hey pretty mama/nursing style: shift dress

Shift dresses are one of the most common requests I've gotten since starting the nursing style series.  It is admittedly VERY hard to work around a shift while nursing.  It takes very specific styling to make it work.  Even more frustrating is the fact that shift dresses are among the most flattering styles to post baby bodies!  I have two solutions to this problem.  

1) Buy a shift that zips down the front.  Easier said than done, I know - this is the Lilly Pulitzer Alexa shift, and although you can't tell in the photos at all, it has an invisible zipper in the front detail.  It goes realllllly low and really high! Totally adjustable, totally ideal for nursing.  This dress has a much higher price point that clothes I usually recommend, but I actually found it half off at my local Lilly signature store (The Pink Magnolia!) and maybe you could do the same?  It came in three colors, and there are also a few sellers on eBay that have it new with tags for much less than retail.  Word to the wise - size up, it runs small! It's certainly an investment, but in my opinion the sixties silhouette will never really be out of style. 

2) Bring a sling with you!  I have a habit of wearing shifts more and more lately, because to Claire what is out of sight is out of mind.  Now that she's almost one, I'm trying to cut down on her nursing a bit to introduce more solid food, and take some of the pressure off of me.  We aren't weaning!  Just making a transition to a little bit more freedom for mom and baby.  Shift dresses have been a big help with that.  Of course, she still has to eat eventually.  What I'll do when we're out and about to avoid having to run to the car is throw the sling on like a sash, unzip the dress from the back, and shimmy one arm out, the side that is covered by the sling.  I just do that on both sides and usually no one is the wiser.  It's especially easy and discreet if you happen to be seated in a corner booth! 


the ultimate weekender/hangout festival

Let's just get started with the cute stuff, okay?  Sandy baby toes!!! Oh my gosh, we had so much fun at the beach this week I can't even tell you.  I can't say that Claire LOVED the sand and sea, but she did love spending all weekend with her favorite people.  Such a cheerful kiddo she was, the entire weekend, and only one or two car meltdowns during our 12 hour drive.  All in all, the kid was a champ.  

The beach in front of our condo was beautiful, all white and sandy and clean, with cushy chairs you could rent and someone would re-adjust your umbrella to keep you out of the sun.  That's heaven with a baby, and she didn't get even the slightest sunburn the entire weekend thanks to those people!  

 This balcony though, it was terrifying!  The bars on that railing were just far enough apart to really terrify me, so we were pretty much only out there to take a quick picture every once in a while and then straight back inside! 

 When on family vacation, you max out on the family photos.  

 The only place you can successfully pull off these $4 Forever 21 shades?  A music festival.  

Darrell & I did spend a fair amount of time inside the festival just the two of us, seeing a couple daytime shows when it was very hot and bright out while Claire stayed at the condo with my parents, safely shaded.  Sylvan Esso was definitely a highlight of the Hangout, as were Father John Misty, Lake Street Dive, My Morning Jacket, the Foo Fighters, and Zac Brown Band. 

This kid just did not dig the sand too much - she kept crawling into my lap and hanging on for deal life every time I sat her down in it.  

She also did not dig the family selfies too much, preferring to mostly munch on the fair food we had for dinner every night.  Here, hashbrowns > photos.  

 The venue really couldn't be beat though.  This was the view at almost every single concert, with folks making little couches out of the sand piles and relaxing with a beer.  There was a consistent breeze, which is a huge blessing at any music festival. 

 All in all, it was pretty much a heavenly weekend, we had so much fun and I see more Hangout festivals in our future for sure. 

Sorry for the super short photo recap, but as you can imagine with being out of work for three days I'm pretty behind, and when you throw in the holiday weekend coming up I basically have no time for typing! 


bring back bonnets: briar handmade

In case you hadn't noticed, we are pretty big bonnet fans around here!  Claire's a baby who has been blessed with lots of hair, but it certainly has grown in oddly.  Headbands are an absolute no-go, mostly serving only as a toy she can quickly rip off or to make her bangs stick straight up!  I have a drawer of them just sitting, while our bonnets, well....let's just say I don't think we can ever have enough!  

These pretty ones are by one of my very favorite companies, Briar Handmade.  They make beautiful bonnets for children in natural fibers, all constructed in the US.  For little heads this summer, they are the absolute best way to keep the sun away!  Who has a baby that will keep on any other kind of hat?  Not I!  Claire will quickly rip off a bucket hat or fedora, but the tie on these bonnets is baby-proof.  

They are lovely and light, never making Claire too hot or uncomfortable.  We're practically chased down by moms wanting to know where to buy when I take her out in these, because frankly cute baby hats are nearly impossible to find. Old Navy and Gap come out with one or two hats each summer, both mediocre looking at best in my opinion and always quickly sold out.  Switch it up this summer, and bring back bonnets!  They're releasing brimmed bonnets this summer which I am SO excited about, because who can keep sunglasses on a baby?  Not I!  They also make beautifully warm and even sherpa lined bonnets for winter - this is one of my favorite photos of Claire with her red velvet Christmas bonnet (and swoon, 6 month old tiny Claire, be still my heart!)  

You can find Briar Handmade's website here (they restock frequently but sell out fast!) so I also suggest following them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  

The cream linen bonnet Claire is wearing in the top photo was given to us, but rest assured that all opinions here are my own - I personally bought the watercolor and velvet pom bonnets for her previously, and will continue to buy them for her as long as they fit!  


claire at 11 months

I figured for this post, we'd start with some real-ness, because this picture.  This picture IS Claire at 11 months.  Into everything, even more so if it's something she isn't supposed to have.  It's not that she wants the laptop, it's that I won't let her have the laptop.  She doesn't want my sunglasses, she wants the sunglasses she can't have - I swear to you, if I handed her some cheap fakes they'd no longer interest her.  She can tell exactly what I'm keeping away from her and allowing her to have, and there is no tricking her.  I spend a lot of my time these days saying the word no - which she is not fond of.  She doesn't break into tears when told no, rather she becomes more determined to acquire that which I'm keeping out of her grasp.  This is a quality I'm sure will serve her well in her life as a woman, but perhaps will not serve me very well when she's a teenager (please say a prayer for us.)  

She is snugglier than ever, still preferring to be worn for most naps - naps which I can tell are quickly shifting from 2 to 1, although when she's tired she is TIRED.  Crashes hard if she doesn't get enough sleep, sometimes taking one very long later afternoon nap if we don't work hard enough to make the first one happen.  The one thing that can always knock her out is a car trip, and if we have the time I'm now known to always bring my laptop and a car phone charger so that I can work from my vehicle.  I prefer to let her sleep out the rest of the nap and just wait than wake her up and risk a terrifying afternoon.  

She goes to bed by 8 pm most nights, still waking up at around 3 am or sometimes 1 and 5 am to nurse.  I would say I mind, but I really don't.  Sometimes I miss her by then, and I love how she rolls over milk drunk and sleepy, waiting for one of us to pick her up and pop her back into the crib.  

Claire's favorite thing right now is reading - books have become toys, and she'll gladly sit quietly and still while you read her favorite book two, three, four times even.  "The Going to Bed Book," "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," and "Sophie's Busy Day," are easily her favorites. 

We both adore being outside - she's content to sit and play on a park blanket for a couple of hours - and will almost always fall asleep in the stroller on the way home.  She is practically walking, with ten steps being the record as I type this.  I feel as though full on walking everywhere is coming by the weekend, so we'll see!  Sometimes if she wants to get somewhere very quickly, she prefers to crawl.  She waves hello, gives kisses & high fives, says hi, mama, and dad but no other words yet!  Just lots of babbling.  She nurses like a newborn, but starts daycare in about a month so that may be changing soon.  

Claire is a still a petite baby, hovering around the 30th percentile for weight and height despite her appetite!  She eats anything and everything, with the strangest tastes for a baby I've ever heard of.  Favorites range from curry and sriracha to chocolate graham crackers and olives.  She isn't terribly fond of avocado or green beans, and broccoli is pretty far down on her list.  She's still a vegan baby, and you couldn't tear a veggie chicken tender or veggie burger out of her hands if you wanted to.  

Mostly, Claire at 11 months is a total joy 50% of the time, and a complete challenge the rest of the time!  She is becoming her own little person, and what I have gathered so far is that her highs are high and her lows are low!  She is joyous and stubborn, snuggly and independent.  She has made every minute of our lives happier than they have ever been, and every time I say her age is my favorite, I love the next age even more.  


mama + baby style/twinsies in lilly x target

Just a couple quick pics of our matching mom & daughter outfits from Saturday!  All our clothes are from the recent Lilly Pulitzer for Target collaboration, which has sadly sold out but this dress & Claire's set are pretty easily found on eBay. 


the weekender/cinco de mayo

We hit up Cinco de Mayo on Saturday down at Cherokee street!  We'd never been before, but with my friend Jess now living down there it was just TOO convenient to skip it!  It's basically just an excuse to be outside and drink margaritas.....which is one of my favorite activites, so huzzah!  

Jess loves to wear Claire, which I find endearing and adorable.  In Claire's book, if you wear her you're pretty much the best.  

This baby ate her weight in churros!  I couldn't even get her to nurse for a couple hours (she NEVER refuses to nurse) but I can't say I was surprised because seriously, SO many churros. 

I wish I had taken more photos of Jess' apartment, because it's so beautiful, with old south city architecture and detailing.  

We had to hit up the park too - highs in the 80s!  woot woot! - and although this girl adores being outside, she isn't a huge fan of grass.  Convenient because she won't leave the blanket, but a little sad because I want her to explore!  She'll warm up to it over the summer I think, she was reaching out her little fingers to give a quick pat to some leaves just as we were about to leave.  

That's all I've got!  I'm typing this up on a crazy busy Sunday afternoon, and I have a baby to put down for a nap.  Hope you all had a fantastic weekend as well!  


Love List

Recently, I got my hands on one of the very sought after "Day Designer" planners.  You actually have to "score" at a stocking to get your hands on one!  I'd had one before and loved it, but had been relying on my iCal lately.  Unfortunately, one of the flaws of iCal is the lack of a convenient to-do feature, and my days sometimes revolve more around to-dos than actual schedule (times, places to be, etc) so I decided to switch back to a paper planner.  It's the best thing I've done in a while!  There's something so satisfying about writing it down, checking it off!  

The Day Designer has a pretty rad feature in the beginning where you set goals for the coming year - even if you're starting in May, not January - and one of my goals was to be more grateful.  Easier said than done, real gratitude and focus on that feeling can be kept track of better by writing it down, so I've decided to bump any coming Weekender posts to Tuesday in favor of making Mondays "love list" days!  

Just a little time on what can sometimes be the hardest day of the week to focus on the things making life great lately.  

Also, can I just say that man is it easy to feel grateful at the start of may when the sun is shining and it's 80 degrees all weekend.  

First up!  

This song.  I suggest you play it while reading the post!  

This face - may we all get to be as happy sometime today as this baby is when you give her bread. 

These moments, that force me to slow down amidst a crazy day and just enjoy her.  

Frappuccino happy hour!  I mean, it's  basically an excuse to break up the afternoon with a caffeinated milkshake.  

Lilly x Target making it possible to match my baby girl.  I figure I only have a few years of this, and I may as well max it out while I can.  I have no idea why it makes me so happy, but I just love it.  #twinsies


friday link love

I know, it's weird that my header photo for a "Friday!" post would be of my office but truth be told, I'm feeling really inspired by work lately. Heading into the time of year where the sun shines brighter and colors pop more, I always find myself in a good headspace and the increased temps make my energy pop - even when my tiny human is still waking up once or twice a night.  It's supposed to be GORGEOUS this weekend and I'm looking forward to some margaritas at Cinco de Mayo and otherwise just lots and lots of time with my little family.  I'm sure we'll get to the park & farmer's market once or twice, and maybe even warm Claire up to the idea of grass (which she has an odd fear of...any other kids like that out there?)  

If you aren't already, follow along on Instagram for impromptu outfit shots and giggly baby videos.  

Here are my favorite links from this week, and enjoy your weekend!  

I've been on a serious bright lipstick kick lately - this is pretty much my new motto.  I'd like to amend it to include "and starbucks."  

This made me lol so hard: Reasons Your Millennial May be Crying.  

Office emails in real life make you realize how awful we all sound!  But still, hilarious.  

Hilary Clinton's message to America, via The Onion. 

I've been coveting these Tory Burch wedges all spring, but at $300+ they're out of my price range.  When I stumbled upon these look-a-likes (for $20!!) I was easily convinced.  Buy them in every color.  

Embarrassing phrases even the smartest people use incorrectly ("for all intensive purposes" users make me CRINGE.) 

Okay, apparently all my links this week are jokes but these "yelp reviews" of newborn babies are too too funny.  

Lilly for Target reinspired my love for ALL things Lilly, and now I think I need this dress for summer.  Plus matching baby shift for Claire, duh.  

"Things my male colleagues have actually said to me." 

Why people never smile in old photos. 

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