Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thrift Style Thursday - Mesh mishaps

Uffda, some technical difficulties in getting good pictures today - so you get one inside and one outside picture of my Thrift Style Thursday outfit.  Anyway, hi!  Welcome to another installment of Thrift Style Thursday!  Today we are showcasing mesh...well I'm sort of showcasing mesh.  I kind of opted for a lace like top instead as I don't have anything terribly mesh like.  And a little secret - I didn't actually thrift this item, it was handed down to me by a friend when I was pregnant last summer as it fit over my belly really nicely at the time.  I still like it even without a baby bump though, so I thought I'd wear it today.  My skirt is still thrifted though!

 Shirt - Ruff Hewn (from friend), Skirt - Thrifted
Necklace - Lia Sophia, Sandals - Merona (Target)

So anyway, I feel like I kind of had a miss of a week here between my not quite mesh outfit and photo technical difficulties, but I did the best I could.  Keeping it real friends, always keeping it real!

Be sure to check out how the other thrifty gals styled their mesh at their blogs below!  

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Guilty Pleasures

So I've still been going strong with as many of the Instagram challenges as I could and the month is almost over!  The one I've managed to keep up with everyday has been the WildInCahoots challenge.  And today's prompt for that challenge is leading to a decent blog topic - guilty pleasures.  We all have em!  I haven't discussed mine in awhile, but here are a few of my current favorites.  I'm coming clean!

Homemade Iced Coffee - I recently figured out that it actually isn't rocket science to make homemade iced coffee, especially if you follow the simple instructions laid out on the Pioneer Woman's blog. (Side note, Ollie loves her show on Food Network - maybe that's his guilty pleasure?).  So anyway, I made it over the weekend and I've been enjoying it every day since - and I suppose since it is saving me money by not going to the coffee shop it's not THAT much of a guilty pleasure - but it's so good it just feels naughty sometimes (especially because I'm a naughty girl like the Pioneer Woman and I put half & half in my coffee and also vanilla syrup...) I'm already going to be needing a fresh batch by this weekend!

Archer Farms Monster Trail Mix - Dear Target, thank you for making a treat that I cannot stop eating.  I guess the joke will be on you when I'm no longer skinny enough to fit into the clothes you sell (although yes, shopping ban right now).  But seriously, this stuff is my favorite trail mix - I've tried others, but there is something about this combo that I.JUST.CAN'T.QUIT.

The flavored Oreos - I've talked before about my love of the Birthday Cake and Cookie Dough Oreos - now they've made Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ones.  I can't quit these either!!  Thank god for nightly walks with Oliver!

Jimmy Fallon videos on YouTube/Hulu - I am a mom and and old lady, so I just can't make it to 10:30 to watch the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon - but I find the time during the day to watch the best clips from the previous evening's show.  He's doing an amazing job as host - I freaking love all the games and activities he does with his guests!  Below is one of my favorites:

Weird Al's newest album - I have off and on been a fan of Weird Al for years, but have been less into pop music in recent years so I haven't paid that much attention to his parodies lately - but this new one is a hoot. I loved watching all the videos he released for an entire week.  My favorite was definitely Word Crimes even if I can't stand the Blurred Lines song.

Maxi skirts and dresses - I talk about this all the time on the blog, I love my maxi skirts and maxi dresses - they should be illegal they are so comfy and this mama sometimes (or more than sometimes even) is too busy to shave, so maxi dresses and skirts just win.  They win.

Dress - Cliche Mpls, Shirt - Ann Taylor (from cousin)
Shoes - Soft Walk (Clothes Mentor)

Coach bags - I swear I am not a brand snob by any stretch of the imagination - in fact one of my favorite bags I own is a Target special - but I just can't help loving Coach.  I just can't help myself.  Last week a friend and I tried to go to a Coach bag Bingo Night that a local group was sponsoring but we got there too late to get in - it was FULL up.  Well, we found out about another one coming up in a couple of weeks so we're going to attempt to get there early.  It's a fundraiser so even if we don't win the money goes to a good cause and it's reasonably inexpensive to play - so if you do win you get an amazing deal!  Until then I just keep loving my purchase from the Outlet from this spring.  But like I said, I love my Target bags and my thrifted bags too!

Bonfires with S'mores - we didn't get to have a bonfire while we were up north, but I bought all the goodies to make S'mores.  Since we didn't get to enjoy them, Nate has promised me a fire in our own backyard and I intend to make all the S'mores.  Because yum.

Watching my child sleep - I will never tired of this one.  I mean look at him!!!
So there you have it - just a few of my guilty pleasures as of late.  I feel so much better getting that off my chest.  What are your guilty pleasures?  Come on now, you'll feel better if you share!
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Beer is good and stuff

I'm back to the grind after a very fun weekend.  We had a blast at the beer festival on Saturday.  I thought I'd start out my blog post today by sharing this hilarious video - I should warn it's probably not suitable for work, but I've always gotten a kick out of it!


So beer is good and stuff!  We got ourselves up on Saturday and had a little time at home with Oliver before dropping him off at my in-laws.  I'm proud to say I didn't even cry, there may have been some tearing up, but that was the worst of it!  We were on the road by about 10:30 or so.  Duluth is about 2-2 1/2 hours north of Minneapolis, so that gave us plenty of time to drive up, get lunch, get checked in at the hotel and then walk over to the festival by 3:00.  The festival was at the Bayfront Festival Park - it was a great spot for this event, right on Lake Superior.  There were tents set up all over for the various breweries, food trucks along one edge and then some live music on a large stage.

It was hot out there for Duluth - the high was 85!  But it was a "dry" heat so to speak, no real humidity.  I was glad I wore a tank top though!  We played a dorky game and Nate won me that orange bell.

We also sat in an educational session on cooking with beer - it was a great choice because we got free food as part of the presentation!  Other than that we wandered about sampling what the various breweries brought.  We have a good system at these events, we each get a different beer from the different places and then share - we can taste a little more that way without getting absolutely hammered.

We made sure to take plenty of water breaks as it was pretty warm in the direct sun.  Towards the last hour or so the clouds started rolling in and it was kind of a relief, it was still nice out, but a little less crazy warm! We ended up getting a couple of hot dogs from one of the food trucks and they were delicious - the guy makes his own mustard - with beer no less - and it's really tasty!

The crowd also really started thinning out in the last hour or so as well, it was kind of nice to wander around once it was not quite as packed.  I honestly could have stayed out there all night!  Sadly it did come to an end, so we took a nice leisurely stroll back to our hotel.

We had to stop on the path and take pictures by the iconic Duluth Lift Bridge.  I also got a kick out of the line of geese swimming by in the lake.  They were seriously in a perfect line, kind of crazy.  After we got back to the hotel we got a text from a friend we had run into at the festival that he and his girlfriend were thinking of grabbing dinner if we wanted to join them - we discovered our hotel was right next to Canal Park Brewing Company - which happens to be a brewpub, not just a brewery, so we asked if they wanted to meet us there.  They did, so we finished out the evening with some appetizers and just one more beer - after all, we did have a hotel room right there!

As I predicted, I didn't end up sleeping that great - but it wasn't so much about missing Oliver (although I sure did miss him a ton) as it was our room was warm and there were just too many foreign noises.  I never sleep great away from home.  Oh well.  We got up nice and early on Sunday morning, stopped at a fantastic diner on our way out of town and were reunited with our boy by noon!

Oliver was very happy to see us but did very well for his first sleepover.  It sounds like he had a great time with his grandparents, so I was happy to hear that, but even more happy to be back with my sweet boy!  I took the day off of work yesterday so I could get a little extra time in too.  We had a very fun day together!

I took him to the park and Target, met a friend for lunch and we just had fun hanging out and playing at our own house.  I am glad I had a chance to get a little extra time in with him!  Overall it was a great weekend.  I would definitely go to All Pints North again, it was a great venue, lots of good beer and food and it was just right for a quick little getaway!
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Bluum Box - July

I haven't written about our Bluum box subscription yet even though we've had it for several months now. Bluum is a monthly subscription box of age specific items for your baby (and they usually include one goodie for mom as well).  Remember when I talked about my shopping ban and said I was an emotional shopper?  One of the things I did when I first came back to work and was doing a lot of online shopping to cope was order a subscription to Bluum for Oliver.  There are similar programs out there - such as Citrus Lane or Stork Stack - but I read some pretty decent reviews of Bluum, so I chose to subscribe to it.  And then the first few months of receiving it I actually regretted it a bit.  I wasn't all that impressed with the goodies they sent, several times there were clothing items that came and were too small for Oliver to even use once.  Often times the items would be questionable to his age - I was curious if they really paid attention at all.  The boxes were nothing like I had seen online.  But I was paid up for at least six months worth, so I figured I'd just wait it out until it finished and wouldn't renew it.  I didn't feel like blogging about it since I was so unimpressed.  But then last month's was a bit better - we got the Spuni spoon I mentioned earlier this week and also Oliver's favorite teething toy to date. Then finally, this month's was awesome, I feel like it was finally blog worthy as I'm pretty impressed with it!  So, here is our Bluum box for Oliver's 8th month!

When you open up the box there's a card that reminds you what month it is, talks about their referral program and explains what is inside.

The first item for this month is this bunny finger puppet from Apple Park.  It's all organic and super soft and cute.  We love singing the song "Little Bunny Foo Foo" with Oliver, so now we can use this instead of our fingers when we do the motions!

The next item I was super excited to see.  This stuffed elephant from Fiesta Toys is so soft and cuddly and almost like a pillow.  I love the plaid inside of his ears too!  If you pull his tail it plays lullabies.  Oliver loves elephants so I think this will be a fun new friend for him.

I was just saying earlier this week that Oliver is very entertained by my bracelets - this one by Chewbeads is perfect - it's meant for teething babies to be able to chew on!  I have a teething necklace I wear for him too, so I will happily wear this as well to give him something to gnaw on besides my fingers!  It's a great shade of blue too and adjustable, which I appreciate since I have tiny wrists (I know, first world problems right?)

I am very curious about how this next thing will work - by Green Sprouts, these are Compressed Wipes that apparently you add water to and they work like regular baby wipes.  They take up less room in a diaper bag or purse and are better for the environment as they are made of plant material.  I will say this - since Ollie has started on solids, erhm, cleaning him up at a diaper change isn't always as easy these days, so I'm a little skeptical of these, but I will give them a try!

This next item is the only one I will likely not use.  It's a Pacifier Clip from Bumkins.  As much as we tried early on, we just couldn't get Oliver to take a pacifier.  He has a Wubbanub (stuffed toy attached to a Gumdrop style pacifier) that he chews on and plays with and adores, but he really doesn't do pacifiers otherwise, so we have no need for a clip that will keep one from getting lost!  I know a few other friends with kids who do love their pacifiers though, so I'm sure one of them could possibly use this and I'm happy to share!

So there you have it!  This month's box has kind of restored my faith in the Bluum program - we started getting boxes at month 3, so this should be our last one unless I renew the subscription.  I may give it another go or I might look into Citrus Lane instead.  Or I may just scrap it all together and just keep scouring garage sales and consignment sales for fun goodies!  At any rate, it is always fun to get things in the mail and it was fun giving this a try and we have enjoyed a good number of the items, so even though a few of the earlier boxes were disappointing, I'm still glad I did this - good old mommy guilt making me buy things after going back to work last February I guess!

And speaking of mommy guilt, we'll be leaving Oliver for his first overnight this weekend.  This mama is excited for the event that she is going to, but very, very sad to leave her baby behind for the first time!  I know he will be well cared for by someone who loves him (Nate's parents) but that doesn't make it any easier!  Here's hoping I can actually take advantage of a full night's sleep instead of fretting about him the entire time (I'm likely going to be doing the latter).  Have a great weekend everyone!

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thrift Style Thursday - Metallica

Our theme for Thrift Style Thursday this week is metallics.  I had a few fun pieces I wanted to pull out for today.  I went for sort of a mixed metal feel.  It's funny, I was always a straight silver girl for a number of years and then I realized that I do like gold too - and even better, that's ok to mix the two!

I adore this dress - I actually bought it via a fellow Thrift Style Thursday gal - Miche of Buttons and Birdcages from her Storenvy right before my shopping ban.  I wore this dress for Ollie's six month pictures and have been wearing it quite a bit this summer overall.  It's so comfy, I can't get enough of it.

I added this Tiganello bag I thrifted back in May - it's more silver than gold, but I love how in the light it actually looks kind of gold too.  I recently saw what this style Tiganello bag is retailing for new and realized I got it for a steal at the thrift shop!  I added this sweater because it was a little chilly yesterday morning when I was taking these photos - even it has some metallic to it, it has flecks of a rose gold colored thread.  I took a picture more in detail that you'll see further down the post.  I finished the look with gold sandals I bought from an Instagram shop and then a mixed metal charm necklace that isn't thrifted, but is very cute!

Dress - Storenvy (Buttons and Birdcages), Sweater - LOFT (consignment)
Bag - Tiganello (thrifted), Sandals - Madden Girl (Instagram shop)
Necklace - Lia Sophia

So does all this metal talk make anyone else want to listen to some old school heavy metal music?  I had to laugh, when we were driving up to the cabin we were having trouble finding a station to listen to, but the "metal" station in the Twin Cities has a pretty decent range so it followed us quite a way - and I was shocked at how "tame" it is now compared to what it used to be! Not to say I was ever a metal head, but still - the face melting days seem to be over!  Give me some Enter Sandman, come on!

For other metallic mavens, check out the other Thrift Style Thursday gals below!
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