Plaid + Bows | Shaped by Style

Plaid + Bows |

Happy Friday! Yesterday I posted on Shaped by Style wearing a dress that I think would ALSO have made an adorable Thanksgiving dress. And funny enough, Hannah, from whom I borrowed it, said that she thought the same thing. (Also, I styled this outfit and my Thanksgiving outfit two weeks apart, but still somehow managed to wear the same shoes. Oops!)

Pop over to see the whole look, and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Don’t forget, I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop until November 30th, so if you use the code THANKS15 you’ll get 15% off anything!


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Thankful For…

Thankful For... |

It’s 6 minutes to Midnight and Thanksgiving is nearly over. But still I had to write a little post on what I’ve been thankful for this year.

I’m thankful for my family; the two babies I have, my best-friend of a husband, my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, nephews and nieces. I’m thankful for our ability to finally live in a house of our own. I’m thankful for the experiences brought into my life through postpartum depression and my pregnancy with Evie; probably two of my least favorite things to go through, but two things that have brought me closer to God and to family members and things that have taught me so much and helped me to grow. I’m thankful for the new friends I’ve made, even though I am an introvert at heart and hate making new friends (so much stress! But, so worth it.) I’m thankful for old friendships that have stood the test of time. I’m thankful for my friends’ babies, and all the new lives that have been celebrated this year. I’m thankful for the simple things. Food, warmth, and home.

And, I am thankful for this blog, for you who follow along and who have blogs of your own and who have been amazing as you read what I write and share my love for fashion. It may sound cliche, but I truly would not be who I am today without you!

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving, as late as it may be.


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A Modern Housewife

A Modern Housewife | A Modern Housewife |

Hello! Since I’ll be posting on Shaped by Style tomorrow, I thought I’d share what I’ll be wearing for Thanksgiving today. I’ve been struggling a bit emotionally these last few days with some lingering postpartum depression, so I haven’t felt like getting dressed or posting anything. It’s not an intense struggle, just that hollow feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you don’t feel quite right, or the occasional ache of your heart when you’re feeling a bit blue. But, the sun came out today, I made Evie laugh several times, and I’m excited to spend time with family (and especially excited to make and eat pie), so I’m feeling better today.

Besides which, this dress never fails to make me a little happier! I found it at Goodwill during the great Halloween Haul (they put out the best stuff during Halloween, I think) for $7. It’s a 1950’s frock that fits absolutely perfectly, it buttons so I can nurse in it, and it’s such a beautiful silky-feeling fabric! Plus, the colors are just gorgeous.

A Modern Housewife |

I found these shoes on the same trip, and while they’re not quite the exact same color as in the dress, I think they go well enough to pair up.

I wanted to try to dress a bit thematically this year, so I picked an acorn brooch to accent the dress. It’s just enough of an ode to Fall and Thanksgiving without being over-the-top. I love seeing other bloggers dress with a theme, but I don’t think it’s quite my taste to, say, wear a donut dress to a donut shop. Although I am making a Star Wars skirt to wear to the newest Star Wars movie when it comes out, and I made my husband a tie to match. So… I only dress overtly in a theme when it’s nerdy. 😉

  A Modern Housewife | A Modern Housewife |

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your family, if you’re in the US, and if you’re not… I hope your Thursday is wonderful! I am making this post quick because I have to start a Paleo pumpkin pie that I’ve never attempted before (I’m sort of doing it on the fly and just modifying regular recipes), a regular pumpkin pie, I might try to make some sort of pumpkin-cheesecake bites, and I have to make mashed sweet potatoes which I’m going to bake with maple-glazed spicy walnuts on top.

A Modern Housewife |

Vintage dress, flats, vintage brooch, and vintage scarf, thrifted | belt, belonged to another dress from Target

Have a happy, happy Thanksgiving!

And by the way, I’m having a sale in my Etsy shop until November 30th, so if you use the code THANKS15 you’ll get 15% off anything! And I just added a party dresses section, so you definitely need one of those. 😉


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Breaking the Rules

Breaking the Rules | www.eccentricowl.comBreaking the Rules |

This week, I am testing out a few holiday party outfit options. And after so many of you commiserated or posted words of encouragement about yesterday’s “back fat” post, I was thinking about another part of my body that doesn’t really fit society’s standards. I didn’t write that post for people to tell me that I don’t need to Photoshop myself or that they didn’t see what I see or that I look fine; while those are nice things to hear, that wasn’t the purpose of posting about something that I saw as a flaw. The point was to say “I have back fat, but that’s okay! I am more than my body, I’m attractive in spite of flaws, and what’s more, so are you.”

Today I want to take it a step further by breaking a few fashion rules to emphasize a part of my body that most magazine advice articles would tell me to cover up. I hope y’all don’t get too tired of my spouting off body-positive posts, but if you do, well… you can ignore the text and just look at the pictures. However, you might have noticed in that first picture that I have a fairly rounded belly, and pretty full hips. After having had two kids, both of those things are becoming more pronounced. And you know what? I’m pretty okay with that.

Breaking the Rules | Breaking the Rules |

I actually have just started to think how silly it is that while I was pregnant I tried to emphasize the belly as much as I could, but post-pregnancy I’ve been trying to hide it as much as possible. Why? I’ve always liked my belly, and it’s never been flat. How is it so bad to have a little extra curve there, and to wear things that *gasp* show it off?

I’ve read a lot of articles over the years on how to dress your body in a flattering way. And I’m definitely not against wearing things that flatter you — you want to dress to feel good, don’t you? I know I do; that’s why my go-to outfit is a fitted top and a flared skirt. It’s what I feel best in, and it hides the bits of my body that I’m only now beginning to accept as okay. All of the advice written for my body shape, which is somewhere between  hourglass and pear, would be pretty against wearing this skirt.

Don’t wear busy patterns on the bottom, they would say, wear larger prints to disguise your wide hips. Don’t wear fitted skirts that hug your belly fat. Wear spanx to smooth out those pesky  bulges. Don’t wear pencil skirts, wear flared ones that hide your thighs. But you know what? I like this skirt. It’s a busy pattern, it’s a small pattern, it’s very stretchy and fitted, and I don’t even own spanx. I didn’t expect to like it post-baby, since I generally don’t go for bodycon silhouettes when I’m not pregnant and thrifted it while I was pregnant, but I do. I love this skirt on me. It breaks all those fashion rules, which I think are meant to be broken, and it makes me feel good.

  Breaking the Rules |

I used to dread having a “mom body” in some ways. Years ago, when I was at my thinnest and ironically my most insecure, I did not look forward to dealing with the extra weight that comes after having a few kids. I dreaded carrying those extra curves and vowed that I would work as hard as I could to lose all the baby weight so that I could feel good again.

Little did I know that I would actually put on something fitted while 30 pounds heavier than I was then, and feel amazing. Even today it was pretty unexpected, and instead of making me feel uncomfortable as I had expected before putting on this skirt, I feel more at home with my shape than ever before. I feel more confident, happier, and just plain good in a skirt that my skinnier self would have felt insecure wearing.

Breaking the Rules | Breaking the Rules |

Moral of the story today?

Break the rules sometimes. They’re great guidelines, but no clothing rule is a solid one. You can have wide hips and wear pencil skirts. You can have belly fat and wear bodycon clothes. You can have a curvy body and wear a tent dress. You can be stick straight and not try to fake curves with belts. You can wear whatever you want to wear and feel good doing it. It’s your body, dress how you wanna dress.

Breaking the Rules |

Skirt and top, thrifted | ring, gift | shoes, Target (old) | ring, gift | earrings, grandma’s/vintage

Chances are, when you feel awesome in something, even if it breaks all the rules, everyone is going to think you look great. Happiness is the best accessory of all, and the most forgiving form of attire.

Wanna read some great body-positive posts? Check these ones out:

Being an Average Sized Girl in a Non-Average Sized Online World – Franish
It’s All a Bunch of Voodoo (Along With Wome Thoughts on Body Image) – In a Nutshell
My Pinup Life: The Opportunities, Body Positivity, & Friends – Miss Amy May

I hope you are all having a wonderful week!


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Feeling Festive

Feeling Festive |     Feeling Festive |

Today is the first time I have ever considered photoshopping my body in some way for the blog.

I feel really great about this outfit; I love the combination of red, black, and white; I love the sequins on my shoulders, the gorgeous Rocksbox jewelry, the way my hair turned out, and the overall feeling of festivity with the colors and the cold day and the season. I was having a lot of fun taking pictures — other than hoping my neighbor didn’t suddenly emerge from his garage and wonder what the heck I was doing — and shot the upcoming picture with the thought “oh, wow, that angle really makes my waist look small!” as I viewed it in the small replay screen on the camera. But then, I saw it on my computer.

And I cringed a little.

Feeling Festive |

This belt is not tight on me, nor is the skirt. It’s not a struggle to zip or hook, it feels comfortable, and I never would have thought it would produce such a drastic roll above the waistline.

And I have never before considered using the clone tool to smooth out lumps and bumps, but for a good five minutes I stared at the roll of my post-baby waist that curves out over my belt, and I really wanted to make it disappear. I even tested what it would look like to just touch up that area. Nobody would ever have known; it’s not like I would Photoshop myself into Disney Princess proportions, nor even erase every single lump, — let’s be honest, if I really cared I would probably take the time to clone out the lines of my nursing bra — I just wanted less of that fat that hangs out where I used to have none.

But that’s not what my blog is about. This isn’t a magazine where people are paid to make everything look perfect, where money and professions ride on having fantasy-like photoshoots of beautiful people in beautiful clothes with perfect bodies and flawless skin. This is real life. Sure, I do minimal post-processing on my photos in that I generally color-correct and color-enhance slightly. However, I have never Photoshopped myself. I made a vow once that no matter what, I never would Photoshop myself. So instead, I’m sharing this picture that nearly made me break that little promise to myself.

 Feeling Festive |

Even though I have another shot that hides the back fat. Why?

Because I want to be a reminder and an encouragement. A reminder that we are more than just how our bodies look, that back fat (or any fat) doesn’t negate from our attractiveness, that you can still feel good about yourself even if you aren’t at your hoped-for weight. And an encouragement especially to new moms that it’s normal. Obviously by  now we all know (hopefully) that celebrities who drop baby weight in a month have a ton of help and are not realistic people to set our standards by. Or for myself, my first postpartum experience of unintentionally (aka, I didn’t do anything to try) losing the baby weight in 14 days… that’s not always going to happen. And it’s okay. It’s healthy, even.

Feeling Festive |

Because we as women, or as new moms… we are all so different and our experiences are all going to be vastly differing from each other — just as my first pregnancy and postpartum period was incredibly different from my second one — and we cannot compare them to anyone else. We shouldn’t be comparing our bodies to other bodies, thinking that because we didn’t lose weight the same way that person did we aren’t enough, or because we aren’t experiencing the same happiness, we’re doing something wrong.

My friends going through postpartum periods right now have been heavily on my mind lately, and I hope to encourage them especially at whatever stage they’re in, whatever body they’re in, whatever emotions they’re feeling… it’s all okay. It’s all normal, and, most importantly, they aren’t alone! Not in feeling like this season is a terrible one, or that they’re not connecting with motherhood like they thought they would, or they’re not ready for their other kids to grow up yet, or they wish they could be skinnier than they are now, or didn’t have the scars pregnancy gave them, or whatever it is about life in this moment that is less-than-desirable.

Feeling Festive | Feeling Festive |

I think most of all, I really want to stress that it’s totally okay not to enjoy every single moment of new motherhood, because having a newborn is hard enough without feeling pressured to love it, and without feeling guilty that you don’t. You’re running on broken up sleep, dealing with nursing problems, figuring out a tiny human’s needs, changing a million poopy diapers daily, and barely have time to even take a shower, much less get dressed and try fitting back into your pre-pregnancy clothes.

And yes, that tiny human is 100% worth it, but sometimes it’s hard to feel that when it’s 2am and the baby is screaming and your nipples are raw and your emotions are shredded. And you know what? That’s okay. Because someday it will be a little easier, and you will start to enjoy the moments. There will be time to find the beauty in every day. I think motherhood is full of seasons, seasons that are different for every mother. Some seasons are full of hardship and emotion, some seasons are full of sunshine and happiness. And each season is necessary, and normal, and not going to last forever.

Feeling Festive |

Sweater, belt, and headscarf, thrifted | heels, Target | jewelry subscription provided free of charge via Rocksbox – $19.99/mo| skirt provided free of charge via Choies (old)

Including this season of having unexpected back rolls and hips that don’t lie. 😉

What about you? Have you ever Photoshopped or thought about Photoshopping yourself? Are you in a season that you aren’t really enjoying?

And, by the way, I’m not saying that I’m against Photoshop – hey, sometimes you have the lumps or the zits that you just want to get rid of for the sake of a prettier picture, and that’s ok! It’s basically a computer’s form of makeup and spanx. But personally, while I’m on the road to postpartum health and sharing real life motherhood, I don’t think I will ever use it.

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far!

And as always, if you want your very own month of Rocksbox for free, use the code eccentricowlblogxoxo to try it out! If it’s not your thing, you can cancel super easy. If it IS your thing, well then… you’re welcome!


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