bybmg: 2015

So many people have been posting fun year in reviews, and I finally have the time to sit down and think a little about this year.

I went back through and browsed every post I'd written this year, and I thought it would be fun to share a monthly favorite!


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I'll admit I haven't gotten out of my PJs much this Christmas break, but I'm a-okay with that. I do have just a couple outfits to share with ya, though!

Errands on Christmas Eve:

Scarf: old
Vest: Old Navy
Sweatshirt: Hello Apparel
Boots: gift
(I wore jeans, they just aren't pictured.)
I received a trial subscription to Bulu Box in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. See my disclosure statement for details.

The perfect partner in the pursuit of a healthier you, Bulu Box is like having a personal trainer and a nutritionist as a best friend. Each month, a box of healthy discoveries is shipped right to your door for just $10. You learn about that month's 4-5 premium samples, try each one and see what fits into your individual healthy lifestyle. 

There was quite a haul in the box, and quite the variety of items in my opinion.

I'm sitting here watching the snow fall and looking at all five of our stockings hanging while the two littlest nap and the two big guys are downstairs playing Minecraft and watching football. I can't help but just feel grateful. Grateful for all the boys in this picture. Grateful for our Savior coming into the world for us. I wish you a blessed Christmas. Soak up every crazy second. 

Lessons in Fashion:
a sporadic series where I share little tips with you that help make my wardrobe stretch. 

I'm mixing up my What I Wore Wednesday this week with a little lesson in fashion because it's been a while since I've done one and I thought what I did with my outfit planning this week might be helpful to you. A little behind the scenes.

So, my "lesson" for today is add something. Often times, I'll layout my clothes on the floor and they look just, "meh." I head back to my room and find one little piece to add, and the outfit is vastly improved. I have three quick examples for ya of things I wore this week.
I received items from No nonsense in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are all my own. See my disclosure statement

Christmas Eve may be my favorite night of the year. Growing up, with my parents being pastors, it was always a busy night, but so magical. I forever remember the Silent Night hymn sung by candlelight at the end of church, and I love carrying on this tradition with my family.

This year, I got a new dress. It's my favorite style, LuLaRoe's Amelia. Last year I wore a mustard version of this dress. It's such a classic cut I don't mind having a line-up of them in my closet.

I'm thrilled for another edition of $10 at Target. Make sure to hop around and check out everyone's haul!

Elizabeth - Chasin' Mason
Rachel - Garay Treasures
Stephanie - Wife Mommy Me
Becky - bybmg

Next month, we'll be sharing our hauls on January 18th. Drop me an email if you want to join in!

This month's trip to Target was so relaxing. I had plenty of time to browse, and browse I did. I ventured from section to section, not sure what I might end up with. The Dollar Spot was kind of picked through this time around, so I didn't purchase anything from there.

Happy Friday! Can you believe a week from today is Christmas?! How did that happen?


Yay for the Christmas season though it be laden with tissues this year. I think I'm finally getting over my cold and eye stuff. I'm tired of talking about it, so I'm sure you're tired of hearing about it. Moving on...

image via Darby Smart

I love a cutely wrapped gift, but I don't always have the time to gather the supplies needed to wrap said cute gifts. Enter Darby Smart!  Darby Smart is a site where you can purchase craft supplies to feed your creative soul. They're teaming up with Gap to offer a gift wrap set that is so simple and totally versatile! I love that it includes brown paper. Next year my goal for wrapping is to wrap just in brown paper and accessorize in different ways. This kit was a good precursor to that! I got to try out the kit early, and here's what I came up with!
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I've been loving layers lately. Add a vest, cardigan, or scarf and I feel like an outfit is up a notch!

Thursday (when I tried to go to school and ended up going to the doctor instead):

Vest: Old Navy
Tunic: Old Navy
Pants: Old Navy
Bracelets: old
Flats: Target

If you know me, you know I love a simple recipe. I was perusing the grocery store a couple weeks ago and stumbled upon holiday color Rice Krispies and peppermint marshmallows. I just knew they were meant to be together.

Decorating for Christmas has been so fun this year. It's the first Christmas in our new home, so figuring out where things fit has been a blast. I've tried to keep the purchasing of new decor to a minimum - making a couple new things and getting some ideas of what I might look for at the after Christmas sales.

First, off, the tree. I did buy a new tree this year because our old one was pretty narrow. I wanted one that was just a little taller and wider, so I snagged this tree on super sale at Target one week. They had $50 off a $100 purchase. The tree was marked down from $127 to $105, then with the $50 off, it was just $55. Then I sold our old tree on the local Facebook for sale page for $30, so I came out at just $25 for a new tree! Pretty good in my book!


Last Friday, Calvin turned 7 months old.  Hard to believe we're over the half a year mark! 

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I love sharing what I wear with you every week. I hope you can get some inspiration to put together outfits for yourself. I missed last week because of another post, so I'm catching up this week!

Traveling for Thanksgiving:

Shoes: Converse
Pants: Gap via ThredUP
Scarf: Jamberry
Sweater: H&M

One of my Goals for the Remainder of 2015 was to get a desk. My mom read the blog and texted me soon after offering a beautiful small desk that is a family heirloom. She sent me some pictures, and it turned out to be the perfect, cute little piece that fits exactly where need it. My mom remembers the desk holding the radio in her home growing up, and I'm so excited to now have it in our home as my creative landing space.

I'm thrilled to be a part of a blog hop today sharing ideas of how to celebrate Christmas with your little ones!

Today I'm sharing a simple craft I made with my boys.

Since I took last Friday off, I have two weeks of happenings to share with you this week! Happy Friday!


We spent a lot of time on the road over Thanksgiving. We drove 4 hours each way to visit Russ's parents, then 2 1/2 hours each way to my cousin's wedding. The kids were troopers, and I spent a lot of time sitting between the car seats of the younger two. Russ drove all the trips. He was a trooper, too!

Blogging is just so much fun. Little did I know when I started this space a little under three years ago, I would meet so many wonderful people. One of those lovelies is Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me. I remember when I first met Stephanie, I felt in awe of her blog and all she has accomplished! She works her hiney off and is so great at planning things to bring bloggers today. I am thrilled that she nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.

The rules of accepting this award are simple -- a) thank the person who nominated you b) link back to their blog c) share 7 facts about yourself and d) nominate up to 15 other bloggers.

Here we go!

The theme for this month's How I Style It is Christmas Chic. When I think "chic," for some reason dressy, though I looked up the definition: elegantly and stylishly fashionable. I think the outfit I picked met that because it's classic and has hints of Christmas in it. Plaid. Jewels. Gold. Enjoy and make sure to check out all the other ladies' looks! Our next link up will be January 6th featuring boots!

We moved in March, so decorating for Christmas has been a new experience in our new space. I used to hang out Christmas cards on our cupboards, but this year I wanted to try something different. I also wanted to include the boys in some way. I came up with just the right project!
It's the last Monday of the month, which means I'm linking up with Andrea about my Favorite Things!  Each month, there's a new topic (all the topics can be found here). This month is all about stocking stuffers!  

Stocking stuffers are so fun to buy. Today I'm sharing a few collages of ideas for our family. I also snuck some ideas in for myself at the end!

I've been doing a little studying of the Psalms in their relation to gratitude with a She Reads Truth study. This verse just really stuck with me.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Among the list of things I'm grateful for this year, I would list this space. It is a wonderful outlet for my creativity and a place I love to connect with all of you. 

I'm taking the day off tomorrow, but I will be back Monday with some fun stocking stuffer ideas!
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Happy Wednesday! I hope you're revving up for a great Thanksgiving!  I'm excited to spend some time with family and relax. Here are some of my outfits from the past week!


Sweater: Gap
Necklace; Chloe and Isabel (It's actually a wrap bracelet!)
Tunic: LuLaRoe
Leggings: Kohls
Boots: Steve Madden

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I'm a little hooked on buffalo plaid. Tif over at Bright on a Budget and I have deemed ourselves the Buffalo Plaid Police and will often alert the other of a new find. Today I wanted to round up the buffalo plaid I have in my closer with some outfit layout ideas for you.

This Old Navy plaid shirt is just classic. It is cozy, yet I was able to dress it up a little by adding a statement necklace from Rocksbox. I wore this outfit to church but I feel like I could wear it a lot of places.
I'm so thrilled that this month we have a great bunch of ladies sharing their $10 at Target finds! If you'd like to join in next month, let me know via email.

Elizabeth - Chasin' Mason
Stephanie - Wife Mommy Me
Becky - bybmg

I don't know why, but I've struggled to find some quality time to go to Target! We don't have a Target close enough that I can just swing by after work or over lunch. I think I can blame the struggle to get to Target it on Calvin's teeth. The past two weeks, sleep hasn't been happening like I'd like, and so venturing the 15 minute drive each way after the kiddos are in bed just seems daunting. I'd rather just curl up on the couch. When I made plans to meet up with a friend for coffee last weekend, I made a quick stop to Target to spend my $10. I entered Target in with a purpose and limited time.

Happy Friday!  This Friday is lovely knowing that I only have a two day work week next week!  Just and FYI, my posting will be a little slim next week so I can focus on time with family. 


I had my first red cup of the season last weekend, a Caramel Brulee Latte. Yum!

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Last week's blogging docket was full, so I decided to skip What I Wore Wednesday. So, this week, you get a little extra outfit inspiration! Enjoy!

Also, you hear me talk about ThredUP a lot! I have gotten so many great pieces from there! Right now, when you sign up, you get $20 in FREE credit, PLUS they're offering FREE shipping from now until December 14. It's a great time to try it out with absolutely no cost to you! $20 in free clothes! Give it a try!

Mustard and Animal Print:

Scarf: Old Navy
Dress: LuLaRoe
Cardigan: Gap via ThredUp
Tights: Old Navy
Booties: Dolce Vita via Ebay

As I was going through the Tuesday Talk links from last week, I just LOVED that there were so many fun Thanksgiving ideas. So many so that I can't share them all, but I picked a few to highlight. I hope to accomplish at least one of these in the next week!

I'm loving having my goals in front of me! It's so satisfying to check things off.  I may make it a goal to have monthly goals next year (a goal to make goals... yeah... ) If you missed out on my initial post last month, you can find it here. So, here's where I'm at:

This post contains affiliate links and items for review see my disclosure statement.

First off, it's FRIDAY the 13th! EEEK!  Just kidding. But a Happy Birthday shout out to my oldest brother! Happy Birthday, Eric!


When I saw this hat online at Old Navy, I just had to get it. Boy #3, you deserve some new things, and THIS hat is too cute to pass up. Our pastor said, "He looks like Elmer Fudd!" I purchased this hat with the intention of him wearing it for a few pictures when we got family pictures, but it was 75* out, so I decided against it. Nonetheless, we got some cute pictures you can check out if you missed them yesterday.

I just have to note that 12 years ago today, Russ proposed to me!  I haven't ever blogged the story of that day, though it's a memorable and a bit funny one. I do plan to sometime though. Just a little random fact for ya! Now, on to the real post!

When we first scheduled our family pictures with Mark for November 1, I was a little worried it would be cold. I ordered up a cute jacket for Wes, a fun hat for Calvin, and a puffer vest for Henry in preparation. Instead, Iowa weather surprised us with 75*!  I am not one to complain about unexpected warm weather, but I had to revise our outfits a bit. 

Taking photos with three little boys is no easy feat, but our photographer was patient and interacted with the boys a lot. We got a few silly shots like above, but overall I was thrilled with how they turned out! Enjoy!

I've come to really love plaid, so when this month's How I Style It theme was decided, I was thrilled! 

Scarves are my JAM!  If you've been around here, you know that. I've posted about different scarf/top combinations and had a week where I wore a scarf every day last year.  When I heard that Courtney, Elizabeth, and Whitney were having a scarf exchange, I was all in!  I was matched with Aubrey. If you want to see what I got her, pop over to her blog.  Whitney was matched with me. When the package came in the mail, I couldn't wait to open it!  The scarf was beautifully wrapped and there were some faux leaves in there to add to the beauty as well as a sweet note from Whitney!

First off, cheers to daylight saving time ending... not. Though, overall, the boys have adjusted fairly well. We kept them up a little late the night of the time change, and bedtimes have been adjusted accordingly, so we haven't had any crazy early mornings. Calvin is obviously the schedule that is probably most difficult to shift, but we're working on it. 

I received an advanced copy of this book for the purpose of review. The opinions I share are all my own. See my disclosure statement.

I love reading a good book on motherhood, and Hoodwinked didn't disappoint. The full title is Hoodwinked: Ten Myths Moms Believe and Why We All Need to Knock It Off. Right off the bat, the title got me!  One funny thing about this book reading experience is that I'd never heard the word "hoodwinked" before, so naturally I had to look it up to see if it was actually a word.  It is!

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 I totally missed documenting my outfits this weekend, but I have my work week looks for you! Also, make sure to enter a fun giveaway at the end of the post! Enjoy!


Cardigan: Oakleigh Rose
Tank: Target
Skirt: Taylors Custom Creations
Booties: Toms via Zulily
I'm all about easy when it comes to baking. I don't keep a super deep pantry, so making sure I have all the ingredients can sometimes be daunting.

Today, Cake Mix Cookies. Super easy and just a couple ingredients.

See, just a couple things! It's easy and quick!

Aren't they adorable!  Way back when we found out Calvin was going to be a boy, Ninja Turtles for Halloween just stuck in my head. 

This week has been a little wild. With some more sickness floating around the house it just felt like we can't catch a break! Nonetheless, it was still a wonderful week. Here are some of the highlights!


The two little boys and I spent Sunday afternoon and evening at my parents' farm.  Poor Henry missed because he was home sick.  We lived up the farm life with a hay rack ride, climbing in the hay, and making apple crisp from apples from my parents' trees.

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Happy Wednesday. I have four of my outfits for you this week. Enjoy!


Black Jeans: Gap via  Thred Up (use this link to get $20 off your first purchase)
Flats: Express c/o Brandzaffair

Cardigan: Target
Top: LuLaRoe
Necklace: gift

I mentioned last month that I have decided to cancel my Ipsy subscription. So, I have diverted the $10/month budgeted for that to a new series, $10 at Target!  If you would like to join in on this monthly adventure, will you email me. I planned on gathering some people to link up or blog hop this month, but time got away from me.

I honestly just got to Target last night, so I didn't even know if this was going to happen this month! Next month I plan to be more on top of things. I just had to laugh with Russ asks, "Are you going on vacation tonight?!" He fully knows going to Target is a vacation for me!

This post does contain referral or affiliate links. Read my disclosure page for more details.

It's the last Monday of the month, which means I'm linking up with Andrea about my Favorite Things!  Each month, there's a new topic (all the topics can be found here).  This month it's favorite fall find under $50. 

I couldn't just share one. Old Navy had been great for clothes for me this fall. I have spent maybe $10 because we have had a ridiculous amount of rewards dollars from our Gap credit card lately. Above are things I've picked up. The widget may not show the exact colors, but the styles are correct.

Here are the pixie pants.

And here's the plaid pullover.

I have an outfit coming up on Wednesday's outfit post that showcases the tunic and quilted vest. 

Having a credit card with clothing rewards makes my closet fuller on a tight budget! We are diligent about paying off the credit card each month, but building up points with normal purchases is awesome. Happy Monday!

Happy Friday! I hope you had a fabulous week! Here are some snippets from around here.


DATE NIGHT!  Russ and I went on a date Sunday night to see the Oh Hellos in concert. It was an awesome concert. We were standing pretty much right up front. Russ even caught a drum stick the drummer threw out at the end. We were out way past our bedtimes, but it was so fun! 

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