What I See

Favorite Things Friday

How is your week going? At any rate, you made it to Friday!

I’m still finding my niche as a stay-at-home mom with a very low maintenance baby. Ha. I have my joyful moments of seeing this time of not working before baby arrives as a short, sweet life season, which I am so very grateful for, and then other moments I feel a bit guilty  or pressured – by the enemy, not by anyone else – to have something fancy to show for my time. More than ever before I see how our culture glorifies busy and how I have totally been buying into it.

But lately, God is showing me that quiet and still is better right now. It’s a time to explore writing, to rest, to prepare for our baby, but ultimately it’s still a time to trust Him with EVERYTHING.

And of course, quiet and still yields fertile soil for enjoying those little gifts in life. Here are three I’m loving:

Library Card: These things are golden. Free books I don’t have to add to our already too big collection? Yes please. I just joined the library here and was so happy to find they have a ton of books on my to-read list.

Gallery Walls: If I can build gallery walls, so can you. I did one in my living room and one in my bedroom using pieces I already had. I didn’t spend a penny. Pinterest has some great ideas and templates. The main “rules” I took away for building a gallery wall is to a) use a mix of mediums like art, photos, shelves, and clocks, and b) use similar frames and colors to visually tie the mix together. I love the finished looks!

1 Pump of Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks:  So, a tall pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks comes with three pumps of sugary pumpkin spice. That’s a lot of sweet. (No judgment you if you like it that way.) And yes, yes, I too understand there is artificial junk in the beloved P Spice syrup. For when we can’t (or aren’t willing) to whip up our own at home, might I suggest the minimalist pumpkin lover’s version? I’ve been enjoying one pump of syrup in my drinks of choice this month, which have thus far been a latte, an Americano, and a steamer. I still taste fall, and I think it’s the perfect amount of sweet.

Happy weekending, friends. What are your favorites this week??

xoxo,

Sar

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What I Learn

the happy hour LIVE! and Saying Yes

Have you ever stumbled upon a Best Day Ever kind of day? A day so unbelievably and perhaps unexpectedly splendid that you are totally in the moment, listening to every word, smelling every scent, tasting every morsel, enjoying every minute? I think these days can (and should!) happen more than once, but they are rare, and you can’t force them.

Friday was a Best Day Ever kind of day. My dear friend Ashley flew down from Illinois, and we  attended the happy hour LIVE! with Jamie Ivey just outside of Austin in Elgin, Texas. Since becoming faithful fans of Jamie’s podcast, Ashley and I have had this event on our bucket list. I am so grateful we had the opportunity to make it happen! The 30 hours we spent together after eight whole months apart was invaluable, and the event was all I had hoped it would be and more.

We got all gussied up, stepped onto the Pinterest perfect Green Acres scene, had our photos taken in the photo bus, talked with the gracious and lovely Jamie, noshed on a delicious Venezuelan dinner by Four Brothers in Austin, dove into our swag bags of so many goodies including Noonday earrings and a She Reads Truth Bible(!), and gathered under the stars with over 100 other women who love Jesus and love to laugh. (Side note: new bucket list item is to go glamping at Green Acres.)

In the words of Jamie herself, the night was “an amazing beat down.” It was one of those magical settings that made me pause with gratitude and awe at getting to be included. I felt pretty. I felt joyful being surrounded by lots of smiling women. Best of all, I felt community. Community is its own kind of fun. I need it badly. And God knows that.

In Annie Downs’ book Let’s All Be Brave, she writes about how she promised herself she’d say yes to all opportunities to be with new people when she first moved to Nashville. So lately, back in Tyler, God is sending this introverted girl opportunities to say yes to community – through going back to a vibrant, local church even though I haven’t tried all the other ones, through the local women’s Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) and through invitations to do this or that with new friends and with old friends passing through – a picnic, a meal at home, an impromptu visit to the zoo, even to babysit for an hour. Of course, I can and want to take the initiative at times to reach out to others, but how sweet it is of Jesus to give us opportunities to say yes.

What opportunities has He given you lately?

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What I See

Favorite Things Friday: Harvey Relief

www.etsy.com/listing/555024097

My heart aches for those throughout the state who have been displaced from their homes, who have lost decades worth of treasures and tangible memories, and for those who have lost their lives in the hurricane chaos. This is a very real and continuing storm for so many. If you’re like me, it has been gut-wrenching to sit back and watch Hurricane Harvey wreck Houston and other parts of Southeast Texas. Houston was my home three months ago. I’m constantly thinking about my former neighbors, church, co-workers, my community.

One beacon of light we get to see is that, in the middle of all of this brokenness, people are helping people. They are linking arms in the name of community and love. What a sight for sore eyes. So, my favorite things lately are ways that we, ordinary people, perhaps people not physically affected by Harvey, can do extraordinary things. There are tons of ways to reach out and link arms, even if you’re hours or states or continents away. Here are three.

  • Give. Bethel Church of Houston, my former church, has a benevolence fund for Hurricane Harvey relief. If you’d like to give money and ensure it’s going fully to families who need it, this is perfect. Check it out here.
  • Eat lunch at an East TX Whataburger today. From 11 am – 1 pm today, 100% of proceeds at 32 East Texas Whataburger locations will be going to the East TX Food Bank for their Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Click here for info and the list of locations.
  • Purchase a shirt with a purpose. Through the end of September, all proceeds from the sales of Magnolia Market’s “Texas Forever” T-shirt will be donated to Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts.

We are praying for you, hurricane victims! Stay strong.

xoxo,
Sar

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What I See

My Stitch Fix Experience

Gone are the days I enjoyed clothes shopping. What happened?! Maybe it’s that I feel clueless on what’s trendy or that I’d rather spend extra money on a date night or books or décor. Before I started my job in Houston in 2012, my sweet Aunt Tammy took me on a hunt for professional things – cardigans and belts and skirts.  I still wear a few tried and true items from high school (Is that terrible??), and any new clothes are deals my mom finds at T.J. Maxx.

After considering my last 10 years of clothing sources, it’s clear: I need a personal shopper. Enter Stitch Fix, an online styling service that mails five clothing and accessory items per order directly to your home. Translation: No shopping malls, no sifting through piles for hours, no dressing rooms. {And this is not a paid advertisement. J}

I received two Stitch Fix gift cards for Christmas and as of last month hadn’t used them. When I found out that Stitch Fix offers maternity wear, I placed my order earlier this month to see what they could do, knowing I’d soon need some maternity shorts and pants especially.

How It Works

After creating an account, you fill out a Style Profile, which not only includes clothing sizes but everything from what type of fit you prefer to your ideal price point to types of clothing you don’t want in your shipment.

Then, you select a delivery date. When your stylist puts together your box, Stitch Fix charges your account a $20 “styling fee.” But the $20 is credited back to you when you make a purchase.

The fun comes of course when the box comes and you get to try everything on! You have three days to buy what you want to keep and send back what you don’t in a prepaid envelope. Lastly, you provide feedback on what you kept or returned and why. If you choose to keep all five items, they give you 25% off your total.

My box arrived 3 days earlier than expected. Here’s what came:

  1. Fossil Crossbody– Oh how I loved this bag. It was priced at $138 though. I entertained the thought of keeping it, but then the practical side of my won over. There’s no place for a diaper, lady.
  2. Campton Maternity Knit Top – Fun shirt, great fit. I’m definitely a pink, black, and white girl but the combo and design was something different, and I liked it a lot. Priced at $48.
  3. Coretta Maternity Cuffed Shorts – This was the only item that didn’t fit perfectly; they seemed a little big and bunched a bit in the front. Still, they weren’t awful, and while I’d never seek out yellow shorts, I really liked the color. Priced at $58.
  4. Worley Maternity Skinny Jeans – These fit like a glove and were so comfy. I loved the dark wash, the skinny feel, and the cute, rough cut at the bottom. And of course, that hidden panel is everything. Priced at $88. That’s a price I usually wouldn’t go for – especially knowing it’s an item I’ll wear short-term. But this was hands down my favorite item and the one I knew I’d wear most into fall and winter.
  5. Kwenuke Short Sleeve Maternity Knit Top – With a solid navy front and a pretty floral back, this maternity top was as cute as could be! Priced at $48.

What I Loved

  1. I could “trust” the items. Again, trends aren’t really on my radar. It took the pressure off to know that every item was not only stylish but also personalized.
  2. I loved trying items that were out of the box for me like pattered shirts, as I tend to wear a lot of solids. And I never would have picked out yellow shorts, but they were so fun!
  3. The prepaid envelope made the return process super convenient. Free shipping always makes me happy.
  4. You don’t have to keep a monthly subscription going. You can simply place an order whenever you want.

What I Didn’t Like

Ultimately, the cost of these items prohibited me from purchasing more. My gift cards totaled $70 and I wanted to stay under $100 total. In the style profile, you can answer how much you’re willing to pay for each item. Price points range from “The cheaper, the better!” to $200+. I requested “The cheaper, the better!” for each category. I felt like my stylist sabotaged my 25% off potential by including that $138 bag. No hard feelings, though. I still love you, Quencie. In a perfect world, I would have purchased every item.

Would I recommend StitchFix? Absolutely, if for no other reason than it is so much fun to try on things that a stylist picked out specifically for you! And Stitch Fix is truly as close to effortless as shopping can be. I’d love to save up and try it one more time with a maternity clothes box.

Have you tried Stitch Fix? Did you like it?

xoxo,

Sar

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