Sunday, May 18, 2014

New Mommy Style: The Illusion of Effort

I miss blogging.  I love putting together fantasy outfits and writing, and look forward to the day when I have that much free time.

However, this is what my life is like right now and I love it, too.

Here are the little ways that I'm (usually) able to avoid the disheveled look when Miles and I venture out in public:

- Wearing jeans, even if they're a maternity version or your largest pre-pregnancy fat jeans.  (It turns out that you can get really close to your pre-baby weight but not your pre-baby hip measurement.)

- A basic v-neck tee is easy to wear, hides spit up stains, and acts as a blank canvas for accessories like...

- Big statement sunglasses, a cool bracelet (since babies like to grab necklaces and then scream because he doesn't have the ability to let go), a big watch, and a bright purse.

- I don't usually wear much makeup, but I find that some eyeliner and this coral tinted lip balm (LOVE it!) is the perfect mix of easy and put together. 

And now I need to go nurse my two month old baby (where has the time gone?!) and freak out about returning to work in two weeks. 

Here we are celebrating Mother's Day.  I think I'll cry when he stops wearing tiny footed jammies and being cuddly.

See you soon!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Real Life: 25 Days of Motherhood

Hello old e-friends, remember me?  The person who used to spend a few hours per week dispensing style advice and deciding which of her 37 necklaces to wear with some outfit bought on sale?  Yeah... she's still gone.

For now you (sporadically) have me, the overwhelmed but happy new mother.  Since this blog is not just about clothes, I wanted to share some of the things running around my head after 25 days in the trenches.  I think some of you may relate, or have advice to share, or just appreciate a peek into what it's like after one of the biggest life changes we'll ever experience:
  • For those who don't know, Baby Miles ended up being a c-section delivery after 13 hours of labor that stopped progressing.  He was stuck and not able to "drop" like he needed to, and despite lots of pitocin, my body basically said "eff this" and stopped having strong contractions.  If this had been olden times, one or both of us likely wouldn't have made it, which is really strange to think about.
  • I was terrified of a c-section delivery, and it ended up being fine.  No pain, and about 25 minutes from start to finish.  The recovery is no party, don't be mistaken, but it's not the ordeal I was envisioning after reading scary blog posts from people who are either really dramatic, or perhaps facing some unusual circumstances.  So, if you end up in my shoes, don't freak out.  That said, it is major abdominal surgery and perhaps the only kind that you don't get to fully relax after having.  Take advantage of all offers of help, and don't feel bad about leaning on your partner or family to do all housework and fetch you things as you recline on the sofa and let your body recover. 
  • I had no idea what sleep deprivation was like until now.  We live in 3-4 hour increments between feedings, and my nighttime sleep comes in a series of 2-3 hour naps.  I am slowly getting more used to it, but I'd say that 90% of the time I could lay down and fall asleep if given the option.
  • Up until the end of last week, I'd say I definitely had a bad case of the baby blues.  I was constantly on the verge of tears, and felt totally overwhelmed by breastfeeding and learning to soothe a crying baby.  Now that my hormones have leveled out a bit and we've started going on walks and venturing out for short trips to places not packed with people, I feel so much better.  
  • In other news, a used copy of Happiest Baby on the Block is the best $5 I spent preparing for this child.  
  • Probably one of the biggest adjustments for me has been being mostly home bound.  I often have no reason to get dressed, but make it a point to put on fresh clothes and take a long bath or shower every day.  I know lots of moms go on about not bathing or changing clothes covered in bodily fluids, but the old me is not dead and that is where I draw the line.  That said, I never thought I'd spend so much time in leggings, cardigans, and nursing tanks.  It was a big deal to finally put my maternity skinny jeans back on this week:

  • Yes, I'm back in maternity jeans (if I'm venturing out in public).  I don't look normal yet, and wasn't expecting to after 3.5 weeks, but am anxious to see how many of these extra inches I'll need to burn off once I'm allowed to exercise.  Although I wasn't delusional, it's really hard to come home with a body that doesn't look or feel like your own when everything else in your life is different, too.  However, this little face is worth every stretch mark and extra pound:
  • I was pretty up front about my dread when it came to breastfeeding, and I'm sad to say it was totally warranted.  I wanted to love it (and during easy daytime feedings, I do) and was hoping it would come naturally, but it's been an uphill battle for which I was only semi-prepared.  I think that hospitals and care providers walk a fine line between scaring new mothers away from trying, and allowing them to have unreal expectations when it comes to the level of work and skill needed to be successful.  I ended up somewhere in the middle - expecting it to be hard but still shocked at how consuming it is.  You see, breastfeeding is a skill, and it has its own jargon and techniques that you will quickly learn as you do it every 3-4 hours for weeks on end.  I probably think about how great it will be to quit at least 15 times per day, especially since it forces me to be solely responsible for feeding the baby unless I've pumped milk for my husband to offer in a bottle.  It's tough for a couple used to equal division of labor, especially when one party is an emotional mess and accustomed to being good at things.  However, I'm going to give it another few weeks in hopes that we'll hit our stride before I switch to pumping, and I'm proud that we're still nursing exclusively and that Miles is growing like a weed.
Wow, that was a lot of thoughts.  I'm sure I'll look back on this post and laugh one day, but I wanted to share what's going on at this point and remind everyone that I hope to be back online one day.  I don't see how it's possible with a newborn, but I'll do my best once we start seeing light at the end of the tunnel more often.  I miss reading blogs and articles on sites besides Kelly Mom!

See y'all soon!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

It's done! Midcentury Marvel Nursery for Miles

I know I've been promising nursery photos for a while, but it turns out that photographing a room is a lot harder than it looks on everyone else's blog.  Especially when you don't have time to edit the images when you're done because a certain small person enjoys eating every three hours and you like snuggling with him the rest of the time.

However, Baby Miles is currently napping, so here are the best of the photos I have.  Please forgive the lack of artfully shot closeups of stacked books with an objet on top.

The room turned out pretty much exactly like I pictured it in my head, and I think it will grow with Miles as he goes from baby to toddler to little boy (I don't even want to think about that!) 

My idea for gold washi tape trim looked more like a brown stripe once it went up, so we ended up using cobalt blue tape instead.  The "theme" is really only represented by way of framed prints on the wall and shelves, so if later on he decides that he loves dinosaurs more than anything else, we can make some updates without scraping decals or investing in new pieces.  Plus, the room came together pretty cheaply - nothing is high end, or so precious that it can't withstand life with a little guy.

I hope Miles likes the room as much as I do - his dad and I worked really hard to finish it three days before he was born!

In case you're interested, here's a list of where most everything came from (starting with top photo):

Rugs USA Homespun Trellis Rug (wait for a sale!)
Argington Bam Crib (I bought mine used)
Marvel Art Prints (ours are 5"x7") 
Nate Berkus for Target Wall Studs
Nate Berkus for Target Lamp Base 
Hey Y'all! print by Stephanie Creekmur via Etsy
Threshold Grayson Grommet Window Panel (with blackout liner) 
Green/white quilt made for me by my great-grandma in 1983
Sunburst mirror frame (the mirror broke) via Global Views warehouse sale 
Ikea Stockholm Mirror
Changing Pad Cover by BLVD67 via Etsy
Vintage dresser via Craigslist, painted with Olympic Mermaid's Tail 
American Folklore map print by William Gropper, cut to fit collage frame from Target
Walnut toy chest made for me by my late Papa Lonnie
Elderly dachshund is vintage, find similar via All Texas Dachshund Rescue 
Awesome pit/pointer/lab/mystery mix via SPCA Dallas 
Studded initial via Hobby Lobby
Texas A&M bunny via Build a Bear

And just for fun, here are a couple of photos from this week.  I think my kid is pretty much the cutest ever!  ;-)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

He's here!

Hey internet, meet Baby Cardigan.  His family and friends call him Miles Evan and to say we are in love is an understatement!  He was born at 9:42pm on 3/18 and weighed 8 lbs 2 oz, and is 21 inches long.

He ended up being a c-section birth after 13 hours of labor that stopped progressing (we are both doing great - no worries!), and we got released from the hospital on Friday afternoon so I am doing a lot of resting, breastfeeding and cuddling the sweet little boy who is among the most alert and snuggly newborns I've ever seen.

I'll be back online soon-ish, and will share photos as I have them.  Thanks for all the support!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Oh baby! See you soon, internet...

Today I'm scheduled to be induced and hopefully meet Baby Cardigan sometime this afternoon.  Eek!

I'll share a photo and name as soon as I'm able, but wanted to drop in and say thanks for all the encouragement and kind words these past several months and ask for your prayers and good vibes today!  See y'all soon!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Still Wanting: Wedge Booties

Hello!  Sorry for the silence, but there's still no baby to write about and I am officially on maternity leave and nesting like crazy.  I hope Baby Cardigan makes his appearance soon, but I'd be lying if I said a couple of days to myself without anywhere to be doesn't sound great.  Today I got a pedicure and ran a couple of errands, and am about to spend an evening on the couch with N.  Poor me  :)

Another thing I've been doing lately is keeping tabs on a few things I have been wanting to buy, but only for a great price.  One of those items is a pair of wedge booties that are not too high, and of better quality than the ones I test drove from Target (they went back after an evening around the house).  I love the laid back look, and I think they're a perfect shoe to wear when it's still a bit too chilly for sandals, and you don't want to wear sneakers or ballet flats.

The weather in Dallas has been nuts lately, and we go from 40 to 80 degrees in a day.  Here's what I wish I were wearing instead of a crappy Liz Lange maternity tee (that has not held up well at all - no stars!) and leggings.

I am currently waiting on these Dr. Scholl's Bethany wedges to come down in price, at which point I will order them and be a cool mom on the go (as Stacey and Clinton would say).  They're cheaper on Amazon, but not available in as many sizes.

Does anyone else have recommendations for a similar shoe under $100?  I'm curious to try the TOMS Desert Bootie - especially with 785 good reviews on - but I think I want a little less suede.

 Ok, enough shopping... back to important housework like re-centering the photos in my guest room art wall.  #nesting

Friday, March 7, 2014

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday!  Who's ready for the weekend?  I am wrapping up my last full week of work, and will be on maternity leave after Monday (unless I have a baby over the weekend - eek!) so I am pretty excited.  I hope to take some decent of photos of Baby Cardigan's room to share with y'all next week, and enjoy lots of restaurant meals and solo time before that becomes a rarity.

Until then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. Isn't this the kind of dress that is impossible to find when you want it?  If you find one that fits, buy it.  I still regret passing on an $89 option at Nordstrom Rack 18 months ago.

2. I am starting to put together a big playlist for the day that I'll likely spend in labor, hanging out with my epidural and waiting for the big moment (pray it is that uneventful!).  I realized that there are a few bands and albums that I will probably love until I am an old lady.  The top ones are Better Than Ezra, the Room for Squares album by John Mayer, Matt Nathanson, and bands fronted by Andrew McMahon.  What are yours?

 Remember when he was so cute and clean cut?

3. I'm hoping to make this peanut butter fudge rice krispie treat masterpiece for my coworkers on Monday - looks easy and delicious!

4. Need a reminder of the power of Google reverse image search?  This rug was for sale on a fancy site for kids room decor, and cost $600 for an 8x10.  In 30 seconds I saved the image and uploaded it to Google in order to find other retailers who might be offering the same item (since it was obviously imported and not manufactured by that company) - lo and behold, here it is on sale from Floors USA for $450 with free shipping, before any coupon code.  Do your research before you overpay!

5. I love this so much - now to find a brunette lady, man with glasses, little boy, black weiner dog, and brown white mutt from the Lego lineup!  I think it would be an adorable Christmas card.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Check it out: Lou & Grey at LOFT

Today's post is a quick one because I am tired and a small person is pushing his feet up around my ribs.  It does not feel good.

However, I did want to put together a quick round-up of some of the super cute casual pieces that I saw at LOFT late last week.  (This isn't a sponsored post - I just got excited)  Their lounge collection has been re-branded as Lou & Grey, and I think it's the perfect mix of pieces for someone who perhaps doesn't have to get dressed up very often, but still wants to look trendy and be comfortable in in something cute instead of a fleece jacket and yoga pants.  Maybe me on maternity leave?

They do casual jackets and tunics very well, and I am watching these pieces and waiting for a great sale (some are already half off!):


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reader Request: Riding Boots at Work

Happy (Fat) Tuesday!  I hope y'all had a great weekend - I spent mine finishing up Baby Cardigan's room and running errands, which put naps on the agenda too.  However, I'm back, and today I'm excited to put together a post for Carrie.

She's a recent transplant to Seattle by way of Texas A&M (whoop!) and is looking for some ideas on how to wear her brown riding boots to work on days when it's rainy and she has to walk to work.  Obviously this won't work in a traditional business setting, but some boots can definitely go business casual with the right skirts and dresses to elevate them.

First of all, I must preface my advice with the callout that if nobody else in your office ever wears boots and you're unsure if you should, then don't.  However, for many of us, there's no question that it's acceptable and they can be practical alternative to skimpier shoes.  For a dressier look, choose boots with a rich even tone no distressed leather or chunky hardware.  A heel is great, but flat is fine too, just make sure they aren't so big in the shaft that it looks like you're standing in a bucket.

Obviously, I prefer pairing the boots with skirts and dresses as opposed to tucking pants into them - I'd save that look for Fridays.  A knee length pencil skirt or subtle a-line keeps you looking like an adult (flared, short skirts can quickly bring your outfit into sexy territory, which isn't what you want at the office) and a classic blouse or sweater balances the casual vibe of the footwear.

When it's chilly, you can add thick opaque tights in the same color family as the boot leather, or even a small weave pair of fishnet tights if you'd just rather not have bare knees. (This kind, NOT what you see at Victoria's Secret!)

Now that you're armed with some guidelines, are you brave enough to wear boots at the office?

Friday, February 28, 2014

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday! I hope all of you had a great week.  Mine was busy and still isn't over, but I am getting close to finishing Baby Cardigan's room - which is good news considering that he will be here by March 17th at the latest (eek!)

Before I go trolling Etsy for 8x10 prints, here are 5 things worth sharing on the internet:

1. I am so enamored with this home tour from Jessica Ahnert Davis of The Eagle's Nest.  I love everything about it, especially this little entry way vignette with the mirror and prints.

2.  When I have a waist again, I'm going to wear the crap out of a gingham dress like this one from Gap.  But I will button mine because I am a lady.

3. Last year I was really excited to get some "perfect" leopard flats from Gap, and I am now sad to report that they have been thrown out because after about 4 outings they smelled terrible.  I think these will be my next pair, but I'm on the fence about whether Steve Madden shoes are worth $59.  Thoughts?

4. This week's recipe is a blueberry power muffin made with Chobani greek yogurt from the Domesticated Academic.  I have been craving blueberry muffins, and these look almost too good to be true.  Stay tuned!

5. As the weather starts to warm up, let us all remember how fun it is to mix prints and how much mileage you'll get from a pair of brown wedges that are comfortable.

Bonus 6th Thing for Texas people + Crazy Dog Lady PSA:

** Harold has been adopted!!  Hooray!**  But the story is still important... let's put tags on our dogs, ladies!

Over the President's Day weekend, my husband and I found a big, sweet male yellow Lab wandering around our neighborhood.  Being the dog lovers that we are, we promptly leashed him and gave him some water before taking him on a long walk to knock on doors and see if anyone recognized him.  To our surprise, nobody did, so I put up lots of signs and we let him chill at our house and play with Maggie in the backyard.  He was wearing a collar, had neatly trimmed nails, perfectly clean teeth, and a habit of jumping on couches - all signs pointing to a dog with a family.

So, I did what I still believe is the right thing to do - I turned him over to our local shelter a day later (a Humane Society partnership with a very good live release rate) so his family could find him.  I wouldn't want someone immediately giving or keeping my dogs if they got loose, and I was positive that he'd be reunited soon.

Well, that was a week ago on Tuesday and now Mr. Lab is up for adoption without any takers.  If you or anyone you know would be interested in a calm, healthy male yellow Lab who is about 2 years old and great with other dogs, please point them to Irving Animal Services and ask about "Harold".  I'm sure they'd love to get him in a foster home, too.  I've contacted some rescue groups and none have responded yet, but the thought of him going "code red" makes me want to cry.  (Obviously, with a new baby on the way any day now, we are not in a position to bring a new dog into our home.)

You can check out his page here (he is not a lab mix, they use that label in both instances) and please take a moment to get the word out if you live nearby or have animal rescue connections:

So, the point of this besides finding Harold a family, is to PLEASE put tags on your dog and get a microchip!  My husband and I have found four strays in the past year or two, and not one has had any sort of valid ID tag.  It's so inexpensive, and now you can order tags online or have them engraved by a machine at Petco or Walmart.  Please do it this weekend if your dog is currently wearing only a collar.

The end.

/dismounts soapbox

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Business Capsule Wardrobe: 2014 Edition

As fun as shopping can be, the whole paying for it part can be a real drag.  When you're starting a new job after college, wearing a new size of clothing, or adapting to an office with a different dress code, it's even worse because you need lots of things all at once.

Although my office is as casual as they come (Converse + dog sleeping under my desk today), I haven't forgotten how hard it was to buy a work wardrobe on a limited budget.  I have done several posts on this topic, and as I prepare to facilitate a style workshop later this week, I wanted to share this year's version of the capsule wardrobe:

Avant garde, it is not.  However, if you need to make two weeks worth of outfits (or more) you only need a handful of pieces that fit well and can multi-task:

Pants that Fit: I think you need both a black and gray pair, but you can get buy with just one at first if you're willing to wash them often.  A slim, straight leg hemmed to where it doesn't drag the floor will work with most shoes and is universally flattering - much more so than flared cuts!

A Black Sheath Dress: Look for a close-fitting cut that can be layered under blazers and cardigans - bonus points if it has sleeves and can be worn alone in an office setting.  This can double as your funeral dress and a blank canvas for festive accessories, so go ahead and get the best version you can afford.

Two Skirts:  At least one of these should be a fun, but not too seasonal color (I vote for a saturated blue or burgundy).  Pick the cut that makes you feel prettiest, and keep the length somewhere from 2 inches above to an inch below your kneecap.

Two Button-down Shirts:  At least one should be white, and fit you perfectly with a proper bra.  No gaping buttons!  The other can be colored or black - whichever you're more likely to wear as a base layer.

A Blazer (Optional):  Depending on your needs, a well cut black or gray blazer could get loads of wear both in and out of the office.  I prefer closely fitted, semi cropped cuts as opposed to longer hip length versions, but try on several styles and see what flatters your shape.  It will be obvious! However, you can skip this if you don't think it is needed.

At Least Three Completer Pieces:  These are cardigans or more casual blazers that you'll pair with your base pieces to add color to your outfits.  I highly recommend a few jewel tone cardigans, plus a more structured piece like a sweater blazer that is a little dressier. 

One Pair of Friday Jeans:  These should be a dark wash in either a trouser or slim straight cut.  This is not the time for jeggings, or anything too distressed.

Quality Accessories:  I recommend a skinny black belt, and preferably a leopard print one as well.  These will add interest to your cardigan combinations, and define your waist.  You'll also need a well-made pair of black pumps that aren't going to kill your feet - I highly recommend the Cole Haan/Nike collaboration.  Finally, invest in a purse that isn't coming unstitched and doesn't look cheap.  I'm not saying you need a designer bag by any means, but a well made thrift store purse is a better choice than most $14 versions that start to reek of vinyl after a few weeks.


Wow, that's a lot of information!  What do you think are the most important starter pieces for a business wardrobe?

Friday, February 21, 2014

5 Things Friday

It's Friday - hooray!  I hope y'all have fun plans this weekend - I keep thinking about how it may be one of my last without a baby and that I need to make the most of it.  Perhaps I'll find time for a movie in a theater with a large Icee and more candy than one person should consume.  Any recommendations on what to see?  I'm not up on any of the Oscar nominees, but I don't want to be sad.  Decisions, decisions...

Now, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. This post from SF Girl by Bay yesterday made my internet week.  Amelie is my favorite movie of all time, and I LOVE the art selections inspired by the character.  Check it out!

2. This tank is one of those inexpensive pieces that I could see being worn to death this spring and summer.  I'd layer on the jewelry and put a cardigan on top until the weather warms up.

3. I like the simplicity of this bedroom - a lot.  (It was designed by Geremia Designs.)

4. I really want to make this coconut and lemon bread (via A Feast for the Eyes), but I'll need to translate the recipe into measurements I know because I'm not what 140g of coconut looks like.

image via A Feast for the Eyes

5. Is this not the easiest gift wrap you've seen on Pinterest?  It's among the only examples that don't make me marvel at how much time was spent.  All I need is a roll of brown paper and some washi tape, which you can now buy in tons of colors for $2.99 at Office Max or Office Depot. 

Have a nice weekend, ladies!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Going to Extremes: Getting the Most Out of Your Wardrobe

Happy Tuesday!  So it turns out that I needed a long weekend even more than I realized, and decided to spend Monday taking two impromptu naps, watching a Drunk History marathon, and getting a much needed pedicure.  Clearly, blogging had to take a back seat to that kind of productivity.

However, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I love getting extra mileage out of my wardrobe.  I try not to buy things that I can only wear one way, and choosing versatile pieces  makes investing in what you love a lot less painful. 

I know not every garment can go from the board room to the farmers market, or be worn year round, but there is tons of potential in the right pair of trousers and a great-fitting dress. 

Here's what I mean:

If you want to find something to wear to a variety of events year-round, be sure you pick a fabric that's not prominent in just one season.  That means no heavy wools or floaty chiffon, but mid-weight options that will work as the weather shifts from warm to cool. 

You should also be very particular about the fit, as you'll need to be able to add layers or go without.  Not to mention that fact that the right cut makes you look slimmer and more put together!

Finally, try to stick with neutral colors that you can jazz up with playful or sexy accessories.  Think of your investment piece as a chameleon - it should blend in with the rest of your outfit and not necessarily take center stage. 

Got it?  Now go take advantage of those pre-spring sales! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope all of you have a LOVE-ely day, and get to spend part of it with someone you adore... even if they're related to you, a friend, or have four legs and fur.  I'll be back next week!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What I Wear: Casual Valentine's Day Outfits

True confession: Even though I live in a large city, I wear jeans at most restaurants.  I don't pair them with my tennis shoes at dinner, but they fit in best at most of the places we go.

I get the feeling that I am far from alone, and with Valentine's Day looming, I thought I'd put together a few pretend outfits that I'd actually wear... were I not 8 months pregnant with one pair of jeans that fit me.

As you can see, a lot of jewelry and some fun shoes go a long way!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Help me, Mamas! + Random Baby Things

If you don't have any interest in baby things, I'm sorry that today's post doesn't apply to you.  I promise I won't make this a mommy blog!

Tomorrow I will officially be 36 weeks pregnant, and I have begun packing my hospital bag and making random purchases of things that weren't gifted or fun to buy (think wipes, mattress protector, baby mittens, etc).  Since there are so many of you smart, stylish mothers online, I'd love to know what you found most useful in those first few weeks and at the hospital!

We've got the basics covered, but I like to be prepared... if that's even possible. 

I know my baby will look nothing like this, but the photo was taken by my sweet friend Maryam and I think you should check out Sweet Violet Photography if you're in the Dallas area.  She'll be photographing Baby Cardigan after he arrives and I cannot wait!

In other news, I have realized that JCPenney now carries high(er) end baby clothes in the Baker by Ted Baker line and they are adorable and Zara-esque.  So, if you're hunting for a gift, I recommend checking them out before all the cool brands disappear.

I also just discovered an amazing Etsy shop called BLVD67, and have ordered a Boppy cover and changing pad cover for Baby Cardigan.  The prices are great, and the fabrics are modern -- my two favorite things!  Check out these bedding fabric combinations (not limited to baby rooms!):

Finally, this may be a little personal, but did anyone buy a postpartum binder like a Belly Bandit after having a baby?  I've read good things about them, but there are lots of choices and I'm not sure what to get or if I should even bother.  I'm not expecting a miracle or anything, but if it helps I'll do it!  (I'm considering this one)

Friday, February 7, 2014

5 Things Friday

Happy Friday, ladies!  I hope your week has been great, and that you've got some fun in store for the weekend.  I'll be trying to relax with my feet up (late pregnancy swelling is but also doing lots of organizing in Baby Cardigan's room and trying to make it ready in the event that he comes early. 

Before then, here are five things worth sharing on the internet:

1. One of my favorite baby gifts from last week's shower is a set of Baby Lit books, which are toddler versions of classic tales that teach counting, colors, and other subjects with amazing modern illustrations.  Now I want them all!

2. As someone who was always the youngest in class, I thought this article was really interesting.  Basically, studies have been conducted in several countries and all have shown that the practice of "red shirting" kids so that they'll be among the oldest in the kindergarten class doesn't have long-term benefits and the younger kids consistently outperform their older peers by the time everyone is in 8th grade. 

He's wearing a red shirt... get it?

3. I've said time and time again that I don't know how I lived without my leather moto jacket.  It's the perfect weight, and goes with pretty much everything.  If you're in the market for one of your own (real or faux), now is the time to buy!  I really like the Bernardo brand that you can find at Nordstrom, and there are several styles half off right now!

 cognac / gray / tan / black

4. This pregnant lady wants to make a giant oatmeal cream pie REALLY bad.  Check out the recipe at Sally's Baking Addiction!

5. I tend to keep controversial topics off this blog, but as a mama to be, I am now hyper aware of the possibility that someone's unvaccinated child could expose mine to a dangerous illness before he is old enough to be protected.  It really scares me, and since lots of people like to argue about this on the interwebs, I thought I'd share an incredibly well-written article penned by a doctor about this topic.  Besides the science (the not disproven, peer-reviewed kind), the issue of trust between doctor and parent is not one that I'd considered.

Bonus 6th Thing!  Do not click through if you are not up to date on Downton Abbey!

//// spoiler ahead ////


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