conquering indecision

9.17.2014




Target jeans, boots and sweater, old (jean option, sweater option, boots option); Logo layering tank (the BEST!); Ray ban sunglasses (a belated birthday gift to myself;)

One of the biggest things I struggle with in my life is indecision. I will think and rethink everything a thousand times, often not feeling the happiness I should because I have doubts or I wonder if what I DID decide is the right thing. I do this while shopping, figuring out how to parent my children, what dinner place to go to, absolutely all the things in life you can think of. It stinks.

Like the sunglasses you see above. I have wanted them for the past four months! They have been a trend out everywhere this summer, and this is why I struggled with actually needing the real thing. When in doubt, I almost always buy the cheaper version of something and never look back. I have gone back and forth, buying the inexpensive Forever 21 version of these to see if I really did love them (I did), and finally buying them this past week with income I earned myself through this blog. They were expensive and they are amazing, yet I feel guilty about spending the money on the "trend" version that I really do love, or if I should have been more practical and got regular aviators. In the end, I love these and I don't regret them, but thinking about how I struggle with daily decisions got me thinking about the different strategies I use to make my decision less guilt ridden.

1) The biggest thing I do when struggling with a thought to decision to is go with my gut. It always leads me where I should be going, whether I want it to or not. If I am figuring out whether or not to sit on my couch and read, or play with my daughter, I think about which decision feels better. If the thing I really want to do (READ), makes me feel guilty, and playing with my daughter makes me feel good? The decision has been made.

I do this a lot shopping, too. I can find LOTS things that appeal to me, always, yet I sit and look at what is in my cart and figure out what I would be really upset to leave at the store. Most of the time I will put all but 1-2 things back and then I feel good about what I have purchased (and spent less money!)

2) I curb my impulsive nature and sleep on it, often for months. Being a style blogger means I constantly read amazing content and see clothes and products that I need RIGHT NOW. Advertising through blogging DOES work, because I have done/bought it all;) Now I try to wait, a day or week, (or more!), to see if I really want what I am seeing or is it just the feeling I get from acquiring new things. This takes the indecision I feel when wanting to buy something but not knowing if I SHOULD by making me take it off the table. I take shopping hiatus' for this reason, it takes the thought out of buying, a stress in my life that is completely self induced, and that feels good. 

3) I like to talk over my thoughts, a lot. If you are a close friend of mine you MIGHT know this;) I agonize over the littlest details in life (should I renew my vows, buy my daughter Ugg's, eat low carb?), and talking it over helps me. Often I just need that other set of ears to listen, a sounding board of experience that I can bounce ideas off of. I most often KNOW what I want to do, but organizing my thoughts and either saying it out loud, (or writing it in a blog post!), shows me what I really want. 

Tell me, are you indecisive? How do you make daily decisions?

P.S. Shop some of my FAVE Fall accessories!


Fall trends with lulu*s: Jazzing up ordinary denim

9.16.2014




℅ Lulu*s boots (ONLY $49!) and fringe bag; Target jeans and hat, old (option); Old Navy tee; Blanknyc moto jacket (save option). Wearing Bare Minerals Moxie lip color in "Lead the Way."

One of my favorite ways to dress lately (um, always?), is to take really basic items that I've had forever (vee neck gray tee shirt, black skinny jeans), and update them for Fall with REALLY fun add ons. Like over the knee boots! I've been wanting to try this trend for awhile now, but had a hard time finding options for less than $150. I wanted a simple enough pair with no huge bells and whistles, just black slouchy (faux) leather and a simple silhouette. I was so thrilled to find a pair on Lulus.com for under $50, and once I tried them on I KNEW they would be a staple in my closet. I plan on pairing them with simple skinny jeans like above, leggings and tunics, as well as baby doll dresses and tights. As a mama of two small kids, I find it fun to add in pieces that make me stand out and look cool, but fit into my lifestyle. I mean, I still have to do school drop offs and playgroup and soccer games, you know? And I can do all this stuff in a look like this. 

It's funny. Some days I really go for it and dress for me. I throw on a trendy fringe bag, over the knee boots, and (a new fave) moto jacket, and feel great. Other days? I DO wear yoga pants and fleece jackets and sneakers. Both those sides are ME, and I enjoy having the option to dress up or down depending on my mood. I don't think style has to suffer after becoming a mama, I just know I have to be comfortable as well. A simple jean and tee is comfort to the nth degree, especially when I can throw on some trendy seasonal colors (burgundy!) in my lip, nail and accessory colors. 

Want to see how another trendy mama styles her denim for Fall? Check out my (fabulous) friend Megan from Chasing Davies, she always makes "working mama on the go" look GOOD!

This post is sponsored by Lulu*s! Thank you for supporting the brands that help support this blog.

watch, wear, read

9.12.2014

Forever 21 dress, old (here's a long sleeved Fall option!)

I'm constantly inspired by the things around me, whether it be an amazing blog post, a funny video that makes me laugh out loud while home alone, or a cute look that I'm excited to buy. I'm starting a new series called Watch, Wear, Read that will highlight all the things I see during the week that I LOVE, and feel you would love, too! 

Watch:


Jimmy Fallon and the Roots play "All About That Bass" with classroom instruments. I dare you not to get this song stuck in your head alllllll day.

Wear:

This polka dot dress (as worm by Gal Meets Glam!) is perfection. I am always a sucker for a good polka dot print. 

Baublebar ear jackets, the coolest way to look edgy without really being edgy;)

Loving this hooded shawl collar coat from Forever 21, the neutral color would go with EVERYTHING.

We're getting our family photos done for our tenth anniversary next month! I'm going for a wedding renewal, hippie/boho vibe (I know, surprise!), and this long white dress from Lulu*s is begging to be included. Layered with a cream colored cardigan and a Fall hued floral crown? Squeeeeeee!

I may have had these bow flats way back in 1990 when they were first in style, but I definitely need a new pair.

The chic-est black floppy hat and bucket bag from Old Navy. 

Read:

Momastery worded this perfectly! What it's like watching your child walk away as you drop them off at school. 

Shane at Whispering Sweet Nothing's wrote a great post about Lies Bloggers Tell Themselves. I had a 'come to jesus moment' on several points she made.

Megan at Chasing Davies styled her Lulu*s tunic perfectly for the 60's trend.

5 ways to wear your chambray this Fall from Ashley at Dancing with Ashley!

Completely intrigued with the thought of a capsule wardrobe…would you ever try it?

And in case you missed it…

Win a pair of Ryka sneakers!


The quickest hairstyle update for Fall in two minutes or less.

The mod striped tunic that you'll get a thousand compliments on!

Happy Friday, friends! Any fun plans this weekend?



the best sneakers in the whole wide worldddddddd (and a giveaway!)

9.10.2014




℅ Ryka sneakers; Old Navy top (I have it in four colors!) and pants; Rayban sunglasses.

I started working out regularly about four years ago. I say regularly, because I had worked out on and off before then for a year or so at a time, and then stopped for long bits in between. (Oops!) I have been consistently going to the gym 2-3 times a week for years now and feel like it is an integral part of my sanity.

I'm not gong to lie. The gym initially drew me in because they offered free daycare. FREE DAYCARE. To a mama with two kids under two this is the magic phrase. I could bring the kids there, workout for an hour or so, and then leave feeling refreshed and good about myself. It was a win/win situation. I ended up losing my baby weight in the end and gaining so much confidence in the process. Now if I don't get to the gym I feel sluggish and out of shape and my mind just starts messing with me. My body image is tied up with being able to work hard at the gym and gain strength. Being able to accomplish anything I want workout wise and not only succeed, but be one of the strongest? That makes me happy. 

When I began my workout journey I decided to splurge on a new pair of sneakers. I tried a ton of them on at different places around town, but found none I liked. At this point I remembered that I had seen Ryka present shoes on QVC, and that what was unique about them was that they are fit on a woman's foot. All other sneaker brands are built on a man's foot, meaning it is wide in the heel and narrow in the toe box. Ryka is the opposite. Most women have a narrower heel and a wider toe area, so their sneakers are made to fit that.

 I ended up finding a pair of Ryka's and found that they were so comfortable. They have great support throughout and fit perfectly (and are often less than other brands!) I wore them into the ground until it was time to get a new pair. And then for some reason I got a pair of Nike's next, and I've regretted it since then. They fit weird, constantly chafing the edge of my foot, and made my foot go numb sometimes. They were just generally uncomfortable, which stinks. BUT, when you pay $100+ on a pair of sneakers you kind of suck it up and wear them, whether you love them or not. (Insert angry face.)

Fast forward to about a month ago. I decided that I wasn't going to put up with my miserable sneaker situation for ONE MORE DAY. I saw a cute pair of Ryka's in a magazine and decided to go for it and order them. No more hurting feet! Then (in the best sort of circumstances EVER), the wonderful folks at People Style Hunters asked if I could kindly review a pair of Ryka's and share my experience with you.

I almost died.

Not only to I adore Ryka, but I really love showing you brands that are as amazing as they seem. These sneakers are so comfortable, they fit me perfectly right out of the box, and it felt like I had never had that other (awful) pair before. I professed my undying love for Ryka and how I will never wear another sneaker brand. Seriously! 

On that note, the folks at People Style Hunter's would like to give a pair of Ryka sneakers to one of YOU! 

To enter:

1) Follow me on Instagram (@becauseofjackie) and leave a comment on the Ryka post in my feed telling me what YOUR workout story is. This can be anything, it doesn't have to be long! I want to get to know you;)

*You must like the photo as well to be considered for the giveaway!

Then tag one other person in your comment who YOU think would benefit from this giveaway! 

Bonus entry!  Share a photo of this post (I will have one in my feed you can screenshot!), and post it on your Instagram with the hashtag #stylehuntersloveryka. Don't forget to tag me in your post so I can see it!

The giveaway will run for a week and is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!





the dirty truth of motherhood


Those little faces right up there? Their beautiful, happy smiles, and lit from within eyes? They are my heart. They make my life better and happier and better than I ever believed, and I am blessed to have them. 

All of the cliches of motherhood are true. It DOES goes by fast, and you'll miss certain things with a little time and space. You'll cry when you send them to school, and scream like a lunatic when they hit the ball in T ball. It's beautiful and full of love and laughter, but there is also so much other STUFF that goes on that folks rarely tell you. 

My biggest revelation has been looking back at the baby years, especially with my first, and realizing how lonely I was. The general consensus of having a baby is that you will be busy and will yearn for alone time, yet I found that I ended up feeling really sad at home with her all day. She wasn't speaking or responding yet, she just needed to be held and fed and cuddled. My days revolved around the never-ending rotine of getting her into a routine, watching the clock, and wishing for it to go faster. I found myself inventing excuses to leave the house for no good reason at all. Daily trips to Target, the grocery store, Walmart, anywhere where I could get out and break up the monotony of my daily routine.

The quietness was just so overwhelming. 

I had worked full time as a teacher before she was born, I found going from a busy classroom to life at home with a newborn was so vastly different. Quieter. Things changed as she got older, as she responded more and grew into her personality. I attended playgroup when she was five months old and that helped me immensely. I had my second a year later and the next few years after that were literally a blur. Two kids under two was crazy and fun and wild. I look back and wonder how on earth I functioned and did anything. I often wish for just one day back in the early days, so I can squish their baby faces and see them one for time as babies, but this time, this season of my life, is better.

 I'm in a completely different place now, literally and figuratively. 

 I find that this time in my life, with a five and a six year old, is awesome. They go to school, one full time and one part time, and that gives me pockets of time to myself. I recharge and come back to them a better mom. I find that I'm a better person when I can have time to get things done, do some of the things I enjoy, rather than be "on" 24/7. I've done that, for years and often all by myself, and it is HARD. I've loved being home with them, adored begin the only person who has cared for them since they were born, but find that RIGHT NOW is where I feel like myself again. Finally. The loneliness is gone, because as they grow older I really like who they are and having the chance to hang out with them. They are real people now, with opinions and thoughts and I really adore seeing them bloom.

Don't get me wrong, they still drive me NUTS. The monotony of making a meal and cleaning a meal, exclaiming over the same five things that they feel the need to comment on, the testing of limits and attempted eye rolling and general sassy-ness. They test my patience daily. I feel at the end of my limits and mental sanity on a hourly basis, yet put them to bed and end of missing them an hour later. Go figure. 

I'm just not lost now like I was in the first four months or so of motherhood. My confidence as a mom, and as a person, is so much more than it was. The feeling that I was alone and not knowing what to do is gone. I've grown into motherhood, and into myself. I love seeing them grow and become people that  I truly enjoy. I keep saying that THIS is the age I like best, and so far I can say,

...that really, this is the age I like best. Not even the cuddly stage of a newborn, or the kick of their feet in their cribs when they see you in the morning as a baby, or the chubby cheeks of a toddler that only wants to be held can beat this. This age is where my true skills as a mama are being used, and I wouldn't change it for the world.
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