My New Favorite Outfit: January 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015


Recently I was introducing my students to the concept of mood and tone in poetry and I shared this video with the song "Try" by Colbie Caillat. The purpose was them to determine their mood afterwards based on the words in the song.  If you haven't seen the video you HAVE to watch it.


Once the video was over the most frequently shared "mood" was moved and I heard time and time again how important this song is. Days later the kids had some free time on the iPads and girl after girl was pulling this video up on youtube and singing along.  Definitely a very rewarding moment for me as a teacher.

Colbie's message is pretty simple, she says:

"You don't have to try so hard
You don't have to give it all away
You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up
You don't have to change a single thing"

Throughout the song she talks about doing all these things so others will like you, then she asks, but do you like you?  It can be so easy to look nice for others or dress to impress. But if we decide to base our value on what others think....good or bad, we're selling ourselves short.

I'll admit there have been more times than I'd like to admit in which I've bought something specially  for this blog and obsessed over how many likes a picture gets on Instagram.  My students were right, Colbie's song is moving and important, and one that we should take to heart.  Beauty can't be wrapped up in a neat package, nor should it be.  We are beautiful just as we are and the second we let someone else define our beauty for us is the second we begin to sell ourselves short.

Ever since the early fall I've been on the hunt for a dark denim jacket.  It seems like the second retailers put them on the shelves they were sold out.  That's one more reason when I love thredUp so much.  I found this brand new Gap on on there for $20 and it was exactly what I was looking for! Use this link for $10 off your first purchase if you haven't tried it before.  I'm also crazy about this dress from Target. I picked it up at 40% off on Black Friday and love everything about it. We've been pretty lucky to have a mild winter so far (just one small snowfall that didn't stick around) so bare legs it is!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Only a Moment

A number of years ago I read "It's Not About Me" by Max Lucado.  I would definitely recommend it, if you're looking for a good read.  One part of it has resonated with me for years.  He tell this story about how he's walking with his four year old son, and his son stops to look at something. Lucado is trying to hurry him along (I can totally relate, by the way). His son responds to him, "It's only a moment." This hit Lucado hard and it's stuck with me since.

You can really look at this phrase two very different ways: First, we are only given some much time here on earth, only a moment in comparison to eternity, yet so often we're like the Lucado, trying to pull our child along (metaphorically or literally).  Rush, rush, rush. "I just want this day to be over."  But this is the only January 28, 2015 we'll ever have. Why do we want the day to end so badly? We have been put on this earth for a purpose...for a reason. We really should make the best of the time we are given, after all, it's only a moment.

The second way to look at this is remembering that whatever difficult thing we are going through is only a moments in comparison to eternity...and an eternity in heaven once you've accepted Jesus as your Savior. Sometimes things can just feel so difficult..and so hard to overcome. But Jesus says in John 16:33 that we will have tribulation in the world, but to take heart because he has overcome the world. We have Him on our side. We can get through anything, as difficult as it is, with Him. 

I hope you're encouraged by this today, our lives here are only a moment, let's make the best of them!

A few weeks ago J.Crew factory put this vest on sale for $35 and I snagged it up and bought it with a gift card from my mom.  I've already worn it a few times, but wanted to try it using this pin as inspiration.  I really do love the open button-up trend this year and I think the dotted chambray makes for fun pattern mixing here too. Also, let's talk about these  leggings, they're a super thick knit I scored on sale.  I bought one, then went back for another.  I have been wearing them non-stop!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Season Favorites

I feel like I've gotten in the groove of dressing for winter and am also realizing there are certain pieces in my closet I'm constantly wearing.  I thought I'd put them together in a set to show you today, only to realize they make a pretty cute outfit. Of course the pieces I love the most would go together. ;)

First is my fur vest, I've been wearing it at minimum weekly (often more than that). Yes, my students always want to touch it and guys always ask if it's real, but it has been my favorite piece this season. Chic Wish still has a cute one available!

Next is my buffalo check button-down. I would never have realized how versatile it would be.  Mine is from Old Navy, but I love this option and it's boyfriend style just like mine.

I also scored these ponte leggings at Target on sale and can't take them off. They are thick like pants but feel like pajamas. Score!

I picked up black booties at Target (now sold out) but these are similar and I love them with my ponte leggings. I love black boots, but sometimes don't like the bulk of my riding ones, so these are a great option.

I'm also loving all pendant necklaces out this year, and this option has caught my eye. Don't get me wrong, I still love a good statement necklace, but I find myself wearing my pendant necklaces constantly!

So, how about you, what are you loving this winter?

Winter Favorites

Monday, January 26, 2015

Being Present

Mindless surfing. Check Facebook...check Instagram....check email...repeat.  Urg, this is the worst and I find myself doing it. All. The. Time. I find myself being so concerned about what's going on within the world of Social Media I forget what really matters.  Please tell me you can at least relate a bit?

Once I get home from school all Grant want's to do is play with me. I'll be busy emptying the dishwasher, starting dinner and starting laundry, which are all valid reasons for him to entertain himself, but once that's caught up it's time for me to put down my phone and truly be present. I could use the excuse of winding down and being tired, but there will come a time when Grant quits asking me to play. I need to soak up the time I have.

The same thing goes for my husband.  Once Grant is finally to bed Brian and I have only about an hour, maybe hour and a half together before bed.  Should I really spend it on my phone??? I think the obvious answer is no. 

I know there needs to be a balance between "me time" and family time, but I'm really trying to make an effort to be present with the ones I love.  Because, you know what? God is always present, always there for us, always available. He has an endless supply of time to listen to the details of our day, our hopes, our fears.  I really want to work to be more like him and unplug from the things that don't matter. 

I never thought I'd get so much wear out of a piece as I have this vest! Today I decided to try it with my striped dress and boots, and I really like how it came together. The flurries had just begun when I snapped these pictures quickly. Luckily, it didn't stick around! Spring can't come soon enough!

Thursday, January 22, 2015


Recently I was reading about Jesus' final evening with his disciples in John 13:1-38.  Jesus rose from supper began washing each of the disciples feet. Now, this is an act that is usually assigned to the servants of the house to do, not the savior of the world. Peter specifically had a hard time with the idea of Jesus doing this, but the meaning is deeper than just a simple washing of feet. I think it symbolically shows how with Jesus we are cleansed from the sin we have in our life.  He makes us new. 

I think there is another perspective we can take on this act as well. Prior to washing their feet Jesus knew Peter would later deny him and that Judas would sell him out for 30 pieces of silver....and he still showed himself as a servant to them by washing their feet, even though they would betray him. Too me this is one of the greatest examples of how we should treat others, not just the people we like.

It's so easy for me to take the easy way out and try to avoid those I'm not crazy about, but what good does that do? What if I chose to act kind and metaphorically "wash their feet."  Think of the good that could come from that, from choosing to love on them even when we don't think they deserve the world's standards anyway.  

We have such a great example in Jesus, just as he washed his disciples feet to symbolically show how their sin has been washed away, ours has too once we accept Jesus into our lives.  The old is gone and the new has come.  When we chose to "wash someone's feet" we can choose to forgive, to forget, to more on, and to love. There is tremendous power in that. It frees us from the hurt they might have caused and it shows God's unconditional love. 

I want to keep this as a reminder when things get tough with people. I want to work to not run from  hurt, pain and people I could call "difficult," but to look to them as Jesus looked at Peter and Judas. I hope his example encourages you to do the same.

I feel like winter has been making the idea of skirts just seem painful, but I don't want to see my dress clothes forgotten in my closet.  Other than the shoes, I've had all these pieces for at least a year. I feel like I can have a tendency to show my new things, as there are still links to buy them, but want you all to see I do wear the old too, and I think they should make an appearance on here too. Oh, and don't mind the Beagle hair on my blazer...that's really life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Start a Fire

  The song "Start a Fire" has been playing in my head constantly. Take a look at the video below:


Here are the lyrics for you to take a look at:

"This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we're in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever?

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there's no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it's You, that it's You that we need
Start a fire in me

You only need a spark to start a whole blaze
It only takes a little faith
Let it start right here in this city
So these old walls will never be the same

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
They need to know
I need to go
Spirit won't you fall on my heart now


You are the fire You are the flame
You are the light on the darkest day
We have the hope we bear Your name
We carry the news that
You have come to save
Only You can save"

If feel like there is a lot of power in these lyrics and it reminds me of Mathew 28: 19-20, which states: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

As a Christian, it's my job to share who God is with everyone....yes everyone.  This thought can be pretty scary, especially with the people who are closest to me. There's the fear of rejection, offending, seeming pushy; all of these can cause me to keep my mouth closed, when instead it should be open and sharing God's truth.

But 2 Timothy 1:7 says "For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." God is on my side, and yours, that should be enough to help us "start a fire in our souls" What's to keep us from sharing the good news of Jesus and his death on the cross. I want those I love with me in heaven, what if God uses my words to help get them there?  

I think it's important to consider that sharing God's love and truth doesn't mean we need to stand on a soapbox handing out  "Jesus Saves" fliers, we can show God's love and truth through being kind to others, being patient (even when it's tough), and through being a friends to someone others have pushed aside. After all, that's what Jesus did.

I really want to be working to "let my light shine" and I hope this inspires those of you who are Christians too.

This sweater from thredUP (use link for $10 off) has turned out to be one of my most versatile pieces this season.  I decided to pair it here with my navy vest and plaid scarf.  I wore this over Christmas break, but I'm sure it'll be on repeat.  Easy + cozy = winning look.

Monday, January 19, 2015

When No One is Waching

Self-control is a big thing we're working on here with Grant, and I think he's really getting better at it, but it takes practice.  Grant had been making some noise (I can't even explain it) and wouldn't stop...lack of self-control and listening. We got it under control in front of us, but when he went to bed he started up again.  I didn't go in and tell him to stop, but the next morning we talked with him about respecting us and having self-control.

I also talked with him about how we need to try to do our best all the time and not just when other people are watching, because God sees us all the time and knows our hearts.  Grant was very surprised I could hear the noises in his bedroom, and that God could hear him too. It got me thinking though, am I always the same person when no one is watching? I don't think this necessarily has to apply to my actions, but to my thoughts too.

The greatest commandment from God is to: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all  your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is not commandment greater than these." (Mark 12: 30-31) 

I'd like to say that I'm always transparent, but my thoughts aren't always a great example of "loving my neighbor" when I'm annoyed, upset, or mad.  God knows my thoughts and I can't metaphorically lock myself in my room and think what I want.  I really want to be practicing what I'm preaching with Grant. I want to have self-control and know that Jesus' death on the cross has freed me from the power sin has in my life, and that includes my thoughts.

 Our thoughts can influence our day so much too. If I let negative thoughts invade my head, I can tell you right now my outward attitude will definitely reflect that, but if I work to love my neighbor, all the time, it will definitley change my day for the better. If I work to see things others' way and their perspective it really is loving my neighbor and showing God's love through me too. I hope this perspective encourages you today too.

I decided to give my blanket scarf another try and tie it a bit differently too. I got the inspiration from this pin and tied it like this.  I'm a big fan of this combo and think the scarf adds some great interest.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Power to Change

Since starting to do daily devotions again this summer I've felt a change in myself, my thoughts, and my attitude.  I think I'm (generally) more patient, less judgmental, and a better wife and mom. However, I am still far from perfect.

Recently my husband and I had a "conversation" about t.v. We recently got Netflix, which has been really nice, however, I'll admit t.v. can be a total vise of mine.  Given the time I'll binge watch entire seasons of shows.  In general I watch a lot less t.v. than I used to simply because I don't have time as a mom, but I can easily spend all of Grant's nap time on the weekends planted on the couch.

Now, I don't think t.v. in it of it's self is bad, but I've got the power to chose what I watch.  After hearing the buzz about "Orange is the the Black" I decided to "give it a try," and by that I mean I was sucked in.  I'm not saying this to judge anyone who watches it and I hope you won't judge me.  I like the idea of the show, I think seeing what prison life is like is really interesting, but it's definitely not a show I'd discuss during our Sunday morning Bible Study.  And that's were the problem lays for me.  If I don't feel comfortable talking about it in church, I probably shouldn't watch it.  Unfortunately I didn't come to this decision on my own, it took my husband to point it out, and honestly I'm grateful for that.

Recently at church our pastor said that salvation frees us from the power of sin.  I will never be perfect, but with God I am able to be a better person and use the time I'm given more wisely.  I'm sure my issues with t.v. are just one of many hurtles I'll have to get through in my life, but I know with God I can.

The same goes for you, whatever your vise, whatever your challenge, God is with you.  Our pastor also said to "Pray not that God gives you what you want, but so that your wants line up with God's." He has the power to change our 'want to's" and I'm encouraged by that.

This dress I scored from thredUP (use link for $10 off) has to be hands down one of my favorite pieces in my closet. I thought it would be fun to pair it with teal today for work.  I also adore that it has pockets in the front, it's such a fun touch!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Mean What I Say

"I mean what I say." I say this multiple times a day to Grant. I try to be clear with expectations and have a consequence I can actually follow through on. The kid doesn't miss a beat. In the past I'd tell him things like, "If you come out of your room, I'm taking your blanket." Now, this was a threat I hoped would be big enough to keep him his room at bedtime, but not one I wanted to follow though on...I really didn't want to take his blanket. But. If he left his room and I didn't take his blanket he knew my consequences were threats, not realities.

I've since then changed my tune, I have to "mean what I say," and you know what, he knows it. It's far from perfect, just like the rest of us, but it's definitely improved his behavior. I also mean what I say when I tell him I love him, I'm proud of him, and when I encourage him when he's working hard at something.  I have to be someone Grant can trust and depend on.

God also "means what he says." Hebrews 4:12 in the Message translation says just that.  "God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting thought everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it-no mater what." 

God is the same now as he has been and will be for all eternity.  We can trust in Him and depend on him.  He's shown His great love for us by sending His only son, Jesus, to die for our sake. God means what he says.

As for my outfit, I was pretty happy to pick up this vest at Old Navy. I missed out on the J.Crew version and never could have justified the price anyway.  I thought it would be fun to pair it with my extremely versatile sweater I scored from  thredUP (use link for $10 off) and this Loft skirt I thrifted a few years back.  I feel like the pearls and flats really add a great finishing touch too.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

He Knows My Name

  One song that I've been hearing on the radio light crazy lately is "He Knows My Name" by Francesca Battistelli, take a peek at the video:


Sometimes I think there are songs that get stuck in our heads because they are "catchy" and sometimes I think it's because they're powerful and we're meant to take something...a message from them.  The first stanza is one that I can relate to. As much as I tend not to place too much value in comparison, I catch myself doing it from time to time.

Recently it seems like it's been "loop followers giveaway" after "loop followers giveaway" on Instagram. Not to offend people who take part in this, but our value as people doesn't come from how many followers we have on Instagram. As someone who doesn't take part in these I still get a twinge of jealousy as I see people's followings sky-rocking seemingly overnight through these giveaways. No amount of comparison or number of followers will add a minute to anyone's life.

Comparison is the thief of joy and keeps us from focusing on who we really are.

Here's the first stanza:

"Spent today in a conversation
In the mirror face to face with
somebody less than perfect
I wouldn't choose me first if
I was looking for a champion
In fact I'd understand if
You picked everyone before me
But that's just not my story
True to who You are
You saw my heart
and made
Something out of nothing"

We can get so caught up in the social media following circus that we forget that none of it really matters. Things have changed so much since I was a kid, and I see the social media emphasis impacting my students too. They are constantly comparing their Instagram following and picture "likes" to their friends.  God made us. God chose us. God loves us. And His metaphorical "like" is all we need.

 The song ends with this reminder which I hope I (and you) can take to heart:

"He calls me chosen, free forgiven, wanted, child of the King,
His forever, held in treasure...
I am loved"- and that my friends, is more than enough.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Compliments and Accolades

I'd say that having this blog has really helped me to boost my self-confidence, and although I'm thankful for that I feel like I'm being reminded lately of what Paul said in Romans 12:3 here: "For by the grace given me I say to you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each one of you." 

We are good enough because God says so, not because of the accolades or compliments we hear from others.  I recently had a good friend at work comment on an outfit I wore very similar to the one I'm wearing today.  I said I felt like it was borderline appropriate for casual Friday, but I really just wanted to wear comfortable clothes.  She said it was nice to see me like this, as I always dress so "over the top." It really hit me. I want to dress nice for myself, not for anyone else.  There are a lot of girls at my school who are really cute and wear nice clothes, but I don't ever want to seem like I'm out dressing anyone. 

I think I tend to hold tight to compliments and let them define me. Most recently I was in our small group at church and our leader was lamenting his 32 birthday.  I spoke up that I was 35, what's the big deal. To me age has become somewhat irrelevant.  Those in class who didn't know my age commented they thought I was 27, 28, maybe 30. I've got to be honest, it made me sit a bit taller. I looked younger than my age. But I was reminded by the Holy Spirt: "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought." I've thought age was irrelevant for quite sometime, why did I care now? 

I'm really working to know I'm enough because God says so and not because of what others say about it.  I hope you all can do the same. Good or bad, we shouldn't let others put a value on who we are. 

I wore this outfit recently to go see Big Hero 6 with Grant. It was so good, so original, and I may or may not have cried at the end. As for my outfit, it's one I could have on constant repeat.  I picked up this tunic before Christmas from White Plum via Very Jane and I adore it with these leggings, also from White Plum.  They're currently sold out, but they have so many cute options still available to choose from.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Like I've said in the past, I'm a big fan of music and Grant is too.  One song that always gets me going is the song Overcomer by Mandisa.  Here's the video, it's so good!


Whenever this song comes on Grant and I turn it up, here are some of the lyrics that stick out to me:

"Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He's not gonna let it get the best of you"
"You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer"
In our life we go through peaks and valleys. I think sometimes people think that once you ask God into your life it's going to be smooth sailing, and that's just not the case.  There will be times when it seems like you're on top of the world, then there are times when a situation hits you like a brick wall.  
Being a Christian doesn't keep bad things from happening to you, it just makes it easier to handle because you have God on your side. In the midst of whatever it is you're going though God is right there with you. Jesus says in Mathew 19:26 "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." God helps us to be not give have hope.  With him we know that valley we are in won't last forever. It will be better. 
Maybe today you're in a peak, or maybe you're in valley.  Wherever you are I hope you remember how much God loves you and that you can stand firm that truth.

I wore this outfit for Christmas eve service at church.  I picked up this dress at Target for like $7 this fall and found this great J.Crew cardigan from  thredUP (use link for $10 off) for next to nothing.  I totally lucked out on these heels too.  They're Merona, but real leather, I somehow managed to get them for $12 online (with free shipping).  My favorite black heels bit the dust and I'd been looking for a replacement for quite a while.  So, in the deal category, this outfit is definitely a winner. : )

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Life Lately

Today I thought I'd share a bit of how I spent my Christmas break.  It was so nice to be at home and relaxing. I shared some of what I did on Instagram and thought I'd share with you all on here too.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Want, Want, Want

I haven't been doing as much outfit planning lately. If I see something for inspiration, I'll set pieces aside, however, I've kind of been trying to detox from Pinterest.  I feel like pinning things is just kind of making me want to buy more things....then I want to buy ALL THE THINGS.  Hence, the detox.

I also went through and deleted a lot of "pretty" pins from my boards, because they all had pieces in them that were unlike anything else I have, therefore they made me want to buy things to complete and re-create the outfit.  One of my girlfriends and I were talking about it and she said how she'd make a mental list of things to buy based on her pins, not her needs. Her words: "Wow, this leopard button-down would be a great staple in my closet!" Yep, because a leopard button-down is a staple... See my point.

Exodus 20:17 says: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Now, I don't really covet the first part of this verse but God makes it pretty clear when he says anything that belongs to your neighbor. 

I am very guilty of getting a big case of the "I wants" when I scroll through Pinterest and my Instagram feed.  It's one thing to gain some fashion inspiration, but it's different to covet, then want, then  You can also get stuck on the covet part and feel like you are less than who your really are because you don't have that one thing everyone else has. Herringbone vest? Buffalo check vest? Duck boots? Want...want...want.  There is absolutely nothing healthy about this. Trends will change, people will move on to new trends, and all the buying in the world will never add any long lasting happiness to your life, or mine. 

I am definitely not perfect, but I want to make a conscious effort in the new year to not let the Social Media Machine rule my purchases and wants.  It's fun to see exciting outfits and how to wear fun trends, but that's all it should be.  I hope the same for you all too.  When I show clothes I hope you don't get the urge to want...want...want.  I hope I can give you some inspiration, but it can be just that.

 As for today's outfit: I wore for church and picked in about thirty seconds while wrapped in towel. I've had this cardigan for a few years and same goes for this dress. I like how it came together I didn't need Pinterest or anything else.  I've got plenty to chose from in my closet and the ability to create my own outfits, and you do too. : )

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year in Review: Dresses and Skirts

Happy New Year's everyone! Today I'm wrapping up my year in review with my favorite things: skirts and dresses.  It was funny, as I looked back four of my favorite dress looks are all with this Gap dress I scored at a clothing swap a few years back.

I love this this look below with the layers and bow cardigan, one of my favorite buys last winter.