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Fashion

Help a Momma Out?

August 24, 2015

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I picked up a bunch of cheap little dresses toward the end of the summer to bridge me into fall and have been meaning to put together more of a formal fashion post. Alas, I’ve been spending most of my days working from home and when I’m not working, I’m either tending to a sometimes fussy baby (teething!) or covered in paint as we begin our home renovation project.

Ainsley, on the other hand, thinks she looks mighty fine in her Turbans for Tots head wrap and new outfit from Carter’s. Ha! I love the way she is checking herself out in the mirror.

All that to say, I feel like I’ve hit a bit of a style brick wall. Last fall the only clothing I purchased was maternity, meaning it’s been almost two years since I shopped for regular old cool weather clothing. And now that I’m fitting back into my old clothes, I just feel a little bit frumpy. I think this is probably why new moms frequently change up their hair after having a baby? But since I don’t really want to cut my hair, I need some style help!

Most of my clothes come from Banana Republic, J. Crew, Stitch Fix or some random finds here and there, like TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. But now that I’m in a small town, I think online shopping is going to have to become a way of life. So tell me, where do you shop? Any favorite new dresses, jeans, tops or shoes you’ve found and loved? Brands that I should check out? I need your help before I go shopping for fall!

xo,
Madison

Fashion, Pregnancy

Does my body need changing? Or does my heart?

August 20, 2015

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Let’s talk about body image. It’s been a topic that I haven’t talked about much post-baby, but that’s not to say that it hasn’t been on my mind plenty over the past 6 months.

Going into pregnancy I was fearful about how my body would adjust and adapt to pregnancy and the postpartum period. I’ve never had a super fast metabolism and have always had to be relatively mindful of what and how much I eat in order to keep my weight in check. But, let’s be honest, I love a little chocolate at the end of a long day or a glass of wine now and again.

Now, 6 months postpartum, I have my good days and days when I’m more critical of my body that I think makes any sense. I don’t really have a lot of extra baby weight to lose, I’m active and at my most recent physical my doctor told me everything indicates that I’m living a very healthy life. But too often I find myself falling into the perfectionist mentality where my body is concerned.

Someone told me once that the problem with “good enough” for a perfectionist is that even when it’s good, it’s never enough. And isn’t that the truth? But when I think about it, I realize that’s not the legacy I want to leave. I want good to be enough and to find satisfaction in imperfection and flaws, even if that means making peace with a little extra softness around my middle or going up a size in my favorite jeans.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating against living a healthy lifestyle or in support of unhealthy eating. Living a healthy and active life makes me feel great and is something I’m deeply committed to for so many reasons. But sometimes I catch myself sliding down a dangerous slope, one that says it’s not enough. A little voice in my head advocates against balance and moderation and pushes me toward perfection.

Becoming a mom has changed the way I want to look at my body and relate to those around me. When I point out my bodily flaws, however minor they may be, I think about little miss Ainsley doing the same thing one day. Right now, at 6 months of age, when I sit her down in front of the mirror her face breaks out in the biggest smile. She sees herself and loves what she’s looking at! If only we could all have the same reaction, right?

I want to set an example for her. I want her to be able to look in the mirror when she gets older and beam at the beautiful little girl and young woman God created.

So if you’re struggling with your self-image, maybe take a look at your heart first? I know in my case it’s an important barometer. There are plenty of reasons to pursue health and fitness, and there are also a myriad of instances when good really is enough.

Come on, ladies! I need to hear your personal stories. How have you adapted, accepted and come to peace with your postpartum body? Maybe you’re still working on it? I would love to hear in the comments below!

Madison

Fashion

Favorites Lately: August 2015 Edition

August 13, 2015

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Old Navy Women’s Jersey Swing Dress $28
My friend Natalie posted about this dress, and I ran out immediately to find one for myself. It’s super versatile and comfortable, and I could see it getting some wear into fall with a great jacket and boots.

NYX Wonder Stick in Universal $13
This little stick is great for contouring and highlighting. Plus, it’s available on Amazon Prime! I found it at Target a while back, but haven’t been able to find it there since. It really is a wonder stick for those days when you’re looking washed out and tired.

Capri Blue Candle :: Volcano $28
I know, this seems like a crazy amount to pay for a candle. And I agree! But the scent of this candle can’t be beat. I burn it occasionally to keep my house smelling amazing and savor the way it makes my house smell.

Beauty Counter Lustro Face Oil 1 $64
I’ve been using this face oil for about a month and it’s been great for my skin! It absorbs really well and doesn’t leave my face feeling greasy.

Old Navy Crochet-Trim Lounge Shorts $12
I’ve been trying to update my “lounge wear” wardrobe post-baby. Most of my pregnancy I just wore Joe’s sweatshirts for hanging around the house and now I’m aware of the shabby state of my lounge wear. I’m not willing to sacrifice comfort for cute, so these shorts are a great compromise!

Bombas Athletic Socks $11
The Bombas team sent me a few pairs of these socks to try and it was love at first run! They’re seriously some of the most comfortable socks I’ve worn for working out and are well worth the premium price tag! Plus, they’re super cute.

Retin-A topical cream (prescription only)
I’m back on the Retin-A bandwagon now that pregnancy and nursing is behind me. I LOVED the way Retin-A made my skin look and feel a couple years back, and I’m so excited to get that glow back. The first couple weeks are rough (lots of skin peeling and breakouts surfacing) but it’s totally worth it. If you’re looking for something to even out your skin tone, brighten your complexion and reduce sun spots and acne, ask your dermatologist about it!

Banana Republic Linen Vee Tee $30
Now that I’m transitioning to more flexible and casual work (more on that soon!) I’m stocking up on cute but comfy basics. I bought this t-shirt in a couple different colors and have been wearing it a lot!

Fashion

New Mama Style |::| The Maxi

July 15, 2015

Pinkblush Dress 1

Pinkblush Maternity Dress 2
IMG_0114My mornings these days before work are non-stop. I get up early so I can let the dogs out and have breakfast (usually a smoothie) and a cup of coffee because I need to have a few moments to myself before the day really gets going. Then I jump into the shower and get cleaned up and ready for work, pack a lunch for myself and sometimes one for Joe, too, before I start to wash and prep bottles for Ainsley’s day and pick up anything around the house that was left from the nigth before. On an ideal day, Ainsley wakes up around 6:45/7, giving me a little quiet time with her to give her a bottle, cuddle and play before I head out the door at 7:40.

Since becoming a mom, I’ve developed a bit of a “style uniform” of sorts that helps me look put-together most days without requiring a lot of thought. Because, let’s be honest, I just don’t have much time to think about what I’m going to wear. I want a little more routine and a little less thinking involved in my morning routine.

I’ve been relying heavily on the maxi dress (including this maternity maxi dress from Pink Blush maternity) styled in two ways:

Casual: Maxi dress + sandals + long chunky necklace + cross-body bag (to keep my hands free!)
More polished: Maxi dress + blazer or jean jacket + delicate necklace + flats + structured bag or tote

It’s a no-brainer way to get dressed in the morning or for a casual night out with my hubby that is comfortable and cute, which is a major win in my book.

Dress c/o Pink Blush maternity 
Sandals from Target (similar style)
Necklace from The Golden Rule 
Bag from TJ Maxx (two years ago)

PS: While I was pregnant, I fell in love with the idea of maternity clothes (specifically maternity dresses) that could be worn post-pregnancy as well. The idea just seemed SO smart, since spending a lot of $$ on a maternity wardrobe just doesn’t make sense for most women. When PinkBlush contacted me asking if I would be interested in trying some of their cute maternity clothing I jumped at the chance and was SO impressed with the quality and fit. I can happily wear this dress without feeling like I’m wearing a maternity dress, and I love the idea that if baby #2 ever comes along, I will get even more use out of it!

 

Fashion

Stitch Fix July Review

July 7, 2015

Stitch Fix July 1Right after returning from vacation I had a new Stitch Fix box to welcome me back to real life. I’ll admit, it helped a bit in softening the post-vacation blues and was a fun surprise when it arrived at my door yesterday morning. Since I haven’t decided which items to keep and which to return, I was hoping you might be able to help me with this month’s box? I’m super torn on what items to keep! Let’s dive in…

PS: Interested in signing up for Stitch Fix? You can do so with my referral link HERE.

1. Brixon Ivy Azure Lace Overlay Blouse $54
I thought this top was sort of strange before I tried it on, but when I look back at photos that Joe took, I really like the top?! I’m not entirely sold either way, because in some respects it seems a bit casual for work and doesn’t really fit my style, but it’s fun and a little different, too.

Stitch Fix July 42. Pixley Carlyn Pleated Skirt $58
I wanted to love this skirt, but I’m not sure it’s really the most flattering thing? Overall, stretchy waist skirts don’t tend to be the best look for my body type, at least that’s what I’ve always thought. And I have a skirt that’s pretty similar in color and shape, so I’m not sure it meets a real “need” in my closet at this time.

Stitch Fix July 23. Pixley George Crochet Detail Knit Top $44
As you can probably tell from the photo, this top was a little bit too short for my long torso. That said, I’m not sure I would think about keeping it even if it was longer. It’s casual and cute, but at this point I’m not really looking to buy clothes that are super casual. They need to work for the office and at home!

4. Kut From The Kloth Kate Boyfriend Jean $78
I love this brand of jeans and have purchased a pair or two from Stitch Fix before. My complaint is that they are semi-boyfriend but not really? I have a few pairs that require you to roll the bottom up and this just seems like more of the same. I guess I would rather have a pair of skinny jeans that fit well. But I do love the way these fit and how comfortable they are!

Stitch Fix July 35. Pixley Joaquin Hooded Vest $74
I asked for a denim vest but was told in my comment card that they weren’t able to find a denim vest and included this vest instead. I’m not a huge fan of the loose fit and giant pockets at my hips. Although I appreciate the effort of including a vest, this one doesn’t really seem like a suitable alternative to a denim vest. I was hoping for something a little more cropped and fitted.

So what items would you keep? Which ones would you return? I desperately need your help deciding this time around!

Madison

Stitch Fix affiliate links used. Opinions are my own.

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