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You’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been lately. Remember this year isn’t too much about the constant barrage of posting blog after blog. I’m leaning into my truth and doing life on my own terms. I’m about to take a big leap in my life.

If you’re following me on Instagram and Twitter, I’ve definitely been around those parts a lot more. Instagram stories are a new favorite, as it gives you an insight of what’s happening behind the scenes. Since I’ve been taking a break from the blog I’ve had a lot of time to focus on a few things I’ve wanted to work on this year. Just sit down, because I don’t think you’re ready for this.

Leap Creatively

Years ago when I was a starving undergrad, I started a novel. It was loosely based on encounters in my own life and it was my passion project. This was not a project I spoke to about with anyone. Well, there was one person who knew about it – my dad. He was a creative individual and it was always easy to communicate my passions to him. I’ll never forget the first time I mentioned to him that I was working on a novel. The light and pride he showered over me was infectious. There were questions on where I was taking the novel. Every little detail, he was intrigued to learn about. I was on to something, but I wasn’t ready to fully commit to it.

A Leap of Writing Faith

Time hasn’t been the kindest to my life. My father has passed away, my laptop with my previous novel has collected dust, and life has been filled with other things that have occupied my time. I had plans to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November 2017, but I ended up having emergency surgery on my finger – making it hard to type. In 2018, I am making the decision to stop with the excuses and write. I’ve spent the majority of this month brainstorming and outlining my newest novel with goals to write each and every month.

The Big Leap

This is happening and I’m excited to embark on this journey. I’m doing it. I like to think that my dad is looking down on me proud of what I’m about to try and accomplish. My big goal is to have a complete first draft finished by the end of the year. Wish me luck and don’t be surprised if I share a few tidbits of the story process here every once in a while.

The post Taking a Leap: Fulfilling a Promise to my Dad appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Wow, this post took much longer than expected to post. Why? WORDS MATTER. You can’t just go around deciding that you’re going to come up with a word of the year without thought. It takes time to ponder and really focus in on a word. You want a word that is going to really nurture each and every intention of the year. This took some time to really pick a word that would matter. A word that would make a difference in the end.

Words matter, so I prevail…

I can honestly tell you this year has come with one of the most bittersweet beginnings. My focus on goal setting has been stronger than ever. I’ve been taking leaps of faith in so many different ways. I’m also learning to be more forgiving to myself. With all of these short lessons in these 5 days in the year, the one word that has stood out the entire time is prevail. I will and can prevail in the end. Each step of the way, I’m going to find a way to be victorious.

In short, words matter – so choose wisely!

Selecting a word for the year isn’t something that can be done lightly. If you’re reading this, you can probably relate to in being intentional with your decisions. Choosing a word with meaning in what you are trying to achieve throughout the year is key. So today and the rest of 2018, I plan on prevailing.

Happy New Year friends! Did you select a word for the year? If so, leave it in the comments!

The post Prevail, because words matter! 2018 Word of the Year appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Here we are, the last day of 2017 come and gone. Just like that. I intentionally skipped posting anything these last few days, because I simply wanted to be present with my family ushering in the new year. 2017 offered us experiences that ranged from pure joy to crushing heartaches. Overall, 2017 was a game changer. A lot of realities I never thought would happen morphed me into a completely different individual. Reflection is key to any new year and I am all about hitting new strides in 2018…

Reflection on our first steps into parenthood

I gave birth to a whole baby. A whole baby who is slowly taking over my world in the best ways. We love her so much and life has been so grand with her. What I can honestly say about this sweet blessing is simple. As unexpected as she was, I never want to know what life will be like without her. She’s my reason for waking up every day with a smile. Her smile lights up rooms. Every moment with her breathes life into us with joy and excitement.

In short, parenthood fits us well and I’m looking forward to sharing our journey more.

Reflection on where I stand professionally

A lot of soul searching has happened with my second full year with the police department. Transparency is key and at this time, a lot has changed in my position. I’ve taken on a lot more than I ever imagined tackling within this role. With these new responsibilities, I’m assessing my value and worth within my career. As a proud ENFJ, I tend to get anxious when I’m not directly helping others – so right now I’m in a rut. What do you do when you’re in a rut? Well, yours truly is starting to plan that out – I’ll keep you updated on where this goes.

Reflection on Simply Sevi

2017 was a perfect year for the blog, but I’ll be honest a few times I just was too concerned about numbers. Honestly, I am coming to realize that I’ve missed that blogging big break and I’m ok with that. I’m not trying to be the next big thing. I want to keep sharing the snippets of my life that just make me the happiest.

Reflection for 2018, The Year Ahead

The numbers don’t matter. If you’ve noticed, the collaborations I’ve been taking are diligent in representing my brand as a whole. At the end of the day, I want to just continue being happy. This blog is an extension of all the changes that have occurred in my life and I want it to continue bringing me the joy that it does. So stick with me as the year progresses and the girl grows right before all of our eyes.

Happy New Year!

Photos c/o Stephanie Drenka

The post Reflection of 2017, Changing strides in 2018! appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Hello friends! What a joyful time to be alive and celebrating this holiday season. As the end of the year quickly approaches, I cannot express how much this holiday season has made changes in my life. The joyful peace that has filled our lives over these last few weeks with Delilah is surreal. Our girl was spoiled with wants and needs this holiday season. So many new clothes and toys to take her into this next phase of her little life. After this holiday season, I’m sure all of her people in her life can agree that she is the greatest gift. She’s a gem. A beaconing light shining so bright and vibrant that you can’t help but smile.

I’ll be honest, this holiday season and most of 2017 has been worth it because of our sweet girl. She has a way of just lighting up the room and making you want to be better, do better. We’ll talk more about that later this week. Today is just a chance to share some of our holiday photos by the talented Stephanie Drenka and a few snapshots from Delilah’s first Christmas.

Joyful Family

Photo by Stephanie Drenka

Photo by Stephanie Drenka

Joyful with Santa

Joyful Christmas

Come back later this week for my year-end reflection and what to expect in 2018.

The post Joyful. Relishing the first holiday season with our sweet girl! appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Enamel Christmas Tree Charm gifted ℅ James Avery. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Christmas is a special time of the year for my family. From when I was a child, one of my fondest memories is every year picking out a fresh cut tree. Being able to share the quality time with my family decorating, laughing, and getting into the spirit was always dear to me.

Budding Christmas Traditions

During the early years of our marriage, we never shared any traditions for Christmas. David was either on a deployment or we would be home visiting family. It wasn’t until December of 2011 that David and I quickly realized that we needed to create our own memories. After years of being married, we needed something to call our own. I automatically wanted to share my love for fresh cut trees. Never would I imagine the pushback that I would receive with one simple request. David explained that growing up his family never had a real tree and his allergies would be horrid with one. We reached a point where we needed to figure out what would work best for us.

O ‘Real or Fake’ Christmas Tree!

Growing up, my family always set up our Christmas decor shortly after Thanksgiving. It made sense to have the maximum amount of time to relish in the spirit of the holiday. I wasted no time with David and put my foot down – we were getting a real tree. When we got married, David claimed he was allergic to dogs (he grew up with an outside dog). With three puppies running around our house, my case was made for the tree and he didn’t put up a fight.

A Christmas Classic

What David and I didn’t imagine happening was a classic Christmas tradition that would stick for years to come. After purchasing our first real tree, it was the beginning of yet another chapter in our memories. To mark it, we ended up cutting a small sliver off the bottom to commemorate the year. Little did we know that our 2011 tree would create a tradition that continues to bring the best meaning to our family every year.

Each year a new silver signifies happiness and love within our family. We are able to look back and appreciate everything we survived and what we have to look forward to.

A James Avery Christmas

Over the years, I’ve owned numerous pieces of James Avery jewelry and each piece has a special meaning to a time in my life. They are symbols of my story and this Christmas I’ve got a new chapter to add. The beautiful Enamel Christmas tree charm symbolizes the special tradition that David and I have created within our little family.

It’s a tradition that we can continue to share with our sweet little girl as she gets older. I’m looking forward to the day that I can share this sweet charm with her while we sit together revisiting each sliver of our past trees and recall the memories we made.

What Christmas memories do you share with your family? Visit James Avery to see more of the beautiful charms to celebrate your own traditions.

The post Christmas Traditions with James Avery appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Mon Amie watch gifted c/o Fossil Group, Inc. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

First off, Happy Giving Tuesday! Second, yes, you read that correctly – Diversity Chic. Third, I’ve got quite the challenge for you with today’s message – so stick with me. Before we proceed “Mon Amie,” take a moment to remember what we are all about.

Diversity Chic is a collaboration of Dallas bloggers showcasing current fashion trends on a variety of skin tones, hair colors, body types and heights. Each month we will feature a new trend tailored to our personalities and style.

Our focus is to explore the world of fashion in its unique, diverse, and stylish manner – one trend at a time.

Since its inception, Diversity Chic has prided itself in being more than a few women in cute outfits. Our relationship has grown in ways that I will never be able to truly count the blessings it’s bestowed upon me. What I love is that we share a passion for putting ourselves out there in ways that most people wouldn’t dream of. We are activists, feminists, and lovers of giving back to others who may need a helping hand. Our drive is the purpose we have to be and do better in this life.

It was an easy to see why this partnership with Mon Amie is a no brainer when it relates to the women who comprise Diversity Chic and Giving Tuesday.

The Mon Amie Impact

Mon Amie has a simple, yet significant impact model. Do Good. See Good. Share Good. Do good by investing in a cause that matters most to you. See good by the impact your investment has made, which Mon Amie makes easy. Each Mon Amie watch comes with a nifty call to action to track your impact by entering your watches code. You’ll see your investment and those of others connect with the cause you support. Share good by inspiring others to join us in telling their own story and supporting their own cause.

Giving with Mon Amie

“We call ourselves Mon Amie—it’s French for “my friend.” And our hope is to build friendships and do something big, like life-changing big.”

Diversity Chic is more than a fashion group, we’re friends. Friends who believe in our purpose in live. Our Mon Amie watches inspired us to go above and beyond within our own community for #givingtuesday. We collected canned goods and gently used clothing to donate to local charities that are in need this holiday season. We want our story to be bigger than posting fashionable outfits, because we understand the impact of our voice.

Mon Amie is a brand revitalizing giving in a stylish, classic, and excellent quality timepiece. Mon Amie watches each support a different pillar of cause – education, food, health, opportunity, and water. With each purchase, your donation specifically goes towards delivering critical services for your chosen cause. Invite your friends to play a part of supporting a cause that is near and dear to them. Mon Amie allows for you to really engage with your cause by tracking the impact that your donation makes.

My Mon Amie

Since our last installment of Diversity Chic, a lot has changed in our lives. My biggest change is the fact that I gave birth to a perfect little girl in June. The impact of becoming a mother has been a focal point within my life. When it came to deciding my cause, the Health watch from Mon Amie stood above the rest. With each Mon Amie health watch purchased, it allows for prenatal care for one woman.

My pregnancy was considered high-risk due to my fibroids, so prenatal care is important to me. I can’t imagine how mothers get by without the vital check ups needed to assure you that your child is reaching measurements meant during each stage of pregnancy. To be able to contribute to at least one future mother receiving the necessary care is empowering.

Styling Mon Amie

This wouldn’t be a Diversity Chic post without a little style! Styling this watch was a breeze with the meaning behind it. With little Delilah coming up on nearly 6 months, I’m hitting my stride with motherhood. Comfort is key, but at the same time I’m remembering that I can and should be myself. My wardrobe has drastically changed over the last few months. It’s been an interesting journey exploring my post baby body and the changes it’s taken on.

My bell-sleeve shirtdress has been a go to wardrobe staple that’s easy to put over nursing gowns. People wouldn’t believe that I can easily nurse my sweet girl in this dress and manage to get errands done at the same time. With this being a special Diversity Chic edition, I opted to wear heeled booties. I’m a mom, but you better believe I still enjoy wearing heels. To tie in the beautiful blush pink band of my Mon Amie watch, I grabbed an oversized scarf with a hint of pink hidden among the subtle design. The watch stands out on its own with the gold accents and delicate features it possess. A timepiece worth wearing for style points and knowing it’s supporting a great cause.

In the spirit of #givingtuesday, go ahead and treat yourself or a friend for the holidays with a classy timepiece. A timepiece that does more than just tell time, it changes lives.

Stephanie Drenka | Valery Brennan | Beauty and the Pleats

The post Diversity Chic with Mon Amie, Do Good. See Good. Share Good. this Holiday Season appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Disclosure: I received this canvas from Photowall in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for this post and all opinions are my own.

The holidays are quickly approaching and I’m slowly starting to get my life together to began decorating for Junebug’s first Christmas. Prior to baby, I held an obsession with photos of David and myself. The pleasure I get from snapping photos with my extremely photogenic lover brings me so much glee. Adding a baby to the equation upped the ante for family photos! After documenting her arrival with amazing portraits by the talented Stephanie Drenka, I was thrilled to get the chance to display her work with Photowall.

Unique Options and Perks with Photowall

Photowall is all about customization! With the option of trendy wallpaper or canvas prints, you can easily decide to go with one of their prints or upload a photo of your own for printing. After selecting your print, you can customize the size of your wallpaper or canvas to whatever size you may want to display.

For wall murals, you can cover as much of a wall as you would like. If you are looking for an extra large canvas to display in your home – Photowall has you covered. With thousands of designs, you can easily browse their selections to enhance your home with new decor.

With free shipping, there is no need to worry about ridiculous fees for any size item you may order. The best part is that the shipping is extremely fast, within 2-3 days of ordering my canvas was on my doorstep.

Displaying Your Photowall Masterpiece

When it comes to adding your Photowall masterpiece to your home, the easy DIY instructions were a breeze. The wall murals come with easy to hang instructions to proudly add new life to any room in your home. While the canvas prints come with a simple DIY frame to display your new masterpiece.

Luckily my husband was on hand to tackle the task before I got home, but only because of a measuring error on my part. Oh, and when I say measuring error, I mean a lack thereof! Be sure to measure twice for whatever you plan on ordering to avoid the same mistake.

Treat Yourself with Photowall

After figuring out where we wanted it displayed, the finished product looks great. It adds a perfect memory of the newest addition to our family that we can cherish forever.

If you are looking for affordable, quality wall murals (wallpaper) and canvas prints – Photowall is the way to go. Don’t hesitate, preserve those family memories today.

The post Home Sweet Home with Photowall, Decorating for the Holidays appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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Welp, life definitely slapped me right in the face at the beginning of November. You’ve probably noticed by now that I didn’t get my November Small Goals up. In all reality, I haven’t blogged at all before today. To make a long story short, I was in the hospital for three days at the beginning of the month. You’re probably wondering why – well, emergency surgery was necessary to wash out an infection in my right middle finger.

Life has a way of happening fast and furious. During those three days, I was in the hospital, I spent quite a bit of time browsing Instagram. Following fellow moms and missing my own sweet baby girl, but realizing that I’m not your typical mom.

Life isn’t about white walls

Just a little note to those who watch my Instagram stories, my house does not have white walls. Never has and never will. My taste is extremely eclectic and I’ve thrifted nearly all of the furniture that is throughout my home. So if you’re looking for a perfect living room – I’m not your best bet.

My home is covered in dog hair, we are constantly doing laundry, and there is a continuous rotation of dishes that need to be washed – but we’re happy. It’s our home and we love the life we are building within our uniquely colored walls.

Life is about taking breaks

Delilah answers when I say her name. This girl will be on her tummy one minute and be rolling over the next. She has learned how to smack her little lips together. We are reaching out to touch any and everything we can get our hands on. Her puppies are fascinating! She loves to see herself on screens and in mirrors.

I’ve learned all of this by being present with her. Every day won’t bring a new Instagram post and that’s ok. She is worth leaving my phone in the other room and just watching her explore the world as it grows around her.

Life isn’t about affiliate links and followers galore

My clothing isn’t exciting and it never will be. If you ever want to know what I’m wearing in my Instagram stories, just ask. I don’t really have the desire to link every single item and half of the time I found it as TJ Maxx or Ross – so it’s not really worth it. My money is spent on diapers, wipes, and other necessities for my sweet girl.

If you’re a follower of my life and Instagram stories, I can promise you a lot of things. There will be brutal honesty. My Instagram stories will be a drooling baby who’s bib may not always match her outfit. I won’t always have the cutest outfit on and makeup will be far in few. You’ll see that my vision of motherhood isn’t a perfect photo grid and that’s probably for the best.

The post Life and Motherhood, Far From Instagram Perfect appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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I promise I have plans for more consistent blogging habits. Since we’re an honest lot around these parts, I’ve been having the time of my life watching the girl grow. Y’all she is growing! It blows my mind watching her figuring out all of the new fascinating things in her part of the world. We have been loving this experience and have pretty much allowed her to consume all of our time. With that, we are long overdue for some updates. You know, about our life and what’s happening…..

Let’s get to the bottom of these updates…. Update 1 – Daddy & Daughter time in full swing!

The man and his girl have been having the time of their lives together every day. As much as I enjoy this time that they are having together, the smiles he gets stings just a bit. She is all about her daddy and I’m having to adjust to the fact that I’m her glorified milk factory. Luckily, she warms up fast to my arrival home at the end of the long days. The quizzical looks become smiles as soon as I hold her and she smells me. Baby steps!

Update 2 – Big changes happening in the Ware House!

Cardi B says it best “we makin’ money moves” over here! Lots of big things are happening for both myself and the man. We aren’t quite ready to share any updates just yet, but send a prayer, good thought, or positive vibes our way. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some big moves in our lives.

Update 3 – Heavyweight on our hands….

Delilah is a heavyweight. At her 4 month appointment, she weighed in at 17lbs 3oz and was at 26 inches – putting her in the 95th and 96th percentile for each respectively. She’s so healthy that our pediatrician told us to hold off on introducing solid foods until 6 months. The girl definitely isn’t missing any meals. This infant car seat is definitely feeling the strain from all the thighs little girl is serving.

Update 4 – NaNoWriMo

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, google it. We’ll talk about this later, just know that it’s happening in 2017.

Update 5 – Happy Halloween!

This month I’ve been a slacker with posting on the blog and I hope you’ll forgive me for it. I’ve also been a slacker in Halloween costumes for myself and David. We’ve learned that Halloween is no longer about us because they only want to see her.

Be sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram where I share a ton of updates.

The post Updates on Mom Life, Halloween isn’t for you anymore! appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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In less than a week, one of my nearest and dearest friends will be arriving in Dallas. We haven’t seen each other in about 6 years, but we communicate with each other regularly. Literally, we communicate with each other every week (we even live text episodes of our favorite shows). In addition, with so much social media saturation, being friends from afar is a breeze these days. Purposeful (meaningful) friendships that serve intention are harder to come by. Those you are lucky to have, you need to cherish.

Friendships evolve in seasons, because growth matters on a number of different levels. You have to allow each other to mature, grow, and root for the best in each other. Here are three defining statements on purposeful friendships as I countdown the arrival of one of my best friends. 

Distance doesn’t matter in a purposeful friendships

No matter how near or far apart you and your most meaningful friends are, distance never really factors in. Your conversations are still as joyful and relaxed as if you were sitting in the same room. At any given moment, you can easily text them with outfit options to receive a response in no time.

You are there for each other with intention, no matter what

These are the type of friends who will be there for you during the good and bad times. The ups and downs of your life when you need them most. They are the first to text you and ask how you’re doing and if you need anything. The ones who will continue to check on you well past the rough patch. Celebrate your the loudest on your birthday or achieve your latest accomplishment! They are your people.

The concept of time within the relationship is a non-factor – you’re in this forever

A month, 3 months, 2 years, or 6 years apart…. Regardless of how long you’ve been apart, whenever you get back together it’s like time never really stopped. These friends are the ones who have been there every step of the way.

The countdown is on and I’m more than ready to have one of my dearest friends here. This’ll be our time to make new memories and enjoy the moments we get to share next weekend. If you’re following me on social media, I’m going to apologize in advance for all of the snapshots you’ll be getting!

The post Purposeful Friendships from a Millennial’s Perspective appeared first on Simply Sevi.

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