The Capsule Wardrobe Concept + My New Post-Baby Body

I have been working my way through all of the old episodes of The Lively Show. I highly recommend it. Yesterday I listened to the episode featuring Caroline Rector of Unfancy - her minimalist fashion blog where she shares her approach to a capsule wardrobe and the resulting outfits. I am so inspired and am definitely going to give the capsule wardrobe concept a try!

Sunglasses|Urban Outfitters // Top|Target (old) // Necklace|Chewbeads // Jeans|American Eagle // Shoes|TOMS


To quote Caroline, "Simple definition? It’s a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally LOVE to wear. For Unfancy purposes, it’s a 37 piece wardrobe that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes."

Each capsule wardrobe is for one season; every three months she swaps pieces out for a new seasonal wardrobe.


I recently had my own accidental capsule wardrobe experience during my pregnancy. I purchased a limited number of maternity pieces because I just couldn't justify spending a bunch of money on pieces I would only wear for six months. In addition, we lived in my husband's parents' basement for several months during our transition from TN to NC and my wardrobe consisted of what I could fit into a couple of suitcases. The combination of these two factors forced me to keep things super simple.

I loved it. I made very intentional purchases knowing that I wouldn't be buying many maternity pieces. Before I bought an item I made sure that I loved it and was pumped to wear it frequently. The resulting small wardrobe made getting dressed so easy and I almost always loved my outfits because they were always comprised of pieces I really really liked.


I  still have about 20 pounds to go before I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight, so I still can't wear the majority of items in my closet. This means that I already have a bit of a post-baby capsule wardrobe going on, but have to select my current pieces from among all my pre-baby pieces that I like but are too small for me at the moment. Every once in a while I optimistically attempt to wear a favorite pre-baby piece, and every time I dejectedly hang it back up.  It's not super great for my already delicate body image.

I am going to box up all of the pieces that are too small for me at the moment which will allow me to focus on dressing in a way that flatters my current body.


I am a little behind on my spring capsule wardrobe (for April - June) since I just decided to do this yesterday but whatevs, I'll make it work.

I'm going to follow Caroline's rules:


Her criteria:


And her rule of three for adding variety:


I really like Caroline's style and it is surprisingly similar to mine - classic neutrals with fun accessories to add interest. I am really digging her spring 2015 capsule wardrobe.

I am so excited about this new approach to my closet! I have been struggling a bit to dress this new post-baby body of mine. This is really going to help me focus on what I can wear versus all the pieces I can't.


Life Lately

Happy Friday! This afternoon we are heading to Boone, NC to visit some good friends and go to BANFF Film Festival. Then tomorrow Lillian and I are heading to Asheville to stay in a mountain cabin with some of my college girlfriends for a fun baby shower/reunion weekend. Hope you have a great weekend in store for you as well!

My "Oh hey, Friday!" five:

1. The nursery is ALMOST done! I just have to get my shit together and finish putting stuff up on the walls. I'm quite pleased with everything so far. I made that fun bunting recently and I must say, I don't hate it.

 2. Lillian has some mad neck strength going on lately.

3. The goodies in the gift bag for to the mom-to-be in Asheville:

I tried to come up with stuff that I would have been excited to receive at my showers six months ago: 

- A handmade teething necklace from the Etsy shop Stitching to Craft. I ordered one for myself too, oops. (It came with a surprise keychain.) I was having a hard time deciding which colors to choose for her, so I went with her wedding colors from several years ago. Wedding colors are usually a safe bet, right?
- A Babies R Us gift card. We were so thankful for all the gift cards that we received at our showers. We ended up buying a lot of the more practical stuff on our registry ourselves.
- Never used socks, mittens, and pacifiers that I was going to pack away. Hey, why not? It's always fun to have plenty of cute little things when opening a baby gift.

4. I reused wrapping from one of my showers to wrap her gift. Reduce Reuse Recycle!

I chose the cheesiest bag I had, she will appreciate it.

I like to make my bows by hand. Plus bows can be freakin' expensive, dude! I usually just browse through Pinterest until I find one that I like. They're usually pretty easy. I used this one this time.

5. Dexter and I spent the majority of the afternoon yesterday walking around the backyard with a very cranky Lillian. He's been working on this hole when we're not around to scold him. He's quite proud of it.

Dexter so loves Lillian. We have to watch him closely when he's around her though, he wants nothing more than to lick her face and can be pretty sneaky about it. She does not approve.

5 1/2. I've always disliked those stick figure families people put on the back of their cars. Turns out, they are putting your kids in danger! So go take them off. Now.

 Happy weekend!


Red Lipstick Has Magical Powers

I LOVE red lipstick. So glamorous. So feminine. So classic. And at the moment, red lipstick helps me feel sassy despite the fact that I'm nowhere close to having my pre-baby body back and don't feel comfortable in most of my pre-baby clothes.

I used to feel awkward in red lipstick. I loved it on others, but felt like there was no way I could successfully rock such a bold lip color. Then one day I just said "Fuck it!" and there was no going back; I had experienced the magic firsthand.

Red lipstick is perfect for those moments when you feel like you need to up the ante a bit. It was always my go-to in Nashville when friends would text me at 4:30 all "Let's meet up for drinks on our way home from work!" and I would feel frumpy and stale in my business profesh outfit that I had been wearing since 6:30 that morning. I knew I could just bust out my red lipstick and BAM! I would feel instantly sassy and ready for drinks downtown.

I recently stumbled upon an article declaring this to be the perfect red for me, so I figured what the hell and immediately ordered it on Amazon Prime (the ultimate enabler for my love of small, fun impulse purchases) and two days later, ta da!

Ding ding ding!!! Winner winner chicken dinner! It is the perfect true blue-red that I have been searching for. You can also see me wearing it in a couple of pictures here.

And yes, I am wearing my sleeping kid in the above pictures. Just keepin' it real, guys.

via and via

I am way more excited about this than I probably should be, but it is THE PERFECT TRUE RED on me that I have been searching for for way too long. I am PUMPED!

I wore it to brunch the other day and suddenly my yoga pants and unwashed hair felt almost glamorous... almost.


Oh hey, Friday!

It's Friday! And my husband doesn't have to work at all this weekend! Hip hip hooray!

Below I give you five random Friday thoughts. Surprise! They are all about the tiny human with whom I currently spend 100% of my life.

1. We are so ready for spring! Tuesday was gloriously warm and sunny. The rest of the week has been cold and/or rainy. Boooooo. I can't wait to be able to spread a blanket out in our backyard and chill in the sun with Lillian and Sir Poindexter (our German Shepherd). In the meantime, she was pretty cute in this sun hat she rocked on our Tuesday walk.

2. I kiss this tiny human an absurd amount. I realize this every time I wear lipstick and have to abstain so I don't leave lipstick all over her face and head.

3. I wear my baby A LOT. Partly because I have chronic tendonitis issues in my right shoulder and arm and babywearing is seriously saving me from excruciating daily pain. I also love having her all snuggled up against me. Plus, it makes running errands/shopping/eating at a restaurant like a real person SO much easier because I don't have to deal with a stroller and she rarely gets fussy when she's on me.

4. Getting my baby to sleep is so much easier when I'm wearing her. If she is fussy and obviously ready for a nap, I just pop her in the Moby and wander around doing little tasks around the house while humming and swaying until she's asleep. However, it is tricky tricky to transfer her to the bed once she's asleep. I try not to let her fall asleep in the Ergobaby 360 if I can help it because the waistband has a giant chunk of Velcro which is SO LOUD when trying to take off a sleeping baby. Below is the proof of the one and only time I successfully transferred her to the bed in the Ergo... and she woke up five minutes later.

5. I can't sing her to sleep because my ridiculous bunny gets all excited whenever I sing and will start grinning and "singing" along. It's insanely adorable. And I'm rather enjoying having someone appreciate my singing; I am completely tone deaf and usually people (ahem... my loving sister) beg me to stop making their ears bleed.

That's all for now. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


LOLing With the Ones You Love

One of the many things I love about my husband is that we have very similar senses of humor. Last night we spent way too much time scrolling through @thefatjewish's instagram and LOLed at all the same ones. *sigh* Some ladies get warm fuzzies when their man brings them flowers (mine can't because our asshole cats immediately eat them all), but I get warm fuzzies when I show my husband something stupid that I find amusing and he giggles equally hard.

After spending 10 days solo-parenting while visiting friends and family with a baby who currently screams bloody murder the entire time she is in a carseat always, sometimes you just need to enjoy some good old fashioned stupid internet humor with your man.

And we giggled the hardest at all the same ones. And I felt all the warm fuzzies.

And then I discovered the St. Patrick's Day bonuses on Snapchat and we immediately sent all three of these to my sister. Because she is the only person I Snapchat with.

Yes, that middle leprechaun is one of the assholes who eats all my flowers so she can puke them up on the rug an hour later. She's good at cuddles though, so we let her stay.


Two Sisters and a Baby

Lee was out of town for work for 10 days, so Lillian and I were out and about visiting family and friends. We spent the weekend in Asheville, NC with my sister.

My sister and I love to cook together and I had just seen this Sweet Potato Bacon Hash on A Beautiful Mess and was dying to try it. Great success! So easy and super delicious. Plus, let's be serious, bacon. #mouthgasm

And while we had A Beautiful Mess pulled up on her laptop I said "Oh yeah, and look at this cool messy box and happy mail thing that they do." My sister and I investigated and had a conversation that went something like this:

S: "It's cool, right? But not something I could justify buying for myself."
J: "Ohhhhhhhhhh but it's so fun!"
S: "Well, I mean, I would love to buy you a subscription as a gift. You know... if you wanted to gift it to me too..."
J: "DONE."


So we each gifted the other a subscription to happy mail with the condition that we have to immediately send each other one card when we receive it every month. I am positive that we will regularly send each other the same card because we are creepy psychic together like that.

Other accomplishments of the weekend:

- We successfully picked out bridesmaid dress styles for our brother's wedding in November. You know the drill: the bride gives you the brand, fabric, length, and color, you then select a dress that fits all of those parameters and then cringe at the price tag.

- We spent the evenings snuggled up in front of her marvelous wood stove watching girly movies while her cats eyed Lillian suspiciously.

- We experienced the most delicious Indian lunch buffet in existence at Mela. I may insist on lunching there and only there every time I am in Asheville from now on.

- Lillian cuted pretty hard, as usual.

- And thanks to my wonderful sister, I slept in for the first time in over a month! I fed Lillian and promptly fell back asleep while Lillian was up and ready to start her day, so my sister put on the Moby wrap and wore her around the house for a couple of hours before waking me up with a cup of fresh coffee. My baby sister, she's the bestest!

I truly hope that we have another girl. The relationship between sisters is unparalleled and I hope that Lillian is able to experience it someday. My sister and I are 5 1/2 years apart with a brother in between, and although we did not become friends until she was a teenager, she is now one of my closest and dearest friends.


Lillian Isadore: The Birth Story

So this post turned out to be rather long. But then again, so was the labor so whatever. I'm a total birth story junkie, but if it isn't your thing, just scroll down to the bottom, admire the cute result and then move on, no hard feelings. Ok, here it goes...

I really wanted a natural birth. I took the classes. I read the books. I read all the bloggy birth stories I could find. She dropped a couple weeks before my due date of December 16th, I was slightly dilated, and her head was beginning to move down through my pelvis. So when my due date came and went and my doctors started offering me the induction option, I politely declined because I was absolutely sure that I would go into labor naturally before I hit the 42 week mark. Spoiler alert: I didn't

Once I hit week 41 I started trying EVERYTHING to get labor going without medical intervention. Power walking, squats, jumping jacks, spicy foods, castor oil, primrose oil, nipple stimulation, acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, hot epsom salt baths, meditating, and membrane stripping. NOTHING WORKED. Meanwhile, every time the doctors checked me during week 40 and 41 they were all "Oh, you're definitely going to go into labor any day now. There's no way you'll last until your next check up..."

I started having small contractions Christmas day (9 days past the due date). They would get stronger when I exercised and then taper off when I rested. On December 30th I had my membranes stripped and immediately power walked four miles. I started having uncomfortable contractions every 5 minutes and we got excited. They kept happening for several hours and were getting increasingly uncomfortable, some were even painful. We were sure that this was "it." Then they stopped.

New Year's Eve (15 days past the due date) we headed in for our 4:00am induction appointment (see above photo). The doctors had reached the point where they were freaking out about the possibility of meconium aspiration and were very uncomfortable with waiting any longer for labor to start naturally. I barely slept the night before because DUH I was going to give birth to my baby the next day. We lay in bed talking about how New Year's Eve was the coolest birthday possible and how excited we were to meet our fashionably late little one.

I was still hoping for things to be as natural as possible, so the doctor stripped my membranes again and then inserted a cook catheter. He was confident that this would be the little nudge my body needed to go into labor. Nope. I started having contractions and eventually dilated to 6 cm, but when the catheter came out, the contractions stopped. At this point our favorite doctor's shift ended and a new doctor from the practice started. He was very "I haven't seen a baby this overdue in over 10 years. We need to get this baby out NOW!" He wanted to push Pitocin ASAP but we weren't comfortable with that yet; we wanted to explore every non-chemical option possible first.

So he broke the water instead. Luckily, the water was clear which meant no meconium and the doctor chilled out a bit. I was now wearing disposable mesh underwear filled with weird gigantic absorbent hospital pad things. (Labor is not glamorous, people. Not in the least.) Still no contractions. I paced back and forth in the five feet of pacing room the monitor wires would allow. I bounced on the yoga ball like my natural birth plans depended on it (which they did). I did a bajillion awkward pregnant lady squats. Nothing. Just the same teeny tiny contractions I had been having for the past week.

So he started Pitocin. We had been at the hospital for 16 hours trying to induce without medicine and it just wasn't going to happen. I cried. This was the moment that I had to let go of the natural birth I had been psyching myself up for for months. The IV was started, the Pitocin began to drip, and the contractions became stronger. We had been texting with our doula throughout the whole process; she came to the hospital at this point because Pitocin means it's about to go down.

Shit got real. I started to have realllllllllllllly intense back pain, and we realized that she was posterior (facing my front instead of my back). I labored in several positions that are supposed to help turn a baby. I couldn't lie down because it made the back pain worse. I labored in the shower while Lee sprayed super hot water on my lower back which helped a ton, but we couldn't do much of that because the doctor didn't like for me to be off the monitors for very long.

I labored on Pitocin without any sort of pain intervention for 18 hours***. That shit was no joke. By the end I was vomiting with every contraction and couldn't stand from exhaustion. I started to become delirious from lack of sleep (we had been at the hospital for over a day at this point). I would briefly fall asleep between contractions only to be awoken by a contraction moments later and there would be a few seconds where I had no idea where I was or what was going on. I was only dilated to 8 1/2 cm but her head was at station +3 (See the diagram below.) and we had been stuck like that for many hours without any progress, so the doctor just kept turning the Pitocin up higher and higher.

***I chose to labor without pain intervention because Pitocin contractions are longer, harder, and more frequent than natural contractions and can be really really hard on the baby. I wanted to be able to fully feel the contractions and as long as I could stand them, she could stand them. That was my reasoning, anyway.

Then I reached my limit. After 34 hours of being at the hospital and 18 hours of pitocin induced labor, I just couldn't do it anymore. I cried, I vomited, then I cried some more while my doula assured me that posterior babies often result in transfers from natural birth centers to hospitals so the moms can get epidurals because posterior labor is so painful. And sometimes the epidural allows the mom to relax enough for the baby to turn. I got the epidural. I opted for the lightest epidural possible and could still feel the contractions and move my legs. And I could lie down! I hadn't been able to lie in the bed for hours and hours due to the back pain and ohmygoodness it was amazing. I immediately took a 2 hour nap. The best nap of my life. Then, with the help of my wonderful doula, I did some different poses to help the baby turn.

When the doctor came in and checked me 2 1/2 hours after the epidural was administered, the baby had turned, I had dilated to 10 cm, and it was go time. I am really glad I got the light epidural, I could still feel the contractions and feel her head. Also, I never thought that I would want the mirror, but I am so so so glad I said yes when it was offered. I highly recommend it. Seeing it all happening was truly amazing and incredibly motivating when it came to the pushing. At one point her heart rate dropped a bit and I saw him get out the forceps. Hells no. I was not going to have forceps used on my baby (they can cause all sorts of issues later on). Those forceps just motivated me to push even harder.

I pushed for 1 1/2 hours and there she was! Our baby, in my arms. Mind. Blown. Hands down the most incredible experience of my life. The pain and misery of the past 22 hours of labor were a thing of the past. My perfect baby was in my arms and so tiny and so so adorable.

And as rough as that entire experience was, I am definitely planning to have more. The cliche is so true, as soon as your precious tiny baby is in your arms, you forget all about the labor. Suddenly, I could barely remember any of it. I was entranced by this tiny human I had created and she was all that mattered.

We decided that New Year's Day was an even cooler birthday than New Year's Eve.

We named her Lillian Isadore for her great-great-grandmother. Lillian was my middle name prior to getting married, and as a child I always wished it was my first name.

And 10 weeks later I am still 100% obsessed with this perfect tiny human being that I made. It still blows my mind that she's here and she's mine and she's so damn adorable.


Treat Yo Self

I just ordered the most expensive bag I will probably ever own and I'm still giddy from the splurge. It's a Nena & Co. Day Bag II and it's going to be the sassiest diaper bag ever.

Nena & Co. is a socially responsible company that makes gorgeous one-of-a-kind bags using fabric used for Guatemalan huipils (handwoven traditional women's tops) and leather.

I love designer bags but have never paid full price. I drool over them in the department stores and then go buy last year's bags at TJ Maxx. I have never paid triple digits for a bag in my life.

I originally told Lee that I didn't want a push present, but that was prior to the birth. Turns out I labored 22 hours with a posterior baby who was 16 days late (that post will be coming soon) and I just decided that neverfuckingmind, I totally deserve a push present after that shit show.

Lee is currently leading a spring break trip in Zion National Park, but he flew into Vegas the day before and ended up winning an impressive chunk of dolla dolla bills at the Blackjack table that night. Soooooooo... he is buying me this bag. (I mean, we only have one bank account but it's the sentiment that counts here, right?)

The best part? He doesn't have cell service right now because he is in the middle of nowhere frolicking around the nature, so he doesn't even know that he is being so generous!

But now I have to wait for it to arrive, gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. And don't you worry, I'll reveal which one I chose upon its arrival.


A Successful Week of Momming

This week was a win. Tuesday, Lillian had her 2 month pediatrician visit and is crushing it at babyhood, duh. She's in the 80th percentile for weight and the 90th for height, like a boss. She got her first set of shots though... we both cried a little. What was worse, though, was the band-aid removal that night because yours truly had to be the source of the pain. The look on her face was heart wrenching. And there were three band-aids. There were more tears.

After the pediatrician's we ran some errands. I went through a Taco Bell drive through on the way to Wal-Mart (a necessary evil on occasion - both the fast food and the supporting of Wal-Mart). I parked, she was super pissed about being in her car seat, per usual. I proceeded to simultaneously change her poopy diaper on my lap in the driver's seat while eating my cheesy gordita crunch (with beans instead of beef because that shit scares me). I had one of those moments where I was like... yup, I'm definitely a mom now. Then I put her in the Moby wrap, got out of the car, and immediately felt something warm and gooey on my chest. Yes, she had indeed spit up down my chest... inside my shirts so it all collected in the built-in bra of my tank. So I scooped it out with a burp cloth and went on my merry way.

I took a victory picture in the Wal-Mart bathroom after I successfully hover-peed while wearing her, the culmination of my small mom-victories of the past half hour. I'm starting to feel like I've got this shit figured out.

Wednesday, we attending our local La Leche League monthly meeting. For those of you who haven't experienced being a human milk machine and aren't in the know, it's a breastfeeding education and support group. Breastfeeding is surprisingly complicated, ya'll. I always learn so so much at the meetings. Plus it's fun to see all the cute babies and get an idea of what to anticipate as she ages.

Thursday was mommy baby yoga followed by a hospital lactation consultant led new mommy support group meeting. Yoga is fun but I am not good at it... at all. I am so uncoordinated and not very stretchy. I used to be super flexible back when I danced and did gymnastics... when I was 6. But I will persevere, I've got over 20 pounds of pregnancy weight left and I refuse to be still talking about losing the baby weight when I get knocked up with the next one... which won't be for yearrrrsssssssssss.

I've made some connections with a few moms I've met at the meetings and yoga and have been corresponding with one of the moms from our Bradley Method birth class. Also, I just learned about a babywearing group that meets once a month that I'm excited to investigate. I'm trying to find my community here. I'll go insane if I don't. We moved here in August, and while Lee's family is here as well as one of my bestest friends, I'm really feeling the need for some ladies who recently made tiny humans with their uteri (yup, had to Google that one to be sure). I'm making progress, if nothing else I'm finding some good reasons to get out of the house on a regular basis.


The Ultimate Grilled Cheese and a Rude Baby

Hey you! So glad you're here and thanks for tuning in for another episode of "random blog post with no valid theme"...

Upping the bloggy game. I've been feeling disconnected and bored recently. Lillian and I have settled into our little daily routine and every second of caring for a baby is no longer a new and exciting adventure. Over the weekend I did a little blog redesign hoping that it will be the motivation I need to start blogging more frequently. I'm also going to get back into reading my Bloglovin' reading list on the daily, so if anyone is feeling helpful and would like to give me some good blog recommendations, please do. No seriously, I would love to know some of your favorite regular reads. Please share.

My kid is two months old. I don't know how it happened, but yes, she is two months old and working on all sorts of new tricks. She holds her head up like a boss. She is finding her voice and "talks" to us constantly, especially when she is displeased i.e. she is not being held by someone. She has slept for six hours TWICE within the last week. She can void the entire contents of her stomach in a matter of seconds. And she's really into subtly flipping the bird on the regular.

She gives zero shits.

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese. Yes please. I saw this video several weeks ago and it popped into my head last night as I was staring into our almost empty refrigerator at 1:00 am this morning. And since I'm a sucker for anything that involves melted cheese, I decided to go for it.

Great success! Give it a try. Impress all your friends. You're welcome.

Books on Tape. I've always loved books on tape but they used to be strictly relegated to car trips. But no longer! I've discovered Audible and have been listening to books nonstop recently. Lillian is still working her way up to being a great conversationalist, and in the meantime, we spend our days (and nights) listening to hours and hours of books on tape. I'm currently listening to the Outlander series, and while it is a bit more "chick lit" than I would normally read, it's perfect for my current distracted state of mind. I can tune in and out without completely losing track of the storyline, and the cheesy steamy 18th century sex scenes aren't frequent enough for it to be totally ridiculous. I'm a total sucker for historical fiction romance novels, definitely a guilty pleasure of mine.