5 things I love about being a boy mom

3.27.2015


When I was a little girl I always envisioned myself having a ton of children, all of them prim and proper little girls in flounced dresses and pristine patent leather shoes. (Ha!) I was super girly, so I thought I wanted that when it came to children. (I also wanted twins, so that gives you another hint as to how nuts I was!) I did get to have my little girl, and she is my sassy little curly headed babe, but then I got a baby boy for my second, and he is such a surprise to me. I thought for a hot second that I would be disappointed, but that's because I just didn't know how awesome boys really are. 

Here are five things I love about being a boy mom:

1) Everything about having a boy is a mystery to me. I grew up with a brother and I get Lego's and dirt biking and sweaty sports stuff, but really, I didn't have a clue about caring for little baby boy parts or what it would be like to send him for a circumcision at two days old. I don't understand a boy's mind at thirteen, or how his mind will work in school, or what even boys think about. (Do women EVER learn this?) And that scared me for a long time. Now I just enjoy him for who he is, regardless of his gender. I feel like I am here to protect his emotional life and really hear him and be the mama who cheers the loudest at ball games. I will let him be gooey and cry and be sensitive. I will build Lego buildings and play Transformer's with him when I am tired of Princess tea parties. I like the mystery of not knowing precisely what boys are  like, or how he may be thinking as he grows up. 

2) At this point, he doesn't really care what he wears and is perfectly happy to let his mama pick out his clothes. Boys are so very low maintenance when it comes to clothes. And hair! He is more casual than his sister (surprise!), and from the beginning I had fun dressing him in cute cargo pants and tees. I feel like having a girl puts pressure on the mama to always dress them up like a doll, and to always wear the pink and the frills and the tutus. And trust me, I had fun with that…but a boy is fun to dress in a different way. There are no battles in the morning when getting dressed, ever, and there is something very amazing about that.

3) From the second my son was born he was a snuggler. And he loves to snuggle with me, in particular. For a couple of years he only wanted to be held by me, to sit on my lap in every social situation, and to sit right on top of me on the couch at home. He's still like that. This boy, who's first word was mama and rode on my hip forever, is my heart. For years it seems he has been my constant companion, coming with me to drop his sister off at school, and hanging with me until we could get her again. This is his last year being home with me two days a week before he goes to Kindergarten next year, and I keep wondering what I am going to do without him home during in the day. I've had five and a half years of him by my side constantly, he's the one that tells me, "You're so pretty, mama..", and, "I love you, mama." He is my mushiest child, the one that needs the most hugs and love and snuggles, and he gives them out so freely. I adore him. 

4) I know this may sound weird, but I don't worry about him as much as I do my daughter. I think it's easier to be a man in this world (though I think women DO really run this world;) I don't have to worry about so many things with him, from getting pregnant unintentionally, or getting raped, or having to worry about him walking along anywhere at night and having someone walk too close behind him and making his heart skip a beat in fear. I mean, of course this stuff DOES happen to men, just not like it does to women. I have different fears for him, but they aren't the same things I worry about with my little girl. 

5) Finally, I like that I get a chance to teach him how to be a man, from a women's perspective. I want him to be a gentleman, and to be able to meet his future wife and be confident and sure of himself. I want him to be the type of man that helps with the housework and changes diapers and wears a tiara when his daughter requests it. I know my husband will help him with the guy parts of life, but I look forward to teaching him the softer parts of living. I want him to respect women, most of all, and to have that respect and love reflected back on him. He can be rough and tough and manly and all that fun stuff that I love about men, too, but also be the type of guy that vacuums the floor and does the laundry from time to time. And maybe even some day, his wife will come to me and say THANK YOU, for raising the type of man who can be soft and hard, all at the same time. (Here's hoping;)

This boy of mine is a blessing, and I will hold on to him so tight, until he leaves and lives his own life someday. But for now, I am the keeper of his heart and feelings, and being his mama is the biggest reward of my life.


Festival style with Revolve + Tuluarosa

3.25.2015

℅ Tuluarosa Dame top

Zara jeans, old (LOVE these floral Old Navy chinos; Target boots, hat (with floral headband) and fringe vest; Nordstrom reversible bag; Forever 21 round sunglasses.

Each year around this time I start getting a little (okay, a lot), excited for festival season. Coachella in particular is something I love, but not JUST for the music. I adore the style that festival season brings to the forefront. I mean, I think we all know me pretty well here, right? I'm a boho, eclectic style kind of gal when the weather gets warm. Throw a kimono, anything fringe, and turquoise jewelry at me and I will be your slave. Seriously;) So watching photos and footage of what folks are wearing at music festivals is something that I spend a bit more time on than I want to admit. 

Something that I find myself pinning a lot of on my Style Inspiration page on Pinterest lately is off the shoulder tops. I think they have the perfect vibe for the laid back look I crave in the summer. This Tuluarosa off the shoulder top from Revolve is perfection. I like that I could wear it two ways, finding that it looked fun with the sleeves pulled up, as well as completely off the shoulder as it is meant to be (and with my new fave fringe vest.) I think clothes should be FUN, and they can also be anything we want them to be. My prefect vision for this top would be over my fringe bikini, with cutoff jean shorts and simple sandals. Airy white tops are just right for the warmer months, and make me think off all things awesome (like a cold Summer Shandy on my back deck, sandy toes, and slightly sun kissed shoulders.) 

Do you here that Summer? I'm ready for you. Sigh.

Tell me, would you wear an off the shoulder top? How would you style it?


my 'non capsule wardrobe' capsule wardrobe idea

3.23.2015



Nordstrom jacket, old (similar); Old Navy tee; ℅ Levis' shorts (just bought THESE from Madewell!); Target boots; thrifted sweater (similar); American Eagle turquoise necklace and ring.

I've been quietly fascinated by the idea of a capsule wardrobe for quite some time now. I follow Caroline and her minimalistic style journey avidly, and find the concept really enthralling (yet scary?!) I've toyed around with the idea of doing one myself a couple of times as well, but have never been able to really say it out loud and do it. I think we all know I am not a minimalist dresser, nor do I want to be. I feel stifled by the idea of only wearing a certain number of pieces from my closet (though let's be honest, I kind of DO only wear the same things for the most part), and don't want to curb my creativity when getting dressed. 

So if I don't like the very idea of the capsule wardrobe and what it stands for, why am I still intrigued?

This past couple of weeks (after doing some major shopping damage, oops!), I finally figured out the crux of what really intrigues me: it's the idea of not shopping as much (or impulsively), for the length of a capsule wardrobe season that I like. I want to be able to take the time to research and find what types of clothing I really like (without shopping), while enjoying what I already have. Curbing shopping to a smaller period of time and being more smart about what I buy. 

You see, I like to shop. A lot. I'm never out of control, and I don't shop with money we don't have, yet I buy things often that makes me incredibly happy in the shorter run. BUT, once that feeling wears off I find I want to buy more. I get obsessed with an idea or trend, or see something and can't rest until I have it. I've learned that if I let this feeling pass (it only takes a couple of days), that I feel better or may even not want the item anymore. Except I don't always wait. I often find that if I just buy this one thing, my wardrobe will be complete and I will be happy. Yet how many of those one more things are in my closet as we speak, and I am STILL not fully satisfied?

What I've discovered is that I really just like the capsule wardrobe concept of 'no shopping for a period of time.' I feel like I can take the time to research what I want for the seasons ahead (while wearing the clothes I already own), and shop for a small period of time at the end of each capsule season, rather than impulsively shopping on a continuous basis. I'm hopeful that this could break the cycle I have of buying things on EMOTION and WANT rather than NEED and LOVE. I want to enjoy what I already own and use the things I have in abundance. The Spring capsule season is April, May and June, so I plan to not shop during that time. (Trust me, this SCARES me!) I know I have ENOUGH. I don't need more. Seriously!

I'm going to enjoy what I own RIGHT NOW until the end of June. And then I'll reevaluate and see if that feels good for me. I'm hoping to feel lighter and more free. Less hungry for MORE and more thankful for LESS. 

Tell me, what are your thoughts on a capsule wardrobe and living with less?



5 things I learned after getting my first tattoo

3.20.2015


If you follow me on Instagram (DO YOU?), you already know I got my first tattoo last month, and I am in love. I previously wrote about what I wanted to get HERE, and I'm pleased to say that my experience getting it was everything I wanted it to be. Er, besides that fact that there was a snow day on the day I had my appointment, so my mom had to drop me off (she was visiting!), and watch the kids while I got it done. Then they showed up early and my kids watched me get the last part done…mother of the year? You decide;)

Here are five things I learned about getting my first tattoo!

1) The biggest thing for me was finding a tattoo artist that could do the kind of tattoo that I wanted. I had a friend that has some great tattoos and she got several of them in town, as well as a couple of other folks that recommended the same artist. I knew that I liked the work they had, that I would probably like what he did for me. I was right. 

2) Think about what you want for a LONG time before you actually get it done. I knew that I wanted a tattoo for awhile, but I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted. I browsed Pinterest forever, pinned a zillion different tattoos, and after seeing the birds that my friend had done on her shoulder, I narrowed it down to that. The birds for me symbolize my husband and two kids, and also mean freedom and flight and constant movement. I wanted them to be look feathery and artistic and sort of like they were free hand drawn out. I love them;)

3) Know what will age well and what will not. I learned from my tattoo guy that tattoos can look really awful when placed in certain areas, like the hands, the stomach on women who may want to have kids someday, and on places with natural creases, like the wrists. I had originally wanted my birds to be smaller and right on my inner wrist, but learned they wouldn't look good in that size and that the creases in my wrist would break down the lines after time. By placing the birds lower and making them slightly larger, I had a better chance of the tattoo aging well. I'm really pleased with the time he took explaining this all to me, and for taking a ton of time making sure I would get what I wanted long term, and that my vision and his vision were the same. 

4) I'm not sure if it is the placement or what, but getting my tattoo did not hurt as much as I thought it would. It was mildly irritating at most, and only started to hurt a little on the largest bird when he shaded it in. I think I expected much, much worse, and I was pleasantly surprised! I DO have a pretty good pain tolerance, so we'll see if I get on on a different area if it hurts worse or less. Which brings me to…

5) Now that I have bit the bullet and gotten one tattoo, I need more! I think it has to do with feeling like I have broken a barrier by getting a visible tattoo for my first, but I don't feel nervous about getting more. I'm never going to be the one who has a sleeve (though I do think they look awesome on others, like my amazing sister in law!), but I do want a small rib one, and possibly even one only foot or inner heel. Who knows? I like how I feel different with mine, not so much cookie cutter and typical suburban mom (which I AM, ha!), but I like showing that I AM different and unique, and that I can be who I want to be, and not who I should be, you know? 


Tell me, do you have any tattoos? What has been your experience?

I have doubts

3.18.2015

J

Old Navy tee and bucket bag, old (option); Forever 21 skirt; ℅ Sears shoes (LOVE this Target option!); Blank NYC moto jacket.

For the past nine months or so I have had serious doubts about this blog and all that comes with it. I've often wondered what is the point, coming back day after day and forcing myself to be here and do this. The work and monotony sometimes gets to me, I guess. Worrying about pageviews and comments, and keeping up with social media seems exhausting. Yet, when I think to myself, "Just QUIT already!", I can't. For every bad couple of days (or weeks) that can occur, some really AWESOME stuff will happen, too. I'll collaborate with a company that I have always admired, or connect with someone over something I've written, or gotten a kind shout out from another blogger. The good moments add up and keep me saying YES to returning to this space day after day, year after year. It's a commitment to blog consistently and for long periods of time. I love that it keeps me thinking of fresh ways to style myself or to get dressed when I probably wouldn't. It pushes me to be better, try harder, and be the best me I can be. 

I often wonder at what point this just won't do it for me anymore. Will it be when I return to work and won't have time? When the pageviews and income drop off and I'm not willing to care? I feel discouraged here a lot, putting so much effort into something that isn't really giving me back what it used to. Having to keep up a curated Instagram feed (love this post from The Daily Tay on that!), and feeling like what I have is not good enough. I only want to be myself and share what makes me happy, not what is popular and cool. 

Often when I feel this way (which is a lot, lately), I try to remember that this space is really just for me, and the readers that I connect with on a daily basis. I don't have to be in the rat race, always searching to be bigger and get the best deals and make the most money. I can reel it all back in and post outfits and looks that I love, write stories and posts that make me think, and do only what I adore here, not what is trending and popular. 

I want to show up because I want to, not because it is a habit. I want to work with those that excite me, and do less of what doesn't. If I don't feel like posting, I won't. I love doing the three days a week thing I am doing now, because it works. Sometimes the ideas and writing flows, and sometimes it doesn't. Some weeks I can't take pictures and come up with anything fresh, and that is okay. Having doubts is okay. 

I just wanted to say today, that I have doubts about blogging. A lot. And I hope I'm not alone. 

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