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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 2015 Capsule Wardrobe Highlights

I'm about one month in to the winter capsule, and it's been decidedly un-winterlike around here. Sure, we did have some frigid days here and there, but so far very little snow and eerily warm weather the past few weeks. I'm certainly not complaining, but I may have to make some changes to my shoe selection of this not-winter continues. (But please do continue!)

Here are some January capsule highlights.

Favorite looks:

{1 / 2 / 3}

Most and Least Worn Items: 

Least: eShakti Black Dress / Gap Bootcut Jeans (both were on my "not sure I should include" list)

Odds and Ends: 
  • 2 things I wish I would have included (and may swap out the two least worn items above for): white jeans and denim jacket
  • Favorite "uniform": jeans + chambray shirt + sweater + statement necklace
  • Favorite new accessory: This necklace from BaubleBar
  • Favorite pop of color: Red

I'm linking up with In Residence and Just Jacq for this month's Winter Capsule Outfit Showcase. Be sure to check out their and others' January highlights! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

On Cardigans and Remixing

I had a conversation in the comments the other day with Anne about the expectations we have for our clothes. I mentioned that sometimes I felt like I expect too much from my clothes--I have a hard time buying a dress that can "just" be worn as a dress or really any item that has limited remixing capabilities. While these expectations can sometimes be a bad thing (case in point: I almost passed up this dress that I really like because it's not very versatile), other times it really helps me get more creative with my clothes.

Wearing my cardigan as a shirt (well, with a modesty layer underneath...that V is just a leeetle too deep for me) is one such example of this concept. I'm so glad the Two Birds gals picked this picture for Inspiration Monday, because I actually saw it earlier on Glamour and planned to try out this idea. It's nothing too novel; just buttoning up the cardigan rather than wearing it open. However, I never wear my cardigans that way, so I'm glad I tried it. Simple, but I like it.

Have you tried any "wardrobe experiments" lately? 

Yellow cardigan: Target / jeans: Gap / necklace: Etsy / taupe ankle boots: Crown Vintage via DSW

I've had this yellow cardigan for a while now, and even just as a regular ol' cardigan it's proven very remixable. Here are two other ways I've styled it.

{ 1 / 2 }

Linking to Inspiration Monday and Mix it Mondays

Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Eats: Winner Winner Chicken (and Pork) Dinner

For some reason I was drawn to recipes featuring chicken this week. I did substitute pork for one of them, but I know I'll eventually try it with chicken too. Chicken is so quick-cooking and versatile, it's always a winner around here!

Clockwise from top right: 

1. Stir-fried Chicken and Vegetable Lo Mein from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Since we were already having chicken twice, I made this dish with pork (cubed pork chops) to change it up a little. This is a very adaptable recipe; it's easy to change up the meat and vegetables to use whatever you have on hand. It had such great flavor. Even the next day I couldn't wait to eat the leftovers...always a sign of a good meal.

2. Chicken Francese - Lightened Up from Skinnytaste. Well, the recipe is lightened version wasn't quite. I used whole eggs instead of egg whites, and I served it with a pile of angel hair pasta rather than a salad. With a lemon butter sauce though, I feel like you need some pasta to soak it up. Yum!

3. Lazy Girl's Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Iowa Girl Eats. Any recipe that starts with "lazy girl" is always a good sign. Dinner time during the week is usually a whirlwind, and the more quickly I can get dinner made, the happier everyone is (right before dinner time is cranky time around here). This really was easy to make, and it was so good! The only change I made was using flour tortillas instead of corn, mostly because I just like them better. Also we buy them in bulk for Mr. Quesadilla.

What's for dinner for you tonight? 

Be sure to come back on January 30th for a Weekly Eats linkup. I'd love for you to link up and share anything you've done in the kitchen lately! 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Dress of Many Possibilities

So far this plaid dress has been my favorite new winter capsule item. I love how it can be layered just like a button-up shirt, under sweaters and cardigans. That's always been one of the main questions I ask myself before purchasing something: "How many ways can I wear this?" I had no trouble coming up with possibilities for this dress.

How do you decide on what to buy when you're shopping? 

Plaid dress: Gap / gray sweater: Gap / gold disc necklace: Target / navy tights: Target / desert booties: Crown Vintage via DSW

Linking to What I Wore to Work and Thursday Favorites

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jona Update: Walk Like a Man

Last month I didn't get around to writing a Jona-update post, but I couldn't neglect it this month. As you can probably tell from the title, January was the month for a pretty big milestone. We've got a walker on our hands! I can finally answer YES!! to all those "Is he walking yet?" inquiries. He took his sweet time (he began walking just shy of 17 months) but now there's no stopping him. It was pretty funny how he started too; he was sitting in the middle of a room and just stood up and took a few steps. He wasn't holding on to anything, which made it look so hilarious. It's like he just thought, "Hey, I think I'll walk now." Just as quickly as he decided to walk, he made the decision to not walk for a few days. It's like he saw how excited we got and didn't want to be performing on command. Have I mentioned that I have a stubborn, stubborn child? Luckily, that only lasted for a few days and now he's all about it.

Playtime: Thanks to grandparents and friends who spoiled him rotten this Christmas, Jona has a multitude of new toys to play with. Some of his favorites are a mini basketball goal (he loves throwing the ball and saying "Ball!"), big lego-like blocks, and a set of plastic safari animals (his favorite part--the little gray rocks that came with the funny).

Chit-chat: He's still talking constantly, mostly gibberish with "real" words mixed in. He loves singing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" so he'll say "head" (kind of) and point to his head. He loves to say "Hi" and "Bye". At night, when I tell him to say goodnight to Dada, he says "Bye!" His favorite word used to be "yeah" but he's gotten oh-so-sophisticated and now he says "yes" all the time. He's also still saying "thank you" when he gets or gives anything. When I put his shoes on, he says "shoesh". They do a lot of counting at daycare, so he'll say "two" after I say one, and he'll say "fie!" after four. He'll also say "pizza" (one of his favorites" but it also sounds a lot like "bee-dah" which is zebra. Also, if you ask him what color something is, he'll say "booo" (blue) no matter what color it is.

Teeth: Jona is now the proud owner of four big molars! (As well as 6 front teeth, four top, two bottom.) He did not enjoy the arrival process.

Jona Funnies: a few memorable things from the last couple of months
  • We taught Jona to "cheers" with his milk which he loves to do constantly now at dinner time. 
  • When he wants more of something (usually fruit) he points to the empty space on his plate and says "I want dis". (That's a bit of a sounds a little like that, but it's not very clear, except the "dis" part.) 
  • His babysitter taught him to "blow" his nose. If you give him a tissue, he'll blow a raspberry with his mouth. 
  • He's learning animal sounds, and when you ask him what a sheep says, he says "baahhhh" very similar to a dinosaur roar. 
  • When he falls down and then stands back up, he says "Yay!" (which rhymes with pie) and claps for himself. 
  • During the not-walking phase, he would lie down on the floor, put his head down, and fake cry, when we asked him to walk. Stinker. 
  • He has a little stuffed dog that talks and plays music, Scout, and he'll sometimes sing along to the songs. There's a song that says "I'd like a dog, please..." and Jona will always chime in with "Peeeze". 
Clearly, I could write a novel about this kid. Thanks, as always, for reading!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Red Cords: A Winter Pick-Me-Up

While I did a lot of post-Christmas sale shopping to prepare for my winter capsule, a good chunk of it consists of items I've had in my closet for a while. In fact, this whole outfit consists of pieces that I've been wearing on repeat for a while now.

These red corduroys were my first foray into brightly colored pants, and I've been a fan ever since. I didn't include them in my fall capsule, but I pulled them out in December and wore them enough that I felt the need to add them to winter. Adding them in was a good decision; nothing brightens up a cold, dreary day, like bright red pants. Well, bright red pants plus a cup of hot cocoa. Okay, bright red pants plus a cup of spiked hot cocoa.

What's something that you've had for years and still love? 

Camel blazer: Target / graphic tee: J.Crew Factory / red cords: Gap / necklace: Bauble Bar / leopard flats: Dr. Scholl's

Linking to the Creative Closet for "Pop of Color" and Putting Me Together #PMTStyleChallenge "Bright Color". 

Monday, January 19, 2015

On "Going Out" Clothes

On Saturday Aaron and I went out with my best friend Abby and her husband to celebrate Abby's birthday. While we see each other often (our kids even go to the same daycare), we don't get too many opportunities to go out all together without the kids. So we called the babysitters grandparents and took advantage of the double-date-night opportunity.

I remember that there was a time in my life (we'll call it college) when I had a whole portion of my wardrobe devoted to "going out" clothes. That portion mostly involved colorful or embellished tops and heels. I'm not sure if it's age or motherhood, or a combination of the two, but my "going out" wardrobe no longer exists. Actually, with the staying power of skinny jeans, I guess a little hint of the past does remain... Anyway, my point is that now when I have an occasion to get a little gussied up to go out (but not full-on wedding-type gussy) that's when I feel like I have nothing to wear.

I settled on this new leopard print blouse I got at Loft, with my gray moto jacket and the aforementioned skinny jeans. While I do like this look, and I feel that it does reflect my style aesthetic, I can't help but think that I could wear this very same outfit to work for casual Friday. Have I really reached that point in my life in which all my clothes are mom-clothes or work-clothes? Folks, I'm officially old. (Using "folks" in a sentence doesn't really help my case either, does it?) All I can say is that I feel a pair of fabulous heels coming on in my spring capsule... I think going out shoes (one pair!) sounds reasonable. These heels are pretty great, but they're definitely in the "sensible" camp.

Do you have any "going out" clothes or are you also living in old-lady land? 

Gray moto jacket: Loft / leopard blouse: Loft / dark skinny jeans: Gap / pink suede heels: Nine West

I think I up my coolness factor, even just a little, when I wear this fabulous moto jacket. Here are some other ways I've worn it.

1 / 2 / 3

Linking to Inspiration Monday (although my look is a far cry from the inspiration) and Mix it Mondays