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Family, Fashion

Diaper Bag Dilemma – Solved!

November 23, 2015





I’ve always had a thing for pretty purses and handbags. For as long as I can remember, it’s been my go-to indulgence accessory. That is, until I became a mom. I dutifully committed to carrying a very traditional diaper bag when Ainsley was born, because most of the pretty, fashionable diaper bags I looked at just didn’t seem very functional. And while I might love fashion, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice function with a little one in tow.

While I was at Influence Conference I had the opportunity to meet with the amazing founders of Lily Jade, the makers of designer diaper bags that combine function and form. I had heard of Lily Jade before Influence, but was a little skeptical. Was the bag worth it’s hefty price tag? But when I saw the bags in person I was 100% convinced.

The leather is soft and supple, and the structure of the bag is beatufiully designed and constructed. But the best part? The interior pouch! Each Lily Jade bag comes with a removable baby bag organizer so you can fill it with all sorts of baby gear, bottles and the like without making a total mess of your bag. And when you move on from the baby stage the organizer can be removed, transitioning your bag from diaper bag to purse or overnight bag.

We’re getting ready to travel quite a bit this holiday season, and I’m excited to travel both fashionably and sensibly with this bag. And with all the organization, I’m thinking I might even have room for some non-baby essentials like magazines, laptop and snacks for mom and dad.

*Lily Jade provided this bag for me to review. Thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Shop this look: Bag, Rosie in Camel :: Coat, Similar from Banana Republic :: Target Scarf, similar options here :: Madewell Skinny Jeans in Dayton Wash :: 14th and Union Booties  :: Anthropologie Textured High Low Tunic 

Family, Fashion

Let’s Talk Postpartum Hair

November 16, 2015

Photo on 11-6-15 at 9.50 AMI was prepared for a lot of the typical things about the postpartum stage of life, but I was completely unprepared for postpartum hair. Sure, friends told me you would lose a lot of hair after having a baby, but I guess I didn’t really understand that the hair you lost would eventually grow back in. And the regrowth, you guys? It’s about 100x worse than the hair loss!

After I quit breastfeeding the hair loss began. The thick, amazing pregnancy hair I had enjoyed was suddenly falling out all over the place. This summer I had noticeable balding patches around the crown of my head that were hard to disguise. About two months ago, I really started to notice the re-growth of all that hair I lost. We’re talking thick tufts of hair sticking straight up around my temples and forehead that are impossible to tame and hard to disguise.

It’s embarrassing. It’s unattractive. And it’s a pain in the butt. I thought about cutting bangs to disguise the re-growth and dying my hair another color to make my hair look thicker. In the end, I decided to avoid taking any extreme measures and try my best to just stick it out.

Here are a few of the things I’ve found that help make the re-growth a little less horrible:

1. Change up your part. I’ve always parted my hair on the left, but my re-growth was also the most noticeable there. Instead of cutting bangs, I decided to switch up my part. Now I’m wearing it middle parted or parted on the right side and it’s been so much easier to disguise the re-growth.

2. Tame your fly-aways. I spray a little bit of hairspray on a toothbrush and use the toothbrush to tame the hairs that want to stick straight up. THIS is by far my favorite hairspray.

3. Wash less often. I wash my hair a couple times a week and avoid blow drying as much as possible. I’ve switched to using this shampoo and conditioner and they’ve made my hair feel so soft and smooth, even when it’s not at its best.

4. Deep condition weekly. Once a week I take a bath or a long shower and put in a deep conditioner. Although my hair might not be as wonderful and luscious as it was when I was pregnant, I’ve been trying my best to care for it and keep it looking healthy.

5. Keep taking your prenatal vitamins. Don’t stop taking them after you quit nursing. Your body needs to continue to be replenished long after you have your baby, so keep up with those prenatal vitamins. They will help with hair growth, too!

6. Get bangs, maybe? If you’re someone who normally looks great with bangs, this would be a time to give them a shot! My stylist and I agreed that I do not look great with bangs nor do I have the right hair texture for thick, blunt bangs. But if you happen to be one of the lucky people who look good with fringe, then go for it!

7. Wear hats! I know a number of women who swear by this tip. I haven’t worked up the courage to wear all the cute fall hats that are in style right now, but I have to imagine that they would make it super easy to disguise all the crazy hairs around the crown of your head.


*Affiliate links used when appropriate. 


New Mom Style :: Comfy Casual {+ a giveaway!}

November 1, 2015




StellaAndDot_6Jeans from Madewell :: Sweater from Anthropologie :: Shoes from Tieks :: Legend Pendant Necklace c/o Kim Jensen :: Aurora Ring Set c/o Kim Jensen :: Deja Vu Pearl Studs c/o Kim Jensen

Curating a practical mom-drobe has changed the way I shop. Because I’m toting a messy, drooly baby around town half of the day, my clothes rarely make it through the day without a few spots and stains, meaning dry clean only items are a thing of the past. Some might say off-white isn’t practical with kiddos, but I love wearing white. As long as I can wash it at the end of the day, I’m good!

This sweater is incredibly comfortable, cozy and flattering. I paired it with my favorite skinny jeans, flats and some beautiful baubles from Stella & Dot. This is the second outfit that Kim styled for me, and I’m loving the edgy + lady like look these three pieces create. The pearl studs are actually reversible, so it’s like owning two pairs of earrings in one, which is perfect for a jewelry minimalist like myself.

Kim has been so kind to host a giveaway for Espresso and Cream readers! She will be giving away a $25 gift card to her Stella & Dot shop to one lucky reader. Thanks, Kim, for hosting the giveaway and keeping my mom-drobe looking fresh and stylist. Even if you don’t win, I would highly suggest hopping over to Kim’s page and doing a little holiday shopping – I know I already did!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


New Mom Style :: In Pursuit of the Perfect Jeans

October 29, 2015


Madewell_1Madewell High Rise Skinny Jean in Dayton Wash (tall) || Anthropologie Slubbed Scoop Tee ||
Tieks Flats in Camel || Stella & Dot Rebel Pendant 

I feel like I’ve been in pursuit of the perfect pair of jeans for as long as I can remember. A few things I’ve found true (for me) along the way…

1. Gap and Banana Republic jeans are deceptive. They feel great in the store and fit wonderfully, but they start to sag and do funny things after even the tiniest bit of wear.

2. Low rise jeans are not a momma’s friend. You always end up yanking them up to avoid looking indecent. And it’s hard to chase after a baby when you’re focused on not showing your behind to everyone.

3. Expensive jeans are (almost) always worth the high price tag.

4. A good pair of jeans should hold their shape for multiple wears before washing and shouldn’t leave you itching to take them off at the end of the day. You should actually enjoy wearing them!

5. Size doesn’t matter. Find a pair that fits, regardless of what number is on the label.

That said, I’ve been having a hard time finding a great pair for a little while now. Okay, a long while. I used to be head-over-heels about J. Crew’s Matchstick jeans, but they went and changed them on me and there’s something that just isn’t quite right anymore.

I had heard a lot of buzz about Madewell’s denim and finally bit the bullet and gave them a try. Since we don’t have a Madewell nearby, I ordered four pairs online and tried them on at home. Madewell offers free shipping both ways, so it was a no-risk proposition.

You guys? These jeans are amazing! I went with the 9′ High Riser Skinny Jean in Dayton and couldn’t be more thrilled. I ended up having to buy them in tall because they were a tad on the short side, but once I found the right size and fit it was a perfect match. They have just a tiny bit of stretch, hold their shape for multiple wears and are SO incredibly comfortable. I’m pretty sure the high rise is just our modern version of the mom jean, but with a fit like this, I’m totally okay with that.

*I was in no way paid to write this review. I simply love these jeans and thought others might be looking for a great pair, too! 

Family, Fashion

Avoiding Burnout in Motherhood

October 26, 2015

IMG_1813Every night I sit in Ainsley’s rocking chair and feed her a bedtime bottle. As I sit in the dimly-lit room, rocking back and forth with my now very big baby in my arms, the day finally slows down. It’s the first time during the day that I really have time to think, process and pause and I realize, every night, that I feel like I’ve been running at breakneck speed all. day. long.

Do other moms know this feeling?

Like you’ve been mentally and physically sprinting through your day, picking up toys and doing loads of laundry, feeding bottles and breakfast, getting dressed and ready for work, rushing to do drop-off and pick-up on time and juggling countless trips in and out of the carseat. Maximizing nap times and work time and every spare moment in between.

It is, without a doubt, a crazy season of life. I suspect that if I have more kiddos, it will feel even crazier. But it’s full, and wonderful and filled with smiles and giggles. So much wonderful life that I can hardly take it all in.

I’ve listened to a lot of people talk about motherhood at conferences and seminars and on blogs. It seems to me that a lot of moms like to complain about motherhood – to talk about how drained and weary they are and how terribly hard motherhood is.

Like all worthwhile things, motherhood requires a good deal of elbow grease, long days and struggle. But when I’m sitting, listening to women talk about how weary they are I just can’t relate. Although I’ve never run on such little sleep, never been so stretched and pulled in different directions, never juggled so many responsibilities, our life and family has never felt so incredibly FULL.

I’ve read a few posts on self-care for moms (loved this one from my dear friend Laura) and thought I would encourage you mommas out there to create a regular rhythm of self care in your life. I don’t mean long vacations and expensive spa days, although those are nice, too. I’m talking achievable, daily routines that leave you feeling rested and recharged. Not to say I do it all right (hardly!) but self care has always come easily for me – just ask my mom. And I think maintaining that without guilt has been a saving grace of my motherhood experience.

In my world, there is nothing as healing and wonderful as a steaming hot bath with lots and lots of girly products. I leave bed time to dad and prepare a bottle for him to give Ainsley while I sneak off to relax in the tub with a stack of magazines or my Kindle. Usually some type of hair mask and face mask is involved, and some really great smelling body oils or lotions as well.


1. Lustro Body Oil  The best I’ve found! It goes on without feeling greasy and leaves my skin so soft.
2. Dead Sea Mud Mask Gentle yet effective for clearing up skin and balancing your complexion.
3. Kerastase Hair Mask Leaves my hair feeling so much smoother and stronger. I use it weekly.
4.  Lustro Sugar Scrub For getting rid of dead skin cells and leaving my skin feeling smooth during the cold winter months
5. Epsom Salts Soaking in an epsom salt bath cures all your aches and pains and this specific Milk & Honey scented version is heaven!


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