friday link love

Guess what today is??? It's my 26th birthday!  Now 26, not a very exciting age.  Just that much closer to 30 I suppose - although admittedly, I'm pretty excited about getting to 30. I mean, I have a husband, a baby, and a few dogs.  At this point, I'm thinking that I've already kind of let my twenties down a bit.  I usually go to bed around 9 pm, for crying out loud.  Shame on this twenty-something. 

But not today!  Today, I'm gonna act my age, because we have left the baby with my parents for TWO WHOLE DAYS.  We're off to Chicago for shopping, wine drinking, dinner-dating, and a wedding.  I'm gonna wear dresses that aren't functional for nursing and carry a teeny tiny purse.  I'm also probably going to do some dancing to very cheesy wedding band songs, and I sure do hope they play "SHOUT!" (Come on, you know you love it.  Weddings are the best.)  

But even if it's not, why don't you just party like it's your birthday this weekend, okay?  Because summer's almost over, and we all need to make the most of it.  Pep talk, finished.  

Here are this week's favorite links!  

Do you ever wonder what people who are constantly late are thinking?  

In case you're having a low key weekend in, here is a list of the best romantic comedies.  

Sonnet James has the last few of their summer dresses on sale - fall pre-orders open Monday!

How your name affects your success.  

The state of our house has been really stressing me out lately, so we're going to attempt a cleaning schedule.  Wish us luck!  

Got any recommendations for a great breakfast in Chicago?  We're already going here for dinner.  

Attempting to make this my motto right now.  


get me dressed/saturday night bbq

Saturday evening our friends decided to throw an impromptu bbq, which was awesome because Darrell & I had no sitter planned, and it's always easier for us to bring Claire with us to a friend's private home.  Not so easy?  Getting dressed for the night.  I think I spent 30 minutes tearing my closet apart, because so far summer has been really mild & I've been able to stay more covered up; Saturday it was over 100 degrees!  After convincing my husband I'd totally lost it, I managed to pull together this incredibly basic but comfy outfit, which is actually a dress I deemed too bare on top combined with a simple black tee.  On a side note, why do all the clothes you used to think were downright conservative suddenly seem too short, too tight, too revealing once you become a mom?  

Since this style post isn't too instructive, I thought I'd better tell you about the cocktail I'm drinking.  It's a super refreshing low calorie sipper that's perfect for this late summer heat wave.  

Strawberry Basil Prosecco

1 bottle prosecco
15-ish strawberries
10 basil leaves

In a blender or food processor, combine the strawberries and basil until pureed.  Mix together the puree & prosecco, and add to the top several "smacked" basil leaves (clap the leaves between your hands to release the flavor!)  When pouring for guests, serve over ice.  


cardigans for autumn

Summer seems to have finally shown up in St. Louis, right around the time when we're all totally over the heat and ready to be shopping for fall clothes.  Personally, I cannot wait until my daily outfit can be some approximation of this: 

As much as I'd like to say I was super excited about the latest in avant-garde fashion for fall, I am just SO ABSOLUTELY NOT.  I want cozy, boring, cute, easy to wear.  Sundresses are all well and good, but lately my options are limited to all things mom-friendly (read: nursing friendly), which has basically resulted in my wearing a Sonnet James dress every.  single.  day.  And I love those dresses (LOVE!) but I think their constant rotation has become somewhat of an assault to my husband's eyeballs.  

So in the interest of optimism and maybe some wishful thinking that the universe will listen and lower the temps to highs in the 70s, here is a little round-up of my favorite cardigans for this fall.  

clockwise from top left: 

Now, does anyone want to buy #7 for me?  Because I'm pretty sure if I owned that beauty I'd start wearing it tomorrow, 100% humidity and all.  


stl spotlight/nebula coworking

I'm excited to kick off a new series I'm calling STL spotlight.  Our city has so many amazing restaurants, family activities, parks, and more.  Even if you're not from St. Louis, I hope you'll enjoy reading about our visits to these favorite destinations.  Today, I'm sharing a little bit about the co-working space I recently started working at!

As a person who has worked at home for a few years now, I'll admit that I was nervous about how having a baby would shake things up.  I knew that I wouldn't get anything done if I tried to stay home with Claire, and I hated almost every daycare I toured (also, daycare is CRAZY expensive.)  Luckily, we were fortunate enough to find a babysitter that we really love.  I didn't want to be constantly over her shoulder though, so towards the end of my maternity leave I looked into finding a co-working space.

(all photographs of Nebula by Corey Lucas, see his portfolio here!)

I have to admit, so far I've REALLY loved it.  Working at Nebula is kind of like studying at the library in college - it's a cooler than average space with lots of like-minded folks typing away on Mac books.  Mostly creatives, lots of freelancers, and there's always a pot of coffee at the ready.  You can work at a large table or a multitude of desks, and on a set of big white leather couches.  Music is always playing on vinyl from an old record cabinet they've installed, and if you need to take a break or hit refresh on your creative reserves, there are pool & pinball machines.  Since it's located on Cherokee Street (arguably the coolest neighborhood in St. Louis right now) there's a row of great restaurants and coffee shops nearby, and it makes for a great starting point for a lunchtime run.  Sometimes it can be hard to get much done at our apartment with Claire to distract me (she's just too cute to ignore) so I've even used it as a place to get blogging done on the weekends.  I can't recommend it enough to anyone who works at home and has been looking to get out of the house more.  The memberships are insanely reasonable (like, $50/month) and I've really benefited so much from working there!  


date night in + baby k'tan

Ask anyone with a baby that likes to be held - sometimes you need a little help.  Claire is a wonderful baby in general, but she's not a big fan of hanging out solo!  I've worn her most of the day for almost her entire life, and it's made a huge difference in my ability to stay cool & calm, even when my baby needs to be held close.  

For a date night at home to feel as relaxing as possible, we enlisted the help of our new Baby K'tan.  I've never met a baby carrier I didn't like, but this one might be at the top of my list for baby wearing newbies.  It's virtually foolproof to put on, and crazy soft & comfortable for wearing around the house all night.  This is the carrier I ALWAYS pack in the diaper bag when Claire is visiting her grandparents, because they don't need to know any wrapping techniques or sling positions to use it.  You can see how easy it is to put on here.  

It's always nice to be able to kiss your baby's head and snuggle while you're still getting stuff done.  (Also, that's a babywearing tip in general.  Baby should always be close enough to kiss, and if you can't, they're too low in the carrier!)  

We made our favorite pizza for dinner, my knock-off version of Motorino's brussels sprout pizza, and shared a special bottle of wine that we'd been saving for a celebratory occasion.  What were we celebrating?  I'll be sharing that next week!  

All in all, a perfect night with my loves.  

(ps - I received my Baby K'tan courtesy of Little Britches in Mt. Vernon, IL.  All opinions in this post are my own, of course.  To look into getting your own wrap, you can check out Little Britches Facebook Page here!


stlfw: blog awards nominations + official bloggers announced

It's that time of year again!  STL Fashion week is just on the horizon, and I was fortunate enough to be selected once again as an official blogger this season.  

One of the first events of the season will be the St. Louis Fashion Week blog awards, and I wanted to encourage you all to nominate your favorite blogs before the form closes on August 22nd!  You can click through here to see all this year's bloggers and nominate your favorites (and if I may make a suggestion, City in a Jar or Camp Patton, my two favorite locals!)  

I'll be keeping you all updated as it draws closer - from what I've heard it's going to be the most fantastic season yet!

*Note: this post originally ran on Wednesday, but apparently I jumped the gun and the St. Louis Fashion Week site had not "officially" launched.  If you already submitted a nomination form, it still counts!    

friday link love

Since we partied like baby-less twenty somethings this week (okay not quite, but two concerts in four days!) we'll be keeping it super low key this weekend. I'm thinking brunch, yoga, and couch time is in order. It's also supposed to be about a million degrees, so we're going to try to stay in the A/C. Why does it always seem to get the hottest right at the end of summer, when we're all being taunted with the prospect of tights, boots, and cardigans? I don't want to complain, lest the polar vortex make a fierce return to St. Louis, but even I'm ready to admit that I'm missing hot coffee & sweaters at this point. For now, I'll just be spending the afternoons pinning the outfits I wish I was wearing! 

Here are my favorite links from this week: 

The most important link this week, 10 things you can do to support the people of Ferguson, MO

Global parenting habits that haven't caught on in the US - I love the Danish one, wouldn't it be amazing if it were that safe in the US? 

More honest slogans for major companies. 

I really loved this post about parenting, and how we can forget (in the midst of our to-do lists) that our days are also our children's. 

LOVE this quote about balance in cooking. 

If the women in these historical paintings could talk.... 

An adorable post about motherhood by Emily Henderson. 

This one just cracked me up.  I'd like to recite this to every stranger who has ever given me unsolicited baby advice. 


mama + baby style/1

Claire decided to be the queen of Pleasantville for these photos, obviously.  

I'm wearing: tee & necklace - f21, jeans - loft, clogs - moheda

Claire is wearing: romper set - janie & jack, headwrap from jane.com


awkward & awesome tuesday + claire's second month


My new standards for "how dirty is too dirty" to wear a dress.  Last week, Claire actually managed to poop on the dress I was wearing, and rather than change I just wiped it down and declared it fit for the office.  

Getting to a party with the baby only to realize the one of us forgot to pack breast milk, thus limiting my ability to actually enjoy any adult beverages.  In case you're wondering, yes, I did send Darrell home to get it.  9 months of playing DD gets you privileges like that.  

Said party happened to be on the day Claire got shots (which may have been the reason I so badly wanted a drink) and let me just say that it may have been ill-advised to attend with her.  She broke out into an all out screaming session in the middle of the party, but thankfully setting her up in the sling was enough to calm her down.  

While taking photos for an upcoming outfit post, my only instruction to Darrell was "can you try and make me look like I didn't just have a baby 10 weeks ago?"  


Claire slept through the night for TEN HOURS one night this weekend.  I am sharing secrets soon, I promise.  Of course, everything we're doing could be a complete fluke and we are just very blessed, but I figure if I have a formula for newborn sleep I may as well spread the word.  

The camaraderie shown by St. Louisans in the wake of the Michael Brown tragedy.  Yes, horrible things are happening in our city, but amazing things are happening too.  Like people I know heading to Ferguson to hand out water and ponchos to protestors & residents of Ferguson standing guard in front of stores that looters were attempting to wreck.  There's a palpable tension in the city, but there's a feeling of compassion as well, like we're all in this together and it's our job to start breaking these walls down.  

Claire's newfound love for the play gym we bought weeks ago.  She can stare and chat with her toy "friends" for almost an hour, making noises she never makes any other time.  The other day I think I discovered why they call it coo-ing; she literally made a noise that sounded akin to what a dove sings.  No one will probably care to watch this but my grandmother, but here's a little video of her conversation with Mr. Monkey: 


Jumping back into running - I may only be on week three of couch to 5K, but it feels SO good to just be out there again.  Also, our doctor cleared Claire to go with me in the jogging stroller which means that I can go in the morning again even when Darrell isn't around to watch her.  So much more freedom in my schedule!  


lash love with ilash studios

If you've read this blog long, you know I have a serious obsession with all things lashes.  Of all the frivolous products and treatments out there, I've inarguably spent the most money on my eyelashes. 

To create a gorgeous, doe-eyed look, you have a few options.  

1.  Have naturally fantastic eyelashes and apply a good mascara.  If that's you....well, I hate you, and you can leave now.  KIDDING.  But seriously, that's the cheapest way to go and it'll set you back maybe $8/month if you buy a good drugstore brand like Maybelline Falsies.  

2.  Use a fancy lash serum like Lilash or Prevage.  I've tried Prevage and it did improve the look of my lashes with mascara, but it certainly wasn't life changing.  

3.  Get really good and quick at applying falsies.  This is a great, cheap option, and if you make a set of falsies last 5-ish days and buy them in bulk on Amazon this will run you about $20/month.  Not bad, and you'll look pretty fantastic all the time.  

4.  Get eyelash extensions.  This is hands down my favorite option, because it's the only one that gives me the option to wake up and go in the morning, streamlining my "getting ready routine" down to less than 30 minutes.  They're estimated to last about 3 weeks, and if you get refills every 2 weeks at about $55/refill, they'll run you a little over $100/month to keep up full time.  That's pricey, and the initial application takes about an hour and a half, but if you can afford it I'd say this is the winner!  Especially for a special event like your wedding week - when else would you want to wake up looking perfect every morning more than on your honeymoon?  

When iLash studios in University city contacted me to see if I wanted to try them out, of course I said yes - my schedule since going back to work after having Claire has been a little crazy, and oftentimes fitting in a workout means not having time to do my makeup.  With eyelash extensions, I look "done" from the moment I wake up, and rested even when I'm not.  

Here were my eyelashes before:

And this is how awesome they look after Christie worked her magic:

Lash extensions are much more natural looking than falsies - rather than being a strip, these are individual hairs adhered to each lash.  They're pre-curled, so no need for that step either.  You can basically nap through the application process.  All you need makeup-wise with these on is a swipe of bronzer and some lipstick.  

If you need any more convincing, iLash studios in St. Louis is offering a special just for Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer readers from August 25th - September 25th: a full set of 
Xtreme Lashes will be just $175 (normally $250).  

In addition, one of you will be lucky enough to win a free set of lashes with Christie.  Just use the Rafflecopter widget to enter by following them on Facebook & Twitter!  


friday link love + a little announcement

So I have some exciting news this Friday:  

Light Sleeper, Heavy Dreamer is now accepting sponsorship.  I'm sure my usual readers have noticed the addition of the "advertise" tab at the top of the page, and you can click there to see my options & rates.  I've kept prices very low, and all advertising will be reviewed for content to make sure that it's relevant to my readers.  I've also added a free option for local businesses!  I want to make sure that my site stays authentic, and that includes continuing to support St. Louis and Southern Illinois.  

As a kick-off, I'm offering 50% off all ads and sponsored posts for the first month, using the code "getstartedwithlshd."  I look forward to working with some great companies and creatives, and I hope you'll be excited to see collaborations with some people I think are really awesome.

First up is BloomNation.com - they kindly offered to give my readers the opportunity to win a $50 gift card to get fresh flowers delivered in the St. Louis area.  Bloom Nation is great, because rather than taking a chunk of money from the profit of the local florist (like 1800flowers.com and FTD), you place your order directly from the florist.  Also, the arrangements you can purchase are uploaded in photos directly by the florist, so you get what you ordered!  How many times have you sent flowers to someone you love, and been horrified by what they actually received?  Seriously, I've sent roses to my mom and they showed up lime green.  LIME GREEN.

You can enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And now, here are this week's links!  

A letter to my pre-mom self....this one is a really gorgeous essay a friend sent me, so now I'm passing it on to all of you, and one special friend in particular. 

Cool music for babies & kids.  

How to leave a party - should you ghost, or say goodbye?  I'm a fan of the unannounced exit, but apparently there's a flow chart for that.  

Is there anything better than a perfect baked potato?  And is it weird that I can never seem to manage it at home?  

These baskets look like a gorgeous way to stash blankets or toys around the house.  

There's nothing sadder than seeing all those horrifying stories of parents forgetting their children in their car, but now someone's developed an iPhone app that reminds you to get your baby.

And if you're in St. Louis and haven't gotten your tickets to Alive Magazine's Top Chef Burger Competition yet, hurry up cause there aren't many left!  You can click through here to grab some.  


saturday style + whisk bake shop

Saturday afternoon we had nothing much at all to do, so we decided to wander around Cherokee Street for a bit.  We don't spend nearly enough time in that neighborhood, but since I've started working at Nebula while our sitter stays with Claire, I figured it might be in my best interest to scope out all the good coffee & tea joints.  

It was a really gorgeous day in St. Louis - a little overcast, but considering it's August the temperature was amazing.  The perfect day to wear my Sonnet James Quincy dress and carry Claire in our Solly Baby wrap.  Also, I've developed a real love for my Birkenstocks.  Expect to see me wearing them ad infinitum, maybe even with socks come autumn...

Our first stop was Whisk Bakeshop, which is one of my favorite places for a treat & a coffee in St. Louis.  One of the best things about Cherokee is that it's a neighborhood comprised of entirely local enterprises - no chain stores or restaurants down here!  

 I mean, can you even get over those light fixtures??

We usually go to Whisk for the artisan popsicles (strawberry goat cheese anyone?) but since it wasn't so hot on Saturday we swapped that choice for a nanaimo bar.  I couldn't tell you why they called it that, but it was sort of like a way more indulgent Almond Joy.  


 Claire slept through the entire afternoon, taking about a 3 hour nap in her wrap.  Nothing better than a low-key afternoon exploring our city.  The next time you're down on Cherokee, we definitely recommend making a stop at Whisk!  


bringing up bebe

Lately I've been loving Parisian inspired children's clothing for my little one.  From black chiffon to pale pink tweed, my favorite children's stores are releasing styles perfect for a miniature sophisticate.  These are my favorites for fall!  


and on the 8th day, God invented brunch

Okay, so this post title may be a tad bit melodramatic, but I just have very strong feelings about brunch. I consider it easily my favorite meal, which probably has something to do with the fact that you can't have brunch except on the weekends.  Here's a little known fact - brunch is the best way to test out the new and cool restaurants in your city.  I certainly can't afford to go to every single new place I want to for dinner, but for some reason brunch is the universally affordable meal - we've tried out any number of places we'd never go to otherwise and judged them based on their ability to poach an egg, and the champagne to orange juice ratio in their mimosas - (I consider it an epic failure if it's greater than 25% OJ.)  

This past Saturday was our first official book club brunch meet up for carbs & coffee at Winslow's Home.  It's a combination general store & restaurant that makes you want to buy lots of things you don't need - my friend Jess was at one point considering purchasing some gardening supplies......she does not have a garden, but their shovels were that cute.  Also, their marble topped dining tables make for a fantastic Instagram backdrop.  

  After passing Claire around the table a few times and splitting an insanely delicious donut, we picked our book club choice for this month (#girlboss) & Jess kindly passed out a few tickets to the Top Chef burger competition taking place this coming Sunday in downtown St. Louis.  Thanks to her & Alive Magazine, one of you has a chance to attend with a friend as VIPs next weekend!  You can enter to win the tickets below - it will be a really fun event, and make for a wonderful (and delicious) Sunday.  Perhaps even a suitable alternative to brunch!  

*due to the fact that things around here lately have been more awesome than awkward, i've decided to switch that series to every other week, so come back next tuesday if you're visiting for those posts!  


and now, here is the story of our very exciting friday night

So, our Friday night started out as any Friday normally does.  Staring at a baby while drinking the celebratory TGIF glasses of wine.  

And then Claire got bored and irritated of being stared at and said to us "guys, it's time to go get some ice cream."  We happily obliged.  

No point in looking this cute and nobody getting to see it!  Claire's still getting used to her fancy new stroller (we got a Bugaboo on Craigslist last week, which I was beyond excited about.)  

As you walk down 39th in Shaw, you walk past this and may assume there's just a new explosives factory on the corner....

but nope.  Ice cream.  

Ices Plain & Fancy makes ice cream like you've never seen it before.  You order at the counter, and then they literally make your ice cream to order using those big tanks of liquid nitrogen!  

Lest you think it's all just a gimmick, let me reassure you; the ice cream is INCREDIBLE.  So far we've tried butter pecan, chocolate, & salted caramel, and all three have been SO delicious.  The waffles cones are made in house as well, and they are the perfect balance between chewy and crunchy.  

Claire really enjoyed it too.  

Ices Plain & Fancy just opened in the Shaw neighborhood, at 39th & Shenandoah.  They're open Wednesday - Sunday 11:30 am -10 pm.  

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