3 Good Things

topknot

1. we finally have a ponytail!  a real, live, stays in place, doesn’t have crazy fringe sticking out at the bottom, ponytail.  and, we seem to like it.  while EBN insists she looks just like mama when her hair is piled up on top of her head, the truth is, with her curls pulled away from her face she is looking more and more like her daddy.  it’s getting to the point of ridiculous.  i know that when EBN wears my old clothes and we place the photos side by side everyone thinks we look alike.  but let’s be honest – we’re just wearing the same clothes.  it’s a good thing she finally is letting me pull her hair back because as GORGEOUS as her curls are, she’s starting to look a bit muppet-esque.  not in a bad way, just in a floppy way :).

2. i read a book.  shocking – i know.  THE INTERESTINGS follows a group of friends who initially meet at a fine arts summer camp and as the years pass, and their lives change, their relationships change as well.  i promise that i liked this book for more than just the summer camp connection (not that it hurt).  at a time when i’m finding that many of my long-term friendships look and feel different from how they used to, the book hit a chord.  the book is long and took me a long time to get through but i think that has a lot more to do with the fact that i fall asleep after reading about 4 pages each night and way less to do with the pace.  i initially checked the book out at the library but had to return it after 3 weeks (someone had a hold on it – damn the man) and ran to the bookstore that very same day to buy a copy (that’s devotion – especially because it is only in hardback).  i have this thing that i don’t like to read my kindle when i’m pregnant…just one more weird thing.  next up?  i’m currently catching up on the last two issues of vanity fair and then…i’m open to suggestions.

3. i think i’m finally out of that, “is she pregnant, or just fat?” stage.  thank goodness.  i’m not going to lie – i have huge body image issues when i’m pregnant.  and that’s not usually my thing.  i have other issues generally.  but it’s like as soon as i’m pregnant i’m literally offended by my body.  i don’t feel like myself – inside or outside.  i know it’s annoying to talk about feeling fat when pregnant – but i can’t seem to escape it.  anyway, i things are starting find their place, or i’m getting complacent.  either way.  i went into this pregnancy thinking i wouldn’t buy any new maternity clothes – and then i dared to open my storage bin of what i saved from the last time around.  what was i thinking?  most of it was so stained and stretched out that it is simply unwearable.  since i don’t have time to shop this time around i placed a few massive online orders – ASOS, H&M, OLD NAVY and THE LOFT.  ABN has been completely overwhelmed by the boxes that have been arriving but i’ve sent (or am sending…i’m slow to get to the post office) at least 80% of it back.  i finally caved and bought 1 nice pair of jeans.  there is just nothing like a good pair of jeans.  last time around i had a pair of jeans that i wore until there was a ginormous hole in the crotch and they had to go straight into the trash.  i’m pretty sure it will be the same this time around.  i took my new jeans to the tailor yesterday – i can’t wait to get them back next week.  then i should be set.

From Here to There…From There to Here….

we’re alive and well – let’s just refer to this slow time period as “summer blogging.”  it’s not that we’ve been busy but our schedule isn’t as fixed as we are used to (which is probably a good thing at times) and when our routine is thrown off, well, blogging falls by the way side.

some summertime updates.

  • i can’t get enough of the above photo of EBN.  she truly was a flower-throwing pro at the wedding last month.  loved how seriously she took her responsibility – holding my hand tightly as we walked down the aisle and then every so often we’d stop and she’d let go and grab a big handful of flower petals to throw – straight down.  throughout the day people kept trying to move her curl out of her face but really, it’s her signature look.
  • i’m about to finish beautiful ruins and while it took me a couple of chapters to get into, i’m really enjoying it.  it’s a fun and at times surprising story about characters that are fully realized.  i once had a writing teacher (god, when i used to take writing seriously) who argued that if a book changed perspective throughout ( you know, like who was telling the story) it means the author didn’t really have enough to say.  i held this to be true for quite some time but i’m beginning to change my thinking – i loved the different voices and how the true story unraveled.
  • i bought these shoes from the boy’s section at target.  go ahead and judge me but at $16.99 i’m in love.  and they are so comfortable.  EBN is the proud owner of these sparklers.

  • i’ve never been a girl who rocks an updo (even at our wedding, it was just down with loose curls) but given the temperature in chicago in july and my massive amount of hair i new it needed to be all up if i stood a prayer of not wilting.  well, i’m a convert.  i want my hair to look like this on the regular.  also, this photo was taken on saturday.  my hair had not been washed since wednesday, before i left the west coast.  just saying…
  • EBN has become a somewhat regular movie goer this summer.  in addition to taking in monsters university when my parents were in town (every morning, without fail, she wakes up to tell me she dreamed about a very nice monster who lives in her closet) we’ve hit up a couple of the $1 movies in a special summer series.  i’m telling you, it’s the best $2 activity of all time.  it’s (somewhat) quiet, comfortable, relaxing and entertaining.
  • Orange is the New Black – are you watching?  i zipped through the first season in less than a week and can’t believe there won’t be more until next year.  what’s a girl to do to get her crazy eyes fix? (clearly, my favorite).

alright, that’s enough of a update from me.  i’ll be back soon.

xo,

LBN

Patience Paid Off

i waited a full year for this gem of a dress to come back in stock!

never has there ever been a dress i’ve loved more.  i just hope it fits – otherwise all that waiting will have proved quite pointless.  i can’t wait to wear the heck out of it.

happy hump day!

The Weekend that Was

we’re baaaaaaack.

after a whirl wind 4 days in st charles, il (oh, how quaint!) that included 1 massive fireworks display on the 4th of july, 1 wedding rehearsal, 1 day spent in the park with family and friends, 1 late night at a local bar, 1 day of beauty including fake eyelashes and an updo, 1 beyond picturesque venue, 1 incredibly moving ceremony and 1 top-notch, too good to be true, adorable to the extreme flower girl.

we’re in recovery mode over here – unpacking, doing laundry, starting basement construction.  my parents are in town (which makes the two red heads in the house very happy), and ABN is traveling for work (which makes the two red heads in the house a little blue).

i apologize if things are a bit quiet this week – my main objective is to crochet as much as possible.  i’m re-energized on my massive bedspread for the bride and groom (mostly due to the groom, my NOW brother-in-law, who wrote take-my-breath-away-i-wasn’t-planning-on-crying vows…omg).  the plan is to bring you a book review, a granny square done in honor of the big day and a recipe for the best artichokes you’ve ever had.

stay tuned….

Stitch Fix – Penguins for the WIN!

once again, i’ve dropped the ball on my stitch fix posts.  i think i’ve had two fixes since my last update – oops.  but i’m back, with my best score to date.

so we will start with what i sent back:

in this awkward photo, in which both my head and feet are cut off, i’m trying to show you that i don’t like the neckline.  it’s not good for me and my big chest.  it reminds me of a kardashian.  not the dress, but the neckline.  i also happen to own two other red and blue sleeveless dresses (that’s embarassing) so this one was easy to send packing.

this post is noteworthy because i am not only wearing makeup (i know!) but i wore shoes with each ensemble.  it’s like a revolution or something.  moving on to the dress.  i think i’m just not a fan of the see-through, hi-lo, trend that is currently…everywhere.  i mean, i’ve seen it work on some people, but it’s not for me.  also, the under-layer in the above BARELY covered my tush.  (and i have a cream and black maxi…oy).  and i’m rarely a fan of a rope belt.  see ya!

i’m 99% sure i had this skirt at some point in high school.  mom, can you confirm?  it’s stretch cotton and polka dot and just not me/age appropriate/anything i would ever wear…ever.  AND it has a drop waist.  yeah, no.  BUT….trying on this skirt did remind me i have these ridiculous rachel-zoe-esque sky high wedges that i need to make more use of.  so all was not lost.

okay now is when things get interesting.

before we get all crazy – i sent this dress back too.  I KNOW.  i’m sorta regretting it but…i couldn’t figure out where i would wear it.  also, the waist hit me too low.  it was like all of a sudden i became short waisted…which i’m not.  the color was amazing and it made me realize i should go for cobalt blue (i never go for blue) and also i should wear heels all the time because look at my legs!  but i don’t wear heels all the time and the dress didn’t look quite the same in my go-to flip flops.  also the material felt a little bit like wearing a wetsuit…just saying.

so now for what did keep.  best.stitchfix.item.ever.

i’m not going to lie. i knew i was keeping this before i even tried it on.  that belt.  i die.  it’s just.  it’s perfect.  this dress is the perfect example of why i love me some stitch fix.  in my last fix (which i forgot t blog about) i got a cute little light blue skirt with the same print – penguins.  i loved the print but the skirt was a bit big and a lot of money for a “cute skirt.”  when i wrote my feedback i mentioned that i loved the print.  and then this time around, same print – PERFECT dress.  i love the collar detail.  and the fit.  i thought about wearing it to my sister-in-law’s shower this weekend but it feels a little dressy (but i might not be able to resist) so i’ll save it for something else.  want to hire me to give a presentation on social media?  i’m there – and dressed to kill!

if you haven’t tried out stitch fix yet – now is the time.  i mean between the blue dress (which i should have kept) and the penguin dress…how can you resist?

Fixed – Again!

it’s that time again – another FIX to share with you.  i got an email last thursday that my box had shipped and then spent all day friday checking the front porch.  i was super bummed when the day ended and my package hadn’t arrived (i usually get it next day!) but thankfully, the post office delivers on saturday – for now.  just imagine, if there was no mail delivery on saturday, and then sunday and then the holiday on monday – man oh, man, that feels like a really long wait for the goods.

wanna see what i got?  okay but first, a disclaimer :)  please excuse my ratty hair, cut-offs that are 3 sizes too big, super under-moistorized legs.  oops.  we’d just come from a morning at the beach (in february) and i was so excited to find the package and try stuff on that i sorta forgot to make myself presentable.  i’ll try better next time.  i did break out the big camera though, so that’s something.

my accessory this month was the softest white and blue scarf i’ve ever seen/felt.  i’ve been following stitch fix on instagram and i’ve noticed they have had a ton of “year round” scarves so i was hoping i’d get one in my box.  you can’t tell from this photo but there’s a line of gold thread running through it as well.  i went back and forth for a while on the scarf mostly because it felt so good around my neck.  but when i went back through the instagram photos – it didn’t compare to some of the other options.  so, i sent it away and my fingers are already crossed for next time.

also, see those weights in the corner of my room?  i seriously had no clue they were there.  they’ve probably been there since we moved in.  clearly, getting a lot of use.

okay this top is a good example of – while the tag says it should fit me, it just doesn’t. because all mediums are not created equal.  if was about 5 inches taller i would have LOVED this top.  but there was just way too much material for me.  you can’t tell from this photo but it has a longer back and a gathered front.  it billows.  i have an old friend, who happens to be tall, who just signed up for stitch fix and i sorta want to just send her this top because i think it would be perfect.  with a pair of skinny black pants and some ankle boots – date.night.covered.  for someone else.  back it went.

if only this top was not mauve!  i don’t like the word mauve or the color mauve.  i feel like i look naked in mauve.  but not sexy naked.  washed-out mauve naked.  it’s the same color as the top of my knees.  but, did you notice the sleeves?  i love the detail.  if this top was black and not…muave…it would currently be in my closet.  but my closet has no room for mauve.  mauving on…

no suspense here – WINNER.  i’m loving everything about this top – the short sleeves, the color, the pattern, the shape (it’s high-lo).  i don’t need it but it’s at a price point that is totally appropriate for a 1x-a-month (when not buying EBN 4 pairs of shoes…oops) mama-wants-something-pretty adventure.  i’m trying, when i buy something, to think of things that are already in my closet that i can pair it with so…in addition to the obvious (skinny blue jeans) i also think this would look adorbs with a short (or long?) black skirt, a pair of white pants and boyfriend jeans (okay, those i don’t have…but still).

another piece that i think would be just perfect for my friend – Mic, are you reading this?  you should request this sweater.  i loved the color.  i’m a red head who doesn’t wear enough green.  the price was good too.  but i don’t LOVE a shawl sweater on me (it’s the big boobs i think) and i live with a toddler and this sweater would COMPLETELY be snag-fest -USA.  so yeah.  this one was in and out of the keep pile for a while but ultimately, i held off.  i’m sorta kicking myself for that now…

anyone else out there stitch-fixing?  what’d you get?  fair warning – i get super jealous when i see other people’s fixes.  i want them as my own!

if you haven’t signed up yet – now is the time, my friends.  spring is a-coming (right?) and i just know stitch fix is going to come through and fulfill my maxi obsession.

Fixed to Be Stitched

i am here to report that those fine ladies (and gents?) at stitch fix have stepped up their game.  i’m not sure if it was my pinterest board or that i’ve been commenting on their facebook and instagram posts with the styles that i like but man, oh man they totally hit it out of the park this time around.  by far, the best fix i have received!  i had to use major restraint to not keep it all.

here’s a peak in my stitch fix box (and i apologize for the cell phone pics – next time i promise to break out the slr):

i mean, what girl doesn’t love a super soft navy and cream striped shirt?  this girl certainly does, i already have two!  so even though it was what i see myself wearing everyday, with a really flattering flutter/cowl neckline, i couldn’t justify keeping it – see, i’m totally reasonable.

 

the perfect denim jacket.  cropped, but not too cropped.  worn in, but not too worn in.  pockets on the chest.  full sleeves.  a true necessity in any closet.  such a necessity, i already have on just like it.  i should add that it took me about 5 years to track down my perfect jean jacket (at eddie bauer no less – i know, i’m shocked too!) and if this jacket had come in one of my first fixes it would have saved me days of searching in stores and online.  that’s time i’ll never get back people.

it’s clear from the above selections that stitch fix gets me and my style.  now i need a way to show them what i’ve already got in my closet.  i’m tempted to give them a little video tour….is that weird?   i’ve got some major holes, but i’ve also reached capacity in a few areas – thanks in large part to stitch fix, i’m reaching my “blouse” threshold.

moving on.

it is literally causing me physical pain to say it – i sent this one back. I KNOW. it’s quite possibly the most beautiful dress. i love the color (an almost orange-red, something i would never pick myself), the cut (the neck line and how the two pieces overlap reminds me of a more modest version of what claire danes wore to the golden globes) the fit, the pockets and that it works perfectly with my nude heels. but. i simply have no where to wear this dress. if they had sent me this dress way back when i was searching for a dress to wear to that wedding in september it would have been over and done. but wedding season this year is wicked light (other than my sister-in-laws…duh…but i’m wearing something specific) and i just couldn’t rationalize shelling out the bucks to have this just hang in my closet.  when i posted this photo on instagram asking for advice, consensus was to keep it (i mean, clearly) but i’ve gotta be responsible and so i put it back in the package and sealed it before i could change my mind – tear.

stitch fix also sent a pair of earrings – sorry, i forgot to snap a photo.  they were cute but gold and green and i’ve got really amazing gold and green fancy-pants earrings from stella and dot so i sent those back as well.

wanna see what i did keep?  alright, here ya go:

cute, right?  i love the patterns and the colors (i don’t typically do a lot of pink or yellow).  so often this type of shirt is too boxy but i really like that this one is cut a bit closer to my body.  i’m wearing it here with skinny black pants but it’s also cute tucked into a pleated black skirt and i’m sorta excited for a warm day to wear it with shorts.

if those post doesn’t convince you to sign up for STITCH FIX than i give up.  even if my style isn’t your style, what’s so great about stitch fix is that they are clearly learning who i am and sending the things that will round out my wardrobe.  and i should say that because i only kept one item, i even stayed within budget :).

i know a bunch of you had previously jumped on the stitch fix wagon – have you gotten anything great lately? i also hear there’s quite a wait-list (just like preschool) so if you are just getting started but don’t feel too discouraged – they will get to you just as soon as possible.

note: this is not a sponsored post but rather just a reflection on my personal experience with stitch fix.  i have used a referral code throughout this post and if you decide to sign up for a fix, i’d love it if you would click through.  clearly, all the opinions expressed in this post are mine, all mine :)

Hair Today

you guys, i’m thinking about cutting my hair (cue my mom and dad doing a happy dance).  i know.  i’ve spent the last 5 years growing it out from the last time i went nuts and chopped it all off, and ever since i quit going to LA for haircuts and started driving out to pleasanton (it’s quite a hike), i’ve been on a mission to get my hair to be a long as possible.  but i’m feeling sort of over it.  i’ve come to the conclusion that it’s never going to be as long as i want it to be (my hair just quits growing) and so maybe it’s time to cut, and run.

while watching the golden globes on sunday night (one of my favorite nights of the year – i do love awards season), i was struck by how many pretty ladies had hair on the shorter side.  i’m not talking about going all anne hathaway/lena dunham (although i wish i could – those ladies looked awesome), but maybe a long-ish, curly bob?  here’s what i’m talking about:

Source: brunchatsaks.blogspot.com via LBN on Pinterest

but here’s the thing – in my old age, i’ve learned to be realistic (ha! just ask ABN), and this style would require a lot of work. and that’s just not in the cards for me. if i cut my hair to my shoulders, and did my typical routine (mostly, nothing), i’m pretty sure it would look more like this on a daily basis.

the problem with pinterest is that i have a record of the reasons i wanted my hair to be long in the first place.  i mean, if i stick with it just a little longer, could it look like this, or this or this? [okay don't loose all respect for me just because i pinned olsen hair.  i just love it okay.  whatever.  you can judge me.  i judge myself].

i dig my current color – but i just love this style and if i could click my heels and hair would sprout out of my head, this is what i would go for – relaxed, wavy, boho:

 

i have til saturday to make a decision – go ahead and weigh in!

Stitch Fix Revisited

time flies and i realized when i received my most recent FIX (on christmas eve no less) that it had been forever and a day since i’d updated you on the goodies that have been arriving at my door each month.  i’m not going to lie, it’s been touch and go.  i have this belief that the more i use the stitch fix service – the more fixes that get sent my way, the more i keep AND the more i return – the better the company should get to know me.  and so the better the pickings should be.  right?  but for a few months there, that really wasn’t the case.  i felt like i was getting lots of “similar” pieces – so yeah, i loved me the first navy blue dress that stitch fix sent my way, but 2 and 3 navy dresses later…i’m a girl who really only needs one…you know?  and in many cases the styles felt very not me.  i’m for sure willing to be pushed out of my comfort zone, to be challenged by the “edgy” if you will.  but at the end fo the day – i’m not wearing “ugly.”

but i’m happy to report that after a couple of months of meh (i’m pretty sure there were two months in a row that i kept absolutely nothing) stitch fix has really had my back with my last two fixes.  i’m sharing the best of the best from the last several months – and i’ll fill in some details about how we got here.

a blanket sweater??? total no-brainer (they are all over my pinterest board).  LOVE.  it’s perfect for these cold winter days we’ve been having in pacifica (and by cold i mean about 55 degrees).  a couple of months back i received a gorgeous black and white blanket sweater that i really wanted to keep but, i’ve got a black and white blanket sweater so you know…back it went.  but i wrote to my stitch fix stylist and let her know how much i wanted to keep it – and they came through by sending one that totally meets my needs!  also i love the colors – i tend to wear a lot of black so this adds a bit of excitement.

i had requested a fall coat or jacket – and got nothing that worked. a blazer, a cropped plaid thing and maybe one other piece – i sent it all back. i’d done my mourning and had basically moved on until this asymmetrical hoodie arrived this week. okay, it’s not a jacket but it’s a hoodie ++ with cute waist and wrist details. it’s already become a staple – read: i’m wearing it as i type.

also, for chanukah ABN hung my mirror up in our bedroom!  i know, you’re going to miss my laundry room self portraits but we are entering a new era here at FITF.  now if only i could figure out how to take selfies like THESE.  we’re all a work in progress.

moving on…

this black and white striped tank came in my most recent FIX as well and i knew it was a keeper before i tried it on. super soft, it’s basically just a replacement for a white tshirt. i love that SF works hard to stay within the budget i’ve told them i’m trying to keep. it means that i don’t feel guilty about keeping this one.

i call this one my “oprah dress”. there was a season of oprah when she wore all these dresses with a big collar, a defined waist and a full skirt. like HERE.  [before i go on and talk about my dress, i just want to say finding a photo of oprah in an "oprah dress" was super hard.  my mom and i have talked about the "oprah dress" for years, she even wore one to our wedding.  but i'm now thinking it's not a thing at all and something my mom and i totally made up...thoughts?].  yes, this is another navy dress, something that i specifically said i didn’t want.  but i fell in love.  it’s different from anything i have in my closet (different to the point where i have no idea where i would wear it…oops).  i meant to wear it while i was in boston for work but…it was cold and i didn’t have the right shoes with me.  so, i’ll save it for the high holidays…and if i ever have to go to court.  i love the fit, the pockets and the color ;).

and since we’re talking about stitch fix

this shirt remains my all time favorite fix. it’s something i never would have picked myself but something that i literally want to put on every time we go out. with white pants, with a skirt, with jeans…it’s perfect. or it was. until it got horribly stained (something to do with throwing it in my hamper along with a wet bathing suit…fail). after having no luck with the dry cleaner i handed over to my parents with the smallest glimmer of a hope that they would find some magic stain remover. and then i forgot about it.

imagine my surprise when i was handed the shirt, in perfect condition, as a chanukah present!  i was sure they had somehow found the shirt and bought me a new one.  but no – even better.  my mom and dad consulted a dry cleaner and then my brother went took the shirt to a fabric store in nyc and found perfectly matching fabric and the top was remade!  a true family effort.  i can’t wait for the weather to warm up and to wear my top out on the town.  now if only i had some place to go…

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if you’re thinking about giving stitch fix a try i’d say now is the perfect time.  they’ve recently rebranded and like i mentioned above, i’ve been really impressed by how spot-on my recent fixes have been.  i’ve included my referral code throughout this post so please, let them know i sent you :).