By The River

We're headed up North today to see my family for Easter. I'm definitely looking forward to celebrating with them!

CJ and I have been going over the Easter story for our Bible study lessons each morning for the past couple of weeks. Watching him get excited because he truly understands this holiday has me more than ever excited about celebrating this weekend. This is also the first year that I've ever given up something for Lent, which has kept the importance of Easter at the forefront of my mind these past 38 days.

The river has only recently thawed out. It was still iced over in mid-March, which as I'm writing this was only a few weeks ago. That's how cold it has been here this Winter. The water was as brown and ugly as ever, but I am so happy to see it running without any traces of ice or snow anywhere. And look at all that green grass! Could it be that Spring has finally sprung?

With Spring finally here I'm getting excited about working outside. I didn't do hardly any work on the yard last summer due to my pregnancy, but this year will be different. I'm looking forward to mowing, weeding, and planting.

And all the running I've been able to do outside now - especially with the kids! Glorious!

Happy Spring folks and have a glorious Easter weekend!

Blouse - Goodwill - $3 (Similar)
Coated jeans - Gap - $10
Slingback heels - Steve Madden - hand-me-down from my Mom (Similar)
Peter pan collar necklace - Charming Charlie's - $2.99 

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Classy Girls Wear Marilyn

 Can't help it. I'm a fan of Marilyn Monroe. I love her old Hollywood glamour style and love that she was proud of her curves. Plus, I love bleached platinum blond hair. So there you have it.

 Check out my ombre hair in this photo. I didn't even do this on purpose. I just haven't re-colored my hair. Oh wait, is that how the ombre trend started? Hmmm...

Marilyn t-shirt - Goodwill - $2
Jacket - Old Navy via Goodwill - $5
Skirt - Target - $5
Boots - Steve Madden via DSW - $27

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SAHM Cheats and an LBD

Dress - Ann Taylor via Goodwill - $5
Coat - Kohl's - $27
Tee - F21 - $5
Pumps - Target - $12

These photos were taken last Sunday. I feel like I rarely get to wear heels and dresses anymore. My wardrobe keeps getting more and more practical as I find myself with more "mom" chores than ever these days. Capri needs to eat more than usual (growth spurt I'm assuming), my husband is out of commission due to shoulder surgery, and my two older kids are as high energy as ever and demanding a lot of my attention. 

Needless to say, my husband with his shoulder surgery isn't the only one with only one usable arm right now. I am also one-armed because Capri has full use of my other arm. But it's amazing what you can do with only one arm/hand. You can cook dinner, do the dishes, sweep, vacuum, type, email, blog, take photos, run, brush your teeth, wash your face, help a toddler get on and off the toilet, use the restroom yourself (is this TMI?), apply make-up, make beds, do laundry, etc. Having two arms is merely a luxury.

Here are a few of my cheats that I couldn't live without right now:

1. Clorox wipes. Need to clean the bathroom, clean up spills, disinfect something that's been vomited on, but still have that baby on your hip? This does the job in one quick swipe. I have these babies in each bathroom and the kitchen.

2. Unscented sensitive baby wipes. Only have one hand to wash your make-up off? I use a baby wipe in a pinch. Chris says my face smells as fresh as a baby's bottom. Now who wouldn't want that? 

3. Slip-on shoes. Who has time to tie shoe laces or configure a buckle? 

4. Cross-body bags. Hands free. Enough said. 

5. Cordless hand-vacuum cleaner. I love my little vacuum. Sometimes I just leave it on our coffee table during school time to quickly vacuum up little spills that occur all over the house throughout the day from my littles. And it's the only way I can get the stairs vacuumed when I'm holding Capri.

6. Rice cooker/steamer. When you have only one hand to cook dinner, just throw some rice and veggies in the rice cooker with your free hand. 

7. Pre-cooked meat in the freezer. Need some meat to add to your rice and veggies? I keep organic nitrate-free beef hot dogs and burgers for days when I don't have my hands free to cook. 

8. Double jogger. The weather has finally been mild enough for me to take the kids on my runs. The girls ride in the Burley and CJ rides his bike. Now I have no excuse not to get my butt out there for a run.

9. Uniform. Since dressing has to be pretty hurried most of the time, I always have a fall-back look I go to when I can't think of anything else. Lately (if you haven't noticed) my uniform is a long top with skinnies. 

10. Minimal make-up routine. One handed make-up can be tricky, but I can usually get my BB cream, a little mascara on my top lashes, and some blush or bronzer on with the baby in tow. 

I have plenty more little ways I've been cutting corners these days, but I'd say these are my top 10 right now. What are your time-savers?  

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Scarves and Stripes

Jeans - Gap - $8
Top - H&M - $2
Scarf - gifted
Booties - Guess via DSW - $20

Lately I haven't had time to blog daily. The past two weeks of posts have been blogged in spurts. I just schedule the posts so that your feed doesn't get inundated all at once. My husband's shoulder surgery has made me a single mom of three four kids for the time being. Chris has been a trooper about the pain and has been as independent as possible even though he can't use the arm that had surgery, but he still needs help here and there. I'm glad to help him but will be thankful for when I can pass the baby off to him for a respite. 

I wore this to a field trip the kids and I went to last week at the Mazza Museum.

The Mazza Museum is the only one of its kind in the country. It showcases original artwork from storybook illustrators. The perfect art gallery for a child!

Even Cassi enjoyed it!

After the tour of the museum they had the children do an art craft. They cut up pieces of tissue paper and then glued it on regular paper to create an animal.

Field trips are our favorite!

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Today is my first little girl's 3rd Birthday!

We are so excited to celebrate her special day today. Having a girl is so much fun! She loves everything girly--from the color pink to baby dolls, to nail polish, make-up, dresses, shoes, and playing "Mommy." I love my little princess!

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Easy Dress Alteration

I bought a dress while I was in Fort Worth. I rarely buy dresses that aren't on clearance, but I was looking for something specific for three upcoming occasions. I wanted the dress to be slimming as I still have pregnancy weight leftover. I wanted it to be something fitted since I normally opt for the fit and flare styles. I wanted something that would work for two summer daytime family weddings, plus something I could wear to a black tie event I might be attending at the end of the month. 

This dress made the cut. Unfortunately, the dress had one problem. It did not come in a petite size, so it was just slightly too long in the torso and in overall length. The fabric got all bunched up under my bust (it's hard to see the bunching in the cell phone picture below). 

Messing with the dress in front of a mirror, I determined that all my problems would be solved if I could just raise the shoulder straps by about two or three inches.


To save money, I made the alterations myself. This is not professional by any means! I have never had enough patience to become a seamstress. But this works for me, so I thought I'd share.

1. First things first: I seam ripped the shoulder straps apart.

2. Then I seam ripped the sides of the straps to detach the liner from the outer layer of the dress. I seam ripped down to the level I wanted the straps raised to.

3. I turned the garment inside out and pinned the shoulder straps facing each other to where I wanted it stitched.


4. I machine stitched only the outer layer of fabric at the shoulder seam with a straight seam, leaving the inner layer to be hand stitched down later. 

5. Next, I tried on the dress to make sure the straps were at the right length. Once I ensured the seam was where I wanted it, I cut off the excess fabric about a quarter inch above my new seam. 

6. I machine stitched the sides of the shoulder seam to attach both the liner and the outer layer of the dress at the far edge of the straps.  

7. I folded under that fabric you see sticking out and hand stitched it down straight across to create the shoulder seam on the inner layer of the dress.

Mission accomplished! It doesn't look as clean as it did before, but you have to be up very close and look on the underside of the garment to even notice. Yes, you can do it a more professional way that looks cleaner, but doing it this way means you will have very few seams to rip out - which means it won't take as long. Win!

Now I don't have excess fabric bunching at my midriff and the hem hits at the perfect length. 

You will see this dress in an outfit post in a month or two!

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A Shirtdress

Hi friends!

Guess who took these photos using the manual focus? My 7-year old son! Not bad, right? All I had to do to coax him to take these was let him play around with the camera for a bit. Technology will get him every time.

Now that I'm sitting here actually looking at these photos, I am realizing that our porch is really dirty. Need to add porch cleaning to my chore list, which makes me realize that I need to have a chore list. Hmmm.

I wore this dress with these leggings last here when I was 30 weeks pregnant. I love clothes that look great during pregnancy and also afterwards.

Dress - Aqua - hand-me-down Similar for only $10!
Leggings - Express - $1
Flats - Gap - $7 Similar for $19

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