Monthly Archives: July 2014

A few more vacation pictures…

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It’s a foggy San Francisco morning and I for one can use a little sunshine today. Perhaps you can too. Here are a few more pictures from our recent trip to Hawaii. It’s such an amazing place — so much gorgeous color! The air smells incredible, the warm breeze… ahh… take me back! Traveling with kids is never easy, even in paradise. We had the grandparents with us and we were all pretty busy taking care of the two boys. But when childcare means swimming in the ocean and the kiddie meal happens outside at sunset, you really can’t complain.

I’ve skimped a little on outfit credits as it’s mostly older things but leave a comment if you have any questions!

In beach related style — check out this slideshow on Refinery 29. It’s real women on the beach and they got some great shots. The women are a) wearing cool, inspirational outfits, b) from places you and i shop and c) look like healthy gorgeous normal women. No super models in sight. I love the mix and match suits.

Click on the images below for a pop up tropical slideshow.


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If you haven’t discovered the rash guard, surf shirt or “fashguard”, it’s time to check one out. I was first introduced to them many years ago when the cool (ok, let’s be real here and refer to them as smoking hot) Hawaiian paddler dudes teaching stand up paddle were wearing them. Fast forward several years and rash guards are now everywhere.

I love them because they’re ultimate lazy beach mom attire. Who has time to put sunscreen on? It’s hard enough to get it on the kids, get into your own suit, and get out the door. With SPF 50+ you don’t have to worry about overexposure or reapplying. Have you ever had your toddler pull your suit off accidentally?  No worrying about another type of overexposure when you step out of the water.

Now that covering up is fashionable are so many cute rash guards to choose from it’s a little overwhelming.

Here are a few tips:

  • Choose your sleeve length — I’m all for the long sleeves but if torso modesty or an inability to put sunscreen on your own back is all you care about then look for shortsleeve or sleeveless.
  • Consider the weight — unless you need this for cool climates (hello NorCal) you want something really lightweight so you’re not overheated when you’re out of the water.
  • How often will you wear this thing? If you’ve only got one trip to the beach on the horizon, look for a style that can double as a workout top or long underwear. Athleta and Patagonia are great choices if you want a cross-functional design.


And here are a few of my favorites:

Top Row (Left to Right)

Seea: I love their whole collection — so many sophisticated colors and interesting print combinations. Matching swim suits too!

Athleta: Short sleeve version of what I’m wearing above. The half zip is such a nice feature.

Athleta: Love the gray t-shirt look – would work over just about anything.


Middle (Left to Right)

Billabong: Fun all over print – the black and white makes it easy to layer over any solid

Lands End: Preppy stripe mix – they have cute polka dots too.

Billabong: Surfer girl graphics.


Bottom (Left to Right)

Cynthia Rowley: My fantasy pick. Her surf collection is so gorgeous.

Billabong: Indian inspired print sleeves and earthy colors.

J.Crew: The high neck on their styles are surprisingly flattering in a Bond Girl kind of way. A rear zipper helps you get them on.


The selection at Athleta, Swim Outlet, J.Crew, and Nordstrom were all great. And given that it’s almost fall (at least in the fashion world) many are currently on sale.


Still need inspiration? Check out this post on Honestly WTF.


On me: Athleta top. On Houlton: J.Crew top, Vilebrequin shorts (absurdly cute, absurdly priced – they were a super generous gift. look for them on Gilt!)


Oops, I Did it Again


I accidentally dress like my boys all too often…

Hey so are we over stripes yet? This time last year, I felt like I’d throw up if I saw another sailor stripe. And then I bought like two more tees in classic white and navy. They are classic and timeless but then again, they’ve been everywhere for a few years now.

What do you think? Are you going to buy another?


on me: old Boden (do you really need my help finding a striped tee? seriously, they’re everywhere!)

on Ches: old Baby Gap



These Cookies are Good.


Once Houlton is down for his nap (assuming he takes one!), I’ve taken to having a little post lunch espresso. I usually pair this with a square of dark chocolate. And then, while I’m drinking and nibbling, I let myself do whatever I want for a few minutes (often wandering around the internet — my husband would add: looking at shoes!). It’s a nice little time-out before I start hustling to tackle all the things on my nap time to do list.

Yesterday we were out of chocolate so I reached for the only other chocolate in the cupboard. I try not to get Houlton processed foods/junk food/etc. however on a recent shopping trip I caved to the incessant requests from the cart (mama! i want dat! mama!) and let him put “the fox one” in the cart. Umm, kid marketing is AMAZING. Before he could talk, he could identify the packaged crap I didn’t want to feed him on a grocery store shelf. Paper towel aisle, whatever. Cracker+cookie aisle, freak out.

Anyways, this may be kid food but this is not kid food. They’re very chocolaty, delicious and not too sweet. I want to call them sophisticated. I mean, I suppose foxes are sophisticated? If they were squares instead of animal shapes, they’d be served on little china plates and  everyone would be savoring them after lunch. Lucky for me, they’re animals as I’m not sharing.


Huff and Puff


Another day, another huff and puff up the hill. Since swearing is a thing of the past, I’ve taken to using some of Thomas the Train’s brilliant expressions — Fizzling fireboxes! These boys are heavy!

P.S. Speaking of Thomas and expressions, isn’t this interesting?

Top: J.Crew, Pants: Anthropologie (old but similar here or here), Sneakers: Superga

Can it possibly be fall already?

What am I doing this morning? Spending WAY too much time checking out the new “autumn” arrivals at Boden. There’s so much cuteness!


Photos from Boden: (From left to right — blazer, rain coat, dress)


These would make great mom-fits (mom outfits!) don’t you think? I love the layers and the fun prints – super cheerful for gray days this fall.

As anyone who’s ever received their catalog will say, they make adorable kids clothes. I’ve loved the things Houlton’s had in the past couple of years and the quality is nice enough that Chester will be wearing his hand-me-downs. For some reason, before I had kids I was always a little reluctant to try the women’s things even though I often admired them. Once I stopped working in an office every day, I realized that cute, machine washable clothing is hard to find. Enter Boden. So many of their things are machine wash (often hang dry but you can’t have it all) including sweaters, blouses, and dresses.

This fall I’m looking for easy but interesting tops — the kind of thing that makes a quick, cute outfit with jeans or cords. In my cart? This, this, and this (dog motif, duh). And since I’ve officially become an Anglophile, I’m debating on which of their London lovelies to add to my closet (like this soldier sweater).

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Moms Put On That Swimsuit

Kukio-017 _1110047 There’s been a lot of healthy exhibitionism on the internet this summer (see this and this) and I think it’s about time. This post “Moms, Put on That Swimsuit” (by Jessica N. Turner) about wearing her swimsuit anyways despite the usual body insecurities resonated with me the most.

“Your swimsuit does not define you.”

Doesn’t that feel nice to say? Four months post pregnancy, I’m actually feeling pretty good about myself but I haven’t lost all the weight yet and I’m certainly not devoid of swimsuit insecurities, skinny or not. Since I’m breastfeeding, I’ve sized out of many swimwear brands and have a hard time finding things that fit much less flatter (at some point perhaps I shall devote a whole post to the frustrating world that the DD+ inhabit).

For our trip to Hawaii, I had three options and none of them were perfect. None of them fit right, one of them I wouldn’t have chosen style-wise if I wasn’t desperate. Two were from the summer after my first pregnancy and the new option I bought hoping to feel a little sexier and chicer was really no better (I’m still trying to figure out which Ursula I looked like — hot or not).

“You are a mother. You are beautiful.”

It would have been easy to focus on the unattractive wrinkles in my suit, the absurd cleavage, or the fact that I wasn’t out there in a bikini. But I had Ms. Turner’s words on my mind — her message couldn’t be more appropriate — I’m proud of what my body has accomplished in the past few years (i.e. two pregnancies (and thankfully two healthy little boys), hauling babies up and down the stairs 50x per day, pushing pushing pushing that stroller up the hills of San Francisco) and most importantly, I’m out there to have fun with my toddler in the water, to build sandcastles, splash, swim, and explore.

We had a blast.

Red Tankini (same suit, different color), Freya (they make great suits for larger busted ladies. Real support).

Back to Basics

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This is the type of outfit I can’t get enough of this summer. It’s funny, I’ve always been a big color person but for some reason, neutrals just seem right to me right now. Perhaps it’s because it’s easy to get dressed — not a lot of matching to worry about. I feel like in a simple palette, even the most basic of clothing can look very chic and put together and clearly, as any mom knows, the more effortless it can be the better!

P.S. Sleeveless button-downs are all over the place this summer, thank goodness, as they are great for nursing.

P.P.S. Check out this post from Oh Happy Day. Jordan looks adorable in simple chic “basics”, her boys look adorable (love that they were matching some days), the photos are gorgeous, and the whole trip has me inspired. I hope we can travel like that with our kids some day!

Top: Madewell, Shorts: J.Crew, Sandals: Birkenstock

Wedding Wedges


We still get invited to quite a few summer weddings and while we still love going just as much as we always have, a few things have changed. First, the logistics of attending is way more complicated. We just had our first wedding with two kids and figuring out how to get there, where to stay, and who to have watch our two boys felt ten times more complicated than traveling with one kid the summer before. I don’t spend hours getting dressed anymore (in fact sometimes I don’t even shave my legs – gasp!) and waking up Sunday morning after a great wedding still involves feeling exhausted but now it’s because someone is waking me up at 5am, not because I drank too much champagne and was out dancing until sunrise.

Finally, a wedding post-kids no longer means heels for me. The decision to forego high heels was partially one of defeat — since I don’t wear them very often any more, it’s that much more painful to spend the evening in heels. But it’s also my smartest party move yet. So many summer weddings are partially or entirely outdoors on the grass. With wedges, I’m done with teetering around, sinking in every so often, and wondering if I look like a wounded flamingo. Not to mention I’m a lot more stable on the dance floor later in the evening.

I have two pairs of wedges now that I just adore. The gold ones were bought last summer when I needed something to go with my bridesmaid dress. Loeffler Randall does a few pairs of wedges every season, they’re never too high (but just high enough) and always super cool. I love wearing them for more casual nights out — they add a little sparkle to an otherwise casual date night ensemble.

The black ones I picked up recently at J.Crew when I realized I didn’t have a nice black sandal in my wardrobe. They’re kind of amazing. So comfortable with a low heel height that means you can wear them just as easily with jeans/shorts/skirts as you can with party dresses. Perfect if you plan to be carrying a toddler around at the big event too. They’re chic and elegant and oh so easy. I’m apparently not the only one who feels this way — J.Crew has offered them for more than one season in many different colors and materials. Take a play from my sister-in-law’s book and grab a second pair on sale (which you can do right now).


Summer Saturdays


Summer in San Francisco always calls for a sweatshirt…

On me: Sweatshirt (J.Crew), Chambray (Madewell), old black jeans (J.Brand), sneakers (Superga), crusty old diaper bag which I adore (Storksak)

On H: Fleece (Patagonia – similar), orange cords (last winter Baby Gap), old Crocs


Nothing like putting a little more effort into your outfit for the daily “catch” at the bottom of the hill.