Let's talk belt bags. It's a trend coming back around for another spin, much like trends do. But this one is special to me because it blends two key accessories and brings with it past and present details. It's sort of like a fanny pack, but a little more stable, and little less embarrassing. The belt bag holds a place in high fashion and is starting to peek into activewear which makes me love this versatile style even more. Here are some of my favorites on the market right now. Each picture is linked.
I recently whispered to my husband that maybe I should get a fanny pack for when we walk our two dogs and have our baby in the stroller. Someone always needs something (treats, poop bags, baby crackers) and how nice would it be to not reach further than my hips to accommodate everyone? Well, i'm ready to take my whisper to a much louder octave and say, YES PEOPLE. Yes to belt bags.
It's been super hot in the Bay Area so I can't exactly break out my sweaters and scarves and be good to go like I would if we still lived in New England. Fall is a just a little warmer this year. However, I won't for one second complain about where we live, so adapt I will. I recently popped into Tootsies Boutique in Alameda for some local inspo and found the perfect 90 degree day outfit (lol) to bring our son to Speer Family Farms Pumpkin Patch in Alameda Point.
This Pleione Scallop Hem Cardigan was the perfect Olive color and style for a hot Fall day. Also these super cute Lucky Brand booties are the most comfortable, and pair with almost everything making them them the perfect Fall color. Tootsies has multiple locations around the Bay area and they will literally Uber-deliver your order if you need it ASAP. Love that local vibe. Yas please. #shoplocal
Accessories complete me. Well, there are other things too, but there is just nothing like a good accessory to tie an outfit together or set the stage for making your day easier. By this I mean, I have 2 dogs, 1 baby, and 1 husband, I need things to carry things and do things and I need a lot of them. Bags aside, sometimes it's just easy to throw on simple jeans and a T and a fun accessory and boom I look halfway put together after one of those up-all-night-my-baby-is-teething situations. Here is my 2018 round up of my favorite picks for Fall.
1. TARGET // Rowan Cognac Backpack // This color is my favorite for Fall, it's versatile, goes with most and is a sleek silhouette. Also, under $35. Who can argue with that.
2. THE NORTH FACE // BTTFB Backpack // This color is just as fresh and clean as the exterior and interior design. This backpack is a bit more pricey but it's worth it for the laptop sleeve, unisex look, and compartments for all my stuff and things. I'd commute all day with this bag. Joking, But I do love this style.
3. ATHLETA // Caraa Weekender Bag // I love the puff situation of this material and the shoulder strap. I often have my son's diaper bag on my back, so this shape is best for my personal things. Which actually end up being everybody's things. Mom life.
4. ATHLETA // Techno Run Cap // Style this up or down, wear it running or pair it with a cream sweater, skinny jeans, and high boots. Good or bad hairday, this one is a W. It is reflective too, so just try not to see me I dare you.
5. NEFF // Rose 2 Beanie // Always a fav brand of mine when it comes to Knits. Love this color and contrast yarn.
6. NORDSTROM // Richer Poorer Cheetah Ankle Socks // I am dying to wear these with my new taupe ankle boots I bought (more on those later). There is just something about a sheer sock that feels very bougie and not so ... socky. I don't know, you get it. If you don't, try these and then tell me all your thoughts.
When it comes to my face, and the products I use on it, I err on the side of minimal. Less is more is what they say and for me, nothing rings more true. I have been known to fit in a surf session before work or, going way back, before class. Salty beach curls was how I let my hair lay and a layer of waterproof mascara was all she wrote. Now that I am a new Mom, I don't have the time in the morning anymore to fit in a few waves, or for that matter, spend time putting makeup on my face. I need easy, I need fast, and I need to look sort of cool. (My number one fear in life right now is, am I a cool Mom, or no?). I connected with an old classmate of mine who is a consultant for @beautycounter and a Mom as well. So naturally, I was like, help me.
@beautycounter products pride themselves on being free of harmful chemicals. Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs what we put on it. Lotions, sunscreen, foundation, perfume etc. all get absorbed into our bodies from our skin. Without regulations, thousands of harmful ingredients are allowed in our everyday products with no one pumping the breaks. I'm a big believer in anything in moderation, you can't worry all day long about every little thing, but my face and my skin is one thing that I will worry about and that I will prioritize because you know, it's sort of important.
So I linked up with Jackie, told her my woes, and she hooked me up in a major way. Below are my picks and thoughts, and I'm not just saying this to say this but I am hooked. Also, the package everything came in was adorable, I am a big fan of attention to detail, people.
1. Charcoal Cleansing Bar: It clarifies, detoxifies, and absorbs impurities from skin for a brighter and smoother complexion. It also removes makeup and can be used anywhere on the body. Also, it lasts FOREVER. My husband and I both tried this, and it makes your skin feel SO good.
2. Adaptive Moisture Lotion (face): This lightweight face lotion hydrates skin throughout the day to provide 24 hours of hydration. Great for sensitive skin!
3. Cleansing Balm: This is a 20 in 1 product. It can be used as a hydrating and brightening overnight mask, an oil based cleanser, scar treatment, lip balm, eye cream, sunburn elixir, split-end hair treatment, the list goes on and on. A little bit truly goes a long way. The jar lasts most people well over a year. *New Mom MUST.
4. Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage: This is a tinted moisturizer that delivers lightweight hydration, a hint of sheer coverage, SPF 20 protection, and gives your skin a glowing effect. SPF in my products is a MUST living in California. Not to brag, but it's sunny ALL the time, and that takes a toll quickly.
5. Cream Blusher in Hibiscus: If you like a pop of color on your lips this blusher can be used on your cheeks and lips. I LOVE this color. I just put a little on my finger tips, dot it around the apples on my cheeks, dot it on my lips, and then circle back to the apples of my cheeks to blend it in. This shade literally goes with everything!
6. Lip Conditioner in Calandula: Lightweight and hydrating - I use chapstick every single day so this was a fave of mine. It is made with avocado oil, Shea butter, meadowfoam seed oils, and jojoba oil. It also comes in peppermint.
7. Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30: My husband and I tried an "organic" sunscreen earlier in the summer and we both got burnt SO bad. I said never again will we not use Banana Boat, but this product is lightweight, water-resistant, and smells great. It even stayed on evenly when I went for a run. Formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, is anti-oxydent-rich, and never uses Octinoxate or Oxybenzone. All high spf sunscreen has oxybenzone, the known endocrine disrupter and ingredient banned in Hawaii for reef damage. Who knew, seriously.
Thank you Jackie / @beautycounter ... you have changed the way I think about using skin products and thank you for helping me with my easy/fast/cool problems. xoxo
As of late, it feels like my day can quickly turn into mayhem. My husband and I just adopted a boxer puppy so suddenly, our little family of 4 turned into a party of 5 (2 adults, 2 fur babies, and a 7 month old baby boy). Are we nuts? Yup! The puppy needed some care and a home and we just could.not.say.no. Our son sprouted 4 teeth and just started crawling last week, and now he jets around the house on all fours, laughing endlessly at his new talent. Also, puppy is not trained so that has been WORK. If I can't get ease in other areas because i'm chasing around a baby and 2 dogs, I need it in my wardrobe, and that's just the way it has to be until things calm down a bit. Or maybe they never will, and that's why we like it! I'll let you know in a few months, k?
As I have mentioned before, I tend to dress more on the casual side when appropriate, and prefer simple with a statement piece. I was on the hunt for exactly that and found THIS Kimono at @forever21. I had my eye on a few different Kimono styles that I found online but opted for this in-store buy. It is in every sense of the word EASY AND BREEZY. I wear cut off distressed shorts all the time, super casual and easy right? Throw on this geo pattern inspired Kimono and I look half decent! For sure a W.
Similar option here:
Olive Green is all over the trend forecasts for Fall and is also named one of the leading colors for the upcoming season by Pantone. Who doesn't love a good Pantone swatch, for real. Luckily for me, my eyes are very much olive green so this color suits me well right off the bat. Thank you, Universe.
Because we lost a lot of our personal belongings in a house fire before we moved to California, I have been wearing only what we could fit in the truck to drive cross country. Since we have settled here, I have been slowly adding pieces back into my wardrobe. I have been very careful not to go overboard and to choose calmly (very difficult for me) and wisely. Do I need everything? Yes. Do I need everything NOW? No. That is my logic and I swear if I don't stick to it, I will accidentally fill our 3 story townhome with nothing but clothing for me. So this week I ventured out to find a cool spot that I could potentially become a regular at and found Bay St. in Oakland. I can probably sum up my experience in a few words "Oh sh*t, should I be driving down this street? (...turns corner...) OMG, I found my new fav spot." I think most of us who live in the Bay area and have gone out to explore Oakland feel the exact same way. I popped into a few shops on Bay St. with a vision of Olive on my brain. My personal style often teeters toward the casual side so when I popped into @aerie and saw Chambray Overalls that were adjustable for my mile long torso, it was a no brainer. Also, these babies can be dressed down with a tank or bralette and slides by day and a leather jacket and heels by night. My kind of outfit, assuming the baby doesn't spit up on me or dogs drool on me. At this point it's all the same amiright. Another item that was hot on my list was a new bra. I am a new Mom, with new Mom woes and if you are a Mom, you know, I do not have to explain, but I will say, that the @aerie Real Me Bralette may have changed my life, and it's only been 24 hours. Casual, comfortable, wear it however you want, and I will. It also has an adorable little quote printed on the back. I'll circle back on this for future discussion. The last steal of the day were these VACAY Summer Slides. With two dogs and a baby, getting my shoes on can be awkwardly annoying while trying to get everyone ready and out of the house, but these just slip right on. Best of all, everything I bought is on sale right-now. Olive it all. Get it?
@WGSN blog puts out a color of the month and currently it is Lilac. Couldn't agree more, the calming pastel for sure speaks to me and has started to take over my closet in multiple facets. Lilac was forecasted in 2016 and has made a solid comeback - maybe this means it is my spirit color if that's a thing. If not, i'll make it a thing.
There are two kinds of tops that are my go-to's because I have the longest torso ever. Long line tops which are basically dresses on other people, but fit me perfect, and crop tops. Luckily for me, both are in style right now. Since I had my son i've been feeling very meh about wearing crop tops because I feel like it says i'm a delinquent Mom. Determined to get over this "i'm old and a Mom" phase of my life, I went straight to my favorite activewear sites to get some inspiration to spruce up my wardrobe a bit. Everything changes when you are a mom - wardrobe included, but i'm convincing myself still that it doesn't have to be for the worse. Also, side note that still feels very dramatic to talk about, we had a house fire - on my birthday- and lost almost everything on the main floor of our house. My original wardrobe didn't quite make it. Have you ever been like, "I just want to throw my whole closet out and start over!" Well, that happened. Except I didn't throw it out, it was badly damaged by smoke. But, all crappy things pass and this shall too. I made a list in my notes in my iphone of some pieces I knew I wanted to replace right away, and crops (appropriate mom ones) were on it.
Nike and LuLuLemon did a super suave job at making the crop top look good on any one. I may have accidentally bought 2 today while I was looking at some styles to add here. It's fine. Wear these cute crops working out, dress them up, or down in your favorite high waisted bottom. Your choice - that's what makes them so much fun.
Well, here I am, a new Mom to a beautiful baby boy who my husband made it back from deployment just in time to see born!! Phew! We had 3 solid months together as a family of 3 (+1 fur baby) and it was the absolute best. I am currently back to work after my maternity leave and just had to say "sea you later" to my husband who had to deploy once again. It was very hard this time to see him go, especially with the new addition to our family. Because of the nature of this deployment, we had to have tough conversations that made me thankful that our son is too young to understand where Daddy is going and what he is doing. This will be his last deployment, so positive is the vibe I will be carrying until his boots touch the ground where I can see them.
It is best not to dwell so instead I turn my attention to linear art. I find Linear art to be very calming. The simplicity it holds especially when paired with a fresh splash of color could entice me to stare at it all day if I had the choice. Last night, during the 30 minutes of free time I had to myself (haha!) I doodled a little. and added a thought. Just something simple to calm and refocus my mind. "Guerrier de la mer" is French for Warrior of the Sea. May my husband have fair winds and following seas. (and come home ASAP!).
I took a hiatus from broadcasting my personal and professional thoughts because the last 8 months have been a bit of a blur personally. My husband and I are expecting our first child, a baby boy, in early December. HOLY CRAP. It feels weirdly real when I actually say it out loud.
Back in March, my husband and I galavanted off the grid for a long weekend in Old Montreal to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary, and also hit as many champagneries as possible. We had talked about having children before, but this time, I took a look at his new deployment schedule for the upcoming year, and saw that I would only actually be seeing my husband for less than 3 months out of the 2017 year. I remember telling him, "I don't think I can do this without you. We have to wait." So we cheersed with our 24 carot gold flaked champagne that a good friend gave us as a wedding gift, and said, we can wait. Two weeks later I took a pregnancy test just to make sure there was no chance I was pregnant. My husband was about to deploy and I did not want to find out I was pregnant while he was gone. I got up in the morning and peed on the stick. I left it in the bathroom in a fit giggles (because it was weird) and jumped back into bed and told my husband, "you go look." I was sure as shit that nothing would happen. When he came back into the room, his face was not what I was expecting. He was literally beaming ear to ear and I could tell he was not messing with me. I screamed, "MATT WHAT!?" in literal sheer terror. And he said, "we are pregnant." My heart sank and I immediately started balling my eyes out. I was in complete shock and terrified because my husband was about to deploy in a matter of days and I all of a sudden felt like I was on an island and completely alone. A flood of thoughts went through my head - how was I going to do this without my husband? This is just like the movies. What about my career? I can't have wine? What am I supposed to do now? How am I going to be a Mom? What's going to happen to my body? I have to go through this without my other half? We are going to be parents? Why is he crying tears of joy and I am devastated? Am I a horrible person? Women are always told, pregnancy is a beautiful thing, it is the happiest time of your life. Well, honestly, it wasn't for me in the beginning but I eventually got there. When the doctor confirmed our pregnancy, I was scared and felt alone. I was sick 24 hours a day for 5 months straight and lost weight. I ended up in the ER with hives head to toe and had concerns of placenta previa. All while my only communication with my husband was spotty emails and shitty phonecalls from Oceans away. Once I got past the sickness, my clothes started to not fit. I hate the word "maternity" and didn't want to buy maternity clothes. I cried when my favorite pair of skinny jeans made me feel like an encased sausage and left my legs swollen after I took them off after work. I couldn't work out or run because of previa concerns so I felt like I had no outlet. I had also started a new job very early on in my pregnancy and wasn't ready to tell them I was pregnant so I had to hide it. My husband missed hearing the heartbeat and the first ultrasounds early on, my Mom and Dad came with me to my appointments but it wasn't the same. Everyone kept telling me, "you make it look so easy" ... but it was not one bit easy. Just like everything else, these feelings did pass and I pulled myself out of my rut, embraced my baby bump and focused on my new job., I'm sharing my personal thoughts in an effort to be transparent because no one talks about the negative side of being pregnant, and I felt negative for months - that's a long time for someone who is usually optimistic. Transparency can be weird, offensive and/or helpful depending on who you are. Pregnancy related things aside, Transparency is totally in style right now and I think it's weirdly awesome and it totally makes me happy. And that's what we're all here for, am I right?