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avalon exchange

on repeat

on repeat

I posted about an outfit on repeat at exactly this same time last year, and I have another one.

And look, I actually took a photo out in public - proof that I do leave the house every once in a while ;) I'm so 2008 though, it's still really embarrassing for me (taking photos in public, not leaving the house)!

Wearing James Jeans, H&M sweater, Sutton Lasater necklace via Byrd Designer Consignment, Arassi Jewelry small triangle necklace (anniversary gift, in addition to a DVF dress!), and Bakers boots via Avalon Exchange.

Is everyone feeling super busy since fall hit or is it just me?

P.S. I finally updated the mindful closet Testimonials page - check it out!

the search for a dignified diaper bag

the search for a dignified diaper bag

I could have called this post "summer uniform: white+denim, part forever".
Can't stop, won't stop.

 Forever 21 top, Gap jeans, Target scarf (similar), boots free from Avalon Exchange after trading in clothes (affordable similar and high quality similar versions)

This started out as an outfit post, but since I'm also using my diaper bag in this photo, I thought I'd write a bit about it. I wanted something that didn't scream "diaper bag", and nothing with cutesy prints on it. (pardon this tangent - why is everything that is to be used with babies bright colored and floral patterned? The baby is not going to be entertained by my nursing pillow, however it is going to sit out at my house a lot and I don't want to constantly look at pink and purple polka dots!! How about some nice solid colors?) That might beg the question, why not just use a normal purse or tote as a diaper bag? I did consider that, and sometimes I do just throw a diaper and some wipes into a smaller bag. However, I wanted some of the special features of a diaper bag: a changing pad, wipe-clean material, and many, many pockets. I went with the Skip Hop Versa diaper bag, and I love it.

Here's what I like about the Versa bag:

  • The look - I chose black for versatility and I like the gold hardware and zippers which add a bit more style.
  • A cross-body option is a must for having hands free. This one can be cross-body or a shoulder bag because of the adjustable strap.
  • There are straps for attaching the bag to a stroller handle.
  • The main inside pocket is very roomy and there is a zipper down the middle of the bag to expand it even more. You can see this in the manufacturer's photo. I usually keep it closed because the bag feels enormous when expanded.
  • The changing pad is in its own zipper pocket on the back of the bag. In our Jeep diaper backpack, it floats in the main pocket and gets all scrunched up.
  • On the front of the bag, there are open pockets for items that need to be easily accessible, like phone and keys.
  • Also on the front of the bag, there are zippered pockets that are perfect for keeping bottles upright.
  • On the inside of the bag, there are four additional pockets - I use one for diapers, one for wipes, one for my wallet, and one for burp cloths.

Instead of trying to find something that my husband and I would both feel comfortable carrying (i.e. something that wouldn't look like a purse when he carried it), I got the bag with the look I liked and we registered for this Jeep backpack (thanks Kyle and Jennedy!) for when my husband will be carrying the bag. Mr. mindful closet loves it (another aside - my husband says he likes it when I mention him on the blog and call him Mr. mindful closet.. Here you go, honey. It's almost as funny as when I used to work with kids and they'd call him Mr. Gillespie. They didn't know that we have different last names.) We try to keep both bags fully stocked at all times so that it's not a huge pain to switch back and forth.

After checking out the Versa bag in person, I bought mine barely used on Ebay for about half the retail price. If you wanted to go through Bed, Bath, and Beyond, you could use those 20% off coupons that are always coming in the mail for a pretty great deal. P.S. Did you know you can use those Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons at Buy Buy Baby too? Keep that in mind for the next time you're buying a friend a gift off the registry there.

Anyone else have great tips for choosing a stylish diaper bag?

 

(this post contains affiliate links)

 

a don't + dressing proportionately

a don't + dressing proportionately

As much as I usually post outfit pics that I feel good in, there are still those days when I feel hugely pregnant and when I try things that just don't work. For this particular night out, I really wanted to layer leather and faux fur. I thought my top layers might look good with a (non-maternity) H&M midi dress that I had picked up at Avalon Exchange with some store credit I got from selling clothes. They did not. So, I'm putting my vanity aside to show you why.

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I was curious to see how the dress actually looked on me, so I took a few photos just to see. As you can tell, not great. The midi length is near impossible to pull off if you're not a supermodel, and the low, slouchy boot is not helping to elongate me at all. In general, black is great for hiding a bump, but in this case, I actually wanted more attention on the bump to distract from my hips. Don't laugh, this is actually one of the best aspects of being pregnant, people totally focus on your stomach and for once, it's ok! You can eat as much as you want and not have to worry about sucking it in, and any other flaws you might think you have fade into the background.

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After I added my leather/fur layers (which I love!), the proportions were definitely off. If you think of your body as divided into three equal parts from top to bottom (Tim Gunn explains it here), you can see how the middle third of my body is much longer than either the top of bottom, which isn't pleasing to the eye. Also, the skirt of the dress reads as a straight-up-and-down rectangle, instead of tapering towards the knee, which would streamline the look. Again, if I'd worn higher heels, the proportion would have been slightly better, but still not great.

At this point, the light was gone, I had already put away my tripod, but I was still trying to make it work. I just started taking photos in my bedroom mirror - excuse the quality.

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To try to address the proportion issue, I hiked that bad boy up to above my knees. Nope, still not feeling good.

Banana Republic leather jacket, thrifted Gap faux fur vest, Old Navy maternity tee, Paige jeans, Franco Sarto boots

Banana Republic leather jacket, thrifted Gap faux fur vest, Old Navy maternity tee, Paige jeans, Franco Sarto boots

In the end, I fell back on something in my comfort zone, skinny black jeans and a higher wedge heel. The proportions are right here: 1/3 is my top, 2/3 are from the waist on down. Pregnancy in particular is one of those times that you just want to feel content and confident with what you're wearing. Really, we all want to feel good in what we wear, and sometimes it takes a few do-overs (it happens to the best of us - see my last "don't" here). All you can do is learn from it (taking photos, even just on your iPhone, helps to see the issue) and move on! No beating ourselves up here.

Do you think about proportions when you're getting dressed? Have you had days where you needed do-overs? What did you learn?

blogger dinner + selling at avalon exchange

blogger dinner + selling at avalon exchange

As I've mentioned before, I'm lucky enough to be a part of a great group of local bloggers who meet regularly to catch up and talk life and blogging.

L to R: Liz @  Will There Be Cake , Sara @  Running from the Law,  Jessica @  I Want Adventure,  Alyssa @  My Husband's Watching TV While I'm Watching the Baby,  me, Lindsay @  Itz Linz , and Liz @  Ellie & Addie.   (Unfortunately, not able to be there was Meg @  Meg In Training )

L to R: Liz @ Will There Be Cake, Sara @ Running from the Law, Jessica @ I Want Adventure, Alyssa @ My Husband's Watching TV While I'm Watching the Baby, me, Lindsay @ Itz Linz, and Liz @ Ellie & Addie.  (Unfortunately, not able to be there was Meg @ Meg In Training)

We got together last week and most of the conversation revolved around pregnancy since five out of the seven of us who were there are pregnant! I'm telling you, there's something in the water. School administrators, you better hire extra kindergarten teachers for the fall of 2019!

Necklace - Avalon Exchange, sweater - thrifted, jeans- thrifted, boots - Steve Madden Intyce

I thrifted this J. Jill (I know, not a brand I thought I'd wear, but they have some cute things!) sweater at Savers. It's a shape that I love, and I don't have anything similar in a light color, however, it had several small stains. Luckily, even though the sweater is a cashmere blend (well, 95% cotton and 5% cashmere), it was machine washable. I took a chance on it and was glad I did since the stains came out with no problem.

I'm also wearing maternity jeans that I thrifted from Red Racks and altered. The ankles were a little more straight-leg than I preferred and so I just narrowed the leg from the knee down, a simple fix. These are from the brand Indigo Blue and they've been my favorites so far. I was lucky enough to find them right after Meg mentioned this brand in a comment on this post.
Not bad for $7.

st louis personal stylist

I got my necklace with store credit at Avalon Exchange. I often talk about cleaning out regularly and if you have clothes that are in great condition, but were just mistake purchases (see this post), it's great to try and get some money out of them. There are several higher end resale (Women's Closet Exchange) and consignment (Byrd) stores that I love, and eBay is always the best way to get the most money. However, if your items aren't a designer caliber and you don't have the time to spend listing things on eBay, Avalon is another good option. They will take items from Forever 21, H&M, Target, and even some vintage, if they are in great condition, the right season, and very current trends. Having said that, they are still very picky, and you have to go in knowing that they'll probably take 1-2 out of every 10 pieces you bring in. For the items they take, you get 30% of the price they'll sell the piece for in cash, or you can choose to get 45% of the price in store credit.  The cash amount is usually very small, so I often take the credit.

st louis personal shopper

Having store credit is great for those times when you are really feeling the shopping urge, but know that you shouldn't be spending any money. I don't always find something, but when I do (like the Jeffery Campbell snakeskin pumps above), I always feel so virtuous that I was able to get something nice from the act of cleaning out my closet.

How about you? Do you resell your clothes - and if so, how?