Monday, April 8, 2013

On Style

Note: I write this as I wear dirty capris, a hoodie, and a t-shirt with a stain on my belly (it's starting to get in the way these days!).  So clearly, I'm an authority on fashion.

Pushing past my laziness or rushed mornings from sleeping in, I want to look nice when I go out.  I feel so much more ready to tackle the day when I'm showered, my hair is done, and my clothes fit and even match.   Lots of times, I have felt like this is a character flaw of mine - wanting to look nice and putting effort into what I wear.  Those moments when I tear through the closet and start crying because "I have nothing to wear" (this scene may mark the first time Eric knew I was crazy after we got married) aren't ever going to play in my highlight reel.  I've noticed that I set myself up for a good day when I feel put together and confident: wearing clothes that actually fit - regardless of label size - and maybe even put a little makeup on. Even if it requires a little effort.  Today wasn't one of those days.  I felt fine in the morning, okay through afternoon, and lousy tonight.  Dumpy.  I've learned I'm not the only one that feels this way.

Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy is the first blogger I knew to feel the same way. She realized that she was wearing yoga pants and her hair up every single day and decided to change that.  To hold herself accountable, she decided to take her picture daily and share it through What I Wore Wednesday each week.  Now, hundreds of ladies join in and show their outfits for the week.  I've never been brave enough to actually photograph and post my outfits, but it has made me think intentionally about putting myself together to start each day.  Am I expecting to have a lazy day or am I expecting to actually accomplish something?  How I dress affects what I do.

I have always been a bargain shopper.  I think that working at Gap during college caused my brain to forever do funky math.  We got a great discount when I worked there, so I was always looking at price tags and immediately taking a large percentage off the ticket price.  Now, I feel like I should still get to do that in stores.  An extra 30% or a clearance sticker entices me.  Even better, an extra 30% off the clearance sticker - those are the best!  However, I'm also learning that just because something is a good deal, doesn't mean it is actually a good deal.  Will I wear the piece?  Is it quality?  What purpose does it serve?  These are questions I'm forcing myself to ask (and clearly they've been on my mind for a while, as mentioned here).

Blair from Wild and Precious has amazing style, and through her blog, I learned about a service called Stitch Fix.  It's a subscription program where you receive five items of clothing every time you request them.  You fill out a styling profile, customize your preferences (even requesting something specific), and ask for a box to be sent to you.  It's $20 for each box, but if you keep anything, that cost comes off the piece's price.  I love following them on Instagram to see the adorable stuff they have.

I've only received two fixes, but both of them have been amazing, and I know I'll be requesting more boxes when I'm looking for good transitional post-baby belly clothes this fall. Each piece comes with a card that shows you different ways to wear it.  I love the ideas and the permission to wear something differently than I traditionally would. I follow them on Instagram, and love to see the fun pieces they are sending out!  This has been a great way for me to add quality pieces to my wardrobe, and I've really enjoyed having someone else pick out clothes for me!  If you're interested, you can sign up here.  You can cancel at anytime, so if you hate it, you're out $20!  To the left is a picture of me wearing a sweater I received from them.  I absolutely love it, and Eric does too, because he knows that I'm looking at clothes that will actually add something to my closet rather than cheap deals that will probably not hold up by next year.

Finally, the last thing that boosting my style is The Small Things Blog.  I love this blog.  You may have seen Kate all over Pinterest, and for good reason.  I cut my hair in November, and while I don't majorly regret it, I'm growing it back out.  The main reason? So I can do more of Kate's tutorials on her blog.  Most of the hair/beauty tutorials on Youtube are hilarious, and worthless, and a little bit sketchy.  Kate is super professional but also keeps it real.  I've started painting my nails, wearing foundation, and wearing more than just a ponytail thanks to her blog.  Go check it out.  And then do something awesome to your hair.

All three of these websites have helped me to kick my boot-ay in gear and put effort into the way I look.  All three of the ladies I mentioned are Christians, and I love their balance of caring about style and fashion without becoming obsessed.  I'm completely fine going out without make-up or done hair, but I know I don't feel my best when I do.  I usually can't remember if I put make up on or not in the morning unless I start crying during the day - so I don't remember what other people are seeing.  Sure, there have absolutely been times when wanting to look nice has been about wanting to look nicer than others - and that's a problem.  But wanting to put my best me out there?  I think I could use an extra reminder to do that daily!  So go ahead, curl your hair tomorrow.  :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter 2013

We had the joy of hosting Easter for Eric's side of the family this year, and it kicked me in gear to get our home ready.  We have red Christmas dishes, and well, those dishes have been in regular use since November of 2011.  It was time to sort through some things.  Eric is the major cleaner in our house, and made everything shine so I could put knick knacks all over it.  The day before Easter he started to count the number of fake/real flower arrangements throughout our house, but eventually gave up.  I would love an unlimited supply of beautiful flowers because I love the brightness they bring to our home.  (I've heard that people get those from things called gardens, but I don't see that happening anytime in my near future).  Here's what our house looks like ready for spring.

Of course, I attempted the now-famous Pinterest Easter bouquet.  My mom did one and it's even cuter.  I'm pretty sure the candy cost more than the flowers - oh well, it's still cute!  Eric's waiting for the flowers to die so he can get to the Peeps.

Here is a view from our kitchen to family room.  We love the way this house fits a lot of people in one area so it was great to be able to use that!

 Our new artwork!  We worked on it this winter, and absolutely LOVE having it above our mantel.  It only weighs about three thousand pounds.

Here are some pictures of our family enjoying time together.  My family maxes out at about 20, so it's still a little crazy to me that between 25-40 people will gather for holidays with Eric's family.  I love that they all get together for holidays, even as a big family.

Our family of four!   Emmalyn looks less than thrilled about Easter ... it was a little strange to wake up from nap time to a house of 30 people!  Poor girl! She recovered as soon as they started reading books to her.

We had a great time with Eric's family and then hopped to my parents to spend the rest of the afternoon eating their leftovers, napping, and playing with cousins.  We are so blessed to have an incredible family to share the resurrection of Christ with!  I truly felt the joy of Easter and the hope we have this Sunday!