All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Let’s Talk Graphic T’s

While in my new favorite store on Thursday, trying on anything and everything with those plaid pants, the gal suggested a printed tank.  This was the second suggestion to put a printed t-shirt with the pants, something I just wasn’t sure of.  But when I put it on, well…. it looked AMAZING.  I was so glad, though, that the shirt had a snag because I was not paying $48 for a sheer tank top, no matter how perfect it looked with those pants.  That just is not happening.

So, as I do so well, I’ve been on an obsessive hunt for graphic tees since then.  I did buy one on Thursday that I wore on Friday, and it, along with that stupid tank top, pretty much got me hooked.  There isn’t a ton online that I LOVE, but I thought, “what about Etsy?”  Let me tell you, Etsy has tons of options… GREAT options!

I found a store (Zen Threads) on Etsy that has so many prints I like, that I asked for a coupon code so I could order a bunch for the family.  I found them while searching for “food truck shirts” a couple of weeks ago (I could write an entire post on my boys’ obsessions with food trucks) and immediately thought to check them first.  I encourage anyone looking for a great, original print that you won’t see passing you on the street to check out their store!  All graphics are their own original works, and they are awesome!

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Another store on Etsy that I like (not love, like Zen Threads) is Mad Moon Clothing.  I don’t have a favorite image just yet, but I favorite them because they have a lot of things up my alley.

Here are a few other little finds:





I have a charm on a necklace that says “She thought she could and so she did.”  I love it – it’s sort of my motto.  I got it after I worked so hard to get back in shape last fall and I wear it a lot.  I started looking for a shirt last night that has this same saying, and I found two that I like on Etsy, of course.

There are a couple of graphic tees at regular online stores that I’m looking at as well, but I prefer to support those on Etsy if at all possible.  One was a suggestion in the comments (thanks, No Baby Ruth!) and the other is the same brand (Elements) as the shirt I wore on Friday.

So that is what’s on my fashion mind right now.  I haven’t bought a thing yet, so that’s good (and progress!).  The California Redwoods shirt will be the first up, along with the food truck shirt.  Priorities!



Fashion Overhaul Week 2

I’ve been exhausted this week, but still working hard at looking respectable!  We’re between seasons here, and I have a few new things I’m dying to wear, but it’s still too warm for them.  In the interim, I’m making the best of what I have in my closet.  Oh.. and I bought a couple of tops (Thursday and Friday outfits).

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It wasn’t the most exciting week, but I I think I looked presentable each day, which is the goal, afterall!


Let’s Try This Again – Plaid Pants

I returned the vest, on EVERYONE’S suggestion.  It was the easiest return ever:

Me: “I blog my outfits for help, and I got 100% feedback to return this vest.”

Her: “Really?  It’s so cute.”

Me: “Yep, the comments ranged from ‘too matronly’ to ‘too long.'”

Her: “I can see that.  Do you blog every outfit?”

Me: “Right now, yes.  I need lots of help.”

And off to the dressing room she took me.  I bought two new shirts (none that work with the pants).  I tried on HEAPS of tops with those pants on in the store, and nothing was quite right.  But as I mentioned in a comment, I remembered a few things in my closet to try.  I am keeping those pants, come hell or high water!

They taught me a little something – to add a visual between your top and pants to create interest and break up a look that may not match at first glance.  I tried that here (#1), and I think the blue sweater looks better now with the pants.



(My God, these pictures look just terrible… I need a better way to take these photos… more natural light needed.)

Up next (#2), a grey top that I had completely forgotten about.



Here they are with a grey cable knit (#3), something they told me in the store would add interest.  Notice the black shirt again underneath to add a separation 😉



And now, for the two that I think you’ll all rule out.  I thought this first one (#4) would be a winner… I’m thinking no:



And finally, the last one (#5) knew from the start that this would not work.



OK – so that’s what I have in addition to the black turtleneck sweater and the chambray shirt that I bought with it (I LOVE that shirt…. I wish I didn’t, but I do).




Help and Honesty, Part 2

Hi, all! I need more input.

I bought this complete outfit the other day, but can’t wear it for a bit (hot weather here). I have thought about this outfit since I bought it and I love it, in theory.

The pants are way off reservation for me, but I like them!  They are expensive, so I wanted to be sure they work WELL with at least a couple of things I currently have. Here is what I’ve paired with them… I don’t think the light grey sweater works. The last photo shows the back of the pants.

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What do you think of all 4 pairings, including the entire new outfit? I have gotten 2 no votes on the vest. I think it’s interesting (and enlightening) to hear how others see me, and I LOVE the input!

Thanks, ladies!!!


Another Night of Painting!

This one is for Bryson’s big boy room, which isn’t even close to being started but the theme is planned.

“Things that Go.”

This will include cars, planes, trucks, trains, etc.  The boy loves, loves, LOVES everything that goes, and he is our favorite “thing that goes!”

Plane Sept 21


This is my 8th project in less than a year, all with the same gal.  I just love working with Marcy because she is a retired art teacher who is also a very successful artist here in the area.  Her art sells for thousands of dollars a piece, so I really feel that I’m learning a lot every time I go and paint with her!  I noticed tonight that I was doing a lot of the work on this painting before she got to instructing the technique, and I was spot-on.  I AM LEARNING!  I have another one scheduled for later this month for our wild Halloween decorations – we LOVE Halloween around here!

Here is a gallery of what we have in our house from my painting adventures so far… only one piece is not hung yet and that’s just because it needs a “clear coat” applied to it before it goes up in the guest bathroom.

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Tit for Tat

(Fair warning, this is a bit of a rant…)

I have an appointment tomorrow with my OB for my annual pap and also to figure out long-term birth control that isn’t permanent.  We were going to go with the Es.sure procedure, because it sounded so simple, but then I read about it.  Yeah, we’re not doing that.  There are a lot of side effects reported that I worry about, and the coils are coated in plastic and I am unusually sensitive to almost all plastics on my skin (even silicone nose pads on sunglasses eat my face).  The idea of a plastic device being shoved into my fallopian tubes worries me a great deal, so we’re looking at other options.  Hottie is coming with me to the appointment because he wants to make sure we select the right option for US, and I think we’re going to go with an IUD.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is that it’s not permanent.

When I told a friend about this today, her response was the same as I’ve heard over, and over, and over again when this topic comes up.

“Why isn’t he getting fixed?  You went through the IVF, he can do this for you.”

Ummm… because we don’t work that way.  Because there’s more to life than, “I did that, so you have to do this.”

There are lots of other reasons for this decision, such as 1) a vasectomy would be permanent (yeah, yeah, some reversals work, but I’m not counting on that) and an IUD isn’t, 2) I’m the one whose life is at risk if we get pregnant again, and 3) I’m not willing to let Hottie do something so permanent that if something would happen to me, that he couldn’t have children in the future if he would remarry (remember, he’s 3 years younger than me).  But the main reasons are that the IUD is simpler, less invasive, not permanent and… Hottie owes me nothing for being the one who “went through all of those shots.”

The response I almost always get really upsets me.  It makes me wonder how other people’s marriages really work.  I hear a lot of this when talking with my girlfriends.  “My husband had a guys night so he owes me a night out with the girls.”  “He won’t let me go for a weekend away because I did that 6 months ago and it’s his turn.”  “He bought that new computer so he owes me.”  “I bought those awesome boots, so now I have to let him buy that telescope he wanted.”  And my favorite, “I’m the primary parent during the week, so he can take the kids on the weekend.”  It doesn’t stop with their expectations of their own marriages and spouses, they project it onto me as well.  No one has any idea how many times I’ve been told by my girlfriends (SAHM’s and WFHM’s) what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids all day.  I am constantly told that he needs to give me more breaks, because he gets breaks every day from the kids, and they tell me just what those breaks should be (a pedicure, a movie night, drinks on the patio, a trip to Vegas).

If our marriage worked the way that people seem to think it should, then Hottie and I would spend little time together.  I am home with the kids every single day – the weekends are no different for me than normal week days.  If I did what I’m told I should do, Hottie would be spending the weekend days from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM with the kids while I go off and have my time.  Hottie travels a couple of nights a week, so according to my friends, he should take over all dinners, bath times, bed times, etc. for the same amount of nights that he was gone so I can be paid back for the times he didn’t have to do those things while he was away.  Instead of make, or go to, breakfast as a family on the weekends, one of us should sleep in on Saturday and let the other one sleep in on Sunday (my neighbor has had multiple day-long fights with her husband because he got to sleep until 9:00 on Saturday, and she got to sleep until 9:30 on Sunday and it wasn’t fair).  Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when I just can’t get up when Bryson does and I sneak off to Matthew’s room to sleep with him until he’s up (7:30 at the latest), but we don’t talk about whose turn it is to do that – we just do it (Hottie has done this too).  No one feels that anything is owed to them in this household.

It’s all very interesting to me, and I find myself feeling very defensive and resentful when my friends start telling me what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids so much.  And I find it disgusting that others think that he owes me a vasectomy because of the IVF that we put my body through.  We did IVF because we desperately wanted children, and no one went into it keeping score.  Sure, we know the reason for our infertility and at fleeting times, I was a bit resentful that I had to do the shots when I “wasn’t the problem,” but we wanted a baby so I did the shots, and I got over that resentment almost as quickly as it entered my mind.  I certainly don’t think that he owes me an irreversible medical procedure because of the pain and suffering my body went through to conceive our children.  I got my kids out of the deal, and Hottie owes me nothing beyond them… not even a vasectomy.



Help and Honesty

I accidentally, yes ACCIDENTALLY, fell into two new pair of jeans today.  I was killing time at a sporting goods store that has neat jeans and I went there for tops.  Well, they had “Kut from the Kloth” jeans on sale and I peaked just because R.ack has this brand and I wanted to compare prices.  The first one I grabbed (Farrah boot cut) was $25 – marked down from $82.  They were my size – the only 6’s in the bunch.  I figured, what the hell… and I grabbed them.

Then, I went to my neighbor’s for the kids to play, and she’d ordered the wrong length of G.ap jeans.  She has to return them by mail so asked if I wanted to buy them off of her (we do this a lot!).  I said I’d try them because they were 27’s and I figured they’d be too small (she’s always pawning stuff off on me and I’m always polite and say I’ll try it, and then get rid of it myself  or tell her it didn’t work out for me).  I LOVE G.ap Long and Lean jeans, but I truly thought they’d be too small.

I tried both pair of jeans on at her house and her advice was to keep them both – because, “they look good and they were $25!  And show Hottie the G.ap ones and just bring them back if he doesn’t like them.”  Sounded reasonable.  I brought them both home.

In the privacy of my own home, I of course re-tried them on and took pictures.  I need to know what you guys think.  The first pair, Kut from the Kloth, were truly $24.99.  The second pair, the G.ap Long and Leans, are $52 (or so she thinks – we’ll sort it all out if I keep them).

Are they worth keeping?  Be honest.

Side by side, front and back. G.ap on your left, Kut from the Kloth on your right

Side by side, front and back. G.ap on your left, Kut from the Kloth on your right

Kut from the Kloth, size 6, I'll be honest and say that I love the pockets. $25

Kut from the Kloth, size 6, I’ll be honest and say that I love the pockets. $25

Different views of the KftK jeans, and a much better ass shot

Different views of the KftK jeans, and a much better ass shot

Gap Long and Lean, size 27, no idea on the wash/color. Regular length. $52-ish

Gap Long and Lean, size 27, no idea on the wash/color. Regular length. $52-ish


So It Seems…

… that people like to see what their friends are wearing.  I know I do.  I know that when Josey posts a Sti.tch F.ix post, I hop right on over to check it out.  When Chon puts up a “What Chon Wore” post, I’m all over it!  I have a preschool mom friend who has such great fashion sense, that I stalk her FB page to see if she’s posting pics of anything that I should be considering.  I think I get most excited about people’s fashion posts, simply because I have limited fashion sense and I need ideas.  And I love seeing others pull off what I don’t think I can.

This morning at preschool drop-off, I was in my running clothes because I like to run my 5 miles with Bryson right after dropping Matthew off.  The weather is perfect right now and I just can’t get enough of it!  All the moms know I’m a runner, so they always ask where I’m headed, how far I plan to go, and how long it will take me.  Most of the moms are dressed for the day, so I take in their attire and make mental notes for myself.  Today, the friend I mentioned up above, was wearing a cute sleeveless dress.  I thought to myself, “see, that makes perfect sense and you have something like that at home!”  After my run, you can bet I showered and pulled out my dress – and I felt so good and so COMFORTABLE for the rest of the day.  We went to the park for an hour and I felt great!


Kavu Eve Dress, size M. The PERFECT outdoors dress ever made!

Now that fall is around the corner (or is it here?  I think it may be!), I took an inventory of what I have to wear.  I’m sort of excited about changing things up and adding some more flattering pieces to my wardrobe, and I thought it wise to not only take note of what I have, but record it here for when I get the bug to buy more.  I tend to buy too much of one thing (as you’ll see when you get to sweaters below…) and a place to come back to for some perspective is necessary.

I needed jeans that fit, and I’ve spent a small fortune on 3 pair in the last week.  There is one more pair I’ll buy in a week once I can spend my Ga.p C.ash (redemption start 9/19 for those of you holding coupons!), and then I’ll have 5 pair of jeans that fit me correctly.  Here is what I have so far:

Left to Right: Bana.ana Re.public Washed Indigo Skinny (Size 28), Slightly Curvy Bootcut (size 6 short), Ed.die Ba.uer Destroyed Boyfriend Slim (size 4)

Left to Right: Bana.ana Re.public Washed Indigo Skinny (size 28), Slightly Curvy Bootcut (size 6 short), Ed.die Ba.uer Destroyed Boyfriend Slim (size 4)


Dear John Joyrich (size 27)

Dear John Joyrich (size 27)


The jeans I’ll be getting, or so I plan to be getting, are the Ga.p Reso.lution Slim Straight jeans.  They fit ridiculously well and I really liked them, especially for $70 (but they’ll be $35 with G.ap C.ash).  In all honestly, I’m itching for a pair from BR, but their jeans are so damn expensive that I can’t justify buying 2 pair in a month.  G.ap jeans are just fine, especially for a 5th pair to just finish up the weeks throughout fall, winter, and spring.

Ga.p slim straight jeans (size 28)

Ga.p slim straight jeans (size 28)


Ok – onto shoes.  I have said this before, but I’ll say it again, I have horrible feet to fit and when I find something that fits, well, I buy them.  I learned at a very early age that my shoe budget must be higher than the average gal because my size is usually only made by high-end shoe makers (my parents bought me fabulous shoes while I was under their roof because they both had impossible feet to fit – and they felt sorry for me and wanted me to have shoes that fit correctly).  It turns out, I have quite a few pairs of boots (with one on the way – WHERE ARE THEY ALREADY??) which isn’t a bad thing.  I have NO dressy shoes (but am constantly looking) and just a few pair of casual shoes.  I need more in the realm of casual flats/slip-ons and definitely a pair of black strappies for dressy occasions.

Ecco Rise Tall Boot (size 42), Bass Tan Suede Boots (size 11), Ugg brown booties (size 11), Franco Sarto black booties (size 11)

Ecco Rise Tall Boot (size 42), Bass Tan Suede Boots (size 11), Ugg brown booties (size 11), Franco Sarto black booties (size 11)

My must-have boots 2 years ago - Sor.el Joan of Arctic

My must-have boots 2 years ago – Sor.el Joan of Arctic

Chaco black, Chaco brown, and Keds

Chaco black, Chaco brown, and Keds

As you can see, I love my boots, and I need a few more lower profile shoes.  I found some today that are $150 (of course they are) so I’ll skip them and head to D.SW this week to see what they have (and probably leave in tears, like I almost always do).

Coats.  I love coats.  I used to buy jackets like they were tops – I moved back from Chicago with tubs full of jackets and coats.  It was pathetic.  BUT – now that I’m smaller, I’ve gotten rid of almost everything and am left with just these three coats.  I’d like to add a pea coat to the mix this year.

Ann Taylor cream coat (I love this coat!!!), North Face Men's Summit coat (LOVE!), Eddie Bauer Micro Therm Storm Down (I hate this coat - it is not warm at all)

Ann Taylor cream coat (I love this coat!!!), North Face Men’s Summit coat (LOVE!), Eddie Bauer Micro Therm Storm Down (I hate this coat – it is not warm at all)

I don’t think I need anymore coats, even though I’d like one.  I’m skipping it this year unless I find a great pea coat on a major sale.

For dresses, I have very few that fit.  I have a formal skirt and top that are beautiful, but on the verge of being too big and I’m not sure the cost to alter them will be worth it.  I have two casual dresses, one being the one I wore today, and the other being a gray one just like it (I buy in bulk – it’s ridiculous).

Kavu Eve Dress in gray (size M)

Kavu Eve Dress in gray (size M)

I have my eye on this dress at An.n Tay.lor, but the 6 seemed too big and they didn’t have a 4 to try on, so I’m waiting to see if they get one in.  I am thinking of getting this for Hottie’s formal holiday party and dressing it up with some nice strappy shoes.  We shall see…

Shift Dress

For nicer tops, the types I’d wear out on date night, I have plenty.  PLENTY.  I bought a bunch while I was in KC in January and I regret one of them, just because it snags easily and I never wear it because of that.  The last thing I need is more tops like these.

Hottie picked out the striped An.n Ta.ylor top and I do like it.  It's the wine colored top I don't like - it's just... cheap looking (and feeling) and snags if you look at it wrong.

Hottie picked out the striped An.n Ta.ylor top and I do like it. It’s the wine colored top I don’t like – it’s just… cheap looking (and feeling) and snags if you look at it wrong.

I love the black dress top - worn with the leggings on the shelf there.  The red top hasn't been worn in 2 years - but I like it.

I love the black dress top – worn with the leggings on the shelf there. The red top hasn’t been worn in 2 years – but I like it.

I love this sweater - it is so fun to wear!  It has a tie neck in the back and it's open in the back

I love this sweater – it is so fun to wear! It has a tie neck in the back and it’s open in the back

My favorite date night outfit for fall - Dear John skinny jeans and that awesome gray sweater with tall or short black boots!

My favorite date night outfit for fall – Dear John skinny jeans and that awesome gray sweater with tall or short black boots!

OK – so here is where it gets embarrassing.  SWEATERS.  I have always, ALWAYS, been a lover of sweaters.  Wool sweaters, warm sweaters, thin sweaters, cotton sweaters, fair isle sweaters (I DO need a new one of these!), turtleneck sweaters, V-neck sweaters, etc.  I have never been able to resist purchasing beautiful, warm, cozy sweaters.  I think all of my spending money in college went to my sweater collection (I still have a few of those – do you remember when J Cr.ew did holiday sweaters every year???) and once I was making real money, it just got worse.

After getting thinner last fall, I was desperate for sweaters that fit and weren’t too big.  G.ap had a killer sale and I bought heaps of them.  HEAPS.  Then BR put out the most delicious line of sweaters and I just had to have one.  Then I found Nord.strom Rack and they had a couple of gorgeous sweaters that I could not leave behind.  And then we went to Seattle and there were some fun, lighter weight sweaters that we bought in preparation for this fall (Hottie cannot resist buying me sweaters either, and the Seattle sweaters were all his idea).  I have NO BUSINESS buying sweaters this year unless they are truly special – like a gorgeous fair isle sweater from Da.le of N.orway (hint, hint, Hottie!).

So I’m just going to stop justifying my obsession and put the inventory out there.  Please don’t judge me.

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So that’s it!  That is what I have for the fall and winter.  I think I need tops of the non-sweater variety and a pair or two of casual flat shoes.  Please weigh in though on what you think is missing, and if there’s something you see that you are thinking, “she cannot wear that!” please tell me.  We’re all friends here!