Perhaps more than any other item in my house, this is the thing of which I am most proud. 

DRESSUPRACK

My daughter LOVES to play dress up. We have amassed a collection of frilly princess tutus that would put a drag queen to shame.  Hours on hours were spent looking for a cute way to store/display them- only to end with me frustrated (SO expensive! SO cheesy looking!) and frantically stuffing said tutus into a trunk upon hearing our afternoon playdate pull into the driveway and wanting to make a good first impressions (Look at our impeccably organized playroom! Impressed? Great. Just don’t open that trunk…)

One morning, I was aimlessly playing around on Pinterest (in an effort to cure my Candy Crush habit, I have substituted Pinterest searching as my “10 minutes til I need to take Alexa to school and I need some sort of stimulation” activity), when I came across THIS. A seemingly simple step-by-step guide to making my own clothing rack. I bee-lined right from drop-off to Home Depot, bought supplies and restocked my gold spray paint stash. An hour later, I had created what, in my not-so-humble opinion, is nothing short of a mom masterpiece.

DRESSUPRACK2

A little insider scoop from my personal experience getting all crafty: (here is the full step-by step that I used as reference)

-Home Depot will cut the 1″ PVC pipe for you- it takes like 5 minutes, so bring the list of the sizes you need so you can hand it off to them, and while they cut, you can seek out the other items you need. A cheat sheet: Two 36″ lengths, two 30″ lengths, four 12″ lengths, two 6″ lengths.

-Double check to make sure that your joints (Six 90-degree elbow joints, four tee connectors) have openings designed for 1″ PVC pipe, and double check that you picked up the ones you intended. I am not a seasoned Home Depot goer, so I blindly trusted that the items in the bins were in fact the items written on the tags below the bins. As the nice lady who rang up my sale pointed out, double-checking the serial numbers on the sides is crucial- doing so saved me a trip or ten back to the store for replacements. 

-Take the time and lay the structure out on the ground and test all the joints to make sure they fit before starting in with the PVC glue. They will fit, and this step will feel unnecessary, but if you get frazzled mid-assembly (glue starts to spill, the phone rings, etc.), having it already laid out will prevent careless mistakes. 

-Before spray painting, use a primer. This will help the spray paint hold better, and with the hangers constantly being pulled at by impatient little princess-in-waiting hands, you want that extra level of insurance that the finish will remain shiny and fabulous.

While waiting for the gilted gorgeousness to dry, I ran out and picked  up pink hangers and a pink shaggy rug.

Now we have a costume corner in the playroom- and I have major bragging rights, since THE ENTIRE THING WAS CREATED FOR WELL UNDER $100! (**brushes pretend dirt off her shoulder…**)

Bow and Drape Custom Clothing

Every so often, I come across something that is so unique and awesome, I can’t stop thinking about it/talking about it/buying it.  It’s only fair to share, right?

Exhibit A: Bow & Drape.

This site allows you to create highly customized pieces using very amazing drag & drop technology on their site- you are literally designing the exact sweatshirt/t-shirt/beanie/etc of your dreams right on your computer, seeing it develop before your eyes, editing as you go. This makes it so much fun to get creative and experiment- there are tons of options, I could (and have) spent hours on there playing around with different lettering (gold sequins or vintage-inspired block letters?), embellishments (bows, rhinestones, gems, oh my!), appliqués (because you can’t tell me the idea of a sequin flamingo on your forehead this winter isn’t something you are sort of curious to try) and more. 

I can vouch for the high quality of the sweatshirts- great fit, super soft, everything you would want, really. The $48 price tag truly is a steal- I live in mine and it shows no signs of wear or tear. 

Get on the site and get creative. Warning, it is highly addictive.

Oh- and if you are like me and totally  obsessed with sweatshirts in general at the moment, I compiled a little list below of seven other current favorites that you should really do yourself a favor and buy.

JennPregnant6Months

I am in a weird place.

It sort of feels like a calm before the storm- and given my love of the cozy days that come along with a dark and foreboding cloud cover, I should totally be enjoying the peace and quiet. I know in 3 months, when Baby #2 arrives, my world is going to be turned upside down. I will look back at days like today- when I spend the majority of my waking minutes feeling so guilty about not working enough/writing enough/cleaning enough/organizing enough/cooking enough that before I know it the day is over and all I have to show for it is a grumpy mood- and want to retroactively punch myself in the face.

I think I expected these kinds of “what is my life going to look like” self-doubts and emotions the first time around.  I let myself chill out a bit because I knew  that there was NO WAY I could be in any way prepared for the changes that were ahead as we went from a carefree couple to, gulp, parents so may as well enjoy lazy days in bed while they were still an option.

I guess I assumed having a second would not throw me for quite as much of a loop. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have always expected that it was going to be insanity- if I thought the two kid thing would be easy, I wouldn’t have waited as long as I did to actually give it a go.  And for exactly that reason, I thought I would better be able to enjoy the ride to the finish line. Allowing myself to temporarily slow down the pace, both professionally and personally.

The awareness of how severe the storm is going to be should allow me a higher comfort level with the chill time before it hits, right? 

But so far, it hasn’t. Living in limbo is making me a head case. And as such, I have come to the realization that perhaps this is the way I am wired, and I may never be able to change it. I may never be okay with watching TV in the middle of the day (I still close the blinds when I sneak a mid-day episode of Sons of Anarchy, which is ridiculous for many reasons, not the least of which is that nobody can see me and, heck, I am a grown up and if I want to watch biker dudes traffic guns for 52 minutes, that is my prerogative!), or taking a spontaneous (and most likely unnecessary) trip to HomeGoods just because.  Partaking in these kind of activities- while our sitter takes care of my daughter(s)- may simply cause me so much guilt that I can’t enjoy them, and therefor it isn’t worth doing them in the first place.  So I may as well continue working my butt off while simultaneously organizing every nook and cranny of our home and FINALLY getting around to making that photo album from out trip to Disney last May. 

I wish I could re-wire my mind, at least for the next six months. I want to savor the silence, the free time, the afternoon naps. I really do. I know how fortunate I am to have them.  But knowing how fortunate you are and enjoying how fortunate you are are two very different and, in my case at the moment, mutually exclusive things. 

So there you have it- what is on my mind lately, from the minute I wake up until pretty much the minute I fall asleep at night.  And now it is saved for all posterity so, in a few months when I am pulling my hair out trying to get a baby on a schedule while keeping Alexa feeling happy, loved and entertained, I can come back to the blog, read this, and, as previously stated, retroactively punch myself in the face. 

I got this amazing pair from H&M Maternity, and have been living in them. They work with every single thing that traditional denim works with, and add a slight hint of grit/edge to your look in the most effortless way possible.  

As I attempt to evolve my style away from the super girly and into something a bit more minimalist, grey jeans have proven invaluable. Especially since maternity fashion tends towards  ultra-feminine prints and shapes, being able to throw on these jeans, a black long-sleeved tee and an infinity scarf makes me feel like some semblance of myself still exists (buried underneath all the extra pounds…I’m still in there…somewhere!)

After sorting through hundreds of options, I compiled the fruits of my virtual shopping labor in the lookbook above- perfect pairs at every price.

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