Monday, July 24, 2017

Dear Spanx, I Love You

When I shared my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale finds, I got asked several times (and even received few e-mails) about how I style my favorite Spanx leggings.  (I bought these last year but they're in the Anniversary Sale for a great price).  Instead of posting what I had planned today, I decided to style my Spanx leggings several different ways so you can see how I wear them.

First of all, they have a faux-leather look so they're cuter than just a regular pair of black leggings.  Plus they're SPANX, so they suck it all in and are comfortable!  Trust me, if you give them a chance you will LOVE them too.

This look was on repeat every time I traveled this winter (except the shoes are new)...cardigan (sold out-from last year), long tank, leggings, and Sperry shoes.  If you're new here I should fill you in that I'm extremely long-waisted so I wear a lot of maternity camisoles to make sure all my girl parts are covered.  These are my favorite long, maternity tanks.

I'd wear these same three pieces...tank, leggings, and shoes but change out the cardigan for a new look.  I got these shoes for China...they were perfect!  Comfy, cute, and perforated so they were a little cool as well.

You guys were very split on this cardigan...some of you loved it and others pretty much hated it. Ha!  I appreciate your honesty.  :)  I told you it was out of the box for me but I think it'll get some wear time this fall/winter.  Again...cardigan, tank, leggings, and shoes.

I got this long sleeve tee last year that's a bit longer than some other tees but I have to layer a maternity tank to make sure all the girl parts are covered.  The black tank is hard to see, but trust me...it's there.  I paired it with the leggings, shoes, and this vest (also in the sale).

To dress up the leggings, I wore this look a lot last winter.  A big oversized sweater (mine is sold out from this winter), with the tank (hard to see), and some cute booties made it perfect for Texas.

I've shared this dress a lot in the last few years on the blog.  After wearing, washing, and even dry cleaning it's shrunk up a bit in the length so now I always wear it with some leggings.  These leggings pair perfectly with the dress.

I wanted you to see the length in the back.  :)

Trust me, if you give them a try you'll be declaring your love for Spanx as well.  Happy Monday, Friends!  XO

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, Friends!

I'm joining forces {like always} with Narci and Andrea to bring you FRIDAY FAVORITES!

I feel like my blog lately has been full of family and adoption-two of my FAVORITE things-but today we're gonna chat about another FAVORITE-the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.  Today is the first day the sale is live and open to the public.  You don't have to be a card holder to shop anymore!  I've gotta be honest every year I approach this sale differently.  Sometimes basing it all on what I see and love.  Sometimes basing it on what's already in my closet.  Sometimes basing it on getting the biggest savings.  Seriously, I'm all over the board when it comes to this sale.  This year I tried to only invest in pieces I know I'll wear time and time again.  

I ordered a ton of things just to check them all out, try them on, and these are my absolute FAVORITES...
This Topshop cardigan is a little out of the box for me, but paired with these new AG jeans {love, love, love them and I've figured out I'll always grab the AG's over the other denim in my closet} and cute booties it's me!  I also think the cardigan will be cute with my black jeans for another look.  You might be seeing this cardigan a LOT!  :)  I thought everything pictured was true to size, but I do like cardigans on the bigger side.  If you want it to fit more snugly, I'd size down.  {The cardigan is out of stock but I'll keep checking back for you.}

A ruffle sleeve and I are pretty much like peanut butter and jelly.  We just go together.  I'm already picturing this top under a fur vest!  Won't that be cute?  Again, pictured with my new favorite denim and booties.  Let me add, if you're on the fence about the booties-these are so comfortable.  Last year I bought several different pairs of boots and booties and I always grab the comfy pair.  This is the pair I will grab.  No doubt!

Look how cute the sleeves are!  {True to size as well}

This sweater is the PERFECT fall color.  It's a bit on the shorter side and I'm a bit on the longer side but paired with a cami I love it.  It's a really pretty gold shimmery color. If the weather ever gets cool, you'll see me in this over and over again.  Scratch that, on November 1st I'm wearing this sweater whether it's cool or not!  {TTS, but on the shorter side-be aware}

The new blardigan everyone is talking about found a new home in my closet as well.  I grab a cardigan of some sort every time we get home.  After the gym, after church, even after the pool...I've been known to be working in my office in a swimsuit, cover up, and cardigan.  #truth

Last year I bought this same cardigan in maroon and was shocked at how often I reached for it in my closet.  When I saw it again in the sale, I knew I needed another color.  This light pink/blush for the win!

I wanted you to see the back is longer than the front.  :)  I stuck with my normal size.

A sweatshirt disguised as a cute top?  YES!  This top runs a little on the larger side.  I liked the bigger fit in the sweatshirt but if you don't, I'd size down.

In Texas, I really only need a big coat like this about three times every year, but last year I found myself in Denver, Vail, and Park City.  In each of those cities, I was dreaming of a warmer parka so when I saw this in the sale I pounced.  A great price for a great coat I'll have for years.

TTS and again...wanted you to see the length.

Okay, imagine this grey top all nice and ironed.  It's a really thin top with bell sleeves that will be great under vests or cardigans.  {Sold out right now too.} I paired it with the maroon AG jeans and these booties.   {All TTS and these booties are my FAVORITE!}

I added a new cardigan because I have a problem.  #whatcanisay  #iliketobecozy

This is my thought on stocking up on cardigans during the sale...when I'm browsing the mall a cardigan never catches my eye.  I love them.  Wear them all the time, but I'm not going to walk across the store to look at a cardigan I spotted.  However, I will walk across the store for a top I see that really catches my eye.

Okay, if I was about three inches shorter this dress would be a FAVORITE.  It was a little too short on me.  There's an outer layer that's see through and then the non-see through layer is about two inches above that so just too much leg on me.  If you're under 5'5" then I'd highly recommend it.  {It's sold out right now, but I'll keep you posted.}

I love this dress.  Love the floral.  Love the fit.  Love it!  And I paired it with the booties again. 

This one is going back but if you're in the market for a little black dress, this one is pretty-a little different and a great price.  I have two other black dresses in my closet and just can't justify another one at the moment.  But this one is great.

I scored this pajama set.  The shorts are a little on the shorter side (and they're in the washing machine now so I'll let you know how they wash and dry).  I'd much prefer to sleep in a longer sleeve shirt with shorts so this combo is my jam.

This Free People sweater is part of the sale and is fabulous!  I bought it last year in a dark purple and wore it a ton.  They have all new colors this year and I think you'll love it.

I know this is a hard picture to really see my leggings, but the Spanx leather leggings are my FAVORITES!  I bought them last year and wore them a ton!  Perfect for traveling.  They're part of the sale...check them out!

I'll keep you posted if I see those out of stock items get restocked.  Happy Shopping, Friends!  XO

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Q and A-Adoption Part 1


So I'm answering.  :)

From the moment I shared about the adoption journey we were about to embark on until now I've gotten questions about the process and much much more.  I always think if someone is asking that probably means others are wondering so then I opened it up for more questions and decided I'd cover them all.  I'm covering half the questions in this post and I have a part 2 coming soon.

I want to add that I am by no means an adoption expert.  I'm just sharing our experiences and my own thoughts and opinions.

*What scripture verses did you turn to during the wait for encouragement? 

These are a few of my favorites...
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight."-Proverbs 3:5-6

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."-Romans 12:12

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;  they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;  they shall walk and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."  1 Corinthians 4:17


*How did you get through the hard part of waiting?

To be honest, we didn't wait long.  Tab and I began the paperwork process in January of 2016 and happened to be the slowest people on the planet to finish the oodles of paperwork.  It took us a sweet forever, but we never felt rushed about finishing.  We just finished when we had time.  We wrapped up at the end of October-beginning of November (I know.  I know.  We were slow.)  And we got a glimpse of Britt in December.  We knew nothing but got a few pictures so we weren't sure she was ours just yet.  But after staring at her picture from December to February, we were ecstatic about getting her official file on Valentine's Day.  All that to say, we didn't wait long and again I never felt rushed through the process.  We knew God had the perfect little girl for us in his perfect timing.


*Where do you even start the adoption process?

I would recommend you begin the process by interviewing some agencies.  Reach out to people you know and get their feedback as well.  I'd ask the agencies questions like...what is your wait time for (what age, gender, etc. you're interested in), how much of the process are you responsible for (one of my girlfriends had to do a lot of the paperwork/filing/etc. herself and our agency did it all for us-might make a difference when you're comparing agencies), ask about fees/costs, ask about the timelines, ask how many kiddos they placed last year, etc.  *These are questions I'd ask no matter if you're adopting domestically or internationally.


*How'd you choose your agency?

We chose our agency based on recommendations and then after talking/interviewing them as well.  We had four friends who used our agency so we felt very confident about their reliability.  It was a pretty easy decision when you know actual people and see children who've been placed using this particular agency. 


*How'd you tell your children you were adopting?

We took our kiddos to dinner back in March 2016 to tell them.  We wanted it to be special and a night they'd always remember.  The kiddos all had such different reactions-Bowen had no clue what we were talking about, Nixon was okay with it, and Ebby Lee cried and cried because she'd no longer be the only girl.  (Now, they're all smitten.)  We spent a good twenty minutes talking to Ebby Lee about the adoption during dinner and we listed all the positive reasons.  By dessert, she was on board.

We told ours when we did because we had meetings scheduled with our home study agency. 


*How'd you get your kids excited about adopting?

We talked about Britt for a over a year.  We prayed for her as a family.  She was constantly on our minds.  When we were matched and could put a face to a name, they were SO excited and ready to meet her.  And to be honest, I think through lots of prayer God prepared their little hearts.  My kids have been amazing with her.


*How'd you decide on China?

We knew we wanted to adopt internationally and while talking to our agency and giving some criteria for what we were looking for...girl, under Bowen's age, etc...they immediately told us China was our answer.  Other countries (at the time we began) were closed, taking longer than a few years to complete, etc.  China was the perfect fit.


*What adoption agency did you use?

I got this question a lot and here's the thing...choosing an agency is a big deal.  You work very closely with them and it's in the best interest of everyone involved for you guys to really mesh well.  On our trip, we encountered three different families who'd used our same agency...one family loved them, one was indifferent, and one wasn't happy.  I'm saying all this to say that I don't want to give the name knowing there's a possibility you might not be happy with them.  I'd hate to recommend them and you end up having a bad experience.  I hope you understand.


*Did you and Tab instantly agree on adoption?

No, Tab is a big, tough looking guy but is complete mush over some topics and adoption is one that can bring him to his knees.  Tab was on board long before I was about adopting.  I was the one slowing down the process, but after lots of prayer God worked it all out.  {I got this question a lot-I'd suggest LOTS of prayer if you and your spouse just don't see eye to eye on this subject.}


*How'd you decide on Britt's name?

Britt's full name is Britt Bradford Slaughter.  We agreed on her name pretty easily.  We both instantly loved Britt.  If you remember, when we were naming Bowen I was drawn to all kinds of one syllable names.  Britt was a quick favorite for us both.  And all of our other kiddos have a family name as their middle name so we knew we wanted a family name for her as well.  You guys know Marla, Tab's step-mom. She's so sweet to our family and treats us as her very own...our kiddos included, so we chose to name Britt after her.  Bradford is Marla's maiden name and we loved it paired with Britt.

I think I've mentioned this before but if God has placed adoption on your heart it's not an accident.  I pray that you'll listen, obey, and act.  I remember hearing an adopted dad talk about his process and he kept using the word, "wrecked".  Adoption "wrecked" him and I didn't fully understand what he meant.  Now I get it.  Knowing these babies are out there wrecks me too.  Babies just like Britt who don't even know what a mama is.  Babies who are waiting to love someone and be loved unconditionally. Babies waiting for a forever family.  Babies waiting for a mama bear to fight for them.  It wrecks me.  And I'm so glad we acted on this when God placed it on our hearts.  We could have missed this.  I'm praying you don't miss it either.

Like I said, I got so many questions I'll be covering the second half in the Q and A part two post coming soon.  If you have a question you'd love for me to answer, please e-mail it at alittlebitofeverything83@yahoo.com.  Thank you!

If you missed any of my China recaps, you can see them here...

I'll see you Friday with some FAVORITES.  :)