Saturday, April 23, 2022

Spring Styling

Alright, as requested- it's my Spring styling post! Brought to you by a 3 hour shopping appointment with the extraordinarily talented Bonnie, my travel rewards credit card (my shopping is simply a service to my family's future travel needs), and another 3 hours of Bonnie making an album of outfits for me that I will now follow religiously until she makes me a new album in the fall.
As I mentioned many posts ago, I've been reaching out more and more to experts in my life. Home design, backyard design (sadly that project was scrapped when we decided to move, but it would have been wonderful!), hair and makeup tips, and wardrobe consulting! Even when I was still at the government, the money spent on a 3 hour closet styling session with Bonnie, was some of the best I've spent. She worked entirely with the clothes I already owned and made me feel like I'd just gone on a massive shopping spree. She opened my eyes to new ways to use what I already owned and new ways to dress my semi-new post-Covid almost-40 body that I am frankly still struggling to not be mad at much of the time.

(Example of a standard work outfit for me these days,
with gold glitter Toms because something should always be a little fun)

Ten days ago I had my first ever shopping appointment with Bonnie. Now that I've started my new job, and am actually in the office 3 days a week instead of working from my bedroom 100% of the time, and facing a new season of summer recruiting, business trips, and evening events, I gave myself a much bigger budget than I plan to in future biannual sessions. I needed several basics (a white button down! the lifelong elusive search for a non-see-through white t-shirt!) and just a nice set of standard and statement work pieces. We met at the Northpark Nordstrom in Dallas and Bonnie told me we'd both walk through the women's department together, with both of us selecting pieces for me to try on. I was to keep an open mind and just pull anything that catches my eye. The idea is that in the future I don't need to attend shopping sessions unless I really want to or happen to have the time- she knows what fits and flatters me and now has even more insight into what calls to me (and the things that surprise me!).
And so we had QUITE a rack of items and I tried on them all. Some were unsurprisingly great, some were unsurprisingly terrible, but quite a few were surprisingly great and those were the most exciting ones of all. Bonnie has such a good eye and is so creative in how she pairs things and she gives me so much confidence when I try on something outside my narrow fashion box and fall in love with it, that I can believe it really does look good.

Veronica Beard Miller Linen Blend Dickey Jacket (White)
Vince Painted Floral Smock Waist Skirt (Herb)

She's also VERY particular about how we "curate" my wardrobe and has really evolved how I think about adding to it. Each piece needs to earn its spot. With each item I tried on, she'd point out the quality of the fabric, how seams are sewn or cut, why a particular shirt flatters me and why a particular shirt doesn't as much. To put something in the keep pile, it needed to be of high quality, flattering, perfectly fitted, feel good, and just make me smile. It was the most fun afternoon. I just love an expert getting to live out their expertise.
After packing up our house and making everyone go through all their possessions, it felt a little hypocritical to waltz in the door with two arms full of clothing, but mama's lawyering wardrobe has been upgraded and I am in a long-term relationship with each and every piece.

Rag & Bone Margot Sleeveless Belted Blazer (Blush Pink)
NYDJ Marilyn Linen Blend Trousers (White)

Theory Tile Print Silk Tank (Blue Multi)
Vince Wisteria Vine Button-Up Blouse (Violetta)
Vince Flutter Sleeve Silk Top(Almond)

That stunning copper silk top is not one I would have ever picked up or thought I could wear, but Bonnie grabbed it for me and it was one that gave me an instant smile to put on. It is the most beautiful color and looks so luxe paired with my black and navy suits.
Milo kept a close eye on Bonnie's progress on styling day where she puts all my outfits together.
Maggie also assisted. (Moose hid under the girls' bed because a stranger was in the house and Bonnie could be dangerous.)
And through their combined hard work, we have our Spring/Summer lookbook:
A lot of these are items I already owned, but these are links to the recently purchased:
Vince Crop Leggings (Black)
Halogen Raw Edge Tank (Pink)
Rails Arlo Button-Up Shirt (White)
Rails Ingrid Raw Hem Chambray Shirt (Light Acid Wash)
Frame Le Muscle Organic Cotton T-Shirt Dress (Fatigue)
Paige Mayslie Straight Leg Pants (Sand)

We mostly focused on workwear (and travel wear; I am always utterly flummoxed at what to wear while flying, even though I both wear clothes AND fly on airplanes all the damn time), but she fit in some casual ensembles as well, including the elusive cute but not see-through white tshirt (Frame Le Mid Rise V-Neck Tee):

Caslon Blend Twill Shorts (Olive)
Treasure & Bond Organic Cotton Blend Long Sleeve Baseball Tee (Purple/Cream)
Sanctuary Perfect Print T-Shirt (Purple)

I really love everything. I wore my new geometric tank when I gave my PLI presentation to 400 people on Monday,

and my crazy print breezy button-down to chat poolside with friends at a Dallas hotel this morning:
Bonnie's album gave me the confidence to wear this to work on Friday (posing in front of the new art I had framed for my office!):
and helped me pick out something fabulous (top pic in the post; that silk skirt is the most beautiful thing I've ever owned) for this birthday dinner for dear friends in Dallas last night.
And that's a wrap! Now that I have some really solid basics and have culled out a LOT of older items that either didn't fit, were worn down, or never looked as good as they should have, and added some beautiful spring/summer pieces, I plan to do a much smaller session in 6 months for fall/winter. Perhaps add a tweed or thicker weight blazer (loooooved this one from L'Agence, and the cropped cut is perfect on my weirdly short-waisted self, but I could not justify another jacket and it wasn't very Spring'y and we were being very picky), a couple of nice sweaters, and a new pair of dark jeans. As I learn my brands and sizing better, I also look forward to being able to shop secondhand.
In other bits of fun I spent Friday in Dallas, working, then working out with friends (SolidCore pilates class; omg I am so sore and not just because I haven't worked out in two months), and then heading to a Dallas hotel room with those same friends so we could get ready for a big fun dinner out. I wowed everyone with my vagina curler skills, caught an Uber, and enjoyed the most ridiculous over-the-top instagrammable (if I had Instagram) restaurant ever. We had a slumber party in our hotel room, hung out by the pool this morning, ate brunch, and then headed home. It was an 18 hour staycation and it was SO fun and refreshing and I loved being back with my own family by noon.

Press for champagne? I believe we will.

I head to Chicago for work on Monday, come back Tuesday (Bonnie outfits already selected!), and then drive to Houston on Friday to hang out with my family and enjoy a reunion of all the tiny cousins.

May you all have a fantastic week ahead!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Spring Packing and a Few Notes

Hello! Look at me posting mere days apart like an actual blogger! Who knows how long this will keep up, but as long as I was uploading pictures from the weekend, I thought I should run with it. Because despite packing up what feels like 65% of our house into a pod that got driven up our driveway with a remote control, it was a pretty nice weekend.
The children and animals helped with the packing.
The human children by actually helping, Moose by hiding, Milo by testing out every single box and bin to see if he could fit his fluffy self inside, and Maggie by constantly running into the pod to ensure that she would also be packed.
I think she saw this as us preparing for a very long vacation and was VERY concerned she was not on the packing list. Rest assured Maggles, I worked very hard to find a rental that would accept our three furry family members and you're worth every bit of the pet deposit.
(James might not admit it, but Milo : James :: Maggie : Me. (Does anyone recognize those analogy sentences? I randomly asked Landon about these and he looked at me like I'd lost my mind. I googled it and turns out they were pulled from the SAT in 2005. I don't really have a strong opinion on that except to note I was good at them and I'm glad they were still there in the dark ages when I took it.))
Also on Saturday, both girls had soccer games. Cora scored another goal (making it six for the season?) and is just generally killing it.
She was also named Wrangler of the Month for April so she got to pick a treat to celebrate. She chose frozen yogurt and enjoyed every single bite over the eons it took her to consume them.
She is such a cheerful little thing. She's even almost mostly forgiven me for the move, or at least she's stopped dramatically walking around the house, brushing her hand along every piece of furniture or possession and asking in a soft voice with sad eyes, "will this come with us?" Yes Cora, it's all coming with us. Everything except my gorgeous new bedroom wall I thought of years ago and finally acted on and will now only get to enjoy for the next 6 weeks.
Today was not our usual Easter at Papa & Gigi's house since we decided to spend it packing to get the house ready to be listed and shown, but the baskets were still filled, pets will still seasonally costumed, and a delicious brunch (made by James) was consumed.
I booked us tickets for a movie, just to give us a reason to finish the packing early and be able to leave the house. As it turns out our crew is so efficient that we were done loading the pod on Saturday morning, but I was still glad we had the movie tickets.
We went to see The Lost City and y'all, it was a delight. I had low expectations and all five of us enjoyed it immensely. A true action/adventure rom com in the classic sense where most of the comedy is just actually funny. Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock were great and the kids were shocked to see Harry Potter grown up and not on the side of the good.
We got one family picture as we walked out and then the kids swam in our pool while I wondered if I should chase my gallon of popcorn with something not covered in butter.
Given how much we had to do, I did not think this would be a particularly great weekend, but it was low key and lovely and productive enough to make me feel really good about the last few steps before we can list this beautiful house. (Like have the doors and windows I purchased last year finally delivered and installed; sigh.)
Blogger's note: I recently had a shopping session and will soon have a spring/sumer styling session with the fabulous Bonnie. Are shopping posts something you enjoy? I don't use affiliate links, so I don't need to post them, but I LOVE looking at other people's clothes (and houses, closets, etc.), so I thought I'd throw it out there. This round was a little fancier than I usually am, but we both felt my new job and life where I actually leave my house and go to the office justified a broader sweep of the Nordstrom women's section.

Lawyer's note: And a quick note from my daytime self since I still have a lot of law moms and other legal readers I've picked up over the years. I've been doing a lot of writing and speaking in this window of what feels like my BigLaw coming out party. I actually got a client from this blog- a badass General Counsel law mama who has been reading me for a million years reached out with a securities related question and I got to open a new matter for her. I love, love a law mom who is killing it in her field and being able to play a tiny role to help was a joy. I really like client work and am enormously enjoying getting to know more of my colleagues on the outside.

On that note, here are a few recent interviews I've done:
And a few articles:
 And from my favorite event so far, the SEC Update panel discussion from April 5th.  Two of our superstar junior associates wrote up the recap and the video of the event is embedded within. It's always shocking to hear my voice on video- it sounds so different than it does in my head, but it was a great event and a really great discussion. I'm also presenting in a PLI program tomorrow, "White Collar Crime in a Post-Covid World" if you have a membership and need some CLE credit! 

I can't believe I haven't even been back at the firm for two months yet. I'm so excited about everything that's happening and am just really looking forward to this next chapter in our lives.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Big Moves, Part 2

You know how I start a post with something like, oh it's been a while! Again! Things are busy! Etc!

Soccer field wind tunnel

Everytime I write that a part of me genuinely thinks I will soon have time to properly blog. Like there will be whole nights where I just sit with James and watch a show that doesn't require my whole concentration (currently watching Severance which does in fact require all my focus because wtf. I definitely like it, but I also definitely have no idea what's going on much of the time) and type and recount our days and smile and look forward to reading about them again in the future.
Instead, each day involves the complicated logistical maneuvers of 3 kids and 3 pets, a husband and a house.
Each day also involves a lot of laughter and love and funny text messages and pictures of Maggie.

"Conversation" with the teenager

Each day involves me doing work that makes me feel smart and happy and valued.
It works.

Each day ALSO involves 2+ hours of me driving to that work. Some days it's 90+ minutes each way.
This does not work.

And so, the Lag Liv family has some big news:
We're moving to Dallas!
As is our way, it was all decided fairly quickly. I talked with James one night and he immediately said, "If you need to move, we need to move."
And so the next night we talked to the kids over dinner. They weren't thrilled, but they weren't surprised- it was something we talked about when I took this job. They're all sad to leave Fort Worth- we've been here over 10 years (!!), but they're excited about a new city, new house (hopefully with 4 bedrooms this time!), and new opportunities.
Cora is the most sad. My extremely outgoing child dislikes change IMMENSELY and is still morning the dead bushes we cut away in front of the house five months ago.
Claire is sad but okay. She made a lot of new friends this year and is devastated to leave them, but I also think she feels confident in making new friends right now so that helps a lot.
And Landon is neutral. He's excited to be part of a bigger swim team and was initially excited to be closer to his best friend in Weatherford until we explained Dallas is an hour in the opposite direction, but they have plans for lots of sleepovers.
(That picture is actually from a shopping trip I made him go on with James. The girls and I went on our own and had a blast. His reaction to replacing his wardrobe for another size was somewhat different than Claire and Cora's.)
The cats have no comment and Maggie is just delighted we found a rental house that will allow her to come along.
Because yes! We have a house! After we took the kids to our hoped-for neighborhood ten days ago and drove them by the schools, parks, lake, and several houses, we realized home buying right now is impossible (we looked at 4 houses and all 4 sold before we were back in Fort Worth an hour later). So we're renting! Which we've never done before. It's a 6 month lease with mont-to-month extension option starting June 1 that will let us get to the neighborhood we want to be in (FOUR POINT TWO MILES from my office; so different from 42), let the kids start school (registered them today!), and then let us leisurely look for our forever home early in the new year.

I'm very excited about this, and now that they can see our next steps, the kids (even Cora!) are more excited too. This will be her first move, but I truly believe she's going to do amazing. She's a bloom where she's planted kind of girl.
We spent last weekend packing up all the extra to get the home ready to be listed. We went through every closet and drawer and even in a house with little to no storage, we found you can accumulate many things in 10 years. It was a long busy weekend, but all the kids were such troopers and we got everyone's pizza Sunday night.
A pod comes this weekend for us to load up, then the gorgeous new doors and giant double-paned windows I ordered late last year are finally arriving (sob) and will be installed, and then we'll do pictures and list! I'm devastated my gorgeous new bedroom wall just got done and I just now gave myself a (similarly gorgeous!) home office and now we're leaving, but the timing is what it is. Our house has nearly tripled in value, so it's not like we're not getting everything back and a whole lot more.
Hopefully someone will appreciate my crazy wall paper, and if not, they can take it down. I've kept the extra for a wall in our new forever house.
And so that's the news! We'll be living in our fourth Texas city and fifth city together. Only an hour away from where we are now, but far enough to require changing out just about everything about our day to day lives. We all have a lot of feelings about this, hopefully to be explored later, but the biggest thing I feel right now is a sense of rightness.


This is right for our family. It will bring new opportunities for everyone and will let me be a bigger part of all their lives.


It might also even let me go to yoga for the first time since mid-February, which is really a win for everyone.