(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.

 

 

 

(mom)Life

Next Million Dollar Idea

It’s no secret I love my minivan. I mean, I REALLY love it. And it’s also no secret that I swore I’d never in a million years drive one. But then I had three kids under three and I tossed my Tahoe aside like it was a pair of uncomfortable heels…which, let’s face it, they’re all uncomfortable. I didn’t need to test drive my Odyssey to fall in love with it – the connection was instant.

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Me and Patty! We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 2014 by buying this beautiful machine.
The sliding doors.

The amazing rear entertainment system. Because you never can have enough Magic School Bus in your life. Seriously, my 3 year old can recite the Water Cycle in her sleep and my 2 year old loves to yell “Frizzle drizzle!” at inappropriate times.

The dozens of seat combinations. Our current one allows for toddler potty breaks without having to get out of my seat. LIFE CHANGER.

The drink cooler…for juice boxes. I swear.

Speak of juice boxes, it has about 48 cupholders which hold so much more than juice boxes. I have 2 boxes of hair rubber bands and 3 bags of goldfish stored in those 48 cupholders.

The vacuum! Yes! It came with a vacuum! But don’t ask Honda about replacement bags because they haven’t created those yet.

The list goes on and on. BUT, there’s one feature I really wish Honda would add:

A partition.

That’s right, a partition. Like a limousine partition. The kind that go up and down and let the driver pretend he can’t hear anything happening at the bachelorette party in the back. Because sometimes my girls pretend they are at a bachelorette party, but the really bad last hour of one. Crying,  yelling, food being devoured like they haven’t eaten in days, and someone is really tired and can’t stop arguing over something that happened months ago. Don’t laugh – you know exactly what I’m talking about and you can probably name a child and/or friend who fits each of those categories.

Back to the partition – how amazing would that be? To have the ability to just press a button and make the insanity stop for a few minutes? Here are a few scenarios when it would come in handy:

  • When your 5 year old remembers you forgot to give her that piece of candy you promised for helping clean the playroom. In January. And she wants to argue with you about it and your subpar parenting skills.
  • When you’re on a road trip and want to stop at Starbucks and get a little iced latte to get you through the afternoon. But your kids just fell asleep. And the drive thru speaker is SO LOUD.
  • When you’re at HEB Curbside, parked next your friend and you’re chatting about all things Louisiana…and then your 3 year old loses her ever lovin’ mind because she’s not part of the conversation.
  • When you tell that same 3 year old to stop saying “poop” so she comes up with every.single.rhyming word for poop and wants you to confirm that it’s not actually the word poop. (I was super proud of her for being able to rhyme..but..FOR THE LOVE!)
  • When you just don’t want to hear Ms. Frizzle talk about the Solar System anymore. Because you just can’t. And you know your kids will break those headphones the second they put them on. And you know your 5 year old will get car sick the second you turn it off…and car vomit is the worst.
  • Because sometimes you just want to have a conversation with your husband without being interrupted. Heck, even a quiet conversation with yourself would be amazing!
  • Because rotisserie chicken. It tastes so good but the smell is so bad. So, so bad.

Am I right? Come on, Honda, this can’t be that hard to make happen and I know everyone with children under the age of 12 would pay good money for a partition. I know few van haters who would quickly convert to van lovers if partitions were part of the deal! I’m pretty sure it’s the next million dollar idea!

 

Not the next million dollar idea? These jeans!

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WHAT?! Topshop is known for being a little strange but this is just hilarious. It’s like they put their most sleep deprived designers in a room with a jar full of edibles and told them to create the next big thing in the world of cut out fashion. Don’t get me wrong, the high waist is amazing, but that’s where it ends for me. Read the reviews if you have a minute…they are better than the sugar free gummy bear reviews on Amazon.

 

Want some awesome mom jeans? I’ve got a post tomorrow about park pretties and jeans for spring! Also, I need your thoughts on the finale of This Is Us…totally let down? Right?

 

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!

Fashion

The Outfit That Started It All

Have you ever gotten dressed in the morning (after getting everyone else dressed, of course) and thought to yourself, “Hey! I don’t look that bad today!”? This was a day like that. It was a winterish day in south Texas so I decided to throw on some leggings and go with it. What I didn’t realize is that this post would push me to start this webpage. Y’all wanted to know about the amazing leggings, the cute wrap, and the simple tunic. You asked, I answered!

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Let’s start with the leggings. They are thick, fleece lined, and fabulous. Want to know something funny? The picture on the package shows a lady in long leggings. But these are capri length…so maybe they’re made for the petite mamas out there? Whatever the reasoning, I’m totally fine with it because I look better in the capri length. They run true to size and are $5.98 at your local Walgreens. WALGREENS. They were an impulse buy back in December. Best impulse buy ever! They are currently buy one get the next one 50% off. That’s two pairs for less than $10. Getchusome!
The wrap is from Nordstrom and it’s on sale right now for $39.90. There are 22 different colors and patterns. It’s sweatshirt material and very soft. This might be my 3rd one. Variety is the spice of life, right?
The tunic is an Irma from LuLaRoe. I have around 10 friends who sell it and I can’t remember who I bought it from! I like it because it’s long in the front and longer in the back. I’m a founding member of LANP Committee (Leggings Are Not Pants), so I have to follow their #1 rule of keeping the front and back parts covered. Although the Irma is great for modesty, it mades me look super wide so I don’t wear it without a wrap or cardigan. Here’s a link to my hilarious friend Stephanie’s page. She’s got all the LuLaRoe goodies you can handle and she serves it with a side of sass.
My favorite part about this outfit? The shoes. OH MY WORD. They are fabulous. Hello, Keds! Good to see you again. I use to wear Keds during my Catholic grade school days. I think half of STM wore the plain Jane white version. I’m so glad to rediscover them! I bought them after I stared a day of errands wearing wedges and quickly realized that wasn’t going to last. So I popped into DSW and found the 3 pairs of shoes that came in an 11 and chose these based on comfort.
Why you should buy them:

  1. They have Ortolite insoles, which is 30something speak for “they won’t kill my feet and back when I walk to pick up my kids from school.”
  2. They can be worn without socks. I hate socks. My feet have claustrophobia and don’t like to be confined in small spaces.
  3. They go with everything! I just bought another pair in navy to help me transition to summer. Because summer starts in March here in Texas. Time to stock up on Secret and long wear eye liner!
  4. Because Amazon carries them and 2 day shipping is the absolute best. Period.

They range in price from around $20 – $50 on Amazon, I think I got mine at DSW for $35.

This outfit lasted until around 2:00 when a package of raw chicken thighs EXPLODED on my shirt and nearly left me in tears. I really, really, really hate raw meat and anything related to raw meat so I took a quick HazMat shower before MDO pickup, ate some queso, and called it a day.

 

Do you have any mom friendly staples? Please share! I’m always looking for pieces to conquer parenthood in!