Friday, October 28, 2011

Random Outfit Post



I went looking back through iPhoto to see if there were any outfits I'd taken pictures of but hadn't posted.
Found this one from mid-September.
GREAT example of a basic, go-to outfit: screen print tee + jacket + skinnies.




pulling it all together...
Tee: Gifted from one of THE. MOST. incredibly amazing women I know.
(I miss you, Cindy Litzinger!!!)
Jacket: Thrifted
Denim: 7 for all Mankind, a Mother's Day gift years ago. Have worn them into the ground, and my MIL has been so gracious to resurrect them from the dead each time.
(You can't even SEE all the patches and extra stitching. She may scream if I ask her to fix them again. *wink*)
Boots: Thrifted, also seen here and here
Accessories: The same ones I always wear, complete with Kenya earrings

GUESS WHAT??!!!? My Brave bracelet? That I wear, truly, every.single.day? From GodChicks? Well, Holly Wagner, the founder of GC is going to be at the Awaken Conference at New Life in just a couple of weeks!!! On November 11th and 12th bring your daughters. Bring your daughters' friends. Bring your youth group girls. Bring the college girls that live in the apartments next to you. Come with them and be poured into. You will NOT regret it!
We need to step UP and AWAKEN ourselves and the rising generation to what God is doing in the world... and how HE wants US to partner WITH HIM!!!
Don't miss out on this amazing event.
See all the speakers and get your tickets here.
(AND, if you're coming, shoot me an email so I can find you and say hi during the conference!)



LIVE LIFE ...to the fullest
Really, one of the things I live by. (From John 10:10)



Brave Grace... ah, yes. Lord, help me live up to it!!!




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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Embracing.


Today was going to be a day where I ran errands and cleaned the kitchen and did laundry.

Today was going to be a day where I caught up.

Then suddenly it changed to today was going to be a snow day where we all stayed home and slept in and played games.

Today was going to be a day where we drank hot chocolate and laughed and watched a family movie. And it would be okay if the kitchen wasn't clean or the laundry wasn't finished or I wasn't "caught up."

Them today suddenly turned into a snowy non-snow day where there is still school, but two kiddos are home sick anyway. There are few dishes getting done, very little laundry being folded and almost no "catching up" getting accomplished.

There are no games being played and there is not much laughter (because it's reported that hurts tender lungs). BUT, I think there is some hot chocolate and maybe a movie forthcoming.

And the rest of life can wait. And that's okay. Because there will be a time not too far down the road when I find myself yearning for a snowy non-snow sick day. I will yearn for cluttered counters and someone needing laundry done. And there will be no more kiddos laying on the couch saying, "Mom, please come watch a movie with us?"



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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Engage.



There is a battle.
It is raging, whether or not you choose to acknowledge it.
It is ongoing, whether or not you choose to engage.
You are a part of it, even if you say you aren't.


It is a battle for life... a battle for souls... a battle for eternity.


You have an enemy.
A very real enemy.
An enemy that wants you to think you're not worth it.
An enemy that wants you to think you can't.
An enemy that wants you to think you have no part.
An enemy that wants you to think you shouldn't even bother.


An enemy that wants you to feel defeated, so you won't even try to raise your voice.
An enemy that wants you to feel awkward, so you won't even try to take a stand.
An enemy that wants you to feel ugly, so you won't even want to be noticed.
An enemy that wants you to feel stupid, so you won't even want to be heard.


There is an enemy who is speaking lies to you.
He will come and plant a seed of doubt, a seed of insecurity, a seed of fear.
And if we're unaware of his planting these seeds, we will take them... thinking they're our own... and nurture them.
We will cultivate them into timidity, into anger and jealousy, into paralyzation.
...into the absence of action...


And even in the absence of action, you have chosen sides.
Because the weapons you are able to wield and fight valiantly with will lay unused at your side.
Your sword will sit unopened on your bookshelf, gathering dust.


You can take the wounds of your enemy and you can curl up in defeat on your couch, vowing to never again engage because the pain is too great.
Or you can take the wounds of your enemy and rise up stronger because of them, better able to defend those around you amidst the battle because you know the enemy's tactics.
You can open your mouth and let the sword cut through the lies that attempt to surround you, attempt to surround your family.
You can use the weapons you have been given with fearless confidence.
You can stand firm amidst seeming defeat because you know there IS NO DEFEAT IN THE KINGDOM YOU LIVE FOR... unless you accept it.


And when you hear, "You're not smart enough to speak against something like that..."
YOU WILL SPEAK ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "You're not pretty enough to be in that position..."
YOU WILL STEP ONTO THAT PLATFORM ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "You're too awkward and fumbling to organize something like that..."
YOU WILL DO IT ANYWAY.
And when you hear, "Nobody's even listening..."
YOU WILL SPEAK EVEN LOUDER.
Because you will know that those are lies...
and you wield the Truth.


We have NOT been given a spirit of fear, but of POWER, of LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND.
(Why do we tend to forget that?)


Be aware.
Stand.
Engage.
Advance the Kingdom.



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Friday, October 21, 2011

Random Outfit Post



About a week and a half ago I was interviewed by the morning show of a local radio station, KBIQ, about affordable fashion tips and tricks.
(Hi, Sara!!!)

It's always interesting rushing out the door in the morning right after you get the kids out, especially when headed somewhere that you don't want to look dumpy-frumpy.
It can be a bit... ohhhh... chaotic? Brain-warping?
It's in these moments that I need to not have to think about clothing options.
I just need to grab something and put it on.
I've talked about basic go-to outfits before, but this was a PRIME example of one...
so I thought I'd post it.





(Why do I look so serious/wistful in these photos? What was my deal? Too little coffee?)

pulling it all together...
Skinnies: H&M (design:Sqin)
Cardi: Ronson for Pennies, via Goodwill
Tank: Fav from a boutique in San Luis Obispo, brand name is Active Basic. 
Hat: Charlotte Russe
Boots: Thrifted, $3!!! (Researched name and found they're from a little boot shop in Madrid.)
"Boot Socks": They're actually legwarmers from Claire's, off their 10 for $10 sale.
Scarf: Forever 21 last winter
Earrings: Kenya
Rings/Leather bracelets: The ones I always wear
Hair: Quick sidebraid.


The basic outfit in this is the skinny jeans with tank and cardi.
In the summer I cuff the jeans and throw on sandals. Now we're into fall, so boots are in order. And adding a scarf just changes the look so much!!!
My hair was *ahem* unwashed, so a hat was necessary.
Some of you are thinking, "Well, I don't have skinny jeans, so it won't work."
No, but I do this exact same thing ALL the time. 
1.) Jeans/pants of some sort
2.) A fitted top
3.) A cardigan of some sort


From there you just add the appropriate accessories! I think so much of the stress of "what goes together?" is taken away in this. I seriously have massive amounts of tank tops in my closet.
...massive...
And I have quite a few cardigans.
I rotate between my favorite footwear and the options are nearly limitless.


One of the problems some people run into is they're looking at this thinking it couldn't possibly apply to them.
In fact, the moment you saw skinny jeans, you tuned out. BUT, it's the idea behind the outfit... the theory of the "basic outfit" and then building on that... that's the important thing here.
I do the same thing with my trouser jeans, I just make sure the crop of the cardi or jacket is shorter (sometimes).


What "basic outfit" do you seem to go back to constantly?
Is it similar to this?
Or maybe it's jeans and a flowy top with large jewelry?
Or maybe it's a business skirt with a semi-fitted blouse and a jacket? And you trade out the skirt for dress pants?
Or maybe it's (like my dear friend on whom it works so well) leggings/jeggings and a dress/tunic?
Recognize the pattern, identify the basics, stock up on them, and then rotate!
It truly is near-brainless dressing in the morning.


Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't ever branch out, I'm just saying no-stress dressing often times can come from recognizing our basic, go-to outfit and then building on it.









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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Your Brain



Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
A whole different perspective in two minutes and fifteen seconds.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tips & Tricks: Dry Shampoo



I've only been using dry shampoo for about a year now, and have no idea WHY I haven't been using it my entire life!
(Well, yes I do. I simply didn't know about  it. Maybe like you?)
This is one of those make-life-easier sanity savers on mornings when you just don't have time (or energy) to wash/style/etc whatever is atop your head. Just lift roots in sections and spray! (Don't spray too much, though, or your brown hair will appear to be graying.)
I run a quick burst along the root, and then sweep it about half-way up the strands for good measure.
Let it sit for a couple of minutes, then run your fingers up your scalp, from bottom to top, and tousle.
Not only will most of the greasy be gone, but it will give your roots a lift and boost volume.
Don't style it too much after you've sprayed, or you'll begin to bring back the limp, greasy strands you were trying to get rid of in the first place.
I also recommend this if your hair is thinning and you struggle to get volume to cover those now-not-so-covered spots.  =^)


I like the Tresemme version, but am currently using Pssssst...
you can find them for a few dollars at Target in the shampoo aisle.
(I think I'm going to switch back when I'm done with this can.)
And if you're willing to spend a bit more money (which, I'm not), many salons offer dry shampoos that match your hair color, so you don't have to worry about any ashy-looking strands.
Just make sure you get one that smells pleasant. *wink*


The other benefit is your hair thanks you. So many of us are washing it way too often! Especially in dry climates (Hellloooo, Colorado!), this can lead to damaged hair with split ends because (as much as we don't want the grease) our hair needs some of that oil to stay healthy.
Give it a little break and extend your hair-wash cycle by one day!


Look at this funny ad I found from the 70's. So, maybe you've all known and it was just me who's been in the dark?  =^)




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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The thing with God-confidence...



The thing with God-confidence is that if I am walking where He leads I can be confident in what He is doing... in what He is going to do.


The thing with God-confidence is that there is so much freedom, because I am resting in who HE is, not in who I am. He placed things in me so HE could draw them out in HIS timing.


The thing with God-confidence is that I can walk forward boldly with my head held high, because I don't need to worry about the future or what it holds. He is already there. He already knows. And He is equipping me now for what is to come.
I can throw my head back and laugh with joy because HE directs my steps.


The thing with God-confidence is that I don't need to fear my motives or remain chained by indecision... because when I stay rooted in HIM I know it has nothing to do with ME and everything to do with HIS purposes.


The thing with God-confidence is that I can boldly desire the things in my heart, because they are the things of His heart. He has created us to desire beauty. He has created us to desire community. He has created us to desire justice. Because these are the things He desires.


Our culture is so absorbed with self-confidence... self-esteem... self-promotion... SELF.
As Christ-followers, let's not get caught up in that lie. It will leave us empty and fearful and paralyzed... because we will see that SELF fails us every time.
But, instead, let's pursue GOD and the things of HIS heart. Rooted in His words, eyes open to what He is doing around us. Let's engage in the things of HIS heart, with confidence in HIM.



"Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence."
1 Corinthians 10:12 msg







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Friday, October 7, 2011

DIY Petticoat/Tutu

A couple of weeks ago I wore one of the most glorious things ever.


The backstory is I've wanted a hot pink... as in HOT pink... frilly, poofy, tulle thing forEVer.
They're finally all over stores, but they're either too short or too expensive or the wrong color or...


I realized I would have to take matters into my own hands.
So, I've been on a hunt.
(I let God know I was on a hunt, which I'm sure wasn't news to Him. And, yes. I believe He has everything to do with my discovery.)


A few weeks ago I was in (shocker, here) Goodwill when I caught my breath and raced over to the dress rack.
There hung one of the most interesting floral creations I have ever seen... complete with a hot pink petticoat sticking out from the bottom of its scalloped sides.
*gasp*
The tulle ended about mid-thing under the dress, and was attached to gloriously stretchy hot pink fabric. All the makings were there... BUT, the price tag was a bit of a splurge for me, so I figured I'd think about it. 


A week later it had still not left my thoughts.


Glory be! The dress was still there on my return trip. It came home with me. The rationale was that I would pay at least three times the price tag if I were to come across this exact petticoat/tutu thing in a store. Yet, here it was just needing a little work to expose its greatness.


The dress:


(Yes, these are taken in my bathroom.)


Oh, dear...



The transformation:






I simply folded the top fabric over itself to create a waistband. I was originally going to stitch it down, but realized I didn't have the *ahem* knowledge needed to confidently accomplish such a thing without ruining the stretchiness of the material.
Since it was already gloriously elasticized, I just left it.
Another great thing about this is there was fabric amidst the layers of tulle, so it wasn't see-through-y (ie Nathaniel the Grublet) when I wore it.


I said a few weeks ago this is kind of a no-brainder Do It Yourself, because all I'm telling you to do is search for a dress with a cool petticoat/tutu thing under it, cut it out and then rock it with a favorite outfit.
(You can see all the other pics from that outfit here.)


And, do I think that God had a hand in opening my eyes to the existence of this hidden hot pink petticoat/tutu/poofy thing? Yes. Yes, I sure do. He knows our hearts, and He desires to bless us in ways that speak to what He's placed in us.
God is SO freaking amazing like that.



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