The Basics

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I did a huge somewhat Marie Kondo inspired closet clean out back in 2015 I think it was, and I’ve been really getting the itch lately to do another significant round of it. I’ve had a donation pile I just kept adding a piece here and there to for awhile now, then spent part of a vacation day last week pulling everyyyyything out of my closet and being picky about what back in. But while I’ve been weeding as much out as possible, there’s one item I’ve finally just accepted that I can have plenty of and not feel bad about it – the plain tee. I layer them up under everything and live in them on the weekend so finally decided that if I want like 5 each of my favorite black, white, and gray tees then that’s fine, especially when I found some at this price point!

How much I lean on t-shirts and denim has me feeling like my style has gone right back to the basics the past few years, and clearing out the pieces that don’t align with that style have left me with plenty of pieces that mix and match and layer up together really well. When summer hits though and the temperatures are hot, sometimes I just have to forget the layering and just stick with one of my favorite tees. While the weekend version of this plays out with sneakers and most definitely some distressed denim, this has been my favorite way to switch it up a bit for the work week. A pair of flares to switch it up from my go to skinny jeans, the strappy wedges from my list of summer staples, and red lipstick although this bright of a lip color is a look I’m admittedly still getting used to.

Linking up with Living in Color, Stylin in St. Louis, The OP Life

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Currently

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Joining my favorite link up (as usual), Currently with Anne and Shea this month!

Snacking (on)

When Jacob and I head upstairs for him to go to bed, we’ve always face timed my husband when we need something. You know, like a juice refill or a pouch. One night sometime this summer Jacob decided he wanted popcorn and it sounded good to me too, so I let him face time to ask his dad to make us some and bring it to us, and he did haha! Now a couple of times a week we go through this routine and he and I get to share one of those single serving bags of popcorn while he watches one last show.

Anticipating

My brother’s wedding, which will happen in about a month! We all love his fiancée and she’s always felt like family so I’m just happy they’re making it official. I’m excited to spend the time with family and have banked up some vacation time that I hope to spend with family who will coming in from out of state (and recover from the festivities, who am I kidding) and a certain little toddler of mine is going to be the cutest little ring bearer in my very biased opinion! 🙂

Borrowing

A page from the Bridget Hunt style book by wearing a head scarf!

Admiring

Now that I’m deep into the audio book for Rising Strong, Brene Brown is someone I’m admiring right now. This is the first time I’ve tried an audio book, and I’ve been listening to it on my commute back and forth from work which has been perfect. Her ability to clearly always stay curious is so impressive, and the ideas she’s sharing in this book about empathy, and courage, and boundaries is really shifting what I’ve thought about those topics. Several times now I’ve found myself just listening to her and by the time I make it to the end of my drive I realize I’m sitting there on the very verge of tears. Good stuff! But I think maybe I’m due for a fluff read next?!

Purchasing

My birthday was last week and after trying to remember what I had put on my shopping list for myself a couple of Currently’s back, I’m realizing that the only one of those things I actually bought was shorts that I actually like but I found an option that was so inexpensive that I can’t even bring myself to count that as birthday shopping. Post coming soon about those! And don’t worry, despite ignoring my own birthday list I’ve been purchasing plenty of other things like stocking up on basics and a few more pieces in preparation for this fall like two more of my favorite sweaters that are back in stock (heads up, I have to size down to avoid the shoulders from looking sloppy and this still fits my long arms just fine) and this pair of high waisted distressed knee black denim.

Things That Make Me Happy Right Now

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After a weekend that was a lot of fun but just annoying on the potty training front, I’m feeling the need to focus on all the little things in life lately that have put a smile on my face – and thankfully there’s plenty to choose from!

1. Kind people, the type like the cashier who noticed my birth date on my license a few days before it when she carded me and told me happy early birthday.

2. Vacation days that gift a long weekend away from work. I love the work that I get to do, but there’s just nothing that beats a long weekend! Thankfully I’ve had two weeks of these and that let me have a good balance of one vacation day spent together as a family, and then the next one spent allll to myself.

3. Fresh cut sunflowers from Trader Joe’s for $3.99. I somehow went to the store on Friday and forgot to pick up a fresh bunch! The $4.99 bunch from Whole Foods today just may have to do. 🙂

4. Early bedtime for the toddler. If there’s a silver lining to refusing a nap then it’s him snuggling up with me and falling asleep way earlier than usual, giving us free time we are not used to having at night. We actually got to watch a movie last night! That never happens. I got to pick, and I went for the The Accountant. Not bad in my opinion.

5. A good margarita. I’ve been having some fun playing bartender and making my own this summer and have found some pretty good combinations! This was a favorite, but was just labor intensive enough that I haven’t repeated the recipe. The jalapeno peach margarita was a good find too, frozen when I still had fresh peaches on hand and an on the rocks version once those were gone that involved the juice of half a lime, limeade, and peach juice with the tequila and triple sec and a big slice of fresh jalapeno. The jalapeno limeade from Trader Joe’s has been perfect for when I don’t have fresh jalapenos at home (which is often). Maybe some version of this recipe will be next up, some weekend before we hit the official end of summer?

6. Toddler cuteness, and there is plenty of it in our house. My favorite lately was one morning over the weekend when we were curled up on the couch eating breakfast with Mickey and the Roadster Racers on TV and when I asked him if Mickey Racers (what he calls it) he told me no, that mommy is his favorite. But then this morning he looked me right in the eyes and I think prompted by my pink lip color, asked me if I was a princess. That kid steals my heart multiple times a day!

What’s putting a smile on your face lately?

 

Summer Staples for a Casual Work Day

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All of the Nordstrom anniversary sale posts I’ve seen have made that craving for all things fall, and cozy sweaters, and cute boots start to kick in but I will stay strong! Before we all go and lose our minds about that sale and stock up on all the cute boots and sweaters when fall is still a good two months away from even starting to feel like it (I never have been one to plan ahead) I want to stop and talk about what’s been getting me through these summer days. It always feels like it takes me half the summer to figure it out, so maybe next year I can get smart and just look back on these posts for a reminder of what I truly might need to be adding to my closet.

Last summer our dress code went from a summer policy of jeans being permitted every day, to them deciding to make that a permanent policy once fall rolled around. My work style was really on the casual end of business casual already with the fact that I haven’t worn a pair of dress pants in probably three years really driving that home, but it’s slid even further to the casual end since that policy change. This outfit is a perfect example of one way I’ve found to stay true to that while still feeling a little bit more put together for the work day, made of up all the items that I have been picking up on repeat this summer…

Strappy Wedges

A few weeks ago I was waiting to cross the street and a girl waiting next to me complimented me on these shoes. As I thought about where I got them and how long ago so I could tell her (because isn’t that always the reaction when someone compliments part of your outfit, or is that just me?) I realized that these things were a Target buy over three years ago. They got me through a pregnancy that first summer and they’re still going pretty strong! After all this use I couldn’t imagine a summer work outfit without them. Mine have just recently started showing enough wear that this will probably be their last summer, and I’ve been eyeing these as their replacement.

 

Great Fitting Skinny Jeans

I have owned at least one pair of these jeans at all times for longer than I’ve owned those strappy wedges, everytime a pair starts to get a little worn I just restock with a new pair. I love the darker wash which I think is key to making denim look as professional as possible and the rise is perfect in my opinion – none of this low rise business because I don’t have the ability or interest in pulling that off anymore, but not so high rise that it makes a statement. Is that over analyzing a pair of skinny jeans? Probably. Also, I am a bargain shopper to the core and first fell in love with these jeans because I can find them for typically somewhere between $10 and $15 at a local discount store (Discount Fashion Warehouse if you live in the Columbus or Cincinnati, Ohio areas) but by now I’m so hooked that my cheap self would probably pay full price if I was ever left with no other option. 🙂

Comfortable Button Up

A button up shirt just instantly makes me feel like I’m upping my game so these are my immediate go to on those days that start out with me feeling like I could use a boost. For a dressier look the Portofino shirts from Express are my favorite, but something about summer leaves me reaching for this more casual option. Plus it’s so versatile and you could pair it with a lace skirt for a dressier look like this or go even more casual by pairing it with distressed shorts like this. I’m even excited to layer it up like this in the fall!

Medium Sized Tote Bag

I just can’t imagine anything smaller than a tote bag for work because you’ll usually find me carting around a pencil bag full of my favorite pens, at least two journal sized notebooks, whatever book I’m currently reading, an obscene number of lipsticks and glosses, and a snack. And this is in addition to the normal things you’d find in a purse! My current favorite is this bag I found during my most recent trip to the outlet mall (the blue color I have just isn’t available online apparently), but another good option if you want a simple tote with usually a pretty good selection of colors available in store is this one – I said I was a bargain shopper!

Mixed Metals

Red Giraffe Designs is a local favorite of mine for hand stamped cuffs and you can’t beat that $20 price tag. I currently layer up a silver and a brass one that each have a message with meaning to me on them and most days you’ll find me with them stacked on my wrist. The only thing I’ve noticed is that they’re not exactly comfortable if you’re carrying around a large toddler on your hip and since mine often feels the need to be attached to me if I’m within eye sight, I tend to take them off as soon as I get home for the day. But another good find has been her rings.

 

33 Things About Me

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I just celebrated becoming another year older yesterday and while I don’t believe birthdays need to come with a bunch of fanfare, it’s always fun to make the day feel a little bit special. It’s year number 33 for me and I’m personally feeling in a really great spot. I’ve loved my thirties enough that I don’t miss my twenties (save for the nostalgia that hits just every once in awhile) so I’m happily embracing diving a year deeper into this decade. So just for fun, 33 probably kind of random things about me…

1. I willingly (and actually requested) to spend my birthday doing kid focused things like going to the aquarium and swim lessons, but mostly because I knew I have a vacation day coming that I intend to spend completely by myself doing whatever sounds fun, which means probably shopping and probably in the form of checking out the Ikea store that just opened in our city – I’ve never been to one!

2. ISFP is my Myers Briggs type and I have so much interest in this assessment, but can never seem to memorize the differences between the types. I just know that this description pretty much hits the nail on the head for me, especially being inspired by connections with people and ideas, sensitive to others’ feelings, values harmony, and the more challenging characteristics of having a hard time facing criticism, planning for the future, and developing and maintaining new habits.

3. I love all things lemon flavored, but it’s a flavor I was completely indifferent too until I craved it constantly when I was pregnant. The craving never left and even now I would really have to think hard to choose between a lemon dessert and a dessert full of chocolate.

4. On the outside I think I come off as a very patient person and can be a lot of situations, but inside I am pretty quick to become inpatient so there’s a good chance I’m struggling to keep it together!

5. I really really love rap music, I just can’t help it.

6. The only time I ever cook dinner is to make pizza on Friday nights and because of this I swear I’ve forgotten how to do even some of the simplest things. I’ll gladly take that and the eternal clean up duty in favor or my husband taking on the responsibility of being the family cook.

7. If I had my way, and most of the time I do on this, I would have fresh flowers from Trader Joe’s permanently in my house.

8. I think I love fresh cut flowers so much because I can’t for the life of me keep planted flowers alive for long. Most of the time our pots are full of plants struggling to make it, but I just can’t give it up this year!

9. I curse, kind of a lot although I’ve reigned it in a whole lot now that we have a very impressionable toddler always in our company.

10. Super cozy gray or black sweaters are something that I can never ever say no to if I find them for $30 or less. They’re just something I firmly believe you can’t have too many of, ranking right up there with plain black tees!

11. I also can’t say no to a cute journal and have quite the collection stockpiled to prove it. It’s bad enough that I’ve just banned myself from that aisle of Target until I use all the ones I currently own.

12. Cheese is probably my favorite food ever, but yet I managed to be dairy free for maybe almost a year back when I was still nursing my son and my doctor (correctly) suspected he had a dairy allergy.

13. I’m almost always in a rush for one of two reasons:  either I’m running late or just feeling like I need to hurry up and move onto the next task asap. Both reasons are equally annoying to me and I wish I could just chill the heck out. 🙂

14. Forced change I do pretty well with, voluntary change I find myself seriously avoiding.

15. I really like for my husband and I to go to bed at the same time, calling quits on the day together just feels good. It’s weird, I know. But on the very rare occasion that my husband goes to bed before me I’m like a kid and end up staying up past my typically bedtime, usually doing something incredibly unproductive like playing on my phone or watching tv.

16. When I find something I like at a restaurant then it’s pretty likely I’ll never order anything different from there ever again. For example, I couldn’t tell you the last time I ordered anything other than the Fuji apple chicken salad, no onions or tomatoes, with extra dressing at Panera.

17. I could care less about the type of car I have (as long as it’s not a complete junker) and my little Toyota Corolla is just fine for me, but if I could drive anything it would be a pick up truck from the 1960s.

18. I really like Bobby Flay, not that I’m attracted to him, but I just really want to hang out with him and have him cook me brunch and make me sangria. 🙂

19. But I do have a thing for Jason Statham, even though he’s 17 years older than me. The man has just aged well, what can I say?

20. Even though it didn’t become a bucket list item for me until about two months before training kicked in and my husband said he wanted to run our city’s marathon, I  did it and checked it right off that list. Even though it’s been almost 5 years since that race I’m still pretty proud that I did it!

21. I think I’ve also done maybe 4 half marathons over the years before and after that? My first one was the San Francisco race in 2008 and coming from training in very flat Ohio it was so tough and my cousin twenty years older than me kicked my ass but you couldn’t beat the beautiful scenery of that race.

22. And now it’s more likely that my workout is dancing around the bathroom to Beyoncé Pandora radio station while my kid takes a bath…

23. Getting to sit down with the group of Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Glennon Doyle would be an absolute dream come true. I find these women so incredibly smart, talented, and inspiring!

24. Summer is probably my least favorite season (although ask me in January and I might be singing a different tune) because the heat just makes me cranky. My birthday happening right smack in the middle of it is it’s only saving grace. How my mom handled being 9 months pregnant with me in the dead of summer while living in a house with no ac is beyond me. Superwoman!

25. I never remember how movies end. Ever.

26. I am a worrier to the core. Like to the point where I have my parents text me when they get home after a visit (they live about two hours away) and I always look at the clock and note the time when my husband leaves for a run or a long bike ride so I’ll know when to start getting worried if he hasn’t shown back up at home.

27. I am weirdly good at music related trivia, but only if it’s pop or maybe some hip hop from about 1995 and on because that’s what I remember – anything else and I’m awful! But the other day I correctly guessed 1997 when asked what year I thought Fly by Sugar Ray came out and I was pretty damn proud. 🙂

28. If we’re home and I’m sitting or laying down there’s a very strong chance I have a toddler sitting or laying on top of me. Like now, as I write this one I’m laying down and Jacob is treating my chest like a chair.

29. Even though I love all things lemon and that especially goes for dessert, I could never ever say no to a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie.

30. I’m not a creating big ideas type of person, my head is always too down in the details. I used think that was a weakness to not be able to get my mind to think that way, but now I view it as a strength. You bring an idea too me and I can definitely help you predict some of the potential downstream effects it could have when you implement it!

31. My favorite color has been teal for years, to the point where I even talked my husband into painting our living room and kitchen different shades of the color. I still love it, but I’m definitely loving the whole minimal all white look lately but I am far too lazy and uninterested in home decor to change that up.

32. I’m a super sensitive person who will pretty much always default to taking things too personally, but I’m at least aware of it and working on it as best I can!

33. While I forget movies two seconds after watching them, when it comes to people related things I have a really good memory which thankfully serves me well in my job as an Academic Advisor. There’s times I draw a complete blank or needs my notes to help me remember someone, but once I do I’ll probably anything they’ve ever shared with me in past conversations.

Whew! If you stuck around that long I’m impressed and feel like I owe you a big thank you for sticking around this long. 😉 You’re the best!

 

Seven Things

 

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helping me make frosting for the cake he insisted we make

1. Jacob’s daycare had some kind of summer camp this week and the theme was pirates. Now if you ask him what a pirate says, he’ll tell you “ho ho ho”….not quite buddy, haha! (Ahoy being the correct answer)

2. AJ linked this article on Instagram about ways you’re making your life harder than it needs to be and I found myself nodding my head and saying to myself yuuuupppp!

 

3. I had not seen these in stock for awhile, but my favorite sweater from last year is back and in a moment of 40% off weakness early in the week I bought two more! Worth it though because I know they’ll get so much use – their length makes them perfect to pair with boots in the fall, but they’re lightweight enough that I’ve worn mine plenty last spring and this summer especially with that air conditioned chill our office eternally has. Right now they’re back to 30% off, completely worth it in my opinion.

4. My husband and I have birthdays in July that are only two weeks apart. I took Jacob shopping for my husband and after him insisting that we were getting a cake, we picked up a box mix of Trader Joe’s vanilla cake made with Madagascar bourbon vanilla flavors, and it was the best box cake I’ve had (only the best for birthday celebrations in this house!). Trader Joe’s, how do you do it time and time again. My birthday is coming up next on Monday so I took the liberty of buying their Meyer lemon cake mix with lemon icing course and my expectations are high.

5. Did you guys hear about Alfred Angelo closing last week? Bad news is that our bridesmaids dresses for my brother’s wedding in less than two months were from that company. Good news was that his fiancee’s dress was not involved in that drama, and our dresses were ordered through a pretty accommodating local bridal store and not at one of Alfred Angelo’s stores so money was refunded and the bride was able to find different dresses she likes for us to wear. Close call!

6. I’ve always disliked bra shopping because I just find it very annoying. Because of this I do it maybe once a year if I’m lucky but because I want it to take as little time out of my day as it absolutely has to, I’ve finally started just heading right in and taking a sales associate up on their offer to help rather than try to figure it out on my own. I finally went into Victoria’s Secret this week to re-stock and this was such a time saver. Plus, I forgot how good it feels to have undergarments that make you feel a little sassier, haha! Took the sales associate up on her suggestion of this bra and it’s easily going to be a favorite.

7. This was good for a little bit of a needed smile, especially after tantrums were thrown this week because I put the “wrong” sheets on the toddler’s bed and then this weekend when we left the restaurant we went to for dinner without him winning the green balls in the little arcade style game we let him play. All the eye rolls for both of those!

Linking up

That Mom Life

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Confession: I’m not the mom who gets joy out of spending endless amounts of time playing cars and games with my son and I feel a little bit like a bad mom admitting that. But I let that be my husband’s thing and there’s one thing I’ll always happily do. Go exploring! I’m always up for heading someplace new, the more wide open the better, and just letting little man lead the way. Even better when you have the company of a good friend who joins you. Thanks for bringing the Starbucks, the good company, and the ever appreciated extra set of hands – we love ya Cass! 🙂

I thought now that we’ve reached the potty training stage that would mean carrying around less stuff. Down with the diapers! Nevermind that he’s still scared of using anything except his little potty so yes, I was that mom at the park with a potty in the backseat of her car that she carried into the public restroom because her child refused to even try to go to the bathroom without using one. I’ll take it though since that’s the toughest thing he’s thrown our way in the past 5 weeks of potty training. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned this summer, it’s that any friend you have who isn’t fazed by the shenanigans that potty training a toddler brings is a gem. You hold on tight to them!

But I was wrong, so wrong to think that downsizing was in the cards for me! He’s a water loving kid who I think can sniff out a puddle from a mile away so recent adventures have proven that an extra set of clothes is necessary, right down to extra shoes and socks recommended and something to dry off with along with all the other things I find myself carrying around. Long ago I decided to be a back pack purse carrying type of mom and have been thankful the trend has provided several options over the past few years. While I wish I could justify spending the money on this Lily Jade one, I just can’t so I’ve been rotating through some good finds at Target.

I’m on my third one, having destroyed one I used it so much and my current two get rotated between seasons. The current one I’ve been using converts to a cross body bag too which I thought was the best feature ever, and then go figure that I don’t think I’ve even used it that way yet. But I think I’m still sold on the idea! And browsing Target’s website, as I do, I’m thinking this might be the next one I make moves on.