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Friday, October 18, 2019

Fashion Friday: Maternity Style

I AM NOT PREGNANT. Just putting it out there so we are ALL clear and on the same page. 

This week's edition of Fashion Friday is another reader request: maternity style. 

SO, I am going to change it up for just this one week and bring you a capsule wardrobe. Seriously, the only NEW items you would need to buy to be pregnant through fall and early winter. 

I will preface this by saying my water broke at 30 weeks so I don't have pictures or had to dress a VERY pregnant body in the winter but I truly feel that the wardrobe I had established could have taken me through full term pregnancy without buying more. 

First things first, go through your closet and take out ANYTHING that will not fit over a bump. Put it in a bin and put it away. You don't need anything staring you in the face that you can't wear. Your emotions will already be a roller coaster. You don't want to fall off of said roller coaster. That was the BEST thing I did. Therefore, when I got up in the morning and went into my closet, I had specific things that FIT and didn't have to worry about grabbing something that didn't and going into that downward spiral. 

Then, hang everything by item. Since it's fall, you'll be layering. 

Tanks and tees together, cardigans and sweaters together, jeans pants and leggings together and then the few dresses. I didn't own a single maternity skirt so I can't help you out there. 

And truly, when you take a step back, it's about 4-5 months of clothes so you don't have to buy a lot. A few classic interchangeable pieces is all it takes and you're golden. 

Here's my maternity wardrobe purchases I did and that I suggest. These are all items I bought that I swear by. Even four years later, I still recommend them to people. 

2 packs of Bumpstart tanks (come in a pack of 2)*
   I did a black/grey and a navy/white. Super simple to mix with any cardigan or sweater. 

2 packs of Bumpstart short sleeve tees (come in a pack of 2)*
   Again, I did a black/grey and a white/navy. 

2 packs of Bumpstart long sleeve tees (come in a pack of 2)*
   Again, same as above. Classic 4 easy colorways. 

Maternity leggings, one grey and one black. Motherhood Maternity was my go to.*

One pair of maternity jeggings. I lived in these Old Navy ones

One pair of nice maternity jeans (there's a difference and you can feel it). I LOVED my AG maternity jeans. Plus, you can find a pair almost always on sale at Pea in the Pod too. 

A basic black maternity dress to flatter your bump. I still own (and wear) mine from the Gap. 

Something fun for your shower and special occasions. I splurged on a pattern print dress from Pea in the Pod for my shower in a style that was easy to wear not pregnant as well. 

And honestly, that's IT. Well, bras and underwear, but for actual CLOTHES this is all I bought and pulled from my existing wardrobe. Cardigans still work. Blazers still work. Most sweaters still work. The few basics to mix and match is all you need and you'll have such an easy time getting dressed AND you'll feel great because everything is guaranteed to fit! 

*Bumpstart packs at Motherhood Maternity were my go to. And, you can snag them on sale all the time. They wash well, hold up well, and even work great for the post-pardum mombod. 

Here's some of my fav outfits while pregnant. And a little insight into how these basics I'm suggesting worked into my wardrobe. 


The Bumpstart tank and leggings. My chambray shirt just didn't button anymore but no one needed to know that. 


My go to  Lush tunic from Nordstrom I always talk about (covered the bump) and Bumpstart leggings I lived in. The sweater vest I lived in, and still do. 


Another Bumpstart tank and maternity jeggings. Added a cardigan and bam, dressed. 


Being pregnant with a friend is always fun. She also loved the same Bumpstart basics if you couldn't tell from the pic.


When I purged my closet, I kept a few dresses that would fit over my bump. This OLD one from Anthropologie was a saving grace while pregnant. I wore it to my bestie's baby shower, out on date night, and even for a girls night out. Be sure you look at what you have and what can work before going out to buy new. You probably don't need new! 



Tried and true Bumpstart tee, maternity jeans, and a cardigan I already owned. 


A super fun gift someone got me, since I LOVE graphic tees, she snagged me this one from Pea in the Pod. Four years later, I still wear it. Don't judge. You would too. 


A basic black dress. A perfect piece that I still wear, and many of my friends have borrowed to wear. 



And something fun for my shower. A splurge, but sometimes it's ok to splurge. 


So, to recap, a few basics to mix and match plus reassessing your existing wardrobe can easily make dressing your pregnant body super simple. 

Thanks for joining me this week for a different version of #fashionfriday. I hope you enjoyed it and feel free to pass it along to a pregnant friend!  










Wednesday, October 16, 2019

What's Cooking Wednesday: Salmon With Dijon Sauce

Probably the most delicious and easy fish dish I have ever made. 

Thank you, Diane Morrisey, for the inspiration. If you do not follow her on Instagram yet, STOP RIGHT NOW, go follow her, then come back. She is amaaaaaazing. And normal. And relatable. And a mom. To A LOT of kids. And she's hysterical. And normal. Did I mention she's normal?! 

Without further ado, here's what you need:
Cream - 1 cup
Chicken stock - 1 1/2 cups 
Dijon mustard (I only had grainy mustard and pale ale mustard which worked out GREAT) 1 TBSP
   I used 1 TBSP of each mustard I had
Garlic - 4 cloves diced (I used 2 LARGE TBSP of minced garlic from a jar) 
Chopped onions - 1/4 cup  (I used leftover carmelized onions which worked out fabulous, a good cup worth)
Honey - 2 TBSP
Dill - a handful chopped
Spinach - 2-3 big handfuls
Salmon 


Heat some olive oil in the large skillet over mediumish heat. Dry the salmon well. Season with salt and pepper generously.

Place salmon skin side UP in the skillet and sear for 4 minutes. DO NOT MOVE IT. Flip it over and cook 3 more minutes. Then remove to a plate. I put a paper towel under the fish to absorb any extra oil. 



In the same pan, add a dash of olive oil, the garlic, and onions. Cook 1-2 minutes. If you choose to, I HIGHLY suggest making a batch of carmelized onions at the beginning of the week to use throughout in recipes. It adds some special sweetness which I personally love. 


 Be sure to enjoy a delicious glass of wine while you cook. Priorities, people, priorities. 


Add in the chicken stock, bring to a boil, and reduce it down a little. Then, add the cream, mustard, honey, spinach, and dill. (save a little bit of the dill for the end though)



Stir it for 2-3 minutes then add the salmon back in for a minute and top with that little extra dill you saved. 


I served mine with spinach and chive pasta from Trader Joe's. 


All in all, this dinner took me lass than 15 minutes and was one of my favorite fish dishes I've ever made. And, the sauce could be used with just about any protein. Next time, I plan to do it with shrimp and add in mushrooms. YUM! 

Warning: if you come to my house for dinner any time soon, THIS will be served. Just so you know ahead of time. 

Friday, October 11, 2019

Fashion Friday: Oversized Sweater Cardigan

Happy Fashion Friday!

This week is a reader request. To quote her, "How do I wear an oversized sweater cardigan without looking frumpy?" So, I am here to show you some ways to rock that baby without looking like you're snuggled up in your grandpa's old sweater.

My biggest tip with ANYTHING oversized is to only wear ONE oversized item at a time. Have everything else FIT you well. Otherwise, you can appear sloppy AND look like you're wearing your grandpa's clothes.

I pulled out my most favorite oversized sweater cardigan. Now, I will be the first person to admit that it is an investment piece. BUT it is worth every.single.penny. Barefoot Dreams, the brand, makes the absolute most comfortable, cozy cardigans and they feel like you're wearing pajamas while being stylish, adorable, and fashionable. I mean, don't you wish it was socially acceptable to be out and about in your pajamas?! With this cardigan, you kind of can!

And this week I did something a little different. I switched up my shoes with a few of the outfits to show how just a little change in a basic accessories (your shoes) can change your entire look! 

OUTFIT #1: ANY DAY OF THE WEEK






My tee is actually a little oversized but I tucked it in which makes the outfit feel more "put together". 

So, take a basic tee, good-fitting jeans, a fun flat, and toss that oversized sweater cardigan on and frumpy be gone! Then, if you want, add on a fun scarf for some added style. And a little camo is ok. All over camo is only good in the military. Just sayin. 

And my FAVORITE Wit & Wisdom jeans I found for barely $45!! Click here if you want to try them out.

OUTFIT #2: BACK TO BASICS




Flats / Booties / Mules (similar) / Riding Boots

 The JCrew tissue turtleneck is a basic. It's simple, affordable (I know, I usually snag them on sale for like $20) and versatile. I wear them under vests, sweaters, and cardigans. They don't come up high so you feel like you're being choked and they're SUPER lightweight. I have this one in solid black then 2 different striped versions. You can never have too many stripes. Am I right?! 

And check out how this outfit can change by just changing my shoes. Same would work with adding a scarf or even a fun necklace. 

OUTFIT #3: PREPPIFIED
and yes, that is a word in my world. 





I love how a classic white button down shirt can take even an oversized cozy cardigan and make it preppy and clean cut. I prefer to tuck in my button downs so a fun printed leopard belt is always fun. I switched shoes to show two different ways. I prefer the mules but it adds more sophistication with the simple flats. 

OUTFIT #4: CASUAL BASICS



A simple go to for the average mom. Basic tank or tee, jeans, fun flats, and the cardigan. 

OUTFIT #5: DRESS IT UP 


(my leggings are on crazy sale at Nordstrom Rack for only $19!!) 


Fur Mules / Flats / Leopard Mules (similar)

Zella leggings are my go to leggings. I was newly introduced to Lululemon align leggings and while these are fabulous, I prefer the thickness of my Zellas. A basic black legging, a simple black tee (long enough for ample coverage is important!), and then the cardigan and it's a basic outfit that can be changed around with accessories. Here's three different looks with shoes but imagine a fun scarf, a pendant necklace, some fun statement earrings, or even heeled black booties (I don't own black booties, shocking I know) 


 Thank you for joining me for this week's edition of #fasionfriday

Don't forget if there's anything you'd like to see me style, feel free to drop a comment below, shoot me an email, or find me over on Instagram. See you next week! 



Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What's Cookin' Wednesday

Welcome to a new feature, per reader request: What's Cookin' Wednesday!

Now, I am planning to do MY BEST to have this be weekly but I can't make any promises. Ha! Every week is TOUGH and #fashionfriday has been quite the accomplishment being every.single.week. 

This will be simple, easy recipes I make in my house. Some pulled from recipes I love, some pulled from Facebook groups I'm a part of, but mostly will come from whatever I throw together. 

I'll share dinners. desserts, cocktails, and everything in between. So... without further ado... my first share for What's Cookin' Wednesday is: Sheet Pan Chicken 

I adapt my recipe from Skinnytaste and change it based on whatever I have in my fridge/pantry but here's the gist... 

You need: 
boneless skinless chicken (either thighs or breasts, I like thighs for this recipe and Trader Joe's always has a great deal on them) 
lemons (2 is enough but I love lemon so I use 3) 
feta cheese 
olive oil 
veggies of your choice (I always use onions, baby or fingerling potatoes quartered OR small potatoes thinly sliced, small carrots, and then add whatever on hand, including green beans, peppers, eggplant, you name it) 
oregano, salt, pepper

*This is a great way if you have a farm share or CSA to use a plethora of veggies 

In a large mixing bowl, toss in the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil (a few tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add in your chopped veggies of choice. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of oregano over it all. Drizzle a few more tablespoons of olive oil over the veggies. Cut a lemon in half and squeeze it over it all then cut the halves in half (maybe even in half again) and toss them into the bowl. Shake the bowl so the lemon juice, olive oil, and oregano mix up and slather everything in the bowl. Spread it all out on 2 sheet pans so there isn't overlapping. Bake at 425 for 45-60 minutes (depending on your oven, mine is moody) 
When it is done, sprinkle feta crumbles all over both sheet pans and drizzle with half a lemon if you LOVE lemon. 
Enjoy!


This is on my menu meal plan for this week so come check out my stories on Instagram to see this week's version. 

This is a go to dish at our home at LEAST once a month but more like every other week. It's also SUPER affordable to feed a crowd with. Serve with a simple mixed green salad and you're golden. 

And a HUGE hit at our house this week was Apple Cider Sangria. When I say easy, this was EEEEEEEEASY. 

In a large jug (we use a large drink pitcher) thinly slice 3 apples and drop them in. Dump half a bottle of caramel vodka in. Dump one bottle of cheap white wine. Toss in 2-3 cinnamon sticks. Slosh them around together. If you have 20-30 minutes, let that sit and soak. Then dump in a gallon of apple cider. Put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to let the flavors mesh. It serves a LOT of people. Makes at least 20 servings. Serve over ice OR take some, add ice, and blend it for a sangria slushy. Mmmmmm.