Team Griffiths- Working With Your Spouse

A few weeks ago Ivor and I attended his office New Years party. It was held at an old Theater, built in 1929. As such, the “theme” of the party was the Roaring 20’s (so fun!) What I loved most about it though was that Ivor’s band got to play and I got to photograph it. We did get to mingle, and eat/drink at the beginning of the party like everyone else. But then he got on stage, and I got behind my camera. I love that we get that opportunity every once in awhile- to express our individual creative passions at the same time.

For those of you unaware, who may only read my fashion-related posts and don’t actually know me very well- I love photography ūüôā At some point, when motherhood calms down a bit and my kids are no longer 3, 2 ¬†and brand new, I will pursue it more. For now, it’s a passion mostly “at rest” ¬†(as my friend and MOPS mentor mom once¬†said). I ¬†could really write an entirely separate post just about that- but the short version is this: sometimes in early motherhood, we may feel as though our whole identity revolves around being “mommy.” Any dreams or passions we have outside of motherhood feel as though they have died. But they haven’t. They’re still there. We are not JUST moms. We have other skills and talents you know. ¬†But the reality for some of us is that for the time being, with very small children at home who are so dependent on us, we may need to temporarily let those dreams rest, just for a season. And that is OKAY. Anyway- I’ll stop there before I start rambling (I’ll save that for a longer post on another day).¬†Back to Team Griffiths- working with your spouse!

In general, in our marriage we try not to have any part of our lives totally separate from each other. We are married, and 2 separate individuals have now become 1 unit. 1 team. Team Griffiths (or Team “Krivor” as our wedding party dubbed us….they made t-shirts). That doesn’t mean that we never do things apart from each other. My goodness, no. Every couple needs *some* time apart- we’d go crazy. I have my girl time. He has guy time. He may play video games or jam on his guitar while I veg in front of the TV watching This Is Us (because it’s way too “touchy feely” for his taste). But I mean when it comes to something he’s passionate about, something that’s important to him and is a big part of his life (like music) he brings me into it and makes me a part of it. I support him and help him where I can. Give him my very honest opinions, etc. And¬†he does the same for me. ¬†He’s not super into photography or writing/blogging. ¬†But he supports me and helps me. He’s my photographer when I need to “model” my Stitch Fix or Trunk Club clothes, and HE models for me occasionally (and you know that’s love because he’s really not comfortable having his picture taken unless he’s on stage performing with a guitar in his hands, totally candid). And like I ¬†mentioned earlier, it just so happens that both of our biggest interests/passions can work really well together.

One day we hope to take over the world with our multimedia empire.¬†We have big plans. But I digress ūüôā

Marriage is hard. We’re in the thick of year 7, with 3 kids, 3 and under. Nothing about that is easy. So anything we can do to foster unity and togetherness in our marriage, we’ve made a priority. Sharing our creative outlets with each other is just one of them. And we’ve found it to be beneficial in a few ways:

  1. Simply put, it’s more time spent together, instead of ¬†apart. We could (and sometimes do out of necessity) work on those things separately from each other. But it’s always better when we’re together. And yes, I believe I did just quote a Jack Johnson song, not at all on purpose.
  2. We inspire each other to be better at whatever it is we’re doing. ¬†Yes, through some constructive criticism of each other’s work, but also just through the support we receive from one another. We’ve both, at times, shown lack of interest in each other’s work/passions because we were too caught up in our own thing and as a result, those things suffered. ¬†I’m a better photographer and writer when I feel fully supported by my husband. And likewise, he’s a better musician/entrepreneur when he knows¬†he has my support. There is so much power in showing genuine interest and taking part in those things together.
  3. Piggybacking off of #2, we benefit from each other’s skills. ¬†He understands the business aspect of what I do creatively. He’s a business guy, tech guy, legal guy, ad-words guy, etc. I let him worry about those things, and I just create. Likewise, I help him administratively with the band, promoting him¬†with killer photos and sharing on social media, responding to email inquiries from prospective clients, being the keeper of the calendar, etc… and he does¬†the making-music part, because, well, he’s the musician ūüôā It makes us a really great team.

The creative passions and talents God has given us are meant to be shared. And you should be excited to share it with your spouse, don’t you think? Whenever Ivor starts writing a new song, he says “Hey, come check this out! What do you think?” Or when I’m really excited about a photo I took, I say something similar to him. When we’re excited about something, we can’t wait to share it with each other. ¬†We’re not always great at this, but we always see the benefits in our marriage (and our business) when we make the effort to go “check it out” and on the flip-side, we feel the repercussions of the lack thereof.

What might this look like in your marriage? Is there anything you’re passionate about that you’d love your spouse to be part of too? Is there something you can show more interest in that he/she really loves? Do you¬†each have skills/talents that can be beneficial to each other? It’s something worth exploring ūüôā

Team Griffiths- Working With Your Spouse Team Griffiths- Working With Your Spouse Team Griffiths- Working With Your Spouse Team Griffiths- Working With Your Spouse

And for a totally shameless plug of his band, here are some videos! Let me know if you’d like to book them for a party ūüėČ

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

Happy New Year Everyone! We’re kicking off¬†2017 with another Stitch Fix review! But this one isn’t mine. This is our very first Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017. If you weren’t aware, Stitch Fix for Men launched just last year. I’ve personally¬†been a Stitch Fix customer since the summer of 2014, just after having baby #2. ¬†And I received my #27 fix (!) in December. So I was excited to see what they had to offer for Men and signed my husband¬†up for early access. A service like this is perfect for him because he likes to dress well but hates to go shopping! Therefore, ¬†it didn’t take much convincing to try it out ūüôā

He actually received his first fix a while ago last year, but because of the craziness of pregnancy/giving birth/having 3 kids, we never got around to writing that review. He kept a great pair of shoes from that one! The other items he received were great too (very much his style) but either the fit wasn’t right or he just didn’t have a big need for the item. Well, his stylist listened to all of his notes from that fix and sent him an INCREDIBLE 2nd fix. Seriously, she nailed this one.

*Note: this post contains affiliate links. If a purchase is made using one of the links, I receive a small commission which helps support this blog. That said, all opinions are 100% ¬†my own ¬†(or “our” own in this case)! We love to share our experience with products and services we love with all you lovely readers ūüôā – Krystal & Ivor

Before jumping into the fix, let’s quickly go over how Stitch Fix for Men works (hint: exactly the same as ¬†Stitch Fix for Women):

Stitch-Fix-Men-Personal-Stylist-Box

HOW IT WORKS:

 

1.¬†Create an account online and complete a style survey. This will give your stylist a good idea of what clothing styles you like and dislike, your sizes, how much you’re willing to spend on certain items, etc.

2. Schedule a fix. ¬†You can sign up for automatic fixes, or schedule them on demand whenever you want. Once your¬†fix is scheduled, you can leave a¬†note for your stylist with any specific requests you might have. For this fix, my husband asked for items similar to those pictured in an email he received from Stitch Fix called ¬†“weekend vibes”:

Stitch Fix Men Review

3. When your fix ships, you’ll be charged a $20 styling fee, which is credited toward your purchase if you keep anything.

4. Once your fix arrives, have 3 days to try on your items at home and check-out online. At checkout, you can (and should) leave detailed feedback about each item so they can make any improvements for future fixes.

5. Then use the already-labeled shipping bag included in your fix to send back any items you don’t want (free shipping, both ways!)

That’s it! Very easy and very convenient. Things we love ūüôā

So let’s get started with my husband’s fix! You may notice that it looks quite similar to what was pictured in the email above, per his request!

 

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

With each fix, you receive a personalized note from your stylist. Here’s his:

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

Item 1: Mateo Textured Chukka (TOMS)

 

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017 Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

 

What he says:¬†They’re extremely comfortable.

-a man of few words ¬†ūüôā

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

What she says:¬†I loved these as soon as I saw them. While I can’t comment on how they feel (Ivor took care of that above lol), I am a big fan of how they look. ¬†I like the ¬†“chukka” style on him ¬†for a casual shoe. It’s not TOO casual but not too dressy either. He has a similar pair in brown so it’s nice that he now has a¬†pair in grey- another neutral that will go well with many outfits. ¬†And the textured print thing just makes them a little more interesting. ¬†I approve!

 

Item 2: Hunter 1/4  Zip Textured Pullover (TAILOR VINTAGE)

 

Stitch Fix Men Review Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

 

What he says: It’s soft and a great weight for California evenings/winters.

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

What she says:¬†First of all, I got a smile out of him! Win. Second of all, this is a great sweatshirt. While there’s nothing particularly special or unique about it (and let’s be honest, my husband isn’t quite as concerned about¬†such traits in his clothing as I am lol), it keeps him warm, it looks good, it’s another neutral so he’ll wear it with everything, and he doesn’t have another shirt like it already. Keeper.

 

Item 3: Marina Jean (A GOLD E)

 

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017 Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

 

What he says: ¬†I like the fact that they’re a classic denim, with no stretch. I think the wash is great.

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

What she says: Like he said, I love the¬†classic denim look. ¬†A lot of jeans have some stretch to them (even men’s jeans), and while there’s nothing wrong with that it’s just nice to have some variety. The medium wash is really nice and they look great on him. These were a little pricey but good denim is totally worth it. Especially since he only really owns 2 pairs of jeans (now 3) and wears them out until they’re no longer acceptable to wear in public ¬†ūüôā

 

Item 4: Ontario Button Down (ORIGINAL PENGUIN)

 

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017 Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

 

What he says: I like the pattern and it works really well with the jeans and other items I received.

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

What she says: ¬†This is a classic “Ivor” shirt. He has a ton of ¬†button down shirts and a large portion of them are plaid/checkered. While he doesn’t necessarily need another one, I like the colors of this one in particular (he doesn’t have one like it) and I know he loves this brand (Original Penguin). It’s just too tight for his muscular chest. ¬†Not a bad problem to have really ūüėČ

 

Item 5:  Kolt Four Pocket Jacket (EZEKIEL)

 

Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017  Stitch Fix Men Review- January 2017

 

What he says:¬†Like the pullover, it’s the perfect weight for California weather (spring/summer nights, all day fall/winter). It’s comfortable and soft and I love how well it works with the other things I’m wearing. ¬†The stylist did a great job putting together an entire outfit.

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

What she says:¬†I LOVE¬†this jacket! The whole look together is perfection (he’s wearing 4/5 items in his fix…you just can’t see the shoes). The funny thing is, he was just telling me the same day his fix arrived, that he really needed a coat like this. Something heavier then a zip-up hoodie, but lighter than a heavy winter coat. It was an item that was missing in his outerwear collection, so he was thrilled to get this! It looks fantastic on him. It’s a dark navy blue color (which is more obvious¬†outside in natural lighting. Inside it looks much darker, see pic below).

 

Stitch Fix Men Review

 

TO RECAP:

He kept everything for the discount (you get 25% off for keeping an entire fix), even though the button down shirt is¬†a little too small. He really loved everything else and it was cheaper to just keep it all with the discount, then buy the other 4 items by themselves. Stitch Fix does now offer exchanges but sadly they were out of stock in the size he needed. So we’ll be selling the button down shirt!

What do you think? Would the man in your life be interested in something like this? Sign him up ūüėČ

My Favorite Things From Stitch Fix- 2016

As the year comes to a close, it’s always nice to reflect back on all the good things that happened. In an especially rough year, ¬†it can be easy to only see the bad and let it overshadow the good. If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media recently, you’ll see an onslaught of “good riddance 2016!!”¬†comments, and other similar sentiments. So in a year like this one, I think it’s even MORE important to spend time reflecting on the good. I mean, my beautiful daughter came into the world this year. As did my miracle nephew, Mason. I made new friends. ¬†And I received really amazing new clothes, which isn’t nearly as important as the previous things mentioned but I still feel very grateful for it. These are all good things to celebrate ūüôā So, we’ll start with My Favorite Things From Stitch Fix– 2016!

Here are my top 5 favorite Stitch Fix  items/outfits that I received this year. Some are maternity, since I spent half the year pregnant : )

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If a purchase is made using one of the links,  I will receive a  small commission which helps support this blog!  That said, all opinions are 100% my own.  I just love sharing my experience with products and services I love with all you lovely readers! 

In no particular order…

1. Charlote Ruched Side Maternity Knit Top ($48) and Taylor Maternity Cuffed Demin Short ($54)

 

Best of Stitch Fix- 2016 Maternity Taylor Maternity Cuffed Denim Short  Best of Stitch Fix- 2016 Maternity Charlote Ruched Side Maternity Knit Top

This was the outfit I lived in for the majority of the 3rd trimester. The top was lightweight enough that it was OK to wear during the summer heat (MOST days. Some days were just INSANELY hot, and wearing no clothing at all was almost an option). The shorts were the only pair of maternity shorts I owned and luckily they were super comfortable, fit well and went with everything. So they got a ton of use! I’ve since passed both pieces on to another pregnant mama (because this shop is CLOSED, people), but I’ll always have these pictures to look back on ūüôā

 

2. Sina V-Neck Printed Maxi Dress ($78)

 

Best of Stitch Fix- 2016 Maternity Sina V-Neck Printed Maxi Dress Best of Stitch Fix- 2016 Maternity Sina V-Neck Printed Maxi Dress

This dress technically isn’t even maternity but it came in a maternity fix because it worked so well with the baby bump! ¬†And of course, I love that I can still wear it now, postpartum. It’s so light, comfortable, breathable, figure-flattering and has a gorgeous print! I can’t wait for warmer weather to start wearing this again. Bonus: it’s also nursing-friendly!

 

3. Genevieve Stacked Chevron Pendant Necklace $28

 

Best of Stitch Fix- 2016 Genevieve Stacked Chevron Pendant Necklace

Sigh. ¬†I ¬†LOVED this necklace. I had been looking for a long, gold pendant necklace to wear with my casual outfits and my Stitch Fix stylist delivered. I wore this almost every day for several weeks… until… my daughter broke it ūüôĀ She ¬†didn’t mean to of course. She sort of jumped up into my arms and her little hands pulled down on the necklace and the chain broke. I keep telling myself ¬†I’ll¬†take it somewhere to get it fixed. But all moms of little ones know how likely that is lol. ¬†RIP chevron pendant necklace.

 

4. Addison Skinny Jeans ($88)

 

The Best of Stitch Fix - 2016 Edition- Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top My Favorite Things From Stitch Fix- 2016

I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more of these pants in 2017. I pair them with just about everything that you can possibly pair with burgundy skinny ¬†jeans. The fit and length is SO perfect, which is surprisingly rare for me. I’m 5’4, so not *quite* petite, but most pants still run long on me. These “ankle” length pants feel just right. They also have a lot of stretch to them. It was one of the first pair of “pre-pregnancy size” jeans that I could ¬†wear¬†postpartum, even when others of the same size still felt too tight. Amazing, amazing jeans!

 

5. Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top ($54)

 

My Favorite Things From Stitch Fix- 2016 Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top My Favorite Things From Stitch Fix- 2016 Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top

Last but not least, a favorite from my most recent December fix! This gorgeous striped floral top is so soft and so pretty. I had nothing like it in my wardrobe (until now). Whenever I immediately wear an item out in public that I JUST received, I know it’s going to be a wardrobe fave. This was one such item.

 

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my reviews this year and I look forward to what 2017 will bring! I’m working on a major blog redesign and other improvements to make your experience as a reader even better! I can’t wait ūüôā

Before you leave, I’ve linked up with some other bloggers to share our¬†most recent fixes (hosted by the lovely Maria from “Crazy Together”). Check it out!

Until next year,

Krystal

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review

Well friends, 2017 is almost here! So this is likely my last Stitch Fix review of the year! Hard to believe. Somewhere between being super pregnant, giving birth and then suddenly having 3 kids (ages 3 and under), I lost track of what “number” fix I was on, skipped a few months and didn’t find time to review some of the ones¬†that I did¬†receive. But I’m back on track for 2017! I hope… ūüôā Thankfully, Stitch Fix keeps track for me. This is Fix #27, a “Romantic December Stitch Fix!”

I’ve titled this a “romantic” fix because I think all the pieces I received have an element of romance to them. It wasn’t something I specifically requested, but I’ll take it! I did request some options to wear for my husband’s “New Years” party coming up, and while I only kept 2 things from this fix, I was very pleased with my options.

Before I get into this fix, let me give a quick summary of how it works, for those of you who may not be familiar: Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service. You create an account online, ¬†and complete a style survey with your preferences and sizes. Then, you schedule a fix. You can sign up for automatic fixes or schedule them on demand, totally up to you! A stylist will put together a fix for you, containing 5 items based on your style profile and notes/requests. Once your fix ships, you’ll be charged a $20 styling fee, which is credited toward your purchase if you decide to keep anything. You have 3 days to try stuff on and checkout online. Then you send back whatever you don’t want, in the bag included in your fix (a shipping label is already on it). Free shipping both ways! Super simple.

Now, let’s get started with my December fix!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If purchases are made (or you sign up for Stitch Fix) using one of the links, I receive a small commission which helps support this blog. That said, all opinions are 100% my own. I love sharing my experience with all of you! 

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review

 

Item 1: Leeah Lace Knit Dress (WISP) $68

 

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Leeah Lace Knit Dress Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Leeah Lace Knit Dress

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Leeah Lace Knit Dress Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Leeah Lace Knit Dress

Romance element #1: lace! I love the soft lace and the gorgeous navy color of this dress. It’s a good length and the skirt part is nice and flowy. However, it wasn’t the best fit for me. It might be hard to tell from the photos, but it was just a bit too big ¬†and didn’t have the most flattering cut/shape for my body. Therefore, returned.

I styled it with the suede leather jacket I received from Trunk Club (LOVING the navy/cognac color combo!), my new necklace from the J.Crew Trunk, and my favorite leopard print heels. Oh, and we can’t forget my hair-tie “bracelets” (oops…) ūüėÄ

 

Item 2: Rumi 2fer Mixed Material Dress (WISP) $98 / Item 3: Shirley Metal Lace Collar Necklace (BAY TO BAUBLES) $34

 

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Rumi 2fer Mixed Material Dress Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Rumi 2fer Mixed Material Dress

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Rumi 2fer Mixed Material Dress Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Shirley Metal Lace Collar Necklace

For our 2nd romance element: red and black florals (and a shiny “lace” necklace). This dress is very well made (and a little pricey). I love the colors and the print of the bottom. I like that the top is solid black, making it a perfect blank canvas for ¬†a shiny accessory. This¬†dress (and the previous one) would work well for weddings, date nights, work parties, etc. But sadly, the fit was off again for me. A little big, a hair too long. I just didn’t feel great in it. So, returned.

The necklace is a light and bright silver and “collar” length as described. It worked really well with both of these dresses. But I already have similar pieces that I love a little more, so I returned the necklace too.

 

Item 4: Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top (PAPERMOON) $48

 

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top A Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top

Romance element #1 again: lace (black lace this time- pushing it a bit more toward the “sexy” side of things). Simply put: I love this top.¬†It is so soft and honestly, I can’t¬†get enough “lace detail” in my wardrobe.¬†The sleeves have a nice stretch to them so it’s not uncomfortable or tight. Very flattering fit. Absolute keeper!

I paired the top with my favorite Stitch Fix jeans- the “Addison Skinny Jean‚ÄĚ by Just Black, Kendra Scott Earrings¬†and Vince Camuto booties!

 

       

 

Item 5: Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top (LE LIS) $54

 

Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top Romantic December Stitch Fix Review- Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top

Final romance element: pink florals! I love the contrast of the flowers on the black and white stripes. The photos make the stripes look more bright white, but in person it’s more of an ivory color, which makes it even MORE romantic¬†in a vintage sort of way. I love that it’s not striped all the way around- making it more flattering. It has a relaxed fit, and it’s longer in the back, so not “boxy” (which used to be a complaint of mine with a lot of Stitch Fix tops in the past). It’s a soft knit material- like a thin sweater. I really can’t say enough good things about it. It’s a keeper!

Regarding how I styled it….there’s something about the romantic florals that made me want to pair it with pearls. Flowers and pearls is a classic¬†“romantic” combo, in my opinion. I wore these earrings on my wedding day and I honestly have no idea where they came from lol. But here’s a similar pair. The jeans are actually maternity jeans that I’m still wearing (5 months postpartum) because they are amazingly comfortable. It’s a “side panel” ¬†maternity jean which I think should just be¬†standard in all pants.¬†And my shoes are “patent leather” nude flats. ¬†Similar pair here!

 

RECAP: 

Item 1: Leeah Lace Knit Dress (WISP) $68: RETURNED

Item 2: Rumi 2fer Mixed Material Dress (WISP) $98: RETURNED

Item 3: Shirley Metal Lace Collar Necklace (BAY TO BAUBLES) $34: RETURNED

Item 4: Burkett Lace Detail Knit Top (PAPERMOON) $48 KEPT

Item 5: Ceaton Contrast Front Knit Top (LE LIS) $54 KEPT

 

While the dresses didn’t work out for me, I am very happy with my keepers. I’m wearing the striped floral top as we speak (I’m kind of obsessed).¬†Looking forward to my first fix of the New Year! Stay tuned…

J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review

Hello Lovely Readers!

It has been quite awhile since I’ve taken the time to do a decent review of Trunk Club or Stitch Fix with pretty pictures attached. Having 3 kids makes it really difficult to get any work done, so thank you being patient with me ūüôā If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you already know that I’m a loyal Trunk Club and Stitch Fix fan. Aside: I totally just typed “Trunk Fix” and “Stitch Club” (#mombrain alert). I need more coffee before I write. Anyway. I recently received an exclusive “J.Crew” trunk from Trunk Club Women and I can’t wait to share it with you!

But first, if you’re not familiar with the service,

Here’s how it works:

 

  1. Go to trunkclub.com/womens and click “get started” (or use my referral link to connect with¬†my amazing stylist, Alison!) You will then answer a few personal style-related questions and enter your sizes. Here are a few screenshots of the process:

Trunk Club Women Review Trunk Club Women Review Trunk Club Womens Review

2. Then, you’ll be¬†matched with your own personal stylist who will put together a trunk preview for you. You can select “don’t send” to any of the items in the preview, though you’re always encouraged to keep an open mind and try stuff on at home (sometimes the pictures really don’t do it justice). But if, for instance, something is way out of your price range and you don’t even want to be tempted with it, you can select “don’t send.” I really love having that option- and being able to communicate with my stylist via email or instant message!

3. You’ll be charged a $25 home try-on fee that gets credited toward your purchase if you keep anything.

4. Your trunk is shipped directly to you (free of charge) and you have 5 days to try stuff on at home and make your decision.

5. Then use the shipping label and tape included in your trunk to ship back whatever you don’t want, in the same box it shipped in (also free of charge!). *Bonus: you can schedule a UPS pick-up at your house, so you don’t even have to drop it off yourself! I’m all about convenience.

That’s it. Pretty straightforward, and really fun! Now, let’s get on with the J.Crew Review!

*Note: this post contains affiliate and referral links. Should you make a purchase using an affiliate link, I will receive a small commission that helps keep this blog running! That said, all opinions are 100% my own. Trust me, if I don’t like something- I’ll say it ūüôā¬†

 

LACE PEPLUM TOP ($88) / FLORAL DROP PENDANT NECKLACE ($48) / FORRESTER WOLFSTOOTH SILK PANTS ($148)

 

trunk-club-women-jcrew-review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review trunk-club-women-jcrew-review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review

Let us first talk about the top. When I first saw “peplum” I was discouraged. I haven’t met a peplum top that I’ve liked on me. Until this one. Maybe it’s the black lace, but it totally won me over. It was one of those items that immediately went from “most likely returning” when first taking it out of the box, to “totally keeping” when I tried it on. It’s versatile, feminine, modest, yet sexy at the same time! Keeper!

Next, the pants. I LOVE the print and the fabric. I’ve never once worn silk pants (for good reason…did you see the price?) As you can probably imagine, they’re insanely comfortable. I think they’re a tad too big. A size smaller would’ve looked better I think..less baggy. I had to hike them up a bit so they didn’t look too long at the bottom. But not a bad look overall. Ultimately, not very practical for me though. Like I mentioned earlier, if I still worked in an office, these would get more use. But as a stay-at-home/work-from-home mom with 3 mess-makers running around, not so much. Even for date night, which allows clothing I wouldn’t normally wear around my kids, these pants wouldn’t be on my short list. So, returned.

Lastly, the necklace. I love a good pendant necklace and this one was pretty gorgeous. The cluster of gold “leaves”, pearls and crystal is really pretty. However, the chain is a bit too clunky/chunky for my taste, so I returned it. I suppose I could’ve swapped out the chain for something different, but who has time for that? Not this mama. Returned.

 

LOCKET PENDANT NECKLACE ($32.50)
paired with the same peplum top, my FAVORITE jeans from Stitch Fix and Leopard Print Heels!

 

J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review trunk-club-women-jcrew-review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review trunk-club-women-jcrew-review

This right here, is my new favorite date-night outfit! I wanted to wear the peplum top again with items that I could actually see myself wearing, unlike those silk pants. So I grabbed the most amazing pair of jeans ever from Stitch fix (which you’ll see I wear in just about all the photos) and my leopard print pumps. But first- back to the item I’m supposed to be featuring here- the necklace! This chain is thinner and more “dainty” which is what I like. I love the light pink color with the additional charms. I love that it’s a locket even though I have no idea what I’d put in it lol. It’s a great length and adds that little something “extra” to the outfit.¬†Totally kept it!

Now let’s just take a moment to gush over the leopard print heels:

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I bought them on clearance at Nordstrom last year and I think they’re discontinued now. But I DID find them on Amazon! Click the image below to buy them for yourself- but act fast, they’re almost out of stock!

Oh, and the pants are “Addison Skinny Jean” by Just Black (Stitch Fix)!¬†They are so soft and comfortable and fit like a glove!

 

Jackie Bow Print Lightweight Wool Cardigan ($98)

 

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I am in love with this cardigan! I love black/white items because you can pair them with so many different things. To make my life easier, I just threw it over top of the outfit I already had on and it worked out well ūüôā I love the bows and gold buttons. There’s nothing I can think of to NOT love about it (except maybe the price, which is why I’m so thankful for the referral program ::insert raised hands emoji::). I usually don’t wear wool because it’s itchy and uncomfortable, but this is “merino wool”…and it’s soft…and not itchy at all. So I kept it! Oh, and I had to include a photo of our neighbor dog who wanted to join the photo shoot. His name is Oliver…”Ollie” for short, and he is amazing. That is all.

Asymmetrical Stripe Ruffle Top ($78)

 

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It’s a little hard to tell from the pictures, but the stripes on this top are navy blue. I love the navy/cream combo with the burgundy skinnys (seriously, have I mentioned how much I LOVE these pants?!). Anyway- I wanted to love this top, but I couldn’t get over all the ruffles. It was just a bit too much for me. Maybe¬†if it just had the ruffle at the bottom, and not the one going up the front of it.¬†But it also doesn’t have much stretch to it. It’s zippered in the back and I had to have my husband help me zip it. Soooo, not really a keeper for me, sadly.

I added one of my favorite necklaces from Stitch Fix, the “Austin Mini Spoons” necklace. Though I don’t think it works well with this top. Earrings would’ve been a better accessory I think, but I was in a hurry and I have #mombrain, which has already been discussed. The bracelet is also from Stitch Fix- “Theroux Arrow Relief Cuff“, which does work well I think.

 

New Perfect Cotton Poplin Shirt ($69.50) / Regent Stand Collar Blazer ($198)

 

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I didn’t take many pictures of me in this outfit because I honestly felt awkward wearing a blazer and had no idea how to pose in it, so I included some screenshots of the items with professional models wearing it. ¬†You’re welcome. This look is definitely not me lol. I did like the white shirt. It’s a classic staple piece for most career women. And I’m sure other non-career women like myself (and by that I just mean not working outside of the home) can still rock a white poplin shirt, but I know it’s not something that would get a lot of use in my own wardrobe. Although I was looking for one this past Halloween when I dressed up as Lois Lane, I can’t justify buying an item I’ll only wear on Halloween ūüôā And the blazer is certainly high quality and looks amazing on that other model. But not practical for me, and a little pricey. Returned both items.

 

Holly Stripe Sweater ($69.50)
paired with white poplin shirt and locket necklace

 

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This, to me, is the classic J.Crew look. Navy/cream striped sweater with white collared shirt underneath. The sweater is 100% wool- so super warm, but also super itchy. I don’t¬†think I could ever wear it WITHOUT a long sleeve shirt underneath, protecting my poor sensitive skin. This look isn’t my usual style, but after seeing the pictures it is¬†growing on me a bit. That said, I¬†did return it. I just can’t do wool…and I’d prefer to keep my “dry clean only” items limited to a few wardrobe pieces that I REALLY love.

Sparkly Frog Closure Ribbed Sweater ($118)
also paired with white poplin shirt

 

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This sweater is only 40% wool, so not nearly as itchy, but still dry clean only. A little shorter than the previous sweater, so it definitely calls for a longer shirt underneath. I love the “sparkly frog closure” thing. It’s such a cute detail that adds a lot to the sweater. Ultimately I returned it though because I just didn’t love it enough to justify adding it to the very limited “dry clean only” portion of my wardrobe.

Hawthorne Cable Pom-Pom Sweater ($98) / Two Tone Floral Necklace ($128) 

 

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Another navy wool sweater (seems to be a big theme with J.Crew lol). However, this is “merino” wool, like the “bow” cardigan above. So it’s more tolerable for my skin (notice I’m not wearing a shirt underneath). Also, I decided to switch out my burgundy skinny jeans for¬†a pair of light-wash denim, also from Stitch Fix (Lillian Crop Skinny Jean by Level 99) which I think goes really well with it! The sweater is very warm but just not my favorite. It’s not a great fit- a bit wide/boxy and a tad short for my taste. I am looking into some lace top extenders that a few of my other fellow bloggers have discovered though. This sweater would be a good contender for such an extender!

Anyway- let’s talk about the necklace. I LOVE this necklace. I have been wanting a statement necklace like this for a long time. I used to think that something like this would be too fancy to wear normally. Only appropriate for special occasions. But I’ve noticed a big trend in turning “fancy schmancy” accessories into “statement” pieces to wear with an otherwise very casual outfit. And I LOVE that trend. So I’m thrilled to now have one of those pieces. It has gorgeous colors that will pair well with so many different outfits. Definite keeper!

Ruffled Tuxedo Shirt ($88) / Lace Pants ($98) / Oval Lucite Link Necklace ($59.50)

 

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J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review J.Crew Trunk Club Women Review

This is another look I would be ALL about if I still had my office job. I like this white shirt better than the poplin. The “tuxedo” ruffle makes it a little more interesting, something¬†that¬†can stand on its own (without a jacket or sweater over top). It’s worth noting that both white shirts are quite see-through so I had to throw a cami on underneath. Otherwise, it looks and fits great. I did return it….but now I’m kind of regretting it :-/ I think I could totally make a shirt like this work in a more casual outfit. Dang. Moving on…

The pants. Very similar to the silk pants in fit/style (and the elastic waistband and pockets). Very comfortable but, like the silk pants, a bit too big and baggy on me. I totally love the idea of black lace pants though. If I could find a better fit- I think I’d add them to my “date night” wardrobe.

Lastly, the necklace. It looks okay with this outfit, but I returned it because it was a bit too chunky. And other than with a plain white top, I found it didn’t look great with most of my other tops. I am a fan of pairing it with leopard print heels though. Seriously, THESE HEELS!!


 

Embroidered Lips Stripe Tee ($45)

 

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So, this top is fun. ¬†Haha. Another navy/cream striped top. But with a little something extra! Embroidered lips. The photos make the stripes look black, but it is indeed navy. Anyway- I love the fit of this top. The fabric is thicker/heavier than you might assume, which I liked. But…I just couldn’t get over the lips lol. So I returned it. But man…the more I look at the pictures, the more I’m wishing I had kept it. I don’t know. Maybe if it was anything other than lips. Roses, perhaps.

 

And finally, 2 amazing purses…that for some reason I had a hard time modeling on my body and taking pictures of in person (and I ran out of time to spend on it). So I’ll just show you screen shots instead and you should follow the links to see even more pictures ūüôā

 

‘Signet’ Leather Crossbody Bag ($128)

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I love this bag! I don’t own many purses at all. I have another one in the same color (this one is called “roasted chestnut), but it’s much bigger and not a “cross-body” style. This one is nice and small(ish), which is great for when I want to go out without kids ūüėõ You can find it at Nordstrom in some other colors!

 

All-Day Tote ($178)

 

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Another really great bag! Like I said, I don’t have many purses at all. And this is now my only bag in black! This one is nice and big, able to hold just about everything I’d need for when I go out WITH kids. Big enough to double as a diaper bag (and way more fashionable than most).¬†Check it out¬†(It’s currently on sale!)

 

Phew…that was a lot of items! If you didn’t realize it before, I’m sure you do now- Trunk Club sends about 12-15 items in each trunk! Which makes reviewing every item for a blog post a lengthy process. But this was fun! What did you think of the J.Crew trunk? What was your favorite or least favorite? Should I have kept the lips shirt?! ūüôā

Before I go, quick shout-out to my amazing and patient husband who took all these photos for me, and to my mother-in-law who watched all 3 kiddos while we took them! This post would certainly not be possible without their help!

Until next time!

Coming soon…a¬†“New Years” party Stitch Fix review!

Gwen, Ivor & Fiona

Gosh, its been awhile since I’ve blogged. I’ve wanted to a bunch of times. But, life. There are so many different things I could write about, but I’m going to focus on my biggest reason for NOT blogging much anymore: my beautiful babies ūüôā

These updates aren’t just for far away family members, they’re for me too. In lieu of a physical baby book or journal, I have this. It’s helpful to remember milestones, sure. But it also causes me to actually pause and reflect on their little personalities and what I love about them.

Gwendolyn (3 years old):

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Miss Gwen continues to love preschool. She is really thriving there and from what I hear from her teachers, she is very much a leader. She loves to pretend to be the teacher, which doesn’t surprise me at all. She informs others when they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing. While I don’t want to her to be the class “tattle-tale” or teacher’s pet, I am hopeful that this personality trait means that she will not be so easily influenced by her peers and will always¬†stick to what she knows is right. Having a strong-willed child is really difficult at times, but if parented and guided¬†correctly (God help me), I think those leadership qualities will serve her well someday ūüôā

She’s a great big sister and oldest child. Much like in the classroom, she’s definitely the leader of the siblings at home too. She takes great care of Fiona and bounces her when she’s fussy, tries to talk to her and tell her “it’ll be okay”, etc. She can butt heads with Ivor Baby quite a bit, but they are best buddies and she’s learning to deal with him a little better (nicer…gentler lol). She loves to learn, loves to be a big helper, loves to be independent. She retains so much information it scares me. She still loves to sing and play instruments and she’s actually quite good at singing. But dangit if she didn’t get my stage fright :-/ I hope she grows out of it. Both at preschool and church I’ve been told that she rarely participates in group musical activities/singing. She only does it on her terms lol. If you TELL her to sing and put her on the spot…it won’t¬†happen. But will you find her in her own little world singing at all other times of the day? Yes you will. Sigh…she is me. (In that regard).

Other fun things: She would wear tutus every single day if she could. She even wears them to bed. I don’t fight it anymore. She loves to put bows in her hair and brush her hair while looking in the mirror. She loves to wear my shoes and try on my clothes and dance around in the living room.

Ivor Baby (2 years old):

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Oh my little middle-child and only son. He is growing so much (dude is solid and well-built¬†lol). And he’s learning so much every day. He’s talking a lot more now which I looooove because of how he pronounces things. My favorite are words that end in “er”. He pronounces it “ehh” instead. Like crackers…”cwackehhs…want cwackehhs mommy”. And dark is “doyk”. I love this stage. Soon enough he’ll be using proper English, which is boring. He is still hands-down THE best cuddler ever. I’ve been coming to realize that touch is so important to him. He is very tactile and loves to just touch stuff and feel it in his hands. A bunch of crayons rolling underneath his hands, applesauce smearing on the table- finger paint style, water play tables that he can splash in, sand running through his fingers, etc. Not sure what that could mean for his future career…something where he can work with his hands, and build stuff probably. He loves to build things. We’ve been quite impresses with his block towers.

He is still a wild, crazy, mischievous, fearless and reckless little guy whose screams can make your ears bleed,¬†but he can also be the SWEETEST boy ever with those big brown eyes, saying “yuh you daddy, goobye!” (which happened as Daddy left for work this morning). Ugh. Can’t stand it (in the best way). He’s also obsessed with waffles. He’d eat them for every meal if I’d let him. Daddy made chicken and waffles (homemade from scratch) one day, and he asked for it for breakfast for at least a week after. Can you blame him though?

Fiona (4 months old, almost):

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Miss Fiona is also growing like a weed. She’s now in mostly 6 mos. clothing. She has chubby little cheeks and thighs and I just love it. Her hair is still pure awesomeness. I’m so glad she hasn’t lost it all. It sticks straight up in the front ūüôā She is super social and loves to interact with people. When she smiles, her entire face smiles. She even lets out a giggle or two if you catch her in the right mood. She has discovered her voice and loves to use it. She had me cracking up last night as I was trying to get her down for bedtime. I was singing Christmas carols to her (yes, I’m one of those pre-Thanksgiving Christmas celebrators and I am not ashamed). Anyway. I was singing to her and she joined in. Loudly. And then eventually passed out. She is back to sleeping well through the night, but giving me a hard time during the day. She’s been pretty fussy and clingy, needing to be held or entertained constantly until she falls asleep, which has been a struggle during the day. This is a new development. She chews on everything- fingers are her favorite. Super drooley. Starting to get more distracted while nursing. Fun times ahead lol. I look forward to watching her personality blossom and change as she gets bigger. I suspect she’ll be hitting certain milestones a little sooner. From what I’ve heard (though I’m sure there are always exceptions), 3rd babies do everything sooner because they want to keep up with their siblings. Ya know, climbing stairs by 8 months old, stuff like that. We shall see!

Until next time, friends!

 

 

Trunk Club: A Fitness Trunk!

It has been quite awhile since I’ve posted about¬†Stitch Fix or Trunk Club. Having a 3rd baby is mostly to blame for that ūüôā But I just had to make this one happen because I’m so excited about it. Trunk Club now has FITNESS TRUNKS! Workout clothes, shoes, and accessories delivered to your doorstep. It came at a perfect time for me. I’ve been itching to start working out again mostly to feel better physically and mentally and have more energy. Having 3 kids is so exhausting and I just feel run down all the time. Additionally, I have some more baby weight to lose,¬†so that’s more motivation for me to get active again. So a fresh new workout wardrobe was totally in order. Not to mention the need for new running sneakers, since my feet grew during pregnancy and now my old shoes no longer fit ūüôĀ

Before showing you what I got, if you need a refresher on how Trunk Club works, especially in comparison to my other love, Stitch Fix- check out my comparison post here!

One of my favorite aspects of Trunk Club is getting to communicate with my stylist so much. We instant-message each other before and after every trunk to ensure that I’m getting a trunk suited to my desires and needs. Sometimes I like to be surprised and give very little guidance, but other times I am looking for something specific. I mentioned to Alison, my amazing new stylist – who is absolutely KILLING IT with these trunks, that I was looking for sneakers to fit my high-arched feet. Because of my high arches, I have a problem with the bone on the top of my foot getting sore after wearing certain shoes for longer than 10 mins. So I asked if she could find sneakers that would work for me. *Spoiler- she did and they’re amazing! As for everything else, I shared my¬†Pinterest board¬†with her and she did a great job sending items very similar to what I had pinned (even a few of the exact same items).

So without further ado, here’s my first fitness trunk!

Note: This post contains affiliate and referral links. If someone makes a purchase using one of my affiliate links, I receive a small commission which helps support this blog. That said, all opinions are my own. I love these services and enjoy sharing my experiences with you lovely readers! 

Trunk Club Fitness Trunk Review

I’ll start with the shoes:

Nike Zoom Pegasus 33 Sneaker 

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I love the colors and design of this sneaker. They offer a lot¬†of¬†support¬†and are very comfortable. Most importantly- they’re not¬†too tight around¬†the top of my foot. I can’t comment yet on how well they perform while actually running, but I suspect (based on other reviews and how they feel on my foot), that they will be amazing. While these are legit running sneakers, great for high-impact workouts, these next pair of sneakers will serve a different purpose for me:

Nike¬†‘Juvenate’ Print Sneaker

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THESE SHOES….hands-down may be the most comfortable pair of shoes my feet have ever had the privilege¬†of wearing. They are like walking on clouds. Lightweight, breathable, flexible. They’re like wearing slippers. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but they’re basically slip-ons. I keep them tied and can slip them on and off. Amazing. As opposed to the other sneakers, these are probably better for low-impact workouts and walking. I love the color and print and that they’ll go with just about everything (when it comes to active-wear). Once again, they fit my feet well and are great for my high arches. Well done, Alison!

Now, sports bras (which were way too small, because…breastfeeding)…

Nike¬†‘Pro Indy’ Dri-FIT Sports Bra

Trunk Club Fitness Nike Pro Indy Dri-FIT Sports Bra

Wasn’t able to try this on but I like the look of it- different than the typical sports-bra with the v-neck shape and spaghetti straps. Love the Dry-Fit fabric (drys quickly to keep you cool and comfortable).

Nike¬†‘Pro Fierce Accelerator’ Racerback Dri-FIT Sports Bra

Trunk Club Fitness Nike Pro Fierce Accelerator Racerback Dri-FIT Sports Bra

Cool print. Again, love¬†the dri-fit fabric stuff. Wish it would’ve fit, but Alison is sending me larger sizes in the next one ūüôā

Now on to the clothes…

Zella¬†‘Racer’ Tank

cropped-tank Trunk Club Fitness Zella Racer Tank

I am sucking in alllll the belly pooch in this photo, just FYI. The thing with most¬†workout clothes, is that they’re not very forgiving…because they’re so form fitting and tight. But that’s ok. More motivation to lose the baby weight ūüôā I really like this tank. Just about everything I received in this trunk is made with excellent, moisture-wicking, comfortable fabric. This tank is no exception. High quality stuff.

Nike¬†Dri-FIT Long Sleeve Top and¬†Zella¬†‘Barely Flare Booty’ High Waist Pants

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This is an outfit straight off my Pinterest board! The long-sleeved top is great for cooler-weather running. You’ll see that “dry-fit” fabric in many of the items, which is key. You don’t want sweat holding you back ūüėČ Also, love the thumb-hole cut-out thing.

The pants are great and I especially love the high-waist because it holds in the midsection well. They’re a flattering fit overall- fitted throughout most of the leg with a slight flare at the bottom. Great for every-day lounging (I’m wearing them right now as a matter of fact) and light workouts (I probably wouldn’t go running in them).

Zella Reversible Colorblock Cocoon Cardigan

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This cardigan is super soft and warm and definitely had a “cocoon”-like fit, which I didn’t photograph very well, sorry. You can see more pictures of it here. I didn’t end up keeping it though because I don’t really have a need for it and the overall style and fit wasn’t really “me”.

Zella¬†‘Layer Me’ Pullover

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This was my least favorite top. I wasn’t crazy about the fit on me, kind of unflattering and a little big. It was also the “heaviest” of fabrics (great for an added layer of warmth though). It reminded me of a ballet leotard for some reason…maybe the wide¬†scoop neck. Loved the thumb-hole cut-out though (a common element of the long-sleeved tops).

 

Zella¬†‘Arabesque’ Twist Tee and¬†Zella¬†‘Fly By’ Print Running Midi Tights

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I was on-the-fence with this top. I love how lightweight and free-flowing it is. I’m even a fan of the open back thing. But it fell off the shoulders WAY too easily, and that would’ve drove me crazy so I didn’t end up keeping it. I do love the concept of it though. You can apparently wear it the other way too…with the opening in the front, but…no thanks.

The tights I LOVE. Fun, printed running tights are all the rage right now. And I’m totally on board. Super comfy and keep the legs warm. These also have reflector dots on them to increase visibility while you’re out running and a hidden zip-pocket in the back waistband.

Zella¬†‘Twisty Turn’ Tee and¬†Zella¬†‘Speedster’ Running Shorts

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This is another top that I *almost* loved and kept. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the random seam than runs diagonally across the front, right over the boob. Why? Anyway, the “twisty turn” thing in the front is really cute and fabric was nice and lightweight, a great layering piece.

The shorts are awesome! Fun print, nice thick waistband, hidden pockets everywhere (even a pocket within a pocket) and easy to move (run) in. A great classic running short. Keeper for sure!

Nike¬†‘Element’ Dri-FIT Half Zip Performance Top and¬†Nike’Power Epic Lux’ Crop Dri-FIT Running Leggings

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This is probably my favorite outfit out of everything in the trunk! Love the heathered-grey top. Super soft material, lightweight but still adds some extra core warmth. Has a reflective trim to increase visibility and of course, the thumb-hole thing.

The leggings, I am obsessed with. The color and print was enough to make me like them, but the dry-fit fabric also feels really nice on the legs. Love the behind-the-knee mesh part too. Winner!

Zella Convertible Shoulder Tote

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This is a cute sporty little gym bag! Tons of pockets for all your stuff, plenty of room for clothes, a towel or yoga mat, etc. It has over-the-shoulder straps, hidden backpack straps and an optional cross-body strap for some different carrying options. I don’t need a gym bag because I don’t go to a gym. My house is my gym ūüôā BUT if I did go to one, this would be a great bag for it.

and finally…

Zella¬†‘Double the Fun’ Headband

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I would’ve tried this on for the photos but since I didn’t keep it I couldn’t¬†cut the tag off…and wearing this on my head with the tag on just looked silly. Anyway…it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s a headband to keep those fly-aways at bay while working out. However, I found it didn’t stay put very well on my hair, despite the rubbery dots ūüôĀ A problem I have with most headbands sadly.

So, what did you think? I was impressed and look forward to getting another one. The notes I gave Alison for my “follow-up” trunk: larger sports bras, more tanks/tops that have a looser-fit (to hide the postpartum spare-tire), and another fun pair of leggings and shorts!

Want to try a fitness trunk of your own? Alison would LOVE to work with you ūüôā Click here!

Trunk Club Fitness

 

Life Update

Gwen is in school. The other¬†2 kids are napping at the same time (!) House is (mostly) in order. So I’m taking a few minutes to blog (which I miss dearly).

It occurred to me that I never did a 1-month update on Fiona. I wrote monthly updates for the first year of both Gwen’s and Ivor Baby’s life. Oops. Already dropping the ball with baby #3. Sorry, Fiona.

I’ll start with her:

 

FIONA JOY:

*She’s growing quickly. Already in 3mos clothing (and has been for awhile). I packed up all the newborn clothes and they’ll be out of the house tomorrow. Waaa ūüôĀ

*She’s nursing well (see above) and aside from the clogged ducts and mastitis in the early days, I’ve really been enjoying our nursing relationship. Especially now that she’s more alert during the day. She looks up at me with wide eyes and sometimes even gives a little smirk. Then goes right back to eating.

*Speaking of, we’ve been getting lots of smiles from her in the last week or so! It’s so cool to see her look at me like¬†“Hey…I know you! You’re my mama.” and¬†then give a¬†great big smile. UGH. Melt my heart why don’t you. And then occasionally she smiles right after spitting-up all over me. So there’s that.

*She really loves baths, and being held/snuggled/bounced/swung.

*She really hates her car seat when it’s not in motion.

*She’s still sleeping very well at night. But my next goal is to get her to bed a bit earlier and establish a good bedtime routine. Right now she’s still hanging with us most of the evening (sometimes sleeping, sometimes not) until we all go upstairs together.

 

As for “Thing 1 and Thing 2″…

 

GWENDOLYN JANE:

*Someone needs to stop this girl from growing up. Even her preschool teachers commented on how mature she is (they could tell she was the older child of the family lol). And she¬†is LOVING preschool so much. She talks all about what she learns and who she plays with, what snacks she eats, the projects she works on, etc. She is so happy on school days. It makes my heart happy. I’m constantly amazed by how much she can absorb and remember. Still struggling with disobedience/defiance/stubbornness/etc. She is very much a “threenager” sometimes. But we’re learning and growing together.

 

IVOR ALAN:

*His vocabulary is really exploding at the moment and it’s getting much easier to communicate to each other. I’ve really been enjoying my time spent with him lately. Yes, he is still a whirlwind ball of energy and craziness sometimes. But he is also RIDICULOUSLY adorable and sweet and snuggly. I was chatting with our friend this morning about how he will be the BEST boyfriend and husband ever and will make some girl very happy one day with all that love and affection. Unless of course he finds a girl who hates affection. But I have yet to meet such a female ūüėõ Anyway, I think I may have mentioned this in my last post, but it seems like he changed overnight once Gwen started school. He actually plays with things now, instead of just throwing them around and destroying things. He is so much fun and I love him to pieces. And he pronounces the word “bananas” as “ba-neee-nas.” I can’t.

 

That’s all for now. Here are snapshots of recent days…

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3rd Time Around

There are no shortage of posts out there about what it’s like having a 3rd kid. The common theme in all of them is that basically “anything goes” by the time you’re on kid #3. And¬†5 weeks in…I can say that’s accurate for the most part lol. Here are some things that are different/new now that our #3 has arrived.

*Breastfeeding. With the first kid I was all about sticking to “THE SCHEDULE!”…every 2-3 hours baby must eat (at least in the very beginning). And be on each boob ¬†for a minimum of 15 mins, per ¬†the advice I received from¬†the hospital. Also each nursing¬†session must begin on the¬†boob you didn’t start with last time. I also covered up using a nursing cover anytime people other than my husband were in my presence. Note: I never had, nor do I currently have a problem with breastfeeding in public with or without a cover. I just always chose to do it for my own personal comfort/modesty. This time around…I DESPISE the dang nursing cover. It is such a pain and it’s really stinking hot for both me and baby (since I had a summer baby). Fiona hates it. I hate it. I’m just over it. It’s not like I just leave my boob hanging out for a long period of time for the world to see. And while baby is latched, there isn’t much to see anyway. Once she latches on I can throw shirt or something over any exposed skin, but I’m not completely covering my entire baby in a huge piece of fabric¬†anymore. I just can’t do it.¬†As far as “the schedule”,¬†I dropped that with baby #2. We nurse on-demand. When she’s hungry, she eats. For as little or long as she wants. And while it is definitely a good idea to switch up which boob you start with each session, my mom brain just can’t remember most of the time. So I no longer care.

*Sleep. We are SO lucky that Fiona is a great sleeper. My first 2 kids were not, at this stage anyway. And since this is our last baby, I am soaking in all the bedtime snuggles I can get. Normally at this point I would not want to nurse her or snuggle her until she falls asleep. I’d want to put her down while she’s still awake, but drowsy so she can learn to fall asleep on her own at night. And at some point I probably will switch to that again. But right now, while she’s still so tiny, with her soft newborn skin and smell and little noises, I happily nurse her until she falls asleep and then take a few extra mins to snuggle her on my chest. I just love how she buries her face in my chest and tucks her little head snug underneath my chin. Sigh…

*Daytime Schedule/Routine:¬†Before having any kids, I always said “our world will not revolve around baby” thinking we wouldn’t need to schedule our day around naps, feedings, etc. And then of course we had a kid and we realized how important routine and naps were for the health, happiness and sanity of EVERYONE. However, now that we’re on baby #3 and we already have 2 older kids, 1 of which is in preschool, and we have other scheduled activities etc….baby 3 kind of has to learn to go with the flow. Otherwise, we would never leave the house…EVER. One thing we will remain strict with, however, is bedtime. We believe in an early bedtime for our kids and plan to stick with it. But as for our days, anything goes ūüôā Thankfully Fiona seems to be pretty easy-going and can nap on-the-go, especially if I’m wearing her. Which brings me to…

*Baby-wearing:¬†I didn’t do this much with my first 2 kids. I never quite got the hang of the Moby wrap and it’s mile-long fabric. Again, I wanted to wear them during the summer and wrapping myself and baby in a crap-ton of sweat-inducing fabric just did not appeal to me. I did use our Ergo-carrier when they got bigger but only while we were out and about. And even then, with 2 kids so close in age, they were in the double stroller most of the time. So baby-wearing wasn’t a common occurrence. This time around, however, it’s pretty much a necessity. I need to be hands-free to wrangle my 2 older kids. I found a great carrier from a company called Nesting Days.¬†I won’t get into a full review right now (because it’s coming) but I will just say that it’s amazing and perfect and exactly what I was looking for. ¬†And again, because this is my last baby, I’m really enjoying the whole baby-wearing experience and keeping her close for as long as possible.

That’s all I have for now. I’m sure I’ll add more to this list as time goes on ūüôā

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3, 2, and Brand New!

If you missed it, we have 3 kids now. Fiona Joy graced us with her arrival on July 22nd. She’s 3 weeks old now and as expected, things have been a bit of a blur. This post is my attempt to sum up what¬†life has been like since her arrival, while it’s still fresh. I’ve decided to break it up into categories to keep my brain organized. Because “pregnancy brain” turns into “mom brain” and it just gets worse the more kids you have. So my brain is basically mush at¬†this point.

Here we go.

EMOTIONS

The first 2-3 days home from the hospital were the worst. Baby blues hit as expected. This time it¬†wasn’t centered around any one thing¬†specifically. Just an overall sad/depressed feeling. And it hit around the same time each day, about 4-5pm. A wave a sadness hits and the tears come. Thoughts of feeling overwhelmed flood your brain. I¬†wanted¬†to fast-forward time to when Fiona sleeps through the night, is bigger and can play with her siblings, etc. I just wanted to skip over the whole newborn stage¬†and jump to when we have life figured out. Wondering how the heck I was going to manage 3 kids on my own was terrifying. It’s a crazy thing, those hormones. You don’t feel like yourself at all. Thankfully, it was short-lived. Don’t get me wrong- feeling overwhelmed still happens and will continue to happen, but that feeling of walking around with a rain-cloud over my head has passed. Also during this time I get really clingy/needy with my husband. Not sure what it is…it’s like everything else in the world has changed and he’s my only constant. And I just need cuddles. #NotAshamed

SLEEP

I hesitate to even talk about this, because I don’t want to jinx myself. But….it could be worse. She may be the best sleeper out of all 3 kids. The first few nights at home were rough. My¬†milk hadn’t¬†fully come in yet so she was just never satisfied. I’d nurse her until she appeared to be asleep, but a few minutes after I put her down, she’d start fussing and crying and would only calm down if I put her back on the boob, or just held her. So there wasn’t much sleep happening at all. Once my milk came in though, she started sleeping in 3-4 hour stretches. We have occasional “bad” nights when she wakes up 3-4 times. But most of the time it’s¬†1-2 times. Keeping in mind this is with an 11-11:30pm “bedtime”. Gwen and Ivor Baby still go to bed around 7-7:30pm. But Fiona stays downstairs with us until OUR¬†bedtime. I feed her a few times while we’re watching TV. Then one last time upstairs in our room right before we all go to bed. So the waking up 1-2 times is from that point on. All of that said, I know things can easily change…with growth spurts, teething, and other random reasons etc. So I won’t get my hopes up. I’d rather prepare for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it stays this way. But for now, I am so thankful to get a solid stretch of sleep at night so that I can function the next day.

SIBLINGS

So Gwen is 3 and Ivor Baby is 2. They each come with their own challenges. Gwen can be emotionally exhausting and challenging. Ivor Baby is more physically exhausting/challenging. And having a newborn who nurses-on-demand can make things a little crazy, trying to make sure everyone’s needs are met and get the attention they’re demanding. We’re still working that out…especially now that I’m on my own with them during the day. But so far there have only been a few times where crap hit the fan and all 3 were¬†screaming or needing something at the same time. Let me tell you, the first time that happened, it really did feel like this:

3 kids

And I just wanted to go run and hide in the closet.

As far as sibling interaction: Gwen is doing great with Fiona. She’s like a little mommy and loves to help. She loves touching her hair (who doesn’t?!) and giving her kisses. Ivor Baby kind of ignored her¬†most of the time in the beginning, but he’s starting to take a little more interest in her now and he even gives her kisses too. He still needs to be more careful around her. ¬†He’s a bit like a tornado when he’s playing, destroying everything in his path, and doesn’t pay attention to his surroundings. Like I said, it is physically exhausting trying to keep him from hurting himself and others. But…he is a 2-year old boy.

BREASTFEEDING

Not much to report here other than the stupid infection I got (mastitis). I’m prone to clogged ducts and have had mastitis once before (which makes it even more likely to happen again), so I wasn’t all that surprised that it happened. Except that I didn’t even realize I had a clogged duct. Usually you have a clogged duct first, and then if you don’t unclog it within a few days it can turn into mastitis. In my case this time, it all seemed to happen in one day. I started the day off just fine, then around lunch time I felt some pain in my boob and thought “crap…clogged duct”. But then within just a few hours it progressed quickly, I came down with a high fever/chills and was in urgent care by dinner time (it wasn’t that bad the first time I got it, with Ivor Baby). Thankfully with antibiotics, a breast pump, warm compresses and Fiona spending more time on the boob, the issue was resolved in a few days. We’ve been doing great since.

PHYSICAL RECOVERY

Aside from the bout of mastitis, I’ve really felt great physically compared to my previous experiences.¬†I had a smooth, vaginal delivery and didn’t require any stitches this time (despite pushing out my biggest baby!) The fact that it was my 3rd time probably had a lot to do with that. So I am very thankful. Don’t get me wrong, there has still been recovery involved. To paraphrase¬†Ryan Reynolds, a human being did indeed exit my body and that’s no trivial ordeal.

I’ve started to ease back into working out again ¬†by lifting weights. I’m basically starting from scratch again and rebuilding muscle. My core is really weak right now…I can¬†barely do a sit-up. I mean..my core/midsection has housed, sustained and grown 3 human beings, 3 separate times in the last 4 years, so it’s kind of to be expected that my core strength isn’t what it used to be (especially only 3 weeks postpartum right now). ¬†And¬†I’m totally okay with that. I’m starting light and going slow. I feel no pressure to “get my body back” in any particular time-frame. But there’s no denying the benefits of working out…I feel better mentally and physically when I do it. Results will come eventually.

SUPPORT

Last, but¬†not at all least, I’ve been blessed with help/support in these first few weeks! My mother-in-law was here at first and was a huge help, occupying my older kids, cleaning, etc. My awesome friends brought over meals. And my husband has been a complete rockstar. He also occupied the kids, took over potty-training with Gwen (she had a regression just before Fiona was born and it was causing me major stress). He went grocery shopping, He cooked meals and fed me (and poured the wine!) He did dishes. He did whatever he had to do so that all I had to worry about was nursing and resting. He also made sure we got out of the house, especially during my “baby blues” phase. Today is his first day back to work and we miss him already ūüôĀ

The fun is just beginning! Gwen starts preschool next week, MOPS will start back up again next month and I’m looking forward to settling into a new routine.

Here are some snapshots from the first few weeks…