Saturday, May 31, 2014

Giveaway | $65 in Paypal Cash

Hello lovelies! I hope you are enjoying your weekend to the fullest. We've been having incredible weather around here and my little family and I are trying to enjoy every last bit of it. I'm taking a short break from our fun, however, to let you know that I'm currently collaborating with Jen over at Boone + Owl and some other lovely blogger ladies for a $65 giveaway. If you're following me then good news! You already have an entry. You're  just a few clicks away from the potential to earn some extra cash. Good luck! And, I'm just curious... what would you buy yourself with 65 extra bucks? 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Klair Marie is 18 months! | The Photo Shoot

Exactly 1.5 years ago today I held the most precious, perfect child in my arms for the first time. Born wide-eyed and smiling, when our eyes met for the first time my heart stopped, my breathing ceased--and I've never been the same. My capacity for joy, sadness, anxiety, contentment...basically my ability to feel was magnified exponentially. I became both stronger and more vulnerable than ever. And, in a year and a half, I've learned more about life, love, and eternity than I managed to in the (almost) 24 years before her. She is my greatest teacher. She is God's love unfeigned. 

Because we consider her to be our princess and angel, dressing her this way seemed appropriate. I'm one lucky mama. And a lucky wife! Sam captured all of these moments. I think he's pretty talented, and it was so sweet to see the love in his eyes as he photographed his baby girl. 

I wanted to post this pictures as soon as possible because I couldn't wait to share them, but I do have an update post in the works complete with some videos of baby girl's current "Klairisms" (as I like to call them). She is so smart and funny these days, I feel like video is the only way to accurately capture her ever-evolving personality. I'll hopefully have that posted by tomorrow. 

In the mean time here are some of my favorites from the photo shoot. 

The face she pulls when we ask her to say "cheese:" 
The face she pulled after she finally managed to pull her headband off 
(a feat she had been attempting throughout the shoot): 
Happy half birthday Miss Marie! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Red, White, and Chambray Memorial Day Continued | Klair Bear Style

As promised, here are the pictures we took of Klair yesterday in her holiday attire. In addition to remembering all of the fallen heroes who died serving our country, Memorial Day is one that reminds us of our own family members who have gone before. The most prominent in my mind is always the person who Klair is named after--my dad. Rather than dwell on his loss and spend the day in sadness, we chose to remember him by enjoying our little family, and especially his granddaughter who shares the same name. She is the promised morning light that comes after a long, dark night of sorrow. She brings new life to my dad's name and memory. She is all of his good qualities, a symbol of hope, and a reminder that families really can be together forever. Plus, she just looks so darn cute in her little dress and bow, how could we resist from taking 10,000 photos?

We set out to simply enjoy the day as a family. Sam has been travelling a lot for work lately, so a weekday spent together was a much needed reprieve. We played outside, took baby girl shopping with us, and even took a nap together. Our next door neighbors have a cat that loves to come hang out with us while we are in the yard, and is surprisingly fond of Klair. I don't know of many cats that would seek out a toddler, but Klair is really gentle with the little kitty and it's fun to see the bond the two have formed. In the evening we had some friends over for a barbecue, and we ate out on the deck and enjoyed the perfect weather. They brought their pup along, and Klair was thrilled to walk him around the yard. Between the cat and the dog, Klair Bear was in heaven. It was a simple, wonderful holiday. I'm convinced my dad was all smiles yesterday as he watched his namesake romp around and enjoy the beautiful day with her parents--as he watched us enjoy life.

Dress: Carter's | Bow: Homemade (Tutorial Here) | Shoes: Target | Sunnies: Carter's (Similar Here)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Red, White and Chambray | Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day!  This holiday is a lot more meaningful than Sam getting the day off. Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that he gets a paid holiday... any extra time with him is appreciated (especially with as much as he's been traveling for work lately) but the holiday is much more than that. It's a day to be grateful--to reflect on what we have, and why we have it. From those who have gone before us, to those who are currently making sacrifices to make this life as we know it possible... they deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. America may not be perfect. We have our fair share of problems to work through. Yet, the fact that I live in a country that enjoys and protects a degree of freedom that many throughout the history of this world could only have dreamed of, is not lost on me. I can get on this little blog of mine, and shout my ideas and opinions all day long if I so desire. Me. A member of a religion born in obscurity and protected by the freedoms promised by the constitution--a true homegrown, American undertaking (and one that, I'm convinced, could not have survived anywhere else). Me. A woman--educated, empowered, encouraged even to do and say as I please.  These are not a trifle things. Peering through the lens of history (and sadly some contemporary events as well) the rights that I enjoy are made that much more impressive.

As a social studies major in college I took my fair share of history classes that emphasized the negative in American history and politics. Yet, despite the shortcomings, there has always been a silver lining--a desire to improve, to move forward, and to stay true to the principles this country was founded on. We may not always agree on the best ways to implement the American dream, or what that even means--but I'm glad for the opportunity to disagree. Democracy, freedom... it can be a messy business letting everyone have a voice, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am proud to be an American--proud of my heritage, and proud of our potential. And, along with my love of country, comes a deep and profound respect for those who have made very real, often heartbreaking sacrifices to protect it. I owe much to the men and women who have fought--even died--to protect that freedoms I enjoy every day. (but not limited to of course) the ability to talk about fashion and photography. This is my first pair of Buffalo brand jeans, and I'm in love. I've been looking for a good pair of distressed, lighter washed jeans to wear this summer, and these are perfect. I love the fit, feel, and look of them--almost the definition of a boyfriend jean, but skinny rather than a relaxed fit (which I prefer). Additionally from this post, my red and white checkered shirt is my attempt at being festive. At Sam's suggestion I paired it with my straw fedora hat I got earlier this spring. Klair went to bed a little early last night, so Sam and I had some fun taking a few fun/creative photos in our yard. Don't worry though, there will be an overload of Klair pictures once we get them uploaded. She's pretty darn cute in her little holiday outfit, if I do say so myself!

Happy Memorial Day!
 I hope you all have a beautiful day filled with lots of love and laughter. 

Jeans | Shirt (similar) | Hat (similar) | Shoes 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Comfortable Mom Style | New Site & Blog Design

T-Shirt Dress | Skinny Floral Belt | Statement Necklace (similar) | Messenger Bag (similar) | Wedges | Sunnies

My blog began during my pregnancy with Klair as an effort to journal more than anything else. If you go back to some of my first posts, they weren't written with the intent of ever sharing them with well... anyone. Anyone other than my own little family that is (something that is evident by the way they are formatted...or weren't. Yikes). I simply wanted a place where I could collect pictures and write down meaningful events/thoughts about my family. The title "The Ausam Life" was born of this sentiment--it was our family blog "Autumn + Sam" of which I happened to be the author.

Over time, however, I became brave and started sharing my blog on Facebook. I figured people that I knew and loved might be interested to know what was going on in our lives, and I began writing to an audience other than Klair when she's a mom and suddenly cares about all this stuff. Then, slowly, I started to become involved in the blogging community. I loved how much inspiration and strength I was able to draw from others. Everything from fashion, to religion, to Pinterest-worthy projects... even good old mommy support. I became even braver and started to venture into these topics myself. As of late, my blog has become my blog--it's no longer just a family journal--it's an extension of me. Now, it's a place for me to share anything I want to--my life, ideas, recipes, DIYs--with a particular emphasis on fashion. With my interest in modest styles and my husband's growing love of photography, this was the natural progression. Moving forward, fashion will be a major theme of this project.

With this in mind, and a desire to have my own domain... I've decided to change the name of my blog and basically re-brand this thing. Welcome to! Luckily my name is unique...or, at least, it's spelled uniquely, so it was pretty easy to pick a domain. I worked with Erin over at Love, Fun, and Football for my blog design. I like a very minimalist look, and she brought my vision to life. She was so great to work with, and very reasonably priced. If you are ever in the market for a new design I highly recommend reaching out to her! I can't praise her enough.

I have really enjoyed blogging thus far, and I'm excited to see where this adventure takes me. Thank you for all of the love and support you've shown! I really value the connections I've made in this blogging world.

Oh, and I should probably mention the styles featured in this post. This particular outfit is one that I will likely wear too much this summer. It's comfortable (and practical for chasing a toddler), cool for the hot summer days that are just around the corner, and cute. I found the dress and shoes at Target, and I'm tempted to go back for another dress in a different color/print. It's so basic, I feel like I could wear it a million different ways. Also, Sam bought the bag for me as a gift from a local boutique and I absolutely love it. There is a similar one from Urban Outfitters that I also love (linked above). It's big enough to hold all of Klair's "necessities," without feeling like a diaper bag.

Isn't it nice to find ways to be a functional mom, while still feeling fashionable?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Date Night Style | Jewels and Gold

When I was younger I used to look forward to the days that I could forgo makeup, forget my hair, and stay in my pajamas all day. Working full-time, going to school full-time, dating, and juggling the demands of family, friends, and church left me with little time to be undone. I always had to be made up. Now, as a mom of a toddler, the tables have turned. I look forward to any excuse to get ready. Applying eye shadow (something I rarely have time for), curling my hair, donning heels--the occasions that demand these tasks are so few and far between that I've learned to relish them.

Our weekly date night is one such occasion that I can rely on for some relief from my typical mom attire (jeggings/yoga pants/t-shirts). Although I'm well aware that my appearance does not define my worth and is only a small part of my identity, I love feeling done up and polished.

This outfit was particularly fun for me.The neutral tones are jazzed up a bit with the jeweled shoulder, subtle printed jeans, and a pop of gold on the stilettos. The blouse seemed to me to have a vintage vibe, so I paired it with retro side-swept hair, red lips, and a clutch to complete the effect.

Do you get excited for any excuse to dress up? Or are you in a place in life where a casual day is a nice reprieve?

Blouse (similar here & here) | Jeans (similar here) | Pumps | Earrings | Clutch 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five on Friday | Things I am Loving (Wanting) for My Little Miss

Clothes for baby girls are particularly dangerous. DANGEROUS (yes, italicized, bolded, and capitalized)! One could easily break the bank at say... Baby Gap. The denim dress above attests to this. Or Michael Kors? For toddlers? Who knew? Probably a lot of people, but I just learned about it and fell in love with these tiny golden gladiators. It's almost like they want us to spend all our money. Oh wait... 

Good thing I have self-restraint. Good thing my husband has self-restraint, which influences me. Although I try to be good (by basically avoiding Pinterest as much as possible) I do want to get her a floral crown in the near future. I love this look, and seeing it on my little Klair would bring me enough joy for me to justify it. Also, although it isn't necessary or really practical, if I find a good deal on a purse like the one shown above I will buy it. Klair loves my purses so very much, and she would adore one of her own (and I would adore watching her carry it around). I'm a sucker for that girl. 

What baby/toddler items are you eyeing right now? Wait, maybe you shouldn't answer that. My wish list is already big enough... 

Happy Friday!