BBQ Attire

I fell in love with Polyvore last night and today I'm back on there creating a cute outfit for a summer BBQ. All the items, other than the Fossil bag and watch, are under 50 dollars! Great for your wallet! I've jazzed up a simple tank and shorts ensemble with a fedora, colorful friendship bracelets and sandals, and a nice tortoise watch. Add in a purse to carry your essentials, and you're done!

(P.S. Jessica Marie (another Texan blogger!) over at Splendiferous Inclinations has an awesome giveaway going on for some cool John Frieda products! Click here to enter! You have until tomorrow at 10 a.m. Good luck!)
(P.P.S Linking up to Long Distance Loving)
BBQ Attire by ValFox 

Madewell scoop neck tank
$25 - madewell.com

Old navy shorts
$23 - oldnavy.gap.com

Old navy shoes
$20 - oldnavy.gap.com

FOSSIL tortoise watch
$95 - buckle.com

Madewell plastic bangle
$10 - madewell.com

Madewell plastic bangle
$10 - madewell.com

Madewell straw fedora hat
$48 - madewell.com


Belts and Buttons

- Cute baby boy: All mine!
-Top and Jeans: Kohl's - Sandals: Express
- Belt: Gap - Earrings: Gift - Watch: Fossil 
Babies are really the perfect accessory! I love mine!

This is one of my new shirts from Kohl's. It kept coming untucked throughout the day, but other than that I really like it, especially the forest green color. (Or deep moss as the website calls it.) You can buy it here. I was going to wear the other shirt I bought, but a button popped off and I didn't have time to sew it back on!

Game time: Our day in pictures

I am always amazed at how fearless Sean is. He welcomes all new experiences with open arms!
"Can I keep it Mom?"
They were so well behaved while we ate.
"I got your back Bob."
I was scared to cut Sean's hair, but I did it anyway and am pleased with the outcome!
My sis took this of her oldest girl, Maya. Love her reflection in the mirror!
Unfortunately they didn't have DDR, but my babe tried this dancing game out instead.
Here we are watching the little helicopter go around in circles.
I may have lost this game, but later I beat Ryan in another racing game! Woot!
Rachel and Chris beginning their street hoops competition.
Father and Daughter
Dear little Eva, Rachel's youngest daughter.
Sleeping Beauty

We had so much fun acting like kids again yesterday at Chuck E. Cheese's and then later my mom had us all over for breakfast for dinner. (Delicious pancakes Mom!! Thank you!) We played a game that's basically a mix of pictionary and the telephone game after dinner and it had us laughing so hard! I wish I would have saved some of our papers to display here so you guys could laugh too! On a side note, I stayed up WAY to late to finish reading The Hunger Games and then I didn't make it up for church! Shame on me, next week I must go to bed earlier so I won't miss church again.


Week Seven

Healthy Smoothies: Milk, Ice, Strawberry and Banana
New Weight:


One more pound down! 13 lost total and 7 more to go! I can't wait to be in the 130's, maybe next week!!! I'm also SUPER proud of Ryan for losing 3 pounds this week, for a total of 15 pounds lost!!

My failures this week were indulging in sweets too often (again). My birthday ice cream cake was soooooo good and I got sent home with the second half of it, which hubby and I finished within a few days. (At least it was a very small cake!) I also had some candy and ice cream for my second birthday celebration, and over the week finished a bag of Twizzlers.

The good thing is that I never pigged out on these desserts and have continued my Insanity work outs daily. Today will be the last day of the recovery week and Monday I'll start month 2 with the fit test and max interval circuit. I'm also drinking a lot of water and eating healthy meals!

(Linking up again to the beautiful Fashion Momma's Project Self and The Get Fit Challenge)


Dressing Up

- Dress, Top & Ring: Kohl's, - Shoes: Express - Watch: Fossil - Earrings: Gift
This outfit may be a little much for just going shopping, but I wore it anyway! 

I wore this dress last here. To make it look like a whole new outfit I tied on a simple white button up shirt and wore my new yellow sandals from Express. (The link only shows them in black) I actually like this look a lot more since it defines my waist, which is always more flattering. Can you tell I'm loving tying on shirts lately? I did it here and here. I also love my new turquoise earrings from my Mom.

As evidenced by the new shoes, I did return the straw and leather purse to Express. Besides the shoes I also bought the striped ruffled tank top I wanted in small, but when I showed it to Ryan he thought the ruffle was ridiculous. I'm either going to accept him laughing at that ruffle every time I wear it or take it back and buy the red bracelet instead! I wore this today to do some more birthday shopping, and got two shirts from Kohl's and a belt. You'll probably see them soon!


Giving Back: Operation Smile

My mother and sister and I have donated money to Operation Smile before, and let me tell you, it is so rewarding to be able to make such a big difference in a child's life.

Operation Smile is a children's charity devoted to giving free reconstructive surgery to children born with cleft palates or cleft lips. These deformities are not just cosmetic, but can cause the child to be unable to eat, drink, or speak. Thanks to people's donations Operation Smile can be there to heal these children's smiles.

"It takes as little as 45 minutes
It costs as little as $250
It changes a child's life forever!"

100% of your donation goes towards helping children like Fatima and Guillermo.


"This sweet baby girl was born with severe clefts in her lip 
and palate that made eating and drinking difficult.
Her parents were stricken with grief. As feeding her was
difficult, they worried she might die. Fatima was the only 
one of their four children to have such a facial deformity. 
If she lived, they knew her life would be filled with suffering 
because as poor farmers they couldn’t afford the surgery
she needed.But all that changed when Operation Smile 
sent a medical mission to Cairo, just five hours by bus 
from their village. The family made the journey, and Fatima 
received a free surgery that transformed her face - and her future.
Thank you for giving children like Fatima hope for a better life"


"One day when my mom was pregnant with me, she 
looked up into the darkening sky and realized there 
was a solar eclipse. Later when I was born with a cleft
lip and cleft palate, she and my dad said it was because 
of that eclipse. Luckily, they heard about an Operation Smile
mission coming to Managua, near where we live. They saved 
and saved, mom working as a seamstress and dad as a 
construction worker, and were able to put enough money
aside to pay for our transportation.Now, five months after I 
was born, my lip has been repaired. My family says I smile
a lot more now. I still have to have another surgery for the
roof of my mouth, but I'm halfway there. My parents told the 
nice medical volunteers: "We are very thankful because these 
medical missions help poor people. The people here could not 
afford these surgeries, with how hard life is in Nicaragua. 
We cannot repay these people for what they did for
our child and all the other children.""

So if you'd like to be involved in helping kids like these ones receive the surgeries they need, click on this link to donate money. You can give any amount you are able to!

Operation Smile Online Donation

God bless!

Express Indecisiveness

My sister and brother-in-law gave me a gift card to Express and I went and bought a purse that looked just like the Fossil one above yesterday: It was originally 59 dollars, on sale for 30, and with an additional 20% off I got it for 25. However I realized I'm really dependent on putting my purse over my shoulder, and the small strap here doesn't allow for that. It does come with a long strap, but I felt it just didn't look as good worn that way. At some point in the next few days/weeks I'll be returning to the store to see what I can purchase instead.
Here are a few options I looked at:

Straw Shoulder Bag: (buy here)
I thought this smaller bag was very cute and perfect for summer! I love the chain strap and it's a really nice length to comfortably go over the shoulder. My concern is the small size. You all know from this post that I carry a lot of stuff around! Also they only had two left when I was there yesterday, so they might be gone by the time I go back!

Ruffled Scoop Neck Tank: (buy here)
I really loved this tank. I tried it on in a size medium and it was too baggy, and I didn't bother looking for a size small because I just decided to get the purse instead. Now that I'm returning the purse, I'll have to dig around to see if a size small is there, and if it's not too tight on me. I lost all the baby weight, but my stomach is still not where I want it to be, so this might not be the right purchase for me.  If it works I'll be happy though, 'cuz I can't get enough of stripes lately!

Enamel Hinge Bracelet: (Buy here)
I loved this bracelet, but it was 19.90 and I don't really like spending that much on one item of jewelry. It was buy one get another half off though, so if I got two it would be like getting them for 15 dollars each. They came in white, blue, lavender and pink.

Status Link Enamel Hinge Bracelet: (buy here)
These came in several color combinations, and some had silver links and some gold. I don't like mixing metals and I prefer silver to gold so I'd probably stick to the red and silver or black and silver. Although I really liked how the white and gold one looked! If my wedding ring was gold I'd definitely get that one!

Am I the only one who buys something only to promptly decide to return it? Anyone else out there do the same? My mom says the nice thing about returning stuff is that you get the fun of shopping again! Too true!



 Look at those blue eyes!
 I spy toothies!
 My dear hubby
 Nothing cuter than a baby in a bin!
Cutie Patootie
 The boys on Father's Day
Is this Sean's opinion of my excessive picture taking?
 Celebrating my birthday a day early
 I turned one? No! 25!
It was delicious! 
Second birthday celebration, this one on the real day.
Molasses cookie, two flavors of Ben & Jerry's ice cream topped with red hots, m&m's and gummy bears.

The last few days:
-Lunch with Ryan's side of the family on Sunday. Delicious brisket tacos, fresh plums,
sparkling cider and of course my ice cream cake. Presents also!
-Watched The Sword in the Sword with my sister-in-law Sunday evening while playing with Sean.
-Made Ryan's Father's Day dinner request: Mongolian beef with noodles. He and Steph loved it.
-At midnight received a beautiful birthday card from Ryan and my favorite candy at the moment. (Sweet and sour Twizzlers...so good!) He let me pick out some birthday presents for myself on an earlier occasion:
Owl bookends, a bracelet, and some clothes.
-Queen for the day on Monday (my birthday) courtesy of my dear husband!
-Went to see Super 8 with my Mom and enjoyed spending time with her and the movie was fun too.
-Pizza and ice cream with my sister and her family, my Mom, and Ryan and Sean, and more presents!
-Lots of laughs outside during my outfit picture time. (I really can't pose!!!)
-Story time inside with my sweet niece.
-Magical moments at the end of the day watching Ryan and Sean wrestle. Sean was in seventh heaven and I adore hearing his cute little giggles! 
My family made my birthday weekend very special! A big thank you to all of them! Love you guys!

Birthday Outfit

-Top: Ross - Skirt: Old Navy (old) - Sandals: Target - Belt: Gap (old) 
-Earrings: Target (tiny owls!) - Watch: Fossil
I'm not really sure about this outfit. I think the denim skirt combined with the top made the whole thing a little too rustic. I really love this shirt though, and I will pair it with something better next time. It was only 5.49 at Ross! My Mom was sweet enough to take the above pictures, and my sister took the one below. Also I really need to stop wearing these shoes so much!

Mom took this picture too, and I believe Sean was about to eat dirt. Silly boy! Oh yeah, I'm 25 now!