Friday, February 19, 2016

stitch fix : florida fix!

Hello Friday!  

I'm coming off of three days all to myself which, if you are a mama, is a rarity.  Hubby was on a business trip for five days, and my amazing in-laws decided to give me a little break by taking the kiddos for most of the time he was gone.  Wow.  It was weird to be by myself in the house for that long.  When you are a stay-at-home mama you get so used to a house full of noises that the quiet struck me as kind of weird...and a bit sad!  I did get a LOT accomplished, such as moving all of Cormac's stuff to his new bedroom!  I am excited to share his new room once we've put a few finishing touches on it.  Now his former room is empty and ready to be transformed into our master bathroom...hurrah!

Another thing I finally got to do was take photos of my latest Stitch Fix items!  I got my box a couple weeks ago, but with the kiddos no longer taking afternoon naps I never got a chance to do my "nap time photo shoot."    So this photo shoot only has my "keeps" -- of which there were three!  A very good Fix, I must say.

Despite the snow on the ground outside, I got to pretend for a day that it was summer and I could dress myself for my favorite season.  Boots are fine and sweaters are cozy...but when it comes to fashion I much prefer tank tops and maxi dresses and wedge sandals and all of it bathed in beautiful sunshine!

So, for this Fix I requested that my stylist Hillary send me some cute items for our upcoming Florida family beach vacation.  Specifically I was hoping for a bold maxi dress with a halter top, and some flared jeans, and I really wanted to try the "cold shoulder" trend I've been seeing and really loving.

Here are my keepers...

#1 Jaye Cutout Shoulder Top (by THML)
So I guess at the mention of my Florida trip my stylist thought maybe Florida Gator colors would be best?  In any case -- I love this top!!!!  The cut-outs are really cute, I can wear a normal bra with it, and while it is flowy it is still flattering (i.e. does not make me look pregnant.)  Winner!  While I'm not a Gators fan, I love the orange and blue together.  I bet I'll like it even more once I get a bit of sunshine (er, or bronzer) on my skin!   Can someone please recommend to me a good bronzer?! Anyway, this top was an easy keep.

#2 Caspar Maxi Dress (by Collective Concepts) 
Maxi dresses are a must-have for summer because they are so comfy and really are flattering on any figure.  I kept this one because of its bold print, fun colors (again with the FL colors!) and the halter top with cut out makes a statement and is different than any other maxi I have.  I like that it has a built in half-slip, too!  I feel really comfortable and beachy in it, yet still dressy, so I think it will be perfect for all types of events this summer.

#3 Blossom Flared Jean ( by Level 99)
I know I look like a nerd in the booty shot above...but I love these jeans, particularly from the back. Flares are back and, oh my goodness,  this girl is happy!  While I've tried to embrace skinny jeans, the fact is : I have short legs and flares/boot cuts are simply more flattering on curvy bottom halves. These jeans are soft and comfy and have a fun wide flare at the bottom.  Believe me I'm gonna enjoy this trend while it's around...because it seems to come and go quickly.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? I have been getting Fixes every other month or so for over a year, and honestly I am loving it more and more.  It is really convenient for the busy mama who really doesn't want to spend her free moments trying on a million items at the mall. Honestly, while I don't adore every single item I'm sent, almost all of my favorite items in my wardrobe have come from Stitch Fix.

Plus, it's just fun.  Fun to get the box, to see what your stylist picked, and fun to try it on with other items in your wardrobe.  Then, whatever you don't want you just put back in the envelope provided and mail back.  Easy!  Plus, you get to decide how often you want a Fix, you pick the specific day you want it to arrive, and you can ask for specific items or to try a specific trend.  As you can see above, your stylist will do her best to deliver on your requests.
If you feel inspired to schedule your own Fix, use my referral link by clicking here!  I don't get anything from Stitch Fix for blogging about how much I love it, but if you use my link and end up getting a Fix down the road I earn a $25 credit.  You will, too, if you refer your friends!  It's kind of awesome.

What trends are you wanting to try out this season?  

Have a beautiful weekend!

Monday, February 8, 2016

renovation diary : the family room (b + a)

It has been nearly two years since I've shared progress on our family room.

This room started out as a kitchen to the back unit of the house (a two-unit rental when we bought it.) Back in 2014 (check out this post) we had completed the floors, installed French doors leading out to the backyard, and purchased our gray sectional.  Then it was pretty much radio silence.

We literally have not even used this room until a few months ago when we hosted Thanksgiving dinner and needed the space.  It's funny how entertaining lights a fire under your decorating rear end!  We finally moved our TV back there, as the antique built-in we purchased was stained, at long last, and ready to use.  Because it was Thanksgiving,  clearly there needed to be a room (or two!) to watch football.

So, with the TV moved, it was official.  Family room!

Since then we have lived in this room.  Movie nights, snuggle time,  play time, game time, and, of course, the kids LOVE the couch - wrestling, creating pillow forts and tunnels, having pillow all the throw pillows you see are totally necessary.  I no longer feel bad about money spent on fun toss pillows!  It's for the kids, babe!

The room hasn't really felt "decorated" (as in warm and personal) until recently, though.  We still need a coffee table (which Hubby is going to make), an updated light fixture,  and we are thinking of installing some wall sconces, since there isn't a lot of room for lamps due to the giant sectional.

But now that there are curtains (the key to a "finished" look!) I feel ready enough to declare progress!
'stamped dot' curtains from west elm
Here are some before and after shots, because it is always fun to see the 'then'...
...and the 'now' :
I still need to add a bit more decor to it, but I am okay doing this slowly, and having it look a little sparse.  I resolved recently to keep only things that 'spark joy' in our home, so I hesitate to just try to "fill space."

You should definitely hold out (or just move stuff around) until it feels like 'your personal style' -- thus evoking comfort and joy
St. Paul print found on Etsy (thank you, sweet in-laws!)
All the framed art/photos have been in other rooms in the house...except that one on the right, of 
We found this cabinet at an antique mall to replace the old, icky one that was there before.  It looks like one we had in our first home...that I have missed ever since we lived there!
I have been adding plants to the house over time...and, of course, needed one in this room.
Plan is for Hubby to make a coffee table to replace that well-used black Lack IKEA side table. All in good time!
since I was in 'decorating mode' I placed my few 'design books' in the built-in - hoping for inspiration!
As you can see, keeping the couch 'in order' was a short and futile effort.  This room is made for forts and jumping!
view from the couch - the glass cabinet doors open up to reveal the tv.  the dark stain is nice, as it kinda makes the tv disappear in there if it is off.
I tried to find art around the house for the photo ledge (we used two from IKEA...ten bucks each!) that fit the "metropolitan vibe" I wanted.
I'm glad we went with these photo ledges from IKEA -- I can change up the art without putting additional holes in the wall.  Perfect for the non-committal decorator!
these were in the former guest they've made a home here (for now.)
I didn't work too hard to make the couch look can see the chaise is a favorite place to lay!
Hubby made these gas pipe curtain rods for me for Christmas...I loooooooove them!
I've wanted curtain rods like these for ages, and Hubby made it happen for $25 a piece (West Elm's price was at least three times that.) 
This room is now a room we love to be in together.

I like how much light comes in!
I love that we found a sectional to fit perfectly in the space.  There is enough space that we can all pile together and cuddle, and yet we can also have personal space if we want it.  We love moving the ottoman around to create an extra chaise lounge or "bed" depending on our needs!

I like that everything is simple, yet a bit playful.

The room has definitely come a long way in three years!
The kids, I'm sure, won't miss the construction zone you see below...
Our kids have literally grown from a toddler and newborn to two pre-schoolers during the renovation of this room!
So - family room complete!
On to the master bathroom!