Hey November, I See You

It’s been a while since I have blogged over here and it’s something I really enjoy so I’m setting the goal again of blogging more often! I feel like all I have done in 2017 is alternate between working and having surgeries. 2018 is going to be a better year, I’m determined!

This week has been one of those weeks where I felt like I just can’t handle everything on my plate. My husband originally assured me that he wouldn’t be leaving town for work this month, so I booked up a bunch of seasonal mini sessions. Of course, as it usually happens, plans change and things come up and he had to leave after all. I opened up my Facebook this morning and saw in my memories of past years on this week that it seems this week has been my most difficult week every year for the past several years. Four years ago, my husband was gone and our son came down with an ear infection and roseola. As a first time mom, I almost lost my mind. Three years ago, I had a D&C for one of the babies we lost. Last year, my boys and I collectively lost our minds because doing photo mini sessions while my husband was unexpectedly out of town pushed us to the brink of a collective breakdown (my older son was sobbing that he couldn’t handle hearing other people’s babies crying any more in my photo studio….mini sessions can be super stressful for everyone!). This week, my younger son came down with the wonderful ear infection/roseola combo that his older brother had. Thankfully as a more experienced mom this time around, I was able to handle it without completely freaking out, but it was still pretty stressful. I had to cancel a photo session for the first time in years and it kind of broke my heart.

I realized this morning it was a red lipstick kind of day. Something about throwing on some bright lipstick when things are super stressful always seems to make me feel better. My older son loves red and so he wanted to take a cell phone picture of me on our way out to school this morning. This is my favorite red lipstick, from the Kylie lip kit. It stays on most of the day which is great when you’re a busy mom! So here I am, in all our chaos this week….trash cans falling over in the street and everything lol. I’m always a bit jealous of young hip bloggers who have boyfriends who can take amazing photos of their outfits all the time. Maybe I can get back into blogging more with the help of my little 4 year old photo assistant! πŸ˜‰ He actually has been a great help lately with some of my recent sessions so it will be a fun way to document his learning process with photography.

I used to be like Carrie Bradshaw in my younger days….always in heels, coming up with crazy creative outfits, and usually had an entire room as a closet. Now that I’ve become a mom, things have changed so much. My former closet room in our current house is now our boys’ play room. Our house actually has no closets, so I was forced to pare down to just what can fit in an armoire. It was a bit heartbreaking the day that I realized that my pre-pregnancy clothes were never going to fit again. My hips and ribcage are wider now, which was to be expected given the fact that I’m barely 5′ tall and each of my boys were big babies in the 9 pound range at birth! So I started over and planned out a capsule wardrobe that will work with my lifestyle now. It’s pretty hard to chase a toddler in heels, so most of those had to go (I kept the best ones though of course). I actually really love my capsule wardrobe now though. I can grab a few things in a rush and pretty much everything always looks good together, no matter what I grab.

This outfit has a few of my favorites. Black skinny jeans from the petite department last year from Ann Taylor (I worked there back when I was in college and their petite options are always one of my favorites). Grey tee is the whisper soft tee from Madewell. I have several of these, stripes, black, white & grey and they are my favorite tees. Chambray top was from H&M (last year I think?) and I love it because even though it’s not a petite size, it was shorter in length than others I tried and didn’t overwhelm my frame. The tiny bit of stretch in the fabric helps too.Β The trick for pulling off a layered look when you’re super petite is making sure most of the layers are fitted. The sweater is one of my favorites and was actually from Motherhood Maternity a couple years ago (and I think I even was wearing this sweater in my last outfit post, which was about two years ago!). I loved getting a few maternity pieces that will work well even postpartum (truth…I wore my pregnancy jeans long after my boys were born, until they were falling off me lol).

I stopped carrying my favorite vintage Louis Vuitton purse after my boys were born because I always need a free hand. Then recently I realized this vintage strap from my great-uncle’s camera bag made the perfect attachment strap for my purse. Now this purse is back in the rotation! Sunglasses are my favorite go to from Gucci (bought last year I think). My ring was actually an amazing find in our garden and it appears to be an antique ruby, which is amazing! I jokingly tell my husband that I’m also now married to my garden. The shoes are not my favorite and I am looking for a replacement for them lol. I love the style of them, but they are falling apart already with less than a year of light use so I definitely don’t recommend them (they were from Target and I’m sorry but I just don’t have the infatuation with Target that most moms seem to have). They were an impulse purchase and need to be replaced soon for sure. I’m also carrying my favorite Kate Spade coffee mug (ordered from Nordstrom), which I usually always have with me lol.

Back when I was in fashion school, I remember one of my teachers telling us that there are two areas to splurge on for quality…shoes and sunglasses. Cheap shoes can be bad for your feet, and cheap plastic sunglasses can break and cut your face if you’re in a car accident. I laughed and I didn’t listen because I was a broke college student who couldn’t afford to buy nice things. I didn’t listen even though I had already been victim to a pair of cheap shoes which contributed to my fall down a flight of concrete stairs, where I ended up fracturing my spine. Several years later, I got rear ended at an intersection in my car and my face smashed against the steering wheel. My sunglasses broke and cut my undereye area. I immediately went to Nordstrom and put a pair of Dior sunglasses on my credit card. I realized then that my teacher really did know what she was talking about. Now, I would much rather have one or two pairs of high quality sunglasses instead of a drawer full of trendy ones, and just a few good quality shoes that won’t fall apart on me. Some replacements for these tan suede loafers is at the top of my Christmas wish list. πŸ™‚

Next year, this week will be better. I am going to start coming up with a plan now how to better tackle this stressful time of year!

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Maternity Fashion: What I Wore

I haven’t done a fashion post in forever! I’ve been in a fashion rut so to speak for a bit and it’s time to get things back to my normal routine. I recently went on a mission to find some more stylish clothes that will work for my current pregnancy. Previously, I have had a really hard time finding maternity clothes I liked. It seems like the majority of maternity clothes that you find look like the mother has just completely given up on having any sense of style. Also, I am not a big fan of horizontal stripes under normal circumstances since I am petite and curvy, but who has dictated that horizontal stripes are the only pattern allowed for maternity clothing? Just when women feel at their largest, let’s only give them clothing that makes them feel even wider! Makes perfect sense, right? πŸ˜›

Here are my recent findings in terms of maternity style.
1. You don’t have to shop in the maternity section for tops, especially not at very first.
2. You don’t have to settle for the cheap quality, dumpy looking stuff that you find at many of the big name stores.
3. Invest in some great quality bottoms to elevate your whole look (and get them on sale when you can!).
4. Simple, comfortable basics, with a bit of fun detail or trim can make a comfortable look chic.
5. Even though you may feel completely miserable, putting your hair in a cute up-do and putting on some makeup can seriously improve your mood and make your whole day better. πŸ™‚

I am going to do a post later this week with some of my favorite finds, but in the mean time, here’s what I wore today!

Sweater: A Pea in the Pod
Top: Forever 21
Pants: A Pea in the Pod
Necklace: Forever 21
Boots: Betsey Johnson (via Nordstrom)
Scarf: Ann Taylor (from many years ago, when I worked there back in college)

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I am at the end of the first trimester, and none of my regular bottoms fit me anymore. When I was pregnant with our son, I didn’t have any visible bump until almost 20 weeks, but the uterus has amazing muscle memory and pops out much faster in subsequent pregnancies. πŸ™‚ Below you can see the beginnings of my little pregnancy bump. It seems most pregnant women live in maternity leggings, and these ones are my favorite. The faux leather detail elevates them to a whole other level than your average, boring maternity leggings.
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I discovered this hair style on Pinterest recently, and have become obsessed. I’ve seen it called the “Hollywood Roll”. It is a nice alternative to my usual bun or ponytail. It keeps my hair out of my face all day (so important when chasing around a two year old all day, especially during the summer!). It literally takes less than 5 minutes to style, and the best part is, when I take my hair out, I have perfect waves! I have only seen tutorials on how to do this style with medium or short hair, so I will post a tutorial on how to do this with long hair soon. It took a bit of trial and error for me to figure out what would work best.
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My other new obsession: my brand new Yonique mascara! I just got the new upgraded 3D Fiber+ mascara and it is even better than the original version! The Younique mascara was love at first application for me. This new formulation definitely takes it to the next level! They look so long and full that even my husband noticed when he got home that I tried out my new mascara today. πŸ™‚
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Lots more fashion and style posts coming soon!

*This post contains an affiliate link for your convenience. You can find my Younqiue mascara here.

Join Us On the Love Boat for Valentine’s Day!

For all of my Wonderland readers who are in Southern California, you have got to register to get tickets for an amazing free event tomorrow night on the Queen Mary in LongΒ  Beach! The party is being thrown by Ehrmann, to celebrate the U.S. debut of their MIXIM Greek Yogurt, which looks absolutely delicious! The cherry & dark chocolate mix on their Facebook page (here) looks SO good. πŸ™‚ You can register to get your tickets by clicking here.

You should also enter to win their Year of Love contest here…a night out every month for a year plus a monthly delivery of yogurt! Sounds amazing…especially for new parents, a date night every month sounds like a dream! πŸ™‚
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Once you’ve registered to attend, tweet me and let me know…if you find us on the boat, you may get your photo featured in my follow up blog post! I will even send you a download link for your high res image. πŸ™‚ You can find me on Twitter @apluscphotos.

In the meantime, I am trying to pick my outfit for tomorrow night, and could use some opinions! Which outfit below should I wear tomorrow night? The pretty sparkly new Anthropologie sweater that I was really excited to find recently with some faux-leather pants, my favorite leather jacket with my super soft black velvet pants (another Anthro find), or this cute dress with another favorite Anthropologie sweater? I will probably wear my pink Manolos with whichever option I end up choosing since they are my favorite (and a super sentimental gift from my husband). Which outfit is your favorite?

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As you can guess, my studio is still set up from the Valentine’s Day mini sessions that I held recently. πŸ™‚ There are some really cute babies and young children coming to my photography blog (here) tomorrow in case you are interested!

What I Wore: Casual DIY Style

The other day, it felt a little bit like fall, which got me excited since fall is my favorite season. I love being able to dress in layers. I made this jacket many years ago when I was in fashion school. I was pretty upset when it didn’t fit me for a while after the pregnancy thanks to my really expanded ribcage. Now that things are back down, the jacket fits again! I put so much work into it and was going to be quite sad if I was never able to wear it again.

While I was sick recently, my headache was too bad to read, and my sensitivity to light was so bad that I could not comfortably watch tv or go online. I was starting to get bored out of my mind, so I decided to work on making some bracelets for myself. I had seen this tutorial on my friend Stephanie’s blog a while back, and have been meaning to make the time to try it out for myself. She is totally right that once you get the hang of the technique that you will want to make a whole bunch of them! I definitely recommend her tutorial. It made a style of bracelet that looks very intricate and complex so easy to make. She did an amazing job breaking down the style and how to achieve the look. Be sure to check out the tutorial here!

I wore my favorite breastfeeding friendly top again, as well as another great scarf for easy cover-up access.

Jacket: Originally an Express dark denim jacket that I stripped down, did a series of overdye techniques to get a unique finish & added studs to it
Nursing tank: Motherhood Maternity
Top: Anthropologie
Skirt: H&M
Scarf: H&M
Headband: H&M
Boots: Boot Barn
Bracelets: my own creation

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I knew I have been feeling very tired ever since I have been getting over being sick, but I realized when I saw this picture that I still actually look tired as well. Oh well! I guess it will take me some time to recover fully from being that sick.
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What I Wore Sunday: Finally a Dress Again!

I was super excited about this simple outfit for a few reasons. The first and biggest reason (for me anyway) was that I am finally feeling stable enough again to start wearing some wedge heels! Heels are one of my favorite things, and having my pelvic bones so weak and painful for so long meant that I have had to only wear flats for quite some time now. I am still not pain free, and not stable enough to wear a pair of regular heels yet, but this was an exciting improvement for me. πŸ™‚

I also have been having a really hard time finding any dresses that look good on my figure and are breastfeeding friendly, without being really low cut. I have searched high and low and finally found a dress I liked for wearing to church once in a while. It was a hard process. Most button down shirt dresses are not flattering on me, I can’t do strapless comfortably, and some scoop neck dresses that may be breastfeeding friendly are too low cut for my taste. It is surprisingly difficult to find a good wrap dress lately!

We went by the pier after church on Sunday to look at getting some fish for dinner, and were hoping baby E would enjoy his first time seeing the ocean. Unfortunately, he was too sleepy to pay attention to his surroundings!

Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Dress: TJ Maxx
Shoes: a store in “the alley” in downtown Los Angeles

E is wearing an outfit from F.A.O. Schwarz.

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What I Wore: Father’s Day Weekend Part 2

I decided to coordinate my outfit a little with what my two boys were wearing that day for fun. πŸ™‚ We all wore our black sneakers (although E’s are really just socks that look like shoes) and a vest. E thinks it is quite hilarious whenever I have a hat on or a scarf in my hair, and he thought this white with black polka dot scarf was particularly entertaining. I am happy my outfits are so amusing to him. πŸ™‚

Scarf: can’t remember…maybe Forever 21?
Shirt: JCP
Vest: Nordstrom
Pants: JCP
Shoes: Converse
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs

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What I Wore: Father’s Day Weekend Part 1

Okay, I am just going to say it. I DESPISE the whole sock bun trend. I can’t stand when perfect every-hair-perfectly-in-place hairstyles become a huge trend. This overly neat sock bun trend brings back flashbacks of being yelled at in ballet class for having “wild hair” as a little kid, as if that is anything I can control. I love a messy updo, and love that they embrace my hair’s natural tendency to be curly, wild and crazy. I don’t care if messy updo’s are not the trend du jour, you will never see me trying to force my hair into an unnaturally perfect hairstyle. Just like when stick straight, flatironed hair is the trend of the moment, it annoys me. Most people can’t live up to that level of Pinterest hair constant perfection, and it is silly to try. I feel better that I got that off my chest. πŸ˜‰

I absolutely love this shirt that I found in my closet! It is the perfect comfy breastfeeding shirt. It has a faux-wrap style, and the parts that crisscross over the chest have thin bits of elastic to help it keep its ruffly shape. I will be wearing this one a lot. πŸ™‚

Shirt: Anthropologie
Nursing tank: Motherhood Maternity
Jeans: JCP
Bracelet: vintage
Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s

E’s shirt is from Etsy, hat from H&M, pants & socks were gifts.

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