Grey Matches, Thursday, February 12th, 2015

This outfit is brought to you by actually shaving my legs for the first time in too long to admit to on the Internet.  I miss my dresses and skirts, which is challenging because only this one fits well right now, but hey it's basic black and goes with grey.  The rest of the motivation for this outfit was being able to wear my baby sling, which is grey, to the grocery store without looking nuts.  So, I added a grey t-shirt with ducks printed on the back.  Makes sense to me, so it works right. 

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I was going to get pictures of the baby sling but apparently it's hard to do that plus empty the car of groceries, Popeye's chicken (cause it's close to Mardi Gras), a baby, and move cars back into my driveway.  I did get pictures of me, so that's got to count for something.  Nothing particularly interested happened while I was at the store.  Basically no one even noticed there was a kid in my sling.  I think they must've thought I was really into Grecian fashion cause my brother says the sling looks like a toga.  

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Grey tank :: Loft
Grey duck t-shirt :: Anthropologie
Black pencil skirt :: Forever21+
Skull converse :: Custom from Converse site

Life Lately

I'm sure you all know how unglamorous my life is right now.  But, I thought I'd share a few photos from my day to day with you guys.  Here we go...


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I'm loving daily cups of tea from my new electric kettle.  Mostly I keep it decaf in the hopes I won't be desperate for caffeine all the time, but I do cave occasionally after long nights up feeding the little dictator.

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If you are the kind person who sent me flowers, please let me know.  I got these lilies, which happen to be one of my two favorite flowers, and still don't know who sent them.  I'm enjoying them though and hope my secret benefactor wouldn't mind sending a fresh bouquet every two weeks!

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More boring baby related cr*p in this photo of a Boppy.  My arms are so sore from holding someone all the time that this thing helps with feedings.  It follows me from room to room usually with an old fashioned cloth diaper as a burping cloth.

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I want to drink more water, but it's really hard.  I have a cup in the bathroom for when I wake up at night and I keep one in the kitchen, too.  I try to drink a glass of water every time the Kid eats, but I'm sucking at it.  Maybe I should cut up cucumber and lemon or fancy fruit to make it more of a priority!

Smudges, Monday, February 9th, 2015

I had to take the Kid for a doctor's appointment, so I figured why not get dressed in real clothes. I am mostly wearing yoga pants or leggings and t-shirts if I'm hanging at home.  So, leaving the house warrants a pair of jeggings, a nice t-shirt, a necklace, and a fedora.  It was a little weird to be in the pediatrician's office in a fedora, but I like it!

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This outfit is pretty typical of the few other times I've left the house.  I've been wearing the jeggings I bought early on in pregnancy cause they fit (she gloats).  I pull out a shirt that is warm but not too warm because I run hot like a furnace.  I try to add a shoe that looks intentional like a boot or my Converse with skulls, and I do a necklace.  Earrings just seem like too much work right now, but necklaces are like my flare. 

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I also continuously sport this fetching belly bandit which is supposed to help shrink down my stomach.  It does help with back support and sucking in my gut, so at least there's that.  I also happened to be sporting smudges of acne cream because I didn't check my mug in the mirror.  I guess no one feels compelled to tell the mother of a week old baby that she is covered in white spots all over her face and a little bit of that blueberry muffin she had for breakfast.  Color me embarassed upon returning home!

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Fedora :: store in Portland
Long chain necklace :: String-A-Bead (gift from FIL)
Cream blouse :: Forever21+
Cream tank :: Loft
Skinny jeans :: Forever21+
Black boots :: H&M

What It Means to be Feminine

Guess what, ya'll?  I had a kid, and she's cute as hell.  I'm totally in love with her, but getting her out was no easy business.  No matter how you do it (natural, epidural, c-section), you end up busted in some way.  You are weak and sore and scarred up, and it takes a toll on you.  You are also reminded that these processes (labor, birth, breastfeeding, etc.) are part of being a physical female.  Yet, taking care of myself after it all went down has reminded me that femininity isn't so easily defined as a physical state or a societal norm.
 
Yes, I have lady parts and I am genetically a woman, but society's version of femininity doesn't really apply to stuff I've needed to do to help heal.  I won't go into icky details of my labor, but I've had to do things that are a bit gross, totally weird, and highly out of the ordinary.  Google it if you want more insight because that's all I'm gonna say.
 
If I contrast my reality with the advice I've received in person and from books, I have to laugh.  Much of it plays into that delicate, surface beauty that is so often associated with women.  For example, the birth class where the teacher suggested I buy a white satin robe to use in the hospital after labor.  Let's just say that white satin would always be a bad choice.  I've also read that I should bring lavish products to the hospital to pamper myself.  I personally was just thrilled to take a shower by myself without getting light headed. 
 
Let me clarify that I'm not saying that if you are a woman and you want those things, you're shallow.  You aren't because people should take care of themselves as they need.  What I am saying is that presenting the only way to take care of yourself as a woman in those terms is limiting and dismissive of the female experience as a whole.  We all know I run a style blog and post photos of myself, so I am as vain as the next person.  Hey, I even brought makeup just in case I busted the blood vessels in my face.  I wasn't going to have pictures of me looking a hot mess holding a cute new kid circling the Internet.
 
Those flourishes, that desire to care about my appearance, any extra trappings also felt like unnecessary pressure on women to be some sort of ideal.  I mean it's enough to just be a contributing member to society, let alone choose to be a parent whether or not that's because you grew your own kid or fell in love with one who needed a good home.  Shoot being a parent doesn't make me any more or less than anyone else but there's this overt romanticized notion of how everything should be instead of just letting things be as they are.
 
Where am I going with this post?  I guess I just wanted to write that being female to me isn't giving birth, isn't wearing makeup, isn't following some standard societal derivation of femininity.  Being female is who you are in your mental picture.  I'm female, I gave birth and I don't wear makeup.  I like dresses and power tools and getting my hands dirty.  Sometimes, I meet the archetype, and sometimes, I don't.  You don't need to. 
 
If you are female in your form, your mind or your heart, then I can see you as a woman, too.  You don't need breasts, estrogen, a vagina, or some badge of honor.  Don't allow some external force to let you define yourself or weigh your own self-worth ever.  Maybe that's a weird thing to learn from popping out a tiny person, but it's definitely something I've learned. 
 
Hope you all are doing well and that I can post again soon.

Theoretical Post-Partum Dressing and Self-Care

The minute I found myself with the freedom, time, and motivation to write a blog post, I just wanted to write another, so I am.  I don't want to promise weekly posts or anything because I'm writing this in the post-moving in, pre-birthing watermelon phase of my life.  I have a little spare time, and I'm taking advantage of it before everything changes forever (she writes ominously).  I'm sorry if all the focus on maternity/post-maternity/post-partum stuff is boring to some of you, but this is a big transition for me. 
 
I'm spending a lot of time thinking about what life will be like when this kid is out.  Between clothes and self-care and being off work for 12 weeks, I'm processing it all.  I couldn't begin to tell you what the first weeks post-birth are like, but I want to be optimistic that I will put some effort towards being good to myself, not just my kid or my family.  I keep reading how important it is to not let yourself fall to the wayside because it's so hard to get back to it. 
 
I know exactly how hard that can be after throwing myself full throttle into different projects over the years like my investment property renovation or just getting moved into the new house.  I get lost kind of easily, and I let little things go.  I forget to put on jewelry in the morning, and I care way less about how I'm dressed.  In a way, I know that being practical is good, but it's important to me to not go too long without spoiling myself. 
 
In that line of thought, I've made sure to pick up a few little household indulgences for when I'm serving as head b*tch to the tiny person.  I've stocked up on all my essentials for hair care and makeup and shaving, etc.  I also bought extra little things like socks that help your feet stay moisturized, a bomba** makeup sponge that makes me look awake when combined with under eye concealer, and three new varieties of fancy tea with shortbread.  I know it'll be nice to have little treats in the house with me when I can't get away.
 
I've also been dreaming of post-partum clothes and getting into that cool casual vibe I always lust after.  I know I won't be back in my old clothes right away, but I bought transitional pieces as I grew larger and larger so I could size down in style.   For those 12 weeks I'm home, I'm really hoping I can find a happy medium of dresses and t-shirts with jeans that don't read lazy slob. 
 
I was drooling over a photo of Lily Collins in skinny jeans, a tee shirt, a scarf and moto jacket last night.  I take that as a sign that I get what I like, and I just need to give myself the five minutes to grab it out of my closet.  I think I've done myself a huge service in pulling out all of my stuff (even if it won't fit for awhile), so I can have something pretty to look at AND so I know where it all is.  Getting organized before the little dictator takes over will hopefully help me feel pretty sometimes.
 
I think the best thing I've realized about my style now and after the Kid is that I'm pretty low maintenance to begin with.  I don't generally wear makeup.  I have a good handle on my morning getting ready routine.  I know my style and aesthetic when it comes to clothes.  I have a good variety of clothes between my hugest (now) and smallest (pre-pregnancy).  I also really understand the value of flats, so I'm stock there like nobody's business. 
 
Any tips, Internet friends, for cheap/easy/free indulgences you like to give yourself when things are overwhelming?  I'm open to all suggestions from food to beauty to dressing quickly techniques!

Post-Birth Shopping Wish List

Don't adjust your eyewear, I am in fact posting online content.  As of this moment--on January 27th--I am still way pregnant, but I am also near the end of my stint as a human incubator.  I find myself really wanting to go shopping when Spring clothes hit the market.  I want sandals and pretty dresses and easy, super easy stuff to wear. 
 
I have been contemplating my old wardrobe a lot as I stare into my newly cleaned and organized closet.  (It's huge by the way and awesome because I don't have to share it!)  I'm a little tired of the same few maternity and non-maternity pieces I can fit into, and I am lusting after some of my old stuff.  I feel like a style change will be inevitable though once I have to cart around a tiny spit mogul. 
 
Here's what I'm thinking would be awesome:


Swedish Hasbeens, Trashy Diva, Old Navy, LOFT
 


Low heeled Swedish Hasbeens are totally on my radar. I keep wanting to wear my heels but realize that a super high heel while carrying an infant is probably a bad idea. I am the queen of clumsy, and I'd rather my kid not have a dent in her head. These are the perfect compromise because I can wear them on weekends and to work with business casual outfits.

Trashy Diva dresses are my jam. I love this store. I tend to go more for their patterns than the solids but just look at that red dress. It's so perfect by which I mean machine washable, lightweight and transitional from work to weekends depending on what I pair it with. My favorite styles are this one and this one, so I need to start losing baby weight right NOW.

The last thing I really want back are skinny pants that don't have giant elasticized waists with easy tops and vaguely badass jackets. I picked a selection from some of my favorite stores, Old Navy, Loft and Anthropologie. I have lots of this stuff in my closet now, but I'm sure I won't mind trawling the sale racks in a few weeks for refresher pieces. I'm looking at you Anthro sale closet and Lou & Grey collection.

Are you guys in the midst of a style change or are you chugging along steadily in your current wardrobe loves?


A Hiatus

Sometimes, you stop working on a project, and you miss it terribly.  Blogging has been that for me for years.  I've always managed to find a way to reinvent this hobby to keep me coming back from hectic times in my life with a renewed vigor.  BUT, I'm just not finding my motivation these days. 
 
I wish I wanted to share my outfits because I'm still having fun with clothes.  I wish I wanted to pick up my camera now that I can find it easily in the new house.  I wish I wasn't finding my relaxation and passion in other aspects of my life offline.  BUT, I am doing all of these things, and I don't anticipate that ending.
 
I wanted to say thank you to all of you who stop by, comment, and just generally encourage me to share online.  It's been a wonderful experience these past few years, and I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up.  I just know that right now it feels like a good time to walk away without the expectation to return. 
 
I hope I pop in occasionally with photos or comments or updates for you guys, but I just don't know.  Life feels very tenuous with the amount of change that's headed my way.  You guys are awesome, and I'm sure I'll still be lurking around reading your stuff.  Don't forget you can still email me, too.
 
With Lots of Love,
Sarah
Destrehan's Daughter