March 20, 2017

Naples, FL: What To Do (And Wear)

As Spring Break approaches I find myself a leetle regretful that I didn’t plan a warm weather trip for us this year. I mean, we’re so much closer to Hawaii here in Portland and we still haven’t been…next year maybe I can write a travel post on that trip! (Pinky, are you reading…)

We were fortunate enough to get to visit my parents in February in South Florida this year, though, for some sunshine. (You may have seen a few pics on my Instagram account @elletrain) The weather was in the low 80’s for at least half of our trip and it was lovely. We got a date night, I got some mama time and of course we had some trips to the beach while we were there. I did a little run-down here of some of our favorite activities and some suggestions on what to wear and pack if you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State.

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By March 20, 2017 2 No tags Permalink
March 1, 2017

My New Favorite Swimsuit: The High-Neck

Going somewhere warm for Spring Break? We will be heading to the Oregon Coast, so I will not be sporting a swimsuit this time. Brrrr. But, we recently spent a week in South Florida with my parents and I discovered my new favorite swimsuit style – the high neck suit.

Why is this my new favorite style, you might ask? Because I don’t like to worry about pulling a Janet Jackson while picking up shells or playing with Sienna on the beach. I know, I’m not a risk taker. I’m ok with that.

But seriously, this is a great style for mamas as the girls stay nicely in place. The halter neck also gives them a little lift, which I’ll be the first to admit mine definitely need.

@krembdelakremb was sporting a high-neck style last year in one of her IG posts and it intrigued me. I bought this top above at the end of the summer wanting to try it out. I finally did and I LOVE it. (Sadly, my exact top is no where to be found, but this one is super similar).

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite bikinis, tanks and one-pieces all with high-necks below, just in time for Spring Break…

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August 29, 2016

Dresses And High-Top Sneakers

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dress (similar) | hi tops | sunglasses | backpack

Hey hey. Can you believe summer is winding down? No, me neither. Most of the country has even started school already. Gasp. Up here in the PNW, we get until Labor Day (this year, a bit before and apparently everyone went insane about that).

Regardless of school starting, it’ still HOT in many places. I don’t typically wear dresses, but this recent stint of living without AC has made me realize that dresses are the coolest outfit to beat the heat. No thank you to shorts sticking to your nether regions (insert covered-eyes monkey emoji here) or heaven forbid pants above 90 degrees. Nah gurl. Put on a dress and feel pretty even though you’re sweating buckets.

My edit?  Balance out girlie pieces (like a dress) with something tougher.  I rely on my trusty black hi tops to add an unexpected element to the ensemble. What I adore about this combo is that it’s great for all-day this time of year…cool enough to get you through the heat of the day yet not overly casual for picnics, BBQ’s or dinner on a patio.

Keep reading to see a few no-fail dress styles that have worked really well with hi tops…..

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August 8, 2016

An Ode To The Little White Dress

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Know what goes perfectly with an end-of-summer tan?  A little white dress.*

*Also, melanoma.  But I use this and this year round, so cut me some slack. (Yes, A, I’m talking to you.)

In any case, there’s just something….foolproof about a little white dress.  I’ve worn an old Milly number (bought almost a decade ago) on date nights and to fancy parties….but I’ve also worn it to watch 4th of July parades (think: curb sitting) and to the beach.

Frankly, I prefer my little white dresses a bit dressed down:  with flat sandals, sneakers and everyday bags.  Even Birkenstocks work! The casual vibes perfectly offset the naturally precious nature of the little white dress.  The resulting look?  Understated glam, a sort of…nonchalant cool.  A this-old-thing? kind of vibe.  And best of all?  It’s easy.

The key, I think, is to not be overly precious with the white dress.  It’s not the dress you select for Art Project Day at Home With The Kids (I mean, c’mon), but for museum trips and running errands and coffee dates with your girlfriends (not to mention the whole realm of real dates)….the little white dress is a solid choice.  (Side note:  I’m kind of a whiz at getting stains out of my little white dress.  The key?  Spot cleaning.  It’s amazingly effective, and works for all but the biggest stains.)

I was in the market for a new little white dress, so I thought I’d share the ones I tried, as well as a few additional ones that caught my eye.  No matter your style (romantic, classic, punk librarian, danish robot), there’s a little white dress for you.   I was trying to find one for our trip to Europe, and YES.  Success.  It’s one of the ones pictured below….although perhaps not the one you think.  Unfortunately, I completely forgot to pack nude underwear, but….somehow I’ll survive.  Shopping for underwear in France is no hardship, haha!

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July 7, 2016

Sleeves, Please: The Best Short-Sleeve Tops and Dresses

Short sleeved summer dresses and tops: you asked, we answered. Cam and I each put together a kick-ass short sleeved top summer outfit and rounded up a big ole list of our favorite short sleeved summer dresses and tops out there this summer….cam's summer top pick

top: OBEY Button-down Shirt – nursing-friendly(!), easy, simple, awesome short-sleeve top for Summer. I love it. Now, it wasn’t almost sold-out 5 sec. ago, but now that I’ve put it in a post, of course,…there’s only a couple of sizes left. le sigh. I  did find this BP. Short-sleeve Shirt and this Halogen Cuffed Cap Sleeve Button-down.

shades: BP. Round Sunglasses – I like to buy cheap, cool sunglasses…because I’m cheap. ha ha. I really just don’t need high end ones right now, with little kids…and losing them constantly and then dropping them every day. A solid few pairs of cheap sunglasses do it for me. Plus- then I can have a few different styles to play with. Nordstrom has BP., which is a very trendy line…and affordable.

shoes: Converse Jack Purcell Lo Top Sneakers – ugh…not again. Really? Sold-out. Can’t find anywhere now. Nooooo. I think they were actually men’s shoes, but whatever. I would have totally still worn them. Why does this keep happening to me? Okay, WELL THEN. Really, I’d wear any pair of canvas shoes with a top like this, because canvas shoes are one of my go-tos in the Summertime and they would help to dress down the collared shirt a bit. So…I just found Converse’s Dainty Ox Sneakers. Cute!…and they come in a bunch of fun Summer colors.

shorts: STS Blue Boyfriend Shorts – these shorts look so good. #word Longer, comfy…and cool. The sizing is a little different, so pay attention to that.

bag: Rebecca Minkoff ‘Medium Julian’ Backpack – because it’s beautiful and if you’ve been wanting to spend a little mas on THE bag…buy this bag. This is the kind of thing that just won’t ever go out of style…in MY opinion. 😉

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June 16, 2016

The Best Nude Sandals For Summer

 

joggers (similar) | sandals

 

Sandals y’all. Writing about sandals…on a day with a high in the lower 60’s…oh, Portland. I’m wearing close toed shoes today, but against my will. Once I bring out the sandals my toes do not want to go back to being confined in regular shoes…especially when they are freshly pedicured!

For me, it’s all about finding the right nude/natural colored sandals and wearing the heck out of them for the summer. A nude sandal goes with everything and keeps my shorter legs looking long. My current loves are this pair by Matisse (pictured above, yes, in the rain). I love that they are handmade and the leather is breaking in oh so nicely.

Keep reading for a round-up of our favorite nude sandals (and the criteria we use to pick the best ones….think: walkable).

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June 10, 2016

Our Swimsuit Edit (Involving Seriously Supportive Tops…)

Mom Edit Pool Diptych
Hello mamas! Summer break is almost upon us. Yay and yikes, right? I’d venture to say most of us love summer, but also…I know my mama friends with school aged kiddos have mixed feelings about summer ‘vacation.’ My friend Posy and her pals always do a back-to-school cocktails/soak at our favorite relaxing spot each fall to celebrate school starting. This year we decided to do a pre-summer break version of that, complete with pretty towels, cool suits and Bloody Mary’s…heck yeah. Check out one of my favorite spots in Portland (a fun stop if you’re visiting!) and let’s talk supportive swimwear, shall we?

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May 11, 2016

Long Pants in the Summer?? YES, THESE.

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I get that not everyone is into shorts.  Before Shana gave me the (life-changing) tip of sizing denim shorts up (way up so they’re a bit baggy), I could never seem to find the right fit.  They were too high or too tight or too long or too wide or too “mom-ish.” . . .  Shorts are hard.  And that’s if you can wear them!  E recently wrote in with this question:

I’m in the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and I have developed crazy varicose veins. My doc sent me to a specialist, long story short, I’m now wearing full length maternity compression stockings. They’re horrible. Super opaque, weird beige color, full toe. How do I work with these? I’m thinking of wearing them under leggings, and then maybe going with high tops? Thankfully I only have to make it to mid-June, then presumably giving birth will remedy the situation and I can wear skirts and shorts again! Thanks for any insight!

E, you are not alone.  We get questions all.the.time about warm-weather options for hiding varicose veins (even without the complications you’re dealing with).   My favorite option?

Surf pants.

They are super comfortable (like pajama-comfortable), lightweight, cool, flattering – but youthful, too, invoking a surfer-girl vibe. They can be worn out to the beach or dressed up for a night on the town.

(Personally, I also like to wear them on the couch while watching tv, but that’s just me.)

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May 10, 2016

Athleta Swim (#DressingRoomSelfies…At Home)

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Hey hey…I got brave for y’all…swim suits!

I recently received Athleta’s catalog in the mail and LOVED some of their new swimwear. Many of the styles that I wanted to try were only available online, so I ordered some for home. I’ve been excited to check out their suits since many of you have said you love them. I agree! All of the suits seem well made. The fabric (Lycra Xtra Life) is supposed to last 5-10x longer than other swimwear fabrics and it does feel very sturdy, especially compared to the less expensive swimwear I generally go for. I tried bikinis, tankinis and rash guards – all mixed with a few different bottoms. Here’s what I found.

Bikinis

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Palm Cove Bralette Bralette Bikini | Palm Cove Dolphin Short

I like this combo above a lot and these were the two pieces that made me want to try Athleta swimwear. Love this pairing for sports, beach walks/runs, and playing in the water with kiddos. I think the Palm Cove Bralette is a tiny bit long on me (it bunches a bit) but on mamas with a longer torso it would be perfect. It fits nice and securely but with lightly molded cups and underwires in it it doesn’t flatten your chest like a sports bra. Good. It’s hard to see here, but there are mesh stripes on the bottom part that are super cute, too. (Wearing size Small in both, for reference)

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May 9, 2016

For Mamas Who Play Hard: WETSUITS

cute wetsuits for jersey shore

At the end of last summer, I bought a wetsuit.  It wasn’t a particularly cold summer, the water temp was…pleasant.  So there was no good reason that I had spent the majority of my time on the hot sand, watching (and cheering) my boys on as they body-boarded, did some stand-up paddleboarding and played in the water.

Yay, Boys!!  You go and do that Boy Thing!

Ugh.  What has happened to me?

Pre-kids, I was always the one on the stand-up paddleboard, the surf board, the wind-surfer.  My Dad was a big believer in taking risks, in trying everything once, and my childhood summers were filled with all kinds of adventure:  that time I took my tiny sailboat out alone and got stuck across the lake (I learned how to tack after that).  The time my friends and I took off with Uncle Jim’s jetskiis and almost ran out of gas (hmmmm…he still doesn’t know about that one).  That insanely frustrating day I tried to one-ski and fell 20 times in a row.  THIS was summer.

So when, exactly, did I turn into the Mum on The Towel?  My downward spiral into spectator-only-mode was, most likely, an effect of years of sleep deprivation and general exhaustion but ultimately….WHO CARES?  It was, quite simply, time.  It was time to take myself back, to show my boys that This Girl Plays Hard, and when I’m 85+ years old sitting on the beach watching my grandkids play (assuming I’ll be so lucky)….hopefully I’ll have a sense of peace, knowing that my days were richly spent.

So.  It was time to tackle my biggest hurdle to ocean play:  Cold water.  I hate (hatehatehate) being cold.  I HATE it.  But I had been resisting the urge to buy a wetsuit because I felt like some kind of poser.  Surfing?  OK.  I get it.  But general frolicking and body-boarding with four year olds?  Uh….seriously?  A wetsuit?

ripcurl-wetsuit

Yes.  Seriously a wetsuit.  Once I got over myself, this wetsuit business completely changed my Mom-at-the-Beach game.  We’re talking hours of playing in the ocean, where my pre-wetsuit-self would only have lasted 20 min tops.

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By May 9, 2016 25 No tags Permalink