Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I'm sorry it's been so quiet around here lately. I swear I have ideas and thoughts and intentions of blogging. Sometimes I just get overwhelmed though. You know, [obviously] I'm not a writer, I'm not a photographer, I'm not a stylist (as much as my heart says I am and I feel like it's my calling, I'm just not), I'm not a DIY extraordinaire, so sometimes I wonder why I'm doing this blogging thing. Does it serve a purpose? Do I serve a purpose? I feel like I've always been an ambitious, passionate person and somewhere along the way I've lost that part of myself. Lately I feel like I'm drowning, I'm wasting talent, I'm at a stalemate and there's not another move in my future. I feel stuck and I feel like I'm failing sometimes. I'm contributing nothing to my family. The weight of the world rest solely on my husband and I do very little to keep him from that burden. Being a mom is the most incredible role I play, but I know that I need to be doing more. I need to be contributing more and pushing us ahead. Do you ever feel like that? Like a sitting duck? 
I don't know when it was that I lost my calling. The drive and passion is there, I promise. It's just figuring out where I'm going and how to get started. Shouldn't I be past the stage of not knowing what my future holds? Not knowing what I am meant to be and do?
How can a person be so completely overwhelmed and so completely underwhelmed at the same time?
So it's quiet, because I'm working on fixing these things. I'm working on me and finding my calling, my purpose. I want to be more, I need to be more, for my sweet son. 
Because he's basically perfect and he deserves the very best. 
xx
Melissa Loren

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{Super Henry}

I had the opportunity to go down to the new HMK store on the plaza to see all of their amazing goodies and I couldn't leave you guys out. I wanted to share with you how awesome their products are. Almost everything is customizable and can be personalized. Like this book I created for Henry's upcoming first birthday. I thought it was too cute and I had to scoop one up for him. I remember when I was a little girl I had a personalized book that was all about Melissa the Mermaid-needless to say, I luuurved it! I think eventually Henry will love his superhero book just as well. They had other themes, like a train book, a firefighter book and they of course had adorable themes for little girls. They had the standard 3:1 ratio of girl choices to boy choices. Haha.
You could customize the character to look like your babe, obviously you could match the name to your child, and you could personalize it with a dedication. Doesn't the illustration actually look a lot like Henry??? :) So adorbs. 
They have many more items to choose from that you can personalize. From onesies to art work, the options are phenomenal. And it's not just for children. They have accessories, gift options for showers and weddings and of course all of the traditional cards and paper goods that you'd expect from a Hallmark store. It's the neatest place. I can't wait to go back for more. This time I might have to hit up their local section, you know, since THE ROYALS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!
HMK is on Facebook as well!
Happy book-making!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

{Weekend/Birthday Fun}

Another birthday down. Now that I've finally recovered from the weekend and all of my birthday festivities, I guess I'm ready to blog again. :) 
My first one as a momma and it was legit. I hung out with my little man all day. We met our friends at the mall for a little shopping and some balloon fun in the play area. Henry could not get enough of these giant balloons. He kept getting those big belly giggles as he'd chase after his. It was really neat to watch him play and get excited. I tried to snap a photo of him and his bud having fun, but I learned my lesson-almost one year olds and almost two year olds don't stay still for a picture. Ha.
Afterwards, we met my husband at home, where he had taken a half day and continued the tradition of making me a Creme de Menthe cake for my birthday. Such a sweetie, he is.
Later that evening my parents were kind enough to come over and watch Henry so that Kory and I could have our first official date together, just the two of us. You have no idea how excited I was!!! I'll fully admit I wasn't nervous or sad at all to leave Henry at home with my parents. They are fully capable, Henry is 110% comfortable with them and we were LONG overdue for a night alone!!! I couldn't wait to eat at one of the restaurants that has been on my bucket list for far too long...
Getting ready for dinner, but first, let me take selfie. *insert laugh-so-hard-I-cry emoji*
...Rye was the place I couldn't wait to try. They're known for their fried chicken, and I REALLY wanted to try it, but we just couldn't pass up the Monday night steak special. You guys, the food was sogood-one word. Man oh man, it did not disappoint. Not one bit. I can't wait to go back for round two and try the fried chicken.
I don't know where you're reading from, but here in KC we're all pretty much on cloud nine because our Kansas City Royals are on fire, working on securing their spot in the the world series, so it was pretty cool when we realized Billy Butler (our DH) was in the house. Just an added birthday bonus.
I had already taken a few bites of my pumpkin pie, but it was too good not to document anyway.
We had talked about going to see a movie after dinner, but in all it's lameness, we were exhausted after a glass of wine and full bellies, so we opted to head home and relieve my parents. It was simple and perfect, a simply perfect birthday. I was feeling the love and ready to embrace 27...
 ...and then I woke up. Yes, to this, our garage door in shambles. Awesome, right? Don't worry, it's been fixed already so all of you burglars and Wasco clowns can just stay away. Haha. It pretty much stinks that this happened, but we got it fixed and we're moving on. The only thing left is the giant bruise on my neck from one of the panels swinging off the hinges and throat-checking me while I was trying to help Kory "fix" it. Merp. Thank you for the warmest welcome, 27. ;)
I really am looking forward to the next year, it's sure to give 26 a run for it's money.
xx,
Melissa Loren





Friday, October 10, 2014

{Birthday Wish List}

It's that time of year again. I'll officially be closer to 30, than any other milestone age. Bleh, that just sounds awful. ;) 
Last year I was SO ready for a new year. I had had a rough 25th year and I was certain that 26 would turn things around. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Although 26 has easily been the hardest year of my life, it will be one of the most cherished and it will be very tough to beat. It has been an incredible year. I'm thankful from the tips of my toes all the way up to the ends of my postpartum hair regrowth that flails around everywhere. :)
Every year I put together a little birthday wish list. They're just for fun and excuse to drool over the things I adore, buuuut aren't typically in my budget hehe. 
So without further ado...
1. Since I'm always getting my workout on these days, I'm always drooling over workout gear. Tell me, why is it so expensive?? Even at target workout gear can reach up to $35! It's crazy, but they're always so cute so I want them all!
2. My new balance addiction continues. I have to get my hands on these! No man left behind, right??
3. I'm way behind with these. Everyone I know has them but me. They're one of those items I detour out of my way for at target. Mostly I just stare at them. Sometimes I put them in my cart and walk around for a bit to mull them over, but obviously they've never made it home with me. Le sigh.
4. This West Elm dining table is clearly a wish. It won't be coming home anytime soon, but golly she sure is beautiful. I love the reclaimed wood and the bench seating. It's perfect for our kitchen table. 
5. These Rajovilla watercolor clutches are out of this world. Unique. Statement piece. Conversation starter. Classic. Everything you want in a bag. I want all of the colors of course, but I think the black is my very favorite. 
6. Me and buffalo check. Are you guys sick of it yet? I think I do this every year around this season. I just can't get enough of it. And this infinity scarf is the bacon to my eggs (I'm so hungry right now).  
This list could easily go on forever, but 6 seemed like a good number. Now that I'm thinking about it, 7 would've made more sense, but whatever!
Happy Friday, friends!!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

{Fall Fashion: Layering & Styling}

You guys know I couldn't pass up an opportunity to talk Fall Fashion! Honestly, I'm surprised it took me this long. ;)

Fall for me means layers + boots. Anyone who knows me well, knows my boot collection is beyond. It's an addiction of some sort. Ha! 
When I'm layering I like to have a base, a cover of some sort (sweater, vest, etc.), boots and definitely an accessory (or two!). For fall weather, hats and scarves are the perfect accessories to keep warm, but not be too bulky or have too much to carry around.
For my first outfit I went with a pug tee as my base, because my first pup was a pug (Daisy Mae) and because a graphic tee is an easy solution for any outfit. Leather leggings and a chunky cardigan dress up the graphic tee and the boots and the hat add the finishing touch to round off a great fall look. I'd probably add some gold bangles and a long, gold pendant necklace to polish it off.
I wanted a little more edge for outfit number two. I started with the ultimate fall staple, a plaid shirt. I think I get bonus points for it being red and black. It's not quite buffalo check, but it's still just as fabulous. Now for the edge: a faux-leather, hooded vest, a stocking cap and rad black booties. Jeans to keep it cas and to keep it from being too over the top. Load your fingers up with rings (knuckle rings and all) and you're ready to go!
Two great fall outfits full of layers and personality. Which one is your favorite? What do you like to layer for fall?
The great news about both of these outfits is that I found every single item at one place, ModCloth
I hope you've enjoyed this style sesh. 
xx,
Melissa Loren

{Remember Why You Started}


So I wrote this guest post for my friend Jen and I wanted to share it here for you guys to read. Hopefully it leaves you inspired, motivated or at least entertained. ;)

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image via: @dalepartridge
Hey friends! It's Melissa again. I don't know if you remember me from this post, but I'm back with a little update and a reminder to stay inspired!
When you guys met me last, I was drowning in my postpartum baby weight and I was really letting it get the best of me. I wasn't happy with myself and I was ready to take charge of my body again. I promised myself I wouldn't rush and that I would do it the old fashioned way- working out and eating clean! And I'm happy to report that I've done just that. Not without hiccups, or times of weakness, and most importantly, not overnight, but I have made significant progress. Two months isn't a long time, but it can feel like it when you want to see results, right. now
 From July 25 to August to September to October 2. 

I'm only down about 12-15 pounds (weightlifting will keep the poundage a little higher), but I'm nearly 3 sizes smaller and I have lost several inches all over...
...to read the rest of my post, head over to my friend Jen's blog, Defining My Happy.
Hop on over to finish my story!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Monday, October 6, 2014

{Old Socks}


Today, to celebrate my love for fall, my love for the great outdoors and to continue the countdown to my birthday, I have a little treat for you guys! I have some incredible photos for you to check out and there's even a giveaway, so don't go anywhere! 

You see, I have this extremely talented friend, Tara. Her photography skills are off the chain charts. To add more fuel to her metaphoric fire, she also has this incredible vintage shop on Etsy called Old Socks. It's full a beautiful, vintage pieces. She has this feature in her shop where you choose your size and make your payment and in return Old Socks will send you a unique, oversized MYSTERY SWEATER. I love this idea and that's exactly what we're going to do today! THREE lucky winners will receive a vintage mystery item just in time for fall! It could be a sweater, a vest, or even a cozy dress! The suspense is half the fun!

The giveaway is at the end of this post, but first can we talk about these photos? Now, I know nothing about photography, but I know a beautiful thing when I see it. And as if my heart wasn't already about to beat out of my chest for Colorado! The mountains...the trees...the clouds...the sweaters! These photos really give me the feeling that I'm there and I'm connected to Mother Nature. Speaking of Mother Nature, she is trying hard to steal the show, but you cannot deny the beauty of the the styling and the textures in these photos. Phenomenal. I think I'm going to grab a mystery sweater and travel to Colorado...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I hope you all enjoyed these jaw-dropping photos and take time to enter the mystery sweater giveaway!
xx,
Melissa Loren









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