This Is My Story |

August 8, 2014

Noonday Collection: Fall Launch + A Giveaway!

If you follow me on social media, you know that I recently became a Noonday Collection Ambassador! I'm so incredibly excited to represent the Noonday artisans and the work that they do. 

Noonday uses fashion and design to create opportunities for the vulnerable. They provide dignified jobs, emergency assistance, no interest loans, and long term partnerships. As an ambassador I will work to create a marketplace for the artisans so they can earn a sustainable income that keeps their families together.  


And how do YOU help? What is YOUR role in all of this? You purchase with a purpose! You buy and wear fabulous jewelry and accessories made by our artisans, and YOU make a difference! 

We'll be using the money made through my Noonday Collection ambassadorship o 

Yesterday was a big day for Noonday Collection as it was the launch of our gorgeous Fall 2014 line and yesterday was a Noonday first as ambassadors all over the country hosted Nationwide Trunk Shows. I didn't receive my samples in time to share in on the fun, but I didn't want to just leave it there...

I'll be hosting my official launch party as an ambassador at the beginning of September; but, to share in on the fall launch fun, I've opened up sales for my launch trunk show! And if you order any piece (it doesn't have to be a new fall piece!) through my Noonday Collection website today through this Sunday evening, you'll be entered to win a $25 Noonday gift card to use on a later purchase! 

Here's how to make sure your order counts toward my launch trunk show + the giveaway opportunity:

1) Head to + choose your favorite items!
2) At check out, be sure to select CARLY SKINNER as your Noonday Ambassador from the drop down menu. 
3) Manually type in CARLY'S LAUNCH PARTY in the trunk show name box. 
4) Anxiously await your item + then tag me in all of your pictures so I can see your beauties. 

I can't wait to see what all of you order! Also, if you're local to the DFW area and would like to host a Noonday Collection trunk show and get FREE jewelry, shoot me an email! xo

August 6, 2014

titus is home.

Well, a lot has changed since I posted over a month ago. As of today, Titus Stephen is one month old. The little man we long dreamed of is finally home with us.

Titus was born on July 6th at 9:07 am, two weeks before his due date. He weighed in at 5 pounds, 11 ounces and was 18.5 inches long.

We received a text around 8:30 the morning of the sixth that our birth mom (I'll call her "T" from here on out) was in labor. I was loading Gunner into the car to go to church and Cody was on shift at the first station. After quick bag packing and babysitter drop offs, we were on our way to Utah and landed around 3:30 that afternoon. We picked up a late lunch/early dinner for T and headed to the hospital. 

Meeting Titus for the first time was an incredible experience and so much of that had to do with meeting our birth mom at the same time. There's a lot of that story, of her story, of Titus' story that is ours and will just be ours forever. I hope that makes sense. We love her and will always, always be grateful for her, indebted to her and her sacrificial decision.

We officially signed our papers on July 7th, brought Titus "home" to the hotel on July 8th, and spent the rest of our week in Salt Lake City, UT. 

Gunner has adjusted incredibly well to his little brother. He is fiercely loving and protective of him, which is all I could have hoped or dreamed for. I posted on Instagram about it yesterday, but I truly think the Lord knew that I needed my little helper to adjust well. Life is going to continue to be busy around here with Pacey arriving in November so my Gunner adjusting so well is just the amount of grace I need.

As for Titus, he's the little boy we always dreamed of. He is our Titus. We're dealing with lots of tummy issues the past few days but he really is an angel baby. As of his one month check up yesterday, he's gained almost three pounds and grown an inch or too. He sleeps a lot, lets his big brother roughly love him, and is becoming more and more alert each day. But, he still likes his sleep...which his momma loves too. ;)

Here are just a few pictures from our first month at home, but I'm always sharing more on my Instagram account so be sure to follow us there too!

July 1, 2014

style: johari creations

Our experience with international adoption opened my eyes to a lot of things, and while it's not currently the road we're traveling, my mind can no longer choose to "innocently" ignore the hardships that people in developing countries often endure. 

I strongly believe in the Biblical mandate to love our neighbors -- those literally right next door and those countries away -- as ourselves; but sometimes, especially in situations involving developing countries, I begin to feel a little stuck. Right now, I can't afford to travel and serve, BUT I can make purchases that help provide artisans in developing countries sustainable incomes, work, and holistic development.

Today, I am so excited to introduce my friend, Lindsy, and Johari Creations to you. I first met Lindsy through the Influence Network and our connection as mommas adopting Congolese children. Her precious Glory is still stuck in Congo, and while she is working hard to bring her home (on top of raising her four other children!), she also works hard to bring opportunity to artisans all around the world. 

Johari is Swahili for "jewel" and I can't think of better way to describe the artisans that create these items. Are the items beautiful, jewels in their own right? Absolutely. But the people behind the items? Even more beautiful.

Below I'm wearing the Acai Rope Necklace (in turquoise) and I love how versatile it is. I often throw it over a simple tank top and shorts (my favorite pregnancy outfit), but it works well layered over a more intricate shirt too. 

Check out the Johari website and their market to see some of their beautiful, hand crafted, fair trade items from places like Ghana and Ecuador. They also have an adorable Johari Jr. line that I can't wait to purchase pieces from. The Afro Gypsy Romper is a personal favorite!

I'm also super excited to share that Johari Creations is donating 15% of all sales that come through me toward our adoption funds. All you have to do is leave my name CARLY SKINNER in the notes section at check out and 15% of your purchase will be sent directly to us to help bring Titus home.

I hope you find something beautiful to purchase so you can support these beautiful artisans!

Acai Rope Necklace c/o Johari Creations

June 24, 2014

style: it's all in the bag.

We spent this past weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas for a late fifth anniversary + early baby moon before the two new babes get here. Fredericksburg is a great little town in the hill country of Texas with great boutiques, small restaurants, wineries, wildflowers, and the most quaint fresh peach stands on every corner.

We spent one of evenings at the beautiful Wildseed Farms, a large wildflower farm, eating homemade peach ice cream, peeking at little succulents, and walking the wildflower fields. Cody snapped a few pictures of me with my newest + most favorite bag from Lily Jade and since I haven't had the chance to officially share it here, I thought it'd be the perfect time!

I've always been big purse obsessed and honestly, I think that obsession has served me well in motherhood. And my Caroline bag from Lily Jade is the perfect mix of style (hello, it's all genuine leather) and practicality. Each Lily Jade has a snap in diaper bag lining that has organizational pockets galore that are perfect for wipes, diapers, sippy cups, and toys. Plus, the diaper bag lining is 100% machine washable. And if you don't want the diaper bag lining in at all times? You can easily unsnap it from the bag. Although this type A momma isn't sure why you'd want to remove that beautiful organizational feature.

The Caroline is available in lots of other great colors and Lily Jade just recently released a whole new line in metallic colors + bags that are a mixture of canvas and leather that I'm dying to purchase too. 

Ladies, you must check this company out! Maybe it's time to treat yourself? I can promise you'll love your bag. Happy shopping! xo

Caroline bag in red c/o Lily Jade
Dress & shoes from Target

June 23, 2014

philippians 1:6 -- an adoption fundraiser

As I shared in my last post, we've officially been matched with a birth mom who is due to deliver in July. Her official due date is July 22d, but she can be induced as early as July 15th; so, we're doing all sorts of last minute planning -- preparing the nursery, bringing down all of our baby gear and clothes, and, of course, last minute fundraising. 

Honestly, we took a hit financially after feeling called to leave the Congo program we were a part of, and while we absolutely believe it was the right choice, it has left us short of some funds. On top of that, payments made in domestic adoptions are just different than international...cost is similar, but the funds are needed in much larger sums. We have some incredible people at our church who are offering to step in and fill the voids, but we are still working hard to raise every bit that we can.

So, late last night we launched an adoption t-shirt fundraiser that will run until the 20th of July. We have a goal to sell 100 t-shirts, but, of course, every extra t-shirt sold helps keep us from having to pursue things like no interest loans or money taken from retirement savings.

I hope to have a chance to blog more later this week about the meaning behind the shirt, but for now, you can read a little bit about it on the fundraising website + order your own t-shirt there! 

My incredible friend, Kara-Kae, created the design for us and we are so so thankful for her gracious work. Be sure to check out her stationary + cards shop. She sells the cutest stuff, plus lots of things that will make you giggle.

And for those of you who are picky about t-shirts (I'm totally one of those people), these will be printed on American Apparel tees, so I promise the quality is great! If this sale is successful, we'll probably do another one with more t-shirt options (think v-necks and kid sizes) once we have Titus home and have a handle of how much money we'll need to continue raising to pay off any loans. 

We'd be absolutely thrilled if you purchased a t-shirt (PURCHASE THEM HERE), but if you can't offer support in that way, would you mind sharing through email, social media, or your blog? Every share is a new set of eyes on our cause. 

Thank you. We are so incredibly thankful for your continued love and support.

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