Dress You Up: ME!

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So, as I've mentioned, I'm having some trouble with my post-partum wardrobe. Enough trouble that I'd be a perfect candidate for What Not To Wear, or for my own Dress You Up series. When I mentioned that to a group of friends, one friend suggested that another friend, who is tearing it up with reinventing her own style right now, step in as a guest blogger and put me through the Dress You Up treatment.

What a great idea, right?

So I told my friend A.:

I mainly need clothes for work, though there is really no aspect of my wardrobe that doesn't need help. I have no real dress code at work, just sort of rough personal guidelines. I'd wear jeans to work, but I wouldn't wear shorts. I'm still nursing and pumping, so stuff that makes that easier is great, but not 100% necessary. I'm attending an outdoor casual wedding in July and I'd like something nice for that. I also need (God help me) something to wear to the pool.

I'm pretty much size 16, though it varies. I'm curvy with medium sized boobs and a big butt/wide hips. Post-partum belly is a concern. Things that come in long length are obviously best, but some non-long length items work (though generally not long pants). I hate capris but don't mind longer cropped pants.

Shoes are a huge problem, as I am currently in a 13.

I love accessories, but don't wear earrings or rings--necklaces, bracelets, and scarves are great.

I like dark/deep colors, black, white, and gray. I really dislike pastels.

In my perfect world, I have a simple, chic style that tends slightly towards the boho.

And A. did an absolutely fantastic job, suggesting five work looks, two pool looks, and three wedding options!

Casual grace

About this look, A. said:
Since your office is casual, I think you need a great, basic denim jacket. They go with everything and denim is a big trend right now. So is lace, and this eyelet top is a great layering piece. The skirt is bold and fun, with the bright, contrasting colors, but has a simple shape that is flattering on a curvy figure. Plus, prints are so in right now!

The yellow sandals are comfortable, but still fun and young.

I LOVE statement necklaces! Love love love. They are super popular and everywhere right now, so I think you should wear it and enjoy the trend! Plus, they will not overwhelm you like they can on a petite woman; you wear the piece, it won't wear you. The coral necklace ties together with the skirt and bracelets, yet all these pieces could be mixed with the other work attire for completely different looks.

I am a big fan of this whole outfit (with the possible exception of the wallet and bag, which I don't think would quite work for me). I love the idea of a denim jacket, and will be on the lookout for one that fits right. I love both the colorful stack of bracelets and the statement necklace. The skirt, from eShakti, is a shape I hadn't considered for myself, but will definitely try. The real winner for me here, though, is the shoes. I love the shoes. They're the Ros Hommerson Quiz, available for $50 at 6pm.com in red, white, black, and tan, as well as this great banana yellow.

Grace Work 2

A says:

This is a great way to dress up jeans for work. The trouser cut and dark wash (so so very hard to find right now) are fine for a casual office, the blazer can be worn year round, while the printed top is very current. With your overall boho-vibe, I added some wooden and natural stone jewelry. Wood bracelets look great piled on and mixed, so grab them cheap and mix them up. The faux-croc shoes are sharp, yet comfortable and classic. The studs and fringe on the bag plus the crossbody strap make it fun and not boring.

This outfit looks very much like the sort of best case scenario of what I would wear right now. The jeans are by NYDJ and I love the cut of them so much I'd consider buying them, even at $110, if they came in a 36" inseam (but they don't). However, I have some similar trouser jeans from Eddie Bauer that I can sub in. I really love the wood and stone jewelry--I have a few things that fit that bill, but I'm going to be on the lookout for more. The shirt is a print and shape I am already comfortable with (flowing, as it does, away from the belly), as is the jacket, though I hadn't considered the light colored jacket with dark colored top and jeans idea, and I think it looks great in the set. Again, my biggest love is the shoes. This pair are by Fitzwell, on sale for $30 at 6pm (they're synthetic, but there are plain colored tan and navy leather versions available as well). I love the little platform and the chunky heel. With the 3" heel, though, I'd definitely need that 36" inseam on the jeans!

work it, Mom!

A says:

As a busy mom, I know you need work looks that as fashionable and functional, as well as pieces that can mix-and-match. Black and white is always chic, the linen pieces make it fresh for summer.

A huge current trend is mixing patterns. For this outfit, the dots and the two animal prints. By keeping the shapes basic and the colors in sync, it looks effortless and pulled together, not clashy. And no woman can go wrong with a classic pair of oversize shades, peep toes and a sturdy bag.

I love this look. Every single piece. The pants, from Loft, are just the shape I love best, with a nice wide leg (though I rarely wear linen, as I am an iron-phobe). The bag is just perfect in every way (except for that $400 Coach price tag). The safari suit jacket, from Banana Republic, is something I never would have thought of, but I love it (again, the light jacket with dark pants thing!). The peep-toe pumps scare me a little bit--narrow high heels are not my best friends, but I think they look great. My biggest love, though, is the top and scarf combo. I love the colors and the pattern mix. The top, from Land's End, is actually something I own in another color, and after seeing it in this set, I think I may have to buy a second one.

grace works

A explains:

As a complement to the bold neon trend (which I know Grace hates!) graphic black and white looks are hot for summer too. This dress is simple, the chevrons are slimming and the belt keeps it from being shapeless. I'd add leggings for the office. I couldn't pick shoes, so I put both! The red flats have such fun details and the polka dot wedges are current without screaming trendy.

Again, statement necklaces! Embrace them! And mixed patterns again, keeping to a simple palette and strong contrasts to play up the black and white. The leather cuff is very Grace, her inner SOA biker-chick.

And she's right--I do hate neon. But black and white I like a lot, and this kimono-style short dress over leggings is very cute. I'm kind of staying away from this type of shape because it reminds me too much of the maternity clothes of my near-past, but I see how this could work, too. The accessories are nothing short of perfect. The red necklace (from Etsy) needs to come home with me, as do the amazing David Tate polka dot wedges (also available in blue, lime green, beige, and orange polka dots!). The cuff, sadly, is over $600 and from Givenchy, so it's beyond even my dream budget. But maybe I can find something similar, because A. is not wrong about it appealing to my inner SOA biker chick.

Grace summer work

A says:

I know you aren't loving the pastel skinny pants, but these are cut slim but not tight, plus they are a rich tomato shade of red. This eyelet top can be office dressy if needed, and it's a-line so its slimming and comfortable. The tan jacket mixes in, neutral and polished.
These wedges are my favorite shoe I found for you. The construction is so beautiful, the wooden sole with the two soft suede taupes. I think they would look great with jeans, dresses or office attire.

Since the outfit is a bit bland, I think you need a bright scarf that is decidedly not. It will add color and interest around your face and will perk you up after a sleepless night.

I didn't love this outfit when I first looked at it--A. is right, the colored slim pants turn me off. The more I look at it, though, the more I like it. I'm still not sold on the pants, but I love the shoes--they're Antia, $77 at 6pm, and if they didn't have a nearly 4" wedge I'd already have bought them. I'm also a big fan of the scarf--this one is spendy, over $300, but the looks can easily be attained with a thrift store silk scarf, of which I have scads. My favorite part of this look, though, are the turquoise beaded bracelets. I love the idea of what I think of as "Southwestern" jewelry with an otherwise prepster ensemble like this one.

The pool looks A. came up with are just as great as the word ideas:

hot pool mami2

She explains:

For your pool looks, I went for function. With a mobile toddler, you are going to need a suit that fits well and stays in place. This halter top will hold the girls in, plus the neckline shows off the nursing-cleavge! I think skirted bottoms are awesome, they look good and are so practical.

And being practical, you are going to need a big bag, a huge hat, non-slip shoes and a great pair of shades. The cute watch is waterproof and will make sure you aren't out in the sun too long.

I'm not 100% sold on this suit--skirted bottoms have never worked for me, mostly because I don't like the way they feel in the water. However, the top is great, and could easily be paired with a regular bottom or a boy-short style one. And everything else about this ensemble is absolutely fantastic. The retro Crocs flip flops are definitely on my to-buy list (as soon as I get a suit so I know what color I want!). The hat is absolutely amazing and I will have my eyes peeled for a cheaper version, and I really want to justify the amazing chevron striped straw bag. This set has also convinced me that I really do need aviator style sunglasses.

hot pool mami1

A. writes:

Another practical pool mom look, this one a bit more trendy. Tribal prints, mixed prints and the pop of red make you look stylish, but the halter and skirt suit will be easy to play with baby.

Again, non-slip hoes, shades and a hat, this time, a bit more trendy, with the fedora.

I like this one a lot, too. Again, not sold on the skirted suit, but the top (another one from Lands' End) is great. The pattern mixing and tribal elements are hot, I think, and I especially love the incredibly chic black and white print towel (from Billabong).

Amazingly enough, I've saved the best for last. I am still trying to figure out which of the three possibilities A. presented for the wedding I'm attending in July I love the most. I may have to have a vote in the comment!

grace wedding

Says A.:

When you asked for a casual wedding look, I fell in love with this dress. It's drapey, dolman styling makes it comfortable and not clingy. The defined waist will give you a clean shape, plus it shows off your long legs and goes great with the fabulous wedges.
With the patterned dress, I thought simple jewelry and rosy makeup would look great. And a flower pin holding your hair back would be the perfect pop of color.

This dress, from Jessica Howard, is amazing. I love, love, love it. And the simple, rosy shoes/makeup/jewelry are absolutely perfect with it. This whole ensemble strikes me as both very chic and very appropriate, and also as something I could totally pull off. I'm in awe.

wedding look 1

The idea:

This is, hands down, my favorite look. It is so stunning, yet effortless, boho chic and so put together all at once.

This watercolor maxi would be STUNNING on you. We all know you rock maxis, this one would look great with your stature and coloring. Its drapey jersey could be dressed up with gold, like I did here, or dressed down for work with a solid scarf and a denim jacket.
For the wedding, I would play up the neckline by putting your hair into a soft, loose bun and adding a long, layered necklace. This one is very Great Gatsby inspired, which is another huge trend this summer. Also, gold. Gold is back in a big way and it looks fresh and summery. The gold sandals and trim on the bag tie in with the jewelry. I also added a big scarf, just in case you need nursing camouflage or it gets chilly after the sun goes down. These particular pieces are higher priced, but with the gold trend this strong, there are knockoffs everywhere!

She couldn't be more right. This outfit absolutely nails it. The dress is Presley Skye, available for $118 at Nordstrom, and I think I'm going to have to buy it whether I decide to wear it to the wedding or not. It's just too perfect not to buy. I also really, really love the shoes, which are by David Tate. They're chic and low-heeled enough to chase my probably-walking-by-that-point kid around. And the long, layered, Gasby-inspired necklaces are just wonderful. I'm unlikely to buy this $138 set, but I'm sure I can find something similar.

To round things out, A. offered another take on the maxi dress wedding idea:

wedding look 2

A. says:

Just a remix on the maxi and gold, in case you though the pattern was too much. This maxi has a great color and a super flattering wrap. The ruffle edge makes it so chic and young.

I went with a statement necklace against this solid dress, since it would be overkill with the watercolor pattern. And coral toes in those gold sandals would pull it all together.

I don't love this dress as much as the other one, but this one is great, too. The blue is a fantastic color and the wrap is really distinctive. My favorite part of this look, though, is the fantastic cuff bracelet--isn't it gorgeous?

Since I loved the pieces A. picked so much, I couldn't help but take a shot at a bit of remixing:

Remix #1

I like the idea of a casual take on the shorter dolman-sleeve dress, with the low-heel casual sandals, floppy hat, and turquoise bracelets. This seems like it could go to work, out on a weekend, to the Farmer's Market--just about anywhere.

Remix #2

The other wedding dress option could just as easily be made casual, even with the same low-heeled gold sandals--as A. mentioned, the jean jacket would be great for that. I also like the idea of adding the cuff bracelet and the wooden beaded necklace for sort of an earthy element.

Remix #3

Finally, a work remix, featuring some of favorite pieces--the drapey LE top, the trouser jeans, and those amazing polka dot platform sandals. I love the pattern mix here with the watch, shoes, and shirt.

I was a little bit trepidatious about being on this end of this process, but it's been really fun, and A. gave me some great ideas. Specifically, I'm going to try to use things already in my wardrobe to replicate the jeans-based work look and the wide-legged trouser look. I'm also going to try to find cost-friendly replicas of most of the jewelry and the jean jacket. As far as the actual pieces A. suggested, I am considering purchasing the following:
-Ros Hommerson Quiz Sandals
-OnlyPearl Red Bubble Necklace
-Jessica Howard Dolman Sleeve Smock Waist Blouson Dress
-Crocs Retro Flip Flop
-Presley Skye Print Jersey Maxi Dress
-David Tate Caress Sandals
-

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Resolution 2013 Check-In: Late May Edition

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So maybe keeping tabs on my resolutions should have been one of my resolutions...

Here's where I was in March.

And now:

1. Read 40 books.
I have this one well under control, with 23 books read and 3 in progress. In progress are The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal by Lily Koppel (paperback), Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life by Gretchen Rubin (e-book), and Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell (audiobook). Because of commute time, I'm getting through audiobooks a lot faster than I am paper or ebooks, but I think, for now, I'm OK with that.

2. Send birthday cards to my friends/family.
This is a work in progress. I am doing it, but I was late on a couple of cards in May. :(

3. Use the 52 Week Savings Plan.

Still happening automatically.

4. Prioritize visits with friends (at least 4).

Doing well. I've visited one friend for the weekend, another has come to visit us, and a third set are coming this weekend.

5. Complete the Couch to 5K, then reassess.

Still off track--adjusting to the new job has left 0 gym time, and I quit my overpriced gym. However, I joined a new, cheaper gym yesterday and hope to get re-started with this goal later this week/early next week.

6. Blog at least three times a week.

Really not keeping up with this one, and feeling terrible about it. I need to build blog time into my schedule and I just am not having any success doing that.

7. Do something to improve my space every month.

Check--we recently overhauled/cleaned out our basement, which was huge (and yeah, it was precipitated by a cat-related incident, but it needed to happen anyway and I'm so glad it's done).

8. Volunteer.

Right before I started my job, I was all set up with an amazing volunteer opportunity and was SO excited about it. But then time constraints came crashing down and I had to give it up before I even started. This one is back-burnered for now--I just can't find any more hours in my days.

9. Institute a gratitude practice.

I've stopped doing this. It just started feeling really pedantic and forced. I need to replace it with something, though, because I think my level of gratitude has dropped off and that's not good.

10. Re-engage in social media.

I'd say I am moderately engaged. More than I was, less than I'd like to be. Again, time...

11. Get a new job.

Big fat success!

12. Play with the baby.

Still doing this, still loving it. It's hard on weekdays, when dinner/bath/bedtime is squeezed into 90 minutes or less, but we're making it work and I feel pretty good about how it's going.

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Thrift Share Monday: Keedo & All-Clad

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Look at me, posting a Monday thrift share! It's actually my scores from last weekend, since I didn't thrift this weekend, but that's OK, right?

My thrift store has been reorganized and sometime during their reorganization they seem to have made the decision to start kind of sucking. Every time I've been since they moved things around has been disappointing. That said, I went with the purpose of dropping things off last weekend, and couldn't help but have a look around, and I came home with some excellent scores!

E1D3A368-2878-423F-88DC-F9C2B82B0DBB-214-00000026B0B3DDB9_zpsb4ae951f.jpg

The t-shirt is a NWT Keedo t-shirt for the baby. It's i his current size, so it will probably fit for all of about 5 minutes, but it was too cute to pass up, advertising, as it does, that a blue whale is the size of three elephants. I can't find this exact shirt for sale anywhere, but similar shirts on the Keedo website are around $15-$20 (and super cute--look at this one!) I believe I paid $3.

The real find, though, is the two pans. They are an All-Clad 3-Quart Stainless Steel Saute Pan (currently $120 on Amazon) and an All-Clad Stainless 10-Inch Fry Pan (currently $90 on Amazon). Both are in near-perfect, barely-if-ever used shape. They were marked $8 each, but I had a 25% off voucher, so they were $6 each. Mark was thrilled when I brought them home. We have a similar All-Clad skillet in the next size down that he always says is a wee bit too small, and a similar, non-All Clad saute pan that is Mark's most used pan and one he always wishes he had two of. Perfect!

How about you? Done any thrifting lately? Any great finds?

(I don't see a current Thrift Share Monday post at Apron Thrift Girl, so no link up, but go check her out anyway!)

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Tastykake® Kandy Bar Kakes, I love you.

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(Disclaimer: I received a Tastykake® Kandy Bar Kake free as part of my Influenster Spring Fling VoxBox. However, what you are about to read it all true.)

Y'all know I am a bonafide junk food junkie. There is very rarely a sugar, fat, and processed-whatever laden food I don't love. One of my very favorite categories of junk food has always been the snack cake. When I was little, it was Hostess. In college, I turned to my cheaper friend Little Debbie. But since moving to the East Coast, I have found the One Snack Cake to Rule Them All.

Nothing holds a kandle (hah!) to Tastykake. Seriously. Every variety of these suckers I've tried has been excellent, including some I didn't even think I liked. Most recently falling into that category is the Kandy Bar Kake. In my Spring VoxBox (don't know what that is? Go to Influenster and sign up--so much fun!) I received a Peanut Butter Kandy Bar Kake, made with Reeses Peanut Butter. And I am in love. So tasty. I'm anxious to try the peppermint (York) and S'Mores (Hershey's cocoa and graham cracker) versions.

But back to the peanut butter variety. The filling? Taste like Reese's PB cup filling, which is one of my favorite tastes ever (yeah, I know, lowbrow palette--sue me). The cake is light and fluffy. The chocolate covering is perfectly snack cake snappy. LOVE.

This is what the brand has to say for itself:

The Tasty Baking Company, founded in 1914 and located in Philadelphia, Pa., is one of the country's leading bakers of snack cakes, pies, cookies, and donuts. As a subsidiary of Flowers Foods, the company has bakery facilities in Philadelphia and Oxford, Pa. that offer more than 100 products under the Tastykake brand name. Celebrated for their freshness and quality ingredients, the Tastykake line includes such classics as Krimpets, Kandy Kakes, Juniors, and Kreamies. For more information on Tasty Baking Company, visit www.tastykake.com.

Kandy Bar Kakes retail for $1.69 each, or $4.49 for a family pack of 5.

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Punjammies: a plug and a give away!

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WearHope.jpg

Image via punjammies.com.

Y'all, I am really, really trying to get back to regular blogging, but life is just so in the way. That said, nothing energizes me about blogging like a giveaway, so let's get one of those going!

Ages ago, my friend Suebob told me about the International Princess Project and Punjammies, via her blog, Suebob's Awesome Brain. I wanted to get a set of my own, and support the great cause, but for whatever reason I didn't. Probably money. Anyway, recently, in a discussion about making ethical choices when buying clothing, another friend mentioned Punjammies, so I looked up the International Princess Project again. And this time, I pulled the trigger and ordered two sets of Punjammies for myself. I am so, so glad I did.

The International Princess Project's vision is to "restore hope and dignity to women formerly enslaved in prostitution." This is their mission:

Establish self-sustaining enterprises in partnership with indigenous organizations that provide for physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women formerly enslaved in prostitution; AND advocate for women enslaved in prostitution around the world.

One of those self-sustaining enterprises is Punjammies:

The PUNJAMMIES™ Initiative is self-sustaining enterprise which greatly enhances the quality of after-care provided by partner organizations and increases their capacity to serve these women. It leverages PUNJAMMIES™, a premium brand of pajamas, in the United States, to create demand for products made by women in after-care. Not only do the proceeds from PUNJAMMIES™ provide wages for the women who make them, they also provide for living expenses and after-care costs. In addition, creating the beautiful PUNJAMMIES™ by hand helps build their self-esteem and dignity by demonstrating they can create something that has value around the world. The vocational training provided at the International Princess™ Project sewing centers becomes a part of their emotional healing in addition to a way to make a living and provide for their children. 


And, as you can see in the photo, they are beautiful. After a ton of deliberation, I ordered the Leela Capri bottoms with the gray Freedom tee for one set, the Nanu capri bottoms with the black Rajaswari racerback tank for the other, and I love both sets. They are well-made, don't look like anything in stores, and I feel great about supporting the women who made them. I plan to wear them all summer.

One caveat re: sizing: I am a pretty typical, if tall and maybe slightly wide-hipped and small-waisted, size 16 at this point, and I ordered everything in an extra large. If I had it to do again, I'd probably go with the XXL. Everything fits, but things aren't quite as oversized as I'd like pajamas to be, and I am worried about shrinkage. This is a particular issue with the tank--if you have large breasts, it's probably not for you. And XXL is the largest size they sell, with decreased availability, so, unfortunately, the more plus-sized among us are a little bit left out of the Punjammies fun.

Given how stoked I am about my Punjammies, and about supporting the project, these seem like a great thing to re-start the giveaway train here at WINOW! I'm giving away one set of Punjammies--any top (tee or tank), any bottom (pants, capris, or shorts). To enter, use that handle Rafflecopter widget you see! And by all means, consider buying some Punjammies for yourself or for a gift!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Crazy couponing check-in

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So I'm still all about the couponing, and I've made some progress since my last post on the subject. The other day, I walked out of CVS with three bottles of laundry detergent and an eye shadow for around $10, saving $25ish. I though that was pretty good. I'm still not quite ready for the show, but I did score my first free items (some purse packs of Clorox wipes), so I'd say I'm headed in the right direction!

Best recent scores:

1. Three bottles All Free & Clear Detergent, regular $8.50, on sale for $3.99, minus a printable $1 off coupon, paid $2/bottle (CVS)

2. Four Clorox wipes purse pack, regular $.99, one store coupon for $1 off three Clorox items, 4 printable $.75 off 1 Clorox item coupons, FREE (Target)

3. 18 Gerber Organic Baby Food pouches, regular around $1.39 each, one store coupon for $5 off $20 Nestle products, 3 printable coupons for $.99 off six pouches, paid about $17 or $.94 each.

How about you? Are any of my readers couponers? Tell me your secrets!

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Mother's Day Gifts for Your Cool Mom

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So it's about to be my first Mother's Day on the "being honored" side of the fence, and I'm pretty stoked. As I do when I'm stoked about a gift giving or getting occasion, I've been poking around to see what types of gifts folks recommend, what the Top 10 lists are, all of that. And honestly? Most of them don't do it for me. They just don't speak to a young, cool mom like myself (and please read that sentence with the heaping helping of sarcasm with which it was intended). So, I thought I'd make up a little suggestion sheet of my own. Here's what I think you should get your cool mom for Mother's Day. Suggestions range from $13-$138 and are available both online and in your local big box store. Flowers and chocolate are also acceptable. ;)

Mother's Day Gifts for Your Cool Mom

Mother's Day Gifts for Your Cool Mom

What you see here:
-Mother & Child Pendant Necklace, $54-$78, Uncommon Goods
-Vera for Target Sea Flowers Oblong Scarf, $20, Target
-Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler Katie Small Canister, $20, JCPenney
-Joe Fresh Print Smocked Waist 100% Silk Dress, $69, JCPenney
-Brushed Steel Silver Trumpet Based Floor Lamp, $80, Target
-Doctor Who Tardis iPhone Case, $16, Squiggle Case
-Square Plum Tote, $138, Angela & Roi
-Thermos Raya Compact Bottle in Henna, $15, Amazon
-The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art, $46, Amazon
-Kid Made Modern Charley Harper Paint by Number Kit, $13, Target
-Threshold Outdoor Rectangular Poof Footstool in Red Ikat, $40, Target
-Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, $33, Suki.com

What about you? Moms out there, what would you love to get for Mother's Day? Kids, are you sending anything special to your Mom?

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Nursing and convenience parenting

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I've posted before, here and elsewhere, about my extreme indifference, bordering on enmity, towards breastfeeding. It was just not something I looked forward to about being a mom. For years, I didn't think I'd even attempt it, and then, before my kid was born, I decided I would attempt it, but with no pressure on myself to do anything other than try. I had no "I'll nurse for X months" goal, and I had a stockpile of formula ready for when it didn't work out, or when I hated it too much to continue.

Ten months in to my child's life, I am still pretty indifferent. Breastfeeding has been easy and more or less painless for me. The baby took to it easily, I have plenty of milk, even pumping has never been a problem. The unused formula has long since been given away, never having been needed or even considered. But I don't like it. I don't feel it bonds us, at least not any more than any of the other million mundane parenting tasks I do every day. While I in no way find it gross, or uncomfortable, I do find it inconvenient, and, increasingly, intrusive. As I've heard so many women say over the years, I'm ready to have my body back.

But I'm not going to wean.

Why? Given my lack of a breastfeeding timeline goal, and my feeling that the negatives of doing it are starting to outweigh the positives, wouldn't weaning make sense? At this point, I don't think so. In only two more months, my baby will be a year old (wow, already?!). At that point, the American Academy of Pediatrics gives the OK to start giving cow's milk. He's eating an ever-increasing amount of food (and seems to prefer it to nursing), and only nursing/getting bottles of pumped milk 4-6 times a day. It seems to me, perhaps foolishly, that if I'm willing to wait a couple more months to start the process, I may be able to wean him so slowly and gradually that he'll not much know the difference. Or he may do it himself. That will make it one less thing that I have to put him through or "train" him into/out of, and that, unlike whatever health benefits he is still getting at this age, makes it worthwhile to me to wait. In short, I'm willing to wait because I think it will be easier.

This sheds light on one of the parts of parenthood I didn't necessarily expect. I expected to be willing to do things I don't want to do because they are what my baby needs--that seemed obvious from my first diaper change. I expected to prioritize his comfort and happiness over my own much of the time. But I didn't expect to be so willing to make compromises to my preferences for the sake of making things easier. Not necessarily better, just easier. It isn't in the books, but a lot of infant parenting, at least in my experience, comes down to maximizing utility and convenience. Were I to wean the baby at this point, I'd have to start dealing with formula--that would add a complication to my life. I'd have to deal with "explaining" to a pre-logic baby why he can't nurse anymore when he still wants to--another complication. It's worth the inconvenience of continuing to nurse and pump to avoid those inconveniences. At that end of the day, the metric isn't "what's best for him and best for me?" but rather "what's easiest for both of us?"

In the specific example of nursing, I assume that at some point, probably not too far down the road, the convenience metric will change and then nursing will cease (and I will quietly rejoice). But the more interesting thing, to me, is the window this provides into how parenting decisions are actually made on the ground. When this was all theoretical to me, I never would have expected to value the convenience of an established nursing relationship over my own complete body autonomy. Nor would I have expected that convenience to be, in reality, more important to me than the more tangible benefits of breast milk. It's one of those interesting ways in which the idea of parenting and the reality of it are just miles apart.

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What I'm Wearing to Work: An Update

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I've been trying for weeks to get a picture of myself in the morning so I could tell you about how I'm dressing this new body for this new job. Unfortunately, mornings at my house are still insane enough that a photo session just doesn't make the priority list. I thought about drawing you a picture, but that would only end in tears. So let's try Polyvore instead?

A recent worn-to-work outfit:

What I'm Wearing to Work

Smashbox
smashbox.com

Loft Flocking Bird Print Tie Neck Blouse | Steal That DressSteal That...
stealthatdress.com



The linked products are the exact ones I have, the others are approximations. My chambray trousers are actually from the Ann Taylor outlet store, and my black flats are an old style by Naturalizer. But you get the idea.

I'm not completely happy with the current look, but not totally unhappy, either. My new office is very casual, so this level of dressing makes me one of the more dressed up people around. I'm OK with that, I think, but it's a fine line and I definitely don't want to get too formal. I'm also worried recently about my move towards simplicity and understated clothes making me look just plain boring--I feel like the cute bird print blouse in the bright color guards against that in this particular case, but some mornings I do look at myself and yawn. Makeup is the same deal--I want an understated, streamlined look, but I'm trying not to put myself to sleep (or make myself look older than I am).

So, that's about where I am, fashion-wise. I am hoping to have some more in-depth and interesting things to say about clothes and the post-partum body and all that in the future.

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