fashion friday | post-baby tips & tricks

If you have been a follower on this blog for a while, you know that I used to post a regular fashion friday in an effort for me to step out of my comfort zone and start building my own personal style.  I loved this project and continued it through my pregnancy which was not always fun or easy. :D I haven’t decided if I am going to continue it through the post partum phase or not, but due to popular demand, here I am today.

Last week I had such a fun opportunity to join in on a fun creative project with elizabeth faye, b couture photo, and blue linen boutique.  Elizabeth is one of my new favorite friends and bloggers and is probably thee most fabulous person I know.  I am excited to work on a few more projects with her over the next few months so stay tuned. :)

Blue linen was kind enough to let me shop my 3 month post partum bod into something I felt comfortable and cute in.  I have learned a little something about fashion and new babies recently so I am here to share what I know.

1. Nursing.  It took me a time or two of fully undressing to nurse my baby (hashtag : that awkward moment in the church mothers lounge) to realize that I needed to keep that in mind while dressing myself each morning.  No more one-piece attires, and something to easily access “the girls”.  I am not really one for having my boobs out everywhere I go, but I am also not one for suffocating my babe under a nursing cover either (hello 110 degree summer!), so I have found a perfect little combo… tank under an drapey open-front shirt.  You’re welcome.  Keeps the side-boob out of view without blocking her breathing.  Win-win. 2. Time – I have learned (yet again) that there is no rushing a new baby.  She does not know or care that you have a 10:00 appointment, she’s hungry, then she needs to explode her diaper up to her neck with poop and after all that work, she’s hungry again.  Good luck washing your hair on a schedule and leaving the house looking presentable – Did you hear me? I said good luck. I have shared this trick a time or two before, but it is working for me just as well now as it ever has – red lips are the ultimate trickery when it comes to mom fashion.  Nothing says “presentable” and “fashion forward” like a good red lip.  And thank you to my darling girl Elizabeth, she has introduced me to the wonderful world of these lip crayons.  Top it off with a little nyx butter gloss and call yourself a babe. 3. Comfort – let’s talk for a minute about those gray skinny jeans I’m wearing.  I hate to say “skinny jeans” because they feel like freaking yoga pants.  Blue linen carries these babies (hudsons) and I’m not kidding I could have curled up and taken a nap right then and there.  As I am still shedding off some extra “juice” from pregnancy, the last thing I need is too-tight jeans to remind me every time I sit down or bend over that I have a muffin top.  Buy yourself a pair of extra comfortable pants that FIT YOUR BODY RIGHT NOW.  Cut out the size label if you must, but you will feel and look like a million bucks.  (and when you hear “I can’t believe your back in your jeans already!” keep it to yourself that you just purchased them a size or two up. ;) ) I had so much fun being Elizabeth’s hair model.  I wore that braided flower crown for the rest of the day and felt so fancy!  Check out Elizabeth’s blog today to find out how to do it for yourself (spoiler alert: way easy)!

So what do we think? More fashion friday/beauty tips? Or are y’all sick of my clothes by now?  Let’s discuss this in the comments.

xoxo, C

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three months of grae

  My sweet little Grae Bell is 3 months old!
She weighs 11 lbs on the dot.
She is still in size 1 diapers.. size 2 drown her (even though I bought them thinking they would totally fit now – oops!)
She is wearing 0-3 still, but I’ve started to put her in 3-6.  She seems to be long so even though 3-6 is quite baggy, it fits her length wise.
She has turned into such a sweet, smiley little thing.
Her tummy sensitivity seems to be getting a little better.
I have eaten a cheeseburger with no complaints from her, but don’t dare try my beloved cafe rio salad. The sacrifices we make!
She rolls over right and left from her tummy.  Her big sisters think she should be an olympic athlete with that feat!
She is still just a scrawny little thing, but she is starting to work on a little chub roll on her thighs, along with a pretty delicious double chin. She will give open-mouth kisses (mostly to mama).
She is winning our hearts over more and more every single day.
She is sleeping pretty well.
She begs to go to bed at around 8:30 every night and sleeps in her cradle until about 1-3 and then gets in bed with me and nurses off and on til morning.
She has started taking naps in her crib and she is doing well.  I am almost ready to move her in there at night but every night rolls around and I decide she’s still too young. ;)
She is a busy little wiggle worm.
If she is awake (and even in her sleep) she is constantly moving and kicking. She has suddenly gotten so sweet and nice.
For quite some time she wouldn’t tolerate anyone holding her for more than 5 seconds but she has gotten much better the last week or two.
She is so super smiley and will reward you with a grin anytime you even look her way.
Her eyes are so so blue and SEEM like they’ll stay that way.
This is my first experience with a blue-eyed baby, but I really can’t imagine them changing with how piercing blue they are.
People comment on them every single time we leave the house. She has a little strawberry (hemangioma) on her right ring finger.
It is so cute and looks like a little ruby ring.  We say she brought her jewels from heaven.
People comment on it all the time, “what happened?!” they gasp.  It’s a little annoying to constantly be explaining to every single person, but what can we do?  I know at first glance it looks like a little scrape.
We love it though, it’s just one of her sweet little characteristics.
(Even though it will likely disappear on it’s own, unlike a birth mark.) Grae has acquired quite the slew of nick-names, Grae Bell, Gigi, G-Baby, Graby Baby, G, chicken nugget.
My favorite is when the girls call her one of them.
Stella calls her a different name everyday – usually a different disney princess. The first week we went back to church after she was born people came up to me saying “Her name is Elsa?” and I quickly corrected that no, her name was Grae.  A few minutes later I overheard someone asking Stella what her new baby sister’s name was and she said, “Elsa.” ha! Got all the sweet ladies in our ward a little confused.
I’m sure some people still think we have little Elsa Miller over here.
Yesterday Stella demanded we call her “Pascal” all day. (Rapunzel’s trusty chameleon side-kick) Every time I fed her, “Oh mom, are you’re feeding Pascal?” haha.
She is much better in the car, but some how knows if I am not driving and will cry and cry until I sit in the back with her.  It’s the weirdest thing because she rarely cries when I’m driving the kids around by myself.  She doesn’t even have to be touching me, as long as I’m in the back she is 100% fine.  Such a little mama’s girl!
She truly is such a mama’s girl.  By far my biggest mama’s babe out of the 3.
It’s so magical to be loved so much! :)
Grae is such a blessing to our home.
She brings such a sweet spirit with her.
We are all completely smitten.

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grae’s first trip | how we beach

Last month we took our first trip as a family of five and kicked off our miller’s summer bucket list.  It was such a relaxed trip and will go down as one of my favorite memories with my family.

I get asked a lot about where we stay and what we do in California.  My sister lives in Oceanside in North San Diego County.  It’s about 6 hours from where we live in Southern Utah and we make it out there as often as  possible.  We all love the beach, but it gives us a chance to catch up with family and get away.  We are so lucky to have family to stay with so we’re able to go down more often.  We have mastered doing a lot of fun things that don’t cost a lot of money.  So, if you are planning a Southern California getaway, this post is for you. ;) On this week’s vacation, we did almost all of our favorite things.

First thing first, I like to incorporation traditions wherever I can.  We all get a fancy starbucks drink when we leave early mornings.  This gets everyone out of the house a little easier and sets our trip off on the right foot.

When we get to California, the first thing we do is drive by the ocean with our windows down.  No matter if it’s midnight or noon, we drive by the ocean with no exception.  Auntie has her own little tradition with having a surprise for the girls as soon as we get there.  They have to close their eyes and hold out their hands (their favorite form of surprise).  Sometimes it’s a little tricker for them to play with while they’re there or sometimes a treat, but it’s always a highlight for them.

These are all simple things that we do that I know will lace together so many rich family memories for my children.

My number one suggestions of fun and FREE thing to do?  The beach, obviously.  This is likely what the kids will want to do everyday anyway and did I mention it’s FREE?? It’s fun for everyone! Don’t fill up your days with the zoo and seal world and legoland and disney.. choose one expensive thing to do (if you really want to) and the rest of the days?  Plant yourself in the sand, feel the breeze on your face and let the sounds of giggles and splashing take you to your happy place.  I was surprised this year by how easy it was to take a newborn to the beach.  I just wore her the whole time and kept her covered by our favorite aden and anais blankies.  A nursing friendly suit makes for a happy mama and happy baby.
*new mom tip* for a hot beach day with a baby, simply wet a swaddle blanket for a perfect way to shade and cool your babe.

 

 Everyone loves the beach!

One of our other favorite things to do in Oceanside is the Thursday night market.  Booths and booths of delicious food, treats and all other forms of goodies.  We load the kids in the wagon and go enjoy our evening.  This is also where I get our world famous caricatures.

 This year we crossed riding the train off our summer bucket list.  We always talk about doing it and this time we made it happen.  WORTH IT! It really was so fun.  The kids loved being able to ride the train (no car seats!) and they ride for free which makes this little endeavor super budget-friendly.  We took the train 40 minutes or so to Old Town in San Diego which has cute little shops (perfect souvenirs for your trip) and THE BEST mexican food I’ve ever had in my life at Barra Barra.  Oh, and the kids eat for free there as well. WIN-WIN.  We have decided that will be a staple on our trips from here on out.

Of course, fill in the gaps of your trip with lots and lots of beach time.
*beach tips*
We seem to have mastered taking kids down to the ocean, so here is what we never go without…
Sunscreen! Everyone needs it.
Food – the more food, the happier your little beachlings will be.
(we love red and white market’s deli for sandwiches and we can get snacks and drinks there which makes it easy)
water – water- water
Shade – a canopy or an umbrella is a great investment if you’re planning on spending more than an hour at the beach.
dry set of clothes for the kids to walk home in (a sweatshirt over a swimsuit will work)
Baby powder! Splash some powder on those sandy feet and the sand will dust right off.  So much easier than showering off and trying to avoid sand on the way out.
A wagon to load things (and tired kids) to and from is an excellent bonus.  We use a wagon way more than a stroller on our beach trips.

 Another favorite place to eat is Yellow Deli.  It’s all fresh, organic, homemade ingredients and such a beautiful location.  If you’ve never been to yellow deli, you need to try it!  It’s quite an experience.

But mostly importantly, our trips are about family.  Don’t get so caught up in the itinerary you’re missing enjoying your vacation.  Sometimes taking a day to lounge around the beach house is important to reset.  Getting exhausted on vacation is so not the point, in my opinion.

This trip was a special one, welcoming little Grae into our adventurous family.

 

If it’s possible, we fell even more in love with her this week at the beach.

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inspired.

I get comments and emails every once in a while by sweet mothers and women who have been inspired by something I’ve written about on my blog.  For some reason, this always makes me feel like some sort of poser.  Like my life should be perfect for someone to be inspired by me and my life is faaaaar from perfect.  I always want to excuse these comments with “Oh, you should see the dishes that have been sitting in my sink for 3 days,” or “girlfriend, I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet today and it’s after 1pm!” or “Really?  Because I just lost my patients and yelled at my kids for not cleaning their room the first (second, third) time I asked.” Somehow, the nice comments have become a source of internal guilt for me.  But why?  Why do I feel like I should be perfect in order for someone to pay me a compliment?  I think this rings true in other areas of my life, as well.

This has gotten me thinking of ladies I am inspired by – so many! And what makes them inspirational to me?  Is it because they seem perfect?  I have found that it’s actually the opposite.  They seem real.  They inspire me because their life is beautifully flawed and they are doing it – every day!  I am inspired by my sister-in-law who takes pride in her keeping her home organized while she hustles and bustles 4 children around everyday.  I am inspired by mothers who choose joy in their day when it would be so easy to let the overwhelming tasks of motherhood take over.  I am inspired by my best friend who is on a tight budget and is so creative with her lifestyle.  I am inspired by people of my faith who are real about their struggles but continue to press forward with love in their heart and light in their paths. I want to be more like that.  It’s in the flaws that I find inspiration, people working with what they have, people choosing happiness especially when it’s not the easiest thing to choose.  It’s the realness that inspires me and to me, real does not equal perfect.  I am inspired more by people showing their truths than hiding them.

So maybe I can be inspirational to someone, too.  Maybe I can write about our life, some of the bad but mostly the good, because it really is so so good.  Because I choose to see the goodness in my life.  I choose to celebrate every day.  I choose to love and be loved and share love in any way I can.

I have recently taken some time away from the outside world and really focus in on my little family here that I have.  It’s been good for me to get a different perspective of things.  Since I delivered Grae, I am learning so much about myself.  I am really learning to love myself in a new way as I love and care for her.  I say that every birth changes you and I am in the process of being changed right now, and I feel that.  I have struggled sometimes finding the balance of life again, but I have really enjoyed that struggle too.  I think that’s mostly what this blog is about, ya know?  Enjoying the struggles and seeing past them, creating beauty in the every day, seeing moments as a mother as small miracles happening right before my eyes.


Maybe that is inspirational, and I’m learning to be okay with that.

 

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