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cleaning out my closet ~ an earth day post featuring schoola AND a peek at all my shoes

02 maximalist closetI’m pretty excited to share this post with you today, but first things first. It has to be said: I have way too many clothes and shoes. Way. Too. Many. I know this. And I love it. #sorryimnotsorry ;) I will say, the older I get, the looser my grip on my clothing and shoes has become. I get rid of stuff much more readily now than I used to, and I’m pickier about my purchases as well. I’d say that about 85% of my clothing, if not more, is still purchased secondhand — I’ve just learned to spot high quality items. #thrifted #thrifting #yesiknowhashtagsdontworkonblogs

But all of this leads perfectly into what we’re going to chat about today, as well as a little tour of my closet. So even if you lean more toward minimalism than I do, please keep reading. I promise this applies to you, too. Plus you can gawk at the photos of all my stuff. 

Right up front, I’m gonna tell you something pretty exciting for me: this post is in collaboration with Schoola, and they sent me a bag of clothes for posting this. And in alllllll my years of blogging {since like 2005, back on MySpace, ha!}, I’ve never been compensated for a blog post before. Now, granted, I got clothes and not money, but I’m still pretty excited about it. Receiving compensation for blog posts is a touchy subject with some people, and really that’s a topic for another day; but this collaboration was too perfect of a fit for me to pass up. I’m genuinely excited to share with you about this cool company.

To get all the info on Schoola, you can click on over to their site. But I’ll go ahead and give you an idea of what it is and how it works. Basically, it’s an online thrift store that sells nice women and children’s clothing and shoes. It’s kind of like a consignment shop in that they ask for higher quality donations — but instead of you getting back a portion of the sales, they donate a portion {40%!!} to schools in the U.S. and around the world. I love this idea so much! Here’s a screen grab from their site that explains it a little more:

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 2.25.52 PM copy17 maximalist closetThe awesome thing is, you can request donation bags and then you just fill them up and mail them off, no postage required from you! Isn’t that amazing?? I just want to tell all of my mom friends this for when they are getting rid of clothes that their kids outgrow. I mean, could it be any easier?? And it’s for a great cause! Win, win!16 maximalist closetI easily filled the two bags they sent me and I’m gonna drop them off at the post office this afternoon.19 maximalist closetToday, April 22nd, is Earth Day. The purpose of Earth Day is to celebrate this beautiful planet we live on and to encourage us human beings to take better care of it. I’ve always had kind of a hippie spirit, so shopping thrifted clothing is right up my alley. But I know a lot of people shudder at the thought of digging for buried treasures at a local thrift store. {I can’t relate, but I sort of get it, I guess…. ;)} Schoola is such a good solution for that, since they sell clean, nice clothing. Instead of fueling the big, crazy clothing industry, you can shop right from your home or phone {yep, there’s an app for it} for high quality secondhand clothing. Plus, you’re helping keep clothing out of landfills. On top of all, that, you’ll be benefiting education!

What are you waiting for?? Start shopping today! Or, do like me and use this as the perfect reason to kick off a little spring cleaning and request a donation bag so you can start passing along some of the stuff you don’t wear or your kids have outgrown!

Now, here’s a peek into my closet, in all its overabundance. :)01 maximalist closet03 maximalist closet12 maximalist closet04 maximalist closet05 maximalist closet06 maximalist closet15 maximalist closet13 maximalist closetI’ve got a few photos of family members tucked into all the madness in here. My nephews’ cutie baby faces help calm me down when I’m stressing over what to wear. :) And I keep several air purifying plants in here to keep it all so fresh and so clean, clean.14 maximalist closetSo many shoes………And there’s more, keep scrolling. Ha!07 maximalist closet08 maximalist closetI have a pretty good system that works great for me: I’ve hung all my tops in order from sleeveless to long sleeves, grouped by color within each category. My dresses over on the other side of the closet {pictured up above} are also sorted by color. It really does help me find what I want to wear more quickly and easily.09 maximalist closet10 maximalist closet11 maximalist closetThis is the actual outfit I’m wearing right now. {I snapped these pix before work this morning.} It is 100%  thrifted, from top to shoes. I should’ve tossed a scarf on, too, but I didn’t think of that until after I left. I shredded the jeans myself, and I’m pretty pleased with them. :)18 maximalist closetNow, even though the whole point of this post is to really push my love of thrifting on you ;), or at the very least get you to donate {#reducereuserecycle}, if you’d just really prefer to buy new clothes, guess what?? You can do exactly that and still help benefit schools through Schoola! See, Schoola has partnered with ModCloth and they have a whole section of adorable, new dresses you can shop right here!

If you think your blog would be a good fit to partner with Schoola, check out there affiliate page.

Whew! I think I’ve given you every bit of info I can. I’m just so excited that there are companies like this out there! Thanks for reading this novel. :) Happy Earth Day, friends!

~abi~

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Kelly BeaneApril 26, 2016 - 3:59 am

Sigh, your closet is pretty amazing! I’m checking out schoola now and can’t wait to find some awesome secondhand clothing without the effort of sorting. For me it’s about the time that takes, so how awesome of them to make it easy and accessible. Keep up the awesome blogs!

a wonderful tool for helping the foster care community

03 Care PortalYesterday, I attended the launch for CarePortal in Oklahoma County. This is a new and exciting initiative of the 111Project.  Years ago, the 111Project was vital in bringing awareness and stirring my heart for those involved with foster care. For several years, I volunteered at a foster care shelter here in OKC, until it was able to close because of more people opening their homes and hearts to these precious kids. The 111Project, partnered with local churches, has been a huge part of seeing so many kids taken into homes; and now, they are bringing the CarePortal to Oklahoma. CarePortal is a genius if simple idea: an email network where social workers can enter needs of foster children, foster families, or parents trying to bring home their children, and The Church can meet those needs. I say The Church because it’s not just my church or any one church with the opportunity to be the hands and feet of God here. Yesterday, as church leader after church leader stood and introduced themselves at the launch event, my heart was overflowing with joy at seeing God’s people come together to make a difference!

You can read about CarePortal {and get all the info you need in order for your church or small group to get involved in such an awesome opportunity} by clicking on over to their page on the 111Project’s site right here: http://www.111project.org/careportal/

Here are a few photos from the launch event yesterday.06 Care Portal02 Care PortalShout out to Robert Davis, representing my church: Life.ChurchNW! :)10 Care PortalMy pastor’s wife, Amy Groeschel, opened the launch event in prayer, and shared her heart for the fostering community.14 Care PortalCool side note: Chris Campbell, who works for 111Project and is heading the CarePortal launch, is the husband of one of my very favorite bloggers, Ashley, over at Under the Sycamore. I have read Ashley’s blog daily for years and years. It’s always cool when my worlds collide like that. Also a big part of the reason I love living in Oklahoma so much! Everybody is so randomly connected to one another! :)43 Care PortalAt the end of the event, Chris submitted the first request for Oklahoma County. What an exciting opportunity we have at hand here, friends!42 Care PortalBe sure to click over to the 111Project site and spend a little time opening your heart up and learning: http://www.111project.org/ <3

Happy Thursday, friends! It’s a good week!

~abi~

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Chris CampbellApril 22, 2016 - 1:29 am

Abi thanks so much for your sweet and beautifully written post. We are so blessed to be a part of what God is doing across our state and thanks for capturing it!!!!

Abi RuthApril 22, 2016 - 9:35 pm

thank you, chris! your comment means a lot to me. i admire all the work you and your family do for the foster/adoption communities.

Kelly BeaneApril 26, 2016 - 3:53 am

You have a heart of gold and I always love to see what God is doing in and through your life! What a wonderful project and I am so excited for this to help the Oklahoma foster care community.

photo shoot ~ matt & kadie’s engagement session in a gorgeous nature setting

012 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfitsThese two…..they’re simply gorgeous souls! And such a fun couple, too. I just love them!001 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfitsI feel like I have such a special connection with Matt & Kadie. Kadie’s mom, Kathy, is my amazing mentor who has taught me more than I can put into words here. Kadie’s dad, Robert, is a leader at our church who has helped me so much during some of my darkest days and then has also been there during my bright times, too, offering encouragement for whatever I am facing. {Also, side note: my boyfriend and Jonathan and I are about to finish up a pre-marriage course with Robert and Kathy that has been so wonderful! But that’s a post for another time.} Anyway, Kadie is a sweet, sweet soul who is a testament to her parents’ coolness. :) Matt is one of the most personable, godly guys I’ve ever known. He was an intern at our church for our youth group, and I got to know him when I was a volunteer with the youth. I watched as he and Kadie fell in love, and it made my heart so very happy!

I had wayyy too many favorites from their engagement session, but…sorry I’m not sorry for sharing so many! :) The lush nature setting was perfect for these two, since many of their dates and even their proposal involved hiking in the great outdoors. I’ll let the images do the rest of the talking for me now. :)002 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfits003 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfits004 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfits005 golden hour outdoor engagement005 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfits006 outdoor engagement photos neutral outfitskssing laughing couple golden hour007 rock road engagement photos neutral outfits008 rock road engagement photos neutral outfits009 rock road engagement photos neutral outfits010 rock road engagement photos neutral outfits011 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits013 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits014 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits015 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits016 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits017 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits018 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits019 golden hour engagement photos neutral outfits020 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits021 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits022 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits023 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits024 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits025 engagement photos by creek neutral outfits026 engagement photos in ball caps neutral outfits027 engagement photos in ball caps neutral outfits028 engagement photos in ball caps neutral outfits029 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits030 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits031 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits032 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits033 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits034 spring time engagement photos neutral outfits035 sunset engagement photos036 sunset engagement photosMatt & Kadie~

I really can’t wait for your wedding {and I’m sure you guys feel the same ;)}!! You two are the best! Thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer! <3 <3

~abi~

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Kelly BeaneApril 26, 2016 - 3:50 am

These are some of the sweetest photo! I have to say though, I am absolutely in love with that black and white with their hands and the lake. Such a great job Abi!

[…] month, I photographed Matt & Kadie‘s amazingly fun wedding. And I’ve got about one hundred and sixty-three photos to share […]

photo shoot ~ ariana’s cool senior portrait session around okc

001 oklahoma city senior portraitsAriana is for sure one of the coolest chicks I know, so I was super happy when she asked me to do her senior portraits last fall. We had a great time shooting in pretty morning light at some of OKC’s best hangout spots. Here are some of my favorites from her session.002 oklahoma city senior portraits003 oklahoma city senior portraits004 oklahoma city senior portraits005 oklahoma city senior portraits006 oklahoma city senior portraits007 okc plaza district senior portraits008 okc plaza district senior portraits009 okc plaza district senior portraits010 okc plaza district senior portraits011 okc plaza district senior portraits012 okc plaza district senior portraits013 okc plaza district senior portraits014 okc plaza district senior portraits015 okc plaza district senior portraits016 okc paseo arts district senior portraits017 okc paseo arts district senior portraits018 okc paseo arts district senior portraits019 okc paseo arts district senior portraits020 okc paseo arts district senior portraits021 okc paseo arts district senior portraits022 okc paseo arts district senior portraitsAriana~

You rock! I loved your outfit choices {of course} and I had a great time hanging out with you for your session. :) Can’t wait to see what amazing things you do with your life in the future! <3

~abi~

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[…] I’ve done in the Paseo {and how my photography style has evolved over the years}, click here, here, here, here, and here. […]

photo shoot ~ katherine & boz’s downtown oklahoma city engagement portraits

001 engagement photos with dogs at homeJust a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of photographing my dear friend Katherine and her fiancé Boz. We started out in their home with their pups, two of the cutest dogs I’ve ever known. :) Hudson and Ted were perfect gentlemen and posed so sweetly for me. :)002 engagement photos with dogs at home003 engagement photos with dogs at homeFrom their home, we headed downtown and hit up one of my favorite places to shoot as well as a couple of new spots I had scoped out. Since Katherine & Box will be getting married on a tree farm, this little grove of trees gave was a fitting backdrop.004 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees005 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees006 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees007 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees008 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees009 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees010 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees011 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees014 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees012 plaid flannel engagement portraits in treesThe sun was peeking through the buildings so perfectly.kissing couple sunflare dowtown013 plaid flannel engagement portraits in trees015 downtown okahoma city engagement portraits016 downtown okahoma city engagement portraits017 downtown okahoma city engagement portraits018 downtown okahoma city engagement portraits019 pineapple mural engagement portraitsI discovered this gem of a mural while out doing a little location scouting one afternoon, and when I saw Katherine’s green top, I knew this would be a great spot to photograph her and Boz.020 pineapple mural engagement portraitsI mean, a weathered old pineapple mural — I die.022 pineapple mural engagement portraits021 pineapple mural engagement portraitsThis last set was done at the Ambassador Hotel in midtown, and the vibe was perfect for their swanky outfits.023 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel024 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel025 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel026 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel027 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel028 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel029 engagement portraits in luxurious hotel030 engagement portraits in luxurious hotelAfter snapping some photos inside the hotel, we headed out to the rooftop balcony of the O Bar to capture this gorgeous couple in front of the OKC skyline at dusk.031 downtown rooftop engagement portraits032 downtown rooftop engagement portraits034 downtown rooftop engagement portraitsrooftop engagement portraits downtown okc035 downtown rooftop engagement portraits036 downtown rooftop engagement portraits037 downtown rooftop engagement portraits038 downtown rooftop engagement portraits033 downtown rooftop engagement portraits039 downtown rooftop engagement portraits040 downtown rooftop engagement portraits041 downtown rooftop engagement portraitsKatherine & Boz~

You two gorgeous souls! What a joy you were to photograph. I loved our session! Thanks for being open to all my ideas. Please give Teddy & Hudson an extra treat for being such great models for me. :) I had so much fun!

Katherine, your friendship over the years has meant the world to me, and I am so happy to see you loved by an awesome guy like Boz.

Love you!

~abi~

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AnnaMarch 29, 2016 - 2:48 am

Aw, perfect pics as usual! The one of them kissing with the lights behind them reminded me of when you took engagement pictures of me and Michael. I think those were the last professional photos we’ve had done, so clearly nothing can compare to you ;) Love the new blog design!

Kelly BeaneMarch 29, 2016 - 3:47 am

I am in love with every single one of these photos! Seriously one of my favorite sessions of yours now. And I kind of want family pics in those tree too! :)

[…] This stunning bride is my dear friend Katherine. She married her love, Boz, on Saturday night, and I had the extreme pleasure of just being a guest at their perfect wedding! I really loved it. And since her wedding has now taken place, I can finally share some favorite photos from her bridal session we did last month. {You can also check out Katherine and Boz’s engagement photos here.} […]