My Uniform

Before the work day starts, before the incredibly energetic child gets on his feet, before running errands and everything in between, there is MORNING. Mornings are awfully challenging for me. My mind takes so long to get into focus that it prevents me from doing anything in a timely manner. Especially getting dressed.

One way I have been working on fixing this issue is by purging my closet and only keeping items I love and wear regularly. When I attempted a mini capsule wardrobe two years ago I was able to find what works for me and my post-baby body, and what doesn't. Since then I have built up a happy closet full of clothes in a style I feel confident in. So full that I have a hard time putting an outfit together.

Most days you will find me wearing a variation of: layered tank-on-tank or tee-on-tank, cardigan or button up, jeans/jean shorts, and flats. This is my uniform. It has become a signature look for me in the last year and a half. It is easy to mix up, dress up, make casual, and most of all it is comfy.

It wasn't until I read Karin's post about uniforms that it really got me thinking and inspired to write about it. Karin is one of my favorite fashion bloggers because of her posts on capsule wardrobes and simplified living. It seems that my day to day life is getting more full and her posts help me get my mind sorted out on how I want to tackle things.

For the third or forth time this year I am inspired to go through my closet and purge a bunch of clothes. This time since I have such a clear idea of my style is and what I feel best wearing, it will be easier for me to part with some items that I've been hanging on to. My goal is by summer to be at the point where getting dressed isn't as time consuming or stressful as it is currently. By keeping only items that fit into my uniform I should be able to make this happen. There will be a few exceptions to this, of course, but I aim to have 90% of my closet be made up of pieces for my uniform.

Do you have a uniform or particular style that you wear regularly? Does it help you get dressed quickly in the mornings?

Mom Hacks

The term hacks might be too strong of a term. There are just a few really neat and handy things that I do, that I have started to do since having a kid, that I have really helped me, and I think they will help you too. These things are nothing life changing, except they kinda were for me.

Hair ties.

There is still a bit of "baby weight" on my belly that prevents me from fitting perfectly back into my old jeans and shorts. Using a hair tie to secure my fly closed has made it so I can wear bottoms that fit me (mostly). Since all my tops are long they cover my fly so I don't have to worry about anyone knowing my secret.

Dry shampoo

The world of dry shampoo can be a scary place but really there is no need to fear. It is a pretty affordable product and one that is a real time saver for a busy mama like me. My favorite is Batiste which is about $8 and can be found at Ulta or Walgreens. A new one I've tried recently is Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo, which is about the same price and I picked it up at Safeway.

The thing with dry shampoo is to spray at a distance, to not spray too much, and to give it a minute to absorb your oils. My bangs, the hair around my ears, and my cowlick on the back of my crown are my problem spots, and I will do a once over, shaking the can constantly. Then I'll wash my face, brush my teeth, or put my makeup on. Then I'll use my finger tips to gently rub my roots and apply a bit more to places that need it. On those days that a shower is just not going to happen, dry shampoo is what saves me. I highly recommend giving it a shot.

Wrinkle Release Spray

This little blue bottle of goodness not only really helps get rid of wrinkles but it makes you and your clothes smell like you just rolled out of a dryer. It's glorious. Really! I hate putting laundry away so my clothes are varying states of wrinkles. Instead of wasting time throwing my tops into the dryer I'll use this. It doesn't work on hardcore creases but works wonders on every day wrinkles. It also works as a great perfume.

What are some "hacks" that you use day to day?

Growing Pains or We're Going To Need A Bigger Boat

I have a vivid memory when I was 5 or 6 and waking up crying because I was hurting. No place in particular and all over at the same time. I remember my mom giving me a hug and tucking me back into bed saying "It's just growing pains. It will pass." My son is having his own growing pains and his cries remind me of that memory. I hold him, and rock him, and whisper "It will pass, my Love". My heart hurts for him, but I know it really will pass.

Now that I am all "grown up" I thought my time for growth was done. Physically this is true- I will never be taller than my current 5 foot 4 self. On the inside, though, I'm suddenly feeling new pains. My head and my heart are both experiencing unexpected growth and change.

The amount of love I have for my husband and son makes my heart swell, and every day I feel it get larger. It's crazy because I didn't think I could feel any more love for these two than I already do. Sometimes the feeling is so strong that my heart will seize up, a lump will fill my throat, and I'll be on the verge of tears. The power of love is staggering.

My expanding heart is not the only thing that brings me to tears lately. There is a part of me that feels suddenly lost. The person who I see in the mirror isn't always reflecting the person I feel inside. My brain is struggling with reconciling the gal I am (mama in her 30's), the gal I feel I should be (the cute young gal who runs a video game store), and the gal I want to be (both). That probably sounds nonsensical. I'm not sure I can properly express the disconnect or the anxiety it makes me feel.

An example would be me struggling to get dressed each morning. While I want to wear super nerdy shirts and look relate-able at work, my personal style is changing to be more chill. Ultimately it is my store and I can wear whatever I want (and I do). I feel like I have spent the last five years building a persona at the store and I'm scared to change it. What if I don't stand out or people don't take me seriously? Where is the happy medium? Is there a happy medium?

I feel like I have a lot more growing to do to make room for this new me, whoever she is and however she is dressed. She will have taken taken bits from all the conflicting parts and turned it into a great big ball of contentment and confidence. So a lot of room, a lot of growth, is needed. In the mean time I will hurt, but it will pass.

Things I've Learned In My Two Years of Being a Parent

What can I say about time and kids that doesn't sound dumb and cliche? Nothing that hasn't been said before, so all I'll say is: GAH! TWO YEARS! That baby I gave birth to isn't a baby anymore, but a walking talking bundle of energy that doesn't nap and has learned that how to open & close doors. Which, by the way, is terrifying.

Since his birthday I have had the chance to reflect on all the things that have changed. Not just basic things like his height or weight, but the less noticeable things. Things like:

- I'm not surprised or upset when I'm at work and find snot, avocado, and juice on my clothes.

- Dry shampoo and Downy Wrinkler Releaser are the two most used items in my house.

- My little independent spirit just isn't going to want to snuggle when I want to snuggle (or ever) and that is okay.

- Sometimes the plain no-seam nylon panties are just as sexy as the lacy satin panties.

- Spoiling my appetite with Girl Scout cookies while cooking the family dinner is totally a thing that happens.

Most of all I am in awe with the amount of love I have for this sweet boy. Honestly I have no idea how he fills my hearts up more each day. There are times my breath catches in my chest and my heart clinches and stops, and I am almost completely overwhelmed. It is a scary and wonderful feeling. One I look forward to feeling again and again as he keeps growing.

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