All the Sun For You

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


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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!

 


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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!


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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.

4

#1

(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.

2

#2

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 😉

#3

#3

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:

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#4

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

#5

#5

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).

GO!

 


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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!!!


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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 Nordstr.om 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


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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!

Dress

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), Edd.ie Bau.er 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), Edd.ie Bau.er 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!


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In Other News… Fashion!

Ha!  Did you EVER think you’d see a title of mine with “fashion” in it?

Me neither.

But this isn’t what you think it is.

So I can admit, out loud, that I have lost quite a bit of weight.  People will ask how much I’ve lost, and I say, “not much, about 40 pounds,” and they react with bulging eyeballs and sometimes an eye roll.  It’s not that I think this is easy to do or no big deal, I just don’t think of myself as this thin person (I don’t think I’m fat, or even big… I just think I’m normal).  I also don’t make a big deal of it because I was very fit before we went through infertility, fertility treatments, then pregnancy, then nursing, etc.  Before all of that, I was consistently weighing in at 150-155 pounds for years.  So being normal/thin again isn’t new to me, but it is new to everyone who met me after the infertility hit (so all of Hottie’s work friends, because he started there after we’d tried to get pregnant for a year, and all of my mom friends, because they met me post-babies, and all of my blog friends).  I am a super woman to almost everyone we know.

But I’m not.  I’m just me.  I’m the me who throws myself into the things I’m committed to, and fitness happens to be one of those things.

I weigh 140 pounds right now, less than I did when I was very fit for years, and less than I weighed when I graduated high school.   This is by far the healthiest I’ve ever been in regards to weight, muscle tone, endurance, body fat, BMI, cholesterol, etc.  I look in the mirror and I’m happy with where I am right now, no need to lose an ounce more (I was told today by Hottie’s two female coworkers to stop dropping weight, which annoyed me but I understand it).

So with this body that has been this way for over a year now (a year ago, I weighed 153.4 pounds and was running again consistently), I have decided to start dressing like a mom who is fit and healthy, and not like a mom who wants to cover up everything.

I had to enlist some help.  I am no fashion guru – I’m far from it, actually.  I’ve never had any fashion sense at all and I’ve always been very “vanilla.”  Jeans, solid shirts and sweaters, practical shoes, etc.  In my defense, I have very limited shoe options because I’m an 11.5 narrow (and 12.5 narrow with pretty bad over-pronation in running shoes = $160 a pair), so pretty strappies take MONTHS to find.  But that’s my only defense – it’s time to step it up.

I have 2 pair of skinny jeans in my closet and it’s time to make them the norm, but what about shoes?  Ugh.  I decided to take the boys to Nor.dstr.om Ra.ck to shoe shop the other night while Hottie was out-of-town (I prepaid them with cake pops – they did great!), and I brought home two pair.  I quickly put them on with my jeans and sent the pics to my friend, Chon, who I trust immensely with fashion sense.  She gave me the green light and I wore the sneakers last night to dinner – Hottie said I looked cute.  I wore them again today at preschool drop-off and I felt very with-it, put together, etc.  I looked like the hip preschool mom, which is the goal after all  😉

I also went to onli.nesho.es.com the other night to see what kind of sales they were having and they had Frye boots as their banner ad.  I had just seen some Frye handbags and boots over the weekend at a local store so I thought this was maybe a sign.  I checked out a bunch of discount sites for the best deal (I’m not paying $400 for boots) and after deciding that yes, I do like them, I went to the store to try them on.  They are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn.  I signed up for Sak.sof.f5th emails to get a $30 off $150 coupon code – and I just ordered them today!  $170 shipped to my door (they are $370+ normally).  If they’re as awesome as I think they’ll be, I’m ordering another pair next month.  I will be all stocked up on boots after these cute little booties!

Here are the boots I just ordered – I am super excited!

Frye

So… I’m on my way to dressing more like a gal, less like a slob.  I do need a smaller pair of jeans, yes I know, Chon!  😉