September 30, 2014

A Love Letter To Marc Jacobs (And Pretty Please Bring Back This Bag) – Sponsored Post

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Dear Marc Jacobs —

Seven years ago, I bought this bag.  It was my first Marc Jacobs bag, and when I saw it, my heart swelled, my breath caught in my throat, and despite the other, flashier bags the helpful sales woman at Nordstrom showed me, I only had eyes for the ‘mouse gray’.

An hour later I walked into the apartment Mike and I shared in Denver, my new Marc Jacobs clutched to my chest, a toothy grin splitting my face.  Mike, who was studying for some final looked up and sighed, “Babe.  What did you do?”

My grin got bigger.  “It’s a diaper bag, Mike!!  It’s big enough for everything I need and it’s the only possible diaper bag I could ever, EVER need!”  I put my hands on my (HUGE) belly, blinking at him, wide-eyed, through my lashes.

Did I mention I was 8 months pregnant at the time?

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September 23, 2014

So My Love Affair With Marc Jacobs Goes WAY Beyond This Sweater (Sponsored Post)

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What do you do when Nordstrom asks you to take a peek at the Marc by Marc Jacobs line?   Well.  If you’re a 90’s girl like me, your heart-rate speeds up, you stutter out something incoherent (thankfully, Nordstrom is fluent in SWOON) and in your excitement you promptly forget your pants.

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September 12, 2014

Thoughts on Being a Working Mom, And an INSANE Giveaway: A New Mobile Office (including a Macbook Air)

“Mom, why are you working so much?  I don’t like that you’re working all of the time” said Raines, my oldest.

I sat there, stunned by his words.  For most of his life, I had been a stay-at-home mom.  From the minute he was born, Raines was my little buddy, my partner in crime, we were never, ever apart.  We were attached, both metaphorically and (thanks to the Ergo) physically.  With Raines, I had slowed down, discovered myself and found peace.

And then Pax was born.  (I’m joking.  Ha, ha….ha)

But life is different now.  Not only have my kids changed and grown, but I’ve changed too.  There’s been this sort of natural progression of letting go and moving on.  I am no longer the only women in Raines’ life.  His teachers have become increasingly important to him, as have friends.  Our little bubble of existence – where the two of us so happily spent those first few months of his life –  has expanded.  I am still at the center, but now he is at the edges, pushing out, away from me.

I’ve heard other women, moms with more experience than I, talking about this seemingly inevitable shift.  They’ll use words like “rediscovering” themselves,  or as one friend said, “I’m just now getting myself back“.

I get it.  From the depths of my soul, I get it.  But at the same time, there’s another part of me rebelling at those words, “getting myself back,” and wanting to scream.  Because the path of rediscovery implies a loss, right?  In order to get yourself “back” or to rediscover your self, you first had to lose it.

I didn’t lose myself in motherhood; instead, I was found.   So any journey I embark on now, from this point forward, has to honor that early experience, that truth.

I am now a working mom.  Sure I work from home (with a really flexible schedule), but working nonetheless.  And while part of me thrills to put on my high heels and take the train into the city to write, or discuss collaborations in a professional, adult voice, and I think “YES, there she is!  There’s that girl I’ve been missing!”…perhaps it’s more accurate to simply say that I’m ready.  I’m not rediscovering some former self, lost among the diapers and the spitup and the 2847364 incessant questions a day from two young boys, but it’s the woman that – along the way – I grew up to be.  This woman who is ambition and drive and goals and forward-thinking…but who is also that new mom – will forever, irrevocably be that new mom.  The new mom snuggled in bed with her newborn, the light slanting into the room as she kisses a fat thigh, her heart swelling to impossible proportions.

I am all of these things.

So when Raines asks why I work so much, I pause.  I look up and see past his long limbs and crazy hair and remember that once-upon-a-time it was just him and I in the bubble; I was his whole world.  Actually, I remember it better than he does.  “I work because I want to, Baby” I say.  “I work because I love it.  We only get one chance, you know?  One life to figure out what we love to do, to make a difference.  I work because it helps me figure that out.”  We stare at each other.  He grins. “Okay” he says.  And just like that, we are back in the center of our bubble.

 

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Mobile Office Must-Haves

Soooo…..as I get more embroiled into this working-mama-world, there are a few MVP items that have made my life so. much. easier.  Especially for working on the go.

Continue Reading…

June 18, 2014

Wearing Pastels and Brights (And My New Fav – under $100 – Jeans)

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I read somewhere (Refinery29?  WhoWhatWear?) that the key to wearing pastels is to mix them with brights. They swore that it would keep you from veering into Easter Egg territory.  I don't actually think the brights are necessary (I'm totally OK being an easter egg) but it's a fun twist, no?  Something a bit unexpected?

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I'm finding that short hair really changes my styling game.  So many of my man-plaid shirts now make me look…mannish (go figure) where before they were just a cool counterpoint to long, feminine hair.  But this girly-plaid shirt – Easter egg colors, fitted through the shoulders, unbuttoned just enough – well.  I can do girly plaids.

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Where am I going, all dressed up and fancy?  

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Back Porch.  Once upon a time that used to mean some cool hipster bar, but now I mean it literally, the back porch.  The actual one at my house.  All dressed up and back porch I go.  

With this tiny hipster in residence.

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wearing:

sunnies: Ray-Ban Folding Wayfairers

necklace: Bauble Bar (sold out)….but thoughts on this one?  Looks like it would hold up to toddler-tugging.  I also love this delicate choker.    

shirt:  Jach's Girlfriend Western Shirt (old)…also love this similar Rails plaid shirt

denim: Blank Denim Relaxed Straight-Leg Jeans

bag:  Kate Spade (now sold out)….also love the Kate Spade Henry Satchel

shoes: old Aerosole pumps…and this Dolce Vita sandal has nothing to do with anything, but it's fabulous and on crazy-sale for $34.

On Pax:  Tribe is Alive Be Brave Tank, American Apparel Afrika leggings

 

Let's chat about these jeans for a sec.  They're by Blank NYC, a brand that I've been watching, but hadn't tried.  I'm such a denim snob that most brands with the under $100 price point I invariably find lacking.  But THESE?  They're soft, interesting (aka perfectly distressed and faded) and my new favs.  I was so impressed, in fact, that I also bought a pair of Blank NYC denim shorts.  Same deal:  soft, interesting (a modern high-waist and cut-up on the sides) and very sexy.  I'm seriously eyeing up these color-blocked skinnies for fall, and Blank just came out with their version of patched denim (and you know how I feel about patched denim….SWOON).

Has anyone else tried Blank Denim?  Thoughts?

xo,

S
 

April 9, 2014

Reader Q | Styling Around a Post-Partum ‘Beer Belly’ While Wearing Baby On Your Back?

Reader Question:

Hi Shana,

I was wondering if you had any thoughts/ ideas on what to wear when carrying your baby or toddler on your back?  I carry my son around a lot & find I have to think carefully about what I'm wearing as the belt of my ergo is obviously quite tight & so even though I'm pretty slim it makes me look like I have a bit of a beer belly ( I'm from the UK, I think you'd call this a "pooch"!).

At the moment I usually wear a long tshirt underneath the belt then pull my sweater or sweatshirt over the top so it kinda hangs over the belt, hiding (hopefully) the squidgy, bulgy bit. Im not sure how this looks from behind….i think its ok, as long as my jeans/ trousers aren't too skinny. Thoughts?

Thanks so much, I love your blog & congrats on finishing your treatment.,your hair looks great btw!

Chloe x

 

Answer:

Thanks, Chloe!  And YES.  I totally get what you are saying.  Both of my boys have spent a good deal of their lives in my well-worn Ergo, but Superchunk Pax has been, more often than not, on my back.  

So.  I have two words for you, my friend:  Ponchos and CropTops.

 

Crop Tops

Crop tops, now that they are becoming a thing again, are starting to actually show skin.  I don't think I need to tell any new mom that we don't want those.  Find a short, swingier top that hits right above the Ergo belt.  Ergo….  (ha ha – get it?)

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I've so helpfully switched this pic to black-and-white so you know it's from yesteryear.  (Which is also why I have hair.)

But see how my shirt is short?  Actually, "Short Shirts" may be a better moniker than "Crop Tops" now that I think about it….but my point is the same:  something with a little bit of swing, something a tad short in the front will help hide a beer belly – even while babywearing. (I typically layer mine over a cami, just in case of wind, but if your stomach is in better shape than mine, you could skip the extra layer.)

 

 

Ponchos

Ponchos are basically large trapeze tops (which means that the swing starts at or above your bustline).  So anything with a bit of a trapeze-top-like-swing will work, as long as it isn't too long.  

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Let's see if I have a side pic….

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wearing:

sweater: similar, 30% off at Juicy

windbreaker: K-Way

cropped sweater (layered underneath): similar at Forever 21

denim: Rag and Bone

boots: wish they were these

Bag:  Lily Jade

Carrier: Ergo organic carrier in "dark" chocolate (not so dark now, after 6 years of hard use….gosh, I love this thing still)

on Pax: windbreaker, leggings, shoes

 

Honorable Mention:  Dolman Sleeve Tops

Here's another old pic – this time I'm wearing my old J.Crew dolman-sleeve sweatshirt.  If you can't find a poncho, dolman sleeve tops may offer enough volume to hide the belly. Either let the hem hang over the babycarrier belt, or do a half-tuck into the belt (pretend the babycarrier belt is the waistband of your jeans).

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wearing:

sweatshirt: similar on sale at 6pm

shorts: Madewell

sandals: Saltwater

hat: similar, $20 at Nordstrom

Carrier: Kokopax carrier (Kokopax was bought by Sassy, new product won't be available until later this summer.  To be notified, fill out the form located here.  Just put "kokopax updates" into the comment section.)

 

 

Thanks for writing in, Chloe!  Hope this helps!!

And Mamas – any other tips for dressing around a baby backpack?  The beer belly thing is no joke.  

xo,

 

April 7, 2014

The Styling Tip That Makes A Basic Windbreaker Look Chic

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Come Spring, I'm all about windbreakers.  I hate being cold, and these Spring winds are no joke.  But I wanted to play around with making windbreakers a bit more chic, you know?  So when I came across this old article on Who What Wear, I knew I had to play around with the windbreaker-as-layered jacket.  And besides, what better place to test out windbreaker styling than at a beach in March?  So I threw a few extra pieces into my suitcase before we headed off to Gulf Shores last month.  

 

1.  Layer Under a Moto Jacket

Since my moto jacket is really a glorified sweatshirt, this option was really comfortable and warm.  

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We were on our way to Bahama Bob's.  Love the easy atmosphere and the seafood.  (This is my kiddos' favorite place.)    

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wearing:

moto: old Roots…try this gorgeous one from LOFT's Lou and Gray line, $89 (or this floral one on sale at Gap for $70)

windbreaker: K-Way…but I'm loving C&C's version, $89

sweater: old ALC…this striped one also has a swingy shape, $60 (but currently 40% off at LOFT)

jeans:  old Rag and Bone… try a seriously cool patched pair by Mavi, $118

flats: Tieks in ballerina pink, $175

bag: Moop Paperback

belt: Target

on Pax: one Jackson hoodie on Thred Up, FabKids pants, Vans

on Raines:  Pip and Squeek boutique dino hoodie, Tea soft cargos, Vans

 

2.  Layer Under A Denim Jacket 

Even with a dress, this styling trick worked surprisingly well.  (And as you can see, Raines is also into layering.  Because apparently, beach = shorts, regardless of temperature.) 

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wearing:

denim jacket: old Joe's Jeans…love Gap's (currently on sale for $48)

windbreakerK-Way…or try this neon one, $130

dress: old Milly…Tibi has a fabulous option ($325), BB Dakota ($80), Gap ($55) or even Old Navy!! ($36)

boots:  old Guess….try this cool cut-out pair – especially with dresses (on sale for $97)

bag: Madewell Transport Tote, $168 

on Raines: Soldier of Love Tee from Tiny RevolutionaryTea soft cargos, shortsVans

 

 

And since it's finally looking warm enough to trick one into thinking they don't need a winter jacket in Philly…I busted the layered windbreaker trick out again this past weekend.  I liked peeling layers on/off depending on our activity.  (Freeze tag?  Off.  Mini Golf?  Off.  In the shady carousel at Franklin Square?  ON ON ON ON)

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wearing:

denim jacket: old Joe's Jeans…love Gap's (currently on sale for $48)

windbreakerK-Way…but I'm loving C&C's version

sweaters:  Equipment (currently 40% off) layered over this one from H&M

leggings:  Plush faux leather, lined in fleece….similar here (on sale for $65)

boots: Steve Madden…similar

bag: Lily Jade Madeline Diaper Bag / Backpack (currently $75 off)

 

 

So….that's how I've been wearing my windbreaker to DEATH.  If only I could figure out how to make my tall Hunter rainboots feel fresh.  April has just started and I'm sick of them already.  Any ideas?  

(and ps:  Anyone else doing the two-jacket thing?  I want to see some pics!)

xoxo,

S

March 30, 2014

Three Perfect Spring Transition Outfits For Nursing & Post-Partum Mamas

Well shoot.  I'm not currently nursing (and "post-partum" is stretching it)…but I'd wear any of these in a heartbeat.  

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Look 1:

Flower Hair Clip, ASOS, $15 (I'm picturing this tucked nonchalantly into a messy bun)

Free People Story Teller Tee, $68 (it's waffle knit – so cozy!) 

Nixon Time-Teller Watch, $74 (I'm addicted to these bright, oversized watches)

Striped Backpack, BCBG at Nordstrom, $88

AG Stevie Cuffed Jeans, $188 at Anthro

TOMS in Orange Palm Trees, $54 (the only thing better than palm trees would be…nothing.  Nothing is better than palm trees.)

 

Look 2: 

Lanston Asymmetic Top, $95 at Shopbop (pooch-hiding, nursing-friendly drapiness at its best right here)

Autumn Cashmere Cardigan (almost sold out…try Target or Everlane)

Chewbeads Red Bracelet, $17 (A teething-friendly bracelet that I would actually wear…)

Marc Jacobs Medium Tate Tote, $198 (I swore by these when my little guys were young…and I'm still using them.  These nylon, washable bags rock my diaper-baggin' world.)

Gap Boyfriend Jeans (Soooo…I tried them recently and wasn't impressed.  Have been hearing much better things about Old Navy's version.  Go figure. 

Tieks Unmellow Yellow, $195 (aka my favorite flats ever)

 

Look 3:

Blackbird Colorblock Tee, $68 at Anthro

Slouchy Beanie, $12 at ASOS

Lily Jade Diaper Bag, $260 for another few days (then will shoot up to $335)

AG Stevie Cuffed Jeans, $188 at Anthro 

Steve Madden Trooper Lace-Up Boot, $100 at Urban (I wear mine almost every day.  Grace, I have you to thank.  I know I owe you an article about these…how 'bout I just wear them in virtually every pic instead?)

 

Happy Monday!  (already?!?!)

xo,

S

October 21, 2013

Worth Another Look: Fossil

I've been looking for a new black bag.  It's not a need, granted, but I could…uh…really use one?  Anyway, this search has been ongoing since last year.  I like bags that are simple, but a little bit special.  However, if anything veers into "it-bag" territory, I'm out.  I prefer anti-it bags for some reason (and that reason may or may not be a $6000 price tag).

So.  I came across a discount code from Fossil to take $25 off any purchase over $125…and since I haven't checked out Fossil since 1993, I wandered one over to their little internet space.  And whoa.

Fossil

They have clothes?  Uh….really, really cute clothes?  And bags.  Good bags.  Yeah…

Time for shopping enabling!  (Cause if I'm going to do this, I'm taking you all down with me.  And based on the comments from last week's post, I'm not the only shopping enabler in this bunch.)

 

Fossilbags

Top Row: 

1. The Sydney Satchel in Cranberry, $178

The dark lipstick red makes this bag look so lux.  Love the classic shape, and the big (but not too big) size. 

2. The Morgan Top Zip in Black, $188

I'm a sucker for black and brown together.  And I love how this bag is reminiscent of a schoolgirl satchel. (However, this one probably isn't big enough for new mamas.)

Bottom Row:

3. Explorer Flap in Black, $198

This is a smaller handbag version of the Explorer Tote.  I love the foldover flap and exposed zipper.  Just so cool without trying too hard. 

4. The Explorer Tote in Gunmetal, $238

Gray metallic leather paired with dark brown straps and gold accents is genius.  It's like glamping*.  And easily big enough for a diaper bag.  (*Glam camping)

 

 

Fossilclothes

Top Row:

1. Georgia Three Hand Leather Watch, $75 

A watch that manages to be rugged, minimalist, and feminine all at once.  Adding immediately to my Christmas wish list.  Someone tell Mike.

2. Chambray Alice Shirt, $78

This might be the most feminine chambray work shirt I've found.

3. Sunglasses

The two-tone Amber Vintage Shades are seriously cool, and the Hannah Oversized are a beautiful shade of bone.  Both retail for $68.

Bottom Row:

4. Diana Plaid Flannel, $88

Did you see the back of this flannel shirt??  Yes???  Love.  Also comes in holiday red

5. Morgan Cocoon Jacket, $188

I'm obsessed with buffalo plaid (more on that later) and this little jacket is perfection.

 

Use code 25OFF to take $25 off orders of $125 or more.

xo,

S

 

 

August 1, 2013

How We Wear It: Maxi Skirts

This is our monthly series called How We Wear It, where *we* show all of the different ways to rock a wardrobe basic.  And by "we" I mean…all y'all.   

So.  I'll show you how I've been styling my old standbys, and so will Cam.  And then, dear readers, we want to hear from YOU.  You can play along via our Linky party at the bottom, you can send me an email, upload a pic to ANMJ's Facebook page, or use Instagram with the hashtag: #howwewearit or #anmj.  As reader pics come in, I'll be keeping this page up-to-date.

Ready?  

 

With A Looooong Top

 

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Continue Reading…

June 11, 2013

Fav Combo: Long Shorts + Blazers (And Would You Wear Them To Work?)

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I've been working on our upcoming How We Wear It, which will focus on long shorts.  I have a bunch of ideas, but one of them I wanted to run by you Mamas. 

So:  Long khaki shorts.  I was having trouble styling these things…long khaki shorts can come off so dowdy, especially with flat shoes.  But once I added heels, and then topped the whole thing off with a blazer….

Continue Reading…