August 11, 2014

Welcome “SpitfireMoms” and a Tour Around the Place

PartyParty (1)
AHH! Such fun news! One of my favorite sites around, SpitfireMom Society, has an interview up, featuring yours truly, where I talk about my challenges trying to balance work and kids (um, forget to post?), give some excellent time-saving tips (not to toot my own horn, but they are really good), and talk about what I haven’t figured out. I love that it forced me to really look at how I’m doing things and where I’d like to improve and the site is really awesome and filled with so many inspiring moms so, ohmygawd, I’m totally flattered.

Now, if you’ve been around for awhile, I won’t bore you with what’s been going on around here and instead go look at this gorgeous bag, which has the advantage of being large enough to carry a computer, diapers, and the thirteen tractors that always seem to end up in moms’ bags.

For those of you that are new, though, can I give you a brief tour around and share a couple of my fave posts?

-I’m obsessed with peplum suits because they totally cover up your belly, but here are a bunch of other options if you’re not into that adorable little flare, which is fine, but .

-I’m also totally obsessed with jumpsuits – a grown-up onesie! – because they work for coffee with friends and then packing your car for a camping trip (okay, that is maybe a touch dramatic, but you can definitely bend over and move in them).

-My daughter is pretty much princess-obsessed and for awhile it freaked me out but then I decided I’m fine with it.

-Occasionally, I have bad days, but I was finally able to put my “Let It Go” listening to good use.

-Is there anything cuter than a hipster baby? The answer is no and here’s proof.

-I know it’s not even close to the holidays, but I’m so proud of my DIY advent calendar that I pretty much can recommend it for daily use.

-I also created the World’s Easiest DIY for a New Brother or Sister, which I hope you totally steal.

-And I really love making videos so here are a couple – one on what kind of diaper bag you should buy and another one on how to make homemade pizza crust.

I’m so glad you’re here and hope you’ll come back often to visit! xx.

I made this gif with A Beautiful Mess’ totally addicting, new app #PartyParty, which resulted in losing an afternoon to channeling my inner cheerleader who, turns out, is rather uncoordinated. Totally worth it.

July 15, 2014

Places to Buy a Swimsuit Online That Will Flatter a Post-Partum Bod

I have finally come to the conclusion that, when it comes to swimsuits, I can’t wear the cheapies anymore. I used to be able to get by with a Target Juniors’ special where it’s basically a bit of fabric; since kids, I need all the accoutrement to hold me in (and up) if I want to smooth out the bumps and not be constantly pulling my suit back into place.

One of the best purchases I have EVER made (and that is saying something because I am, ahem, a fairly amazing shopper) was this swimsuit by ModCloth. I’m trying to figure out exactly what is so great about it and what keeps coming to mind is I don’t mind wearing it, which is saying something when discussing swimsuits. It gives me an hourglass figure without being obvious about it, it looks stylish but not trendy, and it has plenty of coverage (I like that it hits my thighs a bit lower) without covering me up. Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.09.15 PM

It’s such a great swimsuit that at Bennett’s birthday party one of my friends showed up in the exact same one and all we could do was squeal and keep repeating, “It’s the best suit ever, right?” (You know you wish you were there).

women-pool-swim-coverupsIn fact, THAT is it’s biggest selling point. I wore it in public in front of people I know, which is all I need to say. It’s one thing to parade around in togs in front of strangers, but a whole different beast to do it in front of people you have to look in the eye at the next birthday party. (I didn’t have a photo of us in our suits, but here we are in our hats and cover-ups, essentially dressed as twins, so you get the idea).

Gold-Bombshell-swimsuit-kingdomandstate-bikiniI know I mentioned Kingdom and State in my peplum post, but will you look at this rockstar gold suit?!?! I’m DYING over here. I originally ordered one of this style of bikini and it was very well-made and supportive; I decided I was not yet ready to share my stomach with the world, but now that gold metallic is on the table? World, you best get ready.mom-floral-swim-rashguard roseI have to admit I’ve never been that enthused about rash guards – I don’t surf and, more importantly, they’re almost always boring. But this floral version from has me thinking twice. Would it be weird to also wear it as a shirt? Haha! Kidding! Sort of.

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.06.46 PMWhen I was buying my suit all of Anthropologie’s were back-ordered so I couldn’t try any on, but it looks like they have absolutely nailed it this season. The fabric choices are delightful, the cuts are generous but cool, and I have faith (an entire wardrobe’s worth of faith, thank you very much) that they know how to dress a woman’s body.

icon_red-swimsuit-abionfit-glamorous-momI haven’t hopped on board the whole one-shoulder trend, but I think this suit could get me going. Isn’t it adorable? It actually has full coverage too, which is usually my beef with one shoulder. (Just a note: Albion Fit, where this is from, has a ton of cute suits).black-highwaisted-swim-bottoms-momsOne of the things I kept running into when I was looking for a suit was that I’d find cute tops, but the bottoms were always really skimpy. What I actually ended up doing was buying these bottoms from Unique Vintage, which I LOVE, and then pairing them with one of the longer bikini tops so it’s like I get to wear a bikini without showing my stomach (the top I bought is not the bikini top I linked to because I accidentally bought an actual shirt that I thought was a bikini top and it wasn’t until my sister pointed out it was obviously designed for clubbing, not pools, that I realized my mistake, which was, of course, too late, but it didn’t matter because nobody noticed or if they did they couldn’t figure out a polite way of saying, “Is that a Forever 21 crop top you’re wearing or an actual swimsuit?” so I think we’re all good. Sidenote: Chlorine is not good for going out clothes).

Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.07.04 PMI’ve been going back and forth on whether to throw this one in because I can’t quite decide about the skirt. I love the color, and I love the cut of the top, but I can’t decide if the skirt is too much? It might be easy to wear on a beach holiday because then you could also wear it walking around (and not have to worry about the calorie count of 47 piña coladas?) What do you think? Either way, Shabby Apple has a bunch of cute suits.

Linkage:

Okay, so basically I think these are the places that have cool suits that also sport a bit of structure: Modcloth, Kingdom and State, Anthropologie, Shabby Apple, Albion Fit, Unique Vintage.

What did I miss? Please let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!

 

 

July 1, 2014

In the Kitchen with Shirley: Make a Homemade Pizza Crust to Freeze (Video!)

I am a terrible cook, and take full responsibility for this fact; I haven’t taken the time to learn, nor do I care that much. My problem is I feel like I put in all this work and then it’s gone in five minutes flat and all I’m left with are a sink full of dishes and memories of a mediocre meal. The other issue is that my husband is a fantastic cook so it feels counter-productive to put in effort when his turkey sandwich invariably tastes better than the Pasta Whatever-o I spent all afternoon on (it has something to do with full fat mayo, toasted bread and olives, I believe).

So when I was throwing around the idea of a cooking segment, I knew I didn’t (literally) have the chops. However, I do have a family full of gals who are whizzes in the kitchen, and manage to do it with kids in tow and keeping their sanity in check. My Aunt Shirley is kind of the ringleader so, what do you know, we’re giving her her own show.

This first week she’s going to walk you through how to make a homemade pizza crust that easily freezes for later. I usually have one in the freezer so if we want to have friends over for an impromptu meal, I can pull it out and look like I have a semblance of my life together. Oh, and it makes you look like you can totally cook.

(PS: I apologize for the video quality – this is a first video and we’re still working out the kinks, but as Shirley said, “I think they’ll probably get the gist of it.” xx.)

Homemade Pizza Crust (modified from the always spot-on Joy of Cooking):

Ingredients:
-4 cups sifted flour (I’ve never sifted flour in my life, but I imagine if you did it would taste even better?)
-1 cake yeast in 1 1/3 cups water at 85º (or cool enough so you don’t kill ‘em, but warm enough you activate them), plus 1 teaspoon sugar
-2 tablespoon olive oil
-1 teaspoon salt
-more water

1. Get the yeast going so it rises (this takes about ten minutes); while they’re working, get all your other ingredients mixed up in a bowl. This won’t take you a full ten minutes so feel free to wash dishes, clean out the microwave, or read a little Us Weekly while waiting.

2. Add the yeast and start to knead it all together. You’re going to need more water so start adding in a bit, little by little, until the dough is stretchy but not wet (you know, like pizza dough). Normally, I add about another cup, but maybe it’s different where you live? Like I said, I’m not sure how this whole cooking thing works.

3. Once it’s all mixed, you’ll want to cover it with a damp cloth (you can use a paper towel, but know it will stick) and let it rise for about two hours.

4. After it’s risen, you’ll punch it down and then can either use it right away or wrap it in cling film and freeze it for later.

5. Once you decide to use it, you’ll want to spray a pan, stretch it out, and then prick the dough with a fork so it doesn’t get poofy. After you put on your toppings and lightly brush the crust with olive oil, bake it in a 400º oven for about 25 minutes.

6. Revel in your homemade awesomeness.

June 24, 2014

Mom-ing It Up: Hit the Coffee Shop in a Fancy Jumpsuit with Fluxi on Tour

mom-coffee-shop-jumpsuit-kidsDo you guys ever have those days where you leave the house and look down and think, “What the hell am I wearing?” They have been happening a bit too frequently lately. I’ve gotten into this cycle where we go to the gym first thing in the morning, and then, because we’re already out, I run around in my stinky workout clothes all day and, since I’m already a mess, don’t worry about my hair or make up or how gray my roots are looking (very). Then the days when I actually try and get ready, it’s usually because we’re headed out somewhere and I’m all in a tizzy so I just throw on whatever’s clean (nothing) and end up wearing leggings with a too short t-shirt and then can’t take off my coat for the rest of the day because I’m so worried about flashing innocent bystanders, or, worse, having them think I think what I’m wearing is an actual normal person outfit.

It’s a tough life.

I joke, but I know that when I look good (and take the time to do things like shower) I actually feel better about myself, which correlates to being nicer to other people, taking more risks, and being more friendly. However, I’m a mom now and the high heels and short skirts I used to wear aren’t cutting it anymore. So, all of this is to say, I’m starting a new series called “Mom-ing It Up” where I’m going to feature outfits I think are cool, but also allow you to be a mom (ie. you can bend over in it and don’t have to worry about your butt crack or boobs hanging out because, yes, we have all been there).

mom-kids-coffee-shop-playingWhich is why I’m OBSESSED with this black jumpsuit. I can pick the kids up and throw them around or hold them on my lap on a stool and everything stays in place.

mom-jumpsuit-flip-flops-kidsI have to admit I was pretty uncertain about the whole jumpsuit thing, because I was worried it might be a little “American Hustle”, but it’s actually the easiest thing I own. I wear it all the time – to coffee with friends, birthday parties, even one night on a – gasp! – date night. One of the gals at the coffee shop thought I’d just come from a Very Important Business Meeting (her words), which made me feel much less like a sweaty junk show.

I’ve been pairing it with my flip-flops to keep it casual, but I feel like it could also work with heels and a big necklace for a night out with the gals, don’t you think?jewelry-necklaces-layered-alice-wonderland-abcSpeaking of necklaces, I am absurdly proud of this little concoction I put together. How fashion-y, am I, with all these layers?  mom-coffee-shop-san-francisco-baby-boy I feel so lucky I managed to rope Ana from Fluxi on Tour to take the photos for me. She’s so talented and, seriously, the sweetest gal around. I was incredibly nervous about the whole thing, but she made it a breeze (well, Ana and my sister who came along to help out with the kids and ended up basically entertaining them the entire time) – it takes a village, people.

andytown-coffee-roasters-san-franciscoSan Francisco has tons of great coffee shops, but we’ve been sadly lacking in our area. That is, until this little beaut opened up down the street, Andytown Coffee Roasters

fancy-coffee-art-andytown-roastersIt’s warm and lovely and has excellent coffee art (otherwise, how would you know it’s San Francisco?).andytown-san-francisco-coffeeYou can imagine how much fun it was to run up and down this little hallway. Thank goodness, they had really delicious muffins.

little-boy-smiling-window-coffee-shopSee, it’s not just his mommy who’s happier when everybody’s showered, dressed and out of the house.

Linkage:
-Outfit: jumpsuit: Francescas // flip-flops: Old Navy // Alice in Wonderland necklace: Out of Print // ABC necklace: ASOS // A necklace: Helen Ficalora (thank you, Chris!) // purse: Target

-Ana’s blog, Fluxi on Tour, is stunning and full of her adventures in San Francisco and beyond. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii anytime soon, she has a terrific guide.

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