Maxx skinnies // Kohl's boots

Etsy ring // Dillards bracelet

Scarf made by my friend Kathleen

#2...

thrifted top, cardigan & skirt // Kohl's tights // Ebay boots

Kohl's necklace

#3...

TJ Maxx dress // thrifted cardigan // Kohl's leggings // Target boots

Necklace from my shop

#4...

thrifted sweater // Kohl's scarf & tights // Sears skirt // Ebay boots

TJ Maxx ring {lucky brand}

Here's another photo of the ring from my Instagram...I'm in love with the setting made of branches...


#5...

Kohl's dress & boots // thrifted cardigan // TJ Maxx skinnies

Necklace from my shop


What do you think? Should I stick to this playing dress up format, or change things up? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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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{giveaway opportunity}


If you're looking to grow your blog or social media following, I'd like to share a great opportunity with you that I'm going to be participating in. A Kindle Fire giveaway! And it is free to participate. FREE! Pretty awesome, right? :)

Isabelle from Le Chateau des Fleurs recently released a new Android app called Smartphone DNA, and to promote it she is giving away a Kindle Fire HD-which she is sponsoring entirely.  The giveaway will be hosted by My So-Called Chaos, but what we need are other bloggers to share the giveaway on their blogs in order to spread the word! In return, you'll get two of your links in the Rafflecopter to get extra promotion for you in return for posting.  This is entirely free, there is NO buy in, we just need two posts from you.
  1. Post this announcement on your blog (code will be given after you request to join) to ensure your readers/followers have the opportunity to be a part of this giveaway too! 
  2. Post the actual giveaway (full Rafflecopter and all! People will be able to enter directly from your blog!) 
If you are interested in participating in this FREE promotional opportunity, please email Miss Angie and once accepted into the giveaway you will be given all the information you need for your posts.

Giveaway is set to run from 4/10/13 to 4/30/13.
All requests to join required by 4/5/13!

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Monday, March 25, 2013

{playing dress up: L&B edition}


Today is the boys' turn in the fashion spotlight!

My fun friend Chelsea is hosting a Trendy Little link-up over on her blog, so of course I am super excited to participate. Dressing up boys can be a lot more fun than you think!

This is what the L&B wore on a recent trip to IKEA...one of our favorite places to take them shopping. They always end up on a treasure hunt when we're there. And of course for us adults it is like a treasure hunt too!



Ben's wearing: Target sweater & jeans // thrifted Converse



Landon's wearing: JC Penney sweater // Target jeans & boots



This is my absolute favorite sweater the boys have right now...the aztec print is so adorable. And Ben's little striped elbow patches...too.much.cuteness! Such trendy boys!

They are already killing me with their modeling skills...I haven't even worked up to using props yet! ;)

Linking up with...

SACOS

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

{today}


Oh, how I needed today.

Waking up late, without the sound of an alarm, to stare at this cute neck while we watched Casper...


After the movie, Landon asked me if he could have a vitamin, AND THEN brush his teeth.

Um...YES son, that would be just fine! Seriously? That doesn't happen every day folks. 

The boys' Gigi took them out on the town while Dan and I enjoyed some time to get things done around the house and enjoy a lunch out together...a rare treat for all of us! 

And spontaneous shopping trip with her to TJ Maxx where we both found rings that just HAD to come home with us...


I got home just in time to snuggle with my Benny after the boys' nap...


And this is my new chalkboard message in the entryway...


Amen.

It was a good day. 

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

{instagram friday}


This photo kind of sums up how I've felt this past week...



All I've wanted is comfort...comfort food {in this case a big cup of Tim Horton's chili and a large fountain coke}...comfy clothes...and time spent at home with my boys. 

I just want to be surrounded by all things comforting. 

Work has been super busy, the blog has been keeping me on my toes, the boys are as crazy as ever {in mostly good ways}. 

Everyday life...it can just be too much sometimes. Don't get me wrong...I love our life, but sometimes I can let it get just a bit too full. This past weekend I really had to slow down and take a break from the computer, my phone, and just be me with my family...

I got to snuggle with the boys...


Take a fun trip to the library and other shops around town...


And do some much needed creating on Sunday putting together my February Insta-Life album...


And then moments like these during a busy work week can really melt the stress away...


Ben said, "I look gorgeous!" Why yes, yes you do sweet boy. :)

Watching my parents read a book with them was also one of those "stop and take it all in" moments...


I'm so thankful that the boys are growing up with their grandparents so close by.

And then I threw in just a shameless seflie...no Instagram is complete without one...


I came home for lunch Wednesday and the boys had made a "racetrack" through basically the entire house with their books...


I love watching their imaginations at work. Even if it does mean putting away a gazillion books. 

And they are really filling up their read-a-thon chart for school...one "x" = 5 minutes of reading!


You can tell when we went to the library because they have full rows after that. Those boys love reading and that makes me very happy!

With a life that seems to be going a mile a minute, and isn't going to slow down anytime soon, I'm so thankful for all of these everyday life moments that make it all worthwhile. 

What did your week look like? 


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