Monday, January 21, 2019

This Weekend...


This weekend I...

...went to another baby shower for our little girl, this one hosted by my mother-in-law! How sweet are the little cookies she got from Cookie Camelot?! The shower was great, nice and chill with lots of snacks and sips and conversation but nothing in the way of games - just the way I like them! I can't believe baby girl is just five weeks away now - so crazy! We spent the rest of the weekend getting things in order and pretending that we definitely know how to fold up the stroller.
...met a bunch of friends out for bowling at Burnt City - well, at least hanging out at Burnt City haha. You know I wasn't getting anywhere close to the lanes, what with being 8 months pregnant and my pregnancy-related carpal tunnel ;) But, the bartender didn't laugh when I ordered a Shirley Temple at a brewery, so I was a happy lady!
...did a lot of eating at dive bars - the baby really wanted french fries and wings! Enjoying these last few weeks of eating whatever while I can ;)
...spent a lot of time cuddled up on the couch hiding from the snowstorm and then the below zero windchills. I ended up watching the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix which I thought was fascinating and watched the first episode of Yummy Mummy's which is so bad but also so good hahaha - perfect if you're a Bravo fan!

I hope you had a good one!



Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday Finds

Happy Friday!! Sometimes my Friday Finds feel super random, but sometimes they somehow are really cohesive - toss in a pair of jeans and you've got everything you need for a spring weekend away!! Last year we went to Charleston in February for my birthday and it was such a fun little getaway - I could see packing all of this if we were going again!! Of course this year for my birthday we're getting a baby girl, so I think my wardrobe will be a little different...

one / two / three / four / five





Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

LOFT Try-Ons

I was running past LOFT last week at the mall and had to stop in and try some things on, there were so many cute things in the window! Sharing now, which is excellent timing because everything at LOFT is 50% off with code WANT.

Here are a few items that I loved:


Cozy Open Cardigan - wearing size large

The color was so pretty on this I had to grab it - how cute is the shawl collar and the curved hemline?! Didn't realize when I grabbed a tee to try on with it that the tee also had a shirttail hem - definitely pair this with a tee with a straight across hem instead! This is incredibly soft too, definitely cozy like the name suggests.


Shimmer Striped Shirttail Tee - wearing size large

And here's the tee I wore underneath - it's a really pretty subtle shimmer stripe. I always find the curved hems on these tees really flattering. If I wasn't pregnant I'd like the fit, but I always recommend sizing up in LOFT tees as they tend to shrink! 




This. Is. So. Soft. If you're one of those people who need to be wrapped in cozy, then this is for you. I've really been gravitating to these wraps lately, they're like wearing a giant blanket. Just a note that this is one size fits all, so if you're petite it probably won't work on you, especially since it is long! It also is open on the sides, which I actually like because it means you can easily wear it as a scarf too. 


Diamond Lace Clean Cami - wearing size large

I grabbed this to wear under a few things and love it - how pretty is the lace detail? This also has that flattering shirttail hem. I would definitely choose this size if I wasn't pregnant. I love this for layering under cardigans or blazers. 


Drapey Open Cardigan - wearing size large

I love the drape on this cardigan, plus it's warm but on the thinner side so it's easy to wear under coats. The only knock I'd give it is it's slightly scratchy to me versus super soft. I'm really sensitive to fabrics though so that might just be me! 


Drop Shoulder V-Neck Sweater - wearing size XL

I thought the v-neck would be too deep on me but it actually was perfect, and I loved the oversized fit. This would be perfect with a little front tuck into some jeans. This was also a teensy bit itchy to me, but not enough that it would stop me from wearing it. 


Jetsetter Sweater - wearing size large

I really wanted to love this, how freaking cute?! But I would say it definitely runs small, and it's that thin, itchy material that Loft uses sometimes that I hate. If you live in a warmer climate and don't mind itch then snag it!  


Cable Knit Trim Stitchy Sweater - wearing size large

I love the little cable knit detail on this sweater, it gives it a little something extra. This is also super soft which I love. The fit on this is supposed to be closer to the body as opposed to oversized, so I would say it fits true to size. The only thing I didn't love is that the sleeves are a little short on me. 






Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Winter Stripes


Sweater - Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific / Coat - J.Crew / Maternity Leggings (or my favorite non-maternity) - Blanqi / Flats - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Necklace (a gift! similar here.) - LC Lauren Conrad


I think the most surprising thing for me about dressing for pregnancy has been how many non-maternity items still fit! I packed away a ton of stuff as soon as my bump really showed up, but it turns out some of my favorite winter sweaters still fit just fine. In fact, until a couple weeks ago in some of my oversized sweaters I could still get away with not looking pregnant! 

Last week I shared some try-ons from Nordstrom, and this sweater was one that had to come home with me! The fit works great with the bump, but will look super cute when I'm  not pregnant too. And I love the pretty pastel stripes. They remind me of something I would have bought from Gap in 2001 but in the best possible way. Fun striped sweaters had a big moment this fall but I never found one that I totally loved - probably because I'm not a huge fan of fall mustards and browns. In winter pastels though? I'm definitely a fan! 

The pink and green stripes on this sweater actually have a really pretty subtle shimmer to them, which makes them not show up as well in photos. But yes, there definitely is a pink stripe in there! 

I've been wearing maternity leggings basically every day for the past few months - although, sidebar, I just discovered that my maternity jeans are slowly getting less annoying as the bump gets bigger. I used to have to pull them up all the time, but now that they really have a bump to hold onto they're staying up all on their own ;) But anyway, if I wasn't stuck in maternity clothes, I would definitely have worn this with white jeans and blush flats instead. I'm always drawn to white jeans this time of year, they feel so fresh with all of the pretty pastels in stores and give a little nod to spring that will be coming soon. Or, if you live in Chicago, in about five months. Sigh. 











Sweater - Halogen x Atlantic-Pacific / Coat - J.Crew / Maternity Leggings (or my favorite non-maternity) - Blanqi / Flats - Sam Edelman / Bag - Tory Burch / Necklace (a gift! similar here.) - LC Lauren Conrad





Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

What to Pack for the Hospital for Mommy and Baby



We're getting down to the home stretch people - my due date is less than six weeks away!! I'm in full on nesting / get shit done mode over here, and a big thing to check off my list was packing for the hospital. I asked a bunch of mommies plus did a lot of online research before landing on what exactly I needed to bring in my hospital bag. 

I personally am skirting the middle of the road here when it comes to what I'm packing. I know I won't be wanting to blow dry my hair in the hospital or need a cute hospital gown or my own towels to feel comfortable. But I most likely will be putting on at least a little bit of makeup to look alive for photos and visitors (have I told you before that Jeff used to ask me if something was wrong or I was sick if I didn't have on undereye concealer??), and I did buy myself a cute new robe and pajamas, because, well, I wanted to ;) 

So here's what I'm packing in my hospital bag for myself and for the baby: 


Clothing

Cute Robe - Okay, so I already own three robes, but one is too small for my pregnant belly, one is gigantic and would need a whole suitcase for itself, and one is Christmas plaid. So yep, I bought a new robe! This one is super soft and folds down really small, and is big enough to cover all the important bits.

Pajamas - I don't anticipate actually wearing these in the hospital unless it's chilly (planning to stick with the  hospital gown and my robe), but they're button front which is handy for nursing, and a dark color which is good in case of stains. These pajamas are my all time favorites and so soft and cozy. Plus, it means I have a pair of pants that will fit no matter what to come from the hospital in. 

Wrap Cardigan - I actually bought one of these a couple years ago in anticipation of getting pregnant and nursing (we ended up waiting a while longer to start trying) and have just been wearing it around the house since then. I am very sensitive to small temperature changes so I'm basically always too hot or too cold, so an extra layer is a must.

Leggings - I plan to bring my favorite maternity leggings as well as postpartum leggings since I'm not sure what will fit or feel best. I hear some people like to have tight leggings after delivery to keep the mesh undies and everything else in place, while others prefer the comfort of the maternity belly panel. These will be what I plan to wear home, along with the cardigan.

Slippers - I'm bringing a favorite pair I've had for a while with non-slip soles for walking around the hospital room. I've heard that some hospitals require non-slip socks or slippers, so I just want to be prepared. Plus this pair (mine are super similar) are really comfortable and warm, and easy to slip on and off.

Nursing bra and nursing tank - I've heard this style of nursing bra is the most comfortable and easy for the hospital, plus it's made for larger chests which is a plus! I snagged a couple of these nursing tanks during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and convinced my sister to buy a couple too and she loves them. I'm also planning on wearing one of the tanks home.

Beauty / Body

Earth Mama Perineal Spray and Nipple Butter - My hospital will have numbing sprays and lanolin, but I've heard a lot of people rave about the Earth Mama products so I'm bringing them as a backup in case I prefer them.

Dove Dry Shampoo - I barely wash my hair now and I don't have a baby, so you had better bet I'm bringing a full can of dry shampoo to the hospital.

Chapstick - I am legit addicted to chapstick now, and word on the street is that breastfeeding is dehydrating and makes your lips really dry. In the prenatal class we went to, the doctor literally said the dad's job in the hospital is to make sure the mom is drinking water and putting on chapstick.

Hand Cream - I am also addicted to hand lotion and put it on constantly. I just know if I don't include this in my bag, I'll somehow manage to forget it in my purse and then have angry hands the whole time.

Toiletries - I'm packing all of my normal essentials, like contacts, glasses, face and eye cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, Dove soap (I never travel without it these days!), a razor, deodorant, a comb, etc. I always wondered before how people pack this all up ahead of time since these are things you use on the daily, but since I started traveling a lot for work I now have doubles of all of my products so I don't have to unpack and repack my toiletries each trip. I even have an extra pair of glasses!

Makeup - I know I'll want to wear some makeup but not a ton, so I'm just bringing the bare minimum - concealer, powder, eyeliner, and mascara. Plus makeup remover! I also have doubles of all of these so I can pack them ahead of time.

Overnight Pads - I know the hospital will provide the super diapers, but in case I don't like them I'm packing a few of these overnight pads. I've heard good things about them - they're extra thin but still really absorbent.

Electronics 

Camcorder and Camera - I don't want to just have a bunch of videos of our baby stuck on my phone, so we ended up buying a camcorder to make some home movies. I'll also bring my nice camera to get some pictures of baby in the hospital.

iPad and iPhone - I'm going to load some movies and tv shows onto my iPad and calming music onto my iPhone in case labor takes a while. If I'm feeling particularly industrious, I may throw in some headphones or an external speaker too.

Extra Long Charging Cord - Word on the street is that outlets aren't always conveniently placed in hospital rooms, so I bought this extra long cord to make sure my phone has enough battery. Don't want to miss any photo ops!

For Baby

Two Onesies - Our hospital provides outfits for the baby, so I'm just bringing to white onesies to wear home, in newborn size and 0-3 month size since I don't know how big baby will be. I mean, I'm assuming pretty big considering how tall Jeff and I are, but you never know! Baby will be wearing one of these home from the hospital.

Gown, Hat, Gloves, Headband, and Swaddle - I'm not really sure how much we'll feel like taking photos of baby in the hospital, but then I remember that I'm me and take outfit photos on the daily, so I thought I should bring a couple of options. I've heard a couple recommendations for this brand, and everything is so soft!

Bear Suit - I have no idea how warm it will be when the baby is born, but considering it's Chicago we can guess it'll be pretty cold! I'm worried about baby being too cold coming home from the hospital, so baby will likely be wearing this over a onesie.

Baby Blanket - Again, I'm worried about the cold, so a blanket is a must!

Car Seat and Car Seat Cover - We got this car seat (and are installing it this weekend - wish us luck!!) and I'm bringing this warm cover, again for the cold.


And then heading out the door (or maybe I should just prep this ahead of time and not worry about it!) I plan to grab a pillow with a dark pillow case so it doesn't get mixed up with the hospital linens.

So tell me - is there anything I'm missing? I'll plan to come back and update this post after baby to share what came in handy and if there was anything I didn't need.



Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Monday, January 14, 2019

This Weekend...


This weekend I...

...went on a little date night to XOchimilco, a newish Mexican spot, and we were seriously blown away. It's a really casual cozy little spot but the food was so good. Jeff went for carne asada and I got garlic shimp so we could trade and do a little surf and turf - my mouth is watering just thinking about it! And I was very jealous of the BYOB margarita option - just a few more weeks for me until it's tequila time again! (In case you can't tell, I'm not feeling quite as apathetic to alcohol these days ;)
...decided to go for a walk in the snowstorm on Saturday to enjoy how pretty it was (and to renew my library card, which appears to have not worked since I can't sign in online!) and came back looking a hot mess - completely soaked with crazy hair and makeup all down my face!! And I decided to wear my real deal snow boots which are heavy and slowed me waaaay down haha, I was basically crawling down the street by the time I got home. Of course when you're on a cold walk for that long and you're pregnant and always craving sugar, you tend to make a few stops. I ended up with a chai latte, macaroons, chocolate turtles, and a blondie ;)
...Went with Jeff's family to a Blackhawks / Golden Knights game (hockey, in case you aren't into sports ;) on Saturday - his family supports the Knights which was a little confusing to this Chicago girl. Jeff kept thanking me for going, but we had seats in a box which meant access to that dessert cart, so you know I was a happy girl!
...got our car seat installed!! And really, Jeff got our car seat installed ;) We are going with this car seat which is supposed to be really easy to install, so hopefully we got it right! My dad promptly made fun of us for being six weeks early, but hey, we don't know when baby girl is going to show up!!

Here's hoping you had a good one!




Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Nordstrom Try On's - Friday Finds


Happy Friday!! Instead of my usual Friday Finds, I thought I'd share some real life finds I tried on at Nordstrom over the weekend. I clearly have a distinct color palette I'm currently loving, which tends to be what I'm drawn to every winter - neutrals and pinks!



I wasn't a huge fan of the original release of the Atlantic-Pacific line at Nordstrom, but this sweater is adorable in person. It's a little hard to see in the picture but the nude looking stripe is actually a shimmering blush pink. The stripes remind me of something Gap would have sold 20 years ago in the best possible way. I did size up for the bump but I think it will work well slightly oversized post-pregnancy also. Would love to wear this with white jeans if I had a pair of maternity!! This came home with me. 


Gibson Pullover Sweater - wearing size XL

I really wanted to love this sweater, it is so soft (almost like fleece) and the color is really pretty in person. The size available was a little too loose-y goose-y on me though, I felt like I was going to show my bra or that it would fall off my shoulders at any moment. Would definitely recommend this if you size down!


Sejour Cardigan - wearing size 1X 
(also wearing Caslon Tee size XL)

I've never heard of this brand before, likely because it's plus size only. I was immediately drawn to this and grabbed it in the smallest size available and I actually don't feel like it's overwhelmingly big. I probably could have gone one size down but I like the fit on this. I really wanted a LOFT sweater that was super similar this fall, but that one was super itchy. This one is amazingly soft - definitely a keeper!! This came home with me.



Oh my gosh I love this sweater. It didn't really work on the bump (especially in a medium - would have preferred a large or xl!) but I love the idea of the high low if I weren't working with a giant stomach, and this is actually one of those turtlenecks that works on larger chests, thanks to the thicker knit and the more cowl-like turtleneck. Plus the color is so pretty!! 


Caslon Tie-Front Cardigan - wearing size XL

I really wanted to love this since the color is so pretty and it's really soft, but it was just a little too oversized and too low cut on me. I would recommend sizing down! 


Sejour Polka Dot Sweater - wearing size 1X

This is another plus size top. I thought it was a lot prettier in person than in pictures, the polka dots were a lot more subtle - more a texture change than anything else. But the sleeves were too short on me so it was not a winner.



Gibson Sweater Blazer - wearing size XL

This sweater blazer is gorgeous in person, I love the color!! It's the perfect fit too, and since it's made out of a sweater material it's really comfortable too. I also love the blue striped lining on the sleeves, it's such a fun detail. I really wanted to bring this home with me, I just couldn't see it fitting into my baby lifestyle for spring. 


Caslon Striped Tee - wearing size XL 

I love Caslon tees and this one is no exception. The stripes are perfect and the fit is just slightly slouchy and oversized. The perfect closet basic. 


Halogen Colorblock Sweater - wearing size XL

When I shared that I bought a couple things on Instagram, a couple people guessed it was this sweater, but nope! It's really pretty in person (although I didn't love that the blush section had a bit of shimmer) and nice and lightweight, which would be good for later spring weather or layered under something else (perhaps that blush blazer above, hmmmm??). But I didn't really love the way it fit on the bump, it was a little too tight through the body but oversized in the sleeves.



So tell me - which is your favorite?



Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The 2018 Budget


It's that time of year... for a full 2018 budget recap! In 2018, I had a clothing budget of $350 a month which included everything except for undergarments, pajamas, workout clothes, and maternity essentials, and includes bigger ticket items like shoes, coats, and special occasion dresses. I'm not particularly hard on myself in terms of hitting that number each month, if I go over one month I'll just try to reel in my spending the next.

I've been sharing my clothing budget now for five years (what?!?) and during that time I've really tried to cut back on unnecessary purchases as well as fast fashion and things that wouldn't last. I would say I definitely have gotten better since I started tracking my budget, and it helps that I don't spend my lunch breaks wandering down State Street making impulse purchases. I have cut way back on spending at places like Forever 21 and Old Navy, where I would find I'd wear a piece only a few times before it either shrunk, started falling apart, or I stopped liking it. Every year though I say I'm going to try to spend more on fewer quality pieces, and it still isn't quite happening. But, that being said, I'm definitely in a better place now!

The Breakdown By Month

So here's what I spent in 2018! Each month links back to the original post.

January: $363.68
February: $401.48
March: $413.12
April: $322.75
May: $270.50
June: $209.75
July: $434.55
August: $378
September: $239.66
October: $271.09
November: $315.44
December: $127.80

Total Spent: $3,747.82
Average Monthly Spend: $312.32

I was expecting to be way under budget for the year since I haven't spent much for the last few months, but I forgot about my overspending at the beginning of the year! So things all seem to have averaged out, and I spent just a little more per month than in 2017

The Misses for 2018

So even though I think I've been getting better about what I buy, there were a few misses that managed to slip through. My worst purchases of the year all come from the first half of 2018, it's possible I'll change my mind on something I've purchased more recently but for now I think they were all good choices! Here were my worst purchases of the year: 


LOFT Lace Blouse - originally $59.50, on sale $32.97. Purchased in March. 
I thought this was so pretty, but really it never quite worked for me and I think I only ended up wearing it once. It was too cold to really wear for the office, felt too formal to wear casually, and never worked with a skirt like I wanted to. Plus I should have paid more attention to the arm holes, they're a little too big for me. 
J.Crew Polartec Pullover - originally $118, on sale $37.99. Purchased in February. 
This was such a good deal I couldn't pass it up, but I should have listened to my instincts and returned it because it's a little cropped and doesn't quite work on me. I should have waited until this winter, because I hear this year's version is longer and more flattering! I don't know that this is a total miss though because I do still wear it, just less than the other fleeces in my closet. 
J.Crew Factory Necklace - originally $49.50, on sale $20.00. Purchased in May. 
Again, something I thought was cute but never really wore. Partially because I always wanted to have on statement earrings instead of a necklace this summer, and partially because it ended up feeling a bit too juvenile / 2012. Plus one of the rows of beads came loose and it would scratch me. Note to self: stop buying cheap jewelry! I like the couple of classic pieces I wear every day better than anything else! 
Sanctuary Tank - originally $69.00, on sale $41.40. Purchased in February. 
I ended up buying this at the last minute for our trip to Charleston last spring and actually really liked it at the time - you can see I shared it here. But, when I went to wear it again this summer, I couldn't figure out what bra I had worn with it previously because it showed a ton of the sides of whatever bra I tried! So I don't know what was happening in Charleston then, or if I was just showing off my bra the whole time hahaha. 

The Hits for 2018

So, what were some of my best purchases of 2018? This is hard to define since I had a lot of favorites, so I picked the things I ended up wearing the most. 



J.Crew Factory Gingham Dress - originally $69.50, on sale $33.60. Purchased in May. 
This is one of those dresses that worked for dressy or casual occasions, was fun to wear on trips, and worked once I got pregnant too. Definitely a good buy! 
Madewell Jeans - originally $128.00, on sale $48.99. Purchased in January. 
Madewell makes my favorite jeans, so I was really excited to find these on such good sale last year! My torso is too short for all of the high waisted jeans that are popular right now (they literally come up to my bra!) so I'm a fan of their medium rise, dark wash skinny jeans since you can really wear them anywhere and dress them up or down. Madewell is also a favorite because they offer "tall" and "taller" lengths for those of you with really long legs! 
Clare V Petite Alice Bag - $175, used giftcard $0. Purchased in January. 
This was purchased with a gift card from Christmas so really it was "free" for me but I still debated for a long time on whether or not to spend so much on a "trendy" item. Well jokes on me because I wore it non-stop, on our spring trip to Charleston, all over the place this summer, and to Hawaii this fall. Sometimes a statement bag like this just makes an outfit, and this one was so fun to wear! 
New Balance Sneakers - originally $69.99, used coupon $49.99. Purchased in October. 
I. Love. These. Sneakers. 
They're amazingly comfortable which is the most important thing to me, but I love the little leather detailing that just makes them so cute. I'm only wearing "sock-style" sneakers these days (they don't have a separate tongue, and are really stretchy), and love that there's absolutely no rubbing! 
Maggie London Gingham Dress - $128. Purchased in February. 
I also bought this to wear in Charleston, but ended up wearing it all spring and summer long! It's such a fun piece but ended up working for a number of occasions, from bridal/baby showers to work to date night and everything in between. Plus it worked great at the beginning of my pregnancy too when things were starting to feel a little tight! 
Halogen Cardigan - originally $79.00, on sale $42.90. Purchased in July. 
I bought this as a part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale thinking I'd get some use out of it as a pregnancy layer, and man was I right! I've been wearing it basically non-stop, it's casual but manages to look good dressed up too. The only tricky thing is wearing it under a winter coat, I usually just take it off because it looks awkward hanging out the bottom and put it on once I get where I'm going. This exact cardigan is sold out, but here's a super similar one
Gibson Convertible Sweater - originally $54.00, on sale $36.18. Purchased in September.
This is so cozy and perfect for wearing with leggings! It's working as my bump grows but will also work great post-pregnancy. You can wear it off the shoulder or as a cowl neck, and I definitely have only ever worn it as a cowl neck! 
Abercrombie Sherpa Pullover - originally $68, on sale $40.80. Purchased in September. 
This was a risky purchase since I bought it just as my baby bump was starting to show up, so it could have had a really short shelf life, but I'm still wearing it now! It's so cozy and the perfect weight to wear around the house to stay warm without overheating. I wear it basically every day I work from home! This one is sold out but I also own and love last year's version.
J.Crew Factory White Shorts - originally $49.50, on sale $34.65. Purchased in March.
These were a replacement pair for another I wore to death in previous years, and I'm still loving them! I wore them non-stop until my baby bump made me stop, but they are so comfortable and stretchy, and short without being too short. 
J.Crew Factory Plaid Scarf - originally $29.50, on sale $20.65. Purchased in November. 
I mean, I couldn't really write a favorites list without including one of these scarves, you heard me rave about them all fall and this holiday season! I love that these make any simple outfit look that much cuter, and work well as cold weather accessories too. They're also the perfect size - not overwhelmingly big but not too small either. I now own six! 
Old Navy Tee Dress - originally $26.99, on sale $10.00. Purchased in July.
I really got my $10 worth out of this dress! I bought it right at the beginning of my pregnancy to give my bump a little more room, and ended up wearing it all over the place this summer and fall. 

Thoughts for 2019

I'm still feeling the $350 is a good amount for me per month. It might not seem like it because I still buy a lot, but it definitely does rein me in every month. That might change once our little baby girl joins our family and our expenses change, but I'll reevaluate once that happens. 

Want to see more? Check out my budget recaps from 201720162015, and 2014.




Follow along with everything Kristina does via Bloglovin!