A Spring Season Feeling, Sandals Wearing, St. Patrick’s Day Anniversary

StPattys

Yesterday, on St. Patrick’s Day, marked my husband’s and mine two year wedding anniversary — No, we’re not Irish. St. Patrick’s Day just happened to be the day we went out on our first date. Plus, I’m horrible with remembering dates so I also needed an easy day to remember our anniversary. My husband surprised me this year by taking off work the day before and the day of our anniversary. We spent our anniversary day relaxing, planning our daughter’s first birthday party (excuse me while I tear up a bit), and going out for an absolutely delicious hibachi and sushi lunch. The weather was magnificently gorgeous with the sun shining, a beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds, and temperatures in the mid 60’s. The perfect kind of weather for wearing a three quarter length sleeve shirt, jeans, and sandals. Since it was St. Patty’s day I wanted to be celebratory with these clothes but without looking like a leprechaun had too much green beer to drink and threw up all over me. I find that I can prevent this best by using subtle accessories to show my green spirit. I have quite a fondness for the contrasting of pink and green so I automatically knew that I would want to pair a pink shirt against my green accessories. This pink button down is one of those mind-blowing easy care cotton shirts that you don’t have to iron because they don’t wrinkle! In my incredibly bias iron hating opinion, this has got to be one of the most astonishing clothing inventions ever. This crisp easy care shirt is made by Jones New York and came from Ross on clearance for less than $10. My cuffed go to skinny jeans came from Target, as well as, my flower printed sandals. These super cute and satisfyingly comfortable sandals were one of this year’s anniversary gifts from my husband. Another gift from my husband, a few years ago for Christmas, is my Coach purse with green snake skin details. This super affordable Coach outlet purse is awesome because it has three divided sections in it that makes it foolproof for carrying all my baby gear. My scarf, which truly shows my St. Patrick’s day enthusiasm, came from the Dollar Store last year. I was inspired by Jessica Fletcher, on Murder, She Wrote, to tie my scarf to look like a chain necklace. True confession time: I am seriously addicted to MSW (yes, I just abbreviated it like a true addict). I have been binging on all 259 gloriously stupefying episodes that are currently on Netflix. I’m not quite sure what about this show sucks me in, it could be: Angela Lansbury’s subtle and mesmerizing voice (I secretly wish she was my grandmother), the antiquated 1980’s settings, or the crazy plot twists — I can never figure out who done it! Someone hand me an AARP card, compressions socks, and butterscotch candies.

Anyway, to sum it all up, St. Patrick’s Day for me is more than just green beer, leprechauns, and four leaf clovers, it’s about celebrating the day that I got to marry my best friend.

A Very Vera Valentine

A Very Vera Valentine Most women go for a sexy look on Valentine’s Day and typically I’m one of those women but this year I decided to go for more of a G-rated look — this mom life thing might be catching up to me. My outfit consists of a boxy light pink with white lace sweatshirt-esque top that I recently bought from Boscov’s during their massive clearance sale. I got my red with white hearts scarf a few years ago from Gymboree during their big red balloon sale for only 99 cents. I know, I know, that’s a little kids store but the scarf is super cute and perfect for Valentine’s day. My go to, dark wash skinny jeans came from Target, as well as, the nude flats. Then there is my brand new, just got it today, Vera Bradley Trimmed Blossoms tote. I just won this $88 Vera Bradley beauty from Collage, which is a wonderful local speciality boutique. Collage frequently has those Facebook contests where you like, comment, and share their picture for contest entries. Now, I’m a total sucker for these contest and am constantly participating in them. Out of all the contests I have entered, this one by far, was the best prize. I’m not a huge Vera Bradley fan, however, ol’ Vera has really come up in the world with her prints and bags. No more is the company all about bags with the perpetual paisley print made from your grandmother’s quilting techniques. They now have some super classy and high-end looking leather bags and wallets along with some fabulously on point patterns for their fabric bags. Don’t believe me, check out Vera’s Instagram account and you’ll definitely think differently of the company — Vera’s just not for the geriatric woman anymore.

Back to my prize, this Trimmed Vera Blossoms tote is MASSIVE! I’m absolutely certain that my nine month old daughter could fit in the bag with plenty of room to use it as a play pen. I honestly love everything about this bag: the size, functionality, and print is truly perfect. The bag boasts six large interior pockets and two exterior pockets, one of which zippers. The interior pockets are positively superb for organizing all my baby gear or bottles of wine — depending on the occasion. The bag’s spectacular Blossoms print with the faux leather straps and accents makes the bag ideally versatile for all seasons and occasions. This is seriously my new go to bag. Being a mom of a little one, I need a large bag for all that baby junk and this bag easily takes the place of a diaper bag. I adore bags that can conveniently double as a diaper bag. Let’s face it, there are very few cute diaper bags that don’t scream “Look at me! I’m a dorky diaper bag!”. Not that there’s anything wrong with carrying a diaper bag but when you want to look a bit more fashionable and poop patrol incognito, this type of bag is the way to go.

I can’t thank Collage enough for having such an awesome contest and picking me as their winner. There’s no way that a bag like this would’ve fit into my stay at home mom budget. Collage not only is generous to their customers, with these great contests, but they also give back to our local community. They’re constantly collecting donation items for the domestic violence shelter and are now raising money to build a playground at that shelter. There’s nothing more admirable and respectable than a local business giving back to their community in need. I love shopping at Collage because of their charitable ways but also because they have an incredible selection of the best speciality goods, local products, exquisite jewelry, and super cute clothing for women and children. Additionally, they have an amazing selection of Vera Bradley, as well as, my favorite addiction: Trollbeads (they carry Camilia beads too). Furthermore, the store owner, Whitney, is so incredibly sweet and in-tuned with her customers that she truly makes you feel valued and appreciated. I love a store owner that remembers you even if you’re not a frequent customer. If you live in central Pennsylvania, I can’t recommend this shop enough. If you’re not local you can still shop on their website and help a great store committed to giving back. www.collageofyork.com

And here’s a picture of all the “important necessities” I am able to fit into my new Vera Bradley bag. I just can’t stress enough how fricken’ large this bag is. Stuff I can fit into my Vera Bradley

Swim Class Chic

Swim Class Chic Every Tuesday night, my husband and I take our daughter to baby swim classes at our local Jewish Community Center. These swim classes were a genius gift from my parents to Cora for Christmas. Cora is an absolute natural in the water and totally the best baby in the class (in my incredibly bias proud parent opinion). We have a lot fun in the pool but not so much in the family locker room. I found out real quick how to appropriately dress for that locker room. Those half changing room/ half shower stall cubical thingies are far from fun or uncomplicated to change in. These shower-changing stalls are tiny, dingy, and wet — Lord only knows the cesspool of germs that are living in there. Hence, the wiggle-shimmy-squeeze dance that I have to do to get into my skinny jeans is totally not going to work in this itsy-bitsy quagmire of a space.  I repugnantly found out the hard way last week. . . Lets just say the heated cars seats also work fabulously as a hiney dryer. Anyway, my only feasible option is to rock the quick and ever so easy leggings. These leggings came from TJ Maxx and are a nice cable knit which keeps my legs warm and toasty in the winter time. The effortless french terry long hoodie came from Target’s clearance. I absolutely adore this hoodie because it is ridiculously comfortable and such a cinch to wear and style many different ways. I also love the gathered pockets on the hoodie for the reasons that they hide my postpartum belly and I can stash lots of necessities in them. My olive green suede and leather boots are made by Clarks. I scored these $120 boots a couple of years ago for $30 when my Bonton store was going out of business. These boots use to be so comfortable until pregnancy made my feet grow. They’re a bit tight now but their versatility makes them so worth the annoyance. When I bought the boots I knew the dark green color would work perfectly with either brown or black predominate outfits. My tote is from Thirty-One and was free to me since I hosted a party for them a couple of years ago. I highly recommend this tote on the grounds that you can seriously jam everything into it. For swim class, I’m able to pack into that bag: three large beach towels, two adult swimsuits, one baby swimsuit, four swim diapers, three regular diapers, one hard case of wipes, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Ultimately, my locker room experience couldn’t make me agree more with the Le Corbusier quote “Space and light and order. Those are the things men need just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep.”

Oh, and here’s an adorable out take of my cat, Cricket, checking out my outfit.

Cricket Out Take

And It All Goes Back

Internet Shopping StrugglesThe internet ordering struggle. . . I found myself up late one night unable to sleep when I stumbled onto Target’s website. They were offering a promo code for an additional 20% off of clearance and there was no way that I was passing up that deal! So I gleefully browsed through their pages and pages of women’s clearance and insouciantly loaded up my virtual shopping cart.  Before I knew it, I had 15 items in that cart and a total that was double the amount ol’ Santa gave me for Christmas. Reluctantly, I was able to narrow my selection down to just five super cute tops. I completed my ordering and fell asleep dreaming of my new outfits. Every day for a week until my shipment arrived, I impatiently checked the shipping status of my order in hopes that it would be here much faster than anticipated. Finally, my shipment arrives and I swiftly run up to my bedroom to try on all my new clothes. Then it happened — none of the clothes fit! But on the plus side, they were all too big. I have this problem of thinking that I’m a larger size than I truly am. Even though the scale tells me I weigh less than before getting pregnant, my eyes just don’t seem to see it. I know my body has changed, my feet have gone up an entire shoe size (I guess that’s what pregnancy hormones and lugging around that additional poundage for months will do to you) but also my once perfect hour glass figure is now more of a straight boyish figure. It’s difficult enough find clothes in store that fit and look good but online shopping makes it 10x more difficult. The internet models also don’t help any amidst those perfectly proportioned size 00 bodies with thigh gap that can make even the most hideous burnt umber paisley and plaid printed frock look gorgeous. I’m not even sure why I think internet shopping is a good idea. In a brick and mortar store, I will bring twelve items into the fitting room and maybe, just maybe, if it’s a really good day, end up purchasing one out of the twelve. In conclusion, I need to stop torturing myself and those poor customer service girls who have to take back all my returns.

Sauerkraut and Stretchy Pants

SauerkrautStretchyPants

New Year’s day in Pennsylvania means pork and sauerkraut. As my grandmother insists “You have to eat the sauerkraut for good luck in the new year.” I don’t know if it really brings you any good luck but I know it brings me some serious bloating — just how I want to start out the new year. When your gut starts ballooning, the last thing you want is tight pants digging in and preventing the full expansion of that sauerkraut food baby from happening. I’ve learned the painful way, in the past, to dress anything but comfortable on this day. Appropriately, I opted for super soft fleeced lined leggings that I was able to score at Boscov’s for $7.99. The boots are made by Boemos from TJ Maxx (more on this deal can be found on my Sheepish Sunday post). I purchased the yellow button down shirt last year from the Salvation Army for my Halloween costume as Dwight Shrute from The Office. I love being able to reuse pieces from Halloween costumes. My swan print cardigan came from Target. I patiently waited for that cardigan to hit the clearance rack at 50% off before I bought it. It’s always a risk waiting for an article of clothing you love to go on clearance because they might not have your size but it’s so worth the money you save. I look at it this way, if it’s not there after it goes on sale, then it wasn’t meant to be. Something more fabulous and a better deal will always come along.

So here’s to ringing in the new year with good luck, bloating, and stretchy pants.

New Year’s Eve: Sparkle, Comfort, and Netflix Bingeing

New Year's EveNew Year's Eve

This is the first time in many many years that I’m staying home for New Year’s Eve but when you have a 7 month old your options are a bit limited. Even though, I’m staying home tonight, I still thought it would be fun to dress the part as if we were going out. I have two looks for today, since Cora (my 7 month old) and I decided to do some shopping (all those gift cards I received for Christmas have been burning a hole in my pocketbook). The day look is composed of a periwinkle sequined sweater that came from the clearance rack of JCPenney a few years ago. I’m forced to layer a tank under the sweater because the back of it is mesh. The tank came from Hollister during their amazing summer clearance deal when you can get an additional 70% off the lowest ticketed price. The navy blue jeggings came from Boscov’s — another clearance find. The nude flats, are the newest addition to my wardrobe. I just bought these versatile babies this past Sunday at Target (after all, they were on clearance). I’ve been wanting a pair of nude flats for such a long time and finally the stars aligned and I scored this pair for only $8.48! My necklace is Origami Owl and, of course, my faithful Trollbeads bangle which I also paired with my night look. Speaking of my night look, that consists of a sequined glitter dress that I purchased from Gabriel Brothers, my black cardigan was a birthday gift from my mom and the black leggings came from TJ Maxx.

Now I must get back to eating ice cream, cuddling my husband, and rotting my brain with Netflix. Happy New Year, everyone!

Transformers Tuesday

Transformers Tuesday

I must start off by saying that this Transformers shirt is completely out of character for me. I would normally never wear or buy a shirt like this — in fact I don’t even like Transformers. However, I love my husband who happens to be a total Transformers nerd. When I found this $5 shirt on Target’s clearance rack, the great price and nagging from my husband to buy it because “it’s so cool AND Transformers”, I couldn’t pass it up. Sigh, the things you do as a wife. Anyway, with today being the eve of Christmas Eve (aka the day to get all your last minute Christmas stuff done) and cleaning up copious amounts of snot from my sick daughter I decided to go super causal and comfy. I paired this shirt with old jeans (which is why they’re not shown) and my favorite sneakers. I bought these leopard print sneakers from a Coach outlet store for only $24! Not only is $24 an amazing deal for a pair of sneakers but Coach sneakers?! Unheard of and completely unable leave without them. Since there was so much visually going on with the shirt and sneakers I decided against accessories except my ol’ faithful Trollbeads. In my bias eyes, Trollbeads can do no wrong to any outfit.

Sometimes it’s the little things in life (like wearing a Transformers shirt for your husband) that can bring the biggest smiles.