Friday, May 30, 2014

High Five For Friday

1.) This kid is the best shopping partner around. She loves to cruise around Target as much as I do.

2.) This needs to be documented, much to Tolar's dismay, because this NEVER happens. I beat him badly at You Don't Know Jack. We play this game a lot and if we play 10 games, I usually lose 9. And on the one chance that I do win, I just barely get a better score than Tolar. So this score and this win are pretty legen...wait for it...dary.

3.) Someone had a blast talking to themselves in the mirror on Memorial Day.

4.) One of our favorite things to do is to head over to Belle Haven Park, walk around and have a picnic. This week Baby K got her first glimpse of ducks while there.

5.) I had a BLAST at the Beautiful You Conference with some awesome friends. We got to hear Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine and Donna Pisani preach - such powerful words from some incredible women.

Hope you had a great week too! I'm linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for this High Five For Friday post.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Family Photo Time

First, I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of your for your prayers and encouragement after yesterday's post. The comments, e-mails, calls, texts and messages all mean so much to me. I didn't expect that kind of reaction to my post, but man am I thankful for each and every one of you. Your words were just what I needed, you have given me strength.

Switching gears... Now that we are a family of three, capturing photos that actually contain all three of us is quite the rarity. While I love all of the pictures of Baby K that we have, it is really important to me that we have photos showing us together as a family. And it is extra important after reading this amazing article that I make sure I step in front of the camera too, so Baby K can see how much her Mama loves her - even if I don't always love the way I look. She won't see that years from now when she looks at these photos. All she will see is the pure joy that her Daddy and I have when we are with her.

So we hung out with my fab friend Shannon from Luv Bean Photography one afternoon and had some fun with Baby K to capture some family photos. We headed over to Belle Haven Park in Northern Virginia which made for a great backdrop to our photos. Shannon has such a great eye for capturing just the right tender moments. These photos are incredible and I will treasure them for years to come.

If you are in the Northern Virginia/DC area, you have got to check out Luv Bean Photography. Connect with Shannon via facebook, twitter and instagram.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Coming Out From Behind The False Veneer of Perfection

There is no other way to say this than to tell you that my family is going through a storm in our current lives. I try to keep things positive here on the blog, so I have refrained from saying anything about what has been happening. But I feel now is the time, because my family could really use some prayers.

Last weekend I attended the Beautiful You Conference here in D.C. where I got to hear Priscilla Shirer, Christine Caine and Donna Pisani speak. The weekend was incredible, so uplifting and just what I needed. There was a theme throughout the weekend of being fearless and to keep pushing on, trusting that God will deliver the blessings He promises. I KNOW that He will because He has so many other times in my life and this is something I have been clinging to during our time of trial. Hearing these powerful women preach and speak right into my situation was helpful. In one of her messages, Priscilla Shirer gave some practical tips on navigating a trial - and one of those was to own your situation, to come out from behind the false veneer of perfection. And that my dear friends is what I am doing. I'm not perfect, life isn't perfect and no matter how hard I try to fight them - obstacles will occasionally disrupt my life.

Back in February, I left my full time job because I was insanely unhappy. I had been unhappy for several months and unfortunately my unhappiness with my job had started to come into my personal life. I was NOT ok with having my work life disrupt my family life. So Tolar and I made the decision that it would be best for me to leave my job and look elsewhere for an environment that made me happy. It was a bittersweet decision because I had been with the theatre for over 6 years, in fact I once even considered my job to be my dream job. But it was time to leave. Luckily right before we made the decision for me to quit my job, I became a consultant with Rodan and Fields, which has been an amazing blessing to our family. I see now that God lined it up for me to start Rodan and Fields to help us navigate this tough time.

Once I left the theatre, I started interviewing for new jobs and was actually being considered for two different positions when Tolar and I had a heart to heart. We both truly believe that Rodan and Fields is an amazing company and that the earning potential is huge. I really wanted to stay home with Baby K and Tolar also had a desire to make that happen. So we prayed about it and decided that I would stop applying/interviewing for jobs and that I would stay home full time with Baby K, working my Rodan and Fields business on the side. I was so excited! This is what I always wanted. So I contacted the hiring managers for the jobs I was being considered and respectfully removed my name from the running. That was on a Friday. The following Thursday we found out the worst...Tolar lost his job.

We didn't see that coming at all. And it has been a struggle to remain positive, to stay faithful and to see the good through all of this. We KNOW there is good. I mean Tolar and I both get to spend extra time with Baby K. She isn't going to stay this little forever, so it is a blessing that we have this opportunity to all be together. But being the type A, control freak that I am - this has been the scariest and most stressful time of my life. Of course, our first fear was how are we going to pay our mortgage in Northern Virginia, one of the highest cost of living places to live, with no full time jobs? The money is going to run out very quickly.

Luckily, back when we first got married we took a Financial Peace University course which set us up for success during a time like this. Besides our mortgage, we have zero debt. Everything is paid off and we only pay cash for things. If we must put something on a credit card, we pay it off because carrying debt is not an option for us. Plus, we had some savings built up. So we were at least lucky in that aspect. But still covering our mortgage was going to eat through our savings at a rapid pace.

We put our house on the market and it sold within 11 days. Thank you Jesus! If we needed a sign that God was in our situation, that was it! The sad part now is that we are moving out of the Northern Virginia/DC area. We knew we always wanted to move elsewhere, we just didn't think it would be so soon.  We have built a nice life here. We belong to an incredible church, have amazing friends and were finally getting down the whole parenting thing. But we are taking this opportunity as a sign - a clear sign - that it is our time to move on.

We aren't exactly sure what is next. It is looking like we are going to move to Southwest Virginia and live with my insanely supportive parents until we figure out what is next. Tolar is interviewing and applying for jobs constantly, but we haven't found the right match just yet. He's had some awesome opportunities and even got some job offers, but they weren't what we were needing. Before I even had to ask, my parents offered for the three of us to move into their house with them. Again, if we needed a sign that God loves us and is taking care of us, even during a tough situation, having my parents open their home to us is a huge sign. My prayer for others is that they will also have a supportive and amazing family just like we have - both my family and Tolar's family. We are so lucky to have our families surrounding us during this time.

I'm writing all of this to explain why I've occasionally been a bit distant from the blog and to also tell you that life is getting ready to get real interesting. We close on our house at the end of June and will pack everything up and head to my parents. We aren't sure how long we will be there, but we are grateful that we have a place to go.

God shows us daily that He is fighting alongside of us and is working things out for us. One of my favorite ways that God showed up for us was when two friends prayed over us at two separate times in the same day. We stopped in to see my friends Julie and Melissa for two different reasons and both women would not let us leave their homes without praying over us. They didn't have to do that and they probably have no clue how much they touched us by agreeing with us that God WILL prevail in this situation. That we WILL come out of this stronger on the other side. That is just one example of us sensing God's presence, there have been so many more.

We are fighters and we have each other. So we will get through this. It might be longer than I had planned, but its always interesting when you tell God YOUR plans. :) I write all of this to you to just ask you to pray for my family. Even though we are faithful and even though we believe in everything we do, we would still love you to join us in prayer. We know that Jesus is setting everything up for us to catch a real glimpse of Him, for us to encounter Him in a big way and WE ARE EXPECTANT. So I'd love your prayers; for protection during this tough time, for a smooth transition, for a job (or a return to school!) for Tolar and for us to always stand firm on the promises that God offers to us. He has a plan for us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11) and we cannot wait to see what He has in store.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

11 months - way too fast

WHOA! Hello one month away from being one. I don't think I'm ready for my baby to not be a baby anymore. She is getting so big and changing so much and it's all going by way too fast! We are having an awesome time at this stage in Baby K's life and I love watching her explore new things each and every day, but I really do miss the days when she was a newborn and would let me hold her all day long. She would fall asleep on me multiple times a day and I would just melt. Now, she's too busy moving and grooving to take time to sleep in her mama's arms. It is so true - the advice I have gotten from EVERYONE - enjoy it and hold them as much as you want because they grow up way too fast.

Stats: Just like last month, not much of an update since we no longer have our home scale and Baby K won't be going back to the pediatrician until her 1 year well check up (God willing we don't have to go before that!).

Development: We have a crawler!!! Baby K gave me an awesome Mother's Day gift and started crawling right before she went to bed on May 11. It took her a week to really get the hang of it and understand she could explore all on her own, but now she has it down and cruises so fast. She is in to everything, but luckily hasn't tested too many boundaries...yet. She is also pulling up to stand on EVERYTHING. I don't think she will be crawling long, because this girl just loves to stand (I mean, she's been standing when we prop her up against a chair since she was 3 months old). More often than not, when I go in to get her out of her crib after nap time, she is standing up waiting on me to pick her up. She says Da Da Da Da Da pretty consistently and we are working on helping her understand that DaDa is an actual person. I will ask her who DaDa is, or where is DaDa, and when she looks at Tolar we get really excited in hopes she will eventually understand. We don't have an actual first word, still lots of blabbering and plenty of Da Da Da Da Da. She loves to click her tongue, especially if I do it first. I have no clue where she learned that, but I love it. And she is playing around with her volume and vocal inflection. She is really waving now - still flapping her arms as an occasional wave, but she has mastered moving her fingers for a wave.

Loves: This little girl is just like her daddy and loves to drum. And if she isn't banging on her actual drum, she will bang on whatever is in front of her. I love to see her little hands go. This is a weird one, but she loves it if we blow in her face. She will always take a breath in and then get the biggest smile on her face. It's a great way to cheer her up if she is crying. She loves to look at herself in the mirror, she has since she was really little. Its so cute to watch her smile and reach for the mirror whenever she is in front of it. And she also loves peekaboo. Sometimes we don't even have to cover our faces, we can just say 'boo" to her and she will laugh. And recently she started putting her plug (her pacifier) into our mouths and she thinks it is the funniest thing. She will laugh so loud when that happens. And my favorite part - she loves Tolar and I. Whenever one of us walks into the room, she smiles and squeals. It is the BEST feeling ever.

Dislikes: Going to the nursery at church - at first. Baby K has started to realize when we arrive at church that she is getting ready to be separated from us and she will sometimes cry before we even enter her classroom. But she always calms down once we walk away and she realizes that her "friends" are there. This child doesn't like to wait on food, if I don't have a bottle or her dinner ready as soon as I put her in the highchair, she will let me know that she is unhappy.

Sleeping: She's still a rock star sleeper. We put her down at night around 7:30/8 p.m. and she will sleep until about 7 a.m. with no problems. We are so thankful. She also is pretty consistent with her naps (about an hour to an hour and half each), although she has dropped her third nap and only naps once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Her first nap almost always happens around 10 a.m., but the start time of her afternoon nap is harder to predict. She will lay down for her afternoon nap anywhere from 2 to 4 p.m.

Diapers: We are in Pampers size 3 all around. I found a Newborn diaper and put it up next to her size 3 diaper and I could not believe the difference. And to think, Baby K wore Newborn diapers for the first 8 weeks of her life!

Eating: She still eats pureed fruit in the morning and absolutely loves it! For lunch and dinner, we are experimenting with all sorts of different foods. She LOVES baked potatoes and Greek yogurt. She also likes corn, black beans, broccoli, pulled pork, cheese, bananas, apples, macaroni & cheese, eggs (both scrambled and hard boiled) and grapes. It is so awesome that she will basically eat whatever we put in front of her. I hope her wide range of tastes sticks around!

Clothing: She is in size 9-12 and 12 month clothes. I am in love with her summer wardrobe, she has so many pretty dresses and shorts. This girl has better clothes than me!

Miscellaneous: Now that Baby K is crawling, we have had to tell her no a few times. She apparently understands what no means because she starts crying when we tell her "no" or "no touch." It's so sad, but I'm glad she understands it! She also has started to be a little shy around new people. When people come up to us at church or out in public and say hello to her, she will nuzzle her head on mine or Tolar's shoulder. It is so cute!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Thank you to all of the men, women and families who make the ultimate sacrifice by risking their lives to keep our country free. My family sends our heartfelt THANK YOU to you all.
Happy Memorial Day.

Friday, May 23, 2014

High Five For Friday

1.) Just hanging out, cuddling with my sweet girl. I love when she leans into me!

2.) Tolar had to go out of town to North Carolina at the beginning of the week and he brought me back some Big K grape soda. Kroger seriously has the BEST grape soda ever.

3.) We watched my friend Marcy's dog overnight and I had to laugh because only her dog (Marcy's a pretty healthy eater and a vegetarian) would be begging for broccoli from Baby K.

4.) My favorite part of any

5.) Baby K and I took a stroll on such a beautiful morning and found a fun fountain.

Hope you enjoy the weekend! Linking up this High Five For Friday post with Lauren Elizabeth.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shopping In My Closet

I completely forgot that I bought this dress when I did some outlet shopping back in January. I guess that's the problem when you buy something for spring weather in the middle of winter - it gets put into the back of your closet to save for later and poof its forgotten about.

Well yesterday was a great day; the weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, I was in a pretty good mood and I wanted to wear something to reflect that. So I spent a little time looking through every item of clothing I had in my closet, hoping for some sort of inspiration and found this gem. I was so excited! Plus, I was able to pair it with my new wedge sandals so after getting dressed I was feeling great!

I love that the bottom portion of the dress has diagonal stripes, causing a somewhat slimming effect. Because my hips and thighs do not need the kind of help that horizontal stripes provide. And thank goodness this dress has sleeves as I am definitely preferring sleeves to spaghetti straps these days. It is so hard to find a good dress with sleeves, so thank you Gap for doing it right once again.

Dress: Gap Outlet.
Shoes: Target.
Necklace: Crave Jewels.
Bracelet: Lou Lou.

Linking up this post with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesday, Because Shanna Said So for Random Wednesday and Walking in Memphis in High Heels for Trend Spin.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Decide Today How You Are Going To Look Tomorrow

I've been a consultant with Rodan and Fields for several months now and I am in LOVE with these skin care products. The products are created by the same doctors who developed Proactiv and have received all kinds of awards and media attention because they really are changing skin and changing lives.

Some of you have reached out to me with your skin concerns and are finding out for yourself just how fab these products are - thank you for that! So I thought I would take the time to tell you about our core four regimens if anyone else in interested in solving your skin issues and getting the skin you have always wanted.

But before I do that - I need to tell you about the awesome product guarantee that Rodan and Fields offers. There is a 60 day money back guarantee. Once you start using the products, if within 60 days you don't see the results you were hoping for, you can return the products for your money back EVEN if your bottles are empty. How is that for an awesome guarantee? Why 60 days? Because just like working out, you certainly aren't going to see drastic results after working out for just one day or one week...well the same is true for achieving awesome results with skin care. You need to give your skin time to acclimate to the products and for them to truly work. So why not go ahead and try've got nothing to lose.

This is for the appearance of lines, enlarged pores and loss of firmness. A great all around regimen! We are all aging all the time, but what that looks like is up to you. Decide today how you are going to look tomorrow with our REDEFINE Regimen.

REDEFINE is a comprehensive skincare regimen that layers cosmetic ingredients and proven peptide technology to help defend against and reduce the visible signs of aging for noticeably firmer, smoother, flawless-looking skin. The REDEFINE Regimen features four full-size products: Daily Cleansing Mask, Pore Minimizing Toner, Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30 and Overnight Restorative Cream.

This is for anyone who has Acne and Post-Acne Marks. Breakouts? Unpredictable? Unreasonable? Unfair? Take control with our UNBLEMISH Regimen. Clinically proven to combat the entire acne cycle, this sophisticated regimen helps unclog pores, clears breakouts and calms your complexion to keep pimples, blackheads and post-acne marks from making an unwelcome appearance on your face—and in your life.
Since many acne sufferers have post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), the remnant red/brown marks following a healed blemish, we offer UNBLEMISH Spot Fading Toner. However, if you are one of the lucky few who does not experience PIH, use our UNBLEMISH Clarifying Toner as an alternative.
The UNBLEMISH Regimen features 4 full-size products: Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash, Spot Fading Toner OR Clarifying Toner, Dual Intensive Acne Treatment and Oil Control Lotion SPF 20.

This is for anyone who has Brown Spots, Dullness or Sun Damage. It's not what you see ... It's what you don't see. Exposure to the sun and the environment can leave you with less-than-youthful skin. Erase the signs of premature aging, including brown spots, dullness, and sun damage with REVERSE. REVERSE Regimen exfoliates, lightens, brightens and protects your skin for a more even tone and texture. Recognized on Allure Magazine’s A List, the REVERSE Regimen features 4 full-size products: Deep Exfoliating Wash, Skin Lightening Toner, Skin Lightening Treatment and REVERSE Broad Spectrum.

This is for anyone who suffers from Sensitive, Irritated Skin and Facial Redness.
Where do you turn when your face can't take it anymore? Calm the flush-blush reaction of a hyper-sensitive complexion with SOOTHE. Clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes, SOOTHE shields against the biological and environmental aggressors that can trigger inflammation, helps fortify skin’s natural moisture barrier, calms visible redness, and reduces irritation so that you can take comfort in having a healthy-looking complexion every day. The SOOTHE Regimen features 4 full-size products: Gentle Cream Wash.; Sensitive Skin Treatment.; Moisture Replenishing Cream; and Mineral Sunscreen.

If you are interested in ordering or learning more about these awesome products, feel free to e-mail me at or leave a comment below with some way for me to contact you. I promise to respond ASAP. Let's get you the skin you have always wanted!

Monday, May 19, 2014

May Beauty Box 5

Beauty Box 5 has provided me a complimentary subscription for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Another month, another great box from Beauty Box 5. These subscription boxes are fantastic because they give me great sample, or often full size, beauty products that allow me to pamper myself and give me a pick me up when I need it. My subscription to BB5 is a nice little surprise just for me that I receive each month. Beauty Box 5 is a beauty subscription service that sends a box of five different beauty samples to your mailbox each month for just $12. Check it out if you are looking for something new in your beauty routine!

Here is what came in my box this month:

1.) CATTIVA Precisione Eye Liner - This is a terrific eyeliner! It goes on so smooth and is very easy to apply - a definite winner in my book. It is one of the retractable crayon eyeliners that I love so much, I will certainly be adding this eyeliner to my list of favorites.

2.) H20 Plus Aqualibrium Marine Cleansing Gel - Such a cute little sample size that can easily be thrown in an overnight bag. This cleansing gel is oil free and gently exfoliates your skin while energizing it at the same time.

3.) Harvey Prince Hello fragrance - Oh wow, such a great smelling fragrance! It is a light floral scent that smells divine and isn't over powering at all. This is the perfect scent for springtime.

4.) Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths - By far, my favorite part of this month's box! As the temperature heats up, I certainly don't want my body to overheat. These cooling cloths are awesome to keep in my purse for moments when I want to look my best, but find myself melting because of intense heat. I can just swipe this on my neck or forehead to make sure I am smelling fresh and feeling cool.

5.) MaskerAide Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask - I haven't had a chance to try the mask yet, but I'm interested to see how a mask hydrates your face like this one claims. Masks are a great way to really treat your skin well and get rid of the unwanted gunk that sometimes resides on your face.

Do you subscribe to Beauty Box 5? Tell me what you like about it and which products are your favorite!


While I have your attention, I wanted to tell you about a giveaway that I am participating in as well.  I've joined Venus Trapped in Mars and some other fab bloggers to giveaway a $200 gift card to Lululemon. With summer only a few weeks away (crap!!!), it is the perfect time to get in shape and what better way to be inspired to do so than with a whole new workout wardrobe? So check out the fab bloggers below and get to entering!!!

Meet Your Hosts: From top left to right!
Elizabeth ::: Southern Finesse //// Britt ::: One&20
Kelly ::: Sparkles and Shoes //// Lynn ::: Illegally Blonde
Emily ::: Designs by Emily F //// Stephanie ::: Not Entirely Perfect
Rebekah ::: Living Lavender //// Bonnie ::: The Life of Bon
Magen ::: Sweet Magnolia //// Lindsay ::: Pursuit of Pink
Sarah ::: Venus Trapped in Mars //// Kippy :::: Young and Entertaining

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 16, 2014

High Five For Friday

Happy Friday everyone. I hope you had a great week - here are my top five moments from my past week.

1.) I had a terrific first Mother's Day. Tolar changed every single diaper for the day, handled Baby K if she got fussy, let me sleep in just a little bit, had a great family dinner at an awesome restaurant (The River Company) and I got to cuddle and relax with my baby girl. Plus, I got to spend the day with my parents and part of the day with my sister and her family. It was a great first Mother's Day!

2.) This photo just cracks me up. Tolar always says that I can comb Baby K's hair better than he can, especially after her bath - this is proof!

3.) I was feeling under the weather on Thursday (not so fun), but I got to lay on the couch and veg out in front of the tv for the majority of the day. Haven't done that in forever!

4.) Baby K got to play at a kids play area in the mall and absolutely LOVED it.

5.) We got to visit with one of my lifelong friends and her sweet family on Monday. We haven't seen each other in at least 7 years, it was so good to reconnect. We met on the first day of kindergarten - lifelong friendships are so precious.

Linking up this High Five For Friday post with Lauren Elizabeth!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia  #BreakfastEssentials

Who isn't busy these days? With work, school, kids, families, errands, chores, grocery shopping, cooking-our days are full. And of course, being the Mom of a little one, I don't want to get up any earlier than I have to because I require a full night's sleep to function properly (who doesn't?). So I am constantly on the lookout for ways to maximize my time in the morning and spend as much time with Baby K as I can instead of having to get up early and cook a big breakfast. And Carnation Breakfast Essentials powders is kind of my saving grace in the morning.

For those of us with busy mornings, I know that often times breakfast is the last thing on your mind. But it should be the first. They don't say breakfast is the most important meal of the day for nothing! I hate forgetting to eat breakfast because I was too busy getting ready in the morning and then dealing with a grumbling stomach around 11 a.m. So here is a quick, easy and super yummy smoothie recipe for you to make, helping you to eat some breakfast and still get everything accomplished that you need to.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie 
Servings: 2 large smoothies

2 packets of Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder, Rich Milk Chocolate Flavor
1 cup skim milk
2 bananas
2 tablespoons Peanut Flour / Powdered Peanut Butter
As much ice as you like (depending on the consistency you like)

Slice the banana first to allow it to mix better. In a blender, combine all ingredients and mix until smoothie reaches the consistency you prefer.
I like to add a lot of ice because I like my smoothies to be a little thicker.

There are several things I like about this recipe:
1.) I can make breakfast for myself and my husband at the same time, all in one container.
2.) By using powdered peanut butter, I am saving myself a lot of calories without sacrificing flavor.
3.) Also, using powdered peanut butter saves me time with clean up. Come on, we have all been there while baking, trying to figure out how to quickly clean the measuring cups/spoons that contain the greasy peanut butter remnants. There is no messy clean up here.
4.) There are vitamins, protein and calcium included in the Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder.
5.) You can purchase Carnation Breakfast Essentials powder from your local Walmart with this coupon (, just like I did! Who doesn't love savings?
6.) I can throw everything into the blender all at once and take care of Baby K while it all mixes together.
7.) It is SO EASY!!!

To see even more awesome recipes using Carnation Breakfast Essentials, check out this recipe site. The S'mores Shake sounds and looks amazing. I will certainly be trying that next. And of course, interact with Carnation Breakfast Essentials on facebook, I'm sure you will find all sorts of tips and tricks that way! And if you have any yummy smoothie recipes to share, I'd love to hear about them below.