Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Klairisms: The Sweetest 21 Months of Our Lives

This girl is 21 months old. Do you think I could convince her to stop growing? As much as it pains me to think that she's almost two, I'm also really excited to see her grow. She's such an amazing child, and I feel blessed to be able to watch her personality unfold. Below are some of my favorite "Klairisms" that fill our lives with more happiness than we knew was possible: 
  • She is obsessed with this little gold purse we bought her... and her shoes, and her bows, and her dresses. She tells everyone about them, including strangers. She is a girly girl in every sense of the word. 
  • She wants to ride her "bike" constantly. She inherited it from her older cousins, and she could play on it all day if we let her. 
  • On the other hand some of her favorite toys are cars, she adores her basketball hoop, and one of her new favorites is "mat man" a.k.a. the batman doll she fell in love with at the store when she saw it. Basically, little miss is breaking stereotypes and defining her own sense of self. I love this about her. 
  • She is really stubborn, in an impressive kind of way. She will refuse to eat something that she isn't interested in--even at the expense of going hungry. Or, tonight for instance, we decided to go on a family walk. We ended up walking over a mile away, and on the way back she refused to sit in her stroller. She kept insisting "I walk!" So, we let her walk, thinking she would get tired after awhile. We never imagined she would walk the entire way back, most of which is a steep incline. Impressive, stubborn child. 
  • She dislikes flies. Recently one made it's way into our house, and every time she would see it she would back away exclaiming "Nooo! No!"
  • She loves to help me cook. She often wakes up from her afternoon nap asking to "mix it mix it" because her assistance to my cooking consists of stirring things... and taste testing/snacking.
  • She loves me these days. She's going through a Mama's girl phase, and I'm okay with it. 
  • She's extremely affectionate. She'll often stop what she's doing just to come over and give us hugs and kisses. 
  • She gives the best hugs. She'll squeeze so tight her little arms shake.
  • We recently got a new bed and mattress, and she can't get enough of it. She cries every night that she wants to sleep in "Mama's bed" ...and sometimes we give in. It's kind of a problem. 
  • She randomly started saying "oh baby." I'm not sure where it came from, but it's hilarious and adorable to hear her say it. 
  • She's too smart for our own good, bordering on manipulative. Every night once she realizes it's time for bed she'll start crying, "nummy food!" which is her favorite phrase to let us know she's hungry. Knowing that we won't let her go without, we get her food and she'll eat very slowly and try to distract us/provoke us to play with her. If we force her to focus on the food and eat it, she's suddenly "all done." It's obviously a stalling tactic, but we go through it every night in the off chance she's actually hungry because neither of us can stomach the thought of forcing her to go to bed hungry. 
  • She loves to dance! As soon as she hears any music, she'll yell "dance!" and start moving around/spinning in circles no matter the setting or her audience. I signed her up for a pre-ballet class for 2-4 year olds, which she started today. Even though she isn't quite 2, they're allowing her to participate because she's so social and adept at listening. She did wonderfully today. After a few minutes she let me leave her. The studio has a wall with a window for the parents to watch through, and she would occasionally leave the group beaming ear to ear to come say hi to me. All I had to do was gesture for her to go back and she would happily trot back over to the other kids. She kept pace really well with the older girls, and when it was time to leave she cried "Dance! I stay!" She only let us leave once I assured her that we could come again. 
  • She enjoys counting and singing the alphabet so much that we'll often hear her reciting these by herself. My favorite is her version of "L M N O P" because she runs them together and it sounds more like a rapid fire "EL-EL-EL-OH-P!" 
  • She loves babies, and she's extremely gentle with them. She'll softly pat them on the head and give them kisses. She loves to rock her baby dolls, sing to them, change their diapers, and she'll even burp them. It's so sweet to see her natural inclination toward nurturing. 
  • She is sweet and sympathetic. I've been sick lately, which has resulted in us staying home more. I haven't been as active with her as I usually am. She's been really understanding. One day I was explaining to her that "mama's sick." She looked at me, stroked my hair, took my face into her hands, and gave me a kiss followed by one of her tight squeeze hugs. Sweetest. Moment. Ever!
I'm continually amazed by the amount of love and joy that Klair brings into our lives. 
We are blessed beyond belief. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fall Denim & My Mini

It's September folks! And I couldn't be happier about it. I cannot wait for the temperatures to dip--cuddling, hot cocoa, fires, vibrant colors in my yard, football games, pumpkin flavored... everything... yes please! With the advent of a new season, it's time to start preparing my wardrobe. One trend that I am loving is the distressed, white washed denim look. I love this particular pair of mid-rise ankle grazer jeans by David Bitton I found earlier this year. And when I say love, I mean... I wear them constantly. It's easy to dress them up or down, and I always feel fashionable regardless of what I pair them with. Furthermore, they're ridiculously comfortable and I love how flattering this waist is. Here's a link to another pair of very similar mid-rise Faith Buffalo Jeans that is currently on their site. I'm in love!

In fact, now that I've found a brand of denim that I love that won't break the bank (an exciting feat) I want a pair in every color.

This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning my little mini-me who decided to join the shoot. Lately she's been very fashion conscious, toting around the gold purse we bought her, showing off her shoes to everyone she meets, getting into my jewelry and makeup (to my dismay), and asking to wear a "wass" (AKA a dress) every day. She even poses for the camera. It's brief, but she'll do it. She couldn't be cuter, and I couldn't be happier that she wants to be like her mama.

Outfit Details
Gray Tee : Forever 21 | Floral Kimono : Forever 21 (similar) | Buffalo Jeans | Gray Booties : thrifted (similar) | Black Messenger Bag : Forever 21 

Klair's Outfit
Girl's Denim Dress : Carter's (similar)| Polka Dot Tights : Target | Jelly Shoes : Old Navy| Floral Bow Headband : local (similar)

 

Monday, September 8, 2014

With Grace in Your Heart and Flowers in your Hair | Religious Reflections 05

I was driving the other day with my iPhone on shuffle, when I had a moment that profoundly touched me. I don't know what it is about driving--especially longer distances--but it seems to be a time when I'm particularly prone to deep thought and receptive to inspiration. I suppose it's the monotony of the task before me. Of course I must be alert, but I can easily fall into a rhythm and I'm forced to sit still long enough to think about something other than the next thing that I need to do. Klair likes it too. Well, not driving of course, but she enjoys going on car rides. In fact, that girl loves getting out of the house in general. If a day goes by where we haven't left the house, she'll start telling me "I'm ready to gooo!" repeatedly. I suppose she's like her mama in that regard. We both love to go--even if the going is simply to the park or grocery store. We really enjoy venturing to new places. A change of scenery is always welcome. Hereditary wanderlust perhaps?

...and with that my mind has wandered off track. Back to the story. So, I was driving a fair distance, the music entering my ears determined by a randomizing algorithm programmed into my phone, when a song called "After the Storm" by Mumford and Sons came on. Sam and I both really love this band. We have for awhile now. We've collected all of their music over the years and thoroughly enjoy it. I have heard this particular song plenty of times before and I've always liked it. I could even sing along to some of the lyrics from memory. I don't know if it was the longer-than-usual-drive, or the brilliance of the setting sun and the golden light it cast that made me especially reflective, but this time I actually listened.

And, what I heard, spoke to my soul and brought tears to my eyes. Yep, I even cried a little.
It was exactly what I needed to hear.

"And there will come a time, you'll see. With no more tears. 
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. 
Get over your hill and see what you find there, 
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair."

Beautiful, profound truth.

I won't bombard you with all of the lyrics--look them up or listen to the song if you feel so inclined--but essentially the verses reveal struggle, pain, and fear while the chorus (shown above) resolves these. It encapsulates the essence of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and the hope His gospel brings. Christ resolves our burdens. His grace is sufficient to cover all our pain, to redeem and to justify. I love the imagery of these lyrics, and I believe them with all my heart. One day, with our Savior's unfailing assistance, we will reach the peak of our own personal mountain. And, when we do, what we find will bring us to our knees in awe and admiration. 

"There will come a time, you''ll see." 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Classic Midi Dress | Rachel Laukat Photography

White Statement Necklace: Target | Floral Patterned Midi Dress: Downeast (similar) | Blue Belt: Downeast (similar) | Gray Pumps:  thrifted (similar) 

I recently had a photoshoot with Rachel of Rachel Laukat Photography. She took the photos featured in a past post of mine entitled hip & humble, and she of course took the photos you see before you in this post. I raved on and on about how wonderful she is both as a person and a photographer in my previous post, so in order to avoid being too repetitive I'll just say this:  

If you need a photographer for any reason, you should definitely contact Rachel. You won't be disappointed! 

PLUS... if you mention my name in the next week while booking you can get 10% off a portrait session!

Rachel Laukat Photography 

I loved working with Rachel, and I'm sure you will too!

That being said, I decided to do the shoot wearing this dress because it is one of my all time favorite pieces in my closet. I bought it just after Klair was born, and it was such a great choice at the time because it was flattering on my post pregnant body. Almost two years have passed and I still love it/wear it frequently. I feel like dresses with this cut are both classic and flattering on any shape. I'm particularly fond of the sleeve, because... let's face it. Cap sleeves only look good on a select few with perfect arms. I personally despise them on myself, and I love when I can find a dress with a slightly longer sleeve. Furthermore, I'm in love with all midi dresses for the season, so I've included several of my favorite midis with slightly longer sleeves in the slideshow below.

Because the dress is already a statement piece itself, I decided to keep my accessories in the same color family. The necklace that I'm wearing came from Target, and it's still for sale. I wear it pretty frequently. My shoes were actually thrifted, but I found a practically identical pair by Nine West that I linked above. I love these pumps, and would highly recommend a similar pair as they are both extremely comfortable, and go well with just about anything.

Happy Friday lovelies! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

'Tis the Season

I recently did a fall preview blog collaboration with Lauren of Dressing Dallas. I've had several inquiries about some of the items I wore for this shoot, so I decided to post these photos to my blog as well with links. 

For our fall preview theme I pulled out all of my favorites--my knee-high riding boots, fall-friendly colored skinnies, and chambray button up with a fun floral pattern. I threw in some simple gray boot socks and my very favorite infinity scarf--because here in Utah the temperatures dip at night and I love how much warmer these simple additions can make me. We've already been experiencing some cooler temperatures around here, and I simply cannot wait to breathe in the crisp autumn air and wear scarves daily. Fall really is my favorite time of year. I have my boots lined up and ready to be worn!


(Outfit Details)
Floral Chambray (similar) | Orange Skinnies (similar)  | Riding Boots (similar) | Boot Socks |
Infinity Scarf Watch (similar)


Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall Preview | Guest Post with Lauren form Dressing Dallas

I am excited to have guest blogger Lauren from www.dressingdallas.com take over my blog today! We are both so excited that fall is just around the corner, and we're modeling some of our favorite fall fashions. 

Lauren is a fabulous lifebeauty, and personal style blogger from Texas. Her site is full of inspiration for those of us looking for more modest styles. Also, despite the distance between us, as I've gotten to know her we've discovered that we are very similar--both LDS, first time moms (she has the cutest son!) and we even discovered that we have some mutual friends. If she lived closer I'm sure we would hang out constantly.

This girl is seriously amazing, and if you don't follow her you will regret it! Also, be sure to check out her blog to see the rest of my autumn attire :) 

Hi everyone! I'm Lauren from Dressing Dallas. I'm so excited to be guest posting on Autumn's amazing blog today! 

I've been a follower of Autumn's now for a while, and I love everything about her and her blog! She has amazing style, and it's modest! I share modest fashion on my blog, so I love finding another blogger who has similar aspirations as I do! I also love reading about her life and her thoughts. She is an amazing writer, and I find myself loving every posts she shares. The more we've gotten to know each other, the more I've grown to love this girl! Seriously, she's amazing! We are so similar, and I know if we lived in the same place we'd be together all the time! 

Today we are sharing our "fall fashion preview". I am in love with fall fashion...it's always been my favorite time of the year for clothing. I've always been in love with the colors, the styles, and the outerwear. This year, I plan on adding a really fun element to my fall wardrobe; sequins! I'm pretty much obsessed with sequins, and I think when you wear them the right way, it instantly glams up your outfit. I was on the hunt for the perfect sequin maxi skirt for a good year now...and when I came across this one from Nasty Gal, I just about freaked! I am a huge fan of antique gold in my wardrobe, jewelry, and makeup...so this skirt was a must for my wardrobe! I love that it has a slight train to it as well...it makes it so elegant, and it creates the perfect sillouette! I paired it with some simple flats, my favorite chambray shirt from J Crew factory, and a pearl necklace for some instant fall glam! 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my style! Please stop by my blog as well! I love meeting new people!

Thanks Autumn for being so sweet and having me on your blog today!

Happy weekend ya'll!

xoxo

Monday, August 25, 2014

Religous Reflections 04 | My Best Friend's Wedding

"Celebrate and commemorate each day together as a treasured gift from heaven." 
-Russell M. Nelson 

A little over a week ago, my best friend became the most beautiful, blushing bride and married the love of her life in the Salt Lake temple for time and all eternity. 

It was the same place that Sam and I were married almost 5 years ago. The combination of total and complete happiness for her, and the memory of my own perfect day was enough to ruin my makeup. Thank goodness the temple keeps tissues nearby during wedding ceremonies. 

(I'm not sure how she would feel about me posting pictures from her wedding on my blog, and she's on her honeymoon in Hawaii so I won't bother her. Thus, there's a picture of Sam and me from the big day instead. Isn't he dreamy?) 

I've known Sharydon since middle school. We were in the same 8th grade science class, and my first memories of her were in the bathroom before it started. We would both rush to the mirror between classes to touch up our makeup and fluff our hair. We only had 5 minutes, so we had to make it count. The style in those days (at least where we lived--I think it may have been a localized affair) was to rat your hair so much on the sides and in the back that your head had an elevated, almost boxy appearance. The bigger the better. And, indeed, all of the most popular girls were masters of the "poof." It was imperative for social acceptance into circles that we never actually became a part of. No matter though, because we became bathroom buddies, sharing hairspray and a love of huge hair. It wasn't long before we were inseparable. 

Our friendship has endured the various stages of our lives. First the poofy hair preppy phase where our biggest aspiration in life was to work at American Eagle. (Sadly, we never did achieve this goal. By the time we were old enough to actually do it we had out grown the desire.) Next, we entered the Myspace bathroom "selfie" phase. Our hangouts consisted of taking hundreds of pictures of each other with the same "duck face," and meticulously studying the "scenester/emo" look. We helped each other along as we attempted to emulate this popular trend. I'm not sure we were ever entirely successful... I think we wore too many bright colors to be considered true "emo" kids... but we sure tried. And we chased after boys with long hair and tight pants, attending concerts and pretending to know all about bands we had never heard of. Next, came the era when Sharydon went to hair school and I (willingly) became her guinea pig. I attempted every color possible--my favorite being the orangey blonde hue I achieved when I wanted to go from jet black hair to platinum. Smart move.

We've seen each other through the hair, boys, heartache, drama, and the general ups and downs of life. Over time our hair has flattened out, but our love for each other as remained. Even when I married young and set out on a very different course in life than my hip, single friend we still managed to maintain our friendship. I set her up with just about every guy I could think of, and she supported me through all the changes that I went through--throwing me bridal and baby showers, showing up the day Klair was born to take photos--even helping me out in those weeks of recovery after childbirth. I found her doing my dishes on multiple occasions. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. 

Now that she has found her other half, I'm thrilled to be able to return the favor. I threw her a bridal shower, now I'm just biding my time until I get the chance to throw a baby shower... haha just kidding! But seriously. That will be so fun :) 

As I sat there in the temple, my hand in Sam's, I couldn't help but think back to my own wedding. It was such a surreal, transcendental day. It was as if God had temporarily parted the veil between heaven and earth and allowed us a glimpse of the perfection that awaits. And, by the look on both Sharydon and Jordan's faces, I could tell they felt the same. The ceremony was profoundly beautiful, and the love felt in that room was nothing short of angelic. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to return to the temple for a wedding that was so special to me. The advice given, the covenants made in that sacred place... it was all such a beautiful reminder of God's love and the true meaning of life.

"Choose your love. Love your choice." President Thomas S. Monson 

I am incredibly grateful for the priceless insights that I have because I have been blessed with a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some may wonder why the LDS/Mormon church places so much emphasis on marriage and family. The answer? In short, it's because we believe that the family, and the expressions of love found within it, is the true meaning of life. Marriages and families can be eternal. "'Till death do us part" does not have to be our destiny... it was never meant to be. God wants us to be with those we love forever. The atonement was wrought to make it so.

This knowledge of the forever nature of marriages and family breathes an added measure of importance-- a richness and eternal perspective-- into our relationships. Marriage isn't something designed to help us through this life so that we can part ways when we die. It is so much more. It is our shared destiny, our greatest potential. It is a love that you work for because it is meant to last forever. I'm a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, and I believe this to be the most romantic sentiment possible. 

"Our joy now and forever is inextricably tied to our capacity to love." John H. Groberg

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hip & Humble | Rachel Laukat Photography


Recently I met up with Rachel of Rachel Laukat Photography for some photo fun. This girl has been doing event photography for years, and it shows! She is extremely professional and proficient at her trade. We met at this cute little boutique in Salt Lake called Hip & Humble, and it took her no time at all to snap these photos. I had set aside the evening for photos, but 20 minutes and 2 outfits later we were done. She knew exactly what she was doing, and it showed. All you have to do is browse through some of her photography to see the level of skill that she has. 

Additionally, I think it's important to mention that Rachel is really sweet and extremely helpful. I've had photographers before who were... less than amiable, and not very comforting. Standing in front of a camera can be intimidating! Yet she posed me and gave me feedback in a way that made me feel comfortable and confident. I feel like this people skill is just as important as a photographer's actual photo skills. And Rachel? Well, she's the whole package. 

Basically, if you need a photographer for portraits, an event, family photos, or even just a fun fashion shoot for your blog... you should definitely contact Rachel. You won't be disappointed! 

PLUS... if you mention my name in the next week while booking you can get 10% off a portrait session!

Rachel Laukat Photography