December 19, 2015

A Last Minute Illustrated Holiday Gift Guide

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It’s the most wonderful….ly stressful time of the year.

Especially if you’re a procrastination master like myself.  But it’s not to late to buy your Holiday gifts from the comfort of your couch and still receive them in time for Christmas morning and this year I decided to draw my holiday gift guides in my sketchbook. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed creating them!

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November 3, 2014

A Holiday Outfit For The Chronically Cold…At Philly’s Magic Gardens

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Ever since Megan sent in a pic of herself rocking a dress over pants….I’ve been scheming.  I figured – HEY!  I have cocktail dresses.  I have pants.  Why….not….put them together in some kind holiday mash-up and come up with something festive and warm?   RIGHT????

Well.  My initial attempts were total failures.  You know when you run into a dressing room and don’t feel like trying anything on but know you should?  So you just throw the dress over your head – leaving your jeans on – and then kinda squint into the mirror, balancing on your tiptoes all, “if I were in heels….and wearing spanx…” Yes?  All of my earlier attempts looked like that.  Like I was trying a dress on in a hurry, then forgot to take off my pants.

For the record, flare jeans and heels worked a little better than my trusty light-wash skinnies (and either type of jeans worked with a casual dress – see this old 2012 article for an example of a dress over flares)….but with an actual cocktail dress?  No.

My “epiphany” came (wow – that’s dramatic) while perusing Nordstrom’s selection of holiday denim.  I was surprised by the number of….let’s call ’em fancy pants.  There’s a whole host of patterned, textured, and otherwise very lux-looking jeans that are making my heart beat fast.  And while they’re perfect for dressing up a sweater….while browsing around….Trixie. Realized. Something*.

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As it turns out, all my cocktail dresses needed was a pair of fancy 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.

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July 27, 2014

I’m All Overalls and Kimono Crazy Round Here

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So I brought the $35 overalls home.  Mike took one look and was all, “Baby, those are HOT!  Keep those!”

(Notice he didn’t have the same reaction to the $300 turtleneck.  Go figure.)

In any case, I think overalls look best with something a little polished or a little…fashion-y, for lack of a better word.  The kimono was surprisingly perfect.  (And heels, of course.)

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Pax has been such a crack-up lately.  The other day I heard his little running footsteps coming down the hall.  He busts into my office, completely naked.

“MOM!  You wike me wike dis?  All Nay-Nakes?”

I sure do, Baby.

“O-TAY!”

And off he goes.  I love how their self-worth seems boundless at 3.  How he is so proud of his round belly and chubby little arms and legs which pump furiously as he runs ‘nay-nakes’ through the house.    I mean.

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wearing:

tank: J.Crew silk cami (I wash mine and hang to dry), $59

kimono: O’Neill Candice Top (on sale for $39)

overalls: Destroyed Slim Overalls (sold out – from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, ends 8/4)….or try these button-front overalls by the same brand.  It looks like the same fit, just with wash and detail variations.  Only $39.

shoes: old Betsy Johnson….love Aldo’s hot pink-and-wood wedges (on sale for $60)

bag: Moop paperback clutch

 

 

So tell me:  Overalls + kimonos….you wike me wike dis?

xo,

S

 

 

 

June 19, 2014

Reader Style: A Review of SuperGa and Spring Court Sneakers (Think Comfier Than Converse)

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I was delighted to get the following note from Allison:

Something I've been trying to find is the perfect cute sneaker.  I had a pair of Bensimons which were adorable, but honestly, not comfy to wear for very long as they were so flat and with little support.  Same goes for Converse.  But what I've tried out more recently are Superga and Spring Court … Italian and French tennis shoes.  They aren't quite as slim because they're a unisex style, but there is a lot more support.  The Superga is still pretty firm, but has a bit of arch support.  The Spring Court are my favourites because they have a removable insole that is really cushioned and comfy for playing or walking all day.  

 

Seriously helpful, right??  So we email-chatted a bit, and she indulged me by sending over a close-up of the Supergas and Spring Courts:

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Here's a side by side of the superga and spring court (both eu size 39).  I'm actually planning to return the superga and get another pair of the spring courts as that insole is unbelievably comfy and now I'm spoiled! (The spring court shown is from a pair I have had for awhile… I actually dyed them because I wanted a darker blue than I could find in my size at the time, so they survived that plus a lot of play). 

 

I love both of them (and now am obsessing over navy sneaks).  Allison, rock star that she is, THEN sent over pics of her next favorite sneaker trick:  swapping out the laces.

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Which do you prefer?  I honestly can't decide.  

 

Bonus, they make them in kids sizes too (Velcro or laces) and they are even cuter on the small people.

Awwwwww….

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Where To Buy?

So here's the downside:  finding Spring Court sneakers aren't easy.  Luisviaroma carries a few children's Spring Court styles, Yoox has an ever-changing selection of one or two Spring Court styles (currently only one), J.Crew used to carry them (but currently does not – I'll bet this changes eventually)…or you can go right to the french Spring Court website and order some.  

 

Now Superga is a different story – you can buy Superga sneaks at Zappos.  Ordering ease alone may be why I pick Superga over Spring Courts.  Zappos even has my favorite camo Supergas, as well as chambray, glitter (which for some reason I am drawn to, magpie that I am), some cah-razy floral that is seriously awesome,  and then all of the classic colors as well.  

 

Allison, thank you SO much for this amazing review!  I've been debating over another Converse purchase, but was holding off because – as you mentioned – they're not super comfortable (especially without socks in the summer).  So thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and adorable pics!  This mama-community so appreciates it. 

Allison's Outfit Deets (top pic)

I wore my sneakers today with bright blue tights, a thrifted skirt (h&m), a black tshirt (h&m), an old Gap cardigan, a dotted scarf from a trip to Barcelona, earrings by Darla Hesse, brooch by Fairyesque.  Bag is a Moop Paperback in grey (found this thanks to your blog and love it!) Sneakers by Spring Court naturally.

I usually try to wear sneakers with a skirt or dress as it feels much cuter than just with jeans.

xo,

S

March 18, 2014

Street Style: Betty At High On Market St.

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Sunday, while at High On Market Street, I noticed Betty lounging against the counter, waiting for her food. I loved how she dressed up a basic parka-and-leggings with a cool patterned scarf and unexpected wine-colored booties.  

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Betty's coat is from SheInside (and is now on sale for $45 – seriously), her leggings are Yummy Tummy, and her red booties are by Sketchers.  She couldn't remember where her scarf was from…but if you are dying for both the scarf and easy tote (and I am)…may I suggest a visit to Idiopix on Etsy for the tote?  The selection is totally overwhelming (and all totes are $15).  I have my eye on this Alice In Wonderland tote…or maybe this french chocolate label…or ooooooo…this jellyfish one.  Stunning! 

For the scarf, I'd try this wool-and-cashmere blend, now 50% off at Nordstrom.

Love this twist on an easy, everyday look.  Betty, thanks for being such a good sport.

xo,

S

February 3, 2014

7 Easy Ways To Add Glam To Dreary Winter Looks

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So I've been feeling pretty good these days.  There's a spring in my step, and my heart feels…light. It's like I'm emerging from a cocoon.  Butterfly!  I am the butterfly!  #stopit

And I'm dressing differently, too.  Not a huge shift, but I have this new found sense of…fearlessness when picking out my clothes.  Or maybe carelessness is the better word.  I find myself throwing something on because it's fun.  Like I'm honoring the fact that somewhere…there's a party.  (Even if it's just the Pigeon and his hot-dog parties.)  Or I'm reaching for my favorite things, uh, period.  Like, wearing the same thing three days in a row because it makes me feel good.  High heels on a Saturday morning just because, or pretty underwear on a random Wednesday (insert 'hump day' joke). 

Know what's happening here?  I may be bald-ish, I've got some serious scars, but I'm craving – a little – glamour

I mean…let's not get too excited.  I'm a mom of two young boys – there are limits to this glam. (Glimits?)  And someone who talks about glamour while wearing a puffer jacket and fuzzy mittens really shouldn't be trusted.

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Just sayin'. 

But I felt like the January issue of Vogue was speaking directly to me:  "Here's to the year of you.  Fashion 2014 is about the charisma of the individual, the charm of the rare and unique…." and even Ms Wintour, in her letter from the editor, talked about a "sense of promise" that was evident in all of the 2014 collections.  Vogue heralded a "return to maximum embellishment" and dubbed 2014 the year of dressing dangerously.  

"There was a strong current of let's-play-dress-up – even whimsy – on the spring runways, and this openhearted spirit only adds to the pleasures of the new season.  Trends may come and trends may go, but fun, we hope, will never go out of style."

Sing it, Vogue.

So.  Here are a few easy-peasy ways to add a small sartorial punch to your everyday, a little dose of pedestrian glamour that even this sleep-deprived mama can do on a daily basis.  As Vogue says (and really, one should always do what Vogue says)….let's play.

 

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January 15, 2014

How To Style Cold-Weather Workout Gear For All. Day. Long. (Sponsored Post)

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Mamas, this is my year to GET HEALTHY.  

Like, seriously.  Despite the cold, despite my penchant for midnight brownies, despite the myriad of excuses I have made since Raines was born SIX YEARS AGO, it is time

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April 1, 2013

Neon, For Grown Ups

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I carry a little man around on my back.  I am responsible for both providing food and wiping butts at regular intervals.  I am – heavily – relied on by two tiny people who yammer at me all day. "Mum! Mum! Mum! Mumumumum!!!" until I hear myself echoing the empty threat of my mother:  "No more 'MUM'!  I'm going to change my name!"

They give me the same strange look that I used to give her.  For all of these reasons (and more…so much more)…I am, officially, grown up.

Here's how this grown-up (who also happens to be ever-so-slightly color adverse) wears neon:

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December 4, 2012

Holiday Style: Try A Monochrome Palette (Especially in White…)

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There's something about white that just feels so…fancy.  And it's totally unexpected during the holiday season.  I've been feeling all chic snow-princess in my all-white ensembles against a a vast sea of little black dresses, sleek black coats, and dark denim.  It's fun.  

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