January 15, 2013 cannoli 0 Comments

decor

This past week Micah was away in Switzerland. An amazing opportunity came up for him to take his hard working self away for a bit and go snowboarding in the Swiss Alps with some of his childhood friends. He wasn’t gong to go until I forced him. I knew if I didn’t make him, he wouldn’t. He works so hard for our little family and is about to start working even harder as he begins his masters program next week so I wanted him to be able to get a trip he truly deserved. So while he was taking in the beauty that Switzerland had to offer we were missing him like crazy here in California.
I didn’t expect it to be that hard but I think coming right off the holidays where we had lots of family time together it just made it almost unbearable. 
We really didn’t do much of anything while he was away besides go to Disneyland once. Oh and the babes got super sick. Oh and we cried and missed Daddy. Yeah that sums up our week. 
The one day I felt normal and happy was when we decided to get off our depressing sick bottoms and make lots of special things for Daddy’s return home. We wanted him to know he was missed and how much we loved him. He is such a gift to God to our family and couldn’t be more blessed by this man. So we got to work and when I say we I really mean the babes as the colored, painted and even helped me bake and decorate the celebration cake. 
They love their daddy so much and couldn’t help but be overjoyed watching them run to greet him at the airport last night. We are so happy to have him home again with us but are sad knowing he has to leave again for a work trip in just a few days…
So we are just going to cuddle as a family and eat celebration cake until we say goodbye again.

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January 15, 2013 cannoli 0 Comments

cookies
candy
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wooden house
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So of course Micah couldn’t just travel to Switzerland to snowboard on the Swiss Alps without doing a little shopping in between. All the treasures he brought home for us was beyond thoughtful and of course surpassed the spoil meter’s maximum limit. This wasn’t your normal last minute airport souvenirs either. I’m talking lovingly thought out gifts he got each of us. Besides the gazillion pounds of random swiss chocolate he brought us, the hand selected truffles not to mention the delectable Swiss macaroons, he also bought special handcrafted gifts for Vernon and Elsie that he will give to them when they are older at different milestones in their lives.
There were fun souvenirs thrown in for all of us as well like Elsie’s new favorite Minnie Mouse that she is referring to as “Swiss Min” It is the cutest Minnie I’ve ever seen!
Though all the gifts were awesome the most amazing gift of all is this one of a kind handcrafted Cuckoo Clock he thoughtfully picked out for us as a family to have in our home. This will be cherished until we grow old and pass away in hopes that it will be passed onto our children and our children’s children. I almost died when I saw it! Like my mouth hit the floor and stayed there until Elsie squealed that it was like the “It’s a Small World Cuckoo clock at Disneyland” and I couldn’t stop laughing. Even she could see that this was a special treasure to be had.
No wonder we missed this man so much, he is such a treasure himself and we are so thankful for the love he has for our family. Though these gifts are fun we are more blessed by Micah and who he is and what he means to our family. God is so crazy good for giving us this man to call our own.

But now where to hang this cuckoo clock is the question?

Happy Friday All, hope you all have a blessed weekend! We will be getting in as much family time before Micah leaves for another long week, but this time for work. *sigh* I miss him already.

January 15, 2013 cannoli 0 Comments

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1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

You know what happens when your husband is gone for a week and you have the evening open to waste  spend lots of time online looking for much needed clothes for your babes. You know because of course they went through a growth spurt right before the holidays and they for the first time received very little clothing as gifts this year. I know this will make me sound incredibly selfish but because I hate spending money right after the holidays, I decided I would just use all my personal gift cards I had received as gifts on new clothes for the babes … and the thought of this just made me cringe. Because of course I’d rather spend it on new clothes of or fun things for myself, I mean they were gift cards in my stocking after all. #mommyproblems
So after jumping online to scour the net in hopes of finding some great deals so I could avoid using my own gift cards, I opened my email to find an awesome sale happening from one of my have brands on Zulily.com.
Not too long ago a scored some amazing tutus for Elsie from Zulily.com and a pair of my favorite two toned Poetic License heels + remembered them having some pretty legit deals on both children’s and women’s fashion so I hopped on over there to find loads of (inexpensive goodness for the babes and a few things for me as well) 

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Betsy Johnson and B.A.I.T

Of course while browsing I found these super cute items from B.A.I.T shoes and Betsy Johnson on Zulily as well.
I love that I was able to find lots of affordable yet fashionable and super cute clothes for the babes in the comfort of my home.
Shopping at Zulily.com is like opening a new treasure chest every day. You never know exactly what you’ll uncover, but you know gems are waiting. The day’s bounty might be whimsical. Classic. Trendy. Eco-friendly. Educational. Or just plain cute. The only thing is each brand only last for a couple of days so you have to jump on it fast before it’s all gone!
Happy Shopping friends!
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October 9, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

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Today I was not a bad day or even necessarily a hard day it was just rough.
Vernon still has a fever from last Thursday. It is off and on but started at 102.4 this morning. 
After sitting in the pediatricians office for two plus hours yesterday to get a urine sample only to find out he does not have a UTI left me feeling a little frustrated. 
Probably just a viral infection they said and to let it run its course but if he still has this wretched fever without any other symptoms other than not eating and being extremely sensitive and fussy then I need to bring him back Thursday.
I’m not stressed at all, I know God has got this. 
But this mama is tired. 
I still haven’t caught up from my orders and emails from last week from when I was sick and I needed yesterday to plan my week and get things squared away.
Instead, that lovely time of the month sprang up on me and I was tending to Verns all day.
Not to mention Today was hot. Very hot. 
I didn’t get much done.
My house has not been cleaned since… well at least two Fridays ago and I know that because there is birthday decor from the Sole Hope Birthday Party two weekends ago still displayed.
The clothes I tried on for the concert on Saturday (like a pile of dresses…HUGE pile) are still  all over our bedroom.
sooooo….
Once I heard from Micah that he was going to head straight to bible study because he had to work a little later I made up my mind.
I was not making dinner.
It was too darn hot to cook but the babes and I were way too hungry to wait for a pizza to be delivered and so I scooped them out of the bath, smothered them with lotion, put them in their pj’s (yup, no shame in my game letting them rock their pajamas in public) and asked what Elsie wanted for dinner. 
She said pancakes.
Once she said that I instantly craved the Banana Pecan Pancakes from Denny’s and remembered Tuesdays are Kids Eat Free nights so double score for me.
So we went out to eat.
Because I can. Not because I deserved it or anything like that but just because I can. I realized after the way things have been going as of late that I need to not feel defeated or anything but just understand that this isn’t how things normally go.
I’m not normally this tired and the kids aren’t normally this fussy and my house isn’t this disastrous. There was just a lot going on last week and it’s okay to let someone else do the cooking. Even if that someone happens to be a cook at Denny’s.

I sat there sipping my coffee watching the kids stack the jelly’s and color on their menus and thought “man I’m tired”
I knew that once we finished eating that it would be almost bed time so all I would need to do is lay them down so then I could answer my very full inbox of unanswered emails, no wait I really wanted to blog about, oh wait I haven’t even started my bible study lesson and study is tomorrow.
**Sigh**
and not a sigh because I need to do my bible study but I realized it was just one more thing I hadn’t finished this week.
Praise the Lord for his Grace and understanding with this mama who is wiped out. 
I was able to hold Vernon a little longer, read Elsie one more story and even completed my study and what do you know, still had time to come here to my little space to post and it’s not even midnight.
It’s like he stretched the hours for me tonight and now I feel a little bit more sane. 
I think I just needed to be in His word soaking up His truths letting them wash over my frustrations and inadequacies of not being on top of everything. 
So now I’m off to bed before midnight, the first time in over two weeks.
PRAISEJESUS!
Oh and before I hit the sheets, the winner for the birthday group celebration was selected and miss Lauren Hochleutner you just won loads of goodies. Email me to claim your praise.
Farewell and goodnight all!logo

October 9, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

This week my Stitch Fix package couldn’t have arrived at a more perfect time. One reason being we haven’t been able to get out to shop since we’ve all been sick and there were a few last minute things I still needed before I fly out to the Influence Conference next week, so I was starting to feel a little anxious. Reason two: it was exactly what the doctor ordered for this mama, some much needed time to try on clothes and be girly while the babes napped. I didn’t want to stitch, clean, shower or even read. I just wanted to shop in the comfort of my own home, so thank you Stitch Fix for making that happen.

If you don’t know what Stitch Fix is by now you can see my previous posts about it HERE and HERE.
But basically Stitch Fix is a fun and easy way to keep your wardrobe up-to-date. They get your style and size preferences, then send you a package of stylish goodies to try on at home, in your closet, with your favorite jeans and heels.
Free Personal Shopper + Stylist in the comfort of your own home!
In other words IT’S AWESOME! And if you haven’t already you need to get on their wait list for your first fix HERE.

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Okay, so like I said earlier when this box arrived I couldn’t have been happier, that is until I opened the box and saw all the goodness inside. I literally squealed and had decided on the spot that I was most likely keeping it all, as long as it all fit of course!
I had requested darker hues and fall colors for this fix and they basically nailed it! So  lets just get started and see what you guys think of this fix. (oh and please keep in mind these are fresh outta the box, no ironing was done so excuse the crunchy wrinkles in some of the garments, also my grapes from the vines pictured behind me in each photo are all over the cement and I didn’t take the time to clean the photo “backdrop”…roll with it)

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First up was this Arrow Shirt. I loved it and even paired it with a pencil skirt and a hundred different shoes. Very versatile + super chic = KEEPER!dress

Okay so this Annette Silk top is beautiful. I love the black collar and the fabric covered buttons, the pleats running in different directions on the bust area and on the end of the sleeves! Short in front but longer in the rear. It is perfect and I love it. Definite keeper!dress

Now onto the dresses: First of the dresses was this Belted Cowl-neck Dress. I liked it on the hanger but when I tried it on and discovered it had pockets I was instantly sold! It has a modern-vintage feel which is right up my alley. KEEPER!dress

So you know how I mentioned I was getting stressed about last minute things for the Influence Conference next week? Yeah well one of those things was finding a striped dress for the Stripes Party they are having. Now I’m not against stripes or anything it’s just that I’m not a big stripes wearer unless it’s a patterned stripe or vintage. So since I hadn’t found anything that I actually liked and was running out of time to shop, you better believe I did a happy dance when I pulled out this little number made by Charlie Jade! Oh and it has pockets. Pockets people!!! Yes I have a thing with my dresses having pockets. I love when they do. I could go on and on about this dress but you get the point, this dress is a keeper! LOVE LOVE LOVE! dress

Now all was going so well until I got to this Jersey Wrap Dress. So two things about me. I really don’t do Jersey and I hardly ever do wrap dresses. Like ever. So though I loved the color I was nervous about this piece. I wasn’t surprised when it was just as I expected when I tried it on. Totally Bleh! I hate the length and there of course is no pockets not to mention jersey just shows everything. I have a slip and a tank dress underneath this and you can still see lines of everything. 
So here’s the deal. One of the great things with Stitch Fix is they offer you a 25% discount off your entire order if you keep all five pieces.
I loved the other four pieces but would pay so much more if I only bought those four. I calculated it up and realized if I bought all five pieces I would actually be getting this and another piece for free. So because of the credit I still had available and the amount I was saving with the discount I pulled the trigger and bought all five!
Now here’s where it gets interesting. I’m never going to wear this dress. It’s super comfy and cute but just not me. So I thought of my friends who might wear it and couldn’t come up with anyone that has the same size and so I’m offering it to one of you. 
That’s right one lucky reader get’s this dress just for reading about my fix!
So here are the deets: 
size – XS
designer/brand – Hourglass Lilly (Calafia Jersey Wrap Dress)
color: plum
How to score this dress? Well first you must be a follower of my blog. Now all you have to do is leave me a comment of which outfit you liked the best + your email and I will select a winner over the weekend at random.
That’s right it’s that easy.
And if you’re not a fan of the dress but want to get on the wait list to schedule your first Fix just click below!

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Thanks for joining me on another fix!
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October 9, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

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I had intended on posting about our lovely weekend on Sunday but Elsie had taken a very late nap and woke up well into the evening so after dinner off her and I went to Disneyland for some much needed girl time. 
Then yesterday was a blur. All I know is the fact that I will be heading out to the Influence Conference in just 24 hours made everything else come second to me spending time with my babes. I’m starting to get that sick “I can’t leave them” feeling and so I even during their nap times when I usually knock out some orders or blog or catch up on emails all I could find that I wanted to do was lay next to Elsie and hold her. 
I knew that meant no blogging, answering emails, checking instagram or even stitching up the last bit of an order I needed done but that was okay. I’d rather stay up late to finish that order or answer emails than miss holding her for a few more minutes. Because tomorrow will be here before I know it and I won’t be able to kiss those sweet faces all the live long day.
So here is my last attempt to share some scenes from our weekend. 
There was parade watching, birthday party attending, quality shopping time with my Nat and of course lots of family time throughout!
So now I’m off to pack up my suitcase and check off all the necessary items on my list. I really just need to make sure I don’t forget my sour candy stash and I should be good to go!logo

June 16, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

I know it’s Tuesday and I’m just getting around to talking about the weekend but yesterday didn’t really involve the computer much, nor did it involve changing out of my pi’s.
It was one of those lots of coloring, chalk drawing, book reading, how much fruit and pretzels can me and the babes consume because I forgot to buy bread to go with the new peanut butter and jelly and I’m not running back out to the store kind of day.
I came onto the computer twice to post but felt more like cuddling on the couch with Micah when he came home.
I had no words and was still soaking in the great weekend that had just passed and put packing for our upcoming trip out of my mind.
I attended the Elevate Blog Conference on Saturday and can’t believe I’m admitting that I didn’t use my own camera… not even once. So I will shamelessly have to steal borrow from other blogs when I write a post about how awesome the event was. I had no idea what to expect from this experience and honestly I didn’t expect to be so good. But it was, and I made some rad new friends, including Miss April from The Gingerbread Blog, who I’m borrowing a photo from to give you a glimpse of what the event was like.

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 Sunday was one of the best Sundays we’ve had in awhile. All up in time and ready to go out to eat for breakfast, on time for church, no meltdowns, no fuss. After Vernon’s nap we headed to one of our closest friends house were we met up with the whole gang.
It was so wonderful to be around our closet friends
where there was lots of:
grilling
eating
laughing
home made ice cream eating
kids playing
relaxing
girl
himmy frriend
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Kate had a genius idea for me to bring my remote in attempts to get a group shot of us all together, because I don’t think one exists.
and, well… trying to get a good shot of this group was like trying to take a decent shot of 20 toddlers
friendfriendfriendfriend
I love these peeps! They are true gems.
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June 16, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

more like a crazed mom in coach/economy class
I have always loved to travel and when we had Elsie that didn’t change.  We had her in the air by two months and she had flown at least sixteen times (one way) by the time she was 18 months old
that is not the case with Vernon
this past year threw us through a loop and have stayed pretty close to home
we have vacationed since having him, but all to places we can drive to
but with Micah’s grandparents 80th birthday celebration/family reunion taking place in
Albuquerque, NM this weekend we figured it was as good as time than any to get him on his first flight
I’m not stressed as much as I’m concerned. This lil’ man doesn’t sit still long and has recently started impersonating the HULK when he doesn’t get his way.
I can only imagine his fury when he realizes he has to remain seated on my lap for two hours
after slowly recovering from a wicked cough he had (which had us worried we wouldn’t make the trip)
he started teething
and bad
like real bad
as in a drool trail like a large snail all over the house bad
and he is in pain
and all his gums are swollen
and with the efforts of getting out the luggage to get them both excited about the trip
only resulting into tears and meltdowns had me thinking that maybe flying with two (Vernon really) won’t be as easy as I thought
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 and apparently we need to get him his own luggage like his big sis
 if you think of me, pray for me and my travels.
thanks!
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June 4, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

have you prayed for something but not really sure what you are praying for?
so you just prayed a general prayer about whatever was placed on your heart because you felt led to?
then, when you have been praying for your heart to be prepared for whatever it is God has in store for you and it actually comes to fruition, you kind of feel a little giddy and crazy and then overwhelmed by God’s Goodness.
and you laugh out loud and say God you are so ridiculously awesome!
smile
well that happened to me recently, when I was told about some conference that was to take place and that I should be on the look out for it.
and then it happened
I saw this post and my heart flipped a little lot
I had been praying where God would have me, what he wanted me to share, how much he wanted me to share and where he wanted me to share.
With friends, strangers, women at church or here on this blog? I had no idea, but felt a pull.
a lot of prayers were prayed and was kind of feeling unsettled not knowing what the next “thing” or what the next “step” in my life was when
BAM!
I’m smacked in the face with this Influence Conference.
ìnluence
hosted by these beautiful souls
me
Hayley, Jessi and Casey
and will have so many, many fabulous speakers
the paragraph below was the first thing I read about the conference and within an instant knew I would be attending
If you’ve ever wondered how or why the Lord was going to use you in your home, work, community, or online – Influence is a fantastic place to connect and learn. We believe that God has given you influence right where you are, for one purpose: to make much of Him. At Influence we’re going to dig into the common thread of all of us – the Good News. We plan on doing a little teaching, talking, sharing, and celebrating concerning the ways He might want to use you on the individual platforms He’s given.
When Micah came home that night and after the kids were tucked in I shared this with him. There was no persuading, convincing or even details given when he said
“this is definitely for you”
just a week before the announcement of this conference, Micah and I were discussing my upcoming 30th birthday in September and he said that after this past year and all we’ve been through and all I’ve overcome by the Grace of God, that he really wanted to do something special for me
I told him this conference was my “special”
and he agreed
and the minute the tickets went on sale he bought one for me
(I know right, he is so awesome)
And so come Fall I am blessed in knowing I will be surrounded by such beautiful and talented souls all geared and ready to learn how we to be better equipped to bring Glory to God.
Bring. It. On!
#beyondstoked #alittlenervous #needtofindmesomeroomies
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June 4, 2012 cannoli 0 Comments

Today during my Soul Detox devotion I was struck by the question it asked
How have you seen your toxic fears influence your actions and thoughts?
only to realize this is something I have dealt with this past year and had been facing head on while going through the Psalms with my women’s bible study.
remember when I asked for prayer because I would be sharing what I learned from the Psalms in front of what seemed like thousands of women
(it was really two hundred or less, but that was still a lot more than I have EVER spoken in front of)
Well, I thought I’d share what I shared with those ladies because it really sums up my devotion this morning.

Hi there, I’m Natalie Ensor and I was in Chanele’s group this year. When she first asked me to share I was all for it. It wasn’t until I sat down to write what really ministered to me through the Psalms when I started freaking out. Not because I was nervous about speaking in front of everyone, that was a given, I even prayed the Lord would come back today…twice.

It was the idea of having to cram all the Psalm goodness that saved my soul this past year into just a few short minutes.

You see this year was one of the hardest years of my life. Physically and emotionally. Through studying these Psalms I could see God working in me and transforming my heart. He softened my will so that HIS would be done. He had lifted the bricks that once laid across my chest, which left me heavy laden for far too long. I thought by letting him lift those bricks from me I was abandoning all. My past. My failures. My insecurities. But I realized I was so so wrong.

Though I felt lighter from the load being lifted– I held onto those bricks, my burdens and fears and one by one stacked them up to build a wall. I hid behind that wall. It was safe. I was comfortable hiding.

I could be happy with just my Lord, husband and babies there. No need to let anyone in. I mean no one understood what I was dealing with and no one felt how I felt.

Or so I thought anyway.

Feeding myself these lies only left me feeling alone and helpless. Though I called on the Lord daily and dove into His good word I wasn’t receiving all that I could because of the wall I had built up.

There were days I just wanted to pack up our little family and move out to the country. Away from it all. From everything the enemy was using to take hold of my thoughts and feed my fears.

But studying the Psalms and meeting weekly with these beautiful women in my group –opened my eyes to what needed to change. My thought process needed some major reframing. I needed God to help me take my thoughts captive. I needed to surrender all. In doing this I realized I needed to let him break my wall down.

My comfort zone had to be shaken. My hiding place needed to be in Him not behind this wall. With each Psalm and study I grew, and with that each brick was being removed. And pieces of me were exposed. This terrified me at first but God made it ever so real while going through these studies how much He loves me and how my friends and family love me for who I am not some image I tried to be.

As we studied the Psalms I learned how I related to theses psalmist. We saw how whether they were in pain, going through trials or just in a time of peace they all Praised God in whatever state they were in.

I learned that it is necessary to Praise through the pain, because once we acknowledge Him and take our eyes of ourselves the pain doesn’t hurt as much and the struggles don’t seem as hard.

I came to understand that God is bigger than my circumstances. He already knows the outcome and will always be part of the end result.

Psalm 139 was just ONE of the Psalms that really spoke to me. How David speaks of God knowing us personally through and through. How we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I love in verses 23 & 24 of this Psalm where it reads “Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the way of everlasting.”

David is asking God to test him, to know what he is thinking and feeling and to rid of any wicked way in him.

That made me want to dig deeper into God’s goodness , It gave me a new desire to have a pure heart because like David I was being tested and for the first time I truly  soaked up that God not only knew it but understood. He understood my hurts, anxieties and the lies I was feeding myself.

What ministered to me the most through the Psalm studies this year was God’s truths. Ladies,  HIS truths really did set me free. God’s promises are so real and that has become enough for me.

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I hope you are following along with us in the #SHEREADSTRUTH community. I recently shared about it here and how we’re reading through a 35 day plan titled Soul Detox
you can learn more about it here.

I personally have been so blessed by each devotion. It seriously is such a refreshing study with not only life application but making you dig deep and ask yourself to seek within and really detox your soul.