Wednesday, May 31, 2017

happy birthday sweet pea

aubrey 1

My sweet baby girl turned 3 today - seriously how the time has flown. So, in honor of her birthday - here's a quick kiddo update:
  • Favorite color: purple - pronounced "purpur."
  • Favorite pattern: polka dots - pronounced "polka nots."
  • Favorite person: Daddy, closely followed by Papa. :)
  • Birthday wish: a puppy (sadly, we'll be holding out on that one for now).
  • Favorite activity: anything outside, especially if there's bubbles, and bath time. I swear that kid's part fish!
  • Favorite expression: "Oh, no momma! Oh, no!" (Usually because I've dropped something. :))
  • Favorite TV show: Sofia the First, though Backyardigans is quickly becoming her new obsession.
  • Favorite food: peanut butter and jelly and cupcakes - to which she says "Happy Birthday" every time she see's one. Cupcakes are a birthday standard at daycare.
  • Favorite piece of clothing: pretty much any dress or ruffly skirt. Tutu skirts are a big win in her book. 
  • Big recent accomplishment: potty training! 
  • Dislikes: Having to come inside, almost all vegetables (unless we disguise them).

aubrey 3

I feel like she's changed and grown so much in the past year! Talking in complete sentences and telling stories, she loves to help out and is interested in everything. She loves to take things apart and figure out how they go back together (no toy is safe) and I jokingly say she's going to be an engineer like her Papa. She's a bit of a tomboy - fearless, into everything - but also a girly girl who loves dresses and sparkly necklaces. She's stubborn as can be but also so sweet - she seriously gives the best hugs. An extremely picky eater, but loves green olives of all things. Super good about saying "please" and "thank you" and loves to be silly - she has the best belly laugh.

aubrey 5 aubrey 2 aubrey 4 aubrey 6

Happy birthday sweet girl! Looking forward to celebrating you and watching you grow!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

may budget

may budget

May budget: $231.38
second quarter budget: $600 - $180.24 in April - $231.38 in May =  $188.38 remaining

For some odd reason, this was the month to buy all the cardigans. Doubly weird that I did it in May when things are really starting to warm up in Florida. And then there's the fact that I bought duplicates in different colors. idk. Can I chalk it up to pregnancy brain? Or justify it by saying I need them for the overly air conditioned office?

So let's start of with what I bought the most of: cardigans. Both striped cardigans are from GAP Factory's sleep section, which was a little odd to me since I don't anticipate wearing them as sleepwear...lounge wear sure, but not to bed. Any woo, the navy/white stripe is an XL and fits true to size, the white/navy is a L (only because the XL was sold out) and fits just a touch snug in the upper arms. See how I wore the white/navy here. If you're interested in the J. Crew merino cardigans, keep in mind that they run really large. Like one-to-two sizes large. I got the olive in a L (see how I wore it here) and the tan in a M (see how I wore it here).

My favorite two purchase of the month might just be these white maternity jeans and this blue pintuck stripe popover (see how I wore them both here). For reference, the jeans are a 16 and a demi panel - mainly because I find the full panel too hot in warmer weather - and the shirt is an XL.

This floral maxi dress is super pretty and feminine. I got it in an 2XL to accommodate the belly bump and I'm glad I did - not for the bump it turns out - but the boobs. I keep forgetting those suckers grow as well. :) Sadly it's out of stock at the moment, but in case it comes back it's worth noting that this dress is a thicker cotton which might be a bit too warm in a lot of places this summer. See how I wore it here. But I think it'll be perfect post-baby this fall.

Not pictured: the prettiest navy patterned kimono from a boutique near me. See how I wore it here. I'm finding my obsession with kimono's growing along with my belly. They're the perfect lightweight layer - a must in Florida summer - and add a little something to an otherwise boring outfit.

For the past couple of years come tax return time, I've splurged on one more expensive than usual item that I wouldn't normally just purchase for myself - separate from my monthly budget. Last year it was my Kate Spade mint bag and the year before the Clare V. leopard clutch. This year I got a tri-tone Michael Kors watch. Normally $275, thanks to an amazing deal on Amazon, I got mine for $160. Isn't she pretty? I still love my gold Fossil Vintage Muse, but it's nice to have something to mix it up once and awhile.

Last, but not least, yesterday my stepmom bought me two maternity dresses from Target - a purple heathered short sleeve dress (which I'm wearing as I type this) and a black and gray striped tank dress. Both are XXL - I find Target maternity to run a touch small.

Looking toward June, I wouldn't be surprised if a few more kimonos make it into my closet was well as knee-length dresses since my maxis are already getting quite warm. And I'm just not enjoying maternity pants this go around. So dresses it is - at least for now. :)

//  Sharing on Budgeting Bloggers.  //

Thursday, May 25, 2017

pin to present: felt starfish & seahorses

Since it's been a few months since I've done a Pin to Present post, I thought it would be fun to show off the cute felt starfish and seashores I made for the small one's upcoming mermaid birthday party.

pin to present starfish inspiration
source: Lia Griffith

My inspiration came from Lea Griffith's felt starfish and felt seahorse stuffies. She has the basic instruction available through her website, but you have to pay a yearly membership to download the templates. I opted to design my own on a sheet of 8.5x11 paper then followed her instructions. 

pin to present starfish and seahorses 6 pin to present starfish and seahorses 5 pin to present starfish and seahorses 2

Based on Lia Griffith's felt vendor recommendations, I purchased wool felt from Bensie Design in shades of seafoam, lilac, swan and blush. I ended up ordered waaay more than I needed, so I'll have to find another felt craft project in the future. :) The bigger pastel pearl beads are from Amazon, the small seed beads leftover from the dollarstore nutcracker makover (originally from the $1 spot at Target), and the embroidery thread is from JoAnn's. The buttons I found leftover in a tub from who knows what project, but you can find them easily at any craft store.

While the DIY itself was pretty simple, it was a bit time consuming to sew on all the beads and to whip-stitch around the creatures and stuff. To make the four starfish and one seahorse took two evenings. The kiddo loves them and has already been playing with them all around the house, so I know they'll go to good use once the party is over. So worth two evenings of work. :)

pin to present starfish and seahorses 1 pin to present starfish and seahorses 8 pin to present starfish and seahorses 4 pin to present starfish and seahorses 7

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

maternity uniform

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 6

Yesterday as I was dropping the kiddo off at daycare I passed another momma wearing the practically the exact.same.outfit as me. Long maxi dress, flowing cardigan, sandals and a baby bump. We were practically outfit sisters. Which got me to thinking - have I discovered the magic maternity uniform? It certainly works for me - a dress soft and comfy enough to be pajamas, a light cardigan for the chilly over-air conditioned office and simple sandals. Perfect.

This dress is actually one of the few maternity items I kept from my last pregnancy - as well as identical ones in olive and coral (I really loved this style of dress during my last pregnancy) so it's fun to be far enough along to wear it again!

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 2
dress: GAP maternity (similar, similar non-maternity)  |  cardigan: GAP Outlet (exact in limited sizes, similar)  |  sandals: Target (cute alternative)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  earrings: Stella & Dot (fun similar)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 4 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 3 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 1 navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 5

Since tomorrow makes 20 weeks - goodness can't believe it's already the halfway mark! - here's a little baby bump update: baby boy weights approximately 10 1/2 ounces now, is about 6 1/2 inches long and about the size of a banana. I'm still feeling pretty good and am finally feeling some of my energy come back. I can't tell you how many nights I've passed out around 9 p.m. :) The past few nights I've made it to 10/11 p.m. and haven't felt completely wiped all day, so progress!

navy maternity maxi dress and white and navy striped cardigan 7

// Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore. //

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

messy hair don't care

pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 6

If you've ever wondered what my hair looks like when I can't be bothered to fix it is. Not curly, not straight...idk...I personally think kind of a mess, but as the days get hotter and my belly gets bigger the idea of welding a blow dryer seems less and less appealing. So today you get au naturel tresses. (And probably a lot more of the same in the days to come.)

Another reason I don't often wear my hair wavy is because throughout the years it keeps changing...more straight, then almost curly, back to wavy, back to almost straight...pesky hormones I suppose. But during this pregnancy it's becoming more and more wavy, so I guess I'll rock it while it lasts. Anybody else have crazy hair like that?

pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 2
kimono: The Florida House (cute alternative)  |  shirt: GAP maternity (exact, non-maternity version)  |  jeans: American Eagle (exact - on sale!) last worn here  |  shoes: Loft (practically identical)  |  necklace: J. Crew Factory (fun alternative)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  bracelet: Kendra Scott (similar)

pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 7 pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 3 pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 1 pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 4 pink jeans, blue pattern kimono, white tee 5

//  Sharing on The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore.   //

Monday, May 22, 2017

monday musings: week 20

Another Monday, another edition of Monday Musings. Each Monday I share a different "get to know you" style Q&A. I invite you to join in the comments below so I can get to know you as well!

Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

A: I like to call myself an introverted extrovert. For work a few years ago, I took the Myers-Briggs personality test. Basically, you answer a series of questions which breaks down how you interact with the environment (introvert vs. extrovert), mental energy (intuitive vs. observant), decision making and emotions (thinking vs. feeling), approach to work, planning (judging vs. prospecting) and confidence in abilities and decisions (assertive vs. turbulent). I came out almost a split introvert/extrovert with a slight lean toward being more introverted. My full results are INFP-T (introverted, intuitive, feeling, prospecting, turbulent). If you're interested, here's a link to a free version of the test.

So what does that mean exactly? I hate big crowds, small groups are better, and one-on-one is best. I love to talk with people I know, but clam up around strangers. I don't like to put myself out there, yet I take a lot of enjoyment out of blogging and interacting with people on this space. I can make myself be outgoing, but I desperately need alone time. However, I get lonely if I have too much of it. A perfect example is this Saturday when my husband took our kiddo over to his parents for the day and I had the whole house completely to myself. It.was.glorious. Until it wasn't. I started the day reveling in my freedom - I could read a book, watch what I wanted, run errands toddler-free, but by the end of the day I missed my family and was ready for everyone to come home so we could hang out. I was so dang bored with just myself. But if I don't have alone time I quickly get grumpy and snappish.

I found this article that really sums up I am -  a big ol' ball of contradictions.

What about your? Are you an introvert, and extrovert or a combination of the two? Let me know if the comments below!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

thoughts and whatnots 5.21.19

5.21.17 thoughts and whatnots
patterned dresses and nude wedge sandals:  one  |  two  |  three

blog love:

on teal and polka dots:

favorite sales:

  • what I'm watching: For some inexplicable reason my (almost) three-year-old has become obsessed with SpongeBob Squarepants. 
  • what I'm crushing on: My teal ottoman looked just right in my old living room with the coordinating aqua walls, but we're painting our new living room gray, and now I feel like I need some teal pillows to make the ottoman look more intentional. Some of my favorites are this colorful tasseled teal velvet pillow, this bold teardrop geometric pillow and this pretty floral embroidered pillow would go nicely with the blush velvet pillows currently on the sofa. 
  • what I'm crafting: These starfish wands will be perfect for the kiddo's upcoming mermaid themed birthday party.
  • what I'm looking forward to: The kiddo is scheduled to move up the three-year-old room at daycare in about two weeks, but the catch is that she has to be potty trained. We're desperately working on it, and while she's getting the hang of things, I'm looking forward to accident-free days ahead!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

not groundbreaking

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 2

The earlier this week I noticed a few blog's traffic views coming from a reddit thread. Curious, I tracked it down and basically someone asked for recommendations for "average-to-chubby" size fashion bloggers and my blog was mentioned - in conjunction with Work Clothes I Suppose - which was super exciting because I love her blog. The part that gave me pause was when the recommendee said that my blog "wasn't groundbreaking." Well, dang, was she saying I'm bland? And then I realized, she's right ... I'm not the most exciting dresser, and that's okay. There's no wild fashion choices to be found here, no cutting-edge photos, it's just an average blog with an average - okay more chubby-sized girl - and that's the way I like it. 'Cause that's me, perfectly, shamelessly vanilla. :) She goes on to say that she "takes inspiration from them for my non-groundbreaking life." Which, let's be honest, is pretty awesome. So if you're reading this, many thanks reddit user for the blog love!

Plus, thanks to that thread, I discovered Frocks and Frou Frou and she's fantastic! Lilli has seriously the most adorable style with great little custom touches - like a hand embroidered collar or a DIY dress.

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 6
cardigan: Lucky Brand (exact)   |  shirt: J. Crew (similar) last worn here  |  pants: J. Crew (exact maternity, exact non-maternity) last worn here  |  sandals: Target (cute alternative) |  necklace: Target (similar)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  earrings: Loft

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 5 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 4

Since today makes 19 weeks - almost halfway there! - here's a baby boy update: Since I'll (barely) be 35 by the time the baby is born, my husband went with me for a high-risk ultrasound on Tuesday. Everything went perfectly. He's 10 oz. about the size of a heirloom tomato and healthy as can be. Everything is right on track and I'm getting more and more excited about seeing this little guy in October.

polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 7 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 1 polka dot tee, navy maternity pencil pants, tan cardi 3

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

floral maxi dress

navy floral maxi dress 5

I must have a thing for floral maxi dresses, because without quite realizing I'd done it, I bought a dress very similar to this wrap maxi dress I wore almost exactly a year ago. In fact, to make things worse...I don't exactly remember ordering this dress. It arrived on my doorstep and a had one of those huh? moments. I went back through my emails, and sure enough I ordered this frock during one of my 3 a.m. insomnia sessions (thanks pregnancy for that one...) But whether I meant to order it or not, I was happy with my surprise package! If you're interested, this dress is non-maternity, but has plenty/stretch elastic, hence why I'm able to get away with wearing it it'll be nice to wear post baby. Win-win! Guess my sleep deprived self knew what it was doing.

For Mother's Day, my sweet husband took my daughter and me to brunch at The Bay - our wedding venue turned restaurant. Afterwards we went to Eden Gardens, which is really the prettiest place with lots of moss-draped oaks and a gorgeous antebellum home. I convinced my husband o take a few photos on one of the garden paths, so that's how these photos came to be.

navy floral maxi dress 6
dress: JourneyFive via Groopdealz (exact. similar plus)  |  sandals: J. Crew Factory (similar)  |  necklace: Kendra Scott (exact)  |  watch: Michael Kors (exact)  |  bracelets: Bourbon and Boweties (exact pearl, similar aqua)  |  earrings: Reeds (similar)

navy floral maxi dress 3 navy floral maxi dress 4 navy floral maxi dress 1

Seriously, isn't she the cutest? She wanted to be a part of photos, so here she is, per her request. :)

navy floral maxi dress 2 navy floral maxi dress 7

// Sharing on What I Wore. //

Monday, May 15, 2017

monday musings: weeks 18 & 19

Since I played hooky last Monday with blogging, I have two Q&As for today's Monday Musings. For those of you new to the space, each Monday I share a different "get to know me" style Q&A. I invite you to join in the comments so I can get to know you as well!

the bay throughout the years
Mother's Day 2017  |  Mother's Day 2015  |  Our Wedding Day 2011

Q1: How do you celebrate Mother's Day?

A1: It varies year to year, but this year we took my mom and mother-in-law out to dinner on Saturday night. Since my stepmom lives out of town, I sent her a pretty boutique of flowers. On Sunday, my husband surprised me brunch at The Bay - which was actually our wedding venue before it turned into a restaurant. This is the second time we've been there for Mother's Day and I always love getting to visit, eat and reminisce.

Q2: How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

morning routine
from start to finish: my morning routine

A2: My typical morning goes a bit like this:

6:15 a.m. - alarm goes off / reset it for 6:30 a.m.
6:30 a.m. - get up for real, hop in the shower
for the next 20 minutes try to wake up/remember if I've washed my hair twice or three times already...
6:52 a.m. - get out of the shower
6:53 a.m. - dry hair/put on makeup
7:15 a.m. - straighten/curl hair
7:20 a.m. - throw on clothes
7:25 a.m. - brush the kiddo's teeth, fix her hair, put on shoes and socks
7:40 a.m. - out the door

My sweet husband gets our daughter up and dressed and makes her lunch every morning...on the mornings he has to go into work earlier, I get up about 15 minutes earlier and still end up running late. :) I'm sure our routine will change quite a bit once baby boy arrives, but for now, it takes me about an hour and 10 minute to get ready plus however long it takes to get the kiddo finished up in the mornings. If you're curious about what my day looks like, check out last year's day in the life of working mom post.