Friday, February 28, 2014

All Things Baby Grace #2

Happy Friday!

I've noticed a few things since becoming a mommy. It's funny because God uses many of my new daily tasks to teach me things about Him. The other day, baby Grace was just being very needy and whiny. I think I was trying to look something up on my computer or blog, but I could just not finish anything I started that day. 

Sometimes you get thrown off of your routine by your child who needs all your love and support at that time. She just wanted me to hold her, kiss her, and show her my love for her. And that's just what I did.

It's funny, because we often need God's love the same way. When she cries sometimes I wait it out to see if she can soothe herself. But I always come. And sometimes I come right away to let her know I'm here. When she sleeps I kiss her and look at her beauty. I see so much potential in her and I see her life before us blooming into an amazing future. 
I'm positive this is what God sees in me and has always saw in me.

 As we become adults we start to realize that we don't have it all figured out and we must become child-like and continue learning throughout our entire lives. At times we still call on our parents or those that helped to guide us over the years for comfort, advice and wisdom. We call on God who knows all and who is truly directing our footsteps and paths. 

The similarities in my parents and God are that they always were willing to help, they love me no matter what, and they always have good intentions in their advice. When you get older you start to put the things your parents taught you into practice and after awhile you become more independent - starting to believe that you don't need them anymore. But then as life continues, you are faced with situations where you believe the only people that can help you are your parents! Ha! :) Funny how things come full circle! We should look to God the same way. The difference between your parents and God is that above all of those things, God always has the ultimate path and plan prepared for you. So now I know I can call on Him to guide me and I know He is taking me the route I need to go. 

Jeremiah 29:11

You ever travel on a road trip when you were younger? 
You didn't know exactly where you were going, not sure of the highways - you let your parents, or whoever was driving, guide you and you enjoyed the scenery. That's truly how God wants us to live. 
Let him be our GPS and just enjoy the ride. 
Sometimes you'll see the beautiful Grand Canyon, sometimes you'll go through a dark thunderstorm, and even at times you feel like you the road is winding like a frightening roller-coaster. But no matter which way you go - you are taken care of and you will end up at the right place, the ultimate destination. 

The many faces of baby LG :)

 I thank God for his teachings through my daughter. I thank Him for His love for me. Even when I went to complete opposite end to leave Him, He still saw me and loved me and called me back. With open arms! Oh, how great and beautiful is His love for us. 

Don't ever say nobody loves you or nobody cares. 
Jesus does.
In your deepest darkest moments when you feel those feelings understand those thoughts are being fed by the devil and there is someone right there. Standing right there waiting for you to call on Him.  I am thankful I have many people in my life that I can call on but most importantly I know If I want to get the answer right away - I can go to Jesus and He will be there. He even uses my close friends and family to tell me things and show me things and lead me in the right direction. 
I love you Jesus!!!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Linking Up:
Funday MondayCreative MondayMonday BloomStyle Sessions  Your Whims Weds,  Totally Posted Tuesday,, Three for Thursday*All about youWeekend Wind DownWeekend Blog Hop,

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A leopard's spots, a tiger's stripes...

Happy Hump Day!

There's something kind of special about a leopard's spots. See he's not born with those beautiful marks, but as he matures they become appear. More distinct and unique markings in his fur. The same goes for a tiger. Some say they earn their stripes. 

Its funny where this journey of life takes you, especially this season of new 'mommyhood' for me. My body created and carried a living being for 9 months, stretched and strained and brought my baby girl into this world. And now I've gained something many moms get, but not all moms like - stretch marks. I've seen some moms refer to them as a tiger stripes - proof or a badge of honor one should wear. 

I struggled with this at first. 
My belly once big and round with a kicking baby inside, now has shrunken back to its normal size, but doesn't look or feel the same. I know many mothers struggle with this same identity crisis in becoming a mom. That you are no longer your old 26 year old, care-free, childless gal - but you are now a mommy and the journey that you took to get there is written right there on your belly. 

Don't get me wrong, I love Layla. 
But it was still hard getting used to the idea that this was my 'new' self. It was hard accepting this 'new' me. The image this world, the media and society gives us to compare ourselves to is of this beautiful woman with the perfect beach bod, perfect thick hair, with a Crest white - koolaid smile.  

We see ourselves in all of our good, bad, and 'ugly' moments and believe there is no way we will ever become her. We try to take pride in who we are ourselves and find it hard to find confidence in a world where every corner you turn there is an image of society's idea of perfection. 

Where everyone is going under the knife and taking on fad diets and new ideas of how to reach this idolized image of perfection. 

But Jesus, always gets me to take a look at things through His eyes.

Do you know how holy, perfect, beautiful, loving, gracious, righteous Jesus is?
Do you know that you, yes you, the one reading this, are made in His image and likeness? Meaning each and everyone of you looks like Jesus. 

See you - you have his nose! And you over there, you have his eyes! 
And even little ol' you, you have his toes :)

And you know what God sees when he sees us?
He sees Himself in all of His perfection.

 Just like when we look at our children, we see traces of us. 
We see our husbands, our fathers, our mothers.We see ourselves. 
God sees Himself. 
He sees that beautiful woman, that has a little extra meat - as having the perfect beach bod. 
He sees your thin hair as the perfect thick head of hair. 
He sees that short woman as tall as a model.
He sees that gap toothed grin as a Crest white Kool-Aid smile! :)
 He sees us in Him and through Him we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

He sees me and my tiger stripes in all their beauty.
How dull would this world be if we all looked alike? Our differences, scars, and 'imperfections' make us look like God. And I do not want to change that in any way possible. 

I accept my tiger stripes and wear them with pride
I was given them by an all knowing, all seeing, all mighty God. 
I thank you, Lord for this understanding and the ability to share it with others!

Hope you enjoyed learning about who you are through Christ :)
Have a good day!

Linking up:
Funday MondayCreative MondayMonday BloomStyle Sessions Trend SpinI feel pretty, What I WoreTucker Up, Your Whims Weds,  Totally Posted Tuesday,, Three for ThursdayFav Fashion FridayLook what I gotTre ChicWorking Girl Working Style,*All about youSimply Lulu StyleWeekend Wind DownWeekend Blog HopStylish Saturday

Monday, February 24, 2014

Something you didn't know about me...

Happy Monday!

Today, I am going to share something that you may not know about me. If any of you have known me over the years this will not come as a surprise but to all of my new friends and readers - I sing. Yes, me - the girl behind the blog - I sing. 

I told myself I quit singing a few years back, and I was once asked how do you 'quit' singing... and I got to thinking about it. I mean ever since I was little I always sang. God put a song in my heart and the ability and talent to let it out. I sang at church, I sang at school, in talent shows, at weddings, and I even sang in a group for a couple years before I just completely stopped singing, cold turkey. 

I loved to sing and still do. 
After I graduated high school it just became something that I did less of. I started partying, which absolutely ruined my voice. And then after awhile of not singing, I just kind of hid my talent. Now, I still sang in the shower and the car like most people. And people close to me knew about my voice, but when I met new people in my life I just never really told them or shared that part of me. I think I was afraid. Actually, now I know I was afraid. 

I was afraid that because I had "given" it up, that I wasn't as good anymore. I never wanted to go pro with it, but it was something that always made me feel good. The devil put fear in me about sharing my voice, and tried to steal something so unique about me... BUT I am so grateful for God and His plan for my life. This year He told me to share my gift with you all. 

So here I am. Sharing something so personal with so many people. This is the start of something new for me. My first YouTube channel where I will discuss things from my blog, do some outfit posts, behind the blog features, and most importantly - SING. 

This is my first video ever, so please bear with me on the quality! 
Leave and comment and tell me what you think!
Like & Subscribe to my channel if you like this and want to see more!
YouTube - LovelyladyJB

Song: My Redeemer Lives
By: Nicole C Mullen

I love this song, its so touching and true and it has been in my heart lately. Decided to let this be the first of many that you guys see :)

Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Reaching Full Bloom

Happy Hump Day!
Hoping everyone is enjoying their week so far. 

I love kimonos. 
It's funny because when I found this number at H&M a few months back, 'A' asked me what it was. LOL. As he critiqued me for my soon to be purchase, I told him it was fab and to his surprise the gal who checked us out had this same one on! Ha! I laughed and told him I was not the only one who thought it was perty :) 
As we all are aware - floral prints are definitely here to stay. 
There are so many pastel prints that I want to add to my collection for spring. And although the weather here in Minnesota is still chilly, it has been warming up! (Try 40 degrees - practically bathing suit weather to us!)
As much as I love the pretty snow, I cannot wait for the season to change. It's actually one of the few changes I welcome with open arms. A lot of times, we as humans are so afraid of change. Like for example, at your workplace when you hear about a process that is changing - many people immediately buck at the thought of having to adjust their lives and do something a different way!

But, why?
I think a lot of times we lack the understanding to properly accept and embrace the change. You see true understanding brings about change. 

Por ejemplo - If at your job they explained that the reason the change is being implemented is because it will decrease errors and increase productivity - meaning less work on your end - what would you do? And let's just say your employer gave you the choice to keep the old platform or make the change...
I know I would likely be kind of annoyed, but I would accept the change. 

I mean less work is less work...
How about a more complex example?
Say you're in an unhealthy relationship. 
You're being treated poorly and up until this point you've accepted that's just the way your partner is and this is how the relationship will go.
Well, let's say one day you opened up your bible and read what your true value as a woman is. (Proverbs 18:22; 31:10) And you started to truly understand and believe your worth. 
You start to understand that you don't deserve to be treated poorly, and you are better than this. 

Would that make you require a change in your relationship?

When you truly believe something, it brings about a change in you.
First your mind is changed and renewed, and then it causes an action to take place.
Kimono - H&M
Black Tank - Heartbreaker
Black Fleece Leggings - TJ Maxx
Black Heels - Bebe

Now let's take it one step further. A personal example of my own. 

I recently had been struggling within myself thinking I was not good enough in my walk with Christ. Getting down on myself for slacking on dedicated time for prayer, reading my bible, and/or seeking Christ as much as I felt I needed to. 

I reached out in prayer, thanking God for keeping me and repenting - telling Him I felt I wasn't doing enough in my walk for Him and that I had felt guilty that even with a new baby I wanted to show Him I was committed to Him and living for Him. 

And guess what? I was immediately hushed. 
God put in my spirit that He didn't ask me to do anything more than what I was doing. We often get into a form of just doing things as a tradition or in a form of religion, and that is not what God wants us to do at all. He truly wants a personal, spiritual relationship with each and every one of us. 

He wants to guide our steps in everything from the way we curl our hair to what we cook for dinner. He showed me that as long as I am keeping Him first in everything and asking Him for guidance I am doing great. He explained when He asks something of me, then I must obey. He explained that I should not feel condemned ever. I chose to live for Him and because of this choice and my faith in who He is; He will work to shape me each and everyday. 

He led me to read John, and confirmed it in John 3:18 & 21.

See Christ was not sent to condemn us, but to save us (17). When we believe and follow Him, we are not condemned (18). Before I came to Christ, I didn't want to come to the truth/light because of fear that my deeds would be rebuked and I'd be scolded. But what Christ shows us is through Him, we can bring our deeds to Him openly, so that He can teach us and shape us to reach full bloom (21).
How does He shape us? He points us to keep His commandments and to do those things that are pleasing to Him.

Did you know it is pleasing to Him for me to have faith and believe this!? 
As God gave me this understanding it truly opened my eyes. I now believe this and have a deeper understanding. It  immediately brought about a change in my mind. And now I can walk boldly in Him and know that I am doing everything right in His eyes.

 What a great God I serve! What's awesome is that it's not just for me - it's for everyone!!

Hope you have a great day!!

linking up:

Monday, February 17, 2014

All Things Baby Grace #1

Happy Monday and welcome to a new feature on the blog, All Things Baby Grace. 
If you didn't know, Grace is my baby girl's middle name - remember when I talked about it here?
Well, anywho I thought it might be fun to feature some snapshots of the happenings in the world of Miss Baby Grace. I think it will be fun to look back at when she's a bit older and reminisce. I also think it's a cool way to delve into the meaning of God's grace, and continue to keep it top of mind on a consistent basis! 

So, enjoy! :)

one. Bunny ears. One of 'A's coworkers gifted this sweet little handmade bunny to baby. I love it.

two. Tummy Time. Baby has been introduced to the world of playtime. Its funny watching her, she's too little to really enjoy it - but I act like she's playing when her hand accidentally hits one of the dangling animals.

three. I ordered postcard type Valentines for our mothers. We have yet to get a family photo rolling other than at the hospital... Which reminds me *adds to my to-do list**

four. Layla's first Valentine's day got her this talking Minnie Mouse from my dad, or her 'Pa Pa' (paw-paw). He's starting this tradition early. 

I am thankful for lazy Mondays. 
I am thankful for the meaning behind the word, Grace. 
I am thankful for favor and power. 
I am thankful for snuggles and eskimo kisses. 
I am thankful for my human alarm clock at 6AM each morning. 
I am thankful for late nights. 
I am thankful for new funny moments of parenthood that me and 'A' share.
I am thankful for a loving family.
I am thankful for the gift of LIFE. 
I am thankful for the gift of true LOVE, that I can share with my darling girl. 
I am thankful for this blog as an outlet of my thoughts. 
I am thankful for my readers. 

Thanking God for Grace each and every day. 

Have a good day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Dear Valentine: My Forever Valentine

Happy FridayHappy Valentine's Day!

Hope you all have exciting plans to celebrate. Mine are pretty exciting lame. Me and A are such homebodies and now with our baby girl it just gives us another excuse to stay in. Granted, the weather hasn't been the most inviting!

Before I show you what we have been up to today - I must say happy 1 month to my baby girl!
I just wanna cuddle her and kiss those cheeks! My boo bear :)
Mama loves you!!

Here's a few more photos of what's been going on in our lives...

The first photo is of me and my love, 'A' from last week at the Science Museum. This morning we started off with gifts and breakfast. I dressed Baby L in this heart outfit the other day and its so stinking cute it was perfect for the occasion. I got this card made for Adrian, because he's my super hero! :) 

Tonight we will be relaxing. I am making a pasta dinner, we rented a few movies from Redbox, we will be enjoying a glass of wine, and having chocolate covered strawberries for dessert! 

I love chocolate covered strawberries.. 
I mean, how can you not.. 
chocolate covered suits! love this so much. cute idea!

On a different note, while this day focuses on love - 

I want to give thanks and share love for my 'Forever Valentine', Jesus! 

He is just so good.

 Even when I do not deserve His love, He's got this amazing unconditional love that's been loving me before I was. He promises me the best and shows His greatness to me each and everyday all because of His love for me! He's better than a friend, He is always there to listen and understands my deepest thoughts. He is my strength in hard times when I am too weak to bear it, and gives me peace at all times. 

I am so happy to live for Him and I love Him with all of me!

1 John 4:10

I'm His Valentine. <3

Well, that's it for now! 
Hope you have a great weekend!

How will you be spending your Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear Valentine: My Childhood Valentine

Happy Hump Day!

Hope you are all enjoying your week. Today I am going to continue my Valentine's Day mini series - with a night look for the upcoming occasion.

Although 'A' is definitely my love and Valentine these days, I can't help but think back to my childhood Valentine. 
When I was younger I remember getting so excited each year to go to the store and choose my Valentine's Day cards! I have always loved cartoons, still do, and it was a blast picking out which character would be on my cards...
What was even more fun was creating a box for all of your Valentine's to go into. I remember one year I made a mailbox. :)  And some kids parents would get pretty creative, some made robots, while others just decorated old shoe boxes!
Once I grew out of that stage of school Valentine's parties; me and my girlfriends at school celebrated by getting all dressed up and passing out cards and candy to our closest friends. 
And although I never really dated in grade school, I always had a Valentine!

My Daddy!
Every year, he would wake me and all my sisters up and give us all cards, candy, and his staple gift - a stuffed animal! 
Now, these were not just your ordinary stuffed animals...
They were usually always the kinds that sang songs, or said fun, catchy phrases. Last year I even got a green animal with pink hair that moved his neck and sang Chris Brown's "With You" song :)
And as wacky as it looked, I loved it!
I never realized it until I got older - but I appreciate my father all these years. He always had a Valentine in my mother! (They've been married 32 years - remember this post?)
 Red Blouse - Heartbreaker
White Slacks - Calvin Klein
Leopard Pumps - Qupid
Tan Clutch - Thrifted
Red/Gold Necklace - Thrifted
Cream/Gold Bracelets - Gift from my Mom :)

BUT he has always made me and all 4 of my sisters feel loved and cared about on Valentine's Day, no matter if we had a significant other or not!
I love that man!

What can you remember about your childhood Valentine's Days?

Have a good day!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dear Valentine: A mini series

 Happy Monday!

We are getting closer to Valentine's day, and what better way to ring in the occasion than to dress for it! Today I am featuring a daytime look for the special day - perfect for brunch and a matinee. I think it would also work well for a casual night in.  

Dear Valentine, 
Why do us women care so much about V-day?

Valentine's Day is the one day that is designated on the calendar for our significant others to shower us with gifts or show us their romantic sides. I am not too mushy gushy, but who doesn't like being told they are appreciated and loved? 
I know I do!

On top of that, as emotional beings, we want to tell our men how much we love and care about them, too. We love to express our feelings, and this day gives us free reign to do so!

Not that you shouldn't show your love on any other day of the year. In fact, many people hate the hype around Valentine's Day. It's very commercialized and almost competitive in some instances. 

I mean, who wants to be the only gal at the office that didn't get flowers or an edible arrangement delivered? How dumb that we compare the size of our gifts to how much someone loves us!

Don't get me wrong, I like a good gift!
But as much as I love gifts, I melt over sentimental gifts. 
AND I love to give them, too. 
There's just something about a meaningful gift that makes me smile.


Absolutely do NOT forget the chocolates!

(with caramel, please)

Pale Pink/Coral Polka Dot Blouse
Pale Pink Cardigan
Denim - Gap
Red/Gold Bag - Emma Fox
Red/Gold Shoes - Qupid
Red Bracelet -thrifted
Gold Bracelet -  Gift from my mom

What things could you live without on Vday? 

What melts your heart - candy, chocolates, love letters, romantic dinner, red roses?

Stay tuned this week for more from this mini series + a night time look for Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Happy Friday. 

This week it seems as if time has been quickly slipping through my fingers.
This new mommy life has been so rewarding; but it definitely comes with its trade offs.

Time, being one of them. 

I am happy I have the time right now between caring for my baby girl, to get a post up to you all! 
 It's been pretty cold here in MN,
 as always,
 and I have been having a huge case of cabin fever. 
 Itching to get some fresh air, my sis invited me and 'A' out to celebrate my future brother-in-laws birthday last night. 
We headed to the science museum for an exhibit featuring the Chemistry of Love. 
Perfect timing for Valentine's Day.
Afterwards, we went to a local spot, Senor Wong's for apps, drinks, and some Karaoke!
It was a blast, but bittersweet!
Bittersweet because I missed my baby girl. 
It was the first night I have ever been without her. 
And although, she was in good hands with her grandma - I couldn't help but feel like a part of me was missing. 

You know that feeling you get when you don't have your purse? Like something just doesn't feel right. 
Like you don't feel complete; something is missing... 
That's the feeling.
'A' reassured me to just relax and enjoy my time apart. And I did. We did! It helped that I called my mom a couple times and had her and my baby sis send me pics of my little chubs :)
Black & Grey Dress - TJMaxx - similar here, here, here, here
Berry Scarf - Can't Recall - similar here
Tights- TJMaxx - similar here
Booties - - similar here
Watch - Heartbreaker

It was a overall a great night.

But now I can go back into hibernation with my baby girl. 
Snuggling and hugging. Kisses, coos, slobber, and spit-up. 

I wouldn't trade it for the world!

Hope you have a great weekend!