Monday, June 29, 2015

hello hue pop-up shop!

This past winter, I decided to close my Etsy shop for the foreseeable future. After some time adjusting to life with two littles, it was time to let some things go in order to focus better on Silas and Delia. Keeping the shop open was making me more anxious than anything--I constantly felt obligated to update the shop with fresh listings, come up with new product ideas, and of course, get ordered packaged and shipped in time. I was only getting a few orders a week, so all that stress and work wasn't really worth it for me. The artwork part of it ceased being fun for me, and so, I closed up shop.

I haven't regretted it once, and all the extra time I've gained from closing the shop has allowed me the freedom to get into my studio just to paint and play around. I got to experiment with different things I've always wanted to try, and in the meantime I discovered a style that felt more like "me" than anything I've ever painted before. Bright, colorful, free abstracts.

But as much as I've enjoyed painting just for painting's sake, I have missed sending my art out to live on your walls. So, I'm trying something new.

On July 6th (one week from today!), I'll be opening up a new shop on BigCartel, which will be open for five days only. There will be a limited number of original works-- all acrylic on canvas.  I'll also have a small number of hand-painted necklaces on mahogany pendants in the same style. There will also be two custom spots-- where you can choose your colors and canvas size, and I'll create a piece just for you.

I'm so excited for this, and I hope it's successful. If it is, I plan to do another shop in a few months. Keep an eye out for the shop link in the next few days, and be sure to follow on Instagram for sneak peeks all through the week!

Monday, June 22, 2015

delia's newborn session with Ruth Eileen Photography

When Delia was about six weeks old, my dear friend, Ruth, came to take some photos of our family. I've never gotten around to sharing them here, but I figure while I'm on a blogging roll, I might as well share some of my favorites. I love all the tiny in-between moments that Ruth caught. It's unbelievable how tiny D was-- her itty-bitty chicken legs, and little button nose! She just turned 9 months yesterday and it seems like the past half-year has gone by in a blur. How are we almost to her first birthday?!

photos by Ruth Eileen Photography

Friday, June 19, 2015

leather and braids.

I don't know who this crazy girl is who is now posting her third blog post for the week, but I think I like her. I guess when the blogging bug bites, it bites hard.

Yesterday, I shared about how I simplified my wardrobe, and that means that I'm getting a lot more use out of my wardrobe basics. Sometimes that can mean a pretty plain outfit unless I take the time to add some fun details. Today I want to chat about two ways that I am adding interest to my style this summer.

Braids are 'having a moment', if you will, and if you search Pinterest, you can find all kinds of ridiculously detailed hairstyles. For a long time, I was convinced that this trend wouldn't work for me because of my short hair. But, this summer, I made it my goal to learn to braid and incorporate it into my hairstyles more often. I just did a few Pinterest searches and found tutorials and ideas that worked for my hair. It's a little tricky with my short layers, but bobby pins save the day. I love how this style keeps my hair out of my face (ideal for diaper changes and toddler wrangling), but looks pulled together at the same time.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've witnessed my love for Nickel + Suede.  I got my first pair of these lightweight leather earrings as a Christmas gift from Chris this past year and I've been hooked ever since. I find myself wearing them around the house during the day, and forgetting that I'm even wearing them. As I'm more drawn to basics in my wardrobe this season, it's been fun to add a little glamour with Nickel + Suede's jewelry. This summer, I'm excited to be their very first brand ambassador!

Today, Nickel + Suede is celebrating their one year birthday! To celebrate, Kilee is releasing a brand new earring design- the Accent Leather earring! They're available in gold and silver leather (I'm wearing gold!). Head over to my Instagram for a chance to win two pairs of earrings of your choice. Pretty much the perfect way to kick off the weekend.

what i'm wearing:: top:: madewell // denim:: american eagle // earrings:: c/o nickel and suede // leather fringe cuff:: c/o nickel and suede // shoes:: target

Thursday, June 18, 2015

how I simplified my wardrobe and saved my sanity in the process.

I could have been sipping hot coffee, playing trucks with Si, or enjoying breakfast with Chris, but instead, I was spending way too much time standing in front of my IKEA wardrobe, trying to piece together an outfit that felt comfortable, looked great and was nursing friendly. I liked something about every piece in my closet, but most items either didn't fit right, weren't the right color, or didn't go with anything else. It was a brightly colored, crazily patterned, time-consuming mess and it was driving me crazy. This spring, I finally had enough of the battle with my closet, and decided to simplify.

If you've been anywhere around style blogs in the past few years, you'll know that capsule wardrobes have been all the rage. Apparently, the idea has been around since the 70's, but recently the trend has caught on most recently as women have been craving more simplicity in their wardrobes and ease of getting dressed. 

I would consider Caroline of Un-Fancy to be the main blogging authority on capsule wardrobes. Her 37 piece wardrobes consist of a pretty specific number of tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, etc. You've probably also read Kendi Everyday and her 30 for 30 posts she used to write. 

My main goal was to build a wardrobe that reflected my personality, but also was comfortable, easy to mix-and-match and fit my lifestyle as a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to significantly decrease the time I spent getting ready, and make it easy for me to grab almost anything in my closet to put together a great outfit. I wasn't going for a certain number of anything, just going with what felt right and worked for me.

{find a cohesive palette and style} 

The big obstacle that had previously kept me from trying a capsule wardrobe was that all I had ever seen of them was neutrals, neutrals, neutrals. And while I appreciate a good chambray button-down and white tee, I wanted more out of my wardrobe than just a closet full of basics. The colorful capsules I had seen were varying shades of all one color-- purple, green, red. Not my cup of tea either.

I looked through my closet, and pulled out the pieces I liked best. The ones that not only brought me joy to see hanging on the hanger, but also fit me well and made me feel good. I started to see a consistent color scheme, mostly sticking to various shades of coral red, olive green and cobalt and navy blue. Throw in some neutrals as the foundation (chambray, dark wash denim, black, white, and olive khaki), and my wardrobe pretty much built itself.

Style wise, I've found that I'm drawn to tops that are a bit flowy, but not baggy, and almost everything has little details to add interest-- intricate lace, tiny buttons, unique ribbing, or an interesting back design.  Most of my wardrobe comes from Anthropologie, Madewell, or American Eagle, so that creates a wardrobe that's mostly classic casual, with a tiny touch of boho. I like balancing the flowy tops with a little bit of structure-- a jean jacket or vest, or cargo skinnies.

{time to purge}

First, I got rid of everything that didn't fit me. After two babies, I had tons of clothes that were hanging around my closet waiting to be worn-- some leftover maternity (because it's sooo comfy!), some itty-bitty pre-baby things, and some in-between things that just didn't work for my body anymore. Several things that I truly love and cherish (like the dress I got engaged in) got put away in storage, some things went back into the maternity bin, and others got tossed out completely. Getting rid of the pieces that didn't fit was a huge, crucial part of simplifying. It helped me to realize that it's not my body that's the problem, it's the clothes. It felt like a breath of fresh air when my wardrobe was filled with stuff I could actually wear with confidence.

 I also purged clothes that were in colors I didn't wear, or were styles that I thought I'd wear when I bought them, but never did. It was hard to let go of pieces that I loved individually, but they were sitting in my closet collecting dust and causing me a headache, so off they went. I sent several garbage bags of unwanted clothes to Goodwill, and sold a bunch of nice but unworn items on Instagram.

{fill in the holes}

Unlike most capsule wardrobes, I'm not discontinuing my shopping for the season. Because, well, I like shopping. And here's the thing-- I discovered that once I got the majority of my wardrobe nailed down, I don't feel the need to shop much anymore. I'm much more content now, and don't need to try every trendy piece that my favorite style bloggers tout. I wouldn't mind snagging a pair of printed palazzo pants if I come across the perfect pair, but that's about the extent of my wardrobe "wishlist" for now.

After my Instagram closet sale, I bought a few pieces to round out my wardrobe. I bought a chambray button-down, a few neutral tanks, a denim jacket, and some shorts that actually fit me.

{things i've learned}

I can love every color on the rack, but it doesn't mean I need it in my wardrobe. I can adore an outfit on a blogger, but it doesn't mean I need to wear it myself.

The less I have, the less I want.

A simplified wardrobe means less clothing scattered on the floor, which means (generally) a cleaner bedroom and less laundry.

Loving everything in my wardrobe (and how it fits me!) means I'm a happier mommy, I'm a more sane wife, I'm on time more often and I'm done with the body-shaming.

Below you can see the contents of my current wardrobe. I didn't include lounge clothes/PJs, or workout gear (ha.. not that I have much of that). You'll notice I don't have shoes on there either. I'm not a huge shoe girl, so I didn't include them in my simplified wardrobe plan. I mostly stick to Saltwater Sandals in the summer, and I also have about two pairs of tennis shoes that I rotate.


tops and outerwear: top row: white tee // madewell swing tank // forever21 chambray button down // anthropologie ribbed tee (similar) //madewell crop tank // second row:  evy's tree ashley hoodie // walk in love graphic tee (similar) // madewell flared tank // american eagle embroidered tank (similar) // madewell anthem scoop tee // third row:: anthropologie navy striped ballet tee (similar) // francesca's teal blouse (similar) // francesca's sage tank (similar) // anthropologie swing tank (similar) //anthropologie ballet tee (similar) // fourth row:: forever21 tank // forever 21 neon striped tank (similar)// anthropologie lace tee (similar) // madewell anthem scoop tee // anthropologie swiss dot blouse (similar) // gap denim vest (similar) // american eagle denim jacket

bottoms and dresses:: top row: american eagle mid rise distressed denim // anthropologie pilcro dark wash denim (similar) // zara olive cargo skinnies (similar) // american eagle olive green joggers (similar) // floral shorts (similar and here too) // american eagle midi shorts, olive and dark denim // francesca's chambray skirt (similar) // sheinside pleated maxi (similar) // forever21 lace skirt (similar) // target skater dress (similar)// american eagle swing dress // target lace maxi (similar)// francesca's petal dress

Monday, June 15, 2015

Boston views, barnacles, and baby-wearing.

There's a point of land just a few minutes drive from our house that is perfect for a morning of exploring. Shadowy trails lead to a beach that is covered in mats of thick bubbly kelp, barnacle-encrusted rocks, and purple mussel shells. We can see the skyline of Boston from the beach, and planes fly overhead, airport bound. We spent some time there on Friday, snacking in the shade of boulders, and searching for the perfect walking stick.

Some days, it seems like having an almost-three year old and a 9 month old baby have put a damper on the adventures we could otherwise be having. We used to backpack and hike along cliffs and canyons, we used to surf and ride on waves as tall as a house. But discovering barnacles, smelling the sharp tang of the sea, feeling the velvet texture of tiny petals, and chasing seagulls alongside Si and Delia is a little bit like discovering the world and all of its' beauty for the first time all over again. Adventures look a little bit different these days, but the sweetness of sharing them with this crew is unmatched.