Mom on the Go | Outfit

Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com  Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com12

Generally, when you search for mom-on-the-go style, a circle skirt is probably not on the list of items to wear. Yet, that’s exactly what I reach for first. The fullness makes it an easy item to move around in, lift, sit, run, whatever you need to do with kids. It also hides any random stains that might be made through the day (hello, ketchup), and can be easily styled with a tee and flats to make it a stylish outfit that is comfortable, practical, and retro.

The fabric of this skirt is moisture-wicking, too, which makes it even better for a mom outfit.

Today was the first time I’ve ever taken both kids with me to run errands. We went to McDonald’s for lunch, then to the pediatrician for Asa’s 2 year checkup and shots, and then to the store for some diapers and a few groceries. So I needed an outfit that was easy, but I also wanted to look put-together.

Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.comMom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com

For some reason, I toss this shirt in my Goodwill pile every time I clean out my closet. The fabric is thin, and the shirt tends to ride up on my hips, so I always have second thoughts about keeping it. But then I rescue it, because it is soft, has long sleeves, and can be nursed in.  And the color is gorgeous. As you probably know, I love bright colors, and while blue is not usually my go-to color, I realized today that I have a headscarf in the exact color of this shirt, and these flats are basically in the same color family. They don’t match, but they go.

That’s a concept my mom (hi, mom!) has a hard time with. While I am okay with colors that aren’t super matching, but are generally complimentary to each other, my mom loves to match everything with everything. A few weeks ago she texted me a selfie wearing jewelry that didn’t match, and told me that it was very hard for her to not change out the necklace with something that matched her earrings. I told her I was so proud. And also laughing.

Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com

Style wise, my mom and I are vastly different, yet somehow the same; I am super girly and always have been, while she grew up a tomboy. She loves paisley and tie-dye, I prefer polka-dots and gingham. I like to mix patterns and colors, she likes to match. She rarely wears makeup, I wear it almost every day.

But, before I was married and while I still lived with my parents, somehow we always inadvertently chose the same color schemes almost every day. Often, she’ll exclaim “I wore something like that in highschool!” and I dearly wish that the one or two items she’s saved from her highschool days would fit me (but she was shorter and thinner than I am, so alas!)

Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com

Shirt, Target | Skirt, self-made | shoes, belt, brooch, and headscarf, thrifted | earrings, gift.

It’s interesting to me to see what I’ve inherited from my parents as I get older. I am social and talkative like my dad, yet introverted and need my own space like my mom. I have my dad’s lips, but my mom’s face. I bottle up my emotions like my dad (hi, dad), but also crave open communication like my mom.

And style? Well, I think I am most like my dad’s mom, who, at my age, wore the same types of skirts and easygoing but elegant outfits. Mom on the Go | www.eccentricowl.com

Grandma Helen on the left; my mom in 7th grade, my dad in his teens.

What did you gain from your parents? Or your grandparents? Funny enough, I am not blood related to my grandma — my dad was adopted. But I was born on her birthday, and I have always wanted to be like her. I hope one day I can be the woman of faith, kindness, and humor that she was!

Happy Wednesday!

ksig

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Evie Rose: Five Months

Evie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.com    Evie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.comEvie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.com

I’m a little late with Evie’s five month photos, but OH MY GOSH SHE IS FIVE MONTHS OLD WHAAT. I feel like every month is going faster and faster as she gets more interactive and more interested in things (like the sparkly shoes on her feet.)

This month she started rolling over, finally, and her feet grew big enough to wear aforementioned pretty shoes. She loves it when Asa bounces, or when I bounce her, and when she’s really, really tired she will laugh at basically anything.

Evie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.com   Evie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.comEvie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.com

She is still majorly a thumb-sucker, but it has yet to help her sleep through the night. Although the doctor said at her last checkup that she “certainly has the reserves to sleep through the night” and we should start sleep training, she still refuses to go back to sleep without nursing. Even after having daddy rock her.  But, I don’t mind the cuddles. They’re only little for a short time!

Evie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.comEvie Rose: Five  Months | www.eccentricowl.com

As you can see, her smiles (and thighs) are just scrumptious and irresistible. Those cheeks get lots of kisses.

She is my Sunshine Buddha baby 2.0. (Asa was the first one. Especially here.)

ksig

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Me Before You | Book Review + Inspired Outfit

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.comMe Before You | www.eccentricowl.com Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

It’s only fitting that I start off this month’s book reviews with a romance. And if you want a romance that will throw you into conflict and probably break your heart, then Me Before You is something you should read.

The synopsis (via the back of the book):

“Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living and exceedingly ordinary life — steady boyfriend, close family — who has hardly been farther afield than her tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life — big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel — and he is not interested in exploring a new one.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy — but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, Lou sets out to show him that life is still worth living.”

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

I shouldn’t have been skeptical of this book, because Sara Lily has an excellent record so far and this is the last of the novels she mailed me, but I was. I’m always a bit wary of romance novels, because I write them and I hate reading a novel that I end up thinking “I could have done better.” (Not that I think I am better, but that I go through the novel thinking “why didn’t they do this instead?” or “that sentence should be rewritten” and etc. I have an editorial mind when reading.)

I needn’t have been so afraid to be disappointed, though!

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

Louisa Clark is the girl who is left behind and sitting in the shadow of those around her — her sister Katrina, who is considered the “smart” one, her boyfriend Patrick who is obsessed with training and fitness — and has no aspirations in her life. She likes her quiet little existence and boring little village, and doesn’t want to leave it. But when her job at the cafe where she’s worked for years is suddenly taken away, she is forced to find a new vocation. Not only for herself as income, but as the one in her family who can support them all. She is pressured to take a job caring for Will by her sister, who needs someone to pay school fees and who reminds her that her newly-unemployed parents desperately need someone to take the worry off their minds about money.

After the first day, she hates her job. Will hates her, she is bored out of her mind, and she doesn’t think she can take six months of caring for a man who sits staring out the window and has no desire to do anything outside of his home.

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

But then one day, she decides not to put up with his crap. And then, after overhearing a private conversation between Will’s mother and sister, she realizes that she has been hired for a very specific purpose, and she only has six months to fulfill that purpose.

So, she sets out to make the next six months the best Will has had since his accident, to show him that even being wheelchair bound he can have a wonderful life, and to convince him that it’s worth living even when he needs someone to do every single thing for him.

Spoilers ahead, if you hadn’t already guessed his plans and I  might also give away the end of the book. You have been warned.

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

As she figures out things they can do and ways to make him see how wonderful life is, Lou realizes she’s falling in love with Will, and Will feels the same. But, because of his plans to end his life at Dignitas (a real place, I had no idea), he is reluctant to let Lou throw her life at him in this way and constantly encourages her to widen her horizons. Through the book, he doesn’t know that she knows his plans until the very end.

I was really conflicted about the whole Dignitas thing. A central theme in Louisa’s journey to figuring out how to convince Will to live was a few people (and Will himself) saying “but it’s not your choice to convince him to live; it’s his choice to live or die.” Assisted suicide was the last thing in Will’s life that could be 100% his own decision, and through the novel he is fighting to keep the right to choose to end his existence. And I was conflicted about that.

For the novel’s purpose, it was a really good conflict to have and I was actually really satisfied with the ending because it was realistic, and I am also a sucker for a romance that ends tragically. Will didn’t change his mind in those short six months, despite falling in love with Lou, and that’s pretty real. I doubt someone who was paralyzed and wanted to end life would really change their minds after years of mental torture and absolutely hating that they could no longer be the person they were before — especially since that person was active, rich, respected, had many friends, and lived a very big life.

But obviously I am conflicted about assisted suicide. Any suicide. I just have to put it out there; it makes me so sad that for some life is so utterly hopeless that Dignitas actually exists to help them end themselves. That is such a deep, dark place one has to be in to make that decision.

Me Before You | www.eccentricowl.com

Earrings (old) c/o Oasap | everything else, thrifted

So as a tragic romance novel, I loved Me Before You. It was sweet, considerate, thought-provoking, and just a really entertaining read. And my conflict about Dignitas totally does not negate the fact that I want to go see the film when it comes out! (Side note, I finished reading the book and only a few days later realized they made a movie. And I think they cast it really well!)

Last but not least, on a whole different note, you’ve probably noticed my new theme by now. And if you don’t follow me on Social Media (WHY NOT: Insta, Facebook, Twitter) then you wouldn’t know that Lyndsey designed it and she is brilliant! She offered me a blog makeover as a Secret Santa gift, and I could not be more thrilled with the results. The header is hand-painted by her, and she did such an awesome job of working off of my inspiration board and my tagline to create something that is 100% me, from the colors to the mushrooms to the owl to… just everything. It’s so good!

So, go tell her how amazing she is. Because she deserves all the praise!

Happy Monday!

ksig

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A Tale of Two Outfits

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

Much like most little girls, when I was little I really wanted to be a ballerina. I loved the costumes, the pirouettes, the grace, the glamour, the ballet shoes; I would have loved to have joined the ranks of fluffy tutus and ribbons around my ankles to learn how to move my body with such precision and elegance. But I grew up poor – though I never knew it – and my parents couldn’t afford to put me in dance. So I read my ballet books, put on my fluffiest skirts, and just pretended.

When the year came in our church’s Christmas play that they asked myself and another girl to be Angels in the play, a role that included tights, ballet shoes, and white tutus, I was thrilled. I loved that role, and I distinctly remember that I was so into it I got irritated that the other girl didn’t keep time properly. Even at the age of 6 or 7, I had the rhythm. And she may have been more expressive and convincing, but I was going to do it right, or so help me.

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

As I grew up, my yearning for dance never quite faded. I participated yearly in our church Christmas musicals, always as a backup dancer, loved learning every new move, wished that every dance would go longer, and thrived in the moment of song and movement. Every year, I wished more and more that I could take proper lessons.

For a few months after my 21st birthday, I did get to take lessons of a sort, by way of swing dancing at a local gym where a hundred or so people gathered to dance, some dressed in 50’s garb as they tapped away on the floor. But that was altogether too short lived. And back then, I didn’t dress like I do now; I admired the stylish men and women who committed to their theme, but I was a jeans-and-tees girl wearing dresses only on the weekends and for special occasions.

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

I never expected that one day I would be looking very like those people dancing the night away in the gym, and even before I found this skirt I never thought I would really be a ballerina-esque-clothing type girl. But here we are with this pastel pink tulle skirt that I have so far worn three ways in the short time that I’ve had it, that I already have styled in five more ways in my head, emulating the Lindy-Boppers I admired from afar just a few short years ago.

I still don’t know how to dance aside from the few Swing steps I learned, which are fast fading in my mind, but I like to pretend. This skirt makes me feel like the dancer that I never got  to be. I think I could have been a good dancer; I have the muscular legs for it, I have rhythm, music moves my heart and emotions, and the most common word people (amusingly, to me) use to describe me is “graceful.”(I mean, I might choose something else, something a bit more relaxed and definitely silly, but I know me too well.)

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

Originally, as you can see, I styled this top/skirt combo MUCH differently. I thought I liked it, but the more I looked at the pictures the less it really felt “me”. There’s something a bit too busy and almost aging about that first outfit — I had on too many accessories on my head (flower, dangly earrings, curly updo, glasses), the shoes and belt aren’t quite tied in, the ruffles on the shirt needed a bit more simplicity… altogether it’s a nice outfit, but not… right.

So yesterday I decided to try again after Hannah sent me a few polka-dot treasures that she had decided to part with. The headband was all the inspiration I needed, and suddenly I knew the perfect Valentine’s way to style the whole thing! Polka-dots really are magic. I ended up with a simpler, much more cohesive outfit that felt so much more like myself even without glasses.

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

I rarely go without my glasses for a blog post these days. They have become so much a part of me and my style that it feels odd not to wear them, and I found myself more than once going to push up lenses that were not there. I feel more confident with glasses on… probably because it’s a bit harder to be confident when you can’t see clearly further than 2 feet from your face.

But this outfit felt right without them. For once I wanted to actually see the cat-eye makeup I wear every day; glasses obscure my eye makeup. I wanted to not war with the headband going over my glasses, because sometimes that makes them stick in a funny position. And sometimes I just don’t have the right frames to go with an outfit. Not cat-eye enough, not dark enough, something like that.

A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com A Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.comA Tale of Two Outfits | www.eccentricowl.com

Entire outfit, thrifted, vintage, or gift

This ensemble is currently my top running to wear for Valentine’s day. I’m hoping to post a few more Valentine’s-inspired looks before the 14th, but it’s been a crazy week and the weather is currently crappy, so we will see! This is the first year that I’ve really, really actually started to plan outfits ahead of time. Are you an outfit planner, or do you just wake up in the morning and decide right then what you want to wear? Usually, I fall in the latter category, but I have found that the more I hone down my wardrobe, the easier it is to plan and the less I’ll change my mind the next day.

Today I am also posting a How We Wore it Valentine’s Day edition roundup of all the SBS gals; if you want some Valentine’s Day inspiration, hop over and check it out!

Happy Thursday!

ksig

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Cherry, Cherry

Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.comCherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

Yesterday I got to meet the wonderful Sara Lily (aka my BBRBF – best book-reading blog friend), and we have a few posts all scheduled later to talk about that, but one thing I noticed is that she is excellent at posing. Like, girl just knows how to work it! When I pose, I tend to think I have to change it all up and have my feet, hands, and head all in different positions for each new photo. This means that usually I start to repeat poses because I just can’t think of any other whole-body ways to stand.

Sara Lily, though, is an expert at doing that thing that I think I heard Tyra say once on ANTM — just tweak it. Pose, then move one hand, then the other, then look up, then look down, then move your foot, then your other one, quirk your fingers, tilt your head; tweak every bit of your pose so that instead of inventing an entirely different stance each time, you are essentially creating a slow dance that is fluid movement from one photo to the next.

Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

Since its February 1st, I decided to go with a Valentine’s-day-esque theme for the next few posts. Because bloggers love a theme, right? I mean, it’s basically a waste to not dress in a theme when celebrating a holiday or going to Disney Land (and while I do giggle at the concept, I also mean that wholeheartedly. I am the person who made a Star Wars skirt specifically to wear to see The Force Awakens, so…), so I’m basically just going to wear pink and red for the next two weeks until you’re sick of seeing pinup Valentine looks.

This first outfit features one of my favorite dresses, which was part of one of my favorite outfits (here), and which made its way to a few of the Shaped by Style girls last year. I thought it was the perfect candidate to pair with this heart cardigan. I tried really, really  hard to separate it from the previously mentioned favorite styling, but… same tights, same shoes… oops.Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.comCherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

This brooch  belonged to my grandma – she always wore it on her coat, and I don’t think I ever remember it not being pinned to her itchy woolen lapel. In fact, after she died, my dad brought me her coat and the brooch was still pinned to it. So, since the coat was not in my style in the least, I removed the pin and I hope to one day have a go-to coat that I can leave the brooch on in her memory. Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com     Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

I have been trying to wear my hair down more lately – I realized that I have defaulted to what I like to call the “lazy retro mom” hairstyle. Headscarf, bun, and a victory roll or two. That way my  hair is done with minimal effort, but looks like I cared that day. Ha! So, I’m experimenting with hair-down styles that still feel pinup or retro. I’ve never really considered myself a pinup — I think pinup is a very “done” style and my style is usually… as easy as I can make it. But I love the aesthetic, and I feel myself moving more and more towards it all the time.

And with a headscarf, red lips, and a good hairstyle, it is much easier to morph into that style than I had imagined! I always think of pinup-style bloggers as spending hours on hair and makeup, but this entire look took me maybe 15 minutes. It’s something I should do a tutorial on, because I know I’m not the only one who loves the aesthetic but was intimidated by the perceived time it takes to get there!

Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.comCherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

Seriously, though, if you can do a good victory roll (easier than you think!) and a cat-eye (also easier with the right tools), you’re pretty much there.

I ended up really liking the way my hair looked down in the back with just one roll in the front, and for once I went with lipstick. Surprisingly, because I am really girly and I do love makeup, I hate wearing lipstick. It gets all over everything when you have two kids who smush their little fingers all over your lips and chin (usually unintentionally). And if I’m wearing lipstick my husband will not kiss me.

I know people who just wear it anyway, but guys… I like kisses. And also I don’t like keeping up the color. So if anyone has recommendations for drugstore lipsticks that stay on, don’t smudge, and can’t be smeared by little hands, please let me know!

Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

Back to Sara Lily- when I was posing for my solo shots (yes, we did a photoshoot together! We’re fashion bloggers, it’s what you do!) she asked if I ever tried to do the Disney Princess pose, and… well, you’ll see my reaction to that question in a post later (it was not pretty), but I think I’ve perfected it. This is totally a Disney Princess pose. Heel popped, pinky raised, displaying my skirt. Which leads me to really, really want to do a pinup Disney outfits series.

I need to start a “blog this” list. Seriously.

Cherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.comCherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.comCherry, Cherry | www.eccentricowl.com

Tights and earrings, Target | everything else, thrifted/vintage

I apologize for the rambling nature of this post; it’s one of those days! I’m off to clean my house, figure out what dinner will be, and start in on my February reading list. Don’t forget to suggest books if you have a novel I must read this year. (Here’s my reading list so far)

Happy Monday!

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