Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Favorite Sweater

I traded being surrounded by woods to being surrounded by fields. My animal friends used to consist of deer, turkey and the occasional coyote. Now they are cows and sandhill cranes. Every morning since we've lived here (and my drive when I commute to Battle Creek every other day for work) it has been gorgeous autumn weather. As the sun rises, the fog is lifting from the fields..... creating a magical atmosphere.

Of course that did not happen the morning I finally got out to take blog pictures.

But, I was determined to try anyway. After all, once you commit to getting your boots and jeans soaked in the dew, you want results! Even if they aren't the greatest.
 I was surprised that even though every house in our neighborhood has 2 acres, it was hard to find an area big enough to not capture them in the photos. This was my first attempt though, and there is lots more exploring to be done. I was able to crop some, but not others without distorting the image too much.
 This sweater I got last Spring on deep discount from Motherhood Maternity when I first found out I was pregnant. Since the weather was just starting to warm then, I only got to wear it a few times, but it quickly became a "favorite". It is so soft and cozy, and I love the rose print. Even though it's considered "maternity" you would never know it and I will wear it for years to come. I spotted an almost exact sweater at Kohl's here. As usual, I have basics underneath - a black tank and jeans both from Motherhood Maternity as well. These are my dark bootcut jeans that I had during my first pregnancy.
 I kind of figured we were going to have an "Indian Summer" this year, since our summer wasn't too hot. But honestly, now that I am at the end of my pregnancy, it can be so uncomfortable! I start out okay every day, but after lunch I am just a mess! Which is unfortunate because when Fall comes, we all know that we want to wear our seasonal favs like sweaters and boots. It seems like today is going to stay cool though.... we'll see.

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kimono Kraze

A trend that I've seen emerge greatly in the last year or so has been kimonos. Especially lightweight sheer ones. For instance, go into TJ Maxx and you will find so many to choose from you will go crazy! Long, short, fringe trimmed, lace trimmed, tons of patterns, etc...... I picked up this peacock feather printed one at Macy's a few years back. So I guess I was a little ahead of the times. Today's look is very similar to the last look I posted. Maternity basics (jeans and tank from Motherhood Maternity) with just the top layering piece, necklace and mocs changed out (Friday I had my navy ones on, today my brown ones). It's an effortless look that anyone can pull off!
 Other random thoughts from today......
It's funny how the color (grey/blue) of our old house is the same as our new house! We painted the door on our old house red, and are thinking of painting this one a burnt orange.
 I cannot wait to get my hair done on Wednesday! It's funny how almost overnight you get to the point where you can't stand your roots! I guess it's even more noticeable when you take pictures for blogging.
 I am feeling huge! Especially when people ask my due date and then get a surprised look on their face.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Boho Bump

One thing about having a blog is that it's a good way to see your style evolve. When I wore this vest 2 years ago (see here) I did it much more structured with a belt and everything lined up just so. I still like that look, but today's is much more carefree and relaxed. For both looks, I went with something white underneath and jeans..... only this time around both of those pieces are maternity.

Peacock & Roses Stained Glass Wrap by Moth : vintage Anthropologie
White Tank & Jeans : Motherhood Maternity
Minnetonka Moccasins : TJ Maxx
Necklace : Macy's

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Love Affair

I discovered last summer that I developed a love affair with this color green. See proof here, here, here, here, here and here.
Last summer, Anthropologie offered up the Cimiez Maxi Skirt from Leifsdottir. I tried it on and added it to my wishlist. But when it got it's markdowns, I never got it. I don't know why. Now, a year later, I found it on eBay at a good price. My habits on eBay are usually like this: I sell things in order to buy something else I want. So only when I have money in my Paypal account (from either eBay or selling jewelry on Etsy) do I spend. It's a constant cycle that works for me pretty well. Being that this maxi has an elastic waistband, I knew it would be maternity friendly too.
Leifsdottir Cimiez Maxi Skirt : Anthropologie
Reversible Tank in Oatmeal : Motherhood Maternity
Gap Jean Jacket : local consignment shop
Mossimo "Lakitia" Sandals : Target
Lenora Dame Nostalgic Strand Necklace : TJ Maxx

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crop Top

Heeeeeyyyyyy there! We are slowly settling into our new home, and it is wonderful! I do want to do some posts around the move, but they require a lot more thought, so for now I am going to get back to some outfit posts until I have the time and energy.

It felt so good to "get dressed" after wearing scrubby clothes everyday for the move. I've had this crop sweater for a few years and usually wear it with a long top peeking out and pants. But I saw ideas on Pinterest about crop tops for maternity, and it makes perfect sense. I don't think I will ever be able to pull off the true crop top look of having skin show anymore in this lifetime. And I am okay with that.

Yellow Bird Sporadic Stitchery Sweater : Anthropologie
Black Maxi Dress : Target
Statement Necklace : World Market
Rampage Jabari Sandals : Meijer

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

First Post From The New House

We've definitely been getting some sweater weather these past few weeks. It's almost as if a switch has been flipped. No easing into Fall (or any season for that matter) here in Michigan. Things change pretty drastically. I was at the new house last Friday for some workers to be there, so I took advantage of the "blank slate" to take some outfit photos. It's going to be so fun to find my favorite blogging photo spots in the new digs!
I chose a really comfy outfit for the day:
Jeans - Motherhood Maternity
Moth Village Pass Sweater - vintage Anthro via eBay
(originally seen here, I couldn't wait to wear this with a bump!)
Minnetonka Moccasins - TJ Maxx
Beaded Bow Necklace - made by me

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More Print Talk : Otomi

I've been doing a lot of posts about prints lately...... one being this about Anthro prints showing up as off brands at TJ Maxx and Marshalls, and the other was learning about Dutch Wax Prints. Another type of print I've recently learned about is Otomi, mostly through Jenni of Gnome Lover posting about it (check out her Otomi bathroom here - LOVE).

Over the summer, Anthropologie offered up this cute little number below. It immediately made my wishlist. I was hoping to hold out for it to go on sale, as I usually do with Anthro stuff. But, I know that sometimes popular items sell out quickly. However, I was really surprised when I noticed ALL sizes were suddenly out of stock!?!?! That seemed odd to me. So after some digging, I saw a rant on Anthro's Facebook page about this dress. Many people complained that Anthro was betraying the skilled artisans who made these textiles by reproducing it themselves. And asking why couldn't they get the fabric straight from the artists? Because of this, Anthro pulled the garment from it's site and stores.

Having been in the handmade jewelry business for so many years, this is not a new argument to me. There are always stories of copycats and/or corporations stealing ideas from artists. While I do not agree with it, I also think it's a product of the world we currently live in. We are constantly bombarded with images and ideas and have such easy access to anything and everything via the internet. Sometimes I think it is almost impossible to come up with an original idea. It's happened to me many times..... I'll come up with a jewelry design and/or using a material in a new way and I get so excited. Then, I do a quick search on Etsy only to find that someone has already thought of that idea! In this case, I'm not saying a company purposefully taking an idea is ethical, I am just saying that I try to stay pretty neutral when it comes to this stuff because it can happen innocently too. To be honest, I was bummed I no longer had the opportunity to purchase this dress. The model is even wearing the Seychelles Departure Wedges I have - look how cute! And what about Anthro's Luisa Embroidered bedding set (similar Otomi embroidery)? It is still for sale and no one seemed to make a stink about it (that I've seen anyway). How do we pick on some things, but not others. It says it is imported, but do we know if it is from the artisans in Mexico?
In my usual manner, I wanted to investigate further. And also had not given up hope of sporting a cute Otomi print (I was wondering when Jon's next business trip to Mexico would be). I ended up finding that designer Mara Hoffman used the print in 2012. She used both a white and black background, and printed (not embroidered) the colorful animals onto the fabric. She made many styles of dresses (one pictured below), swimsuits, and separates in the print. Mara is a designer whose pieces are often sold at Anthropologie and it's sister companies Urban Outfitters and Free People. So after finding this out, I wondered if anyone called her out on using this print. I have not been able to find anything on the subject.
I set out scouring eBay to find a Mara dress of my own. I didn't think I'd be able to wear it until next Summer, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got it and it was a stretchy jersey material. The top on mine is a wrap like design which I am not crazy about. I wore mine backwards too because I like the print layout better. Out of the many colors, I choose red to accessorize with. Similar to how I have shown to tie button up shirts and tees to accommodate the bump, I plan to tie cardigans as we move into Fall as I did here.

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!

Linking up with The Pleated Poppy

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!