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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sentimental


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I think I'm probably the most sentimental person I know, with some of my prized possessions being things like my aunt's scrapbook that includes a postcard my Grandpa sent her from Japan when they learned WWII had ended and he'd be headed home, the small diamond earrings Kyle has offered to upgrade but I refuse and wear them almost daily because they were a present to me our first Christmas together, and the necklace strung with an old button from my Grandma’s collection and Aunt’s baby ring attached too.

But those are things, granted things that I would be devastated to lose, but there’s also the memories you hold onto when you think back on your childhood and thankfully those are much harder to lose track of. Last Thursday I had the day off work and the morning completely to myself. I had a few errands to run and took full advantage of hitting up Trader Joe’s right when they opened and pretty much had the place to myself.

I decided I deserved something a little special so I decided to buy myself flowers. There’s so much to love about Trader Joe’s in my opinion, but isn’t their flower selection a big one?! Tulips were an easy decision because we were right on the verge of spring and nothing may convince me more that nice weather is indeed on its way than a bouquet of tulips.

I noticed they also had 10 stems of daffodils for only $1.49 so I grabbed those too because it reminded me of my parents’ house. I grew up on just a little bit more than 2 acres of land, not enormous especially for living out in the country, but plenty of space for my dad’s previous hobby of gardening to be evident. Daffodils were always spread throughout the various flower beds in the yard and in the spring you could almost always find a single stem in the kitchen.

That memory sent me into a spiral of thoughts that remind me of home, like the smell of the lilac bush that lived outside the kitchen window (lilac is still my favorite smell!) and every year my dad giving me morning glory seeds to plant and tend do. I started thinking - what things will Jacob remember 30 years from now about his childhood, or maybe even about me as a mom when he was young? And then I all of a sudden felt the urge to start a tradition with Jacob, maybe plant some morning glories somewhere but at least have some fun with some seeds and some planters this spring. To which my non-sentimental husband looked at me and placed a bet against how long those poor plants would last with me in charge of them.

A fair bet, but I think I’ll try anyway! :) So I to hear – do you have any specific memories you hold on tight to, or any fun traditions you’ve started with your little ones?!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Thanks Pinterest

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tee & boots: Target / pants: Discount Fashion Warehouse (Express brand) / cardigan: Old Navy / necklace: gift

I’m back to pretty frequently scrolling through Pinterest aimlessly in search of some kind of outfit inspiration, which is perfect for having plenty of options to choose from when Anne does her Pin to Present linkups. :) Sometimes I’ll try to exactly replicate a look because I like it so much, but other times I’ll find inspiration in just something as simple as a color combination. This look is an example of that, with this being the pin that caught my eye. I have a red blouse and could’ve worn my nude flats, but unfortunately Mother Nature threw us a really chilly start to spring so I opted to layer up instead!




Saturday, March 19, 2016

Weekend Round Up

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These downloads are meant to be phone backgrounds, but that spot is firmly reserved for a cute picture of my child. ;) But I printed the “You’ve Got This” one and put it in a small frame in my cubicle and it’s a perfect subtle reminder during those really busy 1today when it feels like your to do list is gaining items at a faster rate that you can check them off.

Did you read my Jess the Mess post earlier this week? Has me deserving this award, I'm convinced.

What do you guys think of the colored jeans trend? I read this post that said neutral colors were good, but that the brighter pairs were ones to ditch. My red jeans survived the latest closet clean out (although I haven’t worn them since then) and I just wore my cobalt pair a few weeks ago, but now she has me thinking about those items!

I really want want of these cement planters but they're only local to the Bay Area so that's a no go. I came across a local etsy shop though so could get this one instead of I decide I could keep a plant alive long enough to make it worthwhile. 

I was browsing Pinterest on Friday morning for side dishes to cook for Easter and kept being drawn to options full of vegetables like this one which is strangely healthier than what I’m usually drawn to. But then I went for shamrock shakes with co-workers on my lunch break, we had Chinese take out for dinner, and I ate Easter candy for dessert so that didn’t last long!

My husband is currently putting this 3 foot tall toy together while Jacob naps. I hope it’s finished before he wakes up so that we can enjoy the look on his face when he come back downstairs and sees it all ready to play with. :)


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Oversized

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dress & boots: Target / sweater: Kohl's / necklace & bracelet: The Jones Market


When I was pregnant and shopping for clothes that would fit my growing belly, I tried to pick up some things that I knew would work post-baby too. Don't get me wrong, by the time I started my third trimester in mid-August I felt like I was living in the same few maternity dresses but my initial strategy worked really well in my second trimester. 

This dress is one of those items. It's so incredibly comfortable that it does live up to it's description as a t-shirt dress. I sized up from my usual size and bought it in a large. My weight moved through an almost 60 pound range when you include my size before I got pregnant, up to what I was the day I delivered Jacob, then down to what I am now. While now I wish I had this dress in my true size (a medium) because it looks a little bit sloppy on its own, I still love to wear it with layers. This black oversized sweater is another pregnancy favorite, but more fitted options like a denim jacket or a blazer would be perfect too!

Very similar dress here. I tried it on and it was too short for it to fly for a week day like I wanted it to be able to, but at 5'9" I consider myself on the taller side so if you're shorter than I am you'd probably have good luck with it. Gosh I wish Target had tall size versions available!

Linking up with Work Clothes I Suppose...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

On Not Having it Together

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One of my best friends gave me the nickname Jess the Mess after some tough news led to a really fun night together back when we were maybe 23 and it was totally fine to head downtown to the bars and have a little too much fun. Needless to say our lives are entirely different now, but sometimes I text her funny stories for Jess the Mess: momma edition. No alcohol involved for these ones, just pure examples of those times when I’m not doing the best at adulting. ;) The other day was a perfect example, as demonstrated by the following…

- No make-up because just as I was going to put it on, Jacob decided to somehow find the least safe items around and tried to eat them.

- Rocking day 3 hair and not being able to figure out which way to part my hair in order to best hide the post-partum regrowth that’s STILL going on.

- Consistently out the door in the morning 15 minutes later that what I was planning on.

- Then running even later because my gas light came on and I don’t want to get stuck on the highway somewhere between work and home today. But I only got $10 worth of gas so I can use my gas perks at the gas station right next to our house. Here’s a little insight on how that will go down though: I’ll put it off until my gas light is on again and I’m nowhere near the gas station with my gas perks and so I’ll pull into whatever one is closest and just get $10 worth and then the whole process will repeat itself again…haha!

- Oh, and the coolant in my car has been just low enough to trigger my car to tell me to get more and I’ve been putting that off for over a week now. Eeek…

- And as I’m typing this post up, it’s only 9:45am! Who knows what else this crazy day could throw my way. Anyone else have any funny examples of how life gets the best of you sometimes? I want to know that someone is laughing and shaking their head right along with me please! :)


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ready for Spring

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dress: Target (similar) / blazer: Target / necklace: Walmart / shoes: Payless (exact)

I broke out my coral blazer and favorite teal tote again last week, which is how I feel like you can tell when I've decided the weather is officially nice enough to declare it spring - regardless of what the calendar says. Both were great buys that have definitely earned their keep! (you can check the tote out in this post). 

This black maxi is another piece that's been in my closet awhile and I just keep going back to it year after year. Mine is from Target, as much of my wardrobe is. It has a nice wrap feel to it with the fit of the top of the dress, without really being a wrap dress. The only negative to that fit is that I always felt like I needed a tank underneath for more coverage, but then was left with a visible line where the bottom of my tank ended. Post pregnancy I've found a perfect solution to that - wearing my maternity band over my bra! If you find yourself with the same issue, go buy one whether you're pregnant or not! ;) 






Monday, March 14, 2016

Unexpected

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sweater: Discount Fashion Warehouse (Express brand) exact / pants: Discount Fashion Warehouse (Limited brand) / boots: Kohl's / necklace: The Jones Market

The temperature seems like it's finally going to settle into temperatures warm enough to make sweaters with a cowl neck feel unnecessary I think so I thought I better hurry up and post this picture from a few weeks ago. Both my sweater and my pants are from Discount Fashion Warehouse, which is pretty much an outlet store here in Columbus. They always have items from the Limited, Express, and Victoria's Secret and then there's plenty of other random finds. It's one of those stores where you have to check the quality to make sure there's not a hole or a stain, but the pay off is $14 sweaters and pants that usually retail for around $70. I've got two things working against me that make this perfect for me: I'm cheap and work in higher education which is definitely more emotionally fulfilling than financially fulfilling. ;)

I had my eye on the poncho trend so I was really excited to find this sweater at that $14 price point that didn't leave me feeling guilty for buying it. I tried it on in the M/L size and was disappointed that it just looked sloppy on me. Before giving up on it I realized I could try on the XS/S size and felt like that option fit perfectly! At my height and weight I would've never imagined that something in the XS range would come close to fitting, but this was one of those situations where it paid off to not get tunnel vision with what it says on the tag. Have you ever had a great find that was in a size you weren't expecting?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Weekend Round Up

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Another random collection of thoughts and things for your viewing pleasure…

I don't particularly like to cook or bake, but I've gotten hooked on banana bread muffins lately. I use this recipe - nothing exciting or fancy, but clearly foolproof if I can manage to make some great tasting muffins. (I just realized the author's note says they're "easy for kids to make" so that explains it!) 

Did you hear that Steven Avery's defense attorneys are going on tour? They're calling it A Conversation on Justice Tour and I can't decide if this is a positive thing, a negative thing, or if I'm just indifferent. But they're coming to my city on April 30th. I'm a bit intrigued even though I never did really get into the Netflix series!

My mom gave Jacob a coloring book and I totally hi-jacked it. I want to jump on the adult coloring back bandwagon and this one looks gorgeous, but this is the one I think I really want…. :)

A co-worker of mine knows the guy who created this video tour of our city with drone footage, so if you've always wanted to check out Columbus, Ohio (and who doesn't, ha!) it's a fun thing to watch.

We've lived in our house for almost 6 years and beyond getting some color painted on the walls of the rooms we use most, I wouldn't necessarily say we've really decorated. I love that Anne rounded up some free printables. Perfect for providing some decor options without spending an obscene amount of money! 

My son has an allergic reaction to dairy - nothing that threatens his health, but he instantly breaks out in itchy red spots. We've been relying on coconut milk, but I just read about this milk from a company based in New Zealand that has a different in the proteins we have in our milk here in the U.S. and people with allergies or sensitivities to cows milk say they don't experience the adverse effects when they drink this instead. Meijer has a coupon through their mperks program that's valid through 5/14/16 so I'm considering giving it a try. 

Have you guys heard of the Passion Planner? It's a planner designed to focus on goal setting. I heard about it at a conference back in January and several people swore by them. I'm so incredibly cheap that it makes me cringe to think about paying more than the $10 or so that my Target planner typically costs, but I do think this one would be well worth the price tag. There are free downloads though, which I've been printing off weekly to keep me organized at work. 













Friday, March 11, 2016

One of Those Days

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dress & boots: Target / sweater: Forever 21

For some reason I feel the need to tell you that I was in an absolutely awful mood last night. It was one of those days that started with a very upset and clingy 1 year old, moved into a super busy work day that included working through my lunch to accommodate someone who didn't follow through on their end, back home to the still very upset and clingy 1 year old who then didn't want to sleep until he was being held. Although the snuggles were nice, it was 9:15am by the time I made it back downstairs and there was still dishes to clean up, food and bottles to pack for daycare, and a fridge to clean out because today was trash day and that's landed in my list of responsibilities in our division of household labor. 

But today is Friday, the weather is gorgeous and there's no sign of that snow pictured above, my son is now peacefully asleep, and there's a glass of wine by my side so I think we can call it even. Happy weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

9 Things About Motherhood

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10 things about motherhood would have a much nicer ring to it I think, but this is the list I came up with in the thick of a little rough patch over the weekend and it was too long and stressful of a day to think of one more to throw in there. ;) So here it is, what I've learned that mother is to me:

Motherhood is...

...being up in the middle of the night wishing your kid would just go back to sleep then once they do not wanting to put them down because you can't stop staring at their perfect little face.

...and then not being able to get yourself back to sleep so you lay in bed and fight the urge to go downstairs and snack on cookies and watch Fixer Upper. Oh wait, is that just me? :)

...desperately wanting some time to yourself and then missing them as soon as you get it.

...secretly loving it when they throw their arms around your neck and cry if you try to let them go at daycare drop off because it makes you feel like you've done something right that morning for them to adore you that much. 

...giving in to things I thought I never would, like screen time as a bargaining chip because Wreck it Ralph is like magic and sometimes you've got a really dirty diaper to change and you're just not up to the extreme wrestling it takes to get the job done. 

...16 months in and still going in their room to make sure they're still breathing.  

...walking up and down the street at 9am on a Sunday, them in Santa pajamas (in March) and toothbrush in hand (because it's not worth the fight of prying it out of their hand) and you in your sweats because it's the only thing that will stop your poor teething child from screaming. 

...having to pee really really bad but you don't dare move the kid currently laying in your lap because they're finally calmed down from the crying fit you just experienced.

...being a card carrying member of your grocery store's kids club program so that your kid can get a free cookie, then kind of hoping they don't finish it so you can. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Mom Style: Sweatshirts

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sweatshirt: Kroger (yes, for real) / pants: H&M (thrifted) / boots: Target

I haven't worn a sweatshirt to work in years, not since I was at my previous job when they gave us a really comfortable hooded sweatshirt with our company's logo on it and a lot of us wore them every Friday because we moved into a new building in January that I swear felt like it didn't have functioning heat. 

But I digress. :) When I saw the #momstyle link up this month was highlighting sweatshirts though, I decided to give it a try just to see if I could switch up how I usually wear them and give it a go in the semi-professional work environment of our office on a Friday. To be honest it was less the fact that I was wearing a sweatshirt that made me worried about playing it too casual, it was the fact that not only is this sweatshirt - it's a hoodie. But the lace detail steps it up a notch, right? Or that's what I'm telling myself anyway...

I figured that pairing it with some cobalt blue denim rather than jeans, boots, and actually having my hair and make up done helped make the outfit look more pulled together. It's a much different feel than my usual sweatshirt look which is jeans, Converse, a ponytail, and make up free. Just like this! And although this comfortable look could've easily carried me through my Friday night plans of pizza making, little boy chasing, and browsing the internet while my husband watched basketball (exciting times around here!), but that's what sweatpants are for. Am I right? 

Linking up with Anne and Jenn, and The Fashion Canvas...

Monday, March 7, 2016

Thrifty

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dress: Target (similar) / sweater: thrifted (Loft brand) (similar) / boots: Target

Does anyone thrift anymore? A few years ago I feel like I was constantly going to the thrift store and buying clothes, but the amount of clothing that got cleared out of my closet last fall finally made it sink into my head that I had a serious problem with buying things on impulse, and the thrift store was the easiest place for that to spiral out of control in.

When I took a look at what thrifted pieces made the cut in that ruthless closet clean out I realized that most of the pieces that were originally from the lower cost stores I prefer to shop at regularly, like Target and Old Navy specifically, were gone. The quality just wasn’t high enough for them to hold up through a second owner. The pieces I let stick around were pieces like this sweater from Loft – which to be honest is a store that’s out of my price comfort zone, but has a higher quality than what I typically have in my closet because of that.

With that being said, a part of me wants to get back into thrifting if I can find the time and become a master of willpower so that I can enjoy it without collecting a closet full of things I don’t wear again!  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Weekend Round Up

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A random collection of thoughts and things for your viewing pleasure…

I was in a little bit of a funk last Friday so I headed to the nearest drugstore on my lunch break and snagged this lip color. Hard not to smile with bright lip color on, no?

Did you hear about the Navy SEAL who received the Medal ofHonor? He went to a high school that was in our league for sports back when I was in school, and I just think it’s pretty cool to see what somebody from a small town in northwest Ohio accomplished. Total bad ass!

So I heard on the radio that Ja Rule turned 40 this week? Does this make anyone else feel like high school was an eternity ago?

This post made me thankful I’m not on the dating scene. I would have no clue how to navigate it now!

I want to wear this outfit every day of the work week. You know, if that didn’t require shaving my legs 5x a week.

I re-stocked on this stuff in an attempt to fight off the cold that is just hanging over my head. Waking up with congestion and a touch of a sore throat every morning is no bueno. 

Green smoothies have become part of my routine lately in an attempt to drink my green veggies since I’m awful about eating them. Lately the ingredients I’ve thrown together taste ok, but look gross. This recipe combated both of those negatives!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February Spending

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Target - 3 long sleeve tshirts at $10.50 each = $31.50
The Jones Market - necklace = $28
Groupon - striped skirt = $7.97

Returned: 
JCPenney - jeans = + $15.09 (purchased in January's spending)

Total = $52.38

No matter how much I'm trying to pare down my closet, I don't think I'll ever be able to say no to an inexpensive gray tee (or black for that matter) that has just the right amount of flow to it like these long sleeve tees I found at Target. They were worth it and I'm glad I bought it in olive and burgundy too. 

The necklace is my new favorite, and the skirt was a little bit of an impulse buy from my phone at 3:30am when I was up with my son. Whoops! I'm still a work in progress keeping that in check. Groupon seems like a really random place to buy clothing from, but I bought a gray t-shirt back in December and it was a really good buy (see, what'd I tell you about my weakness with gray tees). It's low quality, which isn't surprising, but I think it could be a comfortable option to throw on with a t-shirt this summer. Something about the fit made me a little hesitant to wear it to work, but that just may be because it's been awhile since I've worn a form fitting pencil skirt. 

The jeans from JCPenney (not pictured) were returned and I'm pretty proud of myself for following through with that, especially because the mall that has a JCPenney store is not super convenient. Granted, we live about a mile from a mall so maybe that's skewed my perception of convenient a bit. ;) But the jeans were bought because they were on clearance, I was desperate for jeans that fit, and they were a size smaller than I've worn in probably 15 years so that definitely clouded my judgement. About a week later I found the 2 pairs from Discount Fashion Warehouse that I highlighted in my January Spending post, loved those, and didn't see the need for an extra pair. 

If you track your spending each month, how did you do this time around? 

Linking up with Franish....

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Currently

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Linking up with Anne and Jenna for another round of Currently...

Wishing 
For spring, but aren’t we all?! We had 2 weekends recently with some unseasonably warm weather that let us get Jacob outdoors to run around. Since it was December before he really figured out walking, that’s a new concept to him and not surprisingly he loves going for walks with me (he holds my hand and walks and I may be biased but it’s the cutest thing ever)! Now that he realizes how fun it is outside, he tries to reach the door knob while saying more and I can’t wait until I can stop saying no just because the current weather is awful.

Craving 
I’m pretty sure I talked about my sweet tooth in last months’ link up too, but oh my gosh now it’s Girl Scout cookie season so I just can’t seem to quit the sugar cravings. I bought a box of savannah smiles as my work stash (meaning they did not go home to be shared) and they lasted one week, and I physically separated from them for 3 of those days. *hangs head in shame…*

Going 
After hosting both sides of our families on separate weekends last month, this month it’s our turn to travel. We’re headed to Michigan to see one of my husbands’ childhood friends and his wife, another niece is joining the family within the next 5 or so weeks, and we’ll be headed back home at some point too. My brother and his fiancĂ©es’ dogs had puppies 3 weeks ago and I cannot wait to get my hands on their sweet little faces. Plus Jacob’s favorite word seems to be puppy so it’ll be really fun to see what he thinks of being around 8 of them all at the same time!!

Wearing
The Jones Market – I’ve got so much love for this company! Kid friendly, comfortable, and pretty jewelry and I may be obsessed. She’s here in Columbus too, so I am happily all about supporting a local female business owner. I’m up to owning 4 necklaces and a bracelet. I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile and snatched it up when I found it as the last one in stock in a store here in Columbus, and this one is on my wishlist. I’ve got my bi-annual bonus coming our way in a few days and while it’s not an impressive amount, I think I should be able to convince my husband that I totally deserve another $30 necklace. Right?! :)

Learning 
To let go a little bit and coming to terms that my son isn’t a baby anymore, and while tough to come to terms with sometimes it’s a good thing!



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

This is Me

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tee: Target, sweater & boots: Kohl's, necklace: The Jones Market

I’m not sure there’s an outfit I could put on that would be more “me” and when that happens it just feels good, doesn’t it? For me that means a tee that’s fitted where it needs to be then has just enough flow in the midsection to be forgiving, favorite oversized sweater, maybe the softest skinny jeans I’ve ever owned, definitely the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned, and then a kid friendly necklace from my favorite company The Jones Market. Unwashed hair, mascara, and some lip color when I’m feeling sassy. ;) Perfect for a casual Friday at work and all weekend for those times when you want to feel a little more together than your yoga pants make you feel! Do you have specific pieces or types of pieces that make you feel your best?

Linking up with The Fashion Canvas, Walking in Memphis in High HeelsMy Life Well Loved, and Style Sessions...