WHAT WE WORE: A Mom’s Style Evolution

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

There were quite a few years in my life where I took great joy in carefully planning out my wardrobe to be as perfectly creative and cute as possible. Lots of thought went into each outfit, as I was always trying to add some element of interest to any outfit that seemed too simple. Then I became pregnant. And I thought, gee, I’m not going to be one of those moms who sacrifices her style just because she has a child. But when I gave birth, started breastfeeding, and became really frustrated with my weight, it wasn’t as easy as I thought.

Becoming a mom sort of threw me into a style evolution that made for some awkward times, sartorially speaking. For a while, I tried to wear the same kinds of clothes I would wear before pregnancy, but they just never felt right. Not completely because of my new body, but also because I was a new person. I needed to feed a tiny person with my breasts. I needed to bend over without mooning the world, and  I needed to have complete mobility of my arms without stressing (or straight-up ripping) the seams of my clothes. Fitted vintage dresses just weren’t cutting it any more, but I stubbornly refused to change my ways. My “mommy style” got to the point where I would wear sweats at home, and then get all gussied up every time I left the house, inevitably making myself very uncomfortable and not unlike I was wearing a costume instead of an outfit. I just felt awkward most of the time, which was strange because I had always felt confident in my style before motherhood.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

It’s taken me about two years to get to the point where I’ve realized that not only has my lifestyle evolved, but my style has evolved too. I still love vintage styles, but my love manifests itself in looser shapes, comfortable materials, and simple outfits. The easier it is for me to get dressed each day, the better. I find myself gravitating towards more classic styles with modern accents, but usually a hint of the 1960s mixed in somewhere. I wear a lot of the same clothes every week, which doesn’t make for exciting fashion blogging, but let’s be real— that’s my life! And I’m proud that I’ve gotten better about simplifying my wardrobe and my spending habits.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

So no, my style didn’t have to change just because I became a mother, but it did— and that’s okay! I still care about the clothes I wear, but I’m also more frequently found in jeans or simple Gap clothes than I never would’ve imagined would take over my wardrobe. I mean, two years ago most of the items in my wardrobe were at least 50 years old or plucked from a the scant racks of a cutesy boutique shop. Now they’re packed away in storage boxes, and I finally feel more like myself again— but not the self that you would’ve seen on my blog in the old days. Interested in where my personal style iss headed? You can check out all of my newest style inspiration here and my style wishlist here at Pinterest!

My wardrobe is just a small reflection of the changes I’ve been making in my life these days to move towards a more purposeful and pragmatic way of living that allows me to enjoy each day and each person in my life to the fullest. I’ll share more about other changes I’ve been making soon (hopefully)! As you can see, blogging less frequently is one of those changes, but as always, you can see my more frequent posts at A Beautiful Mess in the meantime.  Thank you for stopping by and checking in on me!  I do miss you all and enjoy keeping up with everyone on Twitter and Instagram.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

O U T F I T   D E T A I L S :

dress: Toast / shoes: Zappos / jacket: Marshalls / necklace: thrifted / tights: Hue

GIVEAWAY: Country Living Fair Tickets- Columbus, Ohio

Country Living Fair, Columbus

The Country Living Fair is coming to Ohio!

Every September, the Country Living Fair comes to Ohio, bringing  the pages of the beloved magazine to life with handmade and vintage vendors sprawled along the charming grounds of the historic Ohio Village. Each year I hope to finally have a chance to attend, but usually am disappointed to find I have booked a wedding to photograph that weekend. This year, though? I not only get to attend, but I’m also honored to be a presenter on the main stage! On Friday at 4PM, I’ll be demonstrating how to make ceiling lights out of wire baskets, showing three ways to customize them in unique ways.

2 Early Bird Tickets to Giveaway!

In addition to presenting at the Country Living Fair in Columbus, I also have two early bird tickets to give away! That’s a value of $80. The event (taking place on Friday, September 12th through Sunday the 14th) is jam packed with handmade, vintage, and food vendors in the heart of Columbus— Ohio’s eclectic capitol city, and a favorite weekend destination of our family. There will also be live demonstrations and seminars all weekend! To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment below. The winner of two early bird tickets will be posted on Monday night, 9/8 at midnight EST. Please only enter the giveaway if you know you are able to attend the event. For more fair information, click here.

Update to Announce Winner:

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 11.35.19 PM

Danielle, congratulations! Your comment was selected as the winner for two early bird tickets to the Country Living Fair this weekend. I’ll be e-mailing you for details. If Danielle is unable to attend, I’ll select another winner. Thanks for entering, and I hope to meet some of you this weekend!

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

country-living-fair-columbus-displays

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Country Living Fair, Columbus

Images above are from past Country Living Fairs in Columbus.
Click to visit the original source: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Our Kitchen Renovation Progress

Kitchen renovation- Making Nice in the Midwest

It was about halfway through our kitchen renovation that I started feeling incredibly anxious. It might have been my irrational feeling that my kitchen would never ever be clean again, or maybe the real struggle of keeping a toddler from constantly climbing one of the two ladders that were always standing about. After I forced myself to let go of the pressure (and sent Lucy to my parents for the night), I decided to just plow forward, nose to the grindstone, and bust out as much work as possible so we could get back to normal.

Kitchen renovation- Making Nice in the Midwest

Two 4AM bedtimes later, I went from a near breakdown in a cluttered house and ripped up kitchen with no counters (see image above) to exhaustedly sipping fresh coffee in an almost finished kitchen! (See last image for our current progress.) We still have a few things left to do, like install the ceiling ventilation to replace the hood vent, change out the overhead light, mount the under-shelf lights, and a little bit more accessorizing. But we’re almost there, and I’m so excited to share my post recent progress today at A Beautiful Mess.

Check out all of my kitchen renovation posts below:

Kitchen renovation- Making Nice in the Midwest

My Favorite Script & Handwritten Typefaces

favorite free script typefaces

Hunting down the perfect typeface for a project can take some time, especially when it’s for a personal project. I hate designing for myself, but often do it out of necessity, like when I revamped my blog design last week. Hand drawing type is definitely not my strong point, so I usually end up looking for a free or not super expensive typeface that fits the bill. Here are a few of my favorite free typefaces I’ve used in the past year, including one $29 font you can see in my new blog logo, Filmotype Horizon.

Click the links for each typeface below. Enjoy!

Images are from my recent abstract painting. Check out the process here.

diy abstract art

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