Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stitch Fix No.12

I've been dying to share with y'all what I got in my 12th fix which marked my one year anniversary with Stitch Fix!  And ironically, one year ago today is when I shared my very first blog post about it.   My goodness.  I love looking back and seeing how my taste has evolved and my look has changed over this past year.  I think that has come with finally learning to be comfortable in my own skin.  I'm loving my 40's.  I'm loving getting on track with my health and grasping the fact that our body "flaws"are exactly what make us unique and beautiful. I'm at the age where I've learned to just accept certain things that are inevitable.  Crows feet, loose skin, gray hair, pouchy areas….I could keep going but I think you get it.  I mean don't get me wrong, I'm not just "letting it all hang out", lol,  but I'm good with them.  I'm taking better care of myself now than I've ever had before and I've made some major changes in the way we eat and exercise around here.  I'm at a place of really appreciating this "shell" the Lord has given me for a season.  This temporary tent I have as I'm passing through.   In short…I like what I see now when I look in the mirror!  Not in a vain way but from an appreciative heart seeing my reflection in an eternal light.  And it is really liberating!  This new freedom spills over into the way I dress now and that confidence makes my true style shines through.

I also think that this year of receiving boxes filled with clothes from a total stranger whose job is simply to style me even though she doesn't know a thing about me other than my body measurements and all the outward stuff has been really interesting…in the best kind of way.   It has encouraged me to try new things that I never would have before.   And 9 out of 10 times I liked the look.  More than anything though,  through answering the questions in my profile so they can "get a feel for who I am" and as I've had to be descriptive in my explanation as to why I did like the clothes I kept and I why I didn't like the clothes I sent back, it has helped me to really focus on my style and not just fashion. There is a major difference.  I've discovered that one good piece of clothing that is quality and fits great and makes you feel great wearing it, is better than a handful of trendy pieces that will be dated this time next year.  It has been a fun journey.  You can check them all out if you'd like to.
 (my hair has evolved along with my style. lol
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   Fix number 12  was my favorite of all my fixes.  I loved everything my stylist chose for me.

First up (and my absolute favorite) is this gray boyfriend tee.
I know it looks plain jain but I wear it with everything.  It's got a dressy, kind of stretchy fabric and it's a little longer in the back.  I love it!

I threw this kimono on with it to dress it up a bit.
And yes, I totally still wear my white jeans after Labor Day.

  I love the simplicity of this look but with a little fun on my feet.

Next up was this coral pink open cardigan.  
Honestly, this was my least favorite thing as I was pulling them out of the box.  I thought it was ho-hum and not anything to write home about….that is until I tried it on.
It is super comfortable and very flattering.  I love the fabric. It's a bit stretchy and it's a little on the fitted side.  At first, I didn't think I liked the fact it has short sleeves but actually I LOVE that it does now that I've been mixing it up with stuff in my closet. It's perfect in the summer heat when you want to wear a little something more over your tank top.  
This is just another example of why it's so fun to have a stylist.  
I would have never looked twice at this, much less tried it on.

The third piece in the fix was this embroidered tunic.
I adore it! It can be worn a ton of ways. The denim vest is from a previous fix. It's probably the 80's in me but I throw that little baby on with all kinds of stuff.  I also like it with the shrug too.  I'm think it's gonna look so cute with boots…which I will be busting out soon by the way!
The fourth piece was the black leggings I'm wearing.  I love that she sent something so practical too.  These are great quality and they hold me in in all the right places. 

I wore it here with jeans.
I also recommend having a cute grand daughter at your side.  That immediately makes everybody look cute.   :)

And the last thing was this top. It has crochet right down the middle of it.
I tried it on here with a shrug so I can wear it into the fall….

But my favorite look for the top is this.  And I miss my tan.

Oh hey hot  husband/photographer of mine.
Ain't he a cutie?
Sometimes we match. Not on purpose. But I think it's cute when it happens.  Like this day.

Well what do you think? 
 Did you love what my stylist chose for me as much as I did?
I thought she nailed it.  

If you'd like to try it out yourself, you can click here to get all the details. Or email me with any questions. (honeyholden25@gmail.com)  In a nutshell it works like this. A personal stylist will select five pieces of clothing and accessories based upon your profile that you fill out.  You pay $20 for your stylists services.   If you keep any of the items, the $20 will be credited to the cost of what you decide to keep.  If you don't like any of it, you pop it all back into a postage paid bag they provide and send it back in the mail within 3 days. The stylist will then keep the $20.  It's easy peasy.

Another cool thing is that you can earn referral credit and build up enough credit to purchase your clothes!   It won't hurt my feelings if you use my referral when you sign up.  But if you don't, that will be ok too.  I'll still love you. xxoo


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coming Full Circle….and a few things I learned along the way

I can't believe that I am even typing these words, but my oldest grand daughter started kindergarten this year.  Life has truly come full circle as we celebrated this milestone in her life.

I mean it was just yesterday that it was her mom who was posing for pictures of her first day of school.

There has been quite a few milestones since this picture of Elizabeth.
When she lost her first tooth…her first sleepover…her first trip to the mall with a friend without me…getting her drivers license… her first date….her first dance….graduation….when she got married….when she became a momma.

And over time I've learned a few things since that first time of letting my child go.
Letting her be away from my constant care and influence and be surrounded by other people whom I didn't know. And a new authority figure who would do things differently than me.  Who would be the one who would praise her hard work.  And console her when she fell down…

I remember that feeling of unknown all too well.
I haven't figured it all out since that season in my life but here are a few things I did discover along the way.

  • There will be teachers you love and teachers you don't.  God will use them all. 
  • The world will not come to an end if you don't send homemade treats to the class party.
  • It's ok to sleep in every now and then and be late.
  • That pair of hideous shoes she is insisting to wear with her outfit ain't a hill worth dying on. (think second grade Elizabeth and those knee high tube socks, long shorts and big t-shirts)
    • You are not a bad mom if you let your kids eat lunch in the cafeteria or ride the school bus. (although, a word of caution…after round three of the dreaded lice we quit the bus after we discovered they sat three to a seat and tried on each others hair accessories on the way to school. After we nixed the bus, we never had a bug problem again. We all survived and none of my girls died from embarrassment. Three rounds of lice is no joke.)
  • If you forget to send in money (or are flat broke) for that school tshirt, book fair, ________, …..your child will not die from being the "only kid in class who didn't have one" syndrome.  This is a hard one but I promise they do survive.
  • And apparently if you send your kids in wrinkly clothes that need to be ironed and their friends tease them about it all the time, they will survive that too.  (some things you don't find out about until your kids are grown and they tell you and then briefly you are mortified and then you both laugh til you cry so it all works out in the end)

I also learned how to trust God in ways I've never known.
I learned that praying over a matter is far more productive than complaining about it.
That the greatest thing we could ever do for our children while they are in school is storm the gates of heaven in prayer on their behalf.

While my girls were still in public school I was part of a ministry called Moms In Touch. (it's now called Moms In Prayer)  There was just four of us who met faithfully every week for one hour and prayed for our children, the other students, the teachers, the principals, and anything and everything that took place on that campus.  We watched God do the seemingly impossible.  We pleaded with Him for the salvation of teachers and students and watched Him answer our prayers.   We watched Him honor our prayers over school activities that were unwholesome just dissipate due to "lack of student interest".  We witnessed our children have victory in academic struggles and work out "situations" with classmates without ever having to get involved….just four moms bringing our petitions and concerns week after week to the Father's throne and laying them at His feet.  

The teachers knew we were praying for them too.  Each of us would take a different teacher to pray for by name and we would send a card of encouragement to them.  Many would often give us requests to be praying for specifically.

I will forever be thankful for those three other moms who saw the importance of prayer.  Yes, we were all involved in the other aspects of school too….doing our part to volunteer on campus in various ways such as the PTA and stuff like that.  But there was never anything else that I  participated in where I saw such results, nor gained the peace, in the midst of all kinds of situations that involved my girls through their years of school, than I did when I prayed for one hour once a week with three moms who were warriors.

Now please excuse me while I kick into grandma mode for a second and share a few pictures of my little kindergartner.  As of the writing of this post, we have made it through 2 successful weeks of school.  Our after school FaceTime chats hearing her tell me about her day are my fave.

(her amazingly talented mom took these pictures)

Four generations.
Aka:  Rosalyn's personal prayer warriors.

There is a lot that I still don't know about life. I pray I'm a willing learner until the day I die.
But the main thing that I do know now that I didn't know then is Jesus.
Knowing Him is a game changer. 

He makes all the difference in everything.
I can't wait to see what His plans are for this little lady He has given our family on loan to guide and teach and pour truth into her little heart and mind.
I know it's gonna be amazing.

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, August 4, 2014

My man. His health. Our journey.

A while back I shared this post about when God sometimes rolls back the curtain of what He has been doing in our lives that we aren't aware of.  Quoting John Piper, "God is always doing 10,000 things when we can only see 3."    I had been on a weight loss wellness journey that had changed the dynamics of how we eat around here and then we found out that Nick had type 2 diabetes. You can see how high his numbers were in the post….it is still amazing to me that he did not have a heart attack or something while we weren't aware of what was going on in his body. (607 triglycerides!! YIKES)  He was diagnosed in early Janurary and  I wrote about it in February. He  was already on the right track with his diet and was determined to not be dependent on medicine to control the diabetes.

Well, it's been six months since then and Nick went back for his check up and had more blood work done recently.   His numbers are astounding.  And on top of that, he's lost about 50 pounds.  I am so proud of his self control and desire to live a healthy life.    Together we have lost right at 100 pounds!

 I will let you read his thoughts on it in his own words.  If you follow Nick on Instagram then you know how gifted he is with taking a picture of something ordinary and then tying God's truth to it to teach a point.  This is what he shared last week about his results. 

Blood... your blood, my blood, our blood tells a story. A few months ago we shared with you that my blood was telling me that it couldn't keep up with the burden that I was giving it to carry. It was doing all that it could to supply life to my body but I wasn't helping it do what it was designed to do. I was filling my veins with sugar and my blood was begging and pleading with my doctor to do whatever was necessary to place it into the "witness protection program." When the scrutiny of the lab finished its investigation, both the analysis and polygraph validated the blood's story... I was found guilty and convicted for attempted murder against my own life and was sentenced to life with no possibility of sugar and carbs. What evidence did they have against me? My blood told them about my numbers --- and the numbers don't lie: 
(1) Blood Sugar: 285 (High)
(2) A1C: 10.1 (off the charts)
(3) Cholesterol:  222 (High)
(4) Triglycerides: 607 (Extreme)

(5) Blood pressure: 140/90
Well, I had a gracious Judge and He reduced my sentence down, ordered me to educate myself about my blood and He put me on probation... until my next blood test. Skip a few months, and after some lifestyle changes, cleaning up my act and folks like you praying for me, my blood was questioned again recently. This is what it said: 
(1) Blood Sugar: 98 (Great)
(2) A1C: 5.4 (Good)
(3) Cholesterol: 157 (Good)
(4) Triglycerides: 112 (Glorious) 
(5) Blood pressure: 100/60
I'm grateful for friends who have prayed and encouraged me through this... and so thankful that the blood still speaks... yours, mine, and most importantly, Jesus'. What's yours and His saying to you? Blessings friends... let it speak! Hebrews 12:24 

Is that not incredible!! I share all this to encourage someone who needs to make changes in their diet for their health's sake. You CAN do it. Nick and I love food.  We love cooking food.  We love eating food. We  love to fellowship with people around the table and food is just a big part of who we are.   So we understand the pull that food can have on a persons life!  

But I'm here to testify that you can still enjoy food and eat lots of it if you learn how to eat the right stuff.  We are proof of that.   We have introduced ourselves to new foods and have discovered new ways to cook old favorites that are more healthy..  it can be done.

Now grant it, gone are the days of baking my own bread, and having yeast rolls or biscuits or corn bread or  fresh, hot melty french bread with every meal.  But I can honestly say I don't miss it.  I will occasionally enjoy a roll or a po-boy on french bread when we eat out but we never keep them at home anymore. 

At first such choices had to be thought about consciously.  Now, it's second nature.  It has become our way of life.   We don't even go down the chip aisle anymore at the grocery store but instead by huge bags of almonds to eat for a snack. Our refrigerator is always full with fresh fruit and vegetables and now my pantry has lots of room on its shelves because we buy limited cans and stuff that comes in boxes.  And y'all.  We feel so much better.  

For you ladies who have husbands who are not on board with your desire to eat and cook healthy choices, I understand that makes it harder but it is still doable.  It is our responsibility as wives and mothers to make the right choices of what we feed our families…even when it comes with resistance.  As I stated in my first post, I shudder to think what could have happened to Nick had I not started him reluctantly down the road to eating healthy when I did.   My own dad died of heart disease at the young age of 43.  So I get the reality of what poor food choices can bring.

But I will say this….it is a thousands times more fun now that Nick is walking with me on this journey.  In fact, he's running way ahead now pulling me along!  He's the one who gets in the kitchen and experiments with new ways of cooking foods and I am so thankful.  God did exceedingly and abundantly more than I had ever imagined or hoped for.  So ladies, pray for those men of yours.  Be persistent and keep making the best choices you can on your own and let God do a work in his heart.  It may take something major to get him on board…like diabetes did with Nick.  But, don't give up.  Just keep offering yummy alternatives with a smile and a whisper in his ear of how you want him healthy enough to grow old with you. Because as I've said many times before…Paw Paws are sexy!

(cuff by farmgirlpaints.  Thank you Home Slice. xxoo)

I'll leave with you some great before and after pics.
Because sometimes seeing is believing!

 He has gone from wearing a size 38 to a size 33!


We were "puffy". lol

This one kills me. Puffy and blondie.

I'm so thankful beyond measure of this new journey the Lord us on.
I'm thankful we woke up and began our "temple maintenance" before it was too late.

What about you?  Today is the best day to start taking care of what the Lord has entrusted to you.
Your body and your family.

I'll be praying for you!  You can do it!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gettin fancy

Earlier this month I was blessed to be able to take my mom on a trip to North Carolina to spend time with her great grandchildren. I have lots to share from this trip.  It was chock a block full of goodness.  It was such a blessing because Lydia and Lauren was able to come with us too and we had us a bonafide girls trip!

We had a blast just being together hanging out but we wanted to do at least one"fancy" thing to celebrate four generations of our ladies being together and what could be fancier than attending a tea? 

Downtown Wake Forest has a lovely little tea room called Old English Tea Room.  It was my second time taking the grand girls there but it was a first to go with Loni.   I don't think the tea room was prepared for us.  We tried so hard to look like we belonged there and this was something we did on a regular basis.  But I think between the all giggling and taking pictures of every single little detail they were suspicious. But when Loni dropped the tea thinga-magiggy into her cup and tried to dig it out with her fingers but couldn't quite get it…. I think that sealed the deal. The folks figured out we were pretenders! lol.  But oh how fun it was!

First we had to choose a hat.

Then after finding the perfect ones, the selfie-fest started.

This may be one of my all time favorite pics of me with my girls.
It's so getting framed and hung somewhere in my home.

We finally quit all the picture taking and found our way to our table.
Then we took another picture. 
 The man in the corner was SO glad to have this giggling bunch of picture taking females right next to him.   Bless his heart.

After asking the waitress a ton of questions about the menu (bless her heart),  we finally decided on which flavored tea we all wanted.

….and then we waited.

Their scones were SO good.  Plus we were all starving.
We came in with a high tea appetite but had to settle for the low tea.
Did y'all know that fancy tea rooms are expunsive! lol.

That's it girl…get it all.  

We so planned the fact that Lydia's polish matched her tea cup.

And that my cup matched my shirt.  Excuse me, I meant my blouse.  In fancy tea rooms its always called a blouse.  (even though I can't say the word blouse without of thinking of Nacho Libre)

This is my favorite picture from the tea.
My mothers' hands pouring her great grand daughter tea. 
 And Julia Rose's face of anticipation full of cream all over her face….it makes it all worth it.

We may have tasted each other's tea…because we're fancy like that.

All hail Queen Loni!

What a blessed day it was.

I pinch myself that I'm the grandma.
I'm the one responsible for making those memories these little ladies will cherish.

I hope she always remembers the day she wore a fancy red hat and necklace and sipped raspberry tea from a fancy cup and ate scones with cream and laughed til she cried with all the ladies in her family.

Even though we've had a ton of tea parties in our pajamas at the kitchen table while Paw Paw pours the "tea"…sometimes you just gotta get fancier than your normal fancy.

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