Monday, August 29, 2011

Silver Dollar City, ya'll!

Next Sunday will be me and the hubby's 2 year anniversary. We decided to celebrate a week early by leaving the kiddo with the grandparents and heading to the closest amusement park to have a grand old time. In 95 degree heat. It was... mostly fun. There were the lightheaded "I think I'm dying of heatstroke, find me water now!" moments, but there were a lot more moments that qualified as 'really super fun.'

Everyone was really excited.

We scoped out the landscape and decorations, before realizing we didn't actually know our way around the park...

We rode some rides and walked up and down the streets before catching a glimpse of this place:

My root beer float didn't last very long.

We then sought out more air conditioned refuges, some of which had funhouse mirrors. Those are always fun!

Then, I stood on a rock, and we went home.

On a completely unrelated note, here's some pictures of Lexi watching TV in her jammies. Do you see how grown up she's starting to look? Someone better tell time to stop.

Outfit Details:
Bandana as headband: Walmart, $1
Shirt: Old Navy, thrifted, $7
Shorts: Walmart, $3
Belt: don't remember
Shoes: Sseko Sandals, $47
Bracelet: $1 Jewelry Store

On Lexi: my old Precious Moments nightie!

Thursday, August 25, 2011



“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.” (Ps. 40:1-3)

These verses were a portion of my reading today. You know when you read something and you know God is working? I mean, your head may have the basic knowledge that God is everywhere and in charge of everything, but then there are just those times. The times where you're struggling and God turns the pages of his word to the exact reference you needed to hear, and you have to make a quick survey of your living room to find the kleenex.

I've been struggling lately, but I don't have anything specific that I'm struggling with, which is more than a little annoying. It would be worth getting upset over financial problems, marital problems, or anything else in that vein, but when you're just simply in a bad mood and you don't know why, there's really no point in complaining. At least that's how I've been looking at it up until yesterday. Yesterday brought the breaking point, where I realized I was really struggling and I was tired of faking it. I was tired of answering "Fine! Good! Great!" when people asked how I was. I was seeing the effects of this broken world in which we reside in my day to day living, and taking it out on my family. I was a wreck, acting needy and broken, and I refused to acknowledge that fact.

I asked for prayers of encouragement in my Facebook status, explaining that the 'old nature' was getting in my way, becoming a harsh reality. I received the following comment: "Are you digging up that corpse and thinking that's who you still are? That old you is dead and buried. God already looks at you and sees Jesus." At my first reading this, I thought it seemed a little harsh. I didn't want to hear that, just a reassurance that people were praying for me and I could 'buck up, kiddo!' I didn't take the time to think about what that means until later that night. God doesn't see me, my shortcomings, my failures, my worldly triumphs. He sees the One who lived perfectly, who gave up glory to become nothing, who covers me with his love and mercy and eradicates the sin I was living in. God looks at me and sees perfection.

Someone once described the existence of sin in a redeemed person's life this way: it's like you wake up in a metal cage, where you can see the grass and sky through the bars. You see the hardness of the metal, the impenetrable force keeping you from freedom. You get so fixated on the hopelessness of this sin that you forget to turn around and see that the door is open. You have been freed already, ready to walk out and live.

After being brought to the point of brokenness, God showed me that I cannot get through this without him. Now I'm ready to walk out and live.

Photos by Sinsear Photography

Outfit Details:
Dress: Converse brand from Plato's Closet resale, $6
Shoes: Charlotte Russe, $10
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $5
On lips: NYC Lipstain in Rock On Ruby, $4

Monday, August 22, 2011


This past Saturday, my niece and I headed to some local parks to take pictures. She is amazing. My sister even told us after, "If you can see eyeballs on a woman in our family, you're an amazing photographer." If you get a chance, you should check out her Facebook page, it's worth the trip, plus there are even more pictures!

Outfit Details:
Dress: Kohl's, $19
Belt: Candie's from Plato's Closet resale, $4
Shoes: Charlotte Russe, $10
Jewelry: Borrowed from Premier Designs jeweler

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

El Centro (that's spanish for: The Centro)

Lately, I have had nothing to write about. I take that back. I have had plenty to write about, if all I was going to postulate on was fashion. I could go on for days about what I love/hate/admire/want/envy in regards to fashion, and all things fashion-related. I just got the new Marie Claire, and it's the Fall Fashion extravaganza, the magazine that comes out right before the season change that's thick enough to double as Lexi's booster seat. I'm sure if I looked hard enough, or just picked the magazine up, that I could find plenty of inspiration.

But, that's not what I want this blog to be. Yes, it involves fashion. Yes, I do go out into my apartment courtyard with a tripod and look like a crazy lady just to get pictures of myself. But, the center of my life, the 'Sun' that I orbit, is not fashion, nor clothing, nor photographs or makeup. It's God, and lately, I haven't been acting that way. It shows. I heard someone recently describe their relationship with God in the same terms as an addiction to caffeine. The day you skip your coffee, you feel it. You're cranky, tired, and completely focused on what it takes to just make it through the day. You feel incomplete.

All of that describes me over the past week. I went on a trip, got back, and skipped my daily study time. I pored over all the blogs I follow, picked up more and more style inspiration, and coveted all the things I didn't have. Then, the weekend hit, and I was (for lack of a better term) a royal b***h. I was angry at myself for not writing, angry at my husband for, well, I'm not really sure, and angry at God for not giving me outstanding insights into Himself so that I could write about them and sound super-duper spiritual and amazing. My focus had shifted, and it showed up in a very visible way. After a nice little 45-minute cry in the bathroom on Saturday, I realized that I needed to re-center my life again.

This blog is not about me. It is simply meant to be a small window into the life that God has given me, and it is impossible for me to write about my life without including Him. "So whether you eat or drink, or [blog about fashion, or] whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31)" Trying to pursue anything else would be pointless.

(yes, I did censor this photo... I just don't know you well enough to let you see the color of my foundation garments!)

Outfit Details:
Top: Eddie Bauer Outlet, $9
White Tank: Abercrombie, $10 (old)
Skirt: Wet Seal, $8 (old)
Belt: my mom's closet
Shoes: Aeropostale, $10
Necklace: Target, I think...?
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, don't recall

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We're Bach!

Ha ha, I totally made a typo in the title, but then I realized I liked it. If you were wondering how to sum up my sense of humor, that's it right there.

So, I'll keep this short, and try to let my photos do the talking. We just arrived home from a weekend in Wisconsin, where the 80 degree weather was a welcome break from the triple digits we've had here at home. I must say, other than seeing lightning bolts out the plane window as we were about to land, it was pretty uneventful. You'd think with attending a wedding and being in another quadrant of the country, there'd be tons of excitement and drama, but not so much. Just good times with family, some of which I hadn't seen in years!

First: what three hours in a carseat will do to your hair!

Next, my attempts at doing outfit shots without a tripod. A hotel headboard and some stairs do not a tripod make...

After we unpacked at the condo, we headed over to the Madison Children's Museum, where they had this adorable little vintage (inspired - note the LOVE PINK blazer intermixed there) dress-up nook. Way to encourage little ones to play with fashion, kudos to the curators on that one!

Some more shots from the museum:

As we were walking back to the car, I snapped some random pictures of downtown Madison. I gotta say, the chalk written on the sidewalk is surely some deep statement on politics, but it just made me say "Huh?" I go out of my way to avoid anything political, so I guess I've done a good job of not educating myself!

Another example of my sense of humor:

And, finally, a close-up on my earrings. The look was centered around comfort, since I would be schlepping a toddler around an airport by myself, and then traveling pretty much all day. The jewelry was relegated to these earrings, an old favorite of mine.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: Gap Outlet, $8
Undershirt: Maternity Tank, $10
Jeans: Wal-Mart, $12
Earrings: Icing by Claire's, $0.50 (old)
Shoes: Converse, $45

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


I'm a recent addition to the "Addicted to Mad Men" crowd. The series just popped up on Netflix, and since we don't have cable, that's pretty much my only way of seeing the series. A couple years late? Yes, but I don't mind in the least. A theme I've noticed so far (in the whole whopping 4 episodes I've seen), besides the fact that this show is a minefield for style inspiration, is regarding the main character, Don Draper. His public persona exudes the type of confidence that most people would kill to have. He is enigmatic, exciting, successful, and sexy. He never shows to the outside world the truth: he is broken. His life is built on appearance, while his destructive behaviors and habits threaten to pull his life apart. His relationship with his wife and family is strained, he has no real connections to other people, and he gives off a slight hint of self-loathing.

I wish I could say that Don and I have nothing in common. I want to tell you that my life is always wonderful, that my husband and I don't ever disagree, that my faith in God is never shaken, and that I am confident of the new creation that he has transformed me into. But honestly, most days that is not the case. Usually, the days I seem the most put together, when I have my red lipstick on or my eyeliner perfectly smudged are the days that I'm specifically putting together the appearance that everything is OK. I don't want to answer the question, "Is everything OK?" because then I'd have to explain why the answer is no. So, I stand in front of my closet, pick and choose the exact pieces that camouflage my flaws and hide my weaknesses, pore over my embarrassingly large collection of eyeshadows until I find the right shade, and pick through my selection of shoes until I have found the outfit that displays exactly what I want it to display.

I don't want to turn this post into a chance to complain about my life. I am extremely blessed with what God has given me, and it is pure selfishness that makes me want to disobey the command to "rejoice in the LORD, always." I just want to be honest. My life is not perfect. My daughter is not always clothed in matching outfits, or sometimes at all. My relationship with God is nowhere near where I want it to be. Most of my decisions tend to be fueled by the little ball of insecurity that makes up all that is Grace.

That being said, God is good. The sins I regret and the ones I still struggle with have been taken care of! My insecurities can in no way measure up to the beautiful vision that God sees when He looks at me. I am loved, cherished, cared for, and forgiven. I was counted as worthy to "participate in the Divine nature," and there can be no more amazing statement than that. I am a masterpiece in progress, as is every single one of His children.

Outfit Details:
Shirt: American Eagle from Plato's Closet, $6
Shorts: Gap, thrifted, $8
Shoes: Payless, $8 (old)
Scarf: Wal-Mart, $5 (old)
Earrings: Wal-Mart, $2
Necklace: Dollar Jewelry Store, $1

*On a lighter note, tomorrow Lexi and I are getting on a plane to Chicago! We're headed to my cousin's wedding in Madison, WI, which should be a lot of fun. Any tips for flying solo with a toddler would be greatly appreciated!*

Monday, August 1, 2011

I am never eating microwave popcorn AGAIN!

I have literally been sick for a week. I finally got over it yesterday, and managed to eat a normal meal, and it was awesome! My brother-in-law's brother and family were in town, so we ate at my sister's house, and it was a feast! Grilled Chicken, Veggie and Pineapple Kabobs, an Asian Inspired Salad, and Fried Rice, all with your choice of Peach Pound cake or Bumbleberry pie for dessert to top it off. Did I mention my sister is a phenomenal cook? Needless to say, it was amazing.

I was reminded today of a comment from church yesterday about how to talk with God when you pray. Essentially what was said was that, while God deserves our respect and awe, we can still approach Him as we would a friend, which can make praying "at all times, without ceasing" a lot easier. For example, I just got off the phone with my best friend, Tessa. When I called her, I didn't start "Oh, great and mighty Tessa, creator of all that is fun, I am here to bring my requests before you. Please grant me your constant friendship, if it so be your will. In Tessa's name, Amen." That would be a little ridiculous, dontcha think? (The answer is yeah, just a bit!) While corporate prayers tend to be more formal, since they're in a church setting, sometimes you have to just come to God and talk. "Hey, God, I miss you! We haven't talked for a while, and I know you already know what's going on with me, but I really just need to tell you about it. Life is stressful right now and I need you. Help me connect with you more." At this point, generally I'd be interrupted by a needy (but adorable) toddler, but that's the best part! I get to carry on an ongoing conversation with the Creator, and that makes me blessed beyond measure.

Anyways, here's what I wore yesterday:

(I think the hubs is a little jealous of my new tripod!)

Please excuse the ridiculousness of my pose here. It's too hot to even think about going outside, so I had to get creative in our little apartment! Gotta love central A/C!

Outfit Details:
Tanks: Gap Outlet, $6 each
Skirt: Gap Outlet, $11
Shoes: too old to remember, or read the brand!
Belt: my mom's closet
Earrings and Necklace: $1 each, Dollar Jewelry Store