Friday, January 30, 2015

High Five For Friday

Let's get right into the top moments from my week:

1.) Since hurting my foot at the beginning of the month, I've been wearing flats. This is the longest I have ever gone without wearing a pair of heels. But I am very thankful to past Lindsay for purchasing these super cute flats over the summer.

2.) Baby K has a fun new activity that keeps her entertained and works on her motor skills. (Coming to the blog next week)

3.) My girl cracks me up, this is how she rearranged herself to sit in the grocery cart...what is wrong with this picture?

4.) Yesterday Baby K and I went to storytime at the library with some friends and we had a blast. K still insists on sitting in my lap during storytime, which I am completely fine with.
(Mommy and me Sperry's!)

5.) I have a shelf at work that I can keep my purse on so I don't have to just set it on the floor. This makes me very happy!!!

How was your week?
I'm linking up with Bright on a Budget and September Farm.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wore: Rainhat

Bad hair days.

Sadly, I've had my share of them and the majority of them occur when there is precipitation outside. Rain plus fine, thin, straight hair just do not mix. There have been many times that I have styled my hair only to walk outside and see rain and realize that I completely wasted my time. And wasting my time is one of my favorite things to do...said no person ever.

Which is why I am thrilled to have discovered this fabulous Scala Collezione rainhat from Dorfman Pacific.

This rainhat is super lightweight, yet extremely durable and repels rain like a boss (as Tolar would say). I love that the hat is somewhat oversized so I don't have to worry about smashing my hair if I've curled and styled it. With the wide brim, I can rest easy knowing that the rest of my hair is seeking shelter even if it isn't completely covered. The best part? I can still look stylish and prevent a bad hair day on a super, nasty rainy day. Basically fashion and function have been rolled into one with the creation of this hat. The quality is on point, the style is classic and the charcoal color makes it easy for me to pair this hat with virtually my entire wardrobe. I can't say enough good things about this fabulous hat! And take a peek at the inside lining (picture below) - I swoon over polka dots!

I had a ton of fun with this hat and my camera:

Scarf: Subtle Luxury (c/o).
Earrings: Target.
Lipstick Shade: Revlon's Smoky Rose.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

These Are My Confessions...Part 2

I had so much fun with my last confessions post and had such a great response from you guys that I figured I would share some more confessions with you.

Hit it Usher!

  • I stomp on my slippers every single morning before putting them on, just to make sure there aren't any critters inside.
  • I gave up sodas at the beginning of the month and I honestly haven't really missed them. I thought I would miss them because [huge confession coming] I used to drink about 2-3 sodas a day! 
  • Each morning when I wake up, I immediately check my e-mail on my phone. I hate to have notifications on my phone and I always get those marketing e-mails over night, so I check my e-mail to delete the ones I don't want. (Maybe I should unsubscribe from some, huh?)
  • I let Baby K watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse while I cook dinner because I know it will keep her attention and also keep a mess from occurring in my living room or her bedroom. Call me a bad parent, but when I'm by myself during Tolar's night class it's the only option.
  • My hearing is impeccable; according to Tolar I can hear a mouse fart. :) I often wish I didn't hear as well as I do because then maybe I wouldn't get so creeped out by every single little noise I hear.
  • Tolar agrees with the above confession.
  • Oftentimes, I forget to factor in Baby K's nap when making plans...and she is 19 months old. I've been dealing with naps for 19 solid months. (smh)
  • Hearing Baby K say "Mick-EE" can bring a smile to my face no matter what the situation.
  • My DVD collection and iphone apps are all alphabetized and I want to alphabetize other collections of things too.

Monday, January 26, 2015

God's Whispers

Last week was kind of tough, nothing major happened just a bunch of little things that when added together seemed much worse than they were. I dealt with a ton of anxiety, many sleepless nights because I couldn't relax and we faced some unplanned expenses that we really just didn't want to deal with at the moment.

I remember sitting on the couch during a low moment and wondering "would this happen if I read my Bible more, if I prayed even more?" And the answer is yes, we all have to go through hardships. What I forgot for a moment is that God wasn't punishing me and that He isn't trying to "get me." He's trying to help deliver me from these hardships. And He is always trying to teach us something through the difficult times. If anyone knows this, it's me as I've seen first hand the teachings that come through hardships. But during my moment of distress, I let the enemy pop into my head and say some untrue things.

But you know what is awesome? The very next day (yesterday) God whispered to me all day long. We started our Sunday like all others, by attending Lifelife Church. But there was a different energy than normal; it was like our normal energy was multiplied times 100. I was able to make so many more connections with people than I normally do on Sundays. I engaged in some amazing conversations and had an incredible worship experience with my husband by my side. One of the people I met yesterday had even attended our church in Northern Virginia several years ago and knew all about it. This news was like God was whispering to me, "I haven't forgotten about you and the desires of your heart. Lifeline Church is your home now and you will grow and prosper just like you did at DC Metro Church." Not that I ever doubted anything about Lifeline, but I definitely miss all of the close relationships I had at DC Metro Church. The goodness continued all day, with the cherry on top being that we attended a small group with other young couples from our church and had an absolute blast. This group is seriously a gift from God as Tolar and I really want to form deep connections with others while we live in SW Virginia. God kept whispering to me while I was chatting with new friends "you are not alone, I'm here, I will take care of you."

It really is awesome to see how fast God works. On Saturday I had sent a message to some friends explaining what was going on in our lives and telling them that I was going through some unhappy times. I even put a post on instagram asking for a little bit of prayer. And the very next day God placed some life giving relationships in my life right when I needed them most. The prayers were felt, God's whispers were heard.

The Lord doesn't promise a life full of rainbows and butterflies. But He does promise peace. He does promise that He will be with us and will not forget us. And that is a promise worth more than anything else.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." JOHN 16:33

Friday, January 23, 2015

High Five For Friday

This has been an interesting week with a couple frustrations, but through it all I constantly strive to focus on the fun and positive.
Here are some top fun moments from my week:

1.) As my Dad was opening his birthday presents, Baby K took it upon herself to help him in opening them. I guess opening presents at least four different times over Christmas made her think that all wrapped presents are for her.

2.) I FINALLY got to see Into The Woods. My mom and I went on a girl's night out with dinner and a movie and we even got a private showing of the movie! It was so neat to watch the movie with her since we saw the play together about 8 years ago.

3.) While my Mom and I were out, Baby K decided to play salon with her Daddy.

4.) I tried Jamberry Nails for the first time this week. This is a very different look for me (I normally pick reds or pinks) and I really like it.

5.) I took Baby K on a Mommy/Daughter date to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt. We split a cup of yogurt and I'm pretty sure that she ate as much as I did; she loved it!

I'm linking up this post with Bright on a Budget, September Farm and Style Elixir.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Giving Valentines

Do you remember handing out Valentines to your classmates and friends on Valentine's Day? It was one of my favorite holiday traditions during the school year. I loved decorating a mailbox to have at my desk and I loved watching it fill up with fun Valentines and candy from all of my friends.

Even though Baby K is not in school and still quite young, I love introducing her to all things holiday, all the time. In fact last year, when she was only 7 1/2 months, we sent out Valentines to her friends and family. It is just so fun to do, plus snail mail always puts a smile on my face and it is my hope that we can do the same for others. Who doesn't love getting a Valentine from a sweet, little, sassy girl anyway? Minted has some awesome Classroom Valentines that you can use to give out to friends and classmates in person. Their selection is incredible and I love that you can personalize them by adding a picture. Check out this cute little Valentine I created of Baby K on Minted. I used the Sweet Nothings Valentine's card...super cute.

Baby K friend Valentine
This is the front and the back...I love those XOXOs.

In a rare turn of events, I had a ton of friends give birth to little ones from September thru December. And it impressed the heck out of me that so many of them still sent out cards for Christmas (y'all are my heroes!). BUT here is an idea...If you weren't able to send out Christmas cards because you had a baby or you moved or you just plain ran out of time - then send a Valentine's Day card! Minted has so many full size options too. Good luck deciding on a design, they have so many good ones I just couldn't decide which one I liked best. I want all the cards!

But here are some of my favorites

A Simple Love Valentine
I'm a sucker for gold foil

For the instagram lover.

And as a special early Valentine's Day treat, Minted is offering 20% off all foil pressed Valentine's Day cards and Classroom Valentines cards. So hurry up and order - the deal is only good through Monday!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lady Maintenance Night

When I want to feel extra girly, I throw myself a lady maintenance night. What is that you may ask? It is a night totally devoted to little ol' me where I beautify and pamper myself, making me feel like a lady. :) I like to throw these nights for myself quite often; it is a great way for me to relax and to get myself prepped and ready when I know I have a lot coming up. When I have all my beauty stuff taken care of, I feel great and ready to take on the world!

Before I start, I normally select a playlist on my phone - either by letting Pandora play DJ for me or I'll select an artist I like and shuffle their songs. Music should be at the start of any event!

Here is everything I do on lady maintenance night (in no particular order):

-Exfoliate my face

-Tweeze my eyebrows (overtweezing my eyebrows in college resulted in the lucky happenstance that I only have to tweeze my eyebrows every couple of months!)

-Deep condition my hair

-Exfoliate my legs and any rough spots (like my elbows and heels)

-Take a bath

-Drink some wine

-Shave my legs

-Give myself a manicure and pedicure

-Apply sunless tanner (if its warmer weather and I know my legs will be shown)

-Experiment with different ways to wear accessories and discover items I forgot I had

-Read a beauty magazine

What about you? Are there any beauty routines that you do?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Baby K Fashion

I will keep saying this over and over, but I really want to trade wardrobes with my daughter. I love so many of the things that Baby K has in her closet. Plus, I wish I could pull off purple skinny jeans the way that she can!

It is so fun to dress her each morning. And Baby K is starting to turn into a clothes horse and shoe lover herself. In fact, she likes to help when it comes to picking out her outfits. I will let her decide on which shoes she wants to wear first and then we will pick her outfit to match. More often than not she wants to wear her "boops" (boots). But there are other days when she will decide on a fun colorful shoe or her Sperry's. This child has developed quite the shoe habit thanks to the guidance of my mother and myself. :)

Baby K's outfit details:
Shirt, Shoes and Pants: Garanimals.
Vest: Carter's.
Hair Bow: Claire's.

Friday, January 16, 2015

High Five For Friday

We did it! We made it to the weekend. WOO HOO! And today is a very special day because it's my Dad's birthday. Happy Birthday DAD!!! We are so glad that we get to spend so much time with you and that we actually get to celebrate you on your birthday this year.

After traveling for two weeks over the holidays, dealing with sickness (yes, we all got sick on Christmas Eve) and trying to declutter and put the holiday decorations away, it sure was nice to have a slow and normal week! Here are few fun moments from our week:

1.) Tolar and I took Baby K to the play area at the mall and she could not get enough of the fun little slide. She kept trying to climb up it too.

2.) We finally got cable installed at our new house and I celebrated by watching the Today Show. I have missed me some Savannah and Matt!

3.) This picture has nothing to do with me, but it made me laugh so hard when I was scrolling through facebook the other day.

4.) Tolar's Dad and I pulled off a pretty great surprise visit for Tolar, his Dad is here with us for the weekend. And it has already been great seeing all of the cuddle time that Baby K gets with her Pops.

5.) We went out for dinner and the hostess gave Baby K a balloon. She had so much fun playing with it, ahhhh the little things in life that bring our children joy.

I'm linking up this post with Bright On A BudgetSeptember Farm and Style Elixir.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things I'd Like To Say To My Younger Self

Now that I'm into my thirties (ahhh, did I really just type that?), I feel like I've been through enough to have some sort of outlook and profound thoughts on life. :) And as I watch my daughter grow and become her own person, I often find myself thinking of things I want to tell her. Since Baby K doesn't fully understand everything I want to tell her, I have decided to offer some thoughts to my younger self.

-Don't be so dramatic! That thing that you are obsessing about right now will be a fleeting memory very soon. Think about how you look freaking out in front of other people. Your mother is amazing for dealing with your frequent dramatic episodes.

-Who cares if some of your friends got married at 18 or 23? You still have a lot of growing up and learning to do and you certainly don't want to be with someone who has even more growing up to do than you. He's out there, don't worry.

-Yes, your Dad was correct when he told you that you should take some business classes in college. Even in the administrative office of a theatre, you are going to need those skills, listen to him.

-Don't buy clothes just to buy something, buy what you really like. If you can't find anything that you are absolutely in love with, don't buy anything. In about 6 months you are going to clean out your closet and find that the majority of the things you get rid of are the clothes that you bought just because you didn't want to walk out of the store empty handed. Wasted money.

-Trust your mother when she tells you that pinning only your bangs back and therefore showcasing your very square forehead is not a flattering look.

-Also trust your mother when she tells you that your skirt or shorts are too short. Seriously a pencil skirt is so much more flattering (and it's a timeless piece which will last you a long time).

-Don't be afraid to ask your professors or advisor for help and advice in college. They are there to help and educate you. What's the worst that could happen, they will actually get to know you? Just do it.

-You will get through everything, there will be hard times, just keep pressing forward. You will make it.

-Don't stress every single semester in college and worry that you are making the wrong move by majoring in theatre. You are going to end up working in theatre as your career and loving what you do. Trust yourself and trust your parents - they wouldn't steer you wrong.

-It is totally ok to say no to things. Pleasing everyone and always saying yes doesn't always please the most important person - you.

-Find friends that are caring, helpful and who will buy you a pinata when you are sad. They will be in your life for years and years.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My Beauty Sidekicks

Beauty favorites, we all have them. But I have three products that I consider even more than favorites, they are products that I use extremely regularly (two of them daily) and count them as beauty sidekicks. Because I'd be lost without them...well maybe not lost, but I'd definitely cry if I forgot to pack them for a trip!

1.) Dry Shampoo - If you've been reading this blog for awhile, then you know all about my love affair with dry shampoo. I love it because it really lifts my roots and gives my flat, fine, thin hair some extra volume. I wish I knew about this stuff in high school!!! It also provides texture to my silky locks. Yes, silky hair is a nice thing to have, but not when you are trying to curl and tease your hair and get it stay put. The dry shampoo adds some grit to my hair so I can manipulate it and have a better chance of getting it to lay the way that I want. I use dry shampoo every single day. I apply it to my dry, clean hair - right at the roots - to help add lift. There are occasions where I also use dry shampoo for its intended purpose - on those days when I'm short on time and don't have an extra twenty minutes to wash and style my hair. It soaks up the oil from my hair and helps me look like I actually did just wash my hair. Dry shampoo is amazing!
My fave: Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo, under $3!!!

2.) A Vented Paddle Brush - I curl and flat iron my hair a lot. My poor hair gets put through the ringer, so I definitely try to take it easy on my strands when I can. Too much heat styling messes up my ends so badly. Enter the vented paddle brush. Thanks to the vents, this cuts my hair drying time in half, meaning less heat on my hair. I still get the same desired look from blow drying, just without damaging my hair as much. Genius!
My fave: Ecotools Smoothing Detangler Hair Brush, $10

3.) Lip Microdermabrasion Stick - Dry, cracked lips are lipstick's worst enemy. And the winter dryness is not doing me any favors. But now I have a secret weapon - a lip microdermabrasion stick. I apply this just like I would chapstick and I slough away all of the dry skin leaving a perfect and smooth pout. My lips have never been smoother and my lipstick glides on so easily. This is a must have for any beauty lover's makeup bag!
My fave: Rodan + Fields Lip Microdermabrasion, $17

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

This Is My Year

I'm back!!! And I've missed blogging, but I'm not going to lie - I definitely enjoyed the refreshing time away where I could just relax at night, reflect on what's happened in my life, recharge and not have to sit at my computer. But after the break, it also feels good to be back.

There is no denying it, the past year has been pretty brutal for my family. I know I've talked a lot about it, but this is my life. It is what I experienced and talking about it on here helps me to process everything. Ask either Tolar or I and we will tell you that it has been our toughest year of marriage so far. Its shocking to me to think that we have already faced a tough year in marriage, being that we haven't even been married for five years. But that is the hand that we were dealt and I'm incredibly happy to say that God not only brought us through our tough times, but He brought us through everything TOGETHER. I've talked a lot about how I knew God had a plan for us and He has definitely revealed that He never let go of us. But even though I trusted in God and had faith that He would help beauty to rise from the ashes, it was still hard. We were brought to our knees on more occasions than we ever imagined, faced burdens and hurdles and just plain unfairness. Through it all, we fought hard to keep standing and we won!

Now as we start a new calendar year, I've been looking back on everything that happened to us in 2014. For me in 2015, I'm only allowing myself to focus on the positives. Yep, the pain was real, life was scary and it downright sucked being ripped away from our friends and our church. But there is so much more joy that came out of our pain.

Had Tolar not lost his job, he would not have been able to spend every day with Baby K, watching her grow and change and make new discoveries. It isn't lost on us that a lot of Dads miss so much while they are at work.

Had we not moved, we wouldn't have been given the amazing gift of time. Time with my parents and aunt because we live right down the street. More time with each other because we aren't sitting in traffic every time we leave the house. More time with Tolar's side of the family and my sister's family too because our schedules aren't as packed and we have plenty of time for monthly visits. It is the greatest blessing to see our families enjoying our daughter.

Had we not left DC Metro Church, we wouldn't have been blessed to help launch Lifeline Church. This church made us come alive when we felt like we were losing a part of ourselves. I can't fully speak for Tolar on this, but I felt like when we had to leave DC Metro Church that I was going to lose my identity. It was there that I learned who I am in Christ and learned what a real relationship with Him feels like. And Lifeline Church restored that. We have met the most amazing people, we serve with a Pastor and his family who show us first-hand what servants' hearts look like and have experienced miracles.

Had we not moved to Dublin, Virginia we never would have met Brad and Jessi. These are the first friends we made when we moved to the area and it is actually kind of scary just how similar our stories are. God is so awesome! He placed all of us in each other's lives so that we could have someone who truly understood everything we were going through. To let us know that He had not forgotten about us. With all of our transitions, we haven't gotten to spend as much time with them as we would like, but hey that is what 2015 is for!

Had Tolar not lost his job, he would be stuck in a job that he absolutely despises. What a blessing this time is for Tolar to be able to go back to school and completely change careers. And I have to brag on him and tell you that he got a 4.0 his first semester back in school. I'm so proud of Tolar and all that he has accomplished!

There is so much good that came out of our sadness. And that my friends is what I will remember as I move on to 2015. This will be my year, our year.