Let’s get the basics out of the way: where you live, how many kids, etc.
I live in southwest Center City, Philadelphia, and I have one daughter, who is six. Her dad’s Canadian; we’re divorced, and he lives in D.C. She’s here with me most of the time. I love my community. This is the longest I’ve lived in one city since college.
Three words to describe your personal style. Go.
Boots. Dresses. Scarves.
Who are your style icons? How do you integrate those tastes into your own wardrobe, if at all?
I have very few style icons. When I was younger, I paid some attention to fashion, so my ears perk up when I hear Diana Vreeland or Diane Von Furstenberg, and I always loved the way Jackie Onassis was put together. But I don’t remember much beyond that. Adrianna Papell’s clothes fit me well; I really like her style.
However, for the most part, my wardrobe is incredibly varied. When I lived in Dubai my dresses ranged from what was on sale at Carrefour, to Laura Ashley and whatever I found at the shops in the biggest mall in the world. In Viet Nam, a local designer, Lam, had a boutique in our neighborhood, so I bought most of my dresses there after I gave birth. If I had an unlimited budget and never worried about being cold, I’d dress like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City.
How has your personal style changed since becoming a mom?
I rely on dresses and skirts a lot more. My weight and shape have fluctuated so much since I gave birth, that it’s too challenging/frustrating/time-
I think what’s been most challenging is building up a cold-weather wardrobe after living in warm climates for more than a decade. I’ve found that it’s a process, and this year was a greater challenge because it got really cold early in the season, and stayed cold through April. I’m ready for my dresses!
What’s your most-worn piece? (If it’s sweatpants…we won’t tell.)
A grey cashmere scarf that a cousin brought me when she visited Dubai. I wear it many days a week for probably 3 seasons of the year, and I also take it on every plane or train trip.
– Sometimes it’s hard to gauge height from an Instagram or blog post – SO…how tall are you?
I’m 5’2” 🙂
Your top three beauty products?
I don’t use a lot — Aveda for hair is a staple. I’ve been using Noxzema to wash my face since elementary school, but Laurel Card’s post inspired me to start using raw honey. Kiss My Face body lotion — Honey Calendula. When I wear makeup now, it’s Honest Beauty, but I’ll be looking to Scotti for her expertise.
What drew you to blogging and when did you start?
I started blogging in 2006, but more seriously in 2007. I decided to quit smoking, and I had to develop a list of things to do instead of having a cigarette. I’d always been a writer, and blogging was a way of forcing myself to commit to a project.
What does a typical day look like? How do you manage time with kids vs blogging (or work)?
I don’t really have typical days anymore. Mornings and evenings are fairly routine — I wake up between 5:00 and 5:45, do yoga in my living room, then shower and wake up my Goose. While she’s getting ready, I pack lunch and prepare our breakfasts — out the door at 8:00 a.m. We get home around 5:45 (or later) and she gets settled while I organize dinner. I take a quick candlelit shower with a meditation in the background so that I can decompress from the day (I’m an introvert). After that, Goose has a bath while I finish dinner and listen to Marketplace. Then we sit down to dinner, always by candlelight, and either with Fresh Air or music in the background. While she gets ready for bed, I start cleaning up the kitchen and getting things organized for bed myself.
I read to her, put on her starry lights and a meditation, and then we hug a lot; I leave her to fall asleep in her own nighttime ambiance. I finish the dishes, make a cup of tea, and sit down to mise-en-place for the next day. I wash-up for bed, do yoga, read a bit, and go to sleep.
After the craziest, worst days we all find salvation in seeing our kids. What’s your favorite thing to do with them to decompress?
Our evenings are pretty compact. If we’re lucky, we can do a meditation together, but that often gets pushed to the side if we return late or if Goose needs to Skype with her dad. Other than that, reading to her at bedtime is pretty great.
If you could give only one piece of advice to a timid, new mom (we’ve been there), what would it be?
Do something you love to do with your baby. I wasn’t very good at baby talk or being silly, but I did Itsy Bitsy Yoga every day with my daughter for about the first 18 months to 2 years of her life. I loved that one-on-one time with her, and I credit it with the fact that she was physically advanced, and that she’s such an amazing being to this day. She also seems very comfortable in her own body and is aware of its strength. I had postpartum OCD (intrusive thoughts of accidental or intentional harm to the baby), and my husband and I separated while Goose was an infant, so daily yoga with my girl was an anchor during tumultuous times.
What did you dream of being when you were young?
A writer. An interior decorator. An artist. A lawyer. A dancer. A scientist. A journalist.
What’s one fashion risk you love to see on others but would NEVER take yourself?
Those adult jumpsuits, where it’s like a onesie for adults — but the sleek, sophisticated ones. They look good on tall people and those with waistlines. I could never pull it off, but if I had the right body type, I would. (Heh, I’ve since started wearing jumpsuits…haha!