When things don’t go as planned

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I feel like the fall brings a lot of expectations of perfect and glorious outings to apple orchards and pumpkin patches. I picture warm apple cider, well behaved kids, magic hour light and a day going off without a hitch. I’ve been planning this day in my head all summer. I wanted to go to this adorable little apple farm we’ve been to a few times before. It’s out in the country, organic, has a bunch of cute animals, a sweet little playground and is called Love Apple Farms. So cute. It’s a bit of drive but it didn’t matter, I knew it would be worth it. I invited a dear friend and her little girl to go last week. We packed up the kids and headed out. As we were driving I realized it was a longer drive than I remembered. When we finally got to the orchard- there was no orchard left. Well the trees were there but the big building and animals were gone. I felt a little embarrassed. I had talked up this place so much and now there was nothing left. There was a lady standing behind a small table who said the trees were all picked over and that the building had burnt down last year. It was very sad. Poor Love Apple Farms. There was no way the kids were going to want to get back in the car at that moment, so we politely asked if we could play on their playground. After some play time we decided to find a restaurant for lunch. Of course we couldn’t find anything and then when we did, one of the kiddos had fallen asleep in the car. It was seriously one thing after another from that point on. We tried another orchard who said they would only let you pick on the weekends. We then tried to find a pumpkin patch but it was the same weekend only sort of deal. We spent most of the day hanging out in random country stores, playing with the kids in parking lots, and driving around. Overall the day was not a success if measured to our “plan” for the day. However on the way home, I just kept thinking about what a fun day it was though. Getting lost, trying to find anything that was open, laughing about all our mishaps… Sometimes even when things go wrong it turns out to be a better day than what you had even imagined in the first place.

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IMG_6467^^ Omgosh. Finley and this face. This is her look about 85% of any day. She is a temperamental little thing.

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StitchFix Vacay

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A few weeks ago I had the honor of flying out to San Francisco to be a part of a fabulous Stitch Fix weekend (#stitchfixvacay). I could write a whole post about how wonderful they treated us, all the great meals and crazy fun we had, but what I really want to talk about is how impressed I was with the company itself. As a business and an employer, Stitch Fix seems pretty top notch. I’ve used Stitch Fix for over a year now. I get a box (or a fix) every month, try it all on, pay for what I like, send back what I don’t. It’s all fun but I’ve never really had any personal connection to the company, or had I thought about how it started, how it runs, or the awesome employees behind each box. What I loved most about the weekend was seeing and meeting all the people who make Stitch Fix so great. I really gained so much respect for the company. What a cool place to work. Everyone seemed so happy and genuine. Cotile and Hege (2 of the most fabulous employees and the ladies responsible for such a wonderful weekend) really listened to suggestions, answered questions honestly and just shined with pride for this start up company that’s really leading the way in their industry. We got to visit their offices, talk with some of their stylists and buyers and had a really fun photoshoot with items from their fall inventory. We also spent a morning in their giant warehouse called “The Hizzy”. It was a whirlwind few days but ooooh so fun!

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View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

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View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

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View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

View More: http://stillbeingmolly.pass.us/stitchfixvacay

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If you don’t use Stitch Fix but would like to try it out, here are some tips for making sure you get the most out of your fixes each month…

1. FEEDBACK

Leave as much feedback as you can. Why you liked it, why you didn’t like it, what you wished it was like, how well did it fit. Be as specific as you can! At the end when you can leave a note to a stylist don’t feel bad writing exactly what you are looking for. They will for sure do their best. I always write things like… I would love a chunky cable knit sweater, a dark high rise denim, a delicate gold necklace, etc…

2. PINTEREST

Create a pin board just for Stitch Fix. Make sure you link to it in your style profile. This is a great place to be extra specific. Especially if you see a blogger wearing something from Stitch Fix that you would love to try. Pin their photo onto the pin board and write “I would love to try this shirt”. If they still have that style and your size they will try to get it for you! Also when you pin fashion pictures be sure in the description to write what you like about it. Every little bit helps the stylist understand what kind of things you are looking for and what your style is like.

3. TRY NEW THINGS

Be open to trying new things. Your stylist will send items they think will be good for you- don’t brush them off before you even try them. They may surprise you!

4. PROFILE

Keep your profile current and tweak it when needed. Have you lost weight, gained weight, or sort of changed your style preferences? Keep your profile up to date.

I had no obligations to write this post for Stitch Fix. All opinions are my own. I was just thoroughly impressed with the company and wanted to share about our time there.

Thanks to Cotile, Hege, Margaret, Alexandra, Veronika, Natalia, Kylie, Molly, Jill and Erin for making the weekend so fun and special. Loved getting to know you girls.

Extra special thanks to Molly for letting me use some of her awesome pictures!

My Everyday Style | 10.20.14

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The evenings have been getting cooler and cooler around here lately. I know the cold weather is around the corner but I am not quite ready for it yet. I even saw someone post a picture of the first snow up in the Adirondacks the other day. Gulp! Living in the Northeast, your winter coat becomes a pretty important piece of clothing in your wardrobe. I always make sure my winter coat makes me feel fashionable, warm and chic. I wear it everyday for about 5 months so I am pretty picky about what coat I buy. Plus I am always cold so most times I don’t even take it off when I go inside. T.J.Maxx always has great designer coats at super awesome prices. Love the variety they carry. I found this awesome black coat and fell love. It has great details that make it just that much more special. I love the leather elbow patches and gold hardware. Kicks up the style of what could be a plain black winter coat. Wearing a warm hat, leather leggings, an awesome winter coat and cool sneakers are a pretty standard outfit for me once the temps start dipping below 40 around here. I love when an outfits just feel like “you”.

Also #bruins4life (unless they are playing the Maple Leafs or any other Canadian team and then of course it’s #canada4life!)

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OUTFIT DETAILS:

Designer Winter Coat: c/o T.J.Maxx
Perfect Grey Tee: Stitch Fix
Leggings: H&M (similar)
Leopard Sneakers: Vans

And we wait…

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The leaves are turning, starting to fall and there’s a chill in the air. Fall is here. Yet we are still waiting. It’s funny how you can have things perfectly planned out in your mind, but so quickly realize it’s just soooo out of your control. It’s hard giving up that control for so many reasons. I am learning, praying and trying to keep my focus on the calling we feel. It’s funny to think I wrote a post in May about being pretty sure we would have our first foster child by the end of June. 1. I can’t believe how fast time has gone by and 2. umm it’s the middle of October?? It’s such a weird state to be in. Everyday knowing that any minute you could be getting a call and there could be a child in your house 30 mins later. Everything we do, every where we go, I am fully aware of getting one of these calls. Do you hold off on planning things, going places, being spontaneous??

We’ve had 5 calls so far. The first time I was in an Old Navy changing room. The girls were fighting over who knows what and I was quickly trying to find a pair of pants that actually fit for a trip to San Francisco the following week. My heart sank and bubbled with excited nerves all at the same time. My phone was vibrating and flashing the words “Foster Care” across the screen. It’s a moment I will remember forever. In that moment (and I am sure every time they call from now on) you are on one hand excited at this opportunity to open your home and to love on and support a child, yet at the same time want to break down and cry over the brokeness that has lead to this phone call. It’s very strange to have such mixed feelings. Anyway, I sat there in my underwear, shoving snacks at the girls trying to get them to quiet down and I listened. My voice was shaking and head felt foggy, yet I heard every word. I hung up and I knew in my gut that this particular situation was not for our family. We were pretty flexible with the parameters we put in place as far as placements go, but this? Not sure I would’ve been able to parent effectively to all needs involved and the large sibling group that would’ve been in the house (including Rowan and Finley). I wanted to say yes. I wanted to scream YES, but I knew we had to say no. Ahhh it was so hard. Kev and I talked and prayed over it, we knewn though. I called the next morning and told them we just didn’t think we were the right family. The other calls have fallen through for one reason or other. Usually we get the call, we say YES! and then we wait for a court hearing that afternoon. There’s usually been a relative that’s come forward or there’s been a change of arrangement though. Of course we’re so happy that the child can stay within their families when a relative steps up but it’s hard emotionally preparing all day for a child to arrive and then last minute hearing they’re not.

Again in all of this we know it’s not really about us or how hard it’s been. The children are what matter. So please don’t take any of this as a “woe is me” type post. I am just sharing my heart and our journey thus far. We’re learning so much and trusting in the Lord through it all. Having faith in his perfect timing. Just spending a lot of time in prayer over every situation for our family, the child and their own biological family.

Who knows what this week might bring…

Our Everyday Style | 10.10.14

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How’s everyone’s week been? Thank you to everyone who left a comment about their kid’s sleep habits on the last post. Loved reading everyone’s stories. Made me feel better about my early risers. Counting it a blessing they at least both finally sleep through the night. Lord knows we had a good almost 2 years of at least 3 wake ups from each of them through the night. Well, Finley finally (finally!) slept through the night at about 14 months. Perspective! Am I right?

I had a hard time narrowing down these pictures. I know we all think our kids are cute, but DANG! MY.KIDS.ARE.CUTE! Finley cracks me up. She is either laughing or hates life. For every one of these smiley pictures, there were about 15 where she looked like she wanted to hurt someone. That child. This is totally off topic and totally random but I just sneezed like 30 times in a row. What is happening? Do people have allergies in the Fall?

OK. Back to the pictures.

The girls are so fun to dress. I really quite enjoy myself getting them dressed every morning. I feel like boys would be pretty fun though too. More like a fun challenge- you know, trying to dress them cute without always having them in shirts with balls, trucks or dinosaurs on them. I keep thinking, what if we get placed with a boy? It all happens so quick, I would have nothing for them to wear at that moment. It’s such a silly thing to worry about but just something I thought of the other day. I mean my girls have their fair share of items from the boys section but… Where are your favorite places to shop for little boys?

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Jen’s Outfit:

Coated Denim: Madewell
White Lou & Grey Tee: LOFT (even all the Lou & Grey stuff is 50% off!)
Denim Shirt: LOFT (50% off!)
“be thankful” Necklace: Jess LC
Glasses: c/o Coastal
SK8-Hi Slim’ Hi-Top: Vans

Rowan’s Outfit:

Be Rad Tee: Geo Fox Apparel
Cardigan: Gap
Skirt: RUUM
Tights: H&M
Checkerboard Slip Ons: Vans

Finley’s Outfit:

Checkered Shirt: Gap
Cardigan: H&M (boys section)
Jeans: Gap
Leopard Half Cabs: Vans

American Flag: Urban Outfitters

p.s. when your hair is dyed lighter at the bottom it will always. always. look like a taupe (or in my case, a birds nest) on top of your head. What are ya going to do about it but embrace it? #birdsnestforlife

Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev
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