Monday, July 14, 2014

Buying kleenex by the bundle.

Two days-- that's all that stands between me and Africa. 
To say I'm excited is such an understatement. 
In case you didn't know, I love almost everything about this land far, far away. 
The thought of standing on African ground and breathing African air--- it's almost more than I can handle. 

And while I won't be seeing my girl, I will be closer to her than ever before. 

Please pray for my heart on this trip, as I'm sure being close to her will be hard on me. 
Please pray for my girls and husband at home. 
And please pray for our group. 

Oh, those Noonday girls. 
I CANNOT WAIT to spend time with them. 
And did I mention my best friend is coming along this time? 
It feels like Christmas. 

It's going to be epic, and I can't wait to share it all with you just as soon as I get home. 

You can follow along with our trip on Instagram at #noondayrwanda. 

And if you'd like to read more about how this trip is a dream come true for me,
 you can find that here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Stitch Fix July: My Third Fix

This week has been busy. 
Like crazy busy. 
Like stay awake until 3:30 this morning and still not get it all done kind of busy. 
But, I'm taking a break from busy for a few minutes to share my latest Stitch Fix with you. 
It's what friends do, right? 

Not sure what Stitch Fix is? 
No problem. 
 Stitch Fix is a site that pairs you with  your own personal stylist. 
You schedule a box to come to your door, insert your style likes and dislikes, and wait patiently (or not so patiently if you're like me) for your first five items to arrive at your door. 
There is a $20 styling fee, but if you keep even one item, that $20 is applied to your total.
Don't like anything? No problem. Just send all five items back in the prepaid envelope. 
Love it all? Keep it and take 25% off of your total. 

So far, I've gotten three fixes, kept five pieces, and paid a grand total of $0.00. 
(You can see my first fix here and my second fix here). 
Yes, you read that correctly. 
My precious mama sent some Stitch Fix credit my way. 
I got my first fix, loved it, and blogged it. 
And then, you know what? 
People started signing up through my link. 
And each time someone signs up through my link, I get $25 when their first fix ships. 
The cool part? 
YOU can earn credit too!
Just sign up, schedule your first fix, and start sharing with your friends. 

So, no, Stitch Fix does not ask me to write these posts, 
nor do they pay me (although that would be fun). 
However, I do hope that my Stitch posts help you better understand the concept of a personal stylist in a box on your doorstep. 

For me, style is something I've really struggled with since having children.
I knew who I was in college. 
I had a definite style. 
And then had babies, and the college body I called my own was no more. 

I felt like I was too young to continue shopping in the places I shopped pre-baby, 
but I didn't feel old ENOUGH to shop at other places. 
Also, the size 2-4 body I was accustomed to? 
If you see it let me know because I've been looking for it since Libby was born.
 For the record, she's nine now.
 So yeah, there's that. 

For several years, I felt like I had a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. 
Can anyone relate to that? 
There were just so few things that I felt comfortable and confident in. 
Getting dressed was a challenge, and I don't know about you, but there are so many things I'd rather spend my time doing other than crying because I can't seem to get dressed without some sort of clothing drama. 
While feeling like a five foot tall toddler having a meltdown was fun and all, 
I'm so thankful that I'm FINALLY getting somewhere in the style department. 

And now, at age thirty-four, I am FINALLY finding my style. 
And Stitch Fix is seriously helping.

Let's see what they brought my way this week, shall we? 

Okay, so for this fix I told my stylist that it's hotter than the blazes here in Mississippi, 
so please nothing too hot or heavy. 
I also asked for some pants (always on the hunt for those. It's hard being short sometimes.) 
and another dress. 

And she delivered. 

The personal note in my box is one of my favorite parts of this process. 
I love hearing why my stylist picked what she picked. 

Item #1: UNDER SKIES brand Joya Floral Print Split Neck Tab Sleeve Blouse {$38}

There were several things I loved about this piece. 
Love the way it fits. 
Love the neckline. 
Love how breezy it was. 
Wasn't sure about the print and colors. 
I wanted to keep this one but just couldn't quite get past the pastel tones enough to commit to it and wasn't sure I'd really wear it. Also, I've kept a tab sleeve blouse from both of my previous fixes, and I want to save my credit for something I think I'd get a little more wear out of this Summer and in the early Fall.

Item #2: 41Hawthorn brand Anabelle 3/4 Abstract Chevron Belted Dress {$88}

Ok, so I didn't try this piece on for you...or the next two pieces. 
It was for your own benefit, trust me. 
This dress just wasn't doing anything for covering up all of my parts. 
However, I saw a picture of it on a girl who wasn't quite so....ummmmm.....full up top, and it was adorable on her. 
I like the print on this one, love the sleeve length (elbow length sleeves are my all-time favorite), and green is my favorite color. 
I just think someone at Stitch Fix underestimate the size of my......well, you know. 

Item #3: JUST BLACK brand Dean Ankle Zip Skinny Jeans {$78}

Again, I didn't try these on for you. 
They fit; it's just not pretty. 
I honestly thought these weren't going to go on, and I was even more concerned about getting them off. 
The word 'skinny' in the description-- apparently they are pretty darn serious about that. 
And the ankle zippers? 
Why must we go back there? 
Needless to say, while these were obviously very well made and soft as butter, they were a no-go for me and all of my thighs. 

Item #4: 41HAWTHORN brand Wrenn V-Neck Jersey Top {$48}

Remember that newfound style of mine I was just referring to? 
Well, 'clingy' isn't invited to that party, and neither is this shirt. 
It just did nothing for me and hugged me in all the wrong places. 
It was soft and could be a pretty versatile piece for the right girl. 
I'm just not her. 

 Item #5: COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS brand McKinley Abstract Printed Short Sleeve Blouse {$68}

Spoiler alert: I KEPT THIS TOP. 
In fact, this may be my very favorite top ever in the history of ever. 
It is literally the most comfortable thing I own. 
This top makes me want to find and excuse to get dressed and go somewhere and do something fun. 
So, while the rest of this fix may not have been rocking the free world, this top made me want to schedule my next fix ASAP. 

I'd rather get one piece I absolutely LOVE and can't wait to wear in each fix than get several pieces I like but won't want to wear very often.


While this box may not have been perfect, they were certainly on the right track, and there were definitely things I liked about each of the pieces. 
I was honest and thorough in my feedback (I think that's key), and for my next fix I focused on directing my stylist to what stores and styles I'm loving now rather than requesting certain types of clothing. We'll see if that brings about good results when my next fix arrives at the end of July. 

Wanna join in on the fun? 
I'd love to refer you. 
Simply follow this link to sign up. 
And let me know if you have any questions. 
I'll be watching the comments and will answer any questions there in case others have the same thoughts or concerns. 

And, just for the record, the photos in this post were taken in my backyard by my husband while I tried not to sweat buckets and get carried away by the mosquitoes. They may or may not have been the size of small birds. Yes, I'm serious. I felt like a buffet. The things we do for the sake of fashion. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Bunkbeds and bug spray for the win.

Next to Africa, summer camp is probably my favorite place in the whole world. 
I spent eight summers at camp growing up and then worked at camp for three summers in college. 
It's my happy place. 

I literally love everything about it-- the hiking, the swimming, the bugs, the flashlights, mail call, all of it. 
And so does Libby.

She literally looks forward to it all year. 
This is her fourth summer (we started her early), 
and I won't be surprised if she stretches it out through college. 
She gets it honestly. 

I have always loved her independence. 
She loves me. 
I love her. 
But she also loves meeting new people and having adventures and doing something this is just for her. 
This is one of my favorite things about my girl. 
I love that she's confident enough and secure enough to step out into the world
 and do her own thing for a few days. 

I hope she giggles until her sides hurt and comes home on Friday all kinds of dirty. 
Dirty means fun was had. 
And fun is always a good idea. 

Were you a camper? 
Did you love it? 
Favorite camp memories? 
Do tell. 

And did I mention that I'm leaving for Africa in seven days? 
Because I am. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

She Does Justice (#bringemilyhome)

A few things before we get started-- 

1. We have been crazy busy. I haven't been home much, and we've been going in twenty different directions. It's been nuts....and lots of fun. 
Being busy is my jam. 

2. I leave for Africa in NINE days! AHHHHH! I may or may not already be packed. Yes, I'm serious. 

3. Emily. Oh, my Emily. No, I won't be seeing her on this trip to Africa.
 I do hope that's coming soon though. 
And this post relates a little to that. 

So, it's no secret we're adopting. 
It's also no secret that adoption is all kinds of costly
And this mom-- she is tired. 

However, my work is not finished. 
We still need about $2000 to cover our court costs and then an additional $10,000 or so for travel and the final adoption costs. 
In case you're keeping track, that's a lot of pennies. 

How do we plan to raise the additional funds we'll need? 
Great question. 
However, I do know one way. 
Friends, let me introduce you to She Does Justice

In their own words: 
"She Does Justice is an advocate for those who need one. It is a space where organizations who are working for the good of others are recognized. It is a community of people who want to show love to the 'least of these'. A place where we strive to show those in need that they are known and loved.
We have made it our mission to support organizations who are working to reach those in need, near and far. It doesn't matter how big or small the organization, if we believe in its mission then we want to help support it. Each month we will spotlight an organization. At the end of the month we will write a check to that organization taken from the overall sales in our shop that month. Each month we will donate at least 10% of our gross profit to an organization to help further their mission. Check out our cause for this month on our blog!
Our shop is focused on items that work with your lifestyle. Most of our items are handmade and are made by us or other small business owners who have partnered with She Does Justice. These items are made with you in mind. I hope you love them just as much as we do! Our shop operates as a boutique in how we make and stock items. Our fabrics are special ordered so our scarves and headbands are offered in limited quantity. If you see something you like, don't hesitate to purchase it because once it sells out we may not be able to reorder the fabric. New collections will be introduced throughout the year, so check back often!"
And She Does Justice is partnering with US to help bring Emily home! 

Let's check out some of their cuteness, shall we: 

Love, love, love these products. 
The t-shirts? So soft. 
The headbands? So fun. 
The She Does Justice stretchy headbands may seriously be some of my very favorite things. 

Here are a few of the other items you'll find in the She Does Justice online store

For every item ordered through our link, a portion of that order will go towards our adoption.

Here is our link: 

Thank you in advance. 
Thank you for shopping for a cause. 
Thank for you for supporting adoption. 
Thank you for loving us and our girl. 
Thank you. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Libby: Third Grader No More

Yes, school did let out almost a month ago. 
Yes, I'm almost a month late posting this. 
It may be that I've been oober busy, 
or it may be that I've been in denial about the fact that I have an almost fourth grader living in my house 
and eating my cookies. 

Either way, third grade is officially over for the Libster. 
Here are some year-end thought from the girl who made me a mom: 

Oh, how I love this daughter of mine. 

Wanna see how much she's grown? 
Check out our first grade and second grade breakdowns. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

We've hit the Summer wall.

At this point, we're about four weeks into Summer. 
And it's happened--
we've hit the Summer wall. 

The newness has worn off. 
We're no longer waking up ready to go at 6:30 in the AM. 
We're watching too much TV because it's hotter than the sun and the mosquitoes are ready to turn us into a virtual buffet the minute we step outside. 

And this mom has had enough. 

With Dad teaching Summer school this summer, I knew this would happen. 
The kids get bored, which I hate. 
We've read just about everything there is to read at the library. 
We've played Yahtzee so many times that I'm one step away from hearing dice rolling in my dreams. 
We've water-colored 'til our little fingers look like prunes and there is no more paper to be found. 
We've played pretend and dress up. 
We're all Candy Land and puzzles and Barbie-d out. 

We've cleaned and braided and colored. 

And we still have about seven weeks to go. 


Help a mom out. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Stitch Fix June: My Second Fix

Happy happy happy day:
my second Stitch Fix has arrived!

Not sure what Stitch Fix is? 
No problem. 
 Stitch Fix is a site that pairs you with  your own personal stylist. 
You schedule a box to come to your door, insert your style likes and dislikes, and wait patiently (or not so patiently if you're like me) for your first five items to arrive at your door. 
There is a $20 styling fee, but if you keep even one item, that $20 is applied to your total.
Don't like anything? No problem. Just send all five items back in the prepaid envelope
Love it all? Keep it and take 25% off of your total. 

Okay, so when I placed my order for my first fix
I was able to leave a specific note for the whomever might be styling this one. 
I requested tops, reminded her that it's all kinds of  hot here in Mississippi, 
and asked for some Aztec or other fun prints in this fix. 

And she listened.
She also took a peek at my styling board on Pinterest. 
How do I know? 
Well, she told me. 

Each box comes with a personal note from your stylist, along with a card with some tips on how to style each piece. Love these personal touches. 

Without further adieu, let's dive on in and see what this fix brought way: 

Item #1: Pomelo brand Indianan Graphic Print Mixed Material Tee {$44}

This is one of the pieces I'd pinned on my style board on Pinterest, and I was so excited to see a version of it in my box.  This shirt is a great example of the quality of Stitch Fix pieces. 
It feels SO GOOD! 
The front is so soft, and the back is so breezy. 
This shirt is a for sure keeper. 
Welcome to my life, new shirt that I want to wear every day from now until October. 

Item #1: Mystree Malvern Embroidered Loose Peplum Knit Shirt {$28}

This shirt was also on my Pinterest board.
 LOVE the look. 
LOVE the details. 
LOVE how comfortable and soft it is.
LOVE the price (Less than $30? Yes, please.) 
Don't so much love the fact that she can see every inch of my bra. 
And if you think the front's bad, you see the back. 
Now I know what you're thinking-- it involves a cami. 
However, it's just way too hot for all of that. 
I'm gonna try this one with a cami just to satisfy my inner voice, but it's probably going back. 
*Insert sad face here.*

Item #1: 41Hawthorn brand Ivy Abstract Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse {$68}

This shirt is confirmation of the fact that Stitch Fix has my sizing and fit and style down to a tee. 
I love everything about this one--- except for the colors. 
It's just a little too busy for me,
 and I wonder about that pattern going out of style sooner than later. 
In fact, I texted a picture of this one to the bestie, and she said it looked as though the shirt was wearing me instead of me wearing the shirt. 
I have to say that I agree. 
Again, Stitch Fix didn't drop the ball; there are just things I like better than this one, 
so it's going back. 

Item #1: 41Hawthorn Colibri Arrow Print Tab-Sleeve Blouse {$48}

Love everything about this one. 
It's very lightweight. 
It's a little longer, which I love. 
It fits like a dream.
And the print is just fun. 
I love how I could wear it with colored jeans or regular jeans or black pants. 
Also love the black and white. 
Seeing as how I currently don't have anything else like this in my closet and a good bit of Stitch Fix credit left, this one is a keeper. 

Item #1: 41Hawthorn Maddison Geo Print Belted Shirt Dress {$78}

I'll be honest with you--- I was a little skeptical about this one at first. 
And while I'm not going to keep it, I do like it a whole lot more on than I did in the box. 
I tend to shy away from things that tie around the waist, as I never feel as though they are flattering. 
However, this one really isn't that bad, and I seriously debated keeping it. 
It'd be a great year round dress-- would be cute with boots, tights, flats, or wedges. 
I actually let Lee make the final call on this one, 
and we agreed that something about it just wasn't quite right on me. 
However, I wish I could keep this neckline-- love it. 

Overall Thoughts?

Again, I think Stitch Fix has nailed my sizing and overall style. 
I'm actually very impressed, because anyone who has ever shopped with me
 will tell you just how very picky I am.
 I am a girl who knows what I like and doesn't buy things I don't absolutely love. 
If you're thinking about trying Stitch Fix, I 100% say GO FOR IT! 
Nothing beats being able to try the items on in the comfort of my own home with the right shoes, accessories, etc. while no one is digging through my purse on the floor of a dressing room with bad lighting. 
I also love how, in the rare event that I need to think about it, I can sleep on it before making my final decision and know that the clothes won't be gone in the meantime. 

Wanna join in on the fun? 
I'd love to refer you. 
Simply follow this link to sign up. 
And let me know if you have any questions. 
I'll be watching the comments and will answer any questions there 
in case others have the same thoughts or concerns. 

And again, thank you, Libby for taking my pictures. 
You're the best nine-year-old photographer I know. 

And if you're loving any of the jewelry in these pics, hop on over to my Noonday Collection website and get a closer look.