I spent a little time fooling around with the layout and the color scheme.  What do you guys think?  I'm gonna see how it feels after a few days and then tweak where necessary.

Shopping Bags in June 2015

You know what's weird about this month's shopping bag post?  I went to an outlet mall while in Bay St. Louis, and I didn't even want to try anything on.  I definitely didn't walk away with anything new. 
Lately, I've been very aware that I don't have an undying urge to shop.  I have very specific ideas of what I like in my closet.  If anything, I'm wearing the crap out of the same stuff and I wanted to expand my options in line with more of the same.

Purchases in June 2015

A blue, patterned maxi dress from Forever21 for $25 is a great choice for work and weekends.  Now that I'm no longer a milk machine, I can wear these fabulous hairy leg hiding dresses again. 
A grey stretch pencil skirt from Forever21 for $12 makes me feel hella sexy.  I put away my maroon maternity one, so this gives me a slightly more colorful option than black.  Slightly.
A navy and white striped stretchy vest thing from Forever21 $20 sounds weird, right?  I'm not sure if I will wear the crap out of this yet, but I like it.  I wanted something else that is loose and has stripes in my closet, so win.
A black and white striped dress from Forever21 for $27 is so close to the fabric of one I already own from K-mart, BUT it's better.  This dress has pockets, it's incredibly flattering, and so worth having a closet doppleganger.

Combatting the Age Monster, My Current Beaty Routine

I'm going to type something that makes me feel kind of stupid.  I hate looking like an old mother.  I'm 36 (until next week when I turn 37), and I have grey hair and the beginnings of crows feet and sun damage on my skin.  I don't know what vain part of me feels like these things are suddenly issues because I carry around a tiny, diapered accessory, but it's there.  Truth laid out.
I thought about dying my hair, but I'm still too chicken and lazy to maintain it on a regular basis.  I'm definitely not ready to do surgery or finance pricy dermatology treatments.  Instead, I've taken what I think is a healthy preventative route for my skin.  I've integrated these beauty treatments and even some makeup into my daily routine.  I honestly feel like my skin looks better, and I'm happy with the results.  The best part is that I'm not fixating on "looking old" anymore.
Here's the list of products I use daily:

I have always had dark under eye circles that get super puffy when my allergies kick in.  This problem has gotten worse with lack of sleep, so I am using this Yes to Cucumbers under eye treatment.  I think it makes a noticeable difference, but I have to be careful not to get it anywhere else on my face, or I get really bad redness.

I started using this natural acne treatment when I got pregnant because I wanted to be extra careful.  It probably didn't make a difference if it was the Neutrogena Naturals or regular Neutrogena.  I've kept using it for all of the hormonal breakouts on my chin, and it seems to shrink zits without drying me out too much.  Usually in the morning, and sometimes again at night, I put this stuff on.  It does leave a little white film if applied heavily, so I double check my face before I leave the house!
via Laneige's website
The last product I use on an almost daily basis is this Laneige BB Cushion in medium.  I really wanted to try it out because of the SPF 50 component.  This stuff lasts a really long time, doesn't sweat off, and kept me from getting sunburned on my face the same day my ankles turned a gross red.  It only comes in three colors, but the medium shade works for me.  The price isn't cheap at $34, but it comes with a free refill.

How do you guys deal with aging and beauty?

Back Home, Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Like all mini-vacations, our time at the beach ended, and we needed to head home.  Since 6am is now my regular wakeup time, it was pretty easy to get in a little pool time and a slow breakfast before we had to check out at 11am.  It's amazing what you can get done when you get up early.  These are shocking words coming out of my mouth considering I think of sleeping as a hobby.


I only got one picture on the day we were heading home of me in more hat, more jean shorts, a fun t-shirt and those same Dansko clogs I wear ALL THE TIME.  Those shoes are easily one of the smartest purchases I've made this year.  Also, did you notice I have a tiny and not so tiny guest in my mirror photograph?  Why yes that is the Kid and the husband.  Soooo good at hiding their faces without even trying!
Hat :: purchased on vacation
Pyramid stud earrings :: Anthropologie
Pipe necklace :: gift from my Mom
Striped shirt :: Anthropologie
Jean shorts :: Forever21+
Clogs :: Dansko

Letters to My Daughter, Gender Isn't in Your Clothes

This continues a series of letters I'm writing to my daughter that I thought might resonate with you guys out in the blogoverse as well.  I want to impart knowledge, advice, and a positive sense of self to that little girl, so this project has deep meaning for me.  Let me know what you guys think so far.  If I'm boring you to death, then I might just taken these off line.

Dear the Kid,
I was so excited when I found out you were going to be a girl.  I always wanted to have a little girl because I thought I could raise you to be kicka** and strong and able to decide what being female meant to you.  The world needs more girls like that.  I didn't want to weigh you down with any unnecessary "girls do this" or "girls can't do that" ideas.  That's not how I was raised, and I wanted to give you the same outlook.

I started by declaring you free from only pink or overly girly attire before you were even born.  I got a lot of flack from people who said that girls wear pink and that girls wear dresses.  You do have some pink and some dresses, but you also have neutral baby clothes and "boy" baby clothes.  Stuff like a t-shirt that says "Roar means I'm awesome in dinosaur," grey skull print leggings, a bright pink onesie that says genius on it, and a Kermit the Frog outfit your Dad bought when he was convinced you were a boy.  And you wear all of it.

I mean shopping for you and dressing you up is sooo much fun.  I love buying you dresses in blue that bring out your eyes.  I like buying you anything with skulls because I love skulls.  I love dressing you up in stuff that makes you look like a fox or a sheep.  Getting of all those things in a store can be a challenge though. 

I went out to buy you shorts and socks a few weeks ago, and you wouldn't believe how hard it was.  There were socks that had ribbons, socks with baseballs, but it was was like pulling teeth just to get plain white socks to keep your little feet warm.  And, apparently they don't sell "girl" shorts.  I looked all over the store and only found shorts in the boys section.  So, you now have orange and navy "boy" shorts. 

Your Bonnemama (my Mom) sometimes bought clothes out of the boys section because they were cheaper when I was a kid.  Me, your Aunt A, and Uncle A all wore the same stuff.  Sure, Aunt A and I did have dresses for special occasions, but your grandmother taught us that our clothes should function first and feel good second.  That's what I want for you--to have stuff you can spit up on or play in but still feel great.

I know it sounds weird, but I don't want you to look back at baby pictures of yourself and feel like I was foisting some stereotypical ideal of femininity on you.  Some very cool people in my life have showed me that our physical and mental genders don't always match.  I imagine what it might be like for them if they had been able to wear whatever they gravitated towards as kids or if they had pictures of themselves as babies that weren't at odds with their selves.  I want to give you a chance to match whatever you grow up to be by keeping you a bit neutral until you can express yourself.

When you start having an opinion about your clothes, I vow to try to get you things you like.  If you're drawn to pink tutus and tiaras, Mommy will find those for you at reasonable prices in fabrics that are washable.  If you only want overalls and trucks on your clothes, you will have them.  If you want to dress like me in stuff that is "girly" sometimes and "masculine" other times, I'll be especially thrilled.  I just want to make sure I've taught you that you gender isn't in your clothes, it's in your self.

With unending, bottomless love,
Your Mom

Same Scarf, Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Do you guys recognize this scarf on my head?  I dub it my beach scarf because it is just long enough to wrap around my head twice when my hair is wet OR in a state of half-drying.  I picked it up at a thrift store for like $2, and it's silk, which is surprisingly resilient when it comes to both salt and chlorinated water.  I end up wearing the scarf on days like this one when I just get out of a pool, coat my hair with conditioner, and need to hide it's disgusting weird needing to be washedness. 


I also wore a black tank top just about my favorite things for all facets of life.   Need to look professional at work: black tank top.  Need to look put together to go out: black tank top.  Need to be comfortable while wandering around downtown Bay St. Louis with a tiny screaming person strapped to you: black tank top with jean shorts and flip flops.  I think you can totally get away with the flip flops as shoes if you're within a quarter mile of a beach.  Right?
Scarf :: thrifted
Pyramid stud earrings :: Anthropologie
Pipe necklace :: gift from Mom
Black tank :: Old Navy
Jean shorts :: Forever21+
Flip flops :: Reef Ginger

Pool Break, Friday, June 5th, 2015

I wish I had a pool.  I kind of thought that by having the Kid I'd be able to get a kiddie pool and use it for myself, BUT I don't have a backyard.  As much as I'd like to be that brave person who just drinks beers and hangs out with their friends and kid in an inflatable, teeny pool in their front yard, it's not me.  So, now that the heat is on full blast in New Orleans, a family trip to the beach seemed ideal.

Another big B-U-T... the tiny person isn't exactly ready for the ocean.  Not only do they not come out speaking English (which would be helpful), they don't automatically know how to swim either.  A solution/compromise was a trip to the beach but staying in a place with a pool.  After serious amounts of time spent scouring the Internet, I found a cute B&B in Bay St. Louis, MS.  BUT, they didn't have a vacancy.  They did, however, point me in the direction of a cute little rental house with a studio setup and a courtyard pool. 

Now, all I want is a courtyard pool.  Can someone make that happen?  In the end of this overly long story, I booked a room, we drove about an hour and a half, unpacked and had a great weekend at the beach without actually going in the ocean.  I wore this dress (one of three in stripes, coral, and blue) with my favorite clogs, and a fun hat.  Seriously though, can someone help me with a courtyard pool?

Hat :: purchased on vacation
Pyramid stud earrings :: Anthropologie (old)
Pipe necklace :: gift from Mom
Blue sweater :: Maurice's
Striped dress :: Old Navy
Clogs :: Dansko