Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stuff and things...

Now that I've finally crawled out of the dark hole that was my life for the last couple of weeks, I thought I'd stop in and say hello.

I'm mostly being dramatic, but work really has been a nightmare lately. Thankfully, it has leveled off some, and I can resume doing everyday life things. You know, like sleep. Ha.

Thankfully, since I've mostly been working, you guys haven't really missed much, although Grace has been extra cute and funny lately. We bought her a little toy cradle for her baby dolls, and she can spend hours just putting her babies down for a "night night." She picks them up and says, "it's okay, baby" and rocks them, pats their back, and then lays them back down again. Over and over and over. It's probably the cutest thing I've ever seen.

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She's very into listening to "Jesus Bible" (also known as "Jesus Loves Me"), but she only likes the first verse and gets very frustrated when forced to endure the mediocrity of the second verse. She knows all her colors and can sometimes count to 10 (although she prefers the even numbers). She asks for donuts on the way to school a lot. I give in about once a week, and we have the best time eating breakfast together.

It hit me yesterday that she turns two in two months and I haven't given a single thought to her birthday party. This time last year, I had the whole thing planned and most of it gathered together already. Oh, how things change... :)

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(The sweater I'm wearing in the picture above is from StitchFix, and I'm obsessed. It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's cream and gray and oh-so cozy.)

And last, but definitely not least, I've got to explain why I am FREAKING out with happy. If you've been reading for very long, you know that I've been obsessed with Joey and her incredibly uplifting and genuine blog for a few years now. It turns out that I'm headed to her neck of the woods next week for a recruiting event for work, and I'm finally going to get to hug her neck in real life! Joey has been such an unwavering source of encouragement and friendship over the past couple of years, and I'm over the moon to finally get to meet her.

Also, (because she's amazing) she's a published author (of a book I read and adored) called Yeah, Maybe. This week it's on super duper sale on Amazon, and I can tell you that it's well worth the $1.99 price tag.

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So go buy it!

And then go link up with Joey and Kristin to share your stuff and/or things.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stuff and things...

I'm hanging on by a thread, friends. I worked 70-hour weeks the entire month of January, got sick, nursed a sick kid, traveled a bit, successfully completed a Whole30 (which I promise I'll be writing about soon), and still managed to be home by 5:30 and hang out with my kid until her bedtime most nights.

The only way those things all happen is by (1) being married to a rock star of a husband who picks up my slack and (2) not sleeping much. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though. My big deadline at work is next Friday, so, for better or worse, the madness has to end by then.

(And, in case it wasn't completely and utterly obvious, I'm not happy about or proud of having worked so much and would never hold last month up as an example of how well I'm doing at life. I sucked at life last month on basically every level. But that's just the way things go sometimes. There are incredible months, and there are terrible months, and there are months that you won't even remember because they flew by in such an unceremonious way. You have to add them all up and take an average. Somewhere in the midst of the awesome and not-so awesome, you've probably got a pretty sweet, little life. Am I right?)

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Can we also talk about how my kid is officially too big for her britches? The last week or so when I drop her off at school in the mornings, she takes a few minutes to sit calmly and happily in my lap on the floor. And then at some point she decides she's ready to play with her friends, so she turns around, looks at me, and says, "bye-bye, Mommy!" just as sweet as could be.

I mean, seriously. Break my heart, why don't you? She also wore her first top knot today, and I basically fell over dead at the sight of her.

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And speaking of firsts, I wore my first high-waisted skirt yesterday. It's hard to tell because of the crappy quality of this work bathroom selfie, but I had a ruffled black tank tucked into it, and I contemplated wearing only that, but I felt like it needed a pop of color. These cropped cardis from Forever 21 are my absolute favorite for layering with dresses/skirts. Also, they're $10, so you can literally buy every color they come in.

I wasn't sure if I could really pull off this skirt, but I went for it, and I feel like it ended up being unexpectedly slimming. It's funny timing because as I was marveling at the fact that I was wearing this skirt (given that it had sat in my closet for over a year because it hugged me in all the wrong places), I checked my Timehop and saw where I was four years ago.

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Dallas had just been waylaid with snow. (In Dallas, "waylaid with snow" means we got 4 inches or more. Please make fun of us.) Micah and Lilly and I were playing in it, and we took these pictures with my good camera.

I'm so thankful that I forced myself to make and record and share memories even when I didn't feel like I was at my best or most beautiful. Because now I can look back and see how far I've really come since then. It has been a long journey, without a doubt. One filled with successes and failures and childbirth and lots of long-suffering patience. But I'm here at this exact spot on my path because I forced myself to keep aiming in the right direction. Who knows where I'll be in another four years?

What stuff and things do you have going on? Link up with Kristin and Joey and join in on the fun!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

If you're a curvy girl...

When I first started trying to find cute plus-size clothes a couple of years ago, I found the selection to be incredibly lacking. Everything I found looked like it should be worn by someone at least thirty years older than me, and it was all ridiculously overpriced.

I discovered Lane Bryant, which I really love, but it's pricey and still not always quite as stylish as I'd prefer.

I'm not sure how I initially discovered that Forever 21 offered plus sizes. But I can guarantee that I very likely almost didn't even look, because I will always associate Forever 21 with cheap, uber-trendy, tiny things made for teeny-boppers. (And the hellish part-time job I had there the summer before I started college. I still have nightmares about trying to put back all of dressing room rejects on the proper racks. How many versions of a black sleeveless top can one store sell?) 

However.

I did ultimately end up taking a look at what they had, and I was pleasantly surprised at how adorable it all was. Yes, it's trendy. And no, you probably won't get more than a season's worth of wear out of the pieces. But they're cheap. And likely to go out of style by the time they wear out anyway. Plus, I really loved the idea that I wouldn't be breaking the bank to buy transition items to get me through while I lost weight. I figured I'd let myself splurge when I got down to my goal weight.

So I started buying a few things here and there to supplement the basics I had in my wardrobe. The funny thing is that, nearly every time I wear one of my Forever 21 pieces, I get compliments and questions about where I got them. I always hate having to confess that I'm a nearly 30 year-old who still shops at Forever 21, but whatever. Haters gonna hate.

Overall, I mostly stick with tops, dresses, and sweaters, as the pants are generally too trendy for me, and the basics aren't really worth buying there, even though they're dirt cheap. (Leggings and camis are, like, $4 and super thin.) The sizing is generally pretty accurate. I'm ordering X-Larges right now with the knowledge that I'll probably have to bump down to a Large soon.

Anyway, in case you've been wanting to spice up your wardrobe, I thought I'd share some of the things that caught my eye as I was perusing their site recently. A few of these are currently en route to my front door. (Don't tell Micah, y'all. I've so blown my shopping budget the last couple of months, it's not even funny.)

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1 / 2 / 3

One. This floral kimono would be fabulous over black leggings with black booties and a fun statement necklace.

Two. I adore peplum. This may be slightly short for my preference, but the pattern is on point.

Three. Apparently this is super sheer, so you'd probably need to save it for a night out. But how gorgeous is the coral and gold?

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Four. Long, flowy cardigans are my jam. This one looks like it'd be perfect with skinnies, boots, and a skinny peppermint mocha, yeah?

Five. This navy top has a fun, little embroidery detail. I put this in my cart because I love the way it's styled in this picture, but also partly because I want this model's hair color. That's irrational, I realize.

Six. I have a red tunic from F21 that's really similar to this one, and I'm telling you... it has been one of my favorite and most-complimented pieces of clothing. Ever. So I couldn't resist this one.

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7 / 8 / 9

Seven. This tee looks to be super comfy and a decent length. One thing you do have to watch out for with F21 is that their tops can be on the short side. They usually have pictures of the back, so check that out before you commit if you're hoping to be able to wear it with skinnies or leggings.

Eight. THIS MAXI SKIRT. I love it styled with this black tank and a long pendant necklace. Bought this one, too.

Nine. Another tunic. I like the belt to accentuate the waist. I'd probably pair this with my favorite long-line open, cream cardi, some skinnies, and my tan peep-toe booties.

I recognize that this post is totally and completely random, but I just felt like talking fashion today. Over and out, friends.

(Also, Forever 21 has no idea that I exist. This post is not sponsored, and there are no affiliate links. Just wanted to share some cute stuff with my friends.)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Paleo Chicken Pot Pie

This post is short.  Like really short.

And that's because I have only one thing to tell you.

Go make this Paleo Chicken Pot Pie.

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Now.

(I used oversized muffin tins because my ramekins were too small, and they were a crumbly mess when I tried to get them out, but they were still ridiculously delicious.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hi from Delaware!

So I'm in Delaware.

I'm here for a deposition (just for one night), but for once in my life, I got everything prepared ahead of time, so I thought I'd take a minute to pop in and say hi.

Things have been insane for us lately. Work is busier than it has been for awhile. I've been bringing my laptop home and working after Grace goes to sleep most nights (which isn't my favorite thing to do, as you might imagine). 

I also thought now would be a great time to start working on our home office. Ha. I'm getting help from a designer on this one because I'm so out of my element, and we had the initial consultation last night. I'm so excited to get that room done, and a vision is starting to come together in my head. I'll be sure and keep you guys updated on our progress.

Whole30 #2 is still going wonderfully! I mean, I'm basically just on autopilot with my food choices right now, which is a really good thing for me. I have been eating some really delicious stuff, as you've probably noticed on Instagram.

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Left: Ahi tuna salad with balsamic vinaigrette at dinner tonight
Right: Cage-free eggs scrambled with Aidell's Chicken and Apple Sausage + sweet potato hash + Trader Joe's Cruciferous Crunch mix with Tessamae's Southwest Ranch dressing

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Left: grilled chicken salad with pecans, heirloom tomatoes, blueberries, and Tessamae's Southwest Ranch
Right: eggs, bacon, and spinach scramble with blistered tomatoes + carrots with homemade Paleo ranch

Micah snapped this picture the other night while we were on a walk through our neighborhood, and it makes me happy every time I look at it. And also heart-wrenchingly depressed about what a big girl Grace is becoming.

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She has been such a funny, little thing, lately. She's been saying "'kay" or "okay" in response to just about everything, which kills me. She's still O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with "fo-cen" (Frozen, obviously) and asks to watch it nearly every night.

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(Micah loves it when we watch Frozen because Grace gives the sweetest snuggles snuggled up under a blanket on the couch, even if her eyes stay glued to the screen.)

I crossed off one of the things on my 30 Before 30 list this weekend. We went to a surprise 30th birthday party for my best friend's husband, and the opportunity presented itself. I'll share the photographic evidence soon, but for now, I'll leave you with this.

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Man, I love her.
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