Friday, August 14, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Coming at you when it's already wine-o'clock because it's been a heck of a week! If you didn't see on Instagram, we had some crazy storms roll through Chicago on Monday afternoon that knocked out our internet for a few days. Honestly, I'm super thankful that's all that happened to us, because a lot of my neighbors fared a lot worse - an honest to goodness tornado went through Chicago about a mile and a half north of us! But anyway, since Jeff and I are both working from home (and the working from home thing doesn't work so well without an internet connection) we spent the week shuffling between our parents' houses. It was pretty stressful to start since our already reduced working hours were cut even further, but ended up being really fun getting in all of that extra family time. 

Anyway, it's time for my finds for the week. And GASP, is that a SWEATER?!?!? J.Crew came out with their late summer/early fall collection, and y'all, it's perfection. I basically want everything. (Also, a southern coworker told me that "y'all" is no longer just for the south so I'm running with it.) 

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Why We Pulled Mia Out of Daycare

This whole pandemic thing - it's kind of crazy, huh?! If you have kids, what are you doing with them? Is it back to school or daycare or camp as usual, or are you keeping them home?

Just wanted to start out by saying that this is a judgement-free zone. No judgements here in what you've decided in terms of your own childcare or school choices, I just wanted to share our story.

Omgggg this photo is from March and how freaking cute is that squish?!?!! 

I had in my brain that Mia was going to be a daycare kid until she went to kindergarten. And then two weeks ago, we decided to officially pull her out of school.

Our daycare closed on March 13th, and initially I was shocked. At the time there were less than a hundred cases of COVID-19 being reported every day, and the general consensus was that COVID wasn't affecting kids. Some of my coworkers in California had their daycares close the week before, and I really didn't think it would happen to us.

Having Mia at home at first was hard. If you have kids, you know. If you don't have kids, you've seen the memes. I had wanted to figure out how to spend more time with Mia, but trying to work full time while taking care of her wasn't quite what I had in mind.

It turns out though, we're lucky. Jeff and I both have bosses who are very understanding, and my company in particular has been very accommodating. March was impossible, April was hard, but now we've fallen into a rhythm of splitting our days and taking turns working and parenting.

My job has been amazing about scheduling "fun" meetings, this is the actress who played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton doing a singalong! And yes this is what our kitchen usually looks like 🙈

Our daycare reopened in mid-June, and initially we said Mia would definitely be going back, but not for a couple of weeks. We were expecting cases to keep falling in Illinois, but instead since mid-June they've rebounded. The date was getting closer to when we thought we'd send Mia back, and suddenly cases in Illinois were worse than they had been since May.

Our daycare has 32 children plus 15+ staff members, which means sending her back to daycare, no matter how careful the staff are at cleaning and wearing masks, we have to trust that 32 other families are all social distancing and being as careful as we'd like them to be. We know some of the parents, but even in Mia's classroom of eight kids we haven't met all of them. It's a level of trust that I just didn't have, especially with case numbers continuing to increase.

Jeff and I sat down and talked everything through, and since we couldn't figure out when we'd be comfortable sending Mia back to daycare, it would be better just to pull her out rather than basically paying college tuition to hold her space indefinitely.

So what's our plan?

Basically, we're winging it 😂. Jeff's mom and brother are taking Mia when they can, and we're trying to arrange a weekly playdate or "preschool" situation between Mia and her Aunt Izzy (in case you're new around here, Aunt Izzy is Jeff's (almost) two year old half sister). And besides that, we're going to keep on keeping on with our crazy split schedule of work and parenting. I also put Mia on the list for the feeder daycare that ours goes into when the kids turn two with the hopes that she'll be able to go back to daycare in March.

So there's our little story! I hope you're hanging in there with this whole quarantine thing. I tend to waver between weirdly loving the situation and the extra time with Mia, and being totally overwhelmed and anxious about the future. If you're struggling, just know that even if I share rainbows and sunshine over here, we're all having a hard time.

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Monday, August 10, 2020

What I'm Shopping - Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Today is the day that I get to access the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! This year, Nordstrom did staggered sale access based on how many dollars you drop there every year. It turns out, I drop medium dollars ;) It seems kind of silly that they set up access this way, because if they wanted to build influencer buzz, they did it 10 days too early for me and 16 days too early for the general public, who get to shop on 8/16.

Anyway, here's what's currently saved to my wishlist - now I just have to trim it down a little lot haha ;) I'm definitely going for these booties in cognac to hopefully fill a hole in my wardrobe, and I'm ordering this coat in a 3T for Mia with the hopes we'll be able to roll the sleeves and get two year's worth of wear out of it.

Are you shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale this year? What's on your wishlist? Do you have access yet?

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Friday, August 7, 2020

July Budget

I share my clothing budget here every month. My budget per month is $350, which may seem like a lot to some people or a little to others, but for me feels just right. I include all of my clothes, coats, shoes, and accessories in that budget, but not athletic gear, pajamas, or intimates.

I always sit down to write my monthly budget posts like, "oh, I didn't buy anything this month right?" and then there are like 10 things sitting on my budget Pinterest board. But like, really, I think because we went out of town twice this month, I totally blacked out on everything I bought in July.

The standouts though are definitely the ruffle tank and these jeans! I got the ruffle tank in black and white, and I basically wear both of them once a week. So cute with skirts and pull-on shorts! And then the jeans. Omg the jeans. They might be the perfect skinny jeans. They stretch, they're amazingly comfortable, but they don't stretch out. Just calling it now, I will wear them every day this fall.

Here's the rest of the damage for July:

LOFT Striped Shorts - originally $59.50, on sale $24.75
LOFT Stitched Belt - originally $39.50, on sale $19.75
J.Crew Rain Boots - originally $68.00, on sale $34.00
J.Crew Stone Cluster Ring - originally $29.50, on sale $14.75
J.Crew Ruffle Ribbed Tank (in black and white) - originally $49.50, on sale + used rewards $17.30 x2 = $34.60
J.Crew Dot Chain Bracelet - originally $19.50, on sale $14.25.
J.Crew Stacking Ring - originally $29.50, on sale $14.75
J.Crew Jeans - originally $128.00, on sale $64.00, used rewards $59.00.

Total spent: $215.85

For August, I'm going to be shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale with (hopefully) a bit of restraint. I mostly have my eye on these booties, this dress, these sneakers, and this (splurge) bag. I get access on Monday, so cross your fingers for me! If you aren't familiar, the sale opens based on your Nordstrom status on four different days, and then to the general public on 8/19 - full details here.

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! This one is especially happy because we are packing it up tomorrow morning and heading out of town. Every year my extended family rents a house up in Northern Wisconsin for a week of fishing, swimming, boating, and board games. This year I'm especially thankful for the tradition, since thanks to the short(ish) drive, seclusion, and extra cleaning precautions we didn't have to cancel. It's just going to be six adults and three kids this year (my brother and his family live in Japan, and thanks to travel restrictions if they came to visit this summer they would have to stay!) so it'll be a little quieter than usual, but also it's three kids ages five and under so it definitely won't be quiet! I'm hoping I get the chance to relax a little and am not just spending the whole trip making sure Mia doesn't kill herself. This week she figured out how to open the silverware drawer and grab stuff out of it even though it's over her head. Pray for us.

Here are my finds for the week:

one / two / three / four / five

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Lazy Hazy Crazy

Tee and Hat (identical here for $20 or with a pink brim) - J.Crew / Shorts (or similar) - J.Crew / Sandals - Target

I was looking for something on my computer this weekend and realized I never shared these photos, which if I'm remembering correctly, I took back at the beginning of May! Oh poor early quarantine Kristina, she had no idea what was in store. 

But, on the plus side, that Kristina decided during a nap time to run around and try to self timer some photos of a top that was, at the time, brand new. It's no longer brand new, but lucky for you, it is now on sale ;) I have been loving it because it is tee shirt material so it's really comfortable and feels casual, but then that lace just takes it up a notch. Just what you need for all of those video calls! It's really beautiful, and goes around the back too. 

These also are my favorite shorts of all time. I think I've been wearing them in summer outfit photos since basically the beginning of this blog, because they really are that good. (Awww little 2015 Kristina) The only difference is that this summer, I decided to unroll the hem a little. Apparently Mommy Kristina shows half an inch less leg than 24 year old Kristina. 

Wow, we've been talking a lot about various kinds of Kristina. 

Next time I write a blog post, less wine ;)

Tee and Hat (identical here for $20 or with a pink brim) - J.Crew / Shorts (or similar) - J.Crew / Sandals - Target

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Monday, July 13, 2020

My Favorite White Claw Slushee Recipe

Wayyyyy back at the beginning of quarantine (you know, when we were hopeful that things would only be weird for a month) I saw a bunch of White Claw slushees making their way around the Internet. I've never been super into White Claws, but I'm always game for a good old fashioned frozen drink, so was in. White Claw slushees are basically a combo between a smoothie and a cocktail. They're typically a mix of frozen fruit, a White Claw, and sometimes more liquor or juice. We were in a period of wanting to mix new cocktails every weekend, so I ran off to the store (read: put stuff on my grocery list and patiently waited for two weeks) to grab some frozen fruit and liquor to try my hand at a White Claw slushee.

Well, the thing is, the slushees really were popular on Tik Tok, where the youths aren't really into measuring. So I eyeballed an approximation from a video, and Jeff and I got drunk. Like, drunk. In the middle of a Saturday afternoon. Whoops. Turns out, reflecting back on it, I accidentally served both of us a White Claw plus four shots of rum. A little much for a single cocktail.

So, after a bit of experimenting with different flavors, fruit, and booze, I'm here to present to you my favorite White Claw slushee - the Tropical Sunset. I just named it, can you tell?

Tropical Sunset White Claw Slushee

Yield: 4 

You'll need: 
1 can mango White Claw
1 can tangerine White Claw
1/2 cup Malibu Rum
1 16oz bag frozen tropical fruit (I use a Dole mix that has mango, pineapple, and strawberry)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on low until fully combined. If it isn't quite as thick as you want, add a handful of ice and blend on high. Garnish with a sprig of mint if you fancy.

What's great about this recipe is it's basically a non-recipe. Use whatever frozen fruit you have, mix it with whatever White Claws or other spiked seltzer you have. You can also use fresh fruit and add more ice to get the right consistency. Just don't put four shots in each drink and you'll do great ;) 

If you make a new combo that's amazing, let me know in the comments!! Would love to try your mix!

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