Running from the Law: October 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Comfy Cozy, Warm & Rosy

All of a sudden Mother Nature got her act together and figured out that it's finally fall, so maybe the weather should reflect that sentiment. Our 90 degree days have come to an end and the kids have finally stopped begging to go swimming and instead want to make s'mores every night (I can't blame them). There's something magical about this time of year - the leaves turning, the crispness in the air. Plus, fall definitely has the best clothing options. It's officially time to break out your boots, scarves and sweaters...and I couldn't be happier about it!

A week or so ago I was approached about doing a blog post for Cuddl Duds - a company that makes soft comfy layerable clothing - and I was really on the fence about it. On the one hand, I like soft clothing and I practically live in "athlesiure" wear when I'm not in the office, but on the other, I didn't know much about the product or know whether I'd like it. After some chatter with a few blog friends I decided to give it a go and I am now absolutely kicking myself that I didn't know about this brand sooner. Last Friday I went to Kohl's to pick out a few pieces and was so impressed with the quality and selection that I had a hard time not buying everything I saw. I'm now a total convert and want to shout from the rooftops about how much I'm in love with these clothes. You guys - I'm not kidding...they're awesome. 
The Cuddl Duds pieces are super simple (which I love) and come in a variety of plain colors and flattering shapes. Each piece is light and smooth, perfect for layering under or over other clothing without being bulky or lumpy. They add extra warmth, length and softness to any outfit. And the back of every piece has a style card that shows you different ways to wear each item, from dressing it up for the office to down for the weekend. Since I got these pieces last week, I haven't wanted to take any of them off. The plain white v-neck long sleeve shirt is going to be a staple in my wardrobe this fall/winter and I will need half a dozen of them so I can wear one every single day. 

My favorite item has to be this red wrap-over tunic. While I am obsessed with the gorgeous red, I also want this in every single color they make it in. This top is going to be perfect for holiday functions - from volunteering at nursery school to Christmas morning gift opening. It can dressed up or down easily and is so incredibly flattering I never want to take it off! 
Did I mention that a ton of the Cuddl Duds tops have thumbholes? OBSESSED.
I'm also in love with this cowlneck tunic. It's long and soft and so cozy. This one is perfect for lounging around the house in or running errands. I purchased this one in charcoal (gray), but I really wish I would have done white so I could wear it under sweaters or with a blazer to work. Also, the leggings and socks I'm wearing are both Cuddl Duds too. The leggings are thin, soft and breathable. I wouldn't necessarily wear them as pants, but they're perfect for wearing under a dress, long tunic or even under other pants for extra warmth. I'll definitely be wearing them under my clothes the next time we go camping. They also have fleece-lined leggings that I didn't purchase, but I'm going to have to go back and get. The socks are absolutely divine and are just as soft and cozy as they look. Plus, they have those rubber grippers on the bottom so you don't fall down the stairs or wipeout in the hallway in the middle of the night as you run to check on a screaming baby. That's happened way more times than I care to admit. 
I also picked up this FlexFit top to wear on runs this fall and winter. I'm always looking for light breathable layers to wear on outdoor runs. As I mentioned a while back, I'm running quite a bit again and while it feels great, I'm realizing that all my previous running clothes don't really fit anymore, so I need a few new layers. This top is really comfortable - it's light and snug and stays in place well, even on long runs. 
Lastly, Cuddl Duds also makes hats, gloves, mittens, earmuffs, hats and scarves. They have a huge selection of really awesome cold weather accessories in knits and fleece. 
Cuddl Duds is on SALE at Kohl's right now - they have a huge selection of all their items. If you're in the store, they're sometimes found in the intimates section. 

Have you ever tried Cuddl Duds?
Which is your favorite item? 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Patching

After multiple scheduling snafus and weeks of trying to get our act together, we finally found a free morning to make it to the pumpkin patch. The weather here in the Midwest has been exceptionally mild these past few months and while I'm not complaining about warm sunny days through October, it certainly hasn't felt like fall. It's hard to get in a warm, cozy, pumpkin-spiced mood when it's 90 degrees outside and the kids are begging to go to the pool! However, the winds of change blew in last Wednesday and after a heavy rain (while I running and got totally drenched) the temperatures dropped dramatically. It's finally looking and feeling like fall and we couldn't be happier about it! 

We only had about an hour to make the most of our short venture out to Rombach's Pumpkin Patch on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and I believe everyone in the city had the same idea because the place was packed. The kids (and parents) were a bit overwhelmed with how busy and chaotic the place was. The lines for the train, hayride and ponies were long and the kids were impatient. Mac was pumpkin crazy and wanted to buy every pumpkin he saw. We were constantly asking him to put the pumpkins down (GENTLY!) and not throw them like basketballs. I'm shocked that he didn't burst any. Mimmy wanted nothing to do with anything there except the ponies. Girlfriend is crazy about riding the horses and we had to go back again and again so she could see them, pet them, talk to them and hug them. I think she'll be asking Santa for a pony this year. 

And then, being the evil, horrible, torturous parents that we are, we had the audacity to try to get a photo of all four of us on the pumpkins. What were we thinking?! That was the last straw and it sent both kids into such hysterics that we immediately had to leave. There's nothing like dragging two screaming crying children through the pumpkin patch and out to your car a million miles away to make you feel like you're winning at parenting. Why did I think this was a good idea? Also, didn't the same thing happen last year and the year before and the year before? Will I never learn? Yeah, so maybe we'll try again this weekend?  

(worth it!)

Anyone else have pumpkin patch disaster stories? 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Happiness is a Yellow Dress - Secondhand Shopping with thredUP

You guys! I am so excited to share this post with you today! Have any of you shopped with thredUP before or heard of this site? If you haven't, it's an online secondhand clothing store that feels like a curated boutique. They have amazing designers/brands, an incredible selection and tons of ways to filter all the items so you can easily sort through the selection (by price, brand, color, size), so it's not majorly overwhelming. 

If you've ever gone shopping with me, you know that I'm not a great shopper. I get overwhelmed/distracted easily and I have very little patience...and even less time. I actually can't even tell you the last time I physically went shopping in a store for myself - it's been so long. I hate sorting through sales racks, I hate dressing rooms and I hate not being able to find everything I'm looking for in just one store. These days I get everything online because it's just easier. I love shopping secondhand, but (*snob alert*) I like nice things and high-end secondhand/consignment women's clothing stores in my area are few and far between. Not to mention it takes FOREVER to sort through racks and racks of clothing, trying to find my favorite brands in sizes that fit and styles that I like. I mean, I have kids (and a job, and a blog, and an addiction to The West Wing)...I don't have time for that anymore. ;) 
However, I do admit that shopping for the kids is a totally different experience. I don't have a problem looking through miles of racks of kid clothes! Mainly because everything is adorable and everything is almost certain to fit (wouldn't that be nice?)! I really like purchasing secondhand clothes for the kids because children outgrow clothes way faster than they outwear them so there's always a ton of wear still left in most of the clothes I get for them. I love finding cute designer dresses and pretty frilly items for Mim that you can tell barely got any wear by the first owners (Hanna Anderson, Peek, Tea Collection, Matilda Jane, Kickee Pants, Kate Spade, etc.). And Mac gets tons of clothing secondhand because I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for brand new clothes that he's just going to destroy and get filthy. He's really hard on clothes so I'm really picky about choosing brands that are sturdy, durable and good quality (i.e. Mini Boden, Egg, Hatley, Patagonia, Nike, North Face, etc.). 
When I was initially asked to try out thredUP, I immediately said yes and starting daydreaming about all the cute things I was going to buy for the kids. But once I got online I completely changed my mind and decided that this time, it was going to be all about ME! Other than the occasional Stitch Fix box or desperate last-minute Nordstrom purchase when I desperately needed something to wear that night, I hardly ever shop for myself. It's finally time that I bought a few items for me...because, well, I just damn-well deserve it. Right? (just agree)
Anyway, I have to admit that I was a little worried that I wouldn't find anything I liked. the and only decided to give it a go after looking through their website and immediately finding about a million things I wanted to buy. I started with dresses because I have a couple events coming up this fall (charity events, weddings, etc.), plus I like to wear dresses to work. Honestly, I could probably live in dresses...I love them so. Like I mentioned before, thredUP makes it really easy to sort by clothing type, size, color, price and brand. J.Crew and Anthropologie are two of my favorite places to find cute dresses, so I started there and was really impressed with the selection. 

But then, I discovered that you can shop by color!!! OMG. You have no idea how happy this made me! (it's the little things, people) Yellow is one of my absolute favorite colors, but I have the hardest time finding cute yellow clothing items. I don't know why this is, but I can never find as much yellow as I want to wear...thredUP to the rescue! Can we talk about how many pages and pages of cute yellow stuff I found?! My final thredUP order was 9 items and 4 of them were yellow! This might be a new addiction. 
I ended up placing an order for 9 items! And it took all I had to only order 9 items because I had about 35 other item in my cart that I forced myself to remove after lots of back-and-forth with some style guru friends. They might also be the reason that all 9 items I purchased weren't yellow, because I would have totally been fine with that. I ended up with 7 tops (some work appropriate and some casual) and 2 dresses (both yellow - one for work, one for fun). Most of the items were from some of my favorite stores (Anthro, J.Crew, Nordstrom, Zara) and there were a number of items that I removed from my cart from other faves (Free People, BCBG, LuluLemon, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, Lilly Pulitzer, Nannette Lapore, Topshop and Theory). thredUP always has amazing codes (I'll list a few at the bottom of this post) and I used a 40% coupon to get all 9 items for just over $100. Overall, I saved nearly $500!!!!!!!  You guys, that's seriously impressive! Particularly for someone that doesn't like to normally shop sale racks. This may have just changed everything for me. 
I was so excited when my box arrived and really impressed with the quality and cleanliness of all the items. I pulled each item out to examine while my mom was here and with every item she'd say something like, "Oh, that's SO you." And they all really are! The variety is great and I love that I got all these pieces, from different labels, at low price points from one place! Seriously, I'm now a big fan. So, without further ado...let's get this fashion show started! 

(Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photograph every kids were insane on this rainy day cooped up in the house, but I did get a few pics of most of the items. Sorry!)
After all that color talk, let's start with something yellow! I immediately fell in love with this adorable sweater from Banana Republic. This isn't usually a store I shop in, but to me, that makes thredUP all the more helpful because I found a great piece that I normally wouldn't have ever purchased. I love that this is casual enough to wear with a pair of jeans and flats or could easily be paired with some slacks and pumps for work. Plus, have you ever seen anything SO yellow? I love it. And it was only $12. Can't beat that.
Next up is this gorgeous Robert Rodriguez black chiffon ruffle top. I almost didn't order this, but something told me that this one was going to be more spectacular in person than it looked online and it did not disappoint. Absolutely gorgeous. It's so soft and light and comfortable. This is going to look amazing with tight black pants and a super high pair of black stilletos. I'm so ready to wear this on my next date night! Or maybe with a black blazer to work? Can you believe this was only $6! I'm not even kidding. 
And then there's this super cute little purple peplum number from a brand I've never heard of. It looked so cute and flattering - for only $3, I couldn't NOT order it. Seriously, you can't even buy socks for $3. 
Speaking of peplum! How cute is this gorgeous little yellow peplum top from J. Crew? Love love love love love. Excuse the crazy kid that suddenly decided he wanted to be in the photos too! Had I asked him to take a photo with me, this never would have happened...but as soon as I said he couldn't get in the photos, we get this adorableness. I think I may have finally figured out the key to getting him in pictures...forbid it! J. Crew for $15! 
More J. Crew. Check out this adorable black and white polka dot J.Crew top. This is going to be a staple in my work wardrobe because it's so classic. I wore this to work earlier this week and received multiple compliments. You cannot go wrong with classic black and white. This retails for $110 and I got it for less than $20. Score! 
Let's stick with the polka dot J.Crew theme and move on to this purple polka dot J. Crew peplum top (are you sensing a theme?).  Polka dots, peplum, yellow and purple. I know what I like. This one was so incredibly cute on! Another top that can be dressed up for work with slacks or a pencil skirt or down with jeans and flats. Plus, it's so flattering with the tie back waist and peplum hem. Retails for $ it for less than $20. 
Last up is maybe my favorite item. I got this dress in anticipation of a fun charity event night out we have coming up. I'm so excited to rock this fun little yellow dress. It's from a brand I've never heard of, but I found it while searching through items in my size by color and it was brand new (never worn), with tags and everything. Retails for $180 and I paid $25. 
So there you have it! There's one white polka dot top (from Zara, pictured below) and another muted yellow shift dress (from Nine West, for work) that I didn't get a chance to photograph on, but I loved them both too. Everything in my box was a keeper, but if you order something that you don't love or doesn't fit, thredUP gives you 2 weeks from your order date to return the item(s). I love that - and you certainly won't find that offer with other secondhand shops. 
If you're at all interested in finding yourself (or your kids!) a few new fun items for fall, make sure to check out the selection on thredUP! They have work clothes, casual items, workout gear, shoes,  handbags, accessories, outerwear, maternity, plus sizes, kids' stuff and more! 

The inventory changes daily and always has new items. They are offering new members $50 off their purchase of $125 or more with code WQA50 or $30 off their purchase of $75 or more with YHJ75. Existing customers can receive 15% off with code LNB15 (limited to the first 150 people). 
Do you shop secondhand?
How do you think I did with my purchase? 
Which was your favorite piece?