(mom)Life, Clothing

Friday Favorites

Because it’s Friday and because my brain has been FRIED lately, I decided to jump on the current blogger trend of Friday Favorites. I started to write similar posts about 3 different times but then strep happened. And swim lessons happened. And Easter happened. You know, life. It happens. And sometimes this is how I handle it:

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And other times, this is how I handle it:

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My career is raising somewhat normal kids. Somedays I’m on track to be Mother of the Year, but most days I’m letting them eat Cheetos off the floor while watching NickJr. It’s all about balance, right?

My first Friday Favorite makes me feel like an awesome mom all the time. And she just so happens to be turning 6 tomorrow.

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HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the living room floor, folding laundry, enjoying my first day of retirement when my contractions started. My little Cinco de Mayo baby decided to come 3 weeks early. She’s been an overachiever from the start! Her only request for her 6th birthday was to get her ears pierced so I took her on Wednesday while she was recovering from strep. I figured if she’s responsible enough to potty train Anna (complete with charts and a reward system), she’s responsible enough to take care of her pierced ears. We both almost cried but we managed to hold it together. There’s just something about earrings that make her look like a big girl. Where did my baby go? She’ll always be my favorite big girl!

My next Friday Favorite goes with one of my all time favorite things, those denim shorts so many of y’all bought! It’s this top:

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I finally found a white tee that isn’t see through and hangs beautifully! The material is a thick cotton blend that won’t pill like some of the tees I’ve tried this spring.  Did I mention it’s thick? And the rolled sleeves stay rolled, like the bottom of those comfy denim shorts. The fit is roomy so size down if you like a tighter tee. The shop will also carry them in mint and navy during the second week of May! Side note – I tried taking a picture TWICE in this top but had amoxicillin and avocado incidents. Separately, not together. But the need for amoxicillin might have led to the need for avocado. 

While browsing around the Jack&Monroe website I found two other things I need ASAP!

This dress and clutch:

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How cute is that dress?! It’s the shorter version of the pink and black dress that I love so much. Size up if you’re blessed in the chest! The short pink dress is currently sold out in some sizes, but it’s being restocked in pink, royal blue, and kelly green on May 10th. Variety is the spice of life!

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My next Friday Favorite? The fact that these amazing shoes and staple of my late teen years are coming back.

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Raise your hand if you rocked these Steve Madden Slinkys during the late 90s? Everyone? That’s what I thought. I’m a little upset these legends don’t come in an 11, but that won’t stop me from trying to get my ski-like foot into a 10. This is going to happen come hell or high water…which these would totally work in high water because of the amount of platform on the bottom. They are up for pre-order right now and ship out on July 9th, which just so happens to be the day before my birthday. Coincidence? I think not!

Next up on the list is my favorite Aggie tradition, Muster. Muster is held annually on April 21st. It’s a time when Aggies all over the world gather with fellow Aggies to remember those classmates who have died over the past year. It can be as simple as a back porch BBQ with friends or as ornate as attending the official ceremony held on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. During the campus Muster ceremony, all of the names of the fallen Aggies are called out, roll call style, and a classmate or family member answers “Here.” Because an Aggie is never forgotten. They are always in our hearts. My most memorable Muster was the the ceremony held the April after Bonfire fell. The sense of Aggie Spirit in Reed Arena that night was so strong, so powerful, almost unexplainable. There’s no other Aggie tradition quite like it and it’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be a Texas A&M graduate.

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My last Friday Favorite is from one of my all time favorites, Duchess Kate.  She recently gave an interview about the isolation and trials of motherhood. How amazing is it that someone with such a powerful position is using it to highlight the struggles of motherhood and its relation to mental health? I absolutely adore her and hope she continues to be a role model for mothers everywhere. I remember seeing this picture of her and thinking, “Look at that, she gets down and whispers sweet little threats into her kids’ ears just like the rest of us!”

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This weekend is packed full of birthday parties, soccer games, and church fun but it starts with a date night tonight at the Coalition for Life dinner. Yeah for Houston traffic and the cash bar that follows it! Please pray for me as I head INTO the Galleria area during rush hour traffic. I’m so scared.

Here’s to birthdays and the ones we celebrate,

Katie

 

(mom)Life, Clothing

Wedding Recap and Your New Favorite Blouse

You know the sound of a slow leak in a balloon or air coming out of a flat tire? That’s what I heard around 5:30 this morning when Lucas brought a coughing and sneezing Ellie into our bed. In addition to the hacking and sniffling, I heard my dreams of getting things done slowly deflating away. Laundry. Poof! Target. Poof! Mopping. Poof! Peeing alone. POOF!

BUT, I have to hand it to Ellie. She’s really good at entertaining herself. She can play upstairs for hours without any adult interaction and be perfectly happy. My productivity projections quickly returned after I remembered how awesome Ellie is at alone time. After dropping off the sisters at school, we snuck in a quick Target trip for provisions (toys to entertain her today, Starbucks for me) and headed home. As luck would have it, she played with the Doc McStuffins kit for 15 minutes and now she’s parked in the office watching iPad and hoping the wifi doesn’t go out in the storm.

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My sweet little thumb sucker. Here’s hoping braces aren’t that expensive. HA!

I’m 90% sure her allergies are bothering her, but 10% of me thinks this is payback for our kid-free weekend. It’s like they think their 24/7 attachment will make us not want to leave them again, but it actually makes me thankful for our time away. Freedom is such an amazing thing!

Lucas and I headed up to The Woodlands on Friday to be part of his college roommate’s wedding weekend. It was a glorious 3 days! From the rehearsal dinner on Friday to the breakfast on Sunday, we had such a great time. Here are a few pictures from the various events:

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Pre-Rehearsal Dinner. Also, pre-hotel happy hour. The Embassy Suites has an amazing happy hour, if that’s your thing. It’s my thing. What’s not to love about free vodka? And this J&M dress?! It runs small so size up if you’re blessed in the chest.
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Maxi dress lovers unite! How fabulous is this fellow mom of 3? She also drives an Odyssey, so you know she’s good people. But she likes Caillou. I don’t hold it against her.
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I rolled out of bed on Saturday morning to go to a shower for this cutest preggo! She’s about to have her third girl. Bless her. Please say a little prayer for her husband and his wallet. I bought the pink dress and necklace at LOFT on Friday. Both are 40% off (in store or online – you have to check with your local store) and perfect for Easter.  (side note – every time I go to LOFT I remember why I don’t go there often. Their sneaky sale signs make me want to scream. I can’t stand their “40% off everything!” but in super small print “for card holders only” signs. I argued with the manager until I got the 40% off. Sorry your marketing is the worst, but you can’t trick customers. It’s just not right.) Size down on the dress!
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Three short hours and a quick nap later…Best wedding date ever! Isn’t he the cutest?
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Please excuse the bags. I don’t sleep well when I drink vodka.
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Mr. and Mrs. Walker! How beautiful is this couple? Her dress was dreamy. I hope y’all are having the best time in Mexico!
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This dress was great for dinner, dancing, and the warm spring sunset. I talked to another guest who bought in a different color combination and loves it! It did not disappoint.
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I chose these Stella and Dot earrings to wear with the dress. I’m going to mix it up next time and try simple earrings with a chunky necklace. Either way, this dress is versatile and allows for a bunch of different styling options.
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Sometimes “Shout!” requires you to get a little bit softer now…
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After 5 hours of drinking/dinner/dancing, I needed a little boost. Because I’m 36 and it was only 7:30. And I knew an after party was in the works. So I flagged down my new BFF, Maria, and asked her for coffee. I hugged her and called her my angel of mercy.
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Tomatoes are gross.

I wish I could tell you I shut down the wine bar that night, but I can’t. Because I didn’t. I had a drink in the hotel bar until around 11:00 and then headed upstairs to be alone. I’m what you call a functioning introvert. I love to talk to people and can talk to anyone about anything, but it wears me out after a while. Like, I can physically feel my legs throbbing after too much small talk. My brain starts to shut down and I just need out. I get energy from being alone, even if it’s only for a few minutes. I can do one on one conversations all night, but the bar was loud and didn’t allow for that. So my night ended with a turkey sandwich and the conclusion of a book I’ve been trying to finish for a while. Sweet Lucas attempted to see closing time but had to come back early due to balance issues. That gross Bourbon gets him every time!

I did manage to get a glimpse of what the young kids are wearing to the wine bars these days, and this is it! Skinny jeans and flowy tops! I was so excited when I saw this top at Jack & Monroe on Monday because it was on my “to buy” list after seeing so many people wearing blouses similar to it over the weekend. Mackenzie carries it in navy and forest green. I opted for the navy because it’s my new white (it goes with everything!). Here are some different ways I’ve styled it over the past 24 hours – photo credit goes to Ellie! (side note – I did not wear every outfit in one day. I did some quick changes this morning as I hollered at Anna to not get syrup in her glorious hair as she wolfed down Eggo waffles.)

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The perfect going out outfit – skinny jeans, navy top, and wedges. I’m wearing some Bauble Bar earrings I scored on sale last year. These are similar and can be worn two different ways! The bracelet is from LOFT.
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I wore the blouse with pink shorts and navy Keds for school pickup yesterday. I love pink and navy! I bought the shorts from Old Navy last year, but they have them again this year too.
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I asked Caroline to take pictures of me on the way home from school. She opted for selfies instead.
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This what the top looks like in real life situations – I was trying to get Anna to get her hand out of my shorts and Ellie had just wiped her nose on my shorts while untucking my shirt. Kids are awesome.
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This is my wine night outfit and Anna’s whine day attire…which is everyday and needs something comfortable because she tends to get dramatic.
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Here’s a simple church idea – I paired the blouse with a LuLaRoe Cassie for a quick and easy Sunday morning outfit. Please excuse the photo quality – my photographer was ready for her frozen waffles at this point.
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I had to try the blouse on with my favorite pants! You can never go wrong with the white/navy/brown combination. Thanks to Monica for taking this picture and to Anna for distracting me while I was putting on my earrings. At least my shoes match.
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I found these great teal shorts at Target (for $14!). See? Navy goes with everything!

Jack & Monroe released this blouse today, so make sure you snag one before it sells out! It runs true to size, I’m wearing a Large. She has a bunch of cute new releases that are perfect for date nights or GNO. Don’t forget to use the code KATIE10 for 10% off your purchase!

Have a great weekend!

Here’s to wine and the women we drink it with,

Katie

(mom)Life, Clothing

Summer Wedding Pretties

I was hesitant to use the word “summer” in the title because technically spring just started. BUT, this is Southeast Texas, so really summer started two days ago. You know what else started this week? Wedding season! I love wedding season! Champagne, cake, beautiful brides, and champagne. What’s not to love?

Lucas’s friend from college is ending his glory days of bachelorhood this weekend so I headed to Nordstrom on Monday to find the perfect dress and shoes. I found the dress and some amazing shorts! The shoes were a total disappointment, but I’ll get to that later. #nordstromfail

I tried on 10 different dresses and narrowed it down to 3 that I think would be perfect for all the weddings of Spring/Summer 2017. Most of the weddings we’re going to are daytime so I wanted to find something other than black. Let me preface these options by reminding y’all that I’m 36 and I don’t do low cut, high cut, cut out, or over cut (short). Nope. I love it on others but I know what works on me and I prefer my cutting to be on steak, not my neck and hem lines. I was so surprised at all of the pretty options out there!

Pretty #1:

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I loved this Eliza J dress! I tried it on in this teal color and the royal blue – I decided the blue looked better on me. The fabric is Ponte knit and very thick so it holds its shape well. The back has a pretty gold zipper and the seams are so flattering. This dress runs small so you might want to size up unless you want all your bra line imperfections displayed. At only $100 for a high quality dress, this one is a must!

Pretty #2:

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I decided to give the cold shoulder another go and try on this dress. It’s very simple and I was going to pair it with a chunky necklace and fun earrings. The dress is gorgeous – the quality is great and it’s well made. BUT, my legs are on the longer side and the entire dress lifts up when you raise your hands…so I had to put it back because I plan on hugging a lot of people this weekend. There’s just no need for indecency at the weddings. Lucas’s friends will do plenty of that. BUT, if you’re south of 5’9″ and great with accessories, this dress is prefect for you! Heck, you bootie lovers might even be able to pair it with the bootie sandals that are all over the place right now (insert eye roll here). It comes in pink and black as well!

Pretty #3 and all her sisters:

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Y’all! How amazing is this dress?! SO many choices! There are a total of 10 on the website. The Woodlands Nordstrom only had 2 choices and it’s probably better that way because I might have walked out with all of them.  Once you get past the tags (they are in the side zipper, there was a dressing room incident), it slips right on and you’re in dress perfection land. The top is a thick yet forgiving and concealing knit and the skirt is a silk-ish material. It has a keyhole detail at the top of the back and the sash can be tied in a bow or just knotted depending on your level of Southerness. I’m 5’9″ and the dress is little long on me, so keep that in mind when ordering. It does come in petite and plus sizes so it’s made for all you beautiful mamas out there!

Want to take a gander at which one I chose?

#3!

I loved it the most. It’s flattering, pretty, and will be perfect for so many of the events I’ve got on my calendar. I’ll apologize/not apologize now if you see me sporting it more than once – it’s pretty much my new favorite item in my closet!

I also bought these shorts that you need right now:

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Trust me. You need them. They are a great color, the perfect rise, and the length is short but it won’t get you talked about at Bunco. Size warning – they run a full size big so order a size down. They also stretch so you can manage Target tantrums in them!

Something I didn’t buy?

Shoes.

I get it. The Woodlands Nordstrom is still building their brand selection BUT holy smokes. They had nothing. I need wedges to wear with the Eliza J dress but they only offer bootie sandals and Tory Burch. That’s it. I tried the bootie sandals and just couldn’t. And I don’t need Tory Burch sandals right now. So I left and headed to DSW to see what they had in an 11…nothing. But I did get another pair of Keds because apparently I’m addicted to comfort. My last stop on the disappointment tour was Macy’s. I found the shoes I want but I couldn’t find anyone to help me so I left with the style name and bought them on Amazon. Here’s to hoping 2 day shipping actually means 2 day shipping!

 Sweet readers out there – where do you find cute shoes? I’m talking sandals and wedges and all things summer! I need help! HELP ME!

I’m beyond excited for this kid-free weekend – hair appointments, baby showers, friends, weddings, and a weekend with Lucas! I’ll post pictures of the final look next week. I’m hoping some of the pretty ladies I’ll see this weekend will let me feature their dresses on the blog as well. 😉

Coming up on the blog? My favorite recipe books, the ultimate guide to kids’ cartoons, how to find a MOPs group, mom hacks, the shiny and pretty world of Stella and Dot, and things you’ll never hear me say (let’s watch Calliou!).

Here’s to pretty dresses and the moments we celebrate in them!

– Katie

 

(mom)Life, Clothing

Park Pretties

I just got over the nightmare that strikes fear in the hearts of dads worldwide – the stomach flu. What was supposed to be a productive weekend quickly turned into anything but thanks to something awful that is traveling around our neighborhood. I can usually power through most illnesses but this one had me in bed for 4 days. Thanks to an awesome husband and a lot of Powerade, I’m back tackling the shenanigans the girls throw my way.

One of my first goals on the path to wellness was to FINALLY find a GP. I haven’t visited a doctor without OB/GYN or Neurologist on their card since 2003 (babies and headaches, coincidence? Maybe not?). So it was time. I decided getting out of bed deserved a shower and a pretty shirt so I chose this one:

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My sister referred me to a so sweet and very helpful NP who checked me over, ordered some lab work, told me to eat some bone broth (it’s gross, don’t), and wished me luck. Turns out she also loves Jack & Monroe! I think I found my new favorite GP! (This J&M top is sold out – so sorry!)

My next goal was to get outside and soak up some sun. I met my cutest preggo friend at the park and we both managed not to have a panic attack amid the craziness of Spring Break at a public park. Ladies! I could not believe how many Keds I saw! I really wanted to walk around and tell my fellow Keds lovers how awesome they looked but decided that would be a little creepy…so I decided against it. One of the moms had on this pair and was telling her friends, “Yes, Keds! Like the kind you wore as a kid! Apparently they are coming back in style.” I wanted to high five her but again, creepy.

I wore this Jack & Monroe top to navigate the park in and was comfortable the whole time – through the swing pushing, juice box opening, hand sand removal, and Germ-X dispensing. I had to wear a cardigan over it for the first few hours (because Winter decided to happen twice this year) but after that it was cool and breathable.

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I usually avoid purple but this shade is soft and very doable. If you think the front is cute, you should see the back:

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It’s longer and sheer from about mid-back down! It also flares a little so you can see the print from the front as well. It runs true to size, I’m wearing a Large. (Side note – I just saw it’s only available in a Small, so sorry! I’ll ask Mackenzie if she’s reordering it.) I paired it with these jeans from Talbots. I love them because they are thick (hide stuff), higher waisted (hide stuff), and stretch a little (hide more stuff). I found them by chance while shopping with my mom last summer. They are true to size to a little big.

I normally buy these jeans from Nordstrom for the same reasons. They are a little lower cut but the quality of the denim is amazing. They are available in many different washes and sizes and they go on sale frequently. I usually add them to my Wish List and check every few days to see if they are on sale. I’m 5’9″ and these are the perfect length on me. They run true to size.

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The skinny jeans I love the most are from Target and aren’t sold anymore, but these are my second favorite:

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It looks like they come in a bunch of different colors so I need to make it to Loft soon!

I recently bought another park pretty shirt from J&M and I have to share it with you because it’s my new favorite shirt! The bottom is a soft, airy emerald and the top is the sweetest lace. It’s true to size and only $32. You need it! And you better buy it soon because it’s going to sell out quickly. (Use KATIE10 to get 10% off!)

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Not gonna lie, I totally did a quick parking lot change and had my friend take the pictures today. My child photographers just can’t be trusted. Unlike their ability to have various ailments when it’s time to clean up…that can ALWAYS be trusted.

 

 

 

Clothing

Date Night Dare

Confession: I don’t do trendy willingly. It takes A LOT to convince me to get out of my khaki shorts and solid colored tees. A LOT. I stay in my cotton comfort zone because it works and it’s comfortable. Plus, I don’t spend a lot on the those items because I know they’ll get stained navigating these crazy goldfish-filled days. I love to shop at Nordstrom and buying a top there tends to be an investment…which means I’m most likely going to invest in something simple and classic, not trendy because I might not love it.

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My awesome lazy Thursday outfit. I was going to cut the grass (no laughing, I totally love yard work!) but this is pretty much the norm for days like today. Side note – how do people get head down selfies?! Good night, Irene, I need a class!

One of my goals while shopping with Mackenzie at Jack & Monroe was to try something new. Something I’d normally leave on the rack. Something I’d seen in magazines but decided that look wasn’t for me.  Thanks to a friend’s birthday dinner and J&M’s selection of trendy tops for making me step out of that comfort zone and into something I love!

I had given the cold shoulder to the cold shoulder top months ago. I love it on other people but had never actually tried it on. That’s all it took! I tried on this top and instantly fell in love. I wish I would have tried one back when they made their debut.

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Date Night! We didn’t bring Anna. I promise.

Here’s why this top will get you out of your cotton comfort zone:

  1. It’s so soft. Like, butter soft. I normally wear tanks under everything because they are softer than the tops I wear, but this top doesn’t need a tank. It’s like buttah!
  2. It has thick straps. No special bra necessary! I don’t do strapless unless someone is getting married, and even then, I have to REALLY love that bride to wear strapless. This top has thick shoulder straps, which is awesome because some of the cold shoulder tops I’ve seen have spaghetti straps.
  3. It’s loose and flowy. I think the A-line cut pairs with skinny jeans quite nicely. And again, queso. It hides my love of the official appetizer and dessert of Texas.
  4. It’s $30 (or $27 with my KATIE10 discount!). $27 is a great price point for a trendy top. It’s not a huge commitment and the quality of the top is worth more than that price.
  5. All the cool kids are doing it! Look at all this cold shoulders, which we renamed Haute Shoulders. Happy Birthday, Monica!

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I’m wearing the black version in the picture, and as luck would have it, it sold out right after I received it. Mackenzie ordered it again in cream and her shipment just came in! Grab this top while it’s in stock – it will sell out quickly. I’m wearing a Large and usually wear a 14 on top – it runs a little bit big so size down if you are between sizes. Don’t forget to use KATIE10 for 10% off your order.

(The navy tassel necklace was just restocked too!)

Speaking of trying trendy things, this top prompted me to buy some booties. Those of you who know me well recall I said I would never wear booties. One of my goals for 2017 was to make it out of bootie season without actually buying them. I ALMOST MADE IT. Almost. Nordstrom just released some quasi-booties and I ordered them. They still haven’t come in (our UPS guy loves the 8pm delivery time) but I’ll report back once I’ve tried them on. Until then, I’ll be rocking my Keds and these puppies from Target because my toes are not sandal ready. I need about an hour with my nail girl and some cheap wine to get ready for summer shoes.

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Buy them!

Speaking of shoes, some of y’all asked me to take a picture of my shoe baskets. No. I will not. Because TLC does not need a reason to start a series about shoe hoarders. Because I know some of y’all will send that picture their way and I’ll get a phone call from some producer asking me if they can send out a camera crew. And that would require me to scrub my grout or something equally as awful. So, no, sorry. 😉

 

Is anyone celebrating St. Patricks Day next week? Check back early next week for my new favorite shirt and a tribute to some of my favorite people. Cheers to soft shirts and great neighbors!

Clothing, Fashion

Navigating Motherhood in Style

Have you ever met someone and instantly thought, “Woah! I want to be friends with that fun lady!”? That’s how I felt when I met Mackenzie, the owner of Jack & Monroe Boutique. She’s kind, funny, and extremely warm. And she loves queso, so you know we’ve got a ton in common.

She asked me to choose a few pieces from her Spring 2017 line to showcase on this blog and I happily obliged. Her pieces are trendy, colorful, and best of all, mom friendly. I chose 4 tops that all have a different purpose for navigating through motherhood. I can’t wait to share them with you!

Let me start by saying I’m not used to taking pictures of myself. Our only full length mirror is small, my bedroom lighting is spotty, and my 2 year old is OBSESSED with me.

Here’s what was going through my head as I was trying to take my own picture:

Do I look in the mirror when taking the selfie or do I look at the camera? Why isn’t there a flattering arm angle for selfies?! Why am I sweating and it’s only 8:45 in the morning? What’s the trick about leaning on your back leg? Or wait, is it the front leg? Is that a spot on the carpet? I should really dust my mirror. Did Anna really spill her yogurt on that shirt? I just put it on her! At least my hair looks awesome. Am I too close? Is Instagram going to cut off my head? Where is the instruction manual for this!? Where’s a millennial when I need one!!

Thank goodness for MOPs friends who know how to take great pictures. And MDO which gives me a break from my toddler stalker…more on that later…

My first choice is for the every days. It’s for the days filled with carpool, preschool, meetings, Target, doing laundry, pushing toddlers on the swings, and opening bottles of wine. It has to be easy and long lasting. This shirt is not something I normally would have picked up, but I did, and I’m so glad I tried it on. The cut is new to me – it’s handkerchief (longer on the sides) and flyaway (the front and the back aren’t attached on the bottom of the shirt). The arm holes are generous so I wore a tank underneath with a more narrow fit. Apparently mint is a popular color for spring so this tank was a winner! The shirt overall runs big, so I sized down to a medium. Click here to see it on J&M’s model!

Because the top itself is simple, I chose J&Ms navy tassel necklace to jazz it up a little. For $24, this necklace is a must! I’m hoping she’ll carry it in other colors soon because I can see it being my new favorite go to necklace.

Why you need this top/necklace combo:

  1. The cut is loose. Which is awesome, because it hides a multitude of sins.
  2. The color is neutral. It can be paired with any color tank or bottom making it super versatile.
  3. Anna tried her hardest to pull it off of me and failed, so you know it’s mom friendly.
  4. It’s preggo friendly. I love a cute pregnant lady and this shirt works for those long 9 months (unless you’re poor April and you’ve been pregnant for what seems like 9 years).
  5. It’s breastfeeding friendly. Those sides pull right up! And it’s like having a built in cover without all the awkward wraps and straps.
  6. The top is $28. $28!

Still not convinced? Mackenzie is offering my readers 10% off their purchase with the code KATIE10, so hop over to her website and find your new favorite piece for spring. Local friends – her shop is in her lovely home in Eagle Springs. You can set up a shopping appointment and browse her entire Spring 2017 line in person. Grab a friend and set a date!

My jeans are from Talbots (yes, Talbots) and the shoes are Tory Burch. Any other high cut jean lovers out there? 

Are there any items you’d like to see featured on the blog? Shoes? Jeans? Let me know!