It’s the last blog post for the next five weeks so I made it a meaty one! I figured I’d share thoughts and updates addressing each section of my blog from clothing and homeschool to food and fitness. Grab a cup of tea-it’s a big one.
In My Closet: I’m going to continue the process of purging my closet this summer (keep your eyes peeled for my Instagram closet sale) and I’m really dedicating time next month to assessing what my wardrobe needs are at this phase. I’m not nursing, not pregnant, not burping babies or holding little toddlers. It’s the freest I’ve been in my wardrobe in a long time and while my style is mostly the same, I find a lot of clothes I may only wear once every year or two staring back at me. In efforts to be more responsible and practical, I narrowed down my top 10 pieces in my wardrobe right now. These are items I wear every single month (most multiple times a week,) the ones I reach for when I want to be comfortable and look put together, they’re just the most me. Here’s the list:
Mother Hustler jeans ($248):who would I be if I didn’t put these first on the list? These in white have been my best purchase in a long time. I’m just so happy with them and blown away by their versatility. (read more thoughts here and here)
Short Sleeve Madewell Button-up ($68): This is a no brainer. I tie the front, I tuck the front into shorts or jeans, I wear this as a cover up, with sneakers and a baseball hat, with heels and a red lip–It’s just the very best.
Doen Dresses: I just can’t get enough. I discovered this brand last fall and have collected a few blouses and four dresses since. These dresses are always the only thing on my Christmas and Birthday list. They are pricey enough to completely disregard but I noticed last summer that I’d rotated Doen dresses into my outfits every single week. The cost per wear beats some of my Gap or Target dresses by a mile.
Treasure & Bond Slides ($59): If I were to rank the top 5 questions ever asked on social media, these sandals would make the list. I’m on year two of wearing them almost daily Spring-Fall and though the initial appeal was that they come in my size (I can’t afford to be picky when it comes to shoes!) these are comfortable, simple, inexpensive and so well made. I think every one of my sisters has picked these up in multiple colors this past year-once you try them you’ll just be hooked.
Align Leggings ($98): I need a soapbox to stand on for this. These leggings are worth every. single. penny. I know what you’re thinking- NINETY EIGHT DOLLARS FOR LEGGINGS?! But there is nothing I’ve ever owned that comes close to how comfortable these are-therefore, nothing comes close to being worn as often as I wear these. They 100% deserve the hype they receive. These were the only thing comfortable to wear throughout my entire pregnancy, I wore then nearly every day postpartum and here, years later, I still wear them a minimum of twice a week. I started trying to get Zella leggings because they were so much less expensive and the designs were so cute but the comfort level was nothing compared to my Aligns. Over the years I’ve somehow collected enough colors to go with everything in my wardrobe and recently gave all other leggings away (Aside from one pair of Alo’s that make the cut.) Skip Starbucks for a while and save your pennies- these are worth.it.
Madewell tees ($20): It’s summer. I want to be able to throw on a t-shirt that I don’t mind getting a little bit of sweat/toddler activity/watermelon juice on without it having to be my college volleyball tee. I love how put together I feel in a Madewell striped t-shirt but don’t underestimate the power of a black tee (with white shorts or knotted and paired with a skirt) or white tee (with crisp blue jeans and dainty gold jewelry) in the summer.
J.Crew One Piece ($110…but they have a sale at least weekly so don’t pay full price!): I’ve had this suit for 6 years now. I scooped it up for a trip to Hawaii with my family because I needed something that I wouldn’t get tan lines in. Who knew it’d become my favorite suit! It’s flattering and comfortable and just gets the job done. I always wear it strapless and this is another sister favorite (as in all 5 of us wear it) for sure.
Worlds Most Perfect Denim Jacket ($118): If you invest in one thing this summer-a denim jacket should make that list. I had a denim jacket for years that wasn’t flattering. It was frumpy and sad but I didn’t realize there was an alternative until this. A denim jacket is the perfect topper for every summer look and I’ll stand by this one forever.
New Balance or Adidas Sneakers: I used to strictly be a Nike girl and while I still am a big fan, I’ve been really drawn to these two lately. They’re extremely flattering, comfortable and the design is just plain cool.
J.Crew Smocked Top ($148) I shared in my stories a few weeks ago that I’ve never gotten stopped by strangers to ask about something I’m wearing more than when I wear this top. I’m wearing it in the opening photo to this post and it’s just stunning. I know I’ll wear it for years and years to come and so far have worn it with red flowy wide leg pants, skinny jeans and wide leg jeans for a different look each time. It’s my “special something” shirt for the season.
In My Arms: The kids are having such a fun summer already and I can tell they notice a subtle shift in the daily routine to add “ease” in everywhere. Oshiolema finished his Medical School/Vet Camp early this month and Keogena starts Disney Dance Camp this week. We decided on one camp for each of them this summer and I’m so glad we went that route-camp takes it out of ALL of us!
I’ve decided Friday are our Busy Toddler days and the Bubble Foam activity has been such a hit for our crew! Check out this post for more of our summer favorites.
On My Mind: Reading has been on my mind a lot lately. I asked in this post what you all recommend as your ultimate summer read and I was blown away by the feedback in comments and DMs! I had been torn between four books but curled up in the cozy chair at Barnes and Noble I decided to read the first page of all of them. The Nightingale was the clear winner in that moment and so many of you called it your favorite too. I’ll be reading this in my spare time but the genre I can never escape is ‘Homeschool.’ Right now I’m spending good chunks of time on the Bob Books and the binder pages (you can find them on this site) as well as Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.’ I’ll report back at the end of summer with an entire post dedicated to all things reading for littles. For now- Lema is 4.5 (exactly this month) and has a passion for books like I’ve never seen before. I’m not going in strictly following any plan, mostly just letting him explore the world of reading. It felt like the right time so we’re jumping in!
I’ve also been thinking a lot about artwork lately. I spent days painting a new collection and it’s sitting the same as when I left it months ago. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to fit constant content creation, motherhood, being a wife and homemaker and living day to day life in with the addition of creating, listing and selling artwork. I’m just being vulnerable and real here. Know it’s on my mind often and something I offer up to the Lord nearly every day.
On My Plate: This summer is a whole new ballgame when it comes to menu. The kids are going to start eating fish, I eat meat and it feels like our world has been flipped upside down! Again, I’ll touch more on this at the end of summer but I plan on filling our days with more fruits and vegetables than ever.
Food always makes me think of wellness so for a quick update: As of a week and a half ago I now take medication every morning an hour before breakfast. I haven’t felt much of a change yet in my symptoms but I know it’s coming and I’m thrilled! Taking medication hasn’t changed my diet at all and, in fact, I want to go all hands on deck to keep my immune system supported.
I’ve been doing PWR at Home on the BBG SWEAT app for 9 weeks now and it’s just been awesome. I’m supposed to be doing cardio 3x a week according to the program but I just do the 3x a week workout and find it to be a great place to start. I’m going to start it over again once the program ends next month and I’m committed to adding in more cardio if my energy allows. I feel stronger and more toned but most of all I’m just proud that I’ve stuck to a program for the first time in a very long time and am grateful to be growing in discipline.
In my Suitcase: We’re headed to our Lake house in Windsor for nearly the whole month of August. I can’t even believe we went a year and a half without going back to Canada. It’s the longest we’ve ever gone without traveling back home to O’s family and while we saw his parents three times since then and his sister twice, we haven’t seen our precious nieces and nephews in far too long. I’m so excited to spend that quality time with everyone and the kids, of course, are counting down the minutes.
I’ll still be active on Instagram and answering emails but the blog will be quiet for the next five weeks. I’ll see you back here in August, friends! I hope you explore old content you may have missed- you can do that by clicking the tabs that interest you most or typing in keywords you’re curious about.