Since no one cares about how I’ve been sick for almost a whole week but if you’re wondering I’ve had an upper respiratory viral infection and been consuming ALL the cough medicine, I’ll just remind you that today is the very last day to enter the giveaway for a super cute outfit from Onzie.
Onzie retails online and at places like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Athleta so you would be remiss to not enter. Winner announced on Wednesday.
Practicing yoga on the reg has affected all areas of my life. I’ve experience the obvious benefits like increased flexibility, better balance, and more strength than ever before, but it’s the increased mindfulness and awareness that keeps me coming back for more. One of my yoga instructors said it best when she said (and I’m paraphrasing here) that the practice of yoga helps us mentally and physically deal with difficult things. If we can overcome them in class, we can apply that to our daily life. Meaning that yeah, holding pigeon pose for 60 seconds is no walk in the park but we are teaching our mind to bear the unbearable, one long, deep stretch at a time.
We can observe the uncomfortable sensations, not become attached to them, and ultimately, let them go.
How I apply that to my daily life is never ending, from waking up in the middle of the night to a crying baby to resisting the chocolate candy dish at the receptionist desk to anonymous internet haters. Observe that this lack of sleep or craving or meanie is part of life, but do not become attached and let. it. go. aaaaaaah. It feels so good!
I’m a total heat junkie and love, love, love practicing my yoga in a group setting where the temp is cranked up to 100 degrees or higher, but that’s not always possible, so I keep up with my practice at home. I typically use my home practice to do a 20-30 minute warm up and then focus on a few poses that I really want to get better at and I have the luxury of trying again and again without breaking the flow of a regular class.
This weekend, it was wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana), crow (Bakasana), and side plank (Vasisthasana) with a leg lift.
(Warming up with some upward dog during my vinyasa.)
Wheel pose. Still a work in progress. I need to get my hands closer to my head and/or push back with my legs more. The fact that I can even press up with my arms up at all is amazing to this girl who has never done a pull up in her life.
There was a time not to long ago where lifting my leg up was a laughable proposition. Ultimately, I’d like to get to the point where I can grab my top leg with my hand. That would be amazing.
Reverse namaskar, y’all.
And for my last trick - CROW! Ugh, it’s so hard. I can finally hold it for one full second. But, I still need the pillow….
All of my outfits in this post were graciously provided by Onzie (pronounced own-zee). I am so in love with the quality and styles this company offers. In a sea of lululemon, the vibrant colors and unexpected prints are a delight. The line was created by a 20-year Bikram yogi and blends the best of traditional yoga wear with modern innovation and a touch of whimsy.
Onzie is perfect for the hot room. I wore the long legging and all-in-one tank (top pictures) to my hot flow class on Monday and was comfortable the entire time. The fabric is very different than anything I’ve seen or worn before. It is meant to fit like a second skin and was very thin. But miraculously, it also smoothed everything out and was not at all see through. The long leggings I’m wearing are the Black Magic style and magic is the only way I can see that they are able to achieve such a thin, comfortable, moisture wicking and opaque material. Their styles are so great outside the yoga studio as well and would be well suited to pretty much any flavor of fitness.
Anyways, enough of my rambling. Onzie is giving one of my readers their very own complete outfit!!!! You’ll get the long legging in black magic and the all-in-one tank in black with an attached sports bra in black magic. The top retails for $59 and leggings for $65. I am so in love with this whole outfit and I know you will be too. Use the rafflecopter widget to enter (if you’re reading on your tumblr dashboard, you’ll have to click through to my blog). You can get up to four entries.
I’ve stumbled upon some GREAT sale items this week. Since my bank account isn’t padded enough to buy all the things, I figured I’d share the love.
Rag and Bone booties. Need I say more? The booties are on every fashionista’s lust list and they NEVER go on sale.Well, this pair is 50% off and there are many normal sizes still left.
These Rag and Bone shorts are also half off making them just a few lattes more expensive than some Madewell ones. I’d pick these any day and they are so perfect and on-trend for summer. Cuff them if you’re feeling fancy.
Rachel Pally has always been a go to of mine, both pre-preg, during preg and post-preg. Her stuff is so incredibly comfortable and holds up really well. This dress is marked down to $63. What a steal! You have to click through and see the back, too.
Another Rachel Pally find because if there is one designer I trust to make a romper that looks cute and is comfy, it’s Rachel Pally. Plus, this one is on super sale so it’s pretty low commitment on the wallet front. If you can get over the fact that you have to get naked every time you have to pee, and you have $66 (normally $220), it’s a winner.
I'm about to pull the trigger on the Dry Bar buttercup blow dryer. Do you still love it?
Yes! I still love it and would absolutely recommend it. I keep it in my yoga bag because 80% of my showers are at the yoga studio, and it gets the job done very fast when I have limited time. With my shoulder length, fine hair, it’s a socially acceptable level of dampness after 5 minutes. Not kidding.
So last night, Nora woke up again. I went to bed with the plan that I would get up and go in and rock her when she started screaming, and I mean screaming. loud high pitched screaming.
I’m a big proponent of self soothing and a limited cry-it-out approach, but obviously that hadn’t worked the past few nights so I figured I had nothing to lose. She started screaming just like she had the past few nights. I gave her a couple minutes and then went in, picked her up and rocked her until she settled. I put her back in her bed once she was calm - and though she happened to be awake when I put her in her crib, I would have rocked her until she fell asleep if I thought she would fall asleep on me but she wasn’t having that. Anyways, she cooed for a bit in her bed and then went to sleep for the rest of the night.
THANK YOU to Kelly Kovets Kouture who suggested in might be separation anxiety. Yes, Nora is teething and yes, she’s getting over an ear infection but she’s had all those things before and never woken up screaming multiple times in the night. My gut instinct tells me she’s smack dab in the middle of Wonder Week 55 and waking up not understanding why I’m not there and becoming very distraught.
Fingers crossed we’re nearing the end of this phase though. Mama needs her beauty rest.
Nora hasn’t been sleeping well. at all. for the past three nights. Can someone please tell me why my great sleeper who regularly sleeps 12-13 hours straight is now waking up multiple times a night screaming at the top of her lungs? What is happening?
I am so tired and all I want to do is prop my eyelids up with toothpicks and eat everything I can find, except this time I don’t have the extra calorie expenditure of breast feeding to counteract the nightly 1/2 pint of Ben and Jerry’s. I’m pretty sure the maternity pants that I’m still wearing are tighter.
Guess what? Today is my birthday!!!! I just love birthdays, don’t you? Jason is taking me out for dinner and to a jazz club while Nora spends the night at her grandparent’s house. Not only will this be the first time I’m out as a 32 year old, but it’s also Nora’s first night away from home. I’m skerred. for both, actually. Anyways, I have no idea what to wear. Please help by giving me what your favorite look below is.
Internet powers activate!
I’d probably wear the jacket when we are outside and take it off inside.
(How many times do I have to tell Nora to put the seat down. sheesh.)
It’s worth noting that the back of this dress is really what makes it special. Sorry I’m not centered. Hazard of the self-timer.
I can’t believe that a mere 365 days ago I met my daughter for the first time. My heart has never felt more full. Nora taught me the meaning of unconditional love. I know there is nothing she can ever do that will make me love her less. It was so wonderful to celebrate her for a few hours with family and friends we hold dear.
Our theme for her party was “Paris.” Jason and I honeymooned there and I have always loved it. I thought I was being really creative with my outside-the-box theme, but turns out it has already been done a hundred times. Oh well. Pinterest proved to be very helpful. I hot glued that table tutu out of an old shower curtain, a billion yards of tulle and some grosgrain ribbon. Just call me MacGyver. I hot glued (do you notice a theme here?) those letters using crepe paper and if you follow me on instagram (@thedailyjulie) you know just how long AKA forever it took me. I appreciate all the people that suggested I hang them up on Nora’s room after the party. Um, with how much time and effort and hot glue blisters I got from those damn things, she better hang them proudly in her adult home.
(My sis-in-law made that fab cake. Can you believe it? Skills right there.)
I kept the guest list for her party small, inviting only family and a few close friends. I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed catering to a large group, and I knew Nora would have a better time if it was mostly familiar faces. She proved me right when even after a few guests arrived, she was never very far from my side, and if I got too far away, that sweet little bottom lip would start to quiver.
After a bit, she warmed up to the crowd. I think she knew they were all a friendly group, and by the end of the party she was having a BLAST! Suffice to say she slept a full 14 hours that night. Party animal!
I served our guest french-inspired fare. There were croissant sandwiches, yogurt berry parfaits, spinach salad, brie with apples and crackers, mini quiches, and a strawberry lemonade punch. When we went to Paris all I really remember consuming was bread, cheese, wine and one random night of sushi. Really, who goes out for sushi in PARIS?!?! Anyways, I am sure our guests appreciated the menu variety and the lack of french sushi. My “table cloth” was a cheap IKEA curtain that looked awful for the 2.5 seconds I hung it was up and has been hiding in a drawer ever since, and I topped it off with a few yards of a sparkly fabric remnant I found on the clearance table at my local fabric shop.
Nora didn’t really know what to do with her smash cake. In the weeks leading up to her party I’d given her little bites of cake at other people’s birthday to get her used to it, but I think the idea of an entire cake to herself was a little confusing. Nevertheless, it was fun to watch her figure out what to do with a smash cake and after letting her swirl around the frosting for a bit, I cut her a piece and she really went to town.
(that right shoe is always missing)
I always feel a little awkward opening gifts in front of people, and it’s especially awkward opening gifts for your one year old who actually can’t even open her own gifts. I considered telling people to please not bring a gift for Nora, but ultimately I did not because who am I to tell them not to buy a gift for someone they love. And I have to say, Nora has been extremely enamored with everything she received. She is one lucky girl to have such thoughtful gift givers in her life!
Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters are typically where I go to find a cute dress or quirky/emo clothing when I’m in the mood, respectively. Who knew they carried some really cute workout clothes? I’m noticing more and more and more that activewear is no longer limited to the gym. I think any of these pieces would look super cute at the gym or out and about.
Top. Wear that top in yoga class or with a high-waisted midi skirt.
Vest. Very cute as-is but I can also see it worn over a sun dress for nights that are still a little chilly when (if?) spring takes over.
Top. Cute to throw on after yoga class or wear with denim shorts.
Sports bra. I doubt this offers enough support for you busty ladies, but for those of us in the itty bitty titty committee, this is perfect for exercising or wearing under tops with an open back.
I wrote down my “birth story” when Nora was born. Her birth was actually very easy. textbook even. My doctor said “it doesn’t get any better than this.” What wasn’t easy was the part after. It was the longest, hardest week of my life. I would not wish the experience of your baby in the NICU on my worst enemy. While the NICU itself was as good as it could have been - we had amazing doctors, nurses and facility care - it is such an emotionally trying experience to go through. I say a little prayer every day for all the babies that were there and for the ones that did and will spend a much, much, much longer time in the NICU than Nora. The good news is that (almost) a year has passed and with time also comes perspective. I figured I’d post our story now, the day before her birth day. What is below was written a week after Nora was born as it was originally dumped from my head. There are no pictures because I still really can’t bring myself to barely even look at the pictures of her tiny newborn body stuck with IV’s and monitors without crying.
Come back tomorrow. It’s party time! First birthday party time, that is.
I don’t even know where to start the story of the past week, so pour yourself a drink and prepare for a long and rambling post.
My sweet Nora Lee.
Last Tuesday, I went to bed at 10 o’clock and woke up 15 minutes later because my water had broke. I literally sat straight up in bed and made a loud sound when it happened. Oh, and I was by myself because Jason was in D.C. for a work trip that he couldn’t get out of. I had assured him I’d be fine and even asked my doctor if he thought I was close to going in to labor and doctor said he’d be surprised if I had the baby while Jason was gone. I had my mom on standby just in case something did happen and something did indeed happen.
So, after my water broke, I called Jason, and then the doctor and then my mom, in that order. Jason left D.C. around 11:30 pm and drove straight to the hospital and got there by 4:15 am. My mom stayed with me until he arrived. And if you’re wondering, HELL YES I GOT AN EPIDURAL. Nora was born at 9:40 am on March 20 with just around 11 hours of labor, 15 minutes of pushing, and 1.5 hours of sleep.
All seemed well and good. She looked a perfectly healthy 6 pounds 12 ounces. So, after getting wheeled to the post partum room at the hospital, the nurses began some standard testing, one of which was to measure her glucose levels. Nora had latched on right away after birth and was nursing great for those first few hours, but for whatever reasons her blood sugar levels were not being maintained within a healthy range. She also had a grunting/wheezing sound to her breathing indicative of some respiratory distress and it wasn’t going away. In most babies that have this, it would pass in a couple of hours as they transition to breathing air. So, between these two things, the nurses wanted to take her to do some more glucose testing to see if they could get her blood sugar up and stable. Since I had only 1.5 hours of sleep the night before, and it was already the afternoon of the following day, I took them up on their offer to do the remaining testing in the nursery so I could take a nap.
Two hours later they came back and said Nora needed to go to the NICU because during her glucose testing, when they pricked her heel to draw blood, she had started crying and stopped breathing and did not start breathing again on her own. The doctors didn’t know what was causing her apnea, but there were a number of things that could be the cause:
stroke in the womb
aspirating her food
immature development (Nora was one day shy of being full term, but the doctors even said based on her development, my due date was more likely somewhere around late April rather than April 11.)
and some more things I can’t really remember
To rule out anything that could be really serious, which is most of the above, they had to do a lot of testing - MRI, blood cultures, EEG monitoring, a round of antibiotics, feeding through an IV for two whole days, and some more stuff I can’t really remember. Not exactly the entry into the real world that I had pictured for my little baby.
After two trying days for me and Jason and lots of monitors, poking and prodding on Nora, the doctors had deemed her test results normal and felt confident saying that her problems were because she was born premature. The bad news is that she needed to stay at the hospital for 5 days without an episode of apnea (in infants, apnea is a period of 20 seconds where they stop breathing) before she could go home. The good news is that her last episode of apnea was Friday, so today she came home. Best day ever!
I never thought that the day I got discharged from the hospital, I would leave my baby there. I never thought my hands and forearms could be so dry because I had to wash them for 3 minutes upon each entry to the NICU using a scrub brush and surgical grade soap. I never thought I’d spend my first week post partum sitting in a chair in the NICU for 12 hours so I could be there for her daytime feedings every three hours once she got her IV removed. And since she is so small and her reflexes are still a work in progress, her feedings take about 45 minutes, and then I like to hold her for 15-20 minutes before putting her back in her bed, and then I pump for another 20 minutes after each feeding so that the nurses have enough milk for her evening feedings when I’m not there. I never thought I’d need to set my alarm in order to wake up every three hours during the night to pump milk for a baby that I don’t have at home. I never thought I’d know which public bathrooms were the cleanest and least often used at the hospital because I preferred to tend to my post partum nether regions in those.
I also never thought I’d love one little person so much. She makes me so happy and is seriously the best thing I have ever done.
Last night was the Fashion Forward event at Belk and featuring Trina Turk that I told you about a couple weeks ago. It was SO fun, with all proceeds benefitting the Junior League of Raleigh’s charitable efforts.
You seriously can’t go wrong with a little wine, some fun shopping and giveaways, and a department store full of enthusiastic women. I really enjoyed running into a lot of familiar faces because lord knows I was nervous waltzing in their by myself, but I tend to take the Tina Fey approach and just say yes and figure out the rest later. I captured a few of my favorite moments and outfits from the show, so read on for pictures and details!
This is the outfit I wore. My dress is from Plenty by Tracy Reese. Shoes are from Sole Society. The clutch is about eight years old but originally from a cute little store called Hallelu. My earrings are from Kendra Scott and because it wound up being a warm, beautiful day, I got my faux tan on with some Vita Liberata self-tanner. The BEST self tanner out there. I mean it this time.
I’ve been looking for a cute, nude wedge that can easily be dressed up or down and these Steven by Steve Madden ones I spotted totally fit the bill. Love them for wearing with pretty much everything this spring.
Good news, Raleigh! We are getting a Jo Malone Counter. I’m not yet sure when it will open, but my house will be smelling gooooooooood when it does.
After a couple glasses of wine, visiting with old and new friends and oogling the pretty clothes, shoes and jewelry, it was time to get settled in for the fashion show. There were three themes for spring:
Minimalist - think black and white everything
Jet Setter - think boho, flowing, and fun (this was my favorite)
Feminine Charms - think sweet, pretty in pink and white and lacy
I captured my favorite outfits using my trusty, yet sometimes blurry iphone.
I actually saw these fun printed jeans during the pre-show shopping but I had no idea how to wear them. I loved how they were paired with a fun, patterned top. I think this is a boho look anyone could pull off. I’m so sorry but I don’t remember who made these jeans. womp.
The high/low trend is really hit or miss for me. I think the trick is that it has to be a slight high/low meaning no mini in the front, maxi in the back; and the fabric has to be loose and flowy. This dress fires on all cylinders.
My favoritey-fave-fave-FAVE(!!!!) outfit of the night was this set by Trina Turk.
I think it’s a really attainable way to take part in the crop top trend, plus the pieces are really beautiful enough to stand on their own. I tried this outfit on after the show and I had even less midriff showing than the model. I think most would unless you are also 6 feet tall and gazelle-like with extremely toned abs. You can buy the outfit here and I’m pretty sure that necklace is from Towne & Reese though Trina has a very similar one.
The highlight of the evening was meeting Trina Turk after the show. She is very glamorous yet also very personable. I am not really even sure what I said to her but I hope it wasn’t too dorky.
A couple fun facts - she manages her own instagram (@trinaturk) and just launched footwear this spring. Imma need to find where I can get those sandals she’s sportin’.
This was a really fun event and I’m already looking forward to next year’s Fashion Forward spring fashion show. Thanks for having me Belk and Junior League Raleigh!
It’s Friday. Holler! Here are the things that caught my fancy this week.
1. Lent started on Wednesday. Every year, I strive to do something that will make me a better person and Christian, rather than give something up. This year, I’m zeroing in on my attitude of gratitude that I initiated the beginning of the year. However, I really enjoyed this article of 20 things to give up for Lent.
2. I was gifted some Mustela bath products and I am loving them. The multi sensory bubble bath is so clean smelling and makes really long lasting bubbles. Nora loves splashing them around in the tub. And the new hydra bebe lotion makes her skin incredibly soft. Plus it’s really fast absorbing. I highly recommend both for your little ones!
3. I’m a big fan of jokes and puns. The cheesier and nerdier, the better. Jason told me one this week that I’ve repeated to more than a few of my like minded friends - Why can’t you trust an atom? Because they make up everthing!
4. I’ve hesitated to tell you about my latest monthly subscription addiction because I feel like I’m always talking about them. But I DO love them and this one IS good. It’s a Julep Maven box (referral link, yes). I cancelled my birchbox because after 2.5 years of receiving it I felt like I’d gotten every sample they could possibly send me and had been disappointed at my last few boxes. Julep is $19.99/month but you get full sized products and you can select what you get each month and your first box is free (just pay shipping). It’s centered around nailpolish but there is a “Modern Beauty” box if you’re not interested in the polish. But I’ll warn you, the polish is good. real good. and the colors are fab. real fab. My last box included two fun nailpolishes and a lipgloss that I am obsessed with. Anyway, if you’re like me and love a monthly box of goodies showing up at your doorstep, I’d check out Julep.
Have a great weekend, lovers. Today will be the last day of my closet clean out sale. I’ve lowered the prices on most remaining items. Everything ships out next week.
Style Evolution, not to be confused with a Revolution. Or Revelation for that matter
Since having Nora, I’ve really had to think a lot more about what “my style” is. Coming up with a uniform of sorts makes getting ready a LOT easier. My mornings these days are a mad dash of make the bottles, wake the baby, dress the baby, change the dirty diaper that happened right as you’re ready to leave the house, wipe the spit up off the blouse, where’s the baby’s coat damnit I just had it, get the baby in the car, oh crap I forgot the bottles inside, okay we are ready to go, shit she needs more diapers at daycare, is the dog back in the house and did I unplug my flatiron? And somewhere in there I chug some coffee and eat a banana and get dressed and maybe remember to brush my teeth. I do everything in that last sentence in approximately 45 seconds.
When I started this blog, I had a completely different lifestyle and had the free time to contemplate outfits and come up with new, fun combinations of thing to wear. Um, I also had the time to actually go shopping. These days, if I can’t buy it online I don’t usually buy it. And if it’s not on sale, I don’t usually buy it. Mama’s got daycare tuition to pay for.
I work in corporate America, so my daytime work wardrobe is business casual. I focus on simple, neutral pieces that I can mix and match and punch up with a fun accessory. I typically try to stick to black and white pieces only. Discipline is freedom as Jane Fonda would say and the same goes for having an edited closet. Oh, and all items must be washable. There is a small corner in the back of my closet where I have stashed my dry clean only stuff. Hopefully, in 18 years it will still be fashionable. My go to brands for work clothes are The Limited, LOFT, Theory and BCBG. The last two I only buy on majorsale. Shopbop created this really pretty photo roundup for me which basically sums up my work style in a picture. I’m just 20 pounds and a modeling contract and probably a really cool apartment in NYC full of artists and Jared Leto away from basically being that girl
My off duty, outside-the-house clothes are much more relaxed and bohemian. The looser, gauzier and softer the better. I think in my previous life I burned patchouli, smoked weed, and lived on a farming commune. In this life, I drink kombucha after too much wine, put green tea powder in my smoothies and wear free people. I rounded up a few of my favorites from Shopbop who is having a killer sale right now with some really choice Free People clothes. I had to do this one all on my own.
When Nora was born, I pared down my three closets to two (I live in a 1960s brick ranch so the closets are small, mkay?). And now I’m paring down even more because well… sometimes it’s just too much to have too much. It’s no secret that I love clothes, but I just don’t wear a lot of them anymore since having Nora. I know it’s so cliche to change your style after having a baby but your style reflects your life and your life changes a TON when you have a baby. These days, I want things that are easy, fuss free and that I can just toss on without a second thought but still feel confident that I’m pulled together and cute looking. I’ve been refining my mom-iform (mom + uniform) for a few months now and I’ll share more my thoughts on the pros and cons of this another day. For now, I want to offer up some of the more choice pieces here before I go to ebay and then to goodwill.
All items are in excellent used condition and sizes range from S-M, 4-8, 28-30. If that’s you, read on friend!
Let’s forget about the fact that it’s been almost a month since I did one of these posts and just get on with it, shall we?
1. I love reading stories about people that inspire me to be a better person, and this one does just that. Plus, his last name is Dobrev and he is from Bulgaria. I wonder if he’s related to Elena/Catherine.
2. I picked up a Revlon Colorburst Laquer Balm crayon from Target during a random shopping trip. I am obsessed with it. I got Vivacious which is a vibrant, yet sheer shade of pink and it has a fresh minty feel and taste on the lips. So purdy!
3. I found out about Stone Fox Bride in the latest issue of Lucky and am beyond obsessed with their instagram (@stone_fox_bride). The proposal stories, the rings, the flower crowns, just everything really is so fab and makes me want to get married all over again.
4. This la mer lip balm is the shizz. A friend of mine who knows everything there is to know about makeup turned me on to it. It’s pricey but mine has lasted me well over a year and still going strong. I apply every night before I go to bed and my lips are smooth as buttah. Crabtree Mall is getting a La Mer counter. Now if they could just get a Cleau de Peau counter, I could spend all my money on lip balm and concealer aka the essentials.
I think the number one question I’ve gotten about my adventures in hot yoga is how the heck I manage it during my lunch break. There are a few factors that come into play to make it pretty easy for me to do this.
The hot yoga studio I attend is about 5 minutes from my office, so the trip there and back is really fast. The lunch time classes they offer vary from 45-60 minutes depending on the day. I try to squeeze in a 90 minute class on the weekends.
I pay a monthly membership fee which includes mat and towel service. I hop in the shower immediately after class and I also don’t have to worry about lugging towels or a sweaty mat back and forth. Everything is ready and waiting for me when I need it. The yoga studio I attend also keeps shampoo, conditioner and soap in the shower which is such a convenience.
I keep my “yoga bag” in my car which includes products that multitask to get me back to fresh ASAP after my shower. The essentials are:
Deodorant. no explanation needed Honest Co. Body Oil. I’ve tried several lotions but none are as fast absorbing and as moisturizing as this stuff. Plus since it’s an oil, it’s really easy to slather on after my shower. Beauty balm. It does multiple duties as moisturizer, sunscreen and foundation Bronzer. for a little color. Cream eyeshadow. I apply it with my finger. Mascara Hair dryer. Still loving this one. I dry my hair until it’s not sopping wet and let the rest air dry. Product is essential for reducing poof. I love Frederic Fekkai’s glossing cream.
My yoga bag stays in my car at all times. In the morning, I just add whatever yoga outfit I plan to wear and clean underwear I plan to change into afterward.
On days I know I’ll be going to yoga, I strategically plan my work outfits. I pick things that are looser fitting, breathable, washable and easy to strip off and on.
Most days I bring my lunch with me. My current favorite on-the-go lunch is a whole wheat tortilla slathered with guac and layered with turkey and baby spinach. I roll up the whole shebang and have a super easy, healthy, non-messy lunch I can eat in my car on the way back to work.
A friend of mine recently asked for my advice on what she should put on her baby registry. She’s living in a small space and is on a budget (who isn’t) so she was really interested in the things I found to be most essential. I spent a few days mulling over what I really and truly found necessary during the early days with Nora. I asked myself - would life have been a million times harder without this item - and if the answer was YES, on the list it went.
I figured I’d post what I cam up with here in case any of you out there are working on your registry. If it’s not on the list, I didn’t really use it or need it (looking at you wipe warmer and hooded baby towels).
Swaddle me wraps - the ones with velcro. Probably get 3-4, more or less depending on how often you want to do laundry. Nora lived in these the first few weeks she was born.
Diaper Pail. I like the arm and hammer one. It uses special bags so register for extras, but I’ve never had an odor problem.
Aiden and Anais muslin blankets. I still use these daily for everything from a blanket to something to clean up spit up and wipe Nora’s nose with. They are super versatile.
Whatever you plan to have the baby sleep in (pack and play, bassinet, your bed), get a few extra sets of sheets for it. Actually, you may want to make sure you have extra sheets for your bed no matter what. Breast feeding boobies can be unpredictable those first couple weeks.
Speaking of, get boobie pads. I liked the disposable ones from tommee tippee. I’d sleep with them in so I wouldn’t wake up in a pool of my own milk.
Nursing bras. These from target were awesome for night. They are comfortable enough to sleep in and made it easy to whip a boob out for feedings.
A baby monitor. There are tons on the market. Ours is from motorola has a video screen which I really, really like. If I hear Nora crying at night, I can look on the screen to see if she crying because she’s wide awake or if she’s just making noises while she sleeps. From there, I can decide if I actually need to get out of bed or not.
Car seat/stroller. Duh. THey won’t let you leave the hospital without a car seat. We went with the travel system and the car seat just snaps right into the stroller. The one in the picture and the link is the exact one we have and it is very light and easy to maneuver.
A baby carrier. I would (still do) wear mine around the house with Nora in it so I could have two free hands).
iPad/Kindle/Other tablet. If you don’t already have one and this one is obviously not totally essential, but it was for my personal sanity. You will be up so much during the night with a baby attached to you that I found myself reading, checking blogs, and googling baby forums and on the ipad all the time. Plus I lived and died by the Baby Connect app to track feedings.
baby bather. You need either something to put in your sink or tub that the baby can easily rest in while you bathe him.
humidifer. The humidifier is a must during the winter to keep their nasal passages moist and prevent illness. You may not need it right away, but I’d go ahead and put it on your registry. We had to run out and buy one in the middle of June when Nora came down with a nasty summer cold.
sound machine. This one and the humidifier may not seem absolutely essential, but I love them. I run the sound machine every night and it helps to drown out things like a dog that might occasionally bark or loud noises coming from the tv.
Nose Frida. It’s the best thing for sucking out snot when they have a cold. It looks gross, but it’s not that bad
Baby finger nail clippers. You will not believe how fast their fingernails grow and how sharp they are!
Good to have:
baby bottles. If you are planning on breastfeeding at all, you probably won’t really need bottles until the baby is about 6 weeks so you can establish a good milk supply. Also, get a variety of nipples - slow, medium and fast. I like the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles. The bottles come with slow nipples and then I just got a few extra packs of the other sizes for when she got older and faster at sucking. Nora took to them no problem, but every baby is different.
baby bottle warmer. For warming up said bottles
a pack and play. Nora slept in hers at night and during the day I (Jason) would move it to the living room. Whether or not you have your baby sleep in his, it was nice to have a place to put her when I needed to get up and do stuff during the day like eat or go to the bathroom. It’s also handy to take on trips when you’re not sure if there will be a baby bed.
a bumbo seat
A breast pump and accessories that go with it. Eventually, you’ll want to go to dinner or let your partner have a turn at the 2 am feeding. The only way to do that is with milk you pumped or formula.
Things you’ll eventually want a little down the road:
There is a super fun event coming up that I wanted you to know about. My favorite department store on earth, Belk (which will always be Belk’s to me) at Crabtree, is hosting a night of fashion and fun in conjunction with the Junior League of Raleigh.
It’s coming up soon on March 9, from 5 to 10 pm.
There will be a fashion show and a guest appearance by none other than Ms. Trina Turk herself. whhhaaaaat!!!!
I have long adored the bright, vivacious fashions she creates and am SO looking forward to catching a glimpse of her in the flesh. And as an added bonus, Belk is offering 20% off purchases made during the event.
I am so ready for spring and all the fun clothes the warm, sunny weather brings, and I can’t wait to see what Belk, the Junior League and Trina Turk have put together. It’s sure to be top notch. I hope to see your beautiful faces there. Please come say hi to me!
Tickets can be purchased here. All event proceeds go to the Junior League of Raleigh to support its community partnerships, volunteer service and leadership training.
(p.s. VIP reception at 5, general admission is at 6 and fashion show is at 7:30, EDITED via this gal who knows more than I!).
Sooo, it looks like there are a handful of you that actually want to hear about my yoga experience. Your wish is my command. I figure I’d start this series on how I started going yoga in the first place. I’ve got a whole string of post ideas coming - how I hot yoga during my lunch break, what to bring to hot yoga, some of the favorite things my yoga teachers have told me, my favorite online resources for yoga, and some more I’ll probably come up with later. If you have any specific questions, please ask and I will dedicate a post to answering you.
I’ve done yoga off and on for the past 4 years, but mostly off. Two years ago I bought a groupon for a local Bikram yoga studio and I was totally hooked. I loved the heat and the sweat and the deep stretching I was able to accomplish. I always left feeling like a million bucks (but looking like a million butts. see what I did there?) I totally loved the act of the yoga but I did not love the studio. Like at all. It smelled funky. I found the owners rude. The room where 50 people got super sweaty had a carpet floor. ewww. And they asked for donations for water… from the water fountain. wtf. I didn’t want to pay a premium price for a less than premium experience.
Anyways, I quit yoga and it was shortly thereafter I found the Tracy Anderson Method (TAM). I love, love, loooooove me some Trace-inator and was a loyal follower of hers for 2.5 years. Her method will truly reshape your body and turn you into the hottest, best version of yourself. I did TAM all through my pregnancy and even on my maternity leave once I felt good enough to start exercising again and got the go-ahead from my doctor.
But then, I went back to work. womp womp. Fitting in a full workout that left me feeling good was HARD. When I work out, I want to work. I want to sweat a lot, and I want it to hurt a little. And unless I got up at 4:30 am to get in a workout, that level of exertion was just not possible. And getting up at 4:30 am is impossible. Because in addition to working, I get up early to prepare everything for daycare, get myself dressed and I love to sit down for a 20 minutes sipping my coffee in the morning and reading through my favorite blogs - in silence - before I get Nora up and the day really begins.
I had been back at work for about a month, I was trying to walk during my lunch breaks to fit in some fitness but there was one fatal flaw - my work has no showers I walked a fine line between walking/running enough that I didn’t sweat too much and walking/running enough to get in some good exercise. And honestly, I hate running. hate hate hate hate it. I really appreciate and understand the effort and dedication that goes in to being a serious runner. I ran cross country for 4 years and track for 6, so I get it. But I just don’t enjoy it.
By last August, my 6 pound baby had grown to about 12 pounds and I really couldn’t hold her for more that 15 minutes at a time before my back would ache and I would need to put her down. It was then I discovered a hot yoga studio had opened up about 5 minutes from my office. And, serendipitously, there was a living social deal for that very studio. I jumped at the chance to try it out and haven’t looked back.
I try to go to yoga at least four times a week, but never less than three. It is truly a 45-60 minute (depending on the class) chunk of time I completely and selfishly devote to myself, and it’s about the only chunk of time I can do that. It allows me to bend, stretch, refocus and reconnect with myself. I leave feeling brighter, lighter, better, happier and just plain good. After class, I’m mentally and physically ready to take on whatever other challenges life presents. I am not exaggerating when I say yoga has vastly improved the quality of my life. My back rarely aches when holding Nora for extended periods of time and I find myself taking things moment by moment, which is a great way to not feel overwhelmed on days I am anything but. At this point, I can’t imagine life without yoga.
Hi Julie,i just read your post about your daughter sleeping through the night. I read the book too but I would like to ask you how did she manage to not take any naps between feeding number 2 and 3? I'm finding that really hard. Any suggestions? Thank you!
For those wondering what Anonymous is talking about, refer back to here.
So, I completely let Nora nap between feedings 2 and 3. It was 3 and 4 that I tried my darndest to keep her awake. I figured if I let her sleep pretty much as much as she wanted most of the day, I could manage a 4 hour stretch of her awake. Even so, ‘twas no walk in the park. I basically was ON those few hours. I’d let Nora play on her playmat as long as she was content. I’d also talk to her and sing songs or do other funny/weird things that you do to entertain a 2 month old. I’d throw a diaper changes, tilt her back and forth on my forearm if she was getting drowsy (a trick I learned from the NICU lactation consultant to keep Nora awake long enough to eat). And I made the environment as least conducive to sleep as possible - no swaddling, swaying, shushing or other things that begin with S.
It’s hard but it will be worth it in the end. I PROMISE you. Nowadays, if Nora is getting a little sleepy between feedings 3 and 4, I have no problem letting her get a cat nap. She is such a great sleeper that I know she’ll still want to go to bed at 7. This girl loves her bed. Even if she isn’t ready to actually go to sleep, she will still want to get in her crib and will just lay there playing with her blankie. I pity the fool that tries to keep Nora out of that crib.
Y’all, this weekend brought it. My sister turned 30 and her husband organized a super fun dance party at a downtown club. I cannot tell you the last time I shook my tail feather in a room full of crowded people with the dj dropping my favorite tunes (and a Britney song was on)! But woooh boy, we had so much fun.
And I just gotta say, my siblings are hotties. We are missing one, but he has 9 more years before he’s legally allowed in da club.
We took full advantage of the babysitter (aka my mom) and even went out to dinner before the party. Like, just me. and my husband. and two free hands. and no need to hurry through our food because the baby is getting antsy. It has been at least 10 months since that happened. No joke.
We spent Sunday relaxing and Nora was even a peach and slept until 9 am. I really appreciated her being so considerate of her mother’s pounding head. Side note: When did 9 am become “sleeping in”?
Then, like most of America, we watched the Super Bowl. The game was totally boring but Bruno Mars was so fun to watch. I thought he did such a good job.
Here are some nice thoughts to take with you through your day.
So, the Grammy’s were last night. Beyonce and Jay-Z. omg. I had to take a couple of cold showers after that and I’m still not right. Actually, everything after that was a blur.I just remember Anna Kendrick’s boobs presenting an award with the Arby’s hat, Lorde who got caught in the polar vortex last week because how else do you explain her frostbitten fingertips, hair thrashing, helmets and Ringo Starr singing. (Sorry Ringo, but there is a reason you were the drummer.)
Anywhoooooo, prior to learning exactly how Blue Ivy was conceived, I cohosted a baby shower for my friend (how do you like that segue). We held it in the private room of a local brewery. I know what you’re thinking… babies and beers don’t quite mix. Well, in the case of a couples shower they do! It was so much fun to put this together and it was even better to spend the afternoon among a group of people I truly care about.
(Me and the mama to be)
I think the highlight for everyone was when my friend Amanda surprised us all by popping in from California. She moved to San Diego last summer and North Carolina hasn’t been the same without her.
The older I get, the harder it is to make time to see my friends. We all have some mix of husbands, careers, babies and family that when we are all in one room together it is just so special. My heart was overflowing by the end of the day.
"Best friend isn’t a person, Danny. It’s a tier" - Mindy Lahiri
(My dress is by Sanctuary. I couldn’t find the exact one online, but here and here are two very similar styles.)
Has anyone out there done the Tone it Up plan? I was watching Toned Up on Bravo last night and thought Karena and Katrina were the cutest things and now I want their clothes and hair and house and bodies. So, naturally I should purchase their Tone it Up plan as step 1 on that course of action, but then I saw it costs $150. wtf. Is that crazy or is it worth it? Can you tell me?
I normally go to bed around 9:30 every night. I also always drive the speed limit. I am a closet granny.
I don’t know what it was about this week, but I found my self up until close to 11 most nights. Unfortunately, I still had a 5:30 am wake up call the next day. Work and baby and such. womp. I’m dedicating this weekend to getting the sleep I crave.
This article on the importance and benefits of sleep explains why I love me some sleep.
I wouldn’t mind this sleep mask for when the sunlight creeps in a little too early. Take a hint, sun!
This tshirt is perfect for when you first wake up and stumble through the dark with one eye kind of open trying to find your way to the kitchen to make some coffee. And at $20, it’s practically free.
By 12:01 am on January 1, I’m pretty much eyeing all things spring. The holidays are over and there is nothing to look forward to until March when it is my birthday (and Nora’s too this year. I may or may not have most of that party planning complete. #ohgodsomeonestopme). I’ve blogged about Sole Society before but I wanted to share again because I really, really think they have such great things at an awesome price point. Plus shipping is free and that is the #1 way to this online shopaholic’s heart. Some of their new spring items on my radar are below.
These look way more expensive than $69. And I adore the cobalt blue.
Nora tries to eat every necklace I wear, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. I like that this tassel necklace also has some suede for a little flair.
This to me looks like the perfect spring shoe. I’ve really been into wedges lately because they give me lift, but I can still be comfortable when I’ve got 20 pounds of baby clinging to me for dear life (she’s in a mama phase).
Hello. I’d like you to meet the cutest flats in the history of flats.
I want to be the kind of girl that wears bracelets. I’m not right now, but these would surely help me get there.
I’m not paid or perked for this post. I just really thought you should know about Sole Society if ya don’t already, ya freak.
Ignoring the fact, that I actually graduated college in 2004 this is still a fun parody. And I think totally relatable for most of us. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m GRATEFUL for those stretch marks, but still, I wouldn’t have minded being a millionaire at 17.
Is it just me or did the first full week after holiday breaks go by in a blink. I was fully prepared to think Tuesday was actually Friday and lament omgit’sonlyWednesday, pretty much all week long, but it went by so fast. I think I have the Polar Vortex to thank. Focusing on how cold it was distracted me from the reality of a 40 hour work week. Here are my favorite things I found this week AKA what else distracted me:
1. As part of my Christmas swag, I received a Target gift card. I used it to pick up these f(AUX)rye boots. They are actually every bit as awesome as the reviews say and SO comfy. And since I didn’t drop $250 on them, I know I won’t be paranoid to wear them. I am normally between a 8.5 and 9 and went with the 9. I was worried they’d be too roomy, but with socks, they are perfect.
2. It’s a new year and a new me, right? RIGHT! I’ve been trying to cut carbs for a bit to compensate for consuming 1/2 of the 8 dozen cookies my grandmother made me (not exaggerating) over the Christmas break. In my research, I stumbled across this recipe for low carb potato soup where you sub cauliflower for potatoes. Genius! And it was so good. The recipe made enough for two people to have two dinners, and I will warn you that it wasn’t necessarily better the second night. The texture changed so, as Jason said it was like eating cheesy grits. It was still good, just different. The more you know.
3. Bibs with SLEEVES!!!! Totally brilliant. When you are feeding a baby in the winter, they are probably wearing something with long sleeves and after getting food on Nora’s shirt for the inth time, I found these. I had been using the regular bumkin waterproof bibs because I love that the fabric is coated, so you can simply wash them in the sink and they dry out in time for the next meal. The sleeved ones are the same concept but sleeves to cover a sweater or long sleeved shirt.
4. This self tanning milk from Vita Liberata is the shizz. I know what you’re thinking, self tanner in January? Who am I? jwoww? No. I’m just a gal, standing in front her closet asking is today 18 degrees or 70 degrees? Seriously, today the high is 69. Three days ago, I woke up and it was 9 degrees outside. Sometimes you’re bare legged, sometimes you’re not, but for the former, it’s best to not have skin so pale, it’s see through. That’s where Vita Liberata comes in. It doesn’t have any weird smell. It moisturizes my skin, and the color is just subtle enough that it looks healthy and not like you came back from Spring Break in Acapulco.
Hey Julie, great to see you're enjoying yoga. Just a question, do you still do any of Tracy's workouts or have you ditched them? Cheers B.
Once I hit 6 weeks post partum and felt good enough to get back into a workout routine, I did Tracy’s Post Pregnancy DVD 4-5 times a week while Nora napped.
I don’t do Tracy’s workouts these days, but I wouldn’t say it’s because I’ve ditched them. Tracy is still my favorite beyatch when it comes to workouts that are awesome. But, unfortunately, I just don’t have the time anymore. Working full time plus trying to make sure my child is fed and in a clean diaper most of the time means that the only time I have to workout is during my lunch break.
I could get up at 4:30 am to workout for an hour workout, shower, prep stuff for daycare, get myself ready, and get my child ready but that ain’t happening.
That also means, I don’t have time to drive 20 minutes home, change, workout for an hour, inhale some lunch, shower and drive 20 minutes back to work. But I do have time to drive 5 minutes to the yoga studio, swap my work clothes for spandex and Vinyasa it up in a 45 minute express class.
Yoga has been a good fit for my current lifestyle and the added cherry on top is that I’m stronger; I have less back pain from toting around a 20 pound sweetie pie; and I’ve found a lot of inner calmness.
I look forward to the day I can incorporate some Tracy workouts back in my life but until then, you can find me in downward dog.
It’s not quite the snowpacalypse here in NC, but because it MIGHT be too cold/icy/snowy, all the schools (including Nora’s daycare) are operating on a delay. A somewhat known fact is that I was born in North Dakota and lived there until I was 9. I know what cold is. The Carolina winters have spoiled me but I can just see all my North Dakotan friends and family have a chuckle at the silly southerners who can’t handle a little chill. I mean, it is 12 degrees right now.
This was a very long intro to simply express the fact that I am so thankful for work-from-home options. I prefer to go into the office where I can focus and hone in on the work I’m doing. But, that’s not always possible and in those situations (especially last minute situations), I’m grateful for telecommuting and a supportive team at work. I’m also grateful I get to spend a couple more hours with these two.
Whether or not I keep this up for more than one post is TBD but I wanted to share a few things from around the interwebs that caught my eye this week. Since I was home Sunday through Wednesday I had extra time to scope the web and here’s what I found and liked:
Warm Walnut Lentil Pate (click and scroll for full recipe). Early signs indicate that this should be gross, but it actually sounds really delicious and hearty. I plan to make a big batch and enjoy it with some crudites (it sounds better than vegetable sticks, okay) and nut crackers for lunch next week.
Fabletics (referral link, please and thank you). Jaclyn turned me on to this new site of activewear from Kate Hudson and after 6 month love/hate relationship with Ellie, I broke up with them and am a Fabletics convert. I am obsessed with the herringbone leggings. They are so thick and nice and not at all see through in downward dog or Uttanasana (I checked) which was a huge beef of mine with Ellie. No one wants to see my neon blue hanky pankys, Ellie! You can sign up using my link and get 50% off your first outfit (offer good for the first 24 hours after signing up). I’m wearing this outfit in the pic below.
6 Must Try Sriracha Recipes. In my house, there is nothing you can’t put Sriracha on, so you can bet your spicy little tookus, I’ll be making these. I mean, Sriracha Salt - omgidie.
Bikram in Vanity Fair. I love hot yoga but I am not sad that I don’t practice Bikram Yoga anymore. The flows and variety found in other methods of hot yoga have made me stronger and more balanced than I’ve felt in years. I’m also glad to not support Bikram himself. I am very sad for the women in this article but glad the news is out there and I hope they triumph. This expose is a very interesting read, and probably especially interesting to you if you practice yoga.
I gave up coming up with a lengthy list of resolutions a couple years ago because while it feels good for a couple days my resolve weakens after a few weeks days, nothing changes, and I wind up just feeling bad for not achieving my goals. I’m not going to vow to go to the gym 5 times a week or wake up when the alarm actually goes off or read 12 books (seriously… I didn’t even do that one!)
This year, my goal is to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.
There is so much in our lives to be thankful for, but I think the human tendency is to focus on what everyone else seems to have and what we don’t by comparison. I firmly believe that the grass is not greener on the other side, it’s just greener for those who tend to their own lawn. 2014 will be the year of watering my own damn lawn.