April 2017 | Dearest Lou

Evy's Tree Style: Sophie in Deco Rose

I'm wearing: The Sophie in Deco Rose | Delancy Top | Leggings | Shoes (similar) | Watch (use code CHARVARD for 15% off)

Yesterday I finally caught up on my laundry! It's been weeks since I have had empty laundry baskets. Anyone else struggle with a never-ending pile of laundry? What's harder than washing and drying is folding. I have been doing a small load of necessities every week to get me and the kids by but that is just about it.

Oh and.... MY HAIR IS NOW ROSE GOLD. I have posted a few pictures on Instagram but am just now realizing this is my first post on the blog with my new hair. My friend Christy (stalk her insta here) always makes my hair dreams come true. She's the best guys.

How perfect is this Sophie hoodie from Evy's Tree? I'm loving the deco rose color, perfect for Spring and it really compliments my new hair. The Sophie fit is one of my favorites since it's nice and flowy. It's also more of a fancy cut hoodie in my opinion and can add that extra oomph to any look (;

Six Wedding Rules You Should Break

Be it in the form of etiquette, tradition or superstition, weddings have long been associated with rules. Haven’t we evolved at all from dressing all of our bridesmaids alike to hide the bride from enemy tribesmen coming to steal her in the night?
Sure, if it’s going to save the bride from an untimely kidnapping, you’ll gladly buy an unflattering gown that you will never wear again. But, with a modern and dramatic decrease in bride-snatching, we’re pretty sure we can abandon that, and several other rules that have lost their original importance.
(Note: we definitely recognize that some people positively love tradition – our suggestions are all about doing your thing no matter how traditional, or not, you happen to be).
That leads us to the first breakable wedding rule:

1. Bridesmaids must match.

No two girlish figures are the same, and no two financial situations are either. Further, people are not decorations. Choose a single color, shades of one color, or a complementary palette of colors and let your bridal party select gowns in which they are comfortable. A line of happy bridesmaids in different styles and shades of pink bridesmaid dresses is far more fetching in photos than a line of identically clad and wholly irritated ladies.

2. You must give your guests favors.

Personalized trinkets are not the reason why guests attend weddings. They invest time and money in attending a celebration of two new lives becoming one. They will come wherever you imagine your wedding to be, because they appreciate the most important day of your life!
If you’re no fan of favors, skip them!
Your wedding guests will never miss them, your wedding party won’t skewer you in secret because you made them tie 300 tiny bows, and the world’s suppliers of shot glasses and colorful candy almonds will survive.

3. Guests must sit on the bride’s side or groom’s side according to their allegiances.

This isn’t Game of Thrones and there will be no popular vote or winner of the wedding. Half the time hapless ushers are so smitten with the pretty girls in pink bridesmaid dresses or distracted as they fuss with their faux bow ties, they forget which side is which anyway. While we hate to sound like broken records, weddings are about joining families, not apportioning them.
Don’t make your guests take a side.

4. The bride’s shoes must be white or ivory to match her gown.

Heavens no! Not only are pristine, matching shoes not required, they are downright boring! Some of our favorite wedding photos include some shockingly bright and shamelessly beautiful shoes in just about any possible color peeking out from beneath layers of elegant fabric.
And during a night of dancing, we’ll gladly accept anything from barely-there flip-flop sandals to just plain bare feet. Whatever keeps you on the dance floor and having the time of your life!

5. Full-length dresses are only for formal weddings.

While formality still dictates some attire choices (especially for men), a full-length gown is in an option any time of day. Choose your bridal gown and bridesmaid attire based on your fashion sense, practical considerations presented by your venue, and (quite sensibly) the weather.

6. You must toss and smash according to custom.

The garter retrieval and toss lacks some tact. The bouquet toss can be really embarrassing for some single guests and smashing cake in your new spouse’s face is not only a bad way to start a relationship; it is kind of barbarian. Skip ‘em if you’re so inclined.
In fact, skip any custom or formality that doesn’t honor your relationship, express who you are, or jive with your beliefs. Go ahead and break those rules!

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMamaWendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.

Friday Finds: Century 21 Mother's Day Outfit Inspiration

Today's stumble across post features Century 21! I love that this store has not only women's clothing but men, children, beauty products, and home decor. There's truly something for everyone.

Century 21 is a US based company and has been around over 50 years. They have retail stores around the country and for those of us who don't have a store nearby there's the option to online shop. They are best known for having designer items at amazing prices. I do have a bit of an expensive taste and love looking at designer items for inspiration!

I created a Century 21 Mother's Day outfit! With Mother's Day only three weeks away now is the time to start shopping. All of the items are under $50 and if you are on a budget like myself, your welcome (; If you aren't quite sure what to get a special mama in your life a gift card to Century 21 would make a fantastic gift!

Century 21 Mothers Day Outfit

Century 21 Mothers Day Outfit by dearestlou on Polyvore
Vienna Wrap Dress- This stunning black dress would make for a perfect classy Mother's Day piece. I created this look around this dress since I could totally see myself wearing this on a weekly basis. I love that it has a nursing friendly neckline, cute ruffled sleeves, and a flowy skirt. I can only imagine how gorgeous the skirt portion of this dress would be if it caught some wind (; It's also on sale for 55% off which is a steal for such a staple.
Givenchy Bangles (1,2)- Since dying my hair rose gold I have been even more obsessed with that color and want all things rose gold! I love these givenchy bangles. They are timeless,  beautiful, and on sale for less that $30 a piece.
Givenchy Drop Earrings- I love a good statement earring and these are definitely high on my wishlist! These would really pop if you have short hair like me or wear your hair up on Mother's Day.
Marc Fisher Pumps- Every mama is in need of a good neutral heel and I'm really loving these caged pumps. The heel isn't too high which would make them bearable to walk in for a few hours before needing to switch to flats, lol. 
Under One Sky Tote- Every mama needs a good ol' tote. Now that I own a Tote Savvy I know I can use any bag as a diaper bag and I would totally use it with this Under One Sky tote. I love that it's very basic and would go with any outfit. Oh and did I mention it's REVERSIBLE? You get two bags in one and for only $26.99 that's such a steal.

Perfect Play Teepee

Rainy days are best cuddling and playing indoors or jumping in puddles! Zaden has outgrown his rain boots so today has been an inside day (; Whenever we pull out the boys Whimsy Way Teepee there are so many giggles, tickles, and rounds of peek-a-boo. It's also the perfect hiding spot to hide from bears and ghosts (Z has quite the imagination) or to snuggle and read a good book. 

Something unique about the design about this teepee vs other similar ones I've seen is that it has a cute little side window. Perfect for getting a little more natural light into the teepee and for more creative play. In the photos above you can see that Z stuck Adrien's plush elephant in the window, haha. 

The boys play and get along so well together and it makes my heart so happy. I always worried that a nearly 4 year age gap would be a problem but the age gap doesn't seem to stop these two cuties.

City Select Stroller

Towards the end of my pregnancy with Adrien I knew we would need to upgrade to a double stroller. I figured for the most part we could get by with baby wearing Adrien in a baby carrier and having Z hop in the stroller but sometimes it's nice to have a little break from baby wearing. Especially when shopping at the mall for clothes, haha. After looking around online I stumbled across the City Select Stroller by Baby Jogger. I loved the variation in seating, comfortable seats, and large canopys.

Variation in seating-What attracted me to this stroller is it's versatility. This stroller can be a single stroller, double stroller, or even triple stroller (you can get a little glider board for the back for an older child). It has a total of 16 different variations (configuration guide here).
Comfortable seats- These seats were made for comfort and can hold up to 45 lbs. I also love that the seats recline.
Large Canopys- There's nothing more annoying than having the sun in  your eyes when trying to sleep. I love the large canopy's on the City Select seats. They also have a peek-a-boo window which is perfect for checking in on little sleepers. I love that it has a magnetic closure and not a noisy Velcro strip.

The only con to this stroller is storing it in a compact car. The stroller along with the seats take up quite a bit of space in our trunk which leaves little room for other things. It's just something to consider!

Overall we love this stroller and highly recommend it.

Lorena Canals Rug

How gorgeous is this rug from Lorena Canals? Our current rug in our living room is just about ready to make its way to the dumpster but I'm holding onto it until we move. I figured it would be best to use and style this rug at our next place.

We received the Berber in Black for our review. I wanted something very versatile and dark so it wouldn't show wear as easily. I immediately fell in love with the design and it seems very durable so far. If I'm completely honest I have only used it in the boys playroom for a few weeks. I can't testify that it is durable but so far it seems to be holding up great and still looks brand new. The selling point with these rugs are that they are MACHINE WASHABLE! I know I'm going to need to get another one for our bedroom, I really love the Berber in Beige and Azteca Natural.

Since I'm currently working on decluttering and getting ready to move here in the next few weeks I decided I would style this rug at Be More Studios! My friend Tara recently upgraded to a larger creative space and it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The open house is tomorrow 11-2pm (261 N. University Ave. Provo, UT). They are giving away free sessions and monthly sessions, trust me guys, you don't want to miss it.

The Perfect Everyday Maxi

I'm wearing: Mikah Maxi Dress | Brooklyn Hat Co Fedora | Mashugana Earrings | Shoes (similar)

How perfect is this maxi dress? Now that summer is quickly approaching I'm on the lookout for affordable/modest dresses. This Mikah Maxi Dress is the best of both worlds. Under $30 ($24 when you sign up for emails) you can't get much cheaper than that for a new maxi dress! I love that this dress is modest, has a flowy but flattering fit, and HAS POCKETS! Pockets are a mama's best friend and I know I will be purchasing this beauty in the black and white stripe print so I can wear it while I shoot weddings this summer (;

I styled my maxi dress with this cute fedora from Brooklyn Hat Company! This fedora which is part of the spring/summer collection. It's the perfect everyday hat except it's a little too big on me. I finished off my look with orange stud earrings, and my tan cut out flats!

Maroon Dress + Pearls with Purpose

I'm wearing: Gwendolyn's Glam Dress from Alice's Pig | Celestial Floater Necklace from Pearls with Purpose

I mentioned in my Instagram post yesterday that I feel like the lady in the red dress emoji in this gown. I originally got this dress and wore it on my anniversary last year but wanted to style it once again since it deserves a proper feature. The last time I wore this dress I was about 17 lbs heavier and it fits me so differently now, especially in the chest/waist. If I were to order it again I would definitely size down! The laced sleeves and flowy elegant fit make this the perfect evening dress for a special occasion. I also love the neckline since I can breastfeed Adrien very easily in this dress. I just added a little safety pin for additional coverage.

My gorgeous necklace is from Pearls with Purpose. I love this organization, Pearls with Purpose offers women in underdeveloped countries an opportunity to own their own micro-business and break free from poverty. Each purchase enables these women to provide food and education for their children. The Celestial Floater Necklace added the perfect finishing touch to my look. If you are in the market for pearls, jewelry, or simply want to donate to a great cause.. go check out Pearls with Purpose!

Friday Finds: Shop Splash

As of today, I'm starting a new series on the blog, Friday Finds. This series will feature new shops I have found and want to share with you. I want to primarily focus on women fashion but may occasionally feature a home good store or baby/kids clothing store!

Summer is just around the corner which means it's time to start shopping for summer clothing and swimsuits. A company I have recently stumbled upon is Shop Splash. What once was a small local shop in the Bahamas has grown into an online sensation. They have recently opened up a new location in Miami, Florida too! 

Shop Splash is more pricey than your average boutique and carry higher end items. I love looking at higher end boutiques for inspiration and staples in my wardrobe. I can't stress enough how important I think it is to splurge on items that you will be wearing on a weekly basis. I also like buying multiples of items I love so that I don't regret it once I have completely worn out an item (;

I've created beach look below exclusively featuring items from Shop Splash:

shop splash

Swimsuit (Top || Bottoms)- How perfect is this swimsuit?! I've found myself gravitating to blush pinks as of late and love everything this swimsuit has to offer! The off the shoulder top, ruffles, and unique wrap detail  are what really stand out to me. I also love the high waist bottoms, perfect for post-baby belly! They also don't cut off the booty in an awkward spot like a lot of high waist bottoms. 

Shibari Coverup- How gorgeous is this cover-up? I love the flowy fit, color, and the slit in the leg. This looks like the perfect cover-up to throw on after a long day at the beach or pool. 

Tularosa Sandals- These espadrille-inspired sandals are perfect for slipping into on-the-go. Now that I have little ones I don't have time to be buckling or tying and find myself grabbing slip-on's whenever possible. I love that they are nude and will go with just about anything. A staple sandal like this is definitely worth investing in.

Abilene Fedora- Cute and will give you extra coverage from the sun.

Notebook- Perfect for jotting down notes or journaling while at the beach or pool.

Wanderlust Roll Top Bag- I love this bag. It's very timeless and perfect for not only the beach but everyday use. You can easily throw your towel and all of your other personal needs in here.

Vanessa Gold Sunglasses- Cat eye shape, gold, and affordable!

SPF 70- It's super important to protect your skin when spending large amounts of time in the sun. 

Breastfeeding Clothing Must-Haves

Hey pregnant ladies and mamas, this post is for you! 
Today's post features three products I highly recommend for those of you who are/planning on breastfeeding. 

Bravado Designs Seamless Nuring Bra/Cami: First let's talk about nursing bras. It's so important to have proper support when breastfeeding. The first few weeks when your milk comes in are so rough. The feeling of engorgement and let down are no fun and having an uncomfortable nursing bra makes the experience so much worst, haha. Bravado Designs have the absolute best nursing bras around. I've tried bras from Target, Motherhood Maternity, and Walmart and no other nursing bras (that I have tried) compares. I own their seamless nursing bra and cami and they are so comfortable and supportive. I love the cami when I'm wearing tops that I need to pull up to nurse in, it just provides that extra bit of coverage. They have a variety of styles and colors you can check out here.

Blanqi High Waist Postpartum + Nursing Legggings: If there's one thing aside from a good nursing bra to invest in it's a GREAT pair of everyday leggings. I live in leggings and I have yet to find another brand other than Blanqi that I LOVE. The super high waist is my favorite feature. I'm not talking to the belly button ladies, these go all the way up and hit right under the bra. These are so nice when it comes to nursing in public since you can keep your mid-section completely covered. I mean more power to you if you don't mind your belly sticking out a bit while you nurse (; They are also moisture wicking and seamless, perfect for even the hottest of summer days. I lived in my maternity ones last year and I've been wearing these on a weekly basis since A was born. 

Pink Blush Robe: For the first 2 months, new breastfeeding mothers spend a majority of the time nursing. Babies eat so much and since they are still learning how to eat it takes a ton of time. I didn't get dressed very often the first few weeks and a pretty robe helps me feel put together and comfortable during the day. It also helps keep me covered up when guests came over without having to find an outfit to throw on. I love the different styles Pink Blush offers they truly have something for everyone.