Friday, April 29, 2016

A Skirt that Feels Like Leggings

You will rarely catch me in a skirt, but even more rare would be to find me in a pencil skirt. I haven't worked in an office in over 10 years and pencil skirts make me feel like I should be preparing to go to the office.  And then the Cassie came along.

Who cares if I'm not off to the office??  This puppy is comfortable! The waist, like the rest of the skirt, is stretchy but there's no worry about this baby falling off.  And if you don't love the length, simply fold at the waist and it's shorter.

Can you guess where this skirt came from??


I know. So many posts from this fun company. Am I selling LuLaRoe? No. But wouldn't that be fun?!

In fact, I'm quite sure I said I would never do direct sales again. Well, I ate my words when I signed up to sell Premiere Designs Jewelry back in March.  But no worries, this blog won't be a launching pad for my business - though you will see me wearing pieces here and there.  This is just another turn in the adventures of life. Did I mention we have four growing boys to feed?? I thought diapers were expensive! Hello middle school.

I hope you're enjoying the spring of 2016 so far. Comments, pointers etc are always welcome!

Outfit Breakdown:
Sweater and Button up: LOFT (similar and similar)
Cassie Skirt: LuLaRoe byMegan Cook
Shoes: Steve Madden (exact)
Necklace: Your Way by Premiere Designs 
(Online Catalog)



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Prints Everywhere

I'm not sure why I kept grabbing for prints once this shirt was picked out, but it was like I couldn't help myself.

Tie-dye Shirt. Snakeskin Shoes. Cross with floral pattern hat. Beautiful print handbag from India. What else do I have in my closet???

Of course after this print party, there was no need to go crazy on the jewelry, so I kept it simple with a long chain necklace and a charm bracelet.

(We may think oil and water don't mix but sometimes, just maybe, we should try.  Differing personalities, like prints, can compliment each other beautifully when mixed well; or used for a greater good. Let's open our circles and see what happens.)


And let's talk about that bag for just a moment. Our women's group was privileged to partner with Rahab's Rope at our spring gathering. Rahab's Rope ministers to women at risk or already forced into the commercial sex trade of India. They provide food, shelter, education and training...and of course hope! Hope for a better life. Hope for healing through God's perfect love.

In addition to work in India, they also work in the United States to spread awareness, not only for what goes on in India, but also for the growing sex trade in our own country!

When I look at my bag, I can't help but wonder about the hands that stitched the pieces together. Whoever she is, I pray she is finding peace, healing and hope.

Want to help and "shop to stop"? Visit their online STORE.
Or if you're local you can visit their Gainseville store. Check out their website and blog for stories, updates and more ways to be involved.

I'm linking up with Sydney Fashion Hunter and the Pleated Poppy today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

LuLaRoe Dress & Unplanned Stops

He has to get some fun out it as well, I guess.

This is that adorable dress I won at a pop up boutique for LuLaRoe, hosted by Megan Cook, in March.  You can read about that fun day HERE. Though warm days are quickly upon us, it was still chilly that day. I look forward to pairing the dress with simple summer sandals soon.

In other news, I've hired a new photographer . My 12 year old. He gets a couple bucks here and there (I get what I pay for!) and I don't have to pester.  However I hope the hubby doesn't feel totally off the hook. I'm still going to nab free shots wherever I can! As for the 14 year old pictured above, he's more interested in amusing himself than making a little extra cash. I admit that he makes me laugh, but don't tell him that. It will only encourage the borderline obnoxious behavior!

Outfit Break Down:

Ameila Dress: LuLaRoe
Leather Jacket: Michael Kors
Red Clutch: Calvin Klein (Macys)
Black Ankle Boots: Target


And if you haven't guessed it already, we dropped in at the Mayfield Dairy, where they offer tours and sell ice cream by the scoop. The boys bypassed the tour and headed straight for the ice-cream. And while they consumed ice cream, we browsed through the gift shop together. Surprisingly enough, reading the signs, towels, and whatever else they had, turned into a fun experience together. 

My lesson for that day: Add spontaneity when possible and keep any ideas to myself until the very last-minute, thereby avoiding negative commentary and adding more element of surprise.

Until next time we can think about what it would look like to "Expect nothing and appreciate everything." :)



Monday, April 18, 2016

Crochet Lace & Kinder Fun

I'm enjoying the long, burgundy top pictured above.  Cast off by its previous owner, this top found love and acceptance in my wardrobe. There, there lengthy top.  Momma is here. However on its own, it's just an ordinary top. Add the right necklace, scarf OR vest and we have something special. The final piece for me is the giving key with the simple word "create" embossed on the front. Soon I will have to pass it on, but until then I use it another day. Just the wearing of this necklace reminds me of who God created me to be, and of the encouragement received from a thoughtful friend. 

Now I'm ready. 

Outfit Breakdown
Vest: Altar'd State (similar)
Jeans: GAP True Skinny (similar)
Boots: Target (similar)
Necklace: the giving keys (exact)

Where am I off to? Our local elementary school to spend time with a few important people.

I received a sweet note from the kindergarten teacher (that taught ALL four of our boys) requesting a reading of  "The Little Red Hen" and a mini-bread making demo to the Kindergarten classes. How could I refuse?

Well, I definitely had a good excuse to say no that day. It happened to be the same day as the Renew event at our church. This was a night that required lots of planning, made some of us lose sleep, etc. 
However, I confess I'm not up at the boy's school very often and they LOVE it when mom comes.  A wise woman advised me to leave MARGIN in my calendar. Another wise woman once told me that a creative person cannot create when the mind is over cluttered and scattered.  With personal experience I concur!  

In addition, a scattered, cluttered mind backs into her mother's car, forgets needed items at home or to pay a certain bill. The roughshod brain double books and flakes out on it's friends.  Sometimes we have to say no. I'm slowly, painstakingly learning this. But I need to say no to the right things. Only you and God can determine what those right things are. 

And this time, I felt the need to say yes.

"Who will help me plant the wheat?
Not I, said the cat.
Not I, said the pig.
Not I, said the duck.
Then I shall do it myself."

my boys, sitting all the way on the left, were permitted by their 1st grade teacher to come
After over dramatizing "The Little Red Hen", it was time to show them how bread is made from grains of wheat. I love seeing their curious expressions and holding their attention captive as they pass a bowl of grain around, before and after, the grinding process. It's also fun to see them react to the airplane-like sound of my mill.Yeah it's loud.

The finished dough. Now they each will get a small portion of dough to shape into their own roll.

And in return for a morning well spent, this is what I received the next day...

Makes the heart melt like this amazing grilled cheese sandwich I prepared with our families batch of dough!

I also felt inspired enough to search Pinterest and use up some tomatoes I had lying around for tomato soup.  Anyone feeling hungry now? I felt only a small measure of guilt over this meal because I knew that the bread was good for me. And hey, so was the easy tomato soup.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Polkadots And Pants with Flare

Outfit Breakdown: Pants: LOFT, Top: LOFT, Ballet flats: 9West.

Where's all the accessories you say? Well, I forgot them at home...

I know. You feel my frustration, right? I went home for lunch and removed my bracelets and rings to wash the dishes. The opportunity for a picture is here! What do I do?? Wait until I wear this outfit again, or go with it anyway?? GO with it! Who has time for that?!

Besides, I loved how this combination turned out for some reason. Maybe it's the polka dots or maybe it's the black contrasting with the bleached denim.  Whatever the reason, this ensemble will be one I would wear again.

And why the drama in the pics? Because I was on the train to crazy town! This was the week of a big women's gathering we've planned at our church. As the date looms closer and closer on the calendar, the tension builds in my shoulders and my mind starts going. I find myself awake at 3 or 4 in the morning thinking through what we would say, where people should stand, how long each aspect of the night may last, etc. Then comes the last-minute doubts, followed by sweet surprises of encouragement that turn up out of nowhere.

Here's what travel to crazy town looks like for me...


Eat some chocolate. Cry a little. Stare out kitchen window and find serenity while watching cherry blossoms fall slowly from the tree like snowflakes.  Eat some chocolate. Read just the right Scripture verse. Read timely encouraging text from friend. Throw head back in joyous laughter at how good God is. Cry a little. Wonder if you will ever sleep again.  Eat some chocolate.  Wonder what was I thinking!? The day is almost here!  Clap my hands in excitement as I see the pieces coming together. There's no going back. Pray and hold on. It's a wild and glorious ride.

There may be a better way then a ride to crazy town, but I know that when you move forward to accomplish His purposes you will come against opposition.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us," Ephesians 3:20.

I need to ask for the right things! I need to ask Him to align my heart to His desires and plans and then expectantly wait on Him to MOVE. (Why do I stress? Especially over things that are completely out of my control?) What are we hoping for at these gatherings? To encourage women. To see life change through Jesus Christ and for them to know Him in a real and personal way (this isn't about religion!).  To share HOPE. This is what we pray...

Anyone else go through this when a big project, event, etc is on the horizon? Or do I go to crazy town all by myself?

P.S. Linking up with the Pleated Poppy today. :)

P.S.S. A friend pointed out that one of my 6 year olds has the same expression in the picture below, as I do in the pic above...

This picture is entitled, "Carrot Soup is Awesome".


Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Hubby Fav & Other Ramblings

Well, this is an outfit that I liked better in person than on camera. In spite of some camera-hatin', this ensemble was a hubby fav, so I guess I'll be wearing it again. And those two crazies? Their spring break is 2 weeks before our older boys (and most of the schedules we happen to be involved with). So it's business as usual, only with some cute tagalongs.  As it turns out, they love to pose for blog pics. Somehow, we managed to grab a shot before they hopped back in the picture.

Outfit Breakdown:
Long tee: WHBM, Chambray: Consignment Store, Necklace: Sugar Rush by Premiere, Purse and shoes: OLD

The rest of the week was spent in clothes suitable for the park, sneaking chocolate out of the fridge and a Good Friday service with our older boys (thanks to some friends sharing tickets with us!)

Juggling two different age group has it challenges from time to time.  Middle schoolers and their likes, or should I say dislikes (there seems to be far more dislikes at this age than interests) don't always mesh well with the 6 year olds. At least the contrast helps us appreciate the wonder and awe that goes along with a young school age child. They love time with mom and dad, they dole out hugs like there's no tomorrow and they think silliness is so cool. Just about anything can be made into an adventure with them.

"Hey Mr. Evan. Can you drive over in your green car and deliver this soup to the neighbor? It's a secret mission."


Sounds fun to him. Now ask one of the older ones to deliver something, while pretending to be on a secret mission. Yeah. First comes the rolling of the eyes. Then comes the groans of protest at being asked to do ANYTHING.  (They still have to help out though!) Or trying running up to one of them with arms wide open for a hug. I'm actually laughing right now.

On the other hand, we have fun on outings that the older kids now appreciate, such as a great concert or watching a movie that we adults can actually get into.  Most things we do together as a family, but it's a treat to break them up by age group from time to time.  Where are the pictures of the older boys? Well, that's another thing they don't like. Being in pictures with their mom. But hey! Here's a picture of me and the back of Ethan's head. ;)

I'm done. Said middle schooler is obnoxiously singing in the background.  Horrible closing. I may fix this tomorrow. I may not.


Pose inspired by Lecrae and Tedashii - I try. 
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