WHAT WE WORE | ’90s Does the ’60s

mother daughter maternity style

For years I was the kind of person who had grown comfortable wearing the same types of clothes, though I had written a long letter to our school administrator protesting it, and had even acquired a petition full of signatures from most of the people in my high school. Yeah, I wore plaid-skirted uniforms all through school, and as much as I railed against it, looking back I can recognize the comfort in the routine of easily selecting an outfit each day, without ending up with a pile of rejects strewn across my barely made bed. As long as I kept up with laundry, mornings were a breeze.

These days, when it’s tempting to succumb to stretchy pants and tunics (working at home with a kid, man), I’ve actually found comfort in a sort of uniform I’ve grown used to— simple sixties’ style as presented to the world in the ’90s. Plain shift dresses, knit dress shirts with statement collars, basic mod dresses, all worn with tights if the weather demands it, and either classic boots, mary janes, or simple ballet flats. Once I figured out this was what I felt the best in, it was easy to pare down my closet to include only these basics. But more on the closet purge another day!

What style are you most drawn to in your personal wardrobe? I’ll admit, I’m kind of freaking out, because after narrowing down my closet to fewer pieces, and mostly sixties inspired ones, I’m feeling myself shift into the style of the early seventies. I blame Mad Men.

M A N D I :   dress: ASOS maternity (from three years ago) / coat: vintage / blouse: thrifted / necklace: vintage from Avenue Antiques in Canton / tights: ASOS maternity / boots: Franco Sarto

L U C Y :   dress: thrifted / jacket: gift from Target last year / tights: hand-me-down / shoes: thrifted / barrette: Target

mother daughter maternity style

mother daughter maternity style

mother daughter maternity style

mother daughter maternity style

mother daughter maternity style

mother daughter maternity style

Dear Social Media: It’s Not You, It’s Me.

making nice with social media

social media problems

I hear it on the radio. I hear it from my friends. I hear it in my own mind. Social media has caused me to feel inadequate. I want to have more, be more, and envy those who appear to have better lives than mine. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the problem wasn’t with social media. The problem was with me.

During lent last year, I decided to fast from what I considered to be a bigger problem in my life than doughnuts or red meat— I decided to fast from Pinterest. The purpose of my fasting was a spiritual one. I found myself, first thing in the morning, sitting down with a cup of coffee and scrolling through Pinterest— beginning my day with feelings of inadequacy. It was something I was doing as a fun, stress-free start to my day, but the daily habit had turned into a distraction from the enjoyment of the life I had, and definitely sucked me into a materialistic mentality. I thought if I completely cut it out of my life for 40 days I would be free to replace that time with reading and meditation, which I decided to be disciplined in doing, lest I replace my Pinterest habit with another equally pointless one.

It was something I was doing as a fun, stress-free start to my day, but the daily habit had turned into a distraction from the enjoyment of the life I had, and definitely sucked me into a materialistic mentality.

In addition to redeeming the time I lost on Pinterest, I had hoped that breaking from Pinterest for a time would help me with a problem I had noticed was stealing the joy from my life. I found myself constantly planning what new thing I would buy for our home or my wardrobe. My Pinterest boards were a reflection of what I wanted my home or body to be, which caused me to feel a bit shabby about the home and body I actually had.

So I fasted. I replaced my use of Pinterest with words of wisdom from the Bible and authors I respected. I spent time praying and considering how I could better engage in the lives of my friends, family, and community. When those 40 days were over, I felt refreshed and actually didn’t really have a desire to jump back in to my old Pinterest habits, though I had required a fresh perspective that showed me that my issues weren’t even about social media all along. My issues came from deep in my heart and weren’t solved by just choosing not to open a particular social media app.

social media problems

social media problems

It might seem difficult to take a step back from whatever social media outlet you enjoy, but really, stepping away is kind of the easy part, and actually won’t solve your deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. Maybe walking away from whatever social media outlet that you think negatively affects you the most is a great jumpstart to begin some healing in your heart, but long term, if you want to fix the real problem, you’ve got to look in the mirror.

It’s easy enough to blame social media for our issues. “Social media has caused us to have an unhealthy view of what is normal.” It’s a good conversation that we’re seeing more and more in the media. But in reality, we are the ones who decide what is expected of us. We set our own standards. We decide what we will work for and deem important in our lives. Don’t blame the big time blogger who always wears new clothes and perfect makeup, and don’t pin your problems on the stay at home mom who only shares pretty pictures of her seemingly care-free days. Look deep down and consider what is in your heart that causes you to respond with these feelings of inadequacy.

Once you’re able to take responsibility for these unwanted feelings, it’s easier to identify negative self talk that comes from within. Sure, this mental self-talk often begins when you’re looking at social media (or magazines, or whatever it is in your life), so perhaps it is a real trigger, but the important thing is to notice when that self-talk begins. As soon as you notice it happening, turn it around and replace those thoughts with healthy ones. Speak words of truth and encouragement over your self, because chances are there isn’t someone beside you who will do it for you.

social media problems

I am enough, do enough, and I have tremendous value. My home, cluttered or simple as it may be, is my haven and where my friends and family experience a togetherness. My children are treasures and infuse my days with laughter and excitement. My single life gives me tremendous opportunities for travel and experiencing the world. Whatever it is that you are feeling in those weak moments of inadequacy, they are most likely lies and should be replaced with truths. Truths can be much more elusive than lies, so you’ll need to look harder for them. Speak those truths over and over again, in your head, or preferably out loud. Talking to yourself out loud might feel weird, but it’s a really useful way to retrain your brain.

social media problems

You may find it exhausting to combat the feelings of inadequacy that come from within you when scrolling through social media, and if that’s the case, it’s probably a good idea to step away for a period of time. If you do step away, I encourage you to do so with a fasting mentality— where you replace that time with something positive in your life instead.

Do you feel inadequate about your home? Spend less time sulking at pictures of professionally styled homes and think about simple projects you can do in your own home to enjoy it more. Maybe it’s as easy as giving the place a good cleaning and purging things you don’t need or enjoy. Do you feel dissatisfied with your body? Maybe you’re ready to make a healthy change in your life to eat better food or to become more physically active. If you spend less time on social media, you’ll be more available to work through these goals— just make sure you’re doing it for you, and not in response to jealousy or self-hatred. What about feeling dissatisfied with your life or even your family? Take time to invest in relationships in your life that are suffering. Shift your feelings from selfish thoughts to instead consider things you can do to enrich the lives around you. Take time and save money to travel and explore more with your friends or family. Once you start replacing social media time with these positive changes, you’ll find that you are enjoying life more than you thought you could, and your thumbs probably won’t miss scrolling through posts on Facebook or Instagram.

social-media-10

When I returned to using Pinterest after lent last year, and when I more recently returned to using Instagram more frequently, I had to really be watchful of my heart. I didn’t want to fall back into a materialistic mentality, or a pattern of thought that considered the appearance of my life more than the actual quality of my life. I also had to be careful about how I viewed others on social media.

Yes, we all know we’re usually only shown only the best of the best on many social media outlets, but it’s easy to forget about that. Like I said, truth is more elusive than lies— especially on the internet. Instead of just observing the beautiful lives of those I follow on social media, I have made a concerted effort to engage with these women I admire. Engaging in their lives, considering their hearts, and taking part in their passion pursuits (whether it be their blog or businesses) allows me to be their ally and friend, rather than a competitor or envious observer.

social media problems

We all have our struggles, our shame, or our feelings of inadequacy. Even those who appear the most perfect of all! We need to remember that and decide to encourage each other through our participation in social media, using it as a tool for building community rather than a tool for materialistic dream building. That’s when you’ll notice a perspective change in your heart when you log on and see the lives of those around you.

The Dining Room in Spring

Bird Branches Table Centerpiece

Last week, a few days before Spring’s official arrival, the massive piles of Ohio snow melted completely and we were treated with a glimpse of sunshine and warmth. Lucy and I gratefully took a long walk around our neighborhood, spying huge piles of branches laying in neighborhood yards along the way. Some people had their trees trimmed recently, while others just hadn’t gotten around to picking up the collateral damage from the winter winds. (Uh, yeah… that would be our yard!) The surplus fallen branches in my neighborhood inspired me to finally try out a table centerpiece idea I’d been wanting to do for a while, and had seen so beautifully done before. But by the time I drove around the neighborhood with my car to rescue the fallen branches, an entire crew of big orange trucks were just finishing chipping every single one of them. Such efficiency has never come at a worse time! Why couldn’t the city apply such initiative when it comes to filling potholes, huh? Well, I was thankfully able find a few nicely shaped branches while taking a walk in the park, so I snatched them up right away and brought them home to be spray painted.

At first I regretted painting them white. Would the centerpiece look too wintery now? Should I paint them a color instead? Nah, that would just be too much for my taste. Now going back now. All the good branches were gone now, thanks to those industrious orange trucks. But after I loosely arranged the painted branches in this white ceramic pitcher and attached the birds, I thought the look was perfectly crisp and lovely. I’m not sure if leaving them unpainted would have maybe made it look too rustic? There’s a fine line between simple and rustic, and I like to err on the side of simple. I really love how it turned out!

Spring Dining Room Decor

So, there ya have it— After indulging in this dramatic telling of how our dining room’s new Spring centerpiece came to be, I thought I might as well share some shots of the whole room.

I haven’t historically done a lot of decorating for Easter, mainly because I’ve never been too into pastels and bunnies, and as perfectly topical as it might be, decorating with crucifixes just really isn’t my jam. But I think I’ll allow myself to start accumulating some cute Spring decorations because it turns out that seeing the decorations was absolutely thrilling for Lucy! Which, in turn, was absolutely thrilling for me. I had to glue some of the birds in place on the branches, because after Lucy was through with them (doing her “nice” touches, even), most of the birds were hanging upside-down on the branches, as if to say, “I give up!” Poor little things.

Milton Avery print

Bird Branches Table Centerpiece

Easter Bottle Brush Trees

Spring Dining Room Decor

vintage photobooth panel from Cedar Point in Ohio

Easter table decor

What kind of decorating do you do for Spring? Would you ever use these feathered birds to make Spring decorations in your home? One of my best friends is incredibly freaked out by them (she has a thing about birds, and these feathered foam bodies at too creepily realistic for her), but I love the cheery bright vibe they give our home. I’m thinking about doing a bird wreath too, because I’ll tell you a secret— I still have our Christmas wreath up on our door! Oops! I should probably go take care of that while I’m thinking about it…

Planning Lucy’s Big Girl Room

Vintage-Inspired Toddler Bedroom Ideasvintage toddler room inspiration

What’s the first thing I thought of when I found out I’m pregnant? I’m going to be totally vulnerable and tell you that among my first thoughts were possible color schemes for the new kiddo’s room. You know, the important stuff. The interior designer side of me stayed up late dreaming of cute color combinations and mentally space planning our spare room for a crib and baby furniture. But one morning I had a redeeming thought pop into my head: Why redecorate a room for a baby who could care less, when I have a toddler who would find the whole process as exciting as I do?

I scratched my plans to makeover our spare room for the new babe and decided to ask Lucy about what she would want for the room instead. And what did my little firecracker tell me? “BOOOOO!” What color do you want the walls to be? “Boooo!” What color do you want your bed to be? “Boooo!” What color does mommy like least out of all the other colors? Bluuuuuue! But I set out to find a fun and fresh color scheme that was Lucy approved and wouldn’t require too many new purchases. I prefer shopping for home furnishings and accessories in our storage shed in the backyard.

Well, as our little girl ran around yelling “Booo woom! Boo wooom!” this week, we got to work at clearing out the spare bedroom and painting it a beautiful shade of light blue. Now we’re just wrapping up the painting, and I’m getting excited to paint and instal moulding this week. But first I thought I’d stop and take inventory of the things I’ve collected to far for Miss Lucy’s new room.

blue pom pom trim 5 yards for $5.50 from Etsy
inexpensive white curtain pair $41.07 for a pair from Amazon
eyeball sconce white $29.00 from Urban Outfitters
valspar la fonda mirage blue Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage #5003-5B
rabbit bunny nightlight $14.99 from Target
puppy sheets $69.00 from Land of Nod
ball finial white curtain rod $14.99 from Amazon
8 $354.76 for 8×10 from Amazon

off white diamond grid shag rug

Lucy’s furniture was either found or given to us, but we’re still looking for a dresser. Her headboard is a beautiful royal blue ironwork piece that will add a nice feminine touch to her room, though I would’ve never chosen that color had it been up to me. Lucky for Lucy, we found it that way and I didn’t feel like undertaking a big stripping and refinishing job, so it sort of forced me to bring royal blue into the mix. Now I’m kind of loving it!

Lucy's Room Before

Lucy's Room Before

I’m planning on adding a picture rail moulding strip to the spot where the color changes on the wall. I’m hoping it will add a nice classic touch to the room, while helping a fickle girl like me keep from making nail holes in the walls as I change out the artwork from time to time. So far we’re loving the changes, but Lucy’s actually been the most excited. I’m just so glad we decided to give her the new room instead of the baby, because that gal sure is enjoying watching the transformation!

This week we’re heading out to my favorite inexpensive antique shops to look for an old dresser with lots of character. If all else fails, we’ll go for Ikea (cheap!), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can find something used. Wish me luck!

Newer Older