Pumpkin Patch


My little sweeties love the Pumpkin Patch! We picked Seven Oaks farm this year, previously we have tried pheasant farms, too. We headed there this last weekend, and did a hayride and pony rides. I opted for fake pumpkins from Target for our porch, since someone (me) forgot about the pumpkins one year and they rotted all over the porch. Yep. So, fake pumpkins it is. (We are even considering a fake christmas tree because, pine needles everywhere, you guys.) The girls didn’t care that we didn’t purchase any pumpkins, and loved riding the ponies.

The perfect way to spend a Saturday!


The Most Perfect Ankle Boots in All The Land

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-47-49-amI’ve been on the hunt for the perfect ankle boot for awhile now…I bought a Sam Edelman pair in grey that are very cute and extremely comfortable, and then bought a Vince Camuto pair during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, but still was searching for a neutral one I could wear with dresses and pants. So, when I saw a fellow mom-of-toddlers wearing these at a birthday party, well, I had no shame in finding out where I could get them. Turns out they were Lucky Brand, and I bought them that night (on sale!) at Macy’s. I’d never bought a pair of Lucky boots, but now I’m wishing I owned these in every color. They are incredibly comfortable, and feel like they have insoles in them. I can basically sprint in these, they are so comfy. They go with everything, and I’ll be wearing them till they fall apart, seriously! You can get them HERE!

You’re welcome.

Ballet Class

I figured I should get some posts up about ballet, since both girls are in it now, and loving every minute. We adore our ballet teacher, Miss Aimee, and her investment in our girls. Ensley is in Turning Point Tiny’s, which is 2 and 3 year olds, and it’s pretty much the cutest ever. My friend and I both have our daughters in this class and every week, we just say “I can’t even!” because they are so precious. Emmy is in “Pre-Ballet/Jazz” and is learning her recital piece currently. It’s a song about a cruise ship and they’re wearing little sailor tutus…its adorable!

I am so thankful for the skills and confidence that they are gaining from sports. It is expensive to keep them both in sports, but I’d rather cut other things out to keep allowing them to continue. They have both gained such great things from their ballet classes, and there is no price tag you can put on that! If you want to check out our studio, you can find it HERE. We cannot recommend it enough!

Getting Back on Track | Debt and Frugal Living

Ugh….even writing that title is the worst! We are getting serious about making some debt payoffs since things have settled down. We celebrate one year in our new house next month, and the expenses and things have leveled out. We have a higher income bracket, and we can be throwing quite a bit towards our remaining debt (student loans, the remainder of my car), and we are trying to get to it. It’s hard when you’ve taken some time off of being frugal and adjusting to a much higher income, to get back on track. But, we are going to try! I’m grateful we have NO credit card debt!!! Although we do have credit cards, we pay them off twice a month on the same day and deduct our cash balance from the budget as if we spent cash. Anyways, putting this on here to keep myself accountable…here’s how we are trimming out expenses!

-Throwing most of my income towards our debt instead of using any of it for expenses! We have enough on one income when we stick to our budget, which frees up my whole income to go towards my tax fund (for self-employment to pay at the year’s end), and to pay down debt. 

-Trimming out clothing and miscellaneous money: The girls’ and I have overflowing closets, and I’d rather wear a minimalist wardrobe these days (I tend to wear a lot of yoga pants and jeans/tees during the week for errands and kiddo-transporting). We rarely need more than shoes every season for the girls and basics here and there. 

-Cutting back on my subscriptions. This one stinks, but Plated is expensive! The meal planning service is amazing but if we trim back to just once or twice a month, we will save a ton. Going back to simple meals like tacos, spaghetti and crock pot things will keep us on track like it did when we didn’t have disposable income. I’ll also be cutting out stuff like Stitch Fix and Trunk Club unless I have referral credit. 

Okay, here we go! Back at it. Hope you’re happy, Dave Ramsey.

Fall Favorites for the Girls | Fashion and Style

I’ve been trying to create a smaller, mix and match wardrobe for the girls this year. Because Ensley is taller/bigger than Emmy was, we hardly have any hand-me-downs that worked for her in the right seasons. I’ve had to start from scratch for BOTH girls this year! Because we buy everything in doubles (I like to dress them the same), I am trying to find good versatile pieces. Here’s our favorites for fall:

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 6.25.33 PM.pngThese little red flats from Target are the cutest! I loved them, and they’re  under $20. They zip up the back but have real ties on the front. Adorable with skinny jeans, leggings, and dresses for church! Find them here.

I also snagged these long sleeve swing dresses for the girls at Target, too. They were simple, neutral and really cute with the red flats! Target also had my favorite felt hats for them, and some green utility vests that look like miniatures of my own! The little vests were under $16…can’t beat that!

Old Navy didn’t have as much as I usually love there, but they did have these little knee-high boot socks! They are $3, you guys! Adorable with little knee-high boots and skirts. They go up to a 5T.  The only other thing I found at Old Navy was this little gauze, pink skirt. It matched a few things they already have, including their little chambray  button downs (#allthehearteyes for chambray shirts on toddlers!!!). 

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 6.35.06 PMI got a few other things at Gymboree, my usual go-to, but mostly basics and church dresses. My final splurge and favorite part of their fall clothes were these gold Converse! They were so adorable and they will match a bunch of their clothes.  

I love, love dressing up the girls, but with the abundance of girl’s clothes in our house (CLOTHES COMING OUT OUR EARS), I’m trying to pare down their stuff going forward!

Where the Light Floods In.

I haven’t written many personal posts here on the blog lately, but perhaps it’s because we are in a new season. That’s just fine with me, honestly. God tore up quite a bit in 2015, tilling away at our hearts and lives, especially mine. I think it’s taken this year to really process the loss and heartache and joy that mingled together the last 5 years. That’s not to say we haven’t had days of joy, even lengthy months when we were truly in an easier season. If you looked at my Instagram feed, you’d assume we had a pretty smooth five and a half years, and though our marriage has been strong, the loss of my nursing career, followed by numerous health problems took it’s toll on me personally. Drew and I had to fight health problems since we got married and three months after, I was rushed into emergency eye surgery after going blind while at work. My pregnancy with Emmersyn was a nightmare, then Ensley followed with an even more difficult labor and delivery. I alway say I’d give my life for my girls, but in reality, I almost did. Then a miscarriage of our third baby, followed by an even harder six months of health problems. I’m not sure anyone even realized how hard those years were, even me. Only this year, free from surgery and health problems, have I realized how difficult in comparison those times were. This year has been a year of redemption, physical healing, and renewed joy.

It’s been two years since I last took my NCLEX exam, and the sting of hurt is faded. I never thought I’d say that; at the time, it was the most painful, haunting loss I’d ever faced. I still don’t understand that bit of my story, and am not sure that I ever will. I also have realized it’s okay if I don’t ever understand why God both opened, closed, and orchestrated that event. There aren’t easy answers, and I have learned that God is big enough for the hard questions. God has been shaking up my whole heart and life the past few years, challenging all I ever thought I knew, and showing me that it’s okay if faith doesn’t look like what you always thought it would. Part of that has happened through my work with Love Stripped, a local organization that works with women who work in the sex industry. I’ve always felt pulled to women who have been through abuse/trafficking (let me be clear, not every woman in the sex industry has been through trauma or abuse, so it is not to be aligned DIRECTLY with trafficking, even though some of the women have been abused). I always thought that God would use my nursing degree to accomplish this, but turns out, He can use me in other ways I never imagined. I had my first outreach this last month, where our team heads into the strip club and simply reaches out to the women there. It wrecked me, and I mean that in the best way possible. Meeting, talking with, and being among women who are just like me…it turns upside down every bit of “church walls” you can imagine. If I believe Jesus is in the walls of my church, then I must believe that He is also in the walls of the strip club, nudging the hearts of the women. I know that probably sounds a bit sacrilegious, and as someone who has grown up in the church, it sounds a bit odd, even to my own ears. But, I will tell you if you were there, in a building there the air truly feels thick with evil, you’d see the light flooding in. I met women, priceless women, some barely out of their teens, some moms, some older. Each with a hollow sadness in their eyes. One had a daughter who wants to be a ballerina. My daughter also wants to be a ballerina. We are not that different after all, see. And when you start seeing “them” as “us” and “her” as “ME”, you can no longer put up the sterile walls of your home and your church. You can’t. You are wrecked. And your heart understands that there is SO MUCH MORE going on in the world than just you. And that is beautiful, because when your walls begin to crack, the light begins to flood in. 

Beautiful Princess Bible | And A Giveaway!

Our oldest daughter recently made the decision to accept Jesus as her personal savior! We were overjoyed when she shared that she wanted to take this important step. She is always eager to attend her AWANA class and sunday school, and we knew it was past time to get her a bible that was suited for her age. She has been asking for awhile, and when I got the opportunity to review my shopping experience at Family Christian Stores (online), I knew it would be the perfect time to get her a bible.

Screen Shot 2016-08-17 at 7.06.17 PMI searched through their large selection of children’s bibles, and found the site to be super easy to use, which was helpful! Because everything lately is all about the princesses, Emmy loved the look of the Beautiful Princess Bible, which came in the New Living Translation. While our church uses the ESV, the NLT is easy to read and I loved that this bible included “princess” themed extras. It also includes highlighted memory verses and devotionals from Sheri Rose Shepherd, author of the book “His Princess”, which I read and enjoyed years ago, in high school.

Other products I looked at included their large, impressive variety of Melissa and Doug products, one of our favorites brands. The wooden stamp set and finger puppets will probably make their way into our Christmas stockings this year! Right now, Family Christian is running a BOGO 50% sale on tons of great products for your family, including the Adventures in Odyssey sets (we own tons of these and the girls love them in the car while we are driving around town). Check out the whole website hereScreen Shot 2016-08-17 at 7.13.07 PM

I’m GIVING AWAY a $25 gift code to Family Christian Stores with the winner announced August 25th! To ENTER, comment here below, or on the Facebook post with your favorite product on the website! 

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.