Dear Son, Be The Good

I received this shirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

Dear Son,

Yesterday you turned 11 years old. That just seems so impossible and so wonderful to me at the same time. You are my firstborn, the one who made me a mama, my mini-me in your love for history, learning, and the Packers. We have our differences, but we’re also alike in enough ways that we both “get” each other and butt heads often. I try to remember that God can and will use your stubbornness for good, so that’s what I’m praying for you every day.

This morning, the day after your birthday, was a little rough. I always hate the day after my birthday because it’s “just another day.” I can tell you were feeling that, too. But it doesn’t have to be. We have a choice every single day. I want you to choose to see the good around you and be thankful for it. And I want you to choose one more thing.

I pray you will choose to BE THE GOOD. This world has enough people waiting around for good things to happen for them. You don’t have to be those people. There are so many opportunities for you to be the good this world needs.

Smile at someone. Look for people who need a helping hand. Pray for a friend. Do something nice for your brothers. Find an injustice or cause that moves you and get involved in changing it for the better.

For as many things as there are going wrong in our world, there are as many (or more) ways for you to make a positive difference.

I know you love Jesus, and every good thing comes from Him. Stay connected to Jesus and not only will He help you see where you can shine some good, but He will also give you the strength you need to keep doing good for His glory.

Be the good, son. I’ll be right beside you doing the same.

Love, Mom

*****

Whatever you want to BE, the “Be Series” from Cents of Style will help you get and stay inspired!

All of the “Be Series” tees are just $15.95 with the code BESTORY this weekend! So many choices – there is literally a shirt for anything you want to be! I love all of my Cents of Style tees – great quality, soft, and so stylish! Grab your favorites while they’re on this amazing sale!

 

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Soft Spring Layers from Aventura!

I shared my first experience with Aventura Clothing last summer and I’m excited to tell you I will sharing lots more as I was chosen to be an Aventura Ambassador for 2017!

I love Aventura for many reasons – family-owned business, use of eco-friendly fabrics, great styles – but I was most drawn to Aventura because they celebrate the active life I want to live with my family and make great clothing to go on those adventures! I have so many fun pieces to share with you, but today I’m focusing on a couple of must-have pieces for early spring.

Here in Nebraska, early spring is still quite chilly. Long sleeves and layers are a must. I want my early spring pieces to keep me warm, but also have a soft, light quality that fits the season.

The first item to fit this spring wardrobe need for me is the Sonnet Hoodie!

I will always choose a hoodie and distressed jeans for an every day look. The Sonnet Hoodie comes in beautiful colors that make this casual outfit perfectly cute! I love the spiced coral hoodie paired with darker red sneakers!

The unbelievably soft fabric of the Sonnet Hoodie made this an instant favorite for me and the button-back sleeves keep you cool when the temps warm up.

If you’re looking for a layering hoodie that can be removed or added easily, I highly recommend the Hartwell Hoodie! Can you ever go wrong with a gray hoodie? The answer is no. The hoodie is classic, with great stitching along the zipper to give it extra pizzazz! I could wear this over a sundress or yoga pants – so versatile!

In both outfits, I’m also wearing the Bienne layering tank. It is so comfortable and the ideal piece for those shirts that are just a little lower than you would like. I also wear layering tanks because they allow be to active without showing any extra skin around the middle! I’ve tried LOTS of layering tanks, and this is one of my favorites ever!

I can’t wait to share more great spring pieces and accessories from Aventura with you – THE HATS! Stay tuned for lots more Aventura, including some fun giveaways!

I have teamed up with some other fabulous bloggers who are pumped up about getting outside in their new for spring Aventura clothing as well. I’d love for you to take a peek and tell me what you like from them, too!

Before you go for the day, click on over and see what they are wearing this month! Talk to me and tell me what YOU are liking…either from me or them. I’d love to hear from you!

Shannon from the SIMPLE moms // Erin from Home with the Boys // Andrea with Momma in Flip Flops // Mary from Real Girls Realm // Karen with Play Outside Guide // Amber with The Closeteer // Megan & Wendy from Long Story Short with Megan & Wendy

Aventura Spring Looks - Blogger Collaboration

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Tunics in Spring are a Lovely Thing!

I received this tunic to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

I will freely admit that spring is not my favorite season, but there are still many things I love about it! I’m happy to say goodbye to wind chills and hello to spring rain. Icy roads can go away and make room for new growth. By this time of year, I’m also happy to put away the dark plaids and heavy sweaters in exchange for flowy, flowery, bright spring clothing!

While fall beats spring as the best season of all in my opinion, March is my favorite month. Our youngest son was born in March (8 days late – I think he just wanted a March birthday). St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday. The Hubby and I started dating on March 17th. And tomorrow, on March 25th, I will turn 36 years old.

Yep, I just admitted my age on the internet and I feel no shame. At 36 years old, I feel more beautiful than ever. I am stronger, healthier, more confident, and, most of all, secure in who God made me to be. Part of this confidence has come from embracing my talents and personality. Another part has come from finding a style that fits me and my lifestyle. I don’t feel stuck in a box. I wear what I want – things that are modest, that work with my active lifestyle as a boy mom, and that help me feel beautiful.

Tunics have been one of those items for me. I can throw on a tunic with leggings or jeans, for every day or a date or church, dressed up or down – I always feel good in a tunic. And I have a new favorite tunic from Cents of Style:

The Staci V-Neck Babydoll Tunic is everything I want in a tunic – flattering, long, and available in lots of colors.

This steel gray is a great spring color because it has a hint of blue/purple and pairs perfectly with floral accents! I think I also need this tunic in the lovely olive color! I usually wear a size small in tops and this is a small in the Staci V-Neck Babydoll Tunic.

There is much reason to celebrate today because this tunic and another lovely tunic are on sale from Cents of Style for just $19.95 this weekend! Just use the code TOPSTORY to get your tunic – or many of them – for just $19.95 each + free shipping!

How do you like to wear your tunics? What are some of your other favorite spring styles?

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Three Ways to Wear a Floral Skirt

I received this skirt to review from Cents of Style. This post contains affiliate links.

Let me tell you this: I haven’t always been a floral girl. Sure, as a child, I had cute flower-covered Easter dresses made by my mom. My sister and I were even matching. But as I got older, I strayed from floral prints for quite a while because they were just TOO girly for me.

Then I had three sons. There were no flowers or girly things in sight. As I was dressing my boys in blue, red, and black, I started to crave more of the feminine things for myself – curling my hair, putting on makeup, and yes, florals. I now have floral-patterned shirts, tunics, and skirts in my closet and have just the little girly touch I need in my house of boys.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but our weather has been quite heavenly this week and I think it’s safe to say spring is in the air! There’s no better way to celebrate this spring-like weather than by breaking out all the floral skirts! Cents of Style had the same idea and put all their floral skirts on sale today! Grab your favorite – floral or pencil, super soft, sizes S-3X – for just $19.95 + free shipping when you use the code FLORALSTORY this weekend!

This adorable mint floral skirt is included in the sale and I’ve styled three different ways to celebrate this fabulous weather!

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Floral skirts don’t always have to be fancy. Throw on a graphic tee and your favorite Converse for a comfortable every day floral look!

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I tend to get nervous when someone mentions pattern mixing, but this skirt eased my fears. Black-and-white stripes and black flats make this a great Sunday best outfit!

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Gosh, I love a good floral skirt with cowboy boots. The denim jacket and bold tee layered together help you stay warm on a cool early spring date night!

However you like your floral skirts, this Cents of Style sale is for YOU! Use the code FLORALSTORY all weekend to get your favorite skirts for just $19.95 + free shipping!

Are you a floral skirt girl? How would you choose to wear yours?

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One Tunic, Three Ways!

I received these pieces to review from Sweet P & Fi.

Oh, how I love wardrobe pieces that can be worn multiple ways! I love these pieces even more when they are flattering and affordable! You will find lots of pieces like this from from my favorite local boutique, Sweet P & Fi! Today I’m featuring my new favorite: a black long-sleeve tunic with side button detail!

(We’re working with indoor pictures thanks to a lovely ice storm, so bear with me. I miss the sunshine!)

Basic AND beautiful! I love this piece on it’s own because black is always a good idea. The buttons and asymmetrical hem give it just the right amount of visual interest, but don’t make it too complicated. The thin weight allows it be layered in the winter and worn solo into the spring!

Black tunics should be a staple in every woman’s wardrobe because they can be worn SO many ways! This one from Sweet P & Fi is only $26 so it won’t blow your clothing budget! Let’s take a look at a few other ways to wear it…

The Everyday Look

Comfy, cozy, classic. I’ll call this my “mom-on-the-go” look, but you don’t have to be a mom to rock it! Target skinny cargos, Minnetonka moccasins, and a great fashionABLE scarf are all you need for this everyday look.

The Day Out Look

Let’s go shopping! This would be a fun look for shopping with my mom and sister or having coffee with girlfriends. We’re supposed to hit temps in the 50s later this week – this fabulous vest (also from Sweet P & Fi) would be just enough to layer over the tunic and keep me warm! Distressed jeans, riding boots, and a black floppy hat pull everything together.

The Date Night Look

Time to get a little sassy with gold leggings and heels for a night out with my main man! This is such an easy AND comfortable look, but it has just the right amount of edge and bling to make your date night special. We could all use an excuse to wear gold leggings, right?!

The black tunic goes with ANYTHING and everything. At $26 you just can’t pass this up! But wait…I also have a discount for you! Use the code Home20 to get 20% off your entire Sweet P & Fi order! That makes the tunic just $20.80 and shipping is always free! Grab that fabulous wrap vest while you’re over there at 20% off, too!

Don’t miss out on this 20% off deal! The Home20 code is only good for one week! Have fun shopping the already great pieces and prices at Sweet P & Fi with a little extra discount on me!

What’s your favorite black tunic look?

 

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Five Fashion Friday Favorites!

This post contains affiliate links.

You had to know this Fashion Friday with Cents of Style would be a special one because it is Black Friday! This week’s amazing deal is not on one item or two items. There are FIVE fabulous customer favorites on sale today, so take a quick break from your Gilmore Girls marathon to check them out:

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You just need the code BACKINBLACK16 to get 40% these five items AND free shipping on your order! Here’s a closer look at each piece on sale:

The Annabelle Cardigan

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The Annabelle Cardigan is just $17.97 on this sale! It comes in sizes small-3XL and 18 different colors! I have the navy and sized up to a medium because I like my cardigans to be a little more roomy. I am VERY happy with the larger size, so consider your preference and check the size chart before ordering!

The Dempsey Beanie

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The Dempsey Beanie is a warm beanie with great texture that comes in 16 different colors! The beanie is only $10.77 with the BACKINBLACK16 code!

The Brayden Blanket Scarf

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A classic, cozy blanket scarf that will be the perfect accessory to your holiday outfits for only $12.57? Yep! And those booties are on sale, too…

Moccasin Bootie Boot

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Look how well all these items go together! The moccasin bootie boot with fun details is available in two colors and is on sale for only $19.77 shipped!

Cassie Herringbone Coat

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I had not seen this herringbone coat until this sale and I’m in LOVE. It looks so versatile and classic. I can’t even believe it’s only $25.77 with the code BACKINBLACK2016 today!

These items have all been HUGE hits in the past, so shop early and grab your favorites before they sell out of your size and color!

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Just Be Kind

This post contains affiliate links.

We pray every day on the way to school. The boys share prayer requests and I pray. As he has gotten older, the youngest developed quite the long list of prayer requests he likes to share. This year, he added this prayer to his daily requests:

“That the boys and I would be good friends to others.”

I’m feeling the weight of the world this week with all the negativity and meanness floating around amongst adults, but when he shares that hope and prayer in his sweet four-year-old voice, I can’t help but feel lighter.

To be clear, I don’t think we have to be friends with everyone, but in his heart and mine is this plea to all of humanity:

JUST BE KIND.

That’s all I want. Disagree, stand up for your beliefs, defend your rights, but I beg you to do it in a civil manner and treat one another with kindness.

Just be kind. We can do this, friends.

Want to spread the message of kindness with me? The “Be Series” from Cents of Style is just the way to do it and it is all on sale today!

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I shared my “Be Brave” tee and story before, but I think it’s time to add this “Be Kind” sweatshirt to my closet! Yep – there are sweatshirts now and they are fabulous!

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The whole “Be Series” is 50% off this weekend with the code BESERIES1 at checkout! This includes tees, sweatshirts, bracelets, and brand new designs! I’m grabbing a sweatshirt for less than $20 and shipping is always free!

Be kind. Be the good. Take some time to be still this weekend. And spread the word of the message you love most by grabbing it on sale and wearing it for all to see! Remember – this weekend only, use the code BESERIES1 for 50% off and free shipping!

Which “BE” message is your favorite and why?

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Thankful, Grateful, Blessed, and a FREE Tee!

I received this shirt to review. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Thankful. Grateful. Blessed.

Do you know what these words make me feel?

These three words make me feel cozy. Warm and fuzzy.

Maybe it’s because we talk a lot in the fall about thankful, but I think it goes deeper than that.

Gratitude does not come naturally to us. It is something we must practice frequently in order to make it a more regular part of our lives. I became more fully aware of just how little I was giving thanks for the things around me when I first encountered the writings of Ann Voskamp. Her simple, but powerful idea of counting the gifts in our days changed everything.

Here is what I found: when I am deliberately looking for the gifts in my life AND giving thanks for them, I can’t help but be filled with joy. I feel warm and cozy, wrapped in the knowledge that God’s love is everywhere in my life, present in sunrise and dishes dirtied by my children and the kiss from my husband as he gets home from work.

When I’m giving thanks, I am lighter, not weighed down by the stress, but lifted by gratitude. This changes not only how I feel, but how I act:

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.” – Ann Voskamp

I can tell you that in this season of life, the thanksgiving has slowed greatly as busyness takes its place. It shows up in how I feel and how I treat those around me. Then this shirt showed up on my doorstep:

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I think Cents of Style has been reading my mind because I just had to smile and know God was sending me a message with this shirt. The answer to happiness isn’t in doing more or having more – it’s in the gratitude for what we already have surrounding us. I started looking for gifts and wouldn’t you know? I felt warm and cozy and happy because I have so much to be thankful for, even in a stressful season.

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“Eucharisteo—thanksgiving—always precedes the miracle.” – Ann Voskamp

This is it, friends. We give thanks because it shifts our focus off of us and gives glory to God, and then comes the miracle – we are changed. Thanksgiving isn’t just a day on the calendar – it is an every day act that will transform us.

And this shirt? You can get it FREE today!

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Sorry. I get a little excited about Cents of Style deals. This weekend, when you spend $25, you will get this tee FREE!

Here’s how it works:

  • Find products you love (jewelry, clothes, shoes, whatever you have to have) and add them to your cart.
  • When the cart totals $25 or more, add the Thankful Grateful Blessed shirt from the Fashion Friday page to the cart.
  • Hit Checkout.
  • Put the code THANKFUL1 in the “Gift Card or Discount Code” Box to make your t-shirt FREE!

Remember: the code is THANKFUL1 and it will make this brand new t-shirt FREE with any $25 purchase, + FREE SHIPPING! Anything on the Cents of Style site is fair game – any purchase that totals $25 qualifies for the free t-shirt!

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Pick out $25 of great items, grab your free tee, and let’s practice gratitude together right now!

What are you thankful for today?

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The Swing Dress

I received this dress to review. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.

This is a style trend I can TOTALLY do. Yes, I already love dresses, but even if you don’t, I think this swing dress will make a believer (and a dress-wearer) out of you!

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The Remi swing dress from Cents of Style will be your go-to dress for being comfy and looking put together at the same time! This dress – in 17 different colors and sizes S – 3X – is only $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend!

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I have a thing for gray. I knew this dark gray swing dress (size small) would get worn all the time! We’re finally experiencing fall temperatures, so a blanket scarf and ankle boots (mine are from Tecovas) were just what the swing dress needed to be fall ready.

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A swing dress can be worn by itself or paired with boots and tights, leggings and flats, distressed jeans, and so on. It is THE versatile dress you need this fall because you can wear it a million ways! I’m thinking a chunky necklace and a floppy wool hat for a girls’ night out! Best part: you’ll be comfy wherever and however you wear it! Check out this video for more great styling tips from women of all shapes and sizes!

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Now you just need to decide which color (or colors) you’re going to buy! Remember – each dress is just $21.95 shipped with the code DRESS2016 this weekend only!

What color should I buy next? What color is your favorite?

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My Fall Uniform

I received these items to review from Sweet P & Fi. I was not compensated in any way for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.

I am a capsule wardrobe dropout. I just couldn’t stick to 30-40 pieces exclusively for a whole season because I like to mix things up. I do, however, like to have a go-to outfit for the days when I want to feel comfortable, confident, and put together without too much thought. Honestly, we want to feel like that every day, right?

My fall uniform is something you will find me in at least four days a week. It’s more of an outfit formula and looks like this:

long top + skinny bottoms + boots

This formula gives me a starting point, but it also allows for lots of creativity, so I never feel stuck like I did with a capsule wardrobe. While I adore this uniform, I have a found a few challenges within this formula.

First, long tops such as tunics don’t always fit me well because I am smaller on top and wider on bottom. More fitted tunics are tough because, if I pick a size to fit my hips, the shoulders are much too big. This is why I pick longer tops either with stretch, a slight flair at the hips, or with lots of flow.

Second, skinny bottoms can mean lots of things: skinny jeans, jeggings, skinny pants, faux leather leggings, and leggings. I LOVE comfy leggings for my “skinny bottoms” option, but leggings present lots of questions. Are they soft? constricting? see-through? Will they fall down over and over again?

As fall officially sets in this week, I’ve been pulling out my fall clothes, planning different variations of my uniform, and adding a few new key pieces to update it for 2016. My new go-to place for all things fashionable is Sweet P & Fi, an online boutique, owned by lovely local mom, Molly!

Here’s my fall uniform, the Sweet P & Fi edition!

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The very second I saw this tunic, with its amazing fall color, front pocket, cowl neck, and perfect fit, I knew I had to make it mine. It has a great texture and won’t be too hot on a sunny fall day. Sweet P & Fi is also getting the same top in black – I must have it! These will be up on the site very soon, so keep your eyes open!

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What is it about a pocket that makes a tunic so much more awesome?! It just does. The cuffed sleeves are another fun detail – you can show off your arm party on both arms!

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Let’s talk about the leggings – yes, those are leggings! They totally look like jeans, but they are incredibly soft and don’t fall down! HOORAY! I wore them all day and felt fabulous in them!  Check out the ribbing around the knees – isn’t that fun?

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One last Sweet P & Fi piece you may have missed in this outfit – those leather earrings! Molly makes them all herself and they are SO reasonably priced. I picked some brown snakeskin-like leather to go with all the warm autumn colors and I adore them!

I can’t tell you enough how much I love Sweet P & Fi. Molly has great taste and is very picky about what she adds to her shop. She also cares about giving her customers a good deal. Her prices are AMAZING and shipping is free! FREE! Here are a few of my other favorite pieces:

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Pumpkin Spice Latte top (SUPER soft)

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flowly floral top (from the awesome sale section)

Don’t forget – shipping is always free! You can’t beat that!

Two questions for you:

  1. Do you have a fall uniform?
  2. What Sweet P & Fi pieces are you loving?
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