What I Wore

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Wednesday means sharing what I wore for the week, so let’s just dive right in!

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I haven’t had the best of luck with ankle boots in the past, but this pair – the Nikita boots – from Noelle Mae Boutique has converted me into an ankle boot lover. I wore them all day, all over the place last week and they were so comfortable! The fringe is a fun detail, but not too over-the-top for me, and the color is perfection. Y’all need these in your fall wardrobe. And get 10% off your first order of $25 or more from NMB by shopping through this link!

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I really wish this necklace was still available because it is one of my favorites! The colors are so fun. And milkmaid braids have become my favorite for hot days. While I love the braids, I’m hoping the really hot days are gone for a LONG TIME.

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When school started, I lost my nine-year-old photographer during the day. What am I going to do?! This was my attempt with a remote and my iPhone, but I will not be sticking with this plan! Let’s discuss more items I love from Noelle Mae Boutique: I basically live the Boyfriend Distressed II Kan Cans. The accent ruffle tank is sold out, but I think every woman needs a neutral, feminine top like this to layer with for the fall! I will be wearing it with all my Evy’s Tree hoodies this year! Jaime at NMB has lots of fun tops that can be used for this in the shop!

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I’m calling this my “all the basics” outfit for the week! You really can’t go wrong with a chambray shirt, khaki bottoms, and great loafers or boat shoes. And a top knot, of course. The shirt is from Target last year, the shorts are so old I can’t remember where they are from, and my boat shoes are classic Sperrys. When your whole outfit is basic, you can add a great bag like this Brynnda from Better Life Bags for a little pizazz! I feel like this is the kind of outfit that will always be in style.IMG_9811

One last thing: Somebody asked the other day about favorite basic t-shirts, so I thought I would share my answer here, too! I LOVE the Everlane u-neck cotton tees! They feel heavenly AND they are ethically made! I’m usually between an XS and S for tops. In the u-neck tee, I wear an XS. I also like their v-neck, in which I wear a small! I put a side-by-side comparison above for your reference! If you’re looking for any kind of basic – tee, tank, shirt, dress, bag, shoe – Everlane is the place to look!

Do you have favorite go-to places for certain wardrobe pieces? Please share your faves in the comments!

Head on over to The Pleated Poppy for more great What I Wore Wednesday posts!

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First Day of School 2015!

We did it! We made it through the first day of school outside of our home!

First Day of School 2015 3 Boys

If you ask the boys how it went, you will hear the same thing from both of them: AWESOME.

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Getting ready in the morning went pretty well. Actually getting to school was a little hairy since I had no idea what traffic would be like! They were at school on time (barely), but we left earlier and took a different route this morning and that will be our go-to plan.

The boys talked pretty much nonstop from the time I picked them up and these were a few of my favorite quotes:

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Little J (very first thing he said to me): “My first day of school was AWESOME!”

First Day of School 2015 Big J

Big J: “I played kickball at recess for the first time!”

Me: “Did you eat your lunch?” Little J: “I could only finish my cheese and half my sandwich.” (That eating lunch quickly thing is going to take some practice!)

Big J: “My favorite part of the day was interviewing my teacher!”

First Day of School 2015 Double J

Double J: “Let’s go on a date to the children’s museum!”

I only cried once, right after we dropped them off. I blame The Hubby for making me emotional. But he made up for it by taking the little guy and I to Caribou Coffee to celebrate!

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It was a day of new things for all of us and I’m incredibly thankful it went so well. I thought I would be annoyed by the driving time there and back, but we’re making the best of it by praying, singing, and sharing our days. I kind of love it already. And I got some pretty big hugs when the day was over. I cherished every second.

I’m sure I will have many more thoughts on this whole going-to-school adventure, but today I just want to celebrate surviving and thriving on the first day!

How is back-to-school going for all of you? Any good stories to share?

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Simply Tuesday

I received this book to review as part of the Simply Tuesday launch team. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I’ve been reading A LOT this summer, keeping books stashed by my bed and near the kitchen and in my purse so I’m never without something to read. And I’ve been reading some GOOD books, the kind I have to tell you about.

I have to start with Tuesday. Simply Tuesday to be exact. Because, well, it IS Tuesday.

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I’ve always felt quite comfortable with Tuesdays. I don’t mind Mondays all that much because they are the start of a new week, a blank slate. But Mondays also come with some rough reentry from weekend fun and long to-do lists.

I couldn’t really put my finger on why Tuesdays appealed to me, but author Emily P. Freeman helped me identify those reasons and then led me on a journey of things not about Tuesday at all in her newest book, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World.

Tuesday holds the ordinary, the everyday, and the small.

Emily’s words spoke to me about motherhood and writing and faith and just about every area of my life. This idea of small wasn’t something I knew I wanted so much, but every page of Simply Tuesday had me longing for more small moments of sitting – sitting with my Jesus, my family, my friends, my work. I have always been a busy doer, but the idea of sitting in the small has become more appealing to me with each passing year.

Here, on our ordinary Tuesdays, is where we make our homes and learn to be human.

I found myself breathing deep with each page, finding words I needed about contentment, platform, home, and hurry. How did Emily know I needed all these things in one book? Well, God knew, and as I underlined words on almost every page, I knew I didn’t want those words to slip away.

I want to stay small in his presence, not because I’m scared, but because I’m his. I want this to be a relief rather than a frustration.

There are so many truths in this book I need to chew on daily. The prayers at the end of each chapter are both honestly raw and poetically beautiful.

May we chase the flashes of hope that visit us in ordinary time, gather all the light in your presence, and trust you to string it together for our good and for your glory.

Jesus has been calling me to dig in deeper with Him and in my home. Simply Tuesday drew me closer to both of these. It went everywhere with me this summer.

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The stack of books in my house is monumental and I’ve been trying to give more away as I finish them, but I’m not sure I can let go of this one quite yet. I need to soak in this message, sit on a bench with it a little longer.

Small is good. Small moments are valuable. Being small in the presence of Christ is the best place to be.

It’s Tuesday and this small Tuesday is simply wonderful.

Simply Tuesday was JUST released today and I want all of you to read it! The paperback is only $7.17 on Amazon right now! Grab your copy and while you’re at it, sign up for Emily’s free video series that encourages us to stop being held hostage by hustle!

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Changes at Home + School

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Change has abounded for us this year. Big change and little change, making life more complicated, but also better in so many ways. I’m reading a fabulous book by my friend Kristen right now called Girl Meets Change and it could not be more timely. I’ll be sharing a full review when I finish it up, but I remember this quote from her from a blog post a while back that goes perfectly with the book as well as my life circumstances:

“The old thing may be familiar, but the new thing may be fantastic.” – Kristen Strong

That’s what I’m holding on to this week because this is happening:

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After four years of homeschool, our older boys are going to school for the first time (other than preschool). It is a big time of transition, but I am so thankful to say God has our whole family on the same page and we’re very excited for this new season! How big and handsome do they look in this pic?! This was taken at the school open house when they met their teachers and brought in all of their school supplies and I got a million papers to deal with!

There was a time when The Hubby and I knew God wanted us to move in this direction and the kids were less than excited about the idea. But God… He led us to a school we all fell in love with and we are so grateful. I know every school decision comes with its own challenges, but it also comes with new opportunities for adventure. Shopping for school supplies and planning lunches both count as adventures for Mom, right?!

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As we get ready for the first day on Wednesday of this week, I’m focusing on the joy of a God doing a new thing in our family! And it could not be more perfect that I have a post up today over on the Tommy Nelson blog about embracing the joy of back-to-school. It’s for anyone and everyone starting up the school year – homeschool, public school, private school. I hope it will be a blessing to you and your family! I know I will be praying these verses with and for my kids throughout the year.

The little guy, Double J, is only three and will still be home with me. He says we’re going to go on dates to the children’s museum when the boys are at school. He also says he is going to marry me. Cue the heart melting. I haven’t been home with just one kid since the summers when I was a teacher and Big J was super little, so this will be very interesting! I know we will have tons of fun.

And now I’m diving back in to figuring out schedules and lunches and all the things…pray for me.

Talk to me about your kids and school! When did/do they start? What grades? How can I pray for them and you this school year?

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What I Wore

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I know, I know. Style posts two days in a row. If you don’t really care about fashion, I’m sorry. But if you do enjoy talking fashion, like me, then YAY! More style talk!

I’ve been wearing lots of shorts + tanks thanks to the hot, humid weather, but this week I mixed it up a bit with a maxi skirt, a hoodie, and my favorite cowboy boots!

Here is what I wore this week…

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Basics can be beautiful, right? I love having staples that can be thrown together easily, like this black Target tee (very favorite tee in my closet), gathered maxi skirt from Beautiful & Beloved, and Saltwater SandalsThe skirt is 40% off right now and available in this smoke color, as well as berry!

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This outfit just screams fall. I was in my happy place because it was cloudy and a little cooler. Not THAT cool, but I was comfy in this inside! I paired the new Sienna Ashley from Evy’s Tree (get 10% off at that link!) with a great Elegantees tee, my new favorite Kan Can jeans from Noelle Mae Boutique, a fabulous Noonday necklace, and my thrift store Skechers find!

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See? Happy place.

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Big J was invited to a horse-riding birthday party this past weekend, so I had to break out my favorite Lane cowboy boots! With all the stuff you find in the stables and riding arena, I was glad to have jeans and boots on, even if it was quite hot. This accent ruffle tank is another great piece from Noelle Mae Boutique! I know it will be a valuable layering piece for me this fall! (I AM wearing a cami under it – it’s just nude colored!) Remember, you can get 10% off your first Noelle Mae Boutique order when you shop here!

That’s it for What I Wore this week! Make sure you check out all the fun What I Wore posts all linked up over at The Pleated Poppy!

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Stitch Fix #4

This post contains referral links.

I took the plunge and scheduled my fourth fix from Stitch Fix this month! My sister recently ordered her first and ended up keeping everything, so I was extra motivated to try again. Plus, having referral credit definitely helps!

My last fix had some patterns and colors I wasn’t crazy about, so I put in some very specific requests this time. My stylist, Nicole, took these notes seriously, actually looked at my Pinterest boards, and sent a fix that was really great!

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#1 – Fabia Crochet Detail Knit Tank – $38

In my notes, I asked for a neutral lace-type tank to layer under hoodies and jackets for the fall. This top was just what I was looking for – very soft, neutral, fun detail down the front. The only problem: just the weekend before I found a tank I liked even better at a thrift store! VERDICT: Sent back.

#2 – Glynn Faux Leather Detail Moto Legging – $58

Nicole picked out these awesome leggings that I would love to wear with flats or boots this fall…but I already have black faux leather leggings, so I couldn’t really justify another pair, especially at that price. But I will say, if you are looking for well made, thicker (but not fleece-lined) leggings, you must request these – very fun! VERDICT: Sent back.

#3 – Haven Dress – $64

Such a darling, versatile dress! I asked my stylist for more classic patterns in this fix, so polka dots are perfect! The dress fit well, but I have a couple of black + white dresses that I like the cut of better, so I didn’t need this one. VERDICT: Sent back.

IMG_9292 2#4 – Corinna Striped Dolman Top – $48

Another classic pattern win from Nicole! Perfect fit, amazingly soft, great colors (navy + white). I don’t love that it is hand wash only, but that wasn’t enough to make me shy away! VERDICT: Kept!

#5 – Layda Crochet Top – $58

I’m not sure I would have ever picked this top out at a store, but I’m so glad Nicole sent it to me! This isn’t the greatest pic of the top and it’s hard to see the lovely detail, but I have already tried this one with skirts and colored jeans and a leather jacket over it. I know I will be wearing it so many ways all year round! It even has a built in black cami. Again, it is hand wash only (ugh), but I like that it is something new, but also very versatile. VERDICT: Kept!

I think fall is the perfect time to schedule a fix, whether it is your first or your fifteenth! Stitch Fix can help you step out of your comfort zone AND build up your staples in the same box. And after you sign up, don’t forget to share your referral link with your friends so you can start earning credit for your next fix!

I really wish I would have LOVED the whole box, because then you get everything for 25% off, but not this time. I’ll keep trying Stitch Fix every few months until that magic box happens! 

Any questions about Stitch Fix? Have you given it a try yet?

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A Periscope Peek at My Morning!

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

Last Friday, I went live on Periscope in the early morning while my kiddos were still sleeping to give you a little peek at how I handle my morning “quiet” time. Have you tried Periscope yet? It’s pretty fun – live videos from people you choose to follow and that you can interact with during the video! I’ve worked out with one and listened to worship on another. If you’re on Periscope already or going to join now, I’m “homewiththeboys” over there, just like everywhere else!

Here’s what I shared…

If you’re seeing this in your email inbox, click here to see the video!

Resources mentioned in the video:

If you’re new to the whole idea of morning quiet time or need some extra guidance in how to manage that time of day, I highly recommend you check out Hello Mornings! This community started by Kat Lee is the reason is started and stuck with a focused, productive morning routine in the first place. They have great challenges and accountability – so valuable!

Talk to me about your mornings and your Bible study time – how does it look for you? How do you want it to look?

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What I Wore

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson! I also received some items to review for this post.

People have asked me before how I would describe my style. That’s hard to do because I don’t really have one style. I think this is partially why I couldn’t stick to capsule wardrobe. I like to mix it up, dress to match my mood, not be held to a certain way of dressing on a regular basis.

I do know one thing: I like to be comfortable. High heels and I have never really gotten along. If the clothing is too tight to move, I’m not wearing it. Hot weather means you’ll find me in tanks, shorts, and sun dresses. Cool weather means I’ll be layering, probably with a cute hoodie on top.

Thankfully this week, we had some hot AND some cool weather, so I wore both tanks and jeans. And it was all super comfy. Here’s what I wore this week…

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We headed to zoo for Member Appreciation Day last Wednesday and it was hot and humid. The last time we had gone to the zoo, I wore my hair down and regretted it the whole time. Hot, sticky mess. I wasn’t making that mistake twice, so I searched easy braid tutorials on Pinterest and came up with these milkmaid braids. The braids stayed in place, kept me cool, and I LOVED the way they looked! A Pinterest hair win for once!

The tank was a fun purchase with Zulily credit – it’s my favorite color and I have a slight obsession with pineapples, so it was perfect! I added this Work of Worth necklace for some extra color and wore my favorite Paisley + Sparrow earrings that I wear multiple times a week.

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We spent the weekend at my parents’ house and, while I have plenty of pictures from the weekend, I failed to capture any of my outfits. Whoops. BUT while we were away I had the super fun privilege of meeting Jaime, owner of Noelle Mae Boutique, and sorting through her fabulous racks of clothing! I came away with several cute things to show you, but let’s start here with the Wifey tee and Kan Can jeans. The tee is amazingly soft, the kind I want to pull on every day. It made The Hubby smile big when he came home from taking his boards to see me wearing this shirt! The Wifey tee runs a little small, so keep that in mind when ordering! I usually wear a XS or S shirt and this is a M.

Now, can we talk about the jeans? I’ve been on the hunt for my first pair of distressed jeans and the selection has been greatly disappointing. I don’t need anybody but my husband seeing my underwear. I haven’t really loved any boyfriend jeans I’ve tried on either. Jaime talked me into trying a pair of Kan Can jeans in the Boyfriend Distressed II style. THEY ARE FABULOUS. They are cute, comfy, just the wash I was looking for, and the BEST PART – there are patches behind the distressing so no unwanted underwear or skin showing through! Bonus: The Hubby thinks they are “pretty hot.” His words. A note on sizing: these jeans run big, so you’ll want to size down. I’m usually a 4 or so in jeans and these are the 1/24″ size!

If you’re looking to order the tee or jeans, you’ll want to click here to get 10% off your first order of $25 or more from Noelle Mae Boutique! This is just the beginning of all the fun pieces I’ll be showing you from her mom-owned shop!

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Last but not least, we had a wonderfully rainy and cooler day yesterday. I was actually wearing a hoodie and jeans much of the day. It was heaven. The sun peeked through the clouds late in the afternoon, so I ditched the hoodie, but it was just perfect to stick with jeans! The jeans, hat, and tee are all from Target – go figure. The tee is my favorite Target tee – I have it in four colors because I like the material and it can be dressed up or down easily.

I completed the outfit with gold accessories: the Aztec Chevron Necklace from Beautiful & Beloved (use code “empower” to get 15% off), the Tory bracelet for my Fitbit from Funktional Wearables, and these marvelous Sperrys with some fun gold accents. I’d love some more days like today to wear outfits like this!

What are your thoughts on your own personal style? Do you have “a style?” If so, what would you call it? Or are you more like me – go with the flow when it comes to fashion?

I’m linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy!

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Longing for Paris

I received this book to review as part of the Longing for Paris launch team. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

I love to travel. I was fortunate enough to go to Europe for the first time when I was just 18 years old and I’ve been back twice since. I love getaways with my husband, road trips with my family, and traveling to conferences. New places and experiences are exciting to me.

Longing for Paris

When I heard the title and topic for my friend Sarah Mae’s new book, Longing for Paris, I knew I would relate. Because sometimes my soul just wants to wander to the newest place or experience or thing. I’m an ENFP who gets distracted by “bright, shiny things” and can sometimes miss what is right in front of me.

Long for Paris Architecture

Before I get to the book, I have a confession: the first time I visited Paris, I wasn’t really crazy about it. It was beautiful and interesting, but overwhelming as a new high school graduate. I wasn’t too excited about going back five years later. But the second time was different. I was with a similar type of group, but this time I was a chaperone and was with my husband. We were able to make our own plans. We wandered and visited some smaller, lesser-known places. We searched out a great loaf of bread. We sat outside of Notre Dame and watched Parisian life happen in front of us. And this time, I really loved Paris.

Longing for Paris Notre Dame

Had I not gone back to Paris the second time, I think I may have avoided this book. I wouldn’t have known the beauty of just sitting and watching and soaking in the culture. I would have only know the hustle and bustle of a whirlwind tourist visit. I would have felt no connection to Paris. But I’m so glad I picked this book up, because it’s really not about Paris, but about what Paris represents.

My longings are the reminder that there is more – another world, another place where I am meant to be.

Longing for Paris is about what our souls long for: beauty, passion, confidence, light. These are all things I witnessed firsthand in Paris, but as Sarah Mae points out, they are not only found in Paris. We can find the things we long for right here because they are all found in God. And when found in God, they will satisfy like nothing in this world.

Paris will leave me thirsting for more, and it will ultimately let me down, because I wasn’t made for Paris. I was made for all the things that I long for in Paris: beauty, art, culture, romance, light, and joy.

Sarah Mae talks about how our longings and reality meet. This can be a tricky place full of discontentment when we are not surrendered to God’s will.

I want to know how to not shut out my longings, while at the same time giving myself to the daily work of raising my children well and not being so divided to neglect them.

I was deeply impacted by the way she has searched for the beauty God has placed around her right where she is AND included her family in these discoveries. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, but our longings do need to be directed and filled by our wonderful Creator.

Longing for Paris Courtyard

Longing for Paris touches on so many aspects of our life that I can’t possibly mention all of them in one post, but I know that it has helped me open my eyes to the wonders surrounding me in my home and community. God has given me an appreciation for beauty and discovery. I don’t have to travel far and wide all the time to fulfill this longing. I just need to look to Him, then look around.

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This weekend, I tried a salted caramel macaron from a French bakery in my hometown and I thought of God and beauty and Paris and Sarah Mae. This is where my life is happening and He is leading me to everything I need and long for in His perfect way. This is beautiful.

Today is release day for Longing for Paris! Hooray! The paperback is less than $8 on Amazon right now! Grab your copy today!

What are some things you long for more of in your life? What longings has God fulfilled in your life right where you are?

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Weekend Snapshots

I have included affiliate and referral links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

As I write this, The Hubby is taking his boards, that last test before his life as a “real” physician commences. It’s a ten-hour test. That sounds like torture, right?! Please pray for him during the home stretch this afternoon!

To give him a relaxing, QUIET weekend before his test, the boys and I went up to my parents and all sorts of fun was had!

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The cousins, Urkel style. We decided this needs to be recreated in twenty years.

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Grandma made a family-style dessert to die for. Eating it outside was a genius move because ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE. Messy and delicious go together well.

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I finished one book that I’ll tell you about tomorrow and started this green gem by Kristen Strong. It could not be more perfect for this season of life.

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My sister and I ran eleven miles Saturday morning which was great except for the humidity and heavy legs at the end. Go away, humidity. I rewarded myself with a maple bacon donut. No further explanation needed.

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Today is my sweet mom’s birthday, so us girls had pedicures and did some boutique shopping to celebrate! My last pedicure was for my sister’s wedding five years ago. My toes are happy right now. And my niece’s fingers and toes were so adorable.

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My oldest friend – as in the one I’ve been friends with the longest – is moving away from our hometown and I am absolutely thrilled for her! We got together this weekend to process and celebrate. Macarons were involved. I was a macaron virgin before this, but the salted caramel one (on the left) from C.H. Patisserie will have me coming back for more every time we visit. HEAVEN.

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Baby niece snuggles are just the best. That is all.

WS 8-3 8Last but not least, I am the mom who took her child to church Sunday night with a giant marker scribble in the middle of his shirt. According to him, “I look cool like this.”

There was lots of other fun and games, but this is our weekend in a nutshell! What were you up to this weekend?

I’m linking up with Weekend Snapshots over at Her Heartland Soul!

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