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!

Lots of updates!

I have been awful about posting on this blog and I apologize! I am going to try to get back into a regular habit of blogging each week, here and on my photography blog. Things seems like they were running at such a crazy pace for a while, working too much, too many projects with our yard, etc. I realized that months have gone by and I haven’t blogged over here at all. So here’s a recap of some highlights! I apologize they are all cell phone photos, but sometimes life gets busy and the best camera is the one you have with you. πŸ˜‰

In April, we took our son to Disneyland for the first time for his birthday. He had so much fun! He actually got tears in his eyes when he got to meet Mickey in person. πŸ™‚ He doesn’t look happy in the photo below, but it was the end of a very long day. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to bring him back again!
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My husband and I went on a very long-overdue date night to the Magic Castle in Hollywood! When I lived in Hollywood, I always wanted to go but never got an invite. I was pretty excited. πŸ™‚ I know I don’t look excited below but were stuck in traffic for a while on the way there so I was a bit car-sick in the photo. πŸ™‚
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I had two gallery shows recently for my photography, and my little man helped me prepare for the shows. Here we were in downtown L.A., picking up my fine art photo prints. πŸ™‚ Such a little tough guy!
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He also helped me out at a recent convention, passing out my business cards to any ladies with babies lol. The kid is amazingly perceptive about what I do and who my target clients would be!

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Little man also started soccer recently!
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I think E has grown tired of our co-sleeping way of life. He has started building his own little fort of pillows between the wall and our bed lol. We have been discussing transitioning him to sleeping in his own room at night soon.
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We went for a movie night at the pier, and our little man astounded me when he grabbed my hand and started leading me elsewhere. When I asked where we were going, he pointed at a sign above a closed door that said “Fun Factory”, and said “fun!” He had never been to that arcade before but apparently recognized the word fun!

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Biggest news of all…we are expecting baby #2 in February! My pregnancies are never easy, and each has had their own set of unique challenges. This one has been no exception so far. I have been blogging about it on my separate pregnancy blog, so if you would like to follow along with more of the details, you can find that here.FullSizeRender

I’ll be posting some garden updates soon since I know it has been a while since I’ve shown any updates in that department, and I will have some special maternity fashion posts coming soon too! πŸ™‚

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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What I Wore: Early Summer Evening Walk

It is always a good day when my husband is home on a weekday while the sun is still out. In addition to my physical therapy routine three times a day, I am trying to gradually rebuild my strength after almost a year being laid up with short walks in our neighborhood. Last night, my husband was able to join us and snap a couple of quick pictures for me. πŸ™‚

Hat: H&M (from the men’s department)
Nursing tank: Motherhood Maternity
Plaid shirt: H&M
Shorts: JCP
Tights: Target
Boots: Urban Outfitters
Sunglasses: Armani Exchange

E is wearing H&M Kids, from their organic cotton collection. πŸ™‚

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What I Wore: Vintage Boho Sunday – Mommy & Baby Style

I usually am not a big fan of button-down shirts since they usually end up looking boxy on my frame. I found this button down shirt that I absolutely love. It is a mix of cotton woven fabric with ribbed knit cotton inserts on the sides and parts of the sleeves, which gives it a much better shape, and prevents me from feeling like I am drowning in the shirt. The buttons work for breastfeeding on the go, and the lightweight fabric is great for a warm day. The vintage skirt is one of my favorites, and I was happy to find something that would look cute paired with it, as well as still be breastfeeding-friendly.

Top: JCP
Skirt: vintage
Scarf: H&M
Sunglasses: Coach
Belt: came with a dress, but not sure which one…maybe from H&M?
Boots: Boot Barn
Purse: Marc by Marc Jacobs

E is wearing a vintage seersucker romper, a hat from H&M, a Burt’s Bees Baby organic cotton tee, and Ecoland organic cotton socks. His Gdiaper cloth diaper is also peeking out in the pictures. πŸ™‚

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And a pic of my handsome husband today! Such a great dad. πŸ™‚

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What I Wore: Accessorizing the New-Mom Style

I have quickly realized that being a new mom comes with some unexpected extras…things like dark under-eye circles and hair that is often dirtier than you would like. Instead of giving up all hope of feeling/looking decent, I am trying to learn to accessorize around these fun little extras. Great shades and concealer hide the dark circles, and fun hats and dry shampoo help get you through between washes. My hair takes forever to blow dry and straighten, so on one occasion I even had to ask my mom to come help with the baby so I could just get my hair washed. πŸ™‚ The little guy does not like to nap which does not leave me much time to do things that take a long time.

Button down shirts worn over nursing camisoles are really starting to be very useful for nursing the baby. I wore another scarf here that was great as a nursing cover. I generally am not a big fan of button-down shirts since they tend to make me look huge and boxy, but I have found that as long as I belt it or tuck in at least part of the shirt, it really helps me feel like I am not drowning in the shirt.

These new flats are amazingly comfortable and feel like I am walking on a cloud! I love them. πŸ™‚ I also discovered an added accessory bonus this day…sparkly bracelets are great for keeping the baby occupied during diaper changes! He watched my wrists moving around and glittering, and before he had time to make a fuss, the diaper was changed!

Hat: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Scarf: H&M
Blouse: Nordstrom
Nursing camisole: Motherhood Maternity
Sweater: Anthropologie
Pants: Anthropologie
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Dr. Scholl’s

E is wearing FAO Schwarz and a hat from H&M.

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What I Wore: Learning to dress for style & function

It has been a long, long time since I have done a fashion post! The last one I did was actually shot in the first week of my pregnancy with E, before we realized I was pregnant. πŸ™‚ I quickly started feeling way too sick with all-day-long morning sickness to be in the mood to take any pictures. I would have liked to have done a couple of maternity style posts, but once I started to actually look pregnant, I was on bed rest by then. Putting the pregnancy at risk in order to get some pictures was so not an option. Besides, the only time I was wearing anything other than my grandma’s baggy sweat suits was on my brief trips to my doctor’s appointments. πŸ™‚

For my first 7 weeks postpartum (after I left the hospital), I pretty much lived in one of my pairs of leggings and one of my baggy black tees or tanks. I had a hard time wearing much of anything else because of the bulky binders I was wearing to help support my pelvic bones. I had to dress strictly for function, and started to feel like I was wearing a uniform each day.

Now that I am feeling a little better (and have stopped wearing the Velcro/elastic contraptions), I am starting to try to learn how to dress for this new phase in my life. I need clothes that are accessible and breastfeeding-friendly. I also don’t want to wear a bunch of dry-clean only clothes since I always end up with spit-up and other things on me daily. I figured that once I lost the majority of the 40+ pounds I gained during my pregnancy that most of my pre-pregnancy clothes would fit me again. I only have about 10 pounds of that weight left, and almost none of my clothes fit. Pregnancy completely changed my body in ways I did not expect. My hip bones widened significantly, and my rib cage expanded by over 10 inches during the pregnancy. I hoped that they would go back down after the pregnancy, and they have a little, but I definitely have a completely different shape now. I also have the new challenge of not being ready to wear heels or wedges yet thanks to the lingering pain in the ligaments between my legs and pelvis. Until those are healed up a little better, all of my outfits have to look good with flats, which is a big change from what I am used to wearing.

Both of my guys have been very patient lately as we have spent much of our weekend time trying to find things for my new-mommy wardrobe. First order of business was a new purse that will work with almost anything. I don’t want to ruin any of my nice vintage bags with any kind of baby-related stain, and I needed something that could be worn over my shoulder or cross-body. I wanted something easy to clean, a great neutral color, big enough to hold a burp rag and a few other baby essentials. Sometimes the diaper bag is just too much for a quick trip, or I need something more accessible when the diaper bag is in the bottom storage compartment of the stroller. I ended up finding the perfect solution…this Marc by Marc Jacobs bag that actually matches my diaper bag. πŸ™‚ It even has two straps so it can be worn cross-body or over the shoulder! It is quilted nylon, and wipes clean so easily. I am so in love with this bag. πŸ™‚ Expect to see it with pretty much all of my upcoming fashion posts.

After we found the purse, the next order of business was finding some clothes that fit my new shape. I am a total high-low shopper, and love shopping at a wide range of places. One of my favorite things to do is spend an afternoon digging through some of my favorite thrift stores to find some great pieces. This outfit is perfect for an afternoon of thrift store shopping. Some thrift stores don’t have the best dressing rooms, so I love to wear a base layer that I can try things on with. I start with a black nursing tank and black leggings, and add on top of that. The baby is not a big fan of the nursing cover, so I have been wearing scarves that I can use as a nursing cover as much as possible. That way he can still keep his one eye watching me like he enjoys doing, and I can cover up a little. πŸ™‚

Over my leggings and nursing camisole, I added a button-down tunic, that allows for easy access, a large vintage scarf nipped in at the waist with a vintage belt, and ballet flats. It worked out perfectly for our day of thrifting and shopping.

Scarf: vintage (was my Grandma’s, from one of their many vacations)
Belt: vintage
Tunic: H&M
Sunglasses: vintage
Leggings: Still wearing my maternity leggings since they do not rub on my c-section incision which is still sore. Brand is unknown but they were from Macy’s.
Nursing Tank: Motherhood Maternity
Shoes: Chinese Laundry
Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs

E is wearing H&M Kids, from their organic collection. πŸ™‚

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