Friday, April 24, 2015

How Changing My Wardrobe Changed My Life

This post has been sponsored by Dressing Your Truth®  All opinions and experiences are mine alone.

"Mom, I don't feel very pretty in here."

These were the words my then 12-year-old daughter whispered to me while we were shopping at a big mall in Chicago. We live in a small town, and big shopping malls aren't something we get to see very often, so it is always exciting to have the chance to go shopping in a big city.

But her words rang true to me. I didn't feel very pretty in there, either. I was surrounded by stylish perfection: stylish mannequins, stylish shoppers, stylish clerks, stylish furniture. And I didn't feel like I measured up. I felt fat and frumpy and a far cry from stylish.

As a woman I have always chased after some sort of beauty "ideal." Unfortunately, I have too often looked outside of myself to find it. I found it so frustrating to try to dress like the fashion world told me to dress, or to copy others who looked amazing. It doesn't seem like that should be frustrating, because the fashion world knows what's up, right? And if I dress like my always put-together stylish friend, I would also be put-together and stylish, right?


While not everything was a miss, many styles and colors simply did not work for me. I had no idea what I was doing wrong. I tried so hard to dress like the other moms I hung out with who seemed to have style down, but most of the time I just felt frumpy and not myself.

And then, in 2012, something came along that totally changed the way I looked at my wardrobe. I noticed a few of my friends were talking about something called Dressing Your Truth on Facebook and Pinterest. I got curious, and started looking into it myself.

And what I found out not only changed my wardrobe, it changed my life. Dressing Your Truth isn't just about how you dress. It's learning about your specific Energy Type and how that affects every part of your experience. I took the free course to learn my Energy Type, and once I recognized that I was a Type 4 ,    I was finally able to understand why so many things I tried to wear didn't work for me. I was able to understand why I loved certain clothes in my closet and not others. Once I purchased the Dressing Your Truth course, I finally started to feel put-together and stylish--and it wasn't even that difficult once I got the hang of using the tools that DYT taught me.

Following are four ways that DYT changed my life for the better--plus a chance to win a DYT course of your own valued at $297!

Do you ever feel like your clothes aren't working for you? Maybe because they aren't. Learn how to create a wardrobe based on your unique energy type and stop wasting money on clothing that doesn't work for you!

1. I've saved money

Monday, April 20, 2015

How to Keep Your Kitchen Clean When You Don't Have Time to Clean

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PalmoliveMultiSurface #CollectiveBias

I love a sparkling clean kitchen. It has the ability to make me happy in a way few other things can. Unfortunately, unless I kick my husband and children out of the house and stop eating completely, it is only perfectly clean for a few minutes.

A dirty kitchen stresses me out and makes me very, very unhappy. There is nothing worse than coming home from a long day at work and seeing a sink piled with dishes, junk all over the counters, crumbs all over the floor, and the cheese left out to dry (can you tell my children just finished with spring break?). And I simply don't have time to be cleaning it constantly with three busy children, a job, and a very "overstuffed" schedule of my own.

So, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep the kitchen pretty clean, despite the fact that cleaning usually ends up being dead last on my priority list because I'm too busy playing chauffeur and grading papers. When I actually take the time--and it's minimal--to do these things, I'm so much happier!

How to keep your kitchen clean when you don't have time to clean: 5 simple strategies to help your kitchen stay cleaner longer!

1. Clean the Dishes in Real Time

Sunday, April 19, 2015

How I Know I Married a Musician: Part 11

We've spent the last few days on tour with The Maestro's orchestra. We, meaning The Maestro, me, and Bria, who has been playing second violin in his orchestra just so she could go to Chicago with us. But she's loved it so much she wants to do it again next year, even though there is no tour next year.

I do love watching my husband in his element. He was born to be an orchestra conductor. But that fact just means more funny musical quotes from him!

We were at a restaurant the other night, and as we were paying our bill at the counter, he noticed these toothpicks:

The Maestro looked at them for a while, then said:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

He Hears Me

I'm trying to be better with the Sunday photos. So, even though it's now Tuesday night (Wednesday morning, if I'm being honest),  I'm posting it. I wanted to make sure this experience was documented anyway, and there is no picture to go with it.
Last Thursday wasn't a very good day.

I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say I was ready to go to bed by 3:30 in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the day was just getting started.

I was just about to leave to teach my Institute class on campus when my accountant called to tell me that Joel's social security number had been used to file a fraudulent tax return. As I sat there on the phone with her, listening to her outline all the steps we were going to need to take to get our tax return filed on time and deal with the identity theft, I just wanted to cry. I just did not need one more thing to deal with!

I drove down to campus feeling completely defeated. It was raining, I was running late, and the building where Institute is held never has an open parking space. I'm always having to park two blocks away and I just couldn't deal with that at the moment.

And so I said a prayer, asking God to please just let me find an open space next to the building. It was a silly prayer, I know, maybe even a little bit selfish. I got to the building and drove around the parking lot and found that not only were there no open parking spaces, but about 8 cars had made up their own spaces. It looked like I was going to have to park somewhere else and I hadn't even grabbed my umbrella.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

13 Quick Front Door Updates

This summer I updated my front door. It was a super quick makeover, and it has kept me smiling through the winter when I drive up to the house and see my bright red front door welcoming me home.

I'm now thinking I'll do a quick update to my back door this coming summer (it is coming, even though it snowed this morning, right?), so I put together a board of my favorite front door updates on Hometalk. I'm loving all the color and the way other people used vinyl in creative ways.

I can't quite decide what color I want to do the back door, but I'm leaning towards black. Maybe I'll do red, even though that's what I used for the front door, just because I love the red so much. No worries, though, I have plenty of time to decide!

To see my inspiration doors on Hometalk, click here: 13 Quick Front Door Updates.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Paper Planners: More Than Just a Schedule

Paper planners are so much more than just a schedule on a calendar. They are a way to keep every aspect of your life in order.

As you all know, I love my paper planners.

The reasons I love them so much are many, but I think one of the biggest reasons is that they help to keep every aspect of my life in order. I know I could do this on my phone with a wide assortment of apps, but I prefer to do it in my planner.

Obviously the schedule is the biggest part of a planner. Without the monthly and weekly calendars I would be completely lost in my own life. But everybody knows that planners are schedules. What not everybody realizes, is just how versatile they can be.

Here is a list of all the ways I use my planner, plus a few ways I should be using it!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Putting the Fun in Easter 2015

I've had a bit more energy than usual these past few days. I decided that I'd better use that energy for good and make Easter weekend at least a little bit fun for the girls.

I'm not much of a fun mom, anyway, so doing a little bit of fun is a big deal!

I took Chloe and Sophia to a sock puppet making class on Friday night. We had a blast together creating some cute puppets, and Sophia loves hers so much she's been sleeping with it on her hand. #MomWin

Yesterday (Saturday) and today (Easter Sunday) was General Conference. I look forward so much to General Conference every year! The talks this time were amazing, as usual, and just what I needed to hear. I loved the focus on marriage, on Christ, and on faith.

I love watching together with my family. (Bria's knees are in this photo...)