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…

1 // 2  // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

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a little marriage advice for the mamas (and papas) in the trenches

i am really no marriage expert, but i was texting with my cousin the other day (who just had her third baby in just over three years – bless you alicia!), and she asked how we keep our marriage in a good place.  it got me thinking…

i feel like anyone who has a newborn is ‘in the trenches’ – you are sleep deprived, trying to figure out a new family dynamic, and if you have other children, trying to help them adjust to life as a bigger family, and also sleep deprived.  did i mention sleep deprived??  it’s hard on the whole crew, and i feel like we have only recently emerged from those trenches.

now, i will be the first to tell you that our marriage is not perfect, but i truly believe that no one’s is.  it is a constant process of adapting (especially with small children) and bending and communication and compromise.  you’ll have to figure out what makes you and your spouse ‘tick’ and do it.  we’ve figured out that what helps us the most is having fun together (with or without kids)- typically an active kind of fun, but even just laughter is like medicine for us both.  it can be as simple as watching something funny together, going to a park with the kids (and acting like children ourselves), or something requiring a bit more effort like going to a trampoline park.  the other night we went with friends to a place here called up-down, which is a bar filled with arcade games from the 80s and 90s.  we had a blast.  it was just a few hours of kid-free fun, and we both felt renewed.  another favorite, when we don’t have a sitter, is to wear out the kids, put them to bed early, and order take-out sushi for a date night in.  it doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy or even out of your PJs every time, it’s just finding some time to be together and staying connected.

i’d love to know, what works for you??

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the aligning of the stars

on the way home from target this morning, both chloe and hudson fell asleep in the car, and i. successfully. transferred. BOTH. OF. THEM.  now if that isn’t the aligning of the stars, well, i don’t know what is.  so here i sit with my computer for a hot second sipping the last of my pumpkin spice latte.  yep, you heard that right.  my target still has a stash, but i’m not telling you which one i go to. ;)

so i thought i’d round up a few fun things i’m thinking about for spring.  even though it’s currently NOT warm, i’m dreaming about spring and thinking about thinner textiles, open-toed shoes, and copious amounts of sunshine.

—– i wrote all that a WEEK ago.  life happened – i got kinda sick, beckett had an early out day from school, the kids wanted to eat, blah, blah, blah.  just keeping it real here.  anyway, let’s talk spring.  here are a few things that are on my mind.—-

lace-up booties.  yes or no?  i give an emphatic YES.  they’ll go with jeans now and dresses as the weather warms up.

 

jeffrey campbell // jeffrey campbell (total dupe at target) // vince camuto //  vince camuto// another vince camuto (apparently this guy knows how to do a lace-up bootie)

how much is too much of a color?  i seriously can’t get enough blush and might just go overboard.

tee // lace-up tank // off-shoulder top // pullover // raglan tee // split neck blouse // lace cold shoulder

sugarfix for bauble bar at target – have you seen it yet?  some super cute stuff at a great price point.

 

beaded tassels // choker // ombre tassels // ear jackets // beaded hoop

what are you eyeing for spring??

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ok, full disclosure, hair isn’t really my forte.  i had short hair for a number of years, but long hair feels more like me now.  isn’t it fascinating how we change over the years, and feel comfortable with totally different things?  just me?   i’m a weird one, i know.  i basically keep long hair so i can pull it up into a topknot…i just feels easier to me.  and here’s a funny fact, ever since hudson was a teeny tiny baby, he would play with my hair while nursing or taking a bottle.  and to this day, if he has a pacifier or is drinking a bottle (yes, i’m keeping him a baby forever), he still plays with it.  it’s pretty sweet.  i’m not into a ton of products, but i do have a couple of favorite things that i use often.

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first, i try to wash my hair as little as possible.  like once or twice a week.  there are some hat days for sure, but i’ve found my hair feels healthier and i seem to be able to hang onto hair better.  it honestly feels thicker now than it ever has.  one of the things that helps me get through a few of those borderline days is dry shampoo.  i have tried A LOT, and my very very favorite is this one from living proof.  it smells great (a lot don’t), and it works well too.  the downside of dry shampoo is the residue, especially for a brunette like moi.  i’ve tried the ‘colored’ dry shampoos, and i like those even less.  SO, i use it at night.  spray on your roots before you go to bed (rub it in a little, or not at all) – it will have a chance to work through overnight, and you wake up with fresher hair and basically no residue.  holla!  (i’ve heard really good things about this one too.  )

ok, every decade i buy a new brush.  that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but a brush isn’t something i feel the need, or think to replace, all that often.  the last time i was due, i picked up the lemon drop from dry bar, and i love it.  it goes through wet or dry hair easily, and chloe screams at me less when i use it on her.  why must brushing a child’s hair be equivalent to torture??

now to styling.  i love love love my hair when it’s curled.  honestly, it doesn’t happen that often, so when i do it, i want it to last a few days.  my curling iron of choice is this one (the 1.5 inch), and i turn it to the highest temperature.  probably not great for my hair, but i find the curl holds better.  after it’s curled up, i spray with hair spray (not too picky on that), and finish with this texture spray.  it smells heavenly, and the fragrance lasts most of the day.  my stylist introduced me to it, and i thank her (hey lindsay!).  as for making those curls last, it’s another nighttime trick!  (also a tip from my hair stylist, she’s basically a genius)  BRAID YOUR HAIR.  it doesn’t have to be fancy or straight, just throw it in a loose braid, and it will help keep the curl to the next day.  you might have to touch up a few pieces, or sometimes i like to just use some wave spray to give it some texture.

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so there ya go, a dummies guide to hair. ;)

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