Why Dresses Are The Bestest

 

I keep adding more and more dresses to my wardrobe because they are just so good!  I’ll choose a good dress these days over any other article and here are my reasons why… 

Comfort 

Dresses are perfection for a woman’s body.  You can move so freely in them and not feel like anything is too snug around the waste, butt, or thighs.   They can also allow you a little growth throughout weight shifts like pregnancies…  I could have endless reasons to talk on why dresses are my comfy uniform!

Timelessness

Dresses are hard to outdate.  They are so simple and classic, it’s really hard to find a dress that doesn’t have lasting style.  This being said your purchase with a dress goes a longer way because you will likely wear it throughout various trends.  (When I am looking at style on pinterest or any other inspirational lookbook I’m always most drawn to photos of women in dresses or classic pieces because they just look so timeless and the look simply lasts through the trends.)

Transitional

Another wonderful reason why I adore wearing dresses!  When you buy a pair of shorts or capris you’re only able to wear them during specific times of the year.  When I find a great dress I can get much more use out of it because I can typically make it versatile throughout the seasons.  When looking for dresses make sure they are transitional then you can throw a sweater on it in the fall, tights in the winter, or a jean jacket come spring.  Dresses really are the bestest! 

stay simple, stay true, remember what matters too. 

KC

Discipline = Freedom

Doesn’t it surprise you?  In all my days I never considered using discipline and freedom in the same sentence.  However, life is about learning.  When the pain or lack of freedom becomes so great that it motivates discipline, it inspires change.  Changing negative behavior to positive behavior leads to betterment and a more free lifestyle.  Hence, discipline = freedom!

Consider these examples:

The discipline of rising early allows you to have more time and get more done

The discipline of eating healthy and exercising allows you to be in shape and feel good

The discipline of saving money allows you to give or spend more freely

The discpine of doing what you need to get done like chores, allows you to do what you want to get done like fun experiences, or projects

The discipline of reading allows you to be smarter

The discipline of practice makes perfection… you get the idea now right?

Once this realization is reached it actually feels good to have the discipline to make changes and work towards freedom.  There is even freedom in the discipline because you start to feel confidence in what you’re doing and where you’re going as you build momentum.  Another key thing that goes hand in hand with this is something called delayed gratification.  It’s the best, and ironically, fastest way to smart discipline and freedom.

I first heard of delayed gratification when I was beginning to teach my children and self about money.  It’s funny how trying to raise smart kids can really slap you in the face and wizen you up!  Often my expectations for my children make me take a hard look in the mirror.

As adults sometimes we don’t hold ourselves as accountable as we do our kids and that’s not fair.  We apparently expect them to know right from wrong and toe the line while we get to behave badly.  One day they’ll see my mistakes and I want them to remember me as humbly trying to be my best as I taught them to.  I want them to see me striving for behavior that leads to positivity, goodness, and success.  I don’t want them to see a parent who trained them to do one thing because it was in their best interest but didn’t have the courage, discipline, or self worth to make it happen for myself.

Think about a successful person you know.  In order to become good and especially great at whatever it was they desired… they had to fail first.  An important thing is their determination to push past the shortcomings.  They had a goal that really mattered to them and they really really wanted to reach it.  They had to get over the pain of not having what they wanted and make a decision and plan for how to get there.  Did you catch that word… PLAN.  Planning takes discipline.  It also takes time.  You have to make hard decisions and sacrifices to make time to plan your path.

Once you’re on this path by the way, don’t expect the resistance and delayed gratification to go away… no, no, no… it still hangs around.  The good thing is, you are developing some side effects from discipline.  They are called good attributes like character, perseverance, and drive among many.

Take a look at those who always get what they want.  Have they ever had a chance to build up enough grit to endure inevitable trials that will come?  I’m saying we should actually go as far as to be thankful for discipline because you have the opportunity to become better.  Look at trials and sufferings as good things, and chances to grow and learn.  Humans often need to learn through experience and the reality is that some of our experiences won’t be pleasurable.  They will teach us a tough lesson.  They will leave us with a choice for what type of attitude or behavior we will choose to implicate in our future.  Hopefully we will choose integrity.

I say all these things to share how I’ve seen what it has done in my own life.  There have been many things Jared and I have accomplished personally, and in our partnership with having discipline to gain freedom, but the best thing yet is to be debt free.  We are at the end of the race as I type this.  Our plan has been to never have a debt again besides our mortgage and we hope to also pay for that early.  I know it’s boring to talk about, but it’s so important.  Our society makes it sound so horrible to wait for things and be happy with what you have.  It’s not common to see people do these things because they are hard.   

It seems the world has been against us from day 1.  It’s not right to blame everyone else though.  The reality was we had to get used to saying no.  To standing up for what our goal was.  To staying focused and pushing through.  To taking ownership of our problem and fixing it.  Making excuses and blaming others or giving in just didn’t get us there, we had to face reality and walk the line.  

 I share this to inspire others to take heart and achieve your dreams.  This method can be applied to whatever is crippling you.  We have and will continue to face many challenges and resistance in life, but we hope to encourage and inspire how discipline truly does equal freedom.  It’s something no one can take away from you.  It’s something that can help you as well as those around you.  Fortunately,we live in America which is a big advantage and we pay respects to that each and every day.   

We have the freedom to chase dreams and the choice and opportunity to win in life.  Therefore we believe in not wasting that.  We believe in working towards your goals and living for the most in life.  This of course doesn’t gaurantee us the perfect life but it does gauantee us a rich life in freedom.

Wishing you the all the freedom that your heart desires too!

Live For The Most, 

KC

A Tip That Minds Mealtime

Our son has had a lot of health issues and sickness since he was young and we’ve battled back and forth with it being contributed to his diet.  Since nutrition and wellness is such an overwhelming topic to face we’ve tried to pace ourselves and cast a vision of better overall health and more mindfulness as we journey along.  We feel that the slow and healthy changes result in longer lasting lifestyle changes for our family as a whole.  We are also learning together as we go along.  

I wanted to share the one biggest and best thing I’ve done this year that has made an impact on how we look at the food we eat.  It’s something that I thought of doing actually in hopes of organizing my pantry better but it has had multiple benefits!  

I have organized our food in order of the food pyramid.  It’s a simple thing to think about honestly, but it helps clearly visualize what your eating (or not eating).  I just googled the pyramid one day to see the accurate serving amounts we should take in and I make it a goal to achieve those and let that guide our meals.  

I place the fats/oils/spices/condiments at the top of the fridge or cabinet, then the dairy and proteins, fruits, veggies, and grains on down in that order.  With everything in it’s place it’s very clear to see what I’m buying the most and the least of as well as what we are consuming.  It is a simple trick that has developed our habits for the better!  When at the store it helps me also to stay on the outer edge for most purchases because that is where the freshest food is located.  As you linger to the isles you start collecting things that you shouldn’t be 😉  

We also try to only drink water at home and not keep any other drinks on hand.  We get enough opportunity to buy drinks out and about so that helps us with our water intake.  We do buy milk for cereals and such as well as orange juice for breakfast.  

This has just been an easy way to keep us focused and assess our progress and/or failures in order to make improvements as needed.  

Hope it’s helpful to you as well!  

kc – xx

Women Living For The Most… Featuring Shauna Hursh

I met Shauna at Hopespoken last year and we we’re kindred spirits right away.  She is so life giving and a total breath of fresh air!  She has her own clothing business called Poor Pitiful Pearl which is completely darling, but I love her for much more than that.  She offers an interesting and unique perspective on life that will make you wanna load up in her airstream and spend the summer on her high!  She’s a true California girl living life on a Texas farm with her husband and three babes.  A creative to be envied, and a mother to take notes from… get your right brain ready and prepare your heart to melt.  Meet my friend Shauna!

 

1. Why is it important to you to be “living for the most?”

I think if we are honest, most of us can say that we have at one time in our lives, if not often, found ourselves feeling like a hamster on the wheel of life. Especially as parents, just the basic needs of cooking, cleaning, schooling, driving, working, paying bills etc can completely fill up ones day. A few years ago, I cut the cord on designing custom pieces for customers. At the time this was a huge risk. My business was built on custom work resulting in over 50% of my income and my regular clientele was loyal and consistent but also set in their ways of doing business with me. The business that I built to bring freedom began to feel like shackles as my sleepless nights proved I just couldn’t keep up with the demands. For a while, I tried to just keep swimming. I felt breathless as though every day was a new wave that would take me down before I could come up and catch air. After several health scares and a miscarriage , I had my come to Jesus moment. He sat me down like he does and gently convicted me to make the much needed changes and push through the fear and trust him. I was ready, still not knowing what that meant. I gave it to him. I wrote the blog, no more customs… and then I was done. Just like that. Ironically, my business didn’t dissolve or even slightly suffer. Instead I felt immediate peace. This was a huge faith lesson for me, because I realized it really had less to do with my workload and more about truly trusting him and giving him the things I hold so tightly too out of fear. To me, living for the most, means saying YES to the BEST thing, HIM. Sometimes in my life that means saying no to perfectly good things. Sometimes it means doing things that the world resents or doesn’t understand. Ultimately, aligning my life to HIS purposes, because I’ve done it “MY WAY” and experience has proven that there is no greater place to be than the center of his will.

 

2. How are you accomplishing this right where you are? 

Because I know life naturally leans toward busy, I have to be intentional with my time. I pray about commitments, and I’m learning to go without certain luxuries for sanity’s sake. I’ve let go of feeling the need to please others, but instead I perform for an audience of one. GOD. Or at least I should say thats my aim. Of course I am human, and I fall short. A perfectly balanced life is not possible, but every day is a new challenge to get it right. Even with our homeschool, I never thought for example it would be possible to make time to observe a bird in nature and then spend hours sketching it and or reading about it, or find the time to set aside academic workbooks to teach my kids how to sew. When they say “ stop and smell the roses”, its not a suggestion. I think its a way of living that has been so life giving for my family. Being in nature, reading good books, teaching my children valuable life skills is not extra curricular, it is the basis of what we do now. We find time to live well.

 

3. What is a good idea, tool, or resource that’s helping you in either family life, home, or womanhood?

Right Now, I am loving Wild and Free Podcasts. { bewildandfree.org }
Being a homeschooling Mom, I have few friends who have chosen this path. I also live on acreage in a small country town, where getting together with my friends in the city is an hour drive. While I love my country life, it can be isolating if I am not intentional about community. Hearing the encouragement and support of other Moms in similar seasons of life is very uplifting and inspiring.

 

4. What is a favorite book or quote that has offered you knowledge or inspiration?

Right now my go to verse is:
The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

 

5. What advice would you give your younger self? 

I would tell myself to live with less. Keep things simple. So many times because of ambitions, creativity and dream chasing, did I unnecessarily complicate my life. Without realizing, I would say YES to everything that excited me, afraid of missing out, and many of those things robbed me of greater things. Approaching 40, I have new revelations that some times success looks like downsizing, seeking those sweet margins that create peace and a pause.. because otherwise you miss the most important things by being busy with the time sucking things that wont matter in the long run. Its okay to stop and breathe. Life is short. Live well.

 

A huge thank you to Shauna for taking the time for this series and for giving us some insight from her personal life that we can take with us to inspire our own journeys.  You can find her on instagram @hurshfamily.  

Live for the Most, 

KC

Make Everyday Easier… A Simple Clothing Collection For Your Kids

 

Once I had three children I realized quickly that I needed to find out how to make things as simple as possible and I’m always on a journey to make our everyday easier!  Over the last year I’ve really lessened our load a lot by creating a small clothing collection for each individual in my household.  My mission was to have a set of clothes for each person that was comfortable, well loved, and suited for our lifestyle.  Another main goal was to allow the kiddos to dress themselves and learn to mix and match their pieces.   The kids are on the verge of self sufficiency and I’m all about encouraging that!  When all these needs are met it really makes a difference in our days.  Amen?

I’ve also come to love a simpler collection because it makes laundry a ton easier too!  (Note… we also wear our clothes until we see dirt or stains on them- ha!) 

A great place to start is to focus on 7 different pieces they could wear 7 different ways for up to 7 different days.  You likely need a few more pieces than that but it’s a good place to start building your collection.  I recommend sticking to clothes that are label or screen print free as well as things that go together.

 For example my boys have a couple jean shorts light and dark, and then a few other nuetral colored pants… gray, green, and tan.  I add some color or pattern with shirts.  I also keep their shoes pretty neutral so everything can be worn with basically everything and I don’t have to spend time helping them piece it all together.  

Here are some examples of the best basics for your babes…  these are some fav brands that I like to get a piece or two from and build around.  I wanted to share them with you and give you a good visual idea of what a good curated collection would look like.  You can piece your own together of course from a variety of brands and stores but keep a similar style and scheme in mind.

 

 Girl

2 tops

halter in coral

edith blouse in cream

2 bottoms

beach skirt big blue check

track short in deep blue

2 dresses

ruffle sleeve in clover

nona dress in citron

1 cardigan

cora blouse in cream

Boy

3 tops

stripe ringer tee

woven pocket tee

raglan henley

3 bottoms

flat front short in blue

destructed short

flat front short in khaki

1 hoodie

dyed zip hoodie

1 hat

denim cap

 

Are you ready to start simplifying your kids clothes?  Does this idea pull at your heartstrings?  It’s not as hard as you think?  Your babes can get by with very little.  I’ve made the mistake since starting this journey of purchasing more than I needed a few times, but with persistence I keep getting better at crafting our collection.  I also try to keep their shoe life laid back  too!  

happy days ahead friends!

kc- xx

 

Citronella Summer… Keep The Bugs Away From Your Backyard


Summer is on us and the bugs are breaking out!  It’s all fun and games when you’re catching fireflies in your mason jar, but what about those pesky mosquitos that won’t let you enjoy your play?  Well I’ve learned to invest in insect repellent.  It makes those summer night’s in the backyard so much better!

This month I’ve been focusing on the backyard and making it more get together friendly.  My goal is to have twinkly lights and a fire pit area with picnic tables and a grill ready guy;)  Surely I can make most of those things happen right?  I want it to be super easy and low maintenance so I can focus more on the gathering than the preparation of it.

I’ve been trying to decide on easy perennials and a great spot for a vegetable and flower garden as well.  Gosh it’s so easy to dream about landscaping and yard ideas, but it’s much harder to follow through on those dreams.  It takes a lot of work to care for outdoor property.  So whether you have lots of land or a small little spot, keep it simple and remember what will make those outdoor moments matter.

I love these citronella candles and other pest free essentials from Terrain.  They get the job done while also looking nice and weathering the outdoors…

live for the most,

kc xx

 

 

Memorial Weekend Musts

Every memorial weekend it rains here.  We get all excited planning our grand long weekend plans and then a big storm blows through and we end up looking out from inside the tent at the torrential down pour with shivering wet heads and shriveled up smores.  Sounds like fun huh?!

Well, it truly is. Ha! We’ve come to learn that the best times are in the unexpected, and we embrace it!   Rather than chasing other plans we just stick to our guns and let the rain come if it wants to.

Here’s 3 things we do every memorial weekend come rain or shine though…

  • We pick wild flowers to take to the cemetery in remembrance of our loved ones.  This is a tradition that I’ve come to love.  It’s a sweet reflection time for us as a family.

  • We take a little float trip down the river and then cookout hot dogs and roast smores over a bonfire.  Any water activity will do but you must kick off the summer season by playing in the water over the long weekend.  Sometimes it showers but I guess we are just used to that by now.  We just expect it and let it make the day exciting.

  • We have a deep long discussion about war and sacrifice and all the servicemen as we remember and honor all that it cost for us to live so bountifully in America.  My husband is so wise on this topic and I could listen for days about the history of America and the world in general actually.

Don’t forget your long weekend wear…

 

 
xx kc

How To Encourage Men

 

Since I was a young woman I have been attracted to men.  They are fascinating creatures made to appeal to us.  Why?  Because we need them.  Let’s get to the deeper point though… WHY DO WE NEED THEM?

We need them to be our partner, lead us in wise ways, and grow us into something more beautiful than we were before.  If you think about it, as women we long for a “soul mate.”  One who can romance us and tell us sweet nothings.  One who will protect and provide for us, never to leave us.  One who listens and offers us better advice than we can find anywhere else, helping us to discover and develop our best self.

Unfortunately,  We don’t always feel that we get all these things out of our men.  Likely, this is why so many marriages are no longer working out and women are trying to “take care of themselves.”  Too often it seems the better choice.  I believe it’s not too late though.  I believe in good men still.  I also believe that men are human.  Just like us women, we all make mistakes and are learning as we go.

Most men I know are hungry to be a man and provide a woman’s needs.  It’s simply in their nature.  As women we too often discourage their efforts though.  We need to recognize that most men are working on themselves just as we are and they don’t need those nagging reminders about all the ways they are not enough.  Encouraging our men is where our focus should be.  Building them up into all they were made to be!

As a wife and mother one of my highest priorities is to encourage the males in my life to be their best.  I’m always looking for ways to support them in their journey.  Here are a few ways that I believe help make a man feel like a man, as well as  grow into a great man.

  • Notice and encourage his courage… Is there a way your man or boys are being brave?  Tell them you admire them for it, and really admire them for it.

  • Give him praise for the things he does well or works hard at.  Also, say it out loud in front of others…  note: (admit how often we mention the ways he doesn’t do well then don’t find yourself there anymore;)

  • Ask him for his discernment or answers to deep questions or concerns you have… Be direct and let him have a chance to reflect with you and lead you to a smart decision.   (a good example is to ask questions about the bible.  continue this for some amount of days and it will bring about good conversation and challenge both partners together to seek wise council and sources.)

 

A couple of great resources for you and your man can be found here and here

live for the most,

kc  xx

 

5 Quotes That Keep You Caring

This weekend one of my sweet friends brought me over an aloe vera plant while I was away from home and when I returned there it was sitting on the back porch… nothing attached.  Just a plastic pot with gorgeous greenery growing from it.  You know what made it so special?  I had mentioned to her sometime in the past weeks how much I loved real aloe and how nice it’d be to have one of my own this summer.

It was love at first site.  I saw it sitting there as I pulled in and I’m sure my smile lit up the whole driveway.  The little things can sure matter and the ways we listen can open lots of doors.

It stopped me and made me slow down and ponder in a time I really needed it.  I had been getting distracted with lots of noise lately and it was a gentle reminder to me that sometimes all we need to do is listen.

This act of thoughtfulness made me reflect on much more than how thankful I was for the plant and the kindness, but it made me remember to stop and listen in my everyday interactions.  

When things get fuzzy with your self, or your kiddos, or you hubs, and in your home recognize that the moment deserves a listen.  Sometimes we get too busy talking out loud and we just need to calm down and listen.  We forget to let others talk too.  

It feels really nice to be heard, but try being the one lending the ear instead of the voice.  You’ll find many things work themselves out in those moments of stillness.

– here are 5 quotes that inspire caring –

Without a sense of caring there can be no sense of community.

– D’ Angelo

 

The capacity to care is what gives life it’s most deepest significance.

– Casals

 

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

– Covey

 

I like to listen, I have learned a great deal from listening carefully, most people never listen

– Hemingway

 

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak.  Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

–  Churchill 

 

Live for the Most,

KC

Women Living For The Most… Featuring Abigail Aviva

It’s a pleasure to get to introduce you to Abigail.  She is my Young Living consultant.  We met through a mutual friend, Danielle Burkleo, and we’ve enjoyed a sweet friendship every since!  I have fallen in love with her!  She has the kindest character ever.  I love people with truly great character.  Character is so valuable and honorable.  

Abigail is one of those people who is the same wherever and with whomever you find her.  Always the most thoughtful and first to be of help.  Someone worthy of paying close attention to.  She’s like that sweet mama, watching and smiling as you fumble your way through, ready to offer you a cookie and milk when you fall off your bike.  

She’s got wisdom and she cares deeply about sharing it with other’s along the journey.

She is married with four children.  She blogs what’s on her heart at A Mommy Thought, sells essential oils @theoilsmarket, and enjoys home schooling her children.  She also loves music and leads worship at church with her husband!  

Let’s hop on that bike and peddle forward as we read some great perspective and encouragement from a wise woman’s words…   

Why is it important to you to be “living for the most”?

I think that I lived for too many years held back by fears, and those fears grew and grew and controlled too much of my heart and life. In the last few years the Lord has really been changing my mindset and restoring hope and peace in my life. I spent a good and long season off of all social media and soaked my mind in scripture and truth. I would workout listening to Bible teaching podcasts or worship music and just let the truth of God’s words flood my heart. We had walked through so many heartaches and impossibilities and the Lord truly did BIG miracles in our family and marriage. I finally got to the point where I let all that fear go and fully surrendered everything to the Lord… and He has been restoring and redeeming and overwhelming us with such sweet blessings that I’m forever grateful for His unfailing grace and love poured out on us. It’s given me a burning in my soul to live this life to the fullest, always pointing back to the One who gave it to me in the first place. I want my kids to live boldly, with courage and bravery… knowing that I have to first model that to them so that they can step into it for themselves. Living for the most brings glory to God because He is the Creator of this life that we live. It honors Him and my life’s mission is to bring Him glory, honor and praise… and I think that all starts in my home.

How are you accomplishing this right where you are?

I start every morning getting up while it’s still dark and the rest of the house is quiet and asleep, and I get my big blanket out, coffee in hand and sit on the floor in the living room with my bible and journal. I put on essential oils that help my mind to focus and I pray, pray, pray… for anything and everything that is on my heart. I pray for my husband and children and home and friends and ministry and emotions and everything. I ask the Lord to give me peace and guidance and grace throughout the day. Then I read my bible and write things that the Lord puts on my heart. It helps to start my day right to prepare me for what’s ahead. I need it every morning and if I end up skipping it, I feel the difference the rest of the day.

What is a good idea, tool, or resource that’s helping you in either family life, home, or womanhood?

I love writing Scripture on little notes and putting them up throughout our home as constant reminders to myself and my children. I play worship throughout the day, especially when attitudes (including my own) need to be adjusted. When I’m overwhelmed, I stop to pray and just breath for a minute. I pray with a friend or my sweet husband or just alone in my room. I journal my thoughts. I clean my house! It’s so hard for me to focus or relax when the house is messy.

What is a favorite book or quote that has offered you knowledge or inspiration?

This is one of my favorite quotes:
“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.” AW Tozer
I’m watching the Lord take my life and make it something only He could have put together. He has made beauty from ashes. He’s given me hope where I had lost it and He’s brought freedom in to where only bondage had been. Nothing is impossible for the Lord and He’s been proving that in my life over and over.

What advice would you give your younger self? 

My advice to my younger self would be to trust Jesus with everything. To stop fearing the unknown. To not assume the worst but to put my hope, faith, and trust in the Lord, no matter the cost. To believe that He is for me, not against me and to step out boldly in whatever He called me to. It’s taken me years to finally fully step into all of this. I let fear control my life for way too long. I would also tell my younger self to give more grace… more grace for myself as a woman, mama, friend, wife… and to give more grace to others because maybe they’re just doing the best they can. And to pray everyday, give thanks to the Lord no matter what the day brings and to fill my mind with God’s Word.

Thank you so much to Abigail for sharing these great ideas and insight!  

Live For The Most, 

KC