September 12, 2014

Thoughts on Being a Working Mom, And an INSANE Giveaway: A New Mobile Office (including a Macbook Air)

“Mom, why are you working so much?  I don’t like that you’re working all of the time” said Raines, my oldest.

I sat there, stunned by his words.  For most of his life, I had been a stay-at-home mom.  From the minute he was born, Raines was my little buddy, my partner in crime, we were never, ever apart.  We were attached, both metaphorically and (thanks to the Ergo) physically.  With Raines, I had slowed down, discovered myself and found peace.

And then Pax was born.  (I’m joking.  Ha, ha….ha)

But life is different now.  Not only have my kids changed and grown, but I’ve changed too.  There’s been this sort of natural progression of letting go and moving on.  I am no longer the only women in Raines’ life.  His teachers have become increasingly important to him, as have friends.  Our little bubble of existence – where the two of us so happily spent those first few months of his life –  has expanded.  I am still at the center, but now he is at the edges, pushing out, away from me.

I’ve heard other women, moms with more experience than I, talking about this seemingly inevitable shift.  They’ll use words like “rediscovering” themselves,  or as one friend said, “I’m just now getting myself back“.

I get it.  From the depths of my soul, I get it.  But at the same time, there’s another part of me rebelling at those words, “getting myself back,” and wanting to scream.  Because the path of rediscovery implies a loss, right?  In order to get yourself “back” or to rediscover your self, you first had to lose it.

I didn’t lose myself in motherhood; instead, I was found.   So any journey I embark on now, from this point forward, has to honor that early experience, that truth.

I am now a working mom.  Sure I work from home (with a really flexible schedule), but working nonetheless.  And while part of me thrills to put on my high heels and take the train into the city to write, or discuss collaborations in a professional, adult voice, and I think “YES, there she is!  There’s that girl I’ve been missing!”…perhaps it’s more accurate to simply say that I’m ready.  I’m not rediscovering some former self, lost among the diapers and the spitup and the 2847364 incessant questions a day from two young boys, but it’s the woman that – along the way – I grew up to be.  This woman who is ambition and drive and goals and forward-thinking…but who is also that new mom – will forever, irrevocably be that new mom.  The new mom snuggled in bed with her newborn, the light slanting into the room as she kisses a fat thigh, her heart swelling to impossible proportions.

I am all of these things.

So when Raines asks why I work so much, I pause.  I look up and see past his long limbs and crazy hair and remember that once-upon-a-time it was just him and I in the bubble; I was his whole world.  Actually, I remember it better than he does.  “I work because I want to, Baby” I say.  “I work because I love it.  We only get one chance, you know?  One life to figure out what we love to do, to make a difference.  I work because it helps me figure that out.”  We stare at each other.  He grins. “Okay” he says.  And just like that, we are back in the center of our bubble.

 

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Mobile Office Must-Haves

Soooo…..as I get more embroiled into this working-mama-world, there are a few MVP items that have made my life so. much. easier.  Especially for working on the go.

September 9, 2014

My Fall Uniform (And HEY – it’s perfect for nursing) – Sponsored Post

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When I was little, I remember giving my mom a hard time about dresses.  While my sister was ever-so-carefully cutting out images from Bride magazine, I was a jeans-only kind of kid.  Jeans only with my blue sneakers and my skinned knees and my freckles and my too big teeth.

I’m still that way.  Not so much with the skinned knees anymore (I’m a terrible ‘fraidy cat on the skateboard) but the freckles and the denim and the sneakers and – yes – the really big teeth.  That’s me, I guess.

September 8, 2014

Fall Must-Have #1: A Seriously Cool Hat

I’ve been working on another round-up, a list of must-have pieces for Fall.  One of the items high on that list is a cool hat.  After the past year, I have a newfound love & respect for hats, and have appreciated how they can take any outfit up a notch (even when bald, right??).

But I found, after going through so many different hats last year, that the good ones sell quickly.  Most of my favs, by the time I blogged about them, were long gone.  ANNOYING.  So I know it’s early in the season buuuut….let’s talk hats.  So I don’t have to my told you so dance later.  (As you might imagine, Mike loves my ‘told you so’ dance.  I’ve been workin’ on it for years.)

Baseball Hats

Brimmed Hats

 

Beanies

 

xo,

S

By September 8, 2014 6 No tags Permalink
September 7, 2014

That Time I Wore My Mom’s Dress To New York Fashion Week (#NYFW)

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It’s so nerve-wracking getting dressed for Fashion Week events.  I always make a bigger deal out of it than is necessary, and in the end always wear something comfortable.  Especially when Mike comes along – we try to make a day-date out of the whole thing.   So this time, with temps in the 90’s and threats of rain…I wore my mom’s dress (and wedges that I later regretted).

Anyway, we had a blast.  We also spent way too much time in the subway (at this point, I’m convinced that the “C Train” is purely mythological and am pretty sure that the world’s energy crisis could be solved by studying the New York subway stations’ ability to retain heat)  but New York never disappoints.

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Fashion Week nerds are easy to spot.  Just look for outfits with a healthy dose of crazy.  I’m not gonna lie:  I love a healthy dose of crazy and am currently hunting down that….fluffy?  fringy? shirt below.  Giant white trousers that don’t cost $1000 have been on my list for years now…BUT STILL NO LUCK.

 

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Mike indulges me with this whole fashion blogger thing, but we both genuinely  love RewardStyle parties.  I have very few pics because we were too busy gabbing.  And eating fashion food.  (Think: small)

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Of course I had to take Mike over to Lincoln Center to see Carnival I mean Fashion Week.  It’s a trip.

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My friend Brent recently pointed out that NYFW crowds are growing – more photographers, more bloggers, more style stars, more onlookers.  As a result, photogs are relying on their big-gun zoom lenses to get the shot.  Otherwise, too many people are in the way.  I think Brent’s right.  The vibe outside of the Lincoln Center felt a little more…forced than it did a couple of years ago.  Mike called it “peacocking”.   He’s dead on.

 

To be fair, it was also a million degrees outside with loads of humidity.  Which may have contributed to the “forced” feeling.  In my case, as you may know, this sort of weather is perfect for short, curly hair.  [fist pump]

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Snort.  Which reminds me….I need to pick up another baseball hat.  Or twelve.

 

Anyway, after all of this, we grabbed seriously good Thai at Room Service (Mary, you babe, thanks for the recommendation!!), walked around Chelsea in the cool night air, and smooched a little bit.  Feeling refreshed, relaxed, and happy, we went down to the subway.

 

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I mean seriously WTF New York.  I thought I was going to pass out.  It was like Death Valley with 300% humidity.

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So of course Mike took pictures of my boobs.

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Aren’t they pretty?  You’d never know I’m still missing a nipple.  Gotta get that thing tattooed on soon.  (Hi New Readers!  Don’t be scared – it’s just breast cancer humor…ha,ha…ha.  And you guys – at this exact time last year I was about to start chemo.  Sofreakingcrazy.)

 

But you know my favorite thing about Fashion Week?  My most favorite thing?  Is how – each time – I leave feeling totally inspired by all of those bat-sh*t-crazy outfits.  I KNOW.  But the thing is….those Peacocks (as Mike would call them) – they’re expressing themselves in a harmless (and fun) way, exuding confidence, taking a break from the norm.   And because the Peacocks exist, the rest of us, at least during Fashion Week, Get. Dressed.  In a major way.  So instead of grabbing any ol’ pretty dress, I worked a little harder….and ended up in my mom’s stunning vintage dress.  Something I don’t wear nearly often enough.  And I felt gorgeous, darling.  Glamorous, even.

One of these years I may go for it.  Find something unique and crazy-fabulous and dress totally up like the Peacocks. Maybe.  Or maybe I’ll just start wearing more dramatic pieces on the regular.  There is something to be said for a stunning maxi dress.

 

Thanks, Mom.  Love you to pieces.

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wearing:

dress:  my Mom’s (see below for a few others I love)

shoes: Nine West wedges – similar Plomo wedges currently 60% off

accessories:  Kate Spade Henry duffle – sold out, but the Kate Spade Charles Street Kenton is similar, Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Target hat but am really crushing on this seriously chic hat by Kate Spade or this pom-pom baseball hat by Echo, Bauble Bar Arrow necklace, and my mom’s bracelet (that she bartered for in an Ethiopian bazaar while in the Peace Corp when Haile Selassie was overthrown and a military coup happened.  True story – my mom’s a badass.)

 

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In honor of Fashion Week, here are a few dramatic maxi dresses that you could work into your real life.

 

xo,

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 4, 2014

Birkenstocks And Socks. (You Had To Know This Was Coming)

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It seems inconceivable, as I spent the last few hours today sweating around NY in a miniskirt, that only two weeks ago I was wearing thick wool sweaters.  That is the way of Michigan summers, I suppose.  As a teen growing up in Marquette, MI, summers meant new bikinis and a new J.Crew cotton rollneck sweater.  Remember those?  [snort]

But because I’m a 90’s girl, summer also meant Birkenstocks.  So cool with that rollneck sweater!  And fall?  Well.  Fall meant Birkenstocks WITH SOCKS.

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I loved it then, I love it now.  Naysayers, say what you nay!  I’m unabashedly, unapologetically, unashamedly going to rock Birks with socks.

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I had to work through a few things, though.  Here’s what I learned:

1.  The newer Birkenstocks that say “soft footbed” are MUCH more comfortable than the Birks of yesteryear *cough*90’s*cough*.  No break-in period required.  And that birko-flor stuff is crazy soft, as is the suede.  As much as I wanted to be all die-hard CLASSIC LEATHER BIRKS OR BUST….those were the pairs I returned.

2.  For wearing birks + socks with skinny jeans, the socks matter.  Trying to get the right level of scrunched at the top of the sock was driving me nuts until I found these socks from Free People.  The little crochet hem saves it.  (Of course, one doesn’t need to worry about scrunching socks if wearing Birks old-school: straight-leg jeans with ripped hems, Wigwam socks.  #ohyesIwill #withachoker)

 

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wearing:

sweater:  Marc Jacobs James Sweater, on sale!! at Nordstrom

jeans: Rag and Bone (old)…but the similar Rag and Bone Stretch Skinny Jean in seaside wash is on sale for $118

shoes: Birkenstocks Arizona Soft Footbed in Golden Brown Birko-Flor

socks: Free People Short Highland Boot Sock  (If you don’t want to pay shipping for just a pair of socks….I strongly suggest this sweater.  It is everything.  Or hey – Nordstrom has similar socks in a longer length.)

lipstick: Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in Coy

 

All of these pictures were taken not far from my parent’s lake house (“camp”).  Didn’t I grow up in a gorgeous place?  #blessed #justkidding

I have such a love-hate relationship with #hashtags.

 

Anyway, happy Friday!!  Mike and I are headed up to NY for the Reward Style party on Saturday….anyone else going?  It’s always a good time, and Mike’s bringing the camera, so hopefully we can find some good #nyfw inspo….we will see.

xo,

S

 

September 3, 2014

If You Only Buy One Pair Of Shoes This Fall…..THESE

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wearing: Ray-Ban sunglasses, a well-worn Vince Double-V sweater from last year – try the current Vince double-v sweater in gray, and Kate Spade Henry Bag -similar Kate Spade bag on sale…..Raines is wearing a wave print tee by Peek,  Gap skinny cords and Vans tiger camo high tops.

 

Kristin emailed me this question a few weeks ago:

I can only afford one new pair of go-to shoes for fall. What do I choose?!? I’ve got old Toms I thought about replacing in a fun pattern. I have some mustard yellow mocs. Brown riding boots. Boring navy sneaks. Moto ankle boots. Gold Sperrys. Ten different ballet flats from my time working in an office. I want a shoe that is comfy for everyday stuff with the kids but also something that will liven up a boring daytime outfit. And I should note: I never met a color or pattern I didn’t like, and mixed prints make my heart flutter.  What to buy?

Kristin, this is a seriously great question.  So.  If you have the basics covered (boots, cute sneaks, etc.) and just want an easy way to modernize your mom-uniform this Fall, my recommendation is the slip-on sneaker (or smoking loafer if you prefer something less sporty).  These shoes are insanely comfortable – you can do the playground scene with ease – but they still look cool enough for a Saturday night out with the fam.  I wear mine with everything – skinnies, boyfriend jeans, cut-offs, skirt and dresses – everything. Unlike sneakers, which I personally find hard to style at times, these are really, really easy.

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An added bonus (as far as trends go) is that slip-on sneaker / smoking loafer isn’t a brand-new trend.  Why is this a good thing?  Because when trends first surface, it’s usually in the form of some coveted designer item with a hefty price tag and hard-to-find status.  Give a trend another year or so and you’ll not only find out which ones will actually last, but there will also be So. Many. Options.    On that note….

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1.  Sam Edelman Becker in Camo Print, $80 at Zappos

I picture these with a black pencil skirt.  And everything else.

2.  Same Edelman Becker in Plaid, $80 at Nordstrom (more sizes available at Urban Outfitters)

Add skinnies, a snuggly sweater, and a plaid scarf to perfectly rock the mixed plaid trend (this J.Crew plaid scarf is perfect).

3.  Steve Madden Graffiti Print Slip On Sneaker, $80 at Nordstrom

A perfect way to make classic dark skinnies a little more rock-and-roll.

4.  Classic Vans in Chevron Stripe, $50

With a short, black, sweatshirt dress.

5. Vans for J.Crew Tye Dyed Slip On, on sale for $60 at J.Crew

Fab with white denim and a drapey gray sweatshirt.

6. Schutz Amisha in new neutral pony, $160 at Piperlime

A perfect offset to destroyed denim.

 

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Leopard looks fab with everything – wear it like a neutral.  My current fav?  With skinnies and a classic, striped tee.

1. Sam Edelman Becker in new leopard, on sale for $80 at Nordstrom

LOVE how these look like a cross between a sneaker and a smoking loafer.

2. Vans Classic in Leopard Herringbone, on sale for $27 at Nordstrom

3. Loeffler Randall Dawn Cheetah, $325

Like everything that Loeffler Randall does, this unique take on a slip on will haunt my dreams for years to come.  Mark my words.  YEARS.

4.  Michael Kors Keaton Slip On Sneaker, $135 at Nordstrom

5. Splendid Smoking Shoe, $98 at Shopbop

 

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If the prints are too much for you, try a shoe with a bit of texture.  Classic, but still interesting.

1. Vince Preston Slip On, $295

Gosh, I love these.  I’d wear with faux-leather shorts and a white tee.

2. Steve Madden Snake Print, on sale for $44

Soooo…these are the shoes I’m wearing, but….they aren’t leather.  So while I LOVE how they look, wearing them without socks on a hot day is NOT comfortable.  I bought them because they were much cheaper and now…..buyers remorse.

3.  Vince Bowen Slip On Sneaker, $225

Stupidly expensive in comparison, but stupidly comfortable.  Seriously.  There’a whole ton of squishy cushion in there.  The shoes I *didn’t* buy in the Nordstrom sale.  Gah!

4. Joie Kidmore Sneaker, $190

I love this sort of taupe-y color.  These make wearing white after Labor Day a cinch.

5. Jeffrey Campbell Ray Sneaker, $84

Am I the only one who loves that these look like slippers?  I’m thinking they would be hysterically awesome with a piped silk button-down (think:  silk pjs).  Or a graphic tee.  Either way.

 

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1.  Marc Jacobs Rue Smoking Flat, $228

I’ve actually had these on my feet.  I wanted, WANTED to walk out with them.  They are insanely comfortable.  But….I just couldn’t.  I love the whole quirky kitty thing, but I’m actually more of a dog person (hey!).

2. DV by Dolce Vita Lex 2, $90

For the t-shirt-and-jeans-everyday girl:  THESE.

3. Report Reid Flat in blue suede, $60

I think blue suede shoes were made for lightwash denim and gray t-shirts.

4. Messeca Meli Loafer in blue leopard pony, $110

I would wear these with cropped, black, skinny ponte pants, and a brightly striped tee.  So cool, in general, with black.

5. Sole Society Harla Flat, $60

This flat comes in three spot-on-perfect patterns, and I love them all.

6. J.Crew Printed Sophie Leather Loafers, $148 (currently 25% off with code SHOPTIME)

J.Crew has a way of making patterned shoes that virtually never go out of style.  I picture these with boyfriend jeans and black turtlenecks.  (Well, I picture pretty much everything with boyfriend jeans and black turtlenecks.)

7. J.Crew Sophie Mermaid Glitter Loafers, $138

OMG JCREW FOR REAL?  You had me at “Mermaid Glitter”.  I love shoes like these – mermaid glitter shoes – with dressed down pieces.  Destroyed denim, cut-off shorts, raw hem cropped jeans, even denim vests – pieces like this.  Add cozy sweaters or moto jackets and you have a win.

 

So…..slip on shoes/smoking loafers for the win?  FTW I say!

Happy shopping you babes.

xo,

S

 

 

By September 3, 2014 17 No tags Permalink
September 2, 2014

Reader Style: Sarah’s Daily Uniform And Heartbreakingly Honest Journey On Finding Her Style

A few weeks ago, I received this email from reader Sara:

I’ve been a long-time reader (since 2010? I can’t remember except somewhere around gestating my middle child), enjoying your blogging, and your honesty throughout (cancer, clothes, mom stuff). I have an outfit for your reader submitted outfit stuff, and I also have “shit to say” about clothes and nowhere to say it except my diary. So, you can do whatever with it, but….

Dear Diary Shana:

And so begins one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful essays I’ve read all year.  Get a cup of coffee, settle in, and hand your heart over to Sarah.  By the end, you’ll be on your feet, tears in your eyes, cheering her on (I certainly was).

 

***

There’s a great episode of The Wire (which is the greatest television show ever, fyi). In it, a former city police sergeant is working in a classroom setting, interacting on a personal level with these “inner city kids”. He makes them a bet, they win, and so he delivers on the terms by taking them to a fancy restaurant in Baltimore. The kids are excited to get dressed up and go someplace nice, but once they get inside, it slowly dawns on them how out-of-place they are.

This one clip sums up a moment I have experienced at least twice a week since moving to the Washington D.C. area eight years ago. At nineteen, I’d graduated college and gotten a job in law school administration at Georgetown University Law Center. I had the city and the potential of free graduate school at my feet. In the end, it was simply demoralizing. Professionally, I could be summed up in having just enough awareness to notice that I was pulling the old black-sweats-as-real-pants-with-a-cheap-blazer trick while giving career advice to a woman in an impeccably tailored Chanel suit. I thought I would grow beyond that—with kids, becoming a stay-at-home mom and a fledgling writer—but I’m still struggling.

Just the other week, I chose to take my oldest to VBS without shoes (having not noticed we’d forgotten them until we were halfway there). Believing it to be a small embarrassment but otherwise fine, I again miscalculated the standards. I arrived, wearing cut-off shorts (they had been cut-off because they were ripped in a dirtbike/motorcycle accident while visiting my family), and a faded band t-shirt complete with skull. My nails were not done. My hair was not brushed, but knotted on my head. My child had no shoes. In front of the mirror I’d said I didn’t care, but standing there, I cared.  The other mothers watched quietly, the leaders tried to be very nice and casual about the fact that he could not attend without shoes, and I simply stood there and blistered under the dawning realization that everyone could see it again—how I was still, after all this time, country shit. I turned tail with my shoeless and sad five-year-old, and started thinking. About that moment with the lady in Chanel. About why I had a decent salary and was still wearing the cheapest clothes I could find. About why I cared and why it mattered.

 

“We wore sweatpants and t-shirts. When you wanted to dress up, you put on your jeans. If you went grocery shopping, in jeans and makeup, well you were just way over-dressed. You’d stick out like a sore thumb. That’s how you gained twenty pounds without noticing–you were always in sweatpants.”- my mother, during my borderline-crying phone call, about standards of dress in the rural places I grew up.

 

Deep down in my soul, I still truly put on jeans to dress up. But, it’s not really as simple as revising my style rules to include “jeans are, by-and-large, casual,” for to change that deep truth is to change a thousand older truths. It’s to change the place in my soul that watches the harvest of these tiny gentleman farmer hay fields scattered around me and remembers the cut of the twine in my hands, and the sweat beading on my spine, and marvels that in this warm, southerly place you can hay at least THREE times. No one else seems to notice how amazing it is that you would literally never have to worry about running out of hay in a winter! That’s the same place in my soul that praises God for the blessing of a buying a raspberry from a store in the middle of winter (my main dream as a child was to one day be rich enough to afford buying whatever fruit I wanted, whenever I wanted it). And it’s also the place that remembers the sun sweet taste of a wild one plucked off a thorny bush. I cannot simply REMEMBER SHOES or believe JEANS ARE CASUAL, because to do that, I feel like I have to forget running barefoot through the woods all summer, and forget the cost of each penny that went into boots from the thrift store for winter. It’s to forget when someone gave me a pair of flared, low rise jeans when I was in middle school and had to wear tapered, high-waisted jeans my mom had saved from high school in the eighties. It’s to forget never actually wearing those jeans because my life would positively ruin them, and I had no way to replace them.

 

There’s a whole person in those memories– once they start, I cannot stop them. Stories that I slip into telling before realizing everyone is staring, and not in a good way. It’s the sound of a coal train at night, and how a deer-hide feels when it comes right off a fresh kill. How the inside is so soft and how it stretches and my hands sting when I rub salt into the hide. It’s the memory of perfecting a blow-out look by coiling my hair just right inside my hard-hat and then working a twelve hour overnight shift at a plastics factory to get myself through another semester of college. It’s the hazy memory of white robes and cut eyes and a raised cross in the grocery-store parking lot. It’s of surviving when men were ill-intentioned and there was no one to stand up for me. Those things have surely driven me straight into the person I am today. As if each of those memories hinges an entire course I became destined to walk. So many memories I still cling to, without having anyone who understands. What it’s like to be alone. What a coyote sounds like in the dark, two steps away from you. The weight of an infant sibling on my hip with the blowing grass and a twisting finger of God reaching down across the low hills. I remember that moment, fleeing from harm and halfway to the safety of a neighbor’s basement. I stopped. And tipped my head to the swirling green clouds and knew I could open my mouth and swallow those winds whole. I didn’t need to run. I could withstand.

 

And I did.

 

Sometimes I sit in the air conditioning and eat my store-bought raspberries and re-blog feminist quotes on tumblr and I marvel at my privilege. I’m poor to 90% of people around me, but they don’t know what I know. I’m rich! I can pay all my bills and buy a few extras. I can buy luxury textiles to wrap my baby. And real leather boots. I can buy an orange in summer and a berry in winter. But sometimes, late at night, when I’m writing while my kids are asleep, I stop and remember. I remember who I am deep down inside and that if all my privilege falls to dust and my safety becomes a whirling wind, I will not fear, because that girl still exists, deep down, right alongside “jeans are for dress-up”.

 

Nearing thirty, I want different things now. I want my pediatrician to stop talking to me like I’m an idiot. I want to stop sending emails I regret to my agent (ha!!). I want to have control over who I was and how people view me. I want to sell a book and be ready for any measure of success. This is the last part of surviving, isn’t it? Growing past being a survivor? But I don’t know how, really, without losing that part of me. For every-time I forget shoes, I remember her, and clothes become a struggle between the many once and future me’s.

 

Occasionally, I hit on it.

 

In this picture I’m in Baltimore, at an appointment. I went early and took my oldest (with shoes!) around some places in the Inner Harbor. And in this outfit, I felt like I was all of me at one time. When we passed a hotel along the water, the doormen and the car service guys nodded and smiled respectfully, moving to open the doors as if I belonged. But if you dropped me beside my sister—that day butchering fresh-caught salmon and canning them for the winter in her trailer in Alaska—I could untuck my shirt and put down my bag and work alongside her. (Well, I might need a sweatshirt). If you put me in my old job, talking to the woman in the Chanel suit, I’d be seen as competent and professional. If you add “best-selling author” to my bio, I’d look like a successful woman. That’s what made this outfit a win for me.

 

And, I felt very Morticia Adams in it. That’s always a win.

 

P.S. I’ll take suggestions for replicating this into any form.

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Sunglasses: Target; Tank: J. Crew from few years ago but it’s their fine-spun one (similar J.Crew tank); Skirt: ASOS (might still be on sale, but if anyone knows of a different washable skirt in this shape, I NEED IT) [NOTE From S - found a similar black skirt at Kohls, also in seriously cool stripe]; Shoes: Target from three years ago (on my list of things to upgrade); Bracelet: off the super clearance at Kohls; Bag: Fossil (similar Fossil cross-body bag). Picture courtesy of the five-year-old.

 

Sincerely,

Sarah Nicole Lemon

 

https://twitter.com/sarahnlemon

www.sarahnicolelemon.tumblr.com

www.sarahnicolelemon.com

 

 

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Sarah, your words are a gift.  Thank you – so freaking much- for sharing your world.  (And I have a few thoughts on outfits for you…more to come…..)

August 31, 2014

Chic Dining Chairs That Are Practically Kid-Proof (and on sale)

Gosh, the Labor Day Sales have been ah-mazing this year.  And now jumping into the fray is World Market with a killer dining room sale.  If anyone is considering a dining room upgrade, Amanda makes a pretty convincing argument for taking a second look at your chairs.  

 

While the weather is still summer-like in Boston, you can definitely feel the shift towards Autumn as the kids head back to school and sunset comes a little earlier every night. Fall brings such a cozy feeling, it makes me want to hit the sales for snuggly sweaters and eat pumpkin spice-flavored everything! It’s also a great time to reconnect around the dinner table after long work and school days. Dining chairs take a lot of abuse – if yours chairs could use some sprucing up, or you just want more comfortable options to encourage family to linger after eating, we’ve got some awesome deals from World Market to show you. They’re having a dining furniture sale at the moment so it’s a great time to snag a deal if you’re in the market for a room refresh. The best thing about these chairs is that each and every one of them is mess-resistant – no special care needed, just soap and water clean up (a must for tiny diners!), not to mention many come in a set of 2 so they’re pretty budget friendly. I broke it down into 5 categories – Classic, Modern, Versatile, Rustic, and Fun – so there’s sure to be something to match your decor.

Classic

Although these chairs are more traditional, they’re flexible enough to fit with a lot of different dining room styles. And the designs are virtually trend-proof, so they’ll never go out of style.
Classic_DiningChairs
While the lines of this chair are very traditional, the deep green color is anything but. These would look great at each end of the dining table.
This one looks so soft I just want to curl up in it with a good book and cup of tea! The color is a perfect neutral that will play nicely with many color schemes and decor styles. It also comes in a dark gray and jewel tone botanical pattern if you want to get a little wild!
The Wishbone chair is a great example of traditional design, but I love how it looks so current. These typically go for a lot more at high-end stores.

Modern

These sleek and minimalist chairs will look great with modern or transitional styles, and the simple design looks really comfy.
Modern_DiningChairs

 

These leather chairs get great reviews for comfort and durability, and come in a set of 2.  Want more adventurous color choices? They also come in gray, red and cognac.
I can’t get over how cute these chairs are! I love the pretty aqua pattern paired with the light wood. They also come in this pattern in citron green – such a fresh and airy look.

 

 

Versatile

If you have an eclectic dining room style going on or don’t want to commit to a certain look, these chairs are right up your alley.
Versatile_DiningChairs
Aside from the awesome price and great reviews, these are the ultimate in easy-care chairs since the slipcovers are machine washable. The covers come in tons of colors and prints, these are just a few of the available designs.
We have similar chairs in our dining room paired with a farmhouse table, and they’ve worked out great for playdates and dinners – they handle fingerpaint and spaghetti sauce spills with ease!

Rustic

I have a lot of love for this group – the lightly distressed finish fits right in with the farmhouse-chic aesthetic that’s popular right now and the price is right since they both come in sets of 2.
Rustic_DiningChairs
The price on this set is unbelievably good and they make it look like you spent hours searching the flea market for the perfect chair. Also in white.
I’ve seen this style of chair for a LOT more at other stores, plus these get rave reviews for value, appearance, and comfort. Also in distressed black.

Fun

Ok, I saved the best for last! These options are super cute and will add so much personality to your dining room.
Fun_DiningChairs
Check out the back of the Ikat and Striped dining chairs – such a fun surprise! These also come in a black and white print for a more subdued look.
These are definitely statement chairs, but you get a lot of look for the money! The mix of traditional lines and unexpected color is so cool. Hot pink a little too brave? Go for a different jewel tone – the  Emerald, Topaz and Peacock versions are just as gorgeous.
The deep teal color on this banquette is so beautiful and would go with tons of different color schemes. It looks so comfy for settling in for a long dinner or homework session, and reminds me of the posh velvet settees Anthropologie has going on at the moment.
Hope you enjoyed the dining chair roundup; do let us know if you snagged any deals! Stay tuned for the next installment where we’re talking stylish toy storage and how to keep Legos from taking over your house, one tiny plastic piece at a time…
-Amanda
Amanda lives near Boston with her real-life secret agent husband and spitfire redhead 3 year old Annika, soon to be joined by another bundle of mischief this fall. A software marketer by day and budget-savvy home decorating enthusiast the rest of the time, Amanda’s goal is to make beautiful interior designs livable. She thinks living with kids shouldn’t mean you can’t have a stylish home – you just need a few smart shopping tricks up your sleeve! 
By August 31, 2014 6 No tags Permalink
August 30, 2014

My Favs From Gap and Banana’s Labor Day Sales

With discounts of up to 40% off of almost everything…here are the pieces I’m loving.

 

Gap

Almost everything is on sale, up to 40% off, no code necessary.  One note:  The way the pics load, I don’t always get to choose which photo shows up, so I tried to specify the color in the notes (the yellow-beige cords, for example, hurt my eyes, but in maroon?  So 70’s fabulous.)

 

Banana Republic

Take 40% off of your entire purchase with the code BRLABOR.

 

Happy shopping!
xo,
S

By August 30, 2014 3 No tags Permalink