A Busy Year Ahead.

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I realized today that I had only shared some exciting news via social media and not on the blog! The horror. :)  We all know 2016 will be a big year for me because of my little lovebug who will make his debut in November.  Hopefully by the time the calendar flips to the new year I will be starting to get the hang of taking care of another human life.

But as if that was not enough, I also signed on for two OTHER big projects this year– my first product line (home accessories) that will be available online and in specific retail stores nationwide (actually, world wide!) September 2016 and a second book that will be officially coming to you in 2017.

via GIPHY

Yeah, I know. I’m straight up crazypants. I think I need to sit down.

The thing with me is, I am always in fear that this amazing ride my career has been is going to end at any moment. That all these awesome opportunities to decorate homes, write for you, design products and write books will just- poof- dry up one morning when I least expect it and I’ll be left feeling the worst feeling of all the feelings- regret. So I try to approach my business with the attitude of “stay hungry”- let’s do as much as we can now while we are being offered these incredible opportunities so if and when it ends, by choice or not,  we can look back and say “I did it” and feel content. Rational? Not really, but it’s how I’ve operated for many years and I think when you lose that hunger and drive and get too confident it can be trouble.  That doesn’t mean I’m saying yes to everything, far from it actually. But the big things that excite me I will find a way to do.

Now, I also want to have no regrets when it comes to raising my son (a high/ impossible order, but I do tend to be a rabid perfectionist so why stop now?)  I don’t want to be too busy to miss out on time with him, but I want to keep my career going.  Not working is not an option (both because I love my job and I need to financially). The plight of many working moms the world over! Hello, can I join your tribe? Can you teach me the ways of “having it all”?

It’s a concept that has been debated, discussed and written about (famously in The Atlantic as of recent).   Being a full time mom is a full time job on it’s own, so how do you do both and succeed?  I am lucky in that I have flexibility in my job- I don’t punch a clock or work for anyone else- so if I want to come home at lunch to spend an hour with my son I can.  And my job provides the ability to hire full time help within our home (which is proving to be scary and hard).  I have a loose idea of how I want to do this, but I also know that once this baby arrives all my plans will probably go out the window.

Any tips from you moms who work and have families would be wonderful to hear.  Your struggles, your successes- I love having this platform to open the discussion not only for me but for others who may be in the same position.

 

 

 



Nursery Design Reveal!

The pressure to make this nursery something spectacular has been intense- mostly of my own doing, but also because it’s been such a long time coming and I want it to be beyond perfect! While I was long debating the bold versus serene vibe, I knew in my heart that I wanted something soothing but also with a modern edge. So I decided to really mix both traditional items with modern ones- buffalo plaid, scenic wallpaper, lucite, brass and streamlined furniture.  I am loving it, and I think when I’m trapped inside all winter with a newborn it will be such a peaceful place to relax with the baby.  And I know there are lots of people who will think this is impractical or not “bold” enough for the baby- but it’s basically where he will sleep and feed. The rest of my house in so black and white I think he’ll develop just fine. :) So here it is!
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leather elephant bookends // side table // floor lamp // leather pouf

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Nursery Inspiration: Serene or Bold?

So now that I am halfway through my pregnancy and beginning to feel the little lad move around I have to get down to designing my nursery. And it turns out, this project is my kryptonite.  I have two schemes going- one more bold and one serene. And I CAN. NOT. DECIDE.  Since it was so difficult for me to get pregnant, who knows if I will get to do another nursery again? And since it was such a long, highly anticipated journey I feel so much pressure to make it AMAZING. So it’s got me a little freaked out and incredibly indecisive. But let’s face it- this kid’s room will be redone a few times in his choldhood, so if I go more babyish and soothing for the nursery, I could always make it more bold when he’s 3 or so….right?? :)

So I gathered up a bunch of boy nurseries in both varieties to compare and contrast. Let’s start with the serene and soothing:

Simple, bright and lovely.
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This nursery by Christine Dovey  is the definition of serene- I’ve posted about it before I love it so much.
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Stylish Moms Share Their Faves!

As I move through this pregnancy I’ve relied on asking my friends who have already been through it for so many recommendations.  In fact this weekend we went to look at strollers and while Andrew thought is was aweeeeeeesome to fondle all the gear, I was SO overwhelmed. So I thought why not share some of that brilliant information?  I asked four of my stylish, fabulous friends to share some specific favorites and tips!

Marie Whitney Family Session copyright Laura Winslow Photography (68)

Marie Whitney

Founder & Creative Director of Two Penny Blue (and one of my besties), mom to sons Jack and Drew.

MATERNITY CLOTHING:

Jeans: AG JeansTees/ Tanks: Liz Lang for Target or Monrow

Leggings: Topshop High Waisted Maternity legging and GAP Supersoft maternity legging 

Bras/ Underwear: Cosabella Never say Mommie Bralette , Never Say Maternity HotPant (don’t mind the TERRIBLE names!) 

Dresses:  Definitely a Black Ruched Maternity Tank Dress by Ingrid & Isabel  – a tank dress is so comfortable and easy to dress up with heels and some jewelry or down with some flats and a denim jacket.

And a wrap dress too!  perfect  for a growing belly.

Swimwear: Liz Lange for Target has some cute pieces that won’t break the bank, I like to keep is classic and black. Add a great coverup and big sunglasses.

BEAUTY:

Belly Product: Elasticity Belly Oil by Belli or Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – both work great and are 100% safe for baby.

Anything specific beauty-wise that you loved during this time: Clarisonic and Belli Anti-Blemish Face,  Zoya or  SCOTCH (chemical free) nail polish, Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil

HEALTH:

Workout: Pure Barre

Pre-Natal Vitamin: New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

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On Waiting.

collection of vintage alarm clocks

One of my friends sent me this article yesterday and I’ve read it twice since.  I urge you to read it, it’s so superbly done. For many reasons this story resonates with me and is something I’ve wanted to discuss for a while since finding out I was pregnant… waiting until later in life to have children.

While I have struggled with infertility, I’ve struggled even more with the decision to get pregnant in the first place.  I discussed this feeling in my book a little, but wanted to go a little deeper into it here.  As long as I can remember, I never felt a strong urge to be a mother. Even as my friends began lamenting how much they desired babies, I didn’t feel the primal urge- the deep hunger for offspring- in my bones.  When I was around little kids and babies, instead of feeling like my ovaries might explode from desire, I instead felt a little more like ” Man, I’m glad I get to leave here by myself”.  Like the author of the above article, I cherish my alone time.   As you know, I too struggle with anxiety, and am by all accounts an introvert.  Once I get out and around people I enjoy myself, but choosing to go be social is the hard part for me. I’d much rather stay home and watch Netflix with Andrew than go to a party.  Cancelled plans are my drug of choice.

At the same time as all my peers where having babies, I was birthing a career.  Right when I “should” have been having kids at 32, I was busy signing my first book deal and frantically working to keep up with demand of this blog and my long client list. I loved it, it was everything I had hoped for and more and didn’t feel like anything was missing.  Not only did I not have room in my life for a kid, I didn’t want to make the room.  But I felt this societal pressure to WANT to have kids, and I am an easy victim of peer pressure and bucking to what the media deems I should want. So we pulled the goalie, per say, and kind of half-heartedly tried to get pregnant for a year.  Knowing now what I know about conception, our “trying” was total bullshit. All those years we spent worried about accidentally pregnant, and it turns out you have like, a 48 hour window to get pregnant. And with both our travel schedules alone, this made it impossible half the months of that year.  I was never worried about it though because I was still so ambivalent about the whole thing.  Every month I would be “sad”  externally about not conceiving, when really inside I felt a rush of relief.

And then I turned 34 and started thinking, well, what if something is wrong with me? I had heard grumblings about damaging my fertility from doctors when I was being treated for anorexia in my teens, and the fear started to creep in that they were right. What if I couldn’t get pregnant naturally? What if this took five years?  I love to comply to a schedule, and so far everything had happened as it should: married at 26, first home purchased at 26, career solidly in place by 30…so the baby thing was started to fall way off schedule, and that stressed me out. So we went to see a fertility doctor who told us basically, there was no reason I wasn’t getting pregnant medically, but to speed things up since I was “older”, we should try IUI.

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