bybmg: May 2014
It's been a great week!

1. We had a whole lot of people in our home last Sunday. Russ's dad's side of the family came to Des Moines to go to an Iowa Cubs game and then we had dinner at hour house afterward and surprised Russ's dad with an early 60th birthday celebration. Thank goodness the rain let up some so we didn't have to spend all the evening indoors. This picture actually has 2 people missing, but we had a total of 35 people in our house!

My shop's motto is make with love and not a pattern, and that usually applies when I do just about any sewing. I'm not a fan of patterns. My mom will say I get it from my great grandmother. This "tutorial" is more of a walk through of my not with a pattern process. It works for some, but not for others, so I totally get if it's not for you. It's just how my mind works.

I've been eying some cute patriotic tops. I thought I'd try to make one myself since I had this fabric around. This took me less than an hour from start to finish.
eShatki sent me this dress for free in exchange for my honest review. The opinions I share are all my own.


I arrive at school in this outfit and the compliments started flowing. 
"Mrs. Goerend, I LOVE your dress!"
"You look like a ray of sunshine!"
And I totally felt it!

This dress is from eShatki, and I am in love with it!  
As a teacher, I've always had the mantra that I'm a life-long learner. Whether it's actually learning a skill or idea or just learning a life lesson, I always want to be learning something.

Lately I'm learning to...

not get so upset with Henry when he comes out of his room 10 times a night. He will eventually go to sleep. All too soon he won't want much to do with me.

I admit I've been drooling over some people's jean vests lately. I have quite a few outfits I think one would go well with. I did a quick search and found them online for $30-$40...just not the money I'm willing to spend on that. I have a jean jacket in my closet. I don't really ever wear it; I'm not sure why. So, I decided to chop off the sleeves and add a little lace!

The gals and I who hosted the Summer Kids Activities Link Up had so much fun, we are going to do a monthly link up! Come back June 9th to link up your favorite summer recipes!

Here are the themes for the rest of the months! Come join us the second Monday of each month.

It's Friday! Hooray!  


1. We planted a small amount of things in our garden... seriously a small amount of things: sunflowers (seeds from Grandma), two tomato plants, and some herbs. We have done a lot more the past few summers, but it sometimes stresses us out, so we're going super simple this summer, and I think it will be great.

I admit I was thisclose to canceling my Julep Maven subscription this month. $20 for fingernail polish is just not for me, but then I got an email that they were including the new PliƩ Wand this month. I watched a video on it and decided that I'd give it a try.

So, this was my box. I used some of my Julep points to get a couple extra brushes, though after getting them, I'm not sure I really needed them.  
Every week I link up with The Pleated Poppy to share what I wear. It's a motivation for me to dig into my closet and try to create new outfits from what I have. We're in the countdown! A little over a week left of school, then my clothing will change looks a bit because of summer vacation!


I had the day off last Wednesday. This is what I wore to hang out with my mom and go to Henry's preschool program.

Before Pinterest, I had this little book. It was made by one of my college roommates. She took an old book, gutted it, and put in brown paper.

The thought of a capsule wardrobe that some bloggers have been talking about really excites me because as I look through my closet, there are pieces I am always coming back to. I have mentioned before, that I've begun to skim The No Brainer Wardrobe. I'm realizing I just need to be more purposeful in my purchases, because the random sale rack finds don't always get worn. Many Goodwill finds look fun, but they often return to the donation pile. Here are some of the pieces that will not be leaving anytime soon.

This mustard cardigan - bless its heart - I should have bought a couple. I wear it probably once a week. It's from Target, so it probably won't last forever, but I LOVE it.  

My advice is look at the colors you normally wear, and find a cardigan or two to compliment that. Cardigans can be worn in so many ways!

Yay for Friday! I hope you had a wonderful week!

1. We had a fun Mother's Day. I did not have to cook a thing, and I got to go shopping by myself. I also went to pick out some new plants for the landscaping on the side of the house. All the boys put them in. Russ dug, Henry and the neighbor boy helped move dirt, and Wesley entertained us with his cuteness and dirt eating abilities.

Do you ever just get giddy about a project?!  This one made me giddy for sure. I've been so excited to share it with you! I found the idea on Pinterest via Michaels. They had a little bit of instruction on the page, but not a full-on tutorial, so I want to show you how I made it, step-by-step. I skipped out on the text on the bottom. It's super cute, but I'm not the best free-hand text painter.

Some days an outfit just works, and this day was one of them.  

I got the dress and blazer from Old Navy basically free with rewards and Super Cash. 

They had the dress is gray, black, and this green. I debated, but decided to go with the color, and I'm so glad I did. I still may go back and order another one with our rewards next month if they're still around.

I see everyone and their cute little blazers. I used to own a jean blazer, but got ride of it for some reason. I can't wait to experiment with this one!

Blazer - Old Navy
Dress - Old Navy
Necklace - Bellaboulie Boutique
Belt - Forever 21
Shoes - Lucky Brand

As we walked in the door last week after this recipe had been cooking all day, Henry said, "Who came home and made that good smelling dinner?" 

I happily replied, "Oh, honey, it's been cooking all day. We put it in the crockpot this morning before we left."

I think anyone with small children would agree that getting dinner on the table isn't an easy feat. I LOVE anything that can be thrown in a crockpot with zero effort and ready to go when I get home. This is one of our go-tos.
I am so excited to be a host for the Summer Activities for Kids Link Party!

Summertime is such a fun time of the year with little ones. It can also become overwhelming as there is so much free time you wonder what exactly to do to fill it. This summer, let's prepare ahead of time. This way we can plan out some fun and educational activities for our little ones before the moments of boredom and craziness hit!

I'm planning to link up a few of my activities from last summer, my favorite being the ice block of toys Henry hammered at last summer. I can't wait to see what everyone shares!

Here with another Darby Smart craft box today. I had so much fun with this one! 

I received this box at a discount for reviewing purposes though the opinions are all my own.
I keep looking at the calendar and am amazed at the small number of Fridays left until summer! Three after today to be exact. Crazy. Just crazy. The weather has shaped up to be beautiful this week!

1. We had Russ's parents and some friends in town this past weekend because Russ hosted a film festival at our school. Grandma and Grandpa watched the boys so we could go to dinner with our friends, Tim and Hannah,  from Chicago who were in town. (photo highjacked from Russ's IG)

Russ and I also got a date night last night! It's been great to have some time just the two of us.

April's surprise Darby Smart box was metal stamping. I almost squealed when I opened it because it's another of of those things I've wanted to try, but never took the time to collect the supplies for.

As a teacher, I LOVE summer. More time with the kiddos, beautiful weather, but it can also be difficult finding things to do. Do you struggle with what to do with your kiddos all summer long?! Come back next week to find a plethora of ideas other mamas have tried and even add your own, if you'd like!


Join us on Monday, May 12th, and link up your posts of summer activities (past or present). The link party will be going on for the entire week and the following Monday (May 19) we will post a list of all the activities everyone has shared! So let us join together and share some ideas and inspiration!
** This link-up party is being hosted here at Living In This Season , Elizabeth at  All Kinds of Things, Tara at Mrs. Coach Sims, Britt at The Fisk Files, and Becky at BYBMG When you link up your post next week, it will be visible in this space, and on all the other blogs who will be sharing in hosting (we are still finalizing the list of hosts.)
Looking forward to you joining us next week!

Happy Wednesday! Every week I share a few outfits I wore in the past week. Linking up with The Pleated Poppy!

This is my lazy Saturday outfit, and I think my fave of the week. It's so simple.

Top - Target
Cardigan - Old Navy
Jeans - Banana Republic via Goodwill

I've talked here briefly about Henry's glasses. I wasn't sure what to expect with a 4-year-old getting glasses. I got glasses at a young age, but I don't remember much about the process. Here's a short documentary that Russ created for our school's film festival. Enjoy!

Russ and I are both teachers, like I mentioned before, and we are so lucky to have the summers off with our boys. I enjoy our summers so much, but always love to plan ahead with some things to keep the kiddos busy. I get a little stir crazy without some plans. So I don't have to go out and buy things all at once, I've slowly been stocking up on little things to do.

Today, Russ had the idea that we should take the kiddos on a picnic at the local park for dinner. 

This week's weather has totally stunk, but we've managed to survive. April showers bring May flowers, right?! I did manage to dig up 5 highlights of the week though, enjoy!

1. Russ and I attended another informational meeting for a Master's degree. I found out I have three credits that will transfer in, so I'm basically 1/10 done with my degree before even starting. Positive thinking, right?!  I have to be accepted yet, but I'm pretty positive I will. The program will take two years. Russ and I are going to do it together. In spring 2016, we'll both have Master's degrees and celebrate 10 years of marriage! Many lights to look forward to at the end of the tunnel.

2. I was featured again over at Soho Sonnet's Pinterest Challenge. I love trying out things I find on Pinterest!

So, this is my favorite song ever. Ever. I can listen to it every day.

I think there are a few reasons I like it so much...

1. It's chipper, but not overkill.

2. I can dance to it.

3. I've never really had a place I can call home. We moved around a bit growing up because my parents are pastors. Home has always just been being with people. Now that I'm grown, I hope I can instill that in my kiddos. Do I plan to move all over though? No.

4. Russ used this song in a video he made for our family Christmas in 2012, so the song always reminds me of that.

Have you heard of this song before? What is your all time favorite song?
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