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Family Life

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

 

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

 

Full Swing

The babes are playing ball again!  This time of year is busy busy but in a good way.  They are active and engaged in learning some valuable skills during this full swing season.  

Jared and I are both pretty athletic and competed in many sports activities throughout our school age days so it’s no surprise that our children enjoy that too!  We coach all of their teams which is a bit of a task on top of the norm, but that’s just where we’re at with that and we wouldn’t have it any other way 😉  

When I said it’s a busy season, I really meant it…  Jared loves it so much he goes as far as mowing a “field of dreams”  baseball diamond on our property… he’s such a boy 😛  

Every night they’re outside at the field.  I can hear them playing through the kitchen windows as I cook supper and I watch them run through the fresh cut grass with their little bare feet.  These really are the days, and I try to remind myself in those moments.  

Baseball and bare feet – xx 

Why mornings and evenings matter in your marriage…

When we were young and first married we never even thought about being intentional with our time together.  I actually remember a specific time when we were visiting with some experienced married people in our community at an event and they were all discussing and kind of complaining actually about never having time to spend alone together.  

They talked on and on about how once they had kids they slowly stopped spending time with each other because their kids along with the demands of life simply took up all of their time and energy.  

I remember looking at each other thinking these people are sad.  We will never loose hope like this, how awful and depressing are they?  Ha ha!  We thought something was wrong with them that wasn’t wrong with us!  We soon learned however, that we just hadn’t experienced that stage of life yet.  Once we got there, we began to relate.  

We recognized we better take control of the situation fast or we’d be in the same boat as they had been (which we remembered we never wanted to be in).  We quickly saw that they were right!  Children and life demand a lot of your time and attention, but what matter’s is that you don’t let it get that painful.  When you feel the pain,  you find a better way and fast!

We saw that if we wanted to have more time to collect our thoughts or relax our minds we had to make it.  We needed to take ownership of our time.  The options were slim, but not out of reach.  We looked at a lot of successful people and how they made time for themselves and each other and the key was a morning and nightly rhythm.  A time to just be present together, no agenda other than that.  No expectations even.  Dedicating to just being together and letting natural things flow from that matter.  Small amounts of consistantly over time make a difference.  

We don’t always get our way and hit the target, our time together takes shape in new and different ways all the time, but when we keep this important in the forefront of our mind we are pleasantly reminded of how valuable it is.  We have actually been striving to spend evenings together unwinding after we put the kids down, but we haven’t found our rhythm with that quiet yet still.  To our surprise, as neither of us are morning people, we have discovered a nice little morning routine that we didn’t really put much effort into.  That’s the thing… as long as your continuing to work towards your goal the right thing will find it’s fit.  Be patient and notice what your natural patterns are, then play to that.  

Keep living for the most and make the important things matter!

Spring Surprises!

We are surprising our littles with some new live hens that will lay EGGS for Easter!  We brought home some chicks from school last year,  then got a rooster and guess what?  Nothing happened!  Our chickens don’t lay eggs!! I know, I know laugh all you want… make fun of me for taking care of chickens for a whole year without ever getting one egg out of the deal.  This is the year guys!  We’re getting some EGG layers!

This time of year is one of my favs… the celebration of new life and all it’s glories!  Here’s some inspiration for gifting the littles this Easter with some spring surprises …

storybook bible

leather bible cover

jesus calling devotional

babla kids

calico critters

mailegg

Growing + Grace

When it comes to relationship advice, I don’t think there is a perfect answer.  I heard someone ask another last week, “What do you hope and pray for about who your child will marry?”  The answer was good, the guy said he simply hopes and prays that whoever his daughter marry’s will be open and willing to learn and grow.  I think that sure is all we can ask for.  None of us are good enough for each other but if we’re willing to grow together that is what matters.  It matters a lot.  In fact, I’d say as a daughter to a happily married couple, a wife of ten years myself, and a mother to children who will go out in search of a partner one day, my best advice is this… The willingness to grow and learn is very important for relationships to be successful.

My husband and I have not always had the best relationship, and if I’m being honest, we still don’t.  I will always say that because I think there is always more… Always more to learn, more to give, and more to become.  If both people involved in the relationship can say they are giving 100%  then it would be the BEST relationship, but until then (which is likely never ;), we should have grace and humility for ourselves and each other as we STRIVE for that 100%.

Through observation and experience I believe our relationships feel happy and successful during the striving part.  Essentially that is what relationships are built upon… experiencing life together ( the good and the bad ) and learning from each other.  The difference between the ones that last and the ones that don’t, is when one of the people or both people are not willing to grow.  period.

I know it is a harsh truth but it is truth.  I believe the best thing to think about when seeking and building relationships with others is to look closely at their willingness to grow.  If they are a person who seeks to know and do right, and who humbles themselves when they are wrong, then it’s a pretty safe bet that it will be a positive relationship with lots of goodness involved.

My husband and I have been doing some deep talking lately on a variety of very important things… We’ve committed to a bible study together, as well as consumed some other deep information lately so there has been lots of chatting and talking our thoughts out loud… More often than not we see eye to eye, but for those differences between us, we give each other grace and we hold ourselves accountable to growth.

For those of you who are still “children” or for those of you who have children.  I heard a great example this week about how to educate your children on relationships.  Pay attention to how they treat others.  How do they treat their parents?  Are they kind and gentle.  Don’t you think they will treat you the same way they treat their closest loved ones?  Also, let this be a caution for you to look at your own attitudes and actions.

Adventures in the Ozarks…

If you’ve ever been to the Ozarks, then you know that Spring and Fall are gorgeous here.  They are the seasons we live for in these parts.  One of our favorite adventures to look forward to in the Spring is mushroom hunting.  It’s a big deal where we come from.  Everyone waits for the first big rain and the first big sunshine and then it’s on!  A race to see who can find the most!  It’s hard tellin with us cause we cook em up almost before we can count em ;P  They’re delicious!!

Sometimes we share our collection, but we never share our secret spot 😉  Oh no, nobody tells where they find their mushrooms, every family has to venture out and find a spot of their own.  That’s what’s so fun about keeping it secret because each year you have to get to your spot before anyone else finds it!!  It’s a fun tradition to get outdoors and explore together.  It warms the heart and the belly.

What’s an adventure your planning this spring?

Time Together + A Giveaway!!!

When it comes to finding time together without the littles, it’s tough.  We’ve learned through the years to just take advantage of any time we can get.  Whether it’s a date night with friends or a walk down to the river to cast a fishing line and take in the view, it’s a refreshing time to just enjoy each other’s company and relax for a bit.  It’s important to have time together.

We live on the creek so that’s often where we end up.  Jared loves to fish and I adore the peace of nature.  With my folks living down the road sometimes in the evenings we can send the little wild ones over and sneak away to watch the sunset.  It speaks to both of our love languages… What are some things you do to spend time together?

Speaking of  “time” Jared’s watch is from Jord wood watches.  They make the most perfect watches inspired by nature and the outdoors.  Jord is offering a giveaway exclusive to my readers this week!  Be sure you enter!  

One of my lucky readers will win big… the $100 gift code, but everyone who enters will receive a gift code worth $25!  

It’s a very generous giveaway and your gauranteed a gift code so please do yourself a favor and take a minute to enter!  They have the most beautiful  women’ s watches as well!!!  You will love these quality time pieces so go win you or your hubs something gorgeous from Jord’s collection.  

Fill out this simple form to enter: GIVEAWAY

contest closes Sunday, March 12 at 11:59 p.m. 

 

Luxury Wooden Watch

Making A Little Music…

 

The cold months are a challenge with children.  The kids get a little stir crazy, the mama’s get a little stir crazy… then everyone gets a little crazy!!!  We are always looking for ways to keep boredom at bay and do something fun and creative!  I’ve talked a lot lately about our family taking a liking to music and instruments.  We have discovered another great resource for starters to learn and play some easy and classic songs that brighten all the bad moods.

This xylophone from Hudson Co. has been a ball for the kids to play.  It comes with a perfect songbook collection of simple songs that the kiddos recognize and love.  It’s been a great addition to our music collection.  As you know, I love quality kid’s toys, and this one is a timeless treasure 😉

Hudsons and I are offering a 25% discount for anyone that would like to purchase one!  Click HERE and use the code OBRIEN25.   The code is for this month only!  It runs through March 31st.

Live for the most and make a little music loves!

kc

Are You Helping or Hurting Your Spouse?

 

When we say I do we commit to being there for our significant other.  We vow to honor and support them during the good and the bad.  I have been convicted many times in my years of marriage of not helping my husband unfortunately, but rather hurting him.  Kicking him when he’s already down.  It’s something I’m not proud of and glad I finally realized.  If my goal is to be happily married then I have to take ownership of our happiness.  Not only is it my responsibility to be happy myself, but YES, it’s my responsibility to HELP him be happy and healthy too!

I mentioned in this previous post how I wanted to have a new perpective on things this year.  I said I was going to have a better perspective throughout my daily life and decisions.  To think not about what I want out of things, but what god is doing through things.

Too often I get distracted and torn by things in the moment or by the strong feelings I face when things don’t go my way.  Typically when I’m caught in those selfish moments I end up hurting instead of helping matters.  I’ve been growing wiser through my failures though and learning to adjust my perspective and remember to look at the bigger picture.  Holding my tongue and pondering my thoughts usually does me some good.  When I discipline myself to have a little patience, I put myself in a much better situation to help in a circumstance or disagreement.

Collecting your thoughts and talking to your spouse in a kind and respectful way shows them you want the best outcome and you are there to help not hurt them.

I know this is easier said than done, but I think it’s something worth bringing up, facing, and bettering ourselves at!!!  Is there a way you’ve been hurting instead of helping?  What can you do right now to change that?  Best wishes to you, your spouse, and above all, your union as a happy couple!

live for the most,

kc