Archive for the ‘Stylin’’ Category

Matching Pajamas Are Very Important

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links, because I figured it couldn’t hurt to try to earn a few dollars to put towards actually ordering more pajamas.


Last year for our Christmas cards I did the kids in front of the twinkle light background while wearing matching pajamas. I am a huge fan of matching pajamas, both for Christmas and for photos. I have done a lot of matching pajama research, so I’m going to share some of my findings with you in case you are also in the market for matching pajamas. Let’s say MATCHING PAJAMAS one more time. It can be tricky to find them in all the kid sizes when kids span different sections of the store (*shakes fist at Target for making my 6 year old buy ugly stuff from the BOYS department*) so I’ve included that info too.

Hanna Andersson (Price: $35-$46, not on sale. Last year they got down to under $30 on Black Friday) – Oh Hanna. What can I say, these are my favorite pajamas in the world. I ordered two different sets for all 3 kids last year and they still wear them at least once a week. They truly have all the sizes, from baby to adult, although their Swedish sizing can be confusing at first. Buy big, they last forever.

matching pajamas for holiday card 2014

Our Christmas card photo

matching pajamas summer 2015

STILL wearing last year’s Christmas pajamas in August of this year

This year, they have Star Wars Christmas pajamas. They look like traditional Swedish prints but are in fact Darth Vader heads. Unfortunately, buying ALL THE JAMS for my whole family would cost as much as our entire Christmas budget, so I’ll probably settle on the (still wicked cute) Dear Deer red reindeer ones.

The Children’s Place (Price: $13ish to $20ish? They always always have sales) – One of the challenges of MATCHING jams is that Evan is in boy’s sizes, and boy’s clothes are way less cute than toddler clothes. So the good news is The Children’s Place has red stripes in sizes from 4-14. Evan and Caroline could both match in those. The bad news is they (currently) don’t have the same stripes for Linc. Their toddler sizes run up to 5T though, so last year holiday stripes like these would have been perfect. I ordered Linc a couple pairs of TCP jams a couple weeks ago and they’re pretty nice. I love the not-feet style (like Hannas!) because then they fit for a super long time.

matching pajamas from the children's place

The Children’s Place jams I ordered Linc – I love this pattern!

Land’s End – The first year we did matching jams I ordered plaid fleece from Land’s End for Evan and Caroline, as seen in this post where I announced I was pregnant with Linc OMG and also here, for our Polar Express train trip:

matching pajamas from Lands End 2013


The have nightgowns that match the old-man style pajamas, which are both adorable on children. I love this green and blue plaid nightgown that matches the green and blue plaid jams for boys which match the toddler-sized jams (no baby sizes, but they go down to 2T).

Burt’s Bees Baby ($19.95+, which is less than Hannas but still organic!) – Have you ever looked at Burt’s Bees Baby? All my fancy photographer friends buy gorgeous, neutral clothes from them for their gorgeous, neutral photo shoots. I’ve stalked a few times but it wasn’t until I was looking for matching jams that I checked them out seriously. They have a whole family pajamas section! Toddler goes from size 2 to size 7, baby one-pieces start at newborn and baby 2 pieces go from 12 months to 24 months. They also have adult sizes, which is really tempting. Epic family photo, anyone?? All cream/white henley-style jams would be catalog-style perfect on Christmas morning. I don’t have action shots yet, but I’ll update when I do (because I just ordered the matching Candy Cane jams for all the kids).

If you have a secret source of adorable matching kid pajamas, please leave me a comment so I can also order those. There’s no such thing as too many pairs, since you wear them 365 days a year (even the Christmas ones). Happy holiday shopping!!


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I Bleached My Hair And It Didn’t Fall Out

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

I am NOT a beauty or style blogger, but sometimes I do something and I want to talk about it so here I go.

I was chatting with my friend Amy about how I am old and boring and uncool (PSA: never watch the VMAs over the age of 25) and how I really needed a change. We have this chat a lot, and it usually ends up with one of us getting bangs. This time, I was complaining about how I really needed to get my hair done but couldn’t decide if what I needed was a color fix or if I should just do something fun like the pink I did a couple years ago. She mentioned bleach shampoo, which I had never heard of but from the name it seemed perfect.

Luckily, there’s an XOVain tutorial that was easy to follow and very thorough. My experience with coloring my own hair is limited. I’ve done lemon juice highlights from sitting in the sun, a couple of boxed dyes, plus the Manic Panic pink layer, but the rest of the time I either live with my natural color or use a salon. I had never even BEEN in a Sally Beauty Supply before, but I threw all 3 kids in the car to go stare at stuff in the hair dye aisle before settling on this:

bleach shampoo

I used L’oreal Quick Blue High Performance Powder Bleach, because the internet tutorial I found said blue bleach was better, plus the 1 oz package seemed easier than measuring. I used Blond Brilliance Creme Developer 5 Volume because I was really scared of frying my hair. I didn’t know much about developers besides they’re the thing you mix with the other thing when you buy a box of hair dye, so I took the internet’s advice and went with a super low level one – 5 barely does anything, 10 or 20 is average, 30 or 40 should probably be left to a professional. Since I’m naturally blond, it’s already pretty light from the summer, and my hairdresser once told me my hair “lifts really easily” I figured I’d start at the lowest and if it didn’t work I’d try again with a 10. The 5 turned out to be perfect.

I mixed the 1 oz of powder bleach with 1 oz of the developer and then a big squirt of the shampoo until it was a liquidy consistency that was easy to slop on my head. The shampoo made it a lot easier to spread around evenly than a box of hair dye and that one batch went a LONG way – I have a lot of hair and it covered all of it. I started at my roots in the front, since they were darkest and I wanted the front part to be lightest.

These pictures are: before, with wet hair, during with my sexy shower cap, right after in my bathroom’s yellow light and the next day in natural light.

iPhone Week 252

Here’s the official before and after no-make-up photos, taken by my 4-year-old:



Looking at the pictures the change is subtle, but in person it looks really natural – it isn’t uniformly platinum or brassy. I think the biggest change is on the top of my head and in the back where my dark blond is now medium-light blond. I was on 3rd day hair when I bleached it, so my roots were extra oily, but that seemed to protect them from damage. The ends are a liiiiiittle bit fried but I am 4 months overdue for a trim so I think ANY color would have done that.

I give the whole process an A+ and I plan to do it again when my roots grow out. Maybe I’ll use a 10 developer next time and see if I can gradually bring my hair back to my childhood towhead blond. I’m still debating a fun color, especially after seeing the amazing options at Sally Beauty Supply – lavender! mint! teal! bright blue! I still can’t decide if I’m too old for “fun” hair. I mean, I still think I’m fun, but I also like going to bed before 10 pm.

p.s. I also dyed my eyebrows (!!!!!!!) which is something I’ve wanted to do for YEARS but was too scared to try. It was a piece of cake and I feel like it makes a huge difference in my face. I used a semi-permanent color and developer and did it twice in a row – 15 minutes, then wiped it off, then another 10 minutes because I wasn’t sure it was dark enough. Literally no one as has “What did you do to your eyebrows?” but people have said “You look really nice today!” and my desire to take selfies has increased 300%.

OK, that was more than enough talk about beauty stuff for a long time. Back to my yoga pants and top knot I go!

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Let’s Talk About Inner Thigh Rub

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

My thighs rub together. Even when I was thin and did 10 hours of pilates a week and could wear crop tops with confidence my thighs still touched when I walked. My thighs will always touch because my skeleton is held together with muscles and tendons in such a way that my thighs do not have a gap between them. I’m absolutely fine with that.


All-caps THIGHS run in our family, but Linc’s make a way cuter photo than mine do

But no matter how at peace I am with my thighs, the truth is when they rub together it hurts. If you don’t have that problem, it’s hard to explain just how painful and unpleasant inner thigh rub can be. SO unpleasant. Inner thigh rub is why you see women wearing jeans even when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s why women wear ugly, unflattering shorts instead of cute skirts. It’s why I have to know BEFORE getting dressed if we’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Unplanned 5-mile stroll in inappropriate shoes? Meh. Unplanned 5-mile stroll in a dress with nothing underneath? AGONY.

You would think that because this is a fairly common problem it would be super easy to find a solution. There should be something foolproof, easy to buy,  and cheap that is sold right next to dresses and skirts at the store. I assume that isn’t the case because thigh rub is a “fat” person problem and just like plus sized clothes are harder to find, anyone whose thighs touch should similarly have to be inconvenienced to deal with it. Or maybe I just shop at the wrong stores. But I am here to SOLVE everyone’s inner thigh rub problems with a multitude of options.

In a loose order of least to most effective, I present Thigh Rub Solutions:

1. BodyGlide – This is the original stuff, the kind actual runners use for chafing. It’s…ok. But in my experience it rubs off long before I am done walking. It does work great on bras or sundress straps or other smaller body parts.

2. Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel – This is essentially BodyGlide for non-runners. It works medium well, but I still feel like I have to toss it in my purse and bring it with me in case it rubs off. It actually makes me feel thinner – I’m so carefree! My thighs don’t hurt at all! Look at me float! – so that’s a plus.

3. Assets (Fake Spanx) – These are the Target brand of official Spanx and they work about half as well as real Spanx when it comes to sucking everything in. They work well at stopping thigh rub, but since they do MORE than that they are not my favorite. They’re pretty hot and don’t have the access that Spanx do. (If you have never seen real Spanx, I will decode that for you: access = hole for peeing.) That means you have to peel them on then peel them off then peel them on again, which is unpleasant when you’re hot. ALSO, I had a pair that got a hole right in the thigh-rubbing area which meant one tiny section of my chubby thigh poked through and rubbed extra hard and it was 1000% worse than just regular thigh rub. Also, they’re the second most expensive option, right behind…

4. Spanx – If you want to look thinner, smoother and fancy, Spanx are the right choice. Spanx will suck you in and smooth you out and if you buy the long version they will stop thigh rub so well your thighs might actually stop touching all together.  If it’s 90 degrees out and you just want to wear a skirt to stay cool they are NOT the best choice. You cannot relax in Spanx. I can barely sit down in Spanx. Spanx are not breathable (despite the pee hole) and there is a pretty good chance wearing Spanx for several days in a row will give you a UTI. Save your Spanx for wedding receptions and high school reunions and don’t suffer all summer.

5. Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts – I actually have two different versions of these, the regular and the wicking. The wicking version doesn’t have seams right on the inner thigh, so they couldn’t split/cause irritation there, but I didn’t notice the seams on the regular pair either. They are the BEST solution I’ve found for thigh-rub. I wore a skirt to NYC for the New York Baby Show. We walked ALL day. It was warm. I wore Linc almost the entire time. But these were super comfortable, prevented any rubbing and didn’t give me a UTI. I only had to adjust a couple of times – mostly after going from sitting for a long time to standing – and they didn’t stretch out. They don’t suck anything in but they do smooth and make jersey fabric fall much more flatteringly (WordPress says that’s a word). I bought mine at JC Penny’s in person during a sale, so they were about $15 each, which seems like the right price point for something I’m going to wear ALL summer.

Alternative solution: Wear cute pants instead – I know this is not a real suggestion to solve the thigh rub problem in a skirt, but I really really want to tell you about these pants. The other day Evan’s young female bus driver told me I was “always dressed so nice”. Since I often get Evan off the bus in my slippers, I was a little baffled until I realized I had been wearing my new Old Navy pants almost every day. I am still not convinced they are not ridiculous looking and all my friends are lying to me, but they are wicked comfortable and nice and cool and dry quickly even if you walk into a lake to fetch your baby. I have them in black print and blue print and I’m going to buy them in plain black as well.

I assume everyone who wears skirts has their own solution to this problem; they just don’t really TALK about it. So feel free to share your miracle solutions in the comments so I can try them. In the meantime, I will be wearing my Skimmies, my possibly ridiculous pants and hanging out in the lake, where thigh rub doesn’t exist. Welcome Summer!

Non-disclosure disclosure: None of these are affiliate links, feel free to click through and buy or not buy whatever you want freely. I’m really just too lazy to bother.

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Wittlebee Box Review

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Have you heard of Wittlebee" target="_blank">Wittlebee yet? It’s one of the hot new subscription boxes the internets are all going crazy for these days, except it’s just as useful as it is cool. Avoid screaming trips to the mall and super expensive binges in the children’s department at Target by having your kid’s clothes delivered monthly right to your door!

wittlebee box review

Wittlebee is a monthly kids clothing club for children ages 0 to 5 years. You create a style profile, give your kids’ ages and sizes, check a few boxes to let them know what kind of basics you could use most for the season you’re in and BOOM! For $39.99 a month you get over $100 worth of stylish kids clothes delivered in a happy little white box. Check out their super-helpful FAQ section for more details and answers to your questions.

wittlebee box review

Adorable packaging, and the CEO’s cell phone number is printed right on the inside of the box so you can contact him. Now THAT’S customer service.

I loved filling out the style profile for Caroline and they ask all the right questions – favorite colors, whether she’s a diva or a hipster, even if she prefers polka-dots over lady bugs. And my box definitely reflected my answers. I received one pair of leggings, one pair of shorts, one t-shirt dress, one t-shirt, and two legging/dress combo outfits.

wittlebee box review

I told them Caroline liked pink, orange and blue

I was also impressed with the attention to sizing details – I said Caroline was wearing size 18 month clothing and all the items were approximately the same size, even though some were labeled 24 months or 2 years. Those brands obviously run smaller and it’s AMAZING that Wittlebee pays enough attention to detail to know that.

Speaking of brands…

wittlebee box review

American Apparel t-shirt

wittlebee box review

Old Navy shorts

I was pleased that I recognized and am already a fan of a couple of brands in the box. The brands I didn’t recognize I would categorize and mid- to high-end stuff (the kind of thing I’d only buy if I lucked out and saw it at TJMaxx).  But the nicest surprise was the outfits. Man, I LOVE pre-coordinated outfits for little kids.

Adorable zebra outfit is adorable

My absolute new favorite dress for Caroline

wittlebee box review

She says it’s very comfortable for lounging and swinging

wittlebee box review

The perfect combination of play clothes and cuteness

My 100% honest opinion is that Wittlebee is adorable, fun and definitely a good value. It would be an AMAZING gift for a mom friend – especially for a mom on her second or third baby who doesn’t have the energy to do laundry, let alone shop for new kid’s clothes. The quality is excellent, I got a good variety of items and their stylists have great taste. Be sure to check out Wittlebee" target="_blank">Wittlebee on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news, brand announcements and insider info!

p.s. If you use this link you can get $10 off your first month’s box!

(I was sent a Wittlebee box at no cost so I could write an honest review. No other compensation or direction was provided and all opinions are my own. If you sign up through one of the links I do get a referral fee.)

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Steppin’ Out: Fancy Casino Night

Monday, May 28th, 2012

So this weekend my friend Erin visited and we went…well…everywhere. I’ve got a super cool giveaway coming up from Connecticut Tourism so I’m saving three dozen (or maybe slightly more) of the photos for that post but I have a VERY pressing question for you today:

Formal shorts – A Thing or Not A Thing????

Close up of my shorts

On Suzanne:

Shirt: Dress Barn
Shorts: Old Navy
Shoes: ModCloth
Purse: Jason Wu for Target
Necklace: Target

I didn’t actually ask Erin to give me a rundown of her entire outfit because that would have been sort of weird. So maybe she can tell us where she got that really cute dress in the comments.

I told E I was going to wear formal shorts and he laughed at me. I say they’re just as good as a skirt except more comfortable with less of a chance of accidentally flashing my underwear when I fall off my RIDICULOUS shoes.

Either way, I like them. Unfortunately they were not lucky formal shorts. Stupid magic unicorn slot machine took all my money. True story.

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