bybmg: January 2014
Happy Friday! If you're new here from the link up (High Five For Friday!), look to your right and connect with me via Instagram, Twitter, or something else!

1. THIS beautiful baby turned 4 today! It's hard to believe I've been a mom for 4 years! We had a family birthday party last weekend. Tonight we plan to celebrate with just our family doing whatever he wants to do!
These past few months I've felt like the luckiest girl! I wanted to share with you how I've gotten some free stuff lately.

1) Influenster - Through this site, I fill out surveys and write reviews of products. In November, I got a whole box of goodies from them to sample. I reviewed the items and shared about them on social media. I just got an email that I fulfilled one of the brand badges (Kiss Nail Art) and more goodies are coming my way. I also just learned I get to try out some Dove deodorant from them, too! This site is an invitation site, though you may be able to sign up now. I'm not sure. I have given out all of my invitations currently, but I can put you on the list for when I get more if you're interested.

Hiya! Thanks for stopping by. If you're new, take a look to your right and you'll find my social media links as well as my Bloglovin' button. I'd love to connect with you!


I've seen multiple pins on ways to wear chambray. This one was what inspired me to try wearing it under a dress. When I looked in the mirror, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to walk out the door in this outfit. It was just a little too out of my comfort, but it took too long to put on, and we needed to get going, so off I went.. I had a student compliment me, so maybe it wasn't so bad after all. 

This kid

has picked up crawling

Henry and his cousin were born three weeks apart. This year, we combined their birthday party. It was a simple afternoon with cake, snacks, and gifts. 

Henry requested a robot cake, so that's what I made. I'm no cake decorating professional, but the boys thought it looked cool. 

Another week, and boy this one sped by! I hope you had a great one. Here are some highlights.


1. Could this kid be any cuter?! We went to pick out his glasses. These got the okay because they have blue on them (on the inside of the frames). But, then we got them on Thursday and he was NOT happy. Thankfully I have a couple wonderful friends who are wise mommies of glasses wearers in my life that we can seek for advice on the transition.

I'm a mom. A mom of boys. Two boys to be exact. We hope to have a third child someday. It may end up being another boy. As much as I feel like I really should be a mom of girls because of my love of fashion, shopping, crafting, and otherwise, right now, I'm raising two super heroes.  Below is a list of some things I'm learning while raising them.

Some of these may well apply to princess, too, but boys are all I know right now.

Happy Wednesday!  Every Wednesday I give you a glimpse of some of my outfits from the week. More than for you, I feel it's motivation for me to work to look good every day! Enjoy!

If you're new here, look on over to your right and follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. I love to connect!

I went to a mom's night with a friend at her church the other night. The message was on words and how they are affect our lives so much.

Proverbs 18:20-21 was shared:
20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Going into the night, I was totally open and expecting the usual message, "How you speak to your children matters. You should speak lovingly to them. You are their inner voice." And I was excited in the anticipation to hear that message as they are words I thought I needed. There was a little of that, but there was so much more I wasn't expecting.

What I wasn't prepared for, but was the main focus of the night, was a message sharing, "How you speak to yourself matters. You should speak lovingly to yourself. It's your inner voice." 

We often talk about our muffin tops (and not baking, if you know what I mean), our beauty issues, our lacking abilities as mothers, housekeepers, wives.  We tell ourselves we aren't up to par. We tell ourselves we are failures.

Ladies (and gentlemen, because I know you read here, too), this talk does us NO good. It does not further us in any way. It ruins our self esteem. It makes us grouchy. Those insecurities cause us to snap at others when we feel threatened or lacking. 
It does no good. It's not a model we want our children to see.

Will you make it a goal along with me that you'll work to stop the negative talk about yourself? 
It's Friday! Another week has passed. Hope yours was a great one. Here are some highlights from mine!

1. Click here and watch this boy's joy.  He learned how to clap and wow, he loves it!

We live in a pretty large, suburban, area. One of the fastest growing zip codes in the nation. New houses are popping up all over the place around us. Corn fields are turning into developments.

Our home, in the middle of this suburbia, was build in 1900. It's a small ranch. One bathroom. Three bedrooms. A cellar basement. Wonderful open kitchen with the stove in the island and a cute little retro stainless oven. Even so, It can be difficult to be content in our home. One bathroom?! I mean who has just ONE bathroom?

Welcome to another week of What I Wore Wednesday!


One month from today is Valentine's Day!  Pink is definitely my favorite color, so I thought an Etsy love with all things pink would be a great shopping guide for you.

I want to get some more regular posts going on here. I have one reliable, What I Wore Wednesday series going, as well as the sporadic Pinteresting and Thrifty Finds. So, I thought I'd join in with High Five for Friday. Who doesn't love Friday?! High Five for Friday is a weekly link up sharing five great things from the week. I thought it would be fun. Here I go!


#1 - Two extra days of break because of the polar vortex. Henry & I made cookies on Monday.

2 - This little guy turned 9 months old on Tuesday. 

3 - I had time to try out some new designs for my shop. What do you think of the pleat? I just added it here!

4 - New pens! I was really ready to go back to school and get in a routine again. I got these pens for Christmas and couldn't WAIT to use them!

5 - Meal planning. (Thanks, Russell, for the picture!) We use The Fresh 20 for our meal plans. We don't do Fresh 20 EVERY week - probably 2-3 weeks of the month - but the plan we're using this week (from December 27th) has been yummy so far. Planning out meals in general just reduces our family stress by a lot. With both of us working full time, we need it.

What were some of the highlights from your week? I'd love to hear about them, so leave a comment!

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Since I don't know when, I've been a sale rack shopper. Some people avoid sale racks like the plague because they are a lot to sift through. True, they are. Whenever I go shopping for clothes, I always make sure I can devote a good hour to shopping. This helps me not feel rushed.

My Thrifty Finds posts have focused on actual thrift shops, but I had such a successful time at Gap the other day, I just had to share it with you.  Now, for starters, we have a Gap Visa. The rewards earned from this card transfer into dollars to spend at the Gap family of stores: Old Navy, Gap, Bananna Republic, and Piperlime. We earned $50 in rewards in December through some of their holiday promotions. I had to venture to the mall and just thought I'd stop into Gap to see if they had anything I wanted to use the rewards on. To my EXTREME EXCITEMENT, they had an extra 50% off all the sale items PLUS 10% off Tuesdays for card members.

After rewards, I spent a whopping $5.15. From the prices I can find for the original items and a guess on the other, I'd say these tops were close to $200 actual retail. Yowza!

I think this is the Dolman-sleeve T though I don't see it in gray.

This is actually a tall, but I was happy about it.

This sweater is a mystery. I can't find it online, but I thought it would look good with my mint skinnies!

I think I tried on about 20+ items that were on the sale rack. It took time. The tunic was hidden and I found it right before I was headed to the checkout! I'd been eying it online for a while and was thrilled to find it. Have you found any good deals lately?

Linking up with Funday Monday

Winter break came to a close. I love the time off with my boys, but I'm also a routine-needing person. So, getting back to work is good for me. It's been bitterly cold here. This is the part of winter I despise - when it's dangerous to go outdoors and our pipes sometimes freeze. But, I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude, cherishing my heated blanket, and being ok with watching a little more TV.

Top - Old Navy
Gray Tee - Old Navy
Skinnies - Gap
Boots - Payless

Scarf - by me! 

I won my first ever blog giveaway right before Christmas. Kacia over at Coconut Robot gave away a gift card to Kiki La Rue. I debated so much about what to order, and settled on three pieces. This outfit is 2/3 of them.

Top - Kiki La Rue - They're all out of this color, but here's the mint one! I love it!
Navy Skinnies - Kiki La Rue - so they're jeggings, a little out of my comfort zone, but the tunic was plenty long!
Boots - Payless
Necklace - Baby Steals (it's one Wes can chew on - keeps him busy during church and it's cute!) 

Back to work for me today! Next week will probably have a few more outfits. 

Did you know I often do custom work? Here are a few of the things I've made, past and present. I'm always happy to figure out how to make something for you if I can!

Car mats are really what got me on Etsy. I made one for my nephew and Henry, got a request for some more, and kept making them. I give them as gifts, but I don't keep inventory in the shop anymore. They're more of a made by request item. I've also made princess and train themed mats.

They fold up so nicely that they can be stowed away in a purse or diaper bag. They're great entertainment when we're out to eat.

I made these for a friend last Christmas. I often have people ask, "Can you make __________?"  My response is usually, "I never have, but I can figure it out!"

I have felt envelopes in my shop. This custom order from last year was for a little gal turning two!

Recently, I had a bride contact me on Etsy. She plans to wear Toms wedges on her big day and wanted a wristlet to go along. This was so fun to make for her! The zipper is lavender, one of her wedding colors.

I've also made custom iPad and computer cases, tooth fairy pillows, as well as curtains! If you have something you want made, just ask! I might be able to help!

New years resolutions are great, but they often get lost in the shuffle. There's an idea going around to just focus on One Word for the year.. Simplifying has been on my heart a lot lately. It truly is one of my biggest struggles. I hang onto things for nostalgia sake. My wardrobe overflows because I "just don't have something like that yet," or "it was such a good deal."

I started in on the Happiness Project a while back, and really only got through the first part...which was party about tossing/storing/organizing. And it's been a continual process for me. It is SO hard to get rid of things. I really feel like I could downsize our belongings by HALF and still have plenty. So, that's what I'm  working on this year. I'm not going on a shopping halt. But, I am going to make sure that if something comes in, two things go out, even if they aren't things that relate to what was purchased. I'm going to try to put nostalgia to the side.

I'm going to pick through my wardrobe AGAIN, and slim it down to things I REALLY wear. That may mean that What I Wore Wednesday gets a little repetitive, but so what?

Right before Christmas we'd had it "up to here" with Henry's greediness and neediness with all the toys he has. We took two HUGE totes of toys out to the garage. I'm thinking most of them may never come back into the house.  Now, family reading this, don't hear this as I don't want you to buy my kids toys. I do. They enjoy them. But understand if they don't stick around forever.

So, my word for the year is Simplify. Really, it would be "get rid of stuff," if that was one word.

I may not bring it up on here much more. Deciding what to get rid of is personal. But, I may talk about it. I guess just be ready to listen if I share about it.
Well, it's Christmas break, and it's been really hard to get out of sweats...but I guess that's what break is for. Just two outfits for you this week!

This is what I wore to our family Christmas. 

Sweater - H&M - I picked this up for $10 at the Mall of America and I think I will wear it alot!
Scarf - Charming Charlie 
Jeans - thrifted - Gap
Boots - Bearpaw 

Cardigan - Old Navy
Tank - Old Navy
Jeans - thrifted - Gap
Boots - Bearpaw

Also, don't forget to hop over to my shop for the after Christmas sale!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!

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