Friday, March 18, 2016

Casual Clothes & thredUP Thoughts

My child decided to take a nap in her crib and not on me (shocking), so I decided to write because I miss this place littered with tumbleweeds. It feels glorious to have a child who can nap comfortably in her own space, and I can use the restroom when nature calls. What a happy Friday it is.

I recently received an order I placed on thredUP, an online consignment shop everyone seems to know about now. Since I left the classroom this year to be with Enza full time, I realized my warm weather wardrobe consists of 98% teacher clothes, which do not all translate into "I need something casual for hanging out with my kid, nursing a small child, and running errands." I decided to take a little stroll through thredUP, and I found some winners.

Fun fact: If your package comes with a little booklet, you might see my face inside of it because there was a time when my mom took quality pictures of my outfits instead of my subjecting you to mirror selfies with my tiny tot. When grad school ends in July, maybe I will have time for these ventures again. Who knows where the wind will blow these tumbleweeds and me?

If you do not know about thredUP, feel free to use my referral link, which admittedly gives me some kickback. Based on my referral link dates, I have been using thredUp for at least three years now. They sure have come a long way. 

Here are a few tips before I show you what came in my polka dot box:

1. Never place an order without a promo code.

2. Download the app to have promo codes sent to your phone (and to shop from your phone). For some reason, the promo codes pop up on my phone screen and then disappear, so make sure you write it down or trap it in your memory bank if your brain has not turned to Swiss cheese like mine has.

3. Check their Facebook page and Instagram accounts for periodic giveaways and promo codes.

4. If a promo code does not show up on your phone and you do not want to lose the items in your cart forever, then message them on Facebook for a promo code. Sometimes, you get lucky and they respond quickly enough for you to use it before the items in your cart disappear.

5. The items stay in your cart for maybe 24 hours or less. Sometimes, I take screenshots of the items, and go hunt for them again once they fall out of my cart. Hey, once the item is gone, it's gone. It's not like they have 50 more in the stockroom. Snatch it up while you can!

6. Go with brands you know your size in if you're concerned about fit.

7. If you send in a cleanout bag full of Target and Old Navy finds, be prepared to be disappointed in how much money you earn. They don't resell for a lot, which is why you don't get paid much for them. I am too lazy to sell my items on Instagram or Poshmark, so I take what I can get from thredUP.

I have many more suggestions, but I will leave it at that. I previously wrote a blog post about thredUP here if you want to read it, too.

I don't know this shirt's brand, but this might have been my favorite top out of the bunch. Am I the only one who cannot stop collecting white shirts? As a mom, I should realize this collection is a stupid one to have. Mysterious stains abound in this house. Of course, they abounded long before I had a child if you want full disclosure.  That's why they invented stain removers.

This tunic is actually a tunic. It genuinely covers my butt, which I feel as if half the "tunics" I buy do not do. How misleading. My mom's first response was, "pom poms?" I say, "WHY NOT, MOM?" Pom poms make me feel cheery. Pun intended. 
Anyway, the tunic is actually a size 4 from Asos, and it's a petite, which I did not realize when I bought it. Luckily, it still fits just fine. 

When this came with tags, and I realized it was from Francesca's, I thought, "of COURSE." I am smitten by almost everything in Francesca's, and this top is no exception. It will also go with my new Ann Taylor Loft rust-colored pants from thredUP.  

This top is a size small from Ann Taylor Loft. It's black lace in case my shoddy mirror selfie has you confused. I plan to return this one because it's just too short for my liking. 

I had been on the hunt for a white lace shirt. This Forever21 one was like $4.99. I wear tanks under most of my shirts now because of breastfeeding, and I can wear one with this shirt no problem. Initially, I thought it was too short. I tried it on a second time and realized it's actually a nice length. Plus, the sleeves actually fit my monkey arms. A miracle. Clearly, Enza approves of this look. Or her zebra toy that looks like a cow. 

I will have to wear a tank under this top because it gapes a bit at the pits, but it has buttons up the back, which made it impossible for me to return. What is it about dresses with pockets and shirts with buttons on the back that have me all heart eyes and salivating?
This top is from Gap, less than $10,  a size small, and the dreamiest color.

Don't mind my child eating my leg.  When I put this top in my cart, I did not realize I would love it as much as I do, and it cost maybe $5. It's Forever21, size small. I thought the design was black, but it's actually navy blue.

Yeah, Enza might be blowing spit bubbles over it, but I love the shorts, which are BDG, size 25. When I was hunting through my shorts collection the other day for a pair of black ones, I came to the startling conclusion that, amidst all of my patterned shorts, I had zero pairs of black ones. Closet hole filled. Boom. 

I hope you enjoyed my little virtual shopping trip. Also, my jeans in this post are mid-rise Rockstar skinnies from Old Navy, and my shoes are several years old from ModCloth. Note: thredUP did not pay me for any of my comments. I just like the service that they offer and thought I would share.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

PinkBlush Giveaway

 I know. Long time no blog. Well, at least a giveaway accompanies my first reappearance in awhile? And, boy, is it a good one. Random people and companies contact me to promote them, but I usually ignore them because poor grammar or ambiguous directions are turn offs. Go figure.

Anyway, you have an opportunity to hop over to my instagram and participate in a chance to win a $50 gift card to PinkBlush. Participating is really easy. Go over and find the giveaway post today to find out how you can win. Before you go, I will tell you a bit about why I like PinkBlush.

PinkBlush offers a maternity line (lots of options and especially great if you are looking for a dress to wear for your shower!) as well as a non-maternity line. A lot of their maternity clothes work postpartum, and a lot of their non-maternity items work during pregnancy. They offer free shipping, no minimum required, which makes me love them even more. Shipping is the bane of every online shipper's existence, right?

Here are some items I like from their site:

Want nursing tops? Check out their nursing section in the maternity line. I have this one and love it. It makes me feel comfortable and sexy. Who knew those two words could canoodle in the same sentence?

This dress would be great for July 4th. Is it sad that I am thinking about July already?

This pink diaper bag is dreamy.

This floral dress gives me heart palpitations.

I really want this necklace.

If you're pregnant, this dress is lovely.

Find my tunic here in non-maternity and here in maternity. (Mine is obviously not maternity, but I think it would serve me well in pregnancy. Also, I tried it out yesterday with nursing, and I can nurse in it! Vincenza really loved the little button on it. She kept playing with it while she ate.)

PinkBlush gave this tunic to me in exchange for this giveaway, but I already owned five shirts and two dresses from them before they contacted me. I think it's safe to say that I would recommend them either way.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Top Up or Top Down: Clothes for Breastfeeding

Maternity wear is not nearly as complicated to figure out as nursing wear is. Maternity wear = find what fits and wear it (as long as it's something that does not complicate your need to urinate 83 times a day). For the past almost five months, I have scoured ye ol' Google and Pinterest for DIY nursing tops (ain't nobody got time for that) or advice from other breastfeeding moms. No one seems to care about telling me how I should clothe myself now that I have become a human smorgasbord, so I went on a bleary-eyed, milk-stained quest of my own. I have spent countless hours poring over the following websites in search of the holy boobie grail: Amazon, LOFT, thredUP, H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Target, Zulily, and Pinkblush Maternity. (I am sure many other sites belong on this list, but we do not have all day here.) I tried to reuse a lot of my pre-pregnancy (and even maternity) wardrobe, but I didn't have as much nursing-friendly clothing as I had hoped.

Anyway, if you are losing sleep to a flesh-covered bundle of love and want someone else to do the work for you, here I am. Or, if you are wise and thinking about this journey before you embark on it, again, here I am. Allow me to share with you what I have learned. It might not work for you, but at least I tried?

Question One: Are you a top-up or top-down breastfeeder (not a word, but here I go making it one)? 
* Top Down: It took me awhile to learn that I loathe trying to bundle up a bunch of fabric at my neck by awkwardly pulling up my shirt to feed Vincenza. Thus, I am a top-down breastfeeder. I would prefer to pull down my top to access the ladies than juggle the bottom of my shirt in a fit of total and complete discombobulation.
* Top Up: My mom, however, preferred breastfeeding my brother and me by pulling up her top. I don't know why, but that was what she preferred. I know a lot of women who can do this well. I bow down to them and their awesomeness because I can't make it work.
* Why it matters: You will hate t-shirts if you are a top-down breastfeeder because most t-shirts do not have enough elasticity to pull down and snap back into place nicely after you've nursed the babe. I have watched plenty of women perform this task effortlessly, but I am not one of those women. Everything about me is awkward.

Question Two: What kind of clothes should you look for when you're shopping?
* Nursing nightgowns: I bought these while I was pregnant, and I LOVED them while I was pregnant and when Vincenza was an insatiable newborn. They had a little bit of padding, so if someone came to visit, I didn't have to put on a bra. Since I had a c-section, they were also great for my healing incision. Also, when I went through two days of engorgement (possibly worse than labor), these nursing nightgowns were all that did not hurt. I bought these at Motherhood Maternity during a promotion.

* Looser tops: They are forgiving to your healing body. I am almost five months out and currently typing this post while wearing maternity leggings. I have zero shame. They in no way have to do with nursing, but they sure are comfortable. Ultimately, you want to be comfortable. Also, you want to wear fabrics that aren't itchy for you or the baby.

* Padded nursing bras (NO UNDERWIRE): I get mine at Target because I have to pull them down so much that I don't think it's useful to spend a lot of money on something that gets milk-stained and takes a serious beating (sometimes quite literally these days with a baby who must grab all the things). I make sure mine are padded so that they take care of any "leakage." You don't want to look like you're wearing a wet bikini under your t-shirt. Be careful with underwire because I've read that it can lead to plugged ducts/mastitis because of the pressure it creates. (I know multiple women who have had mastitis, and it sounds horrific.)

This is the Target nursing tank. I have it in gray, black, white, and stripes. 
Buy it here for $19.99. 
Find the nursing bra here for $18.99.

* Henleys: If you do not know what a henley is, it is essentially a button up that buttons only partway down the shirt. If you choose to get a henley (or five), then make sure the buttons go below the bottom of your boobs. Otherwise, you're going to struggle to access them when you have a screaming baby in your arms. No bueno.

 This henley is J.Crew from thredUP.

* Button-up/button-down shirts: These are probably the best shirts for nursing. They are also great during pregnancy because once your belly gets too big to button them, you just leave them unbuttoned over a t-shirt/tank. WIN. Thus, if you find yourself pregnant again while you're still nursing another child, button ups will surely become your friends.

This is a flannel from Old Navy. It's a few years old.

This button-up is a bit "fancier" (would be great for work) and from The Limited several years ago.
I paired it with one of my black nursing tanks from Target.
I have no idea why she's making that face, but it makes me laugh.

I am actually several months pregnant in this picture; this top is a maternity top from Stitchfix. It has buttons halfway down the shirt, so it has been perfect for nursing. It's also work appropriate! 
I wore this shirt (from The Limited) before, during, and now after pregnancy. I can wear it over a nursing tank (or not). This one is sleeveless, so I am not wearing it much now that it's cold outside. It'll be great for spring/summer, however.

* Zipper up sweatshirts: Since I am a top-down breastfeeder, sweatshirts that do not zipper are utterly (udderly? BAHA) useless to me.  This sweatshirt is THE BEST. It buttons just far enough down and has the perfect amount of stretch to make nursing really easy (as easy as it can be). It holds its shape well because it has spandex in it. Always opt for a bit of elasticity in your shirts if you can.

* Heavier cardigans: I wear these in place of regular sweaters because, as I said, I hate lifting my top to nurse. Regular sweaters require lifting my top. If you do wear a regular sweater or are a top up breastfeeder, make sure to wear a nursing tank under it so that you are not catching a mighty big draft on your midriff.

I paired this zipper up sweater with a light pink nursing tank from Motherhood Maternity. (They have a great color selection, and the prices aren't terrible, about $24-$26 per tank.) 

* Crossover or wrap tops/sweaters: These will work well for you when you are nursing or when you are not nursing. They make for easy access. Just make sure the shirt is stretchy or it won't snap back to its original shape very well.

This wrap sweater is from Motherhood Maternity (no link), but Nordstrom has one that's very similar. I have heard great things about it and want one for myself! 
Find the Nordstrom one here for $39.90.

* Crossover or wrap dresses: Unless you want to pull your entire dress over your head, you might want to make it easy on yourself in the dress department by wearing a dress with a stretchy top that crosses over. Like this one:

This dress came in a grab bag from White Plum.

This maxi dress has the same idea.
(From StitchFix)

* Final Notes:
-Spandex helps garments hold their shape. If you're pulling your top down over and over again, you likely don't want to have a case of the saggies.
-If you are a top up breastfeeder and want to wear t-shirts, try to get ones that aren't too fitted so that you are not struggling to pull up a fitted t-shirt and feeling a bit like a sausage link stuck in its casing.
-Determine whether or not you want (or need) to drop dough on a nice nursing bra. My chest isn't large enough to worry about a ton of support.
-Try to reuse maternity stuff and rethink your pre-pregnancy wardrobe. I've learned that you really don't have to sacrifice your sense of style for nursing-friendly clothes.

Question Three: Where do you look for nursing tops without spending your child's college tuition on a top that's really the onesie version (for the love of SNAPS) of a nursing top?
* Target: I like their nursing tanks and padded nursing bras (inexpensive compared to other options). Their maternity tanks do a nice job of pulling down and snapping back into place without getting all saggy.

* Old Navy: Their nursing tanks were not meant for my chest, and they were poorly made compared to Target's version (and not much different in price). Old Navy has great, affordable button downs, which are PERFECT for nursing. I pair them with a Target nursing tank. I wouldn't even bother with their nursing section. Almost nothing receives a good review, and you can find other, better, non-nursing stuff that is actually nursing friendly. Find their nursing tops here.

* Gap: They sell nursing tops, but they are often backordered (guess that means they're good?). The selection isn't large, but they always have sales going on, so I am sure you could try out a few of the essentials from them. Find their nursing tops here.

* ThredUP: This is tricky because you need the search feature to maintain your sanity. I search for "henley" (make sure the buttons on a henley go down to the bottom of your bra so that you can actually get to your boob without going all HULK SMASH on your shirt, leaving yourself naked and afraid.) I also search for button-ups/button-downs, whatever the proper terminology for those shirts happens to be.

* Motherhood Maternity: They specialize in this sort of thing, and they have decent prices. I especially love this striped top.

* H&M: Look at their maternity stuff; you'll find nursing tops in that section of their website. Their prices are great, and they have a pretty decent selection.

* ASOS: Not the most cost-friendly option, but they have a lot of options that are very pretty. If you plan on having multiple kids for whom you must whip out a boob, then maybe invest in a piece from ASOS. They have free shipping both ways, so that's a perk. Find their nursing stuff here. I love this floral dress and this polka dot dress.

* LOFT: They have so many pretty button up tops and also have a bunch of henley tops. I waited for one of their 60% off sales and scored several awesome tops, all of which I have test run and receive the awkward nursing mother stamp of approval. LOFT is great if you are going back to work and want some tops that double for work and for nursing. Search for "henley." I just got several tops from them and LOVE THEM ALL.
* Wal Mart: I know, right? WAL MART. Find some here. I like this one.

* Pinkblush Maternity: They have some gorgeous dresses that would be great for family pictures. Their dresses are a bit less expensive than ASOS. Find their nursing options here.

Zulily: They don't always have nursing stuff, but sometimes they do. This is not my first stop to look for anything, but they frequently have nursing tanks. A lot of women swear by Bun Maternity nursing tanks, which are frequently on Zulily for less, but I am not even willing to pay the Zulily price for them. When summer comes, I might be singing a different tune, however.

* Amazon: I look for henleys here. If you type in "nursing tops," you get a lot of clothes to wear if you were a nurse. Yep. This brand has a lot of cute stuff, but I have not tried any of them yet. This sweater is cute but could be cumbersome. I bought and love these. They are such a good price! (They also have short-sleeved ones.)

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I am SURE I forgot a whole host of things. However, as many of you moms know, we're working on borrowed time here. I squeeze in as much as I can wherever I can. Also, this post in no way is judgmental of moms who do not or cannot breastfeed. (I feel stupid even typing that disclaimer because we all do the best we can and what works for US, but contemporary society is so hellbent on fueling the mommy wars that I feel compelled to include it.) Anyway, I hope you found this post somewhat useful.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Male Planning, not Meal Planning

Even now that I am staying home, my husband fixes a lot of meals because he enjoys cooking, and the baby always wants to eat and eat and eat just when dinner should be fixed. Since she sort of needs to be attached to me to eat, it complicates that whole being over a stove and using sharp objects thing. I, however, am left in charge of meal planning and food buying. With a three-month-old and intense graduate work, this task is a bit more challenging. With a picky husband, this task used to be difficult.

Here are some of my food shopping tricks:
1. Use Amazon Pantry (just bulk stuff, or things not offered on Peapod)--when baby naps, I try to accomplish grad work, not go grocery shopping. I do not fear grocery shopping with an infant; it's just annoying and cumbersome. Plus, I hate food shopping anyway. Food shopping online while posting in online discussion forums for grad class works out pretty well. It all comes in one big box, so it's probably better to use this method for bulk items.

2. Use Peapod (food delivery service through Giant)--delivery fees aren't too steep; they actually do a great job (at least in our area) of choosing good produce; they frequently send promo coupons in the mail.

3. Feed the baby. While she naps, take a quick trip to the grocery store for meat/specialty items. If the baby is cluster feeding at this time, I just wait until the weekends and make my husband go, or we go as a family. (Now that she's three-months-old, her time between each feeding has grown a bit.)

Here is my new meal planning method:
 1. List items in pantry. Our family cannot be the only one that has a ton of stuff in the pantry that goes unused for months at a time. So, I made a list of items in our pantry, fridge, and freezer.

2. Once I had a list of what actually existed in our cabinets/fridge/freezer, I came up with a list of meals that could be made with just these things and possibly a few additions. I did not write down recipes. I just wrote down ingredients. My husband chooses his own adventure while cooking anyway, so recipes are nearly useless with him in front of the stove.

3. Once I had a list of 7 meals (at least one in a crockpot), I made a trip to the store or ordered food through Peapod. We make the meals with the ingredients that will spoil the quickest.

How is this method different?
Not forcing ourselves to fix a particular meal on a particular day gives us the flexibility we need as a family.

With this method, I always have at least one "easy" meal on hand (ex: Applegate hot dogs, broccoli, and mac and cheese), one crockpot meal, and enough leftovers to make lunch the next day. (I can't make a new lunch for myself because there is not enough time between naps to make myself something new and tend to other household chores/graduate work.)

Also, I created my own meal plan template based on my needs. Here's what a completed meal plan looks like:

By the way, we have been using this method for the past month, and it has been the only method that has worked for an extended period of time!

If you want access to the PDF file, then go here.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Stitch Fix Redeemed Themselves

After I had Vincenza, my style had to shift. First of all, I wore a lot of fitted tees before she was born, but nursing her and general discomfort mean that I really want nothing to do with shirts that cling to me. Second of all, I won't be going into the classroom every day, so my style has to go a little more casual. It seems silly to wear wedges and work pants while I try to do the laundry, try to eat breakfast, or take a long walk while wearing her in the Ergo. I am nothing if not sensible. 

I think everyone is pretty much familiar with Stitch Fix, but if you're not, here's the low down: a stylist (mine have never been the same for the past 8) chooses 5 items for you based on the style profile that you fill out. You pay a non-refundable $20 styling fee, but if you choose to keep something, that $20 goes toward that item. They send you a pre-labeled bag to return anything you do not wish to keep; this part is not an extra fee for you. Once you mail back the bag of items (must be within three days!), complete the checkout process, where you provide feedback on each item. Schedule a "fix" as often as you want. Be mindful that most items are not under $50, so if you don't want to pay $44 for a t-shirt, request not to receive them in any fixes. If you want to give your girl here some kickback and you haven't signed up yet, use my referral link here (or not). 

When I explained this style shift to Stitch Fix, they sent me two boxes filled with so many things I hated/couldn't nurse in/felt too dressy for my current lifestyle. The only "dressy" thing they gave me in this fix was an actual dress that miraculously works for nursing, and the stylist gave me a great idea for styling it casually. Good job, Melissa. Melissa saved you, Stitch Fix, because I was really going to stop receiving them completely. (Now, I'll just get them every now and again since I have to start tutoring to earn some extra cash.) 

If you are completely dissatisfied with Stitch Fix's performance, TELL THEM. They really listened to me when I sent them an e-mail that told them they did not look at my Pinterest board (clearly), read all of the reviews of the items they send to me (those dang things take precious time when you have a kid), or listen to my feedback at all. They really listened this time. 

Also, like the e-mail response said to me, most of their stuff is at least $50. Therefore, I specified in my stylist note that I did NOT want t-shirts because I would never spend $48 on a t-shirt. I asked for things I knew would be worth extra money (a good bag, a good coat, and sweaters). I feel that telling them what I did NOT want ended up being just as important as telling them what I DID want.

Anyway, on to the review of the pieces:

Item One: Livi Dress by Papermoon ($58)
Thoughts: The stylist suggested pairing it with a vest and boots. I loved how that turned out. The colors are navy and off-white, which means it will go with a plethora of other colors. It's long enough, and it will work well with tights in the winter. It actually pulls down enough for me to nurse the babe. It looks way better belted. It looks sort of like a sack when it's not belted. 
Here it is styled another way. I might wear this to my internship. (I am not returning to teaching right now, but I am finishing my graduate degree in Educational Technology, which means I go into a school at least once a month.)

 Item Two: Anchorage Solid Canvas Tote by Street Level ($58)
Thoughts: My laptop fits in the middle zipper pouch, which I think is just amazing because it still has two large side compartments. It would work really well as a smaller diaper bag, which is what I asked the stylist to give me. I also specified that I wanted a neutral bag. This one is exactly what I have been looking for for months and months.

Item Three: Chaplin Lined Hooded Anorak Jacket by Market & Spruce ($94)
Thoughts: I have been hunting for this jacket in a fall thickness for at least a year. With the 25% off for keeping all of the items, I felt that the jacket was a reasonable price, especially since I loved the length, the red zipper, the hood (key component for me), and the general fit. I wear my winter version a LOT, so I think this one will be a great transition coat. I told my stylist I did not want a pea coat (have enough of those and too dressy for where I'm taking my overall style these days). 
(Also, these black flats are Simply Vera from Kohl's--I LOVE THEM.)

 Item Four: Cobar Fleece Lined Jacket by California Moonrise ($78)
Thoughts: I did NOT love the price. It made me choke a bit, but it was more cost effective to keep everything than keep just the bag and coat (my original "yes" pieces). It's so soft. I am actually lounging in it right now. Like my mom said, Vincenza will love cuddling into it. I wish the fleece lining was inside the sleeves, but it's still really warm. They call it a jacket, which I don't think it is. The stylist suggested pairing it with a dress, which I have not tried, but that's a good idea. Forgive my swinging, disappearing arm.

Item FiveKillian Cowl Neck Sweater by RD Style ($68)
Thoughts: This sweater is SO soft. I love the neutral color. (I would loooove it in white, too.) It is actually long enough to wear with leggings because it completely covers the bum. I told my stylist that I wanted sweaters but to avoid wool (allergic). 

I paired the sweater and the coat. I have to say that I am a big fan of how it turned out. Husband, take me on a hayride. I look perfect for the occasion. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Orange, Black, and Headless

No, this post is not a Halloween tale. However, after a two-month hiatus, I am sure my presence is a tad scary. Babies have this innate ability to soak up every spare moment (and not-so-spare moment) you have, so all of my actual spare moments in the past almost-three months have involved reading for graduate class. Of course, I should be reading for graduate class right now, but momma needs a break...even if our professor did assign us 100 pages of reading this week. 

Plus, my words might actually make sense today since Vincenza slept for her longest stretch yet, 9.5 hours, and she's been out for another three so far this morning. It feels like a gust of fresh air because girlfriend fought all but two hours of sleep yesterday and slept for four hours the night before. (In case you were wondering, I cannot just slip an almost-three-month old some coffee when she does not sleep. In fact, when I drank caffeinated tea a week after she was born, she pinged off the walls for all of forever.)

Anyway, I do actually get dressed most days. Sometimes, I eat breakfast. Sometimes, I brush my teeth. Sometimes, I take a shower. Sometimes, I miraculously do all of these things. So far, today, I have eaten breakfast, ordered an external hard drive for backing up my thousands of pictures, canceled an Amazon order of size 1 diapers (someone blew out of her size 1 diapers and right into size 2 this morning), and let the dogs outside to forage for squirrels (unsuccessful venture). Some day, I will give you some of my tips for dressing as a new mom, particularly one who is nursing a messy eater. For now, I will show you my headless outfit, which unintentionally, belatedly celebrates Halloween.

As it turns out, Vincenza's room is perfect for taking pictures. Since she does not yet sleep in there, I might as well make good use of the pretty accent wall and superb lighting.

The Outfit:
Shirt: Old Navy (recent, super clearance--exact for $8)
Pants: Old Navy (recent, super clearance--exact, more size options in black)
Flats: Aerosoles (last year--possibly the same ones here)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Old Navy Review & Redefining My Style

Dressing my postpartum body for the past three weeks has left me feeling puzzled. First of all, I donned "teacher" wear for nine years, so what does everyday relaxed wear even look like? Second of all, my chest--and I think my ribs?--has grown, so the fitted tees I used to wear in XS feel odd and make nursing a pain. Third of all, having a c-section complicates the wardrobe situation. I am a few pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (avert your nasty glares elsewhere, please), so I can "technically" wear my pre-pregnancy jeans; however, anything with buttons presses against my incision, which is still not a fan of being touched. Therefore, I can't really wear my pre-pregnancy pants. What does that mean? I am still wearing all of my maternity bottoms, which is weird but necessary. That was not something people really warned me about at the end of my pregnancy.

Now that I will be staying home with Vincenza, I want a wardrobe that:
* Looks pulled together but relaxed.
* Makes nursing my hungry little hippo (who's not hippo-sized) a little easier. Fitted tees, one of my previous closet staples, do not fall into this least not for me.  
* Still fits my overall "style" preferences (which I decided would work best by incorporating some of my favorite colors)
* Is kind to my healing incision

I decided to look for specific types of clothes:
* Looser shirts (good for nursing and healing incision)
* Longer shirts (good for making leggings appropriate because leggings are meant only to show legs, NOT your butt)
* Thicker leggings (even if my butt is covered, I need leggings that are opaque, not sheer)
* Easy-to-wash fabrics (nothing that requires much maintenance)

Old Navy was running a great sale, so I decided they would likely carry exactly what I needed for a good price. Thanks for not disappointing me, Old Navy.

Item 1: Swing Tee in Icelandic Mineral (Size XS Tall)
I decided to go for size tall since they finally sell multiple items in XS tall. Perfect. I love this length, this blush color, and the softness of the material. I almost immediately pulled off the tags and threw it in the laundry basket to go into the wash. I am thinking about getting it in other colors. Find it here.

Item 2: Jersey Leggings in Navy (size small)  
Loved them so much (so thick!) that I just ordered them in maroon too. Best leggings I've ever tried, quite honestly. Great length, thickness, and fit.

Good length and color but I didn't like where the sleeves hit, the itchiness of the fabric, and the way the fabric fell in the front. I returned it. I thought I'd still show it to you so that you received a full review. 

 Item 4: Boyfriend Plaid Pullover (Size XS Tall)
Little looser than some people might like, but it works so well for nursing, I like the length, and it'll shrink when I wash it. Plus, it goes perfectly with the navy leggings I bought.

 Item 5: Terry Fleece Bomber Jacket (Size Small)
Love everything about it. It will be perfect this fall. Great with jeans or this maxi skirt or even over a dress. I think a small was a good choice because the sleeves actually fit.

Item 6: Kimono-Sleeve Oversized Top (size XS Tall)
I liked this one so much that I just ordered it in red, too. It won't work with leggings (not long enough), but it will go well with jeans, pants (these are maternity), and even maxi skirts. I love the sleeves; they add something special to an otherwise ordinary top.