Friday, March 30, 2012

Love Yourself

Can I just say? Y'all are so sweet! it's not easy to put pictures of yourself "out there" but you guys made it easier....I hesitated doing an outfit post for a while because it feels a bit like "look at me" "look at me!" But, I really love clothes and I really love helping friends/family dress in a way they love, that compliments them and that is affordable. I would say I feel kinda strongly about this because I think especially as moms we tend to let ourselves go, or to be put at the bottom of the priority list. Either because of time or money. Both of which dwindle considerably once we have kids.

But I'm a believer that it can still be done. That we can still put a little effort into ourselves and not compromise our children's needs or our budget. There tends to be this false, unspoken belief among mothers that if we look put together, our kids suffered in some way. Like 20 minutes of watching Barney while we get dressed is going to demote us from being mom of the year. Kind of the same idea as that saying I've seen going around about a dirty house meaning happy kids. I totally disagree. But that's a whole other story. Do I sound like I'm passionate about these things? It's cause I kind of am. I really believe that you can, without compromising your time with your children and other responsibilities, put a little effort into yourself and style. And that it's actually even ok!  We have to maintain our identity you know? Our style and effort doesn't have to fly out the window when we have kids.

I have heard moms say things like "how do you have time to do your hair, I can barely brush my teeth"... I get that babies and kids are demanding. I have one of the most demanding toddlers you'll ever meet. Someone just recently deemed her my "fabric sheet" because she is constantly stuck to me. So I get it. But, I think it's important to make your "self" an important part of your day as much as you do your husband and kids. Prayer time, quiet time, exercise, dates with our husbands...these are all important parts of keeping our identity as women. Not just mothers. Women. And it's the same for putting a little effort into getting yourself dressed too. The guilt has got to go. And more so, the guilt from other moms has got to go. The ragged mom with kids hanging on her, is no better than the mom who took the time to do her hair and makeup. And vice versa.

Don't misunderstand me, I know there are seasons. Trust me I know. Seasons where we are learning the day to day rhythm of our families and how to fit our own time in somewhere between feedings and laundry and wiping noses. I'm not saying we should be selfish with our time. I'm not saying we should neglect our kids so we can sit and do our makeup and hair, while they mark up the walls with marker. I'm saying we all have small bits of time in our day where we can take a little time for ourselves and that we should. And that it's ok to. And that if we don't, but another mom does, we shouldn't make her feel like a less than mom for it.

I read somewhere, "if you are going to be selfish with your time, do it at 5am." I tend to agree and disagree with this. I think God has entrusted these beautiful creatures to us and that we should be good stewards of that responsibility. The weight of it is heavy. I don't take it lightly. I give myself to my kids in every way, all day. And I'm sure as a mom, you do too. Being a mom, you give up every selfish notion, it just happens. We wouldn't have it any other way really.
So I get what that quote is saying, but I also believe that our kids need to learn independence just as much as they need to learn their abc's. And with it comes confidence. And that can only come if we are allowing them that independence. Time on their own. A little separation during the day is a healthy thing for everyone. Quiet time, nap time, reading time, however that shows up in your home.

Let me clarify too,  that I'm not just talking about taking the time to put ourselves together outwardly. Picking out an outfit or doing our hair is not going to make us feel any better if our inside is totally neglected. If we aren't taking a little time for some "quiet." Or we aren't feeding our soul, and mind... no matter what we do to the outside, we will never feel put together. Because we simply aren't. The best thing I believe you can do for your appearance is to find your identity in HIM each and every day. The world will tell us otherwise, the mirror will lie to us, our emotions will mislead us. But God and being firmly rooted in Him, is the only thing that will always remain. Always be the same. And always fulfill.

The most beautiful girl can be the emptiest. The most hurting person, can be gorgeous.  Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised {Proverbs 31:30} Find yourself in Him. Love yourself first, so you can love others better. Your children, your husband, your neighbors, your co-workers. But love yourself first.

Find yourself in the midst of motherhood. Know who you are, and be good with it.
But most of all know who God says you are and be strong in it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What I Wore

I've wanted to link up with Lindsey for her "What I wore Wednesday" series for a while and finally Saturday the stars aligned and I was able to grab B to take a couple of quick pictures before we headed out for a birthday party.


If there is something you might not know about me, it's that I really love clothes.
And if there is something else you should know about me, it's that I really love a good deal and I especially love sharing my good deals with my friends, family, people on the street, girls in the checkout line...

If we met in person and you complimented something I had on, 9 times out of 10, I will tell you exactly where I got it and for how much. because 9 times out of 10 I got a good deal on it and I think you should too. 

I'm big on believing you make the clothes. The clothes don't make you. Therefore, brands don't matter. You can make an entire Target outfit look like you got it at Nordstrom, just by using the right pieces and accessories and most importantly being confident in it.

I'm also big on effortless fashion. Meaning I really like looking put together, without all of the extra effort that it requires sometimes. I'm seriously no expert, but I really think it's about learning what looks good on you and what doesn't, so you aren't trying on 6 outfits before you leave somewhere.  Like for example, I'm really long wasted, so really low rise jeans work best for me. I know I can throw them on with a v-neck tshirt and scarf and I'm good to go.

I think this also plays into being wise as far as spending money on clothes. If you know what works and you get a few pieces you love and that you can rotate for other looks, then you aren't always going out looking for or buying something new.

Another motto of mine is to just go for it. If you like something, wear it. Even if you think it's a little beyond your comfort zone, or maybe it goes against the rules a bit, but you like it...wear it! And wear it with confidence. If you wear it well and you wear it with confidence, people will believe in it too. And maybe even wish they could pull it off themselves!

T-shirt: Target {12$} *edited-it was actually only 8$!
Maxi Skirt: Old Navy {last fall}
Belt: Express {super old}
Shoes, Earrings and Necklace: Forever 21.
Bracelets: A mix of them from Aldo's, Forever 21, and the charm one is from the Splendor Shop.
Ring: Splendor Shop {shameless plug? I wear it ALL of the time though!}
And that right there my friends is a summary of all the places I usually shop. Forever 21, Old Navy, Express, and Target. I rarely pay full price for something and always use a coupon when possible/available.

I would really love to try to do some of these type of posts more often. Where I share an outfit or two and when possible {like if I can remember and it was a recent purchase} I'll share how much the piece was and where I got it.  Because 1- I know personally, I love to see how people dress and get ideas. 2- I think it's important to encourage one another in our own personal style and being confident in it. And 3- that we can do it without spending a ton!

Is that something you'd like to see here on this blog o mine? Tell me the truth! But be nice! ;)  And PS, Next time I will try to steer away from the hands on the hips pose. Sheesh.

What are some of your favorite places to shop?

pleated poppy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

we've lived in this house since asher was just about 16 months old.
i have a picture of him standing on our front door step. i remember taking it because i wanted to remember how little he was when we first moved in. i took the picture with a throw away kodak camera. i was 3 months pregnant with Grace.

5 years later this house now holds so many memories. 
so many.
and i love that.

we will out grow it one day.
the next stage of our lives will happen and we will move forward.

but for now it's ours and i think it always will be in a way.

you know those houses you remember growing up in.
you drive past them years later and they still feel like yours.
new people, new look, new grass, new flowers. but the memories of living there are still so clear and that house is still yours. at least in your memories.
i think this house will be that house for our kids.

times in my life, ive wished for more. ive hoped for different.
ive rushed to the next.
but right where we are. right now. this is a good place.

it's not perfect.
one day we'll need a bigger house.
i can't figure out the right lay out for my living room because it's such an open space.
the master bedroom is smaller than mia's.
there are way too many cabinets in the kitchen then i know what to do with...
i could go on, but they don't really matter.

it's ours.
memories have been made here.
special ones.
some that are a little painful to remember
many that are beautiful to remember
all that we will hold forever and ever.

Mia is now the age Asher was when we first moved in. 16 months old.
we've been thinking and talking about when we'd like to have our 4th baby. It's sort of strange for me to not be pregnant again, and yet really really peaceful too.
as much as i can't wait to hold a new little baby in my arms. as much as im aching to feel that little life kicking inside of much as all that,
im just as content. right where we are.
there's a stillness in my spirit that knows it's just not time.
i like that stillness. 
that peace.

i was a few steps behind brandon and the kids tonight as we walked to our park.
the sun was low and so beautiful. and in that moment, i just knew complete contentment...

...confidence that even if it's for just a bit longer,
right where we are is a really good place.

and thats a really good feeling.

bits of splendor monday

How did you find a little bit of splendor in your week? I hope you'll link it up and share it with us.  Don't forget to grab a button so others can join us too!

It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can be in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone, maybe just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular"  

Friday, March 23, 2012

the Splendor Shop is officially stocked!

Hi y'all! Happy Friday!

I'm so excited to share a few of the new items that have been added to the Splendor shop! It is officially stocked completely with all new designs!  yay!

I've been working pretty hard and hope you all love every piece as much as I do. As I was editing and uploading all of the pictures, I noticed a trend. Every piece is definitely a reflection of what I'm loving right now. Simple statement charms, soft colors, chunky rings, bracelets that are perfect for stacking, and of course all things vintage...I even used some of my nana's old fabric and lace on the button rings!

Take a look around the shop for yourself and let me know what you think!

Also, as sort of a grand re-opening celebration I'm giving you all a 15% off code to use until Monday night! Just enter "Spring" at checkout! 

Enjoy your weekend sweet friends
Love y'all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

hello spring

I get so excited when spring comes around. It is one of my favorite seasons. Everything is just so fresh and new. One of my most favorite parts about spring is all of the flowers. We have patches of bluebonnets that grow wild here in Texas. When you see them, you know spring is here. 

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

 We've had some gorgeous couple of days here. The weather has been so perfect. I took the girls on a walk to the park yesterday and it got me wanting to come home and bring all that springy-ness inside.

One thing I love to do is buy fresh flowers from the grocery store each week. A small bundle only costs about 4.00 and usually lasts 2 weeks. Right now I've got yellow roses in my kitchen. Can't go wrong with yellow roses.

We also buy a new hydrangea plant each spring for our front entry way. I love to cut off the blooms and bring them inside. Hydrangeas remind me of my girls in heaven and just make my heart so happy.

I'm making some of these hanging vases for our living room to add more spots for fresh flowers.

I really love this spring mantle. It's got the mixture of the wood and white that I'm really into and lots of fresh and green. And then all those white them. Target has a whole line of white dishes right now, have you seen it?

This is a cute idea for bringing some spring inside too. I would probably leave the ribbon off, but I like the little nest inside.

How about growing your own grass inside? Why not! How fun would it be and you get that fresh cut grass smell each time you cut it down. I want to do this for sure!

I  really want a lemon tree for my kitchen too. anyone else?

Have you started decorating for spring? What are some other ways to bring spring inside? I'd love to hear some of your ideas!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bits of Splendor Monday

Happy Monday!
I gotta tell you, I am so looking forward to this new week. We had a really good spring break week with lots of fun, family and way too much eating. 
Then this weekend was just as full. Asher and Bella were in a wedding that took up most of our Friday and Saturday. We got home late this afternoon after church and have been laying low since. I am currently watching "A Walk in the Clouds" on tv and wondering why I've never seen it before. I mean Keanu Reeves isn't the best actor, but I can look past that for a good story. And at this point a movie that requires minimal attention to follow whats going on, is just what I'm needing. 
Bella looked at me tonight and said "lets not go anywhere tomorrow, mom"
I'm with you sister.

So here's to a new day and a new week!

I love reading how you find a little bit of splendor in your week and thought I would point you in the direction of a couple of posts that were linked up last week. Hope you find some time to meet new friends and find a bit of inspiration through others too!

I am really in love with this felt chevron wreath that Heather from We are The Holdens made. She did an awesome job didn't she?  Love it!

I really want to try this Mozarella Tomato Pizza that Tanya from A Glass of Wine and A Good Book shared. As big of a pizza nut as I am, would you believe I've never made one myself? For shame. I know.

Also, can I just tell you what an inspiration Hanna from bouffe e bambini is? If you don't know her or haven't read her story, you should! The girl has lost over 100 lbs through exercise and changing the way she eats. She linked up her post about running in her first 1/2 marathon last weekend. So motivating and inspiring.

How did you find a Bit of Splendor in your week? Link it up and share it with us.  

It truly is the little, distinct things that make life big. The important thing is taking the time to see them and I believe it can  be   in anything. A project, a recipe, a special moment or milestone,  maybe   just a word or picture you found encouraging. 

"You will miss what matters most in life if you are only ever looking for the spectacular" 

bits of splendor monday

-Don't forget to use the Bits of Splendor button or a text link in your post so that others can join us.
-Do not link to your blog in general, but to your specific post.
-Visit and meet some new friends!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Pig tails and Painted toes

we've had some beautiful, warmer days this week.
which means spring clothes that show off cute little baby legs
sandals with painted toes 
and tiny little piggy tails.
 i just can't get enough.

happy weekend
hope you are getting some pretty spring weather wherever you are.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

whats in my makeup bag

I've been asked a time or two about the makeup products I use and how I use them. I am by no means an expert. I have a routine I go through every day that's quick and easy. Most days I've either got Mia hanging on my leg, or I'm competing for my blush brush with Bella. Yes that's already happening. It's also fast because I just don't have the patience to stand in the mirror forever. Never have. So when I find something that works, I stick with it. I have found a few products that for me, are tried and true. And I always love seeing what products people use, so I thought I'd share mine with you today!

This is what my makeup looks like on a typical day.  Sorry this picture isn't 100% clear. I didn't want to pull out my camera, so this one was taken with my phone. You get the idea though. {and seriously, how awkward is it to take your own picture??}

Ok, here we go.

 1. MAC Eye Shadow in Rice Paper

This one is my all time favorite. It comes off as a pretty sheer cream color. I use it as a highlighter under my brown bone, the inner corner of my eye and the outer corner. This is my biggest "tip" for opening up the eye and giving you a fresh "awake" look.

2. MAC Eye Shadow in Satin Taupe

I use this all over my eye lid. It's a good soft, neutral color for every day, and it doesn't crease.

3. ELF Concealer in light beige.

I love this concealer. Not only is it only a dollar {holla!} It just goes on really nice. I have dry skin so I have to be careful with what I put on under my eye. I hate that caked, creased look that some concealer gives. This one glides on nice and smooth. It's not too thick and it's not too thin. I buy a couple at a time because it doesn't last a long time and because did I mention it's only a dollar? Target carries E.L.F.  Go check it out. I also like using their brushes because mine tend to disappear {eh hem Bella}

4. Mac Blush in Coppertone

I can wear this color in the summer when I'm tan and the winter when I'm pale. It works all year round.

5. Rimmel Glam Eyes Mascara in Black. 

I've used many a mascara in my day. I love this one because of the wand. It gets all of my eye lashes and separates them out.  I use mascara on both my top lashes and bottom. It opens my eye up and gives that "doe eyed" look.

6. Mac lipstick in Honey love.

I like a nude lip. I have a lot of red in my lips so I also put a dab of concealer on my lips to neutralize them even more. This lipstick is pretty matte so I always put a gloss over it. 

7. MAC Eye Shadow in Humid 

When I'm going somewhere that I want to step it up a little, I'll add a little more drama to my eyes. This is a dark green color. I use a small angled brush, dab it with a tiny bit of water and use as an eye liner. Sometimes I use it as my all over color instead of the satin taupe, but it's a bit heavy so this isn't an every day shadow.

8. MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden.

I don't use this every day either, but on days where I look in the mirror and say "whoa, you need some sun sister" I'll use a big bronzing brush and put this on my "t-zone"...forehead, nose and chin.

9. Mac Lustreglass in Love Nectar

Love the consistency to this lip gloss. I'm a lip gloss nut. This one is perfect, not too thick. I use just a bit over my lipstick, but most days I use it alone.

10. Anastasia Eye Brow Whiz in Medium Ash.
Source: via Laura on Pinterest

I use this to fill in some of the spaces of my brows. I have a couple of weird spots, this fills them in without looking too "done." It's got the pencil on one side and a brush on the other.

You'll notice something missing is foundation. I have never been a fan of the way face makeup looks on me. But, I feel like maybe I just haven't found the right product. I would love to find something that goes on nice and sheer, not cakey, but gives me some even, glowy coverage. Am I asking too much? Do you have a foundation you love? Tell me about it, I'd love to find one I love too!

If you have a makeup product you love, share it with me. Every now and then I get the urge to switch things up so if I've missing out on something, tell me, I just might need to try it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

St. Patricks Day Rainbow Cupcakes

Hi there!!!! 
I'm Hanna and I blog over at bouffe e bambini where I share lots of recipes, fashion posts, and some inspiration. I love new friends so come by and visit anytime. Today I am going to share a little St. Patrick's Day Recipes that is really fun and really easy!!!! 
Pot of Gold St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Cupcakes:
St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and I will take any excuse to bake something pretty and fun. I have wanted to make rainbow cupcakes for a long time so I had the idea to make rainbow cupcakes with white icing for clouds and gold coins for the treasure at the end of the rainbow! Which is all associated with leprechans right? Well, that was my idea for St. Patrick's Day! But you could easily make these for ANY occassion!!! So fun and so easy! 

You will need:
1 box white cake mix
1 can of frosting
1 box of food coloring
12 chocolate gold coins
1 large zip lock bag or pastry bag
1 icing tip for piping
I will start off by saying this recipe makes about 14-17 cupcakes. It will not yield 24 as the box says because of all the transferring of batter. I suggest using 2 boxes of cake mix if you want 24 cupcakes. 
All you do is mix up the batter as the box says and then separate it into 6 different bowls, one for each color of the rainbow. Now add the food coloring. The directions on the back of the food coloring box worked great for me while I was mixing up my colors. Make sure they are VERY vibrant because they will fade slightly when baked. 
Now place one spoon full of whichever color you want on the bottom batter into the cupcake liners. I chose to have purple be the bottom. Next spoon in the second color. Repeat this until you have all the colors desired. Keep in mind that you have to use small spoon fulls or you will fill the cupcake too quickly and you won't be able to fit all your colors.
That's it! When your finished layering simply bake and cool.

 I don't have a pastry bag so I just used a gallon size zip lock and cut a tiny hole in the corner where I placed my piping tip! Fill the bag and apply icing to look like clouds. If you can't find a piping tip with a large enough hole simply cut one of the plastic ones to the size you want.

Thank you so much Laura for having me. It has been such an honor!!!!!! 
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