Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Picks Tuesday

*This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

My TOP PICKS for Tuesday, April 21st


//Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers//
By far one of the very best books I've ever read. I can promise that almost each "Books" section of my TOP PICKS list will include something from Francine Rivers for quite some time. Her writing style is my jam.

//The Crossway ESV Journaling Bible//
I don't even own one of these (because they are on backorder each time I go to purchase) but I already know it will be a TOP PICK for me! I can't wait to get my hands on one and start the creative process of journaling as I read through the Word! Have you seen the likes of what some arteests are doing with these things?!

//The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst//
The book our women's small group studied most recently. Lots of good little nuggets of truth and reminders packed in this pretty little black book. My life changed at the mention of Ephesians 1:15-19.

//Go, Dog Go//
Top kid pick right here. We love to read this book. It's our favorite. "STOPPPPP DOG STOPPPP!" We are quite dramatic with our reading aloud. The boys have always loved this one and like to "read along" with me and they never, ever, like my hat. :)


It's about to get all personal up in here....
No wire would also be my jam these days since I'm a nursing momma. Just makes things easier and more comfortable. I have a hard time finding a good nursing bra that doesn't cost a zillion dollars that I actually like! This isn't a nursing bra BUT...it doubles as one since it is wire-free! And I can continue to wear it once we are done.

//Nike Boys Crew Socks//
Because all boys HAVE to have (a version of) these now. It should be a crime for socks to cost so much. But if you are a cool mom, you'll buy them, suck it up and eat cheese crackers for a week.

//Maxi Pants//
These are especially cute and have circulated Pinterest. Mine came from Family Dollar and are equally as cute and were only like $10...or maybe even less with their B1G1 50% off. Yes, you read that right. Family Dollar. Helping tightwads everywhere look cute and not bust the budget. You're welcome.

//Robeez Kelly the Whale Flat//
I am a big fan of Robeez. These are just precious!! We have a few pair, not exactly these...we have hand-me-downs, one pair I purchased new, one pair bought at a consignment store. They are some of my favorite shoes to put on the babies for just learning to walk and crawling around.


//Plant Guru Raw African Shea Butter//
I recently bought this to make some whipped body butter using essential oils. I've yet to do that but we do dig into this stuff for moisturizing our hands and feet, as-is. It's lovely and works really well. I am waiting on my next batch of oils to make the whipped body butter. I can only imagine how much more I'll love it whipped with some lavender, or wild orange oil. mmmmm.

//NOW Solutions Sweet Almond Moisturizing Oil//
Favorite carrier oil for my essential oils. Favorite body moisturizing oil - helps get rid of static when you wear your maxi skirts to rub it on your legs. You're welcome! Also perfect for those ashy elbows and cracked hands. Great all-purpose oil.

//HeadBlade Ultimate Sport Razor & Refills//
And one for the fellas. My bald headed husband couldn't live without this fancy little contraption! Once you get the hang of it, it provides a nice smooth shave. Use with HeadSlick and you've got yourself a sweet, slick kissable noggin!

//Juice Beauty Green Apple Cleansing Gel//
It smells good. It's organic. It's a bit pricey. But it works!


//Huggies Little Movers Diapers//
Typically I buy what is cheapest - I'm not brand loyal. There are a few things I'll splurge on but diapers typically aren't that. My go-to once I run out of "gifted" diapers is usually the Food Lion brand. I will say though, that in this case of going with the name-brand, I didn't "splurge" because of my Amazon Mom (Prime) account. These diapers are snug, they hold the massive amounts of pee that my child(ren) produce and they are cute with their little Minnie Mouse designs. I do prefer these over anything we've tried so far but unless they are on sale, I refer back to my thrifty store-name-brand! (Newborn size, I prefer Pampers Swaddlers.)

//aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets//
This one is a given. Any mother who has been gifted these heavenly pieces of fabric knows why they are able to demand such a steep price for these suckers. They are perfect for warm weather babies. Make the best nursing drape for wigglers who hate to be covered. They are easy to clean...you can use a corner for spit up and still have plenty of blanket left for whatever you need it for. They also cover a carseat nicely so baby isn't blinded by the sun or wet by the rain. I love them. Can't praise them enough. Register for them, new mother. Buy them, dear friend-of-mommy-to-be.

//Original Moby Wrap (Black)//
Once you figure it out, you'll love it. If you don't love it, then you are weird! Nah, there are SO many baby carriers & wraps out there on the market. I'm sure I would love other name brand moby-style wraps just as equally. This just happens to be the brand that Alanna was given as her first Christmas gift! We chose black, and I highly recommend a darker color for the sake of...it drags the ground as you are wrapping baby. I haven't had to wash mine yet, but I'm sure if it were a light color, I'd notice the dirt and slobber stains more. Alanna loves to be "worn" and this one distributes the weight across the body so it causes less back pain, in my opinion anyway!

//MAM Silicone Pacifiers//
They are the perfect paci, says Alanna. They aren't heavy like the Soothies - which my boys loved...but we should've bought stock in because we lost so many! They have paci clips that fit the MAMs nicely, but you can also use other style clips, which is nice since ours always end up nasty looking!


//Blue Mason Jar Measuring Cups//
If you Pinterest, (yes I just verb'd that!), then you've seen this cute little number. Precious. Anything Mason. Anything this-color-blue. And it doesn't help that kitchen gadgets are my weakness. 

//Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade & Organic Castile Liquid Soap//
I put this here because it is an all-around perfect soap for any need. It's gentile. It is perfect for facewash, handwash, booger wash....being that it is "baby mild". I mix it with some essential oils and a little water and voila! The perfect soap that lathers well and isn't harsh on our skin. 

//Aladdin Mason Jar Tumblers with Straws (set of 3)//
Confession: I bought two packs of these as gifts. Only TWO of said 6 tumblers made their way to someone else. (You're welcome!) The others are our go-to drink "glasses". I love the size, love the handle, the straws are fun! And....the look like mason jars! Seriously, get some. Oh, and they don't sweat!

//Vtech 10 piece Clear Glass Cabinet Knobs/Drawer Pulls//
These are the drawer pulls we used on our bathroom cabinets....the cabinets I still don't think I've blogged about. However, they are perfectly cheap, sparkly and fancy enough that it adds some girly charm to our boy-filled house! I love them and they make me smile when I gaze at them while I'm using the potty getting ready. I priced other crystal-style knobs...yeah these were in my budget. They've chipped slightly on the faux "chrome" and one broke off right out of the box. But you can't beat $15 for 10 knobs. 



//Nerf Mega ThunderBow Blaster//
The boys love it. Parents even think it's cool. Pulls back like a regular bow & arrow and let me tell you, it shoots those bullets hard and fast!!

//Clue DVD Board Game//
My kids absolutely love this game. Granted, Clue always takes a level of know-how so the real littles can't really play this one. But we enjoy the DVD aspect. They always fight over who will be Colonel Mustard though....

//Fisher Price Laugh & Learn: Learning Piggy Bank//
Something for the littles. Teaches hand-eye coordination to put the coins into the slot. The music isn't loud or annoying (because face it, that's a HUGE factor of whether it will conveniently "stop working" and get thrown in the garbage or donated to the church or given to the inlaws!) This little gem has, too, been through three kids.

That's my list for today!!

Next time maybe I'll list some different categories. There are more in these same categories though, these just happened to be the first things that jumped in this brain of mine and were recalled as "favorites" of our family members.

Hope you are already enjoying these.
If not...go on....go shopping!!!
Have fun! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Stripes Addiction

I'm predictable.

Black. White. Grey.
Flip flops. 
Jeans or maxi skirt.
Easy. Simple. Comfortable. 

My husband always fusses at me picks on me for buying black clothes. Specifically black and white striped tops.
I can't help it. So many different styles. Different lengths. Different cuts.
It's just versatile and they don't show when I'm nervous, if you catch my drift. Sweaty pits are my nemesis.
Black and white is my secret keeper. 

I got dressed this morning and sighed a little sigh. This is definitely my "go-to" look. Some skinny jeans and my favorite bracelet along with some simple flops. Yep. Spring is here. Comfort is where it's at. 

I don't care what my husband says.
Black and white will never go out of style. The 17 shirts I have will last forever and complete my wardrobe!

That is until I find a new one!!

See what I mean?
Clockwise from the top:

What's your favorite black and white striped article of clothing?
Surely you have one?! If not....we can't be friends!

Possibly boring,

Endless energy, Boundless strength

Our women's small group has been recently studying the book by Lysa Terkeurst "The Best Yes". This past week the above verse was quoted and immediately my eyes welled with tears.

Oh the energy.
Oh the strength.

.....the energy and strength that just sometimes seems to go missing. There's a thief that sneaks around and steals my last ounce of energy. It sucks the life out of me threatening to reduce me to tears at any given moment.

That's satan, folks. God doesn't want a rushed life for His children that leaves little for Him.

Now I will be the first to admit, life can be quite overwhelming. But, gasp!, how dare we ever complain or feel anything but "BLESSED"?? For some moms, or women period, we feel like unless we are everything to everyone, we've failed. I know I get lost in the rush. I get lost in the yeses. I get lost in the everyday everything all the time non stop. I get caught up in the rat race competition for more money, more stuff, more people-pleasing.

And I'm SO completely and utterly over it.

I need Jesus.
I need peace.
I need calm.
I need my babies and husband.

I just need simplicity. I crave it. I yearn for more presence with my family and less work and time away from them. I need to focus on living my life intentionally. Making "Best Yes Decisions" that impact my family in a positive way, relying on God to work "utterly extravagantly" in my life.

All this time I've been asking "WHAT GOD?!" What will you have me to do?
"HOW GOD?!" How are you going to use "this" for Your glory?
"WHEN GOD?!" When are you going to hear my prayers and......let's be honest, answer them?!

This verse spoke to me and I wasn't prepared for what it had to say...

"Child, I'm here.
Child, be still.
Child, be patient.
Child, this isn't about YOU...this is about ME!"

I used to wonder "why don't I hear the voice of God"? Why can't I discern my heart from His will? I asked all of these questions over and over about my purpose and why I'm where I am and what good is that serving? Surely....surely to GOODNESS, this isn't MY mission field.

Child. Be still.
Child. Be patient.

He speaks friend. I heard Him. I heard Him through His word and it was clear.

Thank you Jesus, for clear thoughts.

There's reassurance that living with SOLID TRUST in our Master Jesus has been promised with energy and strength. I take that very literally. God will provide the endurance to get through even the toughest or mundane of times. He'll answer our prayers...in HIS timing. He'll answer my questions of WHAT, HOW, WHEN....in HIS timing. But we are to worship Him. Listen to Him. TRUST IN THE GOD OF GLORY.

I just said yes, to my Father. 
Will you?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ronda & Tim | Matthews NC Wedding Photographer

Ronda and Tim and I met over coffee one evening last winter to discuss their upcoming wedding. I knew their wedding day would be simple, but full of love for their friends and family and each other. I love the unrushed moments of a simple wedding. It allows me to capture small details and truly capture each little moment with the attention that it deserves. 

You're a flower in bloom.
In the dark, in the gloom,
It's you who brightens my day.
How many ways do I need you?
Every day, every way, come what may.

This was one of my favorite images. As a mom, I know she'll feel the same way. Your children are never not your babies anymore.
 Another favorite. Va-voom. I love the angle and lighting on this one.

We had a little time so I played around with my lens, something I've been wanting to try. I definitely need some work...but I love the artsy feel of these with the blurriness. They feel almost vintage!
 Nothing more comforting than the support and loving touch of your husband.

My absolute favorite from the entire day. I love the detail. Her curl and lashes. The texture. The sweetness.
It's a perfect moment.

Thank you, Ronda & Tim, for entrusting me with your wedding images. What a beautiful day! I wish you both the most happiness and blessings in your marriage.


Wedding Venue: Morning Star Lutheran Chapel
Reception Venue: Savour Charlotte 
Limousine Service: Ride Sterling Limo

Ballantyne Hotel

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