Easy, Breezy Summer Sundress

When the whole high-low trend emerged, I was a little bit skeptical. I have pretty long legs, so I thought just maybe I could rock it, but after trying on multiple styles in the mall, I still wasn't sold. I just felt like it wasn't me.

Then, the whole "shop my closet" trend emerged on Instagram. Now, THAT I was sold on in a heartbeat. It was like thrift shopping from the comfort of my couch AND I was getting to raid my bloggy friends' closets. What on earth could be better?! I was scrolling through my friend Haley's account one day and absolutely fell in love with this brown and white striped dress she had listed.

Neutrals? YES.
Tank top? YES.
Cinched waist? YES.

I snatched it up immediately, but when it arrived on my doorstop and I tore into the package, I found out that it was a high low. Uh oh. I was majorly bummed, but decided to try and rock it anyway... And guess what? I totally fell in love!

This one is much more subtle than any others and we all know of Kenz's obsession with a good sundress. ;) This one is literally PERFECT and I am smitten with the style! I guess first impressions aren't everything, huh? 

Bobby Pin // Stolen off of Chels' bathroom counter... ;)
Necklace // Forever 21
Dress // Shop My Closet Sale via IG

I kept this look super simple and didn't accessorize much because if I'm being honest... Summer calls for easy, breezy, summer sundresses. It just does. And sometimes, that's just what you need!

Have you been skeptical about any trends that you eventually ended up loving?

All pictures were taken by the amazing Chelsea! Linking up with The Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirBecause Shanna Said SoGet Your Pretty OnTucker Up, & Kiwi Women's Style.


5 Little Reminders For My Future Self

Dear self,

I hope you're smiling today. I hope you rolled out of bed this morning singing the latest One Direction single. I hope you had you got to have your white chocolate caramel creamer with a dash of coffee coffee with a dash of white chocolate caramel creamer by now and I hope you got to drink it out of a pretty little mug... I know how much you love that!

Whether you're reading this a year down the road, five, or even ten, I want to remind you of a few things:

1.) Jesus gave you a really, really joyful heart. Don't forget that, don't take it for granted, and I BEG you, don't.stop.sharing.it. Happiness comes naturally to you and that's something that you can't afford to lose. It's by far your biggest blessing!

2.) You CAN dance. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Your moves may not follow all the rules and maybe, just maybe, you'll fall over and hurt yourself sometimes... But it makes your heart happy and it's one of the only things that makes you feel completely carefree. Let people laugh at you. Just do it. And do it often.

3.) You're a weirdo. You really are. You recognize that, you embrace your quirks the best you can, and one day, you will find someone who accepts, cherishes, and loves them. 

4.) You're talented, patient, hard working, and you have a passion for helping people like no other. I sincerely hope you're embracing wherever it is God has you... Doing that alone will ensure that you live a purposeful, fulfilling life.

5.) The amount you worry is r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. Let go of the plan you have for your life, throw your little Maybooks planner in the air, have faith, and just BE. Be present. Be a little careless. Be recklessly surrendered to the Savior you serve and good riddens, do it with that rockin' smile on your face.

Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, whoever you're with... Hold onto the Word, smile until your face hurts, and things are gonna be just fine. 


Less Pressure, More Passion

This week was a good week. An amazing, productive, absolutely exhausting week that I actually really loved and will never be able to forget.

I volunteered in the 4 and 5 year old's room for Vacation Bible School at my church and loved every God-given second I was blessed with... To lead, encourage, and sing. To just be someone to hold their precious little hands when they needed some help or redirection. I can't even describe how purposeful I felt lying down in bed each night knowing that I planted seeds in those kiddos... Seeds that God will continue to grow.

I had some post scheduling issues on Wednesday, I didn't get around to writing my post in time for Thursday, and the post idea that I had planned for today just wasn't flowing. I was feeling so blessed with everything that's crossed my path this week and it got to be a little overwhelming because I just couldn't get my thoughts down fast enough... + in an organized manner.

I was going to say heck with a post today, but then I realized that this topic itself would make a great one. An honest one straight from the heart of a blogger who has been putting way too much pressure on herself. It's strange, but I often forget the purpose of this space is very simply to share what's on my heart and what I'm passionate about. There's no one barking orders or shunning me... But it's so easy to feel that way when things don't go according to plan. We really are our own worst critic's.

Truth be told, the reason I wasn't able to find time to get my Thursday post written was because immediately after Bible School, I met up with one of my dearest friends for coffee. She just got back from a missions trip to Panama and I wanted to hear all about it. THAT'S what my heart needed that night. When I got home, I went straight to bed. I had to be up by 6:30 the next morning to nanny and I valued my prayer time and sleep more than I valued writing that post.

Does it mean I don't want to share it? No. Does it mean I regret getting coffee with my bestie instead of coming home to work on it? Absolutely not. It only means that things didn't work out exactly the way my little perfectionist mind and type A personality had planned they would and because of that, I counted myself as a failure of a blogger.

That thought alone says that I have lost all sense of what my heart wants for this blog. Today, I'm putting the kabosh on that nonsense and I'm getting organized. I'm filling empty notebooks or blank iPhone notes with ideas, words, and experiences that I want to share from this week and I'm moving forward with less pressure on my back and more passion in my heart.

Can a girl get an amen?

My heart is filled with so much HAPPY looking back on this week...

one // coffee on coffee on coffee. word.
two // dancing to the new One Direction song with the little lady I nanny. life is too short to be anything but ridiculous.
three // volunteering at VBS with two ladies who love Jesus more than I do. friendships that challenge me are exactly what my heart is in need of. blessed by my besties.
four // there's no way running is only good for the body, it's WAY good for the soul. needed it this week more than ever.
five // the window lady at Caribou upgraded my small drink to a medium just because she recognized me as a "regular." oh happy day!


Long Sleeves In The Summer: I Swear It's Normal

In Minnesota we have some strange habits. Maybe not all of us, but a mass majority for sure.

One of them is wearing 3/4 length or long sleeve shirts. In the summer. With shorts. A sweatshirt from time to time isn't odd, either. I didn't know that people thought that was weird... Until this week.

It's not that we're cold... It's just that those pieces happen to make up over half of our wardrobe... And by the time we'd go out and invest in all those tanks? It'd be winter again and we'd be wearing chunky, thick cardigans to cover them up. We make do with what we already have, I guess!

Top // Old Navy
Shorts // Old Navy
Hair Tie/Bracelet // Let Me See You Sparkle

I guess we've all got our own little wardrobe quirks! I just swear this is normal!

All pictures were taken by the amazing Chelsea!  Linking up with The Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirBecause Shanna Said So, & Kiwi Women's Style.


Success is Based on Persistence

About two weeks ago, I waltzed into a clinic and sat down with a new doctor to a few things regarding my arthritis and our plan for treatment in the future. One of them being the dreaded injections for pain and swelling that have been talked about for awhile now...

I didn't really address is anywhere but {vaguely} on Twitter because it was an appointment that made me super anxious and nervous. I'll be honest, I thought if I didn't talk about it, maybe it would just go away! Out of sight, out of mind was kinda what I was going for there. ;)

I'm crazy grateful that this special genuinely cares about how I'm feeling. I understand that the goal is to hopefully limit the days that I feel/look like this...

...but guess what? I'm still defiant about this battle. I don't want to fight it. I don't want to receive 3-6 injections each week for 6 weeks. I don't want to be on the verge of tears every day. I don't want to come out of another season hanging on by a thread.

I want to be a teenager. I want to be irresponsible for once. I want to laugh without worrying about tomorrow. If we're being honest? I'd like the easy way out.

Let me rephrase that... What I mean is I DID until I started volunteering at Vacation Bible School this week. Last night, the lesson was about a man named Jairus. {Mark 5:21-43} His daugther was extremely ill and on the verge of death. Jairus did just as any desperate man would do and tried everything to make her well with no success. Eventually, he went to find Jesus because he knew a miracle of sorts could only be performed by Him. By the time he located Jesus, his daughter had died. He wept at Jesus' feet and apologized for bothering him with what was now a seemingly helpless situation. At that, Jesus said to him... {Mark 5:36} "Do not be afraid; just believe," and continued on to Jairus' home. When He got there, he touched the the limp hand of Jairus' precious daughter and commanded her to get up. Just like that, she did so. She had been raised from the dead, given new life, and she used that life to bring so much joy to those around her. She allowed Jesus to perform a miracle through her.

By the time the story was over, I found myself teary eyed and I felt as if though someone had smacked me clear across the face...

"Do not be afraid, just believe." {Mark 5:36}

How many times in the day do forget that I am not alone? Why do I constantly say to myself, "I've got this, I need no help."? How often to I turn down God when He's asking to and is fully capable of performing a miracle through me?

It certainly struck a chord or two within me and forced me to realize that the God we serve always has and always will posses these healing capabilities. He may not be physically bringing my limp body back to life, but He is 100% willing to bring my spirit back to life. He's capable of giving me an unearthly resilience and persistence that I can be found no where else.

So, maybe I'm not the "lucky one." Maybe people think I've been dealt a crappy hand of cards. Maybe I feel that way. Maybe I'm not always successful because I'm swollen, red, or hurting. Maybe this disease has changed me in more ways than I'd like to admit.

In that case, I'm crazy thankful that I serve a Savior who doesn't love me based on any of those factors but simply does because I am His own. I'm also thankful that He's given me the persistence to continue fighting and bring glory to His name in the process. THAT'S what success means to me.

I'm going to fight a little a lot harder today. Not because I have the energy or the will to, but because Jesus lives within me and He is so, so capable of that and so.much.more.


The One Direction Experience & Photo Dump

Two years ago, I fell in crazy-teenage-love with an Irish/British boyband called One Direction. Sigh. I don't usually obsess over the rise and fall of trends in the celeb world, but I seriously could not help myself with this one.

About a year and a half ago, my friend Jaycee and I found out that they had extended their world tour and had a show scheduled at the Target Center in Minneapolis. There were tears, hugs, shrieks of excitement, and $100 tickets. Our parents nearly checked us into therapy.

We had a countdown going the day the tickets arrived on our doorstep. We bought them in March 2012 and the concert wasn't until July 18, 2013. Yep, we're well aware that's a little crazy.

The day came, the concert started, we took too many pictures, I lost my voice from screaming so loudly, and just like that... It's all over. Super bittersweet, but I'm so glad that we got to go see our future husby's together! ;) It's a night neither one of us will ever be able to forget!

Y'all got lucky because guess who's camera died 20 minutes in? Yep, I'm the idiot who didn't bring extra CHARGED batteries. Palm meet face.

For real though, it was amazeballs. All 5 of them were absolutely hilarious, cute, personable and really freakin' cute. Did I say they were cute? I had the best time being a ridiculous, annoying fangirl for the evening. It was basically the bomb.com!

Now, onto the outfit deets... 100 degrees + crazy humidity, anyone? I had big plans to wear my red skinny jeans, but I would have died... I settled for a pair of my favorite shorts!

Necklace // Molly Suzanne
Top // Wet Seal
Bracelet // Threads by The Shine Project
Shorts // ShopKo
Sandals // Target

I just know I'll look back on this night when I'm old and grey and smile because of how ridiculous I was. That's something I'm proud of... Life is too short to be anything but!

What's the best concert you've ever been to?


This Little Blog Is ONE!

Once upon a time, some girl thought it would be a good idea to start a blog.

It was a spontaneous, naive decision that somehow shaped me into the young lady I am today and through the process, I've met some of my best friends. This little ole' blog has allowed me to share my storymy struggles, my accomplishments, and most importantly, my smile. It's become my passion and I am forever grateful for that!

Today, it's officially been a year since I made that spur-of-the-moment decision. A YEAR. I honestly cannot imagine my life without the friendships I've formed and the hobby I've fallen in love with. This blog has truly become a part of who I am and it's amazing to see how much Jesus has used it to inspire and bless others... I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!

Blood, sweat, tears, and lots of funds have gone into this little space. I'm more proud of it than anything I own or call "mine." Ahem. Except for my collection of 43 scarves. The reality of it all, though, is that none of it would be possible without YOU... The people who care enough to read and encourage me to keep going! Today, I want to say thank you. For believing in me. For believing in this space. And for sharing in the trials and triumphs alike. I wouldn't be where I am today without you.

To celebrate, ad space is 20% off using the code BLOGGIVERSARY for a limited time! I'm also treating myself to the One Direction concert in Minneapolis tonight... But that has less to do with this crazy little blog's birthday and more to do with an obsession I have with those 5 Irish/British boys. ;)


Neon Sundresses & Blog Besties

It's no secret that I got to meet + hang out with my blog bestie and her sweet daughter on Monday. I've been posting it everywhere on every form of social media since that day and I'm going to be completely honest... I'll probably keep talking about it until the next time we're together!

Monday was HOT. Humid. Sticky. Disgusting. That's why we laid low, spent time shopping, eating frozen yogurt, relaxing in the air conditioning, and occasionally venturing outside for 5 minutes at a time to snap outfit pictures.

I stepped outside before I showered that morning and knew I had to wear a dress. Something about a cotton sundress just screams summer! I also layered it with a lightweight cardigan, which I lost halfway through these pictures are you can see!

Meeting Chelsea and her little lady was exactly as I imagined it be. Kinda crazy how you can get to know someone so well through their blog, social media, and texting, huh? Chelsea is even prettier, sweeter, funnier, and genuine in person. And Alea? I don't even know how to put her precious-ness into words. We had the best time together and I cannot wait for the next time we meet up!

Necklace // Forever 21
Cardigan // Old Navy
Dress // Old Navy
Bracelets // Forever 21

All pictures were taken by the amazing Chelsea!  Linking up with The Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirBecause Shanna Said So, & Kiwi Women's Style.


Coming Out Of The Closet... About Blogging

Today we need to address something... Call it a feeling, call it an insecurity, call it #thestruggle...

One thing we can all agree on is this:

I wrote a post about the awkward conversations I've had with "real life" friends and family earlier this summer here, but today, I feel the need to elaborate on that even more.

Yesterday, I met my blog bestie for the first time in real life. It wasn't weird, it wasn't scary, I wasn't nervous, and honestly? I felt as if we've known eachother our entire lives. Why? Because we get one other... And we bond over the fact that the world of blogging is the craziest, most awesome thing ever.

On with the awkwardness here... Obviously, I had to let my parents know where I was headed and what I was doing for the day. I knew it was going to be a conversation with crazed looks and "are you INSANE's?" But I HAD to do it. I wanted to do it. I just didn't want to feel stupid, silly, and absolutely deranged in the process.

"Hey mom! Today I'm meeting up with my friend blog friend Chelsea and we're gonna hang out. I've never met her, but we're basically best friends... So yeah!"

"Excuse me... WHAT?! You mean you've never met her? How did you meet? And how do you know she's not some 40-year-old fat man with a love for Cheetos and teenage girls?"

About 20 billion texts and phone calls later... I was off. Somehow, some way, I'd been able to prove to them that I was 100% sure she wasn't a psycho killer waiting to stalk her next prey... Ahem. Me. And ya know what? I was right!

I didn't know how much my parents really "knew" about this whole blogging thing, but after I got home from hanging out with Chels + little Alea, I actually got to share a lot of it with my parents. For once, I finally felt comfortable talking to them about my #1 hobby and passion. For once, I actually opened up about it. And, despite what I thought they would do/say about it... They were actually incredibly supportive and intrigued.

When I laid down in bed, it hit me. I totally "came out of the closet" about blogging yesterday. I finally faced the initial awkwardness of sharing blog-land with people who don't get it, decided that it was worth working past, and now? I feel a lot more confident and excited about everything I share.

I don't think the awkwardness of explaining blogging to non-bloggers will ever, ever go away, but I'm glad that I took a huge step forward in sharing this passion of mine with two of the people who mean the most to me! After all, what do I have to hide here? This blog has always been a place where I hope to encourage and inspire people to do the things they love with confidence and a smile on their face... No matter what struggles come their way. It seems to me I just listened to my own advice!


Kiddy Cocktails, One Direction, & Meeting My Blog Bestie

This weekend, it was brought to my attention that I tend to get a little obsessive over certain things.

Now, I'm not sayin' I'm a crazy stalker who obsesses over people/things so much that my whole life revolves around it, I'm just sayin' I have a serious, undeniable love for a few things and no matter how much of them I get, I can never seem to have my fill.

Exhibit A) Kiddy cocktails.

Remember that wedding I went to this weekend? Yeah, me too. I also remember the 8 kiddy cocktails and the 4 bathroom breaks before dinner was over. Hallelujah for cherry grenadine + sprite, I guess. Clearly a problem that I love having.

Next, you ask?

Exhibit B) One Direction

The only blonde, Irish boy to be specific. Yeah, that? THAT is a problem undeniable love. I'm convinced t's only a matter of time until he decides to love me back.

Speaking of One Direction... Their fine assets will be located on my stomping grounds here in Minneapolis this Thursday. 

Who has tickets to the concert with her best friend? This girl.
Who's dancing around for the rest of the week? This girl.

Yes, this picture was actually taken at the gym while One Direction was on the radio. NO SHAME.
I'm tweaking out about the concert. A lot. I already know I will be THAT girl... Crying happy tears because of my overwhelming joy and love for those 5 accented boys. Let this conversation with my homegirl speak for itself...

Whatcha gonna do about it, eh? We can't help what we love!

It's finally Monday! I'm blaring One Direction AND I'm off to meet + hug + hang out with my blog bestie for the whole day. Can't get a whole lot better than that. :)