June 25, 2017

The Buy Nothing Project

There are times when I’m floored by how lucky I am to have you, this community of readers, in my life.  It’s in the supportive comments that you leave for each other (or when you come to our defense, thank you very much for that), it’s when you bravely send in swim selfies all I Am Mama; This Is Me, and, occasionally, it’s when you write so eloquently about life, about your experiences, and you widen your circle to include all of us.

That’s when I feel the luckiest.

So when I got Cynthia’s (lengthy, haha) email about the Buy Nothing Project, I knew immediately it was something I wanted to cover.

I just want to start by saying I am such a fan of The Mom Edit. I can’t tell you what it’s done for me. The suggestions from you and your contributors have allowed me to get real about a sensible wardrobe (for my life), and still feel stylish (or dare I say hip) for a mom of 2! Anyway, I’ve traded the fast and fancy fashions of my youth for more expensive but timeless pieces like high quality jeans that actually fit, unique basics and sneakers…my god…so many sneakers. But alas, I digress.
In this process, my closet was literally bursting at the seams and giving me so much anxiety I was actually losing sleep. Did you know anxieties can be tied to an excess of things? Yeah, neither did I until I started getting rid of it and feeling a gazillion times better… 

Cynthia’s writing was so passionate about the project, so engaging, and so funny that my response was quick and easy: “Cynthia,” I wrote, “YES.  Can you write it?”  (my email self is hopelessly terse).

And she did.  With pics.  Including, my favorite, a bad-ass pic of herself and her two little girls that will most-likely become one of those epic family portraits for generations to come – it’s at the end, and totally adorable.

Now here’s Cynthia on the Buy Nothing Project….

Life moves faster than I often realize.

It’s like one minute you’re in your twenties, prancing down the street in impossibly high heels, frosted lips and a lace push up bra. In the next, you’re gliding through the office in a power suit, clutching a latte and a handbag that costs more than some small nation’s entire GDP. And Now? High heels are the modern equivalent of some antiquated torture device meant to subjugate women. You’re lucky if you’ve remembered to wear a bra for school drop off, and the only thing you’re clutching, besides your dwindling sanity, is that cold cup of coffee you’ve been nursing all morning.

Sound familiar?

I confess. I sometimes have a problem letting go of the past.

For years – way too may years – I’ve hung on to the lavish wardrobe of my “Illustrious youth” with the fanciful notion that once the kids get older, I will somehow resurrect this person, this life. ME, who now high-fives herself for being in bed by 9:30 on a Friday night with the next episode of the Handmaid’s Tale cued up. I think it’s safe to assume that that girl is never coming back.

And you know what, I’m okay with that. Sleep looks good on me.

But I haven’t thrown in the towel. I have embraced the gospel according to The Mom Edit, and thanks to this clergy of very stylish, yet practical women, I’ve reigned in my predilection for designer sale racks and impulse shopping. I’ve relinquished most of the fast and fancy fashions of my youth for more timeless pieces like high quality jeans (that actually fit!), unique basics and sneakers…my god…so many sneakers. But alas, I digress.

I now have a streamlined and sensible wardrobe for my work-from-home mom life.

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By June 25, 2017 0 No tags Permalink
June 23, 2017

Summer Tops Under $50

BP. Swing Top

Happy Summer!

I for one, am welcoming the heat with open arms (and maybe still wearing sweaters from time-to-time because #alwayscold). But 9 times out of 10, I suck up the AC and go for a cute, summery blouse that could work almost anywhere, anytime. The hardest part about this? Stocking up on a few new tops that’ll get me through the season without breaking the bank. Lucky for my millennial self, there are SO many cute blouses out there right now for less than $50. Yup, I can afford that.

For days that you want something a little nicer than that white tee and jean shorts, here are some options to try:

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By June 23, 2017 1 No tags Permalink
June 22, 2017

Target Bikini Round-Up: BOGO 50% on All Swimwear Now

I think we can all agree Target is pretty great, yes? Yes. Sometimes for me it’s a LOVE/HATE relationship though; love the prices & selection / hate that I come for paper plates and always leave with an entirely new living room.

Well, you guys know how seriously we take swimsuit season here at TME.  It’s kinda a big deal. We’re always hunting for the best of the best in swimwear. We do because we love you, also because we each need – NO,  deserve at least one amazing swimsuit to get us through the summer. And if you spend any of your summers at the beach or pool, you know you need WAY more than one swimsuit.  Those top-of-the-line swimsuits can add up quick and for me it’s just not realistic to buy more than one a summer. So save your splurge swim for something a little more special and while we’re just chilling in the backyard by the pool, let’s rock our Target.

Every summer I find myself coming back to AT LEAST one Target swim piece again and again. Even if it’s a last minute vacation need or a impulse shopping trip purchase, Target’s a great option for cute and affordable swimwear. If you want to skip the actual store trip (and save some $ on that impromptu living room makeover) Target.com is great, too. But because it can all get a little overwhelming, I wanted to do the search for you guys. So selfless of me right? Ha.

Check out my choices for the very best bikinis Target is offering up right now OH, and they’re all BOGO 50% off. Did I mention I love Target?

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By June 22, 2017 3 No tags Permalink
June 22, 2017

Epic Summer Sandal Round-up

my gray sandals (size up)

Who doesn’t love a giant shoe round-up? I surely do. Options are what it’s all about and summer shoes are just seriously fun after our toes have been pent up in (rain) boots all winter.

All of us at TME have pitched in to the collection to make sure you know each of our favorite pairs for summer. Many of these are seriously loved by us as well as you lovely TME readers. Some are on-trend for 2017 and some are tried and tested standbys year to year.

Get those toes painted, sit back with a cold beverage and let’s talk sandals.

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June 22, 2017

High-Rise Denim Shorts (that cover your bum)

Do you know why I ended up styling an old pair of khaki shorts instead of trying on a new pair for the mom shorts series? Keep reading…

On my first weekly TME call Shana enthusiastically said “We are doing mom shorts!!!!” I smiled and stared silently at the screen “MMM, okay! I said. The truth and funny thing here is that I wasn’t sure what “mom shorts” meant. I know what mom jeans are. I live in them! but shorts? I don’t even wear shorts that much. So after the call I did what I always do when I’m not sure about something. I went to GOOGLE!

Guess what comes up when you type “mom shorts”: A ton of beautiful, tall young women with blue denim high-waisted super short shorts. Most showing their slim and toned abdomen!! Well, last time I checked my abdomen was anything but toned and I don’t really remember the last time I showed it! So to you Google: you have no idea what mom shorts are.

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By June 22, 2017 2 No tags Permalink
June 22, 2017

Making My Life Easier: Amazon Dash Buttons

Hi!  This post is sponsored by Amazon!  I only accept sponsored posts for products I truly and honestly love, and this?  IS A GOOD ONE. 

We’re big fans of technology over here.  My husband has outfitted our house with insanely good wireless (it easily covers from the basement to the third floor), we have a doorbell that sends a video-feed to our phones, a lock that we control via app  (we’ve even once unlocked our door for UPS…from FRANCE), and an Amazon Echo in our kitchen, my office, and the boys’ room.

We primarily use the Echos for music, to-do lists, and shopping lists.  “Alexa, add doughnuts to the shopping list” says Pax, ten times a day.

So yeah….one could say we’re connected.  Like the nerds we are.  Gotta represent, ya know?  #SCIENCE

But in all seriousness, this setup has been – and I don’t want to exaggerate here – kiiinda life-changing.  Going to Target during the week was OK when I was at home with the kids (and sometimes a welcome outing – my kids LOVED Target treats aka Starbucks cake pops), but once I started working….OOF.  Running errands during the week is out, and there’s no hell quite like Tar-jay on a Saturday.

Which is how we became such Amazon prime fanatics.  Adding or ordering items via the Amazon Echo (“Alexa”) works really, really well for 90% of the things we need.  The other 10%?   Is anything we run out of on the 2nd floor, our Alexa ‘no man’s land’ if you will.  This is the one area of the house where I would need to SHOUT at Alexa.  #nothappening

Unfortunately for all of us, this Alexa-free zone is the laundry room, where we store toilet paper, and our most-used bathroom where we are constantly running out of hand soap.

The toilet paper thing is the WORST.  (“Mike!  Pick up wine and toilet paper!” is an all too common text.)

So I’m totally obsessing over Amazon’s latest: Dash buttons.

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By June 22, 2017 9 No tags Permalink
June 21, 2017

Swimsuit Problem-solving: The Soft Tummy

I was talking to Sienna the other day about how amazing our bodies are…how “can you believe I was out to here when you were growing in my belly? (I know, not completely accurate description for S but we’ll get there soon enough) And then after you were born, my body eventually went back to how it is now?” It is amazing.

I try to focus on that fact when trying on swimsuits. But when your abs still can’t seem to find themselves after 4 years and after much working out, it’s tough to really dwell on that amazingness. I have a soft tummy now. I have some love handles. I have always had a booty. I am not a swimsuit model. I’m slowly becoming ok with all that.

So, today we’re taking (another) a little journey through my swimsuit dressing room selfies. Come along and let’s see where we end up, shall we?

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By June 21, 2017 24 No tags Permalink
June 21, 2017

Ten Things I Packed for Paris & London

Whew, this spring was a whirlwind of trips for work (and play) including Dallas, Providence, Chicago, Paris and London. Packing for Europe was definitely the hardest since I needed clothing and shoes for a weekend of sightseeing and cafés, pubs and an art museum, then a week’s worth of office-appropriate outfits. Here’s what I narrowed down to my top 10 European trip packing list items, plus a simple work outfit formula to make jet-lagged (or regular) mornings less painful!

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By June 21, 2017 9 No tags Permalink
June 21, 2017

Converse Comparison: 4 Styles from the Beloved Brand

“I thought Converse were just Converse” said my sister-in-law when I told her I was trying on different styles of Chucks. I don’t blame her. I was in the same situation before my white classic Chucks started getting old and I wanted a new pair. I only knew there were low and high tops or probably (most likely) I never paid attention to the others.

That’s why when searched ‘Converse’ I was surprised and even overwhelmed with the different options available. I quickly asked some fellow moms on Instagram if they had any experience with other type of Chuck Taylors. Most replied they didn’t know about more styles but would like to know more, while others mentioned styles they loved. That’s how this post was born.

Chucks are that type of shoe that never goes out of style and that a great deal of people in all age groups love. So, it’s definitely worth going a little deeper on what’s out there for us. Here’s a comparison of 4 styles:

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By June 21, 2017 3 No tags Permalink
June 20, 2017

One Travel Outfit I’m Loving Right Now

Father’s Day wasn’t exactly ideal this year.  We were on our way to visit family in North Carolina, and decided to split the 20+ hour drive into three days.  We pretty much had no idea how Greenlea would react to being in a car for longer than two hours at a time, so we packed up a new Leapfrog, powered up an iPad and were on our way.  (Ok, the car was actually packed to the brim . . . I’m somewhat surprised the three of us fit).

We stayed in Chicago the first night (and were treated like royalty, thanks to friends who live there) and then were on to Charleston, West Virginia.  I found a hotel that had a pool for G, a bar for Zack & I, and a nice firepit and the view of the river in the back.  That’s where we spent Father’s Day . . . after Zack drove 8 hours through mostly rain, with a (sometimes) screaming toddler in the backseat.  Again, not ideal . . . but we made it to Carolina Beach the next day and will be here for a couple of weeks.   We will enjoy every last bit of sunshine and ocean until we have to leave.

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By June 20, 2017 10 No tags Permalink