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All of the Stars

As someone who's unashamedly spun her birthday into more of a birth week in years past, I knew this year would be different...just like everything else in my life! I don't mean that in a bad way by any means. My typical birthday week ramped up around Cinco de Mayo with tacos and margaritas, then on to something festive for birthday eve, then finally the main act on the seventh. Baby-in-tow turns a three-day party into a hard 'no.' But nowhere in the What To Expect universe does it say your annual birthday outfit tradition has to get the axe, too. So I looked for something special, and landed happily on this dreamy embroidered dress.

I just loved the floaty silhouette and golden stars against the navy fabric. For a brief moment, I flirted with the idea of going with the same pattern in a long sleeve style, but reverted back to my original choice under the advisement of my BFF. (They always just know, don't they?). It also comes in white with red stars, which would make a splash tailgating this fall if you're an NC State, UGA , or Ohio State fan.

SO happy with this dress! It's a mini dress to be sure, but passes the fingertip test. If you went to Asheville High during the reign of Mrs. Graves, the fingertip test is practically etched into our collective Cougar mindset as the be-all, end-all test of sartorial propriety.

Closet confession: when I'm celebrating a special occasion, I always fight the urge to dress tip-to-toe in my nicest pieces. I fall for label lust, to be frank. But really the rule should be, go with what tells the best story. This dress didn't need chain-strap Phillip Lim's or platform Pradas. It needed shoes that were chic and stacked. Scooping up these faux-wooden sandals earlier this season was one of the best shopping decisions I made this year. Ready for it? They're from Target, and they're currently on sale for under $30.

Mixing in the high with the low, I was really excited to carry my vintage Louis crossbody to dinner. I love my totes (and my Tote Savvy for rescuing me from dowdy diaper bag hell) but a girl misses her smaller bags, clutches, and crossbodies! My hubby gave me this bag as a gift for our last anniversary, so I always feel extra happy when I carry it.

When it came time to blow out the candles, I got all choked up. Not because I turned 34 - who cares! Because it was my first birthday as a mom. Reflecting back on all that happened between 33 and 34 blew my mind: pregnancy, leaving Charleston, moving to Asheville, having a baby, starting a blog, restarting my styling was quite the year! Surrounded by my family, all together on my birthday for the first time in longer than I can recall, I felt so fulfilled. By coincidence, one of the necklaces I wore featured Harlow's blue topaz birthstone, and the other an acorn, which symbolizes strength. Though I didn't choose them because of their symbolism, it just enriched the ensemble - and the evening.

Dress | Shoes | Bag (similar) | Necklace w/ Stone | Acorn Necklace (Stella & Dot, old)


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