Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter photo dump and some words

(1) What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?

Here are the chil'rens first.  Well, mostly, because I hate making them stop to pose for a photo, so they're not very good "photojournalistic."

Little Mary is wearing something from my first ever Zulily purchase, which I was actually really impressed with.  Her dress cost just $12.99 and was really cute and made very well. 

Here's a better view of it because I know it's SUPER important to you.

    Ugh!  Why won't that picture center itself?????  Formatting frustrations are the bane of my existence, I swearz.


Katie's dress is Max Studio, which we snagged like-new from TwiceWanna know my new budget shopping secret for special occasions with a bunch of little kids in the house, a huge pregnant belly, and older girls that are super particular about what they wear?  Of course you do.  Here goes: Twice has free shipping if you spend over a certain amount of money and then free shipping on returns as well.  I set a price limit per item and then tell the child in question to put anything in the virtual shopping cart that interests her.  Then I take a peek to make sure the items look within reason and we have the whole shebang mailed to us.  She tries everything on in the comfort and convenience of our own home, picks the one she likes best, and we mail, for free, all the rejects back to Twice.  It. Is. GREAT.

Lizzy is also kickin' it in a Twice find, this one from Anthropologie which we could NEVER have bought new.  I love it.  I mean "I am going to borrow that from you next summer when I'm not soscaryhuge" love it.

The white sandals we snagged from Meijer during their 30% off sale.

Do you love that this is the only photo of Paul's entire outfit that I managed to get?  Try to imagine the shirt tucked in during mass.

The top is blue and pink plaid from The Children's Place and his khakis are Polo by Ralph Lauren, both snagged from ThredUp since Twice doesn't sell kids' clothes (why???  Give me the children's clothes with the free returns por favoooooooooooooor!).  Kickin' ride on toy courtesy of my cousin's little boy Ben who is just a few months older than Paul.  Being actual friends with family is about as good as life gets, yo.

  And finally Cecilia, sporting the other half of that winning Zulily order and some hot pink nail polish because that's how she rolls.

And now for the whole fam.  Brace yourself for my award winning Godzilla impression.

Wow.  We are not good at taking photos.  Lawdy.

Anyhoo, my skirt is Motherhood Maternity from ThredUp and top is Ann Taylor Loft from Twice.  Tommy's duds (does anyone care about this?  No?  Thought not.  But yet I go on.) are both from Land's End because none of the secondhand sites sell men's clothes and what the heck is up with that?

p.s.  The man cannot stand anything to be in his back pockets.  So his phone and his wallet and his keys...all of it goes in a front pocket, which you can clearly see is starting to cause some strain on the ol' pant leg.  Good times.
2. Easter Bunny: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thumbs up! Not super way up.  I mean, we don't have little fake poops or bunny photo shoots or anything, but we get excited about the Easter bunny coming and there's always some carrot themed something going on.  I don't know.  It's fun.  Yesterday Cecilia actually asked me if the Easter bunny was really real and I said "I don't know.  I've never seen him.  But Jesus is real and all our fun treats to celebrate are real, so does it really matter?" and that totally satisfied her.

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else's house?

I think everyone with a lot of kids prefers to host at their house if they have space, but we drive across the state for both Easter and Christmas so that our little people can get to know my extended family as much as possible.  As exhausting and crazy as it is (and boy is it exhausting and crazy.  Zoinks.) the benefits of learning family traditions and knowing that there are so many people out there who love them can't be overstated.  So as long as we're not snowed in or without electricity (true Christmas story), we take a deep breath and go.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?


Specifically, Twix.  I actually have one of these bad boys still waiting for me in my Easter basket because I have to treat its consumption with the proper amount of reverence and joy.

Tonight, though.  Tonight I shall ceremoniously unwrap and consume this bad boy and angels will certainly toot their trumpets as I do so.

5. Do you like video games?

Meh.  I don't know.  I like to play wii games as a family.  And if they don't get carried away, my kids can play.  But I'm not a gamer or anything.  I do like games on the ipod when I'm pregnant and comatose on the sofa at the end of the day, though.  Because I have a hard time doing nothing at all and they entertain me.

6. Do you speak another language?

I once spoke passable French for a bit, but no mas.  On the other hand, I can understand and speak Spanish basically with fluency because my husband only speaks to his father in Spanish and I can't be left out of the eavesdropping loop, now can I?  No I cannot.

Wow, that was a long post.  Don't pretend you read every word of that!

Linking up with Answer Me This and What I Wore Easter Sunday and then I'm going to rest on the sofa for a bit after all this physically arduous typing I've been doing up in here.
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  1. Tommy needs a murse (an man-purse). And I have never heard of Twix eggs, but now I want ALL of them.

  2. Wow...thanks for the tip on the free returns on Twice. So do you just spend a certain amount with the foreknowlege that you will be returning a certain amount to stay under budget? How much do you have to spend to get free returns? (yes, I now I could just look it up, I'm lazy).

    1. Excellent questions all! For the budgeting, if each girl is going to keep one dress, as long as each dress they choose is under a certain amount, I know that in the end we will stay under budget. On the other hand, sometimes it is a lesson in budgeting for them and I say "you can spend $x total" and if they want to blow all of that on a single item nice item, that's up to them. Or they have the option of looking for several cheaper items and that's also fine. Does that make sense? And I think the free shipping to your house kicks in at $50 :)

  3. Tommy is right. It puts undo strain on the back for a man to stuff his back pocket. Now, he might want to consider slimming down what all he puts in his pockets instead of shifting it to the front. No man should be carrying a Butt Brick these day.

  4. ThredUp has free returns if you order on a mobile device I think- or might be in beta testing but I've returned free with them!

  5. Oh, my Hubs keeps his stuff in his front pockets, too. Maybe its a left brain thing?

  6. Our family pictures turn out about the same! And my husband keeps everything in his front pockets, too. He's actually worn holes in the front of a couple pairs of pants where the corner of his wallet rubs against the pant leg.

    I didn't know there were Twix EGGS! Twix have recently become my favorite candy, so I may need to search these out in the Easter clearance sales. Yum.

  7. Ah, la familia de tu marido es de otra país? Cual país? Espanol es hablado mucho mas que la lengua francesca.

  8. As for the centering… I have the same problem but if you click the pictures and click the "link" button and then try and hit the centering button it might work. For whatever reason some pictures auto-link and are IMPOSSIBLE to center and it is SUPER frustrating

  9. You all look so adorable! I think you've finally convinced me to try these sites. You and Grace are both masters of stylish resale.

  10. I'm a huge zulily fan! I prefer dresses/skirts for warm weather instead of shorts and I always find decent dresses for a reasonable sum there. Before zulily I was a strictly thrift store shopper but that was when my parents lived a mile away from two amazing thrift stores. Up here in the sticks I don't so much want the castoffs of my country friends. No offense. I'm not THAT into style but really, I'd rather visit thrift stores closer to civilization.

  11. Yessss! Why no free returns, thredup? At least give me garment measurements so that I can make a better choice when I purchase, and oh, by the way, STOP CATEGORIZING SIZE 12 IN THE XL SECTION. Whew, I feel better now. But, having said that, I've had much better luck on TU than on Twice in finding things for me and the kids, so I guess I shouldn't complain. At least they accept returns now; when I first started with them, they didn't.

    Also: second hand men's clothing is probably a no-go because at least in my limited experience, men wear them clothes till they fall off them and ain't nuthin' to do but junk em.

  12. Happy Easter to you and what a beautiful family!

  13. You ARE good at family photos. That is a great one of all of you.
    So fun to see all the pictures, and reading your blog always makes me smile. Happy Easter!

  14. Your family gets more adorable every time I see a picture of them all together. And how do you look younger in every picture? Do you have a picture of yourself in the attic that is aging rapidly? Or do you have some occult secret that you are hiding so we will not throw you out of the Catholic club?

    I kind of wish that we had had Thredup and Twice when my daughters were in high school and had a clothing allowance. We would all have loved that.

  15. I've started wearing leggings and dresses more often to work because when I get home, I can take off the dress and the boots and have on my leggings and t-shirt (serving as an undershirt) and not have to change into pyjamas. (Obviously I'll put on a coat or something to walk the dog.)

    I LOVE Lands End for my (adult, female) clothes because their dresses usually have pockets and we all need pockets. I'll be patient and wait for sales and coupons. And structured knit shirts feel comfy but still look nice. And their sweaters somehow withstand someone's claws pawing at me so, you know, they're magic.

    My frustrated theory about the lack of mens' secondhand clothes (gleaned from working in theatre and trying to get thrifted costumes) is this : not only do they make mens' clothes with better quality but fashions change less frequently, lo, so men do not need to get new clothes as often, so they do not consign or thrift them. Also, sizing which makes sense? NOT FAIR. (I'm somewhere between an 8 and a 16 depending on the brand and style.)

  16. What a fun post! I found your blog through WIWS and am a new follower! (truth be told I have stumbled upon your blog in the past and always loved it, but now I'm an official follower) :) A few things: 1) I have never heard of Twice before, but I'm pretty sure I am going to love it! 2) I buy from Zulily all the time...I just can't resist it, especially when it comes to stuff for my little lady 3) My husband won't put anything in his back pocket either!!! Everything gets stuffed in the front!

  17. Goodness your family is a beauty. And what is the Twice thing? I must investigate! Candy tweeeeinz! Twix are about the only not-solely-chocolate candy I will eat. And oh the many I would eat.

  18. I must check out Twice! I've never heard of it, but it sounds like Zappos with reasonable prices. Beautiful photos, beautiful family :)

  19. You all look adorable. Also, did not realize that Tommy was fluent in Spanish. Does he teach the kids for home school? I am being tutored as an adult so that I don't lose what I had and can make some more strides toward fluency.

    Also, I usually pose my enormous family of origin for photos because I'm bossy like that. The best advice is to scrunch together. Once you've got more than four people, it usually makes sense to layer it. So have a few people sit on chairs/bench, and then other people stand behind them. And get as close as everyone can. Then have the camera person be bossy about tilting your heads the right way, standing up straight, not hiding, etc. If you have "burst mode" on a camera, it is a great way to take 20 pictures in a few seconds, meaning you'll get one where everyone has their eyes open, maybe one where everyone is smiling.

    Post idea: talking about what it's like to grow as a parent as your kids grow up and stop being so little. For those of us knee-deep in babyland, it would be good to hear what advice you have. It seems like your kids are good to each other. :)

  20. My new dress was thin, and needed some sort of ironing/wrinkle release--we ironed mine on low, and it was totally fine. You have to have a good support with something like this.
    Tory Burch handbags

  21. I got Cecilia's Easter dress from Zulily last year - you can really find some gems on there! I just wish shipping weren't so expensive... I only ever want to buy one or two things and then I can't justify it because of the $9+ shipping - ridiculous! And YES to Twice selling kids' clothes, and men's clothing too! They must think that men won't shop online for clothes, but don't they realize that the WIVES will shop online for clothes for their husbands???

  22. One thing to add about Twice, it always ships FAST! I don't know where they are located and I'm sure this varies depending on where you live (mid-Michigan here), but they always have my order shipped within a few hours. Then it arrives to me 2 business days later. So I can check out on Wednesday morning and have it on Friday. At the stuff really is in like new condition. Love It! (Thanks Dwija for the recommendation. I have been shopping there a ton since you first mentioned it many months ago).

  23. I love Twice, too! ThredUp made me mad because they wouldn't let me donate anything because I live in Hawaii. Lame. Plus, I was really not happy with the stuff I got. But Twice? Awesome and super fast shipping and returns! Yay. I can't wait till they start selling kids' clothes.

  24. Love Zulily! And Twice, although I have a hard time finding time to actually search for stuff. I like chocolate (specifically anything with chocolate and peanut butter) but I also love me some Chewy Sprees or Sour Gummy Worms on occasion.

  25. Hi, I'm visiting from 7QT and have enjoyed exploring your blog. Happy Easter to you and your beautiful family!

  26. This might solved your husbands front pocket wearing seam stressing issue. The front pocket wallet. My mom got my bro one for Christmas.

  27. Great outfits! I love that so much of the wardrobe was second hand too. I have used ThredUp but not Twice yet (gotta try that). I totally agree that they need to carry men's clothes. Supposedly it's in the works, but it doesn't seem to be a priority. Anyway, you have a beautiful family. Happy Easter!

  28. Great. Now I'm craving Twix.
    And I didn't do ANYTHING Easter bunny/basket or anything related for my 18 month old. I sort of felt bad...but then didn't, because he spent the afternoon in the woods. :)


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