Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maternity Photo Shoot

With all the craziness of moving, we fit in a professional maternity/family photo shoot. I did not have professional pictures done when I was pregnant with Richard (which I now regret) so I knew for sure I wanted to do it with this baby! Especially since we could now involve Richard in this special time. It was a gorgeous evening when we met Chris (check out her site here) out at Fort Custer State Park. It was the day after my birthday, so this was my gift from the boys.
There are 30 gorgeous images and there is no way I could pick a favorite! I narrowed down a few for this post. Chris totally outdid herself!
 My lace maxi dress was from TJ Maxx last year (see it worn here). All of my accessories are from Anthropologie:
Quadrivium Belt (from a few years ago)
 When we bought this orange and white striped shirt for Richard, he was thrilled that he looked like Nemo. Now, when I tell him he looks like Nemo he says, "No, I don't look like Nemo." So I asked him what he does look like, and he says, "I look like a boy." Fair enough.
 To sneak a peacock feather into the shoot, Jon wore a favorite shirt I got for him for Father's Day last year. His favorite color is orange, and ironically so is Richards!
 Just as we were getting those last hues of the sun, the moon came out over the calm lake. I could not be happier to have captured this time in my life!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheap Thrills

We are in the middle of our move, but I am trying to schedule some posts to run that I had previously planned. I foresee myself in the same jeans and t-shirt for the rest of the week!
Also, based on the above - well, and with being in the last stages of pregnancy - I am not buying much in the way of clothes. But that doesn't mean that picking up some inexpensive accessories here and there isn't just as exciting.
I wore this last week - can't go wrong with a black maxi dress and jean jacket, 2 pieces I already had.
 I added some end of the season clearance sandals (Rampage Jabari) that I got at Meijer for $7.50 (retail $40)! They are flat and roomy, perfect for my already swollen feet. Although I know they will be a staple in years to come.
I am loving my new sunglasses from Zulily...... $6.99 look-a-likes of these Dolce & Gabbana ones. My other funky black sunglasses (best seen here) are from Zulily too for about the same price (look-a-likes of these Pradas). I have really been drawn to statement sunglasses, and want to try a DIY of these since I already have some extreme black cat eye frames and just need to buy the porcelain roses. While I would not be opposed to investing in the real thing, I would be so nervous about breaking or losing such an item. So for now, these fakes will do.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Second Trimester Review

Ahhh, the second trimester. The "magical" one where you usually are over feeling tired and sick to your stomach. That held some truth for me - I did feel pretty darn good most of the time. When I went to review the pictures, I couldn't believe how many there were! And I think the second trimester feels like it lasts the longest. Maybe because you wait so long to make it public during the first one and you might not be showing very much. And then the last one goes by in a blur of bi-weekly and weekly doctor visits which makes the time go fast.
I really enjoy looking at all of the pictures together. You can tell I like COLOR and PRINTS! It's a good way to look back and see how you would wear something differently next time, and it's apparent I lived in dresses and skirts! It will be interesting to see how things change in the Fall here. I am looking forward to wearing flowy cardigans and boots! Hopefully my feet fit in them. After our Polar Vortex Winter, we had a pretty cool summer. I know this would normally disappoint me, but being pregnant I was thankful! I only felt uncomfortable a handful of times, and that was most recently.
Things, pregnancy wise, are just ticking along here. I put the outfits in order, left to right, of when I wore them. To get specific info, you can look at the posts starting on May 16th.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Moving Sale and a Giveaway!!!

As much as I would love to be able to dedicate more time to jewelry making, I've come to accept I am just in a different place in my life right now. I know it is always waiting for me though when I am ready. I will go through a spurt of creating, and then that's it for a while. I do 1-2 shows a year, and try to list on Etsy whenever I can. I thought with my move coming up though, I wanted to pass some pieces along as a way to "lighten the load". From now until next Wednesday, September 10th (the day we close on the new house) you can use the following coupon code to get 25% off in my Etsy shop (click on any of the photos in the sidebar to get to the shop)!
I figured running it for a week would be good, since things will get too crazy to get to the post office to ship things out. If you are local and interested in something, just let me know and I will calculate the price for you without shipping.
Also, for something else fun, I will be giving away the necklace pictured below! It is a cute collar made out of patterned tin. In order to win, just leave a comment on this post. Quick and easy (that's all I have the brainpower for). I will draw the winner on Wednesday, September 10th as well. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Restyled and Randoms

I restyled some pieces over the long holiday weekend. The first 2 dresses, I had previously worn with my black tank underneath and bare arms. Due to the nature of the cut of the top of the dress (wide straps) I felt they made me look wider. Maybe it's all in my head, but I liked them much better with this black tee layered over the top and tied in a crop like fashion.
You can see how I previously wore this dress here. Other things I changed out this time? A different necklace and sandals. I wore this to run errands on Sunday.

You can see how I previously wore this dress here. I also have a different necklace and sandals on this time. I wore this to the zoo yesterday.

 This is what I wore today as I treated myself to a pedicure during my lunch hour. I can't reach my toes, and the splurge will get me through this last trimester and the end of open toe season. I wore this skirt with a different top, sandals and necklace.

Things are getting busy here, and after months of feeling "paralyzed" I actually feel like I accomplish something most days. Living in limbo and with so much stress, I just never knew where to even start when it came to my long list of to do's. So, I procrastinated and avoided which then made me feel even worse. I know that wacky hormones did not help with this.
We had a promising showing on Friday, with hopes of an offer on our house soon.
Jon posted one of his "project" cars on Craig's List and has gotten several calls, so I am praying it sells so it's one less thing to move.
We got the pool closed, which was sad because we hardly used it this year. We took a last swim and I wonder how much I will miss having a pool at the new house.
Jon repaired a section of our fence that came down during the Winter. The quote we got to fix it was just under $500 and he did it in about an hour with $50 worth of materials. I am so thankful that he has so many skills.
I am calling around to put end dates on services like garbage pickup, cable, etc..... I also upgraded my phone for free and reduced my monthly bill - no brainer!
We had a lot of nice time to relax too, which was much needed. I scrapbooked a lot of our pictures which felt good. Scrapbooking is a hobby I've had for many years, but haven't done much of since I had Richard which is ironic because I take even more pictures now! I know I will probably never be "caught up", but it was nice to make some progress. We also went to our zoo for the last time.
We have a long checklist from the movers, so there is a lot of prep coming up. I know that people move all of the time (sometimes every few years). I honestly do not know how they do it. That is so not me!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Dutch Wax Print

In the Spring of 2012, Marni designed a collection for H & M with this print being the most recognizable. I remember liking it because it is very peacock like. I know I have touched on high end designers collaborating with retailers before, so I won't explain it all again. But if you are interested, you can read about it here. Since I don't live near an H & M (I'll be about half an hour away from one when we move) I didn't put much effort into getting a Marni piece either in person or online.
Fast forward to this year, where I was reminded of this type of print when Anthropologie launched a partnership with Legend & Song and offered several items made with dutch wax fabric. To further my peaked interest, while in Chicago with Kristen back in May we wandered through a fair trade market where many dutch wax clothing items were being sold. I had decided then, that at some point, I would like to own a piece of clothing with a dutch wax print.
To get the history of dutch wax prints, you can read about them here. The best way that I would describe them is ethnic and bold. Truly statement pieces. The prints are so vast, and all so lovely, it can be overwhelming to settle on which one you like best. You can find pieces that are manufactured by companies like Anthropologie or H & M, or you can also find artisans who make handmade pieces both on eBay and Etsy. I casually started looking around, in no rush, and knew when the right item came along I would know it.
Usually, when people are selling the designer collaboration items on eBay, they are looking to make a profit because they have sold out quickly at the store. So finding a piece, the right size, with tags, for less than what it retailed for at H & M was rare! But that is what I ended up finding with this skirt.

Since it has generous pleating in the front, I was able to get it over the bump. But I cannot wait to wear it lower on the waist later on.
Just look at these colors! Eggplant purple, peacock teal, kelly green..... so many possibilities for tops and such. I settled on pulling an eggplant tank (Kohl's) and teal cardigan (Sears) that I already had for this styling session. I think it will look cute with tights and boots too for the colder months.
Time and patience, time and patience. I think that truly is my motto when it comes to creating my dream wardrobe!
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Friday, August 29, 2014

Get the look for less..... home edition.

I love being creative with home decor almost as much as I love being creative with my wardrobe. So of course, my money saving skills are carried over into this as well. Since our move is coming up, home decor is heavy on my mind so I thought I would share some fun posts in the upcoming weeks of my tastes and how I "get the look for less".
I love cubbies...... cabinets with lots of drawers....... pretty much any type of item that stores or displays things in a deliberate yet artful way. Several years ago, I feel in love with a cubby from Pottery Barn (referenced below) but I was not willing to pay their prices. I found this little shelf at a rummage sale for $7. It was white with a few scuffs on it. I painted it an ivory, distressed that paint a little with sandpaper, and then tacked some metal brackets onto each space that I had in my scrapbook supplies. I knew I was going to use the shelf to display the collection of shells and sand that we'd collected on all of our trips together. Since it was going to be a beachy theme, I gathered a bunch of random glass jars and containers in pale green/blue tones to hold everything. I got the shell picture holders at Kohl's. Once I was pleased with how I had placed everything, I printed out the text to go in the brackets to label where each collection was from. I love how it turned out!
 It currently hangs as the first thing you see when you walk up the stairs to our upper level. In the new house, I am planning to put it in the first floor bathroom. I do have those fancy beaded nautical show towels to go with it, you know. Hee, hee.
 In the years since I have created this, it has only been about trips that Jon and I have taken. But after our family vacation this summer, I am happy to add some shells/rocks/sand from that (they weren't added when I took these pictures). I also let Richard make it own "memory jar" with a plastic peanut butter jar. I let him select a favorite picture from the trip, and then add sand, shells, rocks, and some pine cones he found at the resort. He enjoys this kid friendly version.

 My inspiration: Potty Barn cubby for $149
 This one is at Target right now for $49.99. Use a coupon or wait for a sale/clearance is what I suggest!
With Pinterest, a little imagination, elbow grease, thrift shopping..... you can usually create any look you want for a fraction of the cost!