bybmg: June 2014
I'm super excited to participate in the Summer Remix Challenge with Greater Than Rubies. What is a remix challenge you might ask? Well, it's a challenge to utilize the clothing you already have in other ways. I'll post an update every Monday, so you'll see my outfit posts on Monday instead of the usual What I Wore Wednesday until August 4th (except the 14th because I have a prior commitment, so I'll post the remix on Tuesday instead).

This is seriously going to be a big challenge for me because I do have a pretty happy closet of clothes, but I've always wanted to do this! One thing I do love is that accessories and shoes aren't counted in the 20 pieces, so that makes it a tad easier.  Today I'm sharing the 20 pieces I chose.

Here we are again at Friday! I LOVE summer! We had a great week and the hubs and I are headed off to a weekend without kids with some friends. Yay! 

My hubs does videography on the side. He is awesome at it!  It's a wonderful side-job, but does leave me single parenting for long spans of time while he does weddings and such. This past Saturday he had a wedding. He left the house at 8:30 am and didn't return until after 9. It made for a long day, but between renting the new Lego movie and some time outside, we had a great time.

Today, I'm letting you behind the scenes of bybmg again and how I do a little photo work for the blog. Today I'm talking about title photos. I found that adding a photo with your title to the top of a post helps make it more attractive in Pinterest and allows for a great picture if you link up your post or share it on Instagram or Facebook. 

So, let's begin!
Hi y'all!  Happy Wednesday!  This'll be my last What I Wore Wednesday post until August. I'm going to participate in the Summer Remix Challenge with Greater Than Rubies, so Monday I'll post about that a little more and then post on Mondays thereafter with the challenge until August. This week may have been a little warm up for the remix since I wore the same shirt twice. Hope you've had a fantastic week so far.

Also, I have TWO giveaways going on right now. Go here and here to check them out and get entered!

Now, on to the outfits!

This top is super old. Super. Old. It's survived so many closet purges!

Top - unknown brand
Shorts - Old Navy

I'm trucking away at my summer goals!

1. Repaint the front door: I purchased the paint!

2. Finish the Gs for the ladder shelf Yay! More details below!

3. Go paint pottery: I totally forgot about this until now. Gotta get going since the gift certificate expires June 30th!

4. Finish reading some books: I've finished one!

5. Get family pictures taken: We've talked to our friend who takes pictures, but now we have to set a time.

6. Make some art for the mud/laundry room: I'm debating because I got a couple cute prints that I might hang instead of making something myself.

7. Try to figure out how to style my hair in a few different ways: I tried a new style this weekend. I'll post on that next week.

Now, that we've had that recap, on to the ladder shelf!!

I don't quite remember when I met Ina on Instagram, but I immediately feel in love with her shop, IF Only Pretty, and have become friends. I got this cuff via one of her sales on Instagram. It is so beautiful - etched copper on a vintage cuff. So me. I love it and wear it often! 

Here's a little from Ina about her shop:

Ok, ok, ok, now I now this might not be what people think of when they think of a family walk, but whenever we go to the Des Moines Downtown Farmers Market, we do a ton of walking! We headed there last Saturday morning. It was the PERFECT weather. Just a slight breeze. We needed jackets at the beginning, but it soon warmed up.

Have you heard of ipsy? Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription that sends you five beauty items (plus a cute little bag) based on a survey of your interest. This is my second month as a subscriber. I used to be a Birchbox subscriber, but I wasn't getting things I loved. Ipsy sends out larger sized items and after seeing what other people have received in their bags, I felt like it was a good fit for me. Also, bonus, it comes every month in a bright pink bubble mailer. Who doesn't love pink mail?!

Here's what I got this month: 

Each month's subcription always comes with a cute little bag, too!

My thoughts on the products:

I feel like they were spot-on with what I want this month. 

This was a full-size mascara. I only opened it to smell it because other people who got it said it smelled bad...and it does. But, I haven't used it yet because I like to open a new mascara each season. I've learned a little about mascara/eye make up bacteria, and I like to keep it at bay, so I go through 4 mascaras a year. I'm always excited when I get a mascara as a sample! (retails for $15)

I'm not a huge lip gloss girl, but the color of the NYX one I got was great.  It is is called "lip butter." I'd say it does feel nice and not sticky like some other glosses I've tried. I'll probably throw this in my purse for when I need a pick me up. I got a full-size product. (retails for $5)

I've been trying to figure out my eyebrows.  Some peoples' look so nice. Mine, not so much. It may be the amount of time, or lack thereof that I spend on them. This eyebrow pencil came at the right time. It's a full-size product! (retails for $13)

I just got the Not Your Mothers' brand sea salt spray and have been spraying on my hair after I curl it. I feel like it gives my hair some texture and thickness that it lacks naturally. I tried this Marc Anthony one out, and I couldn't tell much difference from the Not Your Mothers'. This was just a sample, but a very generous one at 1.52 oz, so I'll get many uses out of it.  (retails for $9 full-size)

I'm not much of a fragrance wearer. I have a spray from Victoria's Secret that I spritz on from time to time, but that's it. This was just the travel sprayer size, but I probably won't use it up for a long time. (travel size retails for $7)

So, if you do the math, I got 3 full-sized products that total $28 retail plus the $7 sample and the sample which is about $3 of the $9 spray. That's $38 of products for my $10 subscription. I'd say that's a good deal.  If you feel like giving ipsy a try, here's my referral link. I get some points toward free products if you join.

This was my ipsy bag from last month: sunscreen, facial mask, eyeshadow, moisturizer, and some sort of spray water for my face. I haven't quite figure out the spray water thing, but I love the moisturizer and have almost finished the sample.

Also, tip: if you want to take top down picture of bottles and other things that might roll, stick a little roll of tape on them and tape them to your flat surface. Worked like a charm to keep the beach spray in place!

  This post contains referral links. Check out my disclosure statement.

Happy Wednesday! I'm loving summer. How about you? Thanks for stopping by for What I Wore Wednesday. Every week I share what I wear. It's a way to keep me motivated, and also for you to see that you don't have to spend a ton to look good!

Super simple for a trip to the zoo.

Top - Old Navy
Shorts - Old Navy
Shoes - Toms
Bracelet - made by me

I've been a fan of Lisa-Jo Baker for a while now. If you're friends with me on Facebook, you see that I share her blog posts often. She is such a down to earth mom who just has a way of poetically sharing real and uplifting thoughts. She is truly an inspiration.

When I heard she was coming out with a book, I immediately pre ordered it. On April 1, Surprised by Motherhood: Everything I Never Expected about Being a Mom arrived on my doorstep (Thank you, Amazon.). I dug in right away, but then got side tracked by the end of the school year and the baby pulling out my bookmark a few too many times. I just finished it this past week, in progress toward one of my summer goals.

I've recently been trying to improve the photos on my blog. I know many bloggers sit down with Lightroom or Photoshop, but I just don't have much desire to do that. As you see with my DIYs, I like quick, simple, easy.  I take all my blog pictures with my iPhone and edit on there as well.  I wanted to take you through the editing process I did recently on one of my outfit photos, just so you can see how easy it is.

The app I use most often is Snapseed. It's free.

I was reminded this weekend of the speech Russ's dad gave as the Best Man at our wedding.

See, for our wedding, we decided to have just family in the wedding party. It's so hard to choose between friends of old and friends of new. The math just worked out. Russ had his dad and my two brothers stand up for him. I had my two sisters-in-law and Russ's sister stand up for me... but I digress. That's the reason Russ's dad was the best man... (edit...I don't mean he was the best man JUST because of the math. Like Russ commented, his dad is the best man for the job. Love you, Bob!)

Now back to the real reason I'm writing this post.

You may have noticed, if you follow me on Instagram, that I've been into metal stamping.


This one was for my sister-in-law. It's the initials of my brother and their son.

May's to DIY For Box from Darby Smart was supplies to make candy suckers. I've never worked with candy melts in molds before, so I was excited to try it out.

Happy Wednesday! I'll admit that it's kind of hard to motivate myself to put together a nice looking outfit in the morning when I have the luxury of hanging out with my boys all day (Summer break for this teacher!!). I'm working on it, though! I feel like my clothing choices this week really varied - maybe I'm struggling with multiple fashion personalities?


Top - LuLaRoe
Leggins - LuLaRoe
Necklace - my shop

Today I want to share a great little online boutique with you.

Our World Boutique

I stumbled upon Our World Boutique while looking for bubble necklaces on eBay. When they arrived in the mail, they came with a cute little card introducing me to their website, social media links, and inviting me to hashtag a photo of my loot on Instagram for a weekly giveaway. I immediately went to check them out and fell in love with so many of their great items. Another thing that impressed me was their reasonable prices!

I fell in love with their Spots and Stripes Blouse. The mix of patterns is just perfect! 

Henry loves jello! I don't make it that often, but when I do it's either jigglers or this recipe. Using applesauce adds some nutrition and texture, and it's super easy. Enjoy!

VoxBoxes from Influenster always get my a little giddy! This one did not disappoint! I made a TLC Vox Box Pinterest board with links to all the items if you want a close look yourself.

Here's what was in it: 
If you were here earlier this week, you already saw my personal goals for the summer. I've seen so many people with great kiddo bucket lists, too, and when Stephanie contacted me about doing a Summer Bucket List with some other mama, I couldn't wait! I want to soak up every drop of summer!

Six other bloggers and myself have teamed up to share some of our treasured summer activities. Here are the ladies who are going to be linking up every Friday, June 20 to August 1. 

Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Desiree with Macke Monologues | Jenny from The Chronicles of We
Becky of bybmg | Courtney from Sweet Turtle Soup | Elizabeth at Chasin' Mason

Every once in a while, I post my recent thrift store/thrift website finds. It might seem a little braggy or whatever, but I want readers to see you don't have to buy full price to look nice! I hit up Goodwill on Memorial Day and also bough a couple items from Twice the same day because they were having a 30% off sale.

I'm officially on summer vacation, one of the perks of being a teacher. My look will change a little since I don't have to get dressed up every day. I'll still post what I wear; it'll just be a bit more casual. I love just slowing down in the summer. Waking up without an alarm (well, more like I let my kiddos be the alarm).  Going for more walks. Spending tons of time outside.  Love it.

If you're visiting from WIWW, would you stay awhile? Connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin' or G+ (links in the sidebar). I'd love to meet you!


I was soooo pumped to wear this outfit. I sent a pic of it to my mom since we'd gotten the dress when we went shopping, and she made some comment about it being an "interesting" outfit. Probably not how she pictured it'd look, but I love it. I look forward to styling the dress other ways, too.

First off, Happy Anniversary to my hubby!  Eight years ago today we wed at a simple 11 am ceremony followed by brunch at our college. I was DIYing even back then - I made all the flower arrangements including the cake topper. Love you, Russell! Many more great years ahead!

Secondly (is that a word?!), today I'm sharing a tutorial over at Living in This Season. Thanks so much to Keri for allowing me to guest post in her space while she spends some time with her new, sweet little girl! This tutorial was posted to my blog over a year ago, and I thought it would be great to bring it out again to share with you! Head on over there and check it out.

I've seen lots of summer bucket lists for the kiddos, and I love them. I have lots of ideas going around in my brain for them, but I need some motivation, too.  Here's my list of goals for the summer:

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