Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January Budget Recap


January Budget: $75
+ Net Sales from my online store: $101
= $176 Hey-o!

In light of my self-imposed shopping ban in January, I decided to use my January budget to participate in some fun group giveaways and purchase gifts for my Cara Box exchange. I {heart} giving gifts, so it was fun to put my addiction on hold for 30 days to bless someone else. ;)

Here's how it all broke down:

$79.98 {My 100 Follower ShoeMint Giveaway}
$25 {Group Sponsor Giveaway over at The Tiny Heart}
$15 {Group Sponsor Giveaway over at The Life of the Wife}
$10 {Group Cash Giveaway coordinated by Quite the Blog}
$35 {Cara Box goodies}
$10 {Misc. Shipping Costs}
$174.98 {Grand Total}

I didn't have a doubt in my mind that I would spend the entire budget (+ some) this  month, yet I still came in $1.02 under budget. Go me!

________________________________________________

Now for a little story I'd like to call ShoeMint Fine Print.

I ordered a pair of shoes from ShoeMint in December. Apparently, I don't read fine print because earlier this month, I happened to be looking at my bank statement and noticed a mysterious charge from ShoeMint. Come to find out, as a ShoeMint member, within the first 5 days of each month, you have to log in to your account and 1) "Skip" or opt out of any purchases for the month, or 2) Purchase a pair of shoes (or 2 or 3). When you don't opt out, your account automatically gets charged and issued as a ShoeMint "credit" to your account. What the whaaaaaaatt?

Again, I placed myself on a shopping ban for January (and maybe February). And was determined to stick to my word/goal. As much as I would've loved a new pair of shoes, I really didn't need to buy anything.

So as I started creeping closer and closer to 100 GFC followers and considering doing a giveaway, it dawned on me...duh...a SHOEMINT giveaway! Because, afterall, what girl wouldn't want a killer pair of shoes?! Hey now!

So the moral of this story is READ THE FINE PRINT. Don't get dooped like I did, girls. But yay to the lovely lady that won a fancy new pair of shoes! 

So that's my budget, folks. I believe I mentioned being on the 'ban' in February, too. I am absolutely going to have to retract that statement. Not sure why I would want to torture myself like this for 2 months. Yeah...no.

For more deets on my 2013 clothing/shopping budget, click here.

xo,


Linking up with Miss Fran via Budgeting Bloggers link-up.

Maroon + Mustard Stripes


I haven't been feeling too well the past week or so. But for whatever reason, putting on real clothes the other day actually made me feel a little better. :) 

This outfit has been in my repertoire for awhile. All of the pieces are old so it, unfortunately, has taken a back seat to other newer pieces/outfits. But we've been experiencing unseasonably warm weather here in Dallas so I figured I needed to work it in before sweater and boot season is over. 

It was a busy day so I wasn't able to take any pics until the end of the day. This is how I wore it all day...chambray tucked in the front (out in the back) with the leopard belt. 


So imagine my shock when I looked at the first round of pics and realized that my thighs look very hamhock-ish. Very.

This was my reaction. :|


What can I say? I have big juicy legs. It's hereditary. :)

So I untucked the shirt and instantly liked the outfit 10x better. Too bad I didn't realize it until the end of the day. ha! Ah well. I felt cute, so I guess that's all that matters, right?

.:: Details ::.
sweater: Old Navy (old)
chambray: Forever 21
denim: Lauren Conrad via Kohl's (old)
belt: Target
booties: Steve Madden via Marshall's (old)
necklace: Francesca's Collections


Enjoy your Wednesday!

xo,


Linking up with:
WIWW @ The Pleated Poppy
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Random Wednesday @ Because Shanna Said So
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
I Feel Pretty @ Get Your Pretty On

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January Cara Box Reveal


My girl Kim told me about the Cara Box exchange earlier this month (or was it late last month?). I absolutely loved the concept and decided to sign up. The concept is simple. You are paired with 2 lovely bloggers - one that you get to know stalk through their blog...get to know the people, things, activities, etc they love. Towards the end of the month, you do a little shopping for them and send them a box of goodies and encouragement. Kinda like a pen pal. And likewise, there is a blogger that does the same for you. 

I was paired with Kristyn over at Carolina Fireflies and Tiara of Ice Cream & French Fries. It was so much fun getting to know and shopping for Ms. Kristyn! I kind of lucked out because she loves a lot of the same things I do, so shopping for her was like shopping for myself. ;) Love giving gifts! To see her reveal, go check our her blog.

I was super excited to receive my package in the mail from Tiara. This month's Cara Box theme was Resolutions and Tiara did an awesome job with gifts that will help me accomplish a couple of my goals this year.


A couple of my goals center around being a better step mom and eating clean. So she sent me a precious devotional for moms, sparkly hair pins for Kendall (my stepdaughter), a few healthy smoothie recipes, fun little recipe cards, and some organic spices. And to top it all off, she included the sweetest card which totally encouraged my heart. Thank you so much, Tiara!

Encouraging one another through this gift exchange is such an incredible idea. I've been able to connect with two amazing bloggers I probably wouldn't have connected with otherwise. Super grateful to Kaitlyn over at Wifessionals for organizing the entire thing. Thank you, Kaitlyn!

Interested in participating in next month's Cara Box Exchange? 
Check out Kaitlyn's blog here.

xo,

Cara Box

Project 52 | Week 4: Believe Him + Link-Up!


This week, I read Exodus 13 through 32. And once again, there were several take-a-ways. The biggest reminder that I walked away with was that the Lord is in control. I don't have to be fearful. And he's fighting for me and making a way out of no way.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. - Exodus 14:14

Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses. - Exodus 14:30-31

I was also reminded once again that the challenges we face are for our own good and for God's greater plan. The people of Israel often turned their backs on Moses and, ultimately, God when things didn't seem to be going their way. 

But the people thirsted there for water, and the people grumbled against Moses and said, "Why did you bring us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?..." - Exodus 17:3

"Is the Lord among us or not?" - Exodus 17:7

Through Moses, the Lord performed many miracles and attempted to show the people of Israel that He is present and simply desired for them to believe in Him and His plan for them. Yet, every single time they fell on tough times, they complained. And complained. And complained.

Beginning in Exodus 20, the 10 commandments and other laws were established, including not having any other gods before the Almighty God{Exodus 20:3}.

You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, not shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. - Exodus 20:23

Yet when Moses goes away for 40 days and 40 nights to be with and hear from God, the people of Israel become impatient with the length of time he's gone and decide to break the covenant by making a gold calf and worshiping it with offerings and a feast.

At this point, God is pretty fed up and is ready to burn them ALL up for their disobedience. BUT, Moses intercedes on their behalf and God decides to spare them.

There is so much that I gain from all of this:
1) God's plans are God's plan; 2) God's timing is God's timing; 3) I, like the people of Israel, tend to get impatient with God and do my own thing instead of wait on Him; 4)  I, also like the people of Israel (without realizing it sometimes), grumble and complain and become discontent with my life.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of this. I want nothing more than to trust God, His plan and timing, and let my mouth and my feet reflect that I'm trusting Him. Ugh. Ah well. The good news is that each day that He wakes me up is a new opportunity to serve Him, love others, and wait on Him. Just wait. And be silent.

One day at a time.

Thinking about joining my Project 52 challenge?
Read more about it herehere here.

xo,

Now it's time to link-up!

{Link-Up Rules}
1. I ask that you follow me via GFC or Bloglovin'! Or both. ;)
2. Link a specific post relevant to this link-up (not your blog's main URL).
3. Be courteous & include a link back to me. Feel free to use the button below!
4. Spread the love! Invite your friends to join the challenge!
5. Visit a blog or two for some extra encouragement! 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Inspired + The Sunshine Award


I have been so inspired lately by Pinterest and all of the amazing new blogs I've discovered.
Here are a few of my faves!

Amen.
My sentiments exactly.
Well, no...actually they're Becoming Bianca's sentiments, but I concur. 

Chambray + Mustard + Lace = <3
via Pinterest
Monochromatic <3
via Pinterest
The cutest little office space via boutique la boheme.
I don't know about you but I would be inspired to do something...
...anything creative in this little space.
Love it.

And last but not least...my newest style crush, The Daileigh.
Her style is impeccable...in my opinion.
Love her use of color.
She's a risk taker. An innovator.
So I'm crushing on her. Big time.




Follow me on Pinterest!
________________________________________________________

I was nominated by Nicole over at Sequined Patterns for the coveted Sunshine Award. ;)
Thank you, girl!


The Sunshine Award is symbolized by a flower that one blogger can give to other bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.

The rules are simple:
{1} Give a shout out to the person who nominated you for the award in your Sunshine blog post.
{2} Answer the questions below.
{3} Nominate bloggers who inspire you. Be sure to let them know you nominated them.

Simple, right?

Who is your favorite philosopher?
Huh? I feel really slow at the moment. My mind won't let me think about anything that deep. Sorry. Maybe I'll update this post if I think of someone.

What is your favorite number?
I don't think I have one. Maybe 4? 

What is your favorite animal?
Dogs. I love dogs. My hubby and I have been talking about getting a dog. For most of his life, he has claimed to have a fear of dogs. One day he woke up and randomly said, I think I'm ready for a dog. ha! He's so special. I am currently obsessed with Pocket Beagles. They are so stinking cute. Would love one but not sure I could or would drop a $1,000 on an animal.

What is your favorite time of day?
Like Nicole, I'm also a night owl. I am known to be up at midnight on a work night with all of the lights in the house on...just UP. Knowing I need to be asleep. Because one thing I'm NOT is a morning person. Pretty sure I'm allergic to mornings.

What do you prefer, Facebook or Twitter?
Is Instagram an option? :) I'm a bit twitter challenged and am clearly not witty enough to come up with anything clever to say within 160 characters....so Facebook it is.

What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving!

What is your favorite physical activity?
I like to think of myself as a thrill seeker. So maybe ziplining?

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Simply Lemonade's Mango Lemonade. Yum.

What is your passion?
Love, love fashion. And all things fellowship and entertaining. I love a good dinner party or game night. And just opportunities to cook for and serve people. Blogging is also becoming a passion of mine.

What is your favorite flower?
Peonies.


I'm nominating my lovely Resolution Revolution hosts!
Mrs. Tabb @ We are the Tabbs
Chani @ Pynk Krush
Teressa @ Newborn Mama

Enjoy your weekend, loves!

xo,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Resolution Revolution 2013: January Blog Hop


I am TER-RI-BLE when it comes to resolutions. Terrible. But I seem to be able to wrap my head around the idea of goals a little better. And believe me when I say that I am a hot mess and always need to be working on improving myself, so goals it is.

Scene
It's the end of December.
About halfway through my 2 week Christmas break.
I'm on my comfortable couch.
Watching way too much TV.
And it dawns on me. Resolutions? No...GOALS.
Yes, goals.
But not just goals, INTENTIONAL GOALS.

For me, intentional goals are goals that are very specific and attainable. Not something generic like, be nicer to people. ha!

So as I sat on my couch, I thought about several areas (finances, faith, marriage, parenting, etc) that I wanted to work on this year. And came up with 10 Intentional Goals for 2013.

Like most of you, I was super pumped about the goals I set. But we ALL know how easy it is to completely lose sight of our resolutions or goals by the middle of January. Never to be looked at or discussed again until the end of the year. Major fail. So when my good blogger friend, LaNesha, over at We are the Tabbs suggested that a few of us do a resolution blog hop, I jumped on board. Accountability is sooo important when it comes to keeping your word or accomplishing your goals, so what better way to stay on top of our goals/resolutions in 2013 than a monthly blog hop! Genius, I tell you.

I won't bore you with an update on all 10 of my goals.
I'll just touch on a few.

{1} Starting with my Project 52 challenge. It's going well so far. I'm supposed to be reading daily, but there have definitely been a few days that have gotten busy and I ended up skipping a day (or two). So I find myself doing a little cramming here and there. So far, I made it through Genesis & half way through Exodus. This is the first time since I accepted Christ as Lord & Savior 9 years ago that I'm not only reading the entire Bible cover to cover but also reading daily (well, regularly). I know...shameful. :)

{2} Next up...reject passive aggression. ;) If you recall from my original goals post, I believe God has strategically placed A LOT of passive aggressive people in my life to reveal to me that I too am passive aggressive. Ugh. I have definitely been working on NOT being passive aggressive and addressing conflict head on...in love, of course. I've noticed that my hubby is the primary victim of my passive aggression. Poor guy. What can I say though? I'm working on it.

{3} And last but not least, stick to my monthly shopping budget & make smart purchases. So far, so good on this one. I've spent most of my budget this month on sponsoring blogs, gifts for my Cara Box match, and giveaways. But I'm still on budget. Yay me!

Now without further adieu...let's blog hop, shall we? 

{January Check-In!}
grab the button below and link up! 

RESOLUTION REVOLUTION
 
your lovely hosts: 
LaNesha @ We Are The Tabbs 

Meg @ Happy Kids, Inc 

ChanTell @ Pynk Krush 

Teressa @ Newborn Mama 

Angela@ Selfless Ambition 




Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Weekend Wear


Hubby and I had a great time in Houston last weekend!
We haven't been down there since my bestie, Jaclyn, got married a year and a half ago, so we were definitely overdue for a weekend trip. 

There were two purposes for the trip: to visit with Jaclyn and her hubby & to celebrate Veronica's (my other bestie) 30th birthday. Unfortunately, Veronica had a family emergency and had to be in Dallas this past weekend so we missed each other. :(
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I was inspired by a recent outfit post by the ultra fab beauty behind Seersucker + Saddles. And when I realized I had very similar pieces to recreate the outfit (navy blazer, striped top, jeans, scarf & cheetah print oxfords), I was super pumped.

I brought my camera to Houston but, for the most part, majorly failed at capturing most of the fun moments. I still managed to salvage a few decent Instagram pics for a Wednesday style post. So here you go! I'll do better next week...I promise. ;)


.:: Details ::.
navy blazer: Cremieux via Dillards 
striped top: H&M
jeans: GAP Outlet
polka dot scarf & oxfords: Marshall's
arm candy: GAP Outlet, Charming Charlie & Michael Kors
sunnies: RayBan
Bag: Louis Vuitton 


Love getting out of town for a few days and visiting good friends.
Already looking forward to our next trip!

And another special heeeey-o to Instagram! Thanks for saving the day! Gotta love a good iPhone camera and awesome picture filters. Holler.

xo,


P.S. If you you remember my sweet friend, Veronica, in your prayers, please lift up her family - especially her Grandma Louise who suffered a fall and, subsequently, broke a few bones. Recovery will be painful & slow so please pray for renewed strength, peace for the family, and healing.  xo


Linking up with:
WIWW @ The Pleated Poppy
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Random Wednesday @ Because Shanna Said So
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
I Feel Pretty @ Get Your Pretty On
Copycats @ Frills for Thrills

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 52 | Week 3: God's Perfect Plan & Purpose + Link-Up!


3 weeks down...49 more to go! ha! And I'm already slacking...big time. But I'm not giving up. This is a very important challenge for me this year, so I'm sticking to it. I think I can, I think I can. 

This past week I read Genesis 43 through Exodus 12. I forgot how amazing of a book Genesis is. I was kind of sad to leave it behind, but excited to move on to a new book. 

My biggest takeaway this week centered around
God's perfect plan & purpose

In Genesis 45, Joseph reveals to his brothers who he is; the brother that they abandoned and sold in to slavery. 

So Joseph said to his brothers, "Come near to me, please." And they came near. And he said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. Genesis 45:4-5

Rather than try to seek revenge or harm his brothers for what they did to him so many years ago, he recognized that everything that happened to him, even being betrayed by his own brothers, was apart of God's sovereign plan for his life.

Joseph dies at the end of Genesis and in Exodus 1, a new Pharaoh (a.k.a. king) rules over Egypt. This new Pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, seeks to oppress and enslave the people of Israel because he was intimidated by the multitude and mightiness of them {Exodus 1:9}. In addition to enslaving the Hebrew people, Pharaoh instructs the midwives of the land to kill any sons that are born to Hebrew women. 

But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live. - Exodus 1:17

So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong. - Exodus 1:20

Because these midwives chose to obey the Lord, the lives of many male children were spared...including Moses'. Who grew up to be be the man God used to free the people of Israel from Pharaoh's grip. 

Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt. - Exodus 3:10

After 10 attempts to convince Pharaoh to free the people of Israel and 10 plagues over the land of Egypt and its people, Pharaoh finally agreed to let the Hebrew people go.

Then he summoned Moses and Aaron by night and said, "Up, go out from among my people, both you and the people of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as you have said. Take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone, and bless me also!" - Exodus 12:31-32 

Moses felt inadequate and full of doubt, but the Lord had a much bigger plan and use for him...bigger than he could ever imagine. And although initially very reluctant, Moses obeyed God, and God's promise to free the people of Israel was fulfilled.

So I'm learning each and every day to just TRUST God. Because He is always up to something and looking for ways to use His people. My only role is to be obedient and open to whatever He has for me...just like Joseph, the midwives, and Moses. Great, great learnings from this past week. Looking forward to week 4.

Thinking about joining my Project 52 challenge?
Read more about it here, here & here.

xo,

Now it's time to link-up!

{Link-Up Rules}
1. I ask that you follow me via GFC or Bloglovin'! Or both. ;)
2. Link a specific post relevant to this link-up (not your blog's main URL).
3. Be courteous & include a link back to me. Feel free to use the button below!
4. Spread the love! Invite your friends to join the challenge!
5. Visit a blog or two for some extra encouragement! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

....annnddd the Winner is....


...Priscilla of My Simple Cute Style. Congrats, girlfriend!

In the next 48 hours, please email the following info to selfless.ambition@gmail.com:
  • Shoe pick
  • Color
  • Size
  • Shipping Address
Thanks to all who entered my 100 Follower ShoeMint Giveaway! And thanks again to all of you lovely readers. You really have made blogging so much fun for me.

Have an awesome weekend!

xo,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm Gone with the Wind...FABULOUS!


Hello, honeys!
I actually wasn't planning to post today, but I just HAD to share this with you.


After watching this 3 TIMES, I'm still searching for the right words.
And I'm not usually speechless.
But today...I'm at a loss.

I will say that Kenya is a new kind of crazy.
But for some reason, I'm kind of drawn to the craziness.
I also admire that she owns the craziness. She owns it, honey.
Because NO ONE is that off & doesn't know it.

Anyway, while I search for more words, "TWIRL, TWIRL, TWIRL...!" haha!

xo,

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Winter Florals


Happy Hump Day, y'all!
I'm taking Friday off, so today is my Thursday. Woo hoo! The hubs and I are driving to Houston this weekend to hang out with some friends & celebrate my bestie's dirty 30!
Can't wait!
______________________________________________________

Anyway, on to my OOTD.

Who says floral prints are only for spring & summer?!
I say florals are hot year-round. ;)

Clearly Lucy Liu agrees with me.


Never mind that her dress looks like a giant floral table cloth.
She is glowing.
And appears quite confident in her winter floral, so I'll let her make it. ;)


What do you think of floral prints in the fall/winter?

.:: Details ::.
top: JCPenney
floral skinnies: ASOS
shoes: ShoeMint
jewels: Charming Charlie & Forever 21


Don't forget to enter my 100 Follower ShoeMint Giveaway!
The giveaway ends at 11:59p on Thursday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have an amazing, amazing day!

xo,


Linking up with:
WIWW @ The Pleated Poppy
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Random Wednesday @ Because Shanna Said So
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
I Feel Pretty @ Get Your Pretty On

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