Conversation #152: Frugal Friday: Fashion

*sorry, this was supposed to post Friday - my scheduled posts are not working :(

Hello!  Welcome to the first installment of Frugal Fridays: Fashion.  First, sorry I didn't write much this week.  I had a horrible migraine on Monday and didn't even go to work.  Therefore, no pic of the new haircut for you.  Then on Tuesday, I did make it to work, but didn't love my outfit.  I didn't love it again on Wednesday.  The last couple of days it was, eh.  I haven't been feeling very inspired this week to get dressed, but I have a couple of pics for you.  I will also unveil the new 'do. 

I got my haircut on Saturday, and at first I really liked it.  I hadn't had it this short in a looooooong time so it kind of surprised me.  Then, on Sunday morning I decided to style it more straight like the pic I posted last Friday, but it looked awful.  Husband called it right - he said I looked like a politician, but then I knew he meant Hillary Clinton from a few years ago.  Needless to say, I had a little breakdown, didn't make it to church, and then made him cut off a little on the bottom (it felt a little like a mullet the way my hair was curling), and finally I loved it.  I'll be honest, I am still figuring out how to style it, but most days I really like it.  I like doing fun things with my hair, and if I could pull of this cut, I would in a heartbeat:
But alas, this is my hair:

I hate the way pictures of myself look like this, but I can't really do camera timer pictures these days.  Maybe they'll come back soon...we'll see.  Until then, here are the couple of outfit pics I have, new hair and all!

Outfit breakdown:
Cardi, Gap Outlet, $15
Blank top, Coldwater Creek, $10ish (can't remember for sure)
Blue skinnies, JCPenney, $18
Wedge sandals, Target, $12ish

The hair is a little more naturally curly today, so it has a little different texture
Outfit breakdown:
Cardi, Talbots, $20
Leopard tank, Gap, $8
Black maxi skirt, Gap, $8ish
Sandals, Lands End Canvas, $13

That is is for me this week!  I feel like my life is really back to normal now.  One reason I didn't post as much this week either is that I was working on my testimony (which I gave last night) and then I also needed to finish Tale of Two Cities for my book club tomorrow (which I did!)  Giving my testimony was cool because it really gave me a chance to look at what all God has and is doing!  It makes me excited to see what more He will do in my life.  However, everyone kept telling me how brave I was to share, and it made me go, "oh no, what did I actually say?!"  Haha, it was good, and as one of the ladies from my church said, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!"  AMEN!


Conversation #151: a few more outfits

Okay, these are the last few of the old outfits.  I think I am going to start just posting the weeks' outfits on Friday and do a Frugal Fashion Friday type thing since I love a good deal.  We'll see how that goes!

Outift breakdown:
Jean Jacket, Gap (8 years old), $20
T-shirt dress, J.Crew Factory, $8
Leather Belt, J.Jill, $5
Scarf, Coldwater Creek, $5ish
Leather ballet flats, American Eagle Outifitters (not Payless), $8

Outfit breakdown:
White tunic top, Coldwater Creek, $10
Jeans, Talbots, $20
Leather loafer/boat shoes/wedges, Bass via ebay, $15
Necklace, Target, $4

Outfit breakdown:
Cardi, Lands End Canvas, $15
Purple blouse, The Limited, $6
Zebra pencil skirt, Target via ebay, $11
Leather ballet flats, Eddie Bauer, $20

Simple, simple outfit:
Dress, Old Navy, $8
Leather sandals, Lands' End Canvas, $13ish

Trying to do something different...
Outfit breakdown:
Blazer, The Limited via TJMaxx, $20
Green top, Bitten, $9
Khaki crops, Gap, $12
Sandals, Lands End Canvas, $32

Sweater, Old Navy, $12
Navy pencil skirt, The Limited via thrifted, $4
Suede pumps, $30

Outfit breakdown:
Cardi, Gap outlet, $15
Black top, Coldwater Creek, $10
Pink jeans, JCPenney, $10
Leather sandals, American Eagle Outfitters, $30 (a splurge for me a couple of years ago)

Okay, we are caught up!  Hopefully I'll more inspiring outfits soon (and if we are lucky I might even go outside and take pictures...we'll see).

Conversation #150: Oh the backlog...

So as I got closer to taking the PE exam, I cared less and less about clothing.  However, I did take a handful of pictures over the last few weeks I haven't shared (at least I don't think I have!)  I'm going to share those for the next couple of days, and then I'll jump into some fun home improvement projects we have been doing.  I really think the husband just finds things to do so he can buy more tools, but we expanded the patio, planted our yearly garden, updated the front flower beds, bought an old dresser to fix up, and are currently resurfacing our old broken driveway.  I probably did too much while trying to study, but it kept me sane!  Plus, my house is a mess so no one is allowed to come over for probably another week...gotta give myself some time to get back in the swing of domestic life.

Anywho, here are a few outfits below (nothing super special, but always a good deal - you know me!)
*some of these are back from when it was still chilly out!

Outfit breakdown:
Cardi, J.Crew, $20
Denim shirt, Gap (literally years ago, probably 10), $?
Cords, Lands End, $10 (I think)
Boots, Talbots, $15 (it was an amazing deal) 

Outfit breakdown:
Sweater dress, Coldwater Creek, $40
Leather boots, Enzo Angiolini, $50 via 6pm.com (love this website)
Necklace, seen many times before

Outfit breakdown (I liked this one):
White blouse, J. Jill, $10
Pants, Talbots, $12
Leather oxfords, J.Jill, $30

This was my St.Patrick's Day outfit:
Cardi, Coldwater Creek, $15
Top, NY & Company, bday gift from my mom :)
Jeans, Talbots, $20
Green leather driving Mocs, J.Crew via ebay, $17 (awesome find)

So there are a few for your viewing pleasure - nothing too taxing to read on the weekend!


Conversation #149b: A haircut

I wanted to separate this post out from the one that just posted because they are just on completely different spectrums.  So I haven't had my haircut in 8 months.  I don't normally go that long unless I am really trying to grow my hair out (which I did only once).  I got it cut back in August and meant to again before the holidays, but then it got busy.  Then I was pretty much sick the entire month of January.  Then I started studying for the PE exam.  Then it is today.

As you might imagine, my hair is out of control!  I don't blow dry it much so it doesn't take a huge beating most days and stays relatively healthy.  However, the humidity has been pretty crazy here and my curly out of control mane has looked awful down and curly.  I either put it up everyday or straighten because I feel like too much of a mess to go to work otherwise.

Therefore, I am getting my haircut tomorrow morning!!!

Here is what I am thinking (same cut, I think, but different views):

Here is a sort of current picture of my hair:

(I didn't feel awesome this day and went home sick, so I look a little messy)
Outfit breakdown (my attempt at pattern mixing):
Dress, Lands End Canvas, $35
Red Striped Blouse, Lands End Canvas, $12
Belt, Coldwater Creek, $10
Navy suede ballet flats, Lands End Canvas, $15

Not the best picture of my hair, and my hair is longer and even more out of control than that.  It just looks messy and I'm ready for a change.  THOUGHTS?!!

Conversation #149: I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

Y'all have no idea how happy I am to be back.  You know what this means...I took the PE exam!  Now before you all get super giddy and jump up and down with excitement, I have no idea how I did yet.  Results take about 8-10 weeks to come out, but I sure hope I passed.

This exam has taught me so much.  I really realized that God will use anything to draw us near to Him.  He did that so much with me during this exam journey, and I have just loved every second of knowing Him better.  I have found power in the Holy Spirit I never knew before, and I have literally felt God with me.  In fact, when I first started the exam I looked at the first couple of questions and freaked out.  I had prayed while getting ready that morning, but I quickly remembered I hadn't prayed right before starting the exam.  So, while part of me wanted to give up and just put "c" for each answer, I prayed God and the Holy Spirit would be with me, and things turned around. There were even a few questions that I didn't really know how to solve, but I just started trying something and got an answer that was one of the options. I just knew it was the Holy Spirit there with me taking that exam. 

I do not have the gift of Prophecy so I have no idea if I passed or not, but I do know that I relied on God more than ever before through all of this and that He was there with me, so no matter the outcome, it is His will.  Also, just because exam day is over, that doesn't mean that I will just leave God again.  First of all, the enemy is trying hard to get in my head and make me doubt everything (how I felt after the exam, whether God wants me to pass, just fear in general).  I am learning to take those thoughts captive and give them to the Lord because fear does NOT come from the Lord.  I have an app on my phone that gives me a daily Bible verse each day, and one day this week, this is what popped up (the Holy Spirit has been giving me little gifts like this throughout the days):

James 1:13-14

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [a]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [b]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (from BibleGateway.com, NASB)
I also like this version from The Message (also from BibleGateway.com):
13-15Don't let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, "God is trying to trip me up." God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one's way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.
I mean - WOW!  Here I am being worried and tempted by doubt and fear and I'm trying to remind myself those don't come from God and He gave me those verses.  That temptation and fear comes from my flesh NOT God, and me letting the flesh (which is easily tempted by satan) take a stronghold in life instead of the Holy Spirit.  I am a new creation in God because Jesus already died for my sins, and when I walk with the Spirit, my flesh has no power.  God is goodness and grace and mercy and LOVE.  I love this verse to from 1 John 4:16-18 (NIV, BibleGateway.com)
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I am actually sharing my testimony next week with some women at my church.  I am a little nervous, but sort of excited because I feel like this is the first time in my life I can really look back and see all of God's working in my life.  It is pretty amazing.  He is amazing!!!!