Clothed with Grace: 2017

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lemon Print and 50% off at Loft

Hey guys! Excuse my lack of posting for the last few weeks, we have been busy! Between swim lessons, baseball, and being out of town any downtime I've had had been spent either reading for watching Netflix. There have been no creative juices flowing over here. But, we've been having fun and definitely keeping busy!

That being said I had a few minutes before swim lessons this morning to snap a couple outfit pictures. We were ready early-crazy! Perfect timing too because everything at Loft is 50% off online and in stores today! A few weeks back I had the sweetest reader send me an e-giftcard for Loft! What an awesome surprise! I'd had my eye on these lemon print shorts and caught them at 50% off last week so they ended being free! I originally tried them on with this tank (size down, it's flowy) and loved it, but then I saw the tee I'm wearing on clearance (which seems to be sold out now) and decided on it instead. It's a bit more casual, which works for our daily happenings. This tee is super similar and only $13.

I've also been keeping my jewelry super simple. Mostly wearing my leather earrings from The Leather Drop or from Nickel & Suede and a simple necklace. I actually sold a number of my bracelets on ebay recently. I still have a couple I like, but I feel like the blingy-bulky jewelry trend is done and I like to keep it simple.

I have continued to wear my sandals from Vionic like crazy. I even wore them on a pretty long walk over the weekend very comfortably!

Are you shopping the Loft sale today? I'm pretty well set for summer now, so I'll have to shop vicariously through you ; )


Monday, June 19, 2017

Vacation Life

For the last four years my family has gone on a trip together. This year we went to Lake Okoboji for the second time. We also went there last year and for Nebraska, it's not a bad drive; only three and a half hours.

Our first night the veiw from the dock was pretty breathtaking!



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sassy Pants

It's hard to believe that we are three weeks into summer! Being at home with the kids has been great! We have been keeping pretty busy with a combo of the pool, playing outside at home, and going to the park and the library. 

Grant was at vacation bible school during the morning last week and at camp with Dad the weekend before, I had a lot of solo time with Sister. She is so full of personality and way more brave than I would like! She'll easily climb to the top of the play sets at the park and at home too. 

She also has been waking up super early-like 6:00 daily and she only naps for an hour and a half. I pushed back her bedtime to 7:30 from 7:00 but until Grant was almost 5 he wasn't up until about 7, slept for almost three hours during nap time and still went to bed between 7:30-8:00. I think Chick has FOMO.

The other thing that is super weird is that when we are outside Hannah hardly acknowledges me but when we are at home she wants me all. the. time. It's hard for me to do anything without her crying at my ankles to be picked up. This is totally different from Grant as well. He has always played pretty well independently.

Hannah also is seeming to get pretty picky at meal times. If she can eat it with a spoon, she's in, otherwise she is pretty picky. I know she's fine and I shouldn't worry, but if it was up to her she would have a diet fully consisting of go-gurt, apple sauce, bars, and fruit snacks. Grant ate everything.

She is talking a lot, but I mostly have no idea what she is saying. I've gotten her single words down like "ice" for "outside" and "DeDe!!!!" for "I really want to go play with DeDe and Greyson, like now!" She also does a great job with manners words like "please" and "thank you" and our names but she says a lot of things that I know means something to her and I have no idea what she is talking about.

Hannah also can open doors now. Yikes. I need to go get a safely lock for the pantry ASAP because, unlike Grant, Hannah will just go and help herself, where as Grant still asks before eating anything. 

It is just so interesting how much Grant and Hannah are different! Same home, same parents, same genes but two very different kids. It will be very interesting to se how her personality continues to develop as she gets older!


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer Prints

I may not have a ton of summer clothes but I'm pretty happy with what I have and that many of my work tops have worked with shorts. This top is from Loft early this spring and my favorite. It's sold out now but this blouse is the same style in a pretty print. Perfect for summer style or to dress up for work! 

These shorts are super old-like six years and still going strong. I love these currently on sale at Loft. I have the pant version and adore the color and buttons!

I've also been wearing my sandals from Vionic pretty much daily. I'm also adoring these espadrille flats which come in a number of colors and prints! I also realized my sandals come in a fun cream color too, for those of you not fans of gold I think these would be great for summer too!

A few years back I was a stylist for Stella and Dot for a while, mostly for the deals on jewelry. I bought this rebel pendent and even three years later it remains one of my favorite and most worn pieces, it also still looks new!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Mom Style

I shared this top with you all last week and I'm styling it again this week. It's also on sale currently for about $25! I mentioned on Instagram how few clothes I have for summer, so the few I have will be on constant rotation, and I'm totally ok with that. I wore this last week, it was easy and comfy and perfect for running around with the kids. This top washed up really well and these shorts are also from Loft but three years old. These shorts are super similar and only $17.99! 

Once again, I'm wearing my  sandals from Vionic, which if you haven't gotten yet, I would highly recommend them! I know they are are bit pricey but they are so worth it! As I'm getting older once place I've quit buying cheap are shoes and my feet are definitely thanking me!

As for my earrings, these leather earrings are only $10! I'm wearing them constantly and they are perfect for summer! 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Eating Update



I shared with you all last week that I was planning to start eating better, as well as begin to keep track of what I'm eating and the calories. Here are a few things I've learned in the last week and a half:


  • I thought I had some sort of an idea as to the calories of things, but I was waaaayyy off. For example, I made a sandwich, and the mayo and pickles calories were nearly as much as the turkey and cheese combined. Yikes!
  • Speaking of, there are a lot of "hidden" calories I seem to consume in a day, like coffee creamer. One tablespoon is 30 calories and I drink A LOT of coffee and never measured the creamer. I'm estimating an upwards of two hundred calories just in creamer each day, as I know I put in more than one tablespoon. Now, I'm measuring the one and calling it good.
  • It takes a lot of self-control for me not to eat when I'm bored. Seriously. I feel like I'm beginning to do a better job of recognizing when I'm really hungry, then trying to make better snack choices like yogurt or fruit.
  • Kids' comfort foods are  NOT healthy. Last week I made mac-n-cheese and hot dogs for lunch on day. The mac-n-cheese alone was nearly 300 calories! Same goes for burgers-nearly 500 when you begin to add things up!
  • I don't eat nearly enough vegetables, so the kids don't either. We have go to start doing a better job of that!
  • I have to be more thoughtful about how I fuel my body each day. My calorie ranges anywhere from 1050-1400. That's a big difference. Based on my age and size I probably need to be around 1200 a day. Take for example: we went out for breakfast once and the calories of that pretty much equalled a typical dinner, that means, I needed to eat lighter at dinner to compensate. 
I have lost nearly five pounds though, which is a good start. If I could lose five more I'd be sitting at my target weight and where I was about a year ago. Any substantial change is going to take a purposeful effort and it's going to have to be maintainable. I'm working to find a good balance that works for my life now.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Style

I shared on Monday that I got this dress at Loft. On the same trip I picked up this top. It's exactly what I love in a summer top-easy, comfy, with a special detail. I'll be the first to admit that Loft's sales are kind of ridiculous. On this specific day any top with "cotton" was 50% off and noting was labeled, so you had to check the tags for the UPC with the cotton code in it. Seriously. Anyway, luckily this top was part of the sale and only $22! The front is pretty sheer, so you do need a cami. Also, it's pretty flowy. This is a small, so I'd recommend sizing down as I've been buying mostly mediums from Loft lately.

These shorts are super old but this Old Navy pair is pretty similar. I saw them in stores and the quality looked good. On a side note-anyone else feel like the tops at Old Navy lately have looked really cheap? They have been one of my go-to places for easy summer tops in years past and this year-not so much...

I've been wearing  sandals from Vionic constantly too! We went to the zoo recently and it's a lot of walking! They were perfect and my feet felt great!

Random-last time I got my hair cut I asked my lady to not cut as much. I have to say, I'm loving it at this length. Since I haven't been doing outfit posts much, I don't see my hair in picture often. I think I need to try to curl it again, I find I like it more when my hair is a bit longer. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Summer Dress

About a month ago I made a wishlist adding this dress to it. I love dresses and hadn't bought a new one since I can remember.  Grant and Brian were away at camp last weekend, so it was just Hannah and I. We went to a few garage sales and then stopped by Loft. What do you know, there was one left on sale! I grabbed it along with a few other things and once I tried it on, I knew it was coming home with me. 

I know my shape and that adding a layer, like a cardigan is flattering on me, but, you guys, it's summer-I just want easy style. I love that it's sleeveless and that there a drawstring waist to help add some definition. Plus, right now it's only $30. I would recommend sizing down, this is a small and I typically do a medium in Loft dresses.

These shoes are from ThredUp, use this link for $10 off your first purchase. They are Ralph Lauren and the perfect espadrille wedge! Here's the Chaps version at Kohl's and they are also on sale. 

I also am loving these white leather earrings. I got them from The Leather Drop a few months back and I'm loving them for summer! So crisp and only $12!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Life Lately

School is out and I couldn't be more excited to get to spend the summer with the kids! I got out the sand and water table and have decided to not let it bother me that the sand and water get mixed. #thestruggleisreal The kids love it though and Grant and I spent countless hours playing on it when he was little too!



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Summer Style

Summer is here (according to me and the fact that school is out)! Today I'm sharing a typical summer outfit for me top with some sort of fun detail, easy shorts, and comfy shoes.

This top was from Old Navy last year, but the shorts are from Kohls and are currently on sale here. The fit is great and they aren't nearly as short as they appear in the stock image.

I'm also crazy about these new sandals Vionic sent over. Vionic is hands down my favorite for comfort in shoes. This is my fifth pair and they have been great for all day comfort with my busy "momming" life. I got these last year in leopard and leather and wore them like crazy and they still are in great shape to wear again this year. If you're in the market for summer sandals, I'd definitely recommend shopping Vionic!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

At Least I Have My Kids


Let me begin by saying, I have my share of days as a mother that are less than stellar. I lose my cool, the kids are whining or fighting, and I have a million things to get done. These are the days I take my life for granted. When you're biggest desire is to simply be able to pee alone you know you're at a new low. 

Then, there are other days that are great, the kids are getting along, everyone gets to sleep until 7:00 and I get to snap fun pictures like the one above to remind me of how good I have it. 

On Monday we went to breakfast as a family, things were going well. We dropped Brian at home, then ran to Target and decided to stop by the park-nearly a daily occurrence for us. There was only one other boy and his mom there. The boy, Cameron, was about Grant's age and per usual, Grant and the little boy started playing together and talking. I was pushing Hannah on the swing and the mom was sitting on the bench. It was then that I overheard Cameron say, "I was taking karate until my sister died." 

Wait. What? 

Grant started to ask questions, which I understand, I tried to ask Grant to not ask too many, as I bet it's really hard to talk about. Cameron said his sister, Kimberly, who was two died in her sleep and no one knows why. Also, it just happened two weeks ago.

The mom close by began to cry. I was at a loss. I told her I was sorry and honestly had no idea what to say or do after that.

Hannah, who was obviously unaware of what was going on toddled towards the swings and I followed her. All I could think about was that I had no idea what "bad" was really like. I still have my kids. It feels so ridiculous and foolish to ever whine, complain, or lose it over how much they need me all the time or how I have very little time to myself. I never want to take how good I have it for granted ever again. 

Grant and Cameron continued to play and Cameron mentioned Okaboji, a lake a few hours away. I thought that would be a good conversation starter, as I asked the mom about it, as we are going there in a few weeks. We talked for a while and found out were are both English teachers in nearby districts.

As we were getting ready to go, I asked her if I could pray for her. She said yes and showed me a picture of sweet Kimberly. We prayed and cried and then parted ways. I'm kicking myself for not getting her contact info, but I'm going to continue to pray for she and her family and work to not let the hectic days of motherhood get the best of me. Even on the worst days, I still have my kids.



Monday, May 29, 2017

Food


I've realized the age where you start to feel gross and old-it's 38. Suddenly, I see the wrinkles and feel the pounds. Being pregnant and then nursing allowed me to have some pretty unhealthy eating habits- i.e. eat anything I want without seeing an negative effects. I was done nursing before Christmas, but my eat habits have continued. I also haven't been as active as I'd like. I'm thankful summer is here so we can spend as much time as possible outside as well as biking, I think that will be good. I've also talked with Brian about joining the Y again, but we are going to be so busy the next couple of weeks it won't do any good, as we won't be able to get there. However, the big change I do now is change my bad eating habits. 

I've trained myself that I need something sweet after meals and I'm noticing the bored and mindless eating too. With having two small kids I have to be realistic about what cooking and meals will look like around the house, but can have better self-control and pay attention to when my body is really hungry and feed it with healthy snacks and not the carb, sugar loaded ones I have been wanting. 

I started a food diary, something I did years ago that really helped to hold me accountable and realize what's actually going into my body. For example, for lunch Sunday I had a turkey wrap and three strawberries. It was delicious, but as I began to dissect the calories I noticed a couple of things-eating any fruit has hardly any calories, so I can eat away, and my wrap had more calories than I thought. Tortilla-100 (although less than two pieces of bread), turkey-60, and cheese 60. That's not bad, but the mayo was also 60 and the three pickles were 35. I added almost 100 calories with two unnecessary things. Whomp, whomp. That I can change.

I don't expect to lose a ton of weight, but I'm no fool, if I keep eating the way I have been the last few years I am going to gain a bunch of weight and my metabolism isn't going to do me any favors as I continue to age either. 

I'm writing this to you all for accountability sake, I've said it, so now I need to mean it. I just want to feel good and work to not teach Grant and Hannah bad eating habits either. I already hear Grant complaining he's hungry when I know it's actually boredom. That's not good and I need to lead by example.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Style Lately

For my birthday I got a full length mirror, which is nice being I haven't been able to see my whole outfit before without standing on our tub. #classy This is what I wore for Mother's Day. I got this dress a few years back and still love it! Maxi dresses are totally my jam and I love that it's the season to wear them. I really like this option too. The clare cardigan is one of my favorites and I have it in a ton of colors.



Monday, May 15, 2017

Life Lately

I am so thankful for warm weather and getting outside!  Here's a look at what's been going on in my life lately.

We had a great Mother's Day. We went to church, Hannah napped while I spent some time to myself while Grant and Brian played the PS4.  Then we were able to go to the park and Brian made dinner. Yum!



Friday, May 12, 2017

God of the Hills and Valleys



Currently I've had the song Hills and Valleys running through my head like crazy. Take a listen:

         


I feel like life lately life has been hills and valleys on any given day. Part of it is my own lack of focus on God and his goodness. I let those hills and valleys be dictated by emotions, instead on the the truth of who God is. I love what Tauren says: 

I've walked among the shadows
You wiped my tears away
And I've felt the pain of heartbreak
And I've seen the brighter days
And I've prayed prayers to heaven from my lowestplace
And I have held the blessings
God, you give and take away
No matter what I have, Your grace is enough
No matter where I am, I'm standing in Your love
On the mountains, I will bow my life
To the one who set me there
In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there
When I'm standing on the mountain aft, didn't get there on my own
When I'm walking through the valley end, no I am not alone!
You're God of the hills and valleys!
Hills and Valleys!
God of the hills and valleys
And I am not alone!
I'm working to meditate on these lyrics and the truth of who God is. Life is going to have it's ups and downs-hills and valleys but that doesn't change who God is or that He is there with me the entire time and I am grateful for that!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

38



38. 38. How. Did. This. Happen. I'm not going to lie, but when someone else says they are 38 I don't consider that old, but man, it sure makes me feel that way. Just this last week I was taking a picture with Hannah and the wrinkles around my eyes were out of control.

My 20 year reunion is summer and it's hard to believe. I've literally lived away from home for longer than I've lived at home. Whoa.

I've honestly felt pretty overwhelmed this past semester with my student teacher and the busyness at home, then Hannah got sick Monday causing me to have to leave work. She stayed with Brian yesterday and hopefully is on the mend now.

It seems like I always have a huge running to do list-never getting it fully tackled-the laundry, cooking, cleaning, not to mention the most important part, taking care of the kids and spending time with Brian seem to consume my every minute. The same is true at school with all of those responsibilities. It can feel like such a rat race.

Than I stop and consider where I've been in 38 years- raised by a loving family, a college graduate (even though it took me way longer than it should have), a teacher, a friend, and now raising a family of my own. I really need to focus on the many blessings that have come my way. Those weren't earned, they have been a gift from God who has loved me even when I've struggled, even with the challenges I've faced.

Each wrinkle tells a story and there are still so many stories to be told. It's hard to think of a time when life won't feel so crazy-when the kids won't call my name a hundred times a day. A time when I actually feel like I have time to spend with my husband and the house isn't a tornado from the kids stuff everywhere. It'll be then that I'll look back on these times a lot differently, and I'll wish I was needed the way I am now. That's what I need to focus on in the midst of the craziness of life. Enjoy it. Soak it up. Celebrate. 38.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Stay Active with Attire and Gear from Target

Stay Active

Today I'm posting over at Target Made Me Do It with some tips and gear for staying active. I have all the above things, so I can attest to their awesomeness. ; ) Come stop by and say hi!

 yoga capri pants / dry fit tee / Contigo water bottles / Razor scooter /  kid friendly  / bike trailer

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Art Might Be Hannah's Thing

It's so funny to see Hannah's personality and interests developing. Recently it seems that Hannah is loving all things art. They do a lot of art at Hannah's school but I've just started to really let her give stuff a go at home. She loves Play-Doh and the other night while I was getting dinner ready I got out Grant's old stickers. Hannah literally spent the next hour placing stickers on paper and on her own shirt. We even went to the basement after dinner and she bought her stickers along! Now, I need to get some more!



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!