Birthday Look, July 7th, 2015

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The husband surprised me with a dinner out on my birthday.  I wasn't expecting it, but I was wearing a new dress that's much like an old dress, but better.  The new one looks great from the front and the back and it has pockets, the holy grail of womens clothing.  The old dress looked great from the front but did weird things to my butt.  I promise not to show you pictures of that weirdness because even I have my oversharing limits!

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Dinner was delicious and included martinis which are, as you guys already know, one of my favorites.  Since it was my birthday I had to do the number with hands, but I had to do separate hands for the 3 and the 7, so please enjoy the goofy face in the first photo and the slightly less goofy face in the second.

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Glasses :: Rivet & Sway
Moroccan tile pendant :: gift from husband
Striped dress :: Forever21+
Belt :: NY&Co. (old)
Black clogs :: Dansko

Letters to the Kid, Satisfaction in Place of Perfection

This continues a series of letters I'm writing to my daughter.  I want to impart knowledge, advice, and a positive sense of self to that little girl, so this project has deep meaning for me.  I think they apply just as much to little ladies as they do to fully grown people in general.

Dear the Kid,
There's one word I've had a lot of trouble with lately, "Perfect."  It seems so innocuous, but perfect causes so much trouble.  I, your perfectionist, type A Mom, let the idea of perfection get to me in the worst possible ways over and over again.  I create a standard in my head that is completely unachievable, and measure myself as lacking when I don't get there in so many areas of my life. 

I have strived to look perfect, behave perfectly, have perfect clothes, lead a perfect life, but those are elusive and impossible tasks.  I find that when I aim for perfection I'm always disappointed.  That's because there isn't really a true perfect, despite what you read, see, and hear, especially from social media.  Instead, I have decided to strive for satisfaction in place of perfection. 

I can achieve satisfaction in my physical self, my attitude toward the world, in my day-to-day interactions and personal relationships, through my life choices, and with my goals.  I want you to understand that this attitude can bring you so much more in life. 

Be satisfied with the amount of work you put into projects, at home, into relationships.  Be satisfied with how you look naked, in clothes, in pictures.  Be satisfied with how you love, who you love, and how you are in every fiber of your being.  Be satisfied with the choices you will make in easy times and very rough ones. 

Satisfaction doesn't mean you have to just accept how things are, and it doesn't mean you can't have regrets.  Learn from your mistakes and choose to change the things that will make you better and stronger.  Work out to be fit, eat healthy to feed your body, switch careers if you need to. Change your attitude, your friends, and definitely your underwear.  Just remember that you should work towards a feeling of satisfaction in life rather than an unattainable goal that will tear you down.

With Unending, Bottomless Love,

Your Mom

Phone Dump

I haven't taken a single blog photo in over a month.  I miss it, you guys, because I've gotten some really great clothes that I've turned into some really fun outfits for this awful summer heat.  BUT, life is sooo hectic.  I helped make a million things for a baby shower I hosted recently.  The husband and I have been tending to multiple home repairs.  And then there's the tiny time suck in my life, the Kid.  Instead of well shot photos of me on my fancy camera, let's peruse these random shots from my ancient iPhone. 
 
I made the most delicious stir fry one night when I was home alone.  It sounds totally lame but it was in fact awesome.

I might have enjoyed said stir fry quite a bit because of the wine, but I'm pretty sure it was good without it, too.

I was a percussionist all through high school.  I played the xylophone, marimba, bells, timpani, base drum and on and on.  I want to get the Kid to play drums, but her Dad said no to this cool drum set. He wants her to play saxophone and piano like him.  

I might have bought the Kid an Annie dress for the holiday season.  It was just so damn cute.  I'd wear this in adult sizes with some minor changes.

I'm on my way to host that shower in this photo.  Yes, my hair does normally get that big in the summer.  I love curly hair, but man do I look insanity pants here.
 

Random, True Things #13

Let's do something different for this random, true things and talk about liquor.  I do not drink nearly as much as my friends think I do judging by the times I've gotten liquor as a gift.  I do, however, enjoy a variety of alcohols and will now embellish on that theme.
  1. My absolute favorite drink is an extra dirty gin martini.  I have no time for vodka martinis because I'm snobby and consider those:  not.... real.... martinis.
  2. I am a very cheap drunk after not having had liquor for so long while gestating a tiny person.
  3. I do not like Korean soju because of a terrible incident in a bar in Busan.  Let's just say that I'm not ever likely to be welcomed back with open arms.
  4. I never really did the drinking in high school or college thing.  I think it's growing up in New Orleans where drinking just wasn't that big of a deal.
  5. Back to the martinis, I keep olives soaked in vermouth in my fridge.  They are the best snack.  Thanks, Al, for that tip!

Distracting Myself, June 10th, 2015

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Let's be a little raw here and honest emotionally about my new Mom-ness.  I love the Kid, and I've been leaving her with people for babysitting since she was about 5 weeks old.  It didn't bother me because I knew that I need time for myself and that I enjoy that time.  In a true twist of weird emotions, what was really hard was taking her to someone else for the first time when I was back at work.  Sitters have been coming to our house, and it was definitely hard to be away, but not as hard as actually leaving her somewhere else.

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What does that have to do with clothes, you ask?  Well, today is the second day that she is getting dropped off, and I asked the husband to do it.  Why not share the emotional pain of being separated with the whole family, huh?  Actually, I thought that it might be a good time for me to reclaim those extra 25 minutes and spend a little time on me.  And, it was awesome and a nice balm to my crazy emotionalness (totally a word).

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I spent some time doing my hair into this side head bun.  I carefully selected some jewelry.  I tried on 6 different dresses that are still not quite fitting right until I found this one.  It's normally a pain to not have stuff fit, but I relished having a little time to play with my closet.  I even tried out a few pairs of shoes until I settled on these not worn in forever two tone heeled oxfords.  The icing on the cake was getting to take outfit pictures with no audience and no screaming!  Win!

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Pyramid stud earrings :: Anthropologie
Coin necklace :: Etsy
Black and white cardigan :: Loft
Black dress :: Marshalls (old)
Two tone oxfords :: Nine West

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Nothing quite like a weekend away to refresh me enough to actually take outfit photos.  I scored four in one week so far.  Be seriously impressed!  I also wanted to capture this look because it's the official first time I've left the house without having to worry about pumping in the office.  Yes, I know this is probably more info than you need, but I'm thrilled to have access to my entire closet again--at least what fits.

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I put actual effort into this outfit since I wanted to spruce up my basic black dress.  I added nude shoes that were a little less corporate and more fun.  I went for this awesome but always tangled necklace and a cardigan to pull out the color green.  Also, I'm wearing makeup: Laneige BB cream, mascara, and lip balm with color in it.  Don't I look fancy (and maybe a little bit tired)?  Red eyes for the win.

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The amusing part of all of this dressed up-ness is that I didn't see much of anyone at work.  I usually have a meeting Tuesday morning, but I ended up missing it to answer the phones in our under staffed office.  You guys are the only ones besides 2 coworkers and the husband who get to appreciate how much I love this look.  You're welcome... she types jokingly.

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Necklace :: Modcloth
Green sweater :: Modcloth
Black dress :: Loft
Nude sandals :: Marshalls

It's My Birthday

 
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Me in 2010, 5 years ago at 32

Today, I turn 37. Oh my gosh does that make me feel old to type out. The weird thing is that I don't really feel old. I feel busy and sometimes stressed out, but mostly lucky, loved, and usually pretty content.

My life is totally different than I thought it would be even two years ago. I've changed my goals and expectations and learned so much about who I am and who I want to be. It amazes me to look back and see the person I was when I started blogging and how much I've grown in good ways since then. 

What prompted this quick reflective post is another post I never plan to publish. I keep a list of things I'd like to do before I die.  I've got super boring stuff on there, and then really cool stuff, too, that I get to check off as I go through life.   The publish date is always waaaaay out in the future until today; I needed to change it today from July 7th, 2015 to July 7th, 2016.  

That list is a really good symbol of the kind of ever evolving person I strive to be. I'm not that same girl who started the blog, but it still helps me in so many ways.  I appreciate the chance it gives me to look back and to look forward.  Thank you guys for being part of that journey!