Closet Copycat: Summer Boots

the Grant life

 Kelley from the Grant Life and Natalia and Christie from Ma Nouvelle Mode have the best ideas! They’ve invited their bloggy friends to dig into their closets and get creative. This is the second week that I’ve participated and I’m lovin’ it. You should seriously consider signing up… you won’t regret it!
This week we were challenged to pull out our boots and create a summer outfit. To complete the look, we were also challenged to incorporated fun braids into our overall look. 
I chose my outfit and spent the day running errands with my husband. We also stopped at our family farm so we took a few pics. I’m still feeling a little awkward taking photos in outfits but I do think it helps build my confidence. 
Dress: Dots/Boots: Aldo/Belt:Target
The biggest confidence boost came from my mama! When I went over to her house this afternoon she squealed, “look at my baby! Get over there and let me take your picture.” She’s so cute! Her compliments always mean the most to me so it’s only fitting that I share the photo she snapped too!
This challenge is such a blast and really helps me use the resources I have in my closet versus buying all new. It makes me happy and J happier! Double win. 

My New Fave: Daytimer Family Plus Planner

I’ve always been obsessed with day planners. Even as a kid, I loved buying new day planners before school started each year. As an adult, I still enjoy a nice planner but have found the traditional planners aren’t cutting it for my lifestyle any more. Although I keep my appointments on my iPhone, I still like to write down my goals and to-do list on paper. There’s something really empowering about striking off an item on your to-do list with a pen.

I thought about buying a life planner by Erin Condren which looks ah-mazing but I couldn’t justify the expense. But let me just say if I had an extra $50 to throw at a day planner, I would be customizing a precious life planner from her…they are fab! After spending two days agonizing over whether or not I wanted a $50 planner, I elected to stalk Staples and Target and to my delight, I found a $20 alternative that meets my needs.

The Daytimer Family Plus planner is perfect because it encompasses everything a traditional day planner has but also helps with monthly goals, dinner menus and to do lists!

It’s an 8 1/2″ x 11″ design, bound like a thin notebook so can easily fit in one of my purses and that makes me very happy! 
How do you keep track of all of your commitments? Are you totally electronic or do you still find comfort in a good day planner? 

Facebook: Deactivated.

Two weeks ago, I made a very tough decision. I deactivated Facebook. 

After a lengthy conversation with J, we decided it was the right thing to do. It’s hard and sort of makes me feel like I’m living under a rock. However, I stand behind my decision to disconnect because I recognize that the positives far outweigh the negatives during this season of our life.
You might be thinking, “is she crazy?” or “why on earth would she delete Facebook?” The answer is I might be crazy but I am so happy I took the plunge and signed off… And here’s why:
1. My iPhone was solely used as a tool to obsessively check Facebook. I would seriously look for updates every few minutes! In my life, I aspire to live in moderation and the obsessive checking was not healthy. It was so bad that I picked up my phone for a few days after I deactivated my account to hit the precious blue app only to find that it was removed.
2. Because of my obsessive Facebook “stalking”, my iPhone became a third person in my marriage. It was always in my hand and took away from my ability to engage in conversations with my spouse. J said it was my “first love”. Anything that comes before your marriage needs to be examined, friends. With that realization, I knew I had to make a change.
3. My productivity was stunted. Every time I was on the computer, Facebook was looming in the background. I am a full-time college student and a full-time employee. These responsibilities require focus and that was compromised by my frequent Facebook checks. While online doing research projects, any time I would get bored, I would jump on for a “second” and get totally side tracked from the task in front of me.
4. J and I spent two weeks this Summer in Haiti. One thing we loved most about Haitian culture was their sense of community. Haitians are not bound by their phones, computers, etc. They interact with folks the old fashioned way. They build strong relationships by spending face to face time with one another. When I deactivated my account, I asked my friends to text me more, invite me for coffee or send me an e-mail. I don’t want my relationships to be built on status updates. I want them to mean something. Facebook and other social media tools can rob us from true friendships. 
5. Facebook like other forms of Social Media, can make us feel depressed. Several articles recently published indicate that social media is directly linked to depression. Although, I never felt depressed by viewing Facebook, I did often have to check my “Keeping up with the Joneses” attitude. Immediate thoughts would pop up like “why aren’t we having fun?” “why can’t we do?” “maybe we should buy”. Those thoughts are unhealthy and forces others to live in a  world of comparison. I choose not to do that. 
Since I’ve been Facebook free, I feel much better. My husband and I are growing closer together, I am more productive and have less overall stress. While I don’t believe that deleting Facebook is for everyone, I believe it was the right decision for me and my family. Please do not hear me say that forms of Social Media or Facebook is a bad thing… It’s really great in some instances. I still frequent Twitter, Pinterest and read blogs but I had to unplug from my stronghold. Until I feel like I can exercise a little more self-control, I won’t be back on Facebook… and I’m ok with that.
Tell me: If you struggle with balance due to Facebook, do you think you could ever deactivate it?

Closet CopyCat

I’ve been trying to spend less money recently and focus on the items that are already in my closet. It can be very frustrating because it requires creativity and planning. I wake up and dart out of the door without much thought to what I’m wearing. However, I usually feel less confident and annoyed because the outfits don’t always go well together. That’s why when I read the Closet CopyCat post from the Grant Life, I knew I was in…
The challenge this week was to wear a flowy skirt and then a bright top or something you normally wouldn’t pair together. The skirt I chose had been in my closet for ages and normally paired with a black top or cardigan. I tried a couple of shirts on before I thought… white is bright, right? And when I popped the striped top over my head, I knew it was a success.
Honestly, I felt awkward taking a photo of my outfit so I just had someone at work snap it (notice the name tag). But now I feel more inspired to take shots of myself so I can see how the outfit looks on.

(Striped Top- Banana Republic/Flowy Skirt-Limited/Wedges-JCrew)
I received compliments all day and really felt more confident simply because I put a little thought into the outfit. I think it meets the Summer Nights requirement of the challenge but also was suitable for the workplace. What do you think?

the Grant life

A Break.

Hi Y’all! For those of you that frequent this lil’ blog of mine, you may have wondered why I have been MIA for the past month or so. At the beginning of the summer, my blog posts converted into a trickle from what I considered a steady stream of posts, ideas and grand tales… Then last month, the blog took a halt… I stopped blogging. First I stopped blogging because I was busy and then I developed a brief writer’s block. I didn’t really know what to say or how to say it so I just stopped trying. It was easier that way. Now as I stare at the blank page that’s before me, I feel renewed. I know that the page is a blank canvas for me to use in order to spill out thoughts and a platform to foster the creative side of me. For this renewed feeling, I am grateful.
I can’t wait to start writing more but until the content is developed (or I feel inspired), here is a preview of what I’ve been doing this summer. It’s been so awesome! 
(Oh yeah… the photos, mostly iphone! Quality— not so much!)
 1. I finished another quarter at school and am one step closer to graduation. I’m pretty stoked!
2. My friend, sister and husband traveled with me to Haiti for two weeks. I’ll tell you more about that later. 
3. The hubs and I went to Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati. So much fun!
4. Before we went to Haiti, we had the opportunity to visit Moline, IL where my friend lives. 
We loved the John Deere exhibit. 
5. We had family lunch a few days ago and it was really nice. The older I get the more I cherish family time. 
Doesn’t it look like a great time? It was. Have you had a fun summer? If so, tell me all about it.