Thursday, November 26, 2015

My cup runneth over

This year has been nuts, that is without a doubt. It might have been one of the most challenging and surprising years yet and it's still not over. There is so much drama and negativity in this world right now and it's been taking a toll on me both mentally and physically. It's all been too much at once with no end in sight. That's why I'm pretty jazzed about the upcoming holidays to be honest. I know they can be stressful with family in town and all the cooking, shopping and cleaning that needs to be done but I kind of love it. It forces me to slow down a bit and reduce the scope of my lens. I focus more on hearth and home, kith and kin.

My aunt, favorite cousin and me circa 1997

I'm super nostalgic this time of year as well as I always have fond memories of Thanksgiving and Christmas with family and friends. When we first met and my husband asked what I loved SO MUCH about the holidays (which he thought were a commercial sham) I told him family. It just reminds me of home. I've always been "the baby" of our extended family so everyone went off to school and left me with all the moms and when they came home it was always such a fun and exciting time to me.  They were all so cool in my mind and I wanted to be like them, off in college and living my life (whatever that meant).

my brother, god-sisters and me circa 1994

There was a certain energy in the air that wasn't usually there and I fed off of it. I still do. I love to entertain around the holiday season for this very reason. I like to have people  in my house as much as I hate to clean up and have to deal with having people in my house. Particularly if the energy is good. Being a divorced kid the holidays have also always been a time of anxiety as I worry about who to spend the day with and how the other parent is going to feel. The older I get the less I stress about it but it's still a concern. But this year both parents are doing their own thing and our family is off to hang with our famdamily.
I'm super looking forward to it as we haven't all spent time together in awhile and it's always a good time when the kids are able to run around in a safe environment and we can all relax a bit. Well sort of. We are talking about toddlers and pre-schoolers here.
I love the traditions we are creating with our kids and I hope that as they get older they look back on this time with the same type of fondness that I do with my childhood.
I'm also REALLY excited about food, apple cider margaritas and breaking out Cards of Humanity if there's time.

What are you looking forward to this holiday season?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ripped Jeans + Red Lips

A few weeks ago I was feeling less than inspired by my wardrobe. I would stand in my closet and basically only look at one particular section of my closet like that was all I had to choose from. For some reason I was stuck in a “I have to wear a semi-profesh” looking dress to work mentality. This is SO not the case. The atmosphere at the office is super chill so the only thing that might get me noticed would be if I were to show up in a ball gown.

Working both in and out of the office full time has made it harder to keep up with my favorite blogs so I’ve had to resort to IG stalking and while doing so I realized a common theme among some of the people I followed. They were all hella fly. Some are mama’s of littles, some have teens. Their styles are all varied but there is thread of familiarity that runs through them all that inspires me.
So I wrote about it. And was duly inspired by my own work. That very weekend I made it a point to go through my drawers (working my way up to the closet) and do yet another clean-out. I focused on what my personal style has REALLY been over the last three years. I know what I’m drawn to but, I also have to think about what works in my real mom life. The true story is, while I LOVE the polished looks of some of my fave style bloggers, I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. 

That’s honestly what I feel the most comfortable in, aside from dresses in the summer.  With that in mind, I planned my outfits for the week and decided to get the party started on Monday with some fabulous heels and a bright red lip.

Y’all know I’m still a new to the red lip game so it’s still a bit of a shock to see myself with it on but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t absolutely love how it looks.

The simple combination of a graphic tank + my favorite ripped skinnies and the silver shoes did wonders for my self-esteem.  I convinced my co-worker to take some photos prior to lunch (and me ruining my red lip) and they came out crazy good. 

I was reminded how fun it was to actually “get dressed” in clothes and shoes I felt REALLY good in and loved. It was just the kick in the ass I needed to get a handle on my closet and get a grip on my look. I loved the look so much I’ve basically had it on repeat over the last few weeks. Ripped jeans + band tee + heels + lipstick were so good to me I even posted a few of the photos on IG. It felt good to be back on my #OOTD game and definitely added a little strut to my step all week as I worked at getting back to being a woman in heels. It's funny how something so small (putting on lipstick and heels) could give me the pick-me-up I so desperately needed to get back into my wardrobe and reclaim my style. I'm still working on adding jewelry back in but hey, I've gotta start somewhere right?

What do you do when you get into a style rut?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Grab Your Rental

Dress: Nicole Miller via Rent The Runway

The “it’s been a long time since I posted” tripe is so over done but it couldn’t BE more applicable here. I legit haven’t blogged since before my birthday. In June. I know. It’s terrible. To be fair, quite a bit has transpired since then so it’s kind of understandable but given that I’ve still had a pretty heavy social media presence I guess it’s sort of lame that I haven’t gotten my ish together enough to hit publish. To break the cycle I thought I’d hit you with a good old-fashioned ‘what I wore’ style post. Last month one of D’s best friends tied the knot and we were out in full force to celebrate. I was probably the MOST excited because the groomsmen invite stated that the wedding was going to be black tie. THAT MEANS EVENING GOWN Y’ALL.

The last time I was that dressed up was when WE said “I Do.” So the excitement was real. And so was my shopping struggle. I knew good and well I wouldn’t have the time I’d like to actually go try on dresses. Nor did I really want to. As much as I like shopping, I detest trying on clothes and fancy dresses just seem like a lot of huffing, puffing, zippering and wiggling.
So after a lil research (read: I polled my FB friends) I decided to try Rent The Runway.  I was blown away over all the options they had available and more than a little irritated I haven't used them before. I was super torn on which dress to get and ended up doing another social media poll on the three dresses I was debating on. I asked everyone to weigh in and of COURSE people had opinions.

Two of the dresses were totally out of my comfort zone as they were both lace and fitted which is not my norm. While the sheer polka dots was up my alley in the A-line shape but the sheer panel and the cutout made my inner conservative a little nervous. But I still kind of loved it.
I was also pretty freaked out about the idea of renting a dress sight unseen and having it arrive in time for the wedding because, as per usual, I waited until the last minute (the Monday before the wedding to be exact) to commit to a dress and the concept of renting the runway.

However, the site allows you to try TWO sizes of your dress choice so I knew I was at least covered on that front. I did spend the entire drive into work fretting about whether or not I chose the right dress but at that point it was too late to turn back so I just had to sit and wait for it to arrive.

I was thrilled to come home Thursday evening and find that my dresses had arrived.  First thing Friday morning I tried on the first (and largest) size sans shoes and realized it was a little loose and hella long but still looked cute. I’d forgotten I requested a size down and thought I’d just got two different lengths so I didn’t even bother to try on the second dress until the day before the wedding. It fit perfectly and was the proper length for my heels too!
Even though I was a little bit rushing getting dressed (last minute makeup touches for the bridesmaids!) I felt like my overall look came together quite nicely. It was one of those rare fashion moments where the look in my head worked out in real life. I didn’t want to look too much like a bridesmaid since they were also wearing long black dresses so I chose to go w/ a subtle smokey eye, false lashes (duh) and a lightly glossed lip.
I’d just gotten my hair re-done the day before so there was no need to worry about what to do with it but I still sort of swept it to the side for a little bit of drama and then secured it with a ponytail holder cuz I’m classy like that.  The dress was light enough to have me sweating my makeup off in the warm evening and stretchy enough that I could eat, drink and dance to my heart’s content. It was a good look. I’m a fan.

Immediately following the reception I changed back into MY clothes put the dress back on the hanger, zipped up the carrier and swapped the UPS label on the outside and we dropped the whole thing off at a UPS drop box on our way home!
Easy like Sunday morning!

I don’t know WHY it took me so long to even think about using RTR. I mean, it couldn’t be easier, and for someone like me who’s a tad on the slow side when it comes to getting things mailed out it, having the label already to go made a huge difference.  I kind of wish I had more events to go to and occasions to dresss up for just so I can use them again! And they’re not just limited to evening gowns! They’ve got cocktail dresses, rompers and jumpsuits and generally if you need an outfit for ANY event, they’ve got you covered. For reals.

So yeah, RTR is legit and y’all should totally use them. And I’m jazzed I wore a fancy dress, didn’t trip OR spill and got to get a few decent photos for posterity. Who knows when it will happen again.

Have you ever tried Rent The Runway? 

** I was in no way compensated for this post I just really enjoyed my experience with this service.


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