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I can’t believe it’s already Thursday, another week has almost come and gone. Lately I have really been struggling to get everything done that’s on my “to do” list. I feel like my list is never ending. I’m wondering do I want to do too much or am I just not using my time wisely and can actually get it done if I just buckle up and focus.

I started a new Bible Study last week and the group was asked to label their current feelings with emoji faces. There was a mix of emoji’s in the group but there was one that kept coming up. It was the closest I found to overwhelmed! So many of the women said how they have so much to do and have a hard time getting it all done. As the week has gone on I’ve thought so much about it this. It was good to know I’m not alone but then sad to know that other people feel defeated by their lists too.

Is this just the forever woman/mom struggle having too much on our plates? I wonder is it me or society putting the pressure on me to do it all, I guess it’s probably a mix. I did a study once The Life Ready Woman by Shante Feldhahn where she talks about how women are expected to be able to do it all. You have to be the perfect homemaker while working outside the home, be the perfect mom, wife, baker, cook and whatever else. She simply stated that there is no way to be it all and do it all and we shouldn’t have to. Here is a little info on the study.

“Thankfully, God has given us exactly that timeless, unchanging guidance for how to find peace, clarity, and God’s best for our lives once we know where to look! The Life Ready Woman: Thriving in a Do-It-All World, reveals a profound biblical roadmap for how each of us can find the abundant life we are longing for, rather than the stressful, torn, how-do-I-balance-it-all life we often feel like we are trying to keep up with today. Actually being a LifeReady Woman means that you are clear about your life, bold in your faith, and able to find God’s best for you, and the end result will be that you not only survive but thrive in our do-it-all world.”

Doesn’t that sound great?! I think I need this study again. It’s funny because when I went through this a couple years ago my life looked very different. I lived in a different city a different house had no kids. I remember thinking what good advice and great practical principals. I wonder why more women don’t practice this and understand they don’t have to do it all. Fast forward a couple years and insert a big laugh and eye roll for my naivety. My prayer and plan is to slow down not focus so much on my list and “BE” ok with:

Not having a perfectly clean house

Not showering everyday (keeping it real)

Taking a nap without having guilt

Not bringing in a regular paycheck

Serving fish sticks and mac n cheese for dinner (sometimes)

Taking a day or more to reply back to texts and emails.

Not being able to do it all!!

I know there’s more but that’s all I could think of for now. Is there anyone out there feeling the same way? I would love to hear from you.

Happy Monday! I don’t know about you but I am a podcast lover. I am so encouraged and motivated by them. I thought it would be fun to share my favorites with you.

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There’s something so special about the very first Podcast I ever listened to, Revive Our Hearts. I was told about this ministry from a dear friend. They have some really great 30 day challenges that I have done, I really recommend them!

1. Revive Our Hearts  The love and knowledge that Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth shares about the Lord with these podcasts have helped carry me through some of the most difficult moments in my life. Seriously you will walk away feeling enriched and stronger in your faith.

2. Your Move with Andy Stanley  I can’t really put into words how great Andy Stanley is. Just go listen!! He is wonderful!

3. Parenting Great Kids with Dr. Meg Meeker You will love her! Go download now. Matt’s currently reading her book Strong Fathers Strong Daughters. He’s having a lot of Aha moments.

4.  Dr Laura She’s so many things 🙂 where do I start! She’s bold, moral, honest (some say rude), funny and tells it like it is. We all need a little Dr Laura in our lives. P.S I met Dr. Laura at a book signing for The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands years ago it was pretty cool!

5. Focus On The Family These next two are constant and classic. Their titles pretty much explain it all. They are all about Christian family values, marriage, parenting and personal growth.

6. Family Life Today You may have heard of The family life marriage conferences. Matt and I went years ago to one in Monterrey. This is such a cool ministry. They have a great app too.

7. Joyce Meyer  is a powerhouse. She is amazing and full of faith, knowledge and wisdom. You will feel challenged and convicted to be who God calls you to be after listening to her.

8. Dave Ramsey  I usually catch Dave on the radio but sometimes I’ll download his podcast if it’s been awhile since I’ve heard him on the radio.

9. Christy Wrights Business Boutique I just recently started listening to Christy Wright’s podcast. I heard her on Dave’s show and loved everything she had to say. She always has a guest on each podcast, which I love. It’s such practical advice.

10. New Life Live This is another show that I usually catch while I’m in the car. They are a group of Christian Counselors that answer callers questions. It is so, so good but beware it is usually for mature audiences.

There you have it some of my favorite podcasts. I have a few in my library that I want to get to but just haven’t yet.

Craig Groeschel Life Church.tv 

Marvelous Moms 

Do you have any podcasts you love and want to share? I am always looking to add to my list!

Have a great week 🙂

 This last weekend we had our annual women’s retreat this year the theme was “Rise Up” based on the Ezra 10:4. The color palette was purple, gold and grey. I have always wanted to make paper flowers and this seemed like the perfect time to go for it. I headed to Pinterest to see if I could find a template. It didn’t take long for me to realize no one is really sharing those templates for free so I found this awesome shop Avanti Morocha DIYs on Etsy and bought her templates, her logo is “Craftiness is Happiness” isn’t that cute?! For $40.00 I got templates of 5 different flowers with 3 sizes in each flower. She has the best video tutorials that made the flowers so easy to make.

First of all look at the car! This is the most packed we have ever had it. I’m so thankful for my sis in law Cori, she is the best helper, she can cut some amazing leaves and can pack a car like a boss 🙂

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I have dozens of fence boards so that is what I used to hang the flowers. My brother in law set up kickstands in the back so the boards stood up perfectly. And last but not least the Rise Up sign. Isn’t it beautiful?! Lets just take a moment to look at it…sigh. My amazing husband cut that out of sign foam on his CNC Router for me. He nailed in on the font too. I spray painted it gold and voila.

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I really wanted to incorporate lanterns into the room and Ikea had the perfect lanterns at the perfect price.

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The three large flowers are hung with a command hook but the rest I used a glue gun. The command hooks and velcro were not working.

Here was the view from our meeting room, just stunning!

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I was so excited to show you the backdrop. Here is the rest of the decor.

The entrance

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The bathroom always gets some love!

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The food table had a large frame with paper flowers and a “Be Brave” sign I found on Pick Your Plum. I used the same lanterns as the front. I tried to mirror the front and back of the room. I feel like that just makes everything flow so nicely.

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Table centerpieces were pretty basic. Wood slices, burlap and masons with purple and white flowers.

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Everyone had this printable waiting at their seat!

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Some fun little accents through out the room.

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We have have offered these encouragement boards for the last several years and the ladies love them. They are organized by condo. Everyone gets an envelope and slips of paper. The hope is that each woman gets her envelope filled up with encouragement and lots of love!

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During our free time on Friday a few of us went on a hike. Here is Emerald Bay behind us. We stumbled upon this gorgeous hike and found a little treasure called Eagle Lake. I got a new lens for my camera so I was really feeling the photographer in me 🙂

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Hey Everyone, Happy Monday! I hope you all enjoyed the first Q & A with my Stylist Sis in Law Kate. How many of you went out and got a storage bin for under your bed? It seriously is the best way to organize your seasonal clothes.

The rest of these questions are geared towards specific styles and it will really help if you know your body type. Here is a great quiz I found that will help you figure out what your body type is Shop Your Shape. If you haven’t done this I really recommend it. It is so liberating to know what shape you are and then own it! Seriously shopping will be so much better because you know what flatters you. Fyi I am a pear 🙂

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Q: What are your top 5 practical wardrobe essentials for everyday wear.
A: For the fall:
-black skinnies
-flat ankle boots (blk brown or grey)
-over-sized v-neck tee-shirt (white blk or grey)
-a leather (or textured) jacket (any color you want!)
-a short necklace, simple cuff, with a statement ring
Go Buy Now!
Q: How do you wear a light jean men’s dress shirt?
A: I like to call this a chambray shirt! and I try to wear it differently every time
For the fall, my favorite way to wear it is open, over a loose tank, with skinny jeans and flat ankle boots. It can also be more feminine paired with a fall floral, or more 70’s tucked into something high waisted.
Q: What’s the best way to wear a long vest?
A: It depends on your body type! If you’re petite, pair it with heels (heeled booties preferably). You don’t want it to overwhelm you, you want it to elongate you. If you’re an hourglass, don’t be afraid to belt it; if you’re a pear, wear it sleeveless in the transition months so we can obsess over your great arms and shoulders, and if you’re a rectangle, you can wear it however you want because its perfect for you (but skinnies and flat boots would be perfect)
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Q: What are some flattering outfits for hippier girls?
A: I call the “hippier” girls a pear. Lauren Conrad is a great example of a true pear shape. Pears should always show their waist. Belts are your best friend; Don’t be afraid of high waisted bottoms as long as you put them with heels.
must haves: A-line Dresses, flare denim, strong shoulder blazers, flowy maxi dresses and skirts, nude heels to elongate your legs, heeled ankle boots that fit loosely around the ankle.
Avoid: shirt dresses, excess material from hips, fitted tops hitting at hips and boxy cuts that do not accent your waist.
Q: What jean recommendations do you have for women with curves that are still stylish?
A: Best brands I’ve found that fit well (this list also goes in order from low to high price points):
Kut from the Kloth
Blnck NYC
Cheap Monday
J Brand
Mother Denim
I hope you all enjoyed this interview! Thank you so much Kate for taking the time and sharing your secrets with us.

Ever since I was a little girl I loved to shop including but not limited to clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry oh and makeup, I knew I almost forgot something. Even though I feel like I have a good handle on my personal style and how to shop for my body type when I need help or have questions with styling I turn to my sis in law Kate. She has been in the fashion industry for over 10 years and let me tell you she knows her stuff.

First of she will make you feel like a million dollars just being around her. Her authenticity and love for life shines bright. And she will also leave you wondering how you can dress as good as she does.  Her style is unlike any other. I thought it would be fun to get her take on some common style questions. I enlisted some of my friends and asked them what their style questions were? So here we go, hope you enjoy!

Q: How often should you clean out your closet and get rid of things? 

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A: I give my closet a good detox twice a year. Spring in March and Fall in September.

 In September, when its time for my “fall detox” I take everything out of my closet that is truly spring (meaning I know I would not wear it in the months of Sept-Feb. These items are true tank tops, light weight dresses, bright florals, light colors etc) they are removed and placed on my bed. I go through every piece and if I either haven’t worn it in the last 6 months, or it looks “worn and dirty” it goes in the donate (or selling) pile. Any spring pieces that received a lot of use, and I know I will wear again next spring, I keep… but they don’t go back in my closet just yet.

The secret to seasonal success: I keep a big long tub under my bed of my “seasonal” clothes; so come September I bust it out and it reveals all my “fall” items I’ve kept hidden away for the last 6 months. Its fun to bring them out because it feels like a new round of shopping as I pull some of my favorite pieces. The other benefit of not seeing these items for the last 6 months (besides having more space in your closet) is you pull out some pieces that you know its time to get rid of (i.e. I don’t even like that, that is SO last year I would never wear that now). I also create a donate/sell pile for these unwanted fall items as well.

 The styles I want to keep find a new home in my closet, and my seasonal spring pieces that need a rest go into the tub, out of sight under my bed until next spring when I do it all again. Its something that takes a few hours, so plan it on a day either with your best friend (who can be moral support) or pour lots of coffee with your favorite tunes and zero distractions and get it done (hire a baby sitter or ask someone to watch your kids and treat yourself!) you will feel clean, organized and accomplish: like you went on a shopping trip, yet you didn’t spend a penny on new clothes.
Q: How do you decide what to get rid of? (I like to horde) 
A: If I haven’t worn it in 6 months, its OUT and I will sell it or give it to a friend. if it doesn’t fit me correctly (and alterations can’t do anything about it) or if it looks worn I donate it.

 Q:  Whats hot for winter?

A: For fall, the 70’s still guide us. But there’s so many variations! its not about looking like a flower child, its more about channeling the textures and colors of the 70’s. Think suede, camel, earthy tones. The best way to incorporate this trend is maybe getting a faux suede handbag, or a suede pair of boots. Switch out your bright florals for earth tone color blocking.
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How much did you love that? First of all that picture of the coats are all Kate’s!! Are you all drooling, like I am? I hope you enjoyed Secrets from a Stylist: Stay tuned for Part Two next week!