Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Favorites

Now comfortably in my 30s, I have to admit when I go in to an actual Forever 21 store, I feel like a grandma.  The vast majority of the store's content is too short/tight clothing in tiny sizes.  But online (and in some stores) they have this great section called Love21, which clothing is more modest and sized a half size larger than the standard Forever 21 line (why ALL the clothing can't be of the same sizing, I don't know. But that's another rant.)  F21 (and L21) is a great place to get seasonal trendy pieces without breaking the bank, and actually even some classics that could last you a few years.  And since everything looks better/more expensive when it fits you perfectly, the pieces here are so cheap that even after the cost of the tailor it was a steal.  Here are some pieces I'm eyeing. 

Clockwise, from top left: Great Double-Sleeve Cocoon Coat, trendy fringe sweater, boucle coat in a great color, fall season maxi in a great tribal print, backside detailed sweater, great for work blazer with faux leather trim, dress up or down chevron shirt, and too pretty retro midi skirt.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thursday Thankfulness

It takes just a minute....

Links I Love

  1.  26 unique and creative ways to save memories for your child. I will have to implement some of these. (BuzzFeed)
  2. Stunning and inspiring images and stories of the beauty that is motherhood. (4th Trimester Bodies Project)
  3. These amazing photographs -- like candy for your eyes --  beautiful and imaginative (and not created by photoshop!)  (BoredPanda)
  4. 20 minute treadmill workout that burns calories - because that's about all the time I have to spend on that thing! (FitSugar)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Scandalous Attire

Do you watch the Shonda Rhimes' show "Scandal" starring Kerry Washington?  If not, you're missing out on some fun characters, but even more enjoyably some great professional style.  Washington's character Olivia Pope is a great, strong female role, and wardrobe for the show does a great job making her look strong and confident and professional while retaining femininity and, well, just looking pretty.  Olivia Pope proves suits can be sexy.  And thanks to The Limited, we can all feel confidently dressed à la OP.

Monday, September 22, 2014

New Baby Must-Haves

Does it ever feel like once you do something, it seems like you notice everyone else is doing the same thing?  Ever bought a new car, then it seems like everyone else on the road is driving the same car?  Once I had a baby, it seemed like everyone else was too. When I was pregnant, I searched/viewed a lot of lists (primarily found on Pinterest) of the "must-have" items to prepare you for your new baby.  But the following is a (short) list of the things I never saw on a list that I now tell everyone who is expecting to get, because I can speak from experience they will really make this new adventure so much easier.

1. The Book to Read
If you can only read one book, read this one.  Or don't even read it: there's even a video version you can watch (which I haven't seen, but I liked the book. Its an easy read, and then you have it for reference.) Happiest Baby on the Block is about as close to a newborn how-to manual as you will ever get.  I can't encourage this read enough.  If you follow the 5 S's explained in the book, you will know what to do when your newborn cries and be able to quickly soothe them.  There was maybe only one time in the first 6 months of my son's life that I couldn't stop his crying in less than 5 minutes.  And within the first 2 months of his life, he was sleeping an average of 6-7 hours straight per night.  Both my own mother and my mother-in-law said they wish they'd had this book when they had kids.  It makes so much sense and gives you the knowledge and confidence that you know what to do when your newborn cries.

2.  The Multi-Purpose Yoga Ball
This is an item I already had before becoming pregnant, but if I hadn't had it, I would definitely have gotten.  This serves great purposes before and after the baby is born.
As you near the end of your 9+ months of pregnancy, being comfortable in your own body can be challenging.  With the yoga ball, you can stretch your hips and back in baby-safe positions.  It distributes your weight differently across your hips when you are sitting, and can ease some pressure discomfort. I would sit on it in the living room while watching TV in the evenings.
But the best advice I got:  near the end of your pregnancy, sit on the ball and bounce slightly for a few minutes a day.  This will introduce the motion to your baby in the womb.  Then, once they are born, you can hold them and sit on the ball and bounce in the same way, and it will have a calming effect on them, as it will simulate the womb experience which will comfort them (see above book).  And this will be something anyone holding the baby can do, so dad or grandma can provide the same comfort to baby.  And trust me, your knees will thank you.

3.  The Swaddle Transitioner
If you read the book above, or pay any attention to how the nurses wrap your newborn in the hospital, you will know that swaddling is very comforting to a newborn.  But they don't need the confines of a tightly wrapped blanket forever.  My son could not sleep without being tightly swaddled for the first 4+ months of his life.  But then he started to want more freedom to move, but hadn't completely grown out of the moro reflex (again, read the book above) that caused him to start in his sleep and wake himself up.  A friend of mine who had already gone through this with her sons, told me about these sacks called the Zipadee-zip.  It looks pretty funny-- like a starfish. The ladies at my son's daycare had never seen anything like them, and laughed--but the length of my son's naps increased when he slept in these, which he did for a couple months until he didn't need them any longer.  They come in cute patters, in warm fleece fabric and cooler cotton fabric. I got one of each fabric: cotton for day naps, fleece at night.

Hope one or all of these items help you in this new adventure.  Remember to enjoy it, because time goes SO fast!

What are some unusual items that have helped you with your newborns?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Favorites

TGIF, right?  And if you’ve been anywhere near Southern California for the past week+, TG for the cooler weather!  THIS is what I’m talking about.   
Even though weekends aren’t as relaxing as they used to be pre-baby, I look forward to them now for the new reason that I get to spend all day with my favorite new little man.  And speaking of favorites, here are a few of my favorite finds from around the web this week:

1.      Just loving this gown.  Not toddler friendly, and couldn’t wear to work, but I don’t think you could feel anything but pretty in it.
2.      A great idea (and looks to be an easy DIY) to hiding/babyproofing the router and modem (which unfortunately are in the nursery, and can’t be anywhere else). (There actually are a lot of neat looking DIY’s on this page. Too bad it’s not in English.)

3.      I want these shoes in every color. They are a classic style with a great heel height, and subtly fun with the studding all over.

4.      I love pasta, creamy sauce, chicken asparagus and bacon.  This recipe was made for me.

5.      Very excited to get set up on this site/app, which claims they will unsubscribe you to emails you don’t want, and consolidate the reoccurring commercial ones you do in to one email a day.  Anything that helps clean up my inbox is worth a shot.
What are some of your favorite web finds?
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Walk in her shoes

Were you a fan of either reality show "Laguna Beach" or "The Hills"? If so, you may have kept better tabs on what this gal has been up to than I have. I admit that I caught a few episodes of each (more of the latter than the former). Reality shows are my secret (from my husband) little guilty pleasure, because he thinks (and I think mostly rightly so) that there's no real redeeming social value to them. Which there isn't, but that's not why we watch them, is it? :)

Apparently Kristin Cavallari has teamed up with Chinese Laundry and has a shoe line. They're actually pretty cute (and I don't mean to sound surprised by that), and I'm a big fan of the d'Orsay style heel, and she has several. The collection looks like it would work in anyone's closet: classic styles that fit in an office, given extra character by the pattern and color, as well as several dressier "going out" styles, an some booties. Mules are a reviving style, and she has several here as well. And they're totally affordable. Cute AND affordable? What more could you ask for? ('Cept maybe the cute outfits she is wearing with them in this video?)