Tuesday, July 31, 2012

life lately, just pouring my heart out






life lately has been pretty good. it really took me a while to settle back in here at home after being in Germany for 6 weeks but things are finally starting to go back to normal. after being gone for so long i inevitably start comparing and complaining about how things are here at home. a lot. 
in the end i remind myself that both places have their good and bad sides and that no matter where i live i'd miss something. 

so i guess what i am trying to say is that we are back to our regular routine and enjoying the rest of our summer. j is back to work and traveling a lot. logan is in love with our dogs and walking. we are now in the "walking while carrying the most possible amount of toys" phase. food and sleep are still his biggest passions which is totally fine with me. who doesn't have a thing for food and sleep? 
kisses are still far and few in between (from the little guy that is). dada is his favorite word, he laughs in my face when i ask him to say mama. every day i am in awe of this little person, his smarts and personality.

i've been cooking a lot and getting my creative juices flowing. i started doing pilates again and it feels amazing. most days i feel balanced but then i put pressure on myself to do more. the dogs crave attention but i can't give them much and it makes me feel horrible. i have a constant fear to disappoint, that i should be making money and providing for this family in some way. 
i'm sure i'm not the only mom asking herself these questions and wondering if what we do is ever enough? putting careers on hold to raise kids, moving to new places and leaving everything behind, dreaming and wondering if those dreams will ever become a reality. 
for me it's always been one giant leap of faith, just going with my gut feeling and hoping that things will turn out ok. i don't know when i became such a worry wart? 

ok, wow don't really know where all of that came from! i really just wanted to write a little update on what we've been up to lately... 

on a more cheerful note, we'll be meeting j on his current road trip in cincinnati this weekend and we can't wait to explore the city while we're there. last time i went on a cincinnati road trip logan was just a tiny little poppy seed. any of you from the cincinnati are and have any recommendations for what to do and where to eat? 


Monday, July 30, 2012

diy: ombre dip dye shirt


this post will be part one of two on how to ombre (or dip dye) clothing at home in a few easy steps. now i am aware that this trend has been around for a while and some of you may already be tired of it. that's ok. i wanted to give it a (second) try anyway. the first time i tried ombre dyeing at home a few months ago it didn't work out so well... i used rit powder dye but the colors didn't turn out very rich and the fabric ended up with spotting and obvious lines. luckily i had only used some cheap cotton muslin, so it wasn't a big loss. 

this time around i decided to use the rit liquid dye and a shirt that had been hanging in the closet for years. again, if it didn't work out, no big loss. it worked out a ton better though so i'll share a few tricks. 

you'll need:

a piece of clothing or fabric
rit liquid dye in purple (or any other color)
salt
a large bucket, plastic tub or in my case laundry tub to dye in
hot water
a few hangers 
gloves


because i wanted the darkest part of the gradient to be at the shirt collar, i rolled up the bottom half of the shirt evenly and put a hanger right in the center. this will make it much easier to dip the garment and less likely for you to accidentally get dye splashes where you don't want them. if possible, it really helps to have something to hang the garment from when trying to achieve a darker color otherwise be prepared to hold the item for a while. 

mix the dye with the hot water and salt according to the directions on the bottle. i used half a bottle since i was only dyeing two items. also make sure to wear gloves and clean up any splashes on the tub so they don't come into contact with the lighter parts of your garment. 

wet the part of the shirt that will get dyed with water. hold the shirt upside down from the hanger or sides and dip it into the dye to the point where you want the color to be lightest. hold it there for only a few seconds (especially with darker dyes) and then pull it out a few more inches and hold a little bit longer. 
always make sure to keep the dye moving and never let it be still. this will only form lines you don't want. i used an old paint stirrer.
repeat this step a few times each time leaving the garment in the dye a little bit longer. check the color to make sure it is what you want. keep in mind that the color will lighten during the rinsing and washing process. 



when you've achieved the color you were looking for start rinsing the dyed portion until the water runs clear. for me it actually never ran 100% clear (i'm impatient though). i rinsed for a good 15 minutes and then put the shirt in the washer. at this point the bottom of the shirt is still white but through the washing process the remaining dye will give this portion a very light color as well. if you want the shirt to remain white i am not quite sure how to achieve this with rit dye. there is a possibility to use more professional dyes and maybe some sort of fixative that would keep the dye from running into the rest of the garment. i'm no expert though. 



i love how the finished shirt turned out and can't wait to wear it. 
all in all, this ombre dyeing process takes a little bit of time and patience but it's fun and definitely turned this boring white shirt into an eye catcher. come back to see how i transformed a simple white sweatshirt with this same technique. 




























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Friday, July 27, 2012

style files: dear baseball tee...



jeans: american eagle, tee: target, shoes: , watch: michael kors, bracelet: lisa leonard

yup, that's a style files post friends ;) keepin' it real here on the mama front.
that is also me bright eyed and bushy tailed at 9 am, heading to breakfast with my two favorite guys, hair begging to be washed and in the most fantastical bun ever created... 
and how great is it that baseball tees are apparently all the rage these days? because this puppy was right on top of that big pile o' laundry waiting to be folded. one day. maybe? 

happy weekend! may you cross off many things on your to-do list or simply sit in the sun with an ice cold glass of your most favorite beverage. ahhh summer...


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

wet cement and nude lips




so while i was out grocery shopping the other morning (9 am, all by myself for an entire hour, folks!!) i picked up wet n wild's mega last nail polish in "wet cement" and their mega last lip stick in "bare it all".

we've been spending a lot of money traveling, baby proofing the house and of course spoiling the kid and so i am trying to cut back on the fun stuff a little bit at the moment. i've been wanting to try essie's merino cool and was looking for a similar color so i took home wet cement. it is definitely darker but still has that hint of violet i was looking for. 
it's definitely different from what i would usually wear but i like it as an eye catching neutral. 
i also really liked the large brush they put in their bottles which really helped with the application. the polish goes on smooth and covers very well. i put on two coats and a clear top coat. the one down side was that it took forever to dry. i usually put polish on at night before i go to bed and i sat and waited for over half an hour to make sure it was safe to get under the covers. well, the next morning i definitely had some light impressions from the sheets on my nails. not a huge deal but up close they are definitely not salon perfect. 
overall, i honestly couldn't tell much of a difference between this $1.70 bottle and the $7+ bottle of high end polish. i've had it on for 2 full days now and with all my mama duties it hasn't chipped at all yet. 

as for the lipstick i totally love it. the nude color is slightly darker than my go-to revlon (soft nude) and it is matte (main reason i got it). it's very subtle and great for everyday wear. it lasts for hours and at $2 you can't really go wrong. 

so that's it for today. any cheap cosmetics you absolutely love? do share! 


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Monday, July 23, 2012

rainbow fishtail braid




i just had to share this amazing video free people shot on one of their catalog shoots.
anyone out there willing to come do my hair like that??
fishtail braids are super easy once you get the hang of it but they do take a little bit of time.
adding in the different color extensions gives it even more of a boho vibe. if you're blonde you could probably use colored chalk instead of the extensions too. 




video rights owned by free people. music by the dynamos.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Giveaway: Floral Infinity Scarf


oh, i am so behind on everything blog related. we got back home around 9 pm on wednesday after being delayed for hours and yesterday was spent unpacking, cleaning the house and weeding my overgrown vegetable garden. buuuut, i promised this giveaway and so here it is :)

i brought you back this lovely scarf by danish fashion and accessories brand "pieces". it is yellow with a pretty floral pattern and made of a light cotton. it's an infinity style scarf and drapes nicely.
to see more pictures of how i am wearing my scarf go here and here.
pieces make lovely scarfs and i am also a fan of their leather belts. everything is affordable and you lucky US ladies can even shop a selection of their items on ASOS now :))

this giveaway has ended. please check for a new giveaway in the upper right corner of the blog.

so, to win this beaut all you have to do is this:


to enter you must be a gfc follower of the forge and chose one other way to subscribe. Leave me a comment saying how you follow and also leave your email. (if you don't have gfc just choose two of the other options to follow along)

for additional entries you may:

subscribe via email 
follow via bloglovin'
like the forge on facebook
follow the forge on twitter @theforgestyle
follow on instagram @theforgeblog

leave a separate comment for each one you do! 

tweet about this giveaway and leave me the link in your comment

@theforgestyle is giving away a floral infinity scarf and you should enter too http://tinyurl.com/c6nv6b8 #giveaway #freebie #win

pin this giveaway to pinterest and leave me the link in your comment

enter @theforgestyle #giveaway and #win this floral infinity scarf http://tinyurl.com/c6nv6b8

post this giveaway to your facebook page and leave me the link in your comment

that's a total of 9 entries per person. just leave a comment for each one that you do.
i will draw a winner via random number generator on august 10th. 
US residents only (sorry everyone else) 

good luck :) 

this giveaway has ended. please check for a new giveaway in the upper right corner of the blog.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

airports, an outfit and new hair




jeans: current elliott (similar), chambray shirt: jcrew (similar), sweater: esprit (similar), shoes: converse one star, bag: marc by marc jacobs, scarf: pieces




airports.
i have a love-hate relationship with airports.
they are an inevitable part of our traveling lifestyle, a starting or ending point, a point of passing through, the promising beginning of a trip into something new and possibly quite wonderful or the end of a long journey and the familiar face of coming home. however, mostly they are busy, stuffy, dirty, smelly, crammed, impervious and confusing. if you travel a lot you get to know airports quite well and you learn to adapt and blend into the natural flow of the airport menagerie.
the one thing that gets me every time though are the people. i can't help but wonder who all of these people are and where they are going. what are their stories? are they simply going on a quick vacation to some tropical island? are they going to see or pick up a loved one? are they on their third business trip for the week and really would rather switch places with one of those vacation travelers?
airports make my imagination run wild.
so while you're reading my little philosophical analysis of airports i am probably stuck in one, waiting for luggage, customs or maybe even immigration, still wondering who all of these people are and where they will end up at the end of their journey.
as for myself, i will end up in my bed with my two favorite guys trying to make up some lost sleep.
not much of a story but definitely good enough for me.


sidenote: i am giving away this yellow floral scarf on friday so make sure to check back and enter for a chance to win that beaut :) 


and yes, this is the new hair color... still hoping it'll lighten up a bit.


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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

oh babe i hate to go!



pictures from our trip to the stuttgart wilhelma zoo and botanical gardens last week.

i can't even think straight right now with all the packing that's going on here. 
i'm very sad to leave my family and friends again after 6 fun filled weeks but inevitably that day always comes. so there really isn't much more to say than my heart is heavy but also filled with love and so many great memories to take with me. 
the best would probably have to be logan learning how to walk and then of course the way he adoringly squeals at his grandparents and uncles when he sees them. it's hard to put into words how these last weeks have made me feel. i am so grateful we got to be here because in the end spending as much time as possible with the ones you love is really all that matters. 
i want my children to know and love their grandparents no matter how far away they are and i want them to see as much of the world as we can manage to show them. i am excited to see what the next trip will bring... 

tomorrow, while we're crossing the atlantic up above the clouds somewhere, i will try to focus on all the great things that await us at home. i miss the dogs, my in-laws, my bed!!, the quietness of living on an acre of land and the smell of freshly cut grass (because someone is always moving) and as much as i loooove german food, i am ready for a good burger and fries. 
i won't dwell on all the things i am once again leaving behind because these things just can't be changed. the choices we make in life that are hard are the ones that give us courage to grow and shape us into who we are. my heart will always be in two places, sometimes more in one and less in the other and not always content but always grateful. 

so as this blog will now go back to its old (and probably much less exciting) self i hope you enjoyed this little glimpse at where i come from and i hope you'll stick around. i also hope you'll forgive me for not getting back to you on all of your emails and comments. i truly appreciate all the time you spend commenting and would love to answer the all questions you have. just know that time isn't always on my side but i do my best :) 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

haircut

i got a haircut and color today and as much as i had wished that after showing these pictures I would leave the salon looking like this: 


source

source

the color ended up a little more like this (minus the sultry hotness that is megan fox of course) and even though it admittedly looks and feels a ton healthier now, i lost well over an inch of precious length. 

source

so while i mourn that extra inch and wash my hair twice a day now until i achieve a more subtle look you'll get to enjoy this handsome young man ;) happy thursday! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

style files: rockin' that maxi skirt and where to find a good white tee



top: loft, skirt: urban outfitters, shoes: tjmaxx, bracelet: local shop, sunglasses: cole haan 

i love my black maxi skirt. it's one of the most comfortable pieces in my wardrobe and so versatile.
when it's hot outside but i don't feel like exposing the legs I just throw on this fail safe combo of black skirt and white top.

a few of you have asked me where to find a good white tee that isn't sheer. well, I love myself a good white t-shirt and I like to keep a few slight variations on hand because they easily get stained and eventually, when nothing removes those ugly yellow armpit stains anymore, I throw them out. the fit is super important to me so if it doesn't fit perfectly I don't take it home.

here are a few of my go-to brands to replenish the white t-shirt stash:

american eagle - they always have a good deal on t-shirts that are good quality and have a great fit. my all time favorite shirt is their AE Favorite V-Neck Tee

old navy - they just recently came out with a vintage style shirt I absolutely love. it's heathered and soft, thin but not too thin and comes in crew neck and v-neck styles

tresics - i had never heard of the brand until i found one of their shirts at a local store. while searching online i found their website where you can place wholesale orders only. bummer. but there are a few other online options below. it also looks like anthropologie has sold tresics before. the ones i have are a little sheer but they are perfect for layering over a cami or top. they drape beautifully and are super light. even better: they are super affordable. a few favorites can be found here & here & here

loft - the top i am wearing above is from there and I love their 50% off sales (going on right now too)
favorites: here & here & here 

jcrew - well, it's jcrew after all ;) again I love the vintage feel their t-shirts have and whenever they are on sale I don't have to feel too bad about the price. here are the favorites: here & here & here

hope this helps you in your search for the perfect tee.



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this post is not sponsored by any of the above mentioned brands but simply my own opinion. enjoy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

hiking in the alps












sorry for the picture overload today. we are back from our weekend trip to bavaria and i thought i'd give you a few reasons you should save up your moneysss for a nice little german vacation.

my parents live very close to a city called stuttgart in the state of baden-württemberg in southern germany. from there it takes about 2,5 hours to get to a part of the state bavaria called allgäu. my grandparents used to own a vacation home here so i spent many of my childhood vacations there, learning to ski, swim and hiking through the mountains.
the landscapes are beautiful and you are also very close to austria and switzerland.

we did a couple of shorter tours since logan had to be carried. i ended up getting around carrying him completely as my husband, brother and mama volunteered. unfortunately jason injured his back somehow and the second tour had to be a much shorter one. he is still recovering, walking like an old man and grunting with every move...

i realized how badly i need to get back into shape when we hiked down a super steep cow field and my leg muscles started to spaz out on me. yeah i'm still sore.

best parts about this mini vaca:

we got to pet cows on our hikes (they didn't like me)
eat warm home made cheese cake
went out to dinner where men in bowler hats stole the show and gifted Logan with a huge decorated ginger bread heart
my dad cooked a yummy goulash one night and we ate on the balcony with a gorgeous view
we took logan to the pool and he loved the water slides
listening to thunderstorms
fresh mountain cheeses OMG!
on sunday we celebrated our 7 year anniversary with a dinner date and some yummy ice cream


have you ever been to the alps/bavaria/germany before?