casual fall fashion

My husband and I are newly involved in leadership of our local Young Life chapter, and last night was a hayrack ride and bonfire. We meet at 8 PM, which (if you know me in real life, you’re aware) is darn near my bed time. So, I was admittedly not as energetic as I’d have hoped, but it was still so awesome to see all of these teenagers who aren’t ashamed to make it known that they love the Lord or are coming to know His love. It also put me in the mood for fall clothing…

I am a fan of the change in seasons. As much as I’d love to live in warm climates all year round, there is something about a touch of crispness in the air that makes me feel refreshed and energetic. [We can talk again this winter when I’m all, “can’t it just be 90 degrees outside?” I’ll be singing a different tune]. It has been warmer than average this month, which has felt strange. In the mornings and late evening it starts to feel like autumn outside, but during middle of the day, we are still well in to the 80s. If you saw my instagram yesterday, you’d know that I am a bit anxious to wear boots and scarfs, but I am also content to soak up this gorgeous mild-summer-like weather we are experiencing. However, as soon as Mother Nature decides to turn down, here’s a bit of fall fashion inspiration for you.Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.46.25 PM

sources for all of these items below my ramblings, or access this set via Polyvore

One of my favorite fall trends/eighties-come-back is the denim-vest/hooded sweatshirt combo, and I have also been eyeing this plaid zip-up. However, I already own a flannel shirt, a gray zip-up hoodie, and a denim vest, so I can create both looks without purchasing anything new for my closet & also have the option to wear each piece separately [good for my wallet and simplicity sake].

I have been loving Urban Decay makeup products, lately. I started with the Naked Palette a couple of years ago, when they were all the rage [and still are, apparently]. Recently, because I was so impressed with the quality of the eyeshadow, I decided to try their foundation, and I love it. The makeup has a very light texture, but the coverage is amazing and builds well if you need extra coverage. And, I do. If I could tell my teenage self one thing, it would be STAY OUT OF THE DANG TANNING BED, because all of the age spots by thirty-something. <<insert weeping emoji>> Anyway, because I was so impressed with the foundation, I also ended up purchasing the UD pressed powder and it goes on like a dream. [Hey, Urban Decay, if you’re reading this hook a girl up with some free product or commission, mmmkay?] But seriously, if you can make these products fit your skin care budget, I highly recommend them. Skin care, to an extent, feels to me like a “you get what you pay for” type of product.

The jewels featured are from Rocksbox [my referral code is: marybff367]. This is essentially a jewelry “rental”. You pay a small fee, Rocksbox sends you a jewelry set with three pieces [styles based on a survey you fill out + wishlist created by you]. As far as I understand you can keep the pieces for as long as you’d like [for the monthly fee] and either decide to purchase the pieces or send them back for a new set. It also appears that you receive a $10 credit toward purchasing pieces from your set, each month. I took advantage of an opportunity to try my first Rocksbox for free, and those are the pieces that I am receiving. The box is in the mail, I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

I’m digging the “fancy” headband for second or third day hair in a messy bun & a baseball cap for the third or fourth day hair [or the my face is breaking out like a pre-adolescent forehead look].

I recently purchased those cognac booties at Kohl’s, on sale + another $10 off. I think I paid maybe $25 for them. Score! It hasn’t felt appropriate to wear them yet, though, due to warmer temps. I’m digging the Michael Kors cross-body because of the color and style [hello hands-free, yes please, thank you cross-body purses for making a comeback]. I likely wouldn’t purchase that handbag new, but if I could find it on consignment/used it’d be mine. For now I’ll seek out the Target version because I’m fancy like that. Those sneakers? I’d love to have that exact pair, but have a mild obsession with athletic shoes and probably shouldn’t be adding more to my collection right now. Christmas wishlist? Yes, ma’am. And finally, the blanket scarf. Need I say more?

I noticed I’m missing pants on this little collection. If you’ve got a great pair of leggings [that aren’t see through, friends] and a rockin’ pair of skinny jeans, you can wear all of the above!

sources:

plain button-up H&M // weekend zip hoodie J. Crew // denim vest AEO // sweater fleece pullover L.L. Bean

urban decay :: naked pallet, pressed powder, liquid foundation [these are items are linked through Polyvore, but all available via sephora] // Rocksbox jewels [my referral code is: marybff367] // Ray-Bans // headband Forever 21 // quilted baseball cap Madewell

cognac booties Kohl’s // Michael Kors cross-body bag // New Balance for J. Crew // blanket scarf

 

You guys, I created a You Tube channel! I have several “vloggers” that I enjoy subscribing to on You Tube and also feel that I can add more content to the blog if I “vlog” occasionally. I would love to have your support, if you’d head over to my channel, subscribe, and “Thumbs Up” my first video!

five

My handsome Middlest,Sievers Fam28-Web

My “Obie”, how are you five already? Five years ago we were only weeks in to relocating to eastern Iowa and I was deeply homesick for the familiarity of life in Des Moines, but in God’s perfect timing you were born shortly after that move and I simply didn’t have the time to sit around feeling sorry for myself with a beautiful new baby boy to take care of. I really feel like your fifth birthday is such a milestone and indicator of how much life can change is such a short time, and of God’s goodness.

Sievers Fam29-WebOwen, you have such a fun personality. You do not do anything (willingly) that you haven’t decided yourself to do. I think we saw that with a vengeance when we were potty training you, but as you mature into a young boy and are no longer a toddler, your strong-willed nature is evident (I love that about you, by the way, even if sometimes it gets the best of me). But you are also compassionate and very witty, not a day goes by that you don’t make us genuinely laugh out loud.

Sievers Fam56-WebAt five, you are into all things mechanical. I think it is because mechanics are “black and white”, there isn’t a lot of grey area. You like to know the facts, and never accept “I don’t know,” as an answer. Your happy place is right next to your Pappi’s side, tagging along for a days worth of chores. Getting dirty doesn’t scare you, and skinned knees don’t phase you.

You are not very “in” to sports. Your favorite part of t-ball this year was the snack at the end of the game (at your last game this year, one of your teammates asked you if you enjoyed playing the outfield and you matter-of-factually replied “No. I like snack.” Son, I totally get it, because, me too.)

You seem to be at peace and thrive in small groups, and focus on one or two close friends. Large groups and crowds are not your favorite, nor are loud noises, and you don’t desire to be noticed or known in the crowd. You had two best pals in your preschool class last year, but were kind to all. My heart breaks a wee bit to know your two pals are moving on to a new school and you will go in to a classroom unfamiliar with the faces. I have no doubt you will find “your person”, though (because who can resist your smile?).  Sievers Fam32-Web

You still love to hold my hand, give big squeezy hugs, and snuggle.

You have the true genuine love of Christ in your heart, my baby O, and I hope you always let it shine!Sievers Fam66-Web

[photo credits to my talented friend, Jackie Petersen, who captured the Middlest’s personality so perfectly]

summer favorites

Sweet summer time. My favorite season. I’d rather be sweating than freezing, so this is my happy place. Mid-June in the midwest. Warm enough during the day to spend the whole thing in a pool, and cool enough in the evening to sit around the campfire. So far, this summer, these are some of the basic items that I default to, daily.
Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 3.15.20 PM
basic racerback tanks >> because I can wear them with a sports bra, which is so much more comfortable for summer, but they still look classic + casual // simple necklaces // Ray-Ban RB3136 Caravan Sunglasses 55 mm >> smaller than the traditional aviator and a better fit for my face // denim cutoffs // longchamp le pliage handbag >> it’s a bottomless pit, I’m pretty sure my kitchen sink would in fact fit inside and disappear // Sephora perfecting ultra-smooth primer >> LOVE this lightweight serum underneath foundation, especially in the summer! My pores disappear once this is on // EOS Organic Lip Balm Sphere – Sweet Mint // AEO cross-strap sandals >> equally as comfortable as my Birkenstocks & I love the feminine touch of gold.

And then, because let’s be honest, I spend probably 90% of my time in gym clothes, here are my current favorites for the easy going days and mornings at the gym:
Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 3.15.40 PMPowerbeats 2 wireless headphones // Nike Women’s Nike Pro Tank // Nike running shorts // Nike Women’s Free 5.0 Running Sneaker // BlenderBottle SportMixer

I highly recommend the Powerbeats. They are pricier, but if you check them out on Amazon, there is a link to refurbished Powerbeats, they are sold through Amazon warehouse and just as good as the originals. I bought mine refurbished and saved a pretty penny! The sound quality is amazing. I can drown out whatever music is blaring over the speakers at the gym and lose myself in my workout. My favorite feature, though, is that I don’t have to strap my phone to my arm and have the cord of my headphones conflicting with my lift.

I clearly have a Nike problem. In my defense, I bought this pair on eBay. Because frugality, sticking to a budget, and all.

currently…

Hitting a bit of a writer’s block, lately. I have several ideas for blog posts and when I sit down at the keyboard I feel overwhelmed with what I want to share and how… I thought it would be fun to use a “currently…” list in hopes of a fun and light-hearted post! I am currently…

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  • reading: I just finished “Restless” by Jennie Allen and I cannot say enough about it. I am FIRED UP from this book. There are several journaling prompts that I skipped over in my desire to devour the pages. I am going to be starting the journaling this week. I know, just know, that God’s going to do something unexpected and good through this.
  • listening: my workout Pandora station is set to a Meghan Trainor/Pitch Perfect mix; my “everyday” Pandora station is set to the Hillsong United station. Song obsessions of the moment: “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Batistelli, “Shoulders” by For King & Country, and “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson.
  • eating: similar to song obsessions, I also go through food obsessions and put food on repeat. Food obsessions of the moment: stevia sweetened egg whites with 1/2 banana + 1/3 cup blueberries, chicken sausage with apple + gouda, Quaker Popped in the Tangy Ranch flavor[they’re no Dorito, but so much friendlier to the hips and equally as difficult to put down], and chocolate chip cookie dough Quest bars.
  • drinking: a lot of water. I always try to fit in one gallon [128 oz] each day. To keep it interesting, I purchased the SweetLeaf Water Drops [naturally sweetened with stevia] and use that for about 20 oz. of water each day. I also drink one lime LaCroix each day with a drop of Grapefruit essential oil. Ocassionally, I add lemon essential oil to my water.
  • wearing: leggings, basically everyday [current favorite pair are Reebok | similar]. Yes. I am one of those people. Judge me. And I am obsessed with my black Nikes and white Converse. I also found this amazing sweatshirt at TJ Maxx.
  • feeling: a wee bit envious. The Middlest is having the time of his life in Florida, this week. The Oldest is off to “Man-cation” with Dad and they get to canoe, fire build, fish, do archery, and camp out – my jam – but I guess I don’t qualify for “Man-cation” ha!  But, with that said, I’m really looking forward to my quiet house and indulging in a bit of ice cream, tonight.
  • weather: absolutely clear skies and 59 degrees – basically perfection.
  • wanting: a cheeseburger and fries, specifically from Red Robin; a Chick-Fil-A grilled Chicken sandwich, and Cadbury Candy Coated Mini Eggs. Do we sense a theme? I have been very diligent this week in tracking calories/macros and the cravings are fierce. We are also challenging ourselves to a “no spend” month, and not purchasing anything we don’t “need” like restaurant food.
  • needing: to do laundry. Like a boss.
  • thinking: that as much as I am craving that food above, I am feeling really darn GOOD, mentally and physically, with what I have eaten this week.
  • enjoying: any quiet time that I am able to squeeze out of the day.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine, activity, and some quiet rest! xoxo

harvest season | favorites

harvest season favorites
I apologize for the awkward radio silence over here. Time has simply flown since The Oldest and The Middlest started school. My days are filled with two drop-offs, two pick-ups, soccer practices, and trying to squeeze in a nap for The Littlest and errands in between there. This was also our first month of MOPS and I participated in the ICM Made Market selling sets of my custom cookies.

I have a special place in my heart for harvest season. I love the crispness in the air, the smell of burning leaves, and watching the first trees turn burnt orange and red. I want to soak up that crisp air, that kind that is cool but still has a glimpse of summer to it, and bottle up the smell of burning leaves and apple cider and toasted marshmallows. I want to hang on to it all the way through all of the gloomy snowy days of winter.

Weather that allows for jeans and a hooded sweatshirt, worn comfortably without the need for thick socks and a heavy coat, is glorious. We had that weather for a few weeks, and now we are back to summer-like temps for the time being. I’ll soak those up too!

Along with the changing season, for me, comes the desire to simplify, including my wardrobe. This summer, I picked my favorite pieces and stuck to them. This fall I am planning a wardrobe capsule, and I plan to include:

1] cowl-neck fleece // old navy

2] boyfriend jeans // target

3] ankle boots // target

4] new balance shoes [on my wish list]

I am craving an early morning campfire, snuggled up with [5] a plaid wool blanket and stanley vacuum thermos full of steaming coffee and a plate full of these. I am going to have to work on making that happen. Aren’t those two pieces just quintessential autumn?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

handmade feature >> vol. 1 [+ a giveaway!]

I love handmade. When I was pregnant with The Littlest, it was a hobby to peruse etsy looking for the adorable of adorable items for baby/toddler boys. Since joining the instashop community, I have discovered even more handmade love.

One of the other things that I love about handmade is knowing how much love goes into each item and that I am supporting local + small [or family] businesses. We’re a bit biased toward a little shop Two Birdie Bands because the sweet mother + daughter duo happen to be some very dear friends. Here is a bit of info about them:

Two Birdie Bands was created by a 6 year old gymnast, free-spirit, and junior entrepreneur along with her mama. Tired of headbands that wouldn’t stay put during workouts and gymnastics routines, we developed our own! Our goal is to create swanky workout and chic fashion headbands that stay put and look awesome!

twobirdiebands
This is The Oldest, proving that boys too can rock the Birdie Band! This particular band is called the “RJ”. He loves it // the quality is outstanding // we don’t really leave home without it.

A couple of other favorite shops of ours are Proudfoot Moccs and Wild + Bear. We love Proudfoot Moccs because they are great quality at an affordable price and adorable. They pair well with everything and are a great minimalist shoe for summer and fall. [we have previously blogged about Wild + Bear]
otherhandmade.jpg

That flannel styled with our Proudfoot Moccs? It’s fantastic. And, it’s available in the three boys closet shop!

<<< >>>

Time for a giveaway!

Our LOVELY and generous friends at Two Birdie Bands sent us TWO bands to giveaway to you all! One for the girls, and one for the boys!

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[pssst… that polka dot band is SUPER adorable & the dots shimmer]

Enter below [click “a Rafflecopter giveaway”]. Two winners will be selected: one for the girl’s band and one for the boy’s band. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. Entries must be submitted by 11 PM CST on Wednesday, August 20, 2014. All rights reserved.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

can we take a moment

Two things, really…

1) It’s truly a blessing that my husband holds me accountable to a budget, or I would buy the entire fall line at baby gap.

2) Rompers.

I tried to ignore the e-mail in my inbox, on Saturday, from baby gap. But, I didn’t. I ended up browsing the fall collection instead. I haven’t even looked beyond the 0-24 month sizes, because I have zero will-power [which is where #1 above comes in]. Here are my favorites [which is where #2 above comes in].

fall gap

 

bear sweater hat | checkered shirt | chambray one-piece | puffer vest | stripe pocket one-piece

fall gap 2

gingham button-up one-piece | color block bike one-piece | stripe sweater one-piece

essential oils >> on the go

onthegoessentialoils

Essential oils are an essential part of our daily routine. I prefer to attempt a natural remedy, when possible and appropriate. While we have many oils that we use daily, these are the oils that we don’t leave home with out and why we keep it with us, all the time.

Deep Relief roll-on: is a blend of essential oils used to relieve muscle soreness and tension. We keep this with us for bumps and bruises, which the Three Boys encounter often, it seems. While I would not use this on an open wound, it is perfect for the occasional head bonk. Early this summer, The Oldest had his hand slammed in the van door. I immediately [felt like the worst parent, ever] reached for our Deep Relief and slathered it on The Oldest’s smashed hand. He had gone pale instantly and the hand started to bruise within seconds. As soon as I applied Deep Relief he got all of his color back to his face and the bruising went away immediately. He took a deep breath, and we moved on. It was nothing short of a small miracle. I figured he’d complain about discomfort throughout the morning and he didn’t. About two hours after it happened, I asked him to show me his hand, and he couldn’t even remember which one. No swelling, no bruising.

Lavender: is a single oil, and has an infinite number of uses, and I will touch on some of them in future posts. However, we keep this with us for four specific purposes: 1) the aroma is generally calming, which is perfect for the occasional tantrum 2) it provides immediate soothing and healing for cuts and scrapes and reduces scarring [perfect on a bandaid in place of neosporin] 3) immediate relief from the itch of mosquito and bug bites and 4) diaper rash relief for The Littlest. He doesn’t get diaper rash often, but when he does, just one application of lavender + a bit of coconut oils takes care of it!

Peppermint: is another single oil that seems to have an endless list of uses. The reason it leaves home with us is because it is great for curing/preventing nausea. With small children, you just never know when that might pop up. And, as an added bonus, just a drop on your tongue will quickly freshen your breath and can also help with reflux. I keep Peppermint with me if I am driving quite a distance, because it can also provide natural alertness and keep headaches at bay.

Thieves: is a blend of essential oils that is cleansing and can help boost and protect the immune system. This one probably does not need to go with us. But, I trust in this oil so intensely that having it with me is a bit of a security blanket. I use this almost daily, but especially on the Three Boys if I sense the onset of a cold or virus. And it just smells good.

Stress Away: is a blend of lime and vanilla pure essential oils. This one is for me. It’s no joke to get three young boys out the door, especially when there is a specific time we need to be somewhere. Sometimes, the task is enough to make me an edgy/cranky momma. A couple of drops of this blend in some ice water [or my fave :: sparkling water] and the stress really does stay away. I stay more calm, and my voice stays much quieter. This product can be applied topically, as well, but I love the flavor.

Peace & Calming: this is a blend that is a favorite for me to use on The Three Boys. I use just a bit on the pulse points on their neck and they seem to calm without drowsiness. The general demeanor just relaxes a bit. And it smells ever-so-delish.

[these are the oils that go with us >> this post is also based solely on personal experience, not on any sort of medical education or foundation >> if you have more questions about how we use essential oils, feel free to contact me]

 

looks we are loving

wild + bear
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Bold tees for your little man, inspired by living wild and free — as a boy’s life should be. Launching: August 1, 2014

[instagram shop started by @shopthewildthings, sweet mom to those handsome boys up there, and @bestdressedbear // keep this shop on your radar because there are bound to be good things coming from them]

carter’s

carters

[I am giddy over the back-to-school looks coming out. I mean, I realize it’s July and you might want to punch me for even bringing up back-to-school/fall weather, but I am a nerd and I love the supply shopping and the wardrobe updating and the smell of fall in the air. I do not love winter, so if we could pause at autumn and resume late spring that’d be great. I popped in to carter’s quickly the other day and drooled over that jacket and the new plaid.]

crewcuts [by J. Crew] + peek kids

jcrewcollage

[I am definitely going to attempt to dress The Oldest in this outfit on the left, based on pieces we already have in the closet | these jeans are on clearance at peek kids, I purchased and adore! I love the bleached out wash and the slouchy-yet-fitted look | I am a sucker for all things raglan/baseball tee and oh, New Balance, you are knocking it out of the ball park with shoes this season seewhatididthere]

for her

forthemom
[After putting this collage together, I can only wonder if raising Three Boys is rubbing off on me a bit, but on the other hand, all of these pieces have such a feminine touch. I do know that I like to feel put together, but also comfy. I’ve had my eye on this hat for a couple of months, waiting for it to go on sale! >> nike sneakers | old navy cropped sweater | chambray cap | boyfriend jeans]