Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post-Christmas Confessions

It has been a few days since my last post. I promised myself I would slow down and I did. The spending freeze is going well, and my DIY gifts were loved by all. I have one more gift to deliver, and after that I will be able to post pictures to give you ideas for next year!

Confession: I haven't spent on myself, but I have wanted to. I almost returned a gift to get a credit at Marshalls' just so that I could shop. But I didn't. The thought of shopping sounded great.....but I knew I would regret returning the gift. While I am in confession mode, I have another. I hired my cleaning team back. I just couldn't do it. The kids, work, schedules, all left me exhausted and no time to clean. The pressure was killing me. I think I should have started out with baby steps instead of cutting everything out at once. I am cutting myself some slack on this one.

On a more positive note, I didn't question returning the gifts I am wearing in this photo. A scarf and earrings from my 4 and 5 year olds. They did mommy proud! I hope your Christmas was wonderful and you are well on your way to a happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Party Time

I love a party! Especially with my kiddos. I sure do miss this with the older ones. Tomorrow I will be partying down with my Kindergartener.

This has been a busy house this month, has yours? My 11-year-old said in tears on the way to dance, "Mom, we are always rushing around." WOW! That hit me. She is right, and it makes me sad. I love to do for others, volunteer, bake, decorate, wrap, visit, attend parties, etc. But I don't slow down. 

So I ask the question, what are we missing in our holiday hurry? 

Peace, love, joy? Isn't that what Christmas is about anyway? 

So I am going to stop rushing, and plan for peace. I will quit wrapping and start loving. I will slow down, and start experiencing real joy! Speaking of joy, the gift list continues below. :) 

1000 Gifts
61. Tiny fingerprint smudges on clean glass
62. Pot luck brunches
63. Air conditioning
64. Toddler questions
65. Bedtime
66. When littles sneak in my bed at sunrise
67. The smell of freshly washed hair on little heads
68. Little voices singing
69. Snoring little boy
70. A Kindergartner's journal
71. Christmas gifts made by little hands
72. Haircuts
73. Coloring
74. Being read to
75. Christmas cards displayed

Monday, December 17, 2012

New Dress!

Dress C/O eShakti, Shoes: Nine West, Clutch: Victoria's Secret 

I was so excited to finally wear my new dress! What better treat on a shopping fast than to receive a gift like this? You will definitely want to check out eShakti, the selection is incredible and the quality is great. They even provide custom sizing for a perfect fit. Connect with them on Facebook here too!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Awesome and Awkward Thursday

I haven't participated in Awesome and Awkward in quite a while, so I thought I would bring it back due to the amount of good content I have to share.

1. We have almost raised enough money to build a well for an ENTIRE village through The 12X12 Project! Seriously, like less than $900 away from our $5000 goal!
2. My little boy performed in his second Christmas concert this morning.
3. My husband finally returns from a business trip today, thank goodness I need a BREAK!
4. Work is going REALLY well and I have a huge announcement to make come January.
5. The pantone color of 2013 is emerald!! WOO HOO!

1. My hair is growing out, and I have a mullet. Can't wait for my trim tomorrow, she better work some magic.
2. A little old lady had to ask me if I needed help getting up, as she saw me struggling coming up from the bottom shelf at Hobby Lobby. Darn you jump squats!!!!! #totesawk!
3. I only put mascara on one eye yesterday.
4. Neighbors staring at me while I take pictures of myself in front of my house.
5. My three year old told his teacher that my husband and I drink lots of beer. What???? Ha.
6. My legs resemble Big Bird in these tights.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Day Late

I am a day late. As in I wore this yesterday. I was so swamped that I never had time to post. The good news is I am an outfit ahead now. This week is a busy one for me, speaking of....I need to head out the door now to start my car line pick ups. Hope your week is going well!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Casual Friday

Blazer: Victoria's Secret Catalog, Top: Cheesy NY Tourist Shop, Jeans: 7 For All Mankind
Bag: Coach, Flops: J. Crew, Sunnies: Tom Ford,

Today was just that, casual. After being stuck in the house nearly all week with sick kiddos, I took myself for a treat. My first mani/pedi in about 2 months. It was delighful. I didn't get to my office until 1pm, and I am just fine with that. As for the outfit, putting a blazer with anything makes it work appropriate in my opinion. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

An Hour and a Half Without Water

Top: Lucky Brand, Skirt: Kensie (Thrifted), Booties: Seychelles, Bag: Kate Spade
Sunnies: Marc Jacobs, Belt: J. Crew, Accessories: Target

Last night our water was out for an hour and a half. It was a great reminder of why I am committed to the cause of clean water, and raising money to build a well this month. I can't believe how many times I walked to the kitchen sink to turn on the faucet, remembering only then that the water was out. It must have been 10 times, no kidding.

This morning water was barely trickling out of the shower head, and instead of getting frustrated, I thanked God. I thanked Him for a hot shower, I thanked him for clean dishes, for laundry, and for quenching my thirst. I prayed for our well, and for the people in India that it will bless. It was awesome!

What perfect timing to be reminded of how blessed I am, and how important this cause is! My tiny little hour and a half without water was NOTHING compared to those who go without it daily.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The Shopping Party

My outfit for church on Sunday!

Courtney and I at Nordstrom's Christmas party
A shopping party at Nordstrom....? Oh no, the ultimate in temptation right?

How could a girl on a shopping fast even consider it? 

For the past two years, my friend Courtney and I have made it a tradition. After waiting in a line wrapped around the building, we are greeted by a number of waiters with hors d'oeuvres and sweet treats. The store is beautifully decorated and a DJ is spinning away. We oooh and ahhh over the displays, and have fun playing dress up.

In the past, I have bought at least a few items for myself, and even stalked out gift ideas to email my hubs. But this year was different. I thought I would feel more of a pull to purchase, but I didn't. As fun as it was to be among the hustle and bustle, I didn't get the urge to indulge as I have in the past. I really enjoyed looking at the clothes, shoes, bags and other accessories. I made mental notes for working the items in my closet. I didn't leave depressed or deflated that I couldn't "shop till I dropped." I felt good, leaving with only two small bags in hand.

Instead of trying on a new dress or shoes,  I found equal satisfaction in refilling two necessities: my favorite lipgloss and eyeshadow. I do love how shopping restraint has made me appreciate the little things so much more. I even found a few gifts for the kids on clearance...score!

I have been delighted to see how far my money has gone this Christmas. This is the first year that we have actually set a budget. I was so scared that a slim Christmas would be such a let down for the kids and for myself. But, I am truly evaluating quality over quantity...and realizing it is time to stop the pattern of overindulging on Christmas. I am even selling my homemade soaps, Classy Sudz, with 100% of the proceeds going to clean water for the 12X12 Project!

It is fun to see gifts piled high and overflowing stockings, but this year the only thing I want to overflow is my heart. We already have so much. I loved this post by Jones Design Company, Four Gifts for Christmas. What a great way to size things down. So I realized, a spending freeze doesn't mean I have to give up the fun of holiday shopping parties, they just become window shopping/fashion inspiration parties for me, and I am just fine with that!

#1000 Gifts
52. Holiday parties
53. Window shopping
54. Closet inspiration
55. Long talks with friends
56. Music that makes you dance
57. Sweet treats
58. A friend that shares the same shoe size :)
59. Makeup
60. Christmas decor

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Great Day!

Dress, bag, and shoes: Thrifted

Dress c/o eShakti
Today was a good day. Really good. It started off with a press conference, then a meeting with a new client, followed by an impromptu lunch with one of my favorite friends, Casey Wohl. She just so happens to be the Getaway Girl so you should be following her. She has an amazing 12 Days 'til Christmas promotion going on during the month of December and you will definitely want to enter to win!

When I came home, I found a box at my doorstep with this beautiful dress in it! You will have to forgive my excitement, but this is only my second gift to the blog, so I am still a bit in awe. I can't wait to wear it, in the meantime check out eShakti. I was really impressed with the selection, it was so hard to choose a sample. I went with this dress because I felt it would get the most use.

What a blessing, especially during a time when I have been struggling. It was divine encouragement from above I am sure. I was chatting with a close friend, who just happens to be a therapist, and she said, "There is pain in growth, there is no growth without pain." Those words encouraged me more than the dress on my doorstep.

1000 Gifts
45. Good days
46. Dresses
47. Books
48. Girlfriends
49. New recipies
50. A quite house
51. Watching babies sleep

Monday, November 26, 2012


Today I not only wore a vest, but I invested. I invested in people, meeting with Polk Works to see how we can partner to help them with their clothing closet through our runway show next September. Getting dressed for work is as easy as walking to my closet. But many of the people going through the programs at Polk Works don't even own one work appropriate outfit. Perspective gained, and I thanked God. Even when my tripod and I awkwardly almost got run over in this alley. Blogger problems, ha!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Message

Dress: Tibi, Clutch: Nine West, Beads: Vintage, Booties: Tahari

I needed to hear our pastor's message today. It is so refreshing to witness him stand in front of the church and admit their struggles as a family. You see, he had some disruption in his home during this week of Thanksgiving and felt that many others probably did too. Boy was he right on target, so much so that he must have had a bug in my home.

We talked about James 4:1-10, what causes fights and quarrels. Ultimately they come from our desires that battle within us. When we don't get what we want then we quarrel and fight. When we ask for things we don't receive them because we are asking with wrong motives, that we may spend for our pleasures.

I guess it is time for truth, that's what this journey is about right? 

Ever since the first of November I have been struggling. I thought that because I had agreed to submit, things would be far better and I would be more joyful. They haven't been, and I have not been. Life has been harder. I now know it is because I have had to let go of some things, and I haven't had the right attitude about it. Some of these things brought joy, and to give them up stripped me of my mini escapes from everyday life, hurts, etc. I suppose I thought God would magically make me grateful, but instead I have been bitter because I am on a tight budget. I can't run through Starbucks, go on fancy date nights, head out on impromptu weekend trips, get my nails done, blow through Marshalls' clearance rack, or get a massage. I am embarrassed about the brat I have become, but I am just being real.

Our pastor talked about sources of pain in our homes, and wouldn't you know number one on the list was selfish desires. I think my selfishness during submitting has given satan an open door to attack. He knows that I am on a mission, and I have allowed him to get in my head, and bring up old hurts and insecurities. I have taken it out on my husband, and my family. For that I am sorry.

Sometimes I feel like I should hold back on the blog, but then I remind myself that I would be lying if I pretended it was all candy canes and gumdrops and I didn't have one ounce of temptation or struggle. So there you go, and now you know how to be praying for me. Here's to a better week ahead! :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Garnet & Gold

I don't do game day T-shirts, dresses, etc. I am someone who rarely watches the game, but just attends for socializing and football food. I am trying to like football though. Truth: I have the game on right now and my husband is not even home, (he went to the game.) So in his honor, I wore garnet & gold my way to support him and his favorite team, FSU.

P.S. a funny story, he washed this scarf, and shrunk it. Sick at the thought of throwing it away, I ironed it out and it is the perfect length to throw around my neck. He will be glad he is out of the dog house, and I am glad I found a way to save the scarf!

1000 Gifts (The list continues!)
36. Baking
37. Fireplaces burning
38. Cool morning runs
39. Repurposing
40. Saturday Morning Pancakes
41. Clean Sheets
42. My children's artwork
43. Story telling
44. Hot tea
45. God's grace
46. Leftovers
47. Hands that craft
48. Candle light
49. Family time
50. A night without plans

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We Floridians totally underestimate the power of tights. During the cooler months they allow us to wear things like shorts, skirts, and dresses. You can add color, interest, and warmth all by throwing on a pair of tights. What really excites me is that by adding in tights, my winter wardrobe doubles instantly! Score!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Trisha Treat Bag

Top: matty m., Vest: Daisy Fuentes (a gift), Jeans: Citizens of Humanity
Booties: Tahari, Bag: Michael Kors, Belt: Banana Republic

Bracelet: The Hunger Site
My friends are amazing! It is only month two of my spending freeze and this vest is the second clothing gift I have received. When my sweet friend Trisha cleans out her daughter's and her own closet, she always brings me fun bags of goodies. I LOVE my Trisha treat bags! My daughter is the lucky recipient of beautiful dresses, shoes and more. Trish always throws in a couple of items for me too. This particular bag was an extra special blessing as it had jackets in it that worked for BOTH of my toddlers. They have way outgrown theirs from last year. Pretty convenient when you are on a spending freeze,  God is so good! I have so much to be thankful for! 

1000 Gifts
25. Warm clothes
26. Watching impromptu baptisms
27. Volunteering with friends
28. Naps
29. Refrigerators running
30. New clients
31. Back porch picnics
32. Recipes
33. Crayons
34. Puzzles
35. My stocked pantry

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tea Time

Meet my new favorite tea. Kusmi Tea is absolutely wonderful and chocolat et orange is my fav. I was introduced to Kusmi in last month's Birchbox. In love.

As for the new budget, and my shopfast....I am doing better, my attitude is continuing to improve with only occasional set backs. I am really excited to share my DIY gifts, but at the same time I see so many things I would love to purchase for family and friends. I have always loved shopping during the holiday season, finding the perfect gifts for the ones that I love.

I am excited though, to see how my Christmas will be enhanced without the stresses of holiday shopping. Who knows, this simple Christmas may just be the best ever.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So Excited!

I am so excited! First, I finally have a plan in place to hold an inspirational runway show right here in my home town! It will be held in September of 2013, and my company is partnering with the Polk Theatre to make this happen. I will have more to share on this soon, so hang tight.

Second, the amazing article that Gary White with The Ledger published for The 12X12 Project!

Third, this skirt that I found several months back at Goodwill, with tags! Believe it or not, out of all shopping, I miss thrifting the most. But I have been very good, and I am learning the fun of experimenting with the many items in my closet. God really has been showing me how much I have to work with and how much I have to be thankful for. So, my list continues below, in no particular order:

1000 Gifts
17. Juicy grapefruit
18. Fresh air
19. Homemade soup simmering
20. The smell of bread baking
21. Babies being born
22. Dancing with my husband while cleaning
23. Running with a friend
24. Hand me downs

Friday, November 09, 2012

Not the Outfit in my Head

Necklace: Stella & Dot, Skirt: Gap, Boots: Sam Edelman, Bag: Kate Spade

Have you ever thought up an outfit in your head, tried it on, and it was nothing like you had imagined? That happened to me this morning. The top I wanted to wear was NOT working with this silver skirt, it looked so much better put together in my head. So in a last minute panic, this statement necklace saved the day and this sad long sleeved tee!

My attitude has been improving slowly, and I even did a little cleaning yesterday for the first time in about eight years! Things have really been put into perspective, and I have been praying hard to focus on the good. So excited about the weekend time to relax with the family! Right now I am being called to a tea party in the living room, let the good times roll! :)

1000 Gifts
11. Hot coffee
12. Warm slippers
13. Eskimo kisses
14. Things that sparkle
15. Living room tea parties
16. Friday afternoons

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Accepting Change

Since completing the October Dress Project, I have have really neglected the blog. I will be honest, my attitude has been a little sour too. Cutting back requires not only sacrifice, but more work on my end... and that has left me feeling a bit deflated. I have to say over the past couple of weeks the enemy has really been working me over. I am sure it is because he knows I have committed to the 12X12 Project.

Talking about giving up little things in my life didn't seem like a big deal, but then doing it with a cheerful heart has been harder than I imagined. Here are a list of things that I have decided to cut out in effort to be more responsible with our money.

1. My housekeeper-(REALLY struggling with this one!)
2. Sea World/Busch Gardens/Aquatica Passes-(This is going to be REALLY hard the next time the kids ask to go.)
3. Bi-weekly pedicures (I'm okay with this, but it really is not the same doing it myself.)
4. Eating out/ordering takeout during the week (Totally crappy when I have planned poorly.)
5. Looking to downsize from my SUV for a lesser payment and better gas milage. (Really will miss the size of my vehicle.)

I KNOW how selfish this sounds, as those I long to help have SO much less, but this is my journey. So I am just being honest and tracking my feelings. Right now it's not the shopping at ALL that is getting me. It is giving up the luxuries that I took for granted daily. I know that God is going to teach me so much through this, so my goal is to focus on being grateful for what I have....instead of the luxuries I am giving up!

1000 Gifts
6. Hands that clean
7. Our awesome parks
8. Family foot rubs
9. Home cooked meals
10. Transportation