WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

I am linked up to The Pleated Poppy to bring you What I Wore Wednesday, once again.

 I do want to say that I feel a bit like a cheater for posting what I wore on the weekend because that's not the regular "stay at home mom" life, but I am doing it anyway. HA! I also have to add that many days when I wear real clothes, my motivation is that we have somewhere to go that night and if I don't get dressed when I have a chance (yes, sometimes 5 hours earlier! can I get an amen??) I will still be in sweats at 6pm! Also, I want to say that I think there is NOTHING wrong with wearing sweats or as my sis calls them "stay at home mom clothes" everyday. I did that all through A's...well, probably the whole first year! I am sometimes just comfortable in lounge-y clothes. I think, for me, I have recently felt better after I've showered and put on some jeans. I have discovered that I don't eat like a pig either. HA! It's kind of that "you don't wear your pj's to work" mentality. I don't feel like I'm working here, but random people stop by most days, so I don't feel embarrassed as much anymore. :) Anyway, I just wanted to add that disclaimer so you didn't think this thing has gone to my head and I'm all worried about how I look all the time! I do want to say that I re-wear my outfits like Kate Middleton. HA! Ok, so here it is...


We went to my nephew's first birthday party.


I look tired here, it was early. :)

I want to tell you about this necklace. My mother in law gave it to me years ago. It was her mother's necklace. It is a prayer box. I always thought it was neat. I began wearing it when we were going through our journey of trying to have a baby. One day a snarly co-worker asked if it was a prayer box. I said, "yes" and then she said, "do you have a prayer in it?" I said, "well, no I don't." Then I put one in it! :) It has Matthew 21:22 in it. "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." I recently began wearing it again. I am not superstitious or anything. I believe in the power of the Word, meaning that this necklace isn't magical but a reminder of His promises.
(I didn't get a close up of the necklace in the pic of the outfit, so I added that today)


I love my TOMS!
We went to dinner for my sis-in-law's birthday. 
 Texas Roadhouse was so good!


Today I changed from dirty workout clothes, took a shower and put on clean workout clothes! I babysit a 3 month old once a week, so workout clothes it is! My sis gave me this burnout shirt. It will come in handy this summer when we spend our days in the backyard.

I have a lot of deeper things on my mind today, other than what I wore, but I want to keep it fun around here. ;)


Lovin' Local: Revisited

A few months ago I began posting reviews on some local shops. I have fallen behind at that and want to get back to it. Back in December, I posted about RotoClean Services. They are a local company that cleans carpets, tile and much more. I wanted to do a personal review on the company because they came out and cleaned our carpets yesterday morning! I was so excited! With two dogs and a potty training 2 year old, well....you can imagine! 

It looks amazing!!! Here are some before and after photos.

            BEFORE                                                                                 AFTER          

This is an area in our den. It had tons of stains and after they cleaned it, they were gone! Also the carpet looks brighter, in general!


                    BEFORE                                                                                  AFTER

This is our playroom. There were stains all over the floor. My camera doesn't really do it justice. If you could see it in person, you would be able to tell the difference. The kids spend a lot of time in this room. I feel so much better about them walking around in bare feet now!

If you are looking for someone who you can trust to clean carpets, tile or other areas in your home, RotoClean is the place to call! This is their website: RotoClean Memphis

If you want to visit the post where I originally wrote about them, here's the link.

I hope to review some other locally owned places that we have visited. We love shopping from these places! 

Have a great day!


Holy Week

I just wanted to stop in and let you know about a devotional that Piper has put together for Holy Week. I just read the prologue and it's so good! Here is the link to it: Love to the Uttermost.

I want to write about how the Lord has taught me more and more about the observance of Lent and focusing on what Easter and the days leading up to it really mean to a Christian. I will try to get a post together in the next day or two. I just wanted to let you know about this devotional because the first part is for tomorrow, Palm Sunday. I hope you find encouragement and hope in his words!

Talk to you soon!


Homemade Dish Soap

Last week I decided to try making dish soap after thinking about all the chemicals that are lurking in the regular stuff. I know we can't get crazy about all this stuff, but, honestly, making stuff is really fun to me! Even if I don't make it again, I enjoy trying. I had searched for several recipes and settled on the following.

I began with Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap as my base. This stuff is, indeed, magical! I've used the bar and liquid form of this soap for a while now. If you have some time on your hands, you should look at all the uses for this soap. Some of them are crazy! But, you know me, I've tried most of them!! :) (Maybe one day I'll do a post about my experience. One is when I decided to use it as toothpaste on a trip to AL to see my in laws. Oh boy! Needless to say, I felt like I was washing my mouth with soap...oh wait, I was! I had to resort to using Bear's Crest toothpaste.) Moving on....

I cut up the bar and placed it in my little food processor. Man, there is a first time for everything, huh?! I never imagined that I would be grinding up soap in the kitchen! 

It looked like this after the processor did it's work. (similar to cottage cheese, huh?) There is something that feels unnatural or disturbing about having non-food items in bowls/blenders/mixers in the kitchen, but at the same time, if I'm going on the premise that I want to be comfortable with what I put on my body as well as in it, I should be able to eat it! Not that I'm planning on eating any soap anytime soon, but you get my drift. :)

I put 8 cups of water in the pot and began to heat it until just before boiling. Then I added the soap pieces. I stirred until the soap completely dissolved. Then I added my sub for vegetable glycerin. I was so glad I could sub something I had on hand. Coconut oil! That stuff is also magical! Again, if you find yourself with spare time (who has that?) you can read about a bunch of uses for coconut oil.
After I stirred in the coconut oil, I was done for 24 hours. I just left it covered on the stove til the next day. 

The next day I poured it into my mixer and mixed it up for a bit. Since I used coconut oil, it was kind of solid. Coconut oil liquefies at about 76 degrees. After things got stirred up, it was liquid. Also, I added another cup of water to dilute it a bit. Needless to say, my kitchen smelled amazing after all this cooking and mixing of soap!

The end result was these pretty bottles of liquid dish soap! I kept the big one and gifted the little one for a friend to try. (I'm loving reusing glass jars! Aren't they cute? If you have any laying around collecting dust, I will come and pick them up!)

I found this recipe from Pistachio Project.

The verdict after using it for about two weeks:

  • I really like it because it smells amazing, keeps my hands moist while washing dishes and doesn't dry them out (dishpan hands, anyone?) afterwards.
  • It doesn't exactly pump out of the sink dispenser like Dawn. Bear isn't a fan of that. He also thinks it doesn't cut the grease quite as well as Dawn. My questions is: what's a little more elbow grease to feel better about what you are putting on eating surfaces? It burns calories, right? 
  • I am going to get lids with pumps for mason jars soon! Then I will begin using it for hand/dish soap in the kitchen. Bear will probably get the Dawn and put it back in the sink dispenser and that is a-okay! 
Like I said earlier, I am not trying to go nuts over here with making every last thing we use, but it sure is a fun experiment! One day Bear said, "You can't make everything!" I said, "I can try!" HA! 

One of the beautiful things about this soap is that it cost me 3.99 to make it! I already had the coconut oil on hand, but if you figured out what a tablespoon cost, it would be a few cents. That right there is motivation for me to keep putting soap in the food processor! :)

Have you made anything fun lately? Let me know!

Happy Thursday!


WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

*Thanks so much to all of you that commented on my last post or contacted me with all of the encouragement! It really means a lot and helps me to continue going with the Lord on this!

I'm linking up to the pleated poppy again. Things weren't incredibly interesting by way of wardrobe this past week, but this is what I've got. Honestly, the past few days have been pretty rough and I considered skipping this one this week, but I decided I must go on and keep that JOY that I spoke of in my last post. So here you go...

Saturday morning, we went to a neighbor's princess birthday party. Amelia got to dress up like a princess. :) There were tons of little princesses and even a little knight running around in their backyard! Moms can have fun too! :) This is me and my friend Marcia. (Our daughters are adoption buddies! They are three days apart in age and were adopted the same week! So cool! We actually met at this birthday party three years ago!) I am donning her daughter's Snow White headband that was oh so cute on her, but she had had enough! :)

Saturday night, we went to Annie's birthday dinner at the Grapevine Tea Room in Arlington. It was a murder mystery dinner. Pretty cool! This is a shot of Bear and I before the dinner. Pics of us together are few and far between, so I will take one when I can! I love him!!!! (We are actually celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this Friday! Can you believe it has been 10 years! We are an old happy married couple!:) I enjoyed the bit of Spring in the air Saturday. I'm looking forward to "real" Spring weather soon!

This is my girl and I on Sunday morning before we left for church.

Sunday night I had to wear my green jeans in celebration of St. Patrick's Day! :) They are really different, but I like them! (It's rare to snap a pic at home that doesn't include a dog or a baby! Oh well!)

I hope you are having a great week and enjoying this warmer weather, if that's the case in your neck of the woods! I will be posting another homemade adventure of mine soon. Homemade dish soap!


God-sized Dreams


I have mentioned this blog a few times in the past couple of months. The author is a sweet girl that I feel like I've come to know via her daily posts. She has a wonderful way with words. Her posts are really encouraging and uplifting. In January, she began posting weekly about having God-sized dreams. It wasn't a foreign concept to me to expect great things when we, as believers, seek Him for desires that He has initiated in our hearts. These particular posts just struck me in a special way. I now believe the reason was because the Lord was stirring in my heart on a particular subject. 

Many of you know our story of seeking to grow our family. It all began in the winter of 2007, I believe. We seemed to naturally move to the "TTC" (trying to conceive) time in our marriage. It began with much excitement, but after about 6 months or so, I began to get bogged down. After three years, I was spent emotionally and physically from all the testing and fertility treatments. 

For us, we had always wanted to adopt, so it wasn't a big jump for us to proceed with steps to begin the process. About a year later, we welcomed our sweet girl, Amelia, into our lives. She is amazing and has been teaching us so much! 

I didn't know what the future would hold for us as we continued to grow our family. Part of me tried to emotionally "close the door" on thinking we would ever physically have a child. We are passionate about domestic adoption and know that we want to adopt other children.  In the past few months, I began sensing the desire to "re-open that door".  My initial feelings about it are of fear and dread...and needles! I hate needles and doctors poking me! That part was terrible. (I'm a big baby!) 

When I began reading Holley's posts on God-sized dreams, it was almost immediate that I was drawn to my dream. Me having a baby is the one dream I have that I know, with a fact, would be a miracle to come true and only from the Lord. I text a sweet friend and asked her if she thought it would be senseless to pray for something that would most likely not happen. (We were just given little hope that we would ever conceive four years ago, so I just have felt like that part is over.) That dear friend spoke words of promise to me, in that she said if He doesn't want it to happen, He will give me a word from the Word on the matter. I proceeded with prayers about the subject.

Soon after, I made an appointment with the integrative specialist that I have been seeing for the past year. He has helped me to get my thyroid straight and continues to monitor it. I learned that he has helped several couples conceive children. We went to our appointment two weeks ago and we await blood test results now. I can say, without a doubt, that the appointment affirmed my feelings that the Lord had directed us to get a second opinion. I felt a great sense of relief.

I don't know exactly what the future holds or if the outcome of these appointments or treatment will result in us having a baby, BUT I do know that the Lord directed us to this at this time and I am confident that He will show us Himself in a new and fresh way through it. THAT is my #1 desire: to see Him for who He is and to learn from what He has to teach me through this. The result being a baby will be icing on the cake, because our goal is JESUS and to know Him fully. I am learning that if our focus is on a "thing" that we will ALWAYS be disappointed. Life is full of trouble and trial. He is the only reason to go on and to press forward. He makes it all worth it. If my joy is in JESUS, I cannot be disappointed! Whew!

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking...Amanda, you don't need to get all pumped up and get your hopes up. Have no worries, my friends. I have not time line in my head or agenda to make something happen that is out of the Lord's will. Obviously, if He brings us to becoming parents of a child that we have given birth to, it was His will. But I am meaning that I'm not pursuing something that I just want because I want it. He knows my desires and I want to say to anyone out there that is reading and wondering what HE wants from you, especially if you are in the throws of a trial and weary of trodding that rocky ground...HE WANTS YOU, my friend. He wants to bless you and give you the strength to stand up under it. He doesn't just want to to "make it" through it. He wants you to come out the other side VICTORIOUS because we have VICTORY in JESUS. (Now I think I sound like a cheerleader holding up one of those posters at the homecoming game..GO TEAM!:)

Seriously, this is a really personal subject for us to talk about, but I feel as though there are many people out there that get bogged down by the world and the discouraging people in it. I want to be one of those encouraging people who tells you that if the Lord has put a desire in your heart, He will see it through. I'm not speaking of some prosperity gospel message that says "do this and you will be rich". I mean that we are so often pulled down by this dirty, disappointing world and we need to lift each other up and tell each other that we believe He can do it!

Yesterday at church (we are visiting Fellowship Memphis) Bryan Loritts spoke on Matthew 26 and at one point said that prayer isn't us asking God for something and getting what we want. Prayer is telling God what you are dealing with and He will give you what you need to make it through it. Wow! So comforting!

I wanted to share what we are going through, encourage you in your journey and as you for prayer as we trod this infertility ground again. I know I will hit low times, like everyone, but I feel a zest and JOY like none before. As the quote goes, "If He brought you to it, He will see you through it" and I BELIEVE it! :)

**Holley Gerth has written a book about God-sized dreams. I look forward to reading it soon!

You can find her book: here


WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

I'm, once again, linking up to The Pleated Poppy this week! Here goes:

I got to be a hostess at SkiMo's this weekend, so I got to trade "the black" for my own clothes! That makes for some excitement for this Mama. Ha! So even though these weren't all days that I was juggling babies, I included them in my weekly photos.

This we my Friday night hosting outfit. My layering worked because I had to shed the sleeves when I had to clean tables! The flats...oh so cute, but not too comfy on hour number 4!

 Saturday night outfit. We had a warm front come through, so I felt confident in sleeveless and thinner pants. Again, the wedges were cool for a bit, but I paid for them in the late hours! Not sure how to solve that prob.

This was Monday! Ha! I was totally slumming after my working weekend! I was a bit under the weather and slept in. Me and my coffee cup! :) These shoes of choice=my fave!

Tuesday I took the kids to the mall and we had a blast. We hit all the usuals...the carousel (A is obsessed with the zebra:), Disney Store and Chic-fil-a. Oh, and I made a stop to Teavana to treat my ailing throat to some warm herbal tea goodness!

Happy Wednesday!


WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

WIWW: What I Wore Wednesday

I'm linking up with What I Wore Wednesday at The Pleated Poppy again. This will be one of those not so exciting WIWW's. I forgot to post my cute "real" outfit that I wore to the Life Choices Banquet on Friday and the rest of the real items I wore last weekend. :/ I have a few pics from a few days though. 

I had to post this one of me kissing my lil sweetie. You can't see much of it, but this is me in "the black" as I call it. It's my SkiMo's uniform. ;) We ate lunch there as a fam on Sunday before I went to work.

This week has been one for "stay at home mom clothes" as my sis would call them. I have been juggling toddlers and babies at home. This is me with lil A and Cannon. Such cuties!

These are my trusty house shoes that my mom got me for Christmas. I love them! They are handmade from felt! She got them on Etsy.

And, finally, this is my "uniform" from about 6:15a to...when I get around to showering. I am really digging the gym for the first time ever. I do adore being outside, but I like the results I'm getting from lifting weights. I feel stronger and think I'm toning up.

So those of you that know me well, won't believe it until you see it, but I am growing out my locks. I finally decided to give it a whirl after years of short hair and bobs. I am looking forward to the change. I have decided that I have to get it all grown out before we have another baby because all of it needs to fit in a side pony. :) I came up with that today as I rocked the 3 month old I watch on Wednesdays. It was really annoying to have it up and poking me in the neck as I rocked. It's all about being practical, folks! 

I have to say that I am waiting in prayerful expectation for the first sighting of the newest Baby Boe Boy! I predict he will make his debut by daybreak!