Holiday Sweaters

There is nothing quite like a great sweater during the holiday season – cozy enough so that you’re warm and comfortable, unique enough so that you have some style, and casual enough so it doesn’t look like you’re trying too hard.

I nabbed a few sweaters during this year’s impressive Black Friday sales, and thought I’d share them with you:

Holiday SweaterVince Camuto Cold Shoulder Sweater, XXS Petite

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Giving Thanks To The Parking Ticket Collector

sunflower

There are obvious people in my life I’m thankful for – Mr. Wonderful, for one. Little V. My sister. The friends who have stuck by me through the good and the bad. And then there’s the elderly man who collects my ticket at the parking garage of my chiropractor’s office.

Being a ticket collector must be one of the most mundane jobs I can think of. Even filing books at a library seems more interesting (which I did for many years as a teen). I’d take a job at McDonald’s over sitting in a booth of a dark garage by myself, staring into space until the next person who wishes to exit the premises comes along. And yet whenever I see this man, he says, “Hi! How are you?” with a huge smile on his face, and then says, “Have a nice day!” as if he really means it. His good spirits are contagious, and no matter what kind of mood I was in that morning, I always leave my weekly chiropractor’s appointment feeling better in more ways than one.

Though I don’t even know the name of this man, his simple actions remind me that regardless of how insignificant your actions may seem, it can make a difference in someone else’s day.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy thanksgiving!

Who have you been thankful for this year?

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A New Sweater for Mama

Nordstromlace

Pre-baby, there were two types of sweaters in my closet – cashmere and embellished. Wool had always made me itch, so growing up I kept warm in the winter by layering a gigantic sweatshirt over a couple of long-sleeve tees. (Obviously, this did not make me date worthy for quite a long time). When I finally discovered cashmere, I started stocking up on the precious sweaters during after-Christmas sales. J.Crew makes some of my favorites, especially with their gorgeous colors.

Now that I have a baby, spit-up is a common occurrence, and I did not want to start racking up unnecessary dry-cleaning costs. I’ve tried hand-washing a couple of cashmere sweaters in the past, and knew that was a mistake (the fine material becomes fuzzy and worn looking).

As for my embellished pieces…well let’s just say that Little V does not enjoy rubbing her face on rhinestones.

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5 Tips on Traveling to Europe with a Baby

VtravelI’m just as nervous as you, honey.

When Mr. Wonderful first suggested we spend the rest of his paternity leave going to Europe, I thought he was out of his mind. Little V was only 2 months old at the time, and the idea of hauling my sleep-deprived, half-crazed self with a baby in tow just seemed insane. I could barely get through the day by day, and he wanted to travel?!

“Fine,” he said. “You’re no fun.”

Sigh. Apparently giving birth to a baby also turned me into a party-pooping old grouch.

So I relented, though in the weeks and days leading up to the trip I was half-hoping that a minor catastrophe would happen. Just bad enough where Mr. Wonderful would have to admit cancelling the trip would be for the best, but of course not so bad that anybody got permanently hurt. I did end up with a foot injury, and Little V did pick up an ear infection (we went to urgent care two days before the trip), but Mr. Wonderful cheerily carried on with his packing. So off we went. And here are some things I learned:

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The Practice of Slowing Down

Slowing Down

Some readers have asked where I’ve been, and when I would start writing again. Little V is already 7 months old–where has the time gone?

It all started with a foot injury in late June. An innocent pair of new, flat sandals did me in this time (two years ago it was a pair of too-tall heels). My podiatrist gave a little laugh at my vanity, but assured me it would be better in two weeks. Fast forward three months later, and the pain from my foot has spread to my heel, ankle, and entire lower left leg. Add on the classic aches and pains of motherhood–back problems and tendonitis–and I was forced to slow down. Way down.

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Five Things I Learned While I Was Pregnant

pexels-photo-57529(This is a stock photo, not me!)

I wrote this for my newly pregnant friends who asked me if there was anything valuable I learned during my recent pregnancy. If you’re a mama-to-be (or the spouse of one), this might help you, too!

Eating eggs can reduce morning sickness.

I discovered this by accident. I had been feeling nauseous for most of my first trimester, until Mr. Wonderful and I went on vacation and stayed at a bed and breakfast. The wonderful hosts made us eggs every morning, and I happily noticed that by coincidence my nausea had disappeared. Until we were served French toast one morning. Turns out there were something about eggs that just made me feel better (and it wasn’t the protein, because when I tried to sub the eggs with chicken one day, I still felt sick).

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My Go-To Uniform: Tweed and Denim

Rebecca Taylor tweedI discovered my penchant for tweed jackets a few years ago, when I realized how easy it was to throw one on over my everyday denim and instantly feel put together. Especially in a cool climate like San Francisco, a light jacket is almost always a must. A tweed jacket is a piece that can take my normal t-shirt and jeans outfit to church or dinner in about 10 seconds.

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Striped Dress and a Pop of Color

Striped Zara dress

Happy Monday! I’ve been doing some purging of my closet lately, as I realize there are pieces I haven’t touched in years and probably won’t again. It’s been nearly a decade since I worked in a corporate setting for example, and there is no reason suit separates need to take up valuable real estate in my closet.

And then there are those pieces that land in the “maybe” pile, like this dress I purchased from Zara a couple of years ago. Keep or not to keep? To help me make the decision, I wore it out to a lunch date with Mr. Wonderful recently.

“Is that new?” he asked, as he gave me a kiss on the cheek. [Read more…]

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A Letter to My Husband (on Father’s Day)

Fathers Day

Dear Husband,

It’s your first Father’s Day, and I’ve been feeling the pressure to write something especially heartwarming.  Perhaps some words about love, followed by sweet musings of parenthood, then signed with an XOXO.

And yet as I sit here, wondering what to say, I find myself missing us. I miss the closeness I used to feel, when there was freedom to focus on just you, and how your day went, to hear the latest funny story without being half distracted by whether or not our daughter needs another bottle.

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Scallop Hem Floral Shorts

Scallop Hem ShortsWarm weather means shorts season! As I excitedly dug out my old favorites from the closet, I came to the same conclusion I recently discovered with my jeans – nothing fits my postpartum hips and waist anymore. I didn’t have time to hit the stores, so I decided to order a box of bottoms from Stitch Fix.

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