Speaking Kind Words

Good Morning! I hope your week is off to a great start. 
I was reading in Proverbs this morning and came across this verse that I just love:
“Anxiety weighs down the heart, but I kind word cheers it up.” Proverbs 12:25
I used to read this verse and think that I needed to just surround myself with more kind people so that I wouldn’t become weighed down by anxious thoughts. But until I began to change my self talk, nothing would really change. I had to make the conscious decision to be kind to myself in order to combat the self-criticism I had become so accustomed to.
I’ve found that it’s so much easier to be accountable to the words I say to others than the words I say to myself. I’m my own worst critic but this attitude really is counterproductive. In Mark 3:25, it says that “If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand.” If you are mean to yourself and calling down ugly words over yourself in your mind, your ability to accomplish anything will be slim to none. Because you’re at war within yourself. You’re divided.
But when you choose to speak kind words to yourself and to be gentle with your mind, you breathe courage and strength. You will literally cheer yourself  up!
Mommas, we don’t have to look very hard to find reasons to beat ourselves up. Here’s a little picture into my mindset on a daily basis. Maybe you can relate.
A Day in the Life of a Mean Mind:

Wakes up.

“I probably should have woken up earlier to work out. Now I’m going to gain five pounds and I’m NEVER going to lose the rest of this baby weight.”

Hears baby crying.

“Maybe she’ll go back to sleep. That’s mean. I’m such a mean mom. I should get her right away. What if she’s hurt?”

Jumps out of bed. Trips over shoes in the floor.

“Ouch! (Didn’t cuss. Winning.) Maybe if I could keep my house cleaner, I wouldn’t trip over things. I bet _______ has such a clean house. I bet she probably has already worked out this morning, too. She’s so skinny. And her hair? Gosh I wish I had her hair. I’d settle for my hair just growing back in. Post baby hair loss is no joke. You know what IS a joke? My cleaning skills. I’m the worst homemaker.”

Opens babies bedroom door.
“Good morning, love! Come see momma!”

Put baby down to change diaper and get dressed. Sees irritated bottom.
“Shoot, I knew I shouldn’t have let her have dairy. Why am I so bad at feeding my kids? Only green juice for everyone today. Who am I kidding, I don’t have anything green in this entire house. Ok frozen waffles it is. At least they’re organic. Or are they? I just want to make sure she’s getting enough calcium. I knew I should have breastfed longer. She probably wouldn’t have a red bottom if I was still nursing. ________ still nurses her two year old and he never gets red bottoms. Or at least I’m pretty sure he definitely never gets red bottoms.”

Reaches for clothes. Everything is dirty.

“I was supposed to wash clothes yesterday and forgot. Actually I remembered to put them in the washer but not in the dryer so now they’ve been sitting there for a day and I’ll have to start them over again because they’ll smell spoiled. Speaking of smelling spoiled… I stink. Did I shower yesterday? Did I shower the day before?”

Puts baby back in pajamas and walks downstairs. Feeling defeated because I didn’t wake up early enough, didn’t work out, probably getting fatter as we speak, has a dirty house with no healthy food and no time to shower. And it’s not even breakfast yet.

A Morning in the Life of a Kind Mind:
Wakes up.

“This bed is so comfy I can’t move. I’ve been running ragged so I’m so glad I was able to sleep in.”

Hears baby crying.

“She’ll be ok for a minute while I make my bed and brush my teeth.”

Jumps out of bed. Trips over shoes in the floor.

“Ouch! (Didn’t cuss. Winning.) Woops! Forgot to put those booties up last night. Gosh, I love these shoes. They made my legs look great on our date last night. That date was so fun. Those fajitas were amazing. Still proud of myself for splitting and only eating a few chips. Peace out, baby weight!”

Opens babies bedroom door.

“Good morning, love! Come see momma!”

Put baby down to change diaper and get dressed. Sees irritated bottom.

“Uh oh! You got a red bottom. Let’s put some medicine on it to make it feel better then go get some yummy breakfast. We are gonna have waffles! No more yogurt for you, little one.”

Reaches for clothes. Everything is dirty.

“No clean clothes yet so you get to stay in your jammies like mommy! Let’s go start the washer over so you’ll have some clean clothes to wear this afternoon.”

Puts baby back in pajamas and walks downstairs. Feeling refreshed from a good nights sleep, already getting a good start to the day by doing laundry, eating waffles, and maybe will even sneaking a workout and a shower in during nap time.
Nothing changed about my morning except the way I responded to it. 
One thing that both kind words and mean words have in common is that they start a chain reaction. Speaking even one mean word to yourself will open up pandora’s box of ugly and spew it out all over you. You might have started out tripping over a shoe, but you might just end up as a no good, clumsy, out of shape, doofus with bad hair, a dirty house, and no self discipline. 
Speak a kind word though and you begin to feel hopeful, cheerful, and optimistic. You might have started out tripping over a shoe, but you ended up as a grateful, happy, smiling girl who had an awesome date night last night, a super cute new pair of booties, and a genuine love for fajitas. 
I hope this little exercise will remind you that you’re not alone if you find yourself beating yourself up, but you’re also not a hopeless cause. It takes just as much energy to swing to the side of kindness as it does to slump into the hole of self-criticism. So let’s be nice to ourselves. Little eyes are watching. What a wonderful legacy to leave to love ourselves the way GOD loves us! 
Happy Tuesday, loves!!

The Best Distressed Denim

Hi, friends!

Hope you had a great Labor Day Weekend!

Our weekend was busy but in a good way. Reese still had a soccer game Saturday morning and as soon as it was done, we headed up to the mountains for the day. Sunday morning we had a slow morning eating pancakes in our jammies before heading to the later service at church. We met family for lunch after church and then while everyone took afternoon naps, momma went shoppin! And Y’all. It was crazy town out there. If it weren’t for the heat and lack of Christmas tunes, I could have promised it was Black Friday. What in the world?

After the hectic shopping experience, Matt and I got to go on a super fun date that included a few of my favorite things:
1. Being with Matt
2. Eating at OK Cafe
3. Browsing every aisle in IKEA
4. Jeni’s Ice Cream

It was so fun!

Monday I got up and went for a run even though I had almost zero desire to do so. The trail was particularly crowded with fallen limbs and rocks so I wiped out GOOD. Thankfully no one was around to see me. Not one of my more graceful moments.

We had a mid-day birthday party for the sweetest little one year old. Reese and Rowen were so very excited to go and were just the sweetest little attendees. It’s tough stuff having to watch someone else open presents. Especially when you’re TWO!

Post party sugar crash made for epic nap times, which was the perfect way to spend the afternoon if you ask me.

I hope you got to spend time resting from your normal laboring this weekend!

Ok, now let’s chat about JEANS.

I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite pairs of distressed denim and tried to keep the price points under $100. Most of these options have plenty of sizes available but when you’re in this price range, options sell out pretty quickly. So keep that in mind!

A few things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for jeans online… Most of the models wearing the jeans are fairly tall so if you’re not wanting to cuff your jeans, then look for the “ankle” option. The “girlfriend” style will typically already be designed to roll at the cuff a few times and will be a loose fit around the upper leg.

If you’re looking for a more of a super distressed look, you’re leaning toward “destroyed” denim. If you’re wanting an option with a LOT of stretch, try going for a jegging. Don’t let that title scare you. What’s out now is not the same as what was being sold on informercials a few years ago. Most often these will have an elastic waste band and will be sooooooo comfy and flattering!

Also, if you like the idea of distressed denim but can’t quite find the right pair, it’s super easy to add some distressing yourself. I’ll do a little tutorial on the blog in the next few weeks on how to add distressing to otherwise non-distressed jeans.

Last, but certainly not least, just remember that absolutely anyone can wear distressed denim. It just adds a relaxed fit and visual interest to an outfit. I think they’re a wardrobe essential. So get ya some.

Hope that helps with your search!

Love,

Laura

Styling Summer Sweaters

I’m wishing for Fall as much as the next girl but it is still WARM. For crying out loud, could we not just get like into the low 70’s? I just wanna drink a hot drink without wanting to die, you know?

I wore this cute sleeveless textured pullover sweater the other night and loved the way it fell. I also tried it on with a black n white stripe turtleneck before I left just for funsies and I LOVED it. I added a sparkly statement necklace and loved it even more. These sleeveless sweaters are great for layering but can be worn now too! Win Win!

I wore my FAV jeans and theeeeeee most comfortable black heels. I also added this cute tassel choker from Dress Up. Their prices on jewelry are amazing!

My favorite thing about these jeans is that the holes in the knees make them so easy to move in! As a mom of two littles, I do a lot of up and down throughout the day so I need something that can move with me. Call me crazy, but I like to feel like I can take a breath in my pants. These are the best!

I’m so excited to be going out with some friends tonight to plan for an upcoming trip! You know after dinner will include a PSL. I gotta get a start on those September goals!

Hope you have a great Thursday! All outfit details listed below!

Love,

Laura

September Goals

I cannot believe we are already talking about September!

Fall is hands down my absolute favorite time of the year so I’m giddy with excitement to be sharing my goals with you.

1. Drink a pumpkin spice latte – Starbucks introduces all the Fall flavored drinks September 1st! Even if you’re not a fan of the PSL, you could still try the salted caramel mocha. It’s life changing. Trust me. I might have already planned my outfit for my inaugural trip to get Fall beverage and it might include this shirt, these boots, and these jeans. Don’t judge.

2. Wear a blanket scarf – Just ordered this one from Nordstrom but I’m going to need the weather’s cooperation before I can realistically wear it outside. In the meantime, I’ll crank down the air and wear it around the house.

3. Read a book – I really want to continue my August goal of reading a book a month (or was it two?) by actually reading a book this month. Thinking about “Uninvited”  by Lysa TerKeurst or “Present Over Perfect”. Would love to hear your recs if you have any! Here’s hoping I’ll actually get one (Both?!) of these read this month!

4. Buy Christmas gifts for family – I know. I’m a nut. But I really like getting all my Christmas shopping done before Thanksgiving. I’m a huge fan of thoughtful gifts so it takes time to think and plan for my family. I have to get a head start! Plus, it gives me an excuse to bust out the Christmas tune. To be honest, I don’t ever need an excuse to listen to Christmas music!

I’m trying really hard to remember my 5th goal but it’s just not coming to me so four it is! I still plan to continue my monthly goals of eating clean 80% of the time and eating whatevs 20% and also exercising 5 times a week. The cooler weather should definitely help with the outdoors workout routine. Gracious this heat just kills me.

Hope your August was incredible and that your September is even better!! Here’s to cozy sweaters, fires in the fireplace, hot soup, cider, and FOOTBALL. Go Dawgs!

Love y’all!

Laura

A Blog Post Dedicated To The Best Shirt EVER

Y’all!!!!!!!

My favorite shirt of all time is FINALLY back in stock! Run, don’t walk to get this top! It’s the only shirt I’ve ever owned that causes literal strangers to stop me and swoon. It might be back to regular price but it’s worth every. penny.

I wear it with white denim, dark denim, distressed denim, olive pants, black pants. EVERYTHING.

You’re welcome!

I love you!

Now go buy it!

Laura

Click on the picture to go directly to the site!