Monday, June 30, 2014

20x30 Summer Remix Challenge: The Pieces

I've decided to challenge myself this summer. My friend, Caitlin from Greater Than Rubies, hosts these 20 pieces for 30 days challenges.  I've actually participated in her fall and winter challenges also.  Although it would get a little frustrating at times - being limited to only 20 pieces of clothing for a whole month -  it was nice to not feel overwhelmed by everything in my closet when choosing an outfit.  I'm really looking forward to the simplicity this challenge brings to my life. It also reminds me how blessed I am and helps me to be a better steward of all the things God has given me.

The challenge begins tomorrow and we're all linking up our 20 pieces today.  Here are mine!  Drum roll please...

Ta-da!  It's my first time blogging like this so I'm kinda excited about how my photos turned out!  (Thank you, iPhone and PicStitch!)  Here's the list:

Bottoms -
  • white denim capris - via Plato's Closet
  • coral corduroy jeans - Old Navy
  • denim jeggings - Levi's via Plato's Closet
  • denim Bermuda shorts - Banana Republic hand-me-down
  • black shorts - Old Navy
  • striped knit skirt - via Saver's
Tops -
  • olive V-neck tee - Mossimo for Target
  • navy V-neck tee - Joe Fresh for JC Penney
  • white tee - Gap
  • gray striped tee - Old Navy
  • radiant orchid tank top - Kohl's
  • polka dot tank top - Kohl's
  • cream pleated tank top - Jessica Simpson via Dillard's
Completer Pieces -
  • coral cardigan - Kohl's
  • olive military vest - JC Penney
  • denim jacket - Gap (old)
  • black/white paisley kimono - Charlotte Russe
Dresses -
  • black maxi dress - Loft Outlet
  • black t-shirt dress - Mossimo for Target
  • multicolored floral dress - Cinnamon Girl (old)
Anyone else interested in joining me?  I think one of the things I love about this challenge is the accountability, community, and encouragement I receive from Caitlin and the ladies involved.  It really is a life-changing experience.  Stay tuned for some remixing action!

Remix Rewear Restyle: Flashback

Now that I've officially joined the blogging world, I'm really looking forward to the writing aspect of it.  After all, I am a middle school English teacher.  And notice, I teach middle school, (I also took a break from the world of secondary education and taught third grade for twelve years) so PLEASE do not critique my grammar.  I am being open and honest with my writing here and I don't want to have to get all nit-picky about the mechanics.  That being said, I love to tell stories.  Just ask my students.  There are just so many things we can learn through stories.  Even the storyteller can discover some new things, too.

My friend, Caitlin, who blogs over at Greater Than Rubies, hosts a weekly link-up called Remix Rewear Restyle.  It encourages women to be creative and remix their closets with a different challenge each week.  I used to participate in RRR via Instagram when Caitlin first started it that way, but now she does a link up and I so I haven't been participating until now with this blog. 

This week's challenge is "Flashback."  The challenge is to "take inspiration from an old picture of yourself and show your new spin on a similar piece."  I really had to dig through my old photos to find something I could use for today's challenge.  When I was young, we didn't have all this fancy schmancy digitally enhanced technology like we have today.  Here's my inspiration photo:

Ah yes...flashback to those wonderful days of middle school.  (My students would get a kick out of this picture.)  Here's my story:  I was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Maui and in the 7th grade I was in the band. I played the clarinet, and we went on a band trip that year to the island of Kauai. I believe this photo was taken at the Fern Grotto.  T-shirts and athletic shorts were apparently in style back then, as were white tennis shoes. Oh how I loved my white Keds tennis shoes! With or without laces. With or without socks. White, black, colored socks that matched your shirt and scrunchie - you name it, we did it all. 

During my recent comfy momma style quest, I was in search of comfy shoes that were still chic enough to be worn with different pieces and for different occasions.  Athletic shoes while albeit very comfy, are not so much stylish when paired with dresses and jeans.  However, Converse shoes are another story. 

I don't know why it took me so long to realize that the perfect comfy momma style althletic shoe is the classic white tennis shoe!  I paired mine here with khaki shorts and a gingham shirt for a little stroll to the park with my family. 

It dawned on me that this outfit would be a festive, yet subtle 4th of July look.  Instead of sporting head to toe red, white, and blue, you have some blue and white in the gingham and a red stripe on the white Converse.  These happen to be  the Converse One Star from Target, so mine really are American as they have the stars on them, too! 

Do you have a favorite style flashback story to share?  I'd love to hear it.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

My Summer Uniform

To "style blog" or not to "style blog?"  That is the question.  By no means am I claiming to be any kind of "style blog" expert. I'm simply a woman who is learning how to balance all the different aspects of this life that God has graciously given me. Will I post some things about "style" on my blog?  Most likely.  Will I write posts on other things, too?  Of course.

Today's post does include photos of me attempting some very awkward "style blog" poses.  I did this to share with you that it really doesn't take much to put together a comfy summer outfit.  I wish I could go into detail about all the things I've discovered from style blogs about how to put together a comfy outfit, but this post would go on and on.  So today I'll just start with one of the simplest concepts: the uniform.
I am a middle school teacher at a private school where many of my students often complain about what they can and cannot wear to school because they feel restricted to a "uniform."  They actually do not have to wear uniforms.  I politely pointed out to them that they are required to follow a "dress code" and that teachers, as do all professions, have a dress code, too.  Whether we like it or not, all of us pretty much wear a uniform daily.
As I wrote in my previous post, in years past, my summer stay-at-home-mom outfits were mostly frumpy old clothes that were comfortable but not very stylish, thus leading to a lack of motivation to get up and do anything.  I've learned that in the summer, when I'm not teaching, I need to have a summer uniform, a similar concept to the uniform that I wear to work every day during the school year.  One of my goals is to be able to get dressed in five minutes in the morning.  In order to do this I need to have uniform pieces that can be put together easily to create an outfit.  I guess you could call these pieces my "go-to's."  I can grab any top and bottom and voila!  I'm dressed and ready to go!  If you get the right pieces that can easily be remixed (a.k.a. mixed and matched), you can even get dressed in the dark!
For me, my summer uniform consists of a comfy top and a comfy bottom.  Yes, I know that sounds vague.  Here are some of my examples:
Comfy Tops -
  • nice t-shirts
  • flowy tank tops
  • lightweight casual button-up shirts
I like to get an assortment of colors and patterns and/or with interesting details.  "Fit" is also very important.  More about that later.
Comfy Bottoms -
  • shorts/bermudas
  • casual skirts
  • skinny jeans/capris
Right now colored and patterned bottoms are all the rage; there are so many to choose from!
Comfy Shoes -
  • sandals
  • sneakers (such as Converse, Vans, Toms, etc.)
  • flats
Again, all of these come in an assortment of colors and patterns!  So much fun!


Today's outfit consists of a striped V-neck tee with a cute little pocket detail, white denim shorts, and cognac strappy sandals.  This outfit screams "comfy momma style!"  Just add a matching cognac belt, a brown/gold wrap bracelet, some mixed metal earrings and BAM!  I'm ready to hit the Farmer's Market with the family, watch the World Cup at a friend's house, or have one of my students come over to curl my hair and paint my nails.  (I may or may not have done the last one.)
So do you have a summer uniform?  What are your favorite go-to summer pieces?  By the way, the top and the bottom that I wore today were on clearance and cost $1 each.  The cost per wear on these pieces is ridiculous!

 I'm also linking up with Putting Me Together and Mix & Match Fashion today!  Check out some other cute summer outfits there!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Comfy Momma Style

My family and I just returned home from a wonderful road trip to San Antonio, Texas.  Both Mr. How and I are educators, so we have the same vacation time.  I've come to realize what a blessing it is to also have the same breaks as our kids.  The four of us will always be able to spend time together during our time off of work and school.

The drive to San Antonio is nine hours without stops and since the kids are so little, we decided to stop in Dallas to and from San Antonio in order to break up the time spent in the car.  (I'll post more about our trip to the Lone Star State soon.)  Today we spent the day just vegging out recovering from all the traveling.  K.D. and Abigail* were content to play together in their rooms and in the living room after being cooped up in the car for such a long time yesterday.  It was the perfect day for me to just take my time to unpack, do laundry, and...start this blog!

I don't know about you, but it's tempting to want to spend the day in pajamas when you know you'll just be in the house taking care of little ones and doing chores.  I mean, even my kids were in their pajamas literally the entire day.  After becoming a momma, I've learned that even if I know that I'll be spending the entire day at home, I need to change out of my pajamas and into "real clothes."   I've come to realize that when I actually get dressed, I tend to feel more motivated to get things done around the house.  I could also leave the house to run errands or have people over and actually look presentable.

About 18 months ago, I discovered some really helpful mom-friendly style blogs via Pinterest,  (Hooray for Pinterest!) and  I spent a year fasting from clothes shopping (more about that in another post).  It was then that I began my "comfy momma style" quest.  In my pre-style-blog-following days, I was content to wear a pair of stretchy hand-me-down capris and an old graphic t-shirt which quite honestly, are not very different from pajamas and would still make me look and feel frumpy.  I realized I needed clothing pieces that were comfortable and mom-friendly, and yet were stylish and flattering at the same time.  Now remember, my husband and I are both educators, so it's not like we have a lot of extra money for me to go spending on clothes.  I have no problem wearing hand-me-downs or clothes that I've had for the past 10 years.

Why am I writing all of this?  As I stated earlier, I've learned so much over the past 18 months about this subject and it's one of the things I want to share in this blog.  If you're in the same boat as me, I want you to know that you don't have to feel frumpy and you don't have to spend a lot of money trying not to feel frumpy.  I truly believe that God has led me to the blogs that have helped me in my quest and He is the One who helps me to be a better steward of what I do have.  Through this blog, I want to share with others some of the things I've learned about how to dress comfortably and modestly without breaking the bank.

So will you join me in my "comfy momma style" quest?  I've been posting some of my "comfy momma style" outfits on Instagram for awhile now under #comfymommastyle, but you would only be able to see them if you followed my old account which is private.  I started a new Instagram account @howcomfy and it will be a public account where I will post my "comfy momma style" outfits through the summer.  Feel free to hashtag your favorite "comfy momma style" outfits and inspire me, too!  Here's my #comfymommastyle outfit from today: track pants + black tee + leopard slides.  All of these were on sale by the way!

Pilot Post

Hi, I'm Iris and welcome to my blog!  I decided to start this blog as a place to document as many of the countless blessings God has given me as I can.  I titled this blog "How Comfy" because well, my last name is "How" and I love everything comfy/comfortable (I mean, who doesn't?)  I hope to write about some of my favorite comfy things like clothing, good books, food, as well as things that bring a smile to my face: my family, my friends, my home, my students. In doing so, I hope to inspire you and also keep myself inspired to experience the abundant life He has for us!