My fav this week: RED LIPSTICK!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Do I start talking about lipstick or complaining about my week?

Okay, lipstick it is! This way you can read the fun and skip the grumpy part. I'm thoughtful like that.

Here's the thing, I've always been weird about lipstick. I feel younger than I am and whenever I think about lipstick I feel like by wearing it I look like I'm trying to look older than I am. Except I'm not as young as I think I am feel.

I have always LOVED the way other people looked in red lipstick but never felt I could pull it off. So one day, I ventured into MAC (which I also love) and said that I love red lipstick but wasn't sure it was for me. The (very kind) MAC lady said that she had the perfect shade (and in my head I thought: of course you do, you'd let me wear blue lipstick if it meant I bought a bunch of stuff). She put it on me and said it actually was perfect. I looked in the mirror and felt a little like I looked like I was playing dress-up. Her advice: step back, look at it from far away (apparently people aren't going to be standing within a foot of me - good, I like my personal space). It wasn't too bad. I bought the lipstick and the "must-have" liner (because no one wants smudged red lipstick all over their face).

I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! I forget I have it so I don't wear it as much as I could/should BUT I definitely busted it out last weekend AND previously rocked it at my brother's wedding.

My color in particular is the Rhianna of the MAC Viva Glam. If you're sketchy about red lipstick, give this one a try. Seriously.

Alright, now that my favs are out of the way (and yes, I'm copping out by only posting one item, but after you read the next rant you'll understand why - unless you don't want to read a rant, then click 'x' now).

Teething, the canines in particular, is the DEVIL. FOR REAL. My sweet, happy, gorgeous baby girl has been taken over by a miserable teething heathen. Thankfully, she's still happy most of the time until about 3am then look the F out.

I'm also wondering why no one told me about this? Perhaps I blocked it out of fear. That would make sense.

The week has kinda blurred together but one morning we were up from 3-6am with NONstop screaming (advil didn't even work). This morning she woke up at 4:30 and went back to sleep from 6-7:15 (at least she was happy, I'll take it). And another morning she was up at 5:30. for. the. day. Yes, I know some people get up at 5:30 on purpose. I am NOT one of those people.

I miss sleep. I miss the me I am when I have sleep.

Mr. B has worked late almost every night too, so for the 'witching hour' (which is actually about 2 hours), I am on my own. It's not super fun.

At this point it's important I make a HUGE shout-out to ALL the single moms or anyone who has had to single parent for any period of time. You're all rockstars and I seriously mean that. AND with more than one child? WHOA, mind-blowing to me right now.

Remember me being all positive earlier this week? Clearly I had more sleep then.
For real though, I know I'm lucky, it's just a stage and we WILL (must) get through it.

I'll end this on a positive note - pictures! Here's what's been happening on my phone this week (funny, I don't take pics when all hell is breaking loose. Probably for the best):

happy Friday (send me sleepy baby vibes if you don't mind)

baby steps and what I wore

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Yes it's Wednesday where I typically post some things I've been wearing and lately I have writing about everyday inspiration (as are a few of my blogger friends). I'm going to start with the inspiration and it's two-fold but the first one is BIG TIME!





Mini-me took her first steps tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'll admit, prior to that exact moment I wasn't sure I'd be there for her first steps (she does spend a lot of time at daycare) so I downplayed the importance of it in anticipation of hearing about it from daycare before witnessing myself (and realistically, maybe our daycare provider is so good that she just isn't telling me and is letting me have this one - I'll take it). 

ANYWAYS it happened. My dad was over for an impromptu visit and was acting so silly trying to get her to stand up. Sure enough, she stands up from her little chair and just stands there. We both keep trying and then she takes a step and falls down! Okay, I'm not entirely sure whether she fell or whether I just jumped in and scooped her up so friggin' fast there was no possible way she could have gotten another step in.

Um, I was a little more excited that I thought I'd be. 

She did a repeat performance and added a step. It seriously made my night. As did the fact she went to bed like a dream (which has NOT been the case lately. At all. Ever.)

this pic is from last week but I had to throw her in here! New to-do: capture walking pics andvideos!!

Still smiling.

Okay moving along (and so is mini-me. Sorry had to). 

For real. What else has inspired me? Oh only the best people I know. YOU! Seriously, I completely psyched myself out when I shared the blog on Facebook last night. Yes, I'm a wee bit dramatic but I seriously felt quite uncomfortable. I was nervous. And then people started messaging me. I can't even tell you how awesome it feels to know people found some joy in my writing AND that they could relate to my stories. It made all my anxiety worth it. Thank you, not just for reading but for sharing your thoughts with me and making me feel valued. 

You have inspired me to try and be more mindful to let people know when they do (or write) something that is meaningful to me because gosh darn-it, positive feedback (the heartfelt kind) feels wonderful.

Despite a completely crazy day at work, not feeling 100% and having been up since 5 am (also thanks to mini-me) this momma is going bed with a big smile on her face.

What I've been wearing

I have been taking a lot of pics but not of my outfits. Here's a few I managed to get in

1. yay for weather warm enough for sandals
2. grumpy face cause I'm home with a sick baby
3. outfit planning for my weekend away (do you see the photobomb?)

I've said it before and I will say it again: maxi (dress or skirt) = comfort. Even when you're home with a sick and grumpy baby you can still look moderately put together (even if you have a grumpy face).

Whew, I'm spent.
Eventually I'll get back on track with what I'm wearing posts as the Summer Style Challenge approaches. YAY for someone telling me what to wear again! Also, very excited I've gotten some of my friends to join. Matchy matchy here we come!

Night all!

a weekend for ME!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

It's official, I left min-me and Mr. B for approximately 36 hours and when I got home there were no serious injuries and the house hadn't burned down. That means things went well. All jokes aside, Mr. B did great and had even vacuumed and mopped (I know, right?! That's why we're married).

I think the fact that I have so much faith in Mr. B's parenting abilities really contributed to me being able to have so much (too much?) fun this weekend. 

I have so many stories, thoughts and feelings to share about such a short period of time but I'm struggling to organize it in my head so I hope I can capture it all (and keep it succinct!).

First, I got to spend time with one of my most treasured friends, Becca. She's one of those people who just gives you energy when you're with her. She's thoughtful, kind, self-aware, and so much fun. We don't hang out as much as either of us would like (due to life and other things) but no matter how much time passes we just pick up where we left off. One of my favorite parts of my weekend (although there are lots) was spending time and reconnecting with Becca. 
Sidenote: Becca has a very insightful blog if you're interested ;)

Before you ask, yes, that is wine in plastic cups, we were in a hotel, give us a break!

Next, it was so nice to have adult time and not worry about bedtimes or someone not sleeping through the night. Having said that, it is possible that Becca and I stayed out WAY too late. I think the only reason I was able to function the following day is because I've gotten used to running on little sleep. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

I was brave and wore (and kinda rocked) the red lips! You may see that color on Friday in my favs!

We spent the day eating and shopping in Blue Mountain. It was a GORGEOUS day and we couldn't have ordered better weather. If you haven't been to the village in Blue Mountain (Ontario, Canada for my US friends) you MUST go! So fun and the views are unreal.

I don't think I've mentioned the whole reason we went to Collingwood/Blue Mountain. One of my friends invited me to a workshop by Jennifer and Rita from a company called Pink Ink Image. I'll talk more about the workshop later in the post but the long and short of it was learning about clothing, dressing for your shape, doing makeup etc. Perfect for a girls weekend away!

So anyways, we went out for dinner with Jen and Rita (yup, I call her Jen, we're tight now) and some other workshop attendees. Jen and Rita were likable immediately. Both gorgeous, super sweet, funny and just nice. Actually, all of the women at dinner and in the workshop the following day were awesome (and no, I'm not just saying that). 

Becca and I were debating an early bedtime or heading back into the village for a night on the town (this momma doesn't get out much, I have to take advantage). We were going to the lobby  bar for a drink and guess who we run into? Jen and Rita. Well somehow that turned into Jen and Becca doing a Summer Lovin' (yes, from Grease) duet with the lounge singer (who was the very definition of a lounge singer, by the way). And then the four of us become back-up singers/dancers for the rest of his set (which he extended multiple times because I think he was just so happy to have people to engaged). It was a lot of fun and Mr. Lounge Singer thanked us on his way out. Too funny.

Becca and I headed into the village and stayed waaaaay too late. I also realized how different it is going to the bar when you're married with children. I'm confident any man that approached me got an earful about my husband and gorgeous daughter. hahaha Regardless, I had a great time.

Miraculously, Becca and I were able to get to the workshop by 9 (I'm still not sure how this happened, I fully expected to feel very unwell the next week). 

Morning FaceTime session with my baby

The reason for the trip, the Diva on a Dollar workshop. Here's where I worry my words will fail me. I will do my best, but know that no matter what I write, I am not doing my experience justice.

In the morning we talked about clothes, pieces you need, things to wear for your body type, accessories and what to do with them and the importance of knowing your audience. 

We all arrived makeup free and the afternoon consisted of figuring out colors, face shapes, eye shapes, best hairstyles and finished with a makeup tutorial. We all did our own makeup (except Becca who won a draw to have hers done - lucky bugger!). I can't even tell you how fun it was, looking around the room at the end of the day and seeing what a gorgeous group of women we had and the smiles were soooo big!

I got more than I expected as far as information. I learned a lot and much of it that I'll use regularly. Something I didn't expect was the focus on image, confidence, empowerment and self-awareness. As much as it's about making women look good to Jen and Rita, the focus and their end goal is to make women FEEL good and feel comfortable in their skin and with themselves. 

It was clear, throughout the day, that Jen and Rita really care about the work they do and the women they work with. They told us we'd become Pink Ink Divas and now we can contact them for life with any questions, stories or comments. 

The other piece, they're both so charasmatic and beautiful. Typically, in a 9-5 workshop (especially when I partied the night before) I'm aching to be done. This was not the case. I didn't want the day to end and I truly feel it could have been a weekend workshop.

Fun stuff: they make their own makeup which we used AND is really good quality (I've used a lot of makeup so I feel confident in that assessment).

Confession moment: I still don't always feel comfortable in my own skin. I struggle (often) with self-acceptance and trying to obtain some ideal that I am clearly not going to achieve. 
This is important because at the end of the day we each picked cards from a huge stack. The idea was that "everything happens for a reason" and you'd get a card with a message just for you.
Here's my draw:

It really hit home for me. I got a little emotional (I still partially believe it was lack of sleep, missing my baby and my slight hangover) when I read the cards. They made sense to me. I need to be better at this. The good news is: the workshop helped and this blog has really been a step in the right direction. 

On that note, I haven't shared the blog in my real life. I think part of the reason I haven't is because I have been worried about people judging me. I'm letting that go. I have no control over how people see me and as Becca so politely pointed out "what other people think of you is none of your business" (see what I mean about her being insightful?!). So I'm doing it, I'm sharing my blog on my Facebook. Thank you Pink Ink ladies and Becca for giving me that little extra confidence. 

Check out the Pink Ink Blog's recent post as there are lots of pics of the workshop and lots more info for anyone who is interested in working with these amazing women. 

Finally, the weekend closed with my reunion with my baby girl! Unfortunately, she was sick that night and up ALL night with a fever and I had to stay home yesterday with her. BUT I got lots of extra snuggles in so there's a positive. 

In closing, whether it's going to a Diva on a Dollar workshop (or some other workshop), hanging out with people who make you feel good, or going out of your comfort zone and sharing something personal and important to you (I don't know, like a blog or something) - DO SOMETHING to make yourself feel better about you. I swear it's worth it.

My fav this week: Colored pants

Friday, May 23, 2014

I'm not writing a list of favs this week. I have been a space cadet all week and am not confident I can compose my thoughts enough to come up with 7 or 8 things I love and write something eloquent about them.

Having said that, I do want to share something I'm loving. It's no secret for anyone who has read any of my posts. Colored pants are my NEW fav!

This is a big deal because I'm a jeans or black pants kinda girl. Color on my bottom scares me. For real. Until this year I haven't ventured out much as far as colors go. Not even khaki. As I mentioned here, I'm terrified of spillage. BUT I'm branching out and brightening up! I'm happy to report I feel a lot more seasonal AND I haven't spilled a ton of coffee on myself yet. Actually, that's a lie, I spilled coffee on my print pants last week (the white part on the crotch naturally). BUT I haven't spilled every day and here's a confession: I may bring a spare pair of jeans every time I wear colored pants. Baby steps people.

Here's a few colored pants looks:

Imagine those outfits with jeans... just wouldn't be the same.
As uncomfortable as it can be, as much as you may need a pair of extras just in case... wear colored pants!

happy weekend ;)

everybody's working for the weekend

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Technically I was off today, but that doesn't mean I wasn't working. Home with mini-me for the dreaded one-year immunizations. I think I'd rather work than watch my baby get poked by three separate needles. Also, babies tend to get fussy after being jabbed repeatedly with sharp things.. who knew?! Actually, she rocked it. This kid amazes me on the daily. Cried for the needles but stopped immediately when they were done and that was it.

just a little suckier than normal.. can't say I didn't like that just a wee bit ;)

I'll return to work tomorrow to finish out the (crazy) work week and then a SUPER fun weekend planned full of some firsts for this momma.

My first night away from mini-me!!!!! Dun dun dun! She'll be staying home with Mr. B while this mommy heads up to Collingwood and Blue Mountain for the weekend. Leaving early Saturday and not returning until Sunday evening (hopefully in time for bedtime). This is my longest time away from her and I'm anxious but excited to have grown up time with friends!

Facetime will be my friend this weekend. Goal: keep in touch but don't be annoying. I'll let ya know how that works out.

The weekend will be somewhat fashion-focused with some shopping and some workshops about fashion and makeup. I'm hoping to post all about it early next week so stay tuned :)

I worked my butt of this week in more ways than one. At my actual job AND I started working with a personal trainer. My legs are still sore (and by sore, I mean I can barely walk upstairs or sit to pee) from Tuesday and I have another session tomorrow. I'm feeling nice and motivated though and most importantly I feel as though I've earned the wine and yummy food I intend on consuming while away.

Bring on Friday at 5pm and the start of what I am sure will be a great weekend.

clothes confessions...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Confession - I've been a bad picture-taker this past week. Okay, not entirely true, I probably took 100 pics (or more) of mini-me over the weekend. Not so much with pics of my outfits.
Here's two whole outfits.. 2 out of 7 isn't bad? Right?

Easy outfit = maxi + jean jacket + scarf
cute and comfy for the win!

Yes, I wear this jacket all the time... it's too cute not to

One of the 1000000 pics of mini-me taken this weekend

Another confession - there's no pic from Monday because I wore jogging pants, a ponytail and no makeup. I didn't leave the house so it wasn't the end of the world and in keeping with being kinder to myself, I'm allowed a frumpy day every now and then.

And the big confession: I am confident we have more clean, unfolded laundry in the house than in our closets and dressers combined. Picking outfits for the next few days will likely mean pulling whatever doesn't need ironed from one of the many stuffed (to the brim) baskets. UGH.

Yes, I could be folding right now, but work has been crazy, I'm exhausted and at this point, some downtime is more important than folded laundry. Well, until tomorrow morning when I am frantically rifling through the basket trying to find something that doesn't look like it's been squished and twisted with the rest of my wardrobe for the past week. 

Inspiration for me this past week
I got the sweetest card from one of my bestest girlfriends. It was for no other reason than to say that she values me and our friendship. I can't tell you how much that made my day. 
This has inspired to me to try and let people know that I value them and why and when they least expect it. 

I'm keeping this short because I'm not feeling very eloquent today. Hoping I have more time to write soon!

Okay... one more mini-me pic, my fav from the weekend.

my favs this week (May 16, 2014)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Thankfully, I feel like I am slowly getting used to this working-mom stuff and while I'm not a pro, I think I'm managing well enough.

Here are some things I've been loving this past week:

  1. Harboiled eggs - these make my tummy more full and my life easier. I've been boiling and peeling a bunch of eggs on Sunday and eating them throughout the week. They fill me up and keep me full, are delicious, and are super healthy. An easy snack on their own or delicious on a salad or in a pita. YUM!
  2. Essie Play Date - I put this on earlier this week and despite it not matching a single outfit, I still love it and have decided that I may just need to buy something to coordinate. It's not wrong to buy clothes to match nail polish, right?
  3. Swiffer - just the plain old sweeper style (I know they have all kinds of fancy stuff now). This is a lifesaver when I need to pick up dog hair (because there is ALWAYS dog hair) and mini-me is sleeping. It's quiet, picks up a lot of hair, is super cheap, and gets under all the furniture.
  4. White jean jacket - I love this jacket! I'm weird about wearing blue denim with other blue denim (though I've seen people pull it off, I just can't do it) so this is perfect with blue jeans. I may have to be careful not to wear it too often. I also am trying (desperately) to not spill coffee on it (which may or may not involve me drinking in a really awkward position. It's all about sacrifice!).
  5. Runtastic app (iphone) - this free app is awesome for keeping track of so many activities. I have been using it to track my run (okay, slow jog/walk) route. It tracks your route, calories burned, as well as time. My competitive nature makes me always feel the need to beat my previous time and it's really helping me stay on track.
  6. Post its - who doesn't love post its? Now that I'm back to work I'm constantly leaving myself reminders everywhere on post its. I also use them for shopping lists (helpful hint: make sure you actually bring the list when you go to the store).
  7. Dayplanner - I have the Bloom one featured in the pic (which I couldn't find a link for, apparently  not the time of year to be buying a planner). Like most, I keep a lot of things in my phone, but I really feel the need to write some things down. It makes me feel more organized. This one is super cute, small enough to fit in my purse but big enough to be able to write lots under each day AND has cute quotes throughout (I love that stuff). 
And those are my favs this week. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend (long weekend here - woohoo). 

Everyday Inspiration/What I Wore

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My keyboard is super annoying to type on write now thanks to mini-me removing the SHIFT key. UGH You'll have to excuse if I miss any caps, it's a little tricky to get in the habit of using the other one. Maybe I can convince Mr. B I need a new computer? No?

On a serious note, some ladies I do a linkup with picked a theme of "everyday inspiration". I thought a lot (too much) about what to write about. I have a tendency to over-think things (tell me I'm not the only one) and I realized, I've already been inspired this week, by ME!

In my Mother's Day post I tried really hard to give myself some credit where it's due, without being critical and matching each positive with two negatives. At the end of the post I gave a half-hearted "TO DO" that involved being nicer to me. My intention was to be gentler with myself, not to constantly critique myself and just generally be happier. Easier said than done, but I'm trying.

How I've been focusing on me this week:

  • I have been running on my lunch at work (today was more of a fast walk with a little running but it was the 3rd day in a row and my legs were tired). 
  • I booked some personal training sessions to start next week (again, on my lunch hour, because seriously, when else do working mom's exercise?!)
  • I met with HR to talk about career planning and am starting to do some work to focus on what I really would love to do and how I'll get there.
  • I scheduled a cottage weekend with some girlfriends!
  • I let go of the idea of complicated dinners. Mr. B was at hockey tonight so it was mini-me and I. I really didn't want to feel rushed so we had grilled cheese and peas (gotta throw some kinda veg in there!) and grapes for dessert. The night went pretty smooth and I feel good about my decision!
  • I pre-planned - this isn't super fun and/or exciting, but prepping my lunches and planning dinners has made things a lot less stressful for me this week. MUST KEEP DOING THIS!!

I also still tried to look somewhat put together. I didn't take pics daily because a few days were a little rushed and some were flat out repeats. 

Here's a snapshot of what I've been wearing:

I wasn't actually pissed off in these, apparently I need to work on smiling a little more ;) I swear I'm happy!

YES those are white jeans! I've not yet conquered by fear but I'm working on it. 
I'm finding it a little easier to dress myself without Alison telling me what to wear but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward to the Summer Style Challenge. 

AND I'm still very proud to say I am still embracing color and haven't resorted back to my black and grey head-to-toe look! woohoo

Alright, pop on over to Sarah's blog to check out what has inspired the other ladies.
Also check out Get Your Pretty On, the Pleated Poppy, Musings of a Housewife and Because Shanna Said So

celebrating ME (as a mom)!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

First, happy mother's day to all the mommas out there. To all those wanting to become moms, to those missing their moms, to those being both mom and dad to little ones. This day is for all of you.

Now, I thought about what to write for mother's day. I kept thinking about writing about mini-me, how much she changed my life when she made me a mother, how beautiful that is. I considered writing about my husband, how great and supportive he is to me. Then it hit me, this day is about me. It's a day to celebrate me as a mom. 

As mothers, we often give so much. We give so selflessly and often without a second thought. We are constantly giving to the point we are often not giving ourselves enough. We're also way too hard on ourselves. 

I can't tell you the number of times over the past year and a bit that I have said mini-me deserves a better mom. I have felt guilt for many things, wished for more patience and doubted myself and my abilities.

Right now, my mother's day gift to myself is that for a few sentences I am going to celebrate me, and try and mean it. My challenge to you is to really give yourself credit where credit is due today. For a few minutes, make it about you, celebrate YOU!

Why I AM a good mother:

  1. I sing children's songs anytime anywhere. In the car, in the grocery store or the doctor's waiting room. I'm pretty much armed and ready at any given time with a plethora of children's songs and accompanying actions and I truly don't give a crap what people think of me as long as it makes mini-me smile.
  2. I'm a great cook! I cook healthy meals and I bake (when time permits of course). I learned my skills from my mom and grandma and mini-me is next in line!
  3. I teach her things. Mini-me is a genius (obviously) but I always make a point to explain what I am doing, tell her what things are called, show her how to do things. It makes things take longer, but I do it anyways. Whether she understands right now or not (though I believe she does), I am always trying to share with her as much as possible.
  4. No matter what (minus the double ear infection episode) I can make her smile. When she is tired, hungry, cold, hot or whatever, I can almost always figure out a way to make her smile. It's like my mommy super power. (is there a cape for that?)
  5. I am a good role model. I believe in equality and I try and speak out against injustices and oppression. It's not always appreciated or understood but it's something so important to me and mini-me will see this and be a better person because of it.
  6. I write her letters. I started a blog when I found out I was pregnant and as soon as she was born it turned into letters to her. How could I write about her abstractly now that she was here? She'll be able to one day read all these letters and know just how much she changed my life, just how absolutely precious she is.
  7. I give constantly. When I'm grumpy and tired, when I have a zillion other things I feel I should be doing, I still give mini-me my everything.
  8. I love her more than anything in the world and I tell her and show her all of the time. She will never, ever, doubt how much she is loved, it's my job to make sure of that and it's a job I take very seriously.

A little reflection: this was harder than I thought. It's so hard to keep it about me and keep it positive. Everything I said was true but it wasn't easy to come by. I NEED to get better about celebrating what makes me a good mom (and wife and friend etc) and work to foster those things. 

TO DO: be nicer to me!! 

I must add the highlight of my day: was when I kissed Mr. B while he was holding mini-me and then she kept pushing our faces together to make us kiss over and over with kisses for each of us in between.

Seriously? This kid melts my heart!

my favs this week (May 9, 2014)

Friday, May 9, 2014

To quickly sum up my week: sick mini-me, sick me, tired everyone. Crazy  busy at work, sh!t hitting the fan, not enough hours in the day. Not enough coffee on the planet. I heart Friday at 5pm.

Here are the things I'm loving right now...

  1. Grey Fox Cab Sav - yes, I've had red wine of my favs but this is a new find this week. I can't take credit, Mr. B found it at the liquor store. It's a delicious Californian wine but it's also really inexpensive. A 1.5L bottle is $14! SCORE!
  2. Magic bag - this combined with number 1 is pure bliss after a long day at work on a computer. It's like a warm, delicious hug. Get one of each ;)
  3. Nancy Tillman books - mini-me gets read a book (or two) EVERY night. Even though we have a lot of books, reading the same ones over and over gets old and FAST! Plus, some children's books now are just plain strange. Not these books. These books are absolutely beautiful and I cry on the regular reading them. I really enjoy reading them every time. They're so sweet and just fully capture my feelings for my sweet girl.
  4. Terra zesty tomato sweet potato chips - I'm not saying these are healthy, they aren't BUT if you were going to eat regular potato chips instead they may have a little more nutritional value. Plus, they're freakin' delicious! I won't discuss how many I ate today. Moving on....
  5. Toronto Blue Jays - we are Blue Jays fans in this house, but thankfully, this week they've (finally) given us good reason to be. Last season was a rough one but this past week it's been  great to be a Jays fan! Currently at 5 in a row and an astounding 9 run inning on Wednesday against Philadelphia. GO JAYS GO!
  6. Lululemon Wunder Under Crops - I've loved these pants for along time but finally got reacquainted with them this week in an appropriate context: I started running again (any by started, I mean I went once. Gotta start somewhere). They're comfy, covering, cute, and generally flattering (as far as tight yoga-type pants go). Not super cheap, but mine have held up well so worth the investment as far as I'm concerned. Now, I just need to not revert back to wearing them on the daily whether I'm working out or not.
  7. Too-faced shadow insurance - this stuff ROCKS! Holds eye shadow in place ALL day. I have the regular and the "candlelight" (read: shimmery) versions and I love them both for different reasons.
  8. The Goldbergs - truly a case of 'saved the best for last'. This show is FRIGGIN AWESOME! If you like to laugh and lived at any point in the 80s then this is the show for you! I seriously love this show so much I feel it's my duty to make people watch it because if it goes off of the air I'm going to be devastated. Mr. B shares my sentiments on it and I know you will too. Check it out, laugh your ass off, then tell me how much you love it and love me for telling you about it! You're welcome.

There you have it. Off to finish my Grey Fox and watch some pvr'd Goldbergs ;) Happy Friday folks

what's in a name? I NEED your help

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Should I change the name of my blog?

I've gotten this feedback from a few people but I'm so scared to take the leap. Is this something I should seriously consider?

The argument is favor of the change has been that I'm not considered "frumpy"... does that warrant a name change?

Just curious if people think it's a good idea or not.. and then there's the whole finding a new name.

What do you think?

For taking the time to read, here's a super cute pic of mini-me (yes, I bride my readers with cute pics of my child, sue me!)

what I wore and what I learned

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

for anyone who has been reading, you know I've been participating in a Style Challenge. For a glorious 21 days, the lovely Alison told me what to wear and styled my outfits on the daily. Sometimes I followed exactly and other times I deviated (sometimes that ended well, others, not so much). Regardless, challenge is over, I have a new wardrobe, new friends and a little more confidence!

Here are a few things I learned from the style challenge:

If I dress better, I feel better - yes, I'm super comfy in yoga pants BUT I don't feel like I look great (maybe if I used said yoga pants to do a little more yoga... or anything). When I put some effort into putting myself together, I feel better and that makes my day better. Overall, this challenge has made me realize how great I can feel when I put a little more effort in and motivated me to keep it up!

Fit is KEY - it sounds like common sense, but surprisingly, I've been wearing a lot of things that don't actually fit me well. Sometimes I get impatient shopping and will buy something because it somewhat fits. STOP that! Clothes that fit well make you feel (and look) your best. It's worth the time to find great fitting pieces.

Color is my friend - Grey, black and denim have been my wardrobe staples for as long as I can remember. I bought one pair of orange capri pant last summer and felt so awkward in them. I now own a TON of colored bottoms. I still feel a little uncomfortable in them (except my red pants, I love my red pants!). I now, thanks to the challenge, have a bunch of colored tops and KNOW how to wear them (Go me!). It feels great to actually be wearing seasonally appropriate colors ;)

Maxi skirt = yoga pants for the stylish - where have these been all my life? It's the equivalent of fashionable pajamas AND you don't even have to shave (okay, you probably should but no one will know if you don't).

When in doubt, add a scarf (or statement necklace)- apparently they aren't just for winter. For some reason, I feel much more put together when I'm wearing a scarf. It's that magical piece that ties everythign together. And for days when you really don't have your sh!t together, throw on a scarf and you magically look like you planned your outfit. SCORE! Note: statement necklaces can serve the same purpose.

BE prepared! - no, it's not just a saying for the Boy Scouts, it applies to clothing as well. A little prep work at night saves a heck of a lot of time in the morning (especially when you're tired and haven't had coffee yet).

Women can be friggin' awesome - I already wrote a letter to the awesome group participants here so I'll TRY and keep this short. We routinely posted our daily outfit pics AND commented on others pics. I have NEVER, in my entire life, received so many thoughtful, kind, and just frigging awesome comments. Not one person critiqued me. Not one person was passive-aggressive. It was just nice nice nice. And it literally made me smile so many times each day. It was like I had my own personal fan club. This all came at a time in my life where I was feeling tired, out of sorts, rushed, and just not myself. I am so thankful for this group of women. They may never know exactly how much they helped me get through what was such a hard time in my life. Returning to work after your first born sucks. When that first born has middle-of-the-night parties and is sick it sucks even more. When you work in child welfare it sucks even more. When you have a group of people telling you that you look awesome, it sucks a little bit less. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Words are powerful - saying something kind and genuine doesn't take very much effort, but it really can change someone's whole day. Going forward, I hope to be more deliberate about saying something nice and genuine to people. You never know who truly needs a kind word.

You will have noticed I've been linking up with some fellow challengers (see below) AND the good news is that we all liked each other so much we've decided to keep linking up! Because our blogs are all different we're keeping a general theme of finding inspiration in the everyday! Stay tuned....

OKAY - so here's some of the things I've been wearing the last week (note, not all of them are style challenge outfits but to be honest, I don't have the energy to separate it all right now)

Linking up with the lovely ladies below as well as Get Your Pretty OnThe Pleated Poppy and Musings of a Housewife

Deena @ Shoes to Shiraz

Jordan @ Just Jordan

Shaunacey @ Confessions of a Frumpy Mummy

 Katie @ The Mishaps and Mayhem of Solitary Life

 Beth @ Fast Life Slow Life

 Vanessa @ X-tremely V

 Anne-Michelle @ May We Be Allergy Free
 Teresa @ Two Babies and Me
 Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side

Carrie @ A Lovely Little Wardrobe

 Carly @ Faith Family and Frugality

Lana @ Two Teens and Their Mama

Have a great Wednesday!

a letter to my fellow Style Challengers

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's no secret I've been participating in a style challenge over the last 21 days. I'll be posting a little about what I learned from the Style Challenge in another post, but I felt I really needed a separate post specifically to the women in the Facebook group that was part of the style challenge. So, feel free to skip this entry if you have no clue what I'm talking about... everyone else, read on.

Dear fellow Style Challengers:

THANK YOU. I started this challenge because I was at a point where I was feeling generally "frumpy" and thought this would be a great way to start to build my wardrobe and learn how to style things. And then you all happened and I didn't anticipate how much you'd impact my life.

I feel somewhat awkward posting pictures of myself. Sometimes I like my outfit but I still feel like I'm trying to be something I'm not. Like I'm playing dress-up. And then I posted a pic and you all starting commenting. By the end of the 21 days I looked forward to posting my daily pics, I made sure I wasn't wearing yoga pants because I didn't want to disappoint and I wanted to join in on the pic posting fun. I looked forward to the comments, quite frankly, because you were ALL so kind and thoughtful.

On days and weeks where I was functioning on very little sleep, you all managed to put a smile on my face and a little bounce in my step. When I felt like crap, you made me feel pretty. And that was the point, wasn't it?

Right after the challenge started, I had a sick baby, returned to work after a year off, and was struggling with trying to find a new normal. I wasn't feeling like myself and I wasn't feeling like I was doing well at very much. The group was somewhat of a reprieve. I was tired exhausted and missing my baby and you really made me smile on days where I wanted to do nothing but cry.

I have been in lots of groups of women. Some small and others rather significant in size. In ALL of these situations there has been some level of cattiness, snark, bitchiness or passive-agressiveness. I fully expected that in this group. Oh how (pleasantly) surprised I have been, in a group of almost 500 women, that not ONE person has said anything even remotely mean or insensitive. In fact, it's been the opposite.

In the last 21 days I have seen numerous women going out of their way to build others up. I have read stories of women in the group who have been significantly impacted by all of the kind words. Confidence has been lifted, wardrobes transformed, friendships created and faith in others restored.

You have all changed me. Made me feel a little better about my fashion choices but most importantly about myself. As someone who has struggled with self-esteem, the weight of this is immeasurable. I know, without a doubt, that I am not the only one who this group has left an imprint on and that is truly a magical thing.

Alison, I know when you started this you likely intended to help women feel pretty and maybe help us put together outfits with a little more ease. I don't think you ever could have anticipated this. You have helped changed lives. Seriously! Thank you. Thank you for starting this, for continuing this, and for being so sweet yourself. I am guessing that part of the reason this group is so full of such wonderful women is because we all have you in common. Your sense of style, your beautiful smile but most importantly, your down-to-earth nature makes you one of my most favorite bloggers. Clearly, your followers have some of these things in common with you. I am so excited that you will be doing more challenges and I hereby reserve my spot in ALL of them ;)

Finally, you have ALL made me more aware of the power of my words. How influential a simple compliment can be. As this challenge has been nearing a close I have found myself (genuinely) complimenting people more and feeling really great about the smiles that result. I know how great you've all made me feel and I'm excited to be able to share that. A compliment is a small effort with such a great reward. We NEED to give them more often, it's the most inexpensive gift there is.

Thank you, I don't feel like my words have done my feelings justice here but know that the impact you've all had on me is unforgettable.

with love

a not so frumpy mommy

my favs this week (May 2, 2014) - JEANS!

Friday, May 2, 2014

My brain has felt like it has been functioning at a less than optimal level this past week. In part, I'm sure, due to lack of sleep. The remainder of the 'fog' can likely be attributed to me feeling like I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off ALL. OF. THE. TIME.

BUT, I wouldn't want my readers (all 3 of you ;) to be disppointed by not having favs so here's what is going to happen. I am going to pick my top fav this week (and no, it won't be coffee... but it should be).

Am I the only one who has the WORST time jeans shopping? I've been cursed with a large butt and even larger thighs. I always struggle with jeans. Jeans that fit me in the waist, squish the life out of my thighs and butt and the ones that fit perfect in the thighs and butt are sooooo big in the waist that they fall down constantly. 

I HEART Mavi Jeans. Seriously.  

But Mavi Jeans fit me perfectly. They make my bum look good (well, as good as it's going to look until I finally decide to get back to my workout routine) and they fit my thighs AND waist! 

I previously got stuck in the 'cheap jeans' trap. I would buy jeans that fit me okay because they were on sale. The problem: they changed shape, lost color quickly, and never felt as good as when I tried them on in store. Enter Mavi Jeans. I have NEVER had them fade or change shape and I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear them (ya, people check out my butt!). 

I am going to try to make a commitment to myself to start investing in clothes. It makes more sense to spend a little more on jeans (and other quality items) rather than having to keep buying cheap ones constantly (we will see if Mr. B agrees).

The good news: Mavi Jeans aren`t that expensive. They range from 70-120 (ish) AND you can find them at Winners sometimes (I scored the bottom pair for 29.99!). ALSO, they  make jeans in lengths for shorties!! The 31' is perfect for my 5'4 self!

Bottom-line - buy good jeans that fit you WELL and don't be afraid to spend a little on them. Jeans are a staple for every wardrobe and you need to have at least one pair that make you feel like a million bucks! It make take some searching but there WILL be a brand/pair out there that feel like they're made just for you! Find them and buy them in every wash/color!