Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stella & Dot, Stella & Dot, Stella & Dot!!!

Have you seen or heard of Stella and Dot? Ya'll!!! Oh my goodness! So, I am sooooo not a sales person and I really don't like going to those home parties where you feel pressured to buy something.
But, ladies (and gents) this company is so spectacular I had to jump on the Stella and Dot express and become a stylist!!!

One of the super neat things about this company is you can literally shop my site online. You don't even have to go to a trunk show (but, I am having one right now!)...although I'd love for you to see all the super cool pieces I just got.

There are so many amazing pieces, you are sure to find something you love! Half the line is under $50! Everything is shipped directly to you as soon as you order and at a flat rate shipping of only $5.95! All items have a 90 return policy. So, no worries if you want to try it on first. If you haven't heard of Stella and Dot yet, you will now! They are featured in InStyle, Vogue, USWeekly, Redbook, InTouch, and seen The Today Show and Good Morning America! 

Here are some of my absolute favorites:

Maldives Necklace

Medina Bib Necklace (this is even more beautiful in person!)

Seychelles Chandeliers (these also come in pink!)

Kimberly Necklace (and it has beautiful earrings that match!)

Stevie Necklace (my friend just bought this and it makes her look like a rock star!!)

I seriously have a wish list of about 30 pieces!! It's even more beautiful in person and there is something for everyone in this line.  The quality is phenomenal! Slip on a simple white t-shirt and jeans and absolutely any piece of this jewelry will make your outfit look so put together and fashionable. Perfect for us busy ladies on the go!

And guess what? You are invited to shop with me!! Treat yourself to a Valentines Day treat...or send your husband your wishlist! Just click on the link below to shop my online trunk show:

click here to shop

Thank you for your help in making my business a success! I am always so grateful for my friends (virtual and in real life) who constantly lend me their encouragement and support. xoxo

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Defeated...but never without hope

Do you ever feel like you are in a season of life where your faith is being greatly challenged? A time when God is really using struggles to refine you?

I feel like that right now. Except I feel like it's been going on for almost 3 years and my heart is starting to grow a little weary.

We haven't had cable in a long time, so the news is not constantly in my face, but you'd have to be a hermit to not know all that is going on with our world and economy. And no matter what they say, there is nothing about the financial world that is looking very positive for the future.

I find myself from time to time trying to find ways to cut spending, but I think I'm almost out of ideas. And I refuse to eat hotdogs for dinner every night...I do draw the line at our health. We can't afford to eat organic, but our bodies still need fresh, healthy food. We don't have cable, or smart phones, or ipads, or ipods. (I do have a nice laptop that was a gift...not something I purchased). We have no home phone...only the most basic cell phones you can have these days. We don't have car payments. What else is there to do?

After two years with our house on the market, we finally decided to try and refinance. We had not been able to before because our house was for sale. So, we took it off the market, got an appraisal, and applied for a refinance in hopes that it would save us some money until we could sell our house (and then we were planning on putting it back on the market again).

But, then the appraisal came back and it was so disgustingly low, that the bank refused our refinance which seemed like a done deal. (This all just happened in the last few days)

I also applied to go back to work last October back as a nurse, but working opposite hours of Andrew. Since childcare is too expensive, we knew this would only work if I worked weekends and evenings.  Sacrificing our little time together was not a great option...but, we couldn't see any other option.

But for the first time in 10 years, I didn't get a job I applied for.

It was sort of like a punch in a stomach. It was humbling and humiliating all in one breath.

I've sort of felt sick over it all the past few days. Looking to God and asking "what else can we do, Lord?" 

I guess I feel irritated when people make comments about "all these people who bought more than they could afford." That's just not always the case.  Like many, many people, we definitely lived within our means...but, now my husband makes 40% less and we have a family of 5. I make some money from my photography and he has a side business on top of his full time just stinks when you are doing everything you know while others live off the government and are in some ways better off than you...who is doing EVERYTHING. I get so upset when people would tell us not to sell...what choice do we have?

Monday night, Andrew and I had a long talk about it. We sat in silence a lot too because I didn't want to say anything that made him feel worse.

We keep reminding each other of how incredibly blessed we are. Blessed because God answered our many prayers for children. He has blessed abundantly through all the hard times and refined us into better people and a stronger couple because of it. He has used our own struggles to encourage others who are struggling as well.

So, in a word, I feel defeated. Defeated because I can't see the big picture of how God is going to use this for His glory and good. Tired because the past few years since the job loss and everything with the twins has just been a lot to carry.

Yes, tired and defeated.

But still hopeful that He will provide. Because He promises this. And He has always been faithful.

(Sorry for a sort of depressing post. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. There is nothing to feel sorry about. God has been so good to us. But, sometimes it's good for people to know that everything is not always as it seems on the outside. Just because people seem happy and have a beautiful family doesn't mean that there isn't some cross that they are carrying...a burden that is weighing very hard on their hearts. My only point is for others to know they are not alone. There are so many walking this path. Don't lose hope.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Beach Boys

Like father, like son. Having a South Florida, boat and beach raised boy as a father, it's no shock that these kids love the water. The ocean runs through their veins. And although there really is no winter in South Florida, I prefer to only swim when the water is just below boiling...bath water temperature. But the rest of my crew? They didn't care that the water was chilly.

Per usual, Audrey was the least thrilled with sand between her toes, but she quickly warmed up to the idea. Ella was her usual sea loving self...running and jumping through the waves. Perhaps the most surprising was Jacob. He's been a water lover since he was a baby, but he used to have a healthy amount of fear of the waves when they were taller than him. This year? No fear at all. He was knocked down over and over, clothes soaked in cold, salty water, and he just laughed hysterically the entire time.

I always had a thing for my Beach Boys cassette tapes growing up, so it's no shock that the lyrics to the music kept running through my head as I watched my own two Beach Boys enjoy the water.

My heart
That smile says it all
He would have taken off if we had not held onto him
The REAL Beach Boys

Aruba, Jamaica ooo I wanna take you
To Bermuda, Bahama come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego baby why don't we go
Down to Kokomo
We'll get there fast
And then we'll take it slow
That's where we wanna go
Way down to Kokomo 

 I'm sorry if you have this song stuck in your head now. It's been stuck in mine for a week.

Now I kind of want to go down load of bunch of their tunes from iTunes. I know...just add a few more points to my complete dork card.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This is how we ring in a new year

You'd think being only a half hour from Miami on New Years Eve we'd go out party hopping...but, we've never been quite that cool and much prefer to indulge our inner nerds on this much over rated day. And by indulging, I mean we were asleep before midnight...I even passed on the champagne this year.

In my opinion, we had the best party in town with a bunch of little monkeys running around. All on her own, she decided we needed a "dance" party. So, we played DJ and she and her cousin and siblings danced. We ate (a lot) and burned sparklers...and by 9pm we called it a night. That's my kind of party people.

And just to prove how wild and crazy I am, here are a few photos taken on New Years Eve from our trip to South Florida.

I know...wild mommy I tell ya!

He insisted on wearing his gold medal from his birthday with the can't argue with a two year old over these things. That and his completely botched haircut I gave him complete the New Years Eve attire.


Dancing started early at our party!

The night before New Years Eve, Andrew and I went out for a seafood dinner by ourselves. It's a rare treat to go out to dinner and even rarer to be alone. We indulged and both ordered a 1.5 lb. lobster. It was ridiculously good. I even put on a cute little black dress (and spanx...ahem) and heels...always happy to have an excuse to put on a pair of heels.

I have lots of pictures from our little vacation to see family in South Florida...perhaps I will post them before 2014 gets here. Ha! Stay tuned for some super precious photos of the kids on the beach!

Again, happy new year! Hope yours was as exciting as mine!!! Don't be jealous of my tiara and 2013 glasses!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
Happy New Year everyone! May you feel the peace of God surround you in all you do this coming year.