Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Rest As A Busy Mom

As you read before in my summer exploring list and this post here my focus over the summer was to abide and rest. So honestly, what does that look like and how does it happen when you have little ones running circles around you each day?

First, in all honesty, it's hard. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being a mom and I feel so incredibly grateful to stay at home with them each day. My goal this summer is to abide and if I look further I want it to become a part of my daily thoughts.  So, I am starting small.

(Picture from 2012)

1. Find time each day to spend 10 minutes reading your Bible, praying and writing in a journal. I write my prayers in my journal because it is easier for me to write to Him while the boys are playing right beside me.

2.  Make time each day to freshen up. Wash your face, put a little makeup on, put the yoga pants aside and put on some clothes that make you feel comfortable and pretty.

3.  After nap time each day I let the boys watch a quick show to wake up while munching on a snack. Once the show is done we read for a little while. This is time to slow down and ease in to our afternoon without rushing.

4. Talk to Him throughout the day for peace, comfort and rest. Ask Him to show you and then begin to notice what makes you feel rested.

5. Take 10 minutes and refresh an area in your home that has been irritating you or makes you feel stressed. I will usually do our family room, kitchen table or our kitchen (dishes and countertops).

6. Put some balance or whisper in the diffuser and curl up on the couch with a good book.

These are a few ways that I find rest as a busy mama and they have truly changed how I go about my day and I learn to slow down more. I am working to find that rest in Him and in our home because it can bring such a calm and resting atmosphere to our home when I am calm and then the boys play calmly and Josh can come home to a peaceful home. Take one day at a time mama, focus on abiding and find that rest that is waiting for you.

How do you find rest as a mom?

I'm Elisha, a wife to a dreamer and mama to two rambunctious & adorable boys and a writer from the heart. I have a passion to show moms how to live authentically in motherhood and everyday life. You can follow me on my 
blog ​ and daily posting on my Instagram .

Thursday, August 21, 2014

staying affordable with basics// bump style

Maternity clothes are expensive. I think they nail you because they know you're growing and you have no other choice but to buy new stuff. Thrifting is all good and well, and I'm a big fan, but sometimes you just can't find what you're looking for, or don't have time to sift through fifteen racks of clothes with the kids screaming for a snack. After three pregnancies and some weight loss, I was passed the point of re-wearing my maternity clothes from the past, and needed to buy a new wardrobe. Hubby and I had big plans for saving money though, and I wasn't willing to drain us just for clothes. So I set out to find a way to renew my closet and feel good about my bump the whole pregnancy on a shoestring budget. If you haven't seen my other posts on bump style, click here.

Today I'm going to show you how I use a few basics that I purchased and wear them over and over without it seeming like I wear the same thing every day.

Here are the basic clothing items that I purchased for this pregnancy and pair with other clothing and accessories I already own...

A good maternity top, in neutral colors. I chose one black and one white. And am really pleased with these shirts! They were well worth the money.

A good pair of maternity jeans that can transition into different styles. I chose these dark-wash skinnies since they can be worn with sneakers, sandals, heels, flats, or wedges, and dressed up or down. They were also cheap!

Palazzo pants. One word: obsessed. I bought three pairs at Target and am loving these for summer with my belly! It feels like I'm in pajamas all day long but looks put-together and super cute!

Outfit #1// white top and skinny jeans

I can take this simple outfit and wear it three ways...


Hat: Target (old)

{styled with accessories}

Sandals: Merona for Target (last summer)

Necklace: from my collection
Headwrap: Bananas and Dean
Sunnies: Target

{date night}

Necklace: Forever 21
Wedges: Target
Bag: Target

Outfit #2// black top and black shorts

This super simple look can be worn a bunch of different ways. One thing I've been doing a lot this summer is dressing it up with big earrings, a statement necklace, a boho head-wrap, or a hat. 

Shorts: Burlington Coat Factory
Top: Pink Blush Maternity
Hat: Target
Earrings: Forever 21

If I'm not feeling shorts, I just swap them for a pair of my beloved palazzo pants. 

Pants: Target

Another easy bottom-half swap for date night, or even a wedding {I wore this outfit to my sister-in-law's rehearsal dinner} is a pretty maxi skirt. This one comes up to the top of my waist, giving a vintage, more formal look to a super comfy outfit. 

Skirt: Styles for Less (not maternity)
Sandals: Old Navy
Sunnies: Target

Stay tuned for more posts in the Bumpin' Style series!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An Enchanted Giveaway

**This giveaway is now closed**

I am a picky person, I'll admit. I know what I like and when I find it, I stick with it. My friend Amy of The Enchanted Bow Shop is one talented lady. Her headbands and bows are truly the only ones I go ga-ga over. With so many little hair accessory shops popping up, I thought I'd share my two cents on which shop I love most and offer you a little giveaway while I'm at it.

Amy custom makes hair pieces according to your specific wants, and makes adorable items sold as-is too. She made this felt flower crown for Bella to wear in two of the weddings she is in this summer.

Is this adorable or what?? And my favorite thing of all is her pricing. It's much more what I would think these products should cost versus so many of the other way-too-expensive shops on Etsy. 

{doesn't she have the best hair ever??}

Today I'm giving away $15 store credit to The Enchanted Bow Shop. Simply follow the instructions to enter below!

You can also enter just on Instagram, but you'll have more chances to win if you do all the available options :)

{Don't forget to check out The Enchanted Bow Shop on Instagram too}

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I Got It From My Mama Easy Paleo Pizza

Many of you have asked me in the past why I don't have food on my blog regularly. The answer is and has always been a frank one: I can cook as much as Martha Stewart can show you a clean criminal history. I failed Home Ec in junior high, and not much has changed since. Sewing and cooking are my kryptonite, so you won't find me showing you how to do anything in the kitchen until I finally get myself schooled.

My mother, however, is a darn good cook. And since my handsome hubby's recent and dramatic weight loss {thanks to going paleo} she also hopped on the health train. This means gluten-free deliciousness is coming out of her kitchen, and I'm right there as her loyal taste-tester.

Yesterday she tried out a new pizza recipe, and ended up modifying it quite a bit. The result was yummy. I'm sharing it here with you today. You can thank me later.

1 cup mozzarella cheese (you can also use organic jack)
1 tbsp flax seed meal
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
Sliced tomatoes
Sea salt
Fresh thyme

Mix first four ingredients together.
Flatten thin on parchment-paper-covered cookie sheet.
Have oven at 425 degrees, turn to 400 degrees once you put the pizza crust in.
Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are brown.
Pull crust out, top with sliced tomatoes, sea salt, thyme, and more shredded cheese.
Bake a couple minutes to heat/melt cheese.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

homemade powdered laundry detergent

you know how we all say "they"? 

like, "they make laundry soap so expensive!" 

well i don't know who exactly "they" are, but if i ever run into "them" in an alley, i'm gonna sneak up behind them and hold them against a wall until they answer me one question....

why the crap is laundry detergent so expensive?!

until that day in the alley comes, i shall not threaten anyone else. i'll just keep making my own soap in sturdy protest to the total crap prices found in the laundry aisle. 

making my own soaps is part of how i stay home when we can hardly afford it. it really adds up and helps a lot, even if it doesn't seem like much. i prefer powdered detergent, and most of the recipes i found on pinterest when i first set out to make my own soap were for liquid {i think it ends up being cheaper if you go the liquid route, but i don't care that much}. i tried a few different powder recipes but didn't love any until i improvised and fell in love with my own. vain, i know. 

here's the recipe like you all asked for. the ingredients you'll buy to make this soap will make enough to last you a year, and will cost you about $20. i make it in one big batch, store it in a big ugly bucket in the garage, and take smaller amounts of it that can fit in my cute mason jar in my laundry room. cause laundry sucks enough... i need my soap in a cute jar. oh, and you'll only need two tablepoons per load. yes, that's it. no, you don't need to add more for an extra dirty load. this is no nonsense soap and it's awesome. two tablespoons is plenty, trust me. 

side note: i read that using too much detergent in the laundry can actually cause the clothes to not get clean. weird, i know. 

allie's laundry detergent 
((i insist you label your soap that when you make it. and send me a pic))

what you need:
3 bars of plain ivory soap
1 box arm & hammer washing soda
1 box borax
1 tub oxi-clean stain remover
2 lemons or 1 container purex crystals

1. grate the bars of soap with a cheese grater (i have one i use only for making soap)
2. add the washing soda, borax, and oxi-clean powders to the grated soap. 
3. shave the rind off the two lemons into the detergent mixture, or add the container of laundry crystals. this is an optional step meant to add scent that will refresh your clothes and last for the duration of the batch. 
4. toss and stir and mix it all together and store in your container of choice. 

now go get your laundry off the floor and into the drawers, now that you can afford to!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

what i wore// bump style

With three kids, a fourth on the way, and a husband who works very long hours, style isn't really on the top of my list of concerns. I'm more on the side of barely getting by, in survival mode, just trying to keep the kids alive and myself from totally losing all sanity. Let the record show that I am sitting in sweat pants and a tank top as I write this, and that's how I spend my days at home. However, when I have somewhere to go, I don't feel very good on the inside when I don't feel very good on the outside. This is the main reason I'm changing my eating habits and have gone {mostly} paleo with my hubby, but another big part of feeling good is what I'm wearing, and pregnancy can complicate that. It also doesn't always help that I'm curvy (size 10/12). I've been working on finding great deals on maternity clothes and styling my bump in a flattering way that makes me look and feel good. I have found that one of the keys to very simple success in this is accessorizing. 

I picked up this simple black maternity tee at Burlington the other day while I was shopping for jeans (to no avail). I love it because it's extra long, covers my booty in a flattering fashion, and has a v-neck, leaving room for a piece of accent jewelry.

I haven't purchased maternity jeans in awhile since I used the same pairs for my other three pregnancies. This time around though, I am a size smaller and need a fresh couple of pairs. I'm cheap though, so it's taking me awhile to find the perfect pair and score a deal. These distressed boyfriend skinny jeans have been a favorite of mine since I nabbed them earlier this year (pre-pregnancy) at Target. I am twenty-six weeks into my fourth pregnancy, and have no problem wearing these jeans with my trusty belly band.

Super cozy suede pumps from Target can be found here.

Excuse me while I crack up at my five-year-old's hilarious posing...

And now for the main event.... the statement necklace that only cost me $10. 

I saw this pretty little baby at Forever 21 while I was quickly searching for some new accessories to go with all my plain-Jane maternity tops (quickly because I had all three kids in a store designed for teens and other people with no kids). I love it because it goes with all the shirts I have recently purchased as well as two of the dresses I got for upcoming showers and weddings. That's a well-spent ten buckeroos if you ask this preggie! 

This necklace was purchased in-store and couldn't be found online, but here's a similar one I am loving! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

I Just Can't Today

So today I woke up to a messy house- something I really don't like. I normally do a nightly pick up to prevent this, but last night I was too exhausted. My days are extra long right now as Brian puts in loads of overtime hours, and I just don't have the energy to do my normal stuff after 6:00 or so.

It's now almost ten in the morning and I'm sitting here with coffee typing when I should be starting some laundry and getting to work on my mess of a kitchen. I can feel that depressive lull coming over me, and I feel like I know how this day is going to go.

I can't believe how much cleaning comes with motherhood. Seriously. How is it that I am cleaning all the time and I can't relax for one night without waking up to mess everywhere?? I have company coming over tomorrow {and what's worse is it's company from out of state that never sees my house, so it needs to be that kind of clean} and I know I have to do what's on the to do list today, but I can't seem to start.

I know I've written about this before so I'm wondering what I would tell myself to do in this situation. Probably something annoying like "press on and serve your family" or "you can do this through God's strength." Honestly that makes me want to punch my own face. 

I just don't care today. It's not there and it's not coming no matter what inspirational quotes I read or pictures of pretty houses I look at. 

Maybe sometimes one just needs to sit and be for a little longer than the to do list might allow. Maybe I just need to refill my coffee and sit down some more, watching the kids play and bicker and browsing Pinterest. Maybe my heart is a little unhappy from following all the rules and keeping up on all the housework and putting in all these hours without my best friend here to be my partner. I miss him more than I miss a clean house. Maybe I just need to take care of myself today and do a speed clean on the house later on. Maybe God can reach my heart if it's more rested and settled. I'll try this out and get back to ya. Pinterest and coffee are calling my name. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

what i wore// bump style

Summer in Cali is hot. Summer in Cali while pregnant is even hotter. Being curvy and a size 10/12, I'm not a big fan of shorts. This pregnancy has forced me to change that, however, as I am also not a fan of wearing dresses and skirts every day {hello, chafed thighs}. So I set out to find a way to keep cool on my bottom half in a flattering way. I saw these black cargo maternity shorts on Burlington's website and was doubtful. I already never wear shorts...what were the odds that these ones would fit and flatter me when I couldn't even try them on? I bought them anyway {for only $7, yo} and was so pleasantly surprised!

Gladiator sandals from American Eagle Outfitters. 

The band is made with better quality than my $40 Liz Lange jeans and actually stays in place- no bunching! These little babies shave about 10 pounds off my booty. Me likey. And I am all about comfort, so this black camisole is my best friend. Another favorite that you can pick up at any Target store is their long and lean tanks! 

This super drapey kimono {from my closet} is flattering and airy- perfect for a summer day spent running errands or playing with friends. I've had this forever, but they're really popular right now and can be found easily. Here's a kimono I love. I love flowy things like this for a summertime pregnancy!

One of the main ways I keep my style in pregnancy and I keep it affordable is by accessorizing. Accessories add so much to simple outfits and allow me to mix and match basic things like tank tops and jeans over and over but make it seem fresh by changing up my earrings, a hat, or a necklace. My favorite places to get accessories are Target and Forever 21. You cannot beat Forever 21's prices on jewelry. It's poor quality, but when you're a mom, who cares?? It's just gonna get sucked on and broken by one of the littles eventually, ha! 

Cuff & sunglasses from Target.
Necklace from Forever 21. 

The great thing about this look is that I can take it straight into date night by trading in the sandals for wedges!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Thoughts On the Normal Days

The kids wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 and I mutter something about how it's not time to wake up yet with squinted eyes, pimple cream, and morning breath. Brian kisses me goodbye and the house is quiet. I pull myself somewhat together and crawl back into bed for a restful silence before the day really begins. 
8:00 rolls around and it's time. 

I announce that it's okay to get up now and start making breakfast and brewing coffee. We linger in cozy clothes in our little house, listening to stories online and coloring pictures for daddy and reading from our Bibles. 

Play time and breaking up fights and calming frustrated boys and brushing a little girl's hair lead to lunch time. We hard-boil eggs and slice fruit and spread peanut butter on bread, still in our jammies (except for Bella, who has changed forty-five times at this point in the day and is the reason I am never caught up on the laundry). 

1:00 is here and no one is dressed, but sleepiness has settled over me and crankiness over them, and so comes nap time. 

These days of simplicity and lounging make up most of our weeks. I normally only plan things for us to do outside of the house for two or three days so that we can just play it by ear on the others. And by "play it by ear" I mean do nothing. The thing I've noticed though is that the nothing days contain the most something's. I notice more, I am present more, I witness more. I hear more hilarious things my kids say and I know them more fully in these days. 

I also get more frustrated and lose my cool way more often, but that just reflects my heart issues and sends me running to Jesus rather than busyness. Don't get me wrong, busy days are awesome and necessary! I cannot stay at home more than a few days a week and neither can the kids- we'd go stir crazy and postal all in the same day. 

The "norm" around these parts is pretty dull. And I like it that way. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

what i wore// bump style

Maternity clothes are still generally plain, ugly, and unflattering. I don't know why these designers aren't taking a hint by now and getting their shiz together, but when I go to Target and other basic stores, I am surprised to find only plain tees with capped sleeves, jeans, and cargo pants. I am normally not a fan of online shopping. As a curvy size 10/12, I need to try things on. What looks great on those skinny models with fake baby bumps may or may not make me look like a barn. However, after not feeling like myself during my other three pregnancies and a lack of confidence caused by the clothes I had to wear, I decided to listen to what my mama friends were saying and look online. I found that they were right- much cuter stuff! And I didn't have to say goodbye to trying things on...most everywhere has great return policies and I don't have to deal with the stress of shopping with the kids or finding a sitter so I can shop alone. This is my first summertime pregnancy, and I am feeling so much better between eating mostly Paleo and loading up on cute {and unspeakably cheap} maternity clothes.

I've decided to share the knowledge and hopefully inspire some cute bumps in other pregnant mamas who have felt frustrated with their maternity options in the past. The What I Wore series on my blog will be all about shopping, styling, and feeling good- curves, bump and all that comes with it. If you have to grow eight times as wide, you might as well look cute doing it, right??

look one// a day in the life of a mom
navy henley tee with crochet back, jeans, + rope sandals

I do not like paying full-price for anything. But after weeks of searching the thrift store aisles and waiting for a good sale, I was just too big and uncomfortable and in need of a good pair of jeans, so I caved. I got these dark wash, bootcut, low panel maternity jeans by Liz Lange at Target for about $40. Honestly, I feel the way they're made is uncomfortable once you start getting big, and I'm disappointed since they weren't cheap. I chose the under-belly band because I didn't want the full-panel band adding a layer under my shirts and making me more sweaty than I already make myself. But the band on these ripped after three wears since I am constantly having to pull them up. The elastic inside the band folds up no matter what I do to keep it in place, making a hard line at the top of my jeans that's visible through my shirts. I wear these when I need to still because they are flattering, and sometimes you just need a pair of jeans. 

These Merona mustard yellow sandals are my favorite this summer. Cork and rope combined make me one happy preggie. 

Gold medallion earrings from Forever 21. Sunglasses from Target. 

Say hello to the hubster in my glasses! *hi honey!*

look two// a night away from the kids

vintage floral dress + espadrilles 

Normally, when pregnant, I get invitations to things like bridal showers and weddings and I feel stressed. Finding something to wear that fits, flatters, and suits my taste has been nearly impossible in the past. This pregnancy though, I Googled again in hopes that I would find a fresh new company that had a clue. Cue Pink Blush Maternity...

I got this mint floral dress for $30 on sale {as well as three others, which means free shipping on my order, yay!} and loved how it fit me. The sleeves are sheer, light, and let in air. I wore this to an evening bridal shower where I ate cake pops, rocked the photo booth, and laughed with friends for hours. Nothing like a good time in a favorite dress!

These. wedges. are. so. comfy! Seriously, I love these. I wanted something super neutral that I could wear with each of the dresses I ordered, as I have three weddings and many showers I'll be attending during this pregnancy, and not a lot of moolah. The Merona Meredith Espadrille wedge was my answer. Bonus: I scored these bad boys for $15 on sale in-store while out grabbing diapers!

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