A Modern Housewife

A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com A Modern Housewife | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 31st, 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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com Breaking the Rules | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com Breaking the Rules | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com     Feeling Festive | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com Feeling Festive | www.eccentricowl.com

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 | www.eccentricowl.com

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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Fashion literature

 Fashion literature | www.eccentricowl.com

Shirt (chosen by me) provided free of charge from SammyDress in return for opinions.

I don’t know, guys. It’s rainy and dark and entirely Washington-stereotypical today, and really not great light but I like this outfit and I had to photograph it anyway.

This shirt is from SammyDress, and I think it has more pros than the polka dot skirt did. Actually, the only con I can think of is that it’s too short for my figure, which is the case with most tee shirts; I don’t have a particularly long torso, but my shape tends to shorten things due to, you know, curviness and hips and all that, so this tee hits just below my belly but then rides up. But it’s that really nice soft fabric (not cotton) that stretches just a little, and it’s a comfortable addition to my breastfeeding wardrobe. And, I just noticed, the colors/print are not as bright and crisp as they look on the picture. Otherwise, it is as described!

I chose it because it has an Alice in Wonderland scene on it, and I’m partial to literature on clothes.

Fashion literature | www.eccentricowl.com

As the year slowly comes to an end, I’m starting to think more about what I want to do with my blog next year, and how that is shaping up some goals. In particular, reading! I occasionally do book reviews entwined with inspired-by-the-cover outfits, and I really want to do that more with the blog because, you know, I like reading, I like fashion, and I love combining the two. So my goal is to read 52 books next year, and blog about all of them. Good, bad, and ugly.

I already have two that I bought from Goodwill, both inadvertently having something to do with Jane Austen, and I found a list of books you should read before you die according to librarians, so those are going in my queue (if I haven’t already read them) and then there’s the ever-growing list on Goodreads that I always forget about. But if you have recommendations, let me know! I might choose books for covers, guys. Just warning you.

Fashion literature | www.eccentricowl.com Fashion literature | www.eccentricowl.com

And, that’s about it for today. Rainy, cloudy days generally make me want to curl up with lots and lots of coffee and waste time watching YouTube shows (currently hooked on My Drunk Kitchen — she is HILARIOUS), browsing Netflix, or reading a book. But since I’m trying to save up my books for next year, I mostly just watch YouTube.

Fashion literature | www.eccentricowl.com

Shirt provided free of charge via SammyDress – $6.62 | skirt, belt, and heels, thrifted | tights and cardigan, Target

Mostly, though, I am looking forward to later today when my husband is voluntarily taking me thrifting and to Joanns. Guys, I have so many projects to sew right now but I need to make a Star Wars circle skirt!!! So we might have to buy some more nerdy fabric (more, because I currently have TARDIS fabric waiting to be made into a skirt).

What happy plans do you have?

Happy weekend!


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Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My!

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com   Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

Skirt provided free of charge from SammyDress in return for my honest opinions.

I’m sure you’ve noticed by now, I have a problem. A polka-dot problem. But I just can’t resist them, as you can see! And when I was contacted by SammyDress to do a review, I thought about it for a long time. SammyDress is one of those sites whose prices seem far too good to be true, but that’s not always a bad thing. I have worked with Oasap in the past, and have always been pretty pleased with the things I got from them — their only flaw is usually sizing, in that their Large is the equivalent of a US Medium or Small.

So, after lurking what they had to offer for a while, and reading some reviews, I decided to go for it. And… well, there are pros and cons to this skirt.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

The pros: it looks like the picture, it matches the description, and… guys, it’s really cute. I’ve worn it three times already! It flows really well, and I love the pleats and the flow! I love the straps (which are sheer, so you can see polka dots beneath polka dots), and the elastic waistband, and the big belt loops.

The cons: the underskirt/lining BARELY came down past my butt and was too tight, it only comes in one size (elastic waist), and the material is fairly sheer. So if you have a bust that is anywhere over 40″ you won’t be able to get this on over your head (I feel like I might get stuck every time I put it on), and if your hips are extra curvy, forget the lining! I cut the lining out and used one of my own slips to keep from being scandalous, so I’m not too bothered, but it was a very cheap lining.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

To me, it’s fairly worth buying at its price of $9.83, but if you’re looking for something with really good quality, well… this is probably not the garment for you. Not to say I think this will fall apart right away, but I can’t see it lasting for years. You just get what you pay for. 😉 I would compare SammyDress to Forever21 — inexpensive, quickly made, and good for when you’re just seeking out a trendy piece that won’t be stylish forever. I will probably lurk the site for inexpensive things once in a while, simply  because I have a very small budget and occasionally can’t find things at the thrift store and don’t feel like making them myself.

Although, I would have to argue that this skirt will definitely be stylish forever, because you really can’t go wrong with black and white and polka dots.

Gingham and Dots and Stripes, Oh My! | www.eccentricowl.com

skirt recieved free of charge via SammyDress- $9.83| shoes, belt, shirt, umbrella, and vintage brooch, thrifted | tights, Target | headband, Modcloth.

What do you guys think about buying fast fashion? I have mixed feelings; I like instant gratification and inexpensive prices, but there can be an ethical side to that, and I also don’t like adding things to my closet that are going to fall apart after a few washes.

But… the polka dots get me every time. Sigh.

Happy Wednesday!


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