Thursday, May 29, 2014

Peaceful Peach

I've been feeling very "peaceful" this week. The weather has been just lovely, and I have a lot to look forward to. I am heading to Chicago this Saturday, to the Bead & Button Show next weekend, and we just booked a family vacation at The Homestead for this summer. Based upon all of this, you would have no idea that I just lost my job.
Let me explain.
Back in February, I posted about a twist in our career plans and not knowing the future of my job. What I did know at the time was that our department would be the first to go through a transition to a Global Service Center. That meant that all of our jobs would be assessed to determine what duties would stay local (Battle Creek), what would go Regional (a new office in Grand Rapids, an hour away), and what would go Global (India). All of the jobs would be re-written into new roles - roles in which we would have to apply and interview for if we wanted to stay at the company. And, obviously, less roles versus the amount of people competing for them.
For months, Jon and I wondered how we could make this work if I too had to commute an hour one way as he has currently been commuting 1.5 hours one way..... in the opposite direction from one another. No matter where we moved, the commute would be the same. I knew I would know my answer once I saw what the new jobs looked like.
The jobs posted last week. At the same time, I also was told when my last day of work would be (in November, before the baby is due) and what my severance package looked like. We reviewed all of the information carefully to make our final decision.
It is hard to walk away from 10 years at a company, where I worked really hard to be where I am at.
Senior Analyst. Go to person. Top performer.
It is going to be hard to watch and see who gets the role(s) I would have gone for, had I decided to go to Grand Rapids.
But, there is also such a wonderful feeling of knowing I can just walk away. No more stress. I can happily fulfill my last few months there and then focus on my new baby and family.
Would I still feel this way if I were not expecting such a miracle in my life? Would I have made the same decision? I don't know. All I can count on is that whatever is meant to be, will be. A lot can happen between now and November. And we will all end up where we are supposed to be.

Moulinette Soeurs Mabel Dress - Anthropologie
Free People Maxi Cardi - Nordstrom Rack
Restricted Diety Gladiator Sandals - TJ Maxx

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Caved...

A few months ago, I talked about the trends I'd been seeing here. One of which was the return of Birkenstocks. I was excited I still had my pair from high school, and no matter how many stores started carrying their own versions I vowed to not buy any. Oh trust me, I had tried them on but stayed strong. Until..... I was at Target.

I read a funny Meme today about Target that went, "Target is like a casino: you lose track of time and money."

Ohhhhhh, so true!

Confession: I have not yet tried to get the superglue off of my old Birks.

Also, I have no willpower.

So anyway, I was at Target and continue to be impressed with their shoe department. This time, I was drawn to the Sam & Libby Ashland Studded Sandal - a Birkenstock replica that had velcro instead of buckles, and metal studs. They come in black and silver. I tried them on. I am an 8.5 in shoes but they did not come in half sizes. I decided a 9 was better for me even if they were a little big. I am in the mindset of swollen pregnant feet all summer. But I did not buy them. I did what I usually do when I can't make up my mind - go home and think about it for a few days.

I went online and read the reviews - all good. One reviewer talked about how these looked just like a designer pair that was over $800!!! Oh geez - you know how that gets me. That sealed the deal. $29.99 worth of bliss! I was going back to get them. Here is another link (with slide show) about how designers have all jumped on the Birkenstock/Pool Slide bandwagon and are designing outrageous versions.

Want more options? If you follow my trend link at the top, there is a link in their for a pair at JC Penney. Here are a few cute options from Vera Wang at Kohls (one, two, three, four). Want the real thing? I saw some Birks at TJ Maxx over the weekend..... bright colors (not neutrals) and odd sizes, but definitely try your luck!

Floral Tee - Motherhood Maternity
Sunglasses - Zulily
Velcro shoes??? Who the hell am I??? I kind of love them. Please excuse my need for a pedicure.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Skirt as a Dress

Last month, I featured this Free People maxi skirt. Today, I wore that skirt as a dress. I figured I was already pulling my elastic waist skirts up so high (above my baby bump), what's another few inches? Wearing it like this definitely feels more summery, and to help with that I used light brown accessories (belt and sandals) versus the typical grey or black. I am wearing the same jean jacket from when I wore it as a skirt.
Since my goal is to share tips on maternity wear or post-maternity wear, using this skirt as a dress would be very nursing or pumping friendly with the elastic top. However, I do recommend still wearing a bra or tank under as I do. No one wants any wardrobe malfunctions. It is hard to trust a strapless dress when you are by yourself. Add in kids and I would say it's near impossible. You never know when someone is going to pull on you. Wearing a jacket or sweater over it will hide your straps.
I am looking forward to trying this idea with my other maxi skirts. Also, think of this the other way around too...... the grayish sundress in this post has an elastic bust. I have pulled it down to my hips to wear it as a skirt! I will have to blog about that someday.
Lydia Maxi Skirt - Free People
Gap Jean Jacket - consignment shop
Restricted Sandals - TJ Maxx
Apt 9 Belt & Aviator Sunglasses - Kohl's

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Friday, May 23, 2014

All Eyes

Peacock eyes are either used to attract mates or ward off predators. Since I am trying to do neither here, I like to think they are protecting.... watching over me and the baby.
As I curate my closet, I become pickier about peacock pieces because there truly is a lot out there. When I saw this dress on Zulily (by a brand named Lbisse) it really struck me as unique. The kaleidoscope pattern of feathers up the front and back is really cool. Since it is such a bright lime green in person, I decided to tone it down with a neutral sweater and heels. Also, this is probably the tightest dress I own in the regard of "showing off your assets", hence the big flowy sweater to help me feel a little more comfortable. This dress is definitely one of those "bucket list" pieces that I knew I had to wear now because it will not stretch much more!
I just came from a doctor's appointment here, and everything is happy and healthy! We get to find out what we are having on June 27th! I have to come up with a fun way to reveal..... Pinterest here I come!
Lbisse Peacock Dress - Zulily
Gomex Heels - Zulily
INC International Concepts Cardi - Macy's
Apt 9 Aviators - Kohl's

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

........ and the City

A few weeks ago, my dear friend and I found ourselves being volunteered to go to a meeting in Chicago for work. We didn't mind as we love our little day trips to the city! It was a gorgeous day - dare I even say "hot"? After the rough Winter we had, we are vowing not to complain about the heat. After our meeting was over, we did some exploring. Kristen has a fancy camera and has even taken some photography classes, so she is so awesome at documenting our shenanigans for me to blog about! You can see some posts about our trip a few years ago here and here.
There is a part of me that would love to experience big city living - not forever, just for a little while. Kristen is in agreement and we both would pick Chicago. However, we also know that it would never happen with the paths our lives are on. Oh well, as long as I can visit several times a year that is fulfilling enough for me. I think that is a big reason why I love the show "Sex and the City" so much.... because of the big part NY plays in it.

Shopping at Anthropologie on State Street (Block 37).
Scouring the sale room of course!

Since I started fashion blogging, I have always wanted an "action" picture on a busy street. Well, I finally got my chance! We were headed to the lake shore. Kristen was brave enough to go all the way across the famed Michigan Avenue, but I didn't think I would make it on time (hello, slow pregnant lady). So, I stopped in the median, unintentionally making it the perfect photo op!

My additional "fashion accessory" is thanks to the Disney store, where I bought some Nemo figurines for Richard's 3rd birthday cake.

Outfit breakdown:

Bird Dress - Fossil
Liz Lange Ponte Pants (maternity) - Target
Black Belt - Target
Unlisted "Webpage" Wedges - Steinmart
Sunglasses - Zulily
Postcard purse - JB and Me
Vintage Hoop Earrings
Bracelet made by me
Side note, I wore this bird tunic here with red jeans.
And a word about these pants.... they are a thicker material than your average black leggings and I really like that. They are more appropriate for work attire. All women should know about being careful on how to wear leggings appropriately. If you are not, just do a search for some pictures on the internet to find the do's and don'ts.
Ahhhhh, Lake Michigan......

Millennium Park
With the "bean" in the background.....
Call me crazy, but I love the noise...... the honking, sirens, people, etc......
Magnolia Bakery is a must!
Another fun girls day in the books for us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In, Out and Tied

I tried wearing this skirt a few different ways - shirt tucked in, shirt out, and shirt tied.
First I guess I should talk about the skirt. This is the Mossimo Foldover Maxi from Target. Just like what I have been preaching here, this is not a maternity skirt. These stretchy fold down waist skirts are all over - you won't have any trouble finding one - and then loving how comfortable they are! I was really drawn to this Aztec pattern....
First up, I am going to show the way I think I like wearing it so far. By the way, these photos are from my iPhone. The color is a bit off, but still good for an impromptu shoot today. I am wearing my Nine West chambray shirt, which I have already shown tied a few times. And Rampage sandals I talked about in my Spring shoe haul. Both the top and sandals are from TJ Maxx. Oh, in my post I said the sandals were $24.99 but when I went to cut the tag off I found they were actually $19.99!

Here is where I tried the skirt with a grey tank tucked in, belt to accessorize and jacket thrown over on a previous day. Why didn't I like this as much? Sometimes, when you tuck a knit into a knit a whole lotta weird bunching can take place when you move around. Also, I felt like I was adjusting the belt a lot so that it stayed where I wanted it (where the skirt and tank met).

 And here is where I got so annoyed that I took the tank out. I still kept the belt on to "break up" the mass of grey. I do like this, but it certainly does give the illusion of wider hips because the skirt does not lengthen the body as much. I am sure that I will come up with a ton of other combos for this skirt as the summer goes on. Which look do you like best?

Monday, May 19, 2014

12 Years and 13 Weeks

Jon and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday.
I wrapped up my 13th week of pregnancy.
We got out on Saturday night for a nice date of dinner and a movie. We went to our favorite tapas place in nearby Marshall, MI and to the movie theatre there which we have never been to in our 11 years living here. It is a really old theatre right in the middle of rows of shops on the main street. It only has 2 screens, and an old ticket window. I am glad we finally experienced it. It was just as pleasant as any huge, high tech cinema.
This is what I wore on our date. I know I have talked about maxi skirts with elastic waistbands as being maternity friendly, so here is another one. When I bought my melon colored lace up shooties, I was fearful that I wouldn't have much to go with them. At the time, I thought I should buy the brown ones to be more practical. But, I have been happy with all of the outfits I have been able to wear them with so far!
Vanessa Virginia Tiered Maxi Skirt - Anthropologie (Summer 2012)
Daydrifter Denim Tee - Anthropologie (but I got mine at TJ Maxx)
Rampage Venyce Lace Up Shooties - Meijer
Necklace - made by me