Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: October 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Source of All Your Insecurities

I got married August 2015 to a man I had dated for less than 6 months. Last year I literally lived out my 12-year-old-Casey dreams of meeting a great-looking, godly guy, falling in love, and getting married ASAP.
(No, seriously, I really did day-dream about dating someone for three months and marrying him just a few months later!)

I love my husband and I love being married. Jon is not perfect, but he's embraced husbandhood with humility and passion and a ton of effort. He loves me more than I ever thought humanly possible.

However, it may surprise you to find out that I - a newlywed, pre-kids, pre-stretch marks, and definitely in love with her husband - still struggle with insecurities.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Modest Budget: 6 Fave Fashion Bloggers

Hey ladies!
Did you know Tuesdays are statistically the most productive days? Hopefully that's true today, because yesterday was not productive at all for me! The goal is to do some catch-up today.

So instead of sharing my own outfits, I wanted to share some love for these awesome fashion bloggers! These ladies are my favorite because they are authentic. They are normal women on normal budgets, and it's so fun to see what they wear.

These ladies inspire me; check them out!

Emily @ Modest Goddess

Her Instagram
Ok, this girl is my absolute favorite. While her clothes can be a little expensive sometimes, she typically gives out a lot of promo codes and discounts! I check her Instagram page all the time, and over the summer she was all about modest swimwear. It's just so encouraging and inspiring to have a "modest role model" who isn't afraid to talk about it, you know? Anyways, I highly, highly recommend her site (you should definitely follow her on Instagram!).

Lauren @ By Lauren M

Her Instagram
Lauren is based out of Richmond, and I really like how she strikes a balance between being a mom and still being trendy! She also "re-mixes" outfits, and you'll see her wear the same pieces with different types of outfits, which is a goal I have with my own closet. (And how cute is this cheetah + plaid combo??)

Kendi @ Kendi Everyday

Her Instagram
I have followed Kendi's blog since I was a teenager, and she inspired me to start blogging about outfits years ago! She also posts lifestyle tips, like one of her latest How to be a Morning Person.

Sarah @ My Bows & Clothes

Her Instagram
Sarah is a more recent blogger friend, but she has quickly become one of my favorite blogs to check. She features a lot of sales and Old Navy clothes, which makes her outfits really practical and inspirational (ya'll know I love cheap outfits that don't look cheap!!). You can tell through her blog posts that she has a heart of gold, and I can't wait to see her blog grow as she continues.

Kelly @ Rosy Outlook Blog

Her Instagram
I have just recently discovered Kelly's blog, but I find myself pinning her outfits a lot lately! I don't know her blog journey super well, but I really like her last few posts.

Elizabeth @ Lizzie in Lace

Her Instagram
Ya'll, I have never seen a girl wear so many pretty dresses. I always look forward to seeing what Liz wears each week! While I haven't bought a lot of the clothes she wears, she has inspired me to be not-so closed off to certain waistlines because her body type is similar to mine. You will love her outfits if you like feminine style!

Bonus: Rebekah @ Hello Modesty (Instagram)

Rebekah's Instagram is super pretty and she's also a modest 'grammer! #followher

I am always looking for more women to be inspired by, 
who are your favorite fashion bloggers???
Keep up with other fash bloggers who inspire my by following my Fashion Pinterest board! (peep sidebar!)
(Linking up with these parties here)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Is Waiting Awesome? It can Become Awesome!

Over the summer Jon and I moved back to the area of Virginia both of us grew up in, which I'm pretty happy about. However, one flaw to the area is that I tend to get stuck at open brides.

There's one, annoying, tiny bridge that always seems to be open when I need to get across. I've tried to figure out the schedule (like, does it open every hour on the hour?? every half hour?? every other hour???) but I cannot figure it out for the life of me.

So, naturally, it typically elicits a huff from my irritated heart, and I begrudgingly pull out my phone to waste a couple minutes on Instagram or something while I sit at the open bridge.

One time, the bridge had opened and closed, and yet no one seemed to move. As the other lane started coming over the bridge, a couple of people hollered to me, "the guy at the front of your line fell asleep in his car!"
My luck.
Somehow, my entire life feels like getting stuck at bridges.
Because it doesn't matter how "perfect" my timing is, or how hard I've worked to get to the bridge, I always seem to get a little bit stuck.

In school: barely bringing my grade up to a B- (I was only taking one class! #pathetic).
In blogging: feeling like I will never have that break through, and forever be trying to explain to people that it's a lot of work to keep blogging, and why I keep doing it if I'm not getting paid.
In relationships: connecting with people after I got married has been weird and difficult and I'm not really sure how to do it yet... (lol)

I feel like this is the time I should be "arriving" in a lot of areas. I'm 22, I've been in school for four years now, and been blogging for 4.5. Shouldn't I "have the hang of things?" Shouldn't I be "crossing bridges" and heading into new opportunities like nobody's business??

But I'm feeling stuck.
And I've been thinking that it was because I was doing something wrong, or not doing something I was supposed to do. Or maybe the guy at the front of the line fell asleep!

But now I'm realizing, that sometimes bridges just aren't available to be crossed. Sometimes doors aren't open. Sometimes the opportunities that you thought would be here by now just simply aren't.
It's revealed a pride in my heart I didn't know I had, because my instant response is "but God, this timing is perfect!" or, "don't You notice that I'm ready for this?? Where are you?"

"Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He does not faint or grow weary;
His understanding is unsearchable."
Isaiah 40:27-28 (italics added)

How could I - as finite and human as I am - question God - as infinite and unsearchable as He is?
Not only that, but a wise, infinite, unsearchable God who loves me more than I could imagine???

I have such little patience, but more than that, I have such little faith.

"He gives power to the faint, 
and to him who has not might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary...
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary; 
they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:29-31 (italics added)

These last three verses are typically well-known, but it is not typical for them to be read in the earlier verses, in context of God telling the Israelites,
"Don't you remember who I am? Don't you remember who you are to me?
Why are you complaining? Why are you questioning?
Have I ever let you down?"

Bottom line...
I only get impatient & lose faith when I forget who God is,
or when I forget who I am to Him.
Because when I remember how good and wise and big He is,
and how incredibly loved I am by Him,
waiting is ok.
Waiting is no longer empty.
In fact, waiting becomes another opportunity to get to know Him.
And that makes waiting awesome.

So to answer my own question: Is waiting awesome?
If you see it as God withholding something from you, it might not seem awesome.
But if you see it as just another place to experience God and learn something about His heart you've never experienced before? It becomes awesome.


There was one time I got stuck at the bridge with my little sister, and I hardly noticed how long it took to sit there. I hardly noticed the wait because we just sat and chatted and laughed and kept spending time together!

Waiting at an open bridge ain't so bad when you get to spend a few extra minutes with one of your best friends...
And I want to be so caught up in "hanging out" with Jesus that I don't even know that I'm "stuck at the bridge."

Do you like waiting?

(Linking up with some awesome parties here)


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Modest Budget: 6 Tips for Successful Thrift Store Shopping

Thrift stores are such great resources, everybody knows that. This week I was able to find 3 work out shorts (one that was brand new!) a black pair of Gap boyfriend shorts and a chevron throw for only $12 total!!

Edited to add: The day after I posted this, I bought a dress and 4 pairs of like-new pants for $22! #thriftchamp

Thrift shops are great, not only for filling your closet on a budget, but also for finding unique pieces that can take your home or your outfit one step up.

And thrift store shopping has even become trendy! BUT...
Are you GOOD at thrift store shopping?? 
I seriously think it's a skill. One my mom is really good at! 
So today I'm sharing with you 6 tips that she has shared with me to help you take full advantage of thrift store shopping!

1. Know what you're looking for

If you're not looking for a prom dress, don't look at the prom dress section. I knew I wanted work out shorts and black shorts, so I stuck to hunting through the shorts sections. I casually flipped through the other racks, but stick to what you're looking for.
Having a list (mentally or literally) of things you know you need is a great way to snag a deal when you find it. I didn't plan on shopping that day, but I had made a mental note about shorts, so I didn't have to consider the purchase for very long.

2. Know your local thrift stores

The most important things you need to know about your local thrift stop:
a) when they restock their shelves - because there's typically only one of everything, you will find the best deals on the first or second day that those items are on the shelf! Some thrift stores are constantly shelving things, but other stores have days devoted to restocking. Know those days, and plan for them  when you're really hunting.
b) when their discount days are - I think every thrift store I've ever been to has different discounts on different days. The reason I was able to get all these shorts for so cheap was because half of them were tagged orange, and I happened to be there on their "orange day" (which made all of them 50% off!). Some places have military days, or 50% all clothing or furniture.
c) their return policy - Because every thrift store is different, pay attention to their return policy before you buy something. If you're anything like me, you're accustomed to going home and trying something on with other items in your closet before you keep it. Some thrift stores don't allow returns or exchanges, so beware!;)

3. Pay attention to the condition and washing instructions

Do you know how many times I've accidentally bought "dry clean only" items?? It's ridiculous. I'm trying to be better about reading all the labels before I buy something!
On the same note, be extra careful to inspect for stains, wear and tear on a product. Remember, it was loved before it found you; make sure it wasn't too loved!

4. A dollar for every day you wear

Find something a little bit outside of your comfort zone? A great way to think about your purchase is an item is worth $1 for every day you wear it. If it's $5: will you wear/use it 5 times? or more?? Go for it!

This can work for house things, too. This throw blanket was so cozy, and only $2.99. I have already used it on the couch three times for study nights! Which means it was money well spent. (And c'mon, how fab does it look on my chevron chair?? #chevrononchevron #chevronfordays)
Actually, this chair, the green luggage boxes, and the orange leather footrest were thrift finds, too!

5. Know what the best things to buy second hand are

The best items tend to be the ones that people get rid of because they are tired of the item or it's been outgrown, not because it's worn out. These items typically include:
- Jeans
- Skirts
- Dresses (esp formal)
- (some) Formal shoes
- House items
- Kid clothes (esp shoes and denim)

On the flip side, items that are typically worn out before their donated include:
- Basic T's & tanks
- Leggings
- Toys (except the durable, Tonka truck-type)
- Sleepwear
- Tennis shoes/flip flops

But of course, there are always exceptions! Which leads us to my final tip:

6. Don't be afraid to hunt!

Sometimes it will take a while to find what you want. Don't give up! The hunt is part of the fun. And when you finally find what you're looking for, it's going to feel so good! (For you and hopefully your wallet! ;)
I found these shorts at the end of the summer season, but for $2.50 they were a great investment for next year.
Hope these tips were helpful!

Have you found any thrift store deals lately?
What are your thrift store success tips and tricks?
Tag me with your thrift store finds on Instagram at #TheModestBudget!
Check out my Top 3 Fave Thrift Store Outfits here!

Linking up with some awesome parties here!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Modest Budget: You Tired of Fall Things Yet?

So when does it become "basic white girl" to talk about fall? I mean, I know it's fun to talk about fall and all, but when does it become obsessive?
But on the flip-side, I feel like this is my 20th blog post about fall, and I'm totally ok with it because this fall weather is just delightful and refreshing and makes me want to do a happy dance while I wear every single sweater and scarf I own.

Since that would take way too long and be highly impractical, I decided to dress up all fall-y anyways, while I followed my mom along on some shopping errands.
How great is this bag, too??
And how could I step into Old Navy for the first time in months and NOT buy something??
Answer: I can't.
Especially when they have a sweet sale going on!
This tunic top was on sale for $11! (Peep my crazy mother;)
 I've been looking for a top like this that I could wear with jeans or leggings (i.e., it covers my booty!) and the waiting paid off. Can't wait to style this with mustard leggings (also still looking for those!) or maybe even my shark leggings!
 Anyways, with Hurricane Matthew taking our power for the entire weekend, the sale was a nice mood-booster.
Also, my mom is one of the sunshine-iest people I know, and you just can't be too glum around her for long.
 Do we actually look alike? Idk;)
Anyways, welcome to the middle of the week, hope ya'll are recovering from the stormy craziness alright!!

And scurry on over to Old Navy to get one of these tunic tops, because they're seriously FABulous.

I wanna see your new fall outfits and sale finds!!! Tag me with #TheModestBudget on Instagram!

Linking up with some awesome parties here!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Keeping Up with the Capra's: Snakes, Bunnies, and BBQ!

Happy Friday!
We didn't have a lot going on this week. But we still had some fun moments around the house with the kids!

Adventures ft. Snakes

For those who don't remember, Jon and I live next door to my parents.
And they still have 7 out of 10 kids living at home.
Which means that every time I pull into the driveway or step outside, there is always something new going on!!

Like yesterday, when they brought over a green snake!
So I decided to bring my homework outside while they let him slither all around our patio.

Farm Day with the Kiddos

My parents have taken a lot of road trips to visit my brother at Bridewater College lately (he plays on their soccer team) so Jon and I have been taking the kids on little adventures while their gone.
Last week, we took the youngest 5 to a nearby farm. They had bunnies just a few weeks old that were SO adorable. We had a blast!

BBQ I'm not allergic to!

Ok, so this really isn't that big of a deal... But for a gal allergic to vinegar, it felt GREAT to find out the Mission BBQ has food I can actually eat! Woohoo!

Baking experiments

My friend Amanda from Knock on Wood blog (and also my designer for this blog!) shared a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies that I tried this week. Super interesting! They turned out more like breakfast bar cookies, but they were still pretty yummy. 
 Also, this may or may not count, but my Studly made me a gluten-free, dairy-free ice cream sandwich for one of my late nights studying! Definitely not as healthy as Amanda's recipe, but, oh well;)

Dinner parties

Jon and I stepped outside our comfort zones and hosted a dinner for a church group last weekend. It was a little intimidating to host a dinner for people I had never met, but it turned out really fun!
Our church is really big, so it was great to meet some people and get deeper then "Hey, how are you, good morning."

Also, how is decorating for fall so easy?? We threw a bright orange tablecloth over our patio table, bought a tiny mum, and fall paper plates, and TA-DA: fall decor!

Latest Posts:

What have ya'll been up to lately?

Linking up with some awesome parties here!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What's on My Bookshelf: Gordon MacDonald, Barbara Rainey & Janet Pope

If you look at my track record for finishing the books, it's pretty sad. I get so distracted so easily! And during the schoolyear it's even worse.
So since February (when I walked away from a marriage conference with my arms full of books) I've tried really hard to start a book and then finish it.

I've also tried to incorporate time to read into my schedule. After I wake up and after I spend time in the Word, I try to read a chapter in a book that is for me and my enjoyment before I jump into reading homework or something.
As I was writing this blog post, I happened to find Lipstick & Gelato's vlog about her current reads, and I agree with the point she made that reading has a way of both waking you up and motivating you, but also giving you something to think about and hopefully add to your life throughout the day!

At first I almost chose all married books (from my arm-full of marriage conference resources) in my eagerness to learn what it is to be a good spouse, but I realized that gives me no balance.
So anyways, here are the three books that I've read, am reading, and about the start.

Letters for my Daughters by Barbara Rainey

This has become my #1 book to recommend to any wife, or even fiancĂ©, or even single girl! It's a compilation of e-mails from Barbara Rainey (a co-founder of Family Life) to her daughters and daughters-in-law about marriage. 
But what I love about this book the most is that it's spiritual and reflective without being specific. One flaw I've found in marriage books is the authors tend to write about one type of husband, or a group of husbands. Barbara Rainey does a really great job of giving her daughters advice that centers, not on the type of husband they have, but on the spiritual significance of marriage.
Not only that, but she understands that the best way to be the best wife is to focus on your relationship with the Lord first and foremost.

I highly, highly recommend this book.
(Side note, she's also an incredible watercolor artists, so the chapters are absolutely BEA-UTIFUL.)
"In my marriage my goal is to always believe the best about my husband, to always believe God is not finished with him yet, and to always believe the best is yet to come." - Barbara Rainey

"The very best marriages, the ones that go the distance, have a purpose beyond mutual fulfillment and personal happiness... Marriage isn't designed to make us happy, but to make us holy." - Barbara Rainey

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

This is the book I'm currently reading, and it was exactly what I needed for this season of life. It was written by a pastor who realized early on in his ministry that he was not structuring his life in a way that established his private life, and that this would only lead to a shaky foundation.

The whole book (which I'm only half-way through) is full of practical tips to know how to distinguish between drivenness and calledness, how to keep who you are and what you do separate, and valuable insight into how to budget your time wisely.
Already it has been super helpful, but especially because it is written in the context of pastoral ministry I would very much recommend this book to anyone who is called to ministry.
"We are naively inclined to believe that the most publicly active person is the most spiritual... Because we tend to think like this, there is the temptation to give imbalance attention to our public worlds at the expense of the private...There must be a quiet place where all is in order, a place from which comes the energy that overcomes turbulence and is not intimidated by it." - Gordon MacDonald

"For an inner life fraught with unresolved drives will not be able to hear clearly the voice of Christ when He calls. The noise and pain of stress will be too great." - Gordon MacDonald

His Word in My Heart by Janet Pope

I'm really excited to start this book after I finish the other one.

Janet Pope focuses on learning and meditating on the verses you're trying to memorize instead of simply choosing a few and running with them. She began the process as a mom-of-two with  little free time, so I'm hoping she will have some habits and practices to impart to me to help me make memorizing scripture a part of my busy, newlywed, college life.

I'm looking forward to treating this book more like a bible study guide for my quiet time with the Lord. Flipping through it it looks great for a bite-sized spiritual bite to start every day.

"In the book I present an alternative for the frazzled, guilt-ridden woman who longs to know God and His Word but hasn't yet found a way to accomplish this amidst the unrelenting treadmill of activities." - Janet Pope
What books are on YOUR bookshelf?

Linking up with some awesome parties here!