Show and Tell Tuesday :)

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea for her super fun Show and and tell link up!  Twice a month, we show and tell about certain topics!   Today, is all about our favorite apps on our phone!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE hearing about how other people do their everyday life : especially technology wise!

Entertainment Apps

Because I work on my computer quite a bit, I am almost always streaming one of these apps!   I love listening to one of my favorite shows on Netflix 

 

Some of my past favorites have been Gossip Girl, Parenthood, Gilmore Girls, and Friends! If you’ve missed any of those first three…I am going to need you to exit out of this tab and start watching it immediately!  You will be hooked! 😉

If I am not listening to Netflix, I am definitely listening to some of my favorite Pandora stations!

On any given day, you can find me listening to Christian, Country, Top 40, Standards, or Rap Music.  🙂

Useful Apps

I love this app for creating fun word graphics!

And, this is my favorite devotional app!   

It’s from the Proverbs 31 Team, and it is such a great QUICK devotional!

A few others

Maybe you are like me, and you have a few apps that you tend to check repeatedly for no good productive reason. For instance, I am borderline obsessive about my Weather Channel app! haha!

Want to know what the weather will be like this weekend?  I can tell you!  Want to know what it’s been like for the past 6 weeks, I am your girl!  Is that weird? Maybe.   Allergy report?  Yes ma’am–I can tell you if it’s a High Pollen Day!   😉

Another one that I love is Redfin…do you know this one?  It’s an app showing MLS home listings, and I am hooked!

For right now, we have no plans on moving at all…but I love checking out all the houses and  seeing all of the pretty listing pictures!  I truly love looking at homes for sale!  Also, this isn’t limited to our local area….I may or may not stalk beach and farm houses on the off chance that we find ourselves in need of either.  Ha! 

I can’t wait to hear about what apps everyone uses!   Do you have a favorite?  Sound off in the comments! This was a fun topic!  Happy Tuesday, y’all!! XOXO N

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Weekend Wrap-Up

Happy Monday, friends!! I hope you had the best weekend!   Here’s a little wrap up of our life lately.

I have been reading through the Bible this year, and it has been such a blessing!   This particular day was no different!

We had Presley’s volleyball game, and I had to laugh at the big brother section!   They are so cute!

Presley and her girlfriend love to bake, so we whipped up some muffins!  

And, this girl helped me with the welcome desk at our church!   She and I had a blast!

And, it just wouldn’t be summer without a little Strawberry Shortcake Trifle, right?  

The secret is in the homemade whipped cream.  I just use a basic recipe for this, but it makes all the difference in the world!  

And, a new line dropped for Stella and Dot!   I am loving a few of these pieces so much!

I wore these to the pool, and they were the perfect lightweight accessory!


I think all of these pieces work well for summer and will transition nicely to Fall!  🙂  As always, you can shop these by hopping over here.  

We are ready for another fun summer week!  Call me crazy, but I am not ready for it to end!   On the horizon, we have Freshman year, a cute little cheer squad that I am coaching (eek!),  and more soccer!   We have a lot to look forward to as well!!  Happy Monday! XOXO Narci

 

 

Friday Favorites

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday, and we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea!  I am so excited for the weekend! Woohoo! First things first, I want to congratulate Tatia on winning our Stella and Dot giveaway!! Tatia, you can email me at graceandloveblogger@gmail.com to redeem your prizes! 

My New Favorite Product

I have been looking for a new mask for this summer, and I am really loving this Bliss mask!   I use it a couple times a week, and my skin is always so much brighter and fresh looking after using it! 🙂  A great new product is always my favorite!

This week

This week, I shared a little throwback post, and it was so fun to take a walk down memory lane!

And, I shared a little glimpse into a day in the life  during our summer days!

A new Fave Swimsuit Brand

This week, I picked up a few new swimsuits that were on sale, and I can not get over this darling swimsuit and entire brand!! All of their separates are reversible and the fit is perfect and super comfy.  Check our this top!


 

I sized up from my normal swimsuit size in the top and bottom, and the fit was perfect!   The feel of the material reminds me of Trina Turk swimwear.  So, if you love her swim line, then you will love these as well.  The reverse side pattern is possibly even cuter, so it really is like getting two swimsuits for the price of one!

swim top and bottoms

So, after I received this one, I found another style that I loved from this brand!  This top is so cute!

Check out the lace up detail in the back! So pretty!

Here is the reverse pattern for the top.  See what I mean?  Still so cute!

and the coordinating bottoms.

Anniversary Sale

And, finally, the Nsale went live today, and you can hop over to my post from last week with all of my top picks!  

Happy Friday, y’all!! Don’t forget to link up with your favorites below! XOXO N

A Day in the Life

Hey, y’all!!  Today, I am sharing just a normal every day Wednesday in our lives!!!   I just love these posts and taking a little peek into someone else’s lives!   

In summer, I wake up early, so I can get a good chunk of work done before the kids wake up .    🙂 First, though, I worked on my Bible Study

And, then I moved to the office for work.  I finished and delivered this gallery and two others after working for a few hours!

On Wednesdays, we head to the gym…so I woke up the kids..they ate breakfast while I checked my planner for my to-do list for the day and had a second cup of coffee!  On Mondays and Wednesdays, I work half days so we can head out to have a little summer fun!   This day was just that kind of day! 🙂

Jackson has football conditioning early in the morning, so it was just these two cuties at the gym with me. 🙂

I wish I was a person who loved working out or things like ENDORPHINS and lunges and low carb meals, but sadly I’m not.  I go because I know it’s important to be healthy, and that’s about it.  The good news is that I am a big fan of all of the important things like tacos, queso, and reality TV…so there’s always that.  😉

   We spent a good 20 minutes flying paper airplanes outside after my class.  😉  I love the sweet, slow pace of summer.

After the gym, we picked up a few things from the store…

and swam at the pool!   We had so much fun with all of our friends!! 

Smith came over to play with Luke after we swam

And, I played the…should I shower  or just work in my swimsuit and coverup (and take a really long bath when the kids go to bed) game.  You can tell which option won.  Ha! Just keepin it real here. 😉

My friend, Amanda, recommended this book at the pool earlier this week, so I ordered it…it arrived on Wednesday in the mail, and it is SO pretty.  I am currently reading another book, but I can’t wait to pick this one up!

While the kids played, I culled through a newborn session

and worked on this post….after working for a few hours, I remembered that we had a meeting that night which meant that I needed to throw on some real clothes and some mascara!  

When we got there, we realized that the meeting was cancelled.  Oh my stars…too funny.

We got home, made breakfast for dinner, and just had the perfect cozy night at home.  PS I watered our flowers on the front porch, and they are doing great!

Jackson went up to church for youth group, and the younger two took early showers and watched a movie.  So, Rob and I watched our favorite summer TV show, Big Brother, while I caught up on laundry.

 

After that, I returned more emails, read a bit of my book, and was off to bed nice and early.

  Just a normal summer Wednesday over here at the Dreffs house!!   I hope you enjoyed it!!  I will see you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites! XOXO N

 

 

A little throwback

Hey, y’all!!  Today, I thought it might be fun to do a little throwback post here!  A fun behind the scenes look at what life was like with our three before this little blog started…

Even back to the days when I was just a boy mom.  🙂 

We had waited so long for Luke, and we all were a little over the moon to have him with us!

And, when Luke was 7.5 months old, we were thrilled to find out we were expecting a precious little girl.   If you are doing the math, that means that there are 5 years in between our boys and 17 months in between the youngest two. 🙂  

A daughter.  

I didn’t even know to pray for something so special. This was just a straight up gift from God, and it couldn’t have been sweeter. So, then, we had three precious faces to love.

That stage of life was a big blur of trying to keep up with an active boy in addition diapers, bottles vs. breastfeeding, nap schedules, and potty training. 😉 

I feel like I have tried it all in regards to the parenting advice of little ones out there…and when it comes down to it…loving BIG and letting God’s grace and direction forge the path has never let us down. We followed every parenting rule perfectly with Jackson and by the time Presley rolled into town…we were all “Here is a paci and a pop tart, love. Would you like to watch more TV?” (haha. maybe I am exaggerating a little here ;)) I am happy to announce that all 3 turned out fine…so, if you are in that season of life…feel free to give yourself some grace. 🙂 It’s going to be okay, I promise. 

 Our church used to do a drive-thru nativity performance called Christmas Journey.  (I am SO PUMPED: we are doing it again this Christmas!!) And, for several years in a row, Rob took on the role of Joseph and Jackson was Jesus, as a boy.  They were so cute!

I also came across our big boy with his first baseball trophy…he was 4.5 years old here!   It’s hard to believe that he heads into high school NEXT MONTH. 

Oh, and this last picture of him just makes me laugh.   

For a handful of years, Jackson took a shine to the LSU tigers…mainly because they were  Ole Miss’ big rivals….and he’s always liked to start a good old fashioned SEC college football smack talk session with his mama.  

For Heavens sake, he finally came to his senses about a year ago and has traded his Tigers in for my Rebels….and it’s just like the Bible says…teach them in the way that’s right and eventually they will come back around.  I’m not sure they were talking about college football in that passage, but that’s beside the point. 😉

His baby brother, Luke, has chosen to follow in his brother’s controversial football steps and is an Alabama fan…and I told him that I didn’t care how much he loves the Crimson Tide, I refuse to buy him an Alabama backpack.  A girl has to draw the line somewhere. 😉

Speaking of Luke….

   

When I was looking back through old pictures of him….I just couldn’t pass on these mischievous grins.  He was definitely my toddler with a wild streak.    😉  

In fact, he is the reason that we stopped using the grocery carts with the little car or firetruck attached to the front.  In theory, these are genius….but Luke’s shenanigans just couldn’t be contained so far out of my reach…haha!  On many occasions, I found the following: Luke naked (true story), his shoes gone and hidden somewhere in the store (this is also why he didn’t wear shoes for an extended period of time), and various grocery items opened and eaten.  Luke is my one that tried to surf down my stairs in an Amazon packing box (his first stitches) and also open a water bottle with a butter knife (we thought the butter knives were harmless.  He proved us wrong).   The moral of this story is that Luke’s fraternity brothers are going to love him in college. The End. 😉

Miss Presley stormed into our world, and she quickly won this guy’s heart!   He still has a huge soft spot for his baby sister.

It’s such a shame that I didn’t embrace all the bows and girl clothes, right? 😉

This is one of my favorite pictures of new baby Presley! Christmas plus a sweet baby girl: some of my very favorite things!

So, there you go!   I hope you enjoyed our little throwback today!!  What a fun little change of pace! Tomorrow, I am  back with a Day in the life! Woohoo! Happy Wedensday, y’all!! XOXO Narci

Tuesday Talk

Hey, y’all! Today, I am linking up with the sweetest girls,Ashley and Erika, for their  fun link-up “Tuesday Talk!”

 

So, today,  we are talking family photos and putting together a few useful tips for wardrobe!!  It’s almost time to start booking Fall sessions, and wardrobe can be the toughest part of preparing!

Location

Location can be a key factor in deciding what to wear for your portraits. A downtown or urban location with alleys, brick walls, and lots of textures lends itself to a different clothing scheme than a park with green grass and bridges. Let the location inspire your clothing choices!  

Make sure it Works in your Home

What do I want on my walls? When you decide to hang or showcase the final product in your home, would a fun and colorful image work best?  Or would a neutral, classic look blend best with your home decorating scheme?

Starting is half the battle

Where do I start? Usually, I think it’s easiest to make the kids’ clothing choices first beginning with the girls in the family. Let’s face it…coming up with girls’ outfits is probably the most complicated part of putting together a family wardrobe. Boys clothing is much easier to coordinate once you have a general theme going!

Moms, my advice is to spend some time deciding what you want to accentuate or downplay in your photos. We all have our strong features, so make sure to consider that when choosing your wardrobe!

Dads…I feel like their outfits require the least amount of effort. Try a button down in a color that compliments their skin tone. Roll up the sleeves, add a modern pair of jeans and a nice pair of shoes…and you are done! 🙂 easy peasy!!

What else

Accessories and Details–Simple works, but if you love a more contrasting or vibrant look, don’t be afraid to use patterns, color, accessories, or jewelry to make your images more visually interesting. This can really elevate an image! If you decide to use patterns, I’d stick to 1-2  so the image isn’t too busy.   As far as colors go–deep and rich colors (black, blue, purple, etc) tend to photograph the best but a good photographer can make most colors work.

Most of all, your outfits should reflect your family’s personality! Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through or  to add some extra details to really make your images special. You will cherish these photos for a lifetime!

Happy Tuesday y’all!!!  Thank you for the fun linkup, ladies! Xoxo Narci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stella and Dot Giveaway

Hey, y’all!!  Happy Monday to you!!  I have something super fun for us today!   Almost exactly one year ago, I started sharing about my love for the Stella and Dot brand, and it has been SO MUCH FUN!   So, today, we are celebrating my one year anniversary with Stella and Dot with a little giveaway!   Who doesn’t love  free jewelry?   I know I do!

 

My favorite piece of jewelry is a good statement earring or pretty stud!!  It just dresses up an outfit so much without being too fussy! So, I will be giving away a pair of Stella and Dot earrings for you and your friend (you choose the style)!!  Woohoo!

Just comment here on this post to enter!   Contest ends on Thursday at 3 pm CST, and the winner will be announced on Friday!   Need some inspiration??  Here are a few of my favorite Stella and Dot Earrings!   So pretty!

Happy Monday, friends! XOXO Narci

 

Friday Favorites

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday, and we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea! This week, I totally had something else planned for my favorites, but I fell down the rabbit hole that is the Nordstrom Early Access Sale yesterday. 🙂  You do this too, right?  I mean, there was just too much goodness to ignore, so here we go!

Home

I just  loved these home items so much!! This cutting board is just gorgeous!

And this blanket had me feeling all kinds of cozy over here!! I love the open knit design of this one!

and the plush texture of this blanket!  So pretty too!

Shoes

My girl Tory didn’t disappoint this year!! These flats are so pretty!

And, I was hoping that there would be a cute over the knee boot option!   I LOVE this grey boot!   MEEEOW!

It’s no secret that I am a big Sperry fan over here!  And, I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw these boots!!   The side lace-up is perfect!

And, I LOVE the studded detail on these booties!!

Clothing

I love this circle cardigan!  I am thinking it will be darling with a white tee and jeans!  Or how about a knit dress and flats?

These pajamas are right in my wheel house!  I love a tank and comfy pants!

Also, I am going to need someone to invite me to something fun STAT, because this red suit needs to come and live at my house!   I have ZERO places to wear it, but YES MA’AM! 😉

And, finally, I am really loving these aviators!!  They are just under $60, and super pretty!   I need a new pair, so I can’t wait to get these too!

Happy Friday, y’all!! Don’t forget to link up with your favorites below! XOXO Narci

Photo 101: Editing Workflow

Hey, y’all!!  Today is our awesome monthly feature, Photo 101, which is all about photography!  It has been a big hit with you guys, and I am so happy to be answering your photo-related questions again and sharing a few tips along the way!!     Each month, we will talk about various topics.  So far, we’ve discussed:

taking great pictures with your iPhone

where to print you images

photo storage

 being a mom with a camera

and composing your images

And, today, I am covering Editing Workflow!  When you take a picture, the goal is to get your images correct “in camera” with the settings and such.  However, when you are caught up in the moment of shooting young children or don’t have time to set your settings perfectly…then adjustments are often needed in the “editing” or “post production” stage to correct your images!  Also, this is where you can add your own personal flair and style to an image.

Your editing WORKFLOW is the order in which you edit your images during this process!   Have you ever been overwhelmed when you’ve pulled your images into your editing software and wonder what comes first?  Well, this is just for you!

My Editing Workflow

-Shoot in Camera Raw

This is always your first step!  The editing capabilities are basically endless when shooting in RAW…your images are a blank canvas in this format!  There’s a learning curve for shooting this way, but you will love it once you get the hang of it!

-Pull into editing software and Correct Exposure as Needed

-Adjust White Balance and Sharpening as needed

-Save AS JPEG

So far, you’ve made any basic corrections needed to the image.  Saving as a JPEG at this point allows you to have a base image…so you can add in the creative effects and cosmetic fixes!

-Adjust Color Balance and Tone, Crop if needed, and do any Skin Cleanup work

-Add Creative Effects

On this, I truly believe: to each their own….my style tends to be a clean edit with some pop, but that’s the beauty of being in an artistic field. If you love a hazy, grainy image….then go for it! 🙂

Most professional photographers use either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop (or some combination of the two.)  I work exclusively in Photoshop, and this is only because that’s all that I could afford when I started over 12 years ago. haha. 😉 Working in Photoshop is such second nature to me now!  However, I have been dabbling in Lightroom a bit lately…and lots of photographers love to work in that platform exclusively.  So, I don’t think you can go wrong with either!

I hope this helps you with your editing workflow!  Learning about post production can be such a challenge, but developing a editing workflow that works for you can be a huge timesaver!

 Have some ideas on what would you guys like to cover next month for our Photo 101 topic?  I am all ears…just leave a comment with your questions!  Happy Thursday, y’all!! XOXO N

Workin It Wednesday

Hey, y’all!!  Well, we made it home from our road trip last night!! Can I tell you how good my bed felt?  You know that feeling, right?   😉

Today, I am finishing up laundry, plugging away at work and such, and taking the kids to the pool.  It feels so good to be home!

In the meantime, I am so happy to be linking up with two of my best girls, Shay and Erika, for their  LINK-UP….Workin’ It Wednesdays!!  workin-it-wednesdays

Truth be told: I am a busy girl….I manage three precious kiddos, their commitments, a photography business, this blog, a fun Stella and Dot gig, and much more.   I can’t wait to share what’s worked for our little family and read about your awesome tips, too. 🙂  My best ideas always come from my friends, so I am excited to plug into this set of topics!

Today, we are sharing about how we WORK it during any given weekend!   Here’s what a normal weekend looks like for our crew!  We always try to start our weekend fun on Friday nights with Pizza Night!

My super smart friend, Shana, shared this tip with me so many years ago, and I am so thankful for her great advice…our weekend just seems so much longer when we make sure to take advantage of our  family time on Friday night as well (as opposed to waiting until Saturday morning).  So, back when Jackson was just a toddler we started our Friday night pizza nights. and we haven’t looked back!

Sometimes it’s a simple takeout pizza on our back porch, homemade pizzas, or we head out to a restaurant!  It’s just a fun little tradition for our family. 🙂

Saturday mornings in the summer are a bit slower…during the school year, we can have as many as 6-8 after school commitments going on at once plus homework, appointments, and such.  So, we try to keep summers commitment free so we don’t burn out our kids  or ourselves.  We are appreciating our easy breezy summer Saturday mornings. 🙂

This usually means that the kids sleep in a bit,  Rob makes a big breakfast, and I can linger in my quiet time a little longer. A few extra moments in the word can be so good for the soul! 🙂

I almost always have at least a few sessions on Saturday mornings as well. 🙂

and then we always spend the rest of the day in a pool somewhere…. 😉

On Saturday nights, we either have fun summer plans like dinners with family friends, Holiday celebrations, or knocking off our summer bucket list items!

If Rob and I are lucky, we can squeeze a date night in on occasion. 😉

And, Sundays are all about Church, lunch together, and prepping for the upcoming week. 🙂

This is the night that we coordinate our calendars, make a big family dinner, and just rest before the week ahead!  So, there you go….and that’s our weekends in a nutshell!

I can’t wait to read about how everyone else does their weekends!  These are always my favorite kinds of topics!!  Thanks for the fun link up, girls! Happy Wednesday, friends! XOXO Narci