Fall outfit inspiration

16 August 2021

Friends, I am aware that the majority of my posts for the past few months have been kid-focused. This is natural – with all of the transitions in our family, there have been so many time-sensitive things I’ve wanted to share and discuss with you all! Even if we’re not in the same life stage and some posts aren’t immediately relevant to you, I hope you’ve found something to entertain you, to adapt to where you find yourself, or maybe to just tuck away for the future or for a friend. I know I love to learn from people ahead of me – that way, when I get there, I’ve already got some good ideas tucked away!

Today, however, we’re talking about something anyone can enjoy – fall fashion! After a year of just getting by in the fashion department – wearing what felt like the same four ill-fitting outfits on repeat – I’m eager for some variety and fun. Even in between pregnancies, I’m guilty of switching out my top and wearing the same jeans, shoes, jewelry, and hairstyle five days a week. There’s nothing wrong with this – I pride myself on being able to get from bed to front door in 15 minutes and simple outfits are a key ingredient – but at the moment, I’m feeling inspired to put a little more thought into what I wear each day.

That being said, I am far from a fashion blogger, and not the most naturally creative when it comes to putting together outfits – so I lean on the people who are. To me, that means my dear friend Lisa, as well as my online-friend-who-doesn’t-yet-know-we’re-friends Merrick. Here are a few favorites I collected this week for my virtual cheat sheet:

And here are a few of the elements I’m taking away as I go about trying to recreate these looks myself:

1. All the tucks. Half tucks, full tucks, fancy little waist knots. Maybe it’s just the style of the moment, or maybe I’m drawn to the look because it’s been awhile since I’ve had a waist, but so many of my favorite outfits involve a tuck.

2. Lots of different bottoms. This is the most obvious and probably the easiest thing for me to incorporate. Though my Madewell jeans are beloved, I have many other fun options that sit forlornly in my drawers. Leopard pants, white jeans, black leggings, midi skirts? All present and accounted for – I just need to pull them out.

3. Fun layers. Adding a jean jacket, a cardigan, or a sweater takes the interest up a notch and makes even basic elements feel considered.

4. The extras. To not feel like I’m wearing the same thing every day, it would help to switch up my shoes, jewelry, and/or hair style. For example, Lisa is sporting eight different hair styles in just the photos above, and probably an equal number of pairs of shoes. This isn’t really about buying anything new (I have plenty of shoes!), it’s much more about taking the time to choose a pair each day from the cubbies in my closet instead of slipping into the ones from yesterday that are already on the closet floor.

I’m sure to some of you these takeaways seem beyond basic, and they are! No one is coming here for the fashion advice of try wearing the pants in your closet, ha. But, if you, too, find yourself in a fashion rut you want to climb out of, consider this your friendly internet friend giving you a boost.

The real question: should I take Lisa’s inspiration one step further and photograph some of the favorite outfit combos I find in my closet?! Maybe she should come over for a styling session? Feel free to leave your opinion on that, or tell me what you’re looking forward to wearing this fall, below.

P.S. This is probably where I should insert a big collage of my fall clothing favorites from all my favorite retailers, but clearly, I’m not your girl for that. However, you can find links to all of Lisa’s posts, which include sources, right here. And the sources for Merrick’s outfits are here: red skirt, gingham skirt, red top, and gingham dress.

P.P.S. That being said, I did just buy this gauzy white top and I love it. I think it will be excellent to do all the tucks with :)

Shep’s favorites at three years

6 August 2021

With our first kiddo, I consistently shared products we were loving throughout her first few years. Since we relied on so many of the same favorites for Shep, it hadn’t felt necessary to share the same – until now! Our newly-minted three-year-old is growing into his own interests and preferences, and so in honor of his recent birthday, I thought it would be fun to share a few things he (and we) are loving right now!

Clothing favorites for three-year-old boys:

Mini Boden tees | Y’all know most of our kiddo clothes come from consignment sales or hand-me-downs, which is why I give myself permission to splurge on a few fun pieces each season! Shep looooves the fun designs from Mini Boden, which usually involve dogs doing things like driving construction trucks or blasting into space. We just got him this shirt and this one for his birthday :)

Cat & Jack shorts | I prefer a shorter length for little boy shorts, and these ones are perfect! At $5-8 (!!!), they’re not too precious, either. I find they run a little big!

Shady Rays sunglasses | At $32, you surely could find a pair for less – but these ones are great quality (they have the right amount of flex and actually stay on the ears!), AND they include lifetime replacement if lost or broken! Shep has the royal blue polarized.

Needlepoint baseball hat | Harding Lane has the absolute CUTEST designs – everything from dogs to dump trucks, planets to puppies, and fire trucks to alligators. I bought Shep’s triceratops design last Black Friday for 50% off, and he gets compliments everywhere he goes!

Natives | I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about Jeffersons, but they are our go-to three seasons of the year! Shep most often wears the Regatta color.

Toy and gear favorites for three-year-old boys:

Balance bike and scooter | Shep switches back and forth between his Kazam balance bike (which he received at age 2.5 for Christmas) and his scooter (a second birthday gift). We love and highly recommend both of them! He happily wears this helmet with both.

Playmobil recycling truck | This was his gift from Annie, and it has been a MASSIVE hit. Despite some of the pieces being a little fiddly for three-year-old fingers (the listing recommends it for age 4+), he loves it and plays with it constantly.

Fire chief costume set | It took him a little time to warm up to this dress-up kit, but once he did, it’s made daily appearances around the house. If only the fire extinguisher actually squirted water!

Jellycat stuffies | All of our kids have Jellycat stuffies they love – they are the sweetest designs, and so soft! Shep’s most beloved are two identical dogs. One was supposed to be the back-up in case of loss, but he found it in the closet and has had two tucked under his arms at night ever since :) Jellycats come in a few sizes, and I find the “small” to be perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.

Books | All books, all the time! A few favorites: Please, Puppy, Please; Trucks Roll; Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site; The Circus Ship; and Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

MagnaTiles | And especially the cars and trains expansions!

Okay-to-wake clock | We introduced this clock when he moved to his big boy bed a few weeks ago. Shep is our early riser, and we were hoping this would encourage him to stay in bed a little longer in the mornings. It absolutely has! He instantly cottoned to the cute design, calling it “his guy” and unplugging it from the wall and carrying it downstairs like a stuffed animal post-nap the first few days, ha!

Welly band-aids | Our kids, and especially Shep, LOVE these band-aids with their fun and colorful designs. They’re the cure for what ails you, whether that’s a scrape or a stomachache :)

Love our little three year old :) Hope his favorites give you something to tuck away for future birthdays or holidays!

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August 2021 goals

3 August 2021

It’s crazy to think that this time last month, we hadn’t met our second daughter yet, and now, she’s here! It has been the sweetest month, marked by several moments – reading to all three kids on the bed, taking our first car ride as a family of five – when I’ve had the sweetest (that word again! It’s the only one that fits!) feelings of completion, wholeness, and happiness. Just a few weeks in, five feels just right, and I am so grateful.

On my calendar this month:
— All things kindergarten! We are looking forward to a neighborhood breakfast for rising kindergartners, a popsicles with the principal event, and of course, the first day of school!
— Our newborn photos with Graham! Still need to choose those outfits :)

What I’m loving right now:
— My friend Kayte Fry makes genius-level charcuterie boards, and we were lucky enough to have a breakfast-themed one delivered by her crew! (Above!) Locals can order through her Instagram here.
— After borrowing a Nap Dress for our family photos, I finally pulled the trigger on ordering my own a few weeks ago. It was not inexpensive, but once I de-precioused it in my mind and decided it’s just a part of my wardrobe that’s meant to be worn, it has been glorious. I have worn it 2-3 times a week since Annie was born, and yes, I have indeed napped in it. I highly recommend it for pregnancy and post-partum, and I assume just normal life, too :)
— I thought this review of research showing what parenting practices were common in families where young adults remained in the faith was fascinating. All the more reason to blast Mission House!

You can see all the things I’ve loved in my goal posts over the years right here!

What I read in July:
American Royals | I forgot that this novel is YA, but once I adjusted my expectations, it was enjoyable! I thought the characters were memorable and the concept creative. Talk about a cliffhanger, though! Basically none of the storylines wrapped up by the end of the book, leading me to add the sequel to my hold requests…
The Self-Driven Child | Holy cow I LOVE THIS BOOK! I am on a streak of fantastic non-fiction and this one is no exception. I’ve been taking notes for a book review post because it’s just that good! More to come…

My reading list for 2021, if you’d like to follow along! I’m a little out of order but have read 13 out of 24 so far.

Revisiting my July goals:
Buy the last few things to get ready for baby girl’s arrival
Finish out our Big List for baby girl
Choose newborn photo outfits for baby girl and older kids
Lay out 2012 in family album
Prep for kindergarten
Edit June in June, Volume 6
Enjoy our first few weeks with our new family member!! (Most definitely.)

August goals:
Edit June in June, Volume 6
— Lay out 2012 in family album
— Choose scripture theme for the school year and plan and enjoy our back-to-school dinner
— Prep for our Florida vacation – first road trip as a family of five!!
— Take a morning walk with Annie every day the weather allows
— Do a Peloton exercise every day. Stretching, yoga, weights, barre, meditation – it doesn’t matter! Just a good challenge to get back into the habit :) At the six-weeks-from-delivery mark I should be able to incorporate easy rides, too.

In July, afternoon naps won out over goal progress most days, and I can’t say that the same won’t happen in August :) Committing to just a few things, and a few daily habits, to make this a great month all around! (Naps very much included!)

As a reminder, many of these are drawn from my 2021 goals!