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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A little catch up

As I mentioned in my last post, it's been a crazy few months.
I got dressed every day, but only took photos on a few occasions.
Now seems as good a time as any to share some of my pairings over the past two months.
Ready for outfit overload? As always, linking up with Lindsey over at The Pleated Poppy.
The good, the bad, and the....well, I'm interested to see what you think of some of my creative and out of character choices.
If you've seen me at all in the past two months, you've probably seen my blue skirt.
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I bought it at Target at the end of May and fell in love. I've worn it at least a ga-zillion times since.
It started just before Elevate when I realized I wanted something new to wear to the conference. Using a little remaining birthday money, I went to my top two local-awesome-clothes-for-low-price stores- Target and Old Navy. I hit pay dirt at Target with the maxi skirt for $17.99. It wasn't on sale, but I knew it would be worth it's weight in gold.
At Old Navy I found 3 tanks I thought would be easy to dress up or down with accessories and jackets or sweaters. One was on clearance for $2.50! Score! The other two were only $5.
Why am I telling you all this? To prove that fashion doesn't have to be expensive! I've literally worn this skirt with different tops, shoes, and accessories ALL Summer long. It's comfy, trendy, and pretty cute, I think. ;)
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When I first bought the pieces, I sent the above photo to a few friends and asked which color was best, and tucked or untucked. I thought I would go with the majority and take the other two tops back...but at those price price points, I'm glad I held onto all 3 tops.
Majority said orange top, untucked.

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I ended up pairing the outfit with my khaki bow wedges, an awesome Anthropologie birthday necklace from Angie and some fabulous earrings my best friend in GA, Kimberly got me for Christmas last year. They were made by Village to World, an organization that helps women in North India create beautiful pieces at a fair wage in their community.

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 I ended up wearing this outfit to a last minute trip to the Queen Bee Market and again the next weekend to Elevate. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos in my outfit at either event.
No worries, I wore the skirt with the green tank, same accessories, changed the shoes, and added a demim jacket to Madison's Kindergarten graduation. (I told you I wore this skirt a lot!)
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{ denim jacket-NY&Co, red wedge flops- JC Penney- did you know they actually have cute shoes? } 
Heck, I even wore it to the pool as a bathing suit cover up on a recent impromptu trip to Disneyland!
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 Ok, enough of the stinking skirt and the crappy cell pics...moving on...

My awesome inlaws got me a Forever 21 gift card for my birthday and I thought it was time to spend a little of it. Lucky for me, all the clearance was buy one get one FREE so I picked up two versatile pieces for the end of Summer for $14 total! These photos were taken when I was already a bit wider through the tummy area. Not so flattering afterall, but super comfy.
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{top- Forever 21- I love the pattern on it and the bright colors, skinny jeans- Forever 21, flops-Old Navy, gray modern pearl statement necklace-Allora Handmade }

Breadwinner and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary on July 8th. With all that was going on, we didn't have anything planned so last minute we got a sitter and went out the night before.
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We were so tired from a last minute 'let's clean this place up so the babysitter doesn't think we are total slobs' cleaning spree, we barely made it through dinner-yawning the whole time. When did we get so old?
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Since we got married in Hawaii and were going for a casual dinner, I tried to keep my outfit slightly tropical. I decided to layer up the just-a-bit-too-short-to-wear-as-a-dress top with a flowy white skirt to make it look more like a dress. Breadwinner liked it, so I went with it.
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{ the other new Forever 21 top, white peasant skirt- Old Navy, skinny mint belt-American Eagle, red rosie necklace- Allora Handmade, shoes- hmmm...pretty old.}
My goal has always been to be real on my blog. I don't want to represent myself as something I'm not. The past few months have been tough for me and while I want to share that with you, I don't want to be Debbie Downer all the time.
Thank you for supporting me as I've shared over the past week. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. I'm doing my best to get back to 'normal' and make this space something fresh, true, and most importantly...me!

Oh, and don't forget the GroopDealz necklace giveaway! It ends Wednesday at midnight EST!

Back in the Swing of Things

While this site has gone through several changes over the past two years, I realize many of you 'stay tuned' purely for the attempted fashion posts.
After a busy few weeks, then personal sorrow, and finding the strength to share....things are finally feeling normal again.
It's time to get back on the horse and play a little catch up with outfit posts.
Effectively, I'm BACK!
Oh- and if you only come around for WIWW posts- welcome to the 'new digs'. What do you think?
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This past Sunday we finally went back to church.
God always knows what I need to hear. This week was no different.
The pastor preached on Abraham and his obedience to God. When Abraham followed God's commands with complete-childlike faith, God's promises were revealed. God made promises to Abraham and he rewarded Abraham for his obedience. (Genesis 12-22)
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What a reminder to live my life with childlike faith. Leave the hard decisions up to God to sort out and live according to his commands in my life.
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{ pink ruffled cardi, navy bubble skirt-American Eagle Outfitters,  charcoal tank-Old Navy, gray modern pearl statement necklace- Allora Handmade, bloom belt-The Pleated Poppy, green wedges-cute shop in Athens, GA } *side note: you may remember- I lost my bloom belt on our camping trip to Pismo Beach and shopping stop at the Stitch Market. A sweet, sweet friend of mine gifted her little worn bloom belt to me when she saw how sad I was about losing mine. 

It's a lot easier to smile when I remember God is in control and give that control up to Him!
Are you smiling today?

Need another reason to smile...

The GroopDealz Bubble Statement necklace giveaway ends Wednesday night at midnight!
Go enter before it's too late.  

As always linking up with my friends Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for some fashion inspiration.

Monday, July 23, 2012

GroopDealz Giveaway

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Have you seen the totally fabulous bubble statement necklaces in everyone's fashion posts lately?
I know, right?!
Thanks to the good people over at GroopDealz, I am giving one away to my awesome readers!

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Can I just say how jealous I am about this one? Wish I could win.
GroopDealz always has such awesome items at incredible deals. I'm definitely a repeat customer.
Ready to win? Hurry and enter, quick! This giveaway ends Wednesday night at midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Can't wait to find out if you are the winner?
These fabulous necklaces are still available now!
Click on over and pick up yours for a low $19.99!

Monday, July 16, 2012

6 weeks

On June 12th, I learned we were pregnant again.
In the first week of this new knowledge I was a whirlwind of emotions.
Last week I found my words and shared the story of our second loss.
Yesterday I shared my first thoughts from June 13th.
Today, the final post I wrote when we were 6 weeks on June 23rd.
It may seem silly, but I feel called to hit publish on all these posts and share. Praying my story reaches and helps someone else. At minimum, it's a way for me to reflect back on the less than perfect times in my life and remember God held me up through it all.

June 23rd 11:14pm I first drafted this...


 From the moment I saw those two lines I've been thinking of all the creative ways I can share with my family and friends, you- that I'm pregnant. Our family is growing.
I want to SHOUT and tell the world. There is a person growing inside of me! Another little person in our family. Is it that baby boy everyone else thinks we need? Is it another beautiful girl?
I've been planning out what the baby's room will look like.
Reading all about my blog and real life friends who are pregnant and delivering their very own babies. I so want to just say, oh- any chance you want to well those fabulous maternity clothes when you are done? Or oh- let's talk about our due dates.
But I'm scared.
We decided to wait. At least until we go to the doctor.
July 2nd.
It's been the absolute longest weeks of my life.
Waiting.
I keep dreaming of the image on the ultrasound. I can't see it in my dreams. 
I want to see a healthy jumping bean.
But I fear...I fear what I saw in January.
An empty womb.
It's crushing.
To know. To feel there is a life growing inside you, and to be told...it's not there.
I cried once. No twice.
The first time I cried I was watching Grey's Anatomy. Merideth thought she lost Zola, and a social worker opened the door with her. She had her baby. I cried. I was waiting for blood work to come back. I was praying the numbers were higher. Praying my baby was there. Growing. The way she should be. I thought she was a girl. Kennedy still swears mommy had twins in her tummy. I prayed I would get my baby. Then I cried again- at church that Sunday. When I was waiting again, but felt God telling me he took her. We were singing...."he gives and takes away, he gives and takes away....my heart will choose to stay...Lord blessed be your name". I sang it. I sobbed it. I meant it. I know it was all for His glory. I don't understand it. Still. But I know it was His plan.

Tonight, I cry again. As I type. I took a photo today.

I wanted to start documenting this baby. I fear I will lose him.
I think he's a boy. And I love him. I'm scared- I don't know what to do with boys- but I love him.
I want him to know he was loved. So very loved, so early on. I'm not sure what the turning point was. From fear to guilt to love. But I love this baby. So much. I fear another empty womb.
Four pregnancy tests over a week's time all declared the baby is there. Why would I question.
Why would I question God's plan?
Breadwinner and I agreed- this is it. Our last pregnancy. No matter what. In his mind, he was done- December was a compromise. Now, this is a gift. The last one. Why do I fear God will take this gift? 
More than anything I fear the aftermath.
Will I crawl into a hole? Will that trigger the mental illness that runs in my family?
Will it be the be the end of my marriage? How will I explain it to the girls? Mommy had another baby in her tummy. That baby is in heaven, too.
I know it is reality for so many women.
Tonight. I'm crying at the thought of becoming one.
I need to see my baby. 8 more days.
They could be the longest 8 days of my life.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

First thoughts

On June 12th, I learned we were pregnant again.
In the first week of this new knowledge I was a whirlwind of emotions.
Last week I found my words and shared the story of our second loss.
Today I'm hitting publish on the first post I wrote after seeing those double lines, June 13th at 5:45am.
My first thoughts on this pregnancy...


My heart is so heavy. I need to share.
I'm not sure when I will hit publish on this one, but I don't want what I am feeling right now to go undocumented. So, I'm writing.
Yesterday morning I woke up and did a little math. It's been two weeks of weekend trips away anticipating the start of my period. I just knew it would start any minute. My body was showing all the signs. Yet for two weeks-nothing.
My cycle has been a little out of whack since our loss in January, but not anything grossly different. A few days here and there, but generally speaking, my cycle is a short 21 days.
Imagine my surprise when I made myself sit down yesterday morning with a calendar and count...30 days since my last cycle.
There is no way.
The girls and I needed to go into town anyway, so Target was our first stop. I distracted them as I grabbed a test. It took everything in me not to pay and go right to the Target bathroom. Instead, we continued on our errands, then finally made it home. I ran to the bathroom, then went back to unloading groceries and waited.
Plain as day- two lines. One faint. One dark.
My heart sank.
Breadwinner doesn't want anymore children. He was fairly confident he didn't want anymore before we got pregnant last November. The loss combined with last weeks trip to the ER with Kennedy sealed the deal for him. He's been anxious to get 'fixed' for some time now.
I knew this would not be exciting news for him. I wasn't sure it was exciting for me. I've been so unhappy with my body, and know a pregnancy will only exacerbate the parts I'm least thrilled with. And then there is the more important fact- I don't feel like a good mom. I yell. A LOT. I am not patient enough with my girls. Several times since January the thought has crossed my mind that God took that precious baby because I can't handle mothering another child.
I contemplated not telling Breadwinner for a while. I mean, what if God takes this baby, too? He certainly can't handle another loss. I'm not good at keeping secrets, so shortly after dinner last night I told him. My suspicions were correct. His reaction was not good.
My heart sank.
The last several weeks have been busy. And stressful. And I've been drinking. Now I'm pregnant. And scared. What if I hurt this baby before I even knew it existed?
I keep feeling tiny twinges in my belly. It makes me think something is wrong. Maybe it's because this baby already doesn't feel loved. Doesn't feel wanted. Have I hurt this baby?
This morning I woke up with a huge feeling of guilt. 5am and I was wide awake.
Guilt that I don't love this baby enough. Or at all. Guilt that other women long for the moment they see two lines...the same two lines that made me cringe.
I'm having a baby.
A precious and incredible miracle.
A life.
A person.
I'm having a baby.
I want to be happy. I want to shout at the top of my lungs.
I want to tell the world.
I want to know everything will be OK.
I want to see that tiny heart beating.
I want ten fingers and ten toes.
I want to hear that precious first cry.
God gave me a gift.
I want to love this gift.
I don't want to be afraid.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Finding the words

I've been looking for the words for over a week now.
I thought today would be the day, but it didn't feel right. Now all of a sudden, I'm overcome and so it seems the best time to share.
It may seem silly to some of you, or inconsequential. To me- it has been all consuming.

A few weeks ago I posted about my body image issues. The post was entitled Feeling Less than Fabulous. So many of you responded with words of encouragement and understanding. I felt so uplifted, so moved by the blogging community...then I fell off the blog for a little while. Life got busy at first...a last minute trip to The Queen Bee Market and girls night with sweet friends followed by a weekend away with one of my favorite real life friends and attending the Elevate Conference.

Two days after Elevate I did a little math and knew something was off.
A quick test revealed those amazing and scary double pink lines.....pregnant.

I was overwhelmed. Since our loss in January, we hadn't talked much about growing our family again. I knew Breadwinner was happy with our family of four. I knew 'starting over' with a little one was not top on his priority list. I knew sharing the news with him would not be easy. This pregnancy was not planned. I blogged about my fear, and left it unpublished.

June 12th I saw those two pink lines. We decided to tell our parents and closest friends and wait until after our first doctor's appointment to share with everyone else. Breadwinner went from overwhelmed to frustrated to nervous to excited-particularly at the idea of finally having a boy. I watched friends making new announcements every day on Instagram and Facebook. Sharing their tiny baby bumps and first ultrasound photos. I followed friends who announced their pregnancies back in December when we found out about our last little peanut...their gorgeous growing bellies proudly showcased. I couldn't wait for July 2nd to see that healthy bean and post a little photo of my already showing baby bump and that sweet little bean in an ultrasound photo.

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June 29th the bleeding started. An ultrasound with my doctor that day revealed what I already suspected. An empty uterus...more accurately, an empty sac.
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That black space inside the pear shaped outline-is the sac, where my baby should be.
Consecutive blood tests Friday, then Monday confirmed the doctor's early suspected diagnosis- a blighted ovum.
I haven't decided what is worse- hearing that there never was a baby, or hearing that the baby is gone.
For two and a half weeks I hinted on instagram and on the blog about needing to 'make room for new things' we were already planning out the new baby's space shared in my craft room. Making room to bring the crib down out of the attic, planning out changing table space....

Breadwinner took last week off. We cancelled our planned camping trip.
In January I poured myself into our house-painting nearly every room, redecorating, it was a great distraction. This time, I tried to lean on my husband. I tried to talk to him everyday about moving on. I told him God gave us two chances, we need to get rid of all the baby stuff and move on. He listened and told me to wait. Now is not the time to make big decisions.
I wrote the two and a half weeks I was pregnant. Typed out in raw emotion a couple of days. I wasn't sure when or if I would ever hit publish.
Over the next couple of days I want to share those words. I know some people think it's strange to expose oneself on the internet this way, but for me...for me it feels therapeutic. While I'm not sure how I feel right now- I know exactly how I felt then. I'm hoping those feelings will guide me in the next few months as we make decisions about our family.
In January I turned to God and begged him to save our baby. He drew me in.
On June 29th, I asked him to give me peace regardless of his decision. Then I pushed myself away.
I know many people are praying for me, for peace, for guidance- I guess I'm afraid of what God will reveal to me. Our family felt incomplete to me after Kennedy was born almost 4 years ago. Despite how Breadwinner felt, I always felt God whispering his blessing on growing our family.
I don't hear that whisper anymore. It scares me.
I know I should draw nearer to God in times like this. Let Him guide me, comfort me. Sometimes that's easier said than done.
I'm afraid of what He is revealing.
I'm trying to be brave and listen...I know I'm not trying hard enough.

Sometimes it takes brokenness to feel whole again.
I know my story is not unlike many other women. I realize these tiny losses are nothing compared to what some women go through. I have two gorgeous and healthy girls. God provides for our family and continues to bless us every day. I know He has a purpose in all this. I know it is His plan and will all be for His glory.
It's processing all this that has me stumped. I'm working on moving forward and learning from this. I'm trying to find the courage to share and trust in His plan.
Should you join me on this journey, I simply ask that you be gentle in your words.

A sweet friend shared this scripture with me this week. A beautiful reminder that even in times of trouble and heartache, the Lord gives us just what we need.

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he
delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and
the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters
were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven

Psalm 107:28-30

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Landscape

We were fortunate to have a beautifully maintained and landscaped front yard when we bought our house. Where we live, it's not unusual to ignore more of the outside space on your property. Most of our neighbors have horses and other than horse stalls, barns, shaders, and pastures, the yards aren't anything like most of suburbia.
Last Tuesday, we made a 15 foot summer addition to our less than landscaped side yard/driveway.
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It took 6 hours and 2200 gallons of water to fill.
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About 30 minutes into the process, the girls jumped in- and stayed in until it was complete.
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Even Mommy and Daddy got in on the fun.
We all slept great that night.
Not a day has passed in the last week when we haven't been outside in the pool.
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Going with the shallow 36 inch deep model so the kids could still stand on their own was a smart move. They feel more independent and more adventuresome--diving underwater and attempting to swim from side to side.
"Water bobs" are Kennedy's new favorite activity. She spends more time underwater than above.

Yesterday I posted this one on Instagram: Quote of the day: "mommy! I'm doing so good. I didn't drownded! I didn't die!" she's not excited (or dramatic) at all.
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This afternoon, she exclaimed between water bobs "Mommy, I changed my mind...I want to be a MERMAID when I grow up!"
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To say it was a great purchase seems to be the understatement of the year.
If you can't find us the rest of the summer, check the driveway. :)

Chicken Pot Pie

**Not exactly why this post from several months ago suddenly popped up today, but why not enjoy a warm hearty dinner in the middle of July?**
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Last fall I had a craving for Chicken Pot Pie. A few days later a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook for Hungry Girl Chicken Pot Pie recipe.
Such a simple recipe, I decided to try it...with a few twists.
Now it has become a staple at our house and every guest wants the recipe! I'm amazed that a few simple ingredients can make such deliciousness!
This recipe is easy to alter for larger or smaller serving sizes, but I will give you the portions we use.

You will need:
Approx 1 lb chicken breasts (we actually use chicken tenderloins because they thaw faster, and I'm not always great about planning ahead...and by not always, I mean pretty much never)
1 bag frozen assorted veggies (confession: I don't like lima beans-this mix has them, I search and search to find the assorted veggies without them...sometimes I fail)
2-3 cans Campbell's condensed Cream of Mushroom (or Chicken) soup (No, it doesn't have to be Campbell's- No, they are not paying me to say this, and yes-I do believe it is the best with no substitutes...plus you can cut off the the upc and take it to your local school to help them out-Bonus!)
1 package of refrigerator crescent rolls...the new crescent roll sheets would work well with this, too.
and the most important flavor ingredient....
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Montreal Chicken seasoning.
I'm not kidding. It MAKES the dish.

Preheat your oven to 375degrees

Start by cubing your chicken into bite size pieces, season with your Montreal Chicken seasoning and saute in extra virgin olive oil until fully cooked.
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In the meantime, prepare your veggies as directed by the package. I like the steam in bag veggies. Open 2 cans of cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup and empty them into your favorite baking dish. I absolutely love my Pampered Chef Deep baker. Plus the stone is microwaveable!


I like to sprinkle a few teaspoons (or tablespoons!) of the Montreal Seasoning in my soup mixture for extra flavor. Add your cooked veggies and chicken to the soup and combine well. This is where I cheat a little. I microwave the entire mixture for 2-3 minutes to heat throughout.
This time I added some pre-cooked wide egg noodles, too. The recipe is very forgiving. Be creative in what you add.

This is where you decide whether or not you want the third can of soup. I like my pot pie pretty soupy, so I added the extra can this time. If your mixture looks to be the consistency you like, leave it as is.
Next, unroll your crescent rolls and press them over the top of your mixture. I leave mine fairly loose, but you can pinch your triangles into a solid sheet if you prefer.

Put your pot pie in the oven to bake your crust. Approx 12-15 minutes or until nice and brown.

Allow the pie to cool slightly and set up 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Hello, Change

Hello, Monday!

Hello, change on the blog.
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 Hello things to come and big plans.
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Hello brave month of revealing and sharing my heart coming up.

<--------- Hello sponsors over on that lovely, new sidebar.
Email me (fairlyfabulous@hotmail.com) for more info.

Hello shop full of super duper low prices and inventory I need to move.
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Hello, chalkboard! Hello, hoot tee!

Hello sale...use the coupon code HELLOSALE for 15% off your entire order this week to make these deals even sweeter.

Hello, friends. Thank you for sticking with me and waiting patiently.
Linking up with the beautiful Lisa Leonard for Hello, Monday this week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Seven


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7 years ago, wearing my mother's veil, on a drizzly Hawaiian afternoon,
I walked down a sandy aisle on Waialae Beach
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and said, "I do",
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he did, too.
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It was perfect.
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 Gray, misty clouds parted to a gorgeous blue sky and rainbow as we promised to stand by each other until death do us part.
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Seven years later God sent us a few curve balls...some more recent than others.
We manage to find love and joy through the ups and downs.

I couldn't imagine the ups and downs with anyone else.
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Happy Anniversary, my love.