Sunday, November 25, 2012


Hey guys, guess what?  I've decided to take up a new blog project, this time focusing a little bit more on my family and life, with a little peppering of fashion thrown in as well (of course!).  Feel free to head on over if you're interested!  The new site is called Living with "A-Holts."  ( Enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

So Long For Now...

Well, friends, I have a confession.  As I mentioned in my last post, I've been wrestling a lot with what direction I wanted this little blog to go.  I've considered many options, and haven't actually been able to come to a conclusion.  I've wrestled with what my online persona should portray, and whether I was going to be a "mommy blogger," "socially conscious blogger," or "fashion blogger."  As I've had more people reading my thoughts and looking at my photos, I've found myself questioning my choices, both in words and outfits.  I've been trying to create a niche for myself, trying to establish a label for myself, so potential readers can track down my site.  I've been trying to create a blogging personality so I can attract attention to my posts.  I've commented, twitter-ed, and facebook-ed to create more blog traffic.

I've been taking this blog way too seriously.

This is why I'm making the decision to stop blogging.  This could be temporary, or maybe permanent, I really haven't decided that for sure.  All I know is, I need to stop for a while.  I need to take some time, center myself, and pray about whether this is really what I want to pursue.  I need to take a break so this can start to be fun again.

I've loved having the opportunity to get to know other bloggers, and loved hearing you guy's comments and thoughts on my little blog!  I wish you all the best!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

For My Lexi

Dear daughter of mine, this is what I want you to know:

I want you to grow up knowing that you are beautiful, just like every other person in this world.  I also want you to realize that appearance doesn’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things.  Let your beauty be in your love.

I want you to know that you are going to hear so many messages in life telling you you’re incomplete.   They are lying.

I want you to understand that, even though your mommy is a bad example, insecurities are not an integral part of being a woman.

I want you to always remember that you are loved, not just by your family, but by the God of the universe.

I want you to believe that giving really is better than receiving.

I want you to know that some boy might end up breaking your heart in the future.  Run to God for comfort first.  I’m perfectly willing to be second in line.

I also want you to know that your daddy is a great example of what to look for in a loving man, when you’re ready to open your heart again.

I want you to know that when you get your driver’s license, I will expect you to check in with me every ten minutes.  That should be temporary.

I want you to know that as my belly expands with this new baby, so does my heart.  I am incapable of loving you any less than I already do.  Even with your epic tantrums.

You are loved.  I’ve already said that, but it needs to be repeated and remembered every day.  You. Are. Loved.

*Sorry for the silence here the past week!  Mornings filled with nausea, and evenings with work have kept me otherwise occupied.  I've also been contemplating the direction I want this little blog to go.  I haven't quite figured that out yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to let you know!*

Friday, March 16, 2012

FTF - The Girl Effect

Alright, people, I had a whole plan of how this post was going to go today.  I was going to show you really cool sites with fair trade maternity clothes, and maybe some baby clothes thrown in for good measure.  I would go through my favorite picks from those sites, and it would be awesome.  Why maternity clothes, you ask?  Well, here's why:

Um, yeah.  That would be mine.  (*excuse me as I giggle uncontrollably...*)  Yep, this will be our baby #2, already christened with the nickname Lima Bean.

Unfortunately, fair trade maternity clothes, and baby clothes for that matter, are a lot harder to track down than I expected!  So, instead I'd like to share a video with you from a non-profit called The Girl Effect.

Now, this may be the pregnancy hormones taking over, but this made me kinda sad, and weepy, and a little angry after watching it.  I know I'm extremely blessed to have been born into a country where I got to choose my husband, had access to trained healthcare professionals all through my first pregnancy, and will have access to those same benefits with this child as well.  I got to go back to work as an option, and even got to go to college (forever ago!), with the option of dropping out (which I did).  There are so many girls worldwide that never get the chance to make any of those decisions!

Thankfully, The Girl Effect, a collaboration between people at the Nike Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, is working towards making a difference through spreading awareness and asking for donations from the general public.  Now, I sometimes get a little nervous sending money to an organization without really knowing where it's going to be spent.  So, I did a little digging on their website, and found out where those donations go.  There's two options for giving.  The first is to make a donation to the Girl Effect Fund, where the money is equally distributed between the projects listed on the site.  There's also the option to pick the project you'd like to fund, such as the Daraja Academy for Exceptional Kenyan Girls, or the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project in rural Uganda.

Overall, I love what The Girl Effect is doing, and I love getting the chance to share their story even more.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Oh, and wish me luck on pulling together a 2nd birthday party for a certain daughter of mine!  Photos will probably be posted very soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Outfit Post - Vacation

I've been looking at these pictures for a good five minutes, trying to come up with something witty to say.  Unfortunately, I believe my wit has decided to start spring break early, without even a note to tell me it left.  How rude.  Oh well, I hope it has fun, and maybe went somewhere where it can work on it's tan.  That sucker is starting to pale in comparison.

Outfit Details:
Sweater: Gap Outlet, $8
Shirt: thrifted, $3
Belt: Plato's Closet resale, $4
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Boots: gifted
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $3 (old)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Outfit Post - Getting Warmer....

I'm calling it: Winter is OVER, folks! It's March, 78 degrees and sunny, and you won't hear any complaints from me.

Oh, what do you guys think of the new background for the pictures?  I've decided to step out of my comfort zone and start taking pictures in places other than by my front door.  So, if you happen to see a crazy redhead with a tripod running around town, don't worry.  It's just me.  And I'm not actually crazy.  Well, not certifiably.

Outfit Details:
Sweater: thrifted, $1.50
Cardigan: Kohl's, $11 (clearance)
Purple tank: Wal-Mart, $4
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Shoes: Payless, $8 (old)
Necklace: JC Penney, $4 (clearance)
Funky nailpolish: unintentionally awesome

Friday, March 9, 2012

FTF - A Guest

Today's Fair Trade Friday is brought to you by a guest blogger, the lovely Jessica from monster cakes.  Enjoy!

Who they are: Falling Whistles.

What they do: Campaign for peace in Congo.

I first discovered these beautiful whistle necklaces from a friend. After learning what the whistles stood for, I knew I had to have one. I had to do something, even if it meant simply wearing the whistle and raising awareness about the war in Congo. It's a small start, but it's something.

Why a whistle? I think the Falling Whistles website explains it best...

"Captured by Nkunda's rebel army, some boys not big enough to hold a gun were given merely a whistle and put on the front lines of battle. Their sole duty was to make enough noise to scare the enemy and then to receive--with their bodies--the first round of bullets."

"Their weapon could be our voice. Wear your protest and join a growing conciliation for peace in Congo. Be a whistleblower for peace."

I wear my protest.

And every time I get to share their story and shed light on the situation in Congo, I feel my heart burn deeper for those kids. I feel a desire growing in me to do more. To be more. That's my I wear my whistle: to remind me to be the change I want to see in the world.

It wasn't planned, but this post actually ends up having great timing, in light of the KONY 2012 campaign that has garnered so much attention recently.  It's great to get a chance to hear about and support another organization that is working towards peace.  Thanks for reading, and if you get a chance, check out Jessica's blog

Monday, March 5, 2012

Outfit Post - Goodbye... Winter!  In memoriam of the passing season, a layered look.  In retrospect, I feel like this outfit really needed a lot more jewelry, but it is what it is.  Now, I'm ready for Spring!

Also, from the department of random things that make me happy, here's a picture of Penny snuggled up in the covers:

"I don't wanna get up!"
Outfit Details:
Sweater: Wet Seal, $6 (old)
Dress: Target, $15
Belt: from dress
Necklace: DIY'd from an earring without a pair
Tights: JC Penney, $5
Boots: Shoe Carnival, $15 (clearance)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Outfit Post - Spiffy

 I got a new sweater, and it's spiffy.  See?

Why, hello there!

She wanted a hug...

Not gonna lie, the jewels on the sweater almost veer into ugly Christmas sweater territory, but I think that may be why I love it so much!  That, coupled with my current unhealthy obsession with lime green items.

Outfit Details:
Blue Shirt: Gap, $5 (clearance)
Black Tank: Wal-Mart, $4
Sweater: thrifted, $2
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Shoes: Payless, $7 (so incredibly old!)
Necklace: $1 Jewelry Galore
Earrings: Hot Topic, $5

Friday, February 24, 2012

FTF - A Twofer

As you may have guessed by the title, today's Fair Trade Friday is a twofer.  And, as if that's not enough, today's organizations are very special and personal to me.  First off, I'd like to introduce you to my sister-in-law.

This beautiful little girl is Anna.  She is one of three children my in-laws have adopted from China.  Now, I know the cliche is that I'm not supposed to get along with my in-laws, but that is the farthest thing from the truth!  I can honestly say I am so blessed to be a part of my husband's family, and so happy to get to be a part of their lives.  What impresses me the most is that, after their three boys were grown and (mostly) out of the house, my parents-in-law were willing to take in three more children, all of whom had special needs.  Anna, in particular, required multiple surgeries to repair a cleft palate.  Oftentimes, the stress and medical costs associated with the medical care a child like Anna would need would interfere in whether or not a family decides to adopt a child.  Which brings me to the first organization, Love Without Boundaries.

Now, technically, Love Without Boundaries isn't fair trade.  It is a non-profit organization, founded in 2003, that is "dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China, [providing] humanitarian aid in the following areas - Education, Foster Care, Healing Homes, Medical, and Orphanage Assistance. (from their website.)"  They are doing amazing things, including the fact that they helped pay for a surgeon in China to repair my sister Anna's cleft palate before she came home. (I told you they hit a personal spot for me!)  They have a whole array of ways to get involved listed on their website, including monetary donations, sponsoring a child, or with even more in depth ways.  However, if you're hoping to actually get some shopping ideas from today's post, I'll go ahead and introduce you to the second organization on the agenda today.

Meet Sevenly.  Sevenly sells T-Shirts, with a business model that is meant to raise money and awareness for multiple organizations.  Basically, they partner with a new organization each week, 52 each year, design a really cool T-Shirt, and donate $7 from each shirt to the charity of the week.  It's all explained in this nifty flow chart on their website.  In the past, they've partnered with some amazing organizations, such as Love146,, and Autism Speaks.  This week, they're partnered up with, wait for it........... Love Without Boundaries!  They've got this amazing Tee-Shirt design available:

Seriously, how cool is this shirt!  It's also available in two other colors, AND, if there's a guy in your life, they come in a guy's style too.  And, if Tee-Shirts just aren't your thing, they also offer hoodies.

This style for Love Without Boundaries is only available for three more days, before Sevenly starts selling a new style for a new organization.  So, if you miss the time window, don't freak out!  I'm sure there will be even more organizations featured on the Sevenly site, with more amazing designs.  There's even a little box on the bottom of the site where you can enter your e-mail and get a preview of each week's shirt.  They're doing amazing things, and I hope you get a chance to check them out!

Thanks for reading today, and I hope you have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Outfit Post - Little Pops

I'm trying to keep it simple for work, but I couldn't resist some grey and yellow combination action.  I wish I had more witty and intelligent things to say about this outfit, but there just isn't anything.  I just like yellow and grey together.  Yep.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Eddie Bauer Outlet, $10
Sweater: Charlotte Russe, $8 (old)
Jeans: Plato's Closet resale, $4
Shoes: Chucks, $45
Bracelet: gifted
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $4 (old)
Scarf: Wal-Mart, $5

Monday, February 20, 2012

Outfit Post - Wonky

I don't know if you can see it, but there's a crooked board on the fence behind me.  It's kinda wonky, just like me.  And because it makes me happy, here's a close up:

Oh, and by the way, if you're planning on walking through some grass to stand by a fence and take pictures any time soon, maybe check to see if the grass is dry before walking through it with your suede boots...?

Outfit Details:
Dress: Kohl's, $10 (clearance)
LS Tee: Kohl's, $6
Tights: Target, $5
Sweater: gifted
Boots: gifted
Necklace: eBay, $7
Headband: don't recall (old)

Friday, February 17, 2012

FTF - Indigenous Designs

I found today's fair trade company through one of those Google ads that are here on the blog.  I thought it only fair that I shared them with you as well!  The company is called Indigenous Designs, and they've got some great  clothes on their website.  The company was founded in 1993, after one of the founders had encountered some of the beautiful work of artisans in South America.  He came back with an idea for a business model, and a company, with a commitment to sustainability and socially responsible actions, was created.  Their products are made with eco-friendly and organic fibers, dyed without harmful chemicals, and handmade by artisans that are paid a fair and livable wage.   And their products are gorgeous!  Take this cardigan, for example:

Belted Silk Cardigan
I know spring is on it's way, but the past week has been kinda dreary in these parts.  Dreary weather always makes me crave cozy sweaters, and this one is gorgeous!

Striped Poncho
Speaking of cozy, how comfy would this poncho be? (Rhetorical question, by the way...)  I'm in love with neutral tones lately, especially camel.  This little caplet of comfy is also available in green.

Flower Pins
How fun are these little pins? (Okay, enough with the questions!)  I love all the little colors, and I'm already making a mental list of everything in my closet I'd want to pin these on.

There's so many more products on the Indigenous Designs website, as well as more information on the backstory of the company.  Thanks for reading today!

*Total side note: did you know my niece (the photographer) has a fashion blog now?  She's got this amazing sense of style, and is just starting out in the blogging world.  I'd love it if you'd check out her site, and maybe send a little encouragement her way!*

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Outfit Post - Jeans

Today's post is brought to you by: my new job!  I got the call last night, offering me a part-time cashier position at a local children's resale shop.  I'm pretty excited, both about working again after a two year hiatus, and about the discount I'll be getting on new clothes for Lexi.  The only downfall: the dress code is a logo T-shirt, jeans, and probably sneakers (unless I can find some affordable, comfortable, AND cute flats!).  I'll be dipping into my fairly large collection of jewelry to try and lend a little personality to the outfit!  All of that aside, I'm excited to start in this new position tomorrow, it's definitely an answer to prayer.

Outfit Details:
Coat: Navy supply store, gifted
AE Sweater: thrifted, $3
Purple tank: Eddie Bauer Outlet, $6
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $5 (clearance)
Boots: Shoe Carnival, $15 (clearance)
Earrings: handmade, $5
Necklace: $1 Jewelry Galore

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Outfit Post - Red

I found something out today.  My closet has a deficit of red or pink clothing.  Normally, that wouldn't bother me, but when you want to dress up for a certain holiday (wait, was that today?), it's nice to have some selection.  Good thing I made this dress a few months ago, or I would've had to rely on my trusty red sweatpants.  No one wants to see that.

Outfit Details:
Dress: DIY, from materials on hand
Sweater: Sears, $3 (clearance)
Leggings: Target, $8
Boots: N Style, $15
Belt: my mom's closet
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $5 (old)

Monday, February 13, 2012


“ 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

I’ve been very good at being negative lately, especially towards myself.  The little dissatisfied voice manages to speak up in my head almost all the time, and for some reason, I allow myself to listen.  “You don’t write anymore, gosh, you are so lazy.  Oh, and did you really need four of those cookies last night?  I mean, you only work out once a week, so all those calories are just going to stick with you.  You keep complaining that your jeans don’t fit, why don’t you just do something about it?”  Yep, that little voice just prattles on, while I just sit back and absorb the negativity.  Then, I’m surprised when I’m cranky and dissatisfied all the time.  When I was sitting in church yesterday, the verse listed above (from Philippians 4) stuck with me.  At first reading, especially out of context, it simply sounds like a sound byte for the Power of Positive Thinking.  But it’s more than that.  It’s a call to focus your mind and thinking on God.  I think it’s about time for me to start refocusing my thoughts.  For example, instead of thinking, “Wow, you’re so lazy,” change that to, “Wow, God is an infinite source of strength and inspiration.”  Instead of, “you’ll never live up to your standards of beauty,” thinking, “God created everything beautiful.”  I am so easily distracted that it’s easy to forget where my eyes and mind need to be directed.  I’m just glad that God is faithful to give me reminders when I’m off track.

Snow Day!

It's our first official (and possibly only) snow day of the year!