Friday, February 28, 2014

fashion: February favorites

Four of my favorite outfits from the month of February.
Bright pops of color and fun necklaces are always my favorite.






Tuesday, February 25, 2014

fashion: catching up

Here are some recent outfits that I haven't posted here yet. All items that are still available online are linked. Happy Shopping!

Top & Tank: Old Navy
Blazer: Anthrologie (thrifted)
Jeans: NY & Company (thrifted)
Boots & Watch: Target
Necklace: eBay
Bracelet: Groop Dealz


Sweater: Target
Jeans: Old Navy
Boots: Hunter
Necklace: Luxe Craving


Sweater: Express (thrifted)
Vest: Old Navy
Boots & Belt: Target
Skirt: J. Crew (thrifted)
Necklace: Forever 21
Tights: Gap


Jeans & Tank & Purse: Old Navy
Flats: Target
Bracelet: Groop Dealz


Top: Old Navy
Necklace: eBay


Top: Wal-Mart
Necklace: Groop Dealz
Flats: Just Fab


Cardigan: Target (thrifted)
Shirt: Old Navy
Initial Necklace: Etsy
Flower Necklace: Our World Boutique


Shirt: Old Navy
Necklace: Groop Dealz


Top: Old Navy
Necklace: eBay
Heels & Watch: Target
Bracelets: The Jewel Box & Forever 21


Jeans & Purse & Jacket: Old Navy
Bracelets: J.Crew Factory & Groop Dealz
Flats: Target
Sunglasses: Forever 21 (similar)



Shirt: J.Crew Factory
Jeans: Target
Necklace: Forever 21
Vest: Old Navy
Flats: Just Fab
Bracelets: J. Crew Factory & Old Navy


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

family: Valentine's 2014

I love Valentine's Day. Really, I love all holidays. I love reasons to celebrate. In reality, everyday is "love day" but it's fun to go all out on Valentine's Day. I love the pink, red, and purple. The pretty flowers. And the heart shaped everything. Oh and the sweets. Valentine's Day is just fun. My sweetheart showered myself and our girls with lots of love and treats.
My flowers.
Our heart day goodies from Josh.
My adorable necklace. He stalked my Pinterest and saw that I had pinned this necklace to my Wish List. Smart man of mine.

But the real gifts on Valentine's Day are the people you love. These sweet girls have my heart. 



We celebrated in the best way possible: a family dinner date to Sir Pizza. We enjoyed a delicious meal together and then went for frozen yogurt afterwards. Such a wonderful day!



I hope your Valentine's Day was full of love, hugs, and kisses, too!

Friday, February 14, 2014

family: snOMG 2014

We finally got a big snow in North Carolina! We rarely get much snow each winter. An inch or two is the usual. But every few years, we get a good now and this was the year for it. 

#snOMG arrived on Wednesday around noon. We saw sleet/ice/snow for over 24 hours and ended up with about 7 inches of snow/ice at our house. It was the first big snow for the girls and they loved watching it fall. That was their favorite part. Since they are still so tiny, playing in it wasn't a big hit since there was just so much of it. It was hard for them to walk. They did enjoy the 2 mile ride in their red wagon, though. We built a "snow girl" and enjoyed some time together as a family, snowed in. 











Wednesday, February 12, 2014

thrifty: thrifting 101


My thrifty tips for finding goodies at thrift stores...
  • Go often! To find the best stuff you have to go thrifting on a regular basis so that you don't miss out on any great finds. I go at least once a week to my regular thrift store.
  • There is usually a "best day" to go. For many of my thrift stores it's Mondays. A lot of people make donations on Saturdays and often the new stuff isn't put out until at least Monday.
  • Check out the racks of stuff that hasn't been put out yet. I always find amazing stuff there because no one has looked through it yet.
  • Find out if your thrift store has a customer savings program. For example, Goodwill has a Preferred Customer program. For about $15 per year, you can save 10% every time you shop! It will pay for itself in no time if you shop regularly.
  • Most people say they don't have the patience to go through all of the stuff so here's a trick I use. I look at the fabric. You can tell a lot about the quality of an item by just looking at the fabric. I don't bother even looking at anything that looks worn out, faded, or the fabric doesn't look like it's of good quality. Josh makes fun of me for this one, but I also just go down the aisle and touch the fabric to see if it's good quality. Good brands = good feeling fabric!
  • Speaking of brands, I have a list of brands on my phone that I look for. This list would vary depending on your taste in clothing but some of my favorites are J. Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Lucky, Guess, and anything from Anthropologie. These brands generally have great quality clothing so even if it's second hand, it's typically going to be in good condition.
  • Look everywhere! I've found women's clothing in the men's and children's sections of the stores.
  • Sizing is so different from brand to brand so don't be afraid to try on a large if you typically wear a small. I've found some really great items by giving an item that wasn't my size a chance.
  • See if your thrift store runs any sales. I have a favorite thrift store that has daily deals but they also take 50% of all clothing on Mondays. I love a good sale!
  • Shop for the whole family! About 80% of our wardrobe is from a thrift store. I find amazing clothes for the girls at thrift stores!
  • Styling your thrifted items is the fun part- I love mixing my thrifted items with items that I've found at regular retail stores. You can make a thrifted item work with the latest trends!
  • Being patient is essential. You won't find a ton of stuff that works for you every time but don't get discouraged. A piece or 2 at a time is fantastic and sometimes I leave with nothing. Don't buy it if you don't love it because it will just hang in your closet and end up back at the Goodwill in a few months.
  • Look out of season. This especially works well for children because kid's clothes don't ever really go out of style. I buy summer clothes in the winter and winter clothes in the summer. I've had such great luck with this! I bought so many gorgeous summer dresses for Julianna this past winter.
  • There are certain times of the year to be sure to shop. Always go at the end of December. Everyone is cleaning out their closet for tax deductions. I've found amazing clothes, toys, and more! Also, spring is a great time to shop at thrift stores. Particularly around March when most people are doing their "spring cleaning."
  • Have something in mind that you are looking for to focus your search. It can be really overwhelming to enter a thrift store if you aren't used to digging through stuff to find a bargain. Focus on jeans if that's what you need or a particular pattern that you love.
Feel free to e-mail me at emily.soto@live.com if you have any thrifting questions!

gifts: expectant mother

I wanted to put together a little congratulations gift for an expectant mother. Just a small gift filled with some things to make her pregnancy just a little easier. 

1. Ginger Ale for the nausea.
2. Cocoa Butter for the stretch marks.
3. Antacid tablets for the heartburn.
4. Tissues for the tears brought on by the hormones.
5. Preggie Pops for the morning sickness.


I put these five items in a brown paper bag. I never buy any other type of bag. Only these. I get them at Hobby Lobby for 50 cents. I love how simple they are and you can customize the tissue paper and ribbon to the occasion. 


A brown paper bag tied up with string... filled with a few pregnancy things! 

Congratulations to this wonderful new mommy! I hope she enjoys her gift!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

the dream center: the human race

As many of you know, I work at The Dream Center. The Dream Center is a faith-based, free after school program offered for under resourced children in the Randleman and Asheboro area. The program offers enrichment to families in grades K-5. Students come Monday-Thursday via the school bus or we pick them up and bring them to our facility located on the North Ridge Church campus. They receive a snack when they get there, participate in team play, receive assistance and homework tutoring, engage in exciting enrichment activities, and get a nutritious dinner. Our students get to come to a safe place after school, get their homework completed, enjoy a snack and dinner, and are mentored daily.


Since our program is offered free of charge to parents, we operate off of donations and grants. And we need your help! The Dream Center will be participating in The Human Race again this year. The funds raised through this will go directly towards our costs for operation during the 2014-2015 school year.
I will be running in The Human Race on March 22 to support The Dream Center. And I need your support! I am looking for people to sponsor me. Anything will help and all donations are greatly appreciated and tax deductible. My personal goal is $1,000. To make a donation, you can contact me directly through Facebook or through e-mail at emily.soto@live.com or you may donate via PayPal on our website: http://thedreamcenter.org/human-race.htm.

For more information about The Dream Center and The Human Race, check out: http://thedreamcenter.org/the-dream-center.htm. 

Thank you so much for your support!

Monday, February 10, 2014

fashion: channeling spring

There is a beautiful sky full of snow flurries outside my window right now but I'm dreaming of spring. Spring and fall are my favorite. The weather feels perfect. What I love most about spring is the beautiful colors. God paints a beautiful picture in springtime. I love pink, yellow, green, and blue. 

I received this gorgeous scarf c/o Our World Boutique. The colors channel spring. They are bright and sunny. The scarf is light and flowy. It's perfect. 

But I just couldn't wait until spring to wear it. So I paired it with long sleeves and my favorite ankle boots for bright winter look yesterday.


I can't wait for warmer temperatures and colorful days but until then I will enjoy these pretty little snowflakes outside of my window.


This scarf is available in a variety of colors from Our World Boutique for only $5.99! Such a steal! Get yours now here!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

fashion: put a bow on it


I received this gorgeous bow top courtesy of Our World Boutique. Isn't it adorable?! Pictures just don't do it justice! I love how classic it is while still making a statement. Yes, it's adorable.


This is today's outfit. I couldn't wait to wear it. A dinner out with friends is the perfect occasion. I paired it with my favorite distressed denim, glitter bow flats, and bracelet courtesy of Our World Boutique.


I love how the bracelet and top look together. So perfect.


And the pop of pink on my feet is the perfect finishing touch.

This gorgeous top in black and white can be found here and my bliss bracelet in silver and white can be found here. Go take a look!

You won't be disappointed with any purchase you make from Our World Boutique! The prices are amazing, the quality is fabulous, and the customer service is outstanding. One of my favorite online boutiques! 

thrifty: coconut oil uses

Coconut oil. It's something I use every single day. My husband makes fun of me because if says it's my miracle fix for everything. But really, it is. I have discovered so many amazing uses for this stuff. And a big bonus is that it's very cheap and lasts a long time!

For Beauty

Daily I use it as a moisturizer. I have super dry skin. I use it along with my daily facial moisturizer with some extra moisture. I also use it daily to take off my eye makeup. I put a little on a cotton ball and my eye makeup (eye liner, eye shadow, and mascara) come right off! No more buying those expensive little bottles of eye makeup remover. It's all natural and safe so I don't have to worry if it gets in my eyes. 

Like I mentioned in my last beauty post, I use coconut oil in my hair. About one a month, I massage a little bit of it in my scalp and then wash and condition as normal. It has helped with my dry scalp to much. It leave my hair a little shiny after the first washing but by the second washing, my hair feels so healthy and looks great.

I have pinned a few more beauty related ideas using coconut oil on Pinterest. I plan to try a facial scrub and a deodorant using it very soon.

For the Home

I have used coconut oil for cooking, of course. It's a great replacement for oil in many baking recipes. I've also used it to saute veggies. It adds great flavor to food!

One of my coolest discoveries is that it works to remove stickiness from about anything. I had a sticky decal on my old car that I needed to remove before I traded it in and I couldn't get it off. I tried a little coconut oil since I was out of Goo Gone and it worked like a charm. Amazing!

Another cool trick is using it as a bath tub cleaner. I scrubbed and scrubbed my bathtub one day and couldn't get it clean. I was using all sorts of cleaning products and nothing worked. Well I tried coconut oil applied to a washcloth and it cleaned my tub perfectly. Seriously, so cool. My husband couldn't even believe it worked. 

What cool ways have you used coconut oil? I'd love to hear!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olivia: 19-20 months


Olivia is growing up so fast. She's learning so much everyday! She keeps us laughing and smiling. And we spend a lot of time chasing her around because she's always into something. She has a spunky personality and loves to smile. She communicates how she feels constantly and will always give a hug. 


Olivia is still nursing about two times a day. We have met every goal that I had in mind for our nursing relationship. I had hoped to make it 6 months, a year, and then 18 months. She will be 21 months in February and I don't see any end in sight. I'm doing a gentle weaning with her and it's been perfect for us. 


She is such a great eater. Her favorite foods right now are craisans, cheese, yogurt, any type of fruit, corn, beans, ham, chicken, spaghetti, chili, tacos, hot dogs, and the list could go on and on. Mealtime is her favorite! 


She talks all of the time and picks up new words everyday. She has started speaking in some short phrases and sentences lately. Such as:

"I do it!"

"What you doing?"

"You ok?"

"Me too!"

"I love you!"

Her favorite word is "mine"... haha. She is a toddler after all. She can repeat anything we ask her to say. One of Julianna favorite things to do is ask Olivia to say new words. I owe most of Olivia's language development to Julianna. They talk and communicate with each other and sometimes I have no idea what is being said, but they certainly do. 

When we ask Olivia to say her name, she says, "Ya Ya" so we have been calling her that too and she thinks it's hilarious. 


Julianna and Olivia are becoming such good friends and it warms my heart. They play together pretty nicely... most of the time. They do fight and it isn't pretty. Always some hair pulling involved but then they say they are sorry and hug. 


Sugar and spice. That's them for sure. I am so thankful for these sweet and spicy little girls!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...