May 6, 2015

Fun Gifts for Mother’s Day that You’ll Really, Really Want

Listen, ladies, of course we’re all going to be happy with whatever gifts come our way on Mother’s Day (homemade cards, Elsa stickers, a pair of reasonably priced gold glitter boots), but what if your husband is at a total loss? What if he knows he wants to get you a little something to thank you for keeping everyone fed, happy, and alive, but he has no idea where to start? What if the poor guy is running around the Internet, card in hand, stressed to the max and if he doesn’t get help soon you’re looking down the barrel of a grocery store bouquet and a box of cheap chocolates? Which actually doesn’t sound that terrible, and is kind of cute, but nowhere as exciting as the gift ideas I have for you…

Let’s do our duty as mothers and help a poor guy out. Because we are nothing if not givers, am I right, and we’d hate to see him suffer…

Gift Ideas for Mother's Day that You Really Want

1. Bando Agendas: Are you saying you don’t remember the Great Agenda Crisis of 2014? Last year Bando sold out of their sassy little planners and those left out collectively cried over our witless daytimers. Well, they’re back and totally hilarious and awesome and the perfect gift for a mom who has a whole lotta things on her plate.

2. Custom-painted globes: The loveliest way to remind your family what’s really important, plus it would finally fill the space next to the TV that has been bugging me for years.

3. Sweetapolita’s Bakebook: This cookbook is a double whammy – it has fun ideas for baking with your kids (chalkboard cakes and cotton candy cookies!) and, if it’s anything like the recipes on her blog, you’ll end up in Sugar Heaven.

4. Pick Your Nose Cups: Now that I’ve seen these I can’t quite imagine Mother’s Day without them.

5. Bite’s Lipstick Duo in Tangerine and Lingonberry: I needed a pick-me-up the other day so I splurged on this little number. I’m not exaggerating that it immediately brightened my makeup-less face and made me feel a whole lot prettier immediately. I believe that makes it a Mother’s Day gift worth blogging about…

6. The Shine Project’s Stack Bracelets: I can’t shut up about The Shine Project because 1. the company is beyond awesome and gives inner city kids jobs so they can become first generation college students 2. their jewelry is friggin’ adorable and 3. I totally want the founder’s hair. All excellent reasons to support them, wouldn’t you agree?

7. Best Job Ever T-shirt: Okay, so I probably wouldn’t wear this shirt every day, because, obviously there are times when Beyonce’s gig seems a teensy bit more fun than dealing with a teething two-year old. But, for the times when the giggles are flowing and the snuggles are happening, and, yes, even when my teething kiddo only needs his mom… Fine, I’d wear it all the time.


April 27, 2015

Playful Dresses for Moms from Sonnet James

blue and white short sleeved sonnet james dress for moms

I know I’ve mentioned this, but when I was in my twenties I backpacked around Europe for several months wearing heels and skirts every single day, because, you know, nothing quite says “backpacker” like a 50-pound pack paired with 3-inch wedges and a micro-mini. That, my friends, is a true commitment to fashion.

With kids, though, that commitment has waned until I hardly ever wear heels anymore (part of which is San Francisco, a decidedly unheel-like place) and I rarely wear dresses because I don’t have the brain space to remember to pay attention when I have to bend over (not good for anyone involved). So when I found Sonnet James I was genuinely thrilled.

black and white striped easy to wear dress for moms

Started by a mom of two boys here in San Francisco, Sonnet James makes dresses that moms can play in, which is obviously the dream. And they’re adorable! Full disclosure, I haven’t tried on any of them, but they look super-easy to wear, like you can just throw one on and still be able to crawl under the table at Starbucks to retrieve lost fire trucks.

coral and white sonnet james dress for moms

I also like that they offer quite a bit of coverage, but don’t feel stuffy. I mean this coral number is totally fresh and fun and who knows where she’s off to? A coffee date? A lunch meeting? To hide from her kids in the bathroom? Wherever it may be, she’s going to be as comfy as she’d be in her yoga pants, just look a whole lot cuter.

black easy to wear dress for moms from Sonnet James

And because their designs are nice and simple, you can wear them a variety of ways. Throw on a statement necklace or a blazer with this little black dress and you’ve got an outfit ready for a night out.

color block dress from Sonnet James, easy to wear

In this case, they just added a belt and heels to this adorable blue and green number and suddenly it’s ready for work (or in my case, ready for an enormous backpack I can barely lift).

bright blue dress with long sleeves and short dress

Speaking of which, will you look at this one? They’re paired it with Tevas of all things, the shoe of backpackers the world over, and it still looks cute. I feel like a trip abroad may be in my future…

April 14, 2015

Pink Hair + Black and Gold Beaded Top

jeans and black gold shirt against California wall

You guys, I hate to break it to you, but I am cool now. And not even “mom cool”, but the kind of cool where people with skateboards talk to me on public transportation. The kind of cool where other people with brightly colored hair give me chin nods and 20-somethings discuss my outfits when they think I can’t hear them (But, I can! And I love my Ryan Gosling leggings too!). The kind of cool where even when I wear my “I was too overwhelmed to find the shower” look, there’s a touch of “walk of shame” about me, like if you squint your eyes and ignore the kids there’s a chance I did something spicy last night.

what to wear with jeans to fancy them up

Last month when I dyed my hair pink I had no idea I was actually heading back into a world where people were going to notice me again. For a long time, I’ve been occupying this weird mom space where everyone notices your kids and talks about how cute they are and I agree and hope that no one notices the coffee stain on my shirt. With pink hair it’s harder to hide. People want to talk to you about it, comment on it, and in one very flattering exchange, take photos of it.

Mom with pink hair and beaded top and jeans

Um, I kind of loved it.

light pink hair with gold and black beaded top

It’s fun to be seen for yourself instead of only in relation to your kids, to get dressed up in the morning again because the world might take notice. Frankly, it’s been fun to get my mojo back.

hashtag earrring with light pink hair

Now, listen, I don’t think this resurgence in popularity has much to do with what I look like (you can see that I still haven’t figured out how to keep my glasses clean and it may be time to do something about the growing sun spot, omg). Instead I think it’s due to the fact that I’m acknowledging the part of me that loves dressing up in fashion with touch of crazy. So I put some effort into my appearance and be-bop around town and people notice and the world becomes a friendlier place than when I hope no one notices me because my sweatshirt is two sizes too small.

@ sympbol earring with light pink hair

Am I suddenly advocating showering every day? Hell no. Do I think it’s important to occasionally remember what it feels like to be a grown-up among the living? Hell yes. And if that’s pink hair for me and a snazzy pair of sneakers for you, I say let’s remind the world that, yes, we could still rock an all-night dance party and end up leading the bar in a rendition of “American Pie”, if only we didn’t have to caught up on Empire tonight.

mom approved fashion with black and gold shirt and jeans


Hair: Jarr, my other love, at Taylor Monroe // Beaded top: Vintage // Sweetest jeans ever because they don’t stretch: Express // Black flats: Christian Siriano for Payless, if you can believe it // Dirty sunglasses: Similar (actually cooler)

Photos by the insanely awesome Erica Bean.

April 10, 2015

You Have Permission, Gals

Permission - lock self in bathroomI was on my own with the kids last month for a long time. Like the kind of long time that makes people gasp and say “You are such a good wife.” To which I would modestly bow my head and say, “Damn straight.”

At the tail end of my husband’s trip, things started to fall apart quite spectacularly. Both of the kids decided to test every boundary known to man while I desperately resorted to seemingly sane ideas like creating chore charts using candy as the reward (in hindsight, perhaps, not doctor recommended?). I kept thinking about my single mom friends – how are they all are walking around like normal people, having intelligent conversations, and functioning like grown-ups? How are they not completely catatonic in a mental institution or, at the very least, a posh spa? I mean I can’t make it through a Michael Bublé song without crying and they’re running businesses? Mad respect doesn’t even begin to cover it.

At the end of one particularly bad day, I’d had enough. I was falling apart, the kids were falling apart, and we had ants, so it felt like our house was falling apart. Then I spied it – my savior. There in our just-delivered mail was a little oasis, a place where my opinion matters (Diane Kruger, obvi, always wears it best) and no one expects me to remember anything past the last page. I know the implication here is my copy of Granta had finally arrived, but, in order to maintain full transparency, I’ll admit it: it was my US Weekly, which I think we all know I snatched up like a pregnant celebrity on a full fat ice cream cone.

I practically ran into the bathroom, closed (slammed) the door, and spent a blissful three minutes looking at photos of people who are decidedly not anything like me (I feel like Jennifer Garner might kind of understand where I’m coming from but that’s it). Sure, my kids pounded on the door and screamed, “WHERE ARE YOU, MOMMY?” the entire time (less than three feet away, my little dumplings. THREE FEET AWAY.), but by the end of my little jaunt, I was refreshed enough to make it through dinner and they were so glad to see me after my lengthy absence they kept it together. I believe that’s what is called a parenting win.

So, in the spirit of moms everywhere who need a break, who need a moment to get yourself back and do something you find interesting, go do it – lock yourself in the bathroom, go lay on your bed, tell the kids your cooking when really you’re surfing. Not that you need it, but you’ve got permission.


It’s one thing to have your partner gone for a couple of weeks and another to do it alone for months or years, and then to be pregnant on top of it? Operation Top Knot provides virtual baby showers with handmade gifts and baby basics for military families, a great way to support new moms who are doing more than I, certainly, could ever imagine.

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