How to Pack for a Family With One Carry-on Suitcase (and Two Backpacks)


Yes, one. Yes, it can be done.

Now I will preface by saying we only have one kid. We also did this when Little V was 18 months old. I didn’t have to bring a breast pump, and we didn’t have to worry about bottles, so I personally found it easier to pack for an almost-toddler than a little baby. Time will tell whether we can pull this off again when V gets older, but hopefully she’ll be able to carry a little backpack of her own next year!

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Zara Red Maxi Dress and Sonoma Recommendations

Red Zara dress TOP

I haven’t shopped much for myself lately, but while I was perusing Zara’s online sale for Little V, I thought I’d give this red dress a try. I am not usually a maxi dress person, but now that I’m confined to wearing sneakers I appreciate the ability of the longer hem to cover up my active shoes. In a way, maxi dresses allow me to preserve part of my femininity when my usual uniform is denim or work out clothes. [Read more…]

Reflections on 10 Years of Marriage (And One Piece of Advice)



Surprisingly (or not), I still get questions, comments, and emails about this relationship post I wrote two and a half years ago. Readers ask how I ultimately made my decision to marry Mr. Wonderful (which happens to be 10 years ago today) and how we make it work.

When Mr. Wonderful and I first got married, I actually used to be jealous of other couples. Those that unflinchingly cuddled in public and would sneak kisses in front of friends. The husbands who waxed poetic about their wives on Facebook. The wives who talked about how their thoughtful husbands planned a surprise getaway for the weekend, just because. We were never them, Mr. Wonderful was never that, and part of me used to wonder if something was wrong with us, or me. Was it because I married a friend versus a lover? Was there something amiss in my love? In his? Did I (we) make a mistake?

A few years into our marriage, we hit a lull. It seemed like night after night, we had nothing to say to each other. And then we would watch a TV show or Mr. Wonderful would spend the rest of the night playing a computer game. Eventually there came times when I would go out with friends almost every night, just to see if he even cared or noticed (and he didn’t on both accounts). I didn’t expect marriage to be an ongoing adventure, but I also didn’t expect or want it to become a roommate agreement. We went to therapy and that helped, but then we’d stop and our progress would too.

I say this not as a representation of all marriages, but this was ours. At least, for awhile. I have met people who have described an amazing chemistry they experience with their spouses, so perhaps that kind of long-term relationship is possible. Ours was not that.

We eventually found common ground, in the form of our marriage crisis. When you reach a point in your marriage that forces you to ask, “So are we in, or are we out,” you pause everything else in life to find the answer to that desperate, ultimate question. You may seek the services of a spousal support lawyer in Schaumburg if you decide to file for divorce.

As we searched for how we would individually respond, our vows took on a new depth. So this is what “for worse” means. Oh. If only we had known.

Ultimately, I made the decision to stay. Despite his (and my) flaws and sins, I realized what I did have in our marriage was the unwavering support of my husband. Whether it was through depression, through job changes, or simply following a life calling, he stuck by me even when it affected him, too. I can’t imagine anyone else who would have been a better helper through my chronic foot pain this past year, whose steadfast loyalty has gotten me through some of the toughest of times. And though his love doesn’t involve smothering me with kisses in front of friends, it does involve working late hours so I can be free to have a job of my choice. He doesn’t write love letters, but he currently does nearly all of the chores and puts our daughter to bed.

Looking back at my 20-something self, I would tell her that despite all that would lay ahead in marriage, she should stay. Keep trying, as long as your partner is willing to do the same. She’ll be glad she stuck it out. Because so far, I know I’m glad I did.

What’s the best marriage or relationship advice anyone has ever given you?

My Journey with Chronic Foot Pain


My chronic foot pain has gotten the better of me lately. It’s a world I never expected to enter (at least not in my 30s!) and is often times lonely. With each doctor and medical professional who tells me they don’t have a viable solution to offer, I lose more and more hope. There are days when I find myself falling in and out of depression. As there are no chronic pain support groups in my area, I started searching the online world and found surprisingly few personal stories about chronic foot pain – specifically for those under 40. Was I a rare case, or are there others out there who simply suffer in silence? [Read more…]

Anthropologie Lucille Peplum Blouse and Distressed Bermuda Shorts

Anthro blouse2

It actually hit the 80s this week! For those of us living in San Francisco, it means it’s time to hit the beach. There are only a few weeks in the year (sometimes none) when we get to pull out shorts, so I relish every opportunity to do so. As I’ve gotten older (or old), I’ve started appreciating longer hem shorts, as your legs don’t burn in the hot leather of the car and it works well with longer tops like this one. [Read more…]

One Sweater, Two Ways


Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, Mr. Wonderful and I were able to get away for a weekend trip recently. It was only the second night we’ve been away from Little V since she was born, so it was quite a big deal! I threw on a casual gray-on-gray ensemble and off we went.

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Can you spot the Asian girl on this InStyle cover?

InStyle InjusticeI always look forward to the latest issue of InStyle arriving in the mail, and this month was no different. As a new mom, I thought it was sweet that a circle of little girls graced the cover with the elegant Victoria Beckham. Her collaboration with Target will be launching in a couple of weeks, so I eagerly turned to page 180 in anticipation of learning more.

As I looked through the photo spread and studied the girls’ clothing (mentally listing the ones I wanted to buy for Little V), I suddenly noticed part of a little Asian girl’s face on the bottom right side of page 182. Oh that’s nice they’re being inclusive, I thought, until I looked for her in other photos of the spread. In one photo (page 181) you could see the girl’s right eyebrow and forehead. In another you see her right cheek (page 182). Yet another had part of her back, hair, and legs (page 183). Except for the first shot I noticed, she was practically invisible. If you had photoshopped a blank space over her in all those pictures, it would hardly make a difference. Her presence didn’t matter. [Read more…]

A Day in the Life of This Mama

Little V recently turned 1 (!!!), and I still can’t believe I’m a mom. I used to think my old life (pre-baby) was busy, and now I wonder what I did with all that free time. Mr. Wonderful and I have no clue what new movies are out right now, and we’re lucky if we make it out to a restaurant once a week, but life somehow feels more full without those things.

Sometimes when I have the chance to grab coffee with a girl friend, I get asked, “So how’s life?” For some reason, I find myself at a loss for words when it comes to that question. It’s routine, it’s fun, and it’s busy, all in one. I thought it’d be fun to give you some iPhone snapshots of what a typical day looks like for us!

a day [Read more…]

Are High End Leggings Worth It? A Review on Athleta, Michi, and Calvin Klein

There’s no sense in fighting it anymore–leggings have become a part of my daily uniform. I never quite understood why many moms, even trendy ones, are often seen wearing leggings and other athletic wear, but now I get it. You need something that you can move in, be vomited on, and come out of the washer and dryer booger-free. I’ve ripped some designer jeans trying to crawl on the floor once, and never mind trying to machine-dry denim unless you want them to shrink and fade after a few washes. Besides, now that I’m always in sneakers I may as well complete my outfits in athleisure.

I started with Target leggings, because why spend $100 when you can spend $10? But honestly they were a little scratchy and a bit thin for my liking. Plus I wanted something with an edgier style, so I dropped into a local Athleta store on my way home from yoga class one day.

I tried on every style of leggings they had in the store and liked the Excursion Tight (photo below) the best. I also picked up a pair of Polartec Power Stretch Tight, which is a fairly basic piece but amazingly warm. I’ve been reaching for it when the temperatures drop below 50s at night.

leggings_small leggings_small-2

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Floral Maxi with Leather Jacket

Floral maxi

I had a couple of events to attend recently, and was at a total loss on what to wear. Due to my foot injury last year, wearing anything but these sneakers was not an option. I was hoping to wear a short, fitted dress for the sporty, flirty look that many celebs are rocking, but it wasn’t right without black and white sneakers. A maxi dress seemed like a safe idea, but the few I own have longer hems that were meant to be worn with heels. Since I didn’t have enough time to get one altered, I turned to Rent the Runway. [Read more…]

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