I have no idea how I ever shopped before Amazon. Amazon Prime basically saved Christmas day for this family!
Here are my five most recent Amazon purchases:
1. INSTANT POT // When I first started hearing rumblings of how awesome Instant Pots were I thought, "That's silly. I have a crock pot and a rice cooker, no need for a combined appliance." But then I read I could do wings in less than 30 minutes and a rack of ribs in 20 minutes, I had to have it. I use my slow cooker about twice a week, and I often forget to plug it in or turn it on. By the time I realize it, I have to cave and order a pizza. I thought an Instant Pot would be a better solution. An Instant Pot is an electronic pressure cooker that can also saute, be a slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and a few other things. It's freaking frightening to use at first, but after your first couple of recipes, you'll get the hang of it.
2. PALEO COOKING WITH YOUR INSTANT POT // Are you a cookbook person or an "I get recipes off the Internet person"? Although I love AllRecipes and we subscribe to eMeals, I do appreciate an informative cookbook when I'm getting into something new. I don't do a Paleo diet, but I eat a lot of protein and limit my sugar and carb intake (I do a modified Ketogenic diet), so Paleo resources are usually a good fit for me. I am loving this book so far, and plan to try their Texas chili recipe tonight. (Praying I don't cause an explosion).
3. SPOTBOT // We got an Amazon gift card from Chris' dad for Christmas, and I really wanted to buy ourselves something exciting, but twice since Christmas, Noodles has had an accident in our formal dining room (otherwise known as my laundry folding room). We used to have a Green Machine for cleaning up these kind of messes, but ours broke right before we left Texas. I was going to replace it until I discovered The Spotbot. You can use the hose or just sit it on top of the mess, and I think it's the best thing for cleaning up yucky dog stuff from white rugs. (I have no idea what possessed me to buy a white rug... for a dining room... while we have three messy kids... and a dog... I really need to have better people in my life advising me on rug choices). I love this thing. Let the record show that in the last 12 months I have purchased a Roomba, Shark steam mop, Shark wand, and now this Spotbot. I have a thing for floor cleaners, apparently. I can't stop, won't stop until I get my grubby hands on an iRobot Braava and a Dyson Eye. I may scrap this blog and just become a vacuum / mop review blog. Is that okay with y'all?
4. B.BANG 5 PACK OF SPORTS BRAS // Five sports bras for $36? Um, yes, please. Zip front sports bras are my jam because it's 1000x nicer to take a sweaty sports bra off via a front zip versus an overhead wrestling thing (I always feel like a bird stuck in a plastic six pack ring when I'm trying to wiggle off a sports bra overhead). These are a little low cut and you really have to pull them out front to zip it up easily, but they are very thick, very supportive, and hold up really well in the wash. I workout four days a week (dance class and HIIT) and haven't had any issues with the zippers at all. They come in bright, fun colors as well as white, black, and grey, which you can purchase individually or different multipacks.
5. OSMO NUMBERS // Osmo gifted Jude with Osmo Coding and Caroline with Osmo Creative Set, and we've been such fans ever since. We purchased Osmo Numbers as a fun game that Jude can do during his "break" in our homeschool day. Sneaky mommy. Little does he know it's reinforcing his math facts and helping him get better and faster at addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Osmo Numbers is by far his favorite Osmo set.
Everything you thought you knew about bras is wrong. Ladies, this post is for you. (Not that any men read here, but you never know! Hi, Uncle Bill?)
It's been said that something like 75% - 90% of all women who wear bras are wearing the wrong size bra. That's a crazy high percentage, and since my very first job was at an outlet store specializing in under garments and my job was to measure women to fit in to their optimal bra, I thought that surely I was in the 10% of women who got things right. WRONG. I was taught to measure the circumference of the under bust and then the fullest part of the breasts, then determine the cup size based on the difference between the two numbers. For instance, I thought I was a 36A: I was 36 inches around my under bust and my full bust measured 37 inches. With a difference of just one inch, that meant I had an A cup (two inches of difference would be a B cup, three a C, etc). Incidentally, a quick Google search will show that this (not very accurate!) way is still the most common way that women calculate their bra size.
In September of 2015, I stumbled upon the Reddit sub /abrathatfits. A few months prior, I had finished weening Lucy, and my body was going through some changes. My chest was deflating. Mind you, I have always had very little breast tissue, but after nursing three babies, I was smaller than I had ever been. I was wearing my pre-pregnancy 36A bras but the fit was beginning to feel off. The cup gaped and the band felt too tight. I thought that meant I'd needed to move down a cup size to AA and up a band size to 38. Makes sense, right? Cup seemed too big, move to a smaller cup. Bra seemed too tight, move to a larger band. Just so y'all know, 38AA is a nearly impossible bra size to find because typically women who are that broad have some kind of breast tissue.
To illustrate just how small I had become on top, let me share an embarrassing story:
One night, as Chris and I were hunkered down in bed for the evening and I was starting to drift off, he began rubbing his hand up and down my chest. I assumed this was a clue that he wasn't quite ready for sleep and that he'd like to connect, if you catch what I'm saying. Bless his heart. I gently said, "Oh, honey, I had a rough day. Not tonight, okay?" He was put off. "Which is why I wanted to give you a back rub!" he said. "Oh. My. WORD!" I squealed! HE THOUGHT HE WAS RUBBING MY BACK! Hilarious and awful! So much cringe!
Anyway, this point shows why I thought I should be in an A or AA cup, you see. There was nothing there! It was laughable to think I could ever fill out a B-cup since the A was gaping.
I desperately needed to get new bras, though, so I used this calculator on the sidebar of /abrathatfits. I needed to measure my snug under bust, my super tight under bust, and my full breast from three different positions: standing up, leaning forward, and laying down:
My measurements were:
- snug under: 35''
- super tight under: 30''
- standing, around nipples: 36''
- leaning: 38''
- laying: 36''
The calculator put me at a I'm- shaking- my-head- no- because- this- calculator- must- be- way- off 34D. 34D! I relayed this information to Chris, and he was like, "No. Just no. No way!"
Why were we in disbelief? Well, because you can't trust things on the internet! But more over because we had an idea of what a D cup must look like and my body was not it.
At almost exactly this same time, my friend Nicole went to Nordstrom for a fitting and it was revolutionary for her. So I went that very day and did the same.
The result? Again: 34D. What in the world???!
But then I tried on what would become my go-to bra: the Natori Feathers bra in a 34D. All the heart eye emojis in the world! [P.S. I get mine at Nordstrom Rack for $28 or buy them online at Anthropologie when they're having a megasale. Amazon has a few marked down to $30 from $79]. I could not believe my eyes. It fit! It fit better than my 36A! I never in 100 years would have thought to go down in the band and up in the cup based on the fit issues I was having before.
My clothes started fitting better because my bra was sitting the way it was supposed to and my posture got better because my straps weren't adjusted too tight.
I've since become a Bravangelist, urging women to measure themselves based on the calculator and then go somewhere like Nordstrom for a fitting to try styles best for their breast shape (do not go to Victoria's Secret because they don't carry extended sizes and will only tell you that you fit a size within the range they carry). Most women are wearing a band size that is too large and a cup size that is too small. I learned that very few women actually wear an A cup.
Additionally, a lot of women don't have their bra positioned correctly on their body. The band should be straight across the back and parallel to the floor, boobs should be "scooped and swooped" into the cups fully (including armpit bulge), the gore should sit flush to the sternum, and the straps should not dig in at all. Almost all catalog lingerie models are wearing bras that are too small for them.
We need to let go of our notion of what a cup size should look like. 34D sounded huge to me, and I was the opposite of huge. Did you know that cup size is not static? It's completely relative to the band size. It's easier to show than explain:
These are totally NSFW, but here's what a D and G cup look like in actuality versus in our heads (I was very close to the second photo on the top row). There's a great website called The Bra Band Project that is a small database of what bra sizes look like on women who have been measured properly. Here's 32D. See?
I thought that if I were going to start blogging about clothes again and documenting some of the things I wear, I should make sure my foundations are right. "D" has always been my nickname and I find that it's sort of funny that it's my bra size now, too.
I can't wait to hear what you thought your bra size was compared to what it ended up being according to the calculator or fitting! Feel free to share in the comments or on my Facebook page.
- A Bra That Fits on Reddit // Community dedicated to helping folks find a properly fitting bra
- Bra Size Calculator // Grab a soft measuring tape and determine your band and cup size as well as your "sister sizes"
- Scoop and Swoop // Regardless of breast size, this is the way one should put on a bra to ensure the proper fit
- The Bra Band Project // This site aims to raise awareness about what properly-fitting bra sizes look like, as well as demonstrate the variety of shapes and body types throughout (and within) each size.
- Third Love // one of my favorite bras is from here and they have half cup sizes available and a nifty app that can help you calculate your size [disclaimer: referral link]
- Band to cup infographic // Another way to see how sister sizes work. Also illustrates how cup size is relative to band size.
- More graphics: breast shape chart (I'm VF3/4), examples of different projections and root widths (I'm #4), different styles of bras, types of cleavage, and underwire positioning.
How can I properly express how excited I am without typing this post in ALL CAPS ITALICS BOLD WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS?!!!!!
There's going to be clothing and home goods in addition to their shoes! There are my favorites:
There's stuff for women, men, children, and homes-- so really, something for everyone. Scroll through to see the entire collection:
More info from the man Blake Mycoski himself:
Best of all, the clothing gives one week of meals to a person in need through FeedingAmerica.org. The hoodies and cold weather accessories give one blanket to a person in need through RedCross.org. And as always, the shoes give a pair of shoes to a child in need through TOMS.com.
Take a peek at the whole collection here right now and start making your Christmas gift lists and set an alarm for November 16. I have a feeling this is going to sell out in record time. Would it be weird to camp out for a sweater?
images courtesy of the TOMS for Target Holiday Lookbook #TOMSforTarget
Food trucks! A 4:1 human to dog ratio! Live music! You guys, a little sliver of Austin is here in suburban Atlanta. There were even craft beers and BBQ plates to be had. The only things that were different? 1- It was not one billion degrees outside nor was it humid, and 2- there wasn't a single hipster or beard in sight.
Last night, at the suggestion of my mother-in-law, our family had an enjoyable dinner at the weekly Alpharetta Food Truck Alley. The reality of the finality of us moving here is starting to sink in (this isn't just a visit), and I'm really missing Austin, but last night's trip to the food trucks was a sweet reprieve from all that emotional yuck. As I watched Jude and Caroline, with their faces sticky from popsicles bought from a street vendor, dance on the mulch while local darling Kurt Scobie played nearby, I took a moment to look at the smiling faces all around, and -- there -- I felt it. A whisper across my skin and into my ear, "New memories will be made here. You're going to be okay."
1 / Totally digging my new jeans from Imogen + Willie, a brand I only recently learned about via Zady. They're made in Nashville, and they fit like a dream. I got these on mega mega sale via Shopbop (they're usually $295, but I nabbed the dark wash for $89). I love that this particular style is called the Lucy.
3 / Look! Chris found smoked meats, everybody!
4 / I had the coconut fried chicken from Ibiza Bites. The not-at-all dead body Paul Qui is going to roll over in his future grave when I say this, but fo' real: my dinner tonight was easily the best food I've ever had anywhere ever out of a food truck. And y'all, I lived in Austin for eight years and I do SXSW every year. I've eaten from a lot of food trucks.
5 / A kid after my own heart. He opted for the chocolate sea salt option from King of Pops.
6 / "Is this Texas, mom?" // "No, honey, it's not. But I can see why you'd ask that."
See, Austin friends? It's not so bad here.
My other diaper bag bit the dust last year after a run in with our van door. Truth be told, it was way worse for the wear, as the leather was actually pleather and the strap had started losing chunks of "leather" and stitching. Diaper bags should be built to stand up to spit-up, shoe stomps from tiny toddler feet, and daily, heavy use. That one couldn't handle us.
I met Meggan Wood, the owner of Lily Jade, at The Hundred Event, and her sweet, genuine spirit immediately made me feel at ease in a social situation where I knew few other attendees. She radiates warmth and has a delicious curiosity combined with an authentic desire to truly get to know and appreciate every person she meets. She is gracious, loving, and smart.
Meggan listened to my complaints about my previous diaper bag, which I considered an investment piece, and she offered to let this little 'ole blogger review one of her Lily Jade bags. You guys would not even believe how much stuff I have to carry around when I'm out and about with my crew. Lily Jade has probably never met a more grateful reviewer.
I've been hemming and hawing for weeks now over which bag to review because the concept and quality is just so great. Can you help a sister out? I've narrowed it down to these two that can also be worn across the back, because goodness knows I have my hands full already. Do you like the Elizabeth or the Madeline better?
I'm terribly indecisive when given the option between several really great things. I mean, just take a peek at Lily Jade's full inventory here. They're all great!
And just so you know, here on Indiana/Elsewhere, your vote matters. Not only will I choose to review the winning bag, that's the bag that I'll be giving away to one lucky I/E reader. You, me, and Tori! Triplets!
I may get kicked off the internet for this, but I have to tell you something: I am not one of those women who is all about the fall. Nope. Raking leaves is the pits, I'm not a fan of fall's indecisive weather, and pumpkin spice is gross. I will watch the summer scamper out of here with a frown on my face. SUMMER FOREVER!
Thankfully, I've been able to enjoy the very last bits of my favorite season poolside at my mother-in-law's here in Atlanta.
Just so you know, in the five years I've had a personal style blog, I never would have thought that one day I'd post a photo of me in a swimsuit, let alone a photo of me in a swimsuit after having three children and still being about 20 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. Nonetheless here goes:
It had to be done.
ECO SWIM by AQUA GREEN sent me this suit and coverup to review way back in May, and I've been able to put them both to the test all season since we've been traveling a lot, staying in a lot of hotels, and swimming a lot. This has been the only suit and coverup I've used since May. It's done Barton Springs, salt water pools, chlorine pools, the splash pad, consecutive days, and once even did a family bubble bath dip in a giant hotel tub. It's been used constantly and stretched to its uppermost limits, and it is still going strong.
That's saying a lot for a swimsuit made out of recycled plastic bottles and other recycled materials.
Yep. The "Eco" in its name isn't for naught. ECO SWIM by AQUA GREEN is determined to be the leader in sustainable swimwear. They've even teamed up with one of my other favorite brands United By Blue (seen on I/E here) to do ocean clean-ups. From the Eco Swim website:
I'm always looking for brands and companies who put heart and thought behind the products they make. Not only does ECO SWIM by AQUA GREEN make an extremely flattering line of swimwear (I mean, seriously, I wore this suit a mere six weeks after having Lucy), they also make products that are manufactured in the United States that stand up to rigorous use and are mindful of their environmental impact. I dig it. I dig it a lot.
I also dig this style! A while back, on my Facebook page, we debated moms in their 30's + bikinis. Yea or nay? I feel like this tankini with its detachable strap straddles the line between conservative one piece and cute bikini, and you get the best of both worlds (especially when wearing a hipster bottom vs. boyshorts-- which I'm not at all ready to do!). I almost got this, a skirted one piece "swimdress", instead of the ruffled tankini I got, but I think that would have made me feel even more covered up. Do you have an opinion about this? Did you stop wearing a bikini after you became a momma? Did YOUR mom rock the two piece when you were a kid? I need to know. I don't want to be an embarrassment to Jude at the neighborhood pool. Nope. I do want to embarrass him in all the other places, though. Just not at the pool thanks to my bared midriff.
And, hey. I know we're losing summer and all, but don't you still want to hang on to it a little bit? Or at least have something new to wear in a whole family hotel bubble bath? Try your luck at the Rafflecopter, my friends, and win the swimsuit or cover-up of your choice from ECO SWIM by AQUA GREEN (view some of their lookbook here. Winner will be given a large line sheet to choose from with these options are more):
Ready, set, swim!
Introducing... the dumbest thing I own!
This is Chicken Purse. I was walking down South Congress, fresh from a haircut, when I spied this ridiculous thing in a shop window. It's been well documented that I have a weakness for animal jewelry and clothing that sports an animal motif, so naturally a rubber chicken purse in a shop window was a siren's song, calling my name.
I tried to sport Chicken Purse with my thredUP Challenge #3 outfit:
DATE: 7 August 2014 // OCCASION: errands
CHICKEN PURSE: Tesoros // TOP: Vince Camuto c/o thredUP // JEANS: Paige Premium Denim via Nordstrom Rack (USA) // SUNGLASSES: c/o Converse // SHOES: TOMS // NECKLACE: Jen Loves Kev
However, in many ways Chicken Purse reminds me of my first major girlhood crush on a kid named Todd. I wanted it, I had to have it, I liked the look of it, it delighted me, but once it actually became mine, I didn't appreciate it as much as I did pre-acquisition. Todd is probably with someone who loves and appreciates him very much now, so isn't it only fair that Chicken Purse has the same fate?! Won't you love him?
Let's Rafflecopter this thing! If you really want to win, I've provided a creative way to amp up your chances at being united with your one true Chicken Purse love.
Winner will be announced a week from tomorrow. Optional rose ceremony to follow.
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