5 Favorite Snowday Diversions

I’m a day late, but since we’re snowed in today I thought I’d share some of the pretty things I’ve found that have been keeping me happy and inspired.

1. Kendi has been killing me lately with her easing-into-spring outfits!

I love everything about this outfit, especially that maternity and postpartum friendly top and her Madewell bag. I love that bag…

2. Another favorite from this week.

I just love this unlikely but awesome color combination.

3. Back in realville, my biggest at home glamour indulgence lately is keeping my nails pretty.  My current favorite nail color is OPI Miami Beet.
4.  We’re looking forward to a good friend’s wedding this August and I’m determined to find the perfect postpartum flattering/nursing friendly dress for the occasion.  I found this one at ModCloth but it’s currently out of stock!  What do you think?

More and better views of the dress here.

5. My favorite online waste of time lately has been looking for little boy nursery inspiration.

I love the gingham curtains! For more of this nursery, go here.

I love how simple and sweet this one is. Plus, that’s our crib! See the rest of the nursery here.

Are you collecting any bits of pretty inspiration to get you through the winter?

For more 5 Favorites, Check out Moxie Wife!

Little Dolls

The other day I was wasting time on pinterest and I saw this picture:

My first reaction was to think “I would wear that.”

My second reaction was to smack myself because that’s a little creepy.  Don’t you think?

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this outfit in particular.  It’s not like there’s inappropriate writing on the rear or something.  If someone gave my daughter this entire outfit, I would definitely have her wear it.  Heck, like I said above, I would wear it!  But again, that’s a little weird.  I think there’s something wrong with carefully curating your little daughter’s image, especially if you’re trying to make her a mini-you.  They’re not little dolls that we can dress and accessorize for our pleasure.  Again, I wouldn’t put this outfit on the same level as toddler beauty pageants or Bratz dollz; it’s not inappropriate. It just seems like a little much.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have standards when it comes to how your family presents itself.  It’s a worthy goal to want to present motherhood and the Catholic family life as something attractive to outsiders. It’s also healthy as parents to have standards for your children in how to dress appropriately.

When I was a senior in highschool and getting ready for my homeschool prom, my mom took me dress shopping.  I found a dress I really liked in JCPenny but my mom nixed it.  Now, I knew I wouldn’t get away with anything immodest, but I thought this particular dress was pretty and flattering.  It was long and black with spaghetti straps and pink flowers embroidered on the side of the waist.  Well, my mom said no because she thought black was too mature a color for a young girl to wear.  I was disappointed, but that was her standard and it was her right to hold me to her standards.

Now I’m the mom and I have to have standards.  But part of having standards for my kids, I’ve found, is holding myself to some standards.  I can’t dress my daughter up just the way I want her to look.  She’s a kid.  She doesn’t care about what she wears (yet) and I want to her to be innocent and free of materialistic tendencies for as long as possible.  I’ll still have standards for what she wears to church and what she wears out of the house. And I still have preferences in style of clothes and things like that.  But I shouldn’t micromanage every little thing about her image.  More important than any image we might portray to the world is the message my daughter will receive from me about clothes, looks and self worth.  And I don’t think I would be sending a healthy message if I obsessively control how my daughter looks all the time.

 What do you think?

Keeping it real {wiws}

(I’m just going to pretend that Christmas never happened and it hasn’t been a month since I’ve blogged, ok? Ok.)

Happy feast of the Bathtism of the Lord! I gave my second graders their homework assignment that came directly from Papa Francis:

“Find out the day on which you were born to the Church, and give thanks to the Lord, because at Baptism he has opened the door of his Church to us.” read the rest here.

Its always nice when the Pope helps a poor catechist out!

Now, I thought I’d take the plunge back in fashion land and record what I wore today because I didn’t feel too frumpy and fat.  Its all thanks to my trusty black jersey knit dress from a million years ago.  Every mother should own one.  The funny thing is I bought this dress when I was single because I thought I looked foxy in it!  Haha, little did I know that it’s Mama’s best friend with it’s stretchyness and blackness.

Be warned, these photos show my incredibly embarrassing guest bedroom/office/craft table  JUNK room complete with it’s filthy mirror.  If I had written a New Years resolution post, I would harken back to it and my promise to be more “authentic” on the blog. Or my resolution to be a better housekeeper.  Or my resolution to take better photographs.  I’m failing at this New Years thing already!

The happy thing is that no husbands were involved and, hence, annoyed by the taking of these photos.

IMG_2112Speaking of husbands, my husband just came back from Manchester, England, and he picked me up that scarf while he was there.  He’s a keeper.

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“Maybe if I squeeze three pictures into one, it’ll minimize the JUNK factor.”

And no, that’s not a 25 week baby bump, it’s a 15 weeker.  This post is all about keeping it real, right?  

[Scratch that! I went back and checked and I’m actually 16 weeks! Whew!]

Ok, that’s quite enough of that!  For better pictures, outfits and blogs, check out Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.

WIWS Postpartum Edition

Sorry about my prolonged maternity leave from blogging. I actually went back to dance class last week, though with Claire’s help I could do that and still nurse the baby, whereas typing with one hand is a bit difficult for me. But I will soldier on for the sisterhood!

wiws

Let’s start with what I wore and confess that other than the shoes and jacket it’s still maternity clothes over here for the most part. I’ve been passing the wee hours of the morning watching a lot of dumb TLC shows on Netflix, and Stacey and Clinton (What Not to Wear) have made it clear to me that jackets are my friend, hence the suede jacket over maternity shirt and maternity khakis, with my scarf serving the dual functions of belly camouflage and “pop of color.” Bam.

Obviously I have a lot to catch up on, but since I also have to catch up on sleep, I’ll make it short…

This little guy is a month old!

peace

The shirt is a big lie — he’s very sensitive, and it’s made for an interesting first few weeks! First there was a rapid breathing episode in the hospital that led to IV antibiotics; then two weeks of misery, mine and his, around having his upper lip and tongue lasered to fix his tight frenulum to fix his bad latch; and then there’s the ongoing tummy troubles, both gas and reflux, keeping us up and night and unhappy during the day…I won’t say he’s my toughest baby (MARGOT) but he’s no walk in the park (RUTHIE).He also happens to have lost all the hair on top of his head so he looks like a middle-aged Portuguese guy. All he needs is a sleeveless undershirt and a wife named Maria.

Love you, Petey!

P.S. Margot’s been full of one-liner’s lately, and has also watch The Wizard of Oz every day for a week. In church this morning I took Peter out of his carseat to nurse him and Margot looked over to see an empty seat with just Peter’s knit hat left inside it. She picked it up and said, “Where’s Peter! Oh no, he melted!”Thank you to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for hosting our favorite Sunday  link-up!

WIWS…on Monday

Don’t you love a Sabbath that is really… Sabbath-y?  You know, beautiful, slow, restful, happy family days?  That’s what we had yesterday.  Dave was a doll and let me sleep in till 8:30(!!!!!) and he washed ALL of the dishes from the previous night’s book club revelry. [Nerd alert] Along with discussing Gaudy Night, we had a lot of good food and drinks and made a big mess! So we decided to go to noon Mass and take it easy in the morning.

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Dress from Gap (worn here), shoes from Old Navy, scarf on loan from my bff Melissa. SK is wearing her cute consignment and thrifted finds.

I’m sure it didn’t escape anyone’s notice (on facebook and everywhere) that yesterday was the first day of fall. So of course, SK and I dressed appropriately for the perfect New England fall day we were lucky enough to have here.

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After Mass, we decided to do one of the things on our “we’ll have to check that out someday” list.  We finally went to the Fairbanks House (which I mentioned last year) and took a tour.  It was fascinating! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Fairbanks House is considered to be the oldest surviving timber frame house in North America which means that the actual frame is made of only wood and wood pegs, no nails.  Wild, huh? The Fairbanks family who built the house sometime between 1637-1640 (not 1636 as the chimney states) were Puritan immigrants, and their descendants lived in the house up until 1900.  There were lots of interesting artifacts and family heirlooms in the house.  One of them was a beautifully carved wooden chest, which was made by a local craftsman for the family in the 1600’s.  It stayed in the family for a couple of centuries and then was sold. The Fairbanks family association tracked it down a few years ago when it went up for auction at Christies.  They only planned on paying 10K for it, but they got into a bidding war and ended up paying 75K to get it back!

Another interesting thing we saw were two tattered pairs of 17th century shoes (which didn’t look all that different than the tattered Toms I was wearing).  During restoration, they found the shoes in the walls of the house.  Apparently, it was common for this time period for people to embed shoes in their house but the reasoning is not quite clear.  Some think it was simply for good luck, while others think it was specifically for good fortune in fertility, hence the nursery rhyme There Was An Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe!  Mind=Blown.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pinch me, I just love New England life. #iannoymyself

Did you do anything fun, interesting or enlightening this weekend?

Linking up with FL&P for What I Wore Sunday.

{phfr} Ellen Can Be Thrifty!

SK recently (finally!) dropped her morning nap, so we’ve been exploring new and exciting ways to spend our mornings together.  Today, I decided to check out Savers (that I recently discovered was one town over) and then head to my favorite kid’s consignment store which is aptly named Fancy Pants.

We’ll start there.  Fancy Pants is in Chestnut Hill.  I don’t think you need to be a local to pick up on the fact that Chestnut Hill is a prissy place indeed! And Fancy Pants is that magical establishment where all the rich Mommies (or more likely, the nannies or housekeepers) bring all of their lightly used or never used(!) clothes, shoes, toys and gear.  You can imagine the pretties that can be found there!

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Isn’t this the most precious Christmas dress? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The smocking, the corduroy, the sweet embroidery, I can’t even handle it!  And the tags are still on!  This dress wasn’t even worn! I looked up the brand when I got home and found that these dresses retail for $75-$100! I got it brand new for $15!

I also picked up this cute corduroy Gap dress.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The shoes I got at Savers.  They soles are a bit… orthopedic for my taste.  But heck! They’ll do the trick.

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Those little crotched flowers are hair clips!

Sigh… it’s a weakness of mine, this endless pursuit of pretty clothes for me and my kiddo.  I’m really trying to cut back on it for myself, but I just don’t like a lot of the clothes (mostly cheaper options) out there for little girls.  They’re downright garish with the neon colors and stupid writing on the chest.  I like classic looks like these, and I’m glad I was able to find some gems that didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

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SK the little girl is emerging more and more these days.  IMG_1766

She ran from mirror to mirror at Savers.  And then I encouraged her narcissism. Doh!

IMG_1763This is my real happy!  I found this hand embroidered Sacred Heart at Savers for $3!  The fabric is a little stained, and I initially thought I’d just get a new frame with a matte, but this frame is really old and has a yellowed old stamp from “RH White Company Artistic Picture Framing”.  And it has that brown paper seal on the whole back.  Anyway, I wonder whether I should leave the frame alone.  What do you think?

{funny}

Remember when I told you of my blue blazer search?  I think I found a winner!IMG_1764

{real}

I got SK’s first pair of galoshes at Fancy Pants and she started using them right away…IMG_1773IMG_1770

for her crayons.

Thank you to Like Mother Like Daughter for hosting the Prettiest Happiest Funniest Realist link-up every week! 

5 Fall Fashion Favorites

First of all, thank you all who commented on my “weighty” post on Sunday.  You all really reassured me that I’m not crazy and I’m not doing anything wrong and that scales are, indeed, stupid.  You all rock. 🙂

It’s pretty silly that I’m writing this post because I don’t need anything in the way of clothes and shoes.  Not a thing.  And I don’t plan on buying anything for myself (with the exception of my great blazer search, more on that at #3) at all for a while because there’s no need, and because we’re hoping to buy a home this fall.  Eeeek! Anyhoo, here are my favorite fall fashion favorites for your viewing pleasure. But if you buy any of this stuff or similar items as per my recommending it, don’t tell me because I might break into your house and rob you.

1. Peter Pan collars

Find it at  JCrew. Such a cute top but that poor girl needs to eat some cake or something!

I love this trend.  It’s so classic and cute!  Granted, I don’t know if it would really work for me… I’m afraid the high neckline would do nothing for my non-existent waist.  I’d have to try it on.  But of course, I’m not buying anything so it’s a moot point.

2. Are these booties?  

Find them at  Boden.

I haven’t really been into the bootie trend because most of them look ludicrous. But these beauties are a different story.  Alas, I need them like I need a hole in my head. As an aside, I love absolutely everything in the Boden catalogue this fall. All the things!

3. Navy Blazer

Image via SarahSarna

[It’s my goal to include the fair Duchess in all of my 5 favorite posts.  One day she’ll notice and then we’ll be friends.]

I’ve been on the lookout for a good navy blazer for a while and I’m determined to add this staple to my wardrobe.  But I’ve also decided that I’m not willing to spend more than $50 on one.  So, that means either I score a really good deal with the help of some coupons or sales, or I find a good one at a thrift or consignment store.  I’m determined, folks.  It’s going to happen and I’m not going to spend a lot of money on it.  Mark. my. words.

4. Red Paisleyish Scarf

Find it at J.Crew

I love this whole look, but I especially love that scarf.  It’s just so classic and it ties this basic outfit together so nicely!

5. Cords

Find them at Gap.

Aren’t these just the perfect fall/holiday season pants??? Gah!  I can’t stand it.

Thats all, folks!  For more 5 favorites, check out Moxie Hallie and all the linkers.  Happy Hump Day!

WIWS & Some Weighty Thoughts

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Loft lace top (it was a steal!), old favorite Gap outlet denim pencil skirt (worn previously here and here) and old Gap peep toe flats.

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple today to share my fine lace and denim church outfit. 🙂

I’m pretty happy with this outfit and how I look.  I’ve been feeling good about myself lately, which as my husband would tell you, is a departure from my norm.  I’ve been running longer and faster lately, finally getting closer to my summer goal of running a 6 miler.  I’ve been eating sensibly too.  I don’t stick to a restrictive diet or anything, but I don’t snack, usually have lots of protein for breakfast and a salad for lunch and a normal dinner.  I even switched to gin and tonics when I want a little drinky treat. So I feel good and I think I’m looking good.  I’ve lost inches and a pant size.  BUT.

I haven’t lost any weight.  I’m down to my pre-pregnancy weight and I have been there since April, but I figured that with this change of lifestyle that I’ve been working on and maintaining for a whole year(!) would start to pay off in numbers on the scale. I’m not technically overweight for my height, but I’ve always been on the upper end of my BMI zone, therefore I’ve always felt the itch to drop 10 pounds or so. I’m not sharing this to whine and complain or to solicit compliments. I feel pretty good and healthy and those feelings can’t just be taken away by stepping on the scale.  But I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

I know that if I was more gung-ho and ran every day and did some no carb diet I would drop some weight, but at this point I’m feeling like it’s not worth it.  At this state in my life, between babies and always anticipating the very real possibility of another new blessing, I feel as though if I suddenly lost a chunk of weight, I would be very disappointed when (God willing) that little line on the stick appears. And that’s not right!  Besides, I’ve accomplished the main goal that I set out for when I started running: I’m in shape and healthy.  I wanted to be fit before having another baby so that I would hopefully have a healthier pregnancy and less scary delivery.  By the grace of God, I’ve accomplished that, I just wish I had dropped some extra pounds along the way.  Am I facing reality by letting go of my weight loss wishes or am I just being lazy?

Deep and life changing conversation, as usual.  And not vain at all. 😉

I hope everyone has a relaxing Sunday afternoon! Thanks to FL&P as always for hosting everyone’s favorite Sunday link-up! 

 

5 Favorites Vol. 9

1. First things first.

Sorry (not sorry) if that annoys anyone.  As Simcha said, he’s a new baby, and new babies are always a wonderful thing! As an aside, of course Kate looks wonderful, yadda, yadda, yadda, because she’s Kate and she has a stylist and hair and makeup person and she’s gorg. But! Apart from her amazing arms and legs and remarkably not-puffy face (we McSisters get pregnant EVERYWHERE so we’re very jealous of ladies who just get a belly) she actually looked like it was a physical probability that she did indeed birth an 8-ish pounder the day before.  I’m a fan.

And!  We have the same exact infant seat as the Cambridges.  Now I just wish we had the same car!

Sweet ride. Image via Metro UK

2. This lace top that I scored for $14!!!!

Find it at Loft

I haven’t been shopping at Loft for a while because I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of their products and frankly I haven’t really been liking their stuff all that much.  But I’ve been drooling over this top since I first saw Kate wear it way back when.  Plus, $14 is pretty darn good for a lace top!

3. Lest you think I’m completely shallow (I assure you, I’m only mostly shallow),  Christy’s post on Monday about the sacraments and motherhood was so beautiful and definitely hit a note for me.  I’ve had times in my life when I have clung to the the familiarity and tangible comfort of the Mass, adoration and the Eucharist.  The sacraments are one of the many reasons why I’m so grateful to be Catholic!

4. This post written by my good friend Annemarie about traveling with 3 littles made me laugh HARD.  She’s hysterical and she’s my hero!

5.  So many cucumbers!  cukes

 Gots to go now.  Somehow my child is covered in chocolate. I know there are much worse things she could be covered in but still… it’s a mystery! And it’s messy!

For more 5 Favs, head on over to Camp Patton 🙂

Summer Momiform Staples {5 Favs}

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love love LOVE Laura’s series on Style and the Stay At Home Mom. From what I gather, Laura’s interest in SAHM style has something to do with her being a self-sacrificing Mom of two who has devoted herself so completely to her home and family that she has never had time for thoughts of fashion.  Me?  Well, I’m just shallow and materialistic and I need to make time for more important things.  I think about this a lot, yo.  Too much.  Anyway, I thought maybe I’d put my obsession to good use for you selfless Saints of Mommies who just don’t know where to begin but who want to feel better about the image you project.

So without further ado, I give you my summer momiform staples.

Ok, a little more ado.  Something I’ve found (and this is rocket science here so hold on to your yoga pants) is that a big part of the process of building a wardrobe that you love and that works for you is knowing your personal style.  This takes a while to do.  First you have to gather inspiration. Maybe seek out a style icon(s); someone who always looks or looked the way you want to look.  Perhaps you’ve already picked up on who mine is.

image via robertroope.com

You have to figure out which styles and colors flatter you.  You have to try stuff on (some of my sisters refuse to believe me on this one). You have to figure out how to balance outfits.  I really like Rachel’s 3 piece rule: two basics with a fun third statement piece.  For example, pants, a top and a scarf or shorts, tee and statement necklace.

Anyway, for me, I try to stay simple with splashes of elegant, a’la Princess Grace.  No, lace dresses are not appropriate for my state in life right now, but I can accomplish the same vibe in a stay at home mom way.

And that brings me to my 5 summer staples.  Finally!

1. Tee shirts.  

I’ve finally accepted and embraced the fact that if I wear tee shirts, they need to be v-neck.  I don’t have the most defined waistline so I need a little optical illusion help! So find what works for you.  I have this striped Gap v neck tee and I also have it in white and solid navy blue.  I also have a different gap v neck tee in gray.  They’re my basics.  And on the topic of white tee shirts, I think you need to buy a new one each summer.  Yes they get yellow at the pits.  You can do some things to remedy the situation and get them to last all season but when the season is over, they’re basically over.  Know what I mean?  Shop the sales so you don’t feel so guilty about this.

2. Shorts.

I’m blowing you away so far, huh?  I have this pair of shorts from Gap, as well as a pair of coral pink bermuda’s and light pink shorts that are several years old from the Loft.  Oh, and I have a khaki shorts from Gap that are 6 or 7 years old.  I honestly don’t obsess much about shorts.  My requirements are that they can’t be inappropriately short and that they should preferably be fun colors.  My tops are generally neutral colors, so the shorts can and should be more fun.  But   unlike with my jeans, I’m not worried about the Mom-butt situation in my shorts.  I don’t want my shorts to be too tight; they should be light and comfy so as to fulfill their job of being hot weather appropriate!  Maybe my McSisters will point out my folly on this next month at our family reunion…

3. Flip flops for every day, espadrilles/wedges for night/special occasions.

Yes, we all wish we had your life wardrobe Classy Girls chicks…

I have a normal schleppy pair of flip flops that I wear most days and I have a cheap pair of cheap Target strappy fake leather flip flops for when I want to be a little nicer looking.  I love Katrina’s Bass sandals in her 5 Favorites post!  They unfortunately wouldn’t work for me though because I have super wide feet. 🙁 This is part of the process though folks: know thyself.  I finally picked up a pair of espadrilles after hemming and hawing and wanting some wedges and not wanting to pay the price.  I got these on super sale in simple brown leather (they ended up being less that $20) and I love them because they’re neutral and they make my legs look… better.

4. Respectable bathing suit & Cover-up

Sigh. Nobody likes this.  It’s like voting in Massachusetts.  You’re never going to win (sorry, it’s just fresh in my mind). I got the above gray suit at Target because I didn’t hate what I saw in the mirror when I tried it on.  I didn’t love it, but I didn’t feel sick to my stomach.  It’ll do for this summer.  Most likely next summer I’ll have a new host issues to tackle in the bathing suit department.  Guys don’t understand this, do they?  They wear the same lame swim trunks every year and there’s no drama.  If only they knew… Anyway, make sure you get a cute cover up too and maybe even a fabulous sun hat.  I got a hat this year to bring to the beach in August and SK thinks it’s hysterical.

5.  My special little thing: a pretty white shirt.

My summer staple to trump all summer staples is a pretty white top.  This is kinda my thing and I look forward to it every year.  It’s how I get my Grace Kelly elegant on.  This year I got the above top from Old Navy and it has served me very well so far (you can see me wearing it here).  I just love how you can dress it up or down.  I can wear it with a skirt and my new espadrilles and be ready for a date or I can wear it with jeans or shorts and cute earrings and look pulled together for playgroup.  Again, though, this is my thing.  It might not work for you.  You have to figure out what your thing is, and before you do that, you have to figure out your personal style.

Welp, that’s my two cents for all it’s worth (hint, it’s not worth two cents). If you haven’t already, check out Laura’s very helpful, very comprehensive series on Style and The Stay At Home Mom.  She also has lots of links to other helpful websites.  And if for some crazy reason you’re not on pinterest, get on pinterest!  It’ll help you find inspiration if you’re still figuring out your personal style.  Here’s my pinterest clothes board.

Now check out everyone elses’ 5 Favs at Moxie Wife!