10 Random Things, 11/3/21

affordable amazon fashion

outfit details:

amazon faux leather leggings (size up 1 size) | amazon sweater tunic (similar to the Free People one, but cheaper!  Size down 1 size.)

Time for 10 random things!  Sharing 1o things that pop into my head as I write this, ranging from family to fashion and everything in between.


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Jack celebrated his 6th birthday yesterday!  In my mind he’s still the 3 year old little boy I see when I look at photos of when we lived in Hawaii.  Yet here we are, nearly half way through kindergarten and he’s 6!  If you’ve known our journey through his challenging speech and developmental delays I’m sometimes in awe of the boy he is today.  He’ll randomly break out words like “miscellaneous” (and use them correctly), he educates me daily on animal facts, he’s sounding out words and loves to create building plans, and he is the most tenderhearted boy who loves his family deeply and gets very upset when he sees someone (even on tv) be unkind to others.  You’d never know he didn’t say “mama” or “dada” until he was well over 2 years old, or that he brought me to tears almost daily because parenting him was such a challenge.  I’m so proud of the boy he is today!  We celebrated with a low key birthday party with 2 other families at the playground (Dawson Terrace, if you’re in Arlington or NoVa).  They played and I served a grocery store bakery cake with Pokemon on it and it was stress-free for me and so much fun for Jack.  I highly recommend going low key if the idea of grand birthday parties stresses you out.  Sometimes it really is nice to keep things simple 🙂

I recently learned of an online-based time management resource called Strongsuit.  It takes big tasks and breaks them down into more manageable steps to help keep you on track and relieve the mental load.  They have a 10 week Strongsuit Christmas Playbook (this is the first week!) that helps you manage the busiest season of the year (like all the steps involved in planning family photos, Christmas cards, gifting, holiday travel, etc.) and they gave me the code WHIMSY to share with you so that you can get it for free.  I’m using it to stay on track throughout the holiday season and so far I love that it helps me breaks down all the things I need to think about in order to get everything done in time in a relatively stress-free manner.  You also choose your top 3 intentions to help guide how you’d like your season to feel, and my top three are “kid-centered,” “tradition-filled,” and “beautiful.”  It’s a really great resource that I think you’ll enjoy!

amazon free people sweater dupe faux leather leggings

I’m obsessed with my new $29 Amazon faux leather leggings.  I have Spanx faux leather leggings but I’ve already worn my Amazon faux leather leggings more than my Spanx.  The amazon pair is a bit more matte so they feel more wearable and less over the top, especially since most days I really don’t do anything fancier than chauffeuring the kids to and from school.  They’re high rise, incredibly comfortable, and they fit just like my beloved $25 workout leggings from Amazon.  I sized up 1 size to a medium and love how they fit.

Oh my goodness, I had no clue that so much emotion would come along with the clothing choices of a 4 year old girl.  Getting dressed is a struggle.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Even if I tell her “I don’t care what you wear, you can wear anything you want” she still sits there crying in her underwear for an hour before school every day, or she goes through about 6 different outfits she likes until she puts them on and then immediately rips them off in rage.  It’s exhausting and I’ve never dealt with anything like this with Jack.  Anyone have any tips?!

We’re having family photos taken this weekend!  Jennifer Bosak is a local DC/VA wedding photographer that a friend recommended and thankfully she’s holding one more day of mini sessions this season!  We’ve actually never had fall photos taken before so fingers crossed we don’t have a wardrobe meltdown with you know who.  I shared my plan for our outfits here.

DC running

My parents visited us for two weeks and left early this morning.  It was wonderful having their help!  Tom had 2 work trips during that time so they helped me while he was gone, and then they stayed a while longer once Tom got home so that they could be here for Jack’s birthday.  Our house is small and they have to sleep in our unfinished basement (where there is a 1/2 bath) and I’m thankful they’re low maintenance when it comes to “guest rooms” (or lack there of).  We only have 1 full bath (and the bathroom is tiny) so 4 adults and 3 children shared 1 bath/shower for quite a while and we lived to tell the tale so I’d say the visit was a success lol

classic coat - chic puffer coat - jcrew coat

faux leather leggings | puffer coat | sweater tunic

I bought a new puffer coat for this season and it’s a bit of a departure from my typical neutral colored coats.  The green is beautiful and kind of in between emerald and forest green.  It’s not a heavy deep winter puffer coat but it’ll be nice for fall or with a sweater layered under it.  In my opinion it runs true to size.  Also comes in black and it’s currently under $90!

Tate is suddenly Caroline’s shadow and she mimics everything she says and does.  The first thing she says in the morning is “where Coco (Caroline’s nickname)?” and it’s the last thing she says before bed.  She’s enamored and Caroline LOVES it!  It’s so adorable and it’s a sweet aspect that comes along with having 2 of the same gender next to each other in birth order.  (I’m sure it happens with other siblings too but it didn’t really happen with Jack and Caroline in quite the same way.)  It’s cute and funny most of the time, but Tate has also taken to saying “yuck” to vegetables because that’s what Caroline says…so it’s not all good haha

Do you decorate for Thanksgiving or go straight from Halloween to Christmas?  I have a few Thanksgiving decorations I pull out every year and I keep pumpkins around until Thanksgiving, but will probably put up our tall skinny Christmas tree soon (on the landing upstairs).  I need a holiday background for some blog/social media photos but I don’t want to put our big tree up just yet, so I think we’ll ease our way into Christmas decorations little by little.  I’ll probably put the big tree up right before Thanksgiving.

 I turn 35 this month!  I feel like I’m kind of having a midlife crisis with my metabolism slowing down and fine lines starting to glare at me… so I am going to get Botox this week for the first time.  I know it’s a slightly controversial topic but I think it’s important to be honest about it on this platform and not hide it, and we had a big discussion about it on Stories a couple weeks back that was pretty eye opening (I had no clue that many of my friends, whom I’d consider low maintenance and non-superficial (and they’re not in the influencer world), have been getting it for years!).  My “11s” on my forehead in between my eyes are starting to make a strong appearance and I figure I’ll give Botox a shot as a preventative thing.  I like to try to make clean choices a lot of the time and skincare is still so important, but I don’t think it’s worth beating yourself up if you decide to try something else.  You know what’s funny is that I kind of see some similarities between Botox and epidurals/c-sections when it comes to some women being judgmental of other women.  With my first pregnancy I felt so much pressure to have a natural birth and then felt like such a failure when I asked for an epidural and then it ended up in an unplanned c-section (even more devastating).  With my 2 subsequent pregnancies I asked for an epidural as soon as they could administer it (both deliveries were VBACs) with no apprehension or shame…and those births were so much more peaceful and wonderful than my first, scary, guilt-filled, traumatic delivery had been.  For some reason I feel the judgmental thing is similar with Botox.  But you know what?  To each their own and do what feels right to you!  I’ll report back, most likely on stories.

Thanks for reading!

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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