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…

What I Wore 8-12 Gathered Maxi Skirt

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!

What I Wore 8-12 Sienna Ashley

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!

What I Wore 8-12 Jump

See? Happy place.

What I Wore 8-12 Accent Ruffle Tank

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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Hands-on-Prints Books: Engaging Kids in Reading!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hands-on-Prints books. I received books to facilitate my review. This post contains affiliate links.

We are a book-loving household. We have books of all kinds coming out of our ears. I’ve really tried to trim down our selection over the years, but I can’t seem to stop adding to our collection when I find something that looks good!

The introduction of Kindles in to our home has helped slow the rapid growth of our stacks and stacks of books, but there is still nothing like holding a physical book in your hands, especially when it comes to children’s books.

Hands On Prints All

I’m thrilled to introduce a new series to you that will really engage your children in books through great content, wonderful illustrations, and their senses!

Hands On Prints Books

Christinia Cheung earned a Masters in Early Childhood Education and established a Montessori school that celebrates differences in personality, learning preferences and cultural backgrounds. Through these experiences, she was compelled to write her Hands-on-Prints books.

Hands On Prints Boys

This series of five books inspires simple and complex learning about the world, especially incorporating sight and touch to create an interactive visual experience for children. Hands-On-Prints books really are a unique set that my children and I are greatly enjoying!

Our family favorite is Around the World from A to Z!

Hands On Prints AZ

Around the World from A to Z takes kids on a journey to explore the activities, famous landmarks, and cultures of countries. Rock climbing at Mt. Rushmore, martial arts at Mount Fuji, and snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef are just a few of the fun adventures highlighted in Around the World. My boys loved seeing what activity would be on the next page and finding the location on the map in the upper right corner of each page!

Hands On Prints AZ Finger 2 Hands On Prints AZ Finger

Each page also features a raised, textured cursive letter of the alphabet for little hands to trace! Our oldest showed his younger brothers how to trace them correctly and I’ve caught them doing it over and over again. This book has so many things to get kids involved in learning! We are big fans!

Hands On Prints Chartres

Several years ago, The Hubby and I visited Europe and one of our stops along the way was in Chartres, France. We explored the gorgeous and incredibly unique cathedral in this town and were fascinated by the story of its construction. Because of that visit, this next book is a sentimental favorites. Geometry through Architecture: The Chartres Cathedral details all the ways shapes were used in the building, particularly as symbolism in the stained glass windows. I loved looking through this book with Big J and showing him our own pictures of the cathedral from our visit. He is his mother’s son – very interested in reading and history – so this was a great connection point for us!

Hands On Prints Coconuts

Other books in the Hands-On-Prints series include Nuts for Coconuts, A Persistent Vine, and Do I Have To? What If I Don’t Want To?

Hands-On-Prints books take children on adventures that develop their knowledge and a sense of discovery! I love how these books encourage kids to think outside of themselves and their normal circumstances. They truly do inspire the best in young learners!

Which Hands-On-Prints book would be most interesting to your child?

Leave a comment with your favorite to be entered to win! Giveaway ends Tuesday, May 26th at 9PM CST!

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Sensible Portions Puffs: Snacks for the Whole Family!

This is a sponsored post from Hain Celestials. I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.

I know I’m not the only mom who has kiddos CONSTANTLY asking for things to eat, right?! I’m always on the look out for better-for-you snacks to feed the whole family when they need to munch on something. The boys have found a new favorite in Sensible Portions Puffs from Hain Celestials!

Puffs

Made with organic corn and no fillers, Sensible Portions Puffs are baked and deliciously seasoned bite-size poppable treats for the entire family to enjoy! Sensible Portions Puffs are made with the belief that an after-school snack, or a movie-watching treat, can be fun and delicious while also being a better-for-you, smarter snacking option.

Puffs Eating

The boys take after me and like something a little salty for an afternoon snack along with some fruit or string cheese. I don’t want them to fill up on junk, especially with dinner right around the corner. Sensible Portions Puffs satisfy that salty craving with their four yummy flavors: Veggie, Cheddar, Tomato Basil, and Sour Cream & Onion.

Puffs Boys

The boys loved all four flavors, but the Cheddar were definitely a favorite! The Hubby enjoyed all of the flavors as well, while I had a strong preference for the Veggie Puffs! These really are the perfect thing to snack on – low-calorie and without any nasty fillers! You can grab your own at WalMart stores for just $2.88 a bag!

I want your family to be able to give Sensible Portions Puffs a try, so we’re giving one of you four bags – one of each flavor! To enter, just tell me about your favorite better-for-you snacks for your family! For an extra entry, tweet this and come back to leave a separate comment telling me you did:

Tweet: Enter to win 4 bags of #SensiblePortionsPuffs from @homewiththeboys! http://ctt.ec/3dJF1+ #giveaway

Leave your comments by Monday, May 11th at 8PM CST to be entered!

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It’s a Henkaa Mother’s Day Giveaway!

I was given this dress as part of Henkaa Mother’s Day celebration! I was not compensated in any other way for this post, and all opinions are 100% my own!

I’ve had my eyes on a Henkaa dress for quite a while. Maybe obsessing a little bit.

A Henkaa dress is the perfect item for any woman to have in her capsule wardrobe because it can be worn so many ways. And a Henkaa dress is the perfect investment for a mom because it can be worn before, during, and after pregnancy – not many clothes in our closet can do that, right ladies?! I wish I had a Henkaa dress when I was having babies!

My first Henkaa dress, the Iris Midi, arrived last week and I’ve had so much fun styling it! The fun thing about the Iris is that is has SLEEVES! Yes, sleeves, but it can also be styled as a sleeveless or strapless dress, too! Talk about versatile!

Henkaa Iris Midi Dress

The style on the left was for a date night with The Hubby! The fabric of the Iris is so luxurious – perfect for getting fancy and throwing on some heels for a night out! In that style, the halter top was made by tying the sleeves behind the neck.

For the style on the right, I went a little more casual with some of my favorite fair trade accessories from (affiliate link) The Root Collective and Work of Worth! This would be a great look for brunch or a baby shower. I love that the sleeves make this dress a piece I can keep in my closet year-round!

I can’t wait to try the Iris in many more styles! Here are a few of the 15 ways it can be worn:

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Henkaa has tons of tutorials and inspiration from real women to help you make the most out of your convertible dress. The tutorials helped me figure out how to wear new styles in not time at all!

Did you know Henkaa also has a versatile bag in their line-up? The monogram multi-way bag is perfect as a diaper bag, daily carry-all or travel companion and can be worn as a handbag, cross-body bag, shoulder bag or backpack! Detachable straps and TONS of compartments on both the inside and outside make this a bag you will take with your every day to carry whatever you need – diapers, books, gym necessities, and more!

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Henkaa and I are teaming up to give one Iris convertible dress + one monogram multi-way bag to one of you beautiful ladies! I’M SO EXCITED!!!

Henkaa Mother's Day Giveaway

To enter this marvelous Mother’s Day giveaway, tell me which color Iris dress you would pick and where you would wear it to celebrate Mother’s Day – fancy brunch, moms’ night out with girlfriends, a day of shopping without kids, or something else fun!

This giveaway ends Sunday, May 10th at 8PM CST. One random winner will be chosen and announced Monday, May 11th! Only open to those with a US shipping address. Must be 18 or older to win. One entry per household please.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Mother’s Day Gifts at Sweet Prices!

I have included affiliate 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!

It’s time to celebrate moms and DaySpring has a sweet deal to celebrate the special ladies in your life! Now through May 3rd, use the code MOTHER35 to get 35% off one gift for mom!

These are a few of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts for my mom (or for me!)…

Lisa Leonard - Gold Bar Mama Necklace

This gold Mama bar necklace from Lisa Leonard is just gorgeous. Regularly $52, get it for Mom during this sale for just $33.80 AND free shipping! Anything from Lisa Leonard is a win!

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If Mom loves to journal with her morning coffee, this Beautiful Beyond Words gift set would be the perfect gift! Get the journal, mug, and plaque for just $21.43 during this sale!

SHINE

Tell Mom how much appreciate the light she brings to your life and home with this Shine Letterpress Block Set! These letterpress blocks are one of my favorite things ever in my home and you can’t beat this deal – just $29.25 for this set with the code MOTHER35 + free shipping!

And, the best deal of all, is this fabulous Daily Grace Cake Pedestal, which is on sale for just $12 now through May 4th! Yes, you CAN use the MOTHER35 code on top of this sale, bringing the total to only $7.80!

Remember: DaySpring also offers free shipping on all non-clearance orders of $25 or more! Treat several special women in your life to these lovely gifts this Mother’s Day!

 

Which Mother’s Day gifts would you pick from DaySpring for the special woman in your life – or for yourself?!

 

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February Goals

I have included affiliate 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!

This starting of a new month with purpose and goals is really growing on me! And last month, I found myself coming back to these goals over and over again, not as an obsession, but as motivation. And it really worked to help me press forward when I needed the push. What can I say – accountability works for me, whether it’s checking in with friends or a blog post like this one! So here we go…

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First, here’s how my goals from last month went…

JANUARY GOALS

  • Read 1 book from my Joy Book List – I finished Bossypants by Tina Fey and it made laugh out loud every time I picked it up. There’s more language than some of you might care for, but as a fan of Tina and 30 Rock, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I also started In This House, We Will Giggle by Courtney DeFeo from my Joy Book List. In total, I finished FIVE books in January, including Bossypants, Own Your Life, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, and the last two books of the River of Time series – Bourne & Tributary and Deluge.
  • 2 date nights with my man – We had a great date night going to see Into the Woods and eating way too much popcorn. We didn’t have another date “night,” but we did get to go with one of our best friends to Kansas City for the day for a race! Which leads me to…
  • Run 70+ miles, including a 10K PR – Well over 70 miles – 90.42 to be exact – AND a 10K PR this month! I ran a 56:44 at the Groundhog Run in Kansas City, an underground race like none other I have done! That beat my old PR by almost three minutes!
  • Drink 64oz+ of water each day – This has become a full-blown habit for me and I know I am healthier overall because of it!
  • Set office hours for online work – Much, much better. Still working out the best hours for work during the day, but I’m also more able to compartmentalize than I was before.
  • 1 family game night a week – Beat the Parents is our new favorite, but the boys also love Puppyopoly and Qwirkle!

And on to next month…

FEBRUARY GOALS

  • Finish TWO books from my Joy Book List – I mentioned I’ve already started In This House, We Will Giggle, so that is book #1. I plan on FINALLY reading The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle this month as book #2!
  • Try a new restaurant with The Hubby for date night – We received a generous gift card to a super fancy restaurant in town, so we are making it happen this month!
  • Run 80+ miles and start half marathon training – It’s that time of year again! 12 week training plan means getting started February 16th! Anybody else training for a spring race?
  • Focus on home atmosphere – January was a good month, but it also felt hectic and cluttered. As we’re heading into the months of getting ready to move, I want more than ever slow down and simplify with our hearts and our stuff. I read some great stuff in Sally Clarkson’s Own Your Life that has me inspired in this area!

I’m seeing a trend in my goal-setting that lines up well with my strengths…I might have to write a little more about this since I hadn’t noticed it until now! Have you done the StrengthsFinder test yet?

I’m linking up with Hayley at The Tiny Twig for her monthly Goals with Grace post! Check it out to be inspired and share your own goals! And share your own goals here in the comments or link to your post so I can visit!

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About This Blog Silence…

I have included affiliate 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’m still here! And if you’re connected with me on social media, you know I’m still alive, but busy! Every time I think I have a few moments to sit down and write here, life happens and I’ve learned to just go with that flow. But I do miss writing here.

So what have I been up to during this busy season?

Family Stuff

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Big J had his first basketball game. We’ve been watching football and mourning the end of our team’s season. Puzzles and playing outside and cookies and mommy-son dates and homeschool…lots of good family stuff.

Date Night

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Our much needed first date night of 2015 was to see Into the Woods. I loved it. So much. And after having watched it, I would not let my own kids see it until they are quite a bit older. It is a wonderful musical, but the themes are quite mature and I’m not sure they even get most of the movie. But I will probably be buying the movie and watching it on repeat, singing along with every word. Of course, the best part of  seeing the movie was with whom I saw it – he’s my favorite.

Training

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I still can’t believe how much I love running, but I do. This month, I’ve been training to get a new 10K personal record. The Hubby and I are doing a unique 10K race out of town next weekend, so we’ll see then how the training pays off! I love using my Believe Training Journal to plan my workouts and then record how they went. Would you be interested in knowing more about my weekly exercise plan?

Reading

I’m devouring some great books this month and rediscovering just how much reading fills me up. I finished Lisa T. Bergren’s River of Time series – five books, Christian young adult fiction, set in 14th century Italy, exciting and lots of fun. I cried when it was over. Yes, I get a little invested in fiction books.

I’m reading three other fabulous books right now, too – Bossypants by Tina Fey, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, and Own Your Life by Sally Clarkson. I’m really enjoying all of them and have a long list to choose from when these are done!

This is life, people. And instead of being upset or anxious when I don’t have time to write, I’m taking it as a hint that I need to breathe, to live NOW and write later. This post from Shauna Niequist has me thinking deeply about how much of life I have missed and how much more I want to notice everything.

I have a bunch of fun things to share with you this week, including two great exclusive discounts for you on some of my FAVORITE things, so don’t go away! I’m still here and I’m thankful you are, too!

What have YOU been up to this first month of 2015?

 

 

 

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Prayer + Motherhood

I’ve been on my knees a lot to start this new year. It seems that when one declares a word for the year, that very thing may be the thing you for which you have to fight the hardest.

I believe that also goes for anything to which we are truly dedicated. Our marriage, our children, our ministry. The enemy doesn’t want us focused on these good things. And so the most important things in our lives are also often the most challenging.

JJ puzzle blog

Motherhood is one of those for me – something I’ve always wanted, something I treasure, something I want to do well. And yet it is also more difficult than I could have ever imagined.

As I’ve tried to proceed in 2015 with JOY, I’ve grasped new glimpses where I didn’t see it before, but I’ve also been met with much discouragement in the form of distraction and arguing and disobedience. I often feel beat down by the end of the day.

I’m not saying this is all my children’s fault. I’ve made plenty of negative choices, particularly in my role as mom, that have left me worn, losing my focus on joy. But I haven’t given up. I can’t ever give up because I’m mothering with an eye on eternity.

j homeschool writing blog

Through it all, prayer has been my saving grace. Early morning prayers for wisdom and love. Midday prayers for a peaceful afternoon. Evening prayers asking for forgiveness and new mercies for the next day. Prayers all day long to find the joy in all of it.

Boys Reading BW blog

I don’t tend to write out my prayers, but the focus on the Tommy Nelson blog this month is on prayer and God just spilled these words out of me as I wrote my heart for moms of boys – and for me. I’m not writing + praying as a mom who has figured out this boy-raising thing, but as a mom who desperately wants God to show me what these boys – MY BOYS – need from their mother. I need His wisdom. I need His strength. I need His grace. And so do my boys.

J Knex Seagull blog

I used to think God was calling me to be a mother because I would be good at it. {insert my laughter here} Now I know motherhood is my calling because it is always refining me and keeping me dependent on my God. Motherhood draws me close to Him + prayer is our best form of communication.

Moms – join me in prayer this week, this month, this year? Whether you are a mom of boys, a single parent {or sometimes single}, a woman who longs to be a mom, or any mother – someone is praying the same prayer you are. And there are more motherhood prayers yet to come on Tommy Nelson this month, so stay tuned!

If you have a specific prayer request related to motherhood, share it in the comments or feel free to email it to me. It would be my joy to pray for you today!

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What I Wore: Symbology

I received the top mentioned in this post for review. I have included affiliate 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!

Fair trade accessories have been a staple for me for a while and they are not too hard to find these days. But fair trade clothing was elusive to me until recently. And it was worth the wait because I am discovering some great pieces for my capsule wardrobe that also support the artists who made them in a fair way!

Before I show you my new favorite tunic, I need you to know something: I love elephants. Ok, now you are prepared for this awesome…

WIWW Elephantspaired with GAP mint skinny cords and wild copper Tieks 

This Kissing Elephants Tunic is from Symbology Clothing, a company who employs marginalized artisans, with a special focus on women, and preserves traditional artforms threatened by globalization.

WIWW Elephants 3

I love this top for so many reasons. First of all, the elephants. Of course. The length of the tunic is perfect to cover my rear end and the length of the sleeves can be adjusted with the button cuffs! The fabric is lightweight and super comfortable. And I love the cut of the neckline. This tunic could be dressed up for a date night or bundled up for fall frolicking with your kids!

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paired with comfy skinnies, burgundy combat boots,  fashionABLE scarf – and wind!

Symbology has SO many cute tops, dress, kimonos, skirts, and more! Through Sunday, October 19th, you can get 10% off your Symbology order with the code HOMEWITHSYMBOLOGY {all caps} at checkout!

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In case you were wondering, YES, I did wear the same top twice in the last week. That’s how much I love it. And I know you’ll love Symbology – the mission, the design, the prints – just as much as I do!

What are you loving from Symbology? A top? Dress? Skirt?

linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy

 

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Fall Family Fun!

The past week has been full of all sorts of fall family fun – my favorite kind of fun! I recently wrote on the Tommy Nelson blog about simple fall break ideas – things to do locally when you can’t get away for long but want to enjoy some autumnal activities! Here’s what we’ve been up to as we enjoy the change in seasons…

First stop: the pumpkin patch!

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And then the Monster Mash Fun Run/Walk to finish out our Miracle Marathon

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It was super fun to meet up with blog reader and Miracle Marathon team member Erika, her boys, and her mom! We all enjoyed the activities, the walk, and each other’s company! We also met Curt Tomasevicz, former Husker football player and Olympic bobsledder! How fun that he let us hold his Olympic medals?!

Speaking of the Miracle Marathon, the miles have been logged, but it’s not too late to donate! I still have a ways to go to reach my $272 goal, but you can help me out and give until November 1st!

Don’t forget to check out my fall break ideas over at Tommy Nelson to make the most of my favorite season!

What kind of fall fun does your family enjoy?

 

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