Something New: StyleMint

Have you guys heard of StyleMint? I hadn’t until recently and was a little skeptical at first. But thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, (and free shipping and free returns) I decided to give them a try.

It’s a different type of shopping experience. You sign up for a monthly subscription that credits an account you can use towards purchases. You fill out a survey to select the styles, brands, and looks that best suit you. You’re then given a shopping selection that fits with your style.

Well, they got me. I loaded up my cart and can’t wait until my new tops arrive. With most of their clothes starting at $29.99 and awesome sales, you can’t beat them! The subscription thing kind of intimidated me but you can skip months if you’d like or use the credits for other sites (JewelMint, IntiMint, and ShoeMint). Pretty awesome!

I’d definitely recommend checking them out!

Interested in what I got? Here are a few of the tops I couldn’t wait to get my hands on (apparently I was feeling like red that day …¬† must be time for Valentine’s).

Image

Image Sources: Top 1, Top 2, Top 3

New Kicks

I went for my first post-baby run yesterday. It hurt….a lot. In fact, I was surprised at how little I enjoyed it. To cheer myself up, I decided to reward myself with new running shoes. When looking at this post the other day, I realized that I’ve had the same sneakers since my marathon in 2010. That’s a looooonnngg life for one pair of kicks.

What I’ve heard time and time again is that runners should change out their running shoes every six months or between 300-500 miles. It’s like changing the oil on your car, whatever you hit first. These guidelines drum up a few questions: Seems like a lot of sneakers, is it really necessary to replace them that often? And why, oh why, as a fairly avid runner, would I have the same pair for nearly two years now?

Well, it’s like this….listen to your body.

When sneakers start to break down, you start to break down. Shock absorption fades and the structure of the shoe doesn’t provide the support you need leaving you with achy knees, soreness, shin splints, foot pain, and other discomforts. Often times, the shoe itself will start to show that it’s wearing down on the sole. If it’s looking worn (like a car tire starts to look bald) then it’s time to get a new pair.

A great test to determine if you need new shoes or not is to go try on a new pair. If the new pair offers significantly more cushion and support than your current kicks, it’s time to trade them in.

So, why have I had my running shoes for nearly two years? Honestly, a combo of procrastination and being cheap. My running schedule significantly changed last year (with the bump and all) resulting in a much, much fewer miles and I often thought, “Oh…I’ll look for a new pair soon but I’m just not running that much right now.” And I’m cheap. I’d consider buying a new pair but then talk myself out of spending the dough.

But, after yesterday’s run, I know I need a new pair. Also, mine are visibly falling apart. And while most running shoes cost between $90-$130, I really shouldn’t be too upset about spending a little cash. I mean, seriously, I got two years out of the last $100 I dropped on a pair of sneakers….I’m embarrassed now that I’ve had them so long.

So, what pair to get? I usually love Adidas or New Balance running shoes. They seem to provide my feet the most support. But, I’m also looking at Saucony and Asics. There are so many options…. almost too many! I think I’ve narrowed it down…I’m looking for a lightweight, breathable shoe with a little extra support for a high arch. Now I just need to go try on a few pair and pick a winner!

Shoes Clockwise from Left: Adidas CLIMACOOL Seduction, Asics Gel Turbulent 2, Saucony Omni 10, New Balance 870

Dress & A Ditty: And We Were Singing

A good song has a catchy beat and meaningful lyrics. A great song takes you back to a place, a person, or an unforgettable moment. Today’s great song does just that….

Five years ago today, countless hearts were broken when my cousin was surprisingly taken from this world at an unfairly young age. His memory lives on the hearts and minds of our family; I am frequently reminded of his infectious laugh or of dancing with him at my wedding.

Today I think of when we celebrated his life and will forever associate this song with that day. I’ll never forget standing with my siblings and cousins in a circle, singing through our tears, and toasting each other to his memory.

Although my cousin would likely poke fun at me for something as silly as a Dress & A Ditty, I’m sticking with it:

Wear this when you’re lounging around reminiscing over old photos or when you’re out sharing memories with family and friends.

And listen to this, sing at the top of your lungs, and throw your hands in the air when you belt out:

Them good ol’ boys were drinking whiskey in rye / Singing this’ll be the day that I die / This’ll be the day that I die.

Miss you, cousin.

Image Sources: Forever 21, Google Images

Dress & A Ditty: Think Pink

Wow, it’s already Wednesday?? This week has FLOWN by! It’s been absolutely nuts around here as we prepare for Wyoming Art for the Cure! I’m so excited for the event…it’s this Friday!

Since I’m in a pink state of mind with the upcoming celebration, I had to use the color as inspiration for this week’s Dress & A Ditty. (Note: not every week will be colors).

So, here we have it:

Dress – Where this BCBG dress from Tula (an awesome women’s store in FC) to a fabulous event or for a fancy night out.

& A Ditty – Listen to this song by Pink (even though it’s slow and a little sad…it’s one of my faves) to mellow out while you’re prepping hair and makeup before your big night.

P.S. To make a donation to Wyoming Art for the Cure, click here!

Dress & A Ditty: Cream

So there I was, staring at my spouse over dinner, trying to think of something to talk about that didn’t involve the milk consumption, sleeping patterns, or BM schedule of a certain rugrat. I couldn’t come up with anything.

And morning after morning, I sit and stare at my computer wondering what I should blog about. All I can come up with are posts about my blue-eyed baby boy.

When I was pregnant, I complained that I always had the same conversation with everyone I talked to. (When are you due? Boy or Girl? Have you picked a name? Is the nursery done? How are you feeling? Every.single.conversation.)

But now, I’m the one guilty of veering every exchange of words in one direction: the little dude.

So, what’s the deal? I like stuff. At least, I used to like stuff….I just wish I could remember what that stuff was. What did I do before the little man arrived? What did I talk about before every conversation was answering the questions above? What in the world did I write about for the last year???

And then I remembered…. I like adventures. And food. And books. And fitness. I like volunteering. And heroic animals. And epic films. I also like fashion and music.

Eureka! I DO like stuff.

So, in a desperate attempt to burst my baby-centric bubble and to incorporate more fashion and music into this little blog, I decided to start a new series called Dress & A Ditty.

The first ever Dress & A Ditty Inspiration: Cream.

Listen to this song by Cream while you’re trying to come up with conversation starters that aren’t, “My little angel did the cutest thing today…”

And wear this cream shift to the event you signed up for pre-baby (assuming you remember to attend).

Photo Source: 1, 2

To Chop or Not to Chop?

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend! Ours was fantastic…..the gorgeous spring weather we’ve had helped make the weekend perfect. Spring is happening everywhere in CO; tulips are popping up through the earth, the lilacs are flowering, and the trees are all budding.

All the changes outside and fresh face of Spring have me thinking of making some changes of my own. I’m in desperate need of a Mom Makeover! Since becoming a mom, the time to fix my hair, apply makeup, and put together my wardrobe has become non-existent. I assume this happens to all moms and I’m not alone???

All I really want is to trim down the amount of time required for me to go from ‘ponytail and milk-soaked tee’ to ‘halfway presentable.’ That’s not asking too much, right?

To achieve this, I’m taking some baby steps to revamp my look. Teeth whitening strips, a mini shopping spree for flowy dresses and lightweight tanks (going for wrinkle-free, comfy stuff that doesn’t grab the middle), and a new haircut outta do it for now. The first two steps are easy….the last is the hard one.

I’ve made an appointment with my stylist for Thursday and am seriously contemplating chopping off my long layers for a shorter ‘doo (that I’m hoping will require less time to fix). I’ve been pinning pics of celebrities and fashion bloggers with locks I love for a couple weeks and I think I’ve found a style I like.

I’m going for shoulder length, worn wavy, with a long side-swipe bang.

ImageWhat do you think? Eliminate the bang? Keep the length? I’m a little anxious about chopping it all off but pretty darn excited at the idea of new look. Decisions, decisions…..

The Baby List Update: #9 Maternity Clothes

Happy Monday!

I fear I have to go back on a promise I made to you so long ago. I said I wouldn’t be turning this into a pregnancy blog….but this week I have a feeling we’ll be a little heavier on the baby content than in previous weeks. I apologize to my not-interested-in-baby-talk readers! I have a lot of list items to update you on. Yay for progress!

To kick off the week, I thought I’d start with something a bit light-hearted….fashion! Way back when I made the list, and I imagined myself being a tiny pregnant woman, I added #9 to the Baby List: Buy as few Maternity Clothes as Possible. Well, despite not being tiny….oy, this baby is huge…I can say this was achieved!

Truthfully, Bump It Up saved me. This book taught me some of the basics and I applied them to every stage of pregnancy. Instead of dropping hundreds on maternity clothes, I followed some of their simple guidelines and made a few of my own:

1. Don’t be afraid to borrow from a friend! As I said before, I was so fortunate to receive piles of super-cute maternity clothes from my sister and girlfriends, so I had an advantage on this goal. Of course, only use the stuff that’s still in good shape, in style, fits your body properly, and – most importantly – you feel great in.

2. Invest in a few, simple pieces – This advice is straight out of Bump It Up. Don’t worry about getting several pairs of jeans or multiple dresses for events. Buy only a few items that are basic and can be worn over and over: one quality pair of jeans that fit you well, a long pregnancy tank, leggings, etc. With a few basics, you’ll be able to create a lot of looks with the additional advice below.

3. Use pre-pregnancy pieces with the above-mentioned staples. (Also from Bump It Up). Wear your structured blazers, flowy cardigans, knee-high boots, maxi-skirts, etc. from your pre-bump days over the basics to create endless looks. For example, there’s no reason to drop a lot of cash a pregnancy cardigan. Wear one you already own over your long pregnancy tank and belt it just under your ginormous rack.

4. Accessorize! (From Bump It Up) From what I hear, wearing jewelry around a baby is near impossible, so take advantage of this time to wear your favorite baubles. You’ll be able to change the basic jeans and pregnancy tank into countless outfits by switching out jackets, scarves, necklaces, handbags, and shoes. And ladies, don’t toss out your high heels right away. I wouldn’t torture yourself, but wearing heels can make you look slimmer, more polished, and gives you more footwear options.

5. Embrace your bump. Don’t try to hide your baby under baggy shirts or sloppy clothes. During the first trimester, wearing baggy clothes will help keep your new weight gain a secret until you’re ready to announce your news, but that’s the only time to hide! I’m not suggesting you wear belly exposing clothes or anything that’s too tight, but let that glorious bump be seen by belting baggy shirts, wearing slimming pants, etc.

In the end, I borrowed quite a few maternity clothes, was given some as gifts, and only purchased a handful of pieces. I quickly found that I wasn’t impressed with Motherhood Maternity or A Pea in Pod, but did find a couple of sites that offered cute maternity clothes at a reasonable price.

And of course, Old Navy and Target have some inexpensive and trendy options, too.

Hope you all have a great week! I’m excited to share tomorrow’s Baby List Update with you……#1: Complete the Nursery!

Baby List Update: #9

Well, I did it.

I broke down and finally bought maternity clothes. Gasp!

You may be wondering how I’ve made it this far (almost 6.5 months!) without purchasing a few things from the maternity section. Honestly, I got hooked up from my girlfriends and sister (who have recently been pregnant). Those lovely ladies unloaded stacks of only-been-worn-for-a-few-months maternity gear on me.

In addition to scoring a bunch of free garb, I’ve been very selective in my clothes shopping; opting for styles like cardigan sweaters, over-sized tees, and stretch pants that can be worn while with child but also post-baby and perhaps next fall. And thanks to the tips¬† from this book/website, I’ve splurged on accessories and shoes to give my newly unstructured look a bit of flair. If you’re preggo and haven’t read Bump it Up, you’re missing out! It’s full of enormously helpful fashion tips!

But despite these efforts and my commitment to #9 on the Baby List, the time for me to snag a few preggo clothes of my own has come. I want to be sure to pass on some cute stuff to the next gal who gets knocked up, right?

Not surprisingly, I wasn’t impressed with the maternity selections in most stores (read: cheap fabric and overpriced). However, I did manage to snag two sweaters and few…uhm…..undergarments. Not a huge splurge but a start!

Sweater 1 & Sweater 2

Exciting stuff. Truly riveting material here, huh?

Anyway, next on the shopping list? Baby Shower Outfit!!!

My first shower is next weekend and I’m not quite sure what to wear. I’ve started to formulate a plan thanks to a sparkly skirt I recently spotted on Zara. I found a maternity version at A Pea in the Pod, but I’m not totally sold yet. Working on the plan…I’ll be sure to update you when I’ve figured it out!

Have a great Tuesday!

Cyber Monday

Happy Monday!

I hope you all enjoyed a nice, long Thanksgiving break. We had a great break….I am now totally amp’d for Christmas! (As if I wasn’t before.) The front of our house is glittering with Christmas lights, I watched my favorite Christmas movies (again), I’ve been listening to Holiday tunes non-stop, and I did a little shopping this weekend. I’m feeling magic in the air!

Being that it’s Cyber Monday, the interwebs are buzzing with cheerful discounts today. I thought I’d share some of my favorite stores (and their deals) along with a few of my favorite blogs that are already bursting with holiday ideas.

via Pinterest.

Have a great week and enjoy the shopping!

  • My friend, Rene, is offering 25% off her Silpada site through Wednesday.
  • Super-cute DIY Holiday cards from {frolic!}.
  • J.Crew if offering 25% off with code SURPRISE.
  • The Gap is offering 30% off entire store with code HUGECYBER (includes Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Athleta. Piperlime is 20% off with the same code).

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday, things got a little deep and I gave you all a challenge. I really appreciate the messages and feedback about that post. You know how to make a gal smile.

To lighten things up today, I thought I’d start embracing fall (since it’ll be here tomorrow, puh) and share some of the autumn trends and fall classics I’m thankful for this year. Being pregnant, the wardrobe will be limited this season (I see A LOT of stretch pants in my future) but so far the fall’s latest should suit me just fine (except maybe the horizontal stripes and color blocking….I’m not sure they were designed with big bellies in mind).

So, on this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for cozy, comfy, cooler-weather threads.

Layers, Blazers, Leather Purses, & Stretch Pants w/ Boots. via i heart this blog.

Plaid. via Cup of Joe. via The Sartorialist.

Polka dots, Stripes, Leather Jackets, & Scarves. via What I Wore.

Tall Socks with Boots & Stretch Pants (yeah, lots of stretch pants this fall). via Pinterest.

Cuffed pants & Loafers. via ebb & flow. via vineet kaur.

Cozy, Warm Cardigan Sweaters. And Tall Socks with Boots (have I mentioned that?). via {frolic!}. via Cardigan.

Leather Purses (or in this case awesome iPad holders for an iPad I do not yet own) with bright interiors. via Make Under My Life.