Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The mom uniform

I thought I was doing a pretty good job dressing myself over the last year or two. Sure, I've regretted many of my outfit choices but I was finally getting a better grasp at this "fashion" thing. Then I got pregnant and had a new baby, and now I'm back at square one.

I'm not saying that having a baby should change my personal style, but about 90% of the outfits that I featured on this blog were things I wore to work (at a casual Internet company with no dress code). Right now I'm on maternity leave until August, which means I'm essentially a stay-at-home mom for the time being and my clothing choices need to reflect that.

What I wear these days need to be:
  • Nursing friendly. Loose tops or button up shirts are easiest. Dresses are harder to work with.
  • Machine washable. Babies spit up A LOT. And sometimes diapers leak. In addition, 3-year-olds are messy when it comes to eating and playing outside. Dry clean only and delicate fabrics have a very high chance of getting ruined.
  • Low maintenance. Carrying around a kid (or two) means I can't wear things that are carefully tucked or need to be constantly adjusted.
  • Comfortable. I don't want to trip or roll my ankles in tall heels while carrying kids. Things that are restricting or tight are just not worth the suffering when I'm barely getting any sleep and caring for a newborn.
  • Minimally accessorized. My baby cries when she's put down so I'm constantly holding her with her head cradled on my  forearm, meaning bracelets and bangles would get in the way. Scarves and long necklaces are magnets for tiny fingers that grasp at everything.
Looking at this list, it looks like I should be living in sweat pants and old T-shirts (which is exactly what I'm wearing at this moment) but I want to look a little more put together than that. So far, I've found that my uniform of skinny jeans and a loose top work the best (and disguise the post-partum stomach pooch) but it's just SO BORING wearing such basic outfits every day.

Any ideas for looking put together while still being a functional mom?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pink and Turquoise

Top: NY & Co. (thrifted)
Pants: Forever 21 (hand-me-downs)
Sandals: Target
Necklace: Forever 21

I live within walking distance to a grocery store (as well as a McDonald's and a pho restaurant -- both very important) so the other day when I really wanted a doughnut and the weather was finally somewhat nice, I decided to take a little walk over there. Might as well pretend I'm burning off some of the calories.

The cup holder on baby L's stroller was the perfect height to act as a tripod for my camera, but the only problem was that there weren't really any nice locations to take pictures on the way there or back, so these were taken on a random street that didn't have much traffic. I really hope no one was looking out their window to see some girl standing outside their house taking pictures of herself while eating doughnuts. 

Re: the outfit, I've been seeing this color combo pop up everywhere these days, but almost always with a giant J.Crew bubble necklace or that Anthro Stormy Seas one. Since I can afford neither, I'll make do with my cheap-o $6 necklace from Forever 21. Works for me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Top: Target
Cardigan: Hazel (hand-me-down)
Skirt: Forever 21
Flats: Target
Bag: LV Neverfull PM

It's a little bit sad when I look forward to going to the dentist because I can finally get out of the house WITHOUT the two kids. I've been meaning to take outfit photos every time I've been getting dressed (which admittedly is not everyday... many days are spent entirely in pajamas) but outings with the kids are already enough work on their own.

Anyway, today's outfit was inspired by Kayla, Erica and Grace's Open to Interpretation: Make It Your Own challenge, and is my personal take on this:

The initial thing that stood out to me when I saw the inspiration photo was the pink and green combo. And because I was strictly forbidden to eat watermelon during this postpartum month, that was the first thing I thought of. In Chinese tradition you aren't supposed to eat "cold" foods for the first month after giving birth, and my mom specifically told me "NO WATERMELON" which means I'm only able to eat it after she goes home. Yes, I am a rebel.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Review: Anjolee jewelry

I was recently contacted by online jewelry retailer Anjolee to review a piece of their custom-made jewelry. Anjolee offers fine diamond and bridal jewelry, and specialize in diamond engagement rings, diamond necklace and diamond earrings. What's unique about them is that they offer customers the ability to customize any of their jewelry designs to the customers’ exact preferences, taste and budget. You can choose the metal, as well as the weight, quality and size of the diamond.

I received the Surrounded with Love Diamond Pendant necklace for review (but with silver and CZs, obviously, as diamonds are a little pricey), and it's beautiful! I find myself wearing simple pendant necklaces more often than not, so this was totally up my alley. The quality of the necklace was great, and I love the little diamonds (ahem, CZs) surrounding the larger one, and I can see myself wearing this for years to come.
If you're in the market for some new jewelry, be sure to check them out!

Disclosure: the necklace was provided in exchange of a review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, June 4, 2012

State of the budget

Two years ago, I implemented a $600 annual clothing budget, which was fairly easy the first year, and slightly difficult last year (I blame it on this blog and the desire to keep on top of the latest trends). But this year? I blew half of my annual budget last month on a pair of Frye Carson pull-on boots that I had been eying for a few months:

Oooh, so pretty... so expensive.
Then take out the $80+ I spent on maternity clothes at the beginning of the year, and now I have $195 to last me the REST OF THE YEAR.

I'm kind of hating myself right now, especially when technically I could have used the money I set aside last year for a Chanel bag (I had saved up like $500, which was only 1/10th of the way there and it made me depressed that it would be another 10 years before I would have enough, so I gave up that dream). But instead I thought, "hey, wouldn't it be fun to try to challenge myself this year? I don't really need any new clothes..."

Totally regretting that decision right about now, but I'm looking forward to seeing how far I can stretch the remaining $195 in the next 7 months. As always, I'll be updating my 2012 budget page (link is on the right sidebar if you ever get curious), and hopefully showcasing a few of my frugal finds here.

Anyone have any tips on how to avoid spending money?