Monthly Archives: August 2014

Morning Hike

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Oh Saturday morning… “let’s get out for a hike early!” so we’re parking the car at the “trail head” at 11 and I’m still thinking about all the things at home that need to be done — laundry, piles of stuff that never get addressed, vacuuming before our friend comes this evening. Five minutes of warm sunshine and walking through a peaceful eucalyptus grove and it’s all forgotten. Even though it takes so much energy and stress to get out of the house these days and our outings are often cut short by our slowness getting started, it’s always worth it to get outside.

 

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My husband and I both wore our New Balance Sneakers. Dorky matching couple shoes! Now we just need to get them for the boys and we’ll be all set. They are super comfortable.

I’m also sporting my dad’s vintage Reyn Spooner swim trunks (yes they’re corduroy) from the 70s and a cheesy Bernese Mountain Dog baseball tee. Love me my baseball tees — the raglan sleeves are so flattering and I love a 3/4 sleeve.  This outfit classifies as outdoorky no?

 

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September Issue

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While it’s crazy to think that by mid summer the stores are already shifting to the next season, the early arrival of fall fashion has always been one of my favorite things about August. Lying lakeside in my swimsuit, reading the September issue (once Seventeen at summer camp, nowadays Vogue or Elle) and dreaming about cozy sweaters, tartan scarves, corduroy and boots is both nostalgic and heavenly for me — definitely a late summer ritual.

I’ve completely switched over to my iPad now (love Next Issue — a nursing mother’s dream app!) and since I’m chasing after two these days, I didn’t exactly get to sunbathe and read magazines (these photos are from two years ago!). But I’m still enjoying my September issue…

I hope you are too!

P.S. Have you seen the documentary? It’s really cool.

 

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#stylethebump

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Are you up on this? Maternity fashion has a lot of inspiration these days — search for “style my bump,” “dressing the bump” or “style the bump” on instagram, pinterest, etc. and you’ll find everything from darling selfies to seriously stylish professionals. Personally, I never felt great about how I looked when I was preggers. Taking pictures was only something I forced myself to do in my second pregnancy after I remembered that you always feel better about the pictures several months later (isn’t it funny how that works? I swear every time I hate a photo I see it 6 months later and think I look great). Negative thoughts aside, I realized it’s worth having some pregnancy photos just to see that big crazy belly. So I’m thoroughly impressed with these women just for stepping out in front of the camera.

Here are a few of my favorites — let me know who else you find out there and where you get your favorite maternity inspiration!

 

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I discovered Marie Hindkær here and I had to check her Instagram for more after seeing that first photo (top of page) in that cute striped dress. So darling right? I love the flats for evening. See more here too.

 

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She’s great too right? I love how she’s holding little shoes in the image above.

 

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Sara Strand is my new obsession. I love her blog (her photos are amazing — the still lifes are great) and her style is so adorable. The trainers with the dress? The moto jacket? Perfect. Comfortable and cute. She was featured with some other bump style pics on Isabella Oliver’s website (they make her blue floral dress).

We could all learn a few things from her about how to pose for a maternity photo. She looks relaxed and real — not too pose-y. The overhead bump shot is priceless. What a fun way to chronicle a growing belly — put on cute shoes and snap away!

And finally… I spotted Gaelyn from My Corner View on Pinterest. I love how she puts together adorable outfits without a lot of maternity clothes. She looks cute every time and she’s often mixing up the same basics we all have — like those converse sneakers — into great outfits.

 

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Backpacks

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Houlton with Pooh and his SkipHop backpack.

I’m really excited to share these backpacks with you… No, they’re not for your little one (though that’s fun too).  I’ve had backpacks on my mind for a while now — honestly it’s taken me longer than usual to pull this post together because there are just too many cute backpacks to choose from. It seems I’m not the only one who’s been thinking about backpacks — Refinery 29 has done several pack posts in recent weeks including this and then this one for sleek office styles. Needless to say, they’re all a lot cooler than they were the last time I went shopping for a book bag in high school.

It’s somewhat surprising that there aren’t more diaper bags that are backpacks as they’re so nice for parents. For the early months, I love having all those little pockets to keep track of the absurd amount of essentials a little baby needs (multiple outfits, diapers and wipes, etc etc) but lugging a heavy bag around, even if it’s messenger style, gets old. Once babies are on the move, hands free makes such a difference giving you more freedom on adventures knowing you can comfortably wrangle your little rascal(s).

So here’s my short list. And before you get in too deep, you should know that most (all?) of these styles come in a rainbow of colors.

 

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  1. Oh my god Hershel! Who are these people? They have such a big selection (over a dozen backpacks in tons of colors and prints plus kids, other luggage…) and they’re all so cool. This one is definitely my top pick for it’s retro urban vibe. Oh wait, it’s got a red striped lining which makes it so much easier to find things in your bag.
  2. Filson is an authentic American “sportsman” company. Their products are built to last for years and years. This pack of of course nails the heritage look and according to the company website, you can use it for hunting and shooting too in addition to cruising around town with your red tricycle.
  3. Sleek enough for a commute, chill enough for the park, this Everlane pack is a refined version of the classic rucksack.
  4. One of several awesome throw back styles Madewell is selling from JanSport (red available here). On rough days you can pretend you and a young Robert Redford are off for a hike in the Utah Wilderness. Somewhere really quiet… where children couldn’t climb…
  5. It can’t just be the fox logo that makes this adorable right? The Fjallraven Kanken pack was originally designed for Swedish school children but it’s since been co-opted by hipsters and cute moms. I dream about getting a mini one “for my son” that I can wear around for him, you know, until he’s big enough for it. Or big enough to say he doesn’t want a pink backpack at which time I’ll just have to keep it.
  6. Another more sporty pick from Herschel. While those elastics straps may simply look cute and outdoorsy, they’re great for stashing your little one’s jacket when the sun comes out.
  7. This is my current pack — I’ve had it for eight years (wow, why is adding up years always so outrageous these days?) and it’s still in great shape. I love that it is super lightweight — great for packing on a trip — and durable so I never worry about throwing in groceries, dirty clothes, or whatever else I need to carry. Bonus feature: it can be used as a tote or a pack.
  8. This new style from Patagonia caught my eye — I love that it has a great retro look without sacrificing any sporty function.
  9. Timbuk2 makes such great quality bags and I love the hit of camo on this one. When you go with a more outdoorsy choice, you get great features like extra pockets, ventilated backs, more comfortable straps, and a bottle opener (“for hydration emergencies”). That’s not a typo.
  10. A classic leather rucksack that you’ll have for years and years. This Madewell version is definitely a step up for the playground without looking too posh.
  11. You’ve seen these Marc bags around and now there’s a pack version to try.
  12. I’m not a big fan of cheap/fast fashion but since you’re probably not in the market for this Alexander Wang, perhaps you want to try the purse pack thing with this knockoff version.

 

If you’re into the idea of a leather backpack that’s as nice as any other handbag in your closet there are so many choices right now. A quick search at your favorite luxury department store will reveal dozens upon dozens in the 4 figure range. Maybe we should have a contest on who can find the most expensive one? I do think the best investments are the convertible ones like this Loeffler Randall style. You can use it either way now and in the future, if you move on from backpacking, you still have a lovely shoulder bag.

 

P.S. The photos below from Loeffler Randall are exactly why I love accessories so much. Her outfit couldn’t be simpler but she looks so cool. It’s obviously the shoes!

 

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Loeffler Randall Lock Backpack worn two ways.

Backseat Driver

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Did you have a good weekend? We had a great weekend minus two long drives back and forth to Tahoe. While we’ve taken a fair number of plane flights with kids, turns out we need a little more practice with road trips. After too much crying, we resorted to me riding in the backseat wedged between the two carseats where I could reapply pacifiers, smile and giggle, assist with iPad usage, etc.

So how do you do it? What are your tips for long drives with kids?

What am I wearing? Oh a swaddle blanket. No big deal.

Yogurt Sundaes

 

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If you’ve spent any time with me in the past two years, I’ve probably told you all about my yogurt sundaes. I’m a bit of a broken record it seems. After my first son was born, I often found myself craving something sweet late in the evening but also needing a decent snack to get me through all the night time feedings. I came up with the yogurt sundae as an alternative to a big bowl of ice cream — start with greek yogurt (or regular – I’m not going to stop you) and pile on ice cream shop toppings. Unless you’re really heavy handed with those toppings, you’re looking at a much healthier treat than a big bowl of ice cream. It’s also more substantial — lots of protein in the yogurt — so you can pat yourself on the back for making a healthy decision all the while indulging in the deliciousness that a few chocolate chips and raspberries create.

I make mine free form with whatever we have and whatever I’m craving that evening. If you’re not in the midst of breastfeeding a hungry babe and more mindful of your calories, you can always use a smaller bowl to keep things in check.

 

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Nuts – sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, pistachios
  • Fruit – berries, bananas, peaches, plums (try dried fruit in the winter!)
  • A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, or chocolate sauce
  • Sweet stuff — chocolate chips, flaked coconut, peanut butter chips
  • Granola

 

This afternoon I had fresh super sweet strawberries, a drizzle of maple syrup, coconut chips from Trader Joes, and a touch of granola.

Enjoy!

Caitlin

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Dress and Blazer by Zara — bought a bigger size than usual in the dress.

 

I wanted to share a few pictures and a mini interview with my sister-in-law Caitlin. She lives in Boston and is expecting a baby boy in November — her first. Caitlin is one of those women who always looks amazing — stylish and relaxed whether she’s dressed for a wedding in a 70s-inspired gown or hanging out on a sleepy Sunday in cutoffs and a plain tank. She’s great at spotting the best pieces from Zara, H&M, and Asos – stores I often find overwhelming since there’s so much to choose from.

Needless to say, her maternity style hasn’t missed a beat. She’s made some smart shopping decisions too — seeking out non-maternity shift dresses that have enough room for her growing bump (especially when she sizes up) or having dresses tailored a touch to flatter her new figure like she did with the sweet polka dot dress below.

See what she has to say below.

 

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I like this dress (from Holiday in Boston) bc I can wear it to work and for play.                                                                             It also reminds me of Kate Middleton when she left the hospital 🙂

 

 

What’s been your best maternity buy?

J.Crew Maternity Toothpick Jeans

 

What types of clothes have you been most comfortable in?
Loose fitting dresses… I’m scared for the fall when it’s too cold to wear them and I’m huge!
What things can you not stand to wear right now?
Shoes that aren’t comfortable and don’t have any support.
How do you keep cool in the heat?
I love the heat! But I keep cool by eating as much ice cream as possible and dragging my husband to the beach on the weekends.
Any cravings?
Early on all I wanted was grilled cheese and pizza but now I have fewer cravings.
I guess mostly I just want to eat ice cream all the time.
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Dress from Nordstrom (Juniors!)

What are your favorite shops in Boston – maternity or otherwise?
  • Pea in the Pod on Newbury Street
  • Zara – not maternity specific but I’ve bought a lot of dresses & shirts that can work as maternity & after the baby is born
  • Holiday – also not maternity but a boutique on Charles Street in Beacon Hill – love the vintage style and their jewelry
  • Asos maternity – love that it’s affordable and they’ve got a lot of cute stuff
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What’s the most surprising thing about being pregnant?
How strange but wonderful it is when you start to feel the baby moving around.
What’s on your maternity wish list?
Anything from Hatch!
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Thanks Caitlin!
P.S. This Dressing the Bump series by Oh Joy is great for maternity ideas too. I love how she mixes fun colors and prints.
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Cute expectant family!

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