AboutTME

(photo credits:  Brent Luvaas from Urban Field Notes)

The Mom Edit (formerly Ain’t No Mom Jeans) has been featured in Parent Magazine for winning both the Editor and Reader’s choice awards for Best Mom Fashion Blog.  Oxy.com lauded this site for “channeling a cool city-mom vibe that’s comfortable, stylish and washable”, and Babble named this blog one of the Top 100 Mom Blogs in 2013.

The Mom Edit is a lifestyle and fashion blog written by me, Shana Draugelis.  I live with my husband, Mike, and our two boys, Raines and Pax, in Philadelphia.  My goal is to elevate the practical, everyday mom-uniform into something that inspires – moms or no.  We also cover easy guy style for Dads, urban-kid brands, toys to inspire creative and independent thinkers, unique family photos, and breast cancer (yup, I’m a survivor), as well as our favorite things to do in the city of brotherly love.  (And we seriously love Philadelphia.)

We are a family of lovers, of dream chasers, our house is never clean.  We celebrate, fearlessly, life’s ordinary moments.  If you come to dinner, nothing will be ready on time and something will be over-salted.  But on the upside, we’ll have plenty of booze and paper crowns (cause nothing says party like a paper crown).  We embrace kindness, grit, and lonely heroes.

Welcome to The Mom Edit.

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Contributors

As you may have noticed, I’m lucky enough to have found several amazing contributors for The Mom Edit.  Not only do they offer a different perspective on style, but they cover some seriously exciting topics I tend to struggle with (makeup, hair, DIY, home design).  I’m working on a contributor page now….so stay tuned.

FAQs

// Aren’t you guys from Denver?

Sort of.  We were both born in Michigan (I’m from the Yoop – Marquette – Mike is from Grand Rapids), did a brief stint in Washington, DC after graduation before finally landing in Denver.  We lived in Denver for twelve years (both of our little guys were born in Denver) before moving to Philadelphia a few years ago.

// Who takes your photos?  It’s Mike, right?

Yup – it’s usually either Mike or I taking the pictures.  Long time readers may have noticed that our photo quality has much improved…I credit Ashley’s online Snapshop workshop, as well as the time-honored tradition of practice.  (We take a ton of pics.)  We’re still learning, but we love it.

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// Tell us more about Mike!

You bet!  He’s the love of my life, I could talk about him all day.  Mike and I met at Michigan State when I was only 19.  He smoked, could buy beer, and wore these cute glasses – I was totally smitten.  We were both math majors (awwww, right? nerds in love) and then worked for over a decade as engineers.  I recently gave up my part-time engineering gig to focus on the blog, and Mike is now the Chief Data Scientist at Penn Medicine.  When he helps to cure cancer, I will brag shamelessly.

// What kind of an engineer are you?  And how did you score a part-time gig?

I was a software/systems engineer for over 10 years.  The part-time gig happened naturally after Raines was born (and after years of working looong hours for the company).  Because I knew the project I was working inside and out, switching to part-time wasn’t much different from full-time (other than requiring a laser-like focus when in the office, and making communication a top priority).  And I much preferred working part-time in the office, rather than working from home.

// Why did you change the name of your blog?

It was just…time.  It was time.  I wrote a bit about this in my goodbye letter to Ain’t No Mom Jeans.

//How do you find the time to blog?

I’ve had part-time nannies for years.  There really wouldn’t be a blog without a nanny.  I blog because I love it, because I’m passionate about style and writing, and because I make the blog a priority.  It also helps that I have a husband who is insanely supportive of all of my endeavors, lucrative or not.  Mike and I tend to focus on passion first and worry about finances later. [I’m sure my financial advisor just read this and started banging her head on her desk.]

// How much time to you put into blogging?

You guys, it’s a LOT.  I could easily make this a full-time thing, but for now (since I like to pretend to be a stay-at-home-mom) I work on the blog roughly 24 hrs per week.  (I didn’t start out this way.  Originally it was only about 8 hours per week, and then grew from there.)

// Do you make money blogging?

Yes!  Well…I do now, but it was tough going for the first couple of years.  (I once calculated my hourly rate at 15 cents per hour.  Thankfully, that’s changed.)  I now make a small amount from Google ads on the sidebar, but the majority of my blogging income comes from RewardStyle.  RewardStyle embeds unique links into products I feature on the blog, allowing me to make a small commission on purchases.  I so appreciate you supporting the retailers who support me.  Seriously.

// Do you get a lot of free stuff?

From time-to-time brands will send me something for a possible review.  It’s a nice perk!  But I only blog about the products I actually LOVE, the products I would be thrilled to purchase myself.  If a product doesn’t make the cut….I don’t blog about it.

//How do you find the time to blog with kids and then post pictures of your house looking so clean and perfect?

Um.  I think you have the wrong blogger.

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// What Kind of Breast Cancer and Chemo did you have?  Do you have the Breast Cancer gene?

My initial diagnosis was DCIS, Stage 0 breast cancer.  After the bilateral mastectomy, the pathology reports found another tumor in the removed tissue, so I was upgraded to Stage 1 and had to undergo chemo.  I did four rounds of TC (taxotere and cytoxin), three weeks apart, and will be taking Tamoxifen for the next 5 (possibly 10) years.  While there’s a chance that the cancer I have is genetic (my mom also had it at a young age)….we do not have the BRCA1 or 2 genes.  You can read all about the breast cancer stuff here.

// My friend/aunt/mom/co-worker was just diagnosed with breast cancer. What should I say/not say/buy/don’t buy?

This is worthy of a whole article, but in general I found cliched reassurances like, “It’ll all work out” or “you’re so strong, it’ll be OK” very discouraging.  Cancer is scary, and the truth is that it may not “all work out”.  I found frequent phone calls and notes from friends (a few sent letters before every treatment) to be the best possible gift.  A good opener from a friend who called every week was, “Do you want to talk cancer, or just bullshit?”   Gift cards for takeout restaurants were gold.  And anything to make hospital/ doctors visits more comfortable were really helpful.  (Hello, pretty scarves, slippers, cute hats.)

// What did you tell your kids about your cancer?

Everything.  We were very upfront about the whole thing.  Pax (2 at the time) just understood that I was sick.  Raines (5), however, wanted to know what would happen if they couldn’t get the cancer out.  So we told him.  He was upset, but quickly moved on.   To prep for losing my hair, we read lots of books together.   My boys (Raines especially) are pretty perceptive, so we didn’t want to hide anything from them.  In the end, I think our openness made the whole thing less scary.

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// What do you do to Raines’ hair?  How is it cut?

Raines’ hair is pretty epic all on its own.  The only thing we do is….not wash it.  Or comb it.  In terms of the cut, according to Shannon at Salon Ziza, it’s a “long, shaggy haircut.  I keep the front long, just above eyebrow grazing.  I take the back slightly shorter, ears are covered and layered throughout so it shows texture and lays nicely.  No  bowl or Dutch-boy haircuts here!”  So there you go.

//Are there any must-have pieces for Moms?

Oh geez.  There are a ton of different ways to answer this.  But in general, the backbone of a well-functioning closet should include: a seriously cool pair of shoes that are also really comfortable, a chic jacket (I like moto jackets in something soft like ponte or sweatshirt material), a great pair of statement sunglasses, and a cool bag.  You can wear these pieces with just about anything and look pretty darn good.

// I need to completely re-do my entire wardrobe, but our budget is tight.  What should I buy first?

Shoes.  Find shoes that are comfortable, but also wildly chic.  Statement shoes.  Most people go wrong by choosing footwear that’s too boring.  For example, if you want a comfy ballet flat, don’t settle for black.  Try one in neon, or a fun print, then wear with everything like it’s a neutral.  If you can only invest in one pair of cool boots this fall, an interesting boot in a rich tan will serve you better than black or brown.

// Am I too old to wear cut-offs/overalls/destroyed denim/polka dots/etc?

Never.

//I sent in a reader question…did you get it?

You bet.  I read each and every email I receive (as well as all comments).  Conversation with you guys is seriously my favorite part of blogging.  I try hard to respond to each one, but it doesn’t always happen.  Please know that if you send me an email, even if you never hear back, at some point I was out shopping, muttering  to myself “this would be perfect for [insert your name here]”  (Which is why I’m excited about the new Shop feature.  It’s an easy way to try and keep up with reader requests.)

// What are your own personal style “rules”?

I believe that good style has no rules and that there’s nothing chic about discomfort.  Also?  Short-shorts + complicated shoes 4eva.

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A huge thank you to Brent Luvaas over at Urban Field Notes for the seriously awesome pics at Drexel Park.

 

You can contact me at themomedit (at) gmail (dot) com