Saturday, March 29, 2014

fashion: Rainy Weekend Wear

A rainy weekend is in full swing here. The past two days have been filled with clouds, puddles, fog, and rain. So to make the weekend brighter, I'm wearing my red rain boots, soaking up every minute with my family, and making the best of this rainy weather. Happy weekend!
// jacket // boots // umbrella // jeans //


Thursday, March 27, 2014

running my race

My week didn't start out well. Preschooler meltdown in the middle of Chick-fil-A, feeling like a sub-par mother, messy house, a runaway dog, cloudy weather, and feeling under the weather. I just felt off. I know we all have days like this but I just felt so down on myself. All that ran through my head was, "I'm not good at anything." I never really told anyone but Josh how I was feeling those days but so many people who didn't even know I was struggling, lifted me up and encouraged me. God heard my prayer. I prayed for reassurance and encouragement that day.

One of my mommy friends posted a link to a blog post by Jen Hatmaker, one of my favorite Christian authors. The mom group that I lead is currently studying a book by her called Tune In. This is the blog post. It was called "Run Your Race." My mommy friend shared this post and through this post, we lifted up and praised other moms for their gifts. A mom friend, whom I've never met in person but I feel like I've known forever, called me out. She said, "I am calling out Emily Soto this morning...she always has a smile on her face. We don't live near each other but I can tell that family is everything to her..she is an awesome Mama to her two girls. And don't get me started on her fashion sense and consignment shopping..You rock Emily!!"

Wow. I stopped. I cried. The day before this, I prayed my prayer and it was answered. I am a good mom. I needed that reminder when I felt like I was simply failing. So thank you, my friend. I needed your kind words at that moment. Then two more sweet friends shared kind words about me today. Words are so powerful. They can bring us down or up. These words brought me back up to where I needed to be. Thank you, ladies. So much.

So back to the article, it's about running your race. Using your God given gifts and letting them shine. I immediately thought when I read this blog post, um... "what gifts do I have to share?" That mindset has always been with me. I quit everything I started growing up if it caused me to go a little out of my comfort zone. Softball, cheerleading, basketball, chorus. I quit because to continue I had to audition or tryout and that frightened me to death. Rejection and failure scared me. I have always wondered if maybe I could have excelled in one of those areas if I wouldn't have been so afraid?

I am running my race. I am going to share the gifts that God has blessed me with and not let my fear of failing hold me back. Not anymore.

"God truly built gifts into our lives. Everyone is just innately good at something." -Jen Hatmaker

Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me this week, even if you didn't know that I needed it. Keep running your race.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

fashion: Style Me March 19-25

I'm pretty proud of myself for sticking with a challenge. I have completed 25/31 days of this challenge. It's been fun to check to see what the challenge is each morning and get dressed accordingly. It gives me inspiration when I have none. I'm hoping there will be a similar challenge for April to keep me creative and inspired.

19. In Black & White
I added a black and white tank from Old Navy underneath a comfy top from the Target clearance rack. My comfy Old Navy jeans and even comfier Target cheetah flats. Do you see a comfy pattern here?! Threw on a necklace from Our World Boutique and tossed my mommy gear in my Wal-Mart tote. Mission complete.

20. My Best Feature
I was thinking that my best feature was my hair. I really do like my hair but then I forgot to take a picture where you could actually see my hair. So instead I will pick my legs. They are pretty good too but I like my hair better. This outfit was all about tassels. Tassel necklace from Groop Dealz and tassels on my Old Navy Tote. Another Target clearance top, Old Navy Jeans, and these adorable and comfortable, Sam and Libby bow flats. 

21. Ladylike Lovely
I got all dressed up to go do all sorts of fancy stuff like... grocery shopping with my toddler. I paired my maxi skirt c/o Our World Boutique with adorable Target flats for a pop of color, my "little black tee" from Old Navy, a thrifted Gap denim jacket, and a big sparkly necklace from eBay. Oh so ladylike.

22. Noticeable Necklace
The only challenge about this day was picking a necklace. I have growing collection of fun necklaces but this sparkly J. Crew inspired piece from eBay was the winner. I wore this cute little outfit for a date night with my husband on a night that actually felt like Spring. The top, skirt, and bracelets are from Old Navy and there are those Target flats again. Love them.

23. Coziness is Happiness
I picked my coziest sweater and paired it with my highest heels... that makes sense, right?! The sweater is a great thrifted find by Express, jeans are from Old Navy, heels are from Target, and I bought the necklace on Groop Dealz last Spring.

24. A Little Bit Tomboy
How cute are these little sneakers? I love them but this will probably be the last time I wear them. They are just a little too small. They will need to go to a good home but they did make this outfit a little bit tomboy. I paired them with a Sira & Mara bracelet and Old Navy jeans and jacket.

25. Plaids and Polka Dots
It feels like winter today. Rainy and yucky but this bright plaid shirt from Old Navy helps. Polka dots peaking out from the bottom and happy pearls from Forever 21. 

fashion: Pattern Play

I love patterns! Polka dots, stripes, animal print, floral, and geometric. I love them all. I also love to mix my patterns up! How fun would these shorts and scarf be together?! All items are available online via the links below. Happy pattern shopping!
// shirt // shorts // purse // shoes // scarf //

Friday, March 21, 2014

fashion: Hello, Spring

It's officially Spring! Today is sunny, warm, and gorgeous! I will just pretend like I don't see those snowflakes in the forecast for next week. I created my first style board on Polyvore and I'm so excited to share some Spring inspiration with you. I love the embellished chambray paired with neon shirts and bracelets. Casual shoes and perfect shades. An adorable striped crossbody and bright, yellow nails. So perfectly Spring! And everything is very affordable! Happy Spring!
// Shirt // Shorts // Bracelets // Nail Polish //  Shoes // Purse // Sunglasses //

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

fashion: Style Me March 11-18

Style Me March continues with these eight looks...
Items that are still available for purchase online are linked.

11. A Little Bit O Sparkle
I wore a few of my favorite sparkly things. My eBay J. Crew inspired necklace (which is on sale right now for about $11), Target watch, and J. Crew Factory bracelet. I love sparkle.

12. Sweet Pinks & Peaches
I am loving this bicycle shirt from Target. The little bicycles are a fun neon pink. I couldn't resist wearing my new neon flats with this outfit. The shoes are pinkish coral color. I added a pop of yellow with one of my go-to Spring necklaces from Groop Dealz. My jeans are from Old Navy- sweetheart style.

13. So My City
I really wasn't sure to start with what to wear for this challenge. What describes my city and how do I incorporate it into an outfit? So I decided to go with a pattern that I see everywhere- chevron. In the South, girls love some chevron, me included. I added a colorful necklace from Our World Boutique with cowboy boots, of course to complete the Southern city look.

14. Pucker Up
This challenge was all about the lips and somehow my lips are missing from this picture. But I promise, my lips were pretty. Red and glossy. I wore a striped skirt from H&M with my old Charming Charlie boots. A thrifted sweater and my look for less scarf kept me warm and cozy.

15. Makes Me Feel Sexy
Being comfortable is always sexy in my opinion. This was the outfit I wore to Julianna's birthday party and I wanted to be comfy. I'm wearing an Old Navy embellished t-shirt with distressed jeans, also from Old Navy. My purse is from Old Navy, too. I finished off the look with a fun bracelet from Our World Boutique and my sparkly party appropriate shoes from Just Fab.

16. Saw On a Style Blog
I've seen more looks similar to this one on Pinterest and Instagram. I love how these Hunter boots look with this scarf from Ali Express. I winterized my chambray Target dress since Winter won't go away.

17. Color On My Feet
Red Hunter boots on my feet for another rainy, yucky weather day and a little sparkly leprechaun hat on my head.

18. Layers & Layers Oh My
We got ice last night and it's still cold and wet. Layers were a must for today. For the third day in a row, I'm wearing Hunter boots with old comfy Target jeans, an Old Navy sweatshirt, Target cardigan, and an Ali Express scarf. Oh so cozy.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Julianna: 4 Years Old

Today we celebrated Julianna Hope's fourth birthday! I can't believe it's been four years since I became a mother. At 5:14 pm tonight, we were eating at dinner at Sir Pizza, enjoying her favorite meal- salad and pizza. We stopped and sang happy birthday to her. It was such a special moment! Even Olivia joined in on the singing.
I remember my first moments with her just like it was yesterday. She was so tiny and perfect. All I could think was, "wow! I can't believe she's mine!" Such a beautiful gift from God.

Because of her I am more loving and less selfish. My heart is filled with joy and she's gives me love so unconditionally. Being a mother is an absolute blessing.

She loves preschool and dance class. She thrives on routine and schedule but enjoys downtime when she can be creative and play on her own.
Her favorite foods are pizza, carrots, salad, cucumbers, donuts, strawberries, broccoli, chicken nuggets, and oatmeal cream pies. 
She loves princesses, singing, art, dancing, and watching movies. She has a love for nature and being outside. She loves to help in the garden. 
Julianna's fourth birthday was filled with so many of her favorite things. Donuts, strawberries, tutus, tiaras, songs, parties, hugs, smiles, pizza, salad, kisses, candles, and balloons. It was such a fun day!
Happy Fourth Birthday, Julianna Hope! 

Julianna: Frozen 4th Birthday Party

This past Saturday, we celebrated Julianna's fourth birthday with friends and family at Sweetie's Frozen Yogurt for a Frozen princess themed party. The party was a huge success and we are so thankful for everyone who came!












I created the labels for the water bottles and the treat bags. If anyone wants the template, just e-mail me at emily.soto@live.com and I would be happy to share them with you! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

fashion: Style Me March 4-10

I'm still going strong on my Style Me March closet and Instagram challenge. It's been so fun to look at my closet in a more creative and fun way. Here are my looks from days 4 through 10.

4. Put A Belt On It
This was a challenge for me. I rarely wear belts. They just really aren't my thing. But I picked up this fun, glittery gold bow belt at Target back in November. This was the second time I've actually ever worn it. I love how this outfit turned out with the pop of pink and gold details.

5. All About The Eyes
This was a beauty challenge. I usually don't leave the house without mascara, eye shadow, and liner. I look so tired without it. I was especially tired this day because my husband was out of town on a business trip. Tired mommy eyes.

6. Little Black Dress
I have quite a few of little black dresses. But this day was a challenge because I had to work. I typically wear jeans or pants to work since I work at an after school program as a teacher. I need to be comfortable so my solution was to wear a black maxi dress paired with a chambray shirt on top, military jacket, and a polka dot scarf. It turned out to be so comfy and cute. A win.

7. Feelin Rockstar
I felt anything but rockstar this day. We had a nasty ice storm the night before and our power was out. The kids were stir crazy, the house was cold, and we needed to get groceries. Not a good combination. But it wasn't anything a trip to Chick-Fil-A couldn't fix.

8. Good Hair Day
Another beauty challenge but this one is hard. I mean, who can predict and pick a day that will be a good hair day?! My hair was a hot mess by 1pm this day. At least the bright colors in my outfit distracted from my frizzy hair.

9. An Oldie But A Goodie
I have had this denim Gap jacket for a few years. I thrifted it and it was already so worn in and perfect when I got it. It's more of a gray color than traditional blue denim. I find it to be the perfect outer layer for mild Spring weather. I paired it with my favorite necklace and new maxi skirt.

10. I Swoon For Stripes
I love stripes. I own more stripes than any other pattern- even polka dots and I love polka dots. Stripes are just so classic and they never go out of style. My new Walmart bag was the perfect accessory for this challenge. I paired it with a fun striped cardigan and a leopard scarf. And those amazing Sam & Libby bow flats.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

fashion: look for less

I love a good look for less. It's one of my favorite things to discover and I'm always on the lookout for steals and deals that mimic higher priced items. Below is a picture of a Michael Kors bag that retails for about $300. The designer version is leather so that is part of the reason it's so expensive but it's always got the fancy label of Michael Kors on it, which pushes the price up as well. I love the look of this bag. It's very chic and I love the stripes. It's also very roomy- perfect for a mommy on the go. But of course, I'm not paying $300 for a bag. Never, no way. I'm just too cheap for that. 
I'm in Wal-Mart on a weekly basis. Sometimes bi-weekly. Like everyone else, I don't enjoy going to Wal-Mart. I prefer Target but Wal-Mart is closer to my house and cheaper so I go. Every Friday morning with Olivia in tow (while Julianna is at preschool). We get our groceries there but I always make a pit stop in the clothing and accessories to see if they have anything worth looking it. Usually I don't find anything but I saw these bags there about 2 weeks ago. I loved the look of them and they reminded me of something I had seen before so I did a little research and stumbled upon the Michael Kors bag above. 


I went back this past Friday and the striped bag was gone. So I went to the other Wal-Mart in the area and they had one left. It was meant to be. Oh and did I mention that the inside is lined with polka dots?! Stripes and polka dots... and only $19. Now that pretty bag is mine! I styled it for the first time in the "Perfectly Parisian" look for Style Me March and I think it was the perfect accessory for the look. Now go to Wal-Mart and get yours hands on this cute bag before their gone! 

A big thanks to my cute husband for snapping this shot of my favorite heels and new bag.

fashion: Style Me March 1-3

I love a fashion challenge so when I saw this one posted on Instagram, I jumped on board. These challenges encourage creativity and promote trying new styles that you typically wouldn't think of or try.

1. My Favorite Color
This one was easy for me. My favorite color is pink and always has been as far as I can remember. It's girly and feminine. I paired with distressed polka dot skinnies from the Gap with a vintage tee from Old Navy. The cardigan is from Target but I thrifted it with tags from the Goodwill. My floral necklace is from Our World Boutique and my love letters necklace was a Valentine's gift from Josh (etsy). My shoes are probably my favorite part of this outfit, even though the focus was on the color pink. These are black leather Sam & Libby's that I purchased from Target recently. They are just like the ones I had when I was a little girl and they are so comfortable. I actually only paid $5 for these thanks to gift cards from Shop Kick and cash rewards from Ibotta. It pays to use those shopping apps on a regular basis!


2. Perfectly Parisian
This one was definitely a challenge for me since I wasn't exactly sure what Parisian style was. So Pinterest to the rescue. I looked it up and found lots of black, stripes, and simple but chic pieces. I paired my favorite ponte pants from Target with a top I thrifted from a friend from Rue 21. My heels are from Target, too. They were such a good investment. They go with everything and make a statement. My watch is from Target and my bracelets are from Old Navy and The Jewel Box. My favorite part of this outfit is my new bag. It's a Michael Kors lookalike but guess where it's from... Wal-Mart! Crazy, right?! It is seriously almost identical to a $300 bag by Michael Kors but mine was about $19. I love a look for less and this bag is amazing. It's even lined in polka dots. I felt very chic and Parisian in this outfit.


3. Steal of a Deal
Steal of a deal is always an easy one for me. Pretty much everything I buy feels like a steal of a deal. I look for bargains and shop on a budget. Today it's cold and rainy so naturally I needed to wear layers and rain boots. My Hunter boots were definitely a deal but still a splurge for me. They normally retail for $140 but I received mine as a birthday present from Josh for $80. Mine are from Costco. They are so cozy and perfect for rainy days. The jeans are from Old Navy, vest is from Wal-Mart, tops are from Target and Old Navy. And of course, that fun bag is from Wal-Mart. 

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