Thursday, May 25, 2017

pin to present: felt starfish & seahorses

Since it's been a few months since I've done a Pin to Present post, I thought it would be fun to show off the cute felt starfish and seashores I made for the small one's upcoming mermaid birthday party.

pin to present starfish inspiration
source: Lia Griffith

My inspiration came from Lea Griffith's felt starfish and felt seahorse stuffies. She has the basic instruction available through her website, but you have to pay a yearly membership to download the templates. I opted to design my own on a sheet of 8.5x11 paper then followed her instructions. 

pin to present starfish and seahorses 6 pin to present starfish and seahorses 5 pin to present starfish and seahorses 2

Based on Lia Griffith's felt vendor recommendations, I purchased wool felt from Bensie Design in shades of seafoam, lilac, swan and blush. I ended up ordered waaay more than I needed, so I'll have to find another felt craft project in the future. :) The bigger pastel pearl beads are from Amazon, the small seed beads leftover from the dollarstore nutcracker makover (originally from the $1 spot at Target), and the embroidery thread is from JoAnn's. The buttons I found leftover in a tub from who knows what project, but you can find them easily at any craft store.

While the DIY itself was pretty simple, it was a bit time consuming to sew on all the beads and to whip-stitch around the creatures and stuff. To make the four starfish and one seahorse took two evenings. The kiddo loves them and has already been playing with them all around the house, so I know they'll go to good use once the party is over. So worth two evenings of work. :)

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

maternity uniform

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 6

Yesterday as I was dropping the kiddo off at daycare I passed another momma wearing the practically the exact.same.outfit as me. Long maxi dress, flowing cardigan, sandals and a baby bump. We were practically outfit sisters. Which got me to thinking - have I discovered the magic maternity uniform? It certainly works for me - a dress soft and comfy enough to be pajamas, a light cardigan for the chilly over-air conditioned office and simple sandals. Perfect.

This dress is actually one of the few maternity items I kept from my last pregnancy - as well as identical ones in olive and coral (I really loved this style of dress during my last pregnancy) so it's fun to be far enough along to wear it again!

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 2
dress: GAP maternity (similar, similar non-maternity)  |  cardigan: GAP Outlet (exact in limited sizes, similar)  |  sandals: Target (cute alternative)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  earrings: Stella & Dot (fun similar)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 4 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 3 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 1 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 5

Since tomorrow makes 20 weeks - goodness can't believe it's already the halfway mark! - here's a little baby bump update: baby boy weights approximately 10 1/2 ounces now, is about 6 1/2 inches long and about the size of a banana. I'm still feeling pretty good and am finally feeling some of my energy come back. I can't tell you how many nights I've passed out around 9 p.m. :) The past few nights I've made it to 10/11 p.m. and haven't felt completely wiped all day, so progress!

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 7

// Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore. //

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

messy hair don't care

pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 6

If you've ever wondered what my hair looks like when I can't be bothered to fix it...here it is. Not curly, not straight...idk...I personally think kind of a mess, but as the days get hotter and my belly gets bigger the idea of welding a blow dryer seems less and less appealing. So today you get au naturel tresses. (And probably a lot more of the same in the days to come.)

Another reason I don't often wear my hair wavy is because throughout the years it keeps changing...more straight, then almost curly, back to wavy, back to almost straight...pesky hormones I suppose. But during this pregnancy it's becoming more and more wavy, so I guess I'll rock it while it lasts. Anybody else have crazy hair like that?

pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 2
kimono: The Florida House (cute alternative)  |  shirt: GAP maternity (exact, non-maternity version)  |  jeans: American Eagle (exact - on sale!) last worn here  |  shoes: Loft (practically identical)  |  necklace: J. Crew Factory (fun alternative)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  bracelet: Kendra Scott (similar)

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//  Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.   //

Monday, May 22, 2017

monday musings: week 20

Another Monday, another edition of Monday Musings. Each Monday I share a different "get to know you" style Q&A. I invite you to join in the comments below so I can get to know you as well!

Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?



A: I like to call myself an introverted extrovert. For work a few years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test. Basically, you answer a series of questions which breaks down how you interact with the environment (introvert vs. extrovert), mental energy (intuitive vs. observant), decision making and emotions (thinking vs. feeling), approach to work, planning (judging vs. prospecting) and confidence in abilities and decisions (assertive vs. turbulent). I came out almost a split introvert/extrovert with a slight lean toward being more introverted. My full results are INFP-T (introverted, intuitive, feeling, prospecting, turbulent). If you're interested, here's a link to a free version of the test.

So what does that mean exactly? I hate big crowds, small groups are better, and one-on-one is best. I love to talk with people I know, but clam up around strangers. I don't like to put myself out there, yet I take a lot of enjoyment out of blogging and interacting with people on this space. I can make myself be outgoing, but I desperately need alone time. However, I get lonely if I have too much of it. A perfect example is this Saturday when my husband took our kiddo over to his parents for the day and I had the whole house completely to myself. It.was.glorious. Until it wasn't. I started the day reveling in my freedom - I could read a book, watch what I wanted, run errands toddler-free, but by the end of the day I missed my family and was ready for everyone to come home so we could hang out. I was so dang bored with just myself. But if I don't have alone time I quickly get grumpy and snappish.

I found this article that really sums up I am -  a big ol' ball of contradictions.

What about your? Are you an introvert, and extrovert or a combination of the two? Let me know if the comments below!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 5.21.19

5.21.17 thoughts and whatnots
patterned dresses and nude wedge sandals:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:


on teal and polka dots:


favorite sales:


whatnots:
  • what I'm watching: For some inexplicable reason my (almost) three-year-old has become obsessed with SpongeBob Squarepants. 
  • what I'm crushing on: My teal ottoman looked just right in my old living room with the coordinating aqua walls, but we're painting our new living room gray, and now I feel like I need some teal pillows to make the ottoman look more intentional. Some of my favorites are this colorful tasseled teal velvet pillow, this bold teardrop geometric pillow and this pretty floral embroidered pillow would go nicely with the blush velvet pillows currently on the sofa. 
  • what I'm crafting: These starfish wands will be perfect for the kiddo's upcoming mermaid themed birthday party.
  • what I'm looking forward to: The kiddo is scheduled to move up the three-year-old room at daycare in about two weeks, but the catch is that she has to be potty trained. We're desperately working on it, and while she's getting the hang of things, I'm looking forward to accident-free days ahead!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

not groundbreaking

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 2

The earlier this week I noticed a few blog's traffic views coming from a reddit thread. Curious, I tracked it down and basically someone asked for recommendations for "average-to-chubby" size fashion bloggers and my blog was mentioned - in conjunction with Work Clothes I Suppose - which was super exciting because I love her blog. The part that gave me pause was when the recommendee said that my blog "wasn't groundbreaking." Well, dang, was she saying I'm bland? And then I realized, she's right ... I'm not the most exciting dresser, and that's okay. There's no wild fashion choices to be found here, no cutting-edge photos, it's just an average blog with an average - okay more chubby-sized girl - and that's the way I like it. 'Cause that's me, perfectly, shamelessly vanilla. :) She goes on to say that she "takes inspiration from them for my non-groundbreaking life." Which, let's be honest, is pretty awesome. So if you're reading this, many thanks reddit user for the blog love!

Plus, thanks to that thread, I discovered Frocks and Frou Frou and she's fantastic! Lilli has seriously the most adorable style with great little custom touches - like a hand embroidered collar or a DIY dress.

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 6
cardigan: Lucky Brand (exact)   |  shirt: J. Crew (similar) last worn here  |  pants: J. Crew (exact maternity, exact non-maternity) last worn here  |  sandals: Target (cute alternative) |  necklace: Target (similar)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  earrings: Loft


polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 5 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 4

Since today makes 19 weeks - almost halfway there! - here's a baby boy update: Since I'll (barely) be 35 by the time the baby is born, my husband went with me for a high-risk ultrasound on Tuesday. Everything went perfectly. He's 10 oz. about the size of a heirloom tomato and healthy as can be. Everything is right on track and I'm getting more and more excited about seeing this little guy in October.

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 7 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 1 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 3

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

floral maxi dress

navy floral maxi dress 5

I must have a thing for floral maxi dresses, because without quite realizing I'd done it, I bought a dress very similar to this wrap maxi dress I wore almost exactly a year ago. In fact, to make things worse...I don't exactly remember ordering this dress. It arrived on my doorstep and a had one of those huh? moments. I went back through my emails, and sure enough I ordered this frock during one of my 3 a.m. insomnia sessions (thanks pregnancy for that one...) But whether I meant to order it or not, I was happy with my surprise package! If you're interested, this dress is non-maternity, but has plenty/stretch elastic, hence why I'm able to get away with wearing it now...plus it'll be nice to wear post baby. Win-win! Guess my sleep deprived self knew what it was doing.

For Mother's Day, my sweet husband took my daughter and me to brunch at The Bay - our wedding venue turned restaurant. Afterwards we went to Eden Gardens, which is really the prettiest place with lots of moss-draped oaks and a gorgeous antebellum home. I convinced my husband o take a few photos on one of the garden paths, so that's how these photos came to be.

navy floral maxi dress 6
dress: JourneyFive via Groopdealz (exact. similar plus)  |  sandals: J. Crew Factory (similar)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact pearl, similar aqua)  |  earrings: Reeds (similar)

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Seriously, isn't she the cutest? She wanted to be a part of photos, so here she is, per her request. :)

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// Sharing on What I Wore. //

Monday, May 15, 2017

monday musings: weeks 18 & 19


Since I played hooky last Monday with blogging, I have two Q&As for today's Monday Musings. For those of you new to the space, each Monday I share a different "get to know me" style Q&A. I invite you to join in the comments so I can get to know you as well!

the bay throughout the years
Mother's Day 2017  |  Mother's Day 2015  |  Our Wedding Day 2011

Q1: How do you celebrate Mother's Day?

A1: It varies year to year, but this year we took my mom and mother-in-law out to dinner on Saturday night. Since my stepmom lives out of town, I sent her a pretty boutique of flowers. On Sunday, my husband surprised me brunch at The Bay - which was actually our wedding venue before it turned into a restaurant. This is the second time we've been there for Mother's Day and I always love getting to visit, eat and reminisce.

Q2: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

morning routine
from start to finish: my morning routine

A2: My typical morning goes a bit like this:

6:15 a.m. - alarm goes off / reset it for 6:30 a.m.
6:30 a.m. - get up for real, hop in the shower
for the next 20 minutes try to wake up/remember if I've washed my hair twice or three times already...
6:52 a.m. - get out of the shower
6:53 a.m. - dry hair/put on makeup
7:15 a.m. - straighten/curl hair
7:20 a.m. - throw on clothes
7:25 a.m. - brush the kiddo's teeth, fix her hair, put on shoes and socks
7:40 a.m. - out the door

My sweet husband gets our daughter up and dressed and makes her lunch every morning...on the mornings he has to go into work earlier, I get up about 15 minutes earlier and still end up running late. :) I'm sure our routine will change quite a bit once baby boy arrives, but for now, it takes me about an hour and 10 minute to get ready plus however long it takes to get the kiddo finished up in the mornings. If you're curious about what my day looks like, check out last year's day in the life of working mom post.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 5.14.17

5.13.17 thoughts and whatnots
black and white stripes:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love

on teal and polka dots:

favorite sales:

  • 40% off at Ann Taylor with code FORYOU
  • 40% off at GAP with code MOM
    • This white drapey eyelet tank could be dressed up for work with a blazer or down for the weekend with shorts. 
    • This dusty pink drapey wrap midi skirt is just so dang feminine and pretty. I could see wearing it as a wedding with a lace top, for work with a pair of heels and on the weekend with strappy sandals and a tee. 
    • This navy open-front cardigan looks so cozy and would look perfect with a pair of white jeans!
  • 20% off everything at Urban Outfitters for UO Rewards members (sign up required)
    • In addition to having a bunch of stuff on sale, UO also has an additional 20% if you sign up for UO Rewards (or are already a member). My splurge is the Adeline storage sleeper sofa - in teal - that's going to go perfectly in my office/craft room/guest room. It was already on sale, and thanks to the additional 20% off, I saved almost $300 off the original price!
    • My other picks are this pretty open-weave ivory cardigan and
    • these black and white multi-strap slide sandals

whatnots:
  • what I'm reading: I started reading a preview of "Honeymoon Hotel" by Hester Browne while at Friday's OBGYN appointment. 
  • what I'm watching: The Princess Bride - never gets old...
  • what I'm crushing on: I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of a pretty vase filled with either cotton stems or magnolia branches on the entryway table (that I don't yet have) under my Pier 1 mirror - if I can get a mirror that doesn't arrive broken. Seriously, what a mess that's been. The first mirror arrived shattered and completely broken in half. The replacement mirror suffered the same fate. Customer Service recommended ordering the mirror into my local Pier 1 store instead of to my house just in case UPS was breaking it. But as of Thursday, it was completely out of stock online. So I went into our local Pier 1 to see if another store had it and could have it sent to their store, but they said it was completely sold out, no longer being made and too expensive to ship from another store. Then Friday I check online and it's back in stock and available to deliver. Ugh. So is it three times a charm and reorder again? I do really love the mirror and have my heart set on it... but maybe the universe is trying to tell me something...
  • what I'm looking forward to: getting some projects done around the house. We just bought paint (in Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray) for the living room - bye bye beige walls - I'm excited to see the transformation.
  • Happy Mother's Day to all the momma's out there!

Friday, May 12, 2017

last minute mother's day gift guide

last minute mother's day gift guide

If you're anything like me, it's two days before Mother's Day and still haven't finished Mother's Day shopping. We have three mother's to buy for in my family - my mother-in-law, stepmom and mom, so that makes things a little extra challenging. But if you haven't finished your shopping - or even started yet - not to worry, I've come up with a few last minute ideas:
  1. Buy her flowers - okay maybe not the most original idea, but there's nothing wrong with a pretty boutique - I especially love Martha Stewart's idea of fancying up store bought flowers up by wrapping them in parchment paper and twine. Since my stepmom is in Tennessee, I did a version of this by sending her a pretty lilac and tulip bouquet from Pro Flowers
  2. Envelope her in favorite scent - my mom loves anything rose-scented, so this year for Mother's Day I ordered a bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn's Evelyn Rose Eau de Parfum through Amazon Prime - thank goodness for two-day shipping!
  3. Keep her caffeinated - I know caffeine is my lifeblood - so how cute would a little basket be with this adorable "Mom Fuel" coffee mug, a few bags of her favorite brew, some biscotti and chocolate covered coffee beans? Add a bow and call it a day. 
  4. Make her something - if you love to craft, and have a few hours to spare, whip her up something unique - like this paper tulip bouquet with dove chocolate. I know my mother-in-law would love something like this!
  5. Pamper her (in a jar) - everything is better in a mason jar, am I right? Especially when you stuff a jar full of her favorite goodies - nail polish, lip stain, sleep mask - see the breakdown plus a free printout over at Classy Clutter
Last, but not least, don't forget a card

Thursday, May 11, 2017

gray midi dress

magenta cardigan, gray midi dress and sandals_6

Kinda of proud of the fact that this outfit is a mix of older items in my closet...plus bonus points for being able to squeeze into a non-maternity dress (even if it did look better before bump.) Though something a bit odd is going on with the elastic at my waistband, it accidentally got tucked in somehow, and I wore it that way most of the day before realizing that it looked odd. Oh well, that's real-life friends. A girl can't always be flawless, I suppose. :)

In fact, the only new item I'm wearing is a Micheal Kors watch (see a close up of it here). I've been an exclusive Fossil girl for years (since I bought my first one at 16). Since I've been wanting a tri-tone boyfriend watch that would go with everything, I purchased Fossil's tri-tone Jacqueline (see how I've worn it here) at a deep discount. Problem was, I just wasn't in love with it. It's pretty, but more on the delicate side and really wanted something with some weight/chunk to it. A friend of mine has a Michael Kors two-tone watch, and I love it, chunky but so girly and sparkly, so when I found the tri-tone version on sale for $160 on Amazon, I decided to jump on it. Every year come tax return time, I get a little more expensive than usual prize (last year it was the my mint Kate Spade Cedar Hayden - which I still carry daily - and the year prior the Clare V. leopard clutch) so this year it's a new watch, even if I do feel like a Fossil traitor. So much for being brand loyal, but I'm not going to lie, I don't feel too bad about it...

magenta cardigan, gray midi dress and sandals_3
    dress: Loft (similar)  last worn here  |  cardigan: Loft (similarishlast worn here  |  sandals: Target (similar)  |  necklace: super old, I'm not even sure where it's from (cute alternative)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  earrings: J. Crew Factory (exact)

magenta cardigan, gray midi dress and sandals_4

Since today makes 18 weeks pregnant, here's a brief baby bump update. Baby boy's approximately 5 1/2 inches long, weighs almost 7 oz. and is about the size of a bell pepper. I've been feeling a little movement, not really kicks yet, more of a tightening, an odd sensation - quickening I believe it's called. :) Since I had a forward-facing placenta during my last pregnancy (sorry, TMI) I didn't feel a lot of my daughter's movements, so I'm hoping I'll be able to feel more activity this go around.

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//  Sharing on Fabulous Friday.   //