spring 10×10

have you heard of a 10×10?  you take 10 pieces from your closet, and wear only those 10 for 10 days.  simple enough, right?  i’m going to take a crack at it starting tomorrow, with the 10×10 hosted by un-fancy and the style bee.  here are my pieces…

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2 pants, 1 skirt, 4 tops, and 3 layering pieces.  i think some people like to include shoes in the 10, but i’m not that hard core yet (ha!), so my 10 are all clothing, but i’ll limit my shoe use.  accessories (jewelry, scarves, etc) aren’t included in the 10, and since shoes are my very favorite accessory, i’m making this a little flexible to work for me.  also not included is activewear, sleepwear, and outerwear (with spring in the midwest, you never know what you’re gonna get!).  i’ll mix those in as usual to get to the gym and lounge around at home.

i’m also factoring in a few ‘special events’ – church and an egg hunt/brunch this sunday and a meeting next wednesday, so i threw the skirt in to make it all happen.  i might try to make it work in a more casual way too.  and that’s part of why i’m so intrigued with this.  it’ll force me to work with these pieces in ways i would not have done otherwise.  having limited choices forces creativity.  fun!

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i’ll try to keep to these shoe choices, but i make no promises.  IMG_1396

so, whaddya think!?!  want to try it with me?  it starts tomorrow, and technically runs through easter, but i’ve already got an easter get-up in mind, so i’ll go through saturday.  let me know if you decide to play along!

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the mama’s guide to swimwear

i’m gonna go out on a limb and say you probably won’t see me in a string bikini this summer.  i feel like those days are just over – for one, my body is totally different than when i could confidently rock it (not complaining, it’s grown three kids!) and with a toddler on my hip, there is bound to be a wardrobe malfunction.  so, i find i’m searching for swimwear with more coverage, but still looking current, fun, and dare i say it, sexy.  i’ve run across a few brands that are hitting it out of the park in this department, and it’s just not right to keep them to myself.

albion fit – ok, this company has got it going on for the mama of small children, in my humble opinion.  darling one-pieces, high-waisted bottoms, and crop-tops, which is my new favorite style.  it’s more covered up (less chance of the aforementioned wardrobe malfunction), and i can swim, go off the diving board, and throw my kids around without worrying about a boob popping out.  this one is on my wish list at the moment.  just go look at their website, you’ll want everything.  i don’t own anything by these guys (yet), but the quality is supposed to be great, you can be super active in them and look amazing in the process.  p.s.  they also have great active-wear!

one-piece w/ cut out ||  green and black one-piece || cross-back top || leaf bottoms  || stripe & floral one piece || floral peplum

kortni jeane – a small company with lots of high-waist bottoms and crop tops, among other things, in such fun styles and patterns.  she runs each fabric for a limited time, so if you see something you want, get it!  there was a cactus print last year that i loved but didn’t get, and i’m kicking myself for it.  i have a couple of her tops, and they’re great – they come with a little shelf for some support for the ‘ladies’ and light padding.  she also has a few mens‘ and even kids‘ styles!  chloe has little high waist bottoms and a peplum top that is about the cutest thing i ever saw.

racerback || scoop-back peplum || latter-back top

 

j. crew is not new, but their suits are such high quality.  i have a few that are several years old and they still look great.  i am in love with the off-shoulder number below, but it just won’t work for lugging around kids and being active with them in the pool.  i’ll have to save that style for an adults-only trip, of which there are none on the horizon.  dang.  the one shoulder look could work, though talk about a strange tan-line.  might be worth it.  if there’s one thing i would buy from j crew, it’s black bottoms. i have a pair of high-waisted ones that i’ll break out for their third summer this year, and a bikini brief that is more than 5 years old.  i tell ya, these hold up.  since the mixing and matching is the current trend, i can wear these with just about anything, creating infinite options.

off shoulder || blue cover up || one shoulder || white cover up || brief || high-waist

tori praver for target – check this line out for some inexpensive options, interesting cuts, and pretty prints.    loving that racerback and the gray one-piece!

racerback || high-neck (make sure you check out the back!) || gray one piece (also has a fun back!)|| floral one-piece || crop top w/ underwire

so, there ya have it.  a few fun options for the active lady who wants to stay cute and a little covered up this summer!  let me know in the comments if you know of any others i should check out!

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catered curriculum (and a discount code!)

y’all, spring break was kinda long.  it’s a little challenging having kids in totally different places – a 6 year old that wants to be on the go ALL THE TIME, and a baby that still needs a good nap every day, and a 4 year old that falls somewhere in the middle.  i realized how thankful i am for beckett to have school, getting all the stimulation he wants and needs while i can better give the littles the slower pace they need.  BUT, having b at this age does let me see where we’ll be when hudson is a little older – we can GO and DO and SEE and not be held down by the nap!  whaaaaaaaat!?!?!  honestly, i really don’t know what happens in the world between the hours of 1 and 4 these days.

so, i was very thankful i had a few tricks up my sleeve to entertain the kids while we were at home for hudson’s naps last week.  i met delta, one of the co-founders of catered curriculum, through a friend and she recently brought over a box for us to try.  i was strategically saving it for last week to fill some time at home and was glad i did.  catered curriculum is a subscription box company founded and operated by two former preschool teachers, and it shows.  everything is explained in perfect detail with step by step instructions, packaged according to the activity it goes along with, and most importantly, the kids loved it.

IMG_1204activity box c/o catered curriculum

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i did one of the simpler activities (math) with chloe that involved counting, matching, coloring, cutting and glueing…

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…and i did the magnet activity (science) with both kids, who loved it equally, and it occupied them for about 30 minutes.  that’s a long time for this crew!  they got to see which of the items were magnetic, make a chart to show their findings, and then paint with the magnet.  every single little thing you need is included.  i had to search for nothing!!

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all that, and we still have two more activities (reading/writing and art) to use another day – woo hoo!  now, for the best part – use discount code chasing20 for 20% off any subscription product.  happy learning!

 

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contentment and being present

i think the reason i’ve been quiet here is because i’ve been doing a lot of thinking – about contentment – when it comes to things – and being present – when it comes to people.

with regard to being present, honestly, i felt like i was looking at my phone too much.  to check instagram, e-mails, even the weather.  i just felt like it was always there, taunting me with its many capabilities.  so recently, i’ve tried really hard to walk away from it.  just park it on the counter unless there’s a picture i want to take or another legit purpose for its use.  i’m trying hard to limit the mindless scrolling because it just takes away from other things.

like this.IMG_1334

and this.IMG_1289

and this.IMG_1238

with regard to contentment, it seems like our society has almost promoted excess.  you won’t be happy until you have these shoes, this make-up, this couch.  i’ve been struggling with it for a while now, seeing it all over, but in my own life, trying to better love and appreciate the things i have.  i’ve been thinking hard about what i want to write about and the direction i want things to go here – to a level where i feel a little paralyzed.  but i’m just going to start laying it out there and see where this leads.

this is where my head’s at.  let’s talk about working with what we’ve got, or with less.  let’s talk about being content, about shopping our own closet or our own home to shake things up instead of feeling the need to go shopping for it all the time.  let’s talk about buying a few pieces each season and making them our workhorses.  no one needs a closet exploding with clothes, and you don’t need another blogger telling you to buy something new every day.  i don’t want to take that route, rather i’d like to teach myself, and anyone who might read, how to work with what we’ve got to keep things interesting, adding a few special things along the way.  we don’t need more to be happier.  in fact, lately, i’ve felt like eliminating things will make me happier.  and it has.  i’m hoping to go through my closet tomorrow to switch seasons, but also to get rid of pieces that are not being loved (i post things on poshmark if you’re interested), and to better organize what’s left.  i’ll try to take notes along the way and let you know what’s working for me!

so, how about you?  do you like the idea of less being more?  i really think it can be liberating!

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inspiration…or the lack thereof

guys, i’m gonna be honest.  sometimes i have so many ideas and so much inspiration to run with, and sometimes i’m just, well, dry.  i guess this is one of those times, and that’s ok, although frustrating for me.  sometimes caffeine helps.  caffeine helps a lot of things. ;)  i really think it stems from having ZERO time during the day that is just mine.  i have tried to wake up early, and my kids wake up earlier.  i have tried staying up late, and i feel like trash the next day.  it’s a good problem to feel needed by someone ALL the time, but it’s straight-up exhausting too.  mamas, can i get an amen?  i do think regular exercise helps to get my wheels turning, and i’ve taken a few days off that, which is my own fault.  i’ve learned if i don’t get it done in the morning, it ain’t happenin’.  back on the wagon tomorrow.

so instead of original thoughts, i’ll leave you with a few random tidbits from the internets.

have you guys seen these chicks?  HILARIOUS.  tons of honest and funny little videos about motherhood.  i was laughing so hard watching their #momtruths.

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i’ve heard of sole society before, but i’d never perused their website.  GREAT STUFF.  women’s accessories, clothing, even kids shoes.

 – earringsclutchwedgeperforated bootiestop

 

i’m trying to work within a capsule-ish wardrobe for spring, and caroline is THE BEST to follow if you are interested in doing the same.  she writes in such a genuine way – the kind where you feel like you’re sitting right with her.  and the photography is beautiful.  it’s a great blog to read and inspiring me to do more with less.

so, tell me, how do you boost your creativity when you’re in a slump?

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spring shoe guide

y’all, i have been working on this in bits and pieces all week, and i am proud and relieved to present my spring shoe guide.  in my opinion, there are 4 stand-out shoe styles at the moment – the espadrille, spring bootie, lace-up open toed bootie (see my post on these here), and the sneaker.  there are so many fun twists on each that you’re sure to find one to match your style.  so, here ya go.  a spring shoe guide for the casual lady running all over town, working from home, schlepping kids in and out of school, and every little thing in between.

i’m liking the more ‘flatform’ look of the espadrille this season, where there’s a clear platform giving you lift, but the ‘incline’ isn’t all that high.  you’ve probably seen this marc fisher number EVERYWHERE.  i recently found a dupe here that’s pretty darn close at a third of the price.  here’s another cute crossover version by marc fisher, and yet another with a  lower platform. this guy has apparently cornered the market on the espadrille, and everyone and their brother is making copies like crazy.  here’s a target version that’s pretty similar to one of his. and another target one that’s super cute.  i’m still contemplating which one i would get the most use out of.  of course i’m drawn to the one with the highest lift (#shortgirlproblems), but i’m not sure how much i’d actually wear it.  thinking the lower one might work best for my every day life.  i think if you’re going to buy one shoe this spring, this is it.

 

booties just keep getting better.  more fun little details, different colors, the heel height is usually manageable, and i am loving the open-toe option for spring.  now is a great time to shop for booties – there are tons on sale since most stores are gearing up for spring.  but we still have lots of bootie weather left!  lucky us!  cut-outs (here’s another) and perforations (another here) seem to be BIG this season.  these say edgy cowboy to me, and i LOVE them – the notched out heel is great for walking too – i have a pair that have a similar heel.  i have never seen a strappy bootie, but hello fun little details –  options here and here.  i have seen these all over the place and have heard they are super comfy – love the d’orsay detail.  a pink bootie??  i say yes, and you’ll be surprised by how much these will look good with.

 

you just can’t beat a slip on sneaker, and there are TONS of options.  i found this one with a BOW, and it gave me heart palpitations.  this one is quilted, this one has faux fur poms, and there’s just something about the classic vans.  the adidas superstar will probably never go totally out of style, but it’s making a resurgence right now, and i think the ones with metallic stripes are great.  these from nike look like you could go straight from the gym to your next adventure.  and i’m always a little partial to new balance.  i’ve been wearing them for years.

 

 

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the bandana – 4 ways

i just bought the trolls soundtrack today, and chloe, hudson, and i have been listening to it on repeat for HOURS and having an all out dance party. i feel like they kinda made this soundtrack for the parents. there are some really fun songs with a good beat, and they don’t sound too ‘kiddie’.  is that a word?  i even cried during ‘true colors’ like a total sap – you guys, the harmonies!  and talking about being your SELF!  and JT professing his love for me princess poppy!  and i was dancing with chloe.  music, it gets me every time.  anyone else??  i’m probably crazy.  anyway, it’s good.

sooooo, what are you thinkin’ about the bandana trend, yay or nay?  i’m on board, and it’s a pretty versatile little piece to have in your closet.   they’re inexpensive, and they do lots of tricks!  like so…..

tie a knot in the middle, and tie the points behind your neck.  it’s a casual necklace.img_1143

try it as a bracelet.  wrap it around a few times and tie in a knot on top or bottom of your wrist.  i had to use my teeth, but i got it done!  img_1150

this look is great if you have a bandana on the bigger side (this one is roughly 2ft x 2ft).  fold one corner to another, so you have a triangle, then tie the two points, throw it over a t-shirt, and you’ve got yourself an outfit.  you could pile on the bracelets or go super-minimal like i did here – both look great.  img_1140

and lastly, if you like the look but just want to dip your toe in the water, tie one onto your bag and call it a day.  img_1159

check out one more way i styled a bandana here.  how do you like to wear yours??

there are some really cute ones out there…

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