Friday, April 29, 2016

A Standard of Grace

Motherhood is hard. Navigating motherhood on top of building a relationship with Christ is hard. It's easy to get caught up in the things of this world and forget to make time for the one who created it. I find this truer than I would like in my everyday life. I tell myself that I have things that take precedence. Tasks that have to get done now so I'll have time to myself later. And that's when I'll do my Bible study or read some scripture. And, while those things are important, more often than not, my time runs out and I don't ever end up getting to it.

From the time my family wakes up in the morning till they're tucked into their beds for the night, I feel a constant struggle for more time. More time to get things done, more time to spend with God, more time for crafts or science experiments, more time with my husband. I think it all boils down to the season of life you're in and the priorities that are present there. For me, I always want to be available to my family. I want my boys to know that their momma loves them, will always be there for them and will tell them the truth one hundred percent of the time. That can be difficult as parents because, sometimes, showing our children that we love them means doing things they don't necessarily like. Correcting them when they make a bad choice, disciplining them when they disobey and taking the time to be consistent no matter what the surroundings or circumstances. I'll support, encourage and cheer them on like nobody else but, I'll also show them what it means to be obedient. And the best way I can do that is living by example. If they see me showing kindness, forgiveness and humility to others then, chances are, they'll want to make the most of those opportunities as well. However, if they catch on to my bad attitude when I'm tired and have yet another thing to clean up or put away around the house then they may resort to the same moodiness if asked to do something.

It's a tricky roll we have as mothers. We want our children to grow up with only fond memories from the years they had at home but, also want to have some sense of who we were in the midst of it. Were we all we could be for them, for ourselves and for Christ? Spending time with other women is huge for me in that aspect. Having time to talk and laugh and share the ups and downs of our days without feeling lost in it all. I love my boys and I love my husband but, until a few years ago, I didn't realize how much I was missing by not investing in other moms as well. Nursing those friendships that not only encourage and sustain us but, also call us out and give us new perspective. Women were made to befriend women. To share in each other's struggles, triumphs, disappointments and self doubts. We can understand like no one else can and we need to step into that role now more than ever.

I want to be a part of the movement to break the cycle of hate, comparison and limitations. To lift up other moms, give an encouraging word or a fond embrace. Show them you love them, you know what they're going through and you see them. A kind smile can be just what a momma needs sometimes. Give her a little encouragement and say, "You're doing the best you can", "It gets easier, I promise", "I'm right there with you, Momma". I find that when I spend time with the uplifting women in my life, I'm refreshed and ready to get right back at it. I can make the choice to look past the laundry that's piling up and, instead, go through my Bible study after laying the baby down for a nap. Not in every instance, but, I'm a work in progress. And, thankfully, I'm not alone in it. God meets me where I am and says that it's okay. I'll never be perfect and I'll never be the world's best mother. But, in this season of my life, I'm right where I'm meant to be. Showing these little men of  mine the love of Jesus and the gift of his grace. And that is a pretty incredible place to be.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Light Blue Ruffles


Ruffle Hem Tunic | (sold out) similar options here
White skinny jeans | thrifted but similar here
fringe bag | similar
earrings | old

So, the craziest thing happened. After getting my pieces from the instagram giveaway I won a few weeks back, I won ANOTHER giveaway!! I couldn't believe it because I hardly ever win anything! I was so grateful and excited though and couldn't wait to get shopping.

The first place I went was Magnolia Boutique because, I LOVE their shop and they have some of the cutest styles. I've been searching and searching for some taupe faux suede booties like these for what seems like forever. I've searched my local thrift shop over and over and never come up with any my size. But, by winning this giveaway, I was able to snag these gorgeous ones! They are so comfortable, the heel is the perfect height, the color matches my skin tone to a tee and the die cut outs are such a pretty detail. They are my new favorite shoes! I wear them with these invisible socks so they don't rub blisters on my feet. They're like hosiery and work great. Though a thicker style may work better for cooler months..

I saw this tunic through their insta account a few times and always loved it so, this was right at the top of my list as well. I was able to get it on final sale (sorry it's not available anymore) so I got a great price on it and I loooove it! I would seriously wear it everyday if I didn't think people would look at me a little funny. lol 

Since both pieces are fairly neutral colors, they paired perfectly with some white skinny jeans and a natural colored earring. I thrifted these Maurices brand skinnies and tailored them to fit better after baby boy got here. And these earrings have been my faves for years and especially since I got a short cut. I love them and they add a little extra something to any outfit without going overboard. This is such a great outfit for spring temps that don't always know what they're doing and it's definitely been on repeat the last couple of weeks. I'll be featuring the other items I scored through this giveaway in future posts also, so be looking for that! They're pretty great as well!!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Back to the Basics



Michelle Stuart sweater | thrifted
Almost Famous Jeans | similar
Cato cargo jacket | thrifted (similar)
Fringe bag | sold out but similar here
Tommy Hilfiger ankle boots | similar
Bass Pro earrings | similar


Carter's shirt | thrifted
Children's Place jeans | thrifted

As a mom of four boys, seven and under, it can sometimes be hard to find the time to get myself presentable before stepping out of the house (go figure). I love having some great closet staples I can fall back on when I'm too rushed or busy dressing little bodies to search my clothes for something cute for myself. For me, the basics mean simple, comfy, not too ordinary or plain jane and layering. Always layering. Every piece I'm wearing here is easily interchangeable and works well with lots of other outfit combinations. 

Some great staples (for early spring, late fall) that I love are :
  • A CARGO/ARMY JACKET OR VEST | 1 | 2 | 3 |
  • DISTRESSED DENIM | 1 | 2 | 3 |
  • NEUTRAL SHOES | 1 | 2 | 3 |
  • NEUTRAL BAG | 1 | 2 | 3 |

Of course there are many, many more that I could add to this list. With the current cool morning, not quite hot through the day season, these would be my top picks on items to wear any day, everyday. Those basics could definitely change for warmer months and occasions though. Instead of boots, maybe have a good pair of sandals and a neutral flat that will work with many outfits. Trade out the distressed jeans for some boyfriend shorts or a neutral skirt and instead of the jacket, choose a lightweight vest to layer with. By also choosing pieces with a little detail, you'll add a bit of interest to an otherwise boring outfit. You could pair a solid, light colored top with a more detailed jacket or vest for a great combo as well. Really, so many options. Once you find those basics that you love, it makes dressing in the morning so. much. easier. Trust me. 

What basics do you love? Anything here you tend to stay away from? I'd love to hear from you!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016







When spring finally arrives, I always have this urge to refresh and redecorate. I want to update my home and, over the years, I've come up with a few ways to do that without breaking the bank. I've read articles and blog posts and pinterested till my fingers were sore and my eyes were tired just to get ideas on how to make things interesting again. I thought I'd share a few of those tips for you to try in your home this season. 

1 // Declutter

Take some time before you begin redesigning your space and clear out any clutter that may have accumulated over the winter months. I like to take the couch cushions off and vacuum underneath them, clear off tables and counters and give it all a good once over. Then, before putting anything back, I take an inventory of what I really need there and what can be put away somewhere else or gotten rid of completely. I like to think of myself as a minimalist as I get older so not having to work around unnecessary clutter helps me out a ton. Get your essentials where you need them, then you can start thinking about adding interesting touches here and there.

2 // Shop Your Home

This has been a game changer for me. It's so easy to look at a room in your home and think, this could really use some sprucing up, time for a target run! Or Lowe's or Hobby Lobby or wherever you like to get your home decor essentials. But, if we do that every time we grow tired of how a room looks or feels, we'd exhaust our monthly (or yearly) budget in a few hours time. So, I've come up with a few ways to make a room look completely different without making a trip to town. I like to take things off of dressers, bookcases, accent tables and the mantle and make a big "pile" of everything I have to work with. That way I can see everything and, more often than not, I can find a way to rearrange certain pieces and pairings of things that I would have never considered otherwise. Oftentimes, just moving things around a bit can completely change the mood of a room.

3 // Use Natural Tones

I love the feeling of bringing the calm and cheeriness of outdoors inside. I picked up a couple of potted succulents from my local Lowes to help freshen up my kitchen and was surprised with the positive energy and refreshing vibes they brought with them. I was suddenly inspired to clear the dust off the cabinets and wipe down the counters revealing clean, open space and I really love it. Just the feeling of everything being fresh and new and, of course the benefits of having living plants inside is great for lifting that haze after a long winter. Imitation plants can also work great for adding a little outside texture without the mess of falling petals and leaves. I'm a big lover of burlap and woven patterns and anything that leaves me feeling the urge to go outside so I love adding that in where I can. I couldn't find them to link but, I got some natural toned, woven placemats and use them to go under things on the kitchen counters and tables. Just like how I have one under the white serving platter on the kitchen island. It brings a little more texture and warmth to an otherwise man made, clean lined room. You can also do this with simple wreaths and pot fillers like the colorful one pictured above.

4 // Get Organized

It may be my personality or the fact that I am a clean. freak. But, I love knowing that my home is orderly and things are where I expect them to be. Anytime I start to get in a funk around the house, I like to go from room to room and gather things that have wandered away from their original place and put everything back where it belongs. This helps tremendously and can sometimes shave hours off my redecorating/refreshing routine as the seasons change. I do this a few times a week just to keep things in order and easy to find. And, with five easily distracted boys in the house, a momma with initiative can, sometimes, be a good thing. I've noticed my boys starting to pick up on this trait of mine and so we took a day and organized their basement playroom a few weeks ago. What a difference it has made for them. We put things away, stored like toys together, got rid of anything broken and made a separate space for different activities and I think they really like everything having a designated place when it's time to clean up. What used to take them hours (literally) to put away now takes less than an hour tops (when most everything is out) and that has also been huge for momma. Anytime I can get away with only asking once or twice for something to get done is a win in my book. Get organized, I promise it'll help.

5 // Add in Lots of White and a Little Color

I am a big lover of white. When we started talking about paint color for our new house, I new I wanted lots of white to make the rooms seem bigger, to help keep out the darkness we had in the basement and to get as much light in the house as we possibly could. So, when it comes to decorating for Spring, white is a major factor for me. I love bringing in neutral colored pieces and white tones to make the decor look fresh and new. Whether it's a serving platter in the kitchen, a set of candle holders, or picture frames, it just really helps. I love displaying white dishes to give a nice, clean look as well. Light colored throw pillows, and home accents look great together and then it's easy to add in a few pops of color. For me, the colors I add vary from room to room and how I've got it currently set up. For my kitchen, I have a pretty blue color on the walls so I like to keep yellow, blue and white as my base palette. It's easy to add or take away from and it almost always works. For the living room, I have a lot of earthy tones, so I add in pops of yellow and goldenrod to give it a little something interesting to catch the eye. Like I said, it varies from room to room but once you have a starting point, it's easy to interchange different ideas. Another way I like to add color and detail is through free printables. I have frames all over my home that I am constantly replacing the printables in and, it's an easy way for me to update a space without making a lot of change. (Pinterest has endless options for these)

I hope you got some new insight on refreshing your home for spring! Is there something you do that I didn't list here? Please share it! Have a great day and a blessed weekend!