This Week

We've had a busy couple of weeks. Between packing to move, coordinating repairs on the house we are selling, and me working / school work for Steve - it's been intense. If everything goes as planned we will be driving away in our moving truck next Wednesday. I'm excited!

{Tate taking his first ever floor nap}

Here are a few links to take you into the weekend:

I am loving this Anthro tunic (and it's on sale!)
Dying to try this braided ribbon hairstyle.
I think these are the perfect shoes for every summer occasion.
Did you see the crazy sale going on at J.Crew Factory?
 Loving this coral statement necklace.
I think this DIY shift dress is the cutest. 
This basic pencil skirt is perfection.

We are going to be packing and getting ready for the move this weekend. What are your plans?

Inspired: J.Crew {red white + blue}


I secretly love dressing in red white and blue for the fourth. It's the only holiday I dress for, but I just can't help myself. I love these looks from J.Crew with a subtle nod to red white and blue.

I especially like the floral pants, metallic sandals, and white blazer. So chic!

Speaking of J.Crew, they are offering an extra 30% off any purchase with code SUMMER30. 
Here are a few things worth checking out: 

Sponsor: Lisa Barbero

Please take a moment to check out my newest sponsor, Lisa Barbero.

Lisa makes modern art that lifts the spirit, warms the heart, and even tickles your funny bone. Professionally printed with archival pigment inks on tree free, museum quality, 100% cotton rag velvet fine art paper. Each piece is handmade for the world's dreamers, little ones & hopeful romantics. Add some extra awesomeness to your special space! 

Must Have: Old Navy Bermudas

This summer has been particularly difficult for finding knee length shorts. I was really happy to see that Old Navy had a good selection (at good prices):

1 - Canvas Bermudas (10")
2 - Sweetheart Bermuda Shorts
3 - Rockstar Denim Bermudas (11 1/2")
4 - Sweetheart Denim Bermudas (12")
5 - Maternity Demi-Panel Denim Bermudas
6 - Flirt Bermuda Shorts

I'm partial to #3 & #6. What's your favorite pair?

Free Fonts for a Hand Drawn Look

I have a thing for fonts. As a kid, I used to spend my spare time at our Windows 3.1 computer playing in paint and marveling at how cool the brush script font was because it looked so unlike all the other computer fonts. My tastes have come a long way, but I still love a good font that has hand drawn qualities. I have been collecting some of my favorite fonts with those qualities and I wanted to share them with you.


Inspired: Gap (Coral)

I recently got an email from Gap proclaiming the hotness of coral this summer. I have to agree.

If you are looking for coral goods that won't break the bank, 
here are a few of my favorite things from around the web:

Are you wearing coral this summer?

Postpartum Style: Crystal

Today's post is from Crystal who lives in downtown Provo, Utah with her husband and her two adorable girls, Savannah and Emory. Her first delivery was an unexpected c-section and her second was a natural VBAC. She blogs over at HEY COOBABE

I have had such a fun time reading the previous "Postpartum Style" posts because I am only 3 months postpartum with my little Emory and still have a ways to go before I feel like I have my body back to pre-pregnancy shape....or close to it. All of this stuff totally applies to me and I have been loving the advice that's been given so far. I found myself nodding in agreement as I've read through the previous entries but here's my added two cents:

1. After my first c-section delivery with Savannah all I wanted to wear were PJs. I was spending a lot of time lying down because recovery from my surgery was something I hadn't anticipated. I just wanted to be comfortable. I don't know about you but all of my PJs at the time consisted of old camp t-shirts, borrowed husband's sports shirts, and ill-fitting mismatched pajama pants/sweats. I felt and looked pretty disgusting until I stocked up on some cute pajama sets! Let me just say that I am in no way condoning wearing PJs out in public. But, I think it is perfectly suitable to wear them in the comfort of your own home. Besides, most adult interaction you will get in the first weeks after having a baby will be visitors coming to YOUR home. Why not look cute and comfy? I own these pajamas (pictured above) and changed into them in the hospital after delivering Emory. The buttoned top is great for nursing and it's an easy and practical way to feel put-together after having a baby. These, these, and these make great options too. 

2. My favorite accessories after having a baby are simple hair clips and ties. I mean doesn't that sparkle clip make that messy bun up there look more cute and less sloppy? I am the type of person that feels prettiest when my hair is done. I'm talking blow dried and curled kind of done. But honestly, it's difficult to find the time and energy to do my hair while constantly meeting the demands of my girls. Most often you will find me with my hair up or back with a fun clip and/or tied with a bright hair tie. I own these elastic hair ties (pictured above) and constantly have one in my hair or on my wrist (which is convenient for pulling my long hair back during nursing sessions). 

3. One of my favorite outfits right now (remember...I'm still recently postpartum too) consists of four items that pretty much everyone already has in their closet. A slouchy grey tee, a denim vest, patterned pants or leggings, and neutral sandals. Magic. Here's why it works. A slouchy grey tee goes with everything and is loose fitting so it does a pretty good job at hiding the mommy pouch. The denim vest is just plain cool plus it hides your back when you have to lift up your shirt to nurse in public. Bonus! The patterned pants are great because they serve as a distraction from the loosey-goosey-ness going on in the middle and it breaks up the other neutral pieces. I would just be sure to wear pants that are a little higher waisted if you have had a c-section because it's really uncomfortable to have the waist of pants sitting right on the scar. Trust me. Or printed leggings can do the trick if you reeeally want to be comfortable. If you go that route I would just advise that your shirt be long enough to cover your bum (like the one pictured below). It just looks better. Finally, neutral sandals. Neutral sandals because you don't want to fight with the pants and because sandals are comfortable. See! The perfect outfit. Here is an example:

one. two. three. four.

Thanks for having me!

Sale: 30% Off at Gap

Today only! 30% off sale items at Gap. Here are a few good ones.

1 - Pure neon sweater - $13.99 (Orig. $54.95)
2 - Drapey maxi dress - $37.79 (Orig. $74.95)
3 - Eyelet shirt - $24.49 (Orig. $54.95)
4 - 1969 printed legging skimmer jeans - $27.99 (Orig. $69.95)
5 - 1969 chambray two-pocket shirt - $25.89 (Orig. $49.95)
6 - 1969 legging skimmer jeans - $22.39 (Orig. $69.95)
7 - Striped roll-edge sweater - $13.99 (Orig. $44.95)
8 - 1969 always skinny skimmer jeans - $20.99 (Orig. $69.95)
9 - Frenchie intarsia sweater - $34.99 (Orig. $59.95)

The chambray button up and frenchie sweater are especially tempting to me. What do you have your eye on?

Don't forget to enter GAPSALE at checkout to get the discount.  

Postpartum Style: Bridget

Today's postpartum post is from Bridget of tales of me and the husband.  She lives in the Boston area with her husband Steve, their five kids, + yellow lab. 

hey everyone!  and thanks madeline for having me!!!

here's me and the wee one that made my body all sorts of funky. whatever parker!

postpartum style.  what a whammy.  here's the thing:  you get pregnant (weee!), you carry said child for nine months give or take, then you give birth, ruin (albeit temporarily... one hopes!) your nether regions and, oh wait!, your boobs follow shortly thereafter.  and you've got this funny misshapen belly to tend to and figure out how to make look less jello-y until your body decides (if it ever decides!) to suck it back in and make it behave.

ohhhh joy!

alright, jokes aside, the whole birthing experience is bonkers.  up there i sound a little on the debbie downer side, but really, i loved the whole thing.  i do recall, however, hating every stitch of clothing i put on myself afterwards.  and just feeling all around sort of ughhhhh.  nothing fit right, nothing i wanted to wear was nursing friendly, boobs leaked, on and on, so on and so forth.

so, i do have a few keepers to share that hopefully aren't old hat to you but there's a goooood chance they are.  i carry on regardless!

// maxi skirts!!!  this one is simple, a perfect color, a perfect shape, a perfect price.  and all that ruching--take that, jello-belly!  (and ignore that stupid model's stomach up there.  whatever windsor store.  just wait till she has a baby.)

// long, drapey sweaters!  they're quite forgiving on our female form and, bonus, double as nursing covers when out and about (i'm anti true "nursing covers" but that is a story for another day.).  i want this sweater, baby or no baby, nursing or no nursing.

// i fear i'm back in 1920 and at risk for sounding a little like, "back in the kitchen, woman!  make me a sandwich!" but lipstick.  lipstick goes a long way.  don't fear the lipstick.  days when you're just feeling all tired and puffy and bleck, a bit of bright color on the lips makes a world of a difference.  and nars, i hate to say it, is worth the money.  roman holiday is one of my faves.

so that is it.  don't fret, post-partum mother, things do jiggle less as time goes on and you feel more yourself and less cow-like, i promise!!!

Sale: 40% Off at J.Crew Factory

J.Crew Factory is having a 40% off flash sale today only! The deal is only good online but is valid on any purchase. Here are my favorites:

1 - 10" Bermuda Short - $14.99 (Orig. $46.50)
2 - Linen-Cotton Polka-Dot Popover - $20.99 (Orig. $74.50)
3 - Printed Skinny Jean - $26.99 (Orig. $95.00)
4 - Printed Skimmer Pant - $17.99 (Orig. $69.50)
5 - Factory V-neck Sheath Dress - $35.99 (Orig. $128.00)
6 - Clare Cardigan - $17.99 (Orig. $49.50)
7 - Clare Cardigan in Hearts - $20.99 (Orig. $74.50)
8 - Skimmer Pant in Dotted Chambray - $17.99 (Orig. $69.50)
9 - Charley Sweater in Apple - $26.99 (Orig. $74.50)

I think that dress is especially cute. And the polka dotted sweater and the polka dot chambray pants...

Make sure to enter HURRY at check out.

Postpartum Style: Grace

I'm really excited to have Grace of Camp Patton for our next postpartum style post.
Grace is wife to Simon - an OB-GYN resident by day and night. She stays at home with Julia, Sebastian, and Theodore (her three kids under three) and is always on the hunt for some quiet, sanity, and a Top 40 hit to bump on the family friendly vehicle's radio.

I've only had to deal with draping the postpartum bod in the colder months so I apologize if this is irrelevant to you and yours as I imagine it just might be considering that it is JUNE.

I thought the reason I'd have a tough time fitting into pre-pregnancy jeans during the postpartum season of fun would be the tuft of leftover stomach swell but I was sorely and sadly mistaken. Don't get me wrong - the stomach swell was there and was happy to be hugged by maternity panels for several weeks post-delivery. However, I was NOT prepared for my hips to stay in the birthing position of WIDE for um ever post-baby. I've had two babies since then and I think my hips are probably not going back to pre-baby position which is totally fine and why God created denim with a touch spandex.

six weeks postpartum, unbuttoned jeans hidden by nursing tank, t-shirt, cardigan, life jacket, and seasonal gourd

I'll never ever forget waiting two "whole" postpartum weeks before trying on a pair of jeans and wilting into a puddle of depression when they barely made it past my knees. Rookie mistake that I'll never make again unless we're talking jeggings or jeans that I haven't washed and dried back into original intended size in months. I know a lot of people can get away with never wearing any maternity clothes but I am not one of them and I love maternity pants and while I'm happy when I don't have to wear them anymore I don't mind wearing the right pair for as long as I need postpartum.

I was looking for my cardigan to go on a walk with the kids the other day when my two-year-old told me to "just wear your best!" because I am a bit of a vest addict.

someone order this girl some Variety (size Venti), please. 

Vests are my favorite along with dark stretchy pants (leggings, jeggings, yoga, maternity or not), and long shirts and sweaters. Pregnant and freshly not pregnant.

Here are my staples ...

(I'll pretend like putting that collage together didn't take me three hours ... you ladies that do these on the regular are insane. And talented. Aaaaand I just realized I didn't number them but I don't have three more hours to curse through. I'm sorry!)

1. Black Pants: (worn here) these are lightweight enough to wear in the spring and fall (probably not the summer unless you reside/work somewhere that is liberal with the a/c) and are flattering and tight enough that you don't feel weird wearing them weeks after you've had a baby. I promise. 

2. Cardigan: I can't find any online but Old Navy always has great options in the fall. Something that ties is especially awesome to wear over a nursing tank around the house or to the store etc. 

3. Puffer Vest: I have great luck on eBay. You will too. 

4. Scarf: I'm a serial scarfer.

5. Chambray Tunic: this one is from J.Crew Factory but I found a great one at Forever XXI and I bet it's the kind of thing that will swing back around in the fall. 

6. Boots: You don't need Frye boots but Kimmie wrote an awesome post on how to find them on the cheap. I found some on eBay under her tutiliege. 

7. Slippers: Sometimes you need to embrace the frump. These moccasins look like loafers with pants and I don't know what I did without them.

I know we're supposed to love our bodies and appreciate what they've been put through and I do!! I do, especially after three pregnancies and periods-o-postpartum. But!! I'm not sure anything could've prepared me for the body staring back at me a few hours after I delivered our first baby (and why I will continue my crusade to have mirrors removed from hospital recovery rooms). Eventually everything comes back together and will probably always be a little bit softer and a littler bit different as it should be but until then don't be afraid to slip on your maternities for just as long as your exhausted new mom self needs.

A HUGE thank you to Madeline for letting me contribute! This was one of the very first blogs I ever read and if my future self had told my former self that I'd get to write a post for her one day she would've said, "shut! up!" because I used to be mature. 

Spied: Pencil Skirt In Floral Print

Nothing makes me crave a fitted pencil skirt like a 25 week pregnant tummy. I think this print is the dreamiest. (And so are those shoes!)

Exclusive Pencil Skirt In Floral Print - Asos - $30.55

ASOS has quite a few modest skirts under $40 right now.
Here are a few good ones:

As always, I am super impressed with ASOS's selection.
Don't forget they offer free shipping on everything. 

Postpartum Style: Melissa

I am so happy that today's post is coming from Melissa, of I Still Love You. She is incredibly energetic, creative, and stylish.

I'm so excited to share with you my experience of postpartum style! I'm a DIY design blogger with two kids. I love sewing my own clothes, playing with my kids and teaching calligraphy.

No one prepared me for the sheer terror of the postpartum bod. I had great self-image and a great relationship with food.

Postpartum hit me like the atom bomb.

Nothing looked right. About a month after I had Penelope I went three days without eating more than water and a couple carrot sticks. I knew it was unhealthy, I have two sisters with self-image issues, but I hated looking down at my naked body. Heck! I hated my clothed body, too. I was desperate to do something to get back to where I was before Baby.

Thing is, no diet or exercise is going to shrink that stretched uterus down to size. The body needs time to heal from the kind of physical trauma childbirth induces.

The other thing? I was so sick of my pregnancy clothes, I wanted something new and flattering. I didn't want to spend money on clothes that would not fit in a few months. I also felt if I bought new clothes for my postpartum bod it was a sign that I gave up hope that I would go back to my pre-pregnancy size.

That's a lie. You can buy things that will flatter you both postpartum and when you hit your goal size (I say size because weight is so deceiving!). Here are some items I had not discovered when recovering from my first pregnancy.

When recovering from Penelope, I tried to fit back into my old clothes as soon as possible. I didn't realize that I had been spoiled by my pre-pregnancy size. I could get away with wearing just about anything.

But after, I looked horrible in shapeless scoop neck cap tees (you know the kind). See the above picture? Even though I was close to my goal size, I look amorphous having no shoulders, no waist, no hips and no legs. At one point, Chris hid that olive green top of mine because he hated it so much. He had no idea the favor he did for me. I was 1 month postpartum here.

Fast forward to my second postpartum recovery, I learned a few things. High-waisted jeans are a lifesaver. Semi-fitted muffin hider sweatshirts make you look skinny again. I didn't have any peplum tops, but the tunic tops were magical, too.

This was me 9 days after I had Felix. Looking at me from the front, you'd have no idea that I had a huge pooch. right? That muffin hider is my favorite even two years later. Those pants? They were super high-waisted and stopped right above the belly button. They helped keep it all in. Sporting heels never hurt, either. The difference is night and day in my opinion.

You know what else is most flattering to a changing body? Real sleeves. When I say real sleeves I mean a sleeve that goes past the arm pit an inch or two. It's a shame they're so hard to find in dresses and most tops these days, but those are postpartum gems.

1 / 2 / 3

Here are some real, live examples of perfect postpartum wear. These will look amazing on you no matter matter if you're a few days or a few years after baby.

Spied: Lalabu Baby Carrier

Reader, Emily, sent me a link to this super smart product and I sort of fell in love with it. Let me introduce you to the Lalabu tank top and baby carrier.

Here's how it works:

You can safely tuck baby in it from birth to 15 lbs

It comes in these 5 colors:

I could seriously see myself living in this thing for the first 3 months after the new baby is born. I loved my soft carrier with Tate, but I did not love wrapping 74 yards of fabric around myself every time I wanted to use it. This thing will change a new mom's world.

I am partial to the soft grey (shocker!) Here are a few other things I would pair with it to make myself feel put together.

Lalabu is a new product and is still in pre-production. The indiegogo campaign wraps up this week. If you participate in the fundraising you will be among the first to receive a carrier/top of your own.

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