loving lately

This post is dedicated to a little {big} holiday coming up soon. Nope, Easter was last weekend. I’ll give you a hint: you’ve got about 17 more shopping days for this special day. And trust me–you’re definitely going to want to buy something for your MOM! Let this be a little guide for that hard-to-buy-for Momma of yours. While you’re at it, have a listen to one of my all-time favorite Mom songs {With the exception of Mama Tried}. Blame it on my roots.

loving lately gift guide via this heart needs blog

1. Voluspa Baltic Amber Candle 2. Dolly and Frances Teepee 3. Custom Watercolor Home Portrait via Pattern on Pattern 4. Nena and Co. Crossbody Tote 5. The Painted Arrow print

 

1.) Indulge mom {and yourself} with one of Voluspa’s candle tins. If you’ve ever been to Anthropologie, you’ve experienced these candles! All of the scents are lovely and the packaging is gorgeous which is a win-win in my book. I’ve bought a few candles that smelled great but just didn’t sit pretty. I love that these are the best of both worlds. There are several different scents, but I chose the Baltic Amber. I’m beginning to love more complex, warm scents in lieu of sugar cookie and other sugary sweet scents I would have chosen a few years ago. You can read more details and purchase this from one of my favorite local boutiques, Ruffled Feathers.

2.) I know this isn’t exactly a mom-friendly gift, but what is a loving lately post {from–ahem–a momma} without something for the babes?! I’m all over the teepee band wagon. I think they are such fun gifts and really encourage imaginative play. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful handcrafted teepees, but never any this intricate. These are works of art! While I’ll admit they’re a little frilly for my boy, I think they would absolutely enhance a little girl’s room. I kind of want one. For my room. Dear husband, purchase here. HA!

3.) Not only would these custom watercolor home portraits make the perfect Mother’s Day gift–they would be great wedding gifts as well! This custom art piece comes on an 11×15 piece of watercolor paper and looks beautiful in a frame. I’m not even sure if our first home is still standing, but I definitely want one of the home we live in now! It’s meaningful to me since it’s the house that made us homeowners and holds many memories and firsts for our little boy. Another memorable option would be a portrait of the house your mom was raised in or the house she raised her family in.

*edit: Save 15% if you purchase here, but they’re selling like hot cakes so grab one quick!

4.) Perfection in a crossbody bag. I’ve been following Nena and Co. on Instagram for a few months now and have been coveting these gorgeous hand loomed Guatemalan patterns. Do yourself a favor and read about the “Peace Pilgrim” and SADEGUA projects that the company is involved in. I can’t think of a better reason to buy this fringed beauty!

5.) Another pretty print that’s gift-worthy for mom. Hillary of The Painted Arrow is immensely talented and I’m happy to say I have two of her prints in my home! I love the fact that you can either purchase a physical print OR a digital download to be printed in the comfort of your own home. Pajama shopping is the best shopping. Am I right? While you’re at it, why don’t you snag this recipe card on sale for five bucks. Perhaps with the intentions of learning the secret of mom’s famous banana nut bread? ;)

 

One last thing I’m loving lately is the American Blogger film by Christopher Wiegand. I can’t wait to sit down and watch it uninterrupted. Christopher’s wife, Casey Wiegand is one of my favorite bloggers. You may have heard of her. Casey, along with two other bloggers, dreamed up and brought to life HopeSpoken. I’m praying that God will work out the details and I can go next year. I need that kind of sister-to-sister fellowshipping in my life!

 

Ok, one last love: this sunshine!

 

Is your mom hard to buy for? I’d love to know if this gift guide gave you any ideas!

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures

After waking up at 5:30am for a 7:15am wedding hair and makeup sesh, I’m feeling a little like a crazy lady staying up til 1am to post these pictures. They were too cute not to share! We’ve had lots of fun talking about Easter this year. Remi loves to refer to all of us as cottontails. “This is Mommy Cottontail and Daddy Cottontail…” :) We’ve been learning about Jesus and the Gospel at home and at Mother’s Day Out.  I love to hear him talk about Jesus. Sweet childlike faith.

These are all raw images from a little Easter photo shoot my mom and sister did yesterday with Remi. It’s so much fun to see how he’s changed since last year’s spring pictures. Enjoy!

easterflowers

eggeasterpeekabooprofilecotton candyeastercottoncandyplaideasterbook2bunnyfacebunnyfacecollageeaster baskethugs

 

Obviously, we love a good outfit change…or maybe Mom and I have both enjoyed shopping for Remi clothes a little too much lately! AND we believe in cotton candy bribery. Whatever it takes, y’all. Those bunny faces are cracking me UP! I love this sweet picture of Remi with his Aunt AA. I hope each and every one of you has a blessed Easter.

xo, Kelsey

 

 

There in the ground His body lay
 Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ!
 
In Christ Alone // Natalie Grant

how to style camo skinnies

Camo. You love it or you hate it. In this family, we love it. Not in a Mossy-Oak-living-room-furniture kind of way {although my husband would be totally for it}. But it’s definitely a common pattern seen in our home due to my man’s outdoors-y ways and my little boy’s desire to copy all things Daddy related. I, however, prefer to put a more fashionable spin on things. I spotted a pair of camo skinnies at Marshall’s during the holidays and fell in love. They’ve become a staple in my wardrobe and I love seeing how many different outfit combos I can come up with. Dress them up, dress them down–these babies are my new faves! {Sorry, yoga pants.} I’m a pretty casual gal so I wanted to share with you how I normally style my camo skinnies. I tried to find products that were most similar to what I have so ignore the price tag on those pants! I promise you I didn’t pay over $35 for mine!
casual in camo

H M blue top
$34 - hm.com

Mossimo grey shirt
target.com

R13 brown skinny jeans
$580 - donnaida.com

Converse sneaker
nordstrom.com

Charlotte Russe brown purse
charlotterusse.com

Would you ever wear camo pants? How would you style them?
xo, Kelsey

decisions, decisions

Decisions. We all have to make them. Easy ones, hard ones and all of those in between. One thing I hate most about making impactful decisions is the fact that I can’t please everyone. Ultimately, it all boils down to what is best for my family. Lately, I’ve been spreading myself thin. I know there are people out there that are far busier than I, but “busy” is not what I’m after. In fact, the glorification of busy drives me a little bit crazy. Some people are great at juggling–I’m not one of them. I just want to simplify.

As many of you know, I’ve been working at Sephora and freelancing {working for myself} as a makeup artist. I’ve encountered some confusion by others pertaining to what each job entails and how they are related. Read more on that here. All of that craziness paired with the crazy of Jarrett’s job and raising a little boy has made me feel a little mad. It’s do-able. I get it. I’ve done it for 6+ months. It’s definitely helped us pay off some debt and save up some money but is it worth it? Maybe not.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a great trait to have in my line of work, but maybe not so much of a reality for someone that’s trying to balance family life as well. Let’s face it, I’m really good at focusing all of my efforts on one thing and giving all of my other duties the leftovers. I don’t want my family or my job(s) to have less than my best. I want to simplify my life so that I can be fully engaged in everything I do. Unfortunately, this means making the decision to leave Sephora.

I first learned that Sephora was coming to Longview last August. A friend and fellow makeup artist contacted me, told me her friend was going to be the Beauty Leader of the store and asked if I might be interested in becoming a Product Consultant. The thought of going back to work scared me. I’d been a stay-at-home-mom for two years {with occasional freelance jobs} and didn’t want to go back to work anytime soon. And then I thought of the opportunities. Jarrett was in locomotive engineer school at the time so his paychecks were significantly smaller. Maybe this seemingly random job opening was God’s way of showing me how I could help my husband with his financial burden. I have always enjoyed shopping at Sephora so it seemed like the pros were adding up. In fact, I’m not sure if “enjoyed” is an accurate description for how I feel about Sephora. My cousin Whitney is probably the only person that knows about my love for the store {bless her heart!} due to enduring many painful {for her} hours within it’s iconic black and white striped walls. So I took the plunge. Working at Sephora has truly been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about the beauty industry, increased my skill set, and created friendships. I cannot say enough good things about the company and the girls I’ve worked with. I’m sad to be leaving my team but I’m excited to condense my workload.

So the question is: What will I be doing now?
  1. Spending time with family. Family is one of the most important things in my life and children are only young once. You can’t turn back time. I don’t want to look back in a few years and regret not being there for Remington in these formative years of his life.
  2. Cleaning up the house that I’ve let go for the past 6 months. Kidding. Sort of.
  3. Growing my business, God willing. This is an important season for me: weddings, proms, banquets, etc. Fortunately, I will be more available to my clients and I can’t wait to see where that takes me!
  4. Getting back in the Word. I don’t make any excuses for letting my relationship with my Maker fall by the wayside. However, I have desperately missed my Thursday morning women’s Bible study. Since Remi is in Mother’s Day Out on Tues/Thurs, those are the days I’ve been working at Sephora. I can’t wait until the next Bible study starts up and I can go!

I’m not leaving right away. I will finish out the month of April at Sephora and it will be bittersweet.

I am so thankful for my incredible husband and family that support my decisions. I’m just so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and concern for me. He knows the desires of our hearts and He cares for me {and YOU} always. That has been so evident in my life. I’m completely undeserving yet He loves me anyway. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

xoxo, Kelsey

 

loving lately

I don’t mean to brag if the temperatures where you live are still frigid, but isn’t this weather FABULOUS?! My coworker and I were recently discussing the weather/season/time change and how it affects our moods. She pointed out that this nice weather was “like Christmas” and I totally agree! We recently had a few rainy days and everyone was SO grumpy. It’s amazing how much more friendly people are when there’s a little sunshine! I think that’s part of why I wanted to do another {loving lately} post–I’m feeling light and springy and in LOVE with everything right now! Except cleaning. I’m not in love with cleaning.

this heart needs blog loving lately post

1. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
2. Studio Mucci Peach Bellini Tassel Garland
3. Queenikathleni Hello Doll Phone Case
4. Slyfox Threads tee

1.) Ditch that winter fragrance in lieu of something fresh! Elizabeth and James recently launched two new fragrances that are exclusive to Sephora: Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. Nirvana Black (as pictured) has notes of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla. Nirvana White has notes of peony, muguet (lily), and tender musk. Pick your favorite or buy them both! One of the unique things about these fragrances is that they can be worn alone or layered together. I personally love to layer them because…why not?!

2.) Are you planning a party or just in search of some really rad home décor? Studio Mucci has you covered with these gorgeous tassel garlands. The founder, Amina, is such an inspiration as a business owner and has one of the most colorful and happy Instagram feeds ever! I’m thinking my new turquoise wall in my living room needs a Studio Mucci original to keep it company!

3.) Another Instagram favie. Katie of Queenikathleeni is the coolest {and SWEETEST} fashion illustrator I’ve ever met followed on Instagram. Whatevs. I love seeing all of her illustrations but my favorite part is that she will customize. Like anything. She’s good. I’m loving this phone case she designed, but you really have to check out the rest of her work. Really.

4.) Oh, Slyfox Threads! They have the trendiest tees and other things for kiddos but I’m swooning over this “You Make Me Happy When Skies are Gray” shirt! My mom sang the song to me and I sing it to Remi. So clearly, he needs it. There are also some super fun prints available to purchase on the website!

And there you have it! My little bit of happy. I love finding fun things and sharing them with you and I’m especially passionate about supporting small(er) businesses!

Feel free to comment below if you’ve ever tried anything from these brands! Are you enjoying these {loving lately} posts as much as I am?

xoxo, Kelsey

labeled: broken

He poked his lip out and threw the yellow crayon on the ground. “It’s broken. I can’t use it. I need to put it in the trash.”

Hey, God. I hear ya. I’m paying attention this time.

I replied, “It’s ok, Remi. You can still use the broken crayon to color with. We don’t need to throw it away.”

I had to stifle a giggle at his attitude over the broken crayon. He was done–ready to throw it away and move on. For him, there was nothing good left. I still saw a perfectly good crayon with a broken tip. I tried reasoning with him. {Reasoning with a two year old. Laughable, I know.} He finally conceded.

That was a good one, God. Thanks for that. Your timing is always SO good.

I had been sitting for about 30 minutes trying to write. I wanted to write about how I spent my Saturday. I struggled with the words or even a cohesive thought. In that moment, He reminded me of how He uses us in our brokenness. How many times have I had that same conversation with Him? “I’m broken, Lord. You can’t use me. I’m not fit to be a {mom, wife, friend}. Go ahead and toss me.”

Yet, He never does. Albeit, He probably shakes his head at me {maybe stifles a giggle} and reminds me of who I am. He still sees me as good. Brave. Restored. Filled with purpose. Strong. Safe. Dearly loved. Free forever.

Things I could never be without Him.

Me? Yes, me. You? Yes, you, too.

I was reminded of these things this weekend. The Women’s Ministry at my church hosted a project. The Restoration Project to be exact. What did I encounter there? Women + Truth + Joy. That was the tagline on the tickets and brochures and boy, was it present. While there were so many good lessons and reminders, one thing really planted itself in my mind and in my heart. I hope it takes root in yours, too.

Let go of the old labels.

Stubborn. Rude. Dumb. Boring. Too big. Too small. Loud mouth. Quiet. Ugly. Insert every other label you’ve been given or have believed about yourself. Then draw a line through it.

Stubborn. Rude. Dumb. Boring. Too big. Too small. Loud mouth. Quiet. Ugly. Good. Lovely. Wonderful. Beautiful. Funny. Smart. Loving. Restored. HIS.

Why are labels so important to us? Worldly labels–things that only have meaning because we let them. Labels that mean nothing in eternity but everything in middle school. Or in the work place. Or wherever else we feel small, insignificant, and unworthy. Like how Remi labeled the crayon broken and useless. You aren’t broken. Your life isn’t over. There is still good. HE sees it. See yourself through His eyes.

I don’t remember the exact words or even who said it, but I’ll never forget it. “Your places of disappointment are your greatest opportunity to let Jesus live through you.” When we don’t allow Jesus to hold us close {like He so desperately long to do} Satan comes in and destroys. He builds up lies in our head and in our heart. Satan tells us we aren’t worthy. He tells us we are trash. Bit by bit we start to believe the lies. It’s time to stop believing Satan and start believing God. Start believing the One who delights in us, cares for us, loves us beyond measure. How? By spending time with Him and making His word a priority. By praying for Him to help you take every thought captive. I won’t lie–it is a struggle. I am so guilty of giving God the last pieces of me at the end of the day. Every single day I wake up and choose my priorities. Will I let Him hold me close or will I struggle to make it though the day on my own? It’s a lifelong project, but if we let Him walk with us, regardless of circumstance, it will be a joyful one.

In Christ’s love,

Kelsey

loving lately

I’ve been wanting to do one of these posts for so long! I have always loved flipping through magazines and seeing what the “hot” new products were for the season. When Remi was brand new I couldn’t get enough of the “baby must-haves” articles. Now I love scrolling through social media to see what is trendy {whether I follow the current trend or not!} I hope you enjoy this new little series called {loving lately}. I’ve curated a little sampling of things that I think are beautiful, fun and just plain happy. I love things that bring a smile to my face each time I look at them.

1. Freshly Picked Moccs 2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings 3. Coconut Beach body scrub 4. Common Rebels night light 5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos 6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Freshly Picked Moccasins
2. Whitney Dobson Designs earrings
3. Coconut Beach body scrub
4. Common Rebels night light
5. Pepper Ink temporary tattoos
6. Top Knot Goods tee

1. Can we just begin with a big fat *sigh*?! I have been in LOVE with Freshly Picked Moccasins from the very first time I laid eyes on them. The lady that founded the company is SO stinking inspiring. She was recently on the show Shark Tank! How cool is that?! The camo moccasins just launched and they’re already sold out. I’m thinking Remi definitely needs a pair!

2. There are only three words you need to remember for all of your future wish lists: Whitney Dobson Designs. Stunning, handcrafted pieces. I cannot pick my favorite. I seriously just can’t decide. I want them all! My flavor of the week is the Rutilated Amethyst with Mystic Clear Quartz Earrings I’m not quite sure what all of those fancy words mean but they look like an absolute DREAM!

3. With warmer temps fast approaching, I need something to get my dry winter skin in tip-top shape. I’m thinking this Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Beach body scrub I spotted in the Junk Gypsy shop will be the perfect thing for that! Who doesn’t need a little pineapple coconut goodness in their day? I’m dreaming of the beach already!

4. We are super lucky that Remi isn’t afraid of the dark but I don’t think I’d mind if he asked for one of these Common Rebels nightlights! I stumbled across the Common Rebels website a while back and I’m so glad I did. The nightlights aren’t just for the kidlets either–they have some beautiful designs that would be perfect in a guest bathroom or hallway!

5. Did every teen have a rebel phase? I know I did. Sort of. I mean I never actually followed through with getting a tattoo but I thought about it a lot. HA! I’ve always loved tattoos–tasteful, meaningful ones. I’m too indecisive to actually get one, so these tiny temporary tattoos by Pepper Ink were practically made for me. They’re so cute!

6. Last but not least, I’ve been loving Top Knot Goods. Their clothes have a fun, carefree vibe that I’m really loving at the moment. I’ve mentioned before that I have no specific style. I just go with what I like at the moment. Their No Rest for the Rad tee makes me smile. I’ve seen it dressed up and dressed down and it looks great both ways! I think all moms need this shirt!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Kelsey