Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goals for This Week + What I Wore Last Week


I can't believe how quickly the summer is slipping by. I guess it shouldn't surprise me, but the older I'm getting, the faster time seems to go. There is really so much that I don't like about getting older, but as my husband likes to remind me, it's better than the alternative!

We've had such a busy couple of weeks, and I'm kind of wishing everything could slow down, but at the same time we've been enjoying lots of wonderful fellowship, friendship, and family times.

Instead of spring cleaning, I tend to wait until summer to do my deep cleaning. Right now I'm attacking the clutter that has been building up in our finished basement. We keep most of our books and the computers and office equipment there, as well as toys and sewing supplies. This one area houses lots of stuff, so it's a constant job to keep it all organized. I'm thrilled with the progress I've made so far, but there's still so much to be done!

Here are my goals for this week, divided up by the different priority areas I've outlined for myself.

Marriage:
  • Make time for a special date with my husband. ♥
Mothering:
  • Finish reading aloud Little House in the Big Woods.
  • Plan a special birthday party for my daughter who will be turning 13!
  • Finish the scrapbook I'm working on for my daughter's birthday.
Homemaking:
  • Finish filing papers. 
  • Purge files in file cabinet.
  • Spend a day working on meals for the freezer.
Personal:
  • Finish reading one book on my book list.
  • Cut out and sew up a new skirt.
And here's what I wore to church last week:


This is one of my favorite skirts that I wear a lot. 

Skirt: DownEast Basics brand from Zulily
Top: Local Discount Clothing Store
Shoes: Walmart (several years ago)
Pearl Necklace: I can't remember where this came from!
Hair Jewelry: Lilla Rose Flexi Clip
Natural Makeup: Cowgirl Dirt

It was so hot that day that I decided to wear my hair up. I kind of did a french twist but left the rest of my hair loose after twisting it up. So it ended up kind of like a ponytail. I used a medium Tree of Life Flexi Clip for this style (and the flexi is all that's holding it up, and it stayed up all day!):


And here's what I wore this past Saturday when we went out of town to visit family (I love wearing knit maxi skirts when we're traveling because they are so very comfy!) :

My photographer has a bit of trouble getting pictures in focus! :)

Skirt: Zulily
Top: Thrift store
Tank Top: Target
Necklace: Zulily
Natural Makeup: Cowgirl Dirt

I hope to be back next week with a progress report on my goals. I'm hoping I can get them all crossed off my list!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pottery Barn Inspired Girls' Bedroom on a Budget


This bedroom makeover has been a long time coming. We moved into this house over three years ago, and I knew when we moved in that this room desperately needed to be painted. The previous owners used this room for their son, and the walls were painted a muddy brown. It was not cute at all for a girls' room! It looked very dark and dreary, and it didn't match their decor at all.

Our oldest daughter, Elyse, picked out the new paint color, which was called "Heavy Cream," and she and  her younger sister Abigail painted the room all by themselves! I was so proud of them for doing such a great job--and they didn't even get any paint on the carpet! It took two coats of primer and then two coats of paint to get the brown all covered. It was a huge job, but they persevered, and now they're so happy with the results (and they also have a lot more respect for how much work painting is; they said they thought it was going to be so easy, but they were surprised that it actually was a huge, difficult job)!

Our three daughters (ages 14, 12, and 8) share this little 10' x 12' room, and the tiny closet. We bought the bunk bed almost ten years ago at a garage sale, and it's served us well ever since. It has two drawers underneath, and each of the two younger girls store their "special things" in them (photo albums, drawings, papers, letters, etc.).


Our oldest daughter sleeps in this twin bed, which was her daddy's when he was a boy. Instead of a dresser, each girl has her own little cube thing with fabric drawers to store her clothes in. We have a local store that regularly has these 50% off (and we also used a coupon to make the deal even better). This was what Elyse wanted for her birthday, to replace the large brown dresser that used to be by her bed. It took up a lot of space and the drawers were broken, so this is a nice, cheerful improvement!


We never really set out to do a pink and green theme in their room, it just sort of happened! As people would give the girls gifts, they often happened to be pink or green, so we ended up collecting quite a few coordinating things through the years. We're so thankful to the grandparents and friends who contributed to this room makeover!


Sharing a room with multiple ages requires a bit of compromise. Especially when it's a small room! But thankfully, the girls were all happy to be sharing a room and they all agreed on the color scheme. 


Elyse's side of the room reflects her personality and her love of all things country and cowgirl! This little dish holding her guitar picks was a Christmas gift we found a couple years ago during a Hobby Lobby 50% off sale. We also found the "100% Cowgirl" metal sign and the other metal cowgirl sign at Hobby Lobby. She was so thrilled with these!

The flower painting was made by her sister Abigail. I thought she did a great job on it, especially considering she was only around nine years old at the time.


And this beautiful horse painting was a gift from her friend Jenise, who made it for Elyse when she broke her arm a couple years ago. Such a meaningful and sweet gift!



On the other side of the room there is a short wall that just fits the other two girls' cubes. One nice thing about these is that the clothes can just be dropped in the drawer rather than needing to be folded. Personally, this would drive me crazy, but they think it's great!


Abby also painted these two canvases with her name and her little sister's:



I love this reminder from Philippians 4:8, which hangs over Elyse's bed. We found this at Hobby Lobby's half-off sale about three years ago.


Their shared ribbon board was also from Hobby Lobby:


And I found this cute wire trash can at Dollar General:


This light switch cover is tin and it also came from Hobby Lobby:


You can see several of my inspiration photos on my Girls' Bedroom Ideas Pinterest board. After seeing how much pink and green we already had, I started thinking pink polka dot duvet covers would be nice. And I found just what I had in mind at Pottery Barn. But the price was totally out of our budget.

So, I got creative. I bought three matching twin sheet sets from Target. They looked just like what I was hoping for. And then I sewed my own duvet covers using the pink dot sheets for the front and plain white flat sheets for the back. Then we just popped their white comforters inside, and that was it! I was able to complete this quick project in one afternoon, and they turned out so cute! 

It's also nice that they each got a fitted sheet and a pillowcase to go with the duvet covers (since the sheet sets included these items).


With the limited space in this room, Elyse stores a lot of things under her bed. So she really needed a dust ruffle to hide it all! I found this Shabby Chic one (with a 15" drop) for a good price on ebay.

I still have a few cute things I'd like to create for this room with the girls' help (quilted pillows, a fabric garland, and some framed photos), but we can't put too much in here or it seems cluttered. Still, I think these few crafty projects will be fun for us to work on together, maybe in the winter months.

And here is Faith's log cabin quilt that I finished earlier this year. It doesn't match the room exactly, but it's close enough, and she loves it!




It's amazing how much peace a harmonious room can bring. I just love walking by this room now and peeking in to see the brightness and cheeriness! And the girls are so much more motivated to keep it clean and orderly since it's their own special room that they helped create.



Sharing With: The Modest Mom, A Mama's Story, A Wise WomanRaising HomemakersWow Us Wednesday, What You Wish Wednesday, Children Are a Blessing, Hope in Every SeasonShow and Tell Friday

Monday, July 21, 2014

What We Wore {Stripes + Denim + Flowers}


This is one of my favorite summer skirts! I got it earlier this spring on sale at Zulily, and I just love wearing it. It's so seriously soft and cozy, and I love the color. The top is an Old Navy maternity shirt that I wore during my last pregnancy. I love the color and the sleeves, so I still wear it. It's a little big, though, so I tie it at the bottom. 


I made this necklace a couple years ago. I wish we had taken a better picture of it. The trunk of the tree charm has the word "peace" making up the trunk. 


Skirt: Zulily (free with credits!)
Top: Old Navy (thrift store)
White Cami: Dollar General
White Sandals: Local department store
Necklace: Made by me
Natural Makeup: Cowgirl Dirt


I couldn't resist sharing these photos of my youngest daughter, posing in front of my perennial garden. She looks so sweet in these pictures, and she truly is the sweetest thing!


I did her naturally curly hair in a simple french twist, leaving the top part free and curly. This is a super simple and lovely hairstyle for curly hair (or you could curl the top part if you have straight hair), especially if you secure the whole thing with a Lilla Rose Flexi Clip! I didn't use a single hair pin, just the Flexi (a size medium), and it stayed in very securely. 


Be sure and check out my oldest daughter's "what I wore" post, too!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Joyfully Sewn Designs Giveaway!

I often blog about feminine, modest clothing. But usually my focus has been on clothing for ladies. Today I'm so excited to bring you a wonderful resource for your daughters!

Today I'm teaming up with a few other bloggers to bring to you a fantastic giveaway from Joyfully Sewn Designs!

Sarah's online shop is a wonderful resource for beautiful, modest clothing for young girls, and this week she's giving away a $30 gift certificate to one of you!
(Pssst, you can use the promo code SUMMER to get free shipping on any order of at least $50! So even if you don't win, here's a freebie!)
5 Things I Love About Joyfully Sewn Designs {and a $30 giveaway!} 
The giveaway details are at the end of this post (scroll down if you just can't wait!), but if you can handle a few moments of suspense before we get there, I'm going to share five things I love about Joyfully Sewn Designs and the beautiful things Sarah creates for her customers!

1. Feminine Clothing!
I just fell in love with this tiered peasant dress.  It just begs for a barefoot, summer time stroll!
I fell in love with this tiered peasant dress. It just begs for a barefoot, summer time stroll!

I don't know about you, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to buy truly feminine clothing for my daughters in most department stores. Simply stated, Sarah's creations are feminine, sweet, and beautiful. I appreciate that!

2. High Quality Work
Here's a close-up of the denim Prairie Peasant Skirt Sarah sells in her shop.  So pretty!
Here's a close-up of the denim Prairie Peasant Skirt Sarah sells in her shop. So pretty!

The handiwork Sarah offers is superb... these clothes are made to wear and wash well. And they do!

3. Quick Shipping
This precious little dress makes me wish I had a baby girl to wear it!  ;)
This precious little dress makes me wish I had a baby girl to wear it! ;)

Products always arrive in a timely manner from Joyfully Sewn Designs! On a custom order, Sarah will always let you know the time frame for finishing up a product, and she's good on her word.

4. Excellent Customer Service
Don't you just love the sweet little bows that come with the Red-and-White Apple Sun Dress?  Cute!
Don't you just love the sweet little bows that come with this Red-and-White Apple Sun Dress?

Need a specific size? Matching dresses? A bow or pair of bloomers for an outfit? Sarah offers wonderful and gracious customer service.

5. Unique Products
Sarah's crisp, handmade bloomers (or pantaloons) are probably my favorite "accessory" from Joyfully Sewn Designs!  My girls wore these with most of their dresses when they were little!
Sarah's crisp, handmade bloomers (or pantaloons) are probably my favorite "accessory" from Joyfully Sewn Designs! My girls wore these with most of their dresses when they were little.

Speaking of bows and bloomers, I love the uniqueness at Joyfully Sewn Designs! A few of my favorite "unique" products include-
Are you ready for the giveaway? I am!

Simply enter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. You'll find a variety of entry options plus a few extra BONUS entries, so be sure to check them all out! If you're on Pinterest, hop over and follow our Modest Clothing for Little Girls board (there's an extra entry on the Rafflecopter for this!)- Follow Kristy's board Modest Clothing for Little Girls on Pinterest.

Go ahead and enter the giveaway (below), then take a minute or two to get acquainted with each of the lovely bloggers who hosted this giveaway. You'll find resources and encouraging articles on modesty at each of their blogs, so don't be shy about dropping in! {And a special thank-you to sweet Kristy, who wrote the review and coordinated this giveaway!}


If you can't see the Rafflecopter form, please click through the link below to get to it. I apologize for the inconvenience, but for some reason it's having difficulty showing up here on my blog! When you get to the entry that asks you to leave a blog post comment, just come back here and leave your comment. Thanks!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 14, 2014

She's Reading! {All About Reading Review}


In my last post I mentioned that my eight-year-old had reached a breakthrough in her reading journey. After effortlessly teaching my three older children how to read around the age of six using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, I just assumed I would use the same approach with all of my children. But (as I should know by now) we are all unique, and we all learn differently. What works for one person may not work for another. I went on a search to find something that would help my daughter become a fluent reader.

And I found it in All About Reading. 

After only a few lessons, I could tell that we had turned a corner. She was finally getting it! I loved watching her delight as she was able to read the simple stories in the All About Reading readers.

But I really knew she was getting it this past week when she read an email over my shoulder. She had never seen some of these words before, but she was able to sound them out and only needed help with a few of the more difficult words. Considering that we've been taking a summer break from lessons, I was thrilled that she's retaining and even advancing in her reading skills.


I am extremely happy with the All About Reading program. I'm using level one with my eight-year-old, and I went ahead and started the Pre-reading Program with my four-year-old (and as I mentioned in this post, he loves it so much that he begs to do it!).

We bought the complete Interactive Deluxe Kit (plus the Level 1 materials), and I think it was so worth it. I like knowing that I have everything I'll need. I also love the storage bag that comes with it. This program truly is "open and go," which is one of the many things I love about it. 


It's very simple to use. Honestly, at first I was hesitant about beginning this program because it looked like it had a lot of components and I was afraid it would be too much work. Right now I need simple. I'm not up to lots of prep time. And I have been so pleasantly surprised that the materials are so easy to use and there hasn't been any prep time. Each day I just open the book and follow the scripted lesson. It's extremely simple and enjoyable!


I love the illustrations in the readers.


Here are a few of the teaching methods utilized in All About Reading:
  • Multi-sensory approach
  • Built-in review system
  • Motivating, hands-on activities
  • Mastery-based, building block program 
From our experience so far, these methods really work!


I didn't have a white board, which is recommended for the program, so we use this cake pan (found at the Dollar Store several years ago). Since we don't have a dedicated school room, we have reading lessons in my bedroom. It seems to work better if we have a quiet, one-on-one time for reading. This cake pan with the magnetic letters just slides under my bed when it's not in use. 


I keep the bag full of materials in my closet and just get it out when I need it. I love having everything all organized in the bag. I also keep our current read-aloud in here for easy access.


I love the emphasis All About Reading places on reading good books to your child (read-aloud time is built into each lesson). My children love that one-on-one time, and I love the chance to cuddle with them and enjoy a good story together. It's a win-win all around!


And now I need your help! Since I'll have regular read-aloud time scheduled with my eight-year-old, I'm going to need a steady supply of good books that she will enjoy! We're reading through the Little House series right now, and those are always favorites.

What are some of your favorite read-aloud books for younger children, particularly girls? 



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