Hey, guys! So, I just sat down to write this blog post and got side-tracked with online shopping (#storyofmylife). Dave walked by and goes, “What are you ordering right now? Christmas is in 6 days!” Oops. Busted. BUT, my favorite baseball hat is marked down to $9…so, there’s that useful piece of info for you.
Anyways…I was MIA yesterday because I was playing catch up after a super fun (and busy) weekend.
On Thursday night my mom arrived in town from Florida to spend a few days with us since we won’t see her on Christmas. She was kind enough to watch our babies so Dave & I could have a night away together, so on Friday afternoon we kissed Atlas & Andi Rose goodbye and headed into downtown Atlanta for some quality time together.
Our first stop took us to Zinburger (probably one of my favorite restaurants of all time) and then we wandered around the Lenox mall for a few hours before checking into our hotel. We had a Christmas party to attend in Buckhead, so we quickly showered and got ready to head back for the evening.
I wore this skirt by Rachel Parcell and to say I’m obsessed with it is a serious understatement.
I really think it is the most gorgeous piece of clothing I own. We have a Christmas Eve service at church this week and you better believe this skirt will be on repeat for that.
Friday night ended up being a late one and unfortunately, we had to be up early on Saturday, which was a bit of a bummer. However, it was for a good reason! We picked up Atlas around 9am and headed to a place called Goshen Valley. Goshen Valley is a home for boys living in the Georgia state foster care system. Dave had the privilege of visiting Goshen several months ago and he came home just raving about what an incredible place it was and ever since then we’ve been trying to plan a trip out there so I could see it too. We met up with several members from our small group (that we participate in through our church) and we all wrapped presents for the boys living at Goshen Valley.
Atlas was such a great little helper and we had the best time serving together. I was so excited to learn that the boys at Goshen Valley got to make a list of what they hoped to receive for Christmas, so the items we wrapped were specific things they had requested! Every boy I met at Goshen Valley was remarkable. They are some of the kindest and most well mannered teenagers I have ever come across and it was such a treat for me to get to experience the grace and goodness that is Goshen Valley. I’m already hoping we can plan another trip back out to visit the boys and help however needed.
The rest of Saturday was spent grocery shopping and lounging around at home. I had grand plans to wrap presents on Saturday night after the kids went to sleep, but I ended up falling asleep in Atlas’ bed and I slept for 12 hours! My sleep has been so horrible lately, so I woke up on Sunday feeling kind of refreshed…and also stressed because I didn’t get to tackle that holiday-to-do-list I had planned. But sometimes sleep just has to win.
Sunday was spent baking 100 cookies and then delivering them to our neighbors and friends. I made several different kinds of cookies, but the ones that stole the show were these double dark chocolate peanut butter cookies that are a spot-on copycat of Levain’s famous monster cookies. Oh my gosh! Add these to your make list! If you’ve read this blog for a while, then you know I used to live 3 blocks from Levain’s Bakery in NYC and their cookies were my favorite in the city! I was so freaking pumped to find a copycat recipe that did those monster cookies justice and you better believe I’ll be making those bad boys more in the future. Leave it to Jessica from How Sweet Eats to nail every cookie recipe!
Our last full weekend before Christmas was a great mix of holiday fun, rest and productivity. I loved the one-on-one time I got with my sweet man and my mom always makes our home a happier place to be.
And now I’ve got a ridiculous amount of presents to wrap and a lot of Christmas movies that aren’t going to watch themselves!
Do you have all your holiday shopping done? Do you have all your presents wrapped? Do share (especially if you don’t have it all done because then you’ll make me feel better since I’ve saved so much for the last minute)!
Happy Friday! Can you even believe Christmas is only 9 days away?! I can’t. I feel like the season slipped away from me even though I’ve been trying hard to savor it. It is just passing by too quickly and I wish I could slow time down every December.
Anyways, I’m popping in today to share a quick roundup of some things I’m loving lately! As always, I hope you’ll participate in the fun and tell me some of your favorite things lately in the comments below!
- Kit Life Planner: O.M.G. This planner is the stuff of dreams, you guys! Here’s the thing – I’ve already been feeling the post-holiday blues with Christmas just over a week away because I know my favorite season is practically over and that makes me all kinds of sad. Is that weird? To get sad about the season ending before it actually ends? Anyways, this Kit Life planner arrived in the mail on Wednesday and it was just what I needed to get me excited for the New Year. After flipping through the beautifully crafted pages of my new planner I was pumped for 2017 and the goals that will make their way onto those pages. I know so many people use their phones and computers now for calendars, but I still prefer a handwritten planner. I’ve used an Erin Condren planner + an Emily Ley planner in past years (I prefer Emily Ley’s layout over Erin Condren’s, but I loved designing my own cover of the EC planner), but I think this Kit Life planner will earn the title of my favorite planner ever in 2017. It has a unique focus on healthy living and practicing gratitude and the cover is so gorgeous. If you are a handwritten planner kind of girl, then definitely check out Kit Life planners. #swoon
- Bare Minerals Matte Foundation: My face has been breaking out a lot lately (I’m pretty sure its because I never sleep) so I decided to switch up my foundation. I really love liquid foundations because the coverage just can’t be beat, but this Bare Minerals loose powder foundation is pretty terrific. I’ve been using it for the last 2 weeks and I feel like my skin can ‘breathe’ better with powder on instead of liquid. (Is it just me, or do you feel like liquid foundations clog your pores more than powder?) The coverage is surprisingly good for a powder foundation, although it obviously isn’t as great as a liquid. This foundation is great if you have oily skin and it also has SPF 15 in it. I wear it in ‘medium beige’ if you need a general reference. It’s lightweight, easy to apply and gives a super natural look! #winning
- Bare Minerals Gen Nude Lipstick in ‘Boss’: Okay, I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Bare Minerals – It is pure coincidence that 2 of my favorite things from lately are by the same brand. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this lipstick on the blog or not, but even if I have, it bears repeating. This matte lipstick in the color ‘Boss’ is such a pretty and natural shade for winter and it stays on for a long time. It is a bit drying, so I’ll warn you of that. I have to wear a lipgloss over top of it to prevent my lips from looking too dry. But I’m not alone in my love for this shade because it is sold out or backordered everywhere. I got it for my mom today and I got the last one they had in the store and it isn’t shipping from Nordstrom’s website until after Christmas! The word is apparently out about “Boss.”
- Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast: All my fine-haired friends, listen up! I’ve got a product for you! I got this Dry Volume Blast by Living Proof and I’m loving it! I have a lot of hair but it is very fine, so it tends to fall flat most days. After spraying this all over my hair, I had so much lift at my roots (make sure you follow the directions on the can and section out pieces of your hair to spray). I’m not the biggest fan of the Living Proof brand (I want to love it so bad because Jennifer Aniston is my girl but I’ve been underwhelmed with each product I’ve tried from the line), but this product is one I’ll be buying again for sure! It smells good and even though it isn’t a dry shampoo, it kind of works to absorb some excess oil, making it perfect for hair that hasn’t been washed in a day or 2 (*ahem* or 3). If you want bigger hair, try this product.
- Give Them Grace: This week I started reading the parenting book entitled, Give Them Grace (it’s a Bible based parenting book, FYI). I’m not very far into it, but it has already caused me to pause and think about how I approach disciplining my children. It’s been super convicting to read, but I love the way it is challenging me and stretching me. Here’s a little excerpt from the book, in case any of my mama friends are interested…
“We’ve transformed the holy, terrifying, magnificent and loving God of the Bible into Santa and his elves. And instead of transmitting the gloriously liberating and life-changing truths of the gospel, we have taught our children that what God really wants from them is morality. We have told them that ‘being good’ (at least outwardly) is the be-all and end-all of their faith. We aren’t handing down Christianity…this other thing that we’re giving them has a name – it’s called ‘moralism.'”
Powerful stuff, right? It’s basically saying that we’ve managed to turn the Bible into a book of laws & we’ve reduced the Bible down to a “how-to” book instead of a life-giving story about redemption & a God who wants to rescue us & have a relationship with us.
And on that note, I’m off to bed! Hooray for the weekend!
- Okay, how many of you out there have a Fitbit? All of you, right? Or maybe you have an Apple watch (you fancy thing, you). I’m pretty sure I’m the only person in the U.S. who isn’t on the fitbit bandwagon, but I’ve been thinking I really want one. I want to know how many steps I take a day and how many calories I burn! But then, I think about my day and I realize I don’t need any motivation to get moving. I don’t actually know how I could add more steps into my day if I really wanted too. I run. I walk dogs. I chase babies. I make 48 trips up and down the stairs with laundry. However, what would be helpful is a watch that tracked my caloric intake and then beeped repeatedly when I had reached my quota for the day, basically telling me to shut my mouth and the fridge. Now, THAT is something I would buy. But then I would probably throw it away when it beeped at me before noon.
- We’ve had a little cold bug circulating through our house the last 2ish weeks and I *think* we are finally over it. #praisehands It seriously knocked us all out for a few days where we couldn’t even leave the house and when I went to do the laundry, I realized all our dirty clothes were pajamas. Normally our laundry consist of 60% workout clothes but we literally stayed in pj’s for about 8 days straight so that was all I had to wash. Which leads me to my next thought…
- I love working out. You could probably call me an addict. But ya’ll – working out takes serious work! I don’t ever think about it because it is such a habit for me, but after taking a 2 week hiatus from working out, I’m coming back into it this week with a new appreciation for the sacrifice it takes. I mean, when I’m not working out there is less laundry to do and more good hair days and more sleep to be had. I didn’t wash my hair for 5 days and really, it was all good until late in the 4th day. And I barely used dry shampoo. It was glorious. But that feeling I get when I finish a great run is worth all the extra laundry and ratty hair.
- Andi Rose head-butted me tonight before I put her to bed. I was 99% sure she broke my nose (she didn’t). I know the Bible says don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath, but I’m going to be honest…I’m still a little mad at her and I’m about to go to bed. And I put her in her crib right after that and walked out of her room for the night, so I think it’s safe to say she went to bed pretty mad at me since I normally drag out her bedtime routine with extra snuggles and giggles (because I’m a sucker). She can be so sweet, but she is so rough. Like, seriously rougher than any boy I’ve ever been around.
- Atlas has been refusing naps all week, unless I lay down with him (because again, I’m a sucker). So guess who has been napping everyday? I lay down with him and try to stay awake but then he wants me to close my eyes since he has to close his eyes and then the next thing I know naptime is over and I slept through the entire thing. I can’t decide how I feel about this. Atlas has also been a booger about going to bed at night. He pulls the “I’m hungry” card so I’ve been bringing him an apple to eat in bed and he loves it. And then when he’s done with the apple I’m like, “Now, go to sleep!” and then I walk out and I see his lamp flick on and I ask, “Atlas, what are you doing?” from outside his room, to which he responds, “I’m just sleeping, mom.”
- Okay, can we talk about this sequin dress for a quick minute? Gosh! I think this dress is so gorgeous and perfect for the holidays! I keep thinking I’m going to buy it for a New Years Eve Party or something and then I remember we aren’t invited to a New Years Eve party because all of our friends have kids and if we do end up having a party to attend, it will end at 9pm…because we have kids (and because I’m old and tired). But this dress! I think I would even wear it on a date night – but then that would require Dave & I planning a fancy date night, which could be fun! Anyways, I just love it. If you’re going to a fancy NYE party will you buy it and wear it and let me live vicariously through you? Thanks.
- P.S. I rarely stay awake until midnight on NYE, but I’ll probably make it up until midnight tonight thanks to the Hallmark Christmas movie that just started (it’s called A Christmas Dream & it’s all kinds of adorable)…
Your turn! Chime in below in the comments! Do you make it until midnight on NYE? Any fitbit fans out there? Tell me why you love it!
Dave, today is your birthday,
but the joy is all mine,
I’m so excited to celebrate you,
and of course drink some wine.
Sure, it is your special day,
but I’m the one filled with glee,
Because when I count my blessings,
You’re at the top of my list, you see.
You are always helping,
Your servants heart is like no other,
You are the best father to our kids,
And you make me a better mother.
You don’t wait to be asked,
You give when there’s a need,
You love our family so well,
I’m so thankful to follow your lead.
When you see something wrong,
You’re quick to make it right,
In a world that can feel dark,
You’re such a positive light.
I can picture Gram & BD,
Up in Heaven cheering out loud,
Watching you overcome obstacles,
While thinking, “I’ve never been more proud!”
This year has been tough,
But you have kept on going,
You push through the difficulties,
Even when your pace is slowing.
That’s why you’re my hero,
Because you never ever quit,
You run your race with determination,
Not content to give-up and just sit.
I remember when I first saw you,
I thought you were so hot!
I knew you were different,
But I had no idea the gold I had caught.
I’m so thankful that you, my love,
Are my happily ever after.
I’m so glad I get to cry with you,
And share so much laughter.
You surpass my dreams,
You’re patient, forgiving and kind,
When God made you,
It’s like he had me in mind.
I’m wishing you a year filled with great golf,
Complete with the very best caddie,
Happy birthday, my sweet man,
I’m so glad you’re my baby daddy!
I love you, Dave! Happy happy birthday! You keep me sane when I’m drowning in motherhood and for that, I’m forever indebted to you. xoxo
I once heard it said that we are all either coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation. How’s that for some Monday morning optimism? 🙈
The storms of life affect us all at some point. Some storms are stronger and leave more devastation in their wake, while other storms are nothing more than that annoying rain that doesn’t necessarily cause damage, but definitely puts a damper on your mood.
I used to believe that if I cried out to God, he would calm the storm.
That was until I found myself in the middle of a storm, crying out to God, only to realize my circumstance wasn’t changing.
Have you ever been there? Perhaps it was a heartache that God didn’t immediately heal. Perhaps it was a burden that wasn’t immediately lifted.
In the gospels of Matthew, Mark & John we read the story of Jesus walking on water. All 3 accounts are slightly different, but the basic facts remain the same among the 3 authors. The disciples got into a boat one night, without Jesus, and set sail across the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake that is 650 feet below sea level, approximately 8 miles wide and surrounded by hills, making it subject to windstorms that cause extremely high waves. But the disciples were skilled fishermen, so I’m sure they weren’t strangers to storms.
However, once they had rowed about halfway across the lake (according to John), a storm arose and they were being battered by the waves and the wind was against them (Matthew’s words). Now, I think it is important to note that they were in the middle of that storm on that lake because Jesus sent them there, according to Matthew and Mark. They obeyed Jesus’ command and as a result they were out in the middle of the lake surrounded by waves that threatened to overturn their boat. I think this is worth mentioning because sometimes we get into situations because of our own stupid decisions (Oh the stories I could tell here, but I won’t for fear that one day my children will read this blog). However, sometimes we find ourselves actually placed in uncomfortable situations by God. And then of course, sometimes we fall into hard times because hello! That’s just life and life is messy and it isn’t perfect and we can’t possibly explain or understand every tragedy/heartache/difficulty we encounter.
So, the disciples are on the lake, in a boat, with the wind against them, being beaten up by waves. And then they see Jesus walking on the water towards them (keep in mind, they are probably 3 miles from shore) and they all freak out because they are sure it is a ghost. They didn’t expect Jesus to show up and help them because in their minds, it seemed impossible that he could help them in the middle of that storm. But when they saw him and finally recognized him, John tells us that they were willing to take him on board their boat.
What if we didn’t look to God to immediately calm the storm, but instead we just invited him into our boat? I know in the past when God hasn’t calmed one of life’s storms for me, my heart became hardened and as a result, I wasn’t willing to take him on my boat. I got mad/frustrated and I withheld an invitation from Him.
Matthew tells us that when Jesus got into their boat though, the winds ceased and they all worshipped him. Their place of uncertainty became the same place of their worship when Jesus got in the boat.
God is obviously more than capable to calm the storms in our life, but he isn’t a genie that jumps to fulfill our every command.
I’ve learned (and am still learning) that God may not calm the waves that surround me, but he will get in my boat and ride the storm out with me…if I invite him. And when He is in my boat, there is peace to be found even amidst the roaring winds.
So, the next time you find yourself in a pickle, invite Jesus into the mess with you & meditate on His words & promises. Sure, ask him to fix it too, but keep your heart open to whatever his answer may be. I think Jesus does love rescuing us from uncomfortable places, but I think more than anything he desires a relationship with us and some of the deepest relationships are the ones that are formed and tested in the valley, not on the mountaintop.
So whether you are coming out of a difficult situation, going into a difficult situation or in the middle of a difficult situation, I pray this post encourages your heart today.
What are your thoughts? If you can relate or if you have any words of encouragement to share, I would love to read them in the comments below! 🙂
P.S. Quite a few readers have requested I start sharing more Bible study type posts, like this one, so I’ve started a new category labeled “Bible Study” (you can see the categories on the right hand side of the blog). This is the first post in the category, but I’ll be adding to it in hopes of making it easier for you to find specific posts like this one. I certainly don’t have it all together and I’m so far from getting it all right, but I do love sharing what God is teaching me personally. So, that’s all this post is – it is just what the Lord has been teaching me through my Bible study – it certainly isn’t a preachy post (although I am totally preaching to myself) and I pray we can all keep the comments respectful and encouraging! 🙂
Hola! Today’s post is one that I enjoyed typing up a little too much. I’m sharing a gift guide for the product junkie! I’ve tried a lot (and I mean a lot) of products, so I feel quite qualified to write on today’s topic.😉💁🏻
Dave has been asking me for a Christmas list because he said he’s at a loss as to what to get me this year. I finally got around to making a little list for him last night and you guys…it was ALL beauty products with the exception of 4 things. He’s like, “There are 5 lipsticks on here…and 3 eye creams. Is this a typo?” He’s confused because I only wear make-up 3 days a week. Because hello! Motherhood. I tried to tell him my list was actually super strategic. I asked for sunglasses and eye cream and lipstick so I could look as put together as possible without actually doing a full face of make-up. Sunglasses to cover my face + lipstick to make it look like I put a little effort into my look = my go-to move.
Anyways, here’s my list of products I would give to the girl who is beauty obsessed!
- Hair Mask: I’m all about a good hair mask! There’s so many to choose from in all different price ranges, from Oribe’s gold lust transformative masque ($65) to Moroccan Oil’s hydrating mask ($16-$35) to Dry Bar’s mudslide mask ($15-$38).
- Face Mask: I’ve been using this face mask by Omorovicza and I really like it. I was given a sample of it to try and ended up liking it so much I requested another sample and then finally caved and bought it. I haven’t personally tried this mask by Philosophy, but the reviews on it are great and the price point can’t be beat ($25). GlamGlow is obviously known for their face masks and you can get 4 of them in a cute set for $69 right now, which is a great gift (and deal) for a girlfriend who wants to try all the masks.
- Perfume: I love receiving perfume and I have several favorites in my repertoire. I think this Jo Malone set would be an amazing gift to give because Jo Malone perfumes are meant to be mixed together. They smell good alone but when you mix certain scents they smell really good. If you just wanted to buy 1 bottle instead of the minis, I personally love the scent mimosa & cardamom and the english pear and freesia perfume. I almost bought this bath set while I was in Nordstrom’s this week and I regret not getting it. The scents in that set are on point and Jo Malone bath products are the best! (Rabbit Trail: Jo Malone makes a candle that is $470. You read that right. $470 dollars! Ya’ll, my candle obsession runs deep, but I don’t think I could light a match to something that is almost $500. CRAZY, right?! Can we all pause for a minute and think about how rich you have to be to burn a $470 candle? Okay. Moving on now…)
- Mini Lipsticks: Picking out make-up for someone is tough, unless you know them really well. But if you are going to pick out make-up for a friend, when in doubt, go nude. Wait…that came out wrong, didn’t it? I mean don’t pick a bold color unless you know they will love it. Nude lipsticks are pretty universal and I think these mini lipsticks by MAC are beautiful and would look well on most skin tones. I personally love the color Whirl – it is one of my go-to colors and I find it mixes well with other colors too (I use the Whirl lipliner too & love it). When you consider the price ($26) and the cute packaging, this gift is a no-brainer for the beauty lover in your life.
- The Make-up Eraser: What do you buy for the girl who has all the make-up? How about a product to help her take it all off! I personally wouldn’t mind if Santa put 1 or 2 of these make-up erasers in my stocking.
Where are my product junkie’s at? Leave a comment below telling me what product you would love to get under your tree this year! 🙂 Happy Thursday, girls!