February 11, 2016

Friendship


 is something so fun to write about because friendship is important to me. I love making new friends. This post with Sandy Alamode and Canary Jane, Two of my "blogging friends" turned into real life friends was so much fun to do.

My sweet Mom and Grandma Mary always taught me about how important it was to be kind and to be friends with everyone, no matter what. At a young age I saw their examples and wanted to be friends with everyone and anyone. I didn't realize how much friendship would mean to me as I got older. Friends can make the world of difference as a teenager and young adult and I was blessed to have many wonderful friends. When I truly learned to appreciate friendship the most was when my husband and I moved far away from home. 

Across the country we went, and it is then I realized what a beautiful and inspiring thing friendship is. In the heat of a Washington D.C. Summer, my sweet friend (who I met just two days before) picked me up on the corner of a really sketchy neighborhood I had somehow gotten myself into by riding the metro in hopes of finding an urgent clinic. Ahhhhhhh!! She got word I was sick and immediately left her job to rescue me. She drove me to an ER where I was treated for a bad kidney infection. She stayed the entire afternoon and evening. Friendship became even more to me that day. She taught me a valuable lesson in that even a brand new (as in we only had met once) friendship is one to cherish and cultivate. She taught me what friendship truly means, putting others first, lifting them up.

As we moved to Florida where we truly only knew one person in the entire state, I found friendships to be the strength I needed to be so far from home and loved ones. These friends became our family and truly lifted me up when I needed it the most. I'm still in awe of the immediate kindness and support we found in new friends in Tampa. The kind of friends who loved our girls like family. The kind of friends who would drop anything to help, the kind of friends who could talk all night long. I cherish those friendships like no other.
I'm so grateful for wonderful friends old and new. In writing this post I have a renewed desire to be a better friend and to reach out to become better friends with new people. There's so much to learn from friendship and the amazing people surrounding us.
I hope to inspire you to reach out to your friends and aspire to making a new friend or two in the next few months.


Xoxo
Blakely



Dresses, skirt, and all shoes: c/o My Sisters Closet Boutique 

February 2, 2016

Favorite Flare Jeans + Lily Jade Diaper Bag



So I still remember back in the day when my mom bought me a pair of flare jeans and I absolutely loved them! I wanted to wear them everywhere, everyday. Let's not talk about the white 5 inch platform tennies I wore with the flares.... they were ridiculous and I can't believe I could walk around school in those, heck I even ran in them a few times.

Anyways, back to the flare! I'm so loving flares again. I have saved a few pairs I had in early high school days and I've been pulling them out a lot lately. (Hoarding pays off sometimes). This pair is from Forever21 and they're comfy as can be and under $30!
I love the fact that they're a little bit on the high waisted side to tuck shirts in. When I sit down, I don't have to pull my pants up or have a plumbers crack lol! To top it off, they're really lengthening to the eye.

Flash forward 15 years and what's one of my favorite fashion accessories now? Diaper bags! A lot has changed since those platform and furry pink purse days. Sounds dramatic  but a good diaper bag can make a world of difference for a mama!
I have had a few different diaper bags throughout the years as a mama now, and I like them all for different reasons. So many quality diaper bags these days!



I can say I am LOVING this Lily Jade Rosie (the name of course!) diaper bag.
For one, it doesn't look like a diaper bag.
Most people think it's my purse.
It has 19 pockets!!! Now that's a record. It's critical for organization as a mom. 
The bottles, the toys, wipes, dipes, medicine, snacks, mommy items, the pockets save me!!!!
The entire inner organizer is removable and machine washable! Game changer. 
I don't like to admit this, but my bags always get dirty inside, I am one to eat on the go
 A LOT. I tend to spill...... So this is an amazing feature.
It's beautiful brandy color is just warm and buttery + it is full grain leather.
I'm so into this bag right now and can't wait to use it for many adventures to come.
I have to say, I love the size for my own personal belongings too.
 Moms need snacks to survive :)






Outfilt details
Diaper bag: Lily Jade Co
Hat: H&M
Jeans: Forever21
Cardigan: Ann Taylor 
Clogs: Old Navy (not recent) 


February 1, 2016

The many hats we wear as mothers


I didn't realize until I became a mom myself, how amazing moms really are.I didn't realize I would become an on demand feeding station, all nighter, chef, lego builder, dance partner, singer, nurse, teacher, toy fixer, fashion designer, party planner, hair stylist, chauffeur, motivational speaker, confidence booster, sleepover partner, laundress, prayer warrior and master worrier! WOW!  I really really enjoy meeting other moms and just simply observing how they are with their children, their homes, their jobs, etc. To watch  moms juggle life is so amazing because it teaches me so much. There's  something so inspiring to me how we all mother differently but yet have the same deep reason for everything we do - love- we all just down right love our children so much its hurts.

 As a mother I am learning new things every single day. I can't even count the number of times I go to bed at night thinking "I could be so much better tomorrow" for my children, not for me, but for them. It's a constant learning curve and that's whats so beautiful. Our children love us no matter what. It's the sweetest, most genuinely Christ like quality. They always forgive and move on. Those sweet little ones. 
I have often seen the quote: 

 "There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one."

I truly love this. It inspires me to be a better mother each day, yet not be too hard on myself for not being the perfect mother. 

As mothers (especially these days with social media as prevalent as it is) we compare ourselves to each other more and more. We see everyone else doing certain things with their children and we think we are failing if we are not. The crafts, the adventures, the smiles, the vacations, the toys, the immaculate bedrooms, and perfectly made meals, we don't always see the struggles, the messy houses, the sad little faces, the tired mom striving to just make it through the day. We all have our struggles, impatient moments and more.  It's so important to remember that the only thing that matters is that we are doing OUR BEST, being the best mother for our own children. 

It makes me happy to see mothers lifting others. There's truly something to be said for being more understanding and quick to lift other mothers. We're all in this together :)

I am constantly inspired by the moms who take care of sick children, work many jobs, keep a clean house, plan events, serve in the community or church, and are continually making a difference in the world simply by just being the best mother they can be. 
Take a minute today to think about the amazing things you do on a daily basis, the many many aspects of your life and your children's  lives that are only possible because you are doing your best at being the mother.

Take a minute to acknowledge your accomplishments and write down those motherly qualities you are proud of. Keep in mind what you want to work on and what inspires you to be better, but always remember the amazing things you are doing each and every day. The simple every day moments are what matter most and when we focus on building ourselves up, we only become better. 













December 14, 2015

Skin care routine




 I finally found the perfect combination of products for my skin. It only took me ten years!  I never knew I would have to worry about pimples, oil etc. as an adult! With moving around to different climates, my skin was constantly changing. Humidity, dry air, dirty NYC (when I washed my face at night and literally had black on my towel) to Florida when I would walk outside for ten minutes and my face would be dripping wet, to Utah where the heaters are turned on so high in every car and house, my skin started to flake and dry up. I constantly tried to keep up and my skin wasn't too clear. 

Four years ago I started using the clarisonic brush on my face. It changed my skin SIGNIFICANTLY! I've had the same clarisonic (change out the brush of course) for four years and it still works great. It cleared up a lot of my acne. I noticed a difference in just a few weeks
It's sooo amazing. 

Enter in Cerave'- this is the most gentle, amazing skin care line I've found. Even compared to high end department store face washes and lotions. This is top notch! This wash and lotion have helped my skin more than anything!!!! I can't recommend Cerave enough! The lotion is so amazing and does not make my skin oily which is what I had troubles with, dry- oily skin such an oxymoron right?!

With the clarisonic and Cerave' my skin was better than it's ever looked, but I still had these tiny little bumps along my hairline on the sides of my face and chin. They were teeny tiny but so irritating. I read about the Nutrogena stress relief wash and decided to try it. That was the last item to complete my skin care routine. Bumps gone!! 

So here's what I do.

I usually only wash my face at night because my skin gets too dry if I do morning also. 

-wash with the clarisonic brush and Cerave wash every other day.
- wash with the Nutrogena acne stress control every other day. 
- After washing use Cerave' facial moisturizing lotion every day. 

Checkout my giveaway on Instagram. I'm giving away a clarisonic Mia brush!! 


December 7, 2015

5 Ways to Style Holiday Outfits for Moms & Daughters

Soooooo I love to dress up during the Holidays. Maybe (over-dress).... but really I just think there is something so fun and exciting about getting all dressed up for special occasions in life. I also feel the simple times in life are some of the most special, so turning the ordinary moments into extraordinary is something I love to do. Most days I don't get out of my comfy clothes and my hair is in a bun from three days before. So, as aforementioned to me dressing up is a fun way to celebrate life.
I love to coordinate or match with my girls. Some may call it cheesy, but I love me some good matching outfit situations.  When I thought about this holiday shoot I thought of all the fun brights, plaids, reds and greens I usually envision when I think of holiday style. Then I remembered these sweetest, most tender baby girl dresses I ordered for my girls, and I planned my outfit around those.
Like always, I usually plan everything around my girls.ahhhhh.

I absolutely love the way these turned out. The soft marshmallow like colors in winter just make me imagine a sparkly, light, airy, winter wonderland.



I'm always always a sucker for smocked dresses. They are my all time favorite on my girls. 
When I saw this precious Nativity scene smocked on the light blue dress I knew they were perfect. 

I felt like a royal princess in this Shabby Apple skirt. 
My girls were fascinated by it, they kept fluffing it up and smiling. 


My heart cant even handle this shot. 
I will treasure this photo forever. 

These two are the ultimate posers, and I do love it!!


 OUTFIT DETAILS:
-Girls Dresses: (I ordered the from a shop in Florida, and I am having the hardest time finding a site to link to) so I found some very similar Here. 

-Rosie's gold ankle straps with bow: Janie and Jack 

-Wynn's gold soft sole t-strap shoe: Nordstrom

White faux fur cardigan: Anthropologie 

Baby Blue T-shirt: (old, Cinthia Rowley)

Skirt: Fallen Snow Skirt, Shabby Apple 







Five of us mamas put together a Holiday Style Guide with our daughters. The unique personalities completely shine in this group series of photos. It's so awesome to have a group of different mamas with all different style show some inspiration. I love the mix of casual to fancy and everything in between. I love the variety and uniqueness.
Sandy from Sandy a la Mode and her daughter Vivian are a mom and daughter styling team. They are so darling together and I've recently been getting to know Sandy, she is such a sweet girl and so easy to be with. I've been following Alycia from Crowley Party for so many years and finally got the chance to meet in real life. It's such a crazy thing, this social world online, but so neat to meet great people. My girls couldn't get enough of her sweet baby Ella. They thought she was a real doll.
Natashia from Canary Jane and cute little Nora are such a happy duo. Natashia is also crazy talented in the art department, she draws, paints etc. amazing pictures. Tori from What Anya Wore i sthe gorgeous mama to Anya and Poppy. She styles Anya and I just laugh and smile at her celebrity outfit posts. So much fun.
Check out their blogs for outfit details and more holiday inspiration. Its always a treat working with such lovely, good mamas. Any time I can do something with other mamas and join together in creating unity and kindness between women I feel so lucky.

*** All photos taken by the talented and amazing Lizzy from Lizzyography

November 28, 2015

Scripture Advent Calendar

Here is the link to my blog post from last year with the sweet scripture advent. It's sure one we love!

Scripture advent