Monday, August 31, 2015

On Point



I wore this outfit to church a couple Sunday's ago and one of my friends told me it was on point.  And then we laughed about how kids these days say "on fleek" and what does that even mean?  

Dress: Limited outlet
Belt: Madden
Sandals: Target


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Budget Rewind - August 2013


August 2013 was a pretty good month for shopping.  I look at this collage and still have and like everything, so that's an accomplishment for 2 years ago!

Good
J.Crew factory chambray popover: $31 - I think the chambray has proved its worth over and over again.  
Love Culture Pink Sandals: $6 - this store randomly appeared at the mall and then disappeared just as fast.  It was kind of like Forever21 - cheap and mostly nothing I wouldn't of ever wear!  But I found these sandals and I love them!   Update - they still have a website.  And I'm pretty sure I had these shoes in 1998.  

Medium
J.Crew factory pencil skirt: $25 - online this skirt looked more red.  In person, more orangey.  And it was final sale.  I like it and have worn it quite a bit.  But it was probably foolish to spend $25 on a final sale item that was a gamble.  I need to try it on and see if it still fits, and then consider whether I will be needing pencil skirts as a stay-at-home mom.  
Loft Plum tank: $8 - I've worn this more than I've blogged it.  It's a little see-through, which isn't great, but I like the color and I think it fits nicely.  
Loft Paisley Cardigan: $12  - blogged 4 times.  This one is tricky because I LOVE IT.  But I hardly ever wear it.  What's up with that?  I need to wear it more!

Bad
Loft Orange/White stripe tank: $7 - I think I've worn this more than just the one time I blogged it.  I hope.  I think it's cute, so I should try to wear it more!

As far as budget rewinds go, not too shameful.  I'm already bracing for the shame of September 2013.   So make sure to come back next month for that post.  






Friday, August 28, 2015

Budget Rewind - August 2014



August 2014 seems like a million years ago!  These are the last things I bought before finding out I was pregnant!  And the collage features some "close enough" options, which are actually cuter than the real versions I got.  

Good
Gap factory black/white skirt and Gap factory orange/blue skirt: $13 each - I love these skirts and have worn them both quite a bit!
Loft outlet lace tee: $22 - this was a replacement for my H&M lace tee that I wore until it was basically ruined.  
Macy's floral skirt: $15 - another skirt that I love! Shoutout to Danielle who actually linked to this skirt in one of her posts, and I promptly purchased it. 
Gap factory white tank: $2 - I wear little tank tops under almost everything, so I'm happy when I can find them for a good price!  
Target gold flats: $8 - comfortable flats, and they are a fun alternative when I want something neutral but kind of sparkly.  
Target navy sandals: $8 - I wanted to buy these when I first saw them, but didn't want to pay full price, so I was super excited when I found them later in the summer on sale!  

Medium
Loft outlet maroon dress: $12 - I tend to avoid "fall" colors (like maroon, olive, mustard) because I just don't like them as much as brighter colors, but this maroon/Marsala/oxblood dress (whatever we are calling it this year) was cheap and comfortable and I thought it would fit in well with my closet.  I have worn it a fair amount and think I will continue to, but I probably wouldn't buy it again if I could go back.  I don't have as much fun styling it as I do with most dresses.
Gap factory gray/white striped tee: $3 - I need to stop with the cheap cotton tees from Gap and Old Navy.  I think we've established this time and time again.  I'm sure I've worn this more than 3 times, but it was just unneeded.

Ugly
NY&Co striped pleated skirt: $15 - after the suit buying fiasco in May, I waited about 2 days too long to return the suit at NY&Co, so I was stuck with a gift card.  But I never shop there.  I bought this skirt and knew it was a mistake, but I was being stubborn (full story here) I guess it's cute, but I never would have bought it with real money.  I might try wearing it one more time and then see if I can sell it!  
Target mint flats: $5 - well, I haven't even worn these yet, so these were obviously not a great decision.  I do think I would have worn them in the spring if my feet weren't swollen, but I have no excuse for not wearing them yet this summer.  

So not great, but not terrible!  Then my shopping strategies changed quite a bit as of September, what with growing a human and all.  




Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blogger vs. Baby: Navy Camo



In the couple of months where people knew I was pregnant, but didn't know we were having a boy, they liked to say things about how if I had a girl, we could dress alike, and how fun that would be.  Well, who says my boy and I can't dress alike?  In my defense, I did not buy him this shirt, but I love it.  


I was going to make a poll for who wore it better, but it wouldn't be fair.  I mean, look at him.  He's cheating with extra cuteness.

Top: Gap
Jeans: Jessica Simpson
Shoes: Sperry



Wednesday, August 26, 2015

August Shopping



If you were excited to know about the socks I bought in July, you'll probably need to sit down for the epic shopping I did in August.  TWO UNDERTANKS!

That's right, folks.  I bought not one, but TWO tank tops at the Gap outlet.  It's out of control over here.  But I wear camisoles under pretty much everything, so I think these are a good investment.

Gray tank: $5
White tank: $5

I mean, babies are expensive, but he's doing his best to save the family money by crying whenever we go shopping.  Unless I'm with my nieces at a store I am not interested in, like Claire's or Justice.  Or at the fancy mall where all the stores are too expensive.  Then he falls asleep.

Full disclosure:  when my sister was visiting, her girls LOVE to shop, and really wanted to go to the outlet mall (which is an outdoor mall).  When we got there, it was raining and kind of chilly.  Assuming it would be hot since it was AUGUST, I was wearing shorts and a tank top.  So I bought this cardigan at Gap, so I wouldn't be too cold.  It was $20, which is more than I would ever spend on a Gap cardigan.  When we got back outside, it was sunny and warming up, so I returned the cardigan on our way back to the car.  Because I am ridiculous.  It's also entirely possible that I bought this shirt and this hoodie for the boy.  But I don't blog about his clothing budget!

In September, I really need to buy some jeans.  And I feel completely clueless about what style I should buy.  I've been mostly wearing skinnies for the past few years (haven't we all), but it seems like flares are coming back, and I do like those, too.  Maybe I need to buy 2 pairs of jeans.

As always, linking up with Franish for Budgeting Bloggers

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Book Review - Station Eleven



Station Eleven is a kind of bizarre book.  I knew that it was a novel set after the collapse of society (flu kills almost everyone, which you know, isn't as far-fetched as I want it to be).  I didn't know that it centered around a traveling symphony.  I was actually super excited about the book, and telling John about it, and as I read the synopsis on Goodreads, thought it sounded kind of cheesy.  But I went ahead and read it, because I had heard good things.  And I really liked it.  The story jumps back and forth between about 20 years after the flu outbreak and about 20 years before.  And how the main characters lives somehow intertwine over the years and everything that happens.

Overall, I thought this book was interesting and well-written, but I wanted more closure at the end.  It was one of those books where it seemed like the author was just like 'Meh, I'm tired of writing.  It's good enough."  And I know authors do that sometimes for effect, and to make the reader fill in the blanks, but sometimes it works better.

I'll probably check out the other books by Emily St. John Mandel at some point.  Maybe they have more closure?  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ode to a Dress



These days, I often thank my former self for buying so many skirts and dresses with flowy skirts!  This is a magical dress that fits no matter what size I am.  It's a "dry clean only" dress, but the first time I took it into the cleaners, they wanted to charge me $1 per pleat, to iron it.  And I was like, "um, this dress only cost $18. I'm not going to spend $100 to get it cleaned!" and I've been washing it on delicate and line drying it ever since.  And I don't even iron it, because I'm a rebel.  And I'm pretty sure it looks exactly like it did the first time I wore it on vacation back in 2013.  And now I want to go to the beach.  Babies love cruises, right??  (I'm joking - I think having a baby in a stateroom would be pretty awful!).

Oh, and if you are wondering why I was dressed up, it's because one of my friends got married!  YAY!

Dress: Limited
Belt: Madden
Shoes:Target

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Baby Room (finally)

Way back in April, we "finished" the baby's room (shortly after I shared the "sneak preview").  And I thought I would get a little blog post together, and then four months later, I still hadn't done it.  So here it goes.  This is my favorite room in the house, and of course, Mr. Baby just doesn't care at all.   

Before we found out that we were having a boy, I wanted to paint the room navy, and then do bright colors as accents.  A girl room would look almost the same as this, but with bright pink instead of the orange and green.  Or maybe I'd keep the green...  

Anyway, as one does, I started searching Pinterest for ideas.  And as I do, I kind of went into it without a real plan, but I really love how it all came together.  So I'll just share pictures of each main area and then give a brief summary (brief? not likely) of the situation.  



Step 1 was painting and adding the molding.  John did most of this work.  I didn't know it was weird to put chair rail up so high, but I wanted the lower part of the walls to be navy, and I wanted the majority of the wall to be navy.  I really like how it looks.  My only complaint is that hanging pictures gets a little awkward.  

I made the mobile after seeing this pin, but I made up my own directions, and used felt instead of paper.    

The crib is a convertible, so it will transition into a toddler bed, etc.  I made the crib skirt using these instructions.  And the crib sheet is one of my favorite things!  I found it on Amazon, and it's elephant print!  FYI, the price keeps going up and down.  I think it was $12 when I first added it to the registry, and then a few weeks later, it was $200 (who would spend that much for a crib sheet??), and then it went back to a normal price.  


To the left of the crib...
The little table is a hand-me-down from John's great-grandma, which we painted to freshen it up.  Since it was laminate, I used these instructions.  

I made the pillow-cover using these instructions.  It's polka dot, but hard to see in the picture.

The lamp and ottoman are from Target.  (if we are being honest, the ottoman is currently sitting on top of the side table, so the video monitor can see into the crib.  Night-vision doesn't work through the crib slats!)

The little basket was a gift from John's mom (filled with books), and I think it makes a pretty perfect stuffed animal holder, but it is overflowing already.  

I have made a big 16X20 canvas with baby's first initial on it, but haven't gotten it hung up yet.  I painted the stripes on it before he was born, but didn't add the letter until we were 100% sure of his name.  So just imagine a big canvas in the empty white space above the chair.  

The chair is a hand-me-down from my parents.  They bought it about 35 years ago as part of a living room set.  If memory serves, the couch was floral (cream, olive green and burnt orange), this chair had a twin, and there was a mustard yellow recliner.  Imagine this furniture sitting atop bright green carpet, and you have my childhood home.  When my folks redecorated in the 90s, my sister and I each claimed an orange chair.  And I still have it!  I think it's in pretty good shape considering the beating it probably took when we were all young.  I thought about trying to cover it, but I kind of love the orange velvet.  Oh, here's a picture of my brother and me in the chair when I was 6 weeks old, and he was 3.  It's cool how his turtleneck kind of blends in with the chair.   

Wait, what are we even talking about?  Oh yeah, room tour...  


Continuing around the room...

I looked and looked for curtains that I liked, but couldn't find any, so I made these.  Fabric is from Hobby Lobby.  I didn't follow instructions, I just followed my own common sense.  

The art was one of my projects.  I just painted stripes on the canvases, found silhouettes that I liked via google images, and printed them out on cardstock, which I then painted and mod-podged onto the canvas.  There were a ton of cool ideas on Pinterest that you could buy, but nothing exactly like I wanted, so I just made my own.  

The changing table is just a dresser from Ikea (this one) with a topper attached (this one).  A lot of people say a changing table is ridiculous, but I'm so glad we have this one.  The basket contains essentials, like hand sanitizer, diaper cream, extra diapers.  I sewed the basket liner using the same polka dot fabric as the pillow cover.  


Following around to the left, is the closet, which I almost left out, because it is not fancily organized.  Basically, I have current "dress" clothes (like polo shirts and stuff) hanging on the left bar.  Bigger sized items hanging on the higher right bar. Extra diapers and wipes stored up high.  Shoes are in the basket (which he has yet to actually wear).  The 2 woven navy baskets are full of random things that he either doesn't use anymore (like the newborn insert for the carseat) or things that he doesn't need yet (like toys for older babies).  

The pretty hamper thing in the bottom corner is full of blankets.  The gift bag in the middle is full of things I need to take to consignment.  Pretty exciting, I know.  


The final main wall in the room is small, and mostly taken up by the width of the crib.  This dresser matches the little nightstand, which I also painted.  And apparently didn't push all the drawers in before taking pictures.  I'm a real professional, you guys!

The top of the dresser has important stuff, like the carbon monoxide detector, the thermometer, and the night light (this one).  And a couple cute gifts for decorations.  Because every baby needs a rolling xylophone!  

The art has the same origin story as the ones on the other wall.  


AND NOW, quite possibly my favorite part of our whole house:  THE BOOK NOOK!



The door opens into this little nook, which is just wasted space.  I'd seen this pin a while ago and knew I wanted to do something similar for baby's room.  After talking through the options, and realizing how expensive these little shelves would cost (and not necessarily be the right size), John determined that he could make them.  And I think we can all agree they look awesome!  Plus it is so much fun picking different books to read each night.  


Another idea that I copied was putting "READ" above the shelves.  I stole it from this pin.  If you happen to be a perfectionist, don't look too closely.  Stripes are not all the same size.  

So basically, this is the nicest room in our whole house now.  And since I stole almost all of my ideas from Pinterest, I'm linking up with Anne and Jacq for Pin to Present this week.    


Friday, August 21, 2015

Spiderwebs




Recently, a rather large spider decided that his web should span the doorway to our backyard.  Of all the prime web building spots, this guy just has to live in my way. He builds his web every night and if we forget about it when going outside the next day, we get a face full of spiderwebs.  Not cool, Mr. Spider.  I've been plotting to kill him, but can never find him when I think of it.  Anyway, yesterday I wore this outfit and was going to go outside to take pictures, but the spider swooped down when I opened the door.  I panicked and we had a brief altercation.  I wasn't sure if he was dead or alive, but I was too freaked out to continue my mission, so indoor pictures it is!

Update: I saw the spider later.  He's unfortunately alive and building his web again.  I just may never go into my backyard again!

Top: Loft
shorts: Loft Maternity
Shoes: JCF

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Blue Skirt Remix



You all know I love a good remix, so I was excited when Third Thursday Threads' theme for August was to show a skirt two (or more) ways.  So twelve ways seemed like a good plan.  I absolutely love my knit pencil skirts.  When I bought this one, I made fun of myself, because I already had 2 other blue pencil skirts (here and here), and then I didn't wear this one for several months after buying it.  But then I started wearing it a lot, and now it is a favorite.  The cobalt color pretty much goes with everything, and I was able to wear it all throughout pregnancy, so that was extra awesome.  
1/2/3/4/5/6
7/8/9/10/11/12
I think outfit #1 is my favorite.  And I think I'll continue to wear this skirt many different ways!  

Top & Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Carlos Santana

Monday, August 17, 2015

Comedian



I could never be a stand up comic for several reasons.  Most importantly, my horrific stage fright.  I can talk for hours to almost anyone, but put me in front of a large group and I panic.  

The other big reason is that only my husband thinks I'm funny.  It would be like those terrible singers who go on American idol and everyone wonders why their family didn't tell them they can't carry a tune.  It's because love is blind and sometimes deaf.

Anyway, I have one joke ready if my comedy career ever takes off.  I thought of it while walking around my neighborhood which consists of many cul de sacs:

"Whenever I see streets with the big NO OUTLET signs, I think those folks must spend a fortune on batteries!"  Ba-dum-Ching!

I think I'll keep my day job.  Which I actually don't have.  

Top: JCF
Shorts: Loft Maternity
Shoes: Sperry

Friday, August 14, 2015

Paisley Shorts Remix



One of my most exciting maternity purchases were 3 pairs of shorts from Loft, all for $4.88 each.  That's pretty awesome!  Anyway, it wasn't summer for very long while I was still pregnant, but immediately after giving birth, my regular shorts weren't about to fit.  And even once they did, the maternity waistband is just really ridiculously comfortable, so I just keep wearing these shorts.  

These linen paisley ones have been super fun to style, because they have lots of colors in them.  Here are 5 ways I have worn them:  
1/2/3/4/5
And here are a few other outfits that I either wore and didn't get pictures of, or plan to wear in the coming weeks.  

I'll probably need to retire these shorts for next summer.  3 months after giving birth seems okay to still wear maternity shorts.  A whole year might be a little weird.  Or maybe not.  Let's not make any final decisions just yet.  

Tank: Gap
Shorts: Loft Maternity
Sandals: Target

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Anniversary Date



Since I'm not on my computer as much, I started writing posts from the blogger app. The only problem is sometimes they don't save right, so I wrote this whole post and then it was gone.  So here's a short version:

I liked this outfit, but the skirt is too big and looks kind of goofy.  I need to find time to do some quick alterations on a few skirts, but it's hard to find time for normal stuff, much less sewing!

I wore this to go to Noodles&Co for our traditional anniversary date.  This year, John and I had a third wheel, but he is so cute that we don't mind.  


And we even took our annual selfie in front of the sign:

And when we got home, John took outfit pics for me and captured this gem:

We did go on a real date that weekend, and left the little mister with his grandparents.  But I didn't even think about taking outfit pics.  Since you are all dying to know, I wore my green shorts and polka dot popover.

Top: Gap Factory
Skirt: Gap
Sandals: Target

Monday, August 10, 2015

Maximum Danger



Here's another outfit that I liked until I saw the pictures and then blergh!  Not great.  It also wasn't great because I wore it to church and then had to go up and down stairs while holding a screaming baby.  It was sort of dangerous because I almost tripped on my skirt a few times.  Midi skirts might be the answer for a new mom.  Long enough to be decent but short enough to be safe.  

Cardi: JCF
Tank: Loft
Skirt: J.Crew
Sandals: target


Friday, August 7, 2015

Shape Shifting



If you are expecting some cool scifi reason for my post subject, you are in for a real disappointment today.  No, I'm talking about my newly acquired mom-bod.  I'm actually about 10lbs under my pre-pregnancy weight, so you'd think my clothes would fit.  But no.  Because my body is all weird now and shaped differently!  So I wore this outfit and felt great all day, and then took pictures and wasn't so sure about how I looked.  

I know lots of women struggle with body confidence, but this is kind of new for me.  I've never thought I was a supermodel, but I think I had a fairly realistic view of myself and generally knew how to dress in ways that I felt good.  Now, I just feel like I don't know how to dress myself!  

Anyway, I'm not too super worried about it, but since this is a clothes blog, I figured I should mention my current struggle.  For the record, Baby Smith is 1000% worth it.  Trust me, I'm great at math.  

Top: Target
Skirt: Old Navy
Sandals: Carlos Santana 



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review - The Dovekeepers


For some reason, I thought The Dovekeepers had a WWII connection.  I knew it was about Masada, but thought it jumped back and forth between the two time periods.  It doesn't. Just the Masada storyline. 

I was somewhat familiar with what happened at Masada, but I didn't remember exactly.  And the author uses the historical account as a framework for the fictional characters.  There are 4 sections, each told from the perspective of a different woman who ended up at Masada.  

Honestly, it took me awhile to get interested.  Our first narrator is boring at first.  She is more interesting in the other narrators sections.  About 100 pages in, I wanted to quit.  But so many people who I trust for book advice had recorded it, and I was using it for a category of the book challenge, so I kept going.  

I'm glad I finished reading it.  Things got more interesting and then I liked it.  I mean, spoiler alert: almost everyone dies, but I already knew that.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Summertime



Summer is almost over for anyone who has to go back to school, but it's still going to be hot for couple months, so I think we should avoid getting too fall crazy for now.  Shorts will still be the best option for awhile.   I keep saying I will stop wearing these maternity shorts, but I just like them so much and man are they comfortable!

Anyway, it's been an awesome summer!  First I had a baby, and then a bunch of family came to visit!  My sister and nieces are here right now and we are having so much fun.  It's super sweet to see how much the girls love their cousin!

Top: Loft outlet
Shorts: Loft maternity
Sandals: Target

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review - The Dinner



The Dinner is a book that I picked based on knowing nothing about it, per the reading challenge requirements.  It came up as a recommendation on my library ebook account and I thought the cover looked interesting.  And I'll give the library credit, because I thought it was an enjoyable read!

It is the story of two couples out to dinner and how their conversation tiptoes around a serious issue.  The narrator is one of the men and he fills in the blanks of what happened recently.  It's kind of suspenseful, as you learn bits and pieces of the story as the dinner progresses.  This isn't the kind of book where you particularly like any of the characters, but I'm okay with that.  Sorry my synopsis is kind of lame.  I feel like the best part of the book is how bits and pieces of the story are slowly revealed.  The summary on Goodreads gives too much away, so I'm glad I didn't know anything about this book when I started reading it!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Bill Grogan's Goat



Who wants another weird goat story??  No one?  Oh, well.  This is going to be awkward then, because I'm telling the story anyway.  

When I was telling my husband the riveting story about the Three Billy Goats Gruff, he was like "wait, wasn't there a train?"  No no no.  Silly husband!  That would be Bill Grogan's Goat.  With very little encouragement, I started singing, and made him repeat each line, because that's how the song goes: 

Bill Grogan's goat was feeling fine
Ate 3 red shirts right off the line
Bill gave that goat a great big smack
And tied him to the railroad track
(Something something something)
He coughed up the shirts and flagged the train. 

I couldn't remember a couple lines in the middle, so I consulted Google, as one does.  This is what I found.  My memory was about right for the beginning of the song, but while my version ends with the goat getting the train to stop, the real version continues.  To summarize, the engineer sees the goat and cuts his throat.  If that wasn't horrible enough, the goat goes to heaven (headless) and St. Peter is like "hey goat, where's your head?" and the goat is like "no one knows..."  I'm sorry, WHAT?  How is this a children's song?  I'm about 95% sure the goat didn't die in whatever version I knew as a kid.  Or maybe I just blocked out the bad memories.

And I think that's my last blog post about goats for awhile.

Cardigan and Top: Gap factory
Shorts: Gap
Sandals: Target

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Summer Reading Challenge


I finally finished a reading challenge (all the details on the challenge here)!!!  I've started a few of these (here and here) in the past and either didn't like a category, or got distracted with other books that didn't fit the categories.  This time, I was somewhat limited to ebooks that my library had, but several of the books I wanted to read fit into categories, so it worked out!  Here's the breakdown of what I read each month, and what category/points they were.  The challenge goes through the end of August, so you still have time to join in if you want!  

May: 40 points
  • 15 points: Read a book with "light" or "dark" in the title. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - 531 pages, 5 stars
  • 15 points: Read a book by an author who is completely new to you. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - 323 pages, 5 stars 
  • 10 points: Read a book that has been on your TBR list for at least two years. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - 372 pages, 2 stars (note - I could have sworn that my sister told me to read this, but when I mentioned it to her, she hasn't read it.  So I have no idea who recommended it to me)
June: 100 points
  • 15 points: Read a book by an author you have read before.  Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins - 384 pages, 2 stars (note - this is the "not really sequel" to Anna and the French Kiss, which I didn't love, but they were decent reads for when I was caring for a newborn and awake at all hours of the night.  Interesting enough to keep my eyes open, but very easy to put down when I had a chance to sleep)
  • 10 points: Read a book that won a Goodreads “Best Book” award in 2014We Were Liars by E Lockhart - 227 pages, 5 stars
  • 30 points: Read a book with an alliterative title.  Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine - 232 pages, 5 stars
  • 20 points: Read a book with an animal on the cover.  Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris - 275 pages, 3 stars
  • 25 points: Read a book that is part of a series with at least four books. A Wrinkle in Time  by Madeleine L'Engle - 211 pages, 4 stars

    July: 60 points
    • 5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.  Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - 425 pages, 4 stars
    • 20 points: Read a book with the name of a city, state or country in the title. China Dolls by Lisa See - 376 pages, 4 stars
    • 25 points: Read a book that is longer than 500 pages long.  The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman - 504 pages, 4 stars
    • 10 points: Read a book you have never heard of before.  The Dinner by Herman Koch - 292 pages, 4 stars