Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Yesterday, we were swimming.  Today, I am wearing long sleeves and boots.  I'm pretty sure it happens like this every year, but we just all forget.  We know the cold is coming and each year, I try to be prepared.  I think the kids are in pretty good shape, but my wardrobe is another story.  In the spring I shared my goal to create a capsule wardrobe for spring/summer and I think I did a pretty good job!  Since I'm down about 35 pounds from last fall, last year's stuff doesn't really fit.  A good, but expensive, problem to have!

The idea of a capsule wardrobe is to build the basics, with a few fun things thrown in, and then mix and match.  I find this especially useful this season, but I'm not a big fan of a lot of the trendy pieces.  Like overalls...really?  I also don't love flares, chokers and platform shoes...hello 8th grade.  I also noticed that nearly every top is loose fitting....apparently this is called boyfriend fit.  The irony of this is that men's clothing seems to be getting tighter, while women's is looser.  But anyway...

I had a little bit of alone time this weekend to shop, so I stopped at Old Navy and Loft.  I tried on a lot to get an idea of sizing and what I liked and then I ended up ordering online for Old Navy (they have Tall sizes online and a sale!) and had to limit myself to one thing at Loft.  I don't have a picture of it, but it is the BEST thing I've ever put on.  So comfy, but not frumpy.  

Here's a sample of what I tried on...

I loved this outfit, but needed "talls" in the shirts and pants.  They only had the cardigan in tall online, so I went with just that.  And thanks to the flowy-er styles - everything was a medium!

This shirt was way too itchy.  And I would've needed tall.

This t-shirt I loved, so I ordered it in tall online. I also really liked the black jeans, but ordered them in grey instead. 

I should've bought this at the store.  I couldn't find it anywhere online.  It would have been perfect for holiday parties!

This shirt came home with me.  In fact, I'm wearing it right now ;).

This dress was on major sale, so I ordered it in a tall as well.  You can't tell, but it has little sunflowers on it!

For fun!  I like rompers, but they never fit right.  This one was too baggy and probably too impractical!

This was at Loft.  I guess turtle necks are back in too.  If this wasn't a turtle neck, I'd love it.  

And now for the capsule list...

Distressed Jeans - I have a pair, but they're too big now.
Burgundy Jeans
Grey Jeans - Check
Thick black leggings - check
Basic t-shirts - check
Ivory Cardigan
Camel Cardigan  - check
Fall dress - check
Tan booties (I'm so 10 years old - this makes me laugh every time I say it)
Leopard skinny belt
Stylish sweatshirt
2-3 long sleeve shirts - need one more
Fall plaid scarf

I haven't had a chance to look through my workout clothes yet, but I am hoping to score some deals at Gap Outlet soon.  And I'll need to add some warmer things to this (like a casual coat), but I'm just not there yet!

Whew, this ended up being long!  You may be reading this and think.... why does she need to do all of this shopping?  Well, I am starting from scratch!  And since money does not grow on trees, I need a plan.  And I don't want to go overboard.

Wishing you all a great week!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Favorites - Fall Edition

It may feel like summer, but fall is officially here!  I know it seems like loving fall is so "trendy" these days (hello Pumpkin Spice EVERYthing), but I've genuinely always loved this season.  I remember going to a pumpkin patch when I was very young with my mom and grandma and riding the wagon to the patch, looking at all of the crafts and feeling the excitement of a new season.  Summer is my favorite, but fall is a close second.  The change in seasons is why I will probably never move from this area!

So on to some favorites from this week!  I got to try a few new workouts at a new gym and especially LOVED the "Bounce" class...AKA a trampoline.  I worked out hard this week and am really feeling the results.  BUT...I haven't lost a pound in over a month and I know it's because of what I am eating. More on that next week :)

I love cooking and baking with my kids and this week we made a recipe from one of my favorites sites - Running with Spoons.  Her breads and muffins are AMAZING and much healthier than the typical recipes.  Here we are making Greek Yogurt Apple Oat Bread.  It takes only one bowl and about 5 minutes to throw together.  SO good. 

Do you ever feel helpless as a parent?  Like you have no clue what you are doing?  I have that feeling often and recently it has to do with behavior.  So a friend recommended this book and it's been a favorite this week.  I am implementing the suggestions and starting to see a difference!

These new jammies - and those smiles - may be my most favorite from this week. 

The Target dollar bin got me again.  This time it was these little pumpkins.  And the Pumpkin Apple candle from Bath & Body Works is the perfect intro to fall.  

I've talked about Think Thin bars before as being a favorite, but this seasonal Pumpkin Spice flavor is my most favorite!  

Fall means back to school which means adorable art work!  This was an Aiden creation that now lives on our fridge.  School (and his new teacher) is Aiden's favorite right now!  

This may seem random, but as I was getting ready yesterday I realized my shirt was tucked in.  Why is this a favorite?  Well, first of all this shirt didn't used to fit.  And the jeans are now too big.  And I have NEVER tucked in shirts before.  That's a big win for me!  And it also means it's time to shop for cute belts!

We've fallen into a nice Friday morning routine the past few weeks.  Our gym offers open play time Friday mornings, so we play there after I work out.  This long trampoline is their favorite!

I hope you all have had a good week and have an even better weekend! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Random Ramblings

So after a few heartfelt posts in a row, all I can come up with today is some random ramblings :).  Honestly, those are some of my favorites to read, so hopefully I won't bore you to tears!

Life has felt hectic these past few weeks with back to school, trying to take on more freelance work and getting my children's book off the ground.  We are starting to get into a routine and I am trying to adjust to this new schedule.... while also knowing I have to be flexible.  

Yesterday I had my first full day of preschool to myself - four whole hours.  I knew I had to have a plan going in or I would have felt lost.  And I still did a little.  It's amazing the range of emotions you can go through in a few hours time.  Guilt was first because Audrey screamed at drop off.  Thankfully, she did much better soon after I was gone.  When I walked in the door and it was just me and Ollie, I felt anxious.  I hurried to get a few things done (why I hurried, I have no idea) and left to run errands.  I spent the last two hours working at Panera.  Enter the excitement emotion.  Ever since we knew both kids would be in school, I have thought about that moment more than a few times.  I LOVE being home with my kids and feel very lucky to do so, but I am the first to admit that I need time to myself.  I am a better mom, wife and person when I get it.  I was also WAY more productive - imagine that!

On a totally different note - um, where is fall?!  When the pool closes, I'm ready for cooler temperatures.  We're still flying high in the upper 80s here, but I think I can feel a hint of a chill when the wind blows.  Or maybe I'm just crazy.  I'm ready for pumpkin patches and apple cider...soon, I hope!

Audrey's vocabulary has blown up this week!  It is quite possible the cutest thing ever.  I'll share more in Friday Favorites at the end of the week, but I promise you will melt into a puddle when you hear her say "cheeseburger." :)

I hope to have time this week to put together a few fun posts, so stay tuned.  I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Moments that Matter

For some reason - maybe it's the whole beginning of a school year thing - I've been feeling very reflective recently.  So here we are... another (hopefully) thought-provoking post.  

I consider myself a pretty positive person, who tries to look on the bright side of things.  These days, that can be very difficult to do.  Whether it's the world trying to get me down or the trying behavior of my kids, there are days I go to bed just ready to start over.  I'll think about the potty training regression with Aiden, or how long it took to put Audrey to sleep.  I'll think about all of the terror threats that keep happening in our area or worry about the state of our country during this election.  It's hard to stay positive when these are the thoughts in your head.  

Today, I tried something else.  Surrounding September 11th, everyone shared the now famous quote, "Look for the helpers."  This is so important because it allows us to see the good, to have hope.  That has been my goal today.  Lately, I've stewed too long in the negative and it's wearing me down.  I've made it a point today to recognize the moments when everything is good.  When everyone is smiling, kids are behaving, and I'm relaxed.  I can't begin to tell you the impact this has had on my attitude.

The whining doesn't seem so bad.  The rough preschool drop off was bearable.  My growing to-do list seems manageable.  I'm sure I'll have moments where I head back down the rabbit hole again, but for right now the positive moments are taking center stage. 

As I was getting ready this morning, I looked down the hall to see Aiden and Audrey playing together.  As we drove to school, all three of us sang "Old MacDonald."  I had 15 minutes to myself to eat lunch and watch Sex and the City. Audrey held my hand while I read to her before nap time.  Aiden told me he needed a hug - instead of acting out.  And I'm now sitting here, drinking coffee, watching Aiden play and getting things done.  Did bad things happen today?  Yes.  Am I going to think back on them right now?  No.  

There are a few rare people in this world who are just naturally positive and happy all of the time.  But most of us have to put forth effort.  It's easy to get caught up in the fear, the pain and the worry.  It's easy to get annoyed by the misbehavior and repeated frustrations.  It's easy to think about what we don't have and what we want.  These are also the easiest ways to make yourself miserable.

So today, tomorrow, for an hour, make an effort to purposefully recognize those moments that warm your heart and make you smile.  I promise you'll start to look at other things differently.  Imagine if we all did this.  Call me cheesy, naive or overly optimistic... I don't care.  I choose to have a good day and I'm pretty sure the world is better off because of it.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

To Those Still Waiting...

Now that my kids are (usually) consistent with bedtime, I've started reading again.  I love to read, but for so long, I was just too tired.  Well, after several "chick lit" books (AKA all Elin Hilderbrand), I finally picked up The Girl on the Train.  Maybe not the best "read before bed" book, but it's pretty darn good.  Last night, I came upon an unexpected part that hit me in an unexpected way.  Here it is:

"Parents don't care about anything but their children.  They are the center of the universe; they are all that really counts. Nobody else is important, no one else's suffering or joy matters, none of it is real."

This came from the main character who is unable to have children.  I immediately had an overwhelming wave of GUILT.  The guilt came in many levels.  First off, this was me.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've said something similar to this in the past... probably about six years ago.  Also, this IS me, except the other side.  My children are my universe - everything revolves around them.  

Of course, I do care about others - their suffering and their joy.  But this made me think... do I care enough?  And if I do, do I show that care as much as I should?  And what about those who are still waiting.  Waiting to become parents.  Waiting to add another child to their family.  Do I care enough about them? And the big question... do I hurt them by sharing (albeit over sharing) about my kids?  

The short answer is yes.  I'm sure I do, because it used to hurt me.  I would see pictures of newborn babies, Christmas cards of little ones in santa hats, coordinated family photos and just lose it.  I learned how to handle it, when all I wanted was a baby but it just wasn't happening, but it was still so hard.  And now here I am, making it hard on others.  

But here's the thing - and I know this from experience - this doesn't mean I shouldn't share my happiness.  The one thing I did not want people to do when I was hurting was be fake.  To hide their lives, their joys and yes, ALL the pictures of their babies.  As hard as it was to look at those pictures, I also felt happiness for them and I knew my time would come.  That doesn't mean I didn't spend some car rides home from baby showers in tears.  Or that I didn't feel jealous.  Of course I did.  But I didn't want them to pretend for me.

I want to let those who are still waiting know that we DO care.  A LOT.  I hope I haven't hurt you, and if I have, I am truly sorry.  I share in your joy, your suffering and your hope and pray for the day that your time comes... because it will. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Party Animal Birthday

We celebrated our two year old with family, friends and party animals!  We had perfect weather and we are so appreciative of the love shown to our baby girl on her special day.  

In true scrapbook post fashion... a few pictures to remember the day :).

Audrey Kay - Two Years Old

Our baby girl turned two this past Sunday and we had a great weekend celebrating!  These two years have flown by and it's been so fun (and a little sad) to watch her change from a baby into a toddler with quite the personality.  I took her to her check up today and she is 85th percentile in height and 95th in weight... which explains why she is in 3T/4T clothes and is catching up to her big brother!  

Audrey favorites - Animals, her "friends" (right now it's Cobbler, Kitty, Cora the Giraffe and Hippo), bouncing, Mickey & Minnie, playing outside, swimming, reading, cheese sticks & milk.  

Audrey dislikes - Sitting still, being quiet, sharing her toys, vegetables, long car rides.

Audrey is saying more words each day.  Some favorites right now are "big pool" and "Aiduh," AKA Aiden :).  She is very active and loves to run, jump, climb and ride anything with wheels.  She is fearless is so many ways but is still pretty attached to Mommy.  She starts preschool tomorrow and I can't wait to see how much she grows with this new experience.

Out of allllll the pictures I take, these are some of my favorites of Audrey from this past year.  She brings us so much joy and is the perfect completion of our family.  Here's to a great third year, baby!