Sunday, September 18, 2016

Love Dove

Back in the Spring, I did a post on my vintage wheeled animal collection. In it, I was talking about how surprised I was to see a clothing print where swans were riding bicycles. There were a few different pieces in this collection by the brand Love Dove, and I decided on the skirt. I finally got around to wearing it last week. It was the perfect print to pattern mix with, so I went with a black and white striped top. Another fun fact is that my nickname for Carson is "Love Dove" (short for Lovey Dovey) so it made getting this skirt even more fun. When we were getting ready in the morning, Carson was pointing to the swans and making "quacking" noises. And I told Richard I had no idea swans knew how to ride bicycles and he gave me a crazy look. Yeah, I am that kind of Mom.

Perfect Tee in black/white stripes : LuLaRoe
Love Dove "Going, Going Swan" Skirt : Modcloth
Ankle Strap Wedges : Rockport
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses : TJ Maxx




Thursday, September 8, 2016

That 90's Vibe


They always say if you wait long enough, something will come back in style. We’ve seen it time and time again, and some decades just never go out of style (I feel this way about the 70’s because it always seems there is SOMETHING in fashion inspired by that time). It’s now my generations time = the 90’s! Suddenly, chokers are back. I am seeing bodysuits here and there. Chunky heels. Slip dresses over t-shirts. I couldn’t resist trying a little throwback!


I recently got this simple black slip dress from Target (Who What Wear line). My first instinct was to throw a jean jacket over it. But is has been so stinking hot and muggy lately! Summer is giving us one last hurrah, so wearing it over a tee came to mind. All these years as I’ve cleaned out my jewelry box, I just couldn’t force myself to get rid of my choker, so of course I am happy about that good decision making. Suddenly, I was transported back to high school and remembering the days of seeing all of the grunge bands at The Rave. Cue up some Pearl Jam for the ride to work!
Who What Wear dress : Target
Falls Creek White tee : Meijer
Catherine Malandrino Heels : Zulily
Choker : vintage


Linking up with Fashion Should Be Fun





Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Flowy Truth




Anyone who knows me long enough, knows that dressing in a more bohemian way has ALWAYS been me. Flowy tops and empire waists – totally me. However, I can no longer deny that dressing like this has now become more of a necessity rather than a choice due to the amount of weight I have gained over the past 2 years. Sure, Jon and I joke about our “Mom-bod” and “Dad-bod” as we both settle into middle age and parenthood, but the truth is I’ve never been bothered much about it until now. Before having kids, my size was pretty steady. I was never super skinny, but I was comfortable and confident in my skin. When I got pregnant, of course I wondered what my body would look like after (and actually would have expected what I have now). But to my surprise, I actually dropped an additional 20 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight! So of course, I thought that would happen with Baby #2….. yeah, not so much.

 

What do we do when something bad happens? We try to rationalize it. Let’s see, in the last 2 years I’ve moved, changed jobs, had a second child, etc….. Surely the stress of all that change did it, right? Just like we say kids gain the “freshmen 15” when they go to college or newlyweds are so blissfully happy they let go of those worries. It’s a hard thing to own up to some of the real reasons like poor food choices or lack of exercise (although you would think chasing 2 kids around would be enough)! While I do realize stress and lack of sleep isn’t helping me at all, they are not the only things to blame.

 

Part of me just wants to say screw it! I want to just enjoy life and eat what I want and not worry about it. But then I see an unflattering picture of myself and I am like “holy shit Heather, you have to do something”! I don’t want to look like this or feel like this for the rest of my life, stressing more on the “how I feel” part. I realize the importance of good health not only for my sake but for my family. I am tired of being tired. What’s the answer? Work out, it will give you energy! But I’m too tired to work out. It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve even invested into some books/plans so you would think that if I spent money on something I would follow through. I’ve read the Fast Metabolism Diet and I am a member of the MuTu (short for Mummy Tummy) program which is specific to help that area after pregnancy. I have so little time to myself though, the last thing I want to do is use it on food preparation and working out. But, I know I need to make it a priority. This all being said, I will say that our Blue Apron meals are excluded from my complaints. I feel wonderful eating them because I know it is all fresh, clean food and good portions. I just wish there were a service for breakfast, lunch and snacks! Maybe there is and I just need to find it. Oh, and a personal trainer. See, if I had someone do all of the “busy” work for me that seems to take the most time (the planning) I could totally do it! Just show up and tell me how to work out. Have my meal ready and I will eat it. But alas, I am not a celebrity and can’t afford that lifestyle.

 

Thanks for letting me vent. I don’t know what the perfect answer is yet, but baby steps. I will say this though…… maybe the way I look or dress sparks rumors of another baby, but I will continue to dress how I always have. Hopefully though, what is underneath will change. I don’t want to give up my fancy coffee drinks. I want to be able to get my rings off my fingers again. I don’t want my feet to get any wider. Even at my thinnest I never had a flat tummy or thigh gap. I want to be realistic. I don’t want this to take over my life. I want to enjoy life!

Everleigh "Ipomoea" Tunic - Anthropologie
High Rise Jegging - American Eagle
Sandals - Payless
Jessica Simpson Sunglasses - TJ Maxx
Lucky Brand Necklace

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Blue Apron = Life Changing



I’ve read a lot of reviews about the various meal delivery services that are now offered, so I thought I too would weigh in. When I see the words “life changing” I can’t help but agree! We’ve been getting Blue Apron now for about 5 months. We received our first shipment completely free thanks to a code from a friend who was already a customer. We were hooked and now it is rare to have a week where we don’t get a box from them. Each week, there are 6 meals to choose from. We do the 2 person plan so we get to pick 3 meals. The only issue is that sometimes the exact 3 meals you want might not be available in your area. So on those rare weeks where nothing is appealing to us we skip it. You can plan out as long as a month ahead, so you know what you will be getting each week. Seriously, I love this service so much that I am thinking of joining another site so that the weeks Blue Apron doesn’t entice us, we can order from somewhere else!
 
We get our deliveries on Wednesdays, and everything is packaged nicely with freezer packs. You get the exact amount of what you need for each recipe, so no waste! And the portions are perfect, so again, no waste and you are not left feeling hungry. Now, some things have been so amazingly good though I wish we would have had seconds! The recipes are easy to follow and have all been delicious! I can only think of maybe 2 that we haven’t enjoyed as much, but certainly nothing that we felt was inedible.
 
There are so, so many reasons why we love this. Grocery shopping can be stressful enough, so it has lightened my load in knowing that for 3 nights of the week, my meals are planned! And planned with fresh, clean foods! And no waste!!! We are both trying new things constantly, which, for anyone who knows me I can be labeled a picky eater. Jon and I are picky about different things but I think we’ve both done a good job and trying everything we have made. If there is a meal I picked that Jon absolutely doesn’t want to try, I just pack it up for my lunch at work. As we sat down to one meal in particular, I said that first of all it's something I would never order out and if it were served to me I probably wouldn't try it. But since I made it, and I saw exactly what went into it, I am more apt to give it a go. Isn't that weird? It has made me enjoy cooking again, whereas before it was just another thing that needed to be done at night. I am even learning new tricks and techniques. There is a plan for families but with the ages of our kids we feel it best to have it just for us for now. I know, I know I have already ruined my kids because I was not giving them worldly foods at 6 months old, but try not to judge me too much.
 
I haven’t seen any repeats yet, although we would certainly order some things again and again! Here is what I have noticed though….. you will zest a lot of lemons and limes. I appreciate the added natural flavor but have never done this so much!!! Be prepared to eat a lot of kale, collard greens, zucchini, cucumber…. Those are the most repetitious ingredients that I can think of right now. I am curious to see if they change as the seasons do, or if they are used simply because they are hearty enough to pack/travel. You make most everything on the stove top, even meat, which is unusual for us because we either cook our meat in the oven, grill or crock pot. So as you can imagine, my stove top is a complete mess of splattered oil! In order to layer/enhance the flavors, you will use the same pan for the entire meal. You might have several steps of sauteing with the meat being last so by that time, the pan/oil is so hot there is no working around the mess. But, I will deal.
 
We have remade some of the recipes, and they have turned out just as good! Such as:
 
Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak with Mashed Plantain, Collard Greens and Ginger Peanuts - I am obsessed with Plantains now!

And the Ginger Pork Burgers with Black Bean Mayo & Furikake-Dressed Green Beans - Cucumbers on a burger???? Who knew? 
Some combinations may have you scratching your head, like potatoes on pizza? Corn on pizza? But, just try them - they know what they are doing! Both of these pizzas were excellent and now we have new ideas for pizza toppings. We have long made our own pizza and the dough Blue Apron sent was so good I asked them what brand it was. We are happy to hear we can find it at Whole Foods.
 
 Mushroom & Potato Pizza with Fontina Cheese, Spinach & Garlic Oil
 Sweet Corn & Tinkerbell Pepper Pizza with Fontina Cheese & Baby Kale
 Aaannnnddddd, a couple of meals that I sit and daydream about since they were so good and want to remake soon. A sandwich? Trust me, any sandwich we have gotten from them has been beyond expectations, starting with the bread they use! The chicken sandwich.... something about the sweet slaw really makes this one!
 
Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches with Endive & Marinated Cucumber Salad
 Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwiches with Shredded Collard Green & Carrot Slaw
We certainly have modified some recipes too. There were a couple of occasions where we got pasta dishes which we added things to (although, they would have been wonderful as is). I obviously cannot say enough good things about this service! Want to try for yourself? I have 5 offers for someone to get their first week free! Just comment your email and I will send it along.
 
First photo my own, all others courtesy of Blue Apron

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Get the Look for Less : LuLaRoe

Are you tired of hearing me talk about LuLaRoe yet? Don't worry, I promise this will be the last post in a while. Once I started learning about LuLaRoe, trends I was seeing in store started making more sense. The crazy printed leggings, soft tunics, and sheer kimonos with fringe I was seeing at the likes of Meijer or Target, combined with gals posting on the buy/sell/trade boards about where you could find similar buttery soft leggings, I was up for the challenge. Here's what I found and loved.

While this crazy pair is not the same softness as LLR, I couldn't resist them at Walmart for $4. They reminded me of cuckoo cloud palace from the Lego movie which my son loves! 
This pair, on clearance from Meijer for $7, ARE just as soft as LLR! Can you see the peacocks in the print?
Supposedly, LLR prints are exclusive to them. So why am I finding this pretty floral tunic on Zulily for $24? This print is considered a "unicorn" on the Amelia style dress. Since I already have 2 Amelia dresses, I was more than happy to score this pretty print in a slightly different style for a fraction of the price!
LLR has a long duster cardigan, like the ones I am always talking about, called the Sarah and it's $70. Now that is getting up there in the Free People price range which is where I originally found this long cardigan style. I've posted where to find this look cheaper previously since I own several. So save your money on the Sarah and hunt one down at TJ Maxx, Sears, Target, etc..... (the one pictured here is Bongo at Sears). 

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Carly

Another new LuLaRoe style I've tried is the Carly dress. It's basically a t-shirt dress which comes in both solids and prints. When it came out, I was not convinced I needed one. When it comes to basics, I know I can find them at a variety of stores for good prices. I like to spend my dollars on unique pieces and prints! I ended up seeing this dress in person, which probably helped "sell" it to me. I slipped it on and it was wonderful, again helping to hide those problem areas. And the versatility, especially choosing a solid color, is great! Here, I'm wearing it with a jean jacket but I've also already worn it alone and belted with an olive utility vest.
 
Carly dress : LuLaRoe
Jean Jacket & Sunglasses : TJ Maxx
Necklace : made by me (pendant from Hobby Lobby)
Ankle Strap Wedges : Rockport





Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Julia

Alright folks, you've seen me post about Irma. The Monroe. The Amelia. The Maxi Skirt
The Perfect Tee. Yep, I am slowly making my way through the entire LuLaRoe collection and seriously should probably just become a consultant who sells it! Today, I am introducing you to The Julia dress. I'm not going to lie, I've put on some weight lately so trying such a figure hugging style was a bit daunting. But, just like most all of the LLR clothing, it does its best to hide the flaws. They are coming out with so many peacock prints lately, I can hardly keep up! The rest of the outfit details are as follows:

Black Belt : Target
Tahari Sunglasses : TJ Maxx
Anthropologie Necklace : TJ Maxx
Catherine Malandrino Heels : Zulily