Happy New Year!

Happy new year, friends!  A lot has happened since I last wrote here.  Most significantly, Little Guy arrived in mid-December:

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We are all in love with him.

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I’ve been determined to Take It Easy this postpartum time, for once.  So far, so good.  I’m feeling a lot like a glued-to-the-couch cow,

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but Little Guy is napping well today, so maybe we’ve turned a corner, maybe.  And I’m so happy not to be pregnant anymore.

Seriously, I’ve left the house for two pediatrician appointments, Christmas day Mass, Christmas dinner at my in-laws, and one walk around the neighborhood.  That’s it!  Even my homebody self is getting cabin fever, but this postpartum experience is so much better than the last two, so I’m sticking with what works.

These days I’m

reading:

Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy

(Pretty ironic reading this while nursing almost constantly. What’s going on here in my subconscious? . . . I read an interesting review in the Wall Street Journal before Little Guy was born, so anyway.)

The Conflict: How Modern Motherhood Undermines the Status of Women (I don’t agree with a lot of her premises but it’s interesting reading a modern feminist/ French perspective on the low-birth-rate crisis in the West.)

I Believe in LoveA Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

watching:

Homeland.  So addicted.  I’m beginning Season 3, which is not the best, but I hear it improves in Seasons 4 and 5.  Claire Danes is so good, as is Inigo Montoya, uh, I mean, Mandy Pitinkin.

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Damien Lewis is good too, but I’m sick of the whole Brody/Carrie thing.  I’m inclined to agree with Saul (pardon the French):

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During the day, I watch a whole bunch of Strawberry Shortcake Berry Bitty Adventures

and The Magic Schoolbus.  Over and over and over and over and . . .

We’re so ready for school to start back up.

eating:

whatever delicious meals my kind friends make me, plus Cliff bars and lots of yogurt

wearing:

ratty old yoga pants and tee-shirts and pajama pants.  I just ordered the Metro Skinny pants from Athleta (currently on sale), hoping they’ll do the trick when it’s time to go out into the world.

Baby’s sureto wake up any minute so I’ll leave off here.  Thanks to everyone out there still reading this blog!

The Summer of Bratitude and Other Assorted Thoughts

I read Jenny’s recent post with a lot of interest.  I think her point there and, even more, her point here, are basically what I was trying to say here.  I thought it then and I still think it now: we have a shortage of religious vocations because sex has been oversold.  Consequence-free sex.  And even those of us  who go into marriage committed to Church teaching probably still underestimate the consequences.  This makes me sound . . . um . . . frustrated and dissatisfied.  And I’m not, generally.  It’s just that the consequences of my sex life are still screaming at me at friggin’ 10 pm, as per usual the past few weeks, and the convent is starting to sound not half bad . . . .

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Seriously, the brattiness levels here have been off the charts.  I understand why some find the word “brat” offensive.  I’d never call my child, or any other child, a brat within their hearing.  Maybe they’ll read this in five or ten years and be offended but seriously . . . if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc.

I was so out of commission the first three months of this pregnancy, I must have let discipline slide a lot.  I generally did whatever was the path of least resistance.  I don’t remember many details.  But man, give them an inch. . . .  We still get fast food way too often, but I’m cutting back.  It got to the point (still is at the point) where, if they get nuggets and fries Chick-Fil-A, they whine because I didn’t also get them ice cream.  Ridiculous.  For Pat and me both, eating out was a huge treat when we were growing up.  And for my kids it’s no big deal.  And of course the only one I have to blame is myself

. . .  and the new baby.  Even now, at 18 or so weeks, I can’t stand the thought of cooking meat.  I cooked some bacon the other day, and I just recently started heating up those pre-grilled Tyson frozen chicken strips and can stand to eat them.  But thinking about them grosses me out.  I’ve been eating a lot of cold cuts, and beans.  But you can only eat so many beans.

My scathingly brilliant idea I just came up with this evening is to buy a bag of miniature marshmallows.  Tomorrow evening, I’ll set out 5 for each girl.  Every time they get out of bed or scream at me from bed, I throw away a marshmallow.  I think I got the idea from this:

I’ll let you know how it works.

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Y’all, I am just so tired.

This is the story of my life right now.

I’m mostly stopped trying to do any more than I can do.  It’s just what I can do is so pitifully little.

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We have a contract on a house, and it’s an emotionally exhausting process.  I remember–now–why we said, “never again!” when we did this seven years ago.

Basically, the house we’re looking to buy has everything we want: location, size, layout, yard, view.  It also has mold, radon, and bats.  Oh my!  And it’s at the tippy-top of our price range.  I have plans to write a post titled, “Kicking Dave Ramsey to the Curb,” because that’s what we’re doing.  So crazy.  We’re still in the middle of inspections and negotiations, so it may all fall through.

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I love Lisa’s summer momiform.  I’ve been shopping at LOFT a lot too, since Girl1 has a weekly vision therapy appointment in a professional/retail complex that has a LOFT at the other end.  I drop Girl 1 off, then mosey through the parking lot with Girl2, who has to balance-walk on every curb, inspect every blob of guano, and generally move at a snail’s pace.  Then I have about ten minutes to look through the store and hurriedly try things on before going back through the parking lot to get Girl 1.

Then walk back through the parking lot to try more things on while the girls scream and shriek at each other, fondle the jewelry, lick the mirrors, turn off the store lights, etc.

Then I maybe buy something, or maybe have a saleslady order a size or color not available in store through the website for me, because shipping is free if you order through the store.  Then we leave a stuffed mermaid in the store, just for the fun of returning for the third time in one day.

What mermaids wear to Mass

Then the next week, I bring 75% of my purchases to the store to return them (saving on return shipping fees) and repeat steps 1 through 1,000,000.

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After all that, though, I have no cute maternity outfits to show you.  Today, this was my #ootd and it possibly also was my #potnb*, embellished by the three-year-old with thigh sequins and a makeshift Frozen necklace.

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(*pajamas of the night before)

I bought these Lou & Grey linen “jogger” pants (in navy blue) at full price (ouch) and they were worth it because they are so comfortable.  The waist is huge, which works as my belly is expanding.  I don’t look really pregnant yet, but the belly’s definitely expanding in a slow, all-over spread.  The pants are really baggy and probably look awful but I don’t care.  I also got these linen pants when LOFT was running a 50% off in-store special; same deal: baggy, frumpy, comfy.

I’ve fallen into the trap of feeling fat and buying clothes that are too big, which makes me look sloppy and bigger.  I’ve fallen and I can’t get out.

But it’s an ego boost.  I made a huge order of maternity pants from Asos and nothing fit.  I ordered them all about a size bigger than my pre-pregnancy size.  I still have post-traumatic stress from ordering maternity jeans last go-round 1 and 2 sizes up from my pre-pregnancy size and still barely getting them past my knees. Oh the misery.  Never again.

So.  This time I ordered all these baggy, jogger-style pants a size up and they were ridiculously, ridiculously huge.  Like these:

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During her first pregnancy, my sister Martha ordered a bunch of maternity stuff from Asos.  She mentioned to me that she returned everything because “nothing really worked.”  And I remember thinking, “Seriously?  Do you really need to be that picky?”  (Don’t you wish you had me as an older sister?) And now . . . .

Also, I ordered some maternity shorts from Target (these and these).  They’re all fine, but my legs already are retaining water like you would not believe.  This happened with my prior pregnancy, too.  I felt like such a fat cow.  “omg! I’m eating so much my legs have gotten visibly fatter!”  But now I realize it’s just water.  And there’s not much I can do about it.  Except to drink more water (trying to), eat more protein (trying to, but see meat problem, supra), and (supposedly) wrap wet cabbage leaves around my legs (nope).

So I’m returning all the shorts. There’s no need to expose my legs to the world.  Except I might possibly keep this linen pair, again non-maternity, again from Lou & Grey.  Because it is summer, after all.

And if only my dimples were on my face.

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Whew!  Okay, the girls finally have fallen asleep. . . .  Thank you for anyone still reading through to the end of this ramble.  I’ve missed writing here.  I wish you all the best for the rest of the week, and I hope to post again soon.

Stitch Fix #2: Maternity Edition {June 2015–early second trimester}

Stitch Fix#2-  Maternity Edition, early 2nd trimester, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

One win and four near misses.

Oh Stitch Fix, it’s not you; it’s me.

I asked for some casual maternity wear for this summer–some tops, plus some shorts, linen pants, or casual skirts.  No jeans.  No dry clean only.

They delivered!  They really did!

It’s just their casual isn’t my casual. And I should have added “no hand-wash only.”  And sometimes things just don’t fit.

stitch fix, Pale Sky blottie Pleated Maternity Blouse, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Robbie Jogger Pants, Linen/tencel/spandex blend, size large (non maternity), by Level 99 (similar)

Lottie Pleated Maternity Blouse by Pale Sky, size large (similar) (similar in purple)

[ Also: Stefano Furiani ballet flats from Crocs]

Verdict:  Returning both.

Love the look of this outfit, but the blouse is 100% rayon and hand wash only.  I just wasn’t feeling it $68 worth.

Also love the look of the pants.  But they are uncomfortably snug in the legs, don’t stretch much, and are too low in the rise.  Too bad.

stitch fix, LA made maternity Kaitel boyfriend tank and Level 99 Robbie Jogger Pant, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Kaitel Maternity Boyfriend Tank, by LA Made Maternity, size large

(because this is just exactly what my boyfriend wears when he’s pregnant)

Robbie Jogger Pants, size large (non maternity), by Level 99 (similar)

Verdict:  This looks better in the picture than I thought it did in person.  The colors are too pale for me, and the tank is $58 –too much for this style.  It’s rayon/spandex blend . . . hand wash only.  Wop wop.  Made in the USA though!  Click on my link above to get a similar style from LA Made Maternity, via Amazon, in solid colors, for much less $$.

stitch fix, Daniel Rainn Carrieann crochet detail tie-neck top, thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Carrieann Crochet Detail Tie-Neck Top, size large (non maternity) (similar) (similar . . . even better)

Verdict:  Return.  This top is lovely.  Not my usual style but lovely.  It has an attached cami underneath, though, which is too fussy and hot for the summer everyday for me.  And I don’t need a dressy blouse.  Also . . . hand wash.  😛

Stitch fix Gilli Alina Geo Print Maxi skirt ~ thisfelicitouslife.wordpress.com

Alina Mixed Geo Print Maxi Skirt by Gilli, size large (non maternity)

Cap sleeve linen tee from LOFT, size large (non maternity)

Necklace from Amazima Ministries, gift from my sister

Verdict: Keep!  It’s weird because, looking at the pictures, I realize this is the least flattering outfit of them all. The loose and flowy thing isn’t my favorite look.  But I feel put together, if not especially attractive.

However, the skirt is versatile and comfortable.  It has a foldover panel that makes it pregnancy-adaptable, even though it’s not a maternity item. It also has an attached half slip, which is nice because the fabric is a little see-through.  . . . I’ve already worn it at least three times in the six days I’ve had it.  And the $58 price tag is reasonable enough.

Takeaway:

When I think casual wear, mentally I always ask, “Will I feel comfortable wearing this at the playground on a hot and muggy day?”  Only the tank top (and, just barely the skirt) passed the test.  But the tank is too expensive and not a great color.

I wish more items worked out, but trying on these pieces helped me clarify what I’m looking for for my summer maternity “uniform”:

I feel an online shopping binge coming on.  Right now, for hot weather wear, I have just a few tops, the maxi skirt and dress, my now-too-snug Athleta skorts, and some yoga pants. . . . I’ve been wearing yoga pants way too much.  And anyway it’s too hot for yoga pants.  So some more shopping is justified right?  That’s right.

I’m thinking when the weather cools down, I might order another Stitch Fix to get some maternity long pants and long-sleeve tops and sweaters.  For now I’m heading to the wilds of internet commerce on my own. Stay tuned.

And thanks to all of you who have ordered through my referral link to Stitch Fix!  The credit I’ve earned has paid for my skirt and will pay for future items.  I truly appreciate it!

Do Your Kids Dress Themselves? {What We Wore Sunday}

Mine do.  I never thought I’d let them, but now I do.

It occurred to me that what they wear these days is much more interesting than anything I wear.

So this is what I wore yesterday to church–nothing worth blogging about really.  (Girl 1 pleaded, “Mommy, you have to wear a dress!  If you wear those pants–the priest is going to be mad at you!”  (He wasn’t.)).

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My Estiva ballet flats from Crocs are still holding strong (n.b. they run large).

Fact of the week you don’t need to know: I haven’t plucked my eyebrows, seriously, in months.  They’re not so tidy looking close-up but they’re not exactly out of control.  I may never go back.

This is what Girl 1 wore (Girl 2 already had changed by the time I took pictures):

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Girl 2 wore this Friday morning while we ran errands–look carefully and you can see a floral sundress she wore under her Frozen dress:

IMG_8643She insisted on changing into her “picnic clothes” and “picnic shoes” later that afternoon before we went to an end-of-the-year school picnic at the playground.

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I probably shouldn’t let her wear these shoes to the playground anymore.  But my sister went through a stage, at around the same age, of wearing dress-up high heel everyday, everywhere.  So there’s some nostalgia there for me.  My parents even let her wear them to church.  At our current parish, children aren’t the novelty they were at my parish growing up.  So letting your kid wear loud, clackety-clack shoes to church is like–ten demerits!  So we draw the line at wearing them church.

I hope you all are enjoying a lovely Memorial Day.  Click on over to Fine Linen and Purple for more What I Wore Sunday posts.

In more somber news, I’m participating this Wednesday in a blog-hop on maternal anxiety and depression, hosted by Katherine at Half-Kindled.  A bevy of talented bloggers are participating and writing on this important topic, including Bonnie at A Knotted Life, Jenna of Call Her Happy, Jenny of Mama Needs Coffee, and Rosie of Check Out That Sunset, so you should definitely check it out!

What We Wore Sunday

Plus thoughts on the Latin Mass and Lilly Pulitzer:

The past two Sundays, we’ve taken very seriously the idea of Sunday as a day of rest.  One parent gets up with the girls while the other sleeps in, then when the sleeper-in parent awakes, the other parent goes back to bed for a nap.  When we’re both up, we all take our time eating lunch and getting ready for the afternoon Spanish mass.  It feels more pious to get up and go to Mass early, but I tell you what–the past two Sundays have been very restorative.   (So much so that I’m up on  monday morning typing this before 7 a.m.)

I don’t love going to Mass in Spanish, but our parish is funny.  If you don’t make it to Mass by 8:30 a.m., your choices are two Latin masses and the Spanish mass.

We never make it to 8:30.

Latin is the universal language of the Church, etc. etc. but if my kids go to any other Catholic church anywhere in the country, there’s a 99% chance Mass is going to be in English, and they’re not going to know the responses.  still don’t know all the new translation responses by heart.  It’s embarrassing.  . . . Well, maybe there’s a 90% chance Mass at any other parish will be in English, and 9% chance it will be in Spanish.  So going to the Spanish mass has its advantages, I guess.  Anyway, as long as 1:30-3:30 a.m. remain the waking/witching/bitching hours in our house, early Mass is not an option.

So anyway, here’s what I wore—a dress I got in my first Stitch Fix.


Here’s what the girls wore:  

     I’ve watched with some interest the Target/Lilly Pulitzer collection, and the response thereto.  (I may even have grabbed a few items left on Target’s racks for resale on an inflated price on eBay.  Maybe.  I’ll never tell.)

I’ve had a mild fascination with Lilly P. for a long time.  Ever since I heard about it from a fellow law student during a summer internship.  She was from a totally different social echelon than I and she did not hide the fact.  We were discussing this hoity toity party we’d both been to and she was like, “I was surprised there weren’t more Lilly Pulitzers.”  I–and another intern of humble lineage–were like “What’s Lilly Pulitzer?”

And she was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Lilly Pulitzer!”

So Lilly P. seemed to me to represent this whole other type of life–it does–that I don’t really aspire to (I really don’t) but it still fascinates me.  It’s very “other,” as my Mom would say.

And now I dress my girls in it.  Ironically.  From Goodwill and Ebay.  That’s totally normal and healthy.  Right.  But anyway they like it.

I’m linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday (finally!  It’s been so long!).  Have a lovely week!

Five Consumer Favorites

We are living in a material world, and I (apparently), am a material girl, because I really like . . .

1. Consumer Reports magazine:  I’ve been reading this since I was a kid.  Before each of our car purchases as a married couple, I made Pat join me on a research trip to the library, to scour all the Consumer Reports used car guides.  (Short version: go with Honda or Toyota.)  I also scoured CR before purchasing our home (a foreclosure, sans appliances).  CR failed me on its dishwasher and washing machine recommendations.  Still, I can’t resist seeking out their advice before any major purchase! . . . Yet I’m too cheap to ever buy a subscription!  That really makes no sense, because I read this
stuff for fun.

2. Simcha’s post about why skirts and dresses are just not so cool and comfortable for those of us on the voluptuous side. (Simcha says meaty; I say voluptuous.)  I think this issue was a subconscious reason I postponed jumping on the maxi dress trend for so long.  And I preferred skorts to regular skirts.  But just today I found these (only $12 at Target), and things are looking up.  Or at least, looking, uh, less friction-filled.

3. Speaking of lingerie found at Target, I like this Maidenform slimmer. I wouldn’t mind a bit more compression in the tummy area, but it smoothes all over like a dream (“suddenly skinny!” is promising a bit much though).  I haven’t tried another brand, so I can’t compare, but it’s cheaper than even the Target line of Spanx.  It’s not exactly comfortable enough for all-day wear, but for an evening, it’s fine.  And the gusset works.

4. Stitch Fix people: Thank you Debbie R., Jaime M., Nicola W. and Laura T. (are you the Laura T. who is my cousin-in-law?), all of whom have ordered Stitch Fixes through my referral link, leading to a nice sum of credit in my SF account.  I really hope your SF works for you!  I see now why SF is so popular on blogs.  My blog is fairly small potatoes, but after just one post on the subject, I got four people who ordered through my link (and several more who have signed up but not yet ordered).  I’m guessing much more popular bloggers like, say, Anne Bogel or Emily Freeman get enough SF credit that they never have to pay for clothes!

5. Floradix: On a totally unrelated note–Floradix makes your hair grow!  It did mine, anyway.  A year or so ago, I was losing a postpartum-like quantity of hair, even though my baby was two.  I did some Googling and saw that iron might help.  I’ve always been slightly anemic, but I haven’t been vigilant about taking iron except during pregnancy.  Well, I started taking Floradix on the reg (the equivalent of 10-20 mg of iron a day), and the scary hair loss stopped almost instantly.  I now have annoying little hairs sticking up around my hairline, but that’s new hair, and I’ll take it. Probably any iron supplement would work but Floradix is the only one that doesn’t . . . um . . . clog up my innards.

How many embarrassing things have I discussed so far?  I don’t want to count.  Click over to Rachel‘s blog for much nicer Five Favorite posts.

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or you could just take a nap.

Style & the SAHM: The Quest Continues

two years later . . . .

It’s been almost two years since I wrote Style & the SAHM: A Quest, the beginning of an on-again, off-again series.  I’ve been less enthusiastic about my quest lately (gaining 20 pounds will do that to you).  Still, the quest continues.  Here are some lessons learned from the past fall and winter . . . which, in April, is helpful to no one in my hemisphere . . . you can bookmark this to read come October.  😉

1. If you try on a sweater at TJ Maxx

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and don’t buy it and then find yourself, thinking about it a lot, you should go back and buy it.  You’ll wear it a lot.  Especially, since you’ve been on the lookout for a flattering,  white, non-scratch, cableknit sweater for a long time.

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2. When in doubt, ditch the bootcut jeans and sneakers and go for skinny jeans (or LOFT curvy straight leg jeans) with boots, especially if you have a drapey top.  Also, those red bowling clown shoes were a mistake.

See example A

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vs. Examples B and C

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3. But bootcut jeans aren’t always a bad choice, if your top is more on the fitted side.  And even those red sneakers, well . . .

IMG_7660 IMG_76614. If you have a round face and broad shoulders to begin with, and then gain weight, you’ll wish you had bought more v-neck, drapey tops like this one from T.J. Maxx . . .

IMG_8211 IMG_8227and this one from Express (didn’t buy it but should have):

IMG_7639and fewer fitted crewnecks like these.  The pictures were taken when I bought them a year ago–they’re more snug now 😦

IMG_7579 IMG_76385. If you find yourself at a coffee shop wearing the same sweater as someone else, then later notice that she has taken off the sweater and is now wearing just the shirt underneath, take a good look at yourself, and ask

“Would I want be dressed like me?”

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Lesson learned: beware the siren song of the elastic waist.  When in doubt, wear jeans.  😉

Also, after two years, it was time for another closet purge.  It’s amazing how much piles up, even when I try to be pretty minimalist.

Most of these things I gave away, or am in the process of giving away.  A few I saved for a different season.  A very very few I couldn’t bear to part with and saved in hopes of losing weight.

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Now the extent of my wardrobe is this:

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and this:

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with one box in the closet of out-of-season or too-small things I’m hanging on to.

The battle against frumpiness and clutter takes constant vigilance.

Keep fighting the good fight

{And click over to Jenna’s blog for more five favorites posts.}

My first Stitch Fix!!!! {March 2015}

At last! / My StitchFix has/

come alo-ong/

my-ii nakey days/

are over . . . .

Exaggerating.

Only slightly.

My first Stitch Fix arrived Wednesday morning.  I had committed to working the whole day, and I forbade myself from opening the box until I finished my work.  That was motivation, let me tell you.

Aren’t they lovely?
Aren’t they won-der-fuh-ull?

I’ve been reading a lot about Stitch Fix.  It seems every blogger I follow is trying them.  (They have a good FAQ page describing the system here.  No need for me to rehash it here.}

I was very specific about what I wanted.  SF has you fill out a detailed “style profile,” detailing your size, body type, color preferences (I told them no black or gray), and style preferences.)  Also, they suggest you send them a link to a Pinterest board to give them a sense of your style.  I made one specifically for Stitch Fix, and you can see it here.

SF asks you what you’re looking for in each fix.  I told them I was mostly looking for a dress for Easter and another dressy occasion this Spring.  They delivered!  Five dresses–the stylist mentioned in her notes that it’s unusual for a Fix to have all dresses.  It worked for me, because until now I was down to two dresses and one skirt that fit me.

Y’all, I haven’t felt this good about how clothes look on me in a long time.

So, the keepers:

Carlita Multi Chevron Print Maxi Dress
by Loveappella
size Large $78

Carlita Multi Chevron Print Maxi Dress
by Loveappella size Large

I was pretty sure I’d get a maxi dress since I pinned a bunch of them.  I actually pinned this exact dress when I saw it on Stitch Fix’s blog.  Love.  Love!  And it’s made in the USA!

I’m taking it to a seamstress to have the crossover top tacked down, since Girl 2 tends to pull it open and expose my entire bra.  Also, it shows more skin in the back than I’m accustomed to wear to church,

Eh, maybe it’s not a big deal.  But anyway, this would work for church, as well as for the Fall:

My first Stitch Fix! ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

A white blazer or moto jacket or something would be more fun.  A denim jacket will work also.

Uttam Paddy Bird Print Faux Wrap Dress
UK size 14
$114

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

Uttam Paddy Bird Print Faux Wrap Dress
UK size 14

I mentioned to SF I’d like a wrap dress.  They sent me a faux wrap dress, which is probably better.

This dress makes me feel saucy.

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

The pattern has green and orange birds.  I wouldn’t choose those colors myself, but the overall look is great.

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

More than I’ve ever paid for a dress except my wedding dress, but I did get all my work done . . . so I’m keeping it.

The bottom half is pretty snug.  There’s no way I’m leaving the house in it without Spanx.  But that’s becoming my MO for more and more occasions lately.  {Shrug}

“You know I’d rather walk on my lips than to criticize anybody, but, Janice Van Meter.  . .  . I bet you money she’s paid five hundred dollars for that dress and don’t even bother to wear a girdle.” “Looks like two pigs fighting under a blanket.”

Hailey Geo Print Tie-Waist Dress by Ezra
Size L
$58

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

Hailey Geo Print Tie-Waist Dress by Ezra
Size L

I LOVE this one.  It’s lightweight and comfy.  I was thinking it would make a nice everyday dress (not clingy–I could skip the girdle!), then I saw the tag and

duhn, duhn DUHHHHHNNN

100% RAYON, DRY CLEAN ONLY

I know from sad, sad experience that when something is rayon and says dry clean only, it can shrink even if you hand wash it cold.  I will ask them, for next time, not to include anything that is dry clean only

But I love it and I think it will make a good Easter dress, and Pat likes it too.  Maybe Dryel will work?

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

{Incidentally, he saw all the dresses spread out on the bed and was thrilled to see so much color.  I’ve been in a navy blue, black, and gray rut.}

Here are the dresses I’m sending back:

Harlowe Keyhole Dress
by Donna Morgan
size 12
$138

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

Harlowe Keyhole Dress
by Donna Morgan
size 12

This dress looks okay in this one picture–and it has pockets!–but it’s not flattering from any other angle, or in real life.

Me: “This color is kind of . . .”

Pat: “loud”

Me: ” . . . sexy Grandma.”

Besides fitting poorly, it feels a little too Junior League (apologizes to any Junior Leaguers reading this!).  I just think . . .

The Help movie Junior League

Finally,

Neel V-Neck Dress
by Uttam
Size Large

$114

My first Stitch Fix!  ThisFelicitousLife.wordpress.com

Neel V-Neck Dress
by Uttam
Size Large

It looks okay from this one angle (how’ya like my skinny shoulder pose?), but I’ll spare you the shot of the cool back-zipper and uncool, very visible back fat.  Pass!

. . . .

On the whole, I am hooked! The stylist who picked my fix is Jennifer, and I hope she chooses my next!  Some bloggers I’ve read buy all their clothes this way, and I must say it sounds tempting.

Stitch Fix is in no way sponsoring this post.  But, if you’d like to try them out, please use my affiliate link and I’ll be your best friend . . . also, I’ll get a $25 credit.  🙂

Happy weekend everyone!

1. I’m Still Alive

2. The kids are sick.

3. I’m 75% done painting our red kitchen taupe.

4. I’ve redecorated our living room (but I’m not kidding myself that I’ll ever be done with that).

IMG_8092 IMG_8089

5. Even with the kids being sick, I got so much done today because they played nicely.  All day.  It’s like the most productive day I’ve ever had at home.  I spackled all the holes in our living room walls.  I remarked on how many holes there were and Pat was like, “Yeah . . . those walls make us look like we’re a little . . . sketchy.  Like we’re on the wrong side of the tracks.”

6. Inspired by Kelly, I turned my desk into a makeshift standing desk.  Every time I’m at my laptop I’m standing up.  This might explain why I haven’t blogged much.

7. Today I wore this to adoration in the morning and around the house all day.

IMG_8090

 

When I started to paint, I changed to this:

IMG_8093

And my Style & the SAHM posts still get steady traffic (not heavy traffic, just steady).

I’m living a lie!!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thanks for hosting 7 Quick Takes, Kelly.

 

Stuff for bad skin

Picture via

Picture via

I have bad skin; always have; probably always will.  It broke out in an angry blaze around Christmas.

1952 acne medication ad

I blame illness and lack of sleep and stress and sugar.  But it’s been better in the last few weeks. (Other than the small percentage I get from Amazon, this isn’t a promotional post, honest!  It’s just that I went to Sephora and it’s given me a new lease on life, or at least on my face.)  I think these items have helped:

1. Nice foundation: For the first time in my life, I bought big-girl foundation from the makeup store instead of cheapo stuff from the drugstore.  Sephora has this Color IQ computer program in their stores, and it finds a match for your skin tone from all the products they carry.  My match is “Dim the Lights” by Buxom (ooh la la).  Wow, it feels and blends so much better than the drugstore stuff.   It’s paraben free but *wamp wamp* has some nasty chemical sunscreen in it.

I also bought some primer, because I was on a roll.  I wonder, though, whether the cosmetic company executives are laughing at us behind closed doors.  Does primer really do anything?  I am dubious, but regardless, the primer + nice foundation combo lasts longer than the drugstore stuff alone ever did.

2. Indian Clay Healing Mask: This is great for pulling junk out of your skin and shrinking your pores.  Plus it’s cheap and all natural.  My one problem with it is that it clogs up my sink.  So for now I kick the can down the road and rinse it off in the bathtub or with a wet washcloth.

3. Avalon Organics COQ10 cleansing milk and wrinkle defense creme.  I like that the cream is SPF 15 and uses zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, not any of the nefarious chemical sunscreens.  The cleansing milk is non-drying.  During the summer I use Neutrogena Naturals cleanser, which is a bit stronger.  I use coconut oil to remove eye makeup.  I’ve also used Yes to Carrots SPF15 moisturizer, which also avoids the chemical sunscreen ingredients.

4. Aveeno Eczema defense hand cream: I’ve tried many of the all-natural cream and lotion products and they seem to just sit there, not soaking in, on really dry hands.   This is the only thing so far that worked for my chapped hands (I don’t have eczema so I don’t know how it works on that).  It has some petrochemicals, which I haven’t had the energy to care about yet, but it doesn’t have parabens or phthalates.

*I never cared much about going all-natural, organic, etc. until I realized that a lot of the politically incorrect ingredients mess with your hormones.  Between hormones wrecking my life and puberty threatening in the not-distant-enough future for my girls, I’m trying to stay away from the estrogen-mimickers*

5. Oil of Olay hair remover duo: Doesn’t burn skin off!  Less painful than waxing.  I would love not to have to use this stuff, but alas.  Eventually I’d like to try laser hair removal but I always find more fun stuff to save up my money for.  Apparently hand-held, home laser treatments are entering the market.  Anyone tried these yet?

Back to you, Jenna, for more Five Favorites!