Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I don't have a very large extended family but I have a lot of immediate family that I've very close to. Husband is the opposite - he has a massive extended family but is only really close to a handful of people.

My best friend lived with me during senior year. She moved to NY during junior year and her mom lets her come back for senior year. I always wanted a sister and that year I got one. We've had some pretty high highs and some pretty low lows in our relationship. I know it can be cliche to say that your best friend is like a sister to you but she really is part of my family.

I have a lot of help with the little one. I know at any given time, if Husband and I want to go do something alone, there will be a bunch of people volunteering for a night of baby sitting. I am really, really lucky to have that.

My mum and my step-dad were married for 11-ish years and got divorced last year. Some people seem to think it is weird that my step-dad and I are still so close. I don't think it is weird at all.

I tease Husband about having baby fever all the time but, the truth is, that I have baby fever pretty darn bad myself. Which is funny because before we got married, I really didn't think I wanted any more kids.

I toggle back and forth between wanting to have a bunch of kids and wanting to have just one more and be able to enjoy an empty nest at a relatively young age. Is there every a right answer to this question?


Shirt: Gap // Jean: Pilcro // Sandals: Gap, thrifted // Necklace: Charming Charlie
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Living in Texas, I never really understood how people could believe long sleeved shirts to be cool and airy because, lets face it, nothing with sleeves seems cool and airy in 110 degree heat. Nothing. But in Pennsylvania its a whole different story. I can do cool and airy long sleeved shirts all through spring and for much of the summer. This one, in particular, is the perfect weight for a breezy spring day. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


How was your Memorial Day weekend? I can now feel like it is officially summer. I spent the weekend on the lake with Husband, my sister in law and her boyfriend. The little one tagged along for one day of lake fun and one night of camp fun and then the grandparents whisked her off into a premeditated sugar coma.

husband was looking very on trend in his new neon fire department issued shirt

not so much
our pup loves, like really really loves, the boat and water
I love lake sunsets
I grew up on this dam
 I hope you all had a great long weekend. What did you do? 


In this feature, I take an outfit that I wasn't crazy about from last year and try to make it into something that I love. To keep it a little more challenging, I will translate as many elements as possible from the original outfit into the new outfit.

(see outfit details in original post)

I think my biggest issue with this outfit was the photography. It was really windy that day, which was making for some indecent photos as well as some really bad hair. My only real problem with the outfit itself was that I didn't like the shoes with the dress - they felt too heavy for the airy dress and feather weight cardigan for some reason.

(Dress: vintage // Cardi: JCrew, thrifted // Sandals: Gap, thrifted // Necklace: Peacock & Plume)

Since I no longer have those shoes, I had to go a different route as far as footwear was concerned but I kept the two main pieces the exact same. I wanted to add a little more in to the mix so I threw on my go to statement necklace. I like how it adds a little more color variation.

Friday, May 25, 2012



Tank: Walmart (total impulse but at $4)
Skirt: H&M
Cardi: Nordstrom
Sandals: Gap, thrifted
Necklace: Charming Charlie


I love this outfit. It came together completely randomly as I was putting laundry away. I spotted this r-orange skirt and decided that it would go great with this tribal print tank. Lately I've really been loving tribal print - in clothing and in home decor. I love the more vibrant hued print but sometimes there is something that is just right about black and white with a splash of color.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012



Shirt: Gap
Jeans: Vigoss (thank you to my awesome bff for rehoming them with me)
Belt: Gap
Shoes: Target
Necklace: Peacock & Plume


I was reading the latest issue of some magazine (InStyle, I believe but don't quote me on it) and a poll that they did determined that skinnies are the sexiest cut of jeans. However, I've got to disagree because this dark wash, slightly-wider-than-bootcut pair is pretty much where it is at. When paired with heels they create a super long leg line and hug in the right places. They make me feel great. So great, in fact, that for the last six months they've been my go-to going out slash date night jeans. Actually, this entire equation has been my go-to for going out and date night for the last six months: shirt + these jeans + statement necklace + heels. Is easy and it works. If it ain't broke ... 

Monday, May 21, 2012


How was your weekend? Mine was filled with little girl's last soccer game of the season, a yummy cook out and the first of many trips to the beach. What did you do this weekend?

getting ready to make some yummy food

husband trying to teach little girl that there are different ways to write numbers

confused about the whole different way to write numbers thing

ready to go

lazy Sunday morning for the recovering (we had her spayed) pup

TOMS in the sand

perfect day for a boat ride

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Body image isn't something that I have had a problem with in the past. I didn't love every part of my body but I accepted it, I suppose. There are things a person can change about themselves - weight, muscle tone, hair and clothing are a few; but I guess I never saw the point of worry about the things that you can't change (without surgery, at least) - bra size, facial and bone structure, height and so on. In general, I'm not a preachy person about many things so I don't really have a strong opinion about plastic surgery and physical alterations. Do I think you can go too far with it? Yes. Do I think it is up to every person how far is too far for them? Yes.

I hate the word fat, at least when it is used in a derogatory way. I always have. I started to hate it even more after I found out I was having a little girl. I don't ever want her to think she is fat or feel bad about her body, skin, hair, face at all. I've written a little bit about how my body image and clothing choices have changed after having my daughter. Having a child doesn't change everyone's feeling about body image and clothing, but it definitely changed mine.

I've recently read an amazing post about fit-spiration over at Virginia Sole-Smith. I won't summarize the post here because it is far too good for me to do that and everyone should read it in its entirety. The one thing I will say is that these people (celebrities, athletes, trainers) that we look to for inspiration work out for a living or at least in conjunction with what they do for a living. They did not get their body by doing a treadmill workout for 20 minutes a day or lifting weights a few time a week or doing yoga religiously. Do they look amazing? YES! But it is their job to be in amazing shape because it is their job to be able to have the stamina to work insane hours on movies sets, to be able to win gold metals and to help other people get healthy. These people, by and large, spend hours a day working on making their bodies the best that they can possibly be and that is wonderful, for them. However, most people don't have the sheer time to devote to their bodies the way these people do because, well, most people have full time jobs that aren't centered around personal fitness.

I am not saying that these people are not great inspiration because they can be, as long as your realistic about the outcome. Sure ... follow a trainers weight loss regimen, 30 minute workout or diet plan but, do it because working out and eating well is good for you and will make you healthier, not because you want to look like the trainer who developed the weight loss regimen, 30 minutes workout and diet plan. For most people, that is unrealistic but being fit and healthy is rarely unrealistic.

I am not naive enough to say that everyone should be 100% comfortable in their skin, although, that would be the ideal. What I am saying is that if you aren't comfortable in your skin and there is something that you'd like to change about yourself, do it, but do it with realistic expectations. Do it for the right reasons. Don't do it to look like Jennifer Aniston or Jillian Michaels or Carrie Underwood, do it to be as healthy and as fit as you can be. I think it is great to look at these ladies for inspiration but just because you do Jennifer's leg work out and Jillian's 30 day shred or Carrie's ab plan does not mean that you will come out with the other side with Jennifer's legs, Jillian's weight and Carrie's abs. You can change your work out plan, you can't change your DNA and the science that makes up your body.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I've known Husband since I was 13-ish - roughly 10 or 11 years - I remember being a freshman and telling my best friend about him (and secretly thinking that we would get married some day). Strangers always comment on how we have so much to learn about once another because we've only been married a short time. I'm sure that is true in some ways, but it always makes me giggle a little because we grew up together and know quite a bit about each other.

I really don't like the ocean. I like the idea and the carefree attitude of a beach vacation but I'm not a big fan of salt water. I am, however, a lake girl. I grew up boating on lakes with my dad and they're some of my best summer memories. I can't wait to build those memories with my kids.

Even though I adore swimming, boats, lakes, rivers and the such, I am absolutely terrified of drowning. I am a great swimmer, so the fear is a little unfounded. Also, I hate driving over bridges but I don't mind being a passenger on them. I know - weirdo.

I love road trips. My mum and I took some pretty amazing ones when I was growing up and they were always so much fun. I love preparing for them and planning what we will do and see on the way. Husband and I have already done a few bigger ones (Texas to Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania to Vermont to Maine to New York and back to Pennsylvania) and we've always had such a blast.

I love snow. Everyone tells me that the love will go away and I'll learn to hate it because it make doing things so much more difficult, it is messy, it is cold and so on. While I admit that it is all of those things, it is also really beautiful and magical to me. I guess it has something to do with living in a snowless state for all those years. Also, I think it really makes you appreciate spring and summer that much more when you've made it through a dark, snowy winter.

I don't like odd numbers. Which is why I am doing a number six. It isn't a bad as it used to be but I always turn the radio/tv volumes up in twos and if given a choice of numbers, I always choose an even one. I'm not superstitious about it or anything. I don't think something bad will happen to me or someone I love if I don't turn the volume up in twos. I just think even numbers look nicer than odd numbers. Yes, I am strange. I'm okay with it though.


In this feature, I am going to take an outfit that I wasn't crazy about from last year and try to make it into something that I love. To keep it a little more challenging, I will translate as many elements as possible from the original outfit into the new outfit.

(See outfit detail in original post.)

I think most of the blame lies in the jacket. I got it at a swap and I mostly picked it up because I was going through a safari jacket phase, it was Banana Republic (label whore) and it was a springy white. It took me exactly one wear to realize that the shape does nothing for me. Which, ultimately, is likely why the original owner picked it to swap. I no longer have the jacket or the shoes, and to be completely honest, I'm not crazy about the cognac color with the dress to begin with.

(Dress: Target // Cardi: Nordstrom // Belt: Forever 21 // Shoes: Thrifted)


It took me a long time to do this segment of From Bad to Rad because, well, I didn't like anything about the original outfit - not even the dress. I didn't like the color combination, which didn't leave me much to go on when creating a new version. So, I abandoned my own rules and went with a different color combination and super simple styling. I really like how the black kind of grounds the pattern of the dress. It makes a nice back drop for the pattern. Sometimes it is best to keep things super simple.

Also, I tend to hoard clothes that I want to work but that never really do. I realized that not only do I not really like this dress, but I also don't really like these shoes. Time to let them go.

Monday, May 14, 2012


How was your weekend? I spend mine at a soccer game, cookout and the front porch with a four-wheeler ride with Husband and little girl somewhere in between. The weather was beautiful, finally! Is summer really coming?

a DIY that didn't go so well

popsicles and DIY

Esme even enjoyed a frosty treat

catching up on magazines

the first twisty cone with sprinkles of the season - so good

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I am a stay at home mom and wife. I used to be a stay at home mom/fiance and a student. I've since dropped the student title from my imaginary resume. You'd be surprised, as a stay at home mom, how often I have to defend my "career" choice. Judging by some people's reactions you would think I told them I was working on a street corner or something akin to that. Here are just a few questions and comments I get and how I answer them:

Q: Don't you feel guilty letting your husband bring home all the money?
I SAY: No. I raise a child all day long. Plus, I take care of the house stuff. I feel like I give a pretty healthy contribution even if it isn't monetary.
I THINK: No. And why is it your business about who brings home what? He brings home the monetary bacon but I bring home the actual grocery store bacon, some would agree that they are both pretty damn awesome.

Q: What do you do all day long?
I SAY: Oh you know - clean, laundry, run errands, take care of the kid.  
I THINK: What do YOU do all day? Obviously it isn't occupying you enough to keep your nose out of my day.

Q: It must be so nice to sleep in and be able to nap whenever you want.
I SAY: I'm pretty lucky that Alessandra doesn't get up super early but I rarely nap when she does. I need that time for me.
I THINK: You're a moron. You obviously don't have children. Furthermore, you have a really unrealistic view of what having children will be like.

Q: I guess it was a waste of time and money for you to get your degree.
I SAY: No, I really loved being a student and my time in college.
I THINK: Yeah, so I guess its a good thing you don't have to pay my student loans, huh? (But, in real life, I don't think it was a waste of time or money. I loved being a student and the way my time exploring my interests shaped me. It was totally worth it.)

Q: What would you do if your husband ever left you? How would you make money?
I SAY: I don't believe a marriage works that way. You don't plan a safety net for if or when your marriage dissolves. I don't plan on my marriage ending so I suppose this is a non-issue for me. Naive? Perhaps. My beliefs? Totally.
I THINK: I don't believe a marriage works that way. You don't plan a safety net for if or when your marriage dissolves. I don't plan on my marriage ending so I suppose this is a non-issue for me. Naive? Perhaps. My beliefs? Totally. Also, seriously? You're ridiculous. (Yeah, this doesn't differ much - haha.)

Q: So, your husband makes the money and you spend the money?
I SAY: Haha, yeah, someone has to do the grocery shopping and bill paying. (Disclaimer: Husband is completely capable to grocery shopping and bill paying, I just take care of it because I have the time throughout the day.)
I THINK: Yeah, buddy. Groceries, bills and rent are my idea of a good time. If you think paying those things are the equivalent of a shopping spree for me, you are obviously delusional.

So yeah, who would have thought that being a stay at home mom would have brought so much controversy? But, for some reason, people tend to have really strong opinions about what mothers do - whether it be stay at home, work at home, or work outside of the home. So much so that at times I've felt like a lesser mom person for not working. It really is absurd how people pass judgement on these types of things.

Anyway, having said all of that, I often think about what it would be like to having a job. About what I want to do when I "grow up." A lot of things actually - boutique and/or consignment shop owner, realtor, flight attendant, photographer, wardrobe consultant - pass through my mind. But, for now, I'm happy with my status as a stay at home mom and wife. I like my role but that doesn't mean that I don't plan on ever doing something for myself, I just haven't figured out what I want that something to be yet.

Also, a small random confession - sometimes I get jealous of ladies who get to (or have to) dress up for work and get to spend a solid 8 hours around other adults. Every situation has its lists of pros and cons, its completely unavoidable. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012



Dress: ???, Gabriel Brothers
Cardi: Ann Taylor LOFT, thrifted
Shoes: Nine West, thrifted
Belt: A'Gaci

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When done right, I think that black paired brown can make a classic, beautiful outfit. I used to be a sceptic about this but when it is worn with intentions, it is actually really easy to pull off. I like to let the majority of my outfit be one color and use the other color for accents - black dress, brown belt and shoes. If you're a little leery about mixing the two, having one piece that mixes them for you is always an easy way to incorporate them (actually, I really think this goes for pretty much all color mixing) - like this cardigan, if I wore it with a brown dress I would probably go with black accessories to break up the brown and tie into the pattern on the cardigan (a scarf, necklace always works well also).

I've become a sucker for patterns mixing neutrals, like this cardigan, simply because they are so versatile. When packing for a trip, it is nice to be able to pack one neutral cover up and know that it will match pretty much everything that you packed. Which is great, especially in the summer when you'd much rather spend your time enjoying your vacation than worrying about whether things match or not.

In other news, we applied for our mortgage today. How did we get this grown up?! While the deal is far from being done and set in stone, we are on our way to becoming first time home owners. Its a pretty heavy thing, buying a house. There is so much that goes into it and, if you're planning on staying for a while, there is so much to consider - schools, neighborhoods and the proximity of wine grocery stores (I kid, I kid) top our list. The house we picked (and will hopefully get) definitely needs a facelift on the inside. It is completely livable but is really on the worn side. I'm so excited to actually be able customize a house of our own. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012



Shirt: French Connection for Sears
Skirt: JCrew, Clothes Mentor
Necklace: thrifted
Shoes: Bensimon, via MYHABIT

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Natilcal: EBEW

I really tried to think outside of stripes as far as this nautical challenge goes but, lets be honest, stripes are the epitome of seafaring garb. Add a breezy skirt and you have the perfect outfit for lazy days spent lounging on your yacht. Oh, you didn't spent the day on your yacht? Me either. I went to the library and CVS. It was very glamourous, obviously.

So, I love the look of Converse sneakers but the long lace up style and the sheer weight of them (those babies are kind of heavy, in my opinion) left me looking for another option. I've had my eye on the Bensimon brand for a while now and when I saw them on MYHABIT, I jumped on the chance to try them. They (along with my trusty Minnetonkas) have become my go to shoes for Spring. They're perfect for when the weather isn't quite warm enough (and my toes are quite presentable enough) to go with sandals. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


Lets try to remember the weekend for just a few more moments before we admit that its Monday, kay?
mocs before their DIY session

little girl helping working on her own DIY project (a painted canvas bag)

really tired feet waiting in line at Salvation Army

my dog is a bad dog

an afternoon nap before ...

... margarita/dinner date with husband on cinco de mayo

a sad, lonely cart in the movie theater parking lot (I submitted this baby to rogue carts)

not one, but two movies that we saw this weekend (I love the dollar theater & Act of Valor was way better than I thought it was going to be)

Sunday, May 6, 2012


At the end of last year, like so many other bloggers, I did I year round up of my best and worse outfits of 2011. I like lists like this because they slim things down. You are forced to determine what really, really worked for you and what really, really didn't work for you. I think they are both equally important. Its great to know what you love but if you can look back at what you didn't love and determine why you didn't love it, I believe that it helps you become a more insightful person. This theory stands for pretty much everything in my book, not just clothing and frivolities of the like.

I decided to try to revamp the outfits that made my bad list. I even toyed around with the idea of opening up the challenge to my readers. But, I was scared. That people wouldn't want to participate. That it would be too much work. However, I think it could be really fun. So, I am officially introducing the "From Bad to Rad" series on Distinctly Desiree. I'm really not sure if it will be a weekly or a monthly feature. I suppose it depends on how many people are interested in joining in. 

To participate, follow these easy guidelines:
  1. Choose an outfit that you weren't crazy about.
  2. Make it rad. (I try to keep as many elements as I can the same from the bad version to the rad version, but that is just how I do it. You can choose to just redo one main element, its completely up to you.)
  3. Size both photos to 500px wide.
  4. Email them to me, along with what you didn't like about the bad outfit and what you did like about the rad outfit, at distinctlydesiree (at)
  5. You can check out my first two example here and here, if you need a visual. 
I am still going to be posting my from bad to rad outfits as I work through them but I would really love to see yours (c'mon, we allllll have them!). 


I have been living in my Minnetonka mocs lately. They are so comfy and easy to slip on and off. Due to the fact that they rarely leave my feet (and the fact that they're a couple years old), they have been looking a little worse for the wear. I have been thinking about buying a new pair but decided to put it off a little while longer and spruce mine up instead.



I used this tutorial from Honestly...WTF and it worked beautifully. I really wanted to do a tangerine or sea foam green color block but I let little girl help me with the project and she was really, really pulling for the pink. Since I had a few other projects in mind that needed fabric paint (and because I couldn't make up my mind on a color), I bought a variety pack of "Scribbles" brand from Hobby Lobby ($19.00 for 20 colors, not bad with the 40% coupon). I don't have a lot of fabric paint experience, but the brand got the job done. 


Top: Gap, thrifted
Jeans: Pilcro & the Letterpress, Gabriel Brothers
Necklace: self-made
Shoes: Minnetonka, DIYed

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