Thursday, May 26, 2016

My Favorite Encouraging Reads for Moms

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Recently, I read Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive by Keri Snyder and loved it!  It's about growing and thriving in your role as a Christian mother, and it's really motivated me to step up my game.

So it got me thinking...what are the best books, blogs, and reads that will help us grow in our lives as wives, mothers, and women?

Here are my top 5:

Everyday Sacrament: The Messy Grace of Parenting
by Laura Kelly Fanucci (of Mothering Spirit)

Don't read this book some place where you need to be quiet because this book will make you laugh and cry!  Laura uses her everyday life experiences as a mom of little ones to show the beauty of the faith.   It really opens your eyes to see God's Hand in all the little things of everyday life.

My favorite part: Laura is so real.  She struggles with infertility and miscarriage (and earlier this year, they lost their twin girls shortly after birth) so she strikes a chord with so many mothers.  Also, it's a quick and easy read.  The chapters are small and broken up into smaller sections.  It's perfect to read when you only have 5 minutes here or there - which is all we have as moms, am I right?

Rosaries Aren't {Just} for Teething
by Michele Chronister (of My Domestic Monastery)

This book is so unique and beautiful!  It goes through each mystery of the Rosary and reflects on the life of Mary as Jesus's mother and relates it to our role as mothers.

My favorite part: Each chapter is stand alone and only a few pages.  It's a good book for when you only have short bits of time to read throughout the day or week.  It is also perfect to use while meditating on the Rosary!

The Story of a Soul: An Autobiography of the Little Flower
by St. Thérèse of Lisieux

This is my #1 all-time favorite book.  I've read it multiple times, and it always inspires me to grow deeper in my faith as a woman, wife, and mother.  It may sound crazy considering St. Thérèse was a cloistered nun and wasn't a wife or a mother, but every word of hers strikes right at the center of the feminine heart.  It is truly beautiful and life-changing.

My favorite part: St. Thérèse's path to holiness is called "The Little Way".  It's a way to grow in your faith through childlike devotion in the everyday happenings of life.  It's the perfect way to "pray without ceasing" through your daily actions.

Mom Time Out (MTO) Facebook Group
by Ruthie Gray (of Rear. Release. Regroup.)

MTO is a safe place to go as a Christian mother to receive support and encouragement whenever you need it.  It is such a wonderful community of moms because each and every member is understanding because they're going through the same struggles and joys of parenting as you are.

What I love about this Facebook group is that Ruthie presents Scripture, action plans, prayers, inspiration, challenges, and encouragement every single day to help all of us members to grow, not just in our vocations as mothers, but in our faith as well.   

(Is this community of moms something you need?  Please join us!)

My favorite part: You can ask for support, encouragement, and prayers without fear of being judged.  Let's face it, we all mess up, and we all need help.  So I love how this group is all about building one another up as daughters of the King!

Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive
by Keri Snyder (of Living In This Season)

This book is a great motivation because it takes common mom fears and turns them around into ways to thrive.  It really shows you how to break past survival mode and choose joy in the everyday.  You can read my full review here.

My favorite part:  I especially love all of the "extras": the little challenges and reflections at the end of the chapters and the beautiful Scripture cards that come with the book.  It is also a quick read with short chapters, which makes it ideal to read when you don't have a lot of time to spare.

What's up next up on my list: 

My Sisters, The Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carroll Campbell:
I've heard it's amazing, and I can't wait to dig in!  I have always seen the saints as my friends in Heaven, so I know I'm going to love it.

Blessed Is She daily devotions by many different faithful women from every walk of life:
I used to read these beautiful Scripture reflections everyday, but I've fallen out of the habit.  They helped me so much in my spiritual life - I need to get back to it!  P.S. They're free and emailed to you every morning - so check it out and sign up!

Make Over Your Mornings and Make Over Your Evenings courses by Crystal Paine (of Money Saving Mom):
I've done the Morning course and loved it so I got the Evening course when it came out a few weeks ago.  It does a wonderful job of helping with time management, setting achievable goals, being realistic, and choosing joy.  But once again, I've fallen out of the habits I made during the Morning course.  So my goal this summer is to go through both courses and really put them into practice.

(The moral of the story is that I tried to start too many things last summer right after L was born.  I was still sleep deprived adjusting to life as a mom of 3 little ones.  But I'm feeling very motivated this summer to start working on myself again.  Which is very much needed right now!)

What are your favorite books, blogs, podcasts, courses, and encouraging reads about being a wife, mother, and woman?  

I'm looking forward to adding more to my must-read list!

Have a beautiful weekend!

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Personal Style: Classical, Colorful Me (Tuesday Talk #71)

I'm definitely not a fashion expert (not even close!), but I thought it would be fun to jump in on Andrea's "My Personal Style" post for Show and Tell Tuesday!

I consider my personal style to be classic and colorful.  And beyond clothes, my style reaches into how I decorate my home as well.  Before I buy clothes or jewelry, decorate a room, or buy furniture, I always specifically look at these 5 things:

My Notre Dame look: kelly green and navy blue with gold jewelry
1.  Color.  
I love color.  There really must be a pop of color (or pattern) in my outfit somewhere, somehow.  This is probably my favorite part of my style: colors and patterns - mixing them together or just adding one little pop.  My absolute favorite is polka dots.  I just love dots!

2.  Classic.  
I love classic and traditional, but I don't mind some modern trends too.  I always ask myself a few questions before buying or designing anything: In 5 or 10 years, will this still be 'in'?  Or will it look like I'm still living in (insert the current year here)?  Will I look back at pictures and think, "What was I thinking?!"  Whatever I choose must stand the test of time (also because...#4 below!)

A summer church outfit: a classic floral print sundress
with a mint cardigan and pretty sandals

3.  Trendy.  
Going off what I said above, I like to stay on the neutral side of trends.  So I tend to stick with more traditional clothes and decor and just add a touch of something trendy - like accessories or artwork - so that I look like I'm still living in the current century.

A fun summer outfit: hot pink tee, jean shorts, and
a fun & bright polka dot purse and necklace

4.  Price. 
I'm cheap frugal, so I only buy something if it's on sale.  And when decorating, I never buy everything all at once.  I usually buy one piece at a time because I wait for deals.  This is the most frustrating part of my style because I would much rather decorate a room all at once instead of taking a year or two to complete it.  But saving money is so worth it in the end!

A cute summer look: a graphic tee with a Bible verse,
teal sandals & polka dot headwrap, and a jean pencil skirt

5.  Faith. 
Our style always says something about us, so I try to dress modestly and have religious decor in our home.  When I look in the mirror and around my home, it is a physical reminder of our Faith to me and my family and it helps keep God at the forefront of our thoughts.  There aren't any hard and fast rules on this.  (I just be creative and myself!)  I know that appearance isn't everything.  And I don't do this to brag or for approval from others.  I do this for me and my little family.  I think my Faith should play a role in my appearance and in my home, especially as an example and reminder to my children, so it is something I always keep in mind for myself and family!

Whew, I survived my first fashion post!  That was kind of fun, but I don't think I'll be making it a habit!  (I think I'll leave that to my favorite fashionistas Becky, Shelly, and Tiffany!)

So what do you consider when shopping for clothes and decor?  What is your personal style?

And speaking of my personal style and decor, I also want to let you know that I extended the BOGO Sale at my Etsy shop Sweet Little Ones Shop through Wednesday!  Buy a print for you and for a friend (or two for yourself!)!

Buy one digital print, get one free with code: MothersDay2016!
Coupon can be used once per transaction, but you can use it in multiple transactions.  Enjoy!
This sale is valid through 5/11/16

Would you like custom work done?  Send me a message (, and I can design a print just for you!  If you're a blogger, I'm also available to make printables and graphics for your blog or newsletter.

Now, on to the party!  Wow, there were so many great posts last week!  I can't wait to see what you share this week!  Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to Tuesday Talk #71!
Let's connect!
Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
Michelle at Grammie Time | Pinterest | Instagram 
Check out the Tuesday Talk guidelines here,
and check out everyone's features on Pinterest here!

You guys share so many great posts every week!  It is so hard to choose only a few to feature.  So throughout the week, I will also be sharing more of your best posts on my Facebook page too.  I'd love for you to follow along!

One thing before you link up - if you want the opportunity to be featured, please make sure there is a link back to at least one of the hosts in your post, sidebar, or party page.  (You can grab the button below!)  Your lovely blog is being presented on our 13 blogs - we would love it if you would return the favor and link back to us!  Thank you!!!

Sweet Little Ones - Tuesday Talk Link Up and Party

I'm linking up with these awesome parties!

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