February 13, 2015

Why I Bring My Boys To The Ballet

While pregnant with Raines, I danced ballet as my workout 3-5 times per week.  It was something I had started almost 10 years prior, and by this point it felt necessary, like breathing or drinking water.   Dancing fills me in a way nothing else can – it is at once both meditative and freeing.  I love the exuberance, the emotion and the rigor.  There’s something about that combination of hard work and expressiveness that is hard to replicate elsewhere.  Dancing is, by its nature, a soulful activity.  You speak with your body, pulling from the very depths of your existence.  It is power and light and rage and beauty.  But is it….manly?

After class one day, I was chatting with a few of the other dancers.  We talked about how excited I was for the baby (my first!), and how I hoped (oh how I hoped!!!) that he would like ballet as much as I did.  At this point, we knew I was carrying a boy.   In a room filled with dancers, I received nothing but support.  But later, my friend (let’s call him Joe), also a ballet dancer, confessed that he was troubled.  “Shana, you have to understand what it means for a boy to grow up dancing” he warned.  “I love ballet, I love everything about it.  But growing up as a male ballet dancer in this country is very, very hard.  You might be setting him up for ridicule.”   Joe may-or-may-not have been gay (and truly, even in this context it matters not at all), he simply was a man who loved to dance ballet.

At the time, I didn’t realize how terribly, horribly sad Joe’s words were.  He meant them kindly – we were friends!  And I took them in the warm spirit with which they were intended.  It was only after Raines was born, after I started viewing the world through the lens of mother that’s Joe’s words haunted me; they broke my heart.

I don’t want my son growing up in a world with such a narrow definition of masculinity.  I want him to feel free to experience all that life has to offer – to not just feel his emotions, but to express them, express who he is – in any way he chooses!  If he chooses to express himself through art, through dance, through long soulful conversations, or through pounding it out on the basketball court or racing down the side of a mountain – I don’t care.  I just want him to know himself without the distraction of labels.  I don’t want him worrying about what it means to Be A Man – he IS a man.  He defines it by his very existence.

I would make the exact same case for girls.  There is no label broad enough to define us – we are all complex, multi-faceted individuals.  If you are a girl, anything you happen to like (baking, fashion, medicine, data mining, underwater basketweaving, construction) is YOUR version of what it means to be a girl.  So it’s….girly?  Yup.  By definition.

Of course, looking at labels this way means that they lose all meaning.

PRECISELY.

I want my boys to grow up feeling loved and accepted for who they are.  I want them to be kind and compassionate.  I want them to express themselves – their true selves – in any way they see fit.  I want them to be innovators, disruptors, pioneers.  And I want them to be brave, because the world isn’t always ready for people like this, and I want them to be brave enough to try and change it – change it by their very existence.  And so, despite the often-overwhelming messages of What It Means To Be A Real Man, I quietly fight.  We fight, Mike and I.  We fight by example, by exposure – we fight to show them that there’s another way.  That the definition of Real Man is a broad one, so broad, in fact, that it encompasses all men.  We fight to show them that some Real Men cry and some Real Men love and some Real Men dance.

So tonight, once Mike gets home from work and the scotch is poured and the popcorn is made and we’re all snuggled up on the couch, I’m going to turn on our appletv and play this video, powerfully choreographed and danced by a Real Man.

It is, quite possibly, one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen.

 

 

If any of you are Philly locals, BalletX is our very favorite ballet company to take the boys.  The Wilma Theater is small and intimate (you can hear the dancers breathing, hear their shoes on the floor, see the sweat running down), and the dance is a rigorous combination of ballet and modern, with both men and women playing starring roles.  These performances are so powerful that both of our boys will sit through the entire show (even four-year-old Pax).  Their winter series runs from Feb 18 – 22nd.

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These pictures are from a couple of years ago.  Raines will still dance with wild abandon once in a while, but it’s only at home, with just us, the curtains drawn and the camera put away.  But it’s in there.  It’s in that little heart – the grace and the power and the passion. I just hope that someday, when that soft little boy face is covered in scruff and he’s big enough to pick up his Mama, I just hope when that day comes, he’ll know that his heart – exactly as it is – is the heart of a real man.

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Happy Valentine’s Day.

xo,

S

By February 13, 2015 35 No tags Permalink
February 12, 2015

My Fashion-Girl Layering Trick

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You know, I bought this darn leather jacket so I am going to get some USE OUT OF IT.  I want a cost-per-wear in the pennies, people!  THE PENNIES.  Which, by my rough estimate, means I will be sleeping in it from now until June.

So.  Exhibition A (or F or G, rather) is….my leather jacket + huge plaid woolly scarf/cape/poncho/blanket/whatever.  Does this fashion-girl combo actually work in real live life?

February 11, 2015

Winter Florals And Leather Jackets (The Anti-Valentine Valentine’s Day Outfit)

I’m totally feeling winter florals right now.  They’re kinda dark, edgy…..the type of print that looks perfect with smudgy black eyeliner and leather.  I asked my very talented friend Jessbobess to come up with a little something to inspire us…..

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(illustrations by the insanely talented jessbobess

 

Whoa.  Jess, those are some seriously inspiring designs.

In that vein, I tried to come up with a little something-something.  Don’t get excited – it’s not nearly as good as what Jess came up with (but a dramatic skirt is fun nonetheless).

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February 10, 2015

Style Lessons: Finishing a Tee & Jeans

That old tee and jeans combo. I think what I like most about it is it’s dependability and unassuming air. It never changes and doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – classic, easy and cool.

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So here they are together. Alone. It’s…cute. Definitely a usual for me when I am at home (and not in my pjs or more recently…loungewear), but it makes me look too much like a mom (and I can say that because I am a mom- ha). It just doesn’t say anything, you know? I’ve always believed that clothes speak…and they do. They dooooo. It’s an expression, so what is this old tee and jeans expressing? Nada mucho. Let’s get it talking, shall we?

February 9, 2015

Fix This Outfit: Skinny Jeans + Short Boots (Combat Vs. Moto)

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You guys, meet my friend Teri.  She’s my neighbor, the mum of Raines’ best friend, and one of the biggest reasons why we may never move from this neighborhood.

Also, she’s adorable.

Anyway, we were chatting one day, and Teri mentioned that she was struggling to style her lace-up combat boots.  Once again, those darn short boots were causing a proportion problem!  (We’ve talked before about this exact issue here.)  What to do?

Shopping, obviously.  Not only did Teri (sportingly, I mean really) try on different types of short boots to find which pair is the most flattering (and we found a clear winner), but we messed around with ways to make her combat boots work.  So.  Keep on reading to see the various ways we “fixed’ Teri’s outfit.

February 6, 2015

Weekend Links, Fun, and Some SMOOCHES (For Cancer)

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Do you follow me on instagram (@shanachristine)?  We’ve been having all kinds of fun over there lately.  Mike and I took this smooching pic, tagged with#kisscancergoodbye, to help StandUp2Cancer raise awareness of their goal of turning every cancer patient into a SURVIVOR.

I love that word.

Join us!  To play along, upload a smooch picture with the hashtag #kisscancergoodbye to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.  Tag your friends to play along (and me!!  I’d love to see your pics, too!  @shanachristine on Instagram, @themomedit on Twitter and Facebook).

By February 6, 2015 1 No tags Permalink
February 5, 2015

Stylish Loungewear

…for when you don’t give a crap, but want to look like you do.

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[Hey guys – S here.  This topic is so near-and-dear to my heart – I mean seriously NOTHING makes me swoon like a good pair of sweatpants – that I’m hijacking Cam’s post for a sec with this ridiculous pic.  Now back to Cam.]

 

Mamas, you want this post. You need this post. In fact, you’ve been hoping and longing for it…long before you even knew about TME. Why?

We all have thoooose days. Those days you roll out of bed feeling more tired than when you got in bed the night before and you find Not. One. Bit. of creativity with which to put together an outfit that reflects the super cool mom you really are. (I know you’re cool. It’s okay). I, personally, usually roll up to Mad’s school drop-off in a huge hoodie sweatshirt, the cleanest jeans I could find in the pile in our closet and UGGs. When I’ve tried a little harder, I’ll have mascara on (HOLLA!!  like that will distract people from my hoodlum attire). The other moms are jealous of my swagger.  Ha.  Needless to say, it’s time to step it up.  LET’S STEP IT UP, yo.

Here’s a simple formula for looking put together and even cool on thoooose days. stylish-loungewear-the-mom-edit

 LOFT Broken In Tee | True & Co. Calvin Clein Seductive Comfort Bra | Lou & Grey Spacedye Zip-Pocket Pants | Lou & Grey Marlmix Sweater Jacket

Levi’s Parachute Cotton Park @ Urban Outfitters | Ted Baker London ‘Beatrin’ High Top Sneakers | Revolve Tenakee Beanie

See?  Simple. All you need is comfortable and stylish loungewear. It’s a win-win, I mean, really.  This kind of outfit can be thrown on in the morning without much thought and worn all day.  I’m all about it.

If you find that you are now in the market for some BOSS mom attire, keep scrolling down. I found many awesome options…

February 4, 2015

How to Get Those Lashes (or DIY Lash Extensions)

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I splurged on lash extensions for my wedding back in 2012.  I fell in LOVE with them.  They drastically changed my makeup routine.  Suddenly I didn’t have to wear eyeliner or mascara . . . or deal with the hassle of removing my eye makeup (or that dark ring of mascara smudge under my eyes).  Only one problem: I couldn’t afford to keep them up.  It cost $375 for a full set and $60 every time I needed them filled.  (Which was about every 4 weeks  – and this in the small town of Marquette!)

I had to come up with a cheaper (and faster) way to get the lash extension look . . . because I wasn’t about to give up my newly gorgeous (fake) lashes.  It took me awhile to figure out the perfect formula, but it was totally worth it.  Now I’ll spend a little extra time on a Saturday afternoon putting them on and I won’t have to worry about them until the next weekend.  (They usually last about a week).  Now that I have Baby G, I’m all about the fastest ways to get ready and these lashes save me a ton of time.  Here’s what you’ll need:

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Lashes:

You’ll need two different lengths of lash flares (I use long and medium, but you can also use short) and individual lashes in long, medium or short.  (I use long – go big or go home, right!?)  I find that using a range of lengths looks better because you can customize the lashes to your own eye.  This is one of the reasons that I use flares and individual lashes over strip lashes.  Strip lashes are made for a generic set of eyes that may or may not look right on you.  They have to be cut and trimmed and then cleaned after you’ve worn them . . . they actually seem like more of a hassle to me than the extensions . . .

Tools:

Lash Adhesive: this is strong stuff . . . it’s made for individual lashes, not the strips.  You won’t want to rip the lashes off when you use this stuff.  If you need to remove them, use Lash Adhesive Remover.  You’ll also need a good pair of Tweezers to handle the lashes and place them where you want them to go.

How to:

Starting from the middle of the eye, apply the shorter lash flares all the way to the inner corner.  Apply the longer length flares from the middle to the outer corner.  Fill the spaces in between with the individual lashes.  Sounds easy enough?  It’s not.  BUT . . . like I said before, it’s worth it.  A few tips:

  • Apply on clean lashes and avoid putting lotion on your face or hands before you apply (it can mess with the glue’s effectiveness)
  • Avoid getting lashes wet for 24-48 hours after you apply as it helps the glue to set (you can shower and swim with them on – just avoid scrubbing them!)
  • Use the adhesive remover if you need to remove them (don’t rip them out because you’ll take some of your own lashes with . . . I speak from experience!)

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Here’s the DIY extensions . . . can barely tell the difference, no? :)

Let me know if you guys have questions or if you have any tutorials you’d like to see!  Excuse the crazy voice in the video . . . we’re all getting over the sickness around here.  (We call it that because it’s like a horrible mixture of flu/cold/fever/aches/bronchitis?? . . . lovely combination.  Aaaand we’re getting on a plane with G for the first time tomorrow.  Yeah.  Wish us luck!  At least I’ll have my lashes, right!?)

XOXO,

Scotti

 

By February 4, 2015 30 No tags Permalink
February 3, 2015

Forget Flowers: VIBRATORS.

Instead of sending new mamas home from the hospital with tins of formula, a cheap, scratchy diaper bag emblazoned with said formula’s logo, and a packet on why breastfeeding is best (hunh??)….I think every new mom should be sent home with a prescription for Premarin Vaginal Cream and a vibrator.  New Mom Sex sucks, and it takes most of us a long, LONG time (often measured in years) before we’re back on sexual track.  As I mentioned last year in The Epic Dry Spell (Sex After Baby),

“…go buy this vibrator.  It’ll buy down the ‘he’s been workin’ so hard down there and I’m not even close yet’ guilt.  Win-win for everyone.

Know what’s funny about that one little link?  It’s one of the most clicked links on The Mom Edit.  One of the Most. Clicked. Links.  So while we may not be talking about it (Have you ever swapped vibrator-shopping tips with your mom friends?? Didn’t think so.)….one thing is clear:  We’re all looking for some good vibrations.

 

[NOTE:  The collage below is clickable – click on any image to be taken to the product.  But because I know these widgets don’t display for everyone, I also included a regular image, product links, and embarrassing explanations after the jump.  Enjoy!!]

 

In general, the brands I’d recommend are Lelo, Jimmy Jane, Tenga or BMS.  Not only are the designs sleek and beautiful, but they’re made from high-grade silicon, are whisper quiet, powerful, and easy to wash (most are waterproof and can be used in the tub).

Keep reading for links, etc….

By February 3, 2015 21 No tags Permalink
February 2, 2015

Winter Layers (Hello, Leather Jacket)

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Mike and I had our day date on Saturday.  It was….glorious.  Truly, there is no other word.  We wandered around Philly, popping into shops, bookstores and coffee shops AT OUR LEISURE.  I realize, as I type this, that waxing so poetic about a day that would’ve been considered a very ordinary Saturday pre-kids may be discouraging for a new mama, but….aw, hell.    [cue hallelujah chorus]  OUR DAY WAS GLORIOUS.

It’s like when my sister was a newlywed and watched “this is 40″ and was like, “this is supposed to be funny?”, and then Mike and I saw it and laughed so hard we were clutching our sides and had tears streaming down our faces.

GLORIOUS.

But the one decidedly UN-glorious aspect of our day date was the fact that it was 20 degrees outside.  With a pretty biting wind.    I sort of resigned myself to puffer-land (it’s just what I do), but I had recently “invested” in a leather-jacket-soul-mate (Mike loves when I use words like “invested” to describe shopping) and was kinda dying to wear it.

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With fuzzy pink mittens.