Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pencil Me In

A long long time ago, I wrote about my love for the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner.  I really loved that stuff.  I mean, you could put it on and have eyeliner for like three days.  Then, it fell to the bottom of my makeup drawer and I found it during one of the many moves over the past couple of years, dried out, and I threw it away.

To my great surprise, I saw something on Twitter recently about a new pencil version of the long wear formula hitting the shelves and my heart started racing.

Seriously, I have a problem with makeup.  Like a DSM-V PROBLEM.


Ladies and gentleman, the Long-Wear Eye Pencil.  I am itching to get my hands on one in Smoke or Black Plum just as soon as I can.

The only problem is that I'll probably also have to cave on a new Long-Wear Cream Shadow.

Guessing it's going to be Smoky Topaz that does me in.  So, I might have to wait until I know I can afford both.

See, at least I know how to manage my addictions...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Four: Things Worse Than a Dirty Diaper

Movies like to make it seem like the worst and most disgusting part of parenthood is changing a dirty diaper.

WRONG.

Look, I've definitely seen some doozies in my short tenure, but honestly, you do it so frequently that it's really not a big deal.  But then there are the really terrible parts, the ones that make you step back and understand why nature made babies so darn cute.  Here are four of my least favorite baby tasks and ways to deal with them.

My nemesis.

{1} Clipping fingernails.  OMG.  I would rather change a blowout diaper with a full new outfit on an airplane with a screaming baby (yeah, that happened) EVERY DAY than clip Reese's fingernails once a week.  Note: not actually true.  She hates it and nicking her is basically my worst fear.  My only tips here are when they are small enough, strapping them into the car seat keeps them from rolling away and singing "Old MacDonald" at the top of my lungs to keep both of us calm for the whole process.

{2} Upchuck.  There is some kind of terrible stomach virus running rampant this winter.  Our house has been spared...so far.  But I have dealt with a baby puking her guts out and it is not pretty.  Babies have no ability to direct their sickness towards the toilet so it all just goes everywhere.  Plus, it's so upsetting to them, they have no idea what the hell is going on and it burns like all get out.  My main tip here is that when it happens, take a minute to just comfort the baby and try to brace for aftershocks.  Trying to clean right away is futile.

{3} Blood.  It's going to happen at some point. Your kid is going to meet something that draws blood.  For me, this happened right around when Reese started walking and hasn't stopped.  The mortal enemy?  The floor plus her teeth. The first time it happened, I flipped my shit and called everyone from my mother to my husband crying about what a terrible mother I was.  Nowadays I blot with a paper towel and don't pick up the phone unless it's pulsatile. It still sucks though.  My tips? Don't panic, a little blood can look like a lot on a tiny person.  Try to blot and see where the blood is coming from, and wait it out.  If they stop crying in five minutes, there probably isn't any reason to rush to the ER for stitches.  My kid was eating crackers by the time my husband called me back the first time.  I, however, required two fingers of whiskey at bedtime.

{4} The blowout.  Ok, I lied.  This one is a dirty diaper.  But I'm talking the full on clothes soaked ruined outfit blowout in a public place.  It hasn't happened since we started solids (wow, way to jinx myself, right?), but we definitely had a couple.  There was the aforementioned airplane bathroom incident, plus the not one, but TWO times it happened when I tried to do one of those mom's day out at the movies thing.  Needless to say, I did not see a whole lot of No Strings Attached, but I like to think that was my daughter getting back at me for having such terrible taste to begin with.  For this one, you've just got to triage.  Are the pants just a little soiled and you don't have a replacement?  It's ok.  Do you just have a snowsuit and no other clothes?  So be it. Suck it up and get home as fast as possible.

The one thing I've learned from all of these things is how much you can handle as a parent.  I never thought I would be able to get a tiny baby in and out of many outfits in a cold public restroom, keeping her as warm and dry as possible, all the while she's screaming bloody murder.  It's in between running from a mountain lion and watching the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan on level of stressors.  Not to get all sappy on you, but it's pretty amazing at what you just DO.  Doesn't make it any more pleasant though.

What about you?  Any horror stories or other least favorite baby duties?  Any tips to deal with them?

Pumped Up Kicks

Look, I love ballet flats as much as the next girl, but sometimes I just want a good looking sneaker.

Don't be afraid!

I'm not descending down a mom-spiral where I wear the same Lululemon workout pants day after day with running sneakers.  I just like a cool comfortable sneaker for walking around.  I generally pair mine with wide legged jeans and a lightweight sweater for spring.  They are perfect for weekends on the playground, morning outings when I'm baby-wearing and need to be sure footed, and trips to the country (re: Costco).

Behold, a few of the pairs I'm considering adding to my wardrobe:
Pumped Up Kicks



1. It's a total myth that Europeans don't wear sneakers.  They just don't wear ugly sneakers.  As Joanna Goddard has said repeatedly on her blogBensimon sneakers are the French girls' Converse.  They are cute, comfortable, and come in adorable colors.  The laceless version is a nice diversion from the ordinary.

2.  I live in Gossip Girl country and the Superga rules the prep school girls.  When we go out on our afternoon walk, girls in plaid skirts are all sporting various colors of Superga.  They are the Italian version of the Bensimon and I really kind of love them.  My mother just brought Reese back a pair from Italy in bright purple and I swear they are a lethal overdose of adorable.  I'm shocked they cleared Customs.

3. A little bit Back to the Future, but making a retro comeback are Keds.  I used to get a new pair every summer (in white, because I was a DORK) and wore them until there was a hole in the big toe.  I think this would be great with shorts and skinny jeans.

4.  I went to a school with the worst football team in our preppity-prepster league.  All the cool guys played soccer and the Adidas Originals were the choice of footwear.  I like the chunky look which feels a little punk-at-the-country-club for some reason.


5.  If you are sitting behind your computer calling me a Commie for promoting all these Euro shoes, go for the All-American original: Converse All Stars.  You'll have plenty of company in Williamsburg or Mount Pleasant with the hipsters.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the Superga, even though I run the risk of being matchy-matchy with my daughter.  I definitely can't pull off bright purple the way she can though.  Did I mention she has mint green Converses too?  I swear, she has a better closet than I do.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pretty in Pinxav

So, anyone who is bored stiff or grossed out by mommy talk might want to leave the blog, 'cause I'm about to get real chatty about a diaper cream.

I told you a while back about how I joined Bluum, a monthly sample subscription service similar to Birchbox, but for moms and babies.  One of the samples I received was this diaper cream, Pinxav (pronounced "pink salve").  As with many samples I get, I filed it away and forgot about it.  Until this week when Reese had a little diaper rash brewing and my regular tube of Desitin was in the diaper bag, in the stroller, blah blah, I'm lazy and didn't want to go get it.  So, I pulled out the Pinxav and gave it a try.

First of all, stuff is PINK.  It looks like Caladryl and it smells mediciney.  Wait, medicinal.  That's the word.

Second of all, it is THICK.  It's a real barrier cream and you get the impression it does its job.

Third of all, it WORKS.  Like whoa.  It cleared up the diaper rash in a matter of a day.  Both me and my husband were impressed.  And not a lot impresses my husband.

The only thing to keep in mind is to let someone know that you are using a pink diaper cream.  Otherwise the unwitting party might freak out upon changing a very pink diaper and think the baby has a kidney problem.  And he might wake you up when you had at least 7 more minutes to sleep and make you tell him that it was the new diaper cream, remember?

Aside from that, this stuff is GOOD.  I'm definitely placing an order and considering it as a gift for new moms, since it's a little hard to come by in stores.

Who knows what other gems I'll find in my Bluum stash...

Yes to Going to Bed Faster

As I've mentioned, I don't have the best habits when it comes to washing my face at night.

After a looong day, I'm just ready to crawl into bed and hit the reset button on life.  The thought of getting my face wet and washing and drying just plain doesn't sound appealing.  Especially when my day is filled with fun tasks like telling someone that not all food has to come in a bunny shaped cracker format, being a manicurist to a very squirmy client, and making sure that everyone keeps their clothes on in public.

So, when I read the rave review that Belle at Capitol Hill Style gave to the Yes to Blueberries Face Wipes, I added them to my next Diapers.com order on the double.  

Zomg. Diapers.com is amazing.  Basically eliminates all need for the drugstore, except for, you know, drugs.

And I really like them.  The wipes have a nice light scent and a good snap closure to keep them form drying out.

As a mother, you become a connoisseur of wipes and the way to ensure that every wipe count.

They definitely remove the bulk of my makeup (what little I manage to get on in the morning) and leave my skin feeling soft and not overly stripped.  It doesn't feel like the good deep cleaning you get with an actual proper wash...but it is a lot faster and works.  I've also found it great at removing red lipstick at the end of a night out, something that my regular face wash fails at miserably.

And hey, there are anti-agers and fruit acids in there!  Sah-weet!

I highly recommend picking these up for a soon-to-be mother who might not take the best care of her skin, party girls with late nights ahead, travelers who want to save their carry-on liquids for booze, or the plain old lazy like me.  So, probably anyone.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Chambray Shirt: Five Ways for Spring


Recently, I put up my first outfit post and revealed to the world that I have a very messy apartment and also that I am in love with my Old Navy chambray shirt.

Several readers responded that they also had this shirt (or something similar) and were looking for new ways to wear it.  So, I hijacked my sister's Saturday and we did a little photo shoot!  All of these are comfortable and realistic ways I plan on dressing, not some crazy style experiment, and the styling reflects that.

Without further ado, I present five different ways to wear a chambray shirt this spring.

{1}

Maxi dresses are great for sunny weekends when the only things on our agenda are meeting someone in the park (Central or Schurz, generally) and getting ice cream.  I can sit on the ground without worrying about flashing anyone, they are comfortable and easy.  Until it really gets warm out, I'm using the chambray shirt in lieu of a cardigan.  I think it breaks up the pattern on this dress and makes it a little more modest (without the shirt it's a little bare).  I paired it with a stack of bangles (bonus, they are very entertaining to small children) and these ivory earrings, but to be honest, I would probably go with less jewelry around the baby.


Also, the dress is very forgiving after ice cream.

{2}

Look, if the weather is going to be this nice, somebody has got to throw a party.

I love the combination of the chambray shirt with white, and full skirts are always so fresh feeling in the spring after a long winter in jeans.  Here, I would wear it with a braided belt I stole from my husband to temper the girliness of the skirt and pointy toed red and white slingbacks to amp it up.  If said party was including children, I would probably wear flats.

I know the fedora is kind of a cliche, but it was $10 at Forever 21 and I couldn't help myself.

Hopefully by the time I actually wear this in public, I won't be so incredibly pale.

{3}

Ever since Reese dropped her morning nap, I've been trying to take her out and about the city during our long chunk of awake time.  Usually, I head downtown to check out a store I never get to or get a fun snack and try to hit a new-to-us playground.  Since I'm an uptown girl, I try to make myself a little cooler by wearing these faux-leather pants I agonized over buying because I thought they were soooo not me.  I find that the chambray shirt and flats dresses them down to make them "daytime."


They are warm though, so I only anticipate being able to do this for another month or two.

{4}

This is my go-to, everyday, all day outfit.  If you run into me on the street, I'm probably wearing some variation on this.  I love the idea of wearing the chambray shirt as a jacket, as opposed to a button-down.  I layer it over a plain white t-shirt and throw a down vest over top.  Since everything is open in the center, this is also a nice nursing friendly option.  I added the scarf as an alternative to a necklace, which is one of my mom-things, since it won't break if Reese gives it a tug.  Sperrys and a cross-body bag are absolute necessities.  Seriously, non-negotiable.


 No child was strapped to the stroller when we shot this.

{5}



Our nights out these days are generally just dinner, but it's always a nice excuse to put on lipstick and heels.  I layered the shirt over a little black dress and added the tights and booties.  This dress is a leetle bit too short to wear without tights at my age, but this works for cooler evenings through the spring.  I am usually running short on primping time after we put the baby to bed for the evening, so I'll just pull my hair up and slick on some red lipstick and call it a look.



There it is!  Five ways I'm planning on wearing my chambray into the ground!

Most of these clothes are super old, but if you really want to know where they are from, let me know in the comments.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's All in the Details.

I tried to warn you that not all my outfit posts are going to be super fun and novel.

Most of the time, I can be found in jeans and a sweater.  

Ex. 1:


Sweater and henley: J Crew; Jeans: Uniqlo; Loafers: Topshop

I'm trying to add little details to make my everyday uniform a little more interesting.  One of the biggest trends this season is color, and I was able to dig out this lightweight cotton sweater from J Crew for the glorious sunshiney weather and our first trip to Barneys together.

Reese looked at a hot pink Moncler baby rain jacket and pronounced it "Niiiighhhhhccceeee."

The top underneath is one of my favorite henleys, bought in the day when I was nursing around the clock and needed easy access.  Henleys.  Awesome town.

Another little detail?

My animal print loafers. 

I heart these.

I actually don't own anything else animal print, so this was a good dip-the-toe-in-the-water for me.  They perk up a lot of outfits and are a nice switch-up from my regular ballet flats or Sperrys.

So, while this might not be the most inventive outfit you'll see on a blog today, it's the one that works for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Body Post Baby: Size is Everything

Despite reading all manner of blogs and books, I was naive about a lot of things going into the post partum period after having Reese.

A LOT.

For example, I knew my breasts would get huge when I was nursing, but they all just meant for the first week or two right?  And then I would go back to being able to fit into all of my regular tops and bras, right?  RIGHT?!?

Ha!

No.

I think only now, a solid seventeen months after having a baby am I fitting comfortably back into my button downs without stretching the fabric and buttons to their absolute limits.  But even then, let's just say that my lingerie drawer is lying fallow because things are not exactly...where they were before having a baby.

So, I'm thinking I need to go and get resized.  Like by a professional.  One of those women who will bust out the tape measure and get all up in my business and cluck about how being in the wrong size bra is a humanitarian tragedy on the order of Somalia.  It's going to be a regular Judy Blume novel over here.

Since I'm basically doing to be starting from scratch, the good folks over at Chantelle recommended a few basic styles for post-baby bodies.  While they do make some fabulous lacy lingerie, their fit specialist picked out the Rive Gauche in Milk and the Sublime Spacer in Nude to get started.


The Rive Gauche is made with a flat, stretch lace which can accommodate swelling in the breast tissue if you are still nursing or if things are still "calming down" and the Sublime Spacer has a soft moldable fabric that won't pinch or pull on anything.

Also, while basic...these are pretty hot.

You know how they say you save like a trillion billion dollars* by breastfeeding?**  I'm about to go spend that on new bras.

*Not the actual figure.

**Probably not, given how I still bought a pump; bottles, which were totally ignored; and nursing bras and tops, plus the immense quantities of chocolate that were absolutely necessary for milk production.  But, shhhh.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Labels We Love: H&M

Labels We Love: H&M

I live deep in stroller country.  The interminably unhip Upper East Side.

There are no cocktail bars where the "mixologist" brews his own bitters and infuses his own vodka.

There are no Latino-Asian fusion restaurants with chefs who are in Food and Wine Magazine this month.

There are no stores to buy the latest and greatest as seen on The Man Repeller.

BUT!  I do live 4 blocks from an H&M with an amazing kids and baby section.

It's a tradeoff.

And we love H&M.  They have great organic cotton basics like onesies and leggings to buy in bulk; socks that come in 4 packs (I swear we have lost at least one sock by the time we get home from the store.  There is a black hole somewhere in the universe filled with baby socks.  Get Stephen Hawking looking into this shit, I'm serious) and the cutest baby jackets; all at reasonable prices.

Reasonable especially considering most of it will be covered in yogurt and graham cracker crumbs by naptime.

Another huge plus?  A thoroughly raidable boys section.

I routinely get the icks looking at some girls sections at baby stores.  Sometimes I stand there, holding a sweatshirt covered in pink and purple sequin cat designs to go with the matching tutu and just want to weep for the future.


And, if I happen to be in there shopping for the baby and I happen to see something awesome in my size and I happen to get it, well...you know...things happen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Four: Things I Miss

I've having kind of a low Friday and missing some of the things I used to be able to indulge in when I was minus one small one.

Apropos nothing, except that it makes me a little happier.

Excuse the wallow.

{1}  Watching a marathon of truly crappy television ALL DAY LONG.  I'm not talking like an episode of two, I mean you start watching and then all of a sudden it's 9 p.m.

{2}  Not checking in.  Most of us do this anyways, but it would feel like an incredible luxury to just turn off my phone and go do something alone without seeing if anyone needed me.

{3}  Spending extra time at the gym, just because you are in the zone.

{4} Staying out past midnight.  It's just too expensive if you have a babysitter, plus, you have to come and sheepishly explain to a sleepy sitter that you were suckered into just one more drink (and leave out the part where your baby-less friends shamed you for leaving so early anyways.)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Far From a Fairytale

One thing that always scares me about having a daughter is the "princess" phase.  I know that for some girls, this phase starts as early as the womb and lasts until they are on "Say Yes to the Dress."  Probably beyond.

And beauty companies know this.  Skin care and cosmetics for young girls are blinged out with pink and purple sparkles and bedazzled up the wazoo.  That is why I was so happy to see the launch of Willa Skin Care.


Created by a mother of a teenaged daughter who had skin issues herself, Christy Prunier wanted to create something designed for young girls to teach them to care for their skin.  The products are all natural and most include SPF 30, as suncare is KEY to keeping your skin healthy.  

I liked that the packaging was pretty and girly, but not tarty.  I also liked that the products create a routine for skin care, which is so important as it creates good habits for girls as they grow.

Maybe it will save them from drinking too many sour apple martinis in college and then falling asleep with glitter eyeshadow and tons of mascara on.  Not that I ever did that or anything.  
There is also a delicious smelling lip balm.  

Not as good as a sour apple martini, but, you know.  No one's perfect.



The face wash and moisturizer have a nice light scent, and the cleanser has the fun foaming pump.  I tried out a couple of the face products and thought they were really nice, albeit a little drying for my "mature" skin.

Dear god.  I have "mature" skin.  


Also, all the products are paraben and sulfate-free.  And made in the good ol' USA.
Of course, it's not all serious.  There is an adorable pink lip gloss with a handy clip so it doesn't get lost in your backpack.  Or diaper bag.  Whatever.

Willa is available in Target and at J Crew Crewcuts (both online and in stores) as well as WillaSkinCare.com

Product samples were provided for editorial consideration, all opinions expressed are solely my own. Especially the part about sour apple martinis being delicious. I know no one else ever agreed with me.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Labels We Love Collide

There are plenty of awesome collaborations in my world.

Pretzels and Nutella.

Scotch and ice.

Marni and H&M.

Well, add one more to that list.

Hanna Andersson and Serena and Lily.


Eep!

I've already written about my love of Hanna Andersson.  They make the best, most durable, soft cotton basics for babies and their sleepers are just the best.  Add to that the absolutely squee-worthy patterns of Serena and Lily.  I couldn't forward the links around fast enough.

While I would like to collect all nine patterns, I think these are my two favorites:




Ugh, I have a toothache they are so sweet.  Or maybe that's all the Nutella.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Here goes nothing...

As a part of my new year's resolutions, I have been trying to break out of a style rut and threw out the idea of doing outfit posts on this blog.  I was surprised when people responded positively.  Shocked, actually.

But it's worth a whirl.  So I dug my tripod out of the closet and ordered a remote control for my camera.

I mean, I had a baby, how hard could this be?

HARD.


This is me trying to get the camera to shoot.


This is me being pissed off at how hard it is to get the remote to work.

Honestly, this is probably how I look a lot of the time.


This is me remembering to smile while being pissed off while trying to get the remote to work.


This is me trying to look style-blogger-y cool while actually watching the President's press conference.

Also, I put on lipgloss.


This is me doing the looking-down-clutching-my-shirt close up thing that style bloggers do.


This is me laughing at how absurd this post is going to be. Front and back.

Anyhoo.  This was a new outfit for me, also known as the "100th way I'm wearing a chambray shirt."  I layered it over an old turtleneck sweater dress and paired it with tights and over-the-knee flat boots.  I cribbed the look from a street style photo I saw in the New York Times when I realized I had both components in my closet already.  It's amazing because it's WARM.  And as a bonus, the longer sweater dress doesn't ride up which has been great for babywearing.

Also, top knots.  Not just for style bloggers anymore!  The hairstyle of choice for busy moms with dirty hair.

Chambray shirt: Old Navy; Sweaterdress: Barneys Co-Op (super old); Tights: Topshop; Boots: Matisse (old, but you can read the story of how they became mine); Bracelets: Sarca

So, that's my first outfit post.  Hope the pictures don't suck too badly, and I promise to work on it.

Feel free to tell me to stop posting outfit pics in the comments if necessary.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Four: Annoying "Mom" Things I'm Guilty Of

...but I'm trying to stop.

So much Elmo.  So much.

{1}  Referring to myself in the third person, as in: "Mommy just needs to put socks and shoes on!" or "Mommy needs to have a cup of coffee before I can read you the Elmo book for the 17th time!"

{2}  Narrating everything I do.  In the third person (see above).

{3}  Posting an adorable picture of the baby on Facebook and then obsessively and narcissistically checking for "likes" and comments.

{4}  Getting really indignant when store entryways are not stroller friendly.  Especially on the Upper West Side.  I mean, really?  Do they not want to make money?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Parent Life: The Age Old Question


The other day, a mother told me her child was 27 months old.  Twenty-seven.  It was all I could do to bite my tongue and not say, "So, he's two?"

It's a colossal joke of motherhood that we all refer to our children in precise dating system that makes no sense to anyone who doesn't have children (or has children above the age of four.)  I mean, we're not carbon dating a T-Rex here, it's just a child.

So, I decided I would publish my guide for telling people how old your baby is.  This does vary slightly when you are talking to parents in a similar situation, and I have noted such exceptions below in italics.

Birth to one week:  You can safely refer to your child by how many days old he/she is.  Feel free to round up when getting close to actual time of delivery.


One to six weeks:  Use weeks here, as babies can change drastically from one week to the next.  When speaking to other parents with babies still in the sleeps-anywhere-through-anything stage, you can use half weeks too.


Six to twelve weeks: Continue to use weeks, but cut it out with the half weeks.

3 to 11 months:  Use months.  Once you hit three months, using weeks is silly.  Don't let me catch you saying your baby is fifteen weeks, I don't like to have to do mental math.  Also, once you near the next month, just round up.  Another thing that really bugs me is when people tell me their child is five months and three weeks.  Six months may be a big milestone to you, but it's not to me.

One year to 15 months:  This is where it gets tricky.  To those who have children, I use months.  There is a big difference between a 13 month old and a 15 month old.  To people in the elevator who ask, I just say one year.

15 months to 18 months:  Even trickier, and where I am right now.  Saying 17 months sounds stupid, which I'm trying to avoid.  I've been road testing "a year and a half."  Once you hit 18 months, I think that's acceptable to say to both the with-childs and withouts.

18 months to 2 years: Ditch the months.  I don't want hear that your baby is 21 months.  I think the elegant solution here is to say when the child will turn two.  "Oh, Madison will turn two in April." (they are always named Madison.  Or Ava.  Or Max.)

2 years and beyond: Years.  No if, ands, or buts.

photo courtesy of onecharmingparty.com
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