Book Giveaway – Gospel Centered Mom

February is that limbo between Winter and Spring. In Texas, the weather cannot make up its mind one day to the next. While we continue to fight off a cough and the dreary weather, I decided to make some Hot Cocoa on this lazy Sunday afternoon. Epicurious has the perfect recipe for a single cup of happiness.

 

 

 

I feel like I haven’t done much these last few days. Adjusting to a puppy feels a lot like having a 1 year old in the house (potty training x2)

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With the word “Intentional” being my mantra for 2018, I’ve made some amazing choices and progress in areas that I always used to “wish” about. One of the things I said I wanted to change was my Beauty Routine. Normally I would think it was too much of a task to return to natural and non-toxic products. This time I took it one step at a time and did what I could when I could. I am now about 95% of the way there! The key is to continue to go in the direction I started. One of the things I did was to purchase some mascara from Root Pretty. A friend of mine was one of their models in 2017 and I kept “wishing” I could buy such wonderful make up products. Then I  JUST DID IT. The prices compare to Sephora and I am way happier with my choice. I also received a sample that I am beyond excited to try. 28276113_10215144635630236_680301918_o

Being a Mom is exhausting and scary, even after all this time. What do kids REALLY need? Do I have what it takes? How do I handle this situation? I feel alone.

You are not alone. Brooke McGlothlin wrote an amazing book to help you through this season. “Gospel Centered Mom” The Freeing Truth about what Your Kids Really Need is a great addition to every mom’s libary. In this book she will help you embrace your moment-by moment need for Jesus, help you to release the stress of believing everythin is your reponsibility, learn to fight FOR rather than AGAINST your child, believe that the story God is writing with your life is worth the sacrifice, practice the daily disciplines that lead to Gospel-centered parenting.

At the end of each chapeter is a Hard Truth and a Beautiful Truth to help you focus what you have read and learned.

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I am currently doing a GIVEAWAY on my Instagram for this book!

 

 

 

 

 

Have a great week!

~Stacie

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Welcome Koda – Our Newest Addition to the Family

It’s FriYaY!

I hope that your week was as crazy adventurous as mine (minus a bit of the emotional stuff, but I blame that on the Super Blood Moon Eclipse) I have been working really hard to live “Intentionally”, but it proving to be more difficult than expected. People and circumstances are unpredictable and often discouraging. I don’t do well when people cancel plans or things do not work out the way they are supposed to. That is part of why I just DON’T do things. Today I was about to cancel plans with someone because I assumed they would not want to after someone else canceled in the group. Come to find out they felt the same way. We were both afraid the other person wouldn’t want to do something and assumed instead of being open and expecting a good turn of events. Now we have a great day planned and I am stoked for some Friend Time!

 

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Every Thursday I am doing a Journal Prompt on Instagram. This week’s was very appropriate to what I am dealing with right now. I self-sabotage my Friend Time by assuming they have plans or will cancel or don’t really want to spend time with me… and I miss out! I need to stop those negative thoughts and words and replace them with intentional words and thoughts that will bring me to a place of being able to spend quality time with people and invest into relationships and myself.

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Another place in my life I am being more intentional is in my Dating Life (yes, I am still married). When we were first married we made it a point to have Date Night no matter how busy or poor we were. Somewhere in the midst of moving, Careers, job changes, car accidents, kiddo with ASD, and new puppy we have forgotten about Dating. (yes, I threw the new puppy there in the middle of a sentence) Now I plan one Date Night a month on the calendar (and get a sitter in advance) and we have a lunch date once a week when Kiddo is in school and we are both off from work (if the stars aline once a week that is).

 

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Today we went to Brunch at “First Watch”. It was amazing! That bacon was caramelized in Maple Syrup, brown sugar, and cayenne. I have honestly never felt so good after indulging in pancakes. I think this will be my new favorite brunch spot.

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And the moment you’ve been waiting for… meet Koda! ❤ He is Labmix and Great Pyrenees. 6 weeks old. These two are already best friends. Our goal is for Koda to become Kiddo’s Service Dog.

 

I hope you have a Great Weekend!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living a Life of Intention

I walked into 2018 with the word “Intentional” on my mind. I wanted to begin living more intentionally, doing things more intentionally. Make things happen!

How often have you told that friend, “We should get together”, but never do? How many times have you told yourself you were going to eat better and go to the gym, but never made it past day 2? When is the last time you took half a day and dedicated it to self care and unplugged?

I know. That was my reaction, too.

I know I cannot change my world in one day, but I also know that small changes lead to bigger ones and the good changes do not happen by accident. Those type of changes take intention and hard work.

I began by putting things on the calendar that I wanted to MAKE happen.

  • Date Night
  • Me Time
  • Ladies Night
  • Journaling, Blogging, Writing Time
  • Lunch or Dinner Dates with Friends
  • Family Days

Guess what? 95% of those things HAPPENED! (I was sick one of the times)

It feels so good!

So far I have:

  • Opened a new bank account
  • Had lunch dates
  • Went on multiple dates with my spouse *gasp*
  • Had quiet time to myself to recharge and pour into my hobbies
  • Created an account with Kindle Direct Publishing
  • Took a beginners Fencing Class
  • Went to the gym and on some good walks
  • Stuck to my eating plan (for the most part)
  • Made an Eye Doctor Appointment
  • Had a Game Night with friends

 

I have been on an emotional roller-coaster these past few weeks, but it feels amazing to DO the things I’ve WISHED for so long to have to the time to do.

 

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Something else that I have started is “Journal Prompt Thursday” over on my Instagram

 

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Come join me on Instagram: Looking Through Blue Eyes and dig deeper this year through Purposeful Journaling and Intentional Living!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Happy 2018~

Book Review – “A Poison Dark and Drowning”

I love reading business books and self-help books, but sometime I just need to escape to a world of fantasy and forget about responsibility for a minute (isn’t that why we all watch Grey’s Anatomy?) In “A Poison Dark and Drowning”, Jessica Cluess does an amazing job of bringing into the world of Henrietta Howel as she becomes the first female sorcerer in centuries and faces the challenges of magic, love and friendship. It is sure to keep you reading for more as page after page of adventure unfolds. So grab your favorite cup of tea and curl up on the couch with this jem. 8F061A29-1E75-4D09-80C7-F699ECDA0A05.png

Date Night Ideas

I got my hair cut today and it feels AMAZING! I keep saying I want to grow it back out long… but I really LOVE it short. The woman was incredible patient as kiddo sat in the cart (I went to the Salon inside Wal-Mart) and played the same game over and over (annoying sound effects and all). In case you didn’t recolonize it, that’s my $1 Thrifted Sweater (so cozy with the 59 degree weather today)

 

I wish it were Date Night because I feel amazing, but unfortunately he has to work tonight. I was thinking of taking kiddo to see the Tree Lighting and Parade tonight, but I am going to NOT put us through that. Downtown Ft Worth is EXTREMELY crowded and I know he would be overwhelmed and I could not keep tabs on him by myself. I am going to check a more local listing and see if there is a smaller tree lighting happening later this month.

Back in October we had a really FUN date night. One of the best I’ve had in a while. I decided to plan everything out 2 weeks in advance. Sitter, times, where we would eat, where we would go, what we would do, etc. I “schedule texted” the addresses to Hubby in a specific order giving us enough time at each place without feeling rushed and without getting board. It was PERFECT. The worst part about Date Night is deciding what to do. This took that conflict away and we had a blast. First stop was a Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant we would have never tried without prompting (it was delicious) Second stop was a Book Store (we bought a game to play) Last stop was a Coffee Shop (I had a list of questions to ask each other and a 30 second timer off of YouTube). If you struggle with making decisions in the moment or procrastinating planning Date Night, I have one more idea for you…23768737_10214358109527575_137599240_o

 

I received this game from Blogging for Books. It is a fun, role playing game to get things interesting on Date Night. If you are bad at choosing where to go or just want to spice things up, give this game a whirl. Don’t worry, not all the options are something you could get kicked out of a restaurant for 😉 23798324_10214358108967561_1505257840_o

Pick a “where” “what” and “who” card in put it in the envelope then give it to your partner with a Date and Time card that you fill out.23768733_10214358108807557_1033702039_o

I hope you have a great weekend!

Leave me a comment about how you make Date Night amazing!

Thrifting 101

I LOVE Thrift Stores. I have been thrifting… forever. Now don’t get me wrong, when I was 12 and had to wear the 2nd hand jeans my mom picked out, I didn’t think it was so cool. As an adult I have found the joy and the benefit of Thrift Stores.

In college I remember spending $100 at a store in the mall one day on clothes, shoes jewelry, etc. I was a little shocked at the tally, but I had gotten A LOT of stuff. Unfortunately it was poor quality and didn’t fit well or look all that good (I’m sure I wore most of it anyway) I made the same mistake the first few years of Thrifting. I would buy stuff because it was cheap or “my size” and in a few months it was back in the Thrift Store (because I  donated it back) or torn and in the trash.

Today I want to share with you my list of “DO’s” and “Don’ts” of Thrifting and details about my trip I took today.

 

 

DO:

  • Make a Plan!
    • Know where you are going, when, for how long, with who, etc. Winging it will not get you the most for you time and money and you will probably end up wasting more time than if you planned it.
  • Know the Store/Sales
    • Know which days, times, locations, etc which stores have sales. Make sure you understand the restrictions and details (color tags, limits, etc)
  • Get there EARLY!
    • I usually get there about 10-15 min before the store opens on the day of the $.99 tags sale. I don’t want to wait too long outside with an active toddler, but I know that within that first hour most of the good stuff is GONE!
  • Dress comfy
    • You’re not going to the Mall, you don’t need makeup or heals. I usually wear leggings or sweat pants (easy to get in and out of when trying on pants) slip on shoes with thin socks (try on shoes in a flash) and a tank top with my favorite bra (so I can try on sweaters and shirts without having to go into the dressing room). I also usually bring a purse with a longer strap that I can cross over my body so I don’t have to worry about it.
  • Know your limit (and your kid’s/spouse’s/friend’s limit)
    • If you (or the person you’re with) gets tired or grumpy in an hour or two, then halfway into that time stop browsing and start trying on and deciding what you want. My trip today was and hour and a half and it was perfect. I got exactly what I wanted. I wasn’t burnt out on searching and kiddo wasn’t to the point of screaming at the top of his lungs…yet.
  • Have a Budget
    • If I did not have a budget today (and I have done this before) I would have bought at least 6 things that were not flattering and or I would have never worn. A budget keeps your choices in check and also stops you from regretting half of you purchases.

 

DON’T

  • Go in WITHOUT a Plan
    • Again, planning will make it a much better experience and you will have more yield for your time and money.
  • Think that you kids will not get bored
    • I brought the Tablet, charged and loaded with games and movies, so that kiddo would have a distraction. It made my time more enjoyable and effective.
  • Get on your phone
    • Silence that thing! If you get distracted by a phone call or text, you will miss out or loose focus.
  • Get distracted by items that are NOT on sale
    • If you want to browse for pretty things, pick a different day and plan to do that with a different budget. SALE DAY is about that specific color TAG and they go fast, so you do too! While you’re flipping through racks looking for that sale color tag, if something REALLY catches your eye throw it in the cart and keep moving. Come back to it later.
  • Fall into the Name Brand trap
    • Just because it is a great Name Brand or in your Size DOES NOT mean you HAVE to get it. If it is going to just take up space in your closet or you are going to be uncomfortable every time you wear it, it isn’t even worth a dollar.
  • Slow Down
    • Pickers (as I like to call them) move fast and often in groups. They are going to have the entire store picked over in about an hour. So you have to move quickly and with purpose. Plan ahead which sections you want to look over and in what order (because that might be the difference in finding something or not). Today I choose to go: Sweaters, purses, jeans, tops, workout gear. Shoes are very scattered at this store so I don’t really focus on them (although I found an amazing pair today by happenstance).

 

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My typical routine once I get in and have my budget and plan is to go section by section (according to what I want to find that trip) and very quickly look through the racks for sale color tags. I then grab any items that are my size and look like something I might wear ( I’m not extremely picky at this point) I continue through the store until I have a very full cart and have looked in my top 4 or 5 sections. If I am not finding a lot of sale tags in a section I will often move on, it may have already been picked over and I don’t want to loose momentum or hope. Next, I find a quiet spot and sort through my findings. This is where I take the time to think “is this my color, my style, will it go with anything else I own, when would I wear this?”. I often try to do this near a full length mirror somewhere in the store. I try on any shirts, jackets, sweaters, purses, shoes, etc (remember I am wearing my favorite bra and a tank top) I do this because Thrift Stores often have very small Dressing Rooms with very small limits (like 6 items). Then I hang up anything I am not IN LOVE with and take the items I definitely want off the hanger and put back into the cart. ( If you don’t love it, you probably aren’t going to wear it enough for it to be worth the space in your closet) Then I go into a fitting room and try on any pants or skirts. Make sure to rotate and check for spots or tears. Lastly, go through one more time and make sure every item you choose it worth its weight in your “limit” or “budget”. (BTW setting a low budget means you will probably come home with better stuff. I usually set it to $10 or 10 items)

 

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I cannot get over how in love I am with every piece I came home with today. I want to walk you through them each real quickly.

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The first shirt was a brand I didn’t recognize. It was good quality and extremely comfy and grey goes with everything. Second shirt was The Limited, very classy for a meeting or night out. Third was Coldwater Creek. Perfect for Texas’ midl fall days.

 

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The bag I picked up was Jessica Simpson. It doesn’t fit my laptop but is perfect for all my other work stuff.

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Cable Knit sweaters are IN and I found a bunch of them that were so adorable, but they just didn’t look stunning on me. This one is bound to be my favorite winter item (Bar III). The blue Ann Taylor sweater is great for work. The Phat Farm sweatshirt still had the tags on it. Someone paid $69 so I could have it for $0.99!

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These jeans cost me a buck, but they make me feel like a million $$$. 7jeans brand ($70 new) Then this Eddie Bauer workout shirt is actually nice enough to wear with a pair of jeans and not look too mom-ish 😉

 

Last, but not least. My Nine West find ❤

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There you have it! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about how I shop and that your next Thrifting Adventure is as successful as mine was. I would love to hear about great finds you have made, share them below!

Book Review – 30 Days to Peace Journal

Holidays are almost here. Peace on Earth and all those of the slogans that we hang on the mantel place and then enter into the chaos and blur of November/December. If we stop and really think about it, do we have peace? Do we even know what that word means or do we wear the chaos on our sleeve like a badge of honor? 10473207_10152368774587886_7193440034617429743_n
Take a moment. Take a deep breathe. Think about your “To-Do” list for today.

 

What on it is going to bring you Peace? What is going to bring you anxiety or more stress? Which of those things are going to matter in 10 years?

 

I found this amazing Journal, 30 Days to Peace, that gives you prompts everyday to help you realize what peace looks like to you and how to get it in your life (and hopefully maintain it, too)

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Each page is beautifully illustrated with quotes and scriptures to help you meditate on Peace and change your thought patterns.

I challenge you this Holiday Season, don’t let the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” make you more stressed out. Instead use it to take a journey to find Peace that will get your New Year started right!

 

**I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review**