Shana

Let’s get the basics out of the way:  where you live, how many kids, etc.

I live in Philadelphia with my husband, Mike, and my two boys, Raines (oldest) and Pax.  Both boys were actually born in Denver, CO, but my husband and I moved to the East Coast shortly after Pax was born.

Three words to describe your personal style. Go.

Messy tomboy goes to Paris.

Who are your style icons? How do you integrate those tastes into your own wardrobe if at all?

I’m a 90’s girl, so Kate Moss has gotta be somewhere on this list.  I also love French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt’s style, and am often inspired by blogger Julie Sarinana from Sincerely Jules.

How has your personal style changed since becoming a mom?

I know myself so much better now, so I think that my personal style has evolved simply as part of knowing who I am, what I like.  That said….my personal style didn’t change that much since becoming a mom…what did change, however, was the way I express my personal style.  That’s the trick, right?  Taking all of the elements that make you swoon, and figuring out how to make them part of your real life, rather than your aspirational life.  (Mine involved sneakers.)

What’s your most-worn piece? (If it’s sweatpants…we won’t tell.)

It’s basically these sweatpants.  Also fashion sneakers (like these), AG skinnies, a butter-soft leather jacket, and glam sunnies.

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge height from an Instagram or blog post – SO…how tall are you?

I soar all the way up to 5 ft, 2.5 inches.  As you can imagine, the air gets pretty thin up here.

Your top three beauty products?

Colleen Rothschild oil-based cleansing balm is life-changing, Dr. Dennis Gross’ retinol + vitamin C under eye serum does wonders for warding off crepey eye-skin, and Tarte blush in exposed ALL. DAY. LONG.  Even if I do nothing else, I put on a little blush.  I also am pretty religious about sunscreen.  This is my daily moisturizer.

What drew you to blogging and when did you start?

There was a moment, after Raines was born, that I found myself sitting on the floor of my closet, wearing only a stained, stretched-out nursing bra and ill-fitting sweatpants (post-partum stomach flab on full display), and staring, despondently, at my wardrobe filled with pre-baby work blazers, backless tops, stilettos, and the tiniest little lacy bras…and I just started crying.  It was such a strange time – I was both the happiest I’d ever been, and yet could barely recognize myself in the mirror.  At that moment, I vowed to try and figure out how to be myself – but the newborn-appropriate version of myself –  and after being horribly disappointed by magazines (so glossy!  so pretty!  nothing practical!!), this blog was born.

What does a typical day look like? How do you manage time with kids vs blogging (or work)?

When I first started this blog, I would work around nap schedules, around sleep schedules, and, once that didn’t work (does it ever actually work for anyone??? what is the secret???), I’d pick one night a week where Mike would put Raines down so I could write.  And a few times per month, I’d dedicate an entire Saturday.  In those days, I could only publish 1-2 times per week.

As the boys got older, and the blog started to grow into The Mom Edit, I had to hire a nanny.  I started out with a part-time nanny, then eventually went to almost full-time.  Now that my kids are in school, I work while they’re at school, and have an after-school situation set up for them a couple of times per week.  And honestly?  This blogging gig is intense.  I work all. the. time.  It’s not unusual for me to start blogging around 5AM, and then back at it late into the night.  I try to keep our weekends free, but we’re often doing photoshoots on the weekends, and I’m constantly scrolling through online retailers to find best prices, scope out trends, and find those hardworking pieces that can make an outfit.

After the craziest, worst days we all find salvation in seeing our kids. What’s your favorite thing to do with them to decompress?

My favorite part of my day is at the very end, when we’re all snuggled in bed together.  We cuddle, we talk about our days, we read books, or listen to Harry Potter on tape.  I can actually feel my muscles relax, my heart-rate slow just from holding my guys.  God I love their fuzzy little heads.  Our most serious heart-to-hearts have come during these delicious bedtime hours.

If you could give only one piece of advice to a timid, new mom (we’ve been there), what would it be?

That all of my fears about “losing myself” were completely unfounded. And that part of the sheer, sweet joy of new motherhood is getting lost in your baby. And that you will eventually find yourself again, but it will be a much better self. And that it’s totally OK to follow your own unique path as a mother – in fact, you (your baby AND your partner) will be happier for it.

What did you dream of being when you were young?

I wanted to travel the world and have lots of adventures.  Or be the first woman president.  There was also an actress phase that I’m just going to gloss right over.

What’s one fashion risk you love to see on others but would NEVER take yourself?

I am a fearless fashion risk taker.  Bring it on.  (But I do hate wearing matching earrings and necklaces – it feels too fancy.  Does that count?)

Didn’t you have breast cancer?

Sure did.  I was diagnosed in 2013, after finding a lump (which we all thought was leftover from nursing – I had literally just quit nursing Pax).  Initially my diagnosis was only Stage 0, but during my mastectomy they found another lump – one that had gone undetected by biopsies, mammograms and MRIs.  This cancer was more aggressive, and I ended up needing chemo.  Which, ya know, was super fun.  Since my breast cancer experience, I have been blown away by both the amount of support I received from The Mom Edit community…and by how many of us have been directly affected by this disease.  If you are trying to find information about my experience (I tried to write the articles I wish I had found when first diagnosed), check out the Breast Cancer section.  And here are a few to get you started:

The Diagnosis

Learning I Needed Chemo

My year of breast cancer

Double vs Single Mastectomy – what I wish I knew