Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The High/Low: Swim Styles for Less than Perfect Bodies

I don't know anyone who is just thrilled to jump into a bathing suit for the first time every year, and having a baby doesn't exactly make it easier.

However, there are a number of trends and tricks though that can help you out and make it a little more comfortable to strip down at the beginning of summer.  I've picked out four here and found a high and a low option for each.

High/Low: Swim Styles

1. Print: J. Crew Antique Paisley Ruched Bandeau - $92 / Target ASSETS by Sara Blakely Bloom Print One Piece - $44.99
I'm not usually a huge fan of prints, but they really work on a bathing suit.  Plus, the pattern distracts from the less than perfect parts of your body.  I have a similar J. Crew suit and I love it, but the Target one is almost as cute for half the price.  I bet a swimsuit from the woman who created Spanx will keep everything in check too.

2.  Ruching:  ModCloth Lake Me With You One Piece - $89.99 / Old Navy Twist-Front Control Max Suit - $44.94

It's an old trick, but it works.  So, I guess it's a classic?  Ruching.  A little bunching across the abdomen makes lumps and a less than perfect belly disappear.  I think the retro shapes also work really well on a curvy figure.  I have a similar one that I bought for our first vacation after Reese and it makes me feel like Esther Williams.

3.  High Waist:  Anthropologie Retro Poppy Bikini - $78 / H&M Bikini - $25

I confess that I haven't tried this style on, but gosh darn it!  It looks so cute!  I usually have the most trouble with my lower abdomen, since I can't seem to do any more than two of those feet-up-crunches without wanting to die right there on the floor.  This high waisted Marilyn Monroe-esque suit might help me out in that department.  The Anthro one is adorable, but seriously?  Who can pass up a $25 suit from H&M?

4.  Strategic Stitching:  Malia Mills Dionne Suit - $325 / Anthropologie Tidal Striped Maillot  - $158

Alright, don't kill me for putting up this pair.  Malia Mills makes some of the absolute best swimsuits...they are beautiful, they last, they flatter, and they come in cup sizes.  However, they are an investment.  The ruching and the elastic stitching down the front really really flatter your body.  If you can afford it and are willing to invest, I recommend looking for one of these (plus, they sometimes go on sale or show up on Gilt!).  If you don't want to drop that kind of cash, this Anthropologie suit offers similar lines in a cutie pie nautical print for less than half.

So, have you bought your summer suit yet?  Do you have a favorite that you wore holes in?  Any great secret sources for swimwear?

P.S. I swear that when I put together this set, all the bathing suits were in stock! I've tried to link to something as similar as possible otherwise.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Five Items to Update Your Summer Wardrobe

In a perfect world, we'd all be people who carefully selected a full new summer wardrobe some time in mid-March. Oh, sure, maybe there would be some holdovers from our resortwear, but mostly new.


I usually decide in mid-July that my ratty white t-shirts and ketchup stained shorts should be replaced and then get around to buying new in August. In lieu of the former and trying to avoid the latter, I've come up with five pieces to add to my wardrobe (and subsequently yours!) to get ready for summer.

Summer Wardrobe Updates

A Classic Tunic: Roberta Roller Rabbit Classic Kurta Jemina

These tunics are a classic for a reason.  They are perfect as a swimsuit cover up - both pool and beach and they are the best in the city summer heat.  The thin material is cool and it comes in a billion (not a scientifically accurate statement) different patterns.  It works well paired with jeans or shorts, belted or loose, heels or flats.  WIN.

New Shades: Anthropologie Keyhole Shades 

I have a serious problem with sunglasses.  I have real trouble finding ones that fit me...sounds weird right? But it's true!  I love Ray Bans, but they are way too big.  These are a quarter of the cost, have the thick black frames and a fun retro pin-up vibe.

Mint Colored Jeans: Topshop Denim skinny jeans 

True story, 99.7% of the pants I own are black or navy.  Which makes it really hard to wear black or navy tops without looking like I'm joining law enforcement or a Johnny Cash tribute band.  Even though colored denim has been everywhere for the past 18 months, I've held back.  Well, no longer!  I liked the mint because it's similar to white jeans, which are classic, but with a little twist.

Flat Sandals: Loeffler Randall ankle strap shoes

Last Friday, I hit the Loeffler Randall sample sale with one objective...flat sandals.  Most of the ones I own have been worn into the ground.  I was hoping to find a fun color like orange or red, but instead fell in love with this rose gold pair.  They go with everything and will be put to good use at a beach wedding in July.  P.S. Philosophical question: if a wedding happens and no one wears heels, did it really occur? 

Accordion Pleated Skirt: YesStyle Button front skirt

I am just in love with accordion pleated skirts.  We are going to get married (and wear heels!) and register for china and never send out thank you notes.  It will probably be annulled in a year or two after the fabric falls apart and goes out of style (or you know, because I married a skirt), but it will be glorious while it lasts.  

In all seriousness? Perfect with a t-shirt and ballet flats for breezy afternoon strolls and playground jaunts, but I also see it dressed up with peep-toe heels and a silky top for a date night out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Weekend Update

This weekend started off rough.

Reese has decided that all four of the last teeth that will fit in her mouth will come in at once.  Which meant that Friday morning was spent screaming at me at the top of her lungs if she was not in my arms at all times.  Or even if she was.  

I managed to ply her with some medicine and get her out for a whirl around the Conservatory Garden in Central Park with her friends.

Do not let this innocent pose fool you, she was back to being clingy about 20 seconds later.

Miraculously, my husband was able to come home during her nap and gave me the afternoon off, which I spent at the Loeffler Randall sample sale and browsing around SoHo.  Full on, super awesome alone time.  It was amazing.

They played with chalk.  Maybe some of the chalk was eaten...the blue lips are the tell.

Saturday, Reese woke up in a good mood and we all took a trip to the farmers market and Orwasher's for a jelly donut.

Also! It was a good beauty weekend!  My bangs air dried perfectly both days (IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS, PEOPLE!) and I broke out an old peachy blush combo - MAC Fafi Collection and NARS Orgasm.

I made Joy the Baker's Asparagus and Gruyere Tarts which were totally delicious and disappeared at lightening speed.

My in-laws were visiting from DC, so they spent a lot of time playing with Reese and reading Maisy's Big Book of Words.

Reese is also shaming me in the accessories department.

We had a lovely brunch at Untitled at the Whitney Museum which is BAR NONE my favorite place as of yesterday.  It's beautiful, kid-friendly (but not in a Chuck-E-Cheese way), the food is great and it's in our neighborhood.  Anyone visiting the Upper East Side, this is the place to eat.

The big news of the weekend is that Reese finally has a doll stroller!  She loves it so hard.

And now we are paying for the beautiful weather with a full week of rain.  It was fun while it lasted!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Just Staking a Claim

Just a quick post to claim my blog on Bloglovin! But please...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Naptime Reading Material: Parents Need to Eat Too

Play space is at a premium in New York.  On rainy or cold days this past winter, a favorite diversion is a trip to Barnes and Noble.  Reese gets to toddle around, point at Elmo books, and play with a train set and I get to check out the cookbooks.  Win-freaking-win.

On one such trip, as I was admiring the cover of the new Joy the Baker cookbook, I noticed another title next to it....Parents Need to Eat Too.

Holy crap! That is totally true!  

I was in a good cooking groove in Pittsburgh, but we've resorted to take out a lot lately (I'm not going to lie, it's amazing in NY) and I was looking to get back into it with our impending CSA deliveries.  I ended up ordering the book and I love it.  Koenig sounds a lot like most mothers I know who loved making dinners, but just can't muster the energy at the end of the day.  She has great step-by-step instructions on cooking during naps (helpfully adjusted for those babies who have graduated from 2 naps to 1), simple and quick entrees, and healthy substitutions.

The two that are currently on rotation in our house are the Arroz con Pollo and the Lemony Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta.  They were delicious, easy and best of all, Reese fricking INHALED the leftovers.

I highly recommend the cookbook, but I also recommend Koenig's blog for lots of recipes and insight into trying to put dinner on the table as a mother.

Also, the Joy the Baker book?  AMAZING. I'm gaining weight just looking at the pictures.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What I Learned Through Breastfeeding on

One of the best part of parenting in the age of the internet is being able to learn from the experiences of others.  Today, I feel honored to share a little bit of what I learned about breastfeeding on in a great article by Lauren of A Mommy in the City.

With the amazing hindsight that is 20/200, here it is:

It's what I wish I had been able to hear when I was starting out.  We had a verrrryyyy rocky start as well as some rough patches in the middle, but in the end, I met my goal and am very proud of it.  However, I do wish that I hadn't made myself, my husband, my mother, our pediatrician, our lactation consultant and probably the guy who sold us bananas crazy hearing about all of our difficulties.  It's just not worth it.

Check out the full article and hear from the other mothers.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Line It Up - Lancome Artliner Liquid Liner

Liquid eyeliner is my arch beauty nemesis.

Just like some people cannot DIY or craft and others are deathly afraid of making pie crust (oh, wait, those are both me too), I cannot apply liquid eyeliner to save my life.

But that doesn't stop me from continuing to try!  I just love the way it looks, the sleek black swoop and a little wing on the end...UGH.  It's so fracking chic.

One day (it was probably actually a Friday night when I was home on my couch checking Twitter) I saw a picture of Lexa posted with the perfect liner.  I quickly asked her what the product was and she replied that it was Lancome Artliner.  And when Lexa tells you what the best black eyeliner is, you listen and buy.

I finally got a chance to try it out (there aren't many opportunities to wear a Bridget Bardot themed makeup look to a playdate) and I really like it.  It goes on smoothly and easily, no skips or jumps in the line and leaves an inky black line.  Others I've tried have been too dry or too wet and the brush could sometimes wiggle mid-line and leave a terrible smudge.  This is definitely a superior product.

Now that I have the tool, I just need to work on my execution to get the perfect line, but I highly recommend Artliner for those of you looking to conquer your "white whale" of a beauty problem.

However, I'm giving up on pie crust.  It's just not going to happen.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Four: Unintentionally Dirty Toddler Words

I know what she's saying, but I also know what it sounds like.

{1}  Sit.

{2}  Clock.

{3}  Fork.

{4}  Crap.

 Ok, the last one might not be unintentional and, yes, I know she picked it up from me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Parent Life: On Weddings

True story:  This weekend, I was talking to my husband about plans for our anniversary (which is today) and I said I couldn't believe it's already been three years.  I remarked that it felt like we had been married a lot longer.

(Insert a long pause here.)

My husband turned to me and said, "Yeah, it probably feels like longer because it's our FOURTH anniversary."


So, anyhoo.  Our wedding was was a great party, a beautiful ceremony, a chance to celebrate with our closest friends and family.  We're still taking about the shenanigans that went down.  But what I didn't realize at the time was how much fun it would be to be a guest at a wedding after having a baby.

I thought at the start of wedding season, I thought it would be fun to talk about what it's like to attend a wedding as a new parent.  Especially a destination wedding.  Maybe you have the kind of life where you have to be out at black tie events boozing it up every weekend without a care in the world, but I certainly don't.  And don't really want to.  But every once in a's awesome.  Here's why:

1. You can travel somewhere.  Without a baby.  The first wedding I went to after Reese was born was in California.  My husband had to fly ahead of me due to groomsman obligations, so I had to fly alone. Five hours with just my iPod, September Vogue, and a vat of hot coffee.  It was the greatest vacation ever.

2. You get to spend time getting dressed up.  On a typical date night, I'm in "play clothes" all day through bath and bed time, then rush around trying to throw on an outfit and makeup to make our dinner reservation.  For a wedding, you have to really take the time to get dressed in a nice dress and put on makeup.  I blew my hair dry for the first time in about 9 months.

3. It's an excuse to be irresponsible.  Well, a little bit.  When I went on my first trip, there was no way I was going to be able to bring back milk for Reese, so I decided to drink enough coffee and booze to justify pumping-and-dumping.  It was AWESOME.  At least what I remember.

4. The smallest purse ever.  You are going to a wedding!  You don't really need any cash, or diapers, or toys or snacks.  Hell, if you are really out of town, you don't even need your cell phone.  Lipgloss, keys, and ID.  Marvel at how light you feel.

5.  It kind of feels like prom.  And your husband is your date.  It can be nice to get ready separately and see each other all dressed up for the first time (if one of you is in the wedding party).  It's a welcome change from all the seen-everything days of having a baby.

6.  You get to reminisce about your own wedding.  I'm not a crying-at-wedding type person, but I do get sentimental thinking about how far we've come.

7.  Eat!  Calories don't count if it's at a wedding. Or if you are breastfeeding.  Or you are 50 yards from your child.  Totally true.  If not, see the next item.

8.  Dance!!  At my age, there aren't that many clubs that don't make you feel like the whole world's gone douchey.  Weddings, on the other hand, are like the greatest dance party you ever went to in college.  The music is usually classic awesome dance tunes so you can spend the night tearing up the dance floor with your best friends.  Plus, you can burn off all those calories in the booze.

9.  Show off.  Oh please, you didn't actually NOT bring your cell phone.  (ignore the twelve double negatives in that sentence)  Not because someone is going to call you with a baby emergency but so you can show off the latest pictures of your adorable offspring!  Just try to do it before you get too drunk and tired.  Also, you will most likely bore everyone early and will end up doing this with your husband at the table during toasts.

10. SLEEP IN.  Maybe not actually sleep in, but wake up without a monitor or an alarm.  Or at least wake up and just lie in bed and not have to go anywhere for a solid 10 minutes.  Best. Vacation. Ever.

There is is, my 10 reasons why I'm looking forward to wedding season.  For those throwing the weddings, I thank you.  I promise to have an amazing time.  For those new parents attending, I implore you to be a good guest and have fun.  There is nothing that breaks my heart more than seeing people standing against the wall at a wedding not talking to people, drinking, or dancing.  I mean, what the hell is the couple going to talk about for the next three years.  Wait, four.  Four years.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stock Up for Summer at Piperlime

This spring in New York has been cold and rainy and generally very icky.

While it's been terrible for getting out and enjoying the newly green lawns, it's actually been great for my wallet since I haven't been in the mood to shop for many spring items.


Piperlime is making it very tempting with some killer sales this week. They have an awesomely large selection of everything, is offering 30% off a wide range of summer essentials until May 13th.

I might finally pull the trigger and get these killer flat sandals from Pour La Victoire.
I am in desperate need of a new pair of skinny jeans.  I've been putting it off for ages, but I think my beloved Topshop Moto jeans (I also loved the maternity version!) are stretched out and are kaput.  Everyone raves about J Brand, so I might have to give these a test run at home.

The best part about Piperlime?  Free shipping and free returns.  

So, does anyone have any other skinny jean recommendations?  Are you planning on picking up any last minute spring/summer essentials?  Do you think it will EVER actually get warm in New York?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Update

This weekend we...

Spent a lot of time on the playground and Reese even wore her barrettes for a grand total of 30 minutes!

Then, I got the greatest all time surprise when I found our Mr. Softee back on our corner that evening.  Nothing like a chocolate dipped soft-serve to follow a healthy meal of baked tofu, brown rice and broccoli.

My husband had an all day Saturday course (being a doctor's wife isn't all like a Grey's Anatomy episode.) (actually, I haven't watched in about 5 years, so I don't know if that was a current reference.

So, Reese and I went to another playground.

And a stop at our friendly neighborhood 110-year old bakery, Glaser's.    

This place rocks so hardcore.

We walked home through a church street fair and lamented that we did not have a dog to take to the pet psychic.

Since my husband got sprung early from his course, we hit a THIRD playground in the afternoon and made sure Reese was exhausted for the babysitter that night.  We spent the evening with friends at DGBG.

Sunday, I actually motivated myself out of the apartment and took a nice long run around in Central Park while the rest of my family enjoyed banana pancakes and Premier League soccer.

After a quick trip to a FOURTH FREAKING PLAYGROUND, we hit a diner that always gives out balloons.

Pretty jam packed.  I need a vacation from my weekend.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Four: Immutable Truths of Raising a Baby

{1} All sippy cups leak.

{2} Buy a bouncer, baby will like the swing.  Get a swing, baby prefers the bouncer.

{3} Your child will take the best naps when you need to be somewhere.

{4} Imagine the cutest outfit or accessory you could put your baby in...then imagine him/her hating it with the fire of a thousand suns.

(This barrette was ripped out of Reese's hair moments after this picture was taken. It only last that long because she was distracted by a stray bunny graham.)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Babies, Bathwater, and Such

As a beauty blogger and aficionado of expensive skin care lines, I was super excited to stock my baby's bathtub with fancy European baby washes.  As a neurotic new mother, I also got some hypoallergenic run-of-the-mill soap for the first few months when babies are super sensitive.

"Pediatrician recommended" was a major Pavlovian trigger for me during pregnancy.  You could stamp that on black tar heroin and I would have bought it.

But, when the time finally came that Reese was "tough enough" and "not new" anymore to break out the fancy soap, it wasn't well received.  They were too smelly and perfumey, or they didn't lather up the way my husband likes (he's actually the bath time guru in our house).  So, we stuck with the tried and true.  

Until I heard one of my favorite brands, Aquaphor, had come out with a baby wash.

I quickly replaced one with the other and am not looking back.  I love that the wash is unscented and not sticky (if that makes any sense) and tear free.  It's gentle, which is great for this time of year when everyone is suffering from dry skin.

As a bonus, Reese is OB-SESSED with the bottle.  I'll find her in the bathroom pointing to the bottle and saying, "bay-bee, bay-beeeee." 

My only complaint?  I wish it came in a big size with a pump.  But I've made it this long, I can make do.

product sample was provided for editorial consideration, but all opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Naptime Reading Material: What Would Gwyneth Do

There is something about Gwyneth Paltrow that inspires certain severe reactions from a variety of women.

You either love her, hate her, or love/hate her.

I fall firmly in the love/hate column.  Sometimes I think she is totally absurd and out of touch, yet trying to be just the average mom with a famous family, rock star husband, and a career singing/acting/dancing/cookbook writing/newsletter sending.  Then sometimes, I feel like she is just the average mom trying to balance her career with her husband's, feeding her children, and be stylish.

It's very hard to decide if I actually like her.

But what I do like is the blog What Would Gwyneth Do.

It's not actually a blog about Gwyneth, but a blog by a Southern California mother of two living life stylishly while trying to balance a career and family.  She writes about style, food, beauty and kids stuff.  As the mother of an older baby (5 years) and one about Reese's age (little over a year), everything she writes seems to really resonate with me, someone who has been there done that and going through it again.  A recent post about interesting birthday party gifts was bookmarked quickly (our party-every-weekend season happens in the fall) and I was very inspired by another on grey nail polish.

So, no matter how you feel about Ms. Paltrow herself, you can get on board with What Would Gwyneth Do.

Also, many thanks to DC Celine for tipping me off to such a great blog!

images courtesy of
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