Sunday, January 25, 2015

Post Baby Shopping and the Mobile Baby Workout

Atwell shift dress from Gilt.

You know when the worst time to clean out your closet is? When you’re pregnant. With twins.  This is followed by a close second to when you’re on maternity leave. I did both of these things. Of course this left me with a random smattering of clothes that were probably kept for no reason other than whatever raging hormone induced logic prevailed that day.

Recently I have managed to fit into two pair of pre-pregnancy pants, making my dreams of being me-shaped again sneak ever closer. Of course, the second I zipped up those mid-rise boot cut jeans that have to be worn with heels because they’re inexplicably long, I celebrated with a little dance and took stock of my closet.

Like most women I have three to four different sizes at all times. Sometimes because of the cut, some for the fat days, some for the skinny days, and some for the really skinny days when you have also jammed your ass into a pair of spanx. For some reason my purge got rid of most of my normal sizes, and kept the truly bizarre (fuzzy sweater with the cape thing I’ve worn once?) and the skinny days with spanx.  Of course that prompted me to do what every normal woman who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in 9 months would do, I started shopping.

The problem with my shopping though, is that it’s no longer a trip to the mall where you can see the bags adding up and suddenly stop because you figure you’ve spent enough money after reviewing your receipts at Starbucks. Nope. I have been doing it one website, one flash sale, and one lunchtime trip down Michigan Avenue at a time.

Husband is going to start asking questions as all those packages start showing up.

I bought a new winter coat from Tradesy (polar vortex be damned), some shoes and underthings from Victoria’s Secret, a new sweater and pair of leopard loafers from Zulily, a shift dress and leopard heels from Gilt, basics from Gap, jackets from Loft, and…the list just keeps going. Time to slow down. Also, maybe buy less leopard.

Getting ready to steal stars from her face. 
But really, nothing I have now fits. My shoes are all too small because my feet expanded under my massive pregnancy weight. Thanks to breastfeeding my boobs are huge still, my stomach isn’t quite back to normal, and because I don’t have time to workout, none of it is as tight as I wish, so that pretty much kills all my shirts and half my skirts.

Luckily (big question mark here), having mobile twins is turning into its own workout so having literally zero time to workout (unless I never want to see my girls) is becoming less of an issue. They’re always going in two different directions, unless it’s into the kitchen, at which point one goes to the dog dish while the other tries to open all the cabinets.  As soon as I get one pantless on the changing table, the other one goes cruising out of the playroom, squealing and doing that creepy fast baby crawl like she’s in a horror movie, forcing me to run out the room with pantless baby under one arm to retrieve the escaping baby before she falls down the stairs or eats dog kibble, all the while hoping I don’t get peed on.

My stomach may not be totally flat yet, but you wouldn’t believe how my arms are shaping up from carrying a 20 pound baby in each arm. This is known as the "Mobile Baby Workout." I'm not sure how many calories it burns, but it can be exhausting.

Pretty soon my wardrobe will be back in business and I’ll have a whole slew of clothes for work and play that don’t make me feel frumpy and mom-like. Of course right around then it will probably also become summer, and being outside will be good (especially with toddlers) and I’ll lose more weight, rendering all those new clothes useless.

The mailman is going to love me this year.

If you’re looking for new shoes or clothes from my constantly purging closet, check me out on Tradesy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year, New Directions

I'm finally giving up and giving in.  This blog is about to change.

When Cat in Heels started in 2010 it was supposed to tell the stories of my shoes and my life. My stories. As time went on I focused on trends too. As time continued I got married, continued in my career, and most recently had twin girls. Now my heels don't go on many drunken adventures. They go to work, come home, take care of babies, get chewed on by babies (don't judge me), and my life in general is different. 

My blog has not reflected that, and I believe it has suffered. So starting now Cat in Heels is again
S & D at Christmas.
They pulled their shoes off and chewed on them.
about Cat. Of course my shoes will be featured, but so will my life in all its hilarious messiness (figuratively speaking. Husband is a neat freak). 

Having twins, having a career, a marriage, and still an identity all my own is what you will see here. I'll even include the days I wear flats, just to really showcase how much life has changed.

I'll also talk about my girls, D and S. They're a riot, and most days when I come home from work they're smarter and bigger than when I left in the morning because babies really do grow up at some kind of warp speed. They're standing, playing, fighting, crawling, and trying to talk and walk. Soon enough I am going to be buying shoes for them as well.

So here's to new journeys, new directions and a new year. And to catching up on all the shoes that I got for Christmas that I haven't yet shown you because I'm chasing babies. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Working the Boot

Boots, winter and the office. That can be a tricky game to play.

IMO this is pushing it.

Boots are the perfect shoe to wear in the winter (assuming the ground isn’t covered in ice) and they can be paired with skirts and pants, and can make an otherwise boring outfit somewhat office chic. They can also totally derail an otherwise professional look, turning you into some kind of corporate America dress code nightmare.

When it comes to boots of any height and work, stay away from heavy hardware. A buckle detail or exposed contrasting zipper is fine, but stop there. Unless you’re in a very fashion forward office, don’t wear things with chain embellishments, studs or both. This goes double when said boot is knee high.

Speaking of height, be careful. An over the knee boot can be great with pants or skirts, but you want to make sure the skirt isn’t too short, and that the boot heel isn’t too high. I personally just stay away from over the knee boots because I’m short and curvy and lose either way. If it’s flat I suddenly look like a child playing dress up or an extra from Lord of the Rings. If it’s got a heel and/or platform I look like I’m trying to dress provocatively, which is a whole separate problem. When given the choice between Frodo or Pretty Woman, I just pick a different shoe.

My personal favorites when it comes to boots are an ankle high slouch boot with a stiletto heel, or a black knee high boot with ribbon lacing and a taller, but wider heel (I also have this boot in red).
Knee high in red and black.

The ribbon laces give the boot that something “extra” a lot of people are looking for, and it provides the versatility (and added width in the calf if that’s a need).

My ankle boots are by far the most worn of the two, and they can be slouched or folded (which I never bother to do), worn with pants or skirts, and with no platform and a walkable heel, these are even great weekend boots when I’m running errands with the twins.  I got mine last season, but I still see things like it all over, so it should be hard to find.

If you have that coveted fashion job, a workplace with a progressive dress code, work for yourself, or just don’t give a fuck, then rock out with the studded, chain boots that come over your knee. I either have that stuff or wish I could wear it (over the knee boots I love you), and it’s a regular wardrobe staple when I’m not at work. But when it comes to dressing professionally, err on the side of a little less when it comes to boots. They can be a big statement in a stuffy, corporate world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Back to Yourself

Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that it takes some time to get back to “normal.” And by time I mean I’m not entirely sure this is ever actually going to happen.

Aside from the part where your body is pushed to physical limits you didn’t know were possible, there’s that whole weight gain thing. 

If you’re one of those horrid women who bounced back in like a week without any changes, then screw you. Stop reading now and go somewhere and gloat. We are not friends. For the rest of you who are still with me on this quest to yoga my ass back in shape (seriously, what happened to my ass?) then welcome. You get it.

In my total insolence and hatred of my new post-baby body I have been refusing to buy new clothes. I don’t like this new size and am determined to not stay here forever, therefore there’s no point in investing in clothes. As a result I am wearing the same 6 outfits all the time, none of which are quite my pre-pregnancy style.

Luckily, I have my shoes.

The magic heels.
After spending money on getting some basics back in the closet (black, nude, red) I could focus on something a little more fun. One day while out buying new rain boots, the day after a really rainy week, I found the shoes that made me smile.

Leopard pony-hair with a red patent heel cap. As soon as I saw them sitting on the end of the DSW aisle I knew it was meant to be. I grabbed them and ran to the front of the store, rationalizing the purchase by telling myself leopard is a neutral (but that red patent is not).

A few days later I wore them to the office with a pair of cigarette pants and a sweater and it was magic. Boom. I was myself again. I think just wearing those shoes caused me to shift around some weight in my hips and bring my ass back to normal. Suddenly I felt stylish and like the old me. Not like the me who had twins and was constantly reminded by wearing something that I didn't really like.

I always knew leopard print was amazing and magical.

Now I just need to find the heels that make my stomach flat again. 

Check out my closet on Tradesy for some amazing size 7 shoes, maternity clothes that I will never need again, and some really fabulous dresses and sweaters that just aren't getting the love they deserve.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

When I was in my 20s (and early 30s) there were always places I could go where everyone knew me. And by everyone I mean the bartenders, bouncers and the cast of regulars. I had my Cheers.

Sure it was a heavy metal/punk rock bar that always smelled of cigarettes (even after the smoking ban in Chicago) and drunk-person sweat, but that was my scene and I loved it.  Now we’ve all moved on (thank you for keeping me updated Facebook), and it’s a very different place where people don't know me, but they do know my daughters.


I bet you thought I was going to say something like the playground or Gymboree, Carters, or some baby music class. No, it’s DSW. I have gone in there so many times with my infant daughters they recognize me. I am being asked how to style difficult shoes. I’m told about promotions that aren’t advertised yet and about new shoes that came out. (The boot section is bananas right now for fall).
Not my store, but close.

Still, while I’m the one with the credit card, replenishing my now deceased shoe collection due to those little cherubs changing my shoe size during pregnancy, it’s not my name the sales people know. It’s my girls.

Granted, I’m not quite as cute, and I don’t put my foot in my mouth in public (I can but seriously, why would you want to?), but still…I’m the one buying the shoes. They don’t even wear shoes, but at the shoe store they’re the ones getting all the attention!

As a “grown up” DSW has become my new Cheers and I’m playing second string to a couple of infant girls.  That store is just counting down the days until those little girls start walking and need their own shoes.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have a cocktail and cry over the shoes that no longer fit while the twinkies nap.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turning Babies into Goblins

Tuesday was David Bowie Day in Chicago. A new holiday we have bestowed upon the great man in honor of the new exhibit “David Bowie Is” at the Museum of Contemporary Art.  The show is a retrospective of his work in music and in film.

While I wasn’t able to attend the gala that opened the show (because it was $3,000 a ticket), I did manage to find something I have been searching for. Red and white stripe onesies with feet.

Baby goblin in the making.

If I have to explain why this is so exciting to you, then you need to immediately put down the computer and drag your shameful self over to the television and watch Labyrinth on repeat until you
understand why I bought two of them.

My twins have one piece of art hanging in their room and it’s the Labyrinth movie poster. That’s it. No clever quotes about growing up strong or pictures of the family. Hell, I haven’t even managed to get pro shots of the little rugrats taken yet. But there is Bowie. The Goblin King stares at them while they sleep. So of course I did what any loving, doting, vaguely psychotic mother who is obsessed with the Labyrinth and in love with Bowie would do. I bought them onesies that look just like Toby’s.

These kids have about a snowball’s chance in hell of being normal.
He watches over them as they sleep.

Sure, they’re probably actually Christmas onesies, but I’m really hoping to arrange some kind of photo shoot with Jareth and my girls in their Toby outfits. I may even see if I can find a small saddle for the dog, or at least toss him in as a goblin. He’s kind of goblin looking. 

If anyone is up for helping me with this nightmare dream, let me know. 

When I was younger I always thought being the Goblin Queen would be pretty amazing. You get a castle, that crying baby brother would be gone (I would have traded my little sister in a minute for that opportunity), and you get to wear pretty dresses and hang out with Jareth, his amazing hair and codpiece all day. Presumably singing and dancing.

Turns out life isn’t quite that easy, and Labyrinth may not actually be Bowie’s best movie, but there’s something magical about being able to share the thing you loved as a child with your own children. Even if it is just in the form of playing dress-up and they don't quite understand what you're doing to them yet.

Now if only I can find that white ball gown...


If you're in the Chicago area I encourage you to check out the exhibit at the MCA. They're also having a David Bowie film fest October 18-19. Or just stay home and Netflix them all.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How My Shoes Made it to Fashion Week Before Me

"Your boots had a pretty incredible time at NYFW!" 

Fashion Week is kind of a dream among bloggers.  There’s a bunch who go and sit in the shows and give their opinion on the clothes, and ones who stalk around New York hoping to get a pic snapped so they can be on some street style blog.

Yay for all of them. I have a full time career and twins. I have a daily routine that involves not getting spit-up on my work clothes. Apparently Fashion Week and I are not going to meet any time soon.

On the other hand, my shoes have now made it to Fashion Week.

Since going back to work and getting some semblance of a normal body back, I have been cleaning out my closet, much of which can be found on Tradsey (more going up all the time). My friend and hairstylist (and the reason for my Alterna addiction) texted me one day freaking out because she had the opportunity to go and do hair for a couple runway shows for Fashion Week. Of course she jumped at the chance and was desperately trying to get her wardrobe together.

As you can imagine, as a hairstylist shoes are important. Not that the necessarily look good (although that’s a HUGE plus), but that they are comfortable. You can’t be running around for 8+ hours on your feet doing hair in shitty, uncomfortable shoes. She needed shoes. Black shoes to be specific. I have a closetful in just about her size.

I hooked her up with a pair of perfectly broken in Vince Camuto moto boots with studs and buckles. They took her through two fashion shows, an after-party and a couple trips through the airport. She was kind enough to send me pictures of my shoes at Fashion Week.

Nice to know my now too small boots have found a good home. Probably a better home than I gave them. I wore them around the city for a year and to the Christkindle Market, abandoning them when my pregnant belly made it so I couldn’t pull them on anymore. She brought them to Fashion Week.

Enjoy your new home boots. You win. I'm going to start shopping for their replacement right now.