Freckles in April: April 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


I love my birthday so much. Yeah, it's a day to feel special and eat cake and maybe open a gift or two but I also love the chance to reflect on where I'm at in life. And every year I think, "You know...I'm doing pretty good."

I'm kind of scared to even write this down because we all know how the universe works but: I feel like I've got my shiz together. I've taken charge of my health- I'm active, I eat healthy, I take good care of myself and I feel so so good. I've put a lot of time and effort into our house and it's a really pleasant place to be. My relationships with my family are good. I have a small business I'm proud of. I feel...on top of things.

I mean, sure, I have off days (side eye at my thyroid) but I mostly feel like I'm where I always thought I'd be at 32. A decently competent adult who handles stuff and has boring adult plans (office expansion! savings plans for my kids!) and occasionally does fun things like taking my husband on surprise trips and chopping all my hair off.

For 32 all I can really wish for is more of the same. More waking up early in the quiet of a clean, sunlight-filled house. More good times with my family. More long lunches with friends. More days exploring the outdoors and eating good food and reading amazing books.

I really can't complain. Life is good. Bring it on, 32!

My skirt will be released next week but right now I've got a fun birthday deal going on for Lark. Check it out!

Pictures by Chrissy of Let Me See You Sparkle Photography, who fit me in for a suuuper last minute birthday shoot yesterday and got me my pictures just a few hours later. Girlfriend is amazeballs.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Splurge or Save | Albion Fit Edition

If you haven't spent at least a few minutes drooling over Albion Fit's swimsuit line then what have you been doing with your life? Everything they do is gorgeous!

...and expensive.

Clothing retailers get their clothes one of two ways: they can design and manufacture their own (which is more expensive but it means they'll be the only one who carries that stuff) OR they can buy from wholesalers and resell at a markup (cheaper, but your competitors will likely have a lot of the same styles in their shops). Going by Albion's about page, it sounds like they do the former.

Which means the swimsuits I found are knockoffs and not the same suit bought from the same wholesaler and sold at wildly different prices. There will likely be quality and fit differences. If I was a better blogger I'd order them and compare for you but my blog budget right now is basically $10 per year for my domain so I'm just going to write about it and say caveat emptor.

Albion Fit Island Hopper One-Piece Cutout Suit vs CupShe Fashion on Amazon

There's a $98 difference between these suits. The Amazon reviews are decent- mostly sizing complaints.

Izabal Switchback Crop and Black Hipster Bottoms vs CupShe Fashion on Amazon

A $125 difference. The leaf print in the Albion suit is definitely a larger scale print, which isn't as obvious in the other suit. Again, the Amazon reviews on the cheaper suit are decent. Lots of girls sharing pictures and their measurements so you can check the fit.

CupShe also carries this high-neck bikini in the leaf print- similar to Albion's Izabal style but not a direct copy of anything they've done.

I'm willing to bet Albion's quality is totally worth the money. If you've got the budget, go for the better swimsuit. But if a $100+ swimsuit was never on the table for you then meh, might as well give the Amazon version a try, right?

After stumbling upon the Albion knockoffs I went down the rabbit hole and found a bunch more that I could directly line up to much pricier brands. I'll be sharing those as well- stay tuned!


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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ten Years

I'm cheating a bit because we actually celebrated 11 years of marriage in December and these were taken for our tenth anniversary the year before but I wasn't blogging then and I wanted to post them.

Our wedding pictures are meh. We didn't set a big budget for a photographer and we got what we paid for- probably less, actually, since our photographer "went through a hard time" and disappeared with our wedding pictures for over a year.

I have so many words for him.

So when our 10th anniversary approached, I told Aaron I wanted some new pictures.

I wanted a new dress- something that flattered me a bit more. I spent months searching and finally found this one from ModCloth. I'm dying to find somewhere else to wear it!

I wanted pictures that ditched the stiff posing and reflected 10 years worth of being each other's safe place. No weird leaning or faux casual snuggling against iron railings!

I wanted a cool location. Downtown Gilbert is such a treasure trove of colors, textures and cool details.

I wanted a photographer we knew and loved. We hired Jed Davis. He and his wife are good friends of ours and he and Aaron have worked together in the past. He was fantastic, as we knew he would be. AND he delivered our photos promptly. I will never take that for granted after our experience with our wedding photographer!

It's been over a year and I still go back and look at these all the time. They turned out so well and were everything I wanted. We agreed we need to do it again after another 10 years!


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