Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crochet Vest + High - Waisted Denim

When I first spotted this crochet vest in Rue 21 last summer I was very intrigued. I'm not one who typically wears crochet but I was very drawn to this 70s inspired article of clothing. The blush, wine, and white color combination is the perfect trio to give a nod to an amazing era when bell bottoms, Afros, disco, and Soul Train were the latest crazes. 

When putting this look together I wanted to stay with a  monochromatic storyline so I opted for a wine colored pussy blouse, high wasted denim, and rose colored sunnies to help the colors in the vest pop even more. I paired the outfit with my adorable Jessica Simpson sandals to help complete the look. 

While I wore the vest with high waisted jeans and a blouse there are endless possibilities of how this vest can be styled and worn.  As it heats up I will be sure to add this vest to my spring and summer rotation. I can pair it wit h shorts, a skirt, or even atop a cute maxi or romper. As fall rolls back around I could pair this vest with a crisp white button up, dark wash flare jeans and a cute wine fedora to truly pay homage to its 70s roots.

Outfit Details: Crochet Vest: Rue 21, Pussy Bow Blouse: Forever 21 (old), High - Waisted Denim Jeans: Charlotte Russe, Jessica Simpson Sandals: Ross, Rose Colored Sunglasses: Charlotte Russe, Earrings: Charlotte Russe

Do you own any crochet pieces? How do you style them? If not, would you be willing to try the style? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Happy hump day. Let's finish the week up strong!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Long Bomber + Suede Boots

It's been almost two weeks (tomorrow) since I've had my rainbow baby Grayson. Motherhood is such a magical, scary, exciting journey. You are literally responsible for another human being that can do NOTHING for themselves. It's amazing to look at my son and see him, his personality, his facial expressions, and even his hue change on a daily basis. Along with him changing I also am doing some changing as well. My body is trying to get back to "normal." I can actually wear heels again (thanks to the swelling in my feet and ankles decreasing). I can put on a pair of jeans and actually button them (I never knew I would miss jeans...although leggings have a new found place in my heart). And my  newly decorated protruding belly is starting to deflate (slowly). 

While all these changes are taking place, I'm still trying to navigate my life post - pregnancy physically, emotionally, and mentally. I'm definitely not where I want it to be, but I am trying to keep up with my "fashion sense" of who I was before I was a mommy. Just because you become a mom doesn't mean you still can't put your best foot forward. It doesn't mean you're sentenced to a life of sweatpants and throw up stained tops [while writing this my son ironically spit up on me...oh the joys of motherhood]. You can still feel and look your best even though your body may not be in tip - top shape. Even if you're not a mom don't get so caught up in the mundane that you forget to take care of yourself!

Outfit Details: Army Green Bomber (Charlotte Russe), Leggings (Charlotte Russe), Turtle Neck (Target), Suede Boots (Forever 21: old), Faux Fur Stole (Forever 21: old), Sunglasses (Charlotte Russe), Bullet Earrings (Online Boutique: old), Charm Bracelet (Juicy Couture)

After being cooped in the house since last Saturday I wanted to get dressed, throw on some makeup, curl my hair, and just look good! I wasn't headed anywhere in particular, but I just wanted to do something for me :) So here's to looking and feeling our best mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually! Happy Friday and St. Patty's Day. Enjoy your weekend and I will see you back on Monday.


Monday, March 13, 2017

The Ultimate Surprise

I'm a natural planner. I love the thrill of planning out my day and checking things off my to - do list. It makes me feel super accomplished! But sometimes life shows us no matter how much you plan, it will throw you an unexpected curve ball. That is exactly what happened to my husband and I on Saturday, March 4. We received the ULTIMATE (LIFE CHANGING) SURPRISE!

Since I naturally plan, I knew that one week after having my baby shower I was going to put things in full gear as we quickly approached the arrival of our son Grayson set for April 14. I planned on setting up his nursery, packing our hospital bags, picking his pediatrician and much more the next 6 weeks until his arrival. I know most babies don't normally come on their due date. I actually had a feeling throughout most of my pregnancy that Grayson would come early. However, I didn't know he would make his debut more than a month ahead of schedule.

During the wee hours of Saturday, March 4 I woke up for one of my routine potty breaks around 3AM. When I went to return to lay down on the couch I felt a huge gush of liquid. I was a bit in shock but then realized my water had broken. I calmly walked into our bedroom and informed my sleeping husband that I thought my water had broke. We threw on some clothes and headed straight to the birthing center, no bags or anything else. Honestly, we thought they would say we were at the beginning stages of labor and would send us home until we progressed to more active labor status. To our surprise when the nurse checked me she said I was 4cm dilated and that they were going to admit me. My husband and I were stunned that not only was it 41 days before our due date but I was already in active labor without feeling contractions. 

The next 9 hours went by in a flash. Within 8 hours I had dilated from 4cm to 10cm. At 12:21PM after pushing for maybe 45 minutes we welcomed our handsome son Grayson Derrek Anderson at 34 weeks old. My initial plan was to do skin to skin with him when he first came out and try my first attempt to breast feed. But remember when I said that sometimes plans change. Well, this was a first hand example of that statement. Instead of being able to do skin to skin for the first couple of hours with my son, he was rushed to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) because he was overcompensating to breathe. His breaths were very cumbersome. The nurses assured us that it was normal for preemies to experience breathing problems because they don't fully develop their lungs until beyond 35 weeks. 

The next 7 days my son was on oxygen, only fed sugar water through a feeding tube, was given an IV to pump fluids from keeping him dehydrated, experienced jaundice and had to do several rounds of treatment, had blood drawn countless times along with much more. For new time parents this was a hard pill to swallow. I'm not going to lie, it was an emotional roller coaster. We weren't allowed to hold him the first couple of days as he was hooked up to numerous cords and machines. Just seeing your child helpless laying on a bed and you being able to do nothing about it is very tough. But luckily for Grayson (and us) he has a village of prayer warriors. People from near and far called and texted to let us know they were praying for our munchkin. All the love and support allowed us to stay in a positive mind frame and realize that all of the things happening to our son were for his well being and overall improvement of his health. While there were a few minor setbacks within the week, Grayson was cleared to come home exactly one week after he was born. 

Since being home 2 full days it's been nothing but amazing. While sleep has been touch and go, to see something (or in our case someone) you prayed for for the last 9 months right before your eyes is absolutely awesome. To know that my husband and I had a direct hand in creating such a perfect being is mind blowing. We are so excited to go on the journey of parenthood with our incredible rainbow baby! While I know every day won't be filled with bliss I am excited to share my journey of mommyhood with you on the blog. 


Friday, March 3, 2017

My Rainbow Baby Shower

Genesis 9:13: "I have set my rainbow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."

Last Saturday, February 25 I had my baby shower. It was such a nice event especially since I was robbed of having that experience with my first born DJ. I knew early on that I wanted to have a Rainbow Shower as the theme of my baby shower. I chose the rainbow theme because it allowed me to celebrate the awaited arrival of my new bundle of joy, Grayson, while paying respect and honoring my first born son I tragically lost, DJ! A rainbow shower represents the yin and the yang of life. No matter what, life will always provide you ups and downs. It will throw at you highs and lows. But how you react to those situations truly garner your peace of mind. I've learned through my tragic storm of losing DJ that no matter how bad it gets, God is ALWAYS there with you. He promised never to leave us nor forsake us. I am a living testament of what it looks like when God is walking right besides you even in the midst of the eye of the storm. He is why I can have a genuine smile on my face even with a loss looming over me!

Planning my shower was fun. I gathered my inspiration from an Instagram page that I ran across called Oh Happy Day, where they put on a rainbow shower. I loved the concept, the bright colors, and the lightness and the ambience that the amazing decorations created. I knew I wanted something similar, so I showed my handy dandy, right hand man, Ashley my vision and we collaborated to bring everything to life, adding our own touches to make it more personal. I knew I wanted a brunch theme for the menu, a "virgin" mimosa bar, a Polaroid picture frame to take pictures with guests, building blocks that spelled my sons name, and bright colors used to lift the event space to even higher heights. I got all of that and then some! The shower was absolutely, positively beautiful!!! I even had guests come in solid colors like the rainbow ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), while I donned all white with rainbow accessories to stay on par with the theme of the shower and show solidarity for what the rainbow truly represents. EVERYTHING turned out magnificent.

Rainbow necklace custom - made by my event planner AshleyMonique

Sandals laid out with Pom-Poms before my DIY project began

The finished product
DIY Details: Sandals: Rue 21, Bag of Assorted Pom Poms: Amazon, Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks: Hobby Lobby
Pre-shower selfie after getting a subtle beat by M.A.C

"Follow the Rainbow" signs to direct guests to the venue

The "virgin" mimosa bar

Grayson's Goodie Bar aka the ROYGBIV candy station

Rainbow Candy Bags for Grayson's Goodie Bar

Grayson and I showing off next to his building blocks

I absolutely loved these blocks, so much so they are going into his nursery as part of the decor

Mommy - To - Be all smiles under the rainbow

Posing with my DIY Polaroid Picture Frame

Alishia & Derrek sitting in the tree...K-I-S-S-I-N-G; First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Grayson in the baby carriage
My event planner and fashion twin, AshleyMonique

Grayson's Grandma Valarie

Grayson's Grandma Kim

At the head table with my main squeeze

About to do the balloon release for DJ 

An assortment of balloons about to be delivered to my sleeping angel in heaven

The party was an absolute success. We ate, fellowshipped, played games, opened gifts, and took plenty of pictures. When all the commotion died down, my husband and I along with a few of our family members and friends went outside and used all the balloons that were decorations at the party, so we could release them up to my sleeping angel in heaven, DJ! This little gesture (along with having a designated table where guests could write their well wishes to DJ as a big brother, Grayson and us as parents) really warmed my heart. It showed that even though DJ is not here physically, we could still honor his presence in our lives while awaiting our second bundle of joy with great anticipation.  

A "Rainbow Baby" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope. 
 - Anonymous Author 

Thanks for taking a sneak peak into my awesome rainbow shower! What's waiting for you at the end of YOUR rainbow? Is it love? Is it money? Is it new found self confidence? Don't be afraid to go after it starting today! It's waiting for you if you just take action. 

TGIF Luvs,

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

6 Month Blogging Hiatus

Hi, my name is Ali and I'm a [fashion] blogger lol! I felt like I needed to reintroduce myself since I've been on a 6 - month long hiatus. A lot has changed over these last six months.  I got a part - time job working retail at Charlotte Russe. I turned 31 on February 9th, and my husband received his Private Pilot License. But the biggest change of all is the size of my expanding belly. My husband and I are expecting Baby Anderson number two in 7 more weeks. Our due date is scheduled for April 14, 2017, so we'll see when my son wants to make his debut to the world. 

Mannequins I styled at work
Outfit Details: Faux Leather Baseball Cap: Forever 21 (Old), Blanket Poncho: Forever 21, White Button Up: H&M, Distressed Jeans: Charlotte Russe +

My positive affirmation that I said to myself on my birthday: The Best is YET to Come!!!

My hubby all smiles after passing his private pilot exam

The way my husband and I announced we were expecting to the world, along with his gender

All smiles in anticipation of our rainbow baby, Grayson
Outfit Details: Custom - Made Velvet Off The Shoulder Gown: AshleyMonique, Faux Fur Headpiece: AshleyMonique, Broach: Hobby Lobby

The smile on my face is indicative of God's love and promise to our family

After losing my first son DJ, I fell in love more with my husband because he has been my rock through the ups and downs this past year has presented us #TeamAnderson

Grayson at his 28 week ultrasound showing us his lovely profile

Grayson looking out at us during his 28 week ultrasound 

Grayson at his 31 week ultrasound appointment which also doubled as Valentine's Day! What a perfect gift

Initially I stopped blogging because I didn't want anyone to know I was pregnant because of the anxiety I was facing on a daily basis trying to grapple with the fact that I was going to be carrying another life into this world. I didn't want to announce prematurely and be met with the same fate that I was dealt last go round with my sleeping angel DJ. So my husband and I decided we would only share our pregnancy news with our immediate families. So that's exactly what we did! 

I found out I was expecting at the beginning of August but didn't share with others (family and friends alike) that I was expecting until December 2016! I partially told because I was starting to really show and could no longer hide my protruding baby bump.  Of course when I announced everyone was super excited for us as I've been very vocal about what pregnancy and loss looks like with our first pregnancy. So to be able to say I've walked THROUGH the valley and have now seen my rainbow on the other side means a lot. I couldn't have made it through the past year of darkness without my faith and my amazing support system! While I'm not fully in the clear I know, God will provide and deliver on His promise that I will be an Earthly mommy to a bouncing baby boy, Grayson Anderson, in a month and a half! I look forward to mommyhood and looking my baby in his eyes for the first time. I anticipate hearing his cry for the first time as I never got that intimate experience with my angel DJ who was born in a peaceful silence. 

So as I transition into preparing for my special arrival I want to document what's left of my pregnancy and transition my blog from a fashion - centered blog and expand it to a lifestyle blog where we can get candid about everything from love, fashion, marriage, mommyhood, health, and much more! I hope you're excited about this journey like I am! Hopefully you're still rocking with Ali. I missed you guys! Stayed tuned, Friday I will be chatting about my Rainbow Baby Shower that occurred last Saturday (February 25)! You won't want to miss it.

Birthday Selfie

Slight birthday slay
Outfit Details: Lace Kimono: Charlotte Russe, Graphic Tee: Charlotte Russe, Leggings: Kohl's, Faux Fur Jacket: Forever 21 (Old), Jessica Simpson Sandals: Ross, Rose Tinted Sunnies: Charlotte Russe, Faux Fur Purse: Charlotte Russe, Choker & Layered Necklaces: Charlotte Russe

Loving on my munchkin 

Running errands trying to look presentable with swollen feet #preggoproblems
Outfit Details: Floral Kimono: Charlotte Russe, Sleeveless Knit Bodycon: Charlotte Russe, Bow Sandals: Banana Republic Outlet, Rose Colored Sunnies: Charlotte Russe, Necklace (Old)

What's something you are committed to re-starting or jumpstarting TODAY? A health regimen? A new found mindset? A new hobby? Applying for a new job? Today marks the start of a new month, so why not use this clean slate to jump into the new found YOU!!! Here's to new beginnings.

Peace and love,