Monthly Archives: September 2014

Scenes from a Saturday Morning

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The kitchen was a mess. The house was a mess. But we ignored all that (I think my husband could ignore it permanently!) and headed out to Fort Funston for a “hike” amongst the sand dunes. Houlton’s preschool is big on nature and the importance of children having “unsupervised” outdoor time to connect to nature and explore. We were so inspired by the Head of School’s comments at Back to School Night that we’ve decided to try and have one good outdoor activity every weekend.

 

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I packed up a cappu to go and some homemade trail mix that was a delicious combo: dried mango (cut with the kitchen shears), almonds, walnuts, and mini white chocolate chips. My former boss used to make her own trail mix as an office snack and often threw cut up beef jerky into the mix. Yum.

 

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A short drive later and we’re worlds away from our to do list and the house enjoying sunshine and blue bird skies along the coast.

 

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The downside of this “hike” is that Houlton doesn’t move very fast. Every two feet he finds something to immerse himself in. We got a lot of “I’m busy” when we tried to coax him down the path. He didn’t have a single toy with him but could have spent hours playing in the sand and dirt. Obviously this is the whole point — he explored and played in a very different way from what happens at the playground or in a room of toys. And we sat a short distance away and enjoyed our coffees.

 

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I’m wearing an old pair of Athleta jeans. Pretty cute, kinda dorky, super functional. They’re made with Schoeller fabric (if you see this on a hang tag know that you’re getting awesome quality/technology) that makes the jeans highly water and stain resistant. In fact Muddy drooled on my pants (while he sweetly rested his chin on my leg) and the drool rolled right off. I’ve been wearing them more lately on days when we’re off on an adventure. Sure, I could wear normal pants and be totally fine (minus a little extra laundry effort for grass stains etc) but sometimes it’s nice to have one less thing to worry about, right? Not to mention the pants have loads of thoughtful pockets and such. Search for my jeans and similar styles here.

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Today

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Top: Hatch Collection, Jeans: very old Built By Wendy, Shoes: Sperry, Necklace: Chewbeads

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Sweat Style {Part 1: Skirts}

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This is the season of the sweatshirt. And the sweatpants. Hooray! No, wait — stop — I need to clarify, this is not permission to pull out your sweatpants from college (no, of course you don’t still have those. neither do i…) and start strutting around. Like so many fashion trends, sweats are back but they’re a little different. The trend is very much about the simple crew neck sweatshirt in gray. Check out any store and you will see that Rocky staple for sale. It’s a great choice, despite the trendiness, as it’s classic and versatile. Sometimes it’s best to stick with the real deal. There are also great graphic choices – varsity letters, all over prints, florals, quilting, etc.

Mama Bear: maisonwares | Grey Side Zip: J.Crew | Quilted Sleeve: Joe Fresh

Floral: Boden | Cropped Quilted: Madewell | Hearts: J.Crew

Regardless it’s all about how you wear them which is nice as perhaps you can still wear your old standbys. The look is about balance. A little sweat mixed with something unexpected and more “formal.” Maybe you skip the sneakers and opt for oxfords or pointy toe flats. Maybe you wear a button down shirt instead of a tee. Maybe you even go for a skirt and heels.

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I love this look from Atlantic Pacific — she made that wonderfully ridiculous Poodle sweatshirt look so adorable! Last week, I spotted a woman in my neighborhood wearing a sweatshirt with a flirty floral skirt and it was such a cute combination — a great translation of Bee’s look that’s more practical for a busy mom. You could wear it to the playground with sneakers (hi-tops perhaps?), polish it up with tights and boots, or even wear it to a casual office with a pencil skirt and pumps.

Here’s my take on the look — dressed down and up:

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Sweatshirt: H&M, Skirt: Boden, Boots: Sam Edelman

Sweatshirt: Hanna Anderson, Skirt: Boden, Heels: J.Crew

A few more tips…

The sweatshirts at Everlane are really simple and clean – perfect for dressing up.

Modcloth had a lot of fun/funny sweatshirts (I love this one) and Etsy is full of unique, artsy options too.

Finally, I love this look from Hanna Andersen. Who doesn’t want to look like that?

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Preppy Feet


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I picked up these Sperry Topsiders as a new fall shoe. It happened somewhat randomly — I’d been thinking I wanted a black loafer but more specifically, something that felt like a sneaker but looked a little more polished. Since my feet always hurt comfort is key and every time I looked around, the options just seemed to stiff and formal. Then last week I was hanging out with family and when I needed to make a quick dash outside, I put on my sister-in-law’s topsiders as they were closest to the door. They were so comfortable I didn’t want to take them off.  I’d never tried Topsiders on before because believe it or not, they seemed pretty preppy. A quick internet search later and I’d settled on these. The combo of black and brown feels fall like but not too formal or too preppy (sometimes the non-traditional color scheme really helps to offset the stereotype) and the touch of gold on the laces and grommets make them feel special. I love that they do look more polished than sneakers but not overly so. I’m not afraid to hop into the sandbox or anything!

P.S. Do you know about Zappos VIP?

P.P.S. One of the reasons I love living in San Francisco… Not a bad view from the playground huh?

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First Day Of Preschool

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First Day! Officially today was visit day so we got to go with Houlton to meet his teachers, classmates, and their parents. I’m so excited that he’s starting school and a bit nostalgic too. My little boy!

Houlton picked his outfit (so much for a cute preppy button down). I wasn’t sure what to wear. I mean, I’m a grown up now right? I tried to look a little polished while still being preschool appropriate.

Shirt: J.Crew, Jeans: old J.Crew (similar), Scarf: LemLem (similar), Shoes: Loeffler Randall* (here, here, here)

*The shoes are a big coup. These are the pair I lusted after this spring/summer. I love snakeskin – it’s such a fun neutral and this white version was a bit 80s (love) and would look good with all the denim and chambray I’ve been wearing. I just found them on Amazon at 70%. How random is that? Just one pair, just my size. My shopping tip: when you love a specific style, look for it by name on shopstyle.com or just google the name – in this case Loeffler Randall Milla.

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Late Summer

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The funny thing about September in San Francisco is that it’s actually the start of summer. Or summer weather at least! So I felt slightly less stupid buying this summery vintage blouse last week knowing I’d get to wear it a lot in the next few weeks. It’s also a classic in my mind — I’ve always wanted one of these (and as the friendly/amusing sales woman said “you only need one”) so I was excited to find this one that fits, wasn’t overpriced, and has such a great color palette.

Look for Oaxacan or Mexican embroidered blouses on Etsy or Ebay or at your local vintage shop (this is a great vintage list for SF). And if it’s really fall where you live, wouldn’t a black one be pretty with jeans and a chunky cardigan?

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Blouse: Vintage from Reliquary, Jeans: Emerson Fry, Sandals: very old Paul Smith, Bag: Reed Krakoff

Hatch Collection Fall 2014

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I adore Hatch Collection. I mean look at those women! How cute are they? Their Fall 2014 collection just launched and I’m in love with the new plaids, the soft pink and “mocha” colors, and as always, the styling is killer. If you aren’t shopping Hatch, you should still take a look at how they put the outfits together — the accessories they choose, the way they layer, it’s all fantastic. I love the semi-sheer tights, the aviators, and the classic loafers.

My first pregnancy, I bought some good maternity basics — great jeans, solid tees in lasting colors, a black maxi dress that worked for different occasions. I also ended up getting some styles that are pretty standard in the maternity world — tops with empire waists and ties in the back, wrap dresses, body-conscious ruching everywhere — that I would never, ever wear in real life. I wore them but by the time I gave birth I was ready to burn some of those things!

With my second pregnancy, I already had my staple wardrobe so I was able to justify having a little more fun with shopping and splurging on a few new things that I loved. I was done wearing things that weren’t my style. I’m just not one to wear clingy stuff without a bump so tight, stretchy clothes had no appeal to me. Enter Hatch. The fabrics are lovely, the shapes are darling and flattering (not the “sack” look you think they’d be), and they’re actually practical — lots of machine washable fabrics (including that silk looking stuff) and styles that travel from the playground to the office to cocktail parties.

They are also actually, truly, no kidding, maternity clothes you can wear when you’re not pregnant. Some of that comes from the fact that soft drapey layers are fashionable right now but it’s also the genius of the cuts. I wore my Slouch Dress to a wedding this spring with gold wedges and gold jewelry and I’m waiting for cooler weather when I can pair my Pull Over top with skinny jeans and boots. I may even add to my collection with something to wear now knowing that it’s an investment for my maternity wardrobe too. Their pieces are perfect for stylish moms given that you can really run around in the clothes, dress them up or down, and wash them at home.

What should you get? My recommendation is something “special” but also highly wearable. A simple dress (like the Mercer or the Darling) that can be worn casual or fancy around the holidays for instance. If you’re office bound during your pregnancy, you’ll be so happy to have utterly comfortable and professional pants or a top you can wear any day of the week.

Feeling super chic? Jumpsuit.

The ultimate wish list? Cashmere Joggers. That would be cashmere sweat pants. Heaven.

 

P.S. I happened to be in New York last winter when Hatch had a pop up shop and got to try on everything. But even shopping online, their customer service is great. Not sure about a fit or sizing? Give them a call. They’re super helpful!

P.P.S. If it isn’t obvious from my fledgling blogger status, this is not a sponsored post. I really just love them this much.

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Speaking of Backpacks…

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Now that we’re contemplating backpacks as the next fashion statement, have you ever been backpacking?

I have. It feels like another life now but years and years ago I used to do a fair amount of it. I trekked in Nepal, I’ve hiked the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Bob Marshall Wilderness and as if that wasn’t enough, I did a four month guide training program in Canada. For fun. Go ahead, laugh. These days I’m not sure I’m related to that girl!

Many girlfriends have asked me about being a parent — girlfriends who aren’t quite to the point of starting families yet and are curious and a little scared (as I once was!). After a few conversations along these lines, it came to me. Being a parent is like backpacking. When you go backpacking, you do things you never thought you’d do. Perhaps things you never thought possible. Whether enduring a grueling climb to the top of the mountain or enduring one pair of underwear for two weeks straight you push yourself beyond your limits.

As a parent, I’ve done a lot of new things and a lot of unexpected things. Whether a totally gross diaper change in public, coming up with a MacGyver solution to fix my broken stroller or inventing a new game to convince my toddler to keep moving down the street, I’ve done a lot of things in the past two years that I’ve never done before.

I’ve been challenged in so many ways and just like a trek through the great outdoors, there’s a moment every week (sometimes every day!) when I think the situation is impossible. IMPOSSIBLE. But we always make it through the day. We keep going, we keep trying and and we make it through “the wilderness.” And just like reaching the summit and taking in the breathtaking views, we’ve had a lot of sunshine moments of our own. There’s always a well timed smile from the baby that makes me break down into lovey dovies or a funny remark from my toddler at just the right moment.

I’ve been struck too by the uncanny timing of assistance from other people. One day recently for example, I was at my wits end trying to get the kids in the car. I was so furious and frustrated. And just after I’d strapped them in and shut the doors, a new acquaintance walked by and came to say hello. She’s a mom too but we didn’t even go there — something about a little friendly adult interaction snapped me back to fine at the moment I needed it most.

Anyways, parenting, just like backpacking, is totally worth it.

P.S. This post from Kate Baer totally got me. She’s right on.

 

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