Thursday, October 2, 2014

Baby Brand I Love: Freshly Picked

Thank goodness for Pinterest. It got me through the nights when I was pregnant and the baby kept me up kicking. And it entertained me through the first few weeks after she arrived when I'd stay up watching her sleep at night like an insane person.

One night I was pinning it up and discovered baby moccasins. My life would never be the same again.  I am obsessed with how they make chunky baby legs look even chunkier...all the better to nibble on them, this baby-eating witch says.


I saw super cute ones all over Etsy but then Freshly Picked caught my eye.



Remembered seeing the brand in US Weekly which naturally gave it a stamp of celebrity approval that meant Mini D had to have them. Why should Blue and Kardashian spawn have all the chunky legged fun?


I was initially thinking blush pink or gold dotted ones that could act as neutrals and match more of her wardrobe. And yet for two months, I didn't pull the trigger. Felt guilty that they were twice the price of some I saw on Etsy.


They are real leather while many of the Etsy ones are faux, the little fashion devil on my shoulder whispered. You really shouldn't go insane/broke buying baby girl clothes - think of her college fund, admonished the annoyingly fiscally responsible angel on my other shoulder. 

But then I saw the Picnic Pack limited edition moccasins from FP and had to get a pair for my doll. I mean how could I resist RIDICULOUS watermelon feets!!!!


Sizing is tricky with Freshly Picked since it goes by size of foot not age. But I emailed the company and they suggested I get a size 2 which generally fits 6 to 11 months. I picture my living doll wearing them with a white eyelet dress or a black top and leggings look next spring/summer.

When she outgrows that pair, she'll have gold ones to wear courtesy of my mom.



Might just have to get me a new gold pair of shoes to match.




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mommy Outfits: Jeggings

So let's talk about ma baby pooch.

I gained exactly 26 pounds while I was pregnant. Designated a high risk pregnancy due to my "advanced maternal age," I was determined to stay on the lower end of the healthy weight gain range.

Plus, blech, I was already a good 10 lbs heavier than I like to be when I got pregnant. AND I heard over and over again that staying active would make my labor and recovery easier. A huge incentive to not pork out for someone terrified of birthing babies out of her lady parts.

And I do believe the months of healthy eating and particularly the exercise (walking and swimming) during the last weeks of my pregnancy paid off: I was *only* in active labor for 9ish hours and it took me less than 8 weeks to lose the weight I gained.



But even though the number on the scale is the same as before baby, my middle looks totally different. My stomach has never been my strong suit (Me gustan carbs too much) but now it's definitely the weakest link. And this old girl's formerly best feature, ma legs, are now thicker in a way that seems irreversibly motherly. Thanks Mini me!

Given these two delightful developments none of my pants fit quite right.  Enter jeggings to the rescue.  They were my go to when I was pregnant and they are again when I have a newborn. I am not ashamed. I figure they are like yoga pants but with a little bit more style...though I am starting to get into the athletic mom look...minus the working out part.







My fave new leggings are from Nordstrom.




They are SUPER comfortable, have some moto texture to make them look like jeans and a thick waistband to hold all my mess in.



I bought them in oxblood, black AND grey to see me thru the fall.  I'm going to pretend I look as good in leggings post baby as Gwen did preggo. Sigh.

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Today I wore them with a long dark gray tank from Tarjay, a hippie dippy bed jacket from Hardwear to hide the muffin man middle and monochrome Loeffler Randall scalloped flats to lengthen the gams.

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I give the outfit a solid B for Breastfeeding Badass. But my baby wins today in her panda top. 

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Looks cuuuute from every angle.

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She's worth the jelly belly...most days ;)



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mom Jewelry: From Diamonds to Chewbeads to Flash Tattoos?

She may only be two months old but I can already tell Mini Diabolina is going to be an accessories kind of girl. Proof: She already hearts my Chewbeads.



(There is no joy like the nerd mom joy I feel when my babydoll enjoys some toy/blanket/you name it that I researched and researched when I was pregnant and only dreamt of her.)

I think I first heard about Chewbeads at one of the countless baby showers I went to in my 30s. When it was finally my turn, I knew I wanted me some. As my belly grew, I quickly came to terms with the fact that my jewelry collection shouldn't. I knew I wasn't going to be able to wear much dainty or statement jewelry for a couple a years since duh babies love to yank anything remotely interesting off your neck and ears.



I have a ton of cheapie jewelry so no big loss.  But then Mr D gave me the loveliest little cross for my first Mother's Day.



Goes perfectly with the star earrings he got me in Europe for my last birthday. Wore the two to death during my pregnancy.




But the last time I wore the necklace was the day I gave birth. Boo. This was a selfie during a contraction, btw. I got an epidural but, lucky ducky me, it only worked on one side. Oh and my baby weighed 8 lbs 12 oz. Yeah....



Back to Chewbeads.  Ever the over eager fashion beaver, I got three necklaces. Picked purty colors that would be flattering and work with my existing wardrobe. I put them in the baby's closet before her arrival and figured I'd take them out around the holidays when she started teething.



But last week my mom suggested I bust them out. She said she thought they would catch the baby's eye as she's grasping things and already starting to try to put things in her mouth (joy!) And sure enough they are one of her fave toys.






Truth be told, I wish they were just a tad softener and longer. They are a bit stiff against her when I'm holding her.




And they hit me at an awkward boob level that cuts me off instead of elongating my short and now flabby torso.  But the baby loves 'em and they add some interest to my oh so dull outfits lately.





Lest you think I've completely lost all my mojo by blogging about rubber necklaces,  I'll have you know I also bought Flash Tattoos last month. I know, I know I'm not Bey or a festival going hot young chick. I'm an old narc who is now a mommy.







But I figured they don't get between me and the baby and I could still FEEL blingy and glam. They could be the perfect way to dress up a simple old outfit with a little something new.  Ideal for a night out even though I am pretty much down for the count by 9 pm lately. Sigh.










Hoping there's a sassy occasion to bust them out soon. Maybe Halloween like Popsugar suggests...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baby Brand I Love: Mini Boden

It's a love affair that started in San Francisco...with duckies.

When I was in my third trimester, my mom joined me on my last work trip up north to Twitter's corporate headquarters. While I worked, she spent all her time shopping for her unborn grandbabydoll, naturally.




She bought, um, quite alot on that trip but her very first score (and Mr. Diabolina's fave): an adorbs Mini Boden dress at Nordstrom.



It's softer than soft and kiddie cute without being clowny. That's big for us. If we wouldn't wear it, we don't want mini me to.



We added the UK brand to our growing list of baby brands we heart (Mayoral, Kickee Pants, Oeuf, Freshly Picked - all of which I'll blog about...) And when I got home, I signed up for the Mini Boden catalogue. Big mistake - HUGE as Vivian the streetwalker on Rodeo would say. Five pairs of INSANE cute tights and onesies later I was hooked.







Great quality and true to size.  Nabbed them all on sale. Love that the site almost always has SOME promotion going on. I'm rarely buying the baby anything spendy full price.  No point since she's going to immediately outgrow it or poop on it.

Looking at the site now I think I liked their Spring/Summer stuff better than Fall/Winter.  Though these two are yum.






But I'm a sucker for their fruit motifs year-round.







I mean a little apple in apples is delish!!!






More recently, had to get her a fall vest (plus little Halloween SCALLOPED socks at Janie and Jack, another fave). Again super soft and well priced.



And my mom recently couldn't resist this casual, easy breezy beauty. Again at Nordie's.



This week, I saw the Boden women's catalogue at my mom's house for the first time and I realized SHIT, I like their stuff for me too. It's all fairly British and basic, Kate Middleton style. But there are some standout tops and knits in prints that feel like my Tucker favorites and even a little DVF meets Tory Burch. Full price it's a bit steep but again there's a special 20% off going on so...












Maybe I'll get something when mini Diabolina isn't watching.  Her side eye is terrifying.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mommy blogging

I started writing this blog post at 2:30 am. I'd just pumped a cow-riffic few ounces of milk for my baby girl.




I was exhausted...but the words dancing in my head wouldn't be quiet. They demanded to be heard, getting louder and louder, forcing me to listen. It's exactly how my adventure with this blog started years ago: that inner voice just wouldn't shut up ;)

Expressing myself is who I am. The only thing that's more "me" is loving fashion.  That's why this blog was so transformative for me for so long. It combined two fundamental parts of who I am.

But today, ten weeks into my daughter's life, who I am feels like a nebulous thing.  I no longer feel like this multifaceted person: daughter, friend, partner, professional, pig, clown, fashionista, writer.  For the last two months, I've been pretty singularly defined as Mini Diabolina's mother.





She is gorgeous baby - strong, funny, sweet, a great sleeper and an even better eater.  In quiet moments when it's just the two of us, I am overwhelmed by my love for her. I cry and cry and cry because she is mine and I am hers and the love we share is like nothing I could have imagined.


















I adore my child but motherhood is grueling. It's challenging down to your core. It's also fundamentally disorienting, at 37 years old, to feel like your very sense of self, your identity, who you are is in complete flux. In some ways, I feel like a child myself: unsure, tentative, experimenting.







After all, I had finally just gotten to know and love me in my 30s.  And now that person is changing deep down in parts of my being I'd never truly mined before. All while my postpartum hormones rage.  It's supes fun, let me tell you...

So I'm going to try to come back to writing, to a part of me I know and don't want to lose.  I'm also coming back to the blog because I need to get my fashion mojo back.  I am in danger of becoming a normcore, leggings and top wearing, basic bitch, the horror!  My daughter deserves better.



Also I need to play into my vanity and lose my baby tummy. Although I may be back to my pre-preggo weight (thanks, breastfeeding and good genes!) my stomach looks like a butt. Not a nice J Lo/Kardashian boo-tay.  More like a flabby, saggy tush that would be on the cover of the National Inquirer issue of "worst beach bodies" with a black bar over the star's face. Sad but true.

I'm going to keep the posts short. I always say that and have such a hard time doing it but now I have a baby to keep me honest.




I'll blog about mommy and baby fashion, deep motherhood thoughts and my adventures with my little girl, my mother aka grandma extraordinare and Mr. Diabolina.  All while keeping it real how I've always done.






Here's to a new beginning.

Monday, March 10, 2014

A big anniversary and an even bigger announcement

On March 10, 2012, my mother’s mother who helped raise me died. And I felt like a fundamental part of me changed forever.


Two years later, as I write this, I'm pregnant with a daughter of my own. And I feel like a piece of my grandmother has made its way back to me and my mother...  


I still cried today. But they were tears of loss and gratitude. Pain and joy. Regret and hope. Because, well, life can be so heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.  

Over the past few months, there have been several moments when my (ecstatic!) mom and I will be chattering happily about the baby and one of us will break down suddenly. We’ll tell the other one what she already knows: I wish Olga was with us, to see this, to meet the baby and to be known by her.



And yet, I’m not sure I’d be having a child if I hadn’t lost my grandma. I struggled with the decision for most of my 30s. But ultimately the biggest lesson in my grandmother's death was that I needed to live.  Stop overanalyzing and worrying and planning and instead, for the first time, truly allow for my life to unfold. 

That’s also what I’m trying to do with this post and the blog in general.  After months of hemming and hawing about recommitting to blogging  and then fretting over how to write about the baby, I’m finally just putting  words on a page: I'm pregnant and thrilled and terrified. And I want to document this incredible moment in my life with Mr. Diabolina, my mom and our loved ones. 











I’ll share all the fashion soon (I don't think you're ready for this jelly/belly or the baby's similarly expanding wardrobe!) But first I wanted to share the emotion – what I hope was at the heart of this "fashion" blog when it was a *thing*. 

Here are the first words I wrote about my baby girl several months ago. Today they feel like the perfect ode to my grandmother. May they make her smile...wherever she is  ;)


Her

She has always been a part of me. We are intertwined. Inextricable.

She's danced in the corners of my mind and at the edges of my soul for as long as I can remember.

I've never clearly seen her face or heard her voice. I've only caught glimpses of her in sun-drenched dreams – blinding flashes of her smile, how she moves in the world, the way she makes me feel.

I've never met her and yet I've always known she is smart and beautiful and strong and funny. I've always known she will drive me crazy and make me proud.

In the stillness, she has come to me, shown me that she is my destiny, my muse, my daughter.

She will teach me and heal me. She will humble me and save me.
She will unlock the woman I am meant to be...at last.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I'm back

It started with a Tweet.

Followed by a Pinterest comment on my pin about the existential crisis that is blogging ;)


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Two little interactions. Two tiny moments of connectedness. Two lovely instances of my soul dancing with strangers in cyberspace.

Made me remember what blogging felt like: befriending women around the world through my writing. Sharing. Creating. Feeling known. Inspiring. Making people smile, feel, think, cry and of course, shop ;)

I remembered that for four years of my life this blog was a whole thing. It was my thing. Blogging was therapy, exhibitionism, creativity and escape - all rolled in to one.

It's been hard to admit why I stopped blogging last year. The truth is that I lost my self there for a while. In my grandmother's death, in work. I questioned what I was doing with my life and even more devastating, I doubted my voice.

I retreated from fun and fashion and writing. Which left me sad and frumpy and voiceless. Not a good look on anyone – especially a fashion blogger.

It's taken me most of 2013 but I'm starting to feel like myself again. Change is in the air. I even give a fuck about shoes again. Mental note: Blanche is always right.

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So how do I catch up on nearly a year of blogging? Not entirely sure. Feels like the format should evolve. Blathering on about my daily outfits seems soooooo 2008 ;)

As a lady of (gulp!) 36, I think it's more about sharing the big life "ahas" with some food and fashion porn mixed in. Kinda like this:

Life

My mom took me to Europe the summer after I got my Master's degree. Then I blinked and TWELVE years passed! So this summer, I finally returned the favor.

Not so fun back story: During my entire career, I've never taken more than 5 days off in a row. So no "big" overseas trips. Biggest regret of my 20s.


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My grandmother dying was a huge wake up call. Made me finally understand that tomorrow is not guaranteed. That, in an instant, the things you put off can become regrets.  And that my (hilarious) mother may not always be this healthy...

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So why not watch the fucking Eiffel Tower twinkle together more often than once a decade. It's like it took all the pain of my grandma's death to remind me that I was alive.


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And guess who got in on Europa con nosotras? Yep, the man, the myth himself: Mr. Diabolina. It was our first time there together.

He never took real vacations from the firm either. Ugh to both of us type As.

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For most of this year, he's been negotiating his own career transition, wrestling his own darkness and emerging a healthier, happier man for it. I've never been prouder of him.

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And, um, babies are suddenly everywhere around us right now.


Especially in our heads.

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It's shocking but, for the first time in my adult life, I can actually picture myself as someone's mother. I think that's yet another by-product of losing one of the women that raised you. You want a piece of you back. You think about your legacy. You long for connections that promise forever.  
No decisions have been made either way but it feels good to approach it head-on as a conscious choice. Stay tuned. (It's my mom's favorite channel, btw.)

Food

Celebrated my birthday dinner at the new vegetarian hot spot Crossroads with our favorite hot vegetarian architect.

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Go to there even if you're a carnivore. Super creative uses of vegetables that recreate the textures of meat and seafood and cheese. The "crab cakes" are a must.

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We also went to the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel for brunch that weekend. Hadn't been in nearly two decades. Too many memories of my dad, who had a clothing store there back in the day.


Highly recommend for the old Hollywood glam...with a major side of French toast.

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Fashion

So I get an F for hardly shopping in Europe.


Trying to make up for it with a belated birthday spree. Gave my tootsies a treat in mixed prints. Courtesy of Loeffler Randall. Obsessed in love with this brand. Comfortable, chic and reasonable...well, on sale they are.

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Another yummy that I'm newly stalking: Bionda Castana. You're welcome.


Pondering a new bag too. Was leaning toward a classic Balenciaga in a poppy, girly color because I have all the boring basics covered.

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Then these two edgier Phillip Lims (for significantly less) got stuck in my lusty head. 

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Confession: Increasingly obsessed with leopard and fur. Also fake eyelashes and bronzer. The transition to full drag queen is almost complete.


But I'm going to hold off on buying a bag until Phillip Lim for Target hits stores. Seems like it's going to be the best Tarjay collab since Missoni, riiiiiight????



So what's new wit-chooo?

xoxo


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