Fashion · Motherhood

My first Stitch Fix

If you ever scroll through Facebook, most likely you’ve seen an advertisement or saw a friend post about Stitch Fix (an online personal stylist). I asked a couple friends about it and read some reviews online and the general feeling I kept reading was “it’s expensive.” So I resisted trying it for a long time.

Well, after having baby #3, I started to become lazy with my appearance. No one said anything to me, but I just got tired of jean skirts, t-shirts, and I missed dressing up a little bit and wearing makeup. I also knew my wardrobe needed help cause I tend to buy the same colors and never step outside of my comfort zone, so I decided to give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? I’m out $20? (I’ll explain that later) I waste that every month on Starbucks.

So here’s my FIRST Stitch-Fix review and the “lowdown” on how the whole thing works:

First I created a Pinterest board. When you do that, make sure you comment about everything you “pin.” Everything from “the price is too much,” “I don’t like the color,” “the style is perfect!” etc. Then when you create your style profile, you can send your stylist a link to your Pinterest board and they can get a feel for what you really like.

After that, you create your online profile at www.stitchfix.com You pay $20 upfront (that’s the styling fee), answer a bunch of questions, then pick a date to have your “Fix” delivered. You can choose to have your “fixes” delivered automatically or on-demand, which is the option I chose. Once your fix arrives, you have three days to try everything on, decide what you want to keep and what you want to send back. They do send you a postage-paid envelope to mail everything back in which is nice.

Here are some pictures of what I got:


Verse Larissa Knit Dress $48

I decided to keep this one because when I put it on, I felt like it worked perfectly with my body type and was a print I never would have picked for myself but that was the point, stepping out of my comfort zone.


Loveappella Maxi Dress $74

Although I really liked this dress I sent it back cause I felt it was a little too much to spend on a maxi dress.


Nine Britton Maxi Skirt $44

This one was sent back because the slits on the side went up to my thigh, just too much for my modesty standards.


Loveappella Knit Top $48

I kept this one. It is simple, yet has a dressy feel with the lace, and is really loose fitting making it great for summer weather.


Alice Blue Pocket Blouse $38

I sent this one back also because I felt it was too “old lady” for me with the color and print. The sleeve openings are actually cut pretty low which made me uncomfortable.

I didn’t think keeping two out of the five was bad for a first fix. Here’s how much it cost:

Dress $48                                                                           Top $48                                                                           Total $96 – $20 styling fee credit = $76

Now if you keep all five items, you get your $20 styling fee back AND an additional 25% off. So if I would have kept all five items it would have cost me $169. For good, high quality clothing, I really don’t have a problem paying these prices once in a while.

I’ll definitely be trying Stitch Fix again. I’m thinking I might do a box for every season. I’m not sure yet, but that’s my thinking at this point.

If you decide to try Stitch Fix, click here on my referral link. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll get your own referral link where everyone that orders through it gives you a $25 Stitch Fix credit.

If you’ve ever tried Stitch Fix before I’d love to hear what you thought of it or any ideas you have to get the best Stitch Fix ever! Happy Shopping 😊

Laura

Intentional Living

How am I doing? June 2017

**this post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here**
I’m a couple weeks later posting this then I wanted to be, but hey, that’s life!

This is the first of my monthly check-ins to let you know how I’m doing on my goals for 2017. 

Here’s a quick recap of my goals and then I’ll break them down telling you what I’ve done (or haven’t done) in each one.

  1. Read more books
  2. Scrapbook
  3. Scripture memorization 
  4. Daily Bible devotions
  5. Being more productive
  6. Show Gods grace and seeing the blessings in the everyday 

READING:


My goal is to read 1-2 books a month and yes, I’m proud to say I easily accomplished this goal by the 15th of the month. The rest of the month though I hardly read a thing! Here are the books I finished in May:

  • Visual Theology by Tim Chailles and Josh Byers. Fantastic book that was filled with diagrams that broke down different parts of the Bible giving it more of a “visual” effect which did make it easier to understand. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about a career in ministry of any sort.
  • 1984 by George Orwell. This was my first book I’ve started in the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. It was so intense that it was hard to put down. I really enjoyed it and the science fiction type genre in which it was written. I have to say though that I was disappointed with the end but overall it was a great fiction book.
  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. This is the third time I’ve read this book and every time I do, I always take away something new from it. It’s a great book for anyone who is married, engaged, or someone who wants to get married someday.
  • How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind by Dana White who blogs over at A Slob Comes Clean. HILARIOUS! I finished this book in two days! It was by far one of the easiest books I’ve ever read and her story’s were so relatable and funny.

You can tell that I read a lot. It makes my heart happy 😊 

SCRAPBOOKING:


This one has been hard. Mainly because by the time the day has ended, I don’t really have the energy to scrapbook. All I want to do is curl up in bed and read. So what I’ve started doing is trying out the Happy Planner and a couple other different ones. The best way to describe them is like an everyday planner for scrapbookers. So you can write your to do list, appointments, etc but include lots of stickers and other fun decorations. I’m hoping that this will fill my need to scrapbook.

SCRIPTURE MEMORY:


I’m trying something new with this that’s been a lot of fun. I bought a Write the Word Journal from the Cultivate What Matters shop. I’m trying to take one verse a week and I’m writing it down everyday and meditating on it. These books are very high quality and they’re learherbound. Definitely worth a look.

DAILY BIBLE DEVOTIONS:


I’ve been doing really well on this one and it always starts my day off on the right note. In May I worked through the book of Acts. I used the Lifeguide Bible Study. What I like about their devotional is that they break down every book into chunks and really ask you thought provoking questions about what you read.

DAILY PRODUCTIVITY:


Everyday I have my to do list that I follow and then on Fridays, that is my “catch up” day for all the to-dos throughout the week that I didn’t finish. So far this system is working well for me and my house is staying cleaner then it ever has before.

GODS GRACE AND EVERYDAY BLESSINGS:


I’ve started filling out a Blessings Journal every morning after I finish my Bible reading. It’s helping me to bring my focus on more positive things every day. I’m finding the JOY and the BLESSINGS around me even on the hardest days.

There’s a recap of my month! I hope you’re having a blessed summer so far, and let me know how you’re doing with your goals. I’d love to be an encouragement to you. 

Blessings, Laura

Intentional Living · Motherhood · Organization

**This post does contain an affiliate link. Read my full disclosure here**

 
Do you ever feel overwhelmed first thing in the morning? You get up and you feel like there’s already too much to do and you don’t even know where to begin so the daily chaos just begins to ensue and it just overtakes your day? I think we’ve all been there, I know I have.

During one of these days I saw another blogger post about the Makeover Your Mornings course from Crystal Paine of  Money Saving Mom.

To be honest, I completely ignored the post and thought “what a waste of time and money.” I had these thoughts for several months. But after continuous days of “just getting by,” it popped up in my Facebook feed again so I decided to check it out. After hearing other story’s and how people were finding success with it, I decided to try it out when the course was on sale. Not really expecting much out of it to be truthful.

The course itself consists of one short video and a daily “project” for two weeks.

By implementing a lot of Crystals ideas and some of my own, my mornings now have more purpose, they’re intentional, and I’ve begun cultivating more joy in my home.

Here’s how I set myself up for a successful day:

“Having a successful day begins the night before.” – Crystal Paine

To make my mornings easier, I do the following things before I go to bed:

  1. Make sure the Keurig is ready to go in the morning (coffee is a must!)
  2. Lay everyone’s outfits out for the next day. By doing this, it forces the kids and I to get dressed every morning and not just hang out in our PJs all day.
  3. Do the dishes before bed and try to do a “5 minute pick up” of the living room

After doing these, when I get up he next day, I’m waking up to a house that’s mostly clean and ready to go. This also makes my morning routine run smoother.

Here’s what my routine generally looks like every morning:

  1. Make coffee and get dressed
  2. Bible Study time
  3. Only after my devotional is done, of time permits, then I’ll pull out whatever else I’m currently reading
  4. Make my husbands lunch
  5. Go over my to-do list for the day

That’s it! It may not seem like a lot, but by doing those few things the night before, and having a morning routine that involves investing in myself, and my relationship with God, it makes my days so much smoother and much more focused and intentional.

What do you do to set yourself up for a successful day? I’d love to hear your ideas and I hope that you were encouraged by some of mine.

Blessings, Laura

Motherhood

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Been Given….

It was a day full of errands and various appointments, all on a Sunday. It started with church, a lunch date, grocery shopping, Bible study group, a birthday party, and ended with half a dozen people coming over for dinner. Sound crazy? What’s even crazier is that this type of a day was becoming the “norm” for me. You might think it’s good to be busy all the time, and it definitely is good, to a point. Reality was starting to set in though. I had laundry backing up, vacuuming needed to be done, and I needed to sleep! I was so tired it was impacting every area of my life. I even went to the doctor and he told me to slow down. Of course I thought he was wrong and kept going on my merry little way, determined to be a “super mom.”

That’s when it happened…I was in charge of a Sunday School play and completely dropped the ball. I was frazzled, overly-tired, and had completely forgotten half of what was needed to get it done. I was embarrassed and expected the church family to take everything away from me. Instead, the Pastors wife pulled me aside and asked me to go get coffee with her after rehearsal. 

While at the coffee shop, she asked what was really going on with me and if I was OK. With my pride in tact, of course I answered “yes!” I told her everything was fine I was just really tired. 

That’s when she gave me the best advice I’ve ever been given, or could ever give anyone else…..

“It’s OK to say NO”

Whether you’re a stay at home mom, work full time, have five kids, or no kids at all, it’s OK to say NO sometimes.

She reminded me that God doesn’t care how many groups you’re involved in, how organized you are, or that all your meals are made from scratch. What He cares about is that everything you do is done well and that it glorifies God. 

“For you we’re bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are Gods.”  1 Cor 6:20 NKJV

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”    1 Cor 10:31 NKJV

Having an insanely busy life, where everything is half done, and nothing is ever finished, is not God glorifying. He doesn’t want you to be overworked and stressed out because chances are, you will become easily angered and frustrated with life. That doesn’t sound God glorifying does it?

So how do you say NO and what do you say no to?

In my opinion, the first and really the only thing you need to do is make sure it aligns with your priorities. If you don’t have any priorities really laid out, sit down and take a few minutes to think about it. Here’s my priority list to give you an example:

  1. God
  2. Husband
  3. Kids
  4. Home
  5. Bringing in an income
  6. Maintaining outside relationships

So when I think about taking on something new, I need to think about what category it falls into and make sure that by doing it, it doesn’t start to outweigh the others.

Let me give you a scenario so you can see where I’m headed with this: A friend calls and invites you to lunch. Of course my natural tendency is to say yes without question. But when I have a sink full of dirty dishes, a weeks worth of laundry to fold, and the grass needs to be mowed, it might be best to say no for the time being. The reason why is because my home is a higher priority for me right now. If I can become better about staying on top of some of those “house chores” (as I call them), then I very easily could have said yes.

Really just taking the time to think about what is most important to you before taking on an extra project is vital so nothing on your priority list is sacrificed. Remember it’s OK to say NO. While keeping that in mind, you don’t have to be in every church group, be involved with MOPS, or have play dates every day to be considered a “super mom.” You can’t do it all and you don’t have to. Keep your focus on Christ and the rest will fall into place. 

Blessings, Laura

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matt 5:16 NKJV

Uncategorized

Yearly Goals and Accountability

Every year on December 31, millions of people decide on a resolution for the New Year. When I googled “New Years resolutions” for this post, it said only 8% of people actually achieve their resolution. I am ALWAYS in the 92% that give up at some point in the year.

I decided for 2017 I wanted to make personal goals for my life. Basically, they’re resolutions but I’m calling them goals because I feel like I might accomplish them easier. I’m just trying to trick myself into that way of thinking. 😉


Since I started this blog, I thought it would be fun to tell you my goals and then every month, write a quick post to fill you in on how they’re going. In a way, it will make me more accountable cause I know I need to keep it up for you!

So here they are:

1. Read more-at least 1 or 2 books a month

2. Scrapbook-my favorite hobby that I actually haven’t done since I had my first child in 2011.

3. Scripture memory-one verse a week

4. Daily Bible Study-get up early and spend at least 30 minutes in the Word.

5. Be more productive on a daily basis-create a todo list everyday.

6. Grace and Blessings-show Gods grace to others and look for blessings in everyday life.

Next month I’ll write a longer blog post and fill you in on how it’s going and what I’m doing to accomplish each goal.

Let me know by leaving a comment or writing me a private message about what your goals are. I’d love to be an accountability partner to you and an encouragement. 

Blessings, Laura

Uncategorized

My word for 2017

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Merriam Webster defines “grace” as:

“a virtue coming from God: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.”

At the beginning of this year when I sat down to think about my word for the year, it didn’t take me long to decide because I knew God was leading me to the word GRACE. For we all have a sin nature and are in need of Gods GRACE and I knew that I also needed to extend that GRACE to others.

I had been convicted about a specific sin in my life that was leading me to extend more GRACE to others. The sin: my judgment of others.

I realized that I had been too quick to admonish someone who maybe didn’t have the same convictions as me, or didn’t “parent” the same way I did. Before letting someone finish talking and trying to understand their point of view, I would quickly interrupt them and say something about what they’re doing and how it wasn’t right, which of course is the completely wrong approach.

“The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.” Proverbs 15:28 NKJV

Or I wouldn’t say anything but I’d “think” it and that’s HORRIBLE! This has become so convicting for me and I’ve been spending a lot of time in prayer over it and studying Gods word. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a struggle just being OK with the fact that there’s more then one way to do things.

Ive also needed to give more GRACE to my kids. I was so tired of what seemed like constant yelling and putting them in time-out. I knew I needed to step back, realize that they are kids, and watch my tone of voice. I knew they were feeding off of me, and I off of them, but once I started responding with a calmer tone, the fits became less and the time outs are becoming few and far between.

These are just two of the reasons I chose the word GRACE and here are a couple ways that I’m trying to implement that word into my everyday life and keep a strong focus on it:

#1 Reading material: there are endless resources out there that delve into the topic of GRACE but one I’ve found that is most inspiring and stays true to Gods word is the book Glimpses of Grace by Gloria Furman. I have probably read this book three times now. It is a fantastic resource for finding Gods GRACE in the everyday mundane. One of my favorite things she says in the book about GRACE is

“Gods triumphant grace in the work of Christ on the cross assures us of this: when our hope is in Gods glory, for ourselves and others, then our life in the home is anything but dull, diminuitive, and disappointing.”

Another way I’m focusing on GRACE is in my daily Bible reading. Now this has been more difficult because the Bible is full of Gods GRACE from beginning to end, so to really do a topical study on it hasn’t worked for me at this point. What I’ve been doing is spending time in memorizing scripture and prayer. Here are some of my favorite scriptures on Gods GRACE:

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give GRACE and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11 NKJV

My GRACE is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”       2 Cor 12:9 NKJV

“For by GRACE you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:8-9 NKJV

 

Do you have a word for 2017? I’d love to hear it and your reason for choosing it and how you’re implementing it. If you don’t have one, it’s not too late! I highly encourage you to pray about it. I think it would make an impact on your everyday life in many different ways.

Blessings, Laura

Uncategorized

My 5 tips for finding the time to read more…

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss

 

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I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember. I’m told that I was reading before I even entered Kindergarten. I’m by no means a brainiac, I’ve just always enjoyed a good book, and I’ll pretty much read anything from fiction, to history, to a biography.

One of my big goals for 2017 was to read more books and create an “at home” library for my kids. I’m helping to accomplish this goal by taking part in two different reading challenges, the Young Wife’s Guide Reading Challenge and the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge. So far, I’ve read 8 books this year and I’m currently working on #9 (an audiobook) and #10(see the picture above).

I’ve started keeping track of my books with “A Book Lovers Journal” (affiliate link) You can see from the pictures it has lots of spots for you to fill in all kinds of information on all the different books that you read. I honestly wasn’t sure if I would like doing this but it’s been really fun and a great way for me to take notes on some of my favorite parts of each story.

Since I started this reading journey at the beginning of the year, I’ve been getting asked a lot “how do you have time to read that much?” “I want to read but I can’t with all the kids running around.” I totally get both of those reasons! Some days it just doesn’t work for me either but I have found some ways to make reading happen on a more consistent basis so I thought I would share those today:

#1: Kids playtime-when my kids play outside, I try to follow them with my book. In the summer months we’re always outside so it’s easy to just sit outside with them and read a few pages.

#2: Mealtime-Sometimes I will read to the kids or to myself, during a meal. This doesn’t happen at every meal but it does happen regularly. It seems to be the best way I get Bible reading in with the kids everyday.

#3: Get up early-Ugh…who likes to get up early? I know I don’t, but it’s really the only true “alone time” that I get. I spend it reading the Bible and if I have time after, I will open up whatever book I’m currently reading.

#4: Audiobooks-I do this not only when I’m driving, but sometimes when I’m cleaning or when I first lay down to go to bed at night. There’s lots of apps out there for listening to audiobooks, but my personal favorite is the free Audible app from Amazon.

#5: Random Quiet Times-You might be thinking….”when is that?” Well sit and think for a moment about all the times you may scroll through Facebook or flip through all the TV channels. Don’t get me wrong, I still do both of those things from time to time and I’m definitely not trying to make anyone feel guilty, I’m just trying to show you that almost everyone has some opportunity to read even a few pages everyday.

Even if you only put a few of these into practice, it will slowly add up. Pretty soon you will have finished a book and probably be surprised at how quickly that happened. Not only that, but by your kids seeing you read more it will probably inspire them to do the same. It’s definitely done that for my kids.

Do you have any ideas on how to squeeze in some more reading time? I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment below and let me know how you get in your reading time.

Blessings, Laura