Currently Craving

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I’ve got the mid-winter blues and a budget with no room for extras, but I’m dreaming of a little mama pampering today. My skin is aching for a little sunshine and a break from the wind. How about you?

Here are some of my favorites for battling the dry, icky, winter skin!

1. Rodan + Fields Redefine Night Renewing Serum

R+F Serum
I suffer from acne-prone, crazy dry skin (official term). My face is like a walking contradiction. It can be quite the challenge to find the right combination of skin care products to treat my issues needs. But my dear friend Janet gave me a sample of this stuff with my Christmas card this year and WOW! Overnight I saw a huge difference! My skin drank that stuff in and is now craving more.

2. Glam Glow Super Mud Clearing Treatment

Glamglow
I don’t understand the magnetic pore clearing technology, but this stuff seriously works! I heard rave reviews and jumped on the chance for a sample from Sephora. Nothing clears my pores better (with the exception of a facial, which I haven’t had in yeeeears. *SOB*). I know it is expensive (which is why it will forever exist on my birthday and Christmas wish lists) but it is seriously good stuff.

3. Yonka Gommage 305

Yonka Gommage
The best (read: BEST!) exfoliator for sensitive skin! This stuff is non-abrasive and is so gentle you can even use it on your eyelids. In my salon days, I kept stock of all things Yonka. I got compliments on my skin all the time. I miss it (the Yonka, not the compliments, lol).

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Leather and Lace

Texture is a big part of my thought process when putting together an outfit. I really love to mix two (or more) contrasting textures to create a really dimensional look that intrigues the eye.

TDD_Lace_02 For todays looked, I mixed the edgy feel you get from black leather (or pleather, in this case) with the soft, feminine touch of the lace blouse.

TDD_Lace_04 I love the way opposites attract and give interest to an otherwise, pretty neutral outfit. Of course, I gave it a little pop of color with the burgundy tank underneath the blouse.

TDD_Lace_01 To accessorize this look, I went to my Noonday stash (an always favorite). I wanted a little pop of color and a little sheen.

TDD_Lace_03 This statement necklace is one of my favorites because of the vibrant jewel tones. Even better, it uses both silver and gold tones, so I can wear it with about anything!

TDD_Lace_05 The metallic earrings bring a bit of sheen to the outfit and pull out the tones of the necklace as well. I always love to pull my hair back a bit on one side when I’m wearing some spectacular earrings!

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Shop This Look:
Blouse: Boutique in Carlsbad, CA (Similar)
Tank: Old (Similar)
Skirt: Windsor (Similar)
Booties: Target (Similar)
Earrings: Noonday Collection
Necklace: Noonday Collection

I’ve talked to you before about how I shop my closet. That means that most of the items I show you, you will no longer be able to find in the stores anymore. But don’t let that discourage you. If you like today’s outfit – use it as inspiration to put together something that is uniquely YOU! Here are a couple leather and lace options I found that look lovely…

Faux Leather Liquid Leggings – Brickyard Buffalo
Faux Leather Midi – Windsor
Faux Leather Peplum – Francesca’s

Chelsea Lace Skirt – Francesca’s
It Matters To Me Sweater – Red Dress Boutique
Lace Peplum Top – Windsor

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Courage to Dream

TDD_CouragetoDream I have had a couple nay-sayers in my life who discouraged me while I was at the vital point of making decisions for my future. They pointed out flaws in my plans. They warned me of taking risks. They presented me with “safer” options that were more of a guarantee of success. As if success was the only thing I should be after in life. As if hoping and wishing for something more….exciting was childish. They were putting voices in my head telling me how I should and shouldn’t be. How dare they?

They were voices that made a girl feel unworthy of following her dreams.

For years, I have been terrified of taking huge risks. Yes, risks are scary. They are unknown. And it’s not a bad thing to be scared. But I am convicted that letting that fear prevent me from dreaming…from taking risks was not healthy. It is always wise to go into it with eyes wide open. Sometimes your risk won’t pan out and you’ll be fumbling for plan B. But sometimes….sometimes that risk will come with rewards greater than you couldn’t ever imagine.

God has put it on my heart…OUR hearts….to be courageous with our dreams. He doesn’t call us to live a life of comfort and ease. He calls us out onto the waters, where we can’t make it on our own strength. Where we have to cling to Him for every step.

TDD_Oceans Is the future unknown? Yes. Is it sometimes scary? Yes. But friends…there is also JOY! Joy in knowing that God has something MORE for us. More than the mundane. I can’t even tell you what it is yet. But I am confident that 2015 is the year we will be finding out!

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Top 14 of 2014

As I was choosing my One Little Word for my resolution, I was reflecting on the past year: the highs, the lows, and the in betweens. I can’t say it was an awesome year.

2014 came with a lot of challenges. But with those challenges came a lot of spiritual growth, as the Lord taught us reliance on Him. As we step into this new year, I know I can speak for both my husband and myself when I say that we have a lot of hope as we look forward to the changes we will be making in 2015.

But nonetheless, 2014 had it’s fair share of celebrations and joy….so I share with you now my:

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TDD_TOP2014_01 This is just a little thing, but it took a step of courage for me. I honestly thought this would be a fleeting hair color and I would quickly go back to something more “normal”. Been there, done that, moving on. But, no. I love having purple hair!!! WAY more than I ever could have imagined! Yes, I get stared at and asked “why?” a lot….but I don’t care. It just puts a smile on my face and for that reason – I’m sticking to it!

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TDD_TOP2014_02 If you know me – you know that I kind of love surprises! So when my husband tells me we are going out without the kids but not knowing any of the details? That is one of my favorite kind of surprises! To show up and see some of my best friends faces made it even better. Super awesome night and even better surprise babe. Thank you!

Now…that was 29. What are you going to do for the big 30?!?

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TDD_TOP2014_03 Of course a Carribbean vacation is going to make it on my highlight list! Who doesn’t love laying on beautiful beaches, getting a tan, and getting away from life for a bit….all with the love of your life to celebrate 10 years?!? Worth every penny.

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TDD_TOP2014_04 We had an amazing one this year. Record days with no rain (for Seattle), pool out, creativity flowing, smoothies blending, outside dinners…a bunch of my favorite things! I think this summer goes down as one of my favorites ever!

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TDD_TOP2014_05 Yes, my kids promised to feed him and my husband promised to clean the bowl so that I wouldn’t have to get anywhere near this smelly, slimey creature. But even though that is far from reality…seeing the smile on my kiddos’ faces when they got to bring him home made it worth it.

However, we may just be the worst fish-owners ever. We may have forgotten to find a fish feeder over Christmas. For four days. And then again the following weekend. Whoopsy!!! Somehow he has survived and doesn’t completely hate us. What is that, Dexter? I don’t speak fish!

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TDD_TOP2014_07 I have a love/hate relationship with swimming lessons. Even though it made for some crazy summer mornings…it added some routine for an otherwise very carefree summer. And yes, I may have been the overly strict parent on the sidelines forcing the instructor to force my screaming child into the pool….but hey, we made strides! Kind of.

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TDD_TOP2014_08 We had a lot of fun, free and/or very cheap events in our city this summer. We took advantage of as many of them as we could, including the circus, parades, movie nights, festivals, and more. What fun memories!!!

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TDD_Top2014 After a very fearful period, Hollywood put on his brave face and got out on that bike. With no training wheels! Once he put his mind to it, he mastered it in less than 24 hours. We were so proud of his determination and I think it definitely gave him a boost in confidence to continue to try new things.

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TDD_TOP2014_11 I never thought school would be a highlight of my year. But between some much-needed routine in my life and a very happy little boy who is learning a TON – it has certainly become one. I’m so thankful, not only for his amazing teacher and the education he is getting…but for the community we have found at our school. We are so blessed to be part of such a special group.

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TDD_TOP2014_12 This was unplanned, unexpected, and uhmazing! I not only got to get out of the house (I love you kids) but got an entire day with just my bestie. That rarely happens anymore, friends. Not to mention – Katy is so talented and that was a great show!

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TDD_TOP2014_13 Our friends throw the best parties! I have never, EVER been to an adult-only Halloween party. This holiday has always been about the kids. I can’t tell you how fun it was to dress up and get crazy for a night! Will never forget that night of dancing with all the cool kids! Haha, okay so we’re not kids anymore.

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TDD_TOP2014_14 Okay. So my yard is still a dump from doing this project in pieces but WOW – what a transformation! You are only getting the demolition version here, but I promise, come Spring you will get to see the full makeover! It is still a work in progress but its gonna look FABULOUS!

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TDD_TOP2014_15 Snow in this part of the world has become a pretty rare thing so we count any glimpse of it a blessing. This year, we had an entire week (in November) of snow on the ground without causing any issues to the roads or sidewalks! So yes, I still walked my son to school every day. It was a crazy blessing. I wasn’t stuck anywhere, but my kids had something fun to do (outside) every day after school.

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TDD_TOP2014_16 Being my favorite holiday, Christmas always counts as a highlight of the year. But being that my son spent much of it sick, getting to celebrate at all felt like a HUGE blessing.

Is there anything I forgot? How about you – what are the highlights of your year?

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The Winter Staple You Can’t Live Without

TDD_WinterStaple_01 Blanket scarves have been all the rage this winter, and for good reason.

TDD_WinterStaple_04 Honestly, I picked one up before I even heard about the trend. Not because I’m that cool… (although let’s admit it, I am! Haha.) Just because they are that great!

TDD_WinterStaple_07 This one became a staple for more reasons than just the versatility and vibrancy (although those were huge factors). This quickly became THE coziest scarf I’ve ever owned!

TDD_WinterStaple_03 I have lived in this scarf most of winter (as is evidence in my Instagram photos, haha). It is the perfect thing to wrap around my shoulders when my arms get cold or wrap around my neck before heading out into freezing temperatures. I have also found it handy as a blanket to throw around a sleepy child as I transport them from the car seat to their bed after a late holiday party.

TDD_WinterStaple_02 Have you tried one of these babies? I would love to hear if you love them as much as I do!

TDD_WinterStaple_06 Shop This Look
Blanket Scarf: Express
Hi-Low Sweater: Express
Leather Accent Leggings: Express
Booties: Target (Similar)
Earrings: Noonday Collection (Similar)

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Dare to Dream

TDD_DaretoDream God has really been speaking to my heart about living out my dreams lately. Although in many ways, I already am living my dream… (stay at home mom to two beautiful, amazing children that I get to parent with an incredible husband) through a series of conversations with my hubby, a couple dreams have resurfaced that I forgot were even there.

Forgot. That kind of sounds crazy, doesn’t it? How do you forget your own dreams? Somewhere along the journey of becoming a mom, I pushed them to the back burner and just left them there.

There are many things I love about my husband, but one thing I adore is that he pushes me to believe in myself and really go after my dreams. He doesn’t caution me, but helps me list the steps to get it done.

I read two things that really encouraged me to dare to dream this week…and I just know that God placed them in front of my eyes for a reason.

The first was a facebook post by Jen Hatmaker (a favorite blogger of mine). She shared a photo of herself out with some girlfriends and talked about women chasing down their dreams in the midst of living their lives and how gutsy and brave it was. This quote is what struck a chord with me:

TDD_DaretoDream_01 And then the very next morning in my devotions (Jesus Calling, highly recommend it!) it talked about sharing your hopes and dreams with the Lord and letting him infuse life into them. And yet how you don’t want to rush the Lord’s timing and how waiting can actually intensify the enjoyment (think of Abraham and Sarah waiting for a son).

I think we all have dreams that need us to take action, and dreams that are simmering while waiting on God’s perfect timing. I know I certainly have both. But I am focusing on chasing down those dreams without fear, but with hope!

TDD_DaretoDream_02 What dreams are you chasing down today?

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One Little Word

HappyNewYear Happy New Year, friends!

I truly hope that 2014 was a blessed year for you. But if you faced your share of hardships and heartbreak, you can be thankful for this new year and a fresh start. Our God is a God of new beginnings and I am so thankful for that every year. Even if you had a wonderful year, a fresh start and a fresh perspective can make the following one even more amazing!

I know tradition calls for sharing your New Year’s Resolutions. But honestly, I threw those out the window when, year after year, I epicly failed and disappointed myself. A few years ago, a fellow blogger shared about her new tradition…One Little Word. You choose ONE word to theme your year after and make that your resolution. It helps me to keep my focus, inspiration, and sanity.

Back in 2013 when I started this new tradition for myself, I chose “Create“. I spent the year looking for ways to let my creativity speak, both to me and those around me. In 2014, I failed to share my one word, but I journaled it. I chose the word “Devote”, and focused on devoting myself to the things in life that really mattered. Being in the moment with my family, one-on-one interactions, making relationships a priority, and of course, my relationship with God.

I have spent a lot of time contemplating and praying (both with my husband and on my own) about 2015 and what I want to focus on this year. It took me a long time to fit it into One Little Word, but I did it. It is decided. My One Little Word for 2015 is:

dream I’ll share more about what this word means for me and my family in 2015, but for now, I wanna know…

What is YOUR New Year Resolution?

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How to Ring in the New Year in Style

TDD_NewYear TDD_NYlook_07 When it comes to finding the perfect outfit for your New Year’s Eve party, it all comes down to two major decisions:

TDD_NY The first one has an obvious impact on your clothing choices. Being outdoors enjoying a front row view of the Space Needle requires a couple more layers than a game night at your friends house.

TDD_NYlook_01 The second one simply needs to fit your comfort level. Is this more or a relaxed setting or a formal get together? Are you going to be curled up on a couch playing games or dancing the night away with a drink in your hand? However, if you are outdoors…I think the glam may need to take a backseat to comfort. Simple decision there! ;)

TDD_NYlook_02 For me, the decision was pretty simple. I will be indoors at a friends house this year enjoying games and plenty of wine (kinda our thing). I want to be comfy…but I need to add at least a little of the glam. I mean, this is New Years after all!

TDD_NYlook_04 I decided on a pleated maxi skirt (with warm cozy tights underneath, of course) and this black blouse. I love that it is sleeveless because after a drink or two (and lots of laughter) I can get pretty warm.

TDD_NYlook_06 The fur felt like the perfect holiday touch, though. What do you think? I know most people would go with the glitz and glam (which I LOVE)…but I wasn’t about to go buy a new outfit for one night so I decided to make work with what was in my closet. I love black and gold for holiday parties and New Years is no exception. I might wind up replacing the jacket with a sweater though, depending on my mood.

TDD_NYlook_03 I hope that wherever you find yourself this New Years, you find hope for this new year to come through our Lord and Savior. Happy Holidays, friends!!!

Shop This Look:
Blouse: Stitch Fix
Maxi Skirt: Forever 21 (Similar)
Jacket: H&M (Similar)
Fur Scarf: Windsor (Similar)
Earrings: Forever 21
Bracelet: Francesca’s (Similar)

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Cocoa Turns Four

I can’t believe another crazy December has come and gone already! After celebrating our anniversary, a birthday today, and three Christmas parties in a matter of 12 days….I am ready for a vacation!!!

TDD_Cocoa4_02 So I guess it’s official – I have a toddler no more. My beautiful Cocoa Puff has turned four and is loving every minute of it! Well, sort of. After we wished her a “Happy Birthday” she informed us that she was almost five now. Stop growing please! It was one surprise after the other for her on her special day and she was thrilled to be at the center of it all.

TDD_Cocoa4_01 As is tradition, we played 20 Questions to remember the birthday girl’s favorites year after year. These are so fun to look back on – I totally recommend doing it!

20 Questions TDD_20Questions

Happy Birthday beautiful girl! I couldn’t even begin to imagine our life without your endearing and energetic personality. You bubble over with joy and bring a smile to everyone’s face! You are truly beautiful inside and out! Here’s to another great year!

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Shop This Look:
Dress: H&M
Tights: H&M
Shoes: H&M (old)

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