Toast to the New Year 2014!

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I’m so grateful with all that God has done for my family and I; not because we deserve it by any means because that’s not how God works.  We couldn’t earn His grace and mercy if we tried.   You couldn’t have told me 10 years ago that in 2014 I would be expecting my fourth child, entering my eighth year of married bliss and embarking on my first year of really trying my faith and working for myself.

Of course, life hasn’t been a bed of roses.  There’s been ups and downs and everything in between both personally and in my blog world, but I try to keep things in perspective when it comes to balancing home and this business of blogging.  There’s nothing that matters more to me than the five people I share my heart with.  I’d give it all up in a split-second, with no hesitation and not even a glance back, if I was ever forced to choose.  But let’s not go there. LOL

In the coming months you’re going to notice a transition with FASHION du jour.  Although, I love working my wardrobe, I love my life even more and I want to let you in.  So, not only will you see my outfit posts, but I’ll also share more of my home life and what it’s like raising 4 kids and keeping a happy hubby.  I’ll share more of my faith walk and the world of a “first lady in training”, the challenges, triumphs, and lessons with running my own business, and even some of my favorite fun stuff like pins, instagram pics, life hacks, and random commentary.

I hope you’ll stick with me through the ride.  Beginning January 1st you’ll see a new look to FASHION du jour, so you’ll have to tell me how you like it.

Happy New Year Friends!

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No Do Overs

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 similar jacket | top | jeans | bag | shoes | sunnies | earrings DIY

Ever wonder why God doesn’t give us do-overs in life?  Probably because God knows we’d be calling do-overs like they were going out of style.  How often do you wonder how things would be different if you had…

1.  calmed down before you sent that text.

2. not ran that red light?

3.  decided not to answer the door.

4.  chosen a different major.

5.  said “I do” and did.

6.  didn’t buy another pair of designer shoes.

7.  just picked up the phone and talked it out.

8.  said thank you.

9.  said I’m sorry.

10.  said I love you.

Rarely does life give you do-overs or second chances.  But often life gives us the luxury of righting our wrongs.

Dear God, Thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you for not returning to me the wrongs that I’ve done to others.  Thank you for allowing me to see my faults and giving me the courage to do what’s right, especially when it’s hard.  I ask you to continue to bridle my tongue, to calm  my spirit and instill the wisdom in me to know how and when to speak in love.  Amen.

What wrongs can you right before the New Year?  So, what’s stopping you?

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Sears & Kmart: Look for Less

Look For Less
{click below to shop this look}
Check out Eva Longoria looking all…Eva Longoria-ish.  Eva is one of those celebs who you know will always get it right.  In the collage above she’s in black from head to toe, which is a really classy and easy look to mimic and I found some items that will allow you to copy the look at a fraction of what Eva paid.
I don’t know if you’ve been by Sears or Kmart lately but if you haven’t, you should know that they have really stepped their fashion game up.  I  live right by a Sears so I like to stop in and catch their sales.  Although, I don’t live super close to a Kmart, God blessed us with the internet so you know I’m popping in an out online.
Being a mom of three, I’m super conscious {borderline neurotic} about my spending especially when I’m buying stuff for myself.  This look, however, is totally guilt-free.  Of the six items I found, none are over $45!  Believe it people!
Pop on over to Sears and Kmart and see what gems you find!
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[POWERED BY SEARS & KMART]

The Root

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similar: jacket | top | necklace: c/o MimiBoutique

I read a daily devotional called the Daily Bread and one in particular stood out. I’ve been thinking about it all week and I know that when something sits on my heart and mind, I need to share it.

Matthews 13:20-21- “But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.” 

There are some people who, not counting the cost, and taking little thought of the demands that will be made upon their life, happily receive the Word with a quickness of apprehension, a liveliness of interest, and a quickly expressed excitement.  

In the lives of these stony hearers, the real test comes not in the manner in which they receive the Word, but in the depth of their commitment to it.  When the root of that seed reaches down, desiring a greater selflessness, a more encompassing love, and a deeper self-denial, it finds that underneath that open reception is a heart still unchanged, unconverted, and stone-cold. 

 “A divided heart loses both worlds” – A.B. Simpson

Rather than go on and on {because trust me I can} about this, tell me.  What does this mean to you?  And if you don’t currently have a prayer life or devotion time, I encourage you to make it a part of your day.

 

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Do it anyway!

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[similar]: beenie | sweater | bag | leggings | booties 

Raising children has a way of blatantly showing you yourself.  I constantly think about what my children would think if mommy said this or did that.  I always feel their presence with me even when they are not.  I’m reminded daily that the life I live is an example to my children whether I’m intentional about my actions or not.  

Today, I’m writing a letter to my future adult children, as well as a reminder to myself.

Dear Jaxon, Julia and Jayde,

There will come a day, hopefully not many, when what seems like the right thing to do could also be the hardest thing you will ever have to do.  Do it anyway.  That pile of clothes…it won’t fold itself.  That frozen chicken…it won’t cook itself.  All those good grades you want…they won’t earn themselves.  If it is wrong, don’t do it.  If it is untrue, don’t repeat it.  It’s that simple.  Do the right thing even when nobody is looking.  Even when there’s no one there to recognizing you for your good works.  Have integrity. Integrity is doing what’s right even when no one will notice.  Don’t expect that just because you did one good deed that you’ll be rewarded back the same way.  Don’t expect to get back everything you give up because the fact of the matter is you won’t.  God made you to make a difference in the world.  So that someone will see Jesus in your life and ask how they can come to know Him.  For this, there’s a reward bigger than our minds can comprehend.

Love,

Mom

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People Change

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We all have that friend from high school or middle school or even grade school who we thought would be in our corner “forEVER ever”.  The one who knew our deepest darkest secrets and greatest fears.  And then it happens…life, that is, and we lose touch.  That one time BFF becomes just an acquaintance.

While it’s natural to feel sad about the distance that’s grown between you, I’ve learned to accept that some of those friends are no longer the friends we once knew.  And that’s okay.  But, I’ve also learned that life doesn’t always change as fast as people do.  It’s painful when those who you’ve called friends and who’s highs you’ve celebrated and lows you’ve consoled no longer return that most valuable part of the relationship…love.

This truth affects all kinds of relationships.  I’ve lost count of the times friends have shared how much they miss the guy they thought was Mr. Right once a relationship has ended.  In reality, what they miss is the feeling they had when they were with so-called “Mr. Right”.  So easily we confuse the two.

Life is a series of experiences; many of which are relationships.  Many times how we navigate through those experiences will determine our success in life.  I admit, I haven’t always gotten it right with the relationship experiences in my life.  In fact, most times I’ve gotten it wrong.  I’m horrible at returning text messages.  I hate talking on the phone and special dates like birthdays….you can forget it.  However, in order for me to get my relationships right with others, it’s important for me that I get my relationship right with God first…after all, there’s no relationship more important.

Have you taken a pulse on your relationships lately?

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What’s it Like?

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jacket, legging: CAbi | top: Bebe | shoes:  Chinese Laundry

Friends ask me what it’s like to be “off the leash” and no longer working a 9 to 5.  I feel like it hasn’t been that long since I left my full time job but it’s been since the end of July so about 1 month.  Truth is, it’s been great!

I have the flexibility to take care of home, drop off and pick up my kids and pursue the path God has for me. I love having a chance to actually sit down and ask my kids how their day was instead of listening with one ear and talking to them over the clanging of pots and pans or in the middle of washing dishes.  I get to give them focused attention and really be present.  We’ve been reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume – one chapter a night and they get REALLY into it.  We’re on the chapter when Peter is put in charge of Fudgie’s birthday party.  Poor Peter.

A few weeks ago Julia said to me, “Mom, I need attention.”  I don’t remember what it was I was doing but she was right.  She does.  Of my three littles, I’m sad to say that Julia gets the short end of the stick.  On one hand she acts so stinkin mature that it’s almost like there’s another full grown adult (who occasionally needs her bum wiped) living in our house.  I have to remind myself that she’s only 4, especially when she says to me, “Mommy, why are you trying to be cuter than me?” lol  I never really know how to respond to that so I say, “I can never be cuter than you, Julia!”

Someone once said, “You validate people’s lives, by the attention you give them” and for children this is the absolute truth. The only way they know you love them is by your actions.  They don’t fully understand the concept of love like adults do, but they know it when they’re not getting it.  For many parents, it’s not until it’s too late that they realize the kind of attention their child did get versus the kind of attention the child didn’t get makes a huge impact on the life path the child chooses to take as a teen and into early adulthood.

I thank God for the opportunity to spend more time with my littles and my husband.  Not every parent does so I must seize the moment.

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The Intersection

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shoes: Aldo | jeans: Ernst DIY cut at ankle| earrings & clutch: c/o mimiboutique

A LOT has changed since I last posted.  Mostly traveling with the family.  In June we went to New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.  We were in New Jersey for my church‘s awesome national youth convention.  We were in New York, because we’ve never been and we were in Connecticut to see my grandmother.  It was her first time meeting my children.  I’m so glad we were able to make it.  The last time I had seen her was at my wedding in 2006.  She reminds me so much of my mom, it’s crazy.

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In early July, I went to Portland, OR with my job and was there for a week.  At the end of July and early August we were in Alabama for my church’s 61st International Holy Convocation.  It was nothing short of awesome.  This year we had an opportunity to stay an extra week because I didn’t have to go back to work…more about that in a bit.  We got a taste of that good ol’ southern cooking and southern hospitality.  Although, I’m not used to the almost daily thunderstorms and sweltering heat, I have to admit that it was a nice change of pace.

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So, next week will be the first solid week I’ve been back home since June.  It’ll also be the first week as a work at home mom.  After much prayer, in July I made the decision to leave my full time job to pursue my passions, which are to spend more time with my children and family, work alongside my husband in ministry, build our family printing business Young Connection, and focus on FASHION DU JOUR and the blogger group I created BLM: BLOGGERS LIKE ME.  I have to say this decision to leave my “place of security” has been scary but I would be even more afraid if I didn’t believe with every drop of blood in my body that this is what God has for me.  In any decision I make, I’m prayerful but I also look for confirmation after the decision is made.  I’m pleased to say I’ve received confirmation in so many ways and I’m excited beyond words.

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Someone once said that the things you do for fun can pay the bills if you do them right.  If you find yourself burdened with a lack of interest in what you’re doing , you end up drained and discouraged.  Happiness is found where interests and capabilities intersect.  The key is to do what you enjoy and then do it better than anyone else you know.  In doing this, you can make a living doing what you love.  Better yet, you don’t end up burned out from working because you’re doing something that interests you.  The key is to find the point at which what you love, what you’re good at, and what people will pay for, intersect.

Here’s to doing what you love!

P.S.  Young Connection is now offering a program called CONSIDER IT DONE.  If you’re one of those women busy with work, school, family, keeping hubby happy and everything else under the rainbow, this service is for you. CONSIDER IT DONE takes care of personalizing and mailing your greeting cards so that you can have time for all those very important activities in your life.  For more information email info@youngconnection.com

Life’s Too Short

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Remember in high school when there was all this pressure to fit in.  Isn’t it interesting how some things change but some things stay the same.  Even as an adult, there’s pressure to fit in.  There’s pressure to drive a certain car, have a certain job, have a certain kind of relationship status, and even raise your kids a certain way.  Sorry to say it but sometimes the only reason others want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.  Be you and be the best you, you can be.   because that’s the only person you can be.