What February?

Another month has begun and despite my best intentions February slipped by without a blog post. I might blame it on February being the shortest month of the year, or the big day of LOVE earlier this month or celebrating Caveman’s birthday or the crazy weather (snow one day, 70 degrees the next!) or even my first of two mid-terms but really I just haven’t made the time to sit down and compose anything. I think I’m enjoying our relaxed schedules this winter, soon to be spring.

Here’s a few of February’s Instagram photos for your viewing pleasure!


I have been thinking about blog posts though. Namely holding myself accountable to my goal/word of being more AVAILABLE  this year, so I’ll address that item first. The very next day after my last post I failed miserably and felt even worse. Achieving this goal has been more of a roller coaster than anything else. Some days (more like moments throughout the day) I’m on top of my game and other days I’m completely and utterly failing again. Only when I completely submit to God and allow Him to work through me do I actually succeed. As we all know this is easier said than done.

Earlier this week Ann Voskamp wrote, “A lack of doxology leads to depravity.” and “Our fall is always first a failure to give thanks.” I could go on and on quoting from her post, but please take the time to go examine it for yourself. In the times I’ve just gone through the motions or I’m completely gone a full day without giving thanks to God, I have fallen the hardest. Ann writes, “But refuse to give God thanks? God lets our very lives become refuse. Our thinking becomes futile and God on High lets us live low.” That is what Buchanan discovers in Scripture, right there in Romans:

The heart of wickedness and godlessness is that: a refusal to glorify God. It’s the refusal to thank Him.

I usually come to my senses down in the pit, looking up and wondering how I ever got back here and I hear the whisper, “Have you acknowledged Me today? Have you thanked Me today?“, and down on my knees I fall because the honest answer is “No! No I have not and I’m so ashamed“. I typically don’t even know I’m not surrendering my all until I realize I’m trying to hold it all together and God is patiently waiting until I wear myself out. I am not the only one who suffers though, my wonderful family are the real sufferers. There is a song by Jamie Grace called, “Beautiful Day!” Every one of the words in this song, resonates with me. Caveboy and I listen to it every morning as we start our day! I encourage you to check out the lyrics here. As long as I wake up with thanksgiving on my lips and keep it there throughout the day I am a happier person, better wife, more loving Mother and overall live a joyous life.

I have been tossing around the idea for a few years of changing my blog name/address, going .com and everything.  But honestly I am afraid to do it. I have no idea why because the new name is more in line with who/what I am and want to move towards. I think I would like to add sponsors too but I have no idea how to go about this, which is sad because I’ve been blogging for a number of years! I was talking it over with Caveman the other day and he says go for it if that’s what I want. I love my man! So if anyone out there has any advice or can point me to a highly recommended web designer and/or hosting services I would really appreciate the help. Of course this would mean more posting on my part but I’ve really been wanting to post more anyway. Opinions, let me know what you think in the comments!

Gratefulness in the Everyday…

It all began in November….

Thanksgiving is of course the time when we annually list all of the things we’re thankful. Since Caveboy is 4 this year and can grasp the concepts of thankfulness and gratefulness a little better, I wanted to begin a family tradition for our family. I found these cute little thankful tags from Emily’s Jones Design Company, that just happen to be free printables on her site and printed off the ones I liked best.

Foxy-thanks Thankful 4

All of the tags are blank for you to use however you want, but Emily also provided (Thank you Emily!) a wonderful list of scripture verses centered around thankfulness. I copied my favorite verses on half the Fox tags because they are bigger and then used the skinnier “I AM thankful FOR” tags to write out the things we are thankful for at the end of each day. I would typically write something I was thankful for and then have Caveboy do the same.

Emily suggested making a Thankful Tree, but for us I knew that just wouldn’t work.


So I used a length of Jute twine and simply taped each thankful tag to it. I spaced the Fox tags (somewhat) evenly along the twine, leaving spaces for us to add our skinnier thankful tags. Caveboy and I also cut out fall leaves and acorns to embellish our Thankful Banner. He loved it and we even carried our nightly ritual into mid-December.


I knew I didn’t want to just simply pack our Thankful Banner away but remember it throughout December and keep our focus on the real reason for CHRISTmas. I had grand visions of us getting a real tree (I’ve had these for decades, but it only comes into reality once every Blue Moon) but it rained so much we were never able to get one. So we made the best of it and used our simple 3′ Christmas tree on a table instead. I really wanted to put the banner on the tree but Caveman suggested we lay it around the bottom so we could continue to read it. I would love to tell you we read it every night and that I never lost my focus during the Christmas season, but that would be a lie and I don’t lie. We did look at it sometimes but God has a way of bring me around without my even knowing it.


Our Tree 2013: You can see the banner lying on the table under the tree. And Caveboy trying to redecorate the tree yet again….

Over Christmas, as we inched ever closer to the New Year, I began praying more earnestly and God answered. My prayer was to become a better wife and mother, as you may have picked up on in my previous post. Of course this has been my prayer for years, but this time it was different. This time my heart was different. My heart was broken if you will, ready to submit my will fully to God and open my arms wide to receive God fully, His Grace fully, His gift of the Holy Spirit. I’m still figuring this one out, second by second, of each day.

It was around this time that I actually picked up and started reading the book that has been on my dresser for over a year, “Forgotten God“. Our Sunday School class read this book a year ago but I missed most of the classes because I was with Caveboy. I love this book so far. I’ll do a full review once I’m done.

And it was also at this time that, while perusing Instagram before church last week I found the #JoyDare by Ann Voskamp and began counting my #1000Gifts for 2014! Though her website I was also drawn to this year’s #MemoryProject2014, Scripture Memorization for the Rest of Us: The #JesusProject. I’ve never been good at scripture memorization and as Ann to eloquently put it,Christ’s weapon against Satan in the desert was memorized Scripture. And if you aren’t memorizing Scripture — what IS your weapon in your battle?”  Good point! I encourage you to hop over and read her entire post, multiple times. It’s life changing each time you do. I’ve been going back through the years on her blog and sort of starting at the beginning. The more I read and learn, the more intrigued I become… I want to know Ann more, but more importantly to know Jesus as she does!

The Scripture Memorization for 2014 is the year to Fly and I’m so going to do it too! “For centuries …. Because Jesus was beautiful to God’s people — His Word was beautiful to God’s people.” 

I’ve read lots of other people’s words or phrases for the upcoming year. This year I think my word for the year is going to be  JOY.  I want to live a JOY filled life, giving thanks to God each and every day. “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shot JOYfully to Him with psalms.” Psalms 95:2  As we give our thanks to God we receive JOY from God. That is what I need.

I’m not exactly sure I clearly stated this through my ramblings thus far, but hopefully you can see how God has been leading me, guiding me over these past few months into living a life of thanksgiving. As I stated in my previous post, 2014 has a great, awesome, huge, spectacular, exciting, amazing feel to it. God is going to move mountains this year, not only in my personal life but in everyone’s life just wait and see.

Review of 2013 – Happy 2014!

2013 Recap…

2013 was just full of surprises for our little family. Opportunities we thought were coming our way crumbled right before our eyes, but God opened other doors and brought blessings that were better than we ever dreamed.

From January through May I posted lots of different looks and styles here on RubysNPurls. I had fun with them but once June hit and I returned to college part-time, I found that I simply didn’t have enough time for everthing and blogging too. I was also really unhappy with my weight & to be honest was tired of posting photos of myself in outfits that weren’t that great. I knew once I started walking to school my weight would improve and it did somewhat over the summer, however it wasn’t until Caveman and I started the Paleo Diet in early September (4th to be exact!) that I really saw an improvement in my weight, my mental health and my energy levels.

As I’ve lost the weight, now down 30 lbs, my style has evolved as well. I am turning to more classic/taliored looks and surprisingly to me, wearing more black. I’ve always liked black but as Caveman told me recently, “Honey, black is your color!” LOL!

I also highlighted a few home improvements that we tackled in our backyard, along with the bounty from our garden and a quick little DIY. It was a good year, but as we look out over the coming 2014 we’re seeing lots of big changes in our future.


2014 Goals


I saw a quote similar to the one above on Pinterest the other day only it said “Amazing, Loving, Strong, Happy, Selfless and Grateful”. I think these are the qualities I will be striving for, as a person, as well as a Mom this year!


I saw this one too and (I’m not sure of the source for either of these, so if you know it could you please pass it along?) I really liked it…

“2014 is your year to ..Begin, have NO regrets, Hone your personal style, Love, Simplify, Go on an Adventure, Change your outlook, Love WHAT you do, BE YOU!”

Most of these were already my goals for 2014, this just put them into words beautifully!

As far as social media, you’ll find me on Pinterest & Instagram because I enjoy both so much. But here on this little space, my time will be limited. My focus has shifted away from style/fashion posts to spending quality time with my family, being real and in the moment. I think that’s one reason I really like Instagram because it’s a snapshot of a moment, not some longwinded explanation of what’s been happening with me, blah, blah, blah. That’s not to say that I don’t love dropping in with a post every so often, so for now I’m keeping an open mind and keeping the blog open. I’ll re-evaluate as the year progresses!

I hope all of you have a truly blessed and wonderful 2014.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

I promised to be back with our Christmas Cards this year and I aim to deliver, even if it is a couple days after Christmas!

I’ve been using Shutterfly for about 4 years now. I like the quality of their photos, photo books and photo cards, as well as their prompt delivery of said products.

After Caveboy was born I was very insistent on having a family photo each year and would force my guys to comply and the photos always looked like they had been forced, but over the past couple of years I stopped trying to force the photo shoot horror on them and have attempted to just get a few decent photos of Caveboy.


Front – Christmas Card 2013

This year, with my crazy school schedule, work and just normal life stuff, Caveman gave me the best Christmas gift a few months eary – a family photo shoot. Oddly enough even though my guys were cooperating, Caveboy looked like he could cry or was completely bored in most of the photos or they just turned out too blurry or dark.

This cover photo is the very first photo we took and it is completely us right now! Caveman has never been that relaxed in front of the camera so he looks to be more at attention, Caveboy currently sings/rhymes/talks all.the.time. these days and I’m smiling praying everyone else is too! This is what happens when you use the self timer to get family photos, but again this photo is completely us at this stage in our lives.


Back – Christmas Card 2013

I decided to use our Halloween costume photo on the back because it was really cute and turned out remarkably well for an inpromptu family photo. If you’ll recall I wasn’t able to make the dress I had planned for the day of Halloween but the weekend after Halloween I quickly finished it in time for the postponed party at our church where we were able to attend as one of the Duck Dynasty families!! The pink & olive green camo pattern mini dress was a hit along with Caveboy’s fleece beard and Caveman’s attire. It was a great memory and a great photo to include in our Christmas greeting this year!

The individual photos of Caveboy were included because everyone loves to see how much he’s grown. On the cover that photo was taken after we had returned home, in our front yard. The photo on the back was taken during the photo shoot earlier in the day. It was the least dark and actually in focus of the bunch. So I guess you could say this Christmas card is filled with planned and unplanned photos and that makes it all the more special to me.

Shutterfly makes creating cards easy, just upload your digital photo and place in the card. Shutterfly makes picking out a card extremely hard because there are just too many great card templates to choose from!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a very blessed and Happy New Year! See you in 2014!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Shutterfly. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. I did not receive anything from Shutterfly to endorse them, I just like passing along info on a good company when I can.

Amazing Amazon.com Christmas Deals!

Yes, it would seem I’m breaking my radio silence to bring you some amazing deals from Amazon just in time for Christmas!


This year I told Caveman I really wanted a bracelete for Christmas. So I found a few great examples on Pinterest, showed them to him and asked if he would visit a local jewelry shop to purchase them. He decided he didn’t want to make any purchases without my approval so we visited the jewelry shop together this weekend, with a sicker-than-we-thought Caveboy intow. At the shop the prices were REALLY high and Caveboy was definitely sicker-than-we-thought! So….when we got home and I looked up some braceletes on Amazon and found this beauty.


This year has been really hard picking out the special something for Caveboy! He went around telling everyone he was getting an iPad until I finally got him to understand that iPad’s are just a little too much for a 4-year old! He loves dinosaurs but lately he’s also been getting interested in matchbox cars. I decided to search for matchbox racetracks at Amazon.com and what do you think I came across? This amazing (doesn’t require batteries, got great reviews from other customers, & doesn’t make any additional sounds) dino-matchbox-racetrack! He’s gonna love it! I threw in some other dinosaur related books, stamps and temporary dino tatoos for fun and I’m calling it done!


Caveman asked specifically for one of these babies, way back in the summer so how could I refuse?!

We’ve gotten free shipping on most all the orders and some amazing deals are going on right now. If you are still needing a last minute gift but can’t get out to the stores, head on over to Amazon.com now. Here’s the ordering cutoffs as of 12/16!


I’ll be back later this week with a few reveiws and our Christmas Card this year!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliated links. All opinions are my own!