{{{{Manda}}}}

“They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” Isaiah 35:10

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Here is a woman loved by so many: a mama, a wife, a daughter, a friend.

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  Precious, kind, STRONG, full of Grace and Light

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Her eyes firmly on Jesus…

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and currently dancing in the streets of Heaven, healed and free of worry.  We mourn for our loss, but Manda is home.

Thank you all so much for praying on Manda’s behalf–what a blessing you have been.  Let’s continue to lift up her precious family as they grieve her loss.

In her honor, this will be my last post  for the week. XO

Next week, I’ll be spending time with my kids as they take their Spring Break from school.  So, Friday Favorites will resume over at Andrea’s on 3/10, and I plan to return on 3/13.

Until then, this….

#mandastrong

XOXO Narci

 

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Friday Favorites

 

Hey, y’all!! It’s Friday, and we are hosting Friday Favorites with my girls, Erika and Andrea!  I am so happy that it’s the weekend!   I mentioned earlier this week that we are heading on a Disney cruise, so I’ve been looking for few dresses for dinner!   It turns out that I am not the kind of girl who wears a dress to dinner very often.  My closet was lacking in this department.  😉 Here is what I picked up!

Dresses

I loved this dress at first sight….the design, the lace texture, all of it.  I ordered it in the nude color, but I am crushing really hard on the black as well.

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The great news is that this is church and work appropriate in person, so I’ll be wearing this all summer long.  🙂

I’m wearing a dress that I already owned on night two, but I thought this next dress was  a fun addition!

This dress is a much warmer and pretty white in person and is super flattering. 🙂   If you ask us out on a couples date night this summer, I’ll probably wear this cute number then too!
9219eb84e1f670d88dd5fe6472dabf2a_bestSo, I realllly wanted to order this one, but I just couldn’t justify another dress…I love the color and the fit, and it looks super comfy!  I think you could dress it up or down!  So pretty!
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Cover Up

I also, picked up this cute cover up

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and this cute swimsuit combo!   I am a big fan of the lace up trend that is hot right now.   51327827_alt04

Plus, this top and bottom are more affordable! Win-win! c1c7234ff2c91d6862dea6487f048a36_best

Happy Friday, y’all!  This weekend, we are hanging close to home, are keeping busy with sports practices, and are heading to a soccer game!  Should be fun! XOXO Narci

 

Carpool Book Club

Hey, y’all!! It’s the last Thursday of the month which means it is time for Carpool Book Club!
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Each month, I share about my favorite books that I’ve read that month!   These are the books that sit on my nightstand and that I read as a busy mama of 3 kids who are always on the go!

This month, I decide to share some of my favorite pre-teen/tween book recommendations! I get asked this question quite a bit, so hopefully this will help some of you mamas out there!   Now, since I only have a boy that’s old enough, most of these are more geared to boys?  Maybe!   Girl moms, leave your suggestions in the comments!

Wonder

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This book is just as sweet as can be, and I strongly recommend you reading this one too!

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Your tween will love this book as well!

The Percy Jackson Series

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So, when the Hunger Games books were super popular, Jackson REALLLLY wanted to read them…and we just felt he wasn’t ready for that series yet.  So, we redirected him into Percy Jackson, and he ended up loving this series.  It has lots of action, suspense, and such….and I liked that it was more age appropriate!

Guiness World Records 2017
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My boys love these books.  It must be the testosterone, because they love reading about all of the cool world records!  haha!

Age Appropriate Biographies

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I love reading Biographies, and I love it even more when I find one that I can share with my kids!

I totally forgot to remind everyone about Carpool Book Club this week, but I will include the linkup here just in case !  Happy Thursday, y’all!!  XOXO Narci

What’s up Wednesday!!

Hey, y’all!! Today, I am linking up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for their super FUN link-up: What’s up Wednesdays.  I just love sharing what is going on with us every month!   Let’s get started! 


The last Wednesday of each month, we answer these questions.  Here we go!

What we’re eating this week….

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This month, I am trying to cut my caffeine in half, drink more water, and be better about eating more veggies and salads.   My skin is looking better, and I have a ton more energy….However, currently, if you gave me a box of these Little Debbie Valentine’s heart cakes…I’d eat the whole dang thing.  #detoxishard;)

What I’m reminiscing about…

We had such a sweet Valentine’s Day here!

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I love these sweet days with our family!img_7725

What I’m loving…

Presley had her very first sleepover last weekend!

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This group of girls is just sweet as pie, and I love that!

What I’m wearing…

We are going somewhere warm next weekend, so I have been searching for swimsuits! I’ll be sharing about those later, but I’ve been wearing this versatile striped top in the meantime!

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with these jeans and shoes!img_7825

I still love these sunglasses, and these York earrings are going to be on repeat this Spring and Summer! The colors are gorgeous!!img_7834

What we’ve been up to…

We’re just over here enjoying the pretty weather!   We don’t miss Winter too much! 🙂

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 What I am working on….

In March, I am sharing my testimony during a ladies event at our church, and I am starting to prepare that!

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  Public Speaking is definitely not my thing, but sharing what Jesus has done in my life most definitely is!

What I’m listening to…

Oh you know…just a little bit of this…. 😉

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What I’m watching or reading…

I am holding strong watching the Bachelor (and reading Sheaffer’s hysterical recaps!)!   It’s a trainwreck, but I can’t look away!

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What I am looking forward to next month!

Our crazy crew is heading on a Disney Cruise for Spring Break

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and then spending some time at the Magic Kingdom!   magic-kingdomv3-00-full

This is our first time, so leave all your pro tips in the comments!  I am so excited!!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!! Thank you for the fun link up, girls!!  Xoxo Narci

Tuesday Talk

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

Each month, we chat about what’s on our mind, and this month I’m sharing about what makes me happy these days!

My Not-So Perfect Life

I am reading this book right now, and it is a super fun light read!

Having something fun to read while you are waiting at the doctor’s office definitely makes me happy!

Gossip Girl

I know I can’t stop talking about this show, but I’m really enjoying Gossip Girl right now! I have a soft spot for Chuck Bass, and Blair is just so funny! I’m midway through season 2 right now, and I can’t wait to see how it all ends up!

A Fun Salad

Right now, I just can’t get enough of this salad! It is delicious as a side to baked chicken or just by itself!  If I’m eating it as a meal, I like to add chicken and  a spring lettuce mix to as well.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of chopped tomatoes – I used cherry tomatoes

1 cucumber – peeled and then diced

1 avocado – diced

4 oz feta cheese – cubed

2 tbs minced red onion

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs red wine vinegar

Instructions

Chop tomatoes into a medium dice. If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. Add to a bowl.

Peel one cucumber and dice. Add to bowl.

Remove pit, dice avocado and using a spoon scoop out the avocado from the peel. Add to bowl.

Cube feta and add to bowl.

Add minced red onion to bowl.

Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar and a little black pepper – pour over salad.

Toss gently so the feta and avocado don’t break up. Serve immediately.

Thank you so much for the fun link-up ladies! Happy Tuesday, y’all! Xo N

And the Expert Says…

Hey, y’all!!  Happy President’s Day!   Today, I have a very special guest!  Quite a few of you have asked for more information on Essential Oils, and I can’t think of a better person to introduce you to for just that!   Angie is my neighbor, and we love her and her cute family to pieces!angie

Presley especially loves these sweet girls, and I do too! 13100841_10153749094777739_1003369368772245276_n

So, if you wanted to know more about oils, how you can use them, or how to get the…then here you go!!  Enjoy!

Hello, Grace and Love readers! My name is Angie Ahrens!  I want to start with a huge THANK YOU to Narci for asking me to share what I am doing to keep my family healthy throughout the year.  I introduced her to Young Living Essential Oils in the summer, and I believe they have rocked her world.  They have rocked mine for over 3 years and I know they can rock yours, too.  By day I am a mild mannered Optometrist who loves saving the world one eye at a time.  During the other hours of my day, I am trying to be a loving wife and super mom to my 2 girls…hopefully teaching them how to live right by the Lord and be healthy!

In my home we use Young Living Essential oils daily to support our immune systems. We apply, we diffuse, we ingest.  You can also use Young Living Oils to help you rest and balance your mood so that the stresses of life do not drag you down.  This, along with good nutrition, is just what the doctor ordered.    There are no chemical solvents used, no synthetic fragrances added as is the case with many you find on the store shelf.   Check out www.seedtoseal.com to see just how Young Living plants, grows, harvests and distills their oils. If you are looking for an interesting vacation, you can even go to any one of the farms and see it all for yourselves!

So what are essential oils?  They are the lifeblood of a plant…they are ESSENTIAL to that plant surviving.  Just like us, plants deal with daily stressors.  Plants and trees do not have plant doctors so they use essential oils to live.  We can harness the same power by using these oils just as plants do.  Isn’t it nice that we can empower ourselves as a mom and a wife to take charge of our family’s wellness?   Young Living has put together a premium starter kit with everything you need to get you started on your road to wellness.  It has your choice of diffuser, 11 bottles of oils you can use every day in your household for a myriad of things, samples of the yummy antioxidant juice puree called NingXia Red (my kids LOVE it–we drink it daily) and some other goodies.  I am a huge believer in education so that you can get the most good out of your oils for your family.  I provide anyone who purchases a starter kit from me with a phone call to go over everything you receive in the kit.  You also get educational materials and access to a network of oily gurus who can offer suggestions of how to use your Young Living Oils.  All of the oils I will talk about below are in the premium starter kit.  As you continue to read about these starter oils, think of how many ways you can use these oils in your home daily.

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Thieves

 Let’s start with the infamous Thieves!!  I rub diluted Thieves on my kids feet and diffuse Thieves almost every night to support our immune systems. Thieves is a staple in our home.  Tip:  Never run out of Thieves.

Peppermint

Let’s move on to Peppermint.  I get such an energy boost when I smell or apply peppermint, especially during a workout.  If the day is weighing heavy on my head, I rub a little peppermint on my temples and back of my neck and shoulders, staying away from the eyes.  A drop in my water tastes so good and helps my digestive system.

Lemon

Lemon is a great cleanser.  You can remove stickers with a single drop.  I put a drop in my water for taste and I cook with it too.  I could go on and on about Lemon, but I’m excited to tell you about purification.

Purification

Anything stinky in my house gets Purification.  The laundry basket, a gym bag, or shoes get a drop of purification on a cotton placed inside.  I diffuse Purification if any lingering food odors stick around after cooking.  I even pet my dog with a diluted drop of Purification rubbed between my hands.  I also put purification on my wool dryer

balls for really fresh smelling laundry.

Lavender

Everyone loves Lavender! It has so many uses besides the calming and tranquil aromatherapy we all know.  Lavender is very important for skin care.  A handful of Epsom Salt and a couple drops of Lavender make a warm bath so much more relaxing.  My rule of thumb is if you don’t know which oil to apply for a certain issue, go with Lavender.

Panaway

Panaway is great to use after a hard workout.  I move a lot easier the day after a workout when I use Panaway.

R.C.

R.C. is the other staple I will never-ever run out of.  R.C. stands for respiratory comfort.  I always have a few bottles on hand because you never know when your respiratory system will need support.

Copaiba

Copaiba is fun to say (Co-pie-ee-bah).  I put it in my moisturizer and it makes a great post-workout massage on my flex points.  The scent is also so warm and inviting so it’s quite calming.

Frankincense.

I cannot say enough good things about Frankincense.  I mean, it was given to baby Jesus by the wise men. These were gifts only given to Kings at that time. Frankincense is very supportive of our wellness because of the ⍺-pinene constituent. Thanks to Young Living we have access to both Boswellia carterii and Boswellia sacra (closely related to the Frankincense gifted at the time of the birth of Jesus).  I also use Frankincense in my skin care and in times of quiet meditation or reflection to really open myself up.

Digize

Digize is a great supplement to support the digestive system.  It can be taken in a capsule or rubbed on the belly or feet.

Stress Away

And then there is Stress Away.  This is the bonus oil in the Premium Starter Kit.  Can I buy this is a gallon drum?  It’s every Mommy’s best friend.  Who doesn’t have stresses these days?  The mixture of vanilla and lime take me on a mental vacation.  I wear this as my perfume many days of the week because it not only helps me, but also other people around me.

So these are the oils in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit!  There are many more oils available and many more ways to use the starter oils plus a Thieves line of cleaners, supplements and skin care all made with YL essential oils.  You  can remove many harmful chemicals from within your home by using Young Living products!

  If you want more information, just email me at draoilypearls@gmail.com or you can order your premium starter kit here!  Once you purchase your starter kit, you are considered a member of Young Living and all purchases you make for the next year will be discounted by 24% to the wholesale price. A $50 purchase is all that is required to continue your membership year to year.This is so easy to do as you will be using your oils more and more as you discover new ways the products improve your life.   I can’t wait to hear how these oils rock your world!!!

Oh, Angie!!  Thank you so much!   You are right!   These oils did totally change our family, and I am so happy to have you here!!   Y’all can send Angie an email if you have any questions about getting started with the oils!  She is super helpful!! You will love her!

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 happy that it’s the weekend!  Here are my favorites from this week!

What if I Told You

This popped up on my FB and made me laugh so hard!

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We’ve all been there, right? lol!

Reading time with my favorites

I’m not going to lie: these past few weeks have been a little rough.  Quality Time with my people (my girlfriends, my hubby, my kiddos)  is totally my love language…and some quiet time with these precious little ones is just what the doctor ordered on Monday night!

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Spring 

Some of my clients are starting to email me about Spring sessions, and I am so pumped!   I set up my Arboretum and Bluebonnet Dates, so email me at narcidphotography@gmail.com if you’d like to be on the list! img_7483

This Dress

And, finally, everyone asked about this dress over the weekend, and it really is one of my favorites!img_7655

Plus, the heels I wore are 50-60% off here depending on your size!img_7646

My dress is sold out, but here is a VERY similar dress by the same manufacturer that I saw at Nordstrom yesterday!  It is beautiful in person!  Also, I love this lace dress as well if you are looking for a navy option!

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

What’s going on

These days are full of February fun! A few Valentine’s decorations her and there just make this girl happy! 

Luke and Presley had Fifties day at school!   Some of us are fans of dress up days, and some of us would rather pass on dressing up.  🙂img_7606-1

We’ve had lots of fun playing outside during this mild winter!img_7611

with a few Valentine’s minis thrown in for good measure.

img_7627 We’ve been busy celebrating at the kids school recently with the family sock hop

and all of the Valentine’s parties!!
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And, then we celebrated Valentine’s night with chips, salsa, and tacos.

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Each year, Rob gets flowers for both of his girls, and we are so thankful for him!
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What a sweet but busy week! Happy Thursday, friends!! See you here tomorrow for Friday Favorites! XOXO Narci

Hey Girl

I hope you had the very best Valentine’s Day yesterday!

 I was a busy girl yesterday between work and volunteering with the kids, so I’ll be back here tomorrow with our regular fun. 

A little birdie over at Stella and Dot told me something so fun, though! Our favorite ring just became available in Gold! 


I know a lot of you girls have been waiting for that! You can grab yours here before it sells out! Just enter “Stellar Pave Ring” into the search bar! Happy Wednesday, y’all! Xoxo Narci 

Show and Tell Tuesday

Hey, y’all! Today, we are linking up with Andrea for her super fun Show and Tell Tuesdays!

Twice a month, we show and tell about a certain topic…

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And, today, we are sharing about my very favorite subject: our “loves”!

In case you were wondering, these four people are what make my heart explode on a daily basis. I love them so.crop

Robert and I met after college, and we are pretty much opposite in all of the outward ways….he’s outdoorsy, and I love air conditioning.  He’s more open, and I am more reserved….But, we are stone cold similar where it counts: our Faith and family values. 🙂 These days, a wild night consists of renting a movie on Amazon or sitting on our back porch and watching the sunset.  I couldn’t ask for anything more. 🙂

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We have three precious babies (who aren’t really “babies” anymore, but will always seem that way to me!)
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Jackson is 13, Luke is 8, and Presley Grace is 7.  card3

Jackson is our thinker, our philosopher, and our doer. Jackson is as smart as a whip and has has grown 7 inches in the past year!  He is as tall as his daddy now!  This SWEET boy goes on to High School next year where he hopes to study Aviation, continue with the Violin, and play High School football!  He has so much fun ahead of him these next four years, and we are so proud of him!

Luke is our “wild” one: sweet and obedient, and a professional at having a good time. 🙂 Luke wears his heart on his sleeve, and I love that about him. He tends to be very social, and he’s still loving soccer with a passion!  Watching Luke bloom over the past few years has been such a blessing to us as parents!  Luke also gives the best cuddles in town.  We love his gentle heart and easy going attitude.

And, finally, we have Presley.  Presley skips wherever she goes, she is full of smiles and fun, and we love that about her!  She’s also a huge rule follower and is such a hard worker!  Presley has a kind and generous heart, and I am so thankful for her.  This Spring she’s playing volleyball and is super excited! What a joy she is to our little family!

And, finally–Last year, our family added a tiny little puppy named Dixie to the mix.  Dixie Dreffs has a penchant for trouble and dodging my camera when I am trying to get a cute picture of her.  That dog is lightning fast but sweet as pie, and she is well loved by us all.  😉

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Thank you so much for the link up, Andrea!! That was so fun!! Happy Tuesday, y’all!! XOXO N