2 YEAR FAMILY PHOTOS

Every year we take family photos around Desmond’s birthday. This was our first year working with the brilliant Suzanne Price of Suzuran Photography.  She suggested doing the pics at home or a location that’s special to us, so we chose Rocky River park because we love hanging out as a family there. And if you’ve ever been early in the morning, the lake is like glass and its so beautiful and peaceful. It was a hot and muggy day, but it was overcast so that gave us some reprieve and made for great moody lighting of the photos. Suzanne was amazing to work with. She’s so chill and gave us barely any direction, which I think shows in the natural feeling of the photos. Things I learned from the shoot were…1) Charlie and Desmond are like the most photogenic 2) Shit, I still have some post pregnancy arm and back fat to lose. Here are some of my favorite snaps…

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STYLE: A Very Pinteresting Shopping Strategy

So, I don’t know about you, but I pin a lot of “looks” I love, but then I never really make an effort to recreate them or use them for outfit inspiration. It’s been a few years since I’ve done a good spring/summer shopping, so I decided it was time. But what should I get? What do I need? So often do I end up buying stuff I have nothing to wear with and it just sits in my closet. It was the perfect opportunity to actually utilize my Pinterest summer style board. Over a couple of months I started to pin away and I was noticing some really strong trends within my board. I also noticed that a lot of the outfits were different combinations of a few key themes. So, I summarized those themes and used that as my guide start focusing in my shopping. Game. Changer. I feel so good about the shopping I’ve done so far. Honing in on versatile staple pieces gives me so many combo options. While a spontaneous “I love this and have to have it even though I don’t know when I’d ever wear it” is still totally allowed, I think I’ve forever changed how I will approach my seasonal shopping.

Favorite Looks from My Board:

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Here’s what my board was telling me I’m pretty jazzed about in general:

  • Denim/Chambray – jackets/tops/vests/dresses (I’m cuckoo for all of it)
  • Black and white stripes
  • Black Leather
  • Sophisticated floral prints with black backgrounds
  • Boho maxi dresses
  • Overalls – though I’m 99% sure I cannot pull them off
  • Ripped jeans – I love ripped jean shorts, but mama just doesn’t have the thighs (I tried) so ripped knees is the goal here
  • Neutral tan and black shoes – clogs, strappy sandals, Birks
  • Hats – Wide brim fedoras in particular

Here’s a few examples of my Pinsperation becoming reality. Chambray – check! Ripped black jeans – check! Wide brim fedora – check! Even though Des is the only one who’s worn it so far. Stripes – check! Neutral sandals – check! Vegan leather moto jacket on clearance from Target with built-in sweatshirt hood!! – check! check!

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Tell me what trends you’re feeling for summer? I wanna know!!

REAL LIFE: Growing Friendships

Even though I went to college in Florida (Go Gators!), I am lucky to have Audra, my college roommate and one of my best friends, just 2 hours away in Columbus. When Charlie and I were dating, we always joked that she needed to find a good Ohio boy, and well, she did! We are also lucky enough to have boys just 6 months apart. Her and Greyson came up for an overnight visit and it was the first time the boys really spent quality time together being old enough to actually have fun with each other. And they did. I don’t know why, but I was so surprised. Desmond is usually shy and tends to just play around, but not really with other kids. At least away from school, anyway. These guys had such an instant connection though. We took them to the zoo in the late afternoon (which by the way is the best time to go in my opinion) and they were like two peas in a pod. Giggling, following each other around, holding hands. It made my heart so happy to see this little friendship budding. I can’t wait to continue watching it grow.

Ok, it took a few minutes for Des to wake up after his car nap…what a curmudgeon.

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Grey has 6 months on Des and at least 6 inches.
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TINY HUMAN STYLE: Monochromatic Round Up

Lots of great things come in black and white. Dalmatians, zebras, bathroom floors, the black and white cookie (but only the good kind from NYC). I could also live in black and white stripes pretty much. But, I’m usually more drawn to color when its comes to clothes for Des. Lately though, I am kind of digging the monochromatic look. Gray, black and white pieces are also great wardrobe staples because they can be mixed with each other, brights, neons, pastels, prints, whatever. Here’s a round-up of some of my personal faves. Some of this stuff is even from H&M and Target, so save those dolla dolla bills ya’ll $$$.

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REAL LIFE: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Saying that becoming a mother has changed me is a gross understatement. It’s completely changed me in ways I really didn’t expect. My husband loves to point them all out, because even sometimes he’s just in disbelief. Before having Desmond I was very easily flustered by stressful situations. I’m a planner by nature and if something didn’t go as I imagined it, well I could be known to have a melt down that could rival any two year old. Like if I got lost driving somewhere new, I would pretty much call Charlie in tears and make his problem to get me un-lost. Or if I couldn’t find something to wear in the morning, I would stomp around my closet saying I have no clothes, when that’s obviously not true. But now? Well, having a baby is like someone forcing a chill pill down your throat every single day. Your universe shifts and suddenly you have a new perspective on pretty much everything. Things that you thought were so important become afterthoughts. You are put into challenging situations on a daily basis and you have to put up or get out. Except it’s not really a choice. You have to put up. This new version of myself got tested on Saturday morning, big time. I finally got to take Des to the Cleveland Museum of Art for what I pictured to be a blissful and culture filled morning where we would bond and snap photos with the good camera in the light flooded atrium. What really happened? Twenty minutes into playing in the kids area, he blew out his diaper. Poop up to his neck, I’m not kidding. I meant to bring extra clothes because I knew his antibiotics was giving him stomach troubles, but for sure I would forget them on this particular day. Ok, not going to panic. Let’s just walk calmly to the restroom past all this fine art and hope no one smells you. Ok, now please stop jumping up and down so I can get this shirt off without getting poop in your hair. What? I only have three baby wipes? Ok, cool let’s wet some paper towels real quick. Now lets rinse out the top of your jeans and this zip up jacket is going to look awesome with out a shirt on underneath. Why is it so hot in this bathroom? Is this cardigan wool? I’m breaking a sweat. Can you stand in this stall with me while I pee? Oh, ok go ahead and lay on the floor, that’s super. We should probably just go home. No, F-It, we paid $8 for parking. We are going to play in the atrium and eat lunch at the café. Well actually I am going to eat both of our lunches and you’re just going to eat pretzels. I don’t even recognize myself right now. I guess when you become a mother, you are forced to realize that shit happens, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day.

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TINY HUMAN STYLE: Embrace the Velcro

It’s quite possibly just my ineptitude, but to this day it’s been physically impossible to get any shoe that is not a low-cut velcro sneaker onto my son’s feet. Did you just shutter at the word velcro? I was like you once. Until chubby little feet with curled up toes forced to me to open my mind up. Anything can be stylish if done right, right? And so it turns out, I must not be the only mama fighting this fight because there are TONS of cute velcro sneaks out there. Here are some of my favorites! Des is currently rocking the converse in light gray and we love ’em, but I’m thinking we need the blue ones for summer. And those tiger sneaks from H&M…do they come in my size?

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On the Road Again

It’s been a loooong time since we’ve done any roadtripping. Why? Becuase once you say good-bye to the guaranteed to sleep in the car seat the whole way phase, the thought of the being trapped in a car with a toddler for any extended period of time phase is terrifying. Columbus seemed like a fairly safe destination to dip our toes back in the water. Not too far and somewhat familiar. Plus one my best friends lives there, plus we’ve been dying to check out Fox in The Snow, plus  the model train show with a ride-on Thomas the Tank Engine was in town. Sold. We did it and it went seamlessly. Des slept most of the way there and got in his nap and he perfectly pleasant most of the way home. Fox and the Snow was delightful; its such a beautiful coffee shop. And the train show? Well it was worth the  Thomas which resulted in a melt down because “what?, i can’t just stay on this ride all day?”.  No Des, other parents have waited in line for 45 mins to watch their kids go around in a 30 second circle, so we have to share.

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