peacock leggings & fashion firsts

top: Nordstrom Rack, clearance // leggings: c/o Style Lately // shoes: Target, clearance // necklace: c/o Sebastian Design 

you would probably think by some of my outfit choices that i am pretty confident in my style. 
i'm used to being bold, bright, different, weird... or at least i go along with it. 
but the truth is i have loooots of insecurities when it comes to fashion and outfits. 

the first one being: leggings

i have seen the legging trend all over and have oohed and ahhed over many a pair of awesome leggings i see on other bloggers. 
but ever imagining myself in such a pair? 

i love looking at them, 
but i kept questioning if i could really pull that off. 

i tried to repeat my old mantra to myself,
"you can pull anything off with enough confidence!"
but no. just no. 

then i saw some leggings i had to have. 
and so i threw caution {see: insecurities} to the wind and decided to really test my limits. 
[did i use that phrase right?]

well, i was actually still very very nervous, 
as you could tell from all my instagram posts. 
but with some gentle urgings from you awesome people, here they are!! 

of course you all were right. 
i LOVE these pants!!! 
first, the print. it's awesome. it's everything that is amazing. 
second, they are soooo crazy comfortable! it's like i'm not wearing pants... but i am. perfect. 
i just really like them. 

i've worn them twice since they arrived and i'm already feeling much more confident with this new "fashion plunge." which means i should start shopping for more leggings soon... ;)

StyleLately has lots of other cute and fashionable items from topsshoes, and jewelry
you can also get some great deals on their site daily. 

be sure to follow them on facebook, instagram, and twitter to stay up to date on their latest deals and fashions. 

but wait! there's more!

StyleLately is generously giving away a $25 gift card to one lucky winner!
you cannot go wrong with anything in their shop. 
i especially love this, this, and this
[all under $25] 

enter below 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

linking up with 

guilt v. shame

i just like this view + cute little Eli :)

one year older and hopefully one year wiser. 
wiser where it matters--how i treat myself & view my worth. 

starting with my guilt. 
my debilitating guilt.
or what i always used to call guilt.

but actually it's not guilt.
we use the word "guilt" a lot when describing our feelings but fail to recognize what it really means.

guilt = the belief that i did something bad.
but shame on the other hand = the belief that i am bad.

we use guilt & shame interchangeably but they are in fact two distinctly different emotions.
they reflect how we view ourselves and how we deal with disappointment, failure, and heartache.

guilt focuses on our behavior & actions. the feeling of guilt leads us to more prosocial behavior, it helps us find ways to fix the problem and change the situation.
shame focuses on our feelings and turns us inward. we want to hide, we feel unworthy and hopeless of ever being better than we are currently. we feel stuck. shame is destructive.

after a conversation with my counselor i opened up about all the things i feel bad about.
past mistakes, present actions, future wrongs i'm sure to commit...
and ultimately, why i don't think i deserve certain things.
she calmly confronted me and said what i was really feeling was shame,
because shame is what turned me into a self-loathing person.

anytime i start to beat myself up
{the most common thought: i'm a terrible mom because... lots of reasons}
i try to remember the difference between guilt vs. shame and adjust my actions or feelings accordingly.

a) i can either let the feelings consume me and give in to the fact that yes, i am a terrible mother.
b) i can use those feelings to work hard to overcome my weaknesses, to fix my mistakes that i feel bad about, and to push me to be a better person.
to reach my full potential.
to realize i am worth it all. 

guilt = [can be] healthy/natural part of life
shame = unhealthy

guilt = i can accept in my life to make worthwhile changes
shame = has no place here

p.s. for a maybe more upbeat post ;), i'm being featured over at Style Elixir as this week's Head Stylist. so so exciting!!! check it out here

little family adventures

they had this big telescope thing in the lobby of the Arizona Science Center that we played with before getting the boot.

a few weekends ago, we had big plans to finally experience First Friday in downtown Phoenix. over the summer, the Children's Museum is free on the first friday of the month so we decided it would be fun to take Elijah and have a little family outing. 
{since we never ever go anywhere outside of a 5 mile radius...}
but of course, just our luck, everyone else had the same idea and it was going to be over an hour wait to get in. in the bloody heat. with a squirmy toddler. 

so we nixed that idea and left the museum with a screaming & crying Elijah over our shoulder. 
[we had totally pumped him up for it then took it away from him... poor kid. he's got terrible parents.]

instead, we heard that the Science Center is pretty cool and it had a Sesame Street exhibit too that Eli would love. and it was supposed to be free that night too! 
so off we went to get smart. 

but nope. bad luck again. 
apparently the Science Center was only free for adults because they were serving alcohol during First Friday. and so again our efforts to be more cultured failed. 
no smarts for you! 

at that point, even though we were depressed and sweating from the gross, hot weather, it turned into a pretty fun adventure walking around downtown Phoenix and just spending time together. with Adam being in school full-time and then working all summer, it was starting to feel like we hardly ever had any fun as a family anymore. and even though every single one of our plans fell through, just being able to spend time together as a little family was all worth it.

plus this picture at the end...
the best thing ever!!!

[also, right after i got in line for ice cream, a HUUGGGEEE crowd came over from a big convention that was being held downtown. so that was one little bit of good luck that we them all! :) {but still had to stand in line for a half an hour....}]

floral & polka dots

top: Target, clearance (and i'm wearing a DownEast shirt underneath) // pants: Nordstrom Rack, clearance // shoes: Kohl's, clearance (from 6 years ago) // necklace: Groopdealz

[that necklace is one of my favorites! i tried to show the details of it but it's hard to see how cool it is :)]

i decided that florals go with everything. 
with polka dots, 
with... plaid maybe? 

or the polka dots and stripes could be what go with everything. 

basically, i just love this top and have been trying to work it into my outfits a lot lately. 
i used to hate flowery prints but after seeing this top it has changed my perspective.
and i've been on the hunt for more floral pieces to work into my wardrobe. 
it might become an obsession.... 
{or i'm just following a probably already dying trend?} 

linking up with 

the compromise

throughout the course of a day, i can count at least 10 times that i (and Adam hopefully?) make compromises in my marriage. 

- taking on the bed-making responsibility 
- giving in to the dish-loading debate
- cooking hot dogs with our macaroni & cheese (i don't like it; Adam & Elijah love it, so in they go!) 
- buying diet Dr. Pepper instead of regular cause Adam swears he's cutting out calories ;) 
- watching one of Adam's favorite shows so that next time he'll watch mine 
- budgeting & spending = lots of compromising! 
- taking turns getting Elijah ready for bed. the struggle of our lives. 
and lots more!  

all of these seem like really small decisions {macaroni & cheese}, 
but this isn't even including all the bigger compromises that happen often. 
like who is going to compromise their pride and apologize first during a fight, 
or how we're going to make our two different parenting styles work together. 

to be happy in a relationship takes compromise.  

the other day as i was picking up the house, feeling kind of frustrated that i was the one cleaning again, i realized how much we both trade-off and adjust our expectations to meet a peaceful, middle ground
there are so many things we could choose to fight about every day. 
[as i'm sure most of you can relate to] 
household duties, 
family responsibilities, 
decisions about the future..... 
all these things and more that we could choose to be stubborn about & never agree on. 

but no love or joy comes from that. 
to really show a true measure of love takes understanding & sacrifice. 

"take me by the hand let's compromise" -The Format


"Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered... Pure love in an incomparable, potent power for good, and the foundation of a successful marriage." 
-Elder Richard G. Scott

blessing of children

Elijah with his best friend cousin :)
"Children are the very offspring of heavenly parents and they've loaned them to you to see what we can do with them. Because if you can learn how to administer your kingdom in this life with the little ones, you get the privilege to do that forever. You actually have the privilege to rear the children of God. 

Now, can you think of a greater example of trust than that? That a couple of parents are willing to loan you some kids to practice on? And you are to treat those children as if you are God yourself. I can't think of a great example of trust in all the universe. 

Why does the Lord do it this way? [There are] 199 Christlike traits found in the scriptures. Patience, mercy, kindness, love, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, charity, going the extra mile, turning the other cheek, courageous, bold, prayerful, meek, contrite heart, humble.... 

Where do you get a chance to learn all those traits? Where do you have a chance to develop those attributes in your very souls. 


Because children will test you in what? Patience, mercy, kindness, love, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness... 

Two-year-olds test you in what? Patience, mercy, kindness, love, long-suffering.... Teenagers test you in what? Patience, mercy, kindness, love, long-suffering...

Children are given to you to exalt you..."

-Doug Brinley, Marriage Relationship Seminar [emphasis added]

*this quote really puts into perspective everything i struggle with as a mother. it gives me greater understanding and love for motherhood, especially during those days when i want to pull my hair out a little bit... i am so grateful for this opportunity i have to raise Elijah and for the countless lessons he has already taught me in his 3 years of life.every single day he teaches me how to be a better person and to love more fully and deeply. i love him with every part of me and am so happy i get to be his mom forever!

i also want to add that this quote is not to say that the only way to learn Christlike attributes or gain exaltation is through parenthood. i know that having children can be a sensitive topic and i don't mean to imply that if you don't have children then you are not as worthy or something... i know that is not the case at all! this is just a quote that gives one perspective and has helped me when i'm struggling.  

birthday suit

dress: eShakti + added sleeves, won in a giveaway  // shoes: $6, thrifted // belt: part of another skirt from Target

i'm a firm believer that you should always get at least one fabulous outfit just for your birthday. 
ever since i was little i got a new dress or favorite outfit to wear on my special day. 
and i'm all about traditions, so why stop at 25?? 

this dress is just amazing. serious. 
it is by far the best outfit choice of all my 25 birthdays. 

it's still weird to even think that i'm 25 now. 
but as long as i have great clothes surrounding me {and family of course ;)}, i think this will be a pretty good year. :)

[and yes, i'm still celebrating even though it was a week ago. birthday month is a real thing.]

linking up with 

p.s. lots of winners to announce :) {sorry!} so here we go. 
the winner of the Caroline G. giveaway is..... Alyssa Dawson! 
and the winners of the Gnarly Whale giveaway are.... Randi Sampson & Natalie Hinkley
and don't forget to enter the Modest Pop giveaway that ends today! 

ice cream sandwich cake

for Adam's birthday {a month ago}, i made this yummmmmy ice cream cake for him. 
i got the idea from a friend and with their permission i'm going to share the recipe with you :) 

Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

- 1 box of 12 ice cream sandwiches  [we used generic brand and it still tasted great]
- 1 tub of Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 bottle of Hersey's chocolate shell ice cream topping 
- 1/2 bag of Oreos, crushed [i used Double Stuff because i mean... is there really another kind??]

1. lay 3 ice cream sandwiches next to each other on your cake plate 
2. pour some chocolate shell topping on top of the ice cream sandwiches 
3. stack 3 more ice cream sandwiches on top, criss-crossing them if desired [i thought they would have a better foundation if criss-crossed]. pour more chocolate shell on top of second layer. 
4. repeat stacking the ice cream sandwiches with chocolate shell in between until you have used all your ice cream sandwiches. you should have 4 layers. 
5. spread the Cool Whip all around the stack of ice cream sandwiches until all covered. if you live in the hot hot heat like us, you will need to move fast as the ice cream might start to melt ;)
6. sprinkle your Oreo crumbs on top and around your cake as you want. i did a lot because i'm an addict. 
7. drizzle more chocolate shell on top of the cake. [before i added the chocolate shell before the Oreos then realize the Oreos weren't sticking as well because the Cool Whip was covered. so i think it would work better to do it last.]
8. place cake in the freezer to harden for at least 10-15 minutes. the longer the more solid it will be and not melty mush. 
9. ENJOY!! 
(10. if you have leftovers, it stays really well in the freezer and is still delicious to eat later!)

i hope you like this simply ice cream cake recipe! 
it's definitely become a favorite in our house. 
Elijah's been asking for it every day for a month, 
now that's a winner! 

things i'm loving: Persunmall

as you can see i have shopping on my mind lately since i have some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket. and basically i'm just really getting an itch for new wardrobe items. 
[do you ever just get so bored with your clothes even though you know you have stuff to wear? i find myself just getting so sick of all my stuff lately hence the window shopping :)]

so back to my latest shopping addictions. 
i have another website that i'm loving right now and that is Persunmall.

they have lots of cute, trendy clothes (that are long enough!) as well as lots of shoes & jewelry to choose from. i also love how many of their clothes are so bright and colorful or have little details that really draw your eye.

i made up a little summer wish list of items that i'm dying to get a hold of.
[that yellow dress!!!]

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

what is on your summer wish list?
any colors or trends you are loving right now?
can we just all go on a big shopping trip together??


things i'm loving: eFoxcity clothing

i found a new website obsession:

eFoxcity is a wholesale clothing website with the cutest tops, dresses, skirts, & jewelry at incredible prices. there's literally thousands of items to look at for men & women including cocktail and prom dresses inspired by designer gowns from the red carpet. 
[they even have wedding dresses!]

here is just a small handful of some of my favorite items from their store

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

aren't they all so cute!?
and there's so many more great items to choose from. 
plus don't even get me started on the jewelry.... cause i could be there for a while. 

it's definitely a great website to check out to get all the latest fashion trends at super low prices.
so if you're in the mood for a little shopping, head on over to eFoxcity and check out their styles now :)

Birthday Bash: Modest Pop Giveaway

i've been pretty open about my obsession with ModestPop
i love their clothes so much and love even more that they are modest without having to layer a lot, which is great for the summer months. 

i have a few ModestPop items already and wear them all almost weekly.
i already have my eye on some other great items that i can't wait to add to my collection.

here are just a few that i love:

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

[ i especially love the "Go & Do" t-shirt because Elijah goes around singing the "Nephi's Courage" song and saying, "I will GO! I will DO!!" all over the house. the best.]

today, ModestPop is giving away $15 gift card to one winner!
and with ModestPop already having low prices on all their items, you can definitely get something great with your shop credit. :)

[enter below]

and check out ModestPop around the web at their other links:
facebook | instagram | pinterest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

sequins make everything better

top: c/o Sugar Love Boutique // skirt: Forever 21 (old, similar here) // shoes: Target (old, similar here) // bracelet: Groopdealz

let's just take a second to talk about how much i love sparkly things.
[instead of how emo my pictures are...]
i'm like a fish that gravitates to shiny things in the water,
once i see something sparkle, i gotta get my hands on it.

so when i saw this lightweight sweater with SEQUIN ELBOW PATCHES i needed in my life.
and yes, that needed to be bolded and in all caps because it's just so amazing. :)

not only are the elbow patches just the bee's knees, but the sweater is so comfy and light that i can wear it even in this blasted heat.
{which is a quality hard to find in clothes for AZ summers}

Sugar Love Boutique has so many other cute dresses, tops, accessories and shoes that it's hard to pick just one favorite. and they are all perfect for summer!
i also have these Cosmopolitan Wedges and they are faaaaaaaabbulous!

be sure to check out their shop and you can get 30% off with the code mrsrobinson.

happy Wednesday!!

linking up with 

p.s.:: the winner of the Albion Fit giveaway is.... Kitty I.! Congratulations!! i will be emailing you shortly :) and thank you to everyone who entered!

Birthday Bash: Caroline G. Giveaway

just because my actual birth day has officially passed, doesn't mean this party has to stop! 
and i have another great giveaway for you from one of my favorite shops today.

i am a big fan of Caroline G. jewelry and all the beautiful items that are in the shop. 
i have a few necklaces of my own and wear them frequently
they are some of my favorite in my stash. 

wearing Caroline G.'s 3-stone bubble necklace in coral

what i love about Caroline G. necklaces are that they are similar to all the other trendy necklaces that are going around right now but without the price tag. and they're not cheap knock-offs either! they are truly great quality and i have been so happy with them. 

some other favorite items of mine: 

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

they really do have such a great variety of fun, colorful jewelry and i can't wait to expand my own collection. 

make sure you check out their shop and follow along their other social media sites to snag some great deals {like free necklaces!}:

today, you can win a teardrop necklace with cloth tie [winner's choice of color]!!

[enter below]

a Rafflecopter giveaway

cheers to 25!

[Adam bought me a Snickers ice cream cake! looks weird, tastes delicious!!]

i usually love birthdays! 
i make my family celebrate all month long, i play the whole "but it's my birthday!" card to get out of everything and anything on my actual birth day, i want big parties & cake & presents & sugar.... 

but this year i've been feeling really bummed and weird about it... 
the closer it got to my birthday, the more i started feeling down and in a rut. 

to me, 25 was this big, huge, culminating, milestone age where i felt like in a way it was my deadline to do all things awesome. 
and after that it's just all downhill. 

{obviously that's not the case, i realize this. but this is how i felt my whole life. 25 is IT!} 

but as the days ticked by until i actually made that big leap in age brackets, i felt like i really haven't done anything of worth to truly celebrate the last 25 years of my life. 
basically i've just been feeling really bad for myself. 
[but i mean, what's new right??] 

Adam has been great trying to boost me up and make me feel important, which i greatly appreciate. 
and i know that i have many blessings & things i should feel more grateful for than i am right now. 

so for my big 25th birthday, i thought that it would be good {for me} to write 25 things i'm grateful for to remind myself that life really isn't as bad as i make it seem sometimes. 

so here are my
Twenty-Five Thank-titudes 
for my 25th birthday!
{in no particular order}

1. i am grateful for my amazing husband who loves me & supports me through good times and bad. 

2. i am grateful for a feisty & loving 3-year-old who keeps me on my toes and continually helps me to strive to be better. 

3. i am grateful for our extended families who are there when we need them & love us dearly. 

4. i am grateful for our little apartment [and everything in it] where we can live safely & comfortably, especially in this blasted heat!

5. i am grateful for our educations, that Adam is able to attend a great program to further his career, and that i was able to finish my degree in a emphasis that i love. 

6. i am grateful for our dear friends who are always there for us, even just to vent and eat ice cream. :)

7. i am grateful for our health and bodies and that we haven't had anything terribly serious affect our family. [yet?]

8. i am grateful for the Gospel and the peace & comfort it brings to my life. and i'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and the love He gives me and His sacrifice. 

9. i am grateful for our car, even if it's totally a piece sometimes, that it is able to transport us safely and comfortably and hasn't broken down on us completely yet. :)

10. i am grateful for my calling and the opportunity to work with the Young Women in my church

11. i am grateful for technology so i can stay in contact with so many friends and meet amazing new ones. plus i able to do something that i absolutely love, write

12. i am grateful for clothes and shoes & able to have fun with it all. it's something i know i take for granted daily, the fact that i'm able to have clothes to choose from. 

13. i am grateful for modern amenities like laundry machines and dishwashers. after living in an apartment without them, it has been a life-changer. and something again i know take for granted too often. 

14. i am grateful for books and reading, one of my all time favorite things to do. 

15. i am grateful for the gift of music and how much it blesses my home. 

16. i am grateful for the temple and the incredible peace and enlightenment i gain when i go there. 

17. i am grateful for the experiences i have had in my life and all the great memories i have made.

18. i am grateful for ice cream, Oreos, and other sugary treats. cause we all know i'm plain addicted to that junk. 

19. i am grateful for the beauty of the earth: fresh flowers, majestic mountains, and rainbow skies. the world we live in is absolutely breathtaking. 

20. i am grateful for the power of sleep!! enough said. 

21. i am grateful for the finances we are able to manage, though meager at times, and the jobs we have had in the past and currently that helps us with all of our basic necessities and take care of our family. 

22. i am grateful for photos to capture all the precious moments i wish to keep forever. 

23. i am grateful for this country we live in and the freedoms we enjoy here. 

24. i am grateful for my life. though hard at times, i am just blessed to be living and enjoying so many great experience with those i love the most. 

25. i am grateful for having an abundance of love in my life.
all you need is love. 

maybe there are things i wish i did differently or things i wish had accomplished by now, 
but that's how it will always be right?
we'll always wish for something better or something more. 

but there is so much more that we i am missing out on when we i choose to only focus on the 
the bigger picture: the happiness that is right here around us now

"Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control: now."
-Denis Waitley

so here's to another 25 years!! 
full of love, happiness, and even more gratitude for this wonderful life. 

home of the brave

we had a really low-key, simple 4th of July celebration and we loved it.  

we practiced our 2nd amendement rights in the morning by going shooting with our good friends. {which, i'm absolutely terrible at by the way....}
then we cooled off with some swimming and an indoor picnic [too hot to BBQ]

after sleeping off a hot & busy morning, Adam got me to watch the movie "Independence Day" since he told me that it was unpatriotic that i had never seen it all the way through before. 
so i redeemed myself  :) 
and then we finished off the night with some ice cream and fireworks with our friends.

it was basically a day full of Elijah's favorite things: shooting, swimming, hot dogs, and fireworks. 
he LOOOOOVED watching the fireworks and kept saying, 
"Oh, look at dat, Mom!! Oh dats a big one! Ooooohhh a green one!!" 
seriously. he was in little boy heaven.  

i am so grateful for this country we live in and the freedoms & opportunities we enjoy. 
i feel very blessed to live here and to now be able to raise my family in this beautiful land. 
i know that many people have fought & died for our freedoms and i'm forever grateful for their bravery. i know we wouldn't be here without all of their hard work, devotion, and sacrifice. 

i hope you all had a fun & safe 4th of July!! 

until next year...