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Cotton Stem Catch-Ups – Plastic Surgery, Pumpkins, Booties and Books!

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1 – Booties, Booties, Booties!
I tried ALL THE BOOTIES (…well…most of them, anyway πŸ˜‰) in search of the perfect pair of low-heel ankle boots, and I reviewed each pair on the blog this week with source links!  All budgets, all styles.  Which one is your fave?  Click [HERE] to see!

2 – Pumpkin Harvest Dining Room Reveal
What’s a harvest table without a harvest…a PUMPKIN harvest, that is?!  Check out the entire dining room with all those yummy copper and navy touches [HERE], plus I’ve linked as many sources as I can!  This might be my favorite fall look yet…what do you think?

3 – Layered Window DIY
Want to find out how to hang vintage windows with a layered effect?  Check out this super easy farmhouse decor DIY project [HERE]!

4 – Capsule Wardrobe CHEATS!
I’m revealing the biggest holdup for people as they consider trying out capsule wardrobes and my solution for us.  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  I’m excited about this change, and you can check it out [HERE]!



1 – Vintage Copper Mugs…where can I find these?!?
Okay guys, after searching high and low for a set of vintage Baker, Hart and Stewart copper mugs, I posted my find on Instagram along with a few links to Etsy shops that still had some…you guys sold them out in minutes!! πŸ™€  Since then, I’ve had so many messages from people trying to find a set, and, lucky for you, one of my buddies is hosting a giveaway for one lucky follower to win a trio of vintage copper mugs!  Click [HERE] to find out how to win!

2 – The plastic surgery question.
You guys would be amazed at some of the messages I receive in my DM inbox over on Instagram…πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚  I can’t help but just giggle at the personal nature of some of them (and I get it!  It truly feels like we’re all besties over there from far away.  That’s what I love about IG!), and whenever I post a full-body shot or chat about “four babies in five years, baby weight, yadda yadda,” I always get a handful of tentative yet persistent questions wondering if I’ve had a tummy tuck or a “Mommy Makeover.”  While it’s techincally not really anyone’s business, neither are the other multitudes of TMI topics I overshare on IG stories, so meh.  What the heck. πŸ˜‚

The answer is no, I haven’t had a tummy tuck or any plastic surgery.  Just the choice I made for right now.  I have no big feelings either way.  There couldn’t be LESS feelings, honestly.  Because of some back-to-back (to-back-to-back…😳) pregnancies, and thus pregnancy-related chronic health issues, I considered a procedure that would retighten my busted stomach muscles, but in the end, I decided to wait.  I literally could not care less what anyone else does.  Like, not even kind of.  I have people in my life who have had procedures and some that have not, and I support whatever the crap y’all want to do.  I know it’s a touchy subject to some in certain circles, but I refuse to participate in body shaming…on either side of the issue.  YOU DO YOU, MAN!!

Now, to answer the follow-up question, I will say that genetics (I’m the freak of the family…taller than all the women by a head and a lot of the men πŸ˜³πŸ˜‚), a lifestyle of exercising faithfully (even during pregnancies), burning calories through LOTS of years of nursing, and food allergies that prevent me from eating anything fun (πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚) have all played a part in helping me maintain, ahem, things.  πŸ˜‰ I don’t really care all that much about a number on a scale; I want to FEEL good, FEEL strong.  I keep a realistic weight range for my body type/build/genetics in mind usually, but, honestly, I’d rather weigh MORE because of muscle mass and LOOK how I want to look, than obsess about a smaller number.  Plus, I want to LIVE my life!!  I want dessert sometimes (all the time…).  I want a half glass of wine at night sometimes.  I heart fried things.  Worth a little fluff, yes?  πŸ˜‰  I’ve worked really freakin’ hard to get strong and healthy four times after four babies, but…there’s so much more to life than weight and worrying about it.  SO much more.  Anyway.  That’s kind of where I stand on post-pregnancy procedures (DO YOU!) and weight issues, etc.

(And listen, man.  I don’t care what size you are…things ain’t the same after babies, no matter how much you suck and tuck into ‘dem jeans. βœ‹πŸ»πŸ˜‚  Learning to work hard to be strong and healthy AND be proud of what my body did has not always been easy…but it’s a good way to accept and celebrate the new normal while endeavoring to LIVE life and live it healthily….at least most of the time.  You know?  Anyway.  Deep thoughts.  The end. πŸ˜‰β€οΈ  Oh…and never underestimate the power of a perfectly drapey front-tuck…πŸ˜‰  Click [HERE] to see my technique.)

3 – What’s the deal with this Outlander series you keep talking about?!
Let’s get to the good stuff….season 3 of Outlander premiered last week!!  πŸŽ‰  I can’t stop shouting it from the rooftops (okay…Instagram stories) how much I love these books and the accompanying TV show.  Big love.  Big.  So well written, so well researched, lots of adventure, characters you truly fall in love with as they fall in love with each other, and it’s a love story about married love and keeping it strong!  Most love stories end at the altar, and I am a big fan of following these characters into the AFTER.  πŸ™ŒπŸ»  Anyway, please read these books.  Check a review or two first (there’s a bit of Sexy Times and some graphic detail during war in there.  If that offends, then maybe not for you. πŸ˜‰)  If it IS for you, let’s be BFF’s!!  I love talking about Outlander to anyone who has a clue what I’m saying, so let’s discuss already!! 😍

4 – The nail polish from Instagram stories is….
Essie Gel Polish in “Pre-Show Jitters”– I’m loving it!  It’s a gel polish that doesn’t require a lamp.  I have a whole kit that includes a lamp that I use with other real deal gel polishes, and, while the real thing does last about two weeks with no chips, this stuff does a pretty darn good job of making it a full week!  That’s asking a lot of a polish not cured with a LED lamp, so I’m sold.  I’m excited to try a few fall colors next!


Hope you buddies have a great weekend, and I will see you all next week for some more Cotton Stem fun!


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  1. Earyn Creamer says:

    Love your real deal posts. Love your insta stories annnd we share a name. So, there’s that. Keep letting your light shine, girlfriend. πŸ€—

  2. Laura says:

    Love your writing style….you write like you talk and I love it! πŸ™ŒπŸΌβ€οΈ

  3. Melissa says:

    I’m kinda upset with you! πŸ˜‰After your stories and talk about the Outlander book/show, I became curious and went on the net and was able to view the first episode of Outlander for free! BUT…to view the rest of season 1-3 I have to sign up and pay for Starz…sigh… at a crossroads now, how do I justify to my husband that I NEED TO pay $7.99 a month to have access to this phenomenon of time travel, Scottish accented goodness and romance?!?! Anyway, love your style, you attitude and your stories!! Keep it up!!!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      YES!! Tell hubby it’s a MUST!! πŸ˜‰ You can always cancel in 11 weeks when it’s over….!! You need to do it so we can chat about Outlander–my husband REALLY wants more of my friends to read/watch it so I can talk to THEM about it constantly instead…. πŸ˜‚

  4. Rachel says:

    Love this post! I totally have no idea about outlander but because of you I bought the first book this week. I have vacation next week and will devote my time to it. I am always on the look out for a good book to get lost in and I can’t wait to dive in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and keep them coming!!

  5. Earyn Creamer says:

    Aw, thank you. It’s sometimes cool. I’m not sure what my mom was thinking πŸ™ˆ

  6. Meg says:

    Ahhh yassss to lots and lots of Outlander! I just rewatched Ep 301. Can’t. Get. Enough!

  7. Pam says:

    Thanks to you and Layla(letteredcottage) I decided to give in to Outlander. GIRRRRL!!! I binged on all the episodes over 3 days! Now I’m feeling a wee bit depressed (in my best Scottish accent) having to wait a week between episodes! πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Right?!?! And it is the saddest thing ever after the season ends and the Droughtlander begins…14 months of waiting last time for season 3 to start! At least we have the books. They are SO GOOD.

  8. Jillian says:

    I’m currently reading Outlander and have refused to watch the series until I’m done and it is killing me! Literally, it’s killing meπŸ˜‚
    Love your feed girl! I’m a momma of three girls and I hear ya on when the glorious day comes that we are all having a lady day together! Our poor husbands!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      You are a strong woman! Hold out. The books have SO much more in them and are just so well done. The series is as well, although, to fit it all into short one hour time segments, much gets left behind. However, I usually am disappointed to watch my favorite books become movies or shows, but this time….? I’m a big fan!!

  9. Amber Wampler says:

    As an avid reader, I was just curious how you like your kindle?? I am thinking of purchasing a kindle and making the move to a digital library, simply because my house is not large enough to hold any more books! πŸ˜‚ There is just something about holding a hard copy that gets me though! I’m hesitant to say the least, but my husband would definitely appreciate my books all being on one small device! Since the Outlander series is a long one, I’m thinking I should make the switch before purchasing them! Excited to start the series though, thanks for the recommendation!

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      Such a good question. I am a book lover, like…actual books. However, tiny little hands seem to wander off with ALL MY THINGS, plus, I’m like you–can’t fit many more books in here! I like the Kindle for the ease and the compactness, plus I like to read a bit after hubby goes to sleep, and the soft backlight is easy on my eyes. I like it!

  10. Courtney F says:

    Ok just had to jump on here since I saw the post from Earyn and her unique spelling! My middle name is Erinne and I’ve never seen anyone else spell it that way – and feel you girl on wondering what Mom was thinking! Weird spellings unite! πŸ™ŒπŸ»
    Love you Erin and your fantastically real fabulousness.
    @courtneyfitzp01 aka Courtney Erinne πŸ˜‰

  11. Christina says:

    I can’t believe people are bold enough to ask about plastic surgery…lol…I have four children…and I agree agreed babies your body is never the same. I need to check out this Outlander show you speak of. ☺️

  12. Sharon says:

    I am in the middle of Outlander book 5 and have loved every second of reading this series! Never disappointed. My hubs is half Scottish and I admit to being obsessed over anything Outlander! He watches the series with meπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I am waiting for him to call me lassie 😁
    Love your IG stories and the blog! Xo Sharon
    ( @sweethoneycottage)

  13. Wendy says:

    Jamie and Claire forever! I read the first book when I was in college and fell in love! I’ve never seen the series…obviously I need to!
    And thanks for laying it all out on how you’re long and lean after 4 babies. Every momma has to find her way after pregnancy, and your attitude is right on!

  14. Kasey Kennedy says:

    I LOVE OUTLANDER!!! admittedly, I could not get into the show bc I have such strong images in my head of what the characters looked like and how they talked and their facial expressions that the show just annoyed me. But I would love to be your BFF and chat about it! I only know one other person who has read and obsessed about them (my sister πŸ˜‚)

  15. Lisa says:

    Oh Outlander! I starred reading the books and wondered how they could possibly do a tv series of it. They do a fabulous job! I do say that Diana Galbadon should have finished her pending book during Droughtlander 🀣

    • Erin | Cotton Stem says:

      I really think they have done a fantastic job squeezing ALL that material into such a short amount of screen time!

  16. Lisa says:

    Ooohhh… Outlander……so obsessed! I binged all in like 3 days! I hate waiting a week in between so may need to read the books. Have you watched Poldark? It’s really good too!

  17. Margo says:

    I couldn’t heart you more! One of my fav internet peeps. Thanks for always sharing your realist truth.

  18. Annie Broom says:

    Love the bootie post!! I was literally hoping that you would share some more favorites the day you posted it! Love your style, and I’ve been having a hard time finding a new pair, so your post was perfect timing!

  19. Alexis says:

    I’ve been behind on catching your IG stories lately so I just read the “Catch-up”! Omg, you love Outlander?! Now I love you even more! πŸ˜‚ I read all the books years ago and have been watching the show just falling in love all over again! Jamie & Claire forever. πŸ˜‚β€οΈ

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