What I Wore - Stripes and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Striped fitted tunic, denim jacket, black pants and Converse

Welcome to Neutral City! Apparently neutrals are all you get around here! Several of you requested that I show more color mixing in my outfits and as I prepped this week's posts, I realized how little color I'm actually giving you guys! The neutrals have kind of taken over, so I will try to incorporate more color in the next few weeks and months. I do love colors and pairing colors together, but sometimes I forget to wear them! I am naturally drawn to a quirky mix of neutrals, and bright colors aren't what I reach for. That being said, there are lots of ways to wear color without it being bright or loud or too... colorful? You know what I mean.

As for this outfit, I really love the width and crispness of the stripes on this top. I do not, however, love how tight and stretchy it is. As I attempted to style this fitted tunic, I felt like a denim jacket was a necessary addition to keep things covered. The concept works - medium width black and white stripes, black ponte knit pants, navy Converse and a denim jacket, but I would opt for a less fitted top next time. My favorite part of the outfit is how well our Black Cut-Out Leather Earrings also work with stripes. They almost mimic each other, and I love it.

What colors are you wearing right now? What colors would you like to see styled more?

Outfit details:
Jacket: Thrifted (A&F)
Tunic: c/o To Adorn
Pants: c/o Boden
Shoes: Thrifted (Converse)

I've included a few different jean jacket and tunic options below.

What I Wore - Graphic Tee, Leopard, and Not-Mom-Shoes

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

White graphic tee, leopard scarf, dark denim and wedge sandals

Okay first things first, I know these shoes are so not mom-friendly. I'm sorry to have deviated from my normal momma friendly ways, but SOMETIMES I do love to wear ridiculously tall and pretty shoes. These sandals I actually thrifted last fall and I didn't realize how tall or uncomfortable they were until I pulled them out this month. I love, love, love the high wedge, but I don't last long in them. This outfit would work great with a much less angled wedge sandal - or even a flat - so don't be afraid to modify it to make it work for you.

I have to say that as I was looking for similar graphic tee options out there to link up for you - and I was more than a little shocked at how negative, lazy, and dumb so many of them were! I typically make my own graphic tees so I haven't really browsed what is out there. Why do girls or women want to walk around with tees that say such degrading or foolish things on them? I mean, I realize that my tee isn't exactly a confidence booster or even casting me in a positive light, but it's honest. Its clever-ish and I identify with it. But these tees?

I just don't agree with them. Some of them are worse than others, but I'd rather see clever positive graphic tees that celebrates good things about women or even just life, not the negatives. Not the classic put downs or the concepts that make girls appear flighty or dumb or even rebellious. I really love graphic tees and I'm not saying all of the funny or silly ones are bad, but I do wish there were more positive and empowered options out there. You can find a tutorial to make the one I'm wearing today here.

Thoughts? Have you seen any particularly bad graphic tees? Any really great ones?

PS - I didn't forget! Our winner from last week's survey giveaway is merrimanalysia. If that is the start of your email - check your inbox! Thanks so much for all of your participation!

Outfit details:
Shirt- DIY here
Scarf- Amazon
Jeans- Lucky Denim
Shoes- Thrifted (DV for Target)

I've linked up a few similar leopard scarves and reasonable graphic tees below.

Must Ask Mama - Round 3

This month we have another momma on board to help answer your questions - Emily from The Freckled Fox who is a mom to four little ones. We got a great response last month with more questions submitted than ever, so if you have a question to be answered, make sure to send over your questions to Lynzy at sparklingfootsteps (at) gmail (dot) com ASAP to get them answered next month!

ONE: "We started my son off in an infant seat then we transitioned him to a convertible car seat after he turned one. We kept him rear facing until only after he turned two (as recommended by AAP). While the convertible car seat is is still great for two year olds we were looking for an additional seat and came across the high back booster. Most of the manufacturers guidelines for the high back boosters say they are ok for two year olds (and 30 to 70 (or sometimes 90) pounds). My son falls well within this range but I am still skeptical about high back boosters for a two year old. He has weight on him but the high back boosters are so much less bulky than the convertible seats- I feel like there might not be enough protection in the event of a crash. There are a few high back boosters that come with a five point harness rather than just the belt positioning seats but I just feel like it might not be "enough" What would you do?"

Kilee: "Honestly I think you need to do whatever you feel best about. If your son falls within the range that the seat manufacturer describes, then I would be okay with it. I tend to trust what the car seat guidelines say and go with what I can afford that fits. I typically think that the more expensive car seats or the seats with more features will always try to make you to feel unsafe in any other situation because that is what sells their seats. But if you feel like he needs added protection then keep him in the convertible seat for a while longer. If anything they are more comfortable!"

Erica: "I also have a two-year-old but she's on the petite side so I haven't reached this dilemma yet... but if your instincts are telling you that the booster might not be as safe in the event of a crash, I'd try to stick with the regular convertible seat for as long as possible. I think the only factor that might influence my decision in that sense is how happy/frustrated your son is in the car seat. If he's whining or screaming, it will distract you while driving (which will obviously put you at a higher risk for an accident). But if he's content enough in the convertible, I'd say just wait it out. :)"

Emily: "I think the bottom line is that it's important to follow your gut as a mother, and that usually your first instinct is the best! I have a new four year old that I still have in the convertible car seat because I just feel as though she has more protection and security, so I guess my advice would be to stick with what you have until you feel sure he's ready for the booster since that's what your gut is telling you to do!"

TWO: "I am expecting my second daughter in July and will be taking a year off work to care for my babies. This is a dream come true but what has me worried is how to transition my 3 year old from a 3 days a week preschool (my current place of employment) to a routine at home with a newborn. How do you fit in everything when caring for two kids under 3 and still be able to shower and have a clean house? Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you, lovely ladies."

Emily: "Boy, I could go on way too long in answering this one, because having four kiddies in four years has definitely forced me to get organized, haha. The best way to condense it would be to stress the importance of lists and schedules! I wake up before any of my kids, or when I'm nursing my youngest in the morning I'll write out a timeline starting with the things that have to happen like meals and nap times, then fill in the spaces with things that should happen like chores and errands, and whatever time's left over can go to the things that you'd like to happen, like showering and Pinterest time."

Erica: "Unfortunately I'm in the same boat as you at the moment, so I'm not sure how to answer your question! I have a daughter who just turned two and a son that will be arriving any day now. I can tell you how I've been trying to prepare, though. I've created a room in my house that is childproof and has different Montessori-type activities for my two-year-old as well as a place for me to sit and nurse, set the baby down, check my e-mail, etc. This room will be my safe haven when things get chaotic. Other than that, I haven't quite figured out when I'll be cleaning the house, making dinner, taking showers, etc. I guess I'm just going to have to find my rhythm as it comes. My biggest hope is that I can figure out a way to get the two to nap at the same time so that I can have a break! Hah. Sorry I couldn't be more help."

Brittany: "Hi, congratulations on being able to stay home with your children! I don't have any expertise with having two children, but I have a lot of friends with two under age 2 and 3. For me (with just one baby), I take advantage of nap time on days when I need things done around the house or a shower. If I am in need of a shower and it isn't nap time, I usually put her in the exersaucer and give her a few puffs and turn on Daniel Tiger or Angelina Ballerina for 10 minutes while I take a quick shower. Most of the time I just shower at night when she is asleep. As far as getting things done around the house, I usually try to occupy my daughter in the room I am trying to clean with toys or other objects she is interested in. I typically just clean the room she is in while she is playing. Another thing I do is have a dry erase board on my fridge with a few tasks to do each day. This is helpful for my husband for when he is trying to be helpful around the house. My husband is a medical student, so he's not always able to help out, but this is the way we communicate what needs to be done without having to ask, and it works for us. Good luck and enjoy every moment! I just know most mamas say the laundry can wait, so try not to stress over it. :)"

Kilee: "I could write a few posts about how I run our home, but my best advice would be to feel confident, work out a loose schedule, and be patient. The best way I have found to get things done, keep our house together, and be a good mom is to adopt an "I can do it" attitude. I have definitely had my overwhelmed days, but I am confident in myself and my ability to do it all. I am motivated and optimistic when I wake up everyday because I want to have a good day, I have things to do, and I can't let myself get bogged down by a messy house or unhappy kids. We just work together and my kids have learned to expect how things go. My kids expect that I will get ready everyday in the morning and usually that is when they are eating breakfast. Because you have one little one and a baby, I'd recommend doing as much as you can while the baby sleeps, but don't stop doing what you need to do just because the kids are up. I get ready with my kids in the bathroom - I shower while the baby lays outside the shower on the floor. I clean while my kids play or they clean with me. I try to follow a simple cleaning schedule where I pick up in the morning and at night and then clean certain areas of the home on each day of the week. Also when my kids were younger we would do the library on Mondays, play group on Wednesdays, and a music group on Fridays. Its hard to have a set schedule because you have to be flexible with little ones, but a basic schedule is essential. And last I'd say be patient. With the first year of a new baby, as you know, things change all the time. You are always in a new phase, so you'll have to be really flexible and just keep working at it. Also I guess the last thing is that you need a hobby. You need a hobby to work on after the kids are in bed or before they are up or during naps. A hobby will make you happier and give your brain a break from being a SAHM. You will love it!

THREE: "Hi ladies! I'm a stay at home mom to my beautiful 4 1/2 month old baby girl. I am wanting to update my wardrobe but I am at a loss of what I should buy that would work for playtime at home and play dates with friends, running errands, etc? I still want to look stylish and put together but I don't want to buy things that would be impractical or could get ruined by spit up and blow outs. ;)"

Veronika: "Though I work outside of the home, I think the key to building a SAHM wardrobe is to focus on pieces that are versatile so you can mix and match a lot of different items together to create different looks. The other thing that’s important is to make sure you have the basics as a foundation for the new pieces you buy. By basics, I mean a great pair of jeans, a basic white tee that you love the fit of, a jacket that goes with everything (neutral color), some great flats and sandals. I think you’re looking for clothes you can feel comfortable in but also don’t mind getting down on the floor with your kids. For spring and summer, I love J.Crew’s colorful chino shorts that come in a variety of lengths so you can choose what you feel comfortable in. I also love their vintage v-neck tees because they are so simple and comfortable but can be amped up with a long gold chain necklace. In terms of clothes not being ruined, make sure to check tags to make sure items are machine-washable and definitely buy some Honest brand stain spray. That spray has literally gotten blackberry, raspberry and paint stains out of my baby’s clothing (even whites!) and it’s all natural. Another thing that’s important to balance a look are accessories - a great watch, sunglasses, and hats (I love fedoras and wide brim hats to protect from the sun) can all make such an impact. I also recommend a cute, cross body purse; it’s so easy to carry while running errands and looks great with any outfit - my favorites are by Tory Burch, Kate Spade, and Rebecca Minkoff."

Denise: "I totally hear ya girl! I am in the same boat with my 8 month old baby girl! Let me just start off by saying I LOVE TARGET. I seriously find most of my casual tops there and they have comfy, easy dresses that you can run around in too. I also love H&M!  I find jeans and shorts there mostly, at great prices (and their baby collection is adoraaaable!). I love JCrew Outlet! If you have one close to you, then you lucky dog you! But if not, you can also shop online."

Emily: "Wow, that's a huge question! I think the easiest way to accomplish that would be to invest in regular items like jeans and t shirts that A, fit well and B, have fun prints! A print instantly dresses up an outfit so it doesn't look so 'boring mom' if you were to run out for errands without having time to change, but they'll still be comfortable enough and washable enough that you won't feel like you're dressed up for the dishes. Also, as much as I like wearing brighter colors especially during warmer weather, I wear dark colors more and more these days with a 4, 2, 1, and 4 month old. They just hide everything!"

Lynzy: "My wardrobe has definitely changed significantly since I had Olivia! Most days I wear comfortable jeans (found some great options at H&M) and a tee with some espadrille canvas shoes (so comfy and more dressed up than sneaks!) In the summer I will mostly live in dresses - so comfy - easy on and off!"

FOUR: "What advice or encouragement can you give for the girl who literally knows nothing about babies (me...) and is considering starting a family. I wrestle with feelings of unpreparedness, embarrassment over lack of knowledge, and anxiety. What prepared you or at least made you feel more comfortable with impending motherhood?"

Lynzy: "Okay so let me first start off by saying... you are never fully prepared for motherhood. Ever. There is never a "good" time to start a family because there will always be SOMETHING - whether it's "we need more money" or "we want to travel first". I can tell you that having Olivia is hands down the best thing that ever happened to me and my husband. There are definitely days where my patience is tried and I feel like I need a break, but we made this little nugget and she is ours and it is a beautiful thing. I haven't read many books or anything, I just use momma's intuition. It's a real thing. ;) "

Emily: "That's tough to condense, but I guess what comes to mind is that everyone will have advice on how you should do things, and they'll always conflict. But in the end you just have to do what you feel is right for your babies and trust your own best judgment, because no one knows your babes like you do and no two are the same! I remember how scary being pregnant with and having my first baby was, and really it's not gotten any less scary. It's a wild, messy, silly, amazing ride so just make sure you don't spend too much time being sad that he or she never wore that one adorable outfit or that you never took 6 month pictures. It's the little tummy giggles and feeling their little downy fluffy heads that matter the most. Your babies will love you unconditionally, and if you have a question there's always Google!"

Denise:"If you’re heart is being led to have children then you are as prepared as you need to be.  Honestly! With that said, there are plenty of books to read during your 9 months of pregnancy and golly day thanks goodness for those million doctor visits you go to because they give you information!  And then, once that little baby lady or baby gent has arrived – their pediatrician will give you tons of information at every appointment. So truthfully my advice, is that you are ready. You are ready where you are right now. You don’t have to have any experience with babies or any knowledge. You will be scared to death with or without that knowledge but something kicks in when you become a mama called instinct. Oh and thank goodness for Google. :)

Veronika: "I think no one is ever truly prepared for deciding to pursue parenthood and it’s a learn-as-you go process because every baby and every family is so different. A lot of the times it’s about trusting your own instincts and also turning to others you trust for support and encouragement. If you already know you want a child but are just nervous about motherhood, I will tell you that though it has many challenges, it is also the most rewarding experience and you may surprise yourself at how it all comes together as you learn and grow with your baby. I did read some books and I did work with children when I was younger, but nothing compares to the experience of having your own child so no matter how much experience you have (or don’t have) you just have to “go with the flow.” I know how difficult that sounds because my own personality is to plan things, but the truth is that you may have a really “easy” baby or a baby with colic (and that’s just one example) and you have to cross that bridge when you get there. The best thing you can do when deciding to become a mother is to be sure that your relationship with your partner is strong and that you can count on your partner to support you and provide the assistance you need with pregnancy and childcare. Having a child can really test even the strongest relationships so making sure that foundation is strong and based on mutual respect, love and trust is crucial."

I hope you read or found something helpful! I know some of you mentioned in the readers survey that these weren't your favorite posts, but I think there is benefit in sharing opinions and view points between moms. I would LOVE it if you had more to add to any of these answers - your comments and experience would be welcome additions to the post!

I Normally Hate Holiday Recaps...

So normally I kinda of hate holiday recaps. I never read them on other blogs because, I mean, the holiday is over. I'm ready to move on. BUT, I'm indulging myself today because we had such a great weekend. And I actually busted out my big camera. So, yes, today will be a photo overload.

I'll start with my favorite part (and my husband's least favorite part) of the weekend festivities - putting together and taking pictures our family's Easter outfits. I bought the fabric for my dress a few years ago at a garage sale and have had this specific pattern in mind since then. I finally decided to tackle it this week and by some miracle it turned out! I will definitely be posting a tutorial next week. I tried to make it as easy and simple as possible, so hopefully you can try to make it too!

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

Blue and white family photo oufits

For the last three years, my friend Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts and I have met up after church to take each other's family photos. We love it, and our families tolerate it. We grabbed a pic together this year in my dress and her skirt, both of which we each made. 

Sugar Bee Crafts and ONE little MOMMA

I think the kids' favorite part of the weekend was the Easter egg hunt. I have never been a fan of huge community Easter egg hunts. I think it's because I have visions of big bully kids stealing all the eggs from the little kids at those things, so we don't go to them. But we were really excited when my good friend Sarah invited us to a small egg hunt at her house with just a few other families. That is just my kind of hunt.

ONE little MOMMA

Whether you can tell in the photo or not, they were excited for the egg hunt. Apparently we need to start taking more (or maybe less!) posed photos at our house because these two faces kill me! Natural smiles do not come out naturally when I say 'Smile!', but somehow these grimaces and silly looks never fail.

Easter egg hunt poses

Knox of course didn't really know what to think, but he loves being outside and with his brothers. He is really crawling fast these days. He can move so well on carpet, but he is not so sure on the grass. I know the shorts didn't help, but I'm sure soon enough he'll be cruising on any surface. 

Easter egg hunt poses

I just love these crazy kids. Sometimes they overwhelm me completely, but most days I am just amazed to have them in my life. People ask us if we want a girl and I always say yes - definitely - but being a mom to these boys is such a pleasure. We aren't done having kids yet and although we don't agree on everything, Soren and I definitely agree that our kids are the coolest. We've often said, "Our kids are so great, why wouldn't we want more?!?"

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

Knox QUICKLY figured out what it was that was making that shaking sound inside his Easter eggs. He started busting those plastic eggs open as fast as he could. He gobbled up any jelly bean in sight! It was hilarious to see Knox swiping candy from his brother's baskets. He loved it and his brothers hated it!

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

Easter egg hunt poses

On Easter Sunday, we had church at 9 am and we ALMOST made it on time to - thanks to great tips in the comments of last week's post. Because of early church, we didn't do much but get ready in the morning. After church, we took family photos and then relaxed at home. I was put in charge of dessert for Easter dinner at my parent's house, so I worked on an angel food cake and a carrot cake (both from a box). Both were fails on account of looks, but they tasted good!

Angel food cake fail

The carrot cake almost turned out until I broke the whole top layer putting it on! You can see the frosting seeping down the crack. It really did taste amazing though. You can't go wrong with carrot cake in my book.

Carrot cake

Ah, and yes we managed to we dye eggs too. I love to dye Easter eggs. It is such a fun creative outlet - unless you have kids. I forgot how much help and supervision is required when handling that much dye and that many fragile eggs! I don't know why I thought I would get to dye any, but lesson learned. I helped the kids and they had a blast.

Egg dyeing

This year we tried to really focus a lot more on the true meaning of Easter. Yes, we dyed eggs and had Easter baskets, but our baskets were really minimal, and anytime we talked about Easter, we discussed our faith. I tried to teach my kids what I believe and know about Jesus Christ as we got ready for and celebrated Easter. Rather than bedtime stories, I told them scripture stories. Rather than watching Disney Junior on my iPad, I had them watch Bible videos. It helped that this year we have been reading the New Testament every night and really talking about our Savior every day. His life and teachings are part of our everyday discussions, and so it fit and made sense to really celebrate Him and the holiday this weekend. I'm so grateful for my belief in Him as my Savior, in His grace and His love for me. 

Regardless of your beliefs or how you celebrated Easter weekend, I hope that you enjoyed good weather,  good friends and family, and good food! Happy Belated Easter!

Everyday Style - Camo and More Camo


White v-neck, fedora, and camo pants
Tee: Hane's Men's V-Neck
Pants: TJ Maxx
Shoes: TOMS
Hat: H&M 
Earrings: OLM 

stripes, navy camo, converse
Tee: Thrifted (F21)
Pants: GAP
Shoes: Thrifted (Converse)
Earrings: OLM 

camo tee, dark denim and converse
Tee: F21
Pants: Lucky Brand
Shoes: Thrifted (Converse)
Earrings: OLM
Cuff: F21

This week a friend mentioned that she didn't know anyone who wore as much camo as I do. That tells me I might have a problem, but I'd argue it's a good one to have. Usually my Everyday Style round ups don't have quite so distinctive a theme, but apparently camo has been on my mind a lot lately. If you are new to OLM, several times a month I recap my everyday outfits from my Instagram. I hate the phone pictures, but they are an easy and practical way for me to share more style and outfit ideas with you. 

So... camo. I have to admit I was on board right away with this trend. I bought camo pants while pregnant last year and I've been wearing camo in all forms ever since. I treat camo like a neutral in my closet, much like I treat leopard print. They are both are neutral prints that I wear with everything. I think camo used to be seen as edgy, but it is becoming more and more mainstream, so don't feel like it is out of reach!

If you are hesitant to try this trend, there are so many ways to wear it. My favorite colors and fabrics to pair with camo are gray, black, orange/red, citron, chambray, white, beige, and even radiant orchid. I have several pairs of camo pants (green and navy), a camo tee, and camo ballet flats. I've also seen cool camo vests, jackets, and causal bags. Oh, and I have to mention our Camo Leather Earrings - those are a great way to wear the print too! In honor of today's post, our camo earrings are on sale this weekend. Grab a pair for only $12 and add some of this fun trend to your closet!

Leather camo earrings from ONE little MOMMA

For more ideas about styling camo, click here. Have you added any camo to your wardrobe? How do you wear it?

What I Wore - Denim Vest, Leopard Sneakers, and Jamberry Nails


Cuffed black denim + leopard sneakers

Denim vest, gray tee, black denim and leopard sneakers

Jamberry nail wraps

gray tee, black denim and leopard sneakers

Denim vest, gray tee, black denim and leopard sneakers

I feel like I need to first just say thank you for taking my reader survey this week. I was nervous no one would take it because, honestly, surveys are a pain. But thanks for sticking it out for me, and I'm sorry if you hated any of it or if I could have done it a better way. Clearly I'm still learning here. The feedback was overwhelming to say the least. It was a bit like getting 1000 valuable and insightful blog comments all in one day - which is a blogger's dream come true! I'm so taken aback by all of the really, really nice things you had to say. Thank you, thank you, thank you. And I'm trying to be a big girl and be receptive to all of the great, insightful, and honest criticism you sent as well. I know I'll be better for it.

And even aside from all of those things, I loved hearing from you. It is so, so, so nice to know that my words and work and images aren't just going out there to nowhere land. I always hope that something I say or do will inspire, entertain, or hold at least a little value to someone on a daily basis. I was planning on posting a more formal or at least more comprehensive response to the survey next week after I have mulled it over a bit more. Would you be interested in that? Do you care to know more about the overall answers?

This outfit fits more in my Everyday Style category as it is one I wear pretty regularly. If you have been around for a while, you will have noticed I have a thing for gray tees, vests, and black denim. I just like to change up my shoes, or in today's case, my nails, to make these basics more interesting. I've included a round up of leopard sneakers below. If you follow me on IG, you know how much I wear mine and although I got mine at H&M, you can find similar ones at all price points.

On my nails, I'm wearing a black floral print thanks to Jamberry nail wraps. Elizabeth from Jamberry offered to send me over some printed nail wraps a few weeks back and I jumped at the chance to try them. I've been wanting to test out Jamberry nails for months so I was excited to give them a go. So far, I love how they look and I am really interested to see how long they stay on. I applied them on Saturday and I think I will need more practice with them before they work perfectly. I plan to try another set next week and see if I can get the tricks figured out.

Have you tried Jamberry nails? Would you be interested in a video tutorial on applying them?

Outfit Details:
Shirt- Everlane
Jeans- Liverpool
Shoes- H&M
Vest- thrifted and DIY'd

Honest - I'm Late Everywhere I Go


There are all kinds of people and mommas out there, but I'm a goer. I love to get out and get things done. When my babies are born, I always over do it because I hate staying home. While the new baby sleeps in his covered car seat, I am happy to run errands, shop, and just get out. As you know, besides the kids and my husband, I have been running a business from home for the past four years and blogging for the past two years. All of those things makes life full and enjoyable. The problem that I find about being busy and having my plate so full is that I'm late - EVERYWHERE. I've never been a super strict and punctual person, but I do love to be prepared and it feels great to be on time or even early. Unfortunately, I almost never get that feeling. I try to blame it on my phase of life, but if you invite me anywhere, just allow an extra 20 minutes. I'm very punctual with a 20 minute late arrival time - THAT you can count on.

Reasons We Are Currently Late - In General

1. A napping baby. I don't mess with Knox's naps. He isn't on a super strict schedule, but if he is napping, we stay put until he is done. Naptime is money to me and I definitely believe that the better rested the baby, the happier the family.

2. Blog (or business) related activities. I often snap some kind of outfit pic before we leave the house, which takes time. And if I'm home, I usually have a project out and orders in the works. Every spare minute gets used around here, and I usually try to stretch them too far.

3. My husband. I did not marry a man who can stick to a schedule. He does amazing things, but he needs unlimited time to do so. And he does things his own way. Like on Sunday when he did the dishes for me with Knox's help. The dishes got done and even Knox got washed - but it took a LONG time.

4. Small children related messes. Poopy diapers, peed underwear, spilled milk or juice, dumped toy boxes, lost toys, shoes in puddles, muddy clothes, and any other number of "are you kidding me?!?" events that for some reason always happen right before we leave the house. You never know what will happen next with kids!

The place that I hate being late to the most is church. Everything else in my life is pretty flexible - but church starts on time. And it's a large quiet-ish meeting. Everyone notices when you walk in late and up to the front where the only empty pews are. The number of bags you are carrying, the disposition of your children, and the higher heeled shoes that you are desperately trying to walk in are all on display as you interrupt the meeting. We have been late for church for years, but EVERY single week I vow to get up earlier and leave sooner. It is really exhausting to put so much effort into a 2-3 minute window of arrival time. (You know we aren't showing up 20 minutes early!) For months, every week I was arriving at church so angry and so short and so dang frustrated with my entire family - especially my husband. It took the whole meeting for me to get over it and by then I had practically missed the whole point of church! Talk about starting off church on the wrong foot.

A few weeks ago as we were starting off the same scenario of running late and rushing to get ready. I could feel the irritation building, and then I had the feeling to just let it go. I just decided to let go of the schedule. Trying to make it for the 9am meeting wasn't going to happen anyway, and what was ruining Sunday mornings wasn't us being late for church, it was my attitude about being late. We were already late and being mean and mad about it didn't make it more okay to be late. It was almost as if I thought being grouchy made me less guilty of the lateness - because I was blaming everyone else and making them pay for it with my bad attitude. I just let go of the frustration and kindly kept getting us ready to go. I stayed calm, helped the kids and waited for my husband. We were 45 minutes late. We missed almost the entire first meeting. In fact we just sat in the hall for the last ten minutes of it - BUT we were happy. We were all feeling good and glad to be there. Mom hadn't lost her mind and everyone had kept the peace. It was an eye opening morning.

And we are still late almost every week. And I still try to get us there on time every week. But I don't get angry anymore. It's never anyone's fault and I swear we are late for a different reason every week. But I am grateful to have figured out how to be a better example to my kids about what I believe and why we go to church. I am trying harder not to put the schedule above how I treat my family, even if it means missing half of church.

Are you as late as I am? Where do you dread arriving late? Or have you figured out the whole concept of being punctual? I'd love to hear your secrets for being on time!

PS- Did you get a chance to take my survey yet? If so, thank you so much! If not you can do so here and be entered to win the massage gift card and other fun beauty products!

You Tell Me + a Giveaway

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As you know I was at a blog conference a few weeks back and although it overwhelmed me a bit, I came home with a lot of work to do and a notebook full of ways to improve ONE little MOMMA. One of the first things on my list requires your help!

I'd love for you to take five minutes to fill out this reader survey that I have put together. It will help me know a little more about  you and what you love or want out of the blog. To thank you for taking the survey you will be entered to win a $50 Massage Envy gift card + $50 in beauty products (Stila liquid eyeliner, Covergirl Lucky Penny nail polish and Jouer lipstick in Sophia). The massage alone is worth your five minutes!

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The giveaway winner will be announced 4/22/14. Good luck!

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