April 3, 2014

Spring Shoes! Spring Shoes! SPRING SHOES!!

You guys know how I’m writing over on Momtastic, right? Well, this month they put me on what can only be described as the Ultimate Willpower Mission. They had me round-up a bunch of Spring shoes that are cute enough no one will deign to think you’re a mom, but realistic enough you can do, well, all sorts of mom activities.

Now, that piece of the puzzle is fine; I can find you cool shoes in my sleep. The problem is that now I’ve started I CAN’T STOP. The Internet is, literally, littered with my shopping carts full of shoes and I keep finding more and more like some crazed treasure hunter who got a hit of gold and now can’t stop. There are so many excellent shoes out there, just begging to be worn, and I am slowly starting to understand I can’t have them all.

So, what’s a blogger to do? Force her nearest and dearest to buy them instead. easy-heels-jean-brown-moms-comfyI realized after the article went live, I didn’t include any – gasp! – heels! So, here are two lovely pairs that won’t break your ankle when you’re running through the sand to make a last minute, monkey bar save. These jean wedges could moonlight as a pretty date shoe, while these brown sandals would go with everything forever and ever, and they’re Bjorn so they’re bound to comfy, although I just realized they’re $145, which is out of my price range, but you should still totally buy them. Please.

flats-green-black-polka-dot-cute San Francisco is pretty much always flats weather and after years here I’m a total addict. They’re just so much more comfy than heels, but you still look like you put in a little effort. These black and white polka dot ones are totally on trend with their ankle strap, while these minty green flats will match just about everything (plus, they’re only $25 at Old Navy and with the code SAVE20 you can get an extra 20% off. You’re welcome.)

sandals-spring-moms-cute-black-gold As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized I have two looks I like – pretty and edgy (I used to do vintage, mod, and, occasionally, slutty, but there’s just no time these days). These black sandals ($21!) would make my ruffles and dresses look easy, while the white pair ($22!) would add a bit of rock star to my jeans and tank tops.  

sneakers-striped-comfy-moms-converse-cuteI can rock a heel all day and night, but, you guys, I don’t know crap about sneakers. I have a pair of these Converse that I wear occasionally and feel really weird in, like the Cool Police are going to stop me and ask me to please leave the premises until I fully understand the Sneaker Book of Rules (can you wear Converse with fancy sweatshirts? Or only regular sweatshirts? And just because a sweatshirt has gold glitter on it, is it really a fancy sweatshirt or just a slightly dressed up sweatshirt that still works for the gym, even though your sister thinks you’re crazy? So many questions I’d like to ask the Cool Police). I feel like these striped ones are cute, but I also think anything with ribbon on it is worthy of my time so I have no clue.

I think instead, I’m just going to continue admiring these killer heels I just bought and pretend they’re appropriate for everyday wear.

You should really go check out my eleven (count ‘em, eleven!) pairs of easy-to-wear shoes, all under $50, that I rounded up over on Momtastic. There’s a pair of oxfords, and a pair of yellow flats that are to die for, and some other sneakers that help at-risk kids, so I KNOW they’re cool…

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March 13, 2014

Ban.do’s New Line is Awesome and I’m Buying It All

Over a month ago something happened to my iPhone case (I dropped it for the millionth time, threw it in the trash, let my baby suck on it – pick three) and since then it’s been sporting this plastic dagger on one corner that gets caught on sweaters and stabs me at least fifteen times a day. I know what you’re thinking, “So, go buy a new cover and let me get back to my True Dectective, already.”

But, you see, I couldn’t. Word on the street was my personal wonderland, Ban.do, was releasing a new line of products and I just knew they were going to create something so phenomenal and breathtaking I’d curse myself every time I used my phone (which is never because I’m way too busy raising children, obviously). So I waited, and thank goodness I did because now I only have to curse myself the one time when I buy pretty much everything on their site. And that, my lovelies, is what we call a win for the day.bando-favorites-sparkly-hairband-fun

Top Row: No more sweaty dollar bills! (That sounded way less weird in my head). Now when I go running I can put my coffee money in the outside pocket of my phone. Totally brill. // Have I ever told you guys that I LOVE drinking out of plastic with a straw? It’s strange and true and totally bad for me, I know. This water bottle, though, would mean I can finally lay my CU fraternity cups to rest…  // It’s my birthday in about two weeks. I love a crown. You do the math.

Middle Row: I feel like this iPad case understands me. Like I would look at it every day and think, “Finally, the universe gets where I’m coming from,” before rushing off to do many, very important things.  // A GIANT PINK GEM SPEAKER!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bottom Row: I have a bunch of ban.do’s twist scarfs, and love how they fancy up any old outfit. This one seems somehow more grown-up, like I’d need to wear it yachting or while speaking French, don’t you agree? // Yes, I am totally on board with having fun, thank you. // Can a hair clip set an intention for the day? I’m willing to find out.

March 5, 2014

Thoughts on Having a Princess, I mean, Daughter

princess-dad-crowns-rapunzelLast weekend our family went to Princesses on Ice, and, you guys, I was such a waffling freak about posting it to Instagram, going back and forth as if it was this huge decision that was going to impact the future of my family. It’s like I have a deep, dark secret that nobody knows, except maybe every single person who has come into contact with us in the past six months, but I still feel this need to keep it shuttered from the world.

You see, my daughter is a Princess Addict. It’s true. Try as I might to steer her towards gender neutral cooking toys, or Legos, or even full-on dump trucks, the girl has fallen deep into the princess well and the only way out is up Rapunzel’s hair.

And I was going to say that I was really embarrassed about it, but turns out I still am (as I’m writing this my face is getting hot and I’m feeling very defensive). Because, turns out the whole princess thing is not as pink-and-purple as you might think. At the playground, I often find myself half apologizing to the other moms (“I swear she has a tool bench at home!”) as if her princess gown is one slippery slope away from a starring role on “Toddlers and Tiaras”; other times, when people bow to her on the sidewalk or slow their cars down to say how it’s made their day to see “a princess in real life”, I think, this is the coolest thing ever – my kiddo bringing such joy to total strangers simply by rocking a gown.

And the thing is, she finds such joy in dressing like a princess. The days she wears a princess dress are days when she listens a bit better and is even more excited about the day, a phenomena I liken to when I wear a new pair of shoes – you feel good when you feel like you’re looking good.

Not to mention, she is her mother’s daughter. I like a high heel (you’ve probably heard this before, but I actually did backpack around Europe in heels. Every day I would put on a skirt or dress and wedge sandals, strap on my enormous pack, and head out, many days walking miles and miles until I literally wore inches off of my shoes.); sequins, glitter, and ruffles are daily wardrobe staples; I will probably always be more comfortable in a skirt than pants; I know I spend too much money on my hair and make up, but I love it and enjoy every second of it. No doubt, Alice sees this and emulates it, for better or for worse.

I was also an actress for most of my life, and was a kid who wore a turkey hat around for months after Thanksgiving. As a mom, I probably play dress up with the kids more than anything else and we spend a ridiculous amount of time practicing expressions and talking in accents because that’s what’s fun to me (while her aunt has a tendency to favor crafting, her dad Chase and her grandma puzzles); I definitely have encouraged the dressing up, not matter how subtly, because I play dress up a lot of days in my own life.

Yet, I also have never let the way I look or my heels or skirts stop me from doing anything (see: backpacking around Europe). Dresses can get dirty just as easily as pants, glitter can get a party started, and my sequins have started many a conversation and even a few friendships. If I start to see her princessness impeding her from having fun or moving her in a direction that causes her to squash her personality, I’d start phasing it out.

When I write it all out here, it feels like I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill, as my grandma used to say, but, there’s a real underlying fear here, I think. A fear that too much princess will start your daughter on the wrong track, down a road lined with mirrors and vanity, vapidness, and dependence on a guy. One where you speak unkindly and judge others based on their appearance. One riddled with self-doubt and insecurity, which ends in a sexualized version of femininity and dancing on stage with a large foam finger.

But, that is on her parents (and probably more so on me), not a large corporation or movies or TV shows. It’s my job to show her what it means to be a woman and how to stand in your own confidence and how to know who you are; I have to teach her how to navigate this weird world of womanhood with its Photoshopped covers, and double standards, and, yes, proliferation of pink. To make sure she has plenty of female role models who are staking their claim – aunties who are starting their own businesses and living their passions, friends who are successful at home and at work, and, even princesses who leap and skate and are athletes as well as royalty.

We have to teach her to be thoughtful about how we spend our money and time (on experiences and people over things; on items and adventures which bring us joy). To give her examples of equitable, loving relationships, where you choose your mate for reasons like they make you laugh and push you to be your best self and want to explore life with you. To make sure we’re discussing how we speak to each other (kindly, always kindly) and we’re emphasizing the best way to see each other (with our hearts) and we’re reiterating every night where she’s most beautiful (on the inside).

I don’t think there’s a way over or around this so we’re going to have to go through it, which I’m realizing I’m totally fine with. This is just the first step on the road of figuring out who she wants to be and, turns out, I’m more ready than I’d thought, tiaras and all.

February 21, 2014

A Dire Warning to My Sisters and Friday Links


It’s sunny, feels like Spring, and it’s Friday. I’m thinking impromptu ice cream sundae party – anyone else in?

Happy weekend!

Sometimes I write other places too. 
These gifts were for Valentine’s Day, but I bet they’d work just fine right now too.

Um, I love the Internet:
-I should probably wear this necklace for Alice until she’s old enough to appreciate it, don’t you think? (Thank you, Snippet and Ink for the link).

-Turns out we’re not done yet.

-I don’t know why this made me so emotional, but I wish that some of my elderly loved ones had a place like this.

-This is a gentle reminder to my sisters that the only thing I want for my birthday is these red flats and if I don’t get them my birthday will probably be ruined.

-These stock photos are looking to change the way we look at women and I think it can totally work.

-There’s a reason I’m so obsessed with her.

-Who knew you could use Sharpies to create such a sweet wall?

-I’m totally obsessed with my Bullet Journal - you should see me checking off my to dos! Now, can someone please figure out how to do the same for email?

-I searched high and low for these sequin sweatpants (aka. my dream pants) and when I finally found them they were sold out. I thought I must be dreaming when I found these gloves for $22 and I was because they were sold out. So, you better believe I just bought this necklace that I’ve been looking at for weeks. Take that, Internet Shopping Gods!

Resolution check-in:
In the continuing saga, “Did She Do It?”, I try and keep myself on track with my New Year’s resolutions. Peer pressure has always worked really well for me.

Week Five (Feb 3rd)
Blog: Can I count a post which rounds up where else I’ve been blogging and then a post which rounds up that post? Seems like it might take us down a weird worm hole, but I’m doing it anyway.
Exercise: Our Pilates teacher was out so instead we did yoga and I remembered how very, very far away my toes are.
Read a book: For some reason, I’m really having a tough time with this one, which is weird because it’s my favorite thing to do. Do I need to let go of the Ann Patchett?
Adventure: It was one of those non-stop weeks, but Chris and I managed to sneak away for a much-needed date night. It had been raining for days, so, honestly, the couch was looking pretty good, but we saddled up our rain boots and headed to one of our favorite hoods, Hayes Valley. We tried to get into Suppenküche, but everyone else seemed to have the same idea so instead we had a cozy evening in the tiny Domo Sushi, followed up with drinks at Two Sisters Bar and Books. It turned out to be just what we needed – one of those evenings where you fall back in love with the place where you live while talking the ear off the man you love.

Week Six (Feb 10th)
Blog: I am genuinely surprised that I didn’t write anything here, because I felt like I did. I wrote for Momtastic, but… Are you sure I didn’t post over here?
Exercise: Once a week a couple of us are getting together and I’m leading us in a weight lifting work out (yes, me). It was hilarious until I rocked ten push-ups without stopping and then fainted in disbelief.
Read a book: Okay, I didn’t do this again!!! What is going on? After much analyzing (okay, about two minutes in the shower), I think it’s that I’m not organized. I’m trying not to buy so many Kindle books, yet I haven’t taken the time to order anything from the library so, surprise!, I have nothing to read. Look at the insights these resolutions are producing!
Adventure: I had one of those magical days, which reminded me why we moved to San Francisco. We had relatives visiting so the kids and I took them down to the Ferry Building for coffee, pastries, lunch, and people watching (because that’s what you do down there – eat and watch). When we came out to head home, there were two marching bands who had set up in the plaza and were having the ultimate Battle of the Bands, featuring Lady Gaga, Broadway show tunes, and Backstreet Boys (you should have heard me singing “Everybody” because, of course, I know every word). The whole plaza was heaving with people singing, and dancing, and treating those kids like the rock stars they are.

And, I am proud to say my daughter was just as entranced as her mama and forced us to stay until the bitter end. Everybodddddy, rock your body, ’cause Backstreet’s Back, oh YEAH! Thank you, San Francisco!

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