Thursday, April 25, 2013 whimsical and ridiculous

Lately I've been feeling extra whimsical and felt drawn to things that are extra ridiculous. Here are some of my most recent finds.

Live (for the home):
I saw this wallpaper from Huset Shop online and died.

Then realized if I ordered it the people I am renting from would die. So I have it bookmarked on my computer and I can continue to click on it and swoon and dream of the day when I can order it and it will be mine. We are like star-crossed lovers -- this wallpaper and I.

Love (for myself):

I ordered this necklace through Brickyard Buffalo. I can just picture my sister/mom/Colin saying "that is probably the creepiest thing I've ever seen". But I'm in love with it and I can't wait for it to come in. Brickyard Buffalo is my new favorite addiction. And I ain't goin' to rehab for it. No-sir-ree.

Little (for Sage):

This t-shirt comes from Threadless kids. I love a baby in a graphic tee...and Threadless has the coolest selection around.  Imagine the little mister in this tee with cargo shorts and slide-on TOMS, then grab a rag because you need to clean up that heart that just melted all over the floor. Because babies in cute clothes are just THAT uh-door-uh-bull.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

sometimes it takes some stale hamburger buns to put things into perspective

Life has been crazy, to say the least, around here lately.

It's been hard for me to sit down and blog lately. I've been exhausted. The house is a mess. I can't keep up on laundry. Everything has just been... crazy. When I created this blog I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't use this blog to vent. This would be a positive place.

But today I realized that not everything is positive all the time. That's life. Some days your tired and cranky. And some months you're tired and cranky. Not everything is always colored pants and perfect baby and gluten-free muffins and homemade baby food. Real talk.

But some days everything seems extra hard and extra unfair. On those days I realized that I just need to walk away. Not forever, but for a little while.

So on Saturday I grabbed some stale hamburger buns and Sage and I went outside to feed the family of ducks that have called our yard home. I closed the door on our messy house and I did my best to forget about the laundry and the dishes and the unmade beds and the toys on the floor.

We sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine. We fed the ducks and picked dandelions. We played in the grass. We giggled. And that's what it took for me to step outside of myself and remember that life is good.

Like...really really good.

Monday, April 15, 2013

outfit: jewel tones for spring


This is my first link-up! I'm doing this post as part of a "Dare to Wear" challenge on a blog that I follow. You can find that blog by clicking the link at the bottom of the post. The theme was "Spring Brights", So I thought it would be something fun to try!  

Today felt like anything but spring weather. It was cold, windy, and we had flurries of snow throughout the day. NOT the weather I was hoping for when I was planning my cute spring dress and sandals. That outfit will have to be for a later post I guess! 

You can tell Sage isn't loving the wind either. We are both ready for some warmer weather!

On me
sweater: Banana Republic // pants: Aeropostale // shoes: BCBG // coat: Target
On Sage: 
pants, shoes, coat: Baby Gap // shirt: Target

Jewel tones are where it's at for spring. I actually used a color wheel to help me put this outfit together. Yes... a color wheel. I keep one on my computer in case I need some help or inspiration putting colors together.

You can use a color wheel in a couple different ways. I like to use it in the same way I would use color swatches when mixing paint. I like being able to have the colors in front of me to see what ones stick out to me and feel like they would work well together.

The most fool-proof way to use a color wheel is to either match colors that are directly across from one another or next to each other. For this outfit I pulled colors from the same side of the color wheel.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

sage has an announcement to make

I have two teeth!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

outfit: shirt as a skirt

 I was shopping F21 clearance last week when I found this awesome geometric...something. I took it into the fitting room and tried on what I thought was a skirt. Now let me tell you, maternity clothes showed me the beauty of an elastic waistband... so when I found a skirt with elastic that was not from the maternity section, I knew we needed to be together.
Come home with me, geometric elastic waistband skirt. You're the one for me.
Later, I was looking at my reciepts and I saw a "geometric tunic" listed on my F21 reciept.
I can't believe I was charged for a shirt that I didn't buy!
Then it hit me. Said awesome colorblocked geometric elastic waistband skirt of my dreams is actually a babydoll shirt. Dangit. I thought about returning it to the store, but we were so in love.
Today I decided to wear the skirt/shirt. I wore a plain grey v-neck from...the third drawer in my dresser (it's so old I don't know where it came from. Oh and sisters, if you are reading this and realize this is your shirt...too bad for you. Keep better track of your clothes I guess) and a pair of strappy Tommy Hilfiger sandals I found at Marshall's.
I wish I was clever enough to say that I found this shirt and thought outside the box enough to wear it as a skirt, but really it was just a misunderstanding. But it was a beautiful, wonderful misunderstanding that brought me to my new favorite spring piece. Good enough for me.
Unrelated side note: I sure do love spring.
(Sage is obviously not interested in being in this picture, as he is kicking off his shoe and trying to eat a stick.)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

baby in a slouchy beanie and city creek mall

Can I just say that I think a baby in a slouchy beanie is probably the cutest thing in the history of the world? That being said, my sisters said that Sage looked a bit like Shmee from Peter Pan in this outfit, but I couldn't get enough. I just wanted to eat him up.

These pictures are from Easter weekend when we were shopping at City Creek Mall in SLC.


If you are there you have to check out the fountains in the center of the mall (they are linked to the mall's music and were done by the same person who designed the fountains at the Bellagio), the creek that runs though the center of the mall (City Creek...get it...) and the amazing selection of stores that I can't afford.

Its an outdoor mall that can transform into an indoor mall if the weather calls for it. How cool is that?

If you're in the area it's worth checking out, even just to walk around. And for my GF-ers, eat at Red Iguana in the food court. The workers know all about gluten allergies and what sauces and sides to substitute that don't have gluten. Plus it's just amazing food.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

bath, interrupted

This morning I had a lazy Saturday craving for a relaxing bath. Since obviously Sage isn't old enough to spend some time alone, I brought toys into the bathroom, thinking that he might be able to play independently for a little while so I could enjoy my bath and read a book. Yeah right. He couldn't even get past the water filling up in the tub before he was convinced that this bath must be for him. You can see him trying to climb into the tub, and my hand close just in case he actually succeeded. He only took a break from his bathtub obsession to flush the toilet a couple of times. This is also one of his new-found favorite games. ICK.

When the bath filled up I decided to hop in and just try to enjoy the bath the best that I could while he played in the water off to the side. This didn't really work either. His splashing and "look I can put my whole face under the water" made for a little bit of a stressful bath. Not the relaxing bath time I was hoping for.

Sage finally won this battle. I waved the white flag and let him take over the bathtub. I had my relaxing bath time commandeered by a nine-month-old. This cute little Napoleon has full reign over the bathtub in this house.

Needless to say I didn't get to read ANY of my book.

**sorry about the blurry iPhone pictures, there was no way I was bringing my DSLR around this guppy at bath time:)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

how to look cute if you DONT have a sugar daddy or a trust fund

top: Banana Republic Factory Store // boyfriend sweater: Banana Republic Factory Store // sunglasses: Raley's // straw fedora: Target

Alright, so here's the stich. I follow a ton of fashion blogs on my Bloglovin' account, and it's starting to irk me how MUCH money some of these people spend on clothes. Yeah, you better look dang cute if you are wearing head-to-toe Marc Jacobs with Tori Burch flats. But my sister's husband put it best this weekend...we were sitting around discussing some fashion bloggers (we are a house full of girls, what can you expect?!) and he said, "it's not style if you're taking it off a mannequin." You'd think we were all in the presense of the Dali Lama when he said it. We even called my mom in so she could hear and agree. If you have money to spend on clothes and can buy things straight from the store windows, that rocks for you and yours. Sometimes it's nice to see how the other half lives. That's why I continue to follow these blogs and read Vogue. Those clothes are pieces of art that are to be admired, not purchased.

So here I am, telling the world my secrets as far as designer shopping is concerned. I wear name brands. I love nice clothes. But I refuse to pay retail. I even refuse to pay the factory store prices. I shop CLEARANCE at the OUTLET mall. That's my secret. And years of working in retail have taught me some of the "tricks of the trade" if you will, and it's totally changed my outlook on shopping. I've been on the other end of retail and I know the way things work. I hope I can open some doors for you as far as your thinking and the things to look out for while shopping. That way I can save you years of folding clothes and help you save a pretty penny along the way.

Step one: Find the outlet mall
Outlet malls are a beautiful thing. Find one near you. If it's close, you're lucky. If it's a bit of a drive, plan a day trip and drive out for a shopping day. Just GET YOURSELF TO THE OUTLET MALL. (I'm sorry, I don't meant to yell. But this is some critical shopping info!)

Step two: Map your route BEFORE you get to the mall
Malls in general are big and overwhelming. Almost every mall has an online map with a list of stores in the mall. Print these out and highlight the stores you know you want to check out when you get there. This sounds like a lot of work but it saves you a ton of time once you get to the mall. You will know the best side of the mall to park, you will know which way to walk, and it will eliminate a lot of aimless wandering.

Step three: Once you know what stores you want to hit, look online and makes some calls
Stores will sometimes post their coupons on the mall website or keep extra coupons behind the counter for people who call ahead asking for them. Stores want to keep their customers happy, so if they're expecting you they might keep one behind the register. Write down the name of the person you talked to when you called and find them when you get to the store. A personal connection with the associate will help you get the best deals possible. Just don't be fake, no one likes a phony. Look online for printable coupons or download a coupon app. If there are stores that you go to on a regular basis, sign up for their email lists to get updates on upcoming sales. Banana Republic and Ann Taylor are both great email lists to be on, neither of which send an overload of emails and they often include coupons in their emails. For the little ones, Carters/Oshgosh and Gymboree are the best email lists to be on for the same reasons. Carters almost always has a 20% off coupon for the people on their email list to use.
Step four: Be careful to not be tricked by marketing ploys
This is a hard one. Some stores will run "everything 50% off sales" periodically. These usually mean that new product is going to be rolled out soon and everything is going to get marked to clearance or sent to an outlet store once the sale is over. Some stores will actually mark things that were previously on sale back up for these promotions. For example, if something was running at 75% off earlier in the week, the product will be marked back up to 50% off for the sale in hopes of getting extra sales before the product is marked down and sent to clearance or the outlet once the sale is over. Now, if it's an outlet store running an "everything 50% off" type sale, it's a different story. If this is the case, you need to call ahead and see if the sale includes their clearance. These are where I have found some of my best clearance finds. The top and boyfriend cardigan I am wearing in the picture are both from the Banana Republic Factory Store. They were both clearance items that I bought during a storewide "everything an additional 50% off" sale. The boyfriend cardigan was regularly $59.99, on clearance for $24.99, and on an additional 50% off sale for $12.50. The top was originally $39.99, on sale for $20.00, and on an additional 50% off sale for $10.00. Cha-ching.

Step five: Look for deals where you might not normally think to look
The sunglasses I am wearing in the picture are from Raley's. That's right, the grocery store. I have found some of my favorite pairs of sunglasses at drug stores and gas stations. Keep an open mind and swing by the accessories isle when you are out grocery shopping. I find lots of cheap accessories in the most random places this way.

Step six: Know what looks good on you, but keep an open mind
The thing about clearance is they are usually the things that didn't sell. This doesn't mean that these are bad products, it usually means that they don't look as cute on the hanger as they do on your body. My mom refers to this as having a "vision". Some things just look terrible on the hanger, but you can't judge a shirt by its weird shape on a hanger. Go out on a limb and try things on that you wouldn't usually try on. I found a peplum top at the Gap Outlet for about $3 this way. I just tried in on and it turned out to be one of my favorite shirts. I also tried an embellished top on at the Banana Republic Factory Store that looked boring and frumpy on the hanger, but it fit just right and would be really easy to dress up or dress down. This one I got for a whopping $1.50 with an extra 50% off clearance sale. Holy moly. Trying different clothes on is the way to broaden your style and find some really unique pieces for really awesome prices.

Step seven: Be patient
Clearance shopping takes some time and some getting used to.  It's really easy to walk into a store and feel intimidated by the clearance section. It's usually not as kept up as the rest of the store, it's usually not in season, and it usually isn't very well lit. This is often on purpose. The people running the store would rather have you buy from the front of the store where you will be spending more money and increasing their sales. This is especially true for commission-based stores.   Also, when trying things on, not everything is going to fit and not everything is going to look amazing on everyone. Know that it takes some time and trips back to the fitting room before you are going to be finished. But I guarantee that it's worth it to paw through the mess and spend some extra time in the fitting room to find something really special. Your bank account will thank you.
...and no one needs to know you didn't spend retail on your clothes. I sure as heck won't tell. Promise.

Monday, April 1, 2013

easter sunday

While visiting Utah, we decided to spend Easter Sunday at Temple Square in Salt Lake. It was such a beautiful day; the flowers were planted and the sun was shining. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day in a more beautiful place.

First, I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our little family. This is George. My mom found George at the BYU bookstore at the beginning of the trip, and George and Sage have been partners in crime since. It was love at first sight. So for the remainder of the trip the pictures of Sage and I are mostly now of Sage, George and I. Welcome to the family George. It's a good thing you're cute.


We toured the conference center after walking around Temple Square. What a beautiful building full of history and art! From the roof of the conference center there is a beautiful view of Salt Lake. The mountains and the Temple are so beautiful from this view. There are fountains and fields on top of the building, but for safety reasons the roof is no longer open without an escort. We were lucky enough to get to see Salt Lake from above.

This wall was made out of black granite. The pictures were etched onto the granite so that while you are looking into the wall, you can also see yourself along with those depicted. It was a very powerful message. 

The pictures pretty much do all of the talking for me here. The day was perfect. It was also my sister Haydn's birthday (I'll share those pictures tomorrow). Happy Birthday Haydn!! There was a lot of love on this trip. My heart just might burst.