Category Archives: Style

Wedding Max Out

We have a family wedding in about a month in Vail, Colorado, and it’s the most excited I’ve been to go to a wedding for the sheer spectacle of it in a long time. It promises to be a gorgeous event, and Della, Evy, and Nola are all going to be flower girls (which…honestly…could either be super-cute or super-stressful; praying for the former).

4 years ago, my cousin, Amanda, got married in a vineyard in California, and I so wanted to go, but I was 37 weeks pregnant with twins, and for some strange reason, my midwife wasn’t real thrilled with the prospect of my flying thousands of miles away so near my due date. I guess I see her point.

Even so, I was disappointed to miss it.

And I think I’m channeling all of my frustrated outfit planning from four years ago into this wedding because I’ve spent hours (spread out over weeks) scouring the internet for thee perfect dress.

As always, I have a very specific vision in mind. And, as always, I can’t find the exact look I want. BUT! I am sharing the creme de la creme of my research with you guys on the off-chance that you, too, are searching for the perfect maxi dress.

Because that’s what I’ve decided will work best for this wedding for not one, not two, but three reasons, which I will of course share whether you want to hear them or not: 1) I think, for such a special occasion, as few people as possible should be forced to endure views of my right leg, which still shows the rather vivid marks of 6 babies worth of varicose veins, and the long skirt of a maxi is perfect for shielding innocent eyes (wouldn’t want to give the bride cold feet at the prospect of what awaits her currently unblemished stems. ha!) 2) even in the middle of July, it actually gets a bit chilly in the evenings in Vail, so I think I’ll be glad of the extra leg-coverage come evening, and 3) I would really like to be able to enjoy the evening without fear of a wardrobe malfunction a la Theo sticking his hand up my skirt and giving it a good flip. I don’t wear short skirts as it is, but with a maxi, he can flip away to his heart’s content, and a clear shot of the varicose veins is about all I’ll be risking.

ANYhoo…I actually spoke a bit erroneously when I said that I couldn’t find what I was looking for because I didfind the perfect dress…without even looking for it over a month ago.

It’s this Vineet Bahl Portia Maxi from Anthropologie.

vineet bahl

I found it NWOT on Ebay for $50, which, while more than I usually pay for an article of clothing, is an absolute steal for this dress.

BUT! They only had a size that was on the lower end of my possible-wear range, and, although it fit everywhere else, it was suuuuper tight (think straight jacket) right across the chest. Which is kind of funny considering that I am far from well-endowed. Apparently, this was made for a twiggy kind of gal, which…I am not.

Fortunately, I was able to resell it for the same amount that I paid, but unfortunately, I haven’t found anything I like even close to as much. I know. My life. It is so, so hard.

Still, I have unearthed a few that I’m mulling over…

wedding dress collage

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

1. This one is cute, cheap, and has good reviews, but…the print is kind of dark, and I’m not a big fan of strapless.

2. This Free People lace maxi from ebay is more than I want to pay and a little casual for a wedding (although, I think it could be dressed up with the right accessories. Read: NOT the combat boots the model is wearing). In some ways, it’s my favorite of the group because of the color and textures, but it’s not quite my size, and that, coupled with the price, make me wary.

3. I was thisclose to ordering this gorgeous embroidered dress from SheIn because I had 40% off of my order as a new member, but then I put it in the cart and realized that 40% off was as high as the discount could go (NOT the amount extra it was subtracting), and since the dress was already considered 35% off, that fancy 40% off coupon only made it a whopping $3 cheaper. Without having a clue how it would fit and no reviews of the quality, I wasn’t willing to shell out over $70.

4. Ordering from ASOS is always appealing because they send you prepaid return labels for anything that doesn’t work (plus free shipping your direction too). I like the idea of this navy/white floral maxi. The neckline is pretty, but I’m not a big fan of the keyhole cutout in the front. It could be fine. Or it could be racy. Hard to tell.

5. I luuuuuurve the color of this dress. I tried on a similar saffron-colored dress in Anthro in Canada and was surprised to discover that the color worked well for me. Also from Asos. Also easily returned. Hm…tempting.

6. This one from Nordstrom Rack is probably my favorite cut of all the options. The neckline is high and modest, but it still highlights toned shoulders, which is one of my favorite features. For some reason, I don’t love it on the model, but when I picture the colors on me, I think they might work (I promise I don’t mean that as arrogantly as it came out; it’s definitely the opposite of my normal reaction, which is: it looks fabulous on that goddess of a creature, but I’ll look like a dowdy mouse).

7. For some reason, a weird glitch wouldn’t allow me to save a picture of the front of this dress from thredUP. Honestly, it’s out of my price range, and it’s a sweetheart strapless neckline, so it’s not even a real option. But! The color is GORGEOUS! (If you manage to get sucked into perusing the 3,600 !!! maxi dress options they have over there, you can use this code for $10 off your first order).

8. This one is a pointless wishful pick. It’s from Anthro but sold out everywhere. I love the subtlety of the print and background color and–again–that lovely neckline.

So, far, I’ve scoped out all of the brands listed here plus Old Navy, GAP, LOFT and…I’m sure a few others I’m forgetting.

What have I missed?

Which one(s) do you like best?

Any suggestions for me?

I’m definitely–ahem–maxed out on this particular dress hunt.

 

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Boho Kimono

In general, I don’t post tons of pictures of myself on the blog anymore. Which…I doubt makes anybody too upset. I mean, I did write a few posts back last fall about holding myself accountable here for weekday outfits, but…I failed on that one pretty miserably. I did a better job of actually getting dressed in general, and I even documented it (most of the time), but I just never got around to posting about it, and then, I thought it would be pretty silly to show you a round up of what I wore…for the past 4 months.

So…there you go.

I have officially gotten too lazy to blog about outfits for the most part. If that’s your jam, I’m sorry. If it isn’t, you’re welcome.

ANYhoo, that longwinded intro is sort of a hybrid warning/preamble to the fact that you are about to be bombarded with pictures of me…wearing clothes (huge sigh of relief for that second part).

kimono5

So, I have to ask: what do y’all think about the kimono trend? I mean, it’s been going for a while, but it always takes me a loooooooong time to warm up to the latest thing, and I honestly have always felt that kimonos–along with most drapey, flowy clothing–are best for super-slim, long-limbed girls. Now before you go scolding me about complaining about my weight, I’m not. I just don’t have a leggy, lithe physique. I have muscular arms, curvy hips, a long torso, and relatively short legs. And despite being almost 5’7″, I “read” shorter, so lots of loose-fitting things don’t drape well on me.

kimono7

Cue: my reader-friend, Amanda, contacting me about trying out some LuLaRoe gear. I’ll be honest–at first, I was hesitant. I’d mostly heard about how great their leggings are. But I am firmly in the leggings are not pants camp (unless, of course, you’re wearing a tunic that covers both bum and thighs), and there’s only about 4 months per year of leggings-tolerable weather in East Texas anyway, so I passed on that option.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they have much more to offer. I especially liked the look of their jersey maxi skirts, but since LuLaRoe distributor’s inventory turns over rapidly, and even they are never sure which prints they’ll receive, I never managed to snag a particularly gorgeous large-scale floral print I had my eye on.

BUT when Amanda sent me pics of a few kimono options she had in stock, I was intrigued. As mentioned above, I didn’t really think I could pull off a kimono, but with Amanda being so gracious to let me try out an item of my choice, I figured, “Eh. How bad can it be? I’ll give it a whirl!”

Turns out, not bad at all. As in, I really like it!

kimono5

{I especially like the fact that you could wear leggings or more close-fitting pants with it, since it thoroughly covers the rear-view}

I wore this little ditty to church on Sunday, and, while I’ll freely admit that, as of this week, it is officially too hot to wear this particular version of it until–oh–December again, I like the fact that I could easily throw it on with some frayed jean shorts, a white tank, and some wedges, and–voila!–easy (breezy!) date night outfit. I also spotted a pic somewhere of someone wearing a kimono over a white shift dress with strappy sandals, and it was so cute, I’m definitely going to have to give that one a shot too.

kimono2

Oh, and, as always, I had plenty of helpers around for my oh-so-fancy photo shoot.

kimonocollage

Yup, that would be my almost 18-month-old running around with no shoes and the snaps of his onesie undone. Classy. (Not pictured: the other 5 kids lurking just outside the shot).

One more thing I like about this kimono? It’s a little like wearing a twirly dress.

kimonocollage1

Regardless of how much it looks like I am escaping from a bee attack, I can assure you (since I was there) that I am, in fact, twirling. #graceful4ever

So, what’s the takeaway? Um, kimonos are rad? Oh! I know! Don’t be afraid (like me) to try things that you think you won’t like. You might just be proved pleasantly wrong.

If you’d like to chat with Amanda about her LuLaRoe selections, you can find her on her Facebook page or Instagram. She’s an absolute sweetheart and will work patiently with you to figure out exactly what works best for you!

P.S. Ezra takes pretty much all of my pics now. Man, I love having a 10-year-old.

P.P.S. My jeans in these shots are Blank NYC Denim, and I “splurged” on them with some Amazon gift card money I had squirreled away because I’d read raves about how great they are. I asked a trusted source about sizing, since they didn’t have my actual size in stock, and she said, when in doubt, size up. So I did (because they did have the size directly up from what I normally wear). But…I think they’re too big. Well, I don’t think. I know. They are quite loose through the waist and hips, but I would probably only wear them with longer shirts, so that might not matter. On the one hand, they’re insanely comfy. Soft and buttery and pliable without falling down. All good things. But! Considering that they are skinny jeans, methinks the bagging around my ankles (you can see it especially in the profile shot from above) is problematic. Thoughts?

 

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I’ll Anthropologize ahead of time…

Shaun has been working most weekends for a while now, and this last one was no exception, so Valentine’s Day was pretty low key. Which was totally fine. We love a good excuse to cook a nice meal together and spoil each other a bit, but we also know that it’s not that meaningful as holidays go.

The night before, though, we stayed up late making my favorite dessert of all time for a special breakfast in the morning for the whole family.

eclairs

Art print available at Paint and Prose

And they were worth every calorie-laden bite.

To make up for hardly seeing each other on Valentine’s (and, perhaps, more importantly, a Sunday), we finagled a date on Monday night instead. But, at the last minute, our babysitter fell through, and I couldn’t find a replacement.

Oh well, I thought. Dinner at home with the family is good too.

But I couldn’t get the thought of a night “on the town” with my man out of my head, so I called my ridiculously nice mama, and, sure enough, she and my dad agreed to come over and watch the kids at our house so we could head out to have some good food, see one of the worst movies I’ve experienced in a while (Hail, Caesar…yuck), and enjoy some local frozen custard.

But mostly, we were just thrilled to have a chance to finish our sentences and hold hands and hang out in a COMPLETELY abandoned movie theater (apparently, everybody but us got the “terrible movie” memo).

So…thanks, Mom and Dad!

Also, I jumped on the chance to get dressed up like a toddler pounces on her twin sister’s neglected Barbie (not that I have any experience with that).

anthro3

I found that psychedelic dress on a birthday trip to Anthro last October and developed an immediate crush, but, even at 50% off, it was still $98, and I just couldn’t swallow that one. But then, a few weeks later, we were back in Dallas for my my sweet niece’s first birthday, and I managed to squeak in the door of an Anthro about 15 minutes before it closed. And–lo and behold–they had the very same dress in my size for…$35. (It would have been even less but they wouldn’t let me stack my birthday discount on top of the sale they were running. Hmmph!).

anthro

So, I bought it, brought it home, and hung it in my closet, where it has dangled in neglect for the last 4ish months. Our date was super casual, but I decided that dress was getting worn, darn it, regardless of how many raised eyebrows I got. (I got a few).

anthro1

I paired it with a thrifted $3 sweater (also from Anthro, originally) and some leopard print heels that I scored at Nordstrom Rack last summer in Colorado and love in theory but feel more than a little sketchy about in actual practice (my 33-year-old feet aren’t nearly as enamored with heels as my 25-year-old ones were).

anthro2

{P.S. We didn’t manage to get a straight-on shot of the dress before the camera battery died, but there is one on my Instagram…which, honestly, is the best place to see lots of pics of the house and the kids and other fun tidbits that don’t make it onto the blog}

Which…brings me to the title of this post. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. But you may not thank me for it if you’re a fellow Anthro-lover (of the clothes, not the prices, of course). I apologize (anthropologize…ha. ha.) ahead of time if you get sucked in.

A friend added me to this Anthropologie resale site on Facebook (thanks, Angie!), and I’ve been having way too much fun browsing the wares since. (It’s my favorite frivolous, my-brain-has-shut-down-and-refuses-to-do-anything-useful activity while Shaun and I watch a Fixer Upper rerun right before bed).

Some of the prices are decent. Some are laughably exorbitant (You want me to pay $200 for a sweater that I saw on clearance for $40 a few months back? Really? No thanks). Every now and then, you find something amazing for a great price (I just bought a mint condition white lace dress that I’ve been hunting down for a while that was originally over $200 for $25 shipped), but most of it is more than I’m willing to pay. Somehow, it’s still entertaining to browse and watch how frenzied the true Anthro-addicts get over finding their “unicorns” (their term for an elusive, sold-out item that they’re hoping somebody snagged in their size before it went bye-bye and is willing to sell to them, regardless of the price).

Other than the white lace dress, I’ve bought two things (one was perfect; one was a little small and will have to be resold) for a grand total of $55 shipped, but I’m fine with the price in this case because I’ve also sold multiple items (for maaaaajor profits because they were all bought for super-cheap at Goodwill or thredUP–that link gets you $10 off your first thredUP purchase and gives me $10 credit too), and I somehow have a loophole in my brain about spending a little more than I normally would on something I really love if I’ve already paid for it by clearing more items out of my closet.

I have to admit: I’m loving this FB sale site business. In the case of sites like the Anthro one, everyone is so motivated to stay on the site in good standing that there’s very little chance of shipping/mailing fraud. And, in the case of the local swaps, I like that I can check out the Facebook pages of the sellers if I have any concerns (I actually have never bought anything from anyone that worried me, but I like that I have the OPTION to stalk them first :) ).

And there you have it, folks. A very colorful outfit. A date night recap. And a tip you may or may not thank me for later.

Never let it be said that I don’t do eclectic. Because I most definitely do.

Are you guys Facebook swappers too? I feel like–at least around here–it’s taking over garage sales and Craigslist as the preferred method of selling something that’s worth the effort.

How are your #3week50bags challenges going? Did you think I forgot? I’m actually going to be posting an update on mine on Friday. I’m a little off the pace, but I’m hoping to catch up today and tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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The Hunt for the Perfect Ankle Boot

In the grand scheme of life, as long as you’ve got shoes on your feet, you’re good. I mean, lots of people don’t. Style doesn’t actually matter.

But since I’m a first-world girl with first-world problems, I have been known to get a wee bit fixated on finding the perfect fill-in-the-blank for the style I want.

Usually, it’s house stuff. Like a rug with a certain pattern + colors for the kitchen or a bedspread for the girls’ room.

And there’s always the budget consideration.

I want exactly what I want for a really low price.

And in this case (back to the shoe reference), what I want is a pair of simple, genuine leather cognac ankle boots. Preferably with no higher than a 1″ heel.

Like, the ultimate hipster boot, basically.

Which, I’m not even sure I can pull off with my not-exactly-hipster style and my short legs to long torso ratio (I do much better with a heel of at least 2″).

But back to the hunt for this so-called perfect ankle boot. I’ve put a lot of nursing-the-baby-while-browsing-my-phone internet miles into finding said boot, and I figured that it would just be selfish (not mention the loss of a great justification for all of that time wasted spent) not to share my findings with you.

So, without further ado, I give you a round-up of 8 of my favorite boots that I stumbled upon in my research.

Disclaimer: I mentioned the budget consideration for my very particularly quests for the illusive ____________. And I’ll get back to that. But this particular list is not really that budget friendly. Because, apparently, real leather ankle boots are expensive. Period. Especially while they’re in season. So, if you were expecting amazing finds for $30 or something, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint. ankle boot

1/ 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

I’d certainly wear any of these boots (assuming they were, at least, marginally comfy), but my faves BY far are:

#3–the BP Trolley boot (which is shown in a maroon color because I couldn’t find a picture of the actual cognac that it comes in…but it’s gorgeous!)

…and…

#8 , which is the Kork-Ease Velma boot, and it comes in a rich brown leather like I want, but, for some reason, I’m really digging the grayish hue with the contrasting wooden heel.

So…did I actually pull the trigger on any of these?

Negative.

But I did buy a pair of cognac leather ankle boots.

Wanna see?

boots

Are they what I was looking for?

Yes.

And no.

On the one hand, they’re real leather. And the color on the box says “cognac” (although in real life, it’s more of an–intentionally–scuffy true brown).

But it’s not the super-simple silhouette I wanted (I wasn’t interested in buckles or elastic goring), and the heel is 2 1/2″ rather than the ideal 1″ I was looking for.

So, why did I buy them? (I bet you can guess).

They were cheap. The style is Steve Madden Spunkk, and it’s only available on ebay (that I’ve found). And a lot of the ones I found were still close to $100, but then I found one pair in my size with an (easily fixable) “defect” for waaaaaay less…and I went for it.

Am I happy with them?

Yes.

And no.

It’s complicated. :)

Have you found the perfect cognac leather ankle boot? (Because I’m so sure this is what everybody else is on the hunt for). If so, share!

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The good news is I’m still getting dressed…

Well, when I last posted about the effort I’ve been making to get dressed in “real” clothes each day, I posited hopefully (but honestly also doubtfully) that I was going to attempt to do a weekly update.

I should have known better. (I did know better).

Between homeschooling and soccer practice/games and piano and Shaun’s work trips and teaching fitness classes and birthday trips/parties and everything else in between, I’m doing reeeeeally well to a) get dressed in something decent and b) snap a quick pic of it.

Throw in the extra step of editing the pictures every week, and…fuhgeddaboutit…

So! With all of my vague excuses out of the way, let’s proceed, shall we, with another photo dump of the aforementioned “something decent” I’ve been wearing since the last update.

There have been multiple days that the snapping of a quick pic didn’t actually happen, so I promise I got dressed more times that it would appear here, but there are still plenty of days that I spent decked out in gym clothes (anybody else feeling like I should change the title of this post to “disclaimers?”).

weekday wardrobe

{Ignore the stuff on the floor, m’kay? I was laying things out for a gallery wall}.

So…the second that I saw this pic, I took that awkwardly placed belt off and just let the shirt hang loose, which was waaaaay better.

The rest of the shirt is fabulous, though, because who can really complain too much about its tendency to wrinkle when you’re supposed to look like you’ve been on safari (wrangling toddlers…hunting big game…tomato…tomahto). Nothing here is new (the jeans are Goodwill, the boots are from Target, several years back), but I still remember the Anthro clerk’s face when she found out that my shirt was only $8. It’s the same look that a different Anthro clerk gave me when we stopped in on a trip to Dallas for my birthday recently, and I managed to snag a cute decorative doo-dad (I don’t honestly know the name for it) for $3–originally $40.

Absolute incredulity.

And I just wanted to tell her: all you’ve got to do is be dedicated enough to sit on the floor for 20 minutes, rooting around in the deepest recesses of the sale cupboard, and you, too, can bring home something pretty for 90% off.

Hashtag most patient husband ever.

But back to the clothes.

weekday wardrobe1

I’m not real adept at plaid, in case you can’t tell from my less than enthused expression, but this lightweight popover from Target for $5 from the super-clearance rack felt like a nod to the trend without doing the full-on plaid button up + puffy vest + artfully ripped jeans + Hunter boots thing that is so ubiquitous on Pinterest. Plus, layers are not my friend right now. It’s hot, y’all, and mopping floors in puffy vests is just plain silly.

weekday wardrobe2

Did I mention that it’s hot? Actually, this week, it’s been a liiiiiittle cooler, but not enough that a tank top and shorts aren’t warranted. Both of these are more Target super-clearance buys, and the sandals are from Greece.

weekday wardrobe3

This was an attempt to appear fallish with my dress-over-jeans (both from Goodwill) thing I’ve got going on. But again my expression gives me away. I was sweating. Thank goodness for busy prints on black backgrounds to hide underarm rings (charming? very). Come ON, fall!

Oh! And just in case you’re sick of fuzzy cell phone pics, I had Shaun take a shot of each of my birthday trip outfits (I only packed three things for a 2 day trip! I think that my recovery from my former over-packing habits just might be complete. Don’t worry; I won’t stop going to meetings).

birthday1

Top: thredUP (new customers can use that link to get a $20 credit on their first purchase), Jeans: Clothes Mentor (old), Shoes: Payless (old), Bag: Anthro

birthday2

Dress: thredUP, Boots: Amazon (bought with a Christmas gift card last year; there’s only one non-stellar review on that particular link, but I really like them!)

What do you wear to eat messy (but delicious!) Thai food? A print dress, of course. Stain-hiding for the win! Also? My mom got me that pretty apricot bag for my birthday. How she knew I needed one to match the flowers on this dress, I’ll never know. She’s a good mama.

birthday3

Top: thredUP (yes, you’re sensing a theme), Jeans: VS (old), Booties: American Eagle (old)

Does anybody else’s hair do better the day after they wash it?? I feel like there’s something a little funky going on with my hair in the Day 1 birthday trip pics, but it seems to have simmered down by Day 2.

I’ll spare you the Day 5 pics.

So, what about you guys? Is fall going strong where you live? Or are you wondering if you’re going to be celebrating Christmas in shorts with a fan + ice water like I am? More than anything, we need rain. We had soooooo much this past spring that it was a downright pain, but now? Burning bans abound. Sigh.

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Wardrobe Wednesday: Making an Effort

Hey-ho. It’s Wednesday. And I’ve yet to accomplish one single thing from my Project Elephant list. So that’s…going well.

I did, however, manage to finally get together a post that I’ve been planning for a while.

I know there haven’t been that many clothing/style posts of late. Several of you have expressed an interest to see them come back, but…

I haven’t had much to show.

With Shaun traveling so much (often leaving on Sundays), we haven’t been at church as much as usual, which kind of negated the one guaranteed time a week that I actually made an effort to get dressed.

The rest of the time? I’m ashamed to admit that I’m wearing P.J.’s or workout clothes (mostly those) all the live-long day.

We live in the country, and other than the UPS guy (does he count?), we don’t get regular visitors, so I can kind of get away with this.

But honestly? I just felt kind of gross all the time. Sure, it was practical. But it wasn’t attractive. Or motivating.

And there are a lot of clothes in my closet languishing in the land of the unworn.

So, I decided to start making an effort, even on the days when I have to be at the gym later in the afternoon, and it would make more sense just to wear the same clothes all day long.

I’ve been making said effort for a couple of weeks now–not every day because sometimes it really does make sense to wear workout clothes aalll day–and, even though I had ambitions of showing each week’s outfits to you one at a time, that hasn’t happened yet.

So, I figure a big photo-dump is better than nothing at all.

In the future, I hope (we’ll see how it goes) to get the photos posted at the end of the week in a Weekday Wardrobe feature, but for now, we have Wardrobe Wednesday: The Making an Effort Edition.

week1version2

Outfit 1: Top + Shorts from thredUP (that link gives you–and me– a $20 credit, if you’re a new customer) sandals from Greece

Outfit 2: Top – GAP, Shorts – Old Navy (old), sandals from Greece, Necklace – on sale for $3 from Walmart (still had them last time I checked)

Outfit 3: Top - J. Crew (got mine when it was on sale + an extra 50% off…which they do sometimes), Shorts – Target (from this summer), Shoes – Marshall’s

week2

Outfit 1: Top - GAP, Jeans – LOFT (this summer), Cargo vest – Old Navy (old), Shades/Purse/Shoes – local FB swap ‘n shop

Outfit 2: Top – thredUP, Shorts – American Eagle, Sandals – Ross

Outfit 3: Top – Madewell (on major sale), Shorts – J. Crew Factory (ditto), Sandals – Ross, Bag - Anthro (I got it when they had an extra 30% off + free shipping, but it’s still on sale right now)

week3

Outfit 1: Brought to courtesy of: I was majorly overhauling my closet and was tempted to hide all the mess before I took the pic but decided you would appreciate a little reality instead (Shirt was a gift from my sis-in-law, Jeans are Joe’s – $3 from Clothes Mentor, Shoes – Ebay)

Outfit 2: Dress – thredUP, Booties (or are they Shooties? I don’t claim to know) – Anthro (on major sale last spring)

Oufit 3: Top – thredUP, Jeans – Clothes Mentor, Shoes: Payless (old)

(Most of these were church outfits; I don’t clean bathrooms in dresses + b/shooties)

………………………………………………………………………………………..

Aaaaand there you have it! A round up of what I’ve been wearing when I actually manage to put on real clothes these days.

Which would not include today (yet) as I sit here typing this in my P.J.’s. Off to remedy that!

Happy Wednesday to you! May you find time to put on real clothes and apply mascara today. And if you don’t, may you not care one single bit!

 

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That time I wore clothes on vacation…

…and there was great rejoicing.

Because the alternative would be awkward at best.

ANYhoo, the truth is that there has not been much in the way of cute clothes this summer. I’m usually headed to the gym with the kids in the afternoon, so it doesn’t make much sense to get out of my pajamas and all gussied up only to change again into gym clothes.

And–let’s be honest–sometimes, the gym clothes don’t even make it onto my body until 15 minutes before we have to walk out the door. Yet another reason why I’m glad we live in the boonies. And our UPS guy is totally unfazed by my answering the door in lounge pants. #blesshim

BUT.

When we went on vacation to Colorado (someday, I’ll stop talking about this trip…pinky promise), I made an effort. It was fun to plan outfits again, and since I wasn’t teaching fitness classes, I forced myself to pack options that didn’t involve a) spandex and b) the (non) color black.

It was still vacation, though, so I kept things pretty simple/minimal. And, OF COURSE, I documented all most of it.

Ezra is my budding outfit photographer because he thinks it’s a privilege of the highest order to be asked, and Shaun…doesn’t.

Anyway, you know me: I love bargains, so most of these looks were thrifted or deeply clearanced, but I’ll tag what I can.

outfit

The only thing worth even attempting to buy is that peach skirt from SheInside (this one’s not identical, but it’s pretty close). The tissue top (over a tank top…I wear white tanks with e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.) is from GAP, and the sandals were an impulsive Ross purchase a couple of years ago that I have worn to death.

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I should probably call this one my, “I Heart thredUP outfit” since the top, shorts, and shoes are all from there. (If you’ve never tried it and want a free $10 credit–I get one too–you can use this link).

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This outfit comes to you courtesy of date night. I’d been on the hunt for some leopard print heels at a decent price that I love for…years. And I bought these calf-hair Jessica Simpson ones at Nordstrom Rack in Boulder for $35 after leaving them the first time and then spending odd moments during the next 24 hours planning outfits I could wear them with. So, I told myself if I went back, and they were still there, I could buy them. They were, so I did. Are they comfortable? Um…relatively. I sure thought so in the store, but as the night wore on, and we walked around cute downtown Boulder, my dogs started barking a little. I can definitely tell that I’m getting older because, 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have thought anything of not entirely comfortable but entirely cute shoes for date night. Now, I’m all: where’re my slippers at?

outfit3

Want to know what to wear when you have greasy, vacation hair? A head-wrap. Mine is from the J. Crew Outlet for something like $5, but it’s super easy to just fold a scarf or a cute piece of fabric and tie it around your noggin too. Dirty hair? What dirty hair?

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I promise I don’t have mold growing on  my face, but for some reason, this particular pic didn’t come out clear. At all. My striped tank top is from the GAP forever ago, the skirt was a clothes-swap score, and the sandals are handmade from Greece. Aaaaaah, Greece.

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And then, we have the, “I’m going to pretend like I tried by throwing on a pair of gold wedges and hoping they look okay with destructed boyfriend jeans.” Eh. Good enough. My jeans were from LOFT this past spring (on suuuuuuper-clearance), and my tank is from Target about a month ago. Also super clearance. I love it because it’s a bit sheer (see above comment about white tank tops under everything) and flowy without being tent-like.

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And last but, apparently, NOT least, we have the outfit that made my husband give me an appreciative head-to-toe and say, “I really like that outfit.” I’m literally laughing while typing this. Of ALL of the outfits I wore on the trip, I think I look the silliest here. Or maybe it’s just my awkward I-don’t-golf-and-have-no-idea-how-to-hold-this-thing stance.

In any case, I scored both those shorts that my husband called, “Long enough to be modest but not so long that they look weird” AND the cute graphic tee (crazy soft! I like!) at the J. Crew Outlet for $16. And I scored my white chucks on sale at Academy where I happened to check out with a store manager, and she gave me the skeptical side-eye when they rang up full price, and I informed her of the sale. Turns out I was right. OOOOOOOoh yeah. Ahem.

And there you have it. I did wear more clothes, but you’ve either already seen them in other posts, or they were workout clothes. And nobody wants to see those.

So, tell me, does your husband get all excited when you wear boring stuff like shorts and t-shirts? I. just. don’t. get. it.

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Bump Style + Life Lately

Wanna hear something crazy?

I will be 36 weeks pregnant this week. I know, right?

I mean, that’s, like, legit or…something. And, after feeling like this pregnancy has draaaaaagged for the last 8 months, this whole being-right-at-the-tail-end business has really sneaked up on me.

Probably because I’ve been in a combination of survival + extra-busy mode lately. Shaun has been traveling for the last two weeks and home on the weekends (hence, the survival mode), and while he’s gone, I’m pretty much in P.J.s or exercise clothes all the live long day.

The extra-busyness has come on the weekends, when we’ve had soccer games (the season is over now; I’m not particularly sad about it) and two weddings in as many weeks to attend.

So, as far as clothing goes, I’ve been swinging on a rather wild pendulum from slob-fest to way more dressed up than I pretty much ever get. Like the time I wore this emerald green maxi to my good friend, Katie’s, wedding. katieweekend4 Sadly, this blurry shot is the only one we got with Katie and her new husband, Matt. But I did enlist Shaun to snap a quick shot of the full dress. Both with my coat on… katieweekend1 and off…

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{The no-coat thing didn’t last long at all. It was chilly!}

Of course, as much as I loved getting to see a friend tie the knot, I have to admit that her wedding’s being a couple of hours away gave us a pretty awesome excuse for an extended date. We ate dinner at one of our favorite places, then headed to Dallas on a Saturday evening, watched a movie (The 100 Foot Journey–highly recommend! It’s fun and clean, plus it was a late-run movie, so we paid a whopping $5 for both of us. SCORE!}, and then had a leisurely morning (breakfast at La Madeleine, YUM!) and early afternoon before heading to the wedding. katieweekend3

{This is what I wore to dinner and the movie}

I’m grateful that I can still wear some of my low-waisted regular jeans, like these trouser-style ones that I’ve had since Simon was born. It makes me feel a little more normal and cute when I actually do bother to dress the bump these days.

However, THESE Big Star jeans that I bought from Mandy several years back have seen their last wear before this baby makes his grand appearance. At least, as long as I don’t want him to come out with a “Big Star” button imprint on his noggin. katieweekend {As you can see, I’m still loving my Kenneth Cole leather jacket splurge} Oh, and as far as what you’d see at a soccer game, this is about as fancy as it gets.

soccer mom

Of course, church is always a good reason to actually get dressed these days, so I hauled out this royal blue J. Crew shirt I bought on clearance months ago, intending to save it for “the end.” blue shirt {Yay for non-blurry pictures!}

But then, it occurred to me that this sort of is “the end,” and if I’m going to wear it this side of pregnancy, I’d better get after it.

So I did.

Thankfully, the wedding we attended this past weekend was indoors, but it’s still a bit of a challenge to find something that fits over the bump as is still warm enough and dressy enough.

 

Solution?

wedding

Layers. A summer dress + a sweater, tights, boots and  coat (not pictured, obviously) = covered up, hopefully event appropriate, and warm (it’s been unusually chilly for the first few weeks in November).

So, there you have it, folks! A recap of life lately (minus the super mundane parts, although…I’m working on that post…no, seriously) + how I’ve been styling the bump in the home stretch.

Home. Stretch (probably with the emphasis on the word “stretch,” but we’ll see).

How has November been treating you guys? If you think to pray for us as we make it through week 3 of Shaun’s being gone, I’d appreciate it.

And what about Christmas music? Anybody listening yet? We’ve never started this early before, but we turned it on during a craft activity the other day, and now I can’t stop!

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The Parisian Lady Tee

On my birthday weekend, the last stop on our “way” back from Houston was actually a bit of detour to an outlet mall.

I had grand plans of getting some Christmas shopping done, since the idea of buying for myself at 30 + weeks pregnant was far from alluring. IMG_5235

But the sales at all the kids’ stores were less than stellar, so we basically walked the entire loop of the mall, stopping into a few stores here and there, and then vamoosed.    IMG_5237-001

If that sounds like a rather lackluster shopping trip…I suppose it was…although I’ll take an excuse to wander around, sifting through sales racks and holding my husband’s hand any day.

The one notable exception was the Parisian Lady tee.

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I spotted this fun graphic tee on jcrewfactory.com (the online version of the outlet store) a while back for $17.99 and really loved its cheerful, cheeky style. But, with shipping being $5 and my having no idea about the quality or fit, I wasn’t quite willing to shell out $20+ for a t-shirt I couldn’t easily return.

Turns out, they had one Parisian Lady left in the J. Crew outlet at this mall, and it was my size (or close enough, given the belly). It was $29.99, though, and the store guy I talked to said they didn’t match online pricing.

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HOWEVER. The outlet store had an extra 50% off of sale prices dealio going, so I decided to take the plunge. Even better, they had one other shirt that I had been eyeing in just my size–also on sale with the extra 50% off (and this one had been over $30 online, so there was no way I was going for it without being able to try it on). That one ended up being a winner too, and we even threw some shorts for Shaun into the mix, which brought our total to a whopping 3 items.

When we got to the register, somehow it came up that it was my birthday (Shaun said it, not me), and the guy ringing up our purchases congratulated me. And then I mentioned to him that I’d signed up for the J. Crew Factory birthday rewards (which was supposed to give you an extra 20% off your entire purchase during your birthday month) but had never received the promised email. I just kind of trailed off because he had already made a point that they were a separate entity from the online store. I figured he would probably say there was nothing he could do.

But no. Instead, he said, “Tell you what–I’ll give an extra 30% off on top of your extra 50% off. How does that sound?”

To which I replied by doing cartwheels around the bin of striped ties next to me. No small feat with this belly, I tell you.

Just kidding.

I haven’t been able to do a cartwheel since 4th grade.

I did thank him profusely for his kindness, though.

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And then I wore my Parisian Lady tee with polka dot skinnies (from Old Navy a while back), striped wedges (from Target last spring), and a smile almost as smug as the Parisian lady’s herself.

I think we all know the moral of this story.

Never do cartwheels while pregnant.

Always, ALWAYS ask for a better price if there’s any justifiable reason to do so. (I’m not quite brazen enough to wander up with a full-priced dress and ask if I can have it for 50% off just because. But I’m close).

Ever gotten special treatment (doesn’t have to be shopping related) just because it was your birthday? I feel like there have been other instances of this that I can’t remember at the moment. But getting two shirts I’d been wanting on my birthday for way less than the price of one online made this bargain-loving chick quite happy.

 

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Maxi-mum Wear

A while back, I spotted a smokin’ hot deal on Old Navy’s website for a soft, jersey maxi dress which was pretty much  universally well-reviewed as flattering and comfortable for–wait for it–$7 shipped. (it’s currently $10, but they pretty much always have a coupon code to stack with that).

I mean, my Goodwill generally slaps a $6 price tag across the board on pretty much anything–be it a denim jumper, 80′s mumu, or designer frock–that could remotely be skewed as something resembling a dress.

So, $7 for a brand new maxi that’s supposed to be decently well-made is pretty much a no-brainer. Especially when I don’t have to leave my house to buy it, and I can return it for free to the store if it doesn’t work.

In fact, it was such a “duh” moment for me that I bought it in three different colors. And, after I posted the deal to my FB page, several of you let me know that you’d bought it too. Heck, even my mom bought it! (Albeit as a gift for my sis-in-law).

I’ve worn all three version of it already, and I’m happy to report that it’s just as comfy as the reviews say.

As far as flattering, I really love the unconventional neckline, which looks like a halter from the front, but is actually a yoke style that connects in the back as well. It shows off your shoulders without being revealing, and, even though it requires a strapless bra, I still would rate the over all comfort level of the dress at an 8. (The material is sooooooo soft, and has a nice, heavy drape).

And, while it’s not technically a maternity dress, the tie is just high enough to work with my belly, and there’s tons of stretch to accommodate the bump.

The only complaint I have, really, is the inconsistency in the sizing.

I wore the navy version with a tie from another skirt on a date night with the hubs with flip-flops and was thrilled with the length, which just grazed the floor.

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Pardon a) the weird shiny thing happening with my eyes (I tried to hide behind a pole to avoid the direct glare but clearly was only partially successful) b) the speckles on my top (you can stop wiping your screen now; they’re not going away). I think it’s toothpaste. But really, as a mama to five small humans, I can never be sure.

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But then, there was the teal version, which I didn’t get a great picture of (this would be a cell phone shot snapped by Ezra).

blue ON maxi

It was considerably roomier all-around, but a good 3-4 inches shorter, even though it was supposed to be exactly the same size. I would have loved it a lot more if it had had the extra length, but I’ll probably stick to wearing it with flats in the future, which should help.

And finally, I channeled a bumblebee when I wore this ditzy-print black/white version to church last week.

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It’s a size smaller than the other two and was definitely clingier overall and not as long as the first one (though a smidge more so than the second…I think).    IMG_4719-001

So, was I happy with my 3 maxis for under $25 (including tax)?

Yup!

I’ll be putting away the smaller size until after pregnancy, but I can see getting plenty more wear out of the other two (especially the navy version) this fall.

Sadly, the navy is the only one left and only in a size large, but if you stumble across it for a steal in stores, or if they decide to restock, it would totally be worth a $7 “splurge,” in my humble opinion–whether you’re pregnant or not.

Scored any great deals (thrifted or new) lately? It’s so rare to score such an amazing price on something online that I was pretty stoked. As much as I love the thrill of the hunt at Goodwill or even an occasional run to the mall, there’s just something extra-special awesome about getting a steal on something from the comfort of your own couch.

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