Wednesday, April 30, 2014 own personal journal

About a year ago this time I had some awesome women in my life who were going through the 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess study by Jen Hatmaker.  You all know I love me some Hatmaker so I jumped on the band wagon and tried to do it with them. Well, about week #5 I was an emotional wreck. We were preparing and waiting for our court date for N's adoption and I just couldn't deal with all the internal struggle. I gave up and put it back on the shelf. 
 Fast forward a year, and here I am joining the same dang band wagon, getting ready to wreck myself again. Why do I do this you ask- well, other than my need to be part of the group, you just gotta love growth! I want to eliminate things from my life that get in the way of loving my family and loving others. I want to be a better person and I want to know my God more. For those of you that don't know what the heck seven is, sit and read this section if you do-go ahead and scroll on down to week 2!

Jen Hatmaker decided her life was too full of "stuff" and decided to take seven months to eliminate 7  things from her life where she found were struggles for her family and probably for yours too!  Each month she chose an area to reduced down to the basics-7 foods, 7 articles of clothing. She gave away possessions and instead focus on simplicity and generosity while using that cleansing to grow closer to God. The book follows her journey to fight back the modern greed and materialize of America today. From there she created a 7 week bible study leads you through the key areas she identified on your own journey to fight the excess. The first week is on food and I kinda missed that one already, so I am on to week two. I hope that I can blog about each week for these 7 weeks, share what I am learning and encourage you to fight back as well!

Week 2: Clothing

Now, if you all know me, you know that I am a bit of a modifier-rebel-rule bender kinda girl. I'm sorry, God just made me want to rebel!  Following a set plan is hard for me (hence my tendency for yo-yo dieting) . So for some accountability, here is my wardrobe from now until Tuesday:
                                1. Pair of black dress pants
                                2. White T-shirt
                                   ( & Cami- still keep it covered ladies!)
                                3. Black leggings
                                    (they make look like tights but they really 
                                    are leggings-you can hash out the "are 
                                    leggings pants" debate on your own blog)
                               4. Flowy grey dress shirt
                               5. Grey professor style sweater
                               6. Pair of skinny jeans
                               7. Orange Ethiopia mission trip shirt 
                                     (I realized all I had was black and white!)

                    Insert disclaimer- here is my rule breaker part!
                                Yes-you see #8 

                               8. Only Noonday Accessories

   Soooo...I am a Noonday Collection Ambassador and therefore feel I can not go a week with out wearing my hand made pretties made by artisans around the world. Well, this week coincided       with the launch of our new Impact Tab. So, I decided to only wear one countries accessories each day. Every day I will represent a different country (even if I only have one piece) and then  share a photo and a link about those artisans and the work they do on my Instagram.


Wish me luck and I will update this page at the end of the week
with what I have learned about  myself !


Wednesday, April 23, 2014


"Fashion is not something that exists in dressed only. Fashion is in the sky,in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening"    -CoCo Chanel

Fashion- it can dictate what we where and where we wear it too. I wonder often how much accountability we have with out clothes. Do we have the ability to wear what we want as long as we can afford it and it meets the "fashion standards"? What if all the "fashionable" clothes that make us feel beautiful are made in the most worst way? Can we wear them still? 

Tomorrow-Thursday April 24th- is the first ever Fashion Revolution Day. This coincides with the one year anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza clothing factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, when 1133 people were killed and 2500 were injured.Many of these deaths occurred because of poor working conditions for workers whom were already paid poorly for their work. 

Bangladesh: One Year After Rana Plaza, Problems Linger
Image Credit: rijans via Flickr
 Pope Francis spoke out against the working conditions in the factory: 
 "A headline that really struck me on the day of the tragedy in Bangladesh was 'Living on 38 euros a month'. That is what the people who died were being paid. This is called slave labor. Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us – the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity. ."
Fashion Revolution Day will hopefully start making people question where their clothes are made. To encourage others to initiative the conversation about ethical trade and open our eyes to the world around us. The Rana Plaza Collapse is just one small example of the issues surrounding the clothing industry.

We can no longer be just blind consumers. Trust me, I am just as guilty as the next person for buying items made under these labor conditions and with little dignified income. I thought I was being a good steward with my money.  Justifying buying cheaper clothes so that we could stick to our budget more and then be able to give more freely and save more towards our adoption costs, fighting the "Orphan Crisis". But in the end I was just contributing to is!!!

 The topic of fair trade is still fairly new to me. So, I have a lovely fellow Noonday Collection Ambassador that is going to be blogging tomorrow on this very topic. I just recently discovered their blog and all I can say is- I'm in Love! I will definitely be adding their blog to my collection of must reads! 

  I can't wait for you to jump over and check out her blog at: 
                Shannon and Brandi: Fair Trade Fashionista



'Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.' - Coco Chanel
'Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.' - Coco Chanel

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Life takes it's toll on Marriage

I am an avid subscriber to #staymarried and love the posts of hope, stories and resources for couples to stay married. A few weeks ago it was on understanding your spouse as time goes on. I love how they wrote in relation to time and our spouses: "...What you may not realize is that they have changed. They’ve grown, just like you have, and they have new thoughts and interests..."

In our own personal marriage life has certainly taken its toll. One of the aspects not always talked about when you add a child to your family is the change and energy that it will take for your marriage. So much energy is now going from the marriage to the relationships of your children and the bonding that needs to happen in the new family.

One of the main focuses my hubby and I have always placed is the time together. Because we are a blended family, we have never had a time that we have not been parents. We missed the time that couples have to learn and discover who they are as a couple, instead we discovered who we were as a family. I love our big family and that we were able to jump in head first into being a family. However, I also realize that in about 12 years, Gene and I will be empty nesters! I will be barely over 45 and have all of my children graduates from high school. That means both Gene and I will have another (hopefully) 40 years or so together. 

That is why it is so very important that Gene and I have a healthy marriage now so that we WANT to look at each other for the next 40 years! I also want to model to our children what a healthy marriage is. I want them to know that their parents love each other dearly and look for that same type of marriage when they grow up.

But, life has taken it's toll and we have not put in the time and energy into our relationship. With the new stressors of life these days, we were not reconnecting. To be perfect honest, our marriage was lacking big time. WE forgot how to communicate with one another, and I forgot how to love my husband. I was a bitter wife and struggled to show kindness and respect to Gene.

We knew we needed to be different and so we chose to take a break from our world here and take 6 days to rekindle our marriage, to dedicate time to learning and spending time together and to make a plan for our future. It was the best decision and we learned so much about each other again. Was it a life changer? No, but it was a time where we saw one another as partners and as equals, doing this thing called LIFE together.

I challenge you, take a break from the monotony of life and get to re-learn your spouse again. Take an hour or take a week and find each other again. Remember why you married them in the first place and why you choose them!