October 16, 2014

A Sneak Peek of a Mini Moi Shoot for Momtastic*

*I also just realized it’s not really a “sneak peek” if the post is already up, but I couldn’t figure out what else to call it that sounded cool. A small part of a larger post? A couple of pics from a photo shoot? Two pics out of 15? WHATEVER. Here’s your sneak peek…

I have never dressed like Alice, which I can now see is a total travesty. I’m always talking about how I wish they made her clothes in adult sizes, haha, but I never took it seriously until I started putting together this blog post for Momtastic, featuring my dear friend, Janette, and her awesome kiddo. No doubt, people were literally driving their cars into walls trying to get a second look. But, that’s why we have kids, right? To be so adorable we cause car accidents just by walking down the street. J84A0295_janetteshootUnfortunately, I have completely missed the boat on this one, unless I want to wear a tutu and Ariel t-shirt, and, heaven knows, I look TERRIBLE in t-shirts. My only hope is to get the guys matching while I still control Bennett’s wardrobe and the Batman ratio is still relatively low. 052_Janette+Viv.jpg There’s even more cuteness, if you can believe it, over on the full Mini Moi post – a matching dress and some leopard print leggings that are ridic, plus advice from Janette on how be cool while dressing matchy-matchy. Why do I feel like she’d think the matching tutus is a bad idea?

Flower jeans photo by Audre Ray Photography / Striped cutie photo by Del Rio Photography

October 13, 2014

40 Things To Do Before 40 Because Turns Out That’s the Next Big Birthday

30th-birthday-friendsThe other day I was at the coffee shop, chatting the with gal at the register and she mentioned that her mom’s name is also Kara. I said that is so interesting because I haven’t met many people from our mom’s generation named Kara. The poor gal looked at me like I’d just grown three heads and very gently (too gently, in hindsight) said her mom is 42. You guys, I totally thought I was the barista’s age and we were all, I don’t know, jiving about our crazy moms and their names, but turns out I AM THE MOM IN THIS SCENARIO.

Yes, in six months I’m going to be 40. I thought I was okay with it (“I’m not the sort of person who worries about things like age”), but a recent panic attack and some tearful evenings have led me to believe it’s bothering me a little bit more than I’d like to admit.

I feel really gross admitting it’s bugging me. I have kickin’ kids who make me laugh, an awesome husband, family and friends that I get to see a lot and fill me up, and I live in a city with some of the best cinnamon rolls ever. Yes, I occasionally jump when I see myself in the mirror and there are days when I want to go back and shake my younger self for wasting so much time moaning about instead of actually working on her career (wait a minute…), but I have it very, very good.

I’ve had a bunch of people tell me the big secret about aging is you keep get older on the outside, but inside you’re still a 26-year old hottie who wears turbans ironically. For me, that’s what it is. I’m not ready to be the person who is supposed to remember to bring snacks on the road trip! (To be fair, if you know me well enough to road trip with me, you would know better than to expect me to remember something like snacks. That’s what gas stations are for.). I’m still the gal who gets to show up to Thanksgiving dinner with a bag of frozen corn because she doesn’t know how to cook, not the lady who’s supposed to make the turkey! (Again, to be fair, you would know better than to show up to Thanksgiving at my house expecting me to cook anything. You would know Chris is in charge of the turkey and I’m in charge of some game where we all have to perform different characters from the first Thanksgiving with accents and top hats so I’m actually not sure at all where I’m going with this…)

Actually I do know. In my early 30s I finally figured out who I enjoyed being – someone who was fun and optimistic, liked to laugh, did the occasional crazy thing, took time out of her life for friends and community, rocked high heels, and always had an adventure on the horizon. I am still all those things, but now they’re layered under getting people ready for the day, feeling grumpy with the world instead of open because I’m tired, spending my free time cleaning out the garage instead of helping others, all the responsibilities I associate with “being an adult.” When I get panicked about turning 40 it’s because I’m worried that gal is so buried she can’t find her way out or I can’t find my way back to her, which is ridiculous. That’s like saying you can’t find the bacon in the Cobb Salad because the lettuce is in the way. LOOK HARDER, KARA.

She is there, she just needs a light shone on her occasionally. So, I’m going to do what many 39 year olds who are doing their best to avoid the temptations of convertibles they can’t afford and questionable plastic surgery, and lighten the hell up. I’m going to coax my favorite gal out of hiding by attempting 40 things that seem in line with who I want to be more regularly, and, honestly, make me laugh. No “lose 20 pounds finally!” and “spring clean the house from top to bottom!”; I’ll save those for my 50th.

40 Things To Do Before 40

1. Dye my hair pink.

2. Shower and get dressed (in normal clothes with make-up) for a full week , which sounds like a lot of work, but I feel like I owe it to my neighbors to get out of sweatpants.

3. Start handing out homeless packs again.

4. Run a 10k.

5. Finally learn how to do my make up.

6. Buy a hat that flatters my face.

7. Decide if we’re having another baby because I could really use the space in our garage if we’re not.

8. Tell 20 people in my life how much I love them and why.

9. Stay out late (like past midnight late) partying.

10. See a double feature.

11. Teach my kids the Up With People clap so we can all sing it together and impress my friends at the reunion next year.

12. Go on a family vacation.

13. Have a food fight.

14. Have a month of where I actually post 2-3 times a week here on the blog.

15. Buy a service person a coffee.

16. Spend an afternoon reading a book, guilt-free.

17. Do a backbend.

18. Sing karaoke.

19. Catch up on thank you notes (finally).

20. Go on a segway tour.

21. Relearn all the words to “Rent” so when I meet up with my friend Susie I am prepared.

22. See a movie in the middle of the day.

23. Say something so funny Alice can’t stop laughing.

24. Say something so funny Chris can’t stop laughing, which is going to take a lot more work.

25. Donate a large sum of money to a non-profit.

26. Dress up and wander around the city for an afternoon.

27. Go dancing with Chris (or the whole family).

28. Go to a bouncy castle place or trampoline place and jump the stress out.

29. Eat a huge Ghiradelli sundae all by myself.

30. Decide where we’re living for the next several years.

31. Do something that I know I “shouldn’t.”

32. Catch up on Alice and Bennett’s books.

33. Whiten my teeth.

34. Find a place to volunteer.

35. Get dressed up and cheer on a sporting event.

36. Run up the hill by my house without stopping.

37. Have someone write a love song about me (I have someone specific in mind, but am open to offers).

38. Do one thing that really scares me.

39. Have a slumber party.

40. Give a gift to someone unexpected (I’m not sure who but imagine it will present itself).

What do you think? If you have a big birthday coming up are you with me?

September 18, 2014

Project Nursery’s New Online Shop is Totally Gorgeous, Of Course

When I was putting together Alice’s nursery I was A FREAK. Totally obsessed. I was a crafting, searching, inspiration board maniac. Don’t believe me? My team at work bought me this Anthropologie shower curtain months before my shower, in what I can only imagine was a bid to shut me up because it was all I talked about in meetings. Unfortunately, for them, it didn’t work because then I just talked about how much I loved the curtain and did they think a turquoise elephant lamp was going to be too much up against it or could I get away with it because it was an elephant and isn’t nursery planning fun?

My point is, all I wanted was a bunch of cool, unique items that would make people gasp when they walked into the nursery, is that too much to ask? What I needed was Project Nursery’s new online store. It is GORGEOUS! But, still totally fun and accessible and the kind of place where you can buy paint that’s baby-safe and a print for their walls that reminds you how much you love them.

Here are eight of my faves that make me want to do the whole thing over again…

tin hanging lamp with bird perchedHanging Lamp with Bird That’ll Probably Change Your Life
This is a lamp to build a nursery around. This is a lamp worthy of many nursery tours. This is a lamp that you’ll be happy to see at 2am. This is a lamp that will keep you warm at night and probably picks up its socks and puts them in the laundry basket and probably even tweets a little song while doing it because this is the PERFECT LAMP.

stickers for your baby's first year

Floral Baby Stickers to Keep Track of Your Baby’s Growth
When Alice was in her first year I valiantly attempted to do the whole picture-a-month thing. I spent an hour (an hour!) making a badge that I planned on redoing each month to match that month’s outfit. SHOCKER ALERT: I have that month’s photos. The badge is nowhere to be found and my memories are hazy. Had I been smart I would have bought these adorable stickers and then stuck them on her the day that month she was all clean and shiny and called it good.

cloud and bird nursery wall papaerDaydream Wallpaper in Sunshine
This is the sort of thing that makes me yearn to settle down in a place for a long time. I’d paper the kids rooms in this Daydream Wallpaper in Sunshine and then I’d make everyone who visited was highly aware we live in a home with walls covered in daydreams in sunshine and then I’d hashtag it #karaisawesome.

confetti wall decals for nurseryConfetti Wall Decals in Coral and Gold 
But, right now we live in an apartment that I’m pretty sure our landlord doesn’t want me papering, no matter how gorgeous the name of the wallpaper, so we’ll have to settle for things like these removable Confetti Wall Decals, which, ohmahgawd, is my life terrible or what!?!?

crib bedding with handdrawn rufflesHand-drawn Ruffle Crib Sheet that Doesn’t Make You Want to Gouge Your Eyes Out
Do you have any idea how hard it is to find gender-neutral crib sheets that are cute and don’t feature bunny rabbits? Of course, you do, because you just spent the past 14 hours of your life looking for them. Well, here you go. These hand-drawn ruffles are so sweet, the colors will match just about any decor, and it’s subtle enough you probably want a matching set for your own bed (I do).

chewable necklace for baby in turquoiseChewable Necklace in Turquoise
I loved my chewable necklace and so did Bennett. It was kind of like a candy necklace for my baby that I didn’t have to feel guilty about and I could wipe off and people would never know it had just been gnawed to death by a very drooly 8-month old.

gorgeous modern changing table - white and goldHeavenly Baby Changing Table
Having another baby because you want a redo on the nursery decor is a bad idea, right? Right. Of course, it is. It’s just I see a changing table like this and start thinking all those late night wakings weren’t really that bad, were they? I mean, I know I complained non-stop, but that was just because that’s what you’re supposed to do, not because I was actually that tired. Right? Right?

lovely tassel mobile for baby's roomSweet Tassel Mobile for Baby’s (or Toddler’s) Room
Like I told my husband when I hung up our cardboard deer head, I’m a blogger so there are certain things I’m, by contract, obliged to get excited about and, I’m sorry, but a gold tassel mobile hanging from a twig and screaming “Woodland Nursery” is ONE OF THEM.

There’s lots more goodness where these came from. Check out Project Nursery’s complete shop or lose the rest of your afternoon in their galleries.

September 11, 2014

Mom-Approved Fashion: A Mediocre Summer Outfit

mom approved outfit shorts outfit

So, I wasn’t going to post this outfit for SO MANY REASONS.

mom kid having fun princess fabulistasOne, it’s pretty lame. I mean, it’s a pair of striped jean shorts with a tank top and my diaper bag turned purse (which I’m still obsessed with and truly goes with everything). Nothing too aspirational, but then there’s this photo above and turns out there are all sorts of inspiring things happening here, they just have nothing to do with me.

cute diaper bag mom fashion fabulistasTwo, you guys are all headed into Fall so the last thing you need is another post about shorts, but did you see how I matched my shoes to my bag? That is a pro move and should definitely be documented. It’s a subtle way of telling the world, “Hey, I may have oatmeal all over the front of my shirt, but I care enough to match my accessories so BOO-YAH.”

late summer fashion princess fabulistasThree, I don’t take the most attractive photos a lot of the time. And when I see myself on video, I often cannot believe the astoundingly ridiculous faces I make. But, that is totally cool. I’m not in this to win any beauty contests or even contests for Mom with the Least Amount of Chins. I’m in this to have a good time with my kids, to be the biggest version of myself I can be, and to try not to scare our neighbors too often with our singing.

fabulistas karaFour, my bra strap is hanging out, you can see I need to get my roots done, my wrinkles are coming in nicely, and I, most likely, sat in something. Some might call that a hot mess, I’m impressed I remembered to put on earrings.

And with that I’m going to post this sucker and take my highly imperfect self off to have yet another iced coffee and call this day a win.

-My outfit might be mediocre, but the photos are most definitely not. Thanks to the AMAZING Fluxi on Tour, who is an absolute delight to work with and has one of the prettiest Instagram feeds around.

-Outfit: shorts: Gap // shirt: hmmm? // earrings: Francesca’s, which it looks like they’re sold out of mine, but these are really cute // sandals: TJ Maxx // bag: Timi and Leslie // sunglasses: Target

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