A question about leggings, so basically my favorite question ever

I got the following email last night with the subject line “New to leggings”:

I have been reading for a while now and I finally have a question of my own. I know you post all the time about various slug-like legging options, but for someone who is new to even the idea of leggings, where do I start? I’m hoping to come in at a reasonable price, they don’t need to be more than a basic knit legging, but any ideas on a pair that might not sag/bag out? I work from home a few days a week and am still wearing college-era sweats that are way past their expiration date. I’d love to be able to work from home and not have to change before leaving the house :)

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I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER ASK.

Okay, pull up a chair. Leggings are serious business.

(Just to be clear, once and for all, leggings are pants—if you hide the goodies—but they are not pants you can wear to work unless you work at home.)

Sorry, I’m having trouble focusing because leggings are only my very favorite thing in the whole wide world. THEREFORE, this question is amazing.

As you pointed out, the best leggings are versatile leggings. By versatile, I mean that they can be worn to the gym, on the couch, with boots, with tunics, with flats, WHEREVER WHENEVER.

The most versatile leggings are activewear leggings. They’re also (usually) opaque, stand up to tons of thrashing and wash cycles and are made of high-quality, thick fabric. It’s worth spending a little more on good leggings because you’ll wear them more than you think (I could be projecting here) and they won’t disintegrate, rip, tear, sag, bag or pill in the first five wears.

Here are my recommendations:

  • The first pair you should buy are Zella’s Live In Leggings in black. They are $52 and you will wear them constantly. They are soft, thick, opaque and suck everything in. This is your gateway drug into the land of leggings. Once you wear these, you will never want to put on another pair of real pants ever again. I wear these to the gym, but I also wear them with sweaters and boots or flats. I mean, I’m writing this while wearing Zella leggings so if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
  • Once you are completely hooked on your black Zella leggings, branch out and get a pair with a bit of a pattern. I like these Zella space dye ones ($58). Gray or space dye or marled leggings look fantastic with white/cream sweaters and cognac boots. Add a trenchcoat, done! Slugtastic.
  • Now you’re addicted, right? You’re IN IT. The thought of putting denim on your legs makes you want to weep. TIME FOR LULULEMON. I actually really hate Lululemon right now because they have the most foot-in-mouth, self-sabotaging marketing and leadership teams in all of retail, but their Wunder Unders ($82) do magical, flattering things to butts.
  • My Ellie leggings get the second-heaviest rotation into my day-to-day dressing. (Zella leggings are first.) I have so many pairs but the Tahiti leggings and the My New Obsession leggings are all-time favorites. If you want to sign up for Ellie’s monthly membership, that’s where you get the best deals. It’s $50 per month, so $25 per pair of leggings, and you can skip any month you want. If you want to sign up, I’d be really happy if you used my referral link.
  • GapFit leggings are also pretty great. Since Gap offers promotion codes basically every day, you can nearly always pick up a pair for an affordable price. I don’t own any of their full-length leggings, but I do have a few cropped pairs and really like them. Their gFast leggings ($45) are the most popular.
  • Worth noting: I have received two pairs of Fabletics cropped leggings so far and they are the closest to Zella/Wunder Unders that I’ve found. (Sidenote: I’m wearing the long-sleeved shirt I got from them at this very second and it is so comfortable and so high-quality—really amazing stuff.) Once again, I’d love you forever if you use my referral link.
  • If you want something a little more legitimate than leggings, Target has the best ponte pants for the money. Ponte pants are really just a way for you to be able to say, “I’m actually wearing pants.” But they’re not REAL pants. They’re leggings in disguise. These are just $20 and are so comfortable. They also have a trendy coated pair for $20 that I want to check out.

I hope this helps. Go forth and be comfy.

THIS HAS BEEN A DETECTIVE SLUG PRODUCTION

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Question:

Hello. We had a baby a few months ago. Do you have any suggestions for books about keeping the marriage on track after a baby? Also, can you keep the name anonymous? My husband is very private. Thanks!!

I wish I had more for you. I wish I could list 10 books that helped but I can’t. I can give you just one really good recommendation: All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior. (My review is here.) The portions about why couples can fracture post-baby was the first time I read anything that mirrored my own feelings and experiences. 

(I’m going to go off on a tangent here for a second so feel free to skip.)

  1. I’m always careful to toe the line between privacy and openness here on my blog and this post is no exception. Marriage dynamics post-baby are very tricky. I think that’s why no one talks about it. Well, almost no one. You see a million “DH is a deadbeat, I’m divorcing him tomorrow!!!!” posts on mom message boards (Babycenter, ahem). But if you look to other online communities—Instagram, Facebook, whatever—you’ll hardly ever see anyone write anything of substance about marriage post-baby. And you’ll never, ever see a prominent mom blogger discuss it unless they mention it briefly and then tritely wrap it up with how they are still so in love, and the partner is so supportive. Somehow protecting a brand is synonymous with perfect marital happiness. Other difficult, private things can be discussed, but the marriage relationship must never be examined thoughtfully. The result of this is a lot of women that look they are in perfect marriages with perfect guys that do perfect things to support their perfect home and perfect clothes and perfect meals. I used to read these blogs and go I HAVEN’T SHOWERED IN 5 DAYS HOW CAN YOU MAINTAIN THIS FLAWLESS FACADE. And I still don’t know how they do it. I don’t. 
  2. However, I’ve determined that there may be a “type” of marriage that can navigate the first year of the first child with a minimum of external tension. That marriage is a more traditional one. In a heterosexual partnership that adheres to traditional gender roles PRE-BABY, there is already an expectation that the male will do traditionally male things and the female will do traditionally female things. And post-baby, the traditionally female things will include the bulk of childcare. (Maybe all the childcare.) It probably also includes cooking, cleaning, organizing, doctor’s appointments, shopping. It may also include bills and finances. In this case, in this more traditional marriage, there is a clear expectation of what is expected from both parties long before the baby is born. Therefore, it’s no big surprise when baby arrives and Mom assumes the bulk of childcare. Dad is comfortable with his role, Mom is comfortable in her role. Tension is minimal because the expectations of child-rearing have been established for a long time. Maybe since the couple met. 
  3. So where does that leave other partnerships or marriages? In our case, my husband and I both worked full-time. We evenly split household duties, chores and responsibilities. How post-modern of us! How progressive! 
  4. But, holy shit, when Isobel was born, it’s like the world was turned completely upside down. I think Brandon expected to assume more of the childcare than he could do or that I would let him do. (That last one is key.) For my side, I expected him to anticipate and complete every single possible task that could be related to childcare on any given day. (DOESN’T HE KNOW THE BABY NEEDS A BATH) Then, I’d want to do those tasks myself anyway because I could do them faster, better. I was angry at myself for not giving him more space to carve out a place in the household and I was angry at him for not insisting on it. We were both frustrated at the traditional marriage/gender roles that we slipped into, almost immediately. 
  5. There are some extraneous things that really affect the way this plays out. Maternity/paternity leaves, for example. Brandon used vacation time to take almost two weeks off. I took a very short maternity leave and then juggled baby and full-time work from home until she was about 12 months old. Two weeks wasn’t enough time for dad to grow accustomed to the schedule and rigor of newborn care. Additionally, it’s difficult for Dad to wrap his brain around helping with a 3 am feeding when he’s got to be up at 6 am for a 12 hour work day. If we had started Isobel in daycare when she was an infant (which I would absolutely do if we ever had a second child), I think that could have helped with some of the issues that arose. I was trying to be a hero to too many people and I ended up being nothing but a failure to myself.  
  6. Another thing that really contributed to the traditional gender role tension—and is something that I almost never see discussed—is the way that breastfeeding changes the childcare dynamic. I breastfed for about 8 months (though I was only nursing in the morning and before bed by the last few weeks). I would breastfeed again. But fuck, I wish someone had told me what to expect. I don’t know what I was thinking, but for some reason my brain did not process the fact that I would be assuming the bulk of the night wakings and feedings. I had intermittent trouble with my supply and struggled to stash enough away for bottle feedings at night (which Brandon could have helped with). I also waited a long time to give a bottle in general. It was just long enough for both of us to have accepted that if the baby cried at night, I would go. And frankly, I was so highly attuned to the crying, that even if he’d helped, I would have had trouble going back to sleep. It was a very fragile, sensitive time for me. I had difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking, difficulty moving through my day. It was a fog. Anyway, my advice to moms who are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed is that they establish ahead of time a list of tasks that the partner can accomplish since they may not be taking the night shift much at all. This could include: Making breakfast, keeping on top of the laundry, 15-20 minutes for Mom in the morning to shower, running errands for Mom before or after work (or during lunch break). If you are able to stash enough breast milk so dad can assist with a bottle at night, get earplugs, use an eye mask and kick him out of bed to do go it. Every single night. That might get you an extra 2-3 hours of sleep per night. That is A LOT. These are all things I wish I’d thought about before giving birth, because by the time the issues were actually happening, we were both too tired and overwhelmed to make logical, helpful decisions in ways that would have been beneficial to us both.  
  7. It was really difficult for me to ask Brandon for help. It was difficult for him to ask what I needed help with. This stalemated the situation and created a vicious cycle of inactivity and resentment and echoed a lot of what I read in All Joy and No Fun too. We both just wanted a few minutes to ourselves. The difference was that I felt I had to ask permission or ask for assistance in order to take that time. Ugh, it’s a mess, huh? I noticed that I sometimes thought of Brandon more like a babysitter (“Can you watch Isobel for 30 minutes so I can go get a pedicure?”) instead of my husband and her father (“I’m going to go get a pedicure, there is a bottle in the fridge, Bye!”). This was frustrating for Brandon too. When we look back on this time, we’re both irritated by how little we communicated about our frustrations and how easily we slipped into tired cliches. (They’re cliches for a reason, I guess.) He didn’t like that I would be like, “Are you sure you’re okay to watch her while I go to the grocery store for 10 minutes?” He’d think, well, she must not trust me to be a very good dad! And I’m thinking to myself, I wish he’d noticed we needed groceries! Finding a way to reconcile the way we used to split household responsibilities with all the new childcare responsibilities was challenging. 
  8. I don’t have a magical piece of advice that can string all of this together. But what I can tell you is that although I don’t know the specifics of your situation, I can sympathize with your general question. I’ve been there. We’ve been there. It was difficult for us to translate an equal marriage (in terms of us having a dual-income household that we held equal responsibility for) into equal parenting. The silver lining here is that once we pushed through the difficult months and sat down to discuss our individual issues, our relationship improved. A lot. We felt stronger and happier for having had to navigate through this major life change together
  9. I hope you’re still reading given that I kind of blacked out and just typed 10 paragraphs. :/ 
  10. You’ve got this. Now go for a pedicure! 
One, Two, Three, Four

I got this question today:

Could you post this anon? I am writing because I’m curious (if you’re willing to talk about it) if you knew from the beginning that Iz would be your only child. If so, how did you come to that? Most days I feel like that will likely be the choice we make too, but I’m always curious how other people get to that place. I always thought we’d have two. Or more. But time. Money. Emotional fortitude. It’s a lot. I’d love your insight. xo

I have no insight.

I have nothing except questions and what-ifs and thoughts that creep up in the night as I’m lying in bed. I think about it at the grocery store when I see siblings fighting and I think about it at the park when I see siblings playing together. I think and I do more thinking. I think I know how I feel and I know that I’m unlikely to change my mind, but still. The thought is there

I actually almost wrote a post about this last week but I changed my mind about posting it at the last second because I was getting frustrated about my ability to verbalize my very complex, very uncertain feelings about a topic that I know a lot of people feel strongly about. I hardly ever shy away from posting things that I know people will feel strongly about, but this is so personal and real to me, to Brandon, to Isobel. And although having or not having another child is a family decision, I can’t ignore how strongly this falls at my feet and my feet alone. This complex, nuanced, larger-than-life decision falls to me and my uterus—and this isn’t even taking into account whether we might have difficulty conceiving. 

Yet, even though I’ve just said that I’m having a hard time finding clarity on this, I do know deep down what is right for right now. That’s hard to admit, since so much of child-rearing and parenting means sacrificing all for the sake of the child(ren). We are in a place culturally that requires parents to weigh so many potential decisions by the impact they could or will have on their children. We move to different cities so they can go to better schools. We change our budgets so they can go to summer camp. We alter our work hours so they can attend the best extracurricular activities. Even pregnancy (and childbirth) are overwhelmingly outcome-oriented with relatively little attention or honest discussion paid to the mental, physical and emotional health of the mother. (Well, except for when she is watched carefully to see that she passes her glucose test and is within the weight guidelines her doctor specifies.) In this prism, having one child is confusing. As someone with a sibling, even I am unsure how to navigate it. (I used to say, “I don’t really want kids, but if I do, I want at least two. Maybe four.” Maybe four! That came out of the mouth of someone that didn’t know anything.) Anyway, I get why having one child is still somewhat uncommon and why people have strong feelings about it. Having multiple children implies companionship, camaraderie, success, completion. I think that’s what I must have thought back when I believed having four children might be a good idea for me.

You mentioned time, money and emotional fortitude as concerns for having another child. These are very important factors. Money especially. I have been told many times that “you always find the money.” And yes, perhaps. Maybe you do. But the thought of spending over $3,000 a month on daycare makes me ill. Staying home and choosing not to work? That’s not even on the table. Work is, for me, a non-negotiable. I will work. I will always work. 

So—emotional fortitude. That’s a concern too. I view the first year (or so) of Isobel’s life through as realistic a lens as I can, seeing as there is such a veil of nostalgia and contentment that has grown over the more difficult and frustrating memories. The further I get away from them, the less clear they are. And it is vital that I do not forget. It is vital to my emotional and mental health, to my marriage, and to my ability to parent Isobel the best I can. I have struggled with mental health issues—depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder—on and off for years. I have been medicated, though I am not currently. I freely admit that I am unsure whether I have the strength to do it again. If you have ever taken medication for depression, you will know that (most of the time) it does help. But, for me, it also numbs. It numbs everything, including the way I feel about the people I love. On medication, I am not sleeping 18 hours a day, but when I am hugged, I feel nothing. So I am scared to wake the sleeping giant. I am frightened of the unknown about myself. How far can I go? How far would I go? I’m not sure. But the risk is there and it is real. I am not alone in a vacuum with this, either. I have a daughter that depends on me. I have a child. And we are so happy right now. So very happy. She hugs me and says she loves me and I feel a warmth, a deep, painful love that I have never before experienced. It is a beautiful thing that I have to cherish and keep safe. And so, you see why I must think about these things. 

But I still don’t know the answer. I don’t know the final answer, anyway. I think I probably know, but I am young and there are unknowns. 

For now, as we walk to the park as a family, the three of us, I feel that we may be complete. My daughter! She is so independent, so feisty, so funny. When I look at her, I do not see the hazy outline of another standing beside her. I can’t fathom it. It doesn’t make sense. It may not ever make sense. For now, I see only her. Friends who were pregnant around the same time as me are having second children. I think, “How nice,” but I know that I do not yearn or desire or need that yet. 

Isobel is so many wonderful, frustrating, indescribably beautiful things to me, but mostly she is enough. I think about all the things I want to do for her and do with her. I can give her those. We can give her those. That is enough for now. 

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Hello there dear sister….
I would like to ask you a favor. I have a lot of clothes in my closet, but I always feel like I’m missing the staples. The basics. I feel like I need a nice base to choose from and I don’t have it. Would you make a post (or several) about all the basics I need for a well-rounded closet for me to start shopping for? As many as you can think of. You know my closet. You know what I need! Help all of us lacking our wardrobe staples!!!

My sister sent me this message in my Ask box and that rat has been bugging me to answer it, so here you go, Jera!

I decided to list out some basics that every woman should have in her closet or on her shopping list. If you owned nothing but what’s on this list, you’d have great wardrobe options every day for quite a long time. Keep in mind that these are basics and this should not be taken as an exhaustive list. Rather, it’s what my perception of classic, ideal basics should be. I believe that with these items as a base, you can mix in trendier items over time and customize this to your ideal wardrobe for work AND for play.

For those of you who are in college or don’t want to start thinking about work-appropriate clothes yet, let me say that there’s never a bad time to start accumulating great wardrobe basics and you’ll be relieved to have a few items at the ready when your first “real” job or internship comes along.

Feel free to reblog this and bold the items you have!

  • Layering pieces (tanks, v-neck tees, long-sleeve crew neck tees)
  • Camisoles (black, nude, white)
  • Slip (skirt and full-body)
  • Leggings (ankle-length)
  • Cashmere sweater
  • Cableknit sweater or cardigan
  • Cardigans (one neutral, one bright)
  • Two pairs of your favorite denim style (straight, skinny, etc.)
  • One trendy pair (flare, wide-leg, trouser, jeggings)
  • Khakis or khaki-colored trousers
  • Black trousers
  • Gray trousers
  • Turtleneck (one thinner, one more substantial - both in black)
  • White button-down (one structured to tuck in, one slouchier for weekends)
  • Striped long-sleeved shirt
  • Print top/blouse
  • Blazers (one black, one gray or brown)
  • Skirt or pants suit
  • Shorter neutral skirt 
  • Shorter print skirt
  • Longer skirt in wool (fall/winter)
  • Longer skirt in cotton (spring/summer)
  • Sexy LBD
  • Conservative LBD
  • Print dress in work-appropriate style
  • Casual sundress
  • Cocktail/party dress
  • T-shirt dress 
  • Maxi dress
  • Shift dresses (one black, one in a lighter color and linen)
  • Statement jacket/coat
  • Leather or faux-leather jacket (in black)
  • Khaki trenchcoat
  • Warm puffer coat (in black)
  • Puffer vest
  • Wool coat (in camel)
  • Peacoat (solid color)
  • Hooded sweatshirt
  • Athletic/exercise leggings or pants
  • Athletic/exercise top
  • Bikini swimsuit
  • One-piece swimsuit
  • Swimsuit cover-up
  • Sandals (flat and wedge/platform)
  • Classic pumps (black and gray)
  • Flat boots (black and brown)
  • Heeled boots (black)
  • Snow boots
  • Casual shoes (i.e. Converse)
  • Athletic shoes 
  • Rubber flip-flops
  • Ballet flats in black
  • Flats in bold color and/or print (red, leopard, etc.)
  • Wedges (brown)
  • Diamond or faux diamond stud earrings
  • Pearl or faux pearl stud earrings
  • Cocktail ring(s)
  • Costume jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bangles)
  • Gold or silver watch
  • Trendy or bold color watch
  • Structured handbag (i.e. satchel)
  • Slouchy handbag (i.e. hobo)
  • All-purpose tote (i.e. L.L.Bean)
  • Cotton pajamas with separate top and bottom
  • Satin chemise
  • Cotton chemise
  • Knee-length robe (or longer) 
Reading

I got this in an email:

As a married working mom with a young child, when do you find the time to read?

I’m a married SAHM with a 6 month old and almost 3 yr old. Once we put the children to bed it’s mommy/daddy time but I miss reading a good book!

For me, it’s not about how long I read or how many pages I get through. It’s a routine for me. Reading is the way I gauge how much I’m feeling like myself. It’s the way I wind down. It’s my silence and my comfort after hours of standing, moving, cooking, cleaning, working, talking, typing. 

It’s a rare night that I’m too tired to read even a few pages before turning off the light and falling asleep. Reading helps my anxiety. I have a hard time turning off my brain at night. (Did I send that work email? Am I imagining it? Crap, I need to do Iz’s laundry. Speaking of Iz, her lunch! I haven’t gotten groceries in…how long has it been? What am I going to pack for her? Do we even have bread? Brandon—he can go to the store in the morning. Or maybe I should go after the gym. DID I SET MY ALARM) Reading helps this. (Sometimes it doesn’t—sometimes it keeps me awake but staying up late to finish a book is the best kind of insomnia.) I will catch a few minutes of reading during other times too. I love reading in the morning with my coffee. I grab a few minutes here and there during the week while I’m eating my lunch. Occasionally I’ll lay in Isobel’s room on the floor with my Kindle while she “reads” her books or snuggles beside me or plays with her toys. She’s started to take a book to bed with her now. I want to believe it’s because she has already discovered something really important: There is no comfort like a book close at hand. 

The motivation to read has a lot to do with the books that we choose for ourselves. I used to force myself to finish books I didn’t like because it seemed like the right thing to do. I rarely do that now. A good book helps you find the time required to read it. Don’t read something you’re tepid about just because a lot of other people seem to love it. Read something in a genre that YOU love. Romance, mystery, nonfiction, self-help. Everyone has a guilty pleasure genre that they always come back to time and time again. (I love true crime.) Read the books you know you’ll love first. If you find yourself glancing over at it through the day or thinking about the book and wishing you had a quiet moment to yourself to read it, you’ve chosen the right book. 

Reading is also about taking care of myself. It’s one of a handful of truly relaxing activities for me. Sometimes I tell Brandon I just need 20 or 30 minutes to myself to recharge and become a decent person again. 99% of the time this means I retreat to our room and read. 

One of my biggest fears is losing the motivation to pursue my hobbies as I get older. A hobby seems like a childish word, but that’s the point. Children pursue things because they are just fun. Kids lose themselves in their hobbies. It is full-immersion joy. As more and more responsibilities take hold, I fight to keep hold of the bits of what I find truly fun to do.  My child is not my hobby. Neither is my husband. They are people and I love them, but they are not hobbies. Reading is, though. It has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I stole flashlights to read underneath the quilt. How many miles and miles of forest flew by my parents’ car window while I was in the backseat, legs splayed out past my sister’s, with my nose deep into a book?

It’s true—my reading time could be better spent elsewhere. The dishes, maybe. Or an extra hour of work. But I need to read and the dishes can wait. 

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Anonymous asked:

hello, i was wondering if you could help me, im a 14 year old girl bought some size 6 chinos from topshop, but i don’t know what to wear with them…Im really into vintage stuff, and want it to be really on trend, don’t have a lot of money to spend and cant find a good top to go with them, I love it for you to help me :) thanks xx love your blog btw xx
here is the link: http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=2248203&langId=-1&sort_field=Relevance&categoryId=208528&parent_categoryId=203984&pageSize=20&refinements=category~[209761|208528]&noOfRefinements=1 

Oh, pleated trousers! Just when you think you can finally escape them, they’re everywhere once again. Pleated trousers are a super tricky beast to tame. They tend to make hips look wider, legs look wider—everything looks wider, basically—not something most women are chomping at the bit to look like voluntarily.

The most flattering way to wear pleated trousers is to combine two important things: a tailored, well-fitting oxford (that’s long enough to tuck in) and shoes with some kind of heel, whether they be pumps, platform sandals, wedges, etc. Adding a few inches of height on your feet helps to negate the potentially squatty-looking effects of the trousers.

I’d recommend getting the above oxford from American Eagle, as I’m sure you live close enough to a store to pick one up in person so you can try several on to find the best fit. I also love the length on these American Eagle oxfords. Perfect untucked or tucked in!

1. Forever 21 Hoop Earrings, $3.80

2. ModCloth Snake Ring, $13

3. American Eagle Boyfriend Oxford, $39.50

4. TopShop Trousers, $40

5. ALDO “Merlette” Handbag, $45

6. H&M Platforms, $50

Building a work wardrobe from scratch

I got this below question in my Tumblr inbox:

Hi Jaclyn,
I really enjoy your blog and your dedication to answer all reader’s requests so thoroughly. I need some help. I have been a stay at home for the last 3 years and I have my first job interview tomorrow, to jump back into a career. What is an appropriate outfit for a corporate, non management type position? Thanks so much! — ammj1013

I apologize—I’m answering this question too late to help you with your interview. (I hope you got the job!) In case you did, I wanted to put together a few ideas to help you come up with some professional, affordable outfits when you start your new job.

Starting a work wardrobe from scratch means maximizing a few key pieces. You should be able to wear them with more than one outfit. That means neutrals will be your best friend and you can pep things up with accessories or one colorful piece.

PANTS:

SKIRTS:

DRESSES:

BLOUSES/TOPS:

CARDIGANS/JACKETS:

This is pretty overwhelming all at once, obviously, but just build things up one piece at a time. If you start with neutrals (gray, black, taupe, white), you’ll get a lot more outfits per piece. Throwing in a color that can be worn as a neutral—like navy, cobalt, wine—is a great way to keep things from getting too boring. 

Don’t forget to check Target or local stores like T.J.Maxx, Marshall’s or Nordstrom Rack. They often have some good quality work dresses or other separates, but you might have to hunt! 

Once again, good luck and I hope your interview went well. Congratulations on that first step! I know that must have felt kind of weird and I give you all the props in the world. :) 

ultreyamama said:

Hi Jaclyn! I am returning to work full time after 3 years off of traveling, freelancing and maternity leave. I'm sure you can imagine the state of my wardrobe. I need some great quality basics to get me back into the 9-5 groove. The office dress code allows for jeans and more casual wear. I am 5'11 and have always struggled finding blouses and bottoms that work for me. I also really struggle with building a versatile wardrobe with pieces that can be recombined effectively. Any pointers?

Love this question! 

My ultimate versatile wardrobe tip is to decide ahead of time whether you’d prefer:

  • Neutral clothes with occasional pops of color as accents or…
  • Clothes in various complimentary colors and use neutral accessories to tie them together. 

I follow the first method. I buy mostly neutral clothes and shy away from prints (unless they are stripes which don’t exactly count as a print) and then use prints/color very occasionally in items like scarves, coats, shoes, etc. 

If that sounds like it will work for you too, start keeping an eye out for minimal basics in colors like black (OBVIOUSLY), white, off-white, taupe, gray, camel and navy. The same thing goes for denim: blue denim, black denim, white denim. Look for trousers or ponte pants in black or gray. 

Let’s break this down a little more:

  • Denim: Jeans have come a long way and you don’t have to buy expensive jeans for them to look tailored and high quality. Since you’re tall, I’ll recommend some of my favorite spots. Don’t overlook AE just because you might have bought a hoodie there in high school or college or whenever. They have really fantastic denim at crazy-low prices. Their high-rise jeggings (like this, $35) are so comfortable and keep everything tucked up and in. They also come in long inseams and that is great. I’ve had great luck with Gap and Old Navy jeans of late. Don’t bother looking in the store—they often don’t carry the tall inseams and you’ll probably want them. The Gap 1969 line is especially good and these—a medium wash for $70—could be worn with almost anything. For black jeans, try Old Navy’s The Rockstar for $35. They’re a little stretchy and quite long if you buy them in the tall inseam. 
  • Trousers/Ponte Pants: Since you work in a casual office, I think you can put conservative work trousers on hold for a bit and just look for straight or skinny ponte pants. J.Crew’s tall Pixie pant ($98) is a fantastic investment piece for you. You’ll wear them all the time. If $98 gives you an ulcer, check out Target’s ponte options. I have a few and am so happy with them. This pair is just $28! Watch for sales from LOFT too. Lots of ponte options, like these tall ponte pants for $45. 
  • Blouses/Tops: I usually keep things pretty standard on the bottom (basic denim, black pants, whatever) but experiment with more trendy pieces on top. (By more trendy, I mean I wore peplum this year so take that with a grain of salt.) ZARA has some really fantastic blouses if you can look past all the nonsense crop tops. The prices are great too. This v-neck top ($60) is perfect for wearing with jeans or ponte pants and ballet flats or pumps. This oversize poplin blouse ($60) is long enough to be tucked in or worn as-is with a jacket or sweater. J.Crew Factory is a fantastic source for inexpensive, pretty tops and blouses too. This striped ponte peplum blouse ($44.50) would look great with a black or camel jacket. Their Charley sweaters are the Factory version of J.Crew Tippis. This neon one ($43) in pink would be a pretty color to spice up your denim or basic black pants/pencil skirt. Watch for J.Crew sales too. This matte crepe tee ($70) is the PERFECT basic short-sleeved work blouse. This silk sweatshirt top in ivory ($130) is something you could wear over and over again. It would dress up jeans or look chic with gray pants. Basically look for neutral colored tops in fabrics that you can dress up or down (silk, wool, poplin, crepe or viscose/another synthetic that mimics those fabrics). If you’re like me, it can be hard finding blouses with sleeves that are long enough (J.Crew is a chronic offender) so buy tall versions if you can, or simply get tops that have 3/4th length sleeves or sleeves that can be rolled. 
  • Dresses/Skirts: To be honest, if your office is casual, you probably won’t be wearing pencil skirts very often so maybe get one or two (black and gray or black and a light-colored linen blend) just in case. Dresses are a better option and they’re easier for getting ready in the morning too. With skirts you have to figure out a top that will go with it and then make sure it tucks in properly (if it’s supposed to tuck in) and then you have to find shoes that work with the whole thing and maybe add a cardigan or a jacket so it looks finished and frankly, no. That’s too much work for me. The right dress is a complete outfit—just add shoes. Since you’re in a casual office, I assume you don’t want to wear too stuffy a dress so I’d look for jersey dresses in neutral colors. This gray one from Topshop ($58) is midi-length and could be worn with sandals for a more casual look or pumps if you want to dress up more. This midi-length black dress is just $50! You could style it a million ways: with a moto jacket, with a scarf, with wedges in the summer, with ankle boots. Tons of ways to wear it. This crepe shift dress from Wayf is just $58—so cute. A shirt dress is another great idea for you. It’s right between casual and dressy. Boden’s shirtdress ($128) is so pretty. I like their ponte dress too ($128). 

Once you have a few of these key items, you can mix and match them really easily. A few colorful scarves—maybe cobalt, yellow, coral?—will look amazing set off against a neutral outfit. Because the clothes are so versatile, you can almost wear any shoe you want in any color you feel like. Flats, wedges, pumps, ankle boots—they can be worn interchangeably with almost everything I’ve listed here. The best thing about the items above are that they’re perfect for cross-season dressing. Add tights or leggings/boots for winter with the dresses. Throw a cardigan over the striped peplum tank in the fall. Wear jeans with flats or sandals during the summer and with tall boots or ankle boots in the winter. Simple clothes = less time to get ready and less time adjusting to seasonal wardrobe changes. Another great thing is that you can repeat items more often and no one is the wiser. You can’t wear a loud, obvious printed blouse to the office 3 times in one week (well, you could, but you know what I mean), but you could absolutely wear a basic jersey shift dress 3 out of 5 days. Wear it one day with a jacket and ankle boots. Wear it another day with a belt, a long necklace and pumps. Wear it another day with a scarf and wedges. 

I’d suggest going in your closet and taking a look at what you know does not work for you and getting rid of it so that you can make a list and fill in the gaps with things that can be worn with multiple other items. It’s worth spending a bit more money on minimal items that you’ll wear over and over again, but you don’t HAVE to spend tons of money to find things that are flattering and good quality. Just be willing to do lots of returns! (Especially if you’re shopping online.) 

Also check out these other similar posts I’ve done:

I hope this helps. :) Have fun shopping! 

I was just answering a question about the best way to stalk sales and I think either hit reply privately or I hit publish and Tumblr ate it. Anyway, here you go!

I usually keep track of sales using my PopSugar/Shopstyle account. Once you’ve made an account, you can search for any item and put a sale alert on that particular item or the entire store/brand. Useful—but dangerous.

Another option is the blog Penny Pincher Fashion. She updates her sale alerts page daily with major store coupon codes, sales, mark-downs, etc. Also dangerous! For more coupon codes/deals, I think RetailMeNot is one of the more reliable sites.

Shop It To Me can send you emails when items that you specify in your size go on sale, but I tend to get a little overwhelmed by their emails.

Email subscriptions are a great way to get information on sales and coupon codes from retailers, but at one point, I was getting about 50 a day and that was way too many. I use Unroll.me to unsubscribe and organize them.

Online shopping is incredibly handy, but most of the time, you’ll find deeper markdowns on sale items in-store. For example, the Gap runs 25-40% off sales constantly online, but if you can find the same item in-store, it’s typically even lower than the online discounted price. It basically comes down to which you value more—the convenience of online shopping or the potentially steeper discounts you may find in the store. Make sure you take shipping costs into account too. Oh, and don’t forget to search racks other than the sale/clearance racks in stores. Sometimes the items are marked down but they haven’t been moved to the sale section yet. (Or there might not be room in that section!)

Every brick and mortar retailer has a different and unpredictable clearance schedule, but online sales tend to congregate at the same times. Weekends are a good window to check for coupon codes/mark-downs, but some retailers add additional discounts on Mon/Tues too. If you get an email from a retailer that they have new arrivals in stock, it’s likely that older items will have been marked down—even if they don’t advertise it.

Another tip—follow your favorite retailers on Twitter and Facebook. They often post exclusive deals, early sale codes and other discount information.

Anyone else have any sale-stalking tips to share?

Keeping Leggings Up:

I saw that kkludgy reblogged my post and added this:

I have this problem in general with leggings. So I’m buying too big? I feel like I get reaaaal close to the human sausage situation.

So, leggings are a whole new animal. AN ANIMAL THAT I LOVE. 

First of all, let’s talk about the proper way to put on leggings because it is VERY important. You put on leggings (especially activewear/technical fabric leggings) like you put on pantyhose. With the leggings in your hand, smoosh the length of one leg from waistband to foot hole. Then put your foot through and unroll the fabric as you pull it up toward your waist. Like so.  

Second, most people focus on the fit of leggings around the waistband. This is important, but equally important is the fit around your THIGHS. There needs to be adequate compression through the legs and especially through the thighs. That’s what will help hold your waistband up. 

Third, legging size is definitely a factor. If you have this problem with a lot of leggings, look for ones with high compression and a higher waistband. The lower the waistband, the more likely they are to start slipping. Zella’s Live-In leggings are a really good place to start. They’re $52. As for size, you don’t want them so tight that they cut into your skin at your waist. But, you do want them tight enough that it’s not incredibly easy getting them on. If you can jump into them, you need to size down. It should take a second to pull that fabric up and over your foot, leg and waist. 

Fourth, even if you don’t wear leggings to work out and you only wear them as a knock-about-town slug, buy activewear leggings. Cotton leggings from random stores are okay in a pinch, but if you want them to last through lots of wash/dry cycles without losing their shape, technical fabrics are the way to go. Zella is good, as I mentioned above. Fabletics leggings and crops are fantastic. (They tend to vanity size, so watch out for that.) 

Fifth, this is totally annoying, but watch the kind of underwear you wear with leggings. If your underwear is slippery or just a little loose or too cottony, it may start sagging or falling down—taking your leggings with it. I’ve found that my leggings stay put best when I wear these from Aerie ($12.50 each). 

HAPPY LEGGINGS DAY! 

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playinginthesunshine said:

Could you repost the doc you had created for toddler meals? The link had been broken.. It had lists for a protein, fruit, veggie, etc. Also what are your favorite items for toddlers at Trader Joe's? We finally got one in the neighborhood so I'm excited to see what they have for my 10 month old daughter as she expands her eating these next few months. Thanks!!

I guess all my Dropbox links stopped working at some point! Here is the post with updated download links. 

My favorite Trader Joe’s items for Isobel’s lunches are:

  • Any of the dry cereals (Gorilla Munch, etc.). These make good snacks for longer drives in the car.
  • Dried fruit/nuts. They are less expensive at Trader Joe’s than other stores, so I try to stock up. I often use dried fruit as a little dessert treat for Iz in her lunch box. 
  • The frozen quinoa and rice blends. These are AMAZING for toddler lunches. I’ll either serve as is, or add cheese or extra veggies or meat (shredded rotisserie chicken is quick/easy).
  • FALAFEL! The frozen falafels are outstanding. Iz likes to dip them in stuff, so I’ll heat up a few of these and give her tzatziki or hummus for dipping. The meatless meatballs are another similar option. I serve them with marinara sauce or ranch. 
  • Stock up on frozen veggies and veggie blends. I try to grab as many of these as I can because I can use them in so many things: soups, omelettes, her rice/quinoa mixes. Trader Joe’s frozen edamame with broccoli, tomato, feta, etc., is such a good lunch for Iz and me. I tend to just throw a bunch of these things together, season it and add a protein. 
  • I was raised vegetarian and some old habits die hard. Trader Joe’s sells some Morning Star products and I like to stock up every now and then when I get a random craving for fake meat. (I don’t even know.) Isobel likes the “bacon” strips. 
  • Sweet potato fries are fun to serve with Iz’s sandwiches. (Dips!) 
  • I always grab some of the individual unsweetened apple sauces too. These are good for throwing into her lunch box. 

I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff, but those are the ones that popped into my head. Anyone else have any favorites?

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bees-knees asked you:

Since you have an eclectic collection of brands and get your clothes, bags, accessories and shoes from a lot of different stores and websites, do you notice a difference in quality from stores like Target vs say a higher end store? I don’t have an argument either way. For example I have coats from JCrew that have lasted seasons with heavy wear but jeans from Old Navy cost less than ones from JCrew yet seem to have more longevity.

Here are the stores I shop most often:

  • Target
  • H&M
  • Forever21 
  • Nordstrom
  • Marshall’s/T.J.Maxx/ROSS
  • Old Navy
  • Thrift stores/consignment stores

I expect that this list is pretty obvious by now to the casual reader of my blog, and I’m sure that a lot of you shop at the same places too.

I get questions a lot that are similar to this one regarding quality (i.e., things fall apart, why spend less if things don’t hold up over time, etc.), and I actually tend to think that the quality of clothing from popular retail stores is fairly similar across the board.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but echoing what you said above, I can absolutely say that some of the “higher end” retail items I’ve bought over the years from J.Crew, Gap, Express and Banana Republic, etc., have fallen apart after several washes or become very worn with few wears, while I have dresses from H&M that I’ve worn heavily for 5+ years that look the same as the day I bought them.

I think that sometimes when I get other anonymous questions in my ask box about this topic that people expect me to get riled up defending my choice of purchases. Instead, here’s my opinion on this topic broken down into several different bullets:

  • If you don’t take care of your clothing when you wash it and if you don’t store it properly, don’t expect it to hold up well. If you treat a Forever21 blouse the same way you’d treat a $150 blouse, you’d be surprised how much longevity it will have.
  • There is no real difference in quality between the majority of “like” mass market retailers. If the price points are similar, you can expect the quality to be about the same. Therefore, H&M, Forever21, Topshop, Zara, Target, Old Navy, etc., will have similar quality items. This goes for shoes too: Bakers, Nine West and Aldo have similar quality products. J.Crew, Banana Republic, Gap, Express, Bebe, etc., have similar quality products. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the $300 coat from J.Crew will hold up any better over time than the $150 coat from Gap. They’re “like” stores with “like” products. The price difference you see on the hanger reflects marketing strategy, not quality. 
  • Even if you buy “designer” or brand-name items from a discount store like Marshall’s, they are often not the same items you would have seen on the shelves in Macy’s or Nordstrom. The majority of goods carried at discount stories are surplus or defective items, meaning the quality of that Michael Kors handbag you picked up at Marshall’s may not necessarily be the same quality of the one you bought for $300 at Nordstrom. 
  • Be a smart shopper. If you know you need something of incredibly high quality because you will be wearing it often (a black shift dress for work, for example), splurge for a wool version from a reputable department store or retailer…not H&M. If you want a leopard-print blouse, don’t waste your money buying the top of the line. Pick up one for less than $20 at Forever21 and wear it until it’s no longer trendy, at which point you can store it away guilt-free.
  • Know which areas mass market retailers “shine” in. In my experience, Gap and Old Navy have some great denim/pants options, but the quality of tops and sweaters falls short. Conversely, I’ve found H&M dresses to be fantastic buys, but their denim leaves much to be desired. (With the exception of H&M jeggings, which are good quality for the money.) A lot of this has to do with personal preference and variant sizing between stores. My suggestion is to try on several similar items between the most popular mass market stores and see which styles and sizes suit you best.
  • Never pay full price, unless it’s: 1) less than $100, 2) a classic that you know you need (a trenchcoat, for example). Don’t pay full price for that sequined sweater you’ve had your eye on, or that trendy pair of shoes. Wait for a sale or find a less expensive version to get you through the period that the item is trendy. Like I said, price point and wardrobe staples are the only reason to disregard this rule. Actually—I’ll add one more. Wardrobe emergencies are another reason to disregard it. If you have an important interview or meeting coming up and you absolutely need a pair of classic black pumps? That’s a situation where paying full price may be necessary and even encouraged.

Like I’ve mentioned a few times, this is my personal shopping philosophy and what works for me may not work for you. You may like buying clothing less often than I do, but really, really splurging when you do it. Or, maybe you’re loyal to one or two certain stores or brands and don’t like supplementing from different retailers. Whatever the case may be, my advice to you is to take care of your clothing (no matter how much it cost!) and treat everything as an important, valuable addition to your closet. If you don’t feel that way about it, donate it or swap it or whatever you prefer to do.

I hope this helps! The point is to have fun while shopping and, at the end of the day, know that it’s just clothes. Don’t take it too seriously! Any questions?

labelleindiff said:

So I've finally reached that age where it's time to throw away all the $1.95 nail polishes I bought with my lunch money during middle school and invest in some grown-up staples. Recommendations for a few shades that would be sophisticated without giving me PTSD flashbacks to stealing Grandma's lacquers? And maybe one or two for fun too because, you know, middle school inspired polish isn't all bad all the time. Thanks!

Here are my favorites: 

NEUTRALS (NUDES/LIGHT PINKS): 

GRAYS/DARKS:

BRIGHT REDS

  • Essie Geranium (about $5.50) - This is one of my all-time favorites, by the way. I’ve almost used two bottles in as many years which is about the highest compliment I can pay a nail polish. 
  • Essie Clam Bake (about $5) 

BRIGHT PINKS

I just ordered Essie’s new Cocktails & Coconuts and Find Me an Oasis shades too. I’ve been wearing more neutrals on my hands and dark colors (dark blue, green, gray) on my toes. 

nosmokewithoutpryor said:

Did you do this already? I forget. Tagging you in the 5 random things post I just did! (Here’s what being tagged means: “Tag, you’re it. The rules are: state five random facts about you and then go to 10 of your favorite blogs and tell them they are it.”) (Also, you don't have to if you don't want to. I almost didn't. Ha.)

Here’s the thing—I hate doing these because I have the HARDEST time coming up with exciting random facts. “I floss.” You’re welcome, Internet.

I’m going to think up a few good ones and then come back to this.

Okay, back.

Let’s see:

  1. I know I’ve said this before (either on here or Twitter), but the older I get, the weirder I am getting about textures and textiles. Velvet makes me crazy. I absolutely hate touching a towel unless my hands are wet. If my fingertip touches an unpainted fingernail on another finger, I physically cringe. I hate the way it feels and sounds to rub your hands together (like you might to do to keep warm by a fire). Coconut oil-based lip balms are starting to make me crazy. I don’t like touching physical book pages unless my hands are really moisturized. If I do and my hands are dry, I have to put hand lotion on immediately. The texture of toilet paper and microfiber cloth is the worst. Brandon loves flannel sheets in the winter, but I can’t do it. It’s so clingy and wrappy and oh god—the worst. On the crazyland scale of 1 to 10, this puts me squarely at an 11, right?
  2. I cannot wear jeans in our home. Cannot. I know I’m wearing them in my outfit pics that are taken at home, but this is either right as I’m about to walk out the door or right as I’ve come back in. I have a Slug Life drawer half a closet filled with leggings and Aerie pants and shirts and sweaters. The instant I come home and have a free second, I’m zipping upstairs to get the infernal cloth of doom off. I’ve always been like this (my sister and I call it “changing into comfies”), but it’s even worse now because the only thing I hate more than wearing actual clothes in my home is sitting on the floor trying to chase after Isobel wearing actual clothes. Brandon thinks this is the weirdest habit of all time, but my brain cannot comprehend how he can sit on the couch with me and watch a movie wearing EVERYTHING HE WORE TO WORK. I’ll keep asking, “Do you want to go put on some pajamas?” “Want some sweatpants?” “Do you want me to go grab you some comfies?” “FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAN, GET YOURSELF OUT OF THOSE JEANS WHAT ARE YOU DOING STOP IT STOP IT OH GOD WHY WHY”
  3. I hate taking baths. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I did like taking baths when I was pregnant because I felt weightless, so…duh. The problem is that I cannot seem to find an optimal temperature. I start it off really hot and then add some cooler water near the end so I can get in without sustaining third-degree burns, but while this feels great for about 60 seconds, I’m then sweating like a pig and I can barely concentrate to read or relax or whatever the hell you’re supposed to do in a bath because the sweat is gathering in my eyes and oh, IT STINGS IT STINGS. So then I try an alternate tactic: I don’t let the water get TOO hot and instead follow all the directions in all my magazines to take a “warm” or “lukewarm” bath. Have you ever taken a “warm” or “lukewarm” bath? It’s godawful. It goes from palatable to freezing cold in about five minutes, so at that point I usually try to drain some of the water so I can add really hot water to warm up my numb extremities. And then the cycle begins again. If you like taking baths, tell me your secrets. I’m bad at it.
  4. I will very occasionally tell Brandon I want to go to the movie theatre to see a movie but the real reason I want to go is so that I can eat a tub of popcorn the size of Rhode Island. Enjoy the movie Brandon! I’ll be over in the corner with crazy eyes and my face dripping in butter.
  5. Brandon and I have this awful history of creating the most random inside jokes that are HILARIOUS to us at first and then we ruin them. We continue making the initial HILARIOUS joke more and more elaborate and ridiculous until we hit a wall and then we stare at each other awkwardly. The other night we were creating fake infomercials for a giant heating pad. (“The Giant Heating Pad XL,” don’t ask) That conversation continued for—I’m not exaggerating—at least 20 minutes. “If you call now…” “We’ll throw in a second Giant Heating Pad XL for free!” “And just in case your pets get cold…” “But wait! We’ll include a car charger to keep you warm on the go.” This is my life.

Now watch out—I’m coming to tag you all! (Thanks for the fun Henna, xoxo.)

overflowing said:

Hi there! I know you have done a lot of baby-book-reading, so I was wondering what are some of your favorites? I am 28 weeks along and ready to start seeing what's out there! Thanks :)

YAY! 

I actually meant to do a baby hall of fame post about this but I got lazy. Oops. 

Here are my favorites! (Note that my endorsement of a book below is not necessarily an endorsement of everything in the book. Some were enjoyable and informative but I didn’t always put them into practice. This made for lots of diverse and interesting reading but it was also quite overwhelming to see all the varying opinions on birthing, raising and sleep training—or not sleep training—a baby. But I guess it’s better to have more information rather than less! Maybe.) 

GENERAL PARENTING/SLEEP TRAINING

  • Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth - This was the book we used when sleep training Isobel. It was extremely successful for us. With that being said, the book itself is a little confusing to read. (Especially on Kindle.) I recommend getting a hard copy of this. Even if you don’t plan on sleep training, it’s full of great information on baby sleep habits. 
  • Baby Bargains by Denise Fields - This isn’t a pleasure reading book per se, but it does help narrow down some of the overwhelming purchasing decisions (mattresses, high chairs, strollers and best of all—car seats). 
  • Healthy Child Healthy World by Christopher Gavigan - One of the most thorough discussions of the importance of creating eco-friendly, nontoxic environments for infants and kids. It’s not overwhelming or dry though—very engaging and informative. 
  • Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti - The most thought-provoking book I’ve read yet about what modern motherhood means. I wish I’d read it while I was still pregnant. It brings up a lot of things that would have been helpful to discuss more thoroughly before Isobel was born—the role of a partner and how marriage dynamics change, for example. 
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp - This was really helpful for us when Isobel was a newborn. The book is kind of tedious and repetitive  so if you want the same info without investing in the entire book, just google “The 5’s.” 
  • The Wonder Weeks by Frans X. Plooij - This book was scary accurate for us in terms of interpreting Isobel’s behavior as growth and developmental spurts. She’d be fine for a few weeks and then one day it would be like a child possessed—crying and screaming nonstop. I’d check my Wonder Weeks app and sure enough—she would be on the first day of her next Wonder Week phase. The app is great but the book is really essential because it’s far more thorough and offers a lot of anecdotal evidence of how behavior can change during the growth times. 
  • Nurtureshock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman - This book was so thought-provoking that I had to go back and re-read certain chapters because I wanted to try and absorb more of its contents. I rarely do that. 
  • Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf - It’s hard to find truly honest discussions of the hardest parts about parenting. I think this book is an excellent preparation for postpartum life because it’s a really unflinching look at some things that you may or may not experience yourself. 
  • Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding - More moderate and practical than the breastfeeding book I posted below. 

PREGNANCY

BOOKS I DID NOT CARE FOR BUT THAT YOU MAY LIKE SO TAKE THIS WITH A GRAIN OF SALT

  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding - I did not like this because of the title. It turned me entirely off the rest of the book. Do they mean to imply that women who do not breastfeed are less…feminine? Because that’s stupid. 
  • Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg - Whatever secrets she had to impart were 100% lost on me. All I got out of this was SCHEDULE GOOD ACRONYMS GOOD. 
  • The Sleepeasy Solution by Jennifer Waldburger - :/ No worky. 
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley - We used this to ease into Weissbluth. (I won’t do that again.) I was led to believe there would be a no-cry sleep solution in store for us but we were wrong. There was a lot of crying. And gnashing of teeth. And wailing. And guess what? Less crying when we moved to Weissbluth. A LOT less. 
  • The Girlfriends’ Guide to Pregnancy by Vicki Iovine - In an attempt to strike a “girlfriendy” tone, Iovine writes every worst-case scenario. YOU WILL BLEED FOREVER SO MUCH PAIN AWAITS YOU JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU GAIN ALL THAT WEIGHT. I mean, it’s not so much that she’s wrong, but more like I came away horribly depressed. Let’s be real. There is a lot of shit about pregnancy that sucks. But most of the time (especially that middle time between nausea at the sight of coffee and fat ankles) it’s wonderful to nap with zero guilt and not suck in your stomach when you wear tight clothes. This lady makes pregnancy seem horrible but we’re GIRLFRIENDS WINK WINK SO WE CAN DISCUSS IT WINK WINK. -___-

Have fun reading and I hope you enjoy! xo 

appropriation said:

What's your favorite go to for ballet flats that won't break the bank, but are durable and comfortable enough to walk all over the city?

Yosi Samra flats! 

They’re less than $100, foldable and so comfortable. I wore them during the latter part of my pregnancy (once my feet swelled and I couldn’t wear normal shoes) because they’re soft and stretchy. I still wear them all the time—errands, anywhere we’ll be walking a lot, etc. No blisters or discomfort…ever. 

Here are three options:

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Yosi Samra Printed Croco Flats, $70 from Shopbop

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Yosi Samra Classic Flats, $66 from Piperlime

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Yosi Samra Cap Toe Flats, $70 from Shopbop

Here is how they look on:

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I also love the leopard, tweed cap toe and black and white versions. 

bestgoddamndancer said:

Closet advice please. I work with college students and on campaigns a lot which translates into many many tshirts. Some are really cool looking. Some are ugly but from that one ridiculous primary I can't believe we pulled off. I have limited closet space and there are only so many printed tees a girl can repurpose as PJs. How should I manage them?

I have a bunch of shirts like this too and I don’t want to part with them but (as you said) they are so hard to manage. YET! SALVATION IS NEAR! I live and die by Linda Koopersmith’s folding techniques. You can fit an obscene amount of clothes (tees especially) in a drawer using her method. The last time I did this in a drawer, I fit over 50 tees in one regular-sized dresser drawer. It can get tricky if you have lots of stuff in the same color and wear them often (because it’s hard to tell one white tee from the next), but if you just need to store them and pull them out occasionally? Perfect. 

New Year's LBDs Under $50

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kristenluree asked you:

Cute and trendy lilttle black dresses for New Years that don’t break the bank?? Any suggestions?

Here’s several I found!

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Left: Topshop Jersey 3/4 Sleeve Skater Dress, $50

Right: ASOS Skater Dress, $45.45

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Left: ASOS Mini Dress, $45.45

Right: Sparkle & Fade Knit Bow-Back Dress, $49

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Left: Bobi Supreme Jersey Ruffle One-Shoulder Dress, $48

Right: Love21 Belted Cutout Dress, $24.80

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Left: Forever21 Leatherette Skirt Dress, $22.80

Right: Forever21 Embellished Shoulders Dress, $22.80

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Left: American Apparel Dress, $40

Right: BB Dakota “Faylinn” Lace Up Dress, $49

Which styles do you like?

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Anonymous asked:

Hey Jackie,
I bought a skirt from target similar to the skirt in this link. The one I own, however, is a little flouncier. I’m 4’10” and I don’t know how to style this skirt without looking 12. Could you show me some outfits that will make me look my age? Thanks! Heyni

http://www.forever21.com/product.asp?catalog_name=FOREVER21&category_name=btms&product_id=2076753204&Page=28&pgcount=25

This is a tricky problem and one that a lot of shorter women have problems with. The irony is that often a shorter woman will overcompensate with a really girly, flouncy skirt like this by wearing 5” heels. With this kind of skirt, I’d actually recommend going for a sleeker, more professional looking shoe. It will look more chic and polished—things that 12-year-old girls are not! :)

1. ASOS Silver Bracelet Watch, $62

2. [Do a sleek ponytail with this outfit for an even more professional look.]

3. Love 21 Silk Georgette Blouse, $24.80

4. Forever 21 Tiered Grosgrain Skirt, $19.80

5. Pins and Needles Blazer, $79

6. Nine West “Garcen” Pumps, about $58

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