Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What Tot Wore

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "where did Tot get her                    ?" Having a girl is a LOT of fun, but can also break the bank if you're not careful. With how quickly little ones grow through clothes, I didn't think I'd ever be in a position to purchase brand-name designer clothes for Tot throughout these early years. I mean, seriously - they're like weeds but in a nice peony sort of way.

When I was pregnant, I obviously did my fair share of online shopping looking for cute little outfits to pull together. I mean, don't we all? One thing led to another, and I started realizing there were a ton of really well-priced options out there for quality designer clothes. SECOND HAND SHOPPING. Hallelujah. Another discovery? There were so many wonderful small-business owners with clothing lines I knew I needed to dig deeper into and boy, am I glad I did.

I mean, I could go on and on about all the neat things, sales patterns, etc. I found. Instead, I thought I'd just share my own personal shopping list of where I find most of Tot's favorite things for her #ootd and the links to get your shopping started!

Let's start with the basics...

GapBaby and GapKids

I could spend hours in this store shopping for Tot, but that wouldn't be saving me any time or money. Instead, I've switched to really relying on their online store and the email thread with relevant sales. Those 50% sales + an additional 10-15% really make your shopping efficient, but be prepared to buy in bulk. By that, I mean that I will often shop for spring clothes in the fall, and winter in the summer. Those are the items that tend to have additional discounts and once you really understand your little one's growth patterns, it's pretty easy to predict sizes. Plus, the entire Gap brand is phenomenal with returns and customer service in general.

Some of my favorite things to stock up on? Obviously, denim. Their jeans just fit my skinny minny the absolute best. Their PJ's may be a bit pricey, but the quality is over the top and they last such a long time. And lastly, holiday tees - that nice Christmas shirt for school parties, the valentine's dress etc.

Check out a few of their current sales here.

Gap jeans, Old Navy tee
Shoes, Amazon

Gap PJs


When I was first introduced to Poshmark, I wasn't sure what to think. To me, it seemed like an online portal just filled with a mix match of items that was incredibly hard to navigate. You know when you show up to TJ Maxx on like a Sunday evening and it's utter chaos? That's what Poshmark felt for me the first few times. After gathering my bearings, I realized how easy it was to not only list my own personal items to sell, but to search between brands, types of clothing, and for different members of the family (i.e. Kids, Women, Men, etc.). 

Some of Tot's favorite things are a bit pricey. While I'm OK with splurging on a few items because I know I can list them on Poshmark once she outgrows them (i.e. Hunter Boots, Uggs, etc.), there were certain things I just couldn't justify. Instead, I turned to Poshmark and realized there were so many options in almost new condition...flabbergasted. 

To get started, you do have to start your own profile. While you may not be comfortable with selling anything, I do suggest completing the profile to the best of your ability so you can begin building your followers. It's almost like Instagram in some ways - the more Poshers you follow, the more new items hit your newsfeed. Plus, once you're finished with an item you'll be tempted to try and sell it so you can get a credit to buy that next fun shirt for your little one. I know you will. 

You're also able to search for just about anything. You want a new pair of Quay sunglasses and you know exactly what style you want? Great, I bet there are about 30-40 different Poshers with those items all at different price points. Once you've decided on what you like, I typically like a few of the same item from different Poshers so I can be alerted to any discounts etc. offered. And, when you've found the perfect item + perfect price? Hit offer and give them your best price for the item! Typically, there's a bit of back and forth if you're below the asking price but that's the fun part of it. 

Below are a list of some of the best items I purchase for Tot on Poshmark regularly:


As you can see - these shoes are not cheap (here), but they happen to be the most durable and cutest shoes that Tot adores.  I've found about 7-8 pairs on Poshmark for a 1/4 of the price (yes - she has about 30 pairs of shoes - she really does love shoes plus they're CHEAP). When Tot outgrows them, I post them back on Poshmark to sell them before purchasing a new pair. 

Winter Jackets

I've purchased both of Tot's current winter jackets on Poshmark for under $20 each. They're both Gap brand, and came new with tags. It's definitely the first place I look before hitting up any store for any type of winter gear. Plus? You can shop all year with pretty much the same inventory. 

OOTD: Gap - Poshmark

OOTD: Gap - Poshmark


As a Mom, I'm sure you have a pair yourself...or 4. No one's judging (certainly not the Ugg Queen over here). You also know how expensive they are even in infant size. I mean, how can shoes that small cost $75? I just don't get it. But, I do know they're beyond comfortable and great for running around in outside so I can't NOT let her wear these adorable little things, right? I couldn't fathom paying full price and the outlets don't have the infant and toddler stock you'd want to really make a bang for your buck. Instead, I purchased several pairs from Poshmark NWOT (in Posh-speak, this means new without tags) for $10-15 and voila. My daughter now has an Ugg collection that rivals her mother. 

Bottom line? What are you waiting for - check out Poshmark 


Now, I know Amazon can be hit or miss. But for me? It's been more hits than misses which is why I'm going to share all my favorite vendors. 

When Tot was still a tater, we loved dressing her in little moccasins and rompers. I mean, it doesn't get much cuter. And, I found that as a new mom getting to the store was nearly impossible. I was ordering diapers on Amazon one day because who does Target on a weekend (not this Mom) and randomly stumbled upon an entire deep dive of great infant and toddler clothing. From dresses and shirts to rompers and moccasins. I decided to order 1 of each to test out the quality and see which vendors worked best for me. Here are some of our favorite vendors and items:


Sizing is everything with bows for little ones. These are the current ones Tot wears (below) and a picture to give you an idea on sizing. 

When she was a bit younger and I was a bit hesitant on the whole idea of bows in her hair to begin
with we purchased these and still use them on the regular. 


Check these out!


When I first started reading baby blogs while pregnant, everyone gushed about Freshly Picked. And guess what? I loved them. Big problem was that they were just out of budget for me. I wanted about 20 pairs and I couldn't possibly justify those expenses. A quick search on Amazon and voila. Quality wise - they definitely get some wear and tear so I tend to use these as her school indoor shoes, but she still wears them daily even today. Sharing a few of my favorite brands



Small Businesses

Another fun thing I realized is that with my purchases, I could support other Moms by purchasing from their small business which makes shopping even more fulfilling. After a night of rabbit hole digging on Instagram (you know how it is) I found two great brands that I really believe in and want to send your way. And by believe in, I mean I order on the regular so I'm sure you've seen them make an appearance or two on Instagram.

Rory Jae Co. 

An amazing Mama who hand sews each and every outfit, Rory Jae Co is just a fantastic small business with stunning rompers that also caters to custom orders. Tot owns a couple of these and I can't say enough about the quality and sizing. She utilizes a hybrid of vintage fabric and new materials to handcraft these masterpieces. They wash incredibly well and are just the most precious outfits. I'm already counting down to the spring release! 

Little Roxx Clothing

Tot has a favorite piece of clothing, which I'm sure you've all noticed. It was gifted to us by the sweetest friend and she wears it just about everywhere with just about everything. It's her personalized jean jacket. She was close to outgrowing it a few weeks ago and I raced to order her a new one from Little Roxx Clothing, along with a few other pieces for our trip to Disney and we just can't say enough. This jacket has been washed a million times and literally has seen it all. But, it has survived and that's all thanks to this wonderful little shop. Everything is 100% customizable and you can really order anything your heart desires for children and adults. 

Wylo + Co

I would be an awful Canadian citizen if I didn't take a moment to share some praises of a Canadian brand I just adore. Originally Teepee Tots and Co, Wylo + Co is a unique take on quality classic pieces for the little ones in your life. With amazing sales year-round, they're incredibly affordable and represent such a cultivating part of Canadian heritage with some of their designs. Tot's first outfit was Wylo + Co and I'm so honored I was able to dress her in the cutest Canadian garb for her first day escaping the hospital post-world entrance. 


Busy Bod Leo's 

Over the past couple months, Tot has really grown to love rompers and leo's. They're easy to throw on, cover her tooshy to my complete satisfaction, and probably the most adorable thing in the world. Tot also started ballet a couple months ago at Bella Ballerina (more about that collaboration in another post) and these have been a lifesaver for her during class. She pretty much begs me to wear them whenever humanly possible so I'm incredibly thankful to have found Busy Body Leo's and the sweet Mama who runs the shop. Whether you order a pre-made design or a custom order, everything is sent incredibly fast and wash amazingly well. Check them out for yourself here!

So there you have it. Tot's long-sought after #ootd post. Feel free to give all of these fun brands and designers on Instagram a follow and message me with any questions on sizing or ordering. See you online!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Year, New Us? Ugh.

New year new me, right?

First things first – apologies for the massive game of hide n seek I’ve been playing. There have been so many wonderful changes in our lives over the past 6 months, but that also means I’ve had to go into full on concentration mode making sure things were as seamless as possible for our little one. But, more details on a later blog entry (and there will be one, I promise)! For now, you'll have to survive off of our Christmas card as a sign we're alive, doing well, and very excited for all these new adventures we have to share with y'all. 

Back to the basics – New Years RESOLUTIONS. I capitalized because so many people dive head first into resolutions on the first of the year. The passion, the commitment – it is admirable and I love to see all the new fresh recipes and workout routines inundating my Instagram feed. But, I’ve never been one to jump into the popular movement and so this year, I really focused on intentions for the next few months.

Intentions really force me to think about the changes I’m looking to implement this year, to work on them daily. And, let’s get real – I won’t live them every day, but the intention to do good will always remain. So yea, intentions are the truth I’m preaching in 2018.

Why not a full year? Well, I hope to revisit this summer and see progress on the intentions I’ve set instead of forcing myself to live be these mantras all year. They may not work for me; I may need to do a reset and that’s OK. The point is to stop being so hard on ourselves and embrace the good we need to be the best Mama’s, partners, daughters, friends, sisters that we possibly can be. Life is hard enough without getting down on yourself, especially after the holidays. Do I need to eat better some days? Absolutely! Should I really find more patience with Reagan on the no good awful bad days? You bet! But, I know these changes won’t take place overnight and so I’m setting intentions to begin to reform certain areas in my life so I can find a more peaceful balance.

So, here goes….

1. Self-Love 

I find myself always focusing on others and how I can help serve them. God gifted me with the desire to serve and I’m so grateful for that passion. I’m the giver, the listener, the take the shirt off my back friend and I love it. It was how I was raised and how I’ll always be. But, this year I’ve realized that in order to be the best wife to my husband and the best Mama to our little girl, I need to take some time to focus on me. Whether that’s a daily workout, a coffee break or something more indulgent like getting a blow out every once and a while – it needs to be a priority in order to keep me sane. I found myself frustrated right before Christmas. I had spent so much time wrapping gifts, sending Christmas cards, making the holidays so special for our family that I really forgot about me. I left my typical pre-holiday appointments (read: waxing, nails, toning hair etc.) until the afternoon before we left. Of course, that blew up in my face and didn’t work and it really put a damper on my spirit because here was my one chance to take a breather and it disappeared. So no more leaving me to last because what did I go home and do? Sulk and not want to really be the best Mama to Reagan because I didn’t feel like my best self and that’s not fair to anyone. 

Self-love doesn’t have to be extravagant spa appointments because that’s never been me and I’m not going to start getting a facial every two (2) weeks (but, amazing props to the Mama’s who cater to their skin that way – I need to start investing in mine too – wrinkles ugh). Instead, it’s going to be a little thing here and there. Lunch out once a month, sipping that coffee for an extra few minutes before you wake your little one from their nap, taking a bath once a week for me time, and really catering to my Peloton schedule because WHOA do I feel amazing after a thorough ride. The intention is that by focusing on making me feel beautiful inside and out, I can pass that on to my little one and be the absolute best wife and Mama possible.

2. Mom Crew

Late last year, I went through a very cathartic cleanse of negativity in my life. I felt like I was drowning and I just didn’t want to focus even a second away from my daughter worrying about he said she said nonsense. The texts, the emails, the BLAH. Trust me, I’ve got more than enough on my plate trying to raise our daughter, supporting my husband with his time-consuming job, and being a kickass Mom in Tech without having to worry about negative influences in our lives. I’ve found more than anything, as I get older – I’ve really evolved into this new role in my life…Mom. And, I love it. But, it comes with some changes. We want our daughter to be raised in such an overwhelmingly positive environment and with that, I needed to take a long look at those I surrounded myself with. 

We all change and evolve, and that is such a positive thing. But, as I was headed one way – I realized a few of my friends were headed in another direction I didn’t want to involve myself with that anymore. And, that’s OK and refreshing at this point in my life. I cemented myself into this wonderful environment and with that came wonderful new people I’ve met and enveloped in a big circle hug because I’m never letting go. I’ve learned to really lean on some pretty important Mama’s in my life and best thing of all this? I finally feel free and like I can be myself with this Mom crew. Not everyone is a Mom in my crew, but they’re honorary aunts to our little tot which is even better. There are so many amazing women in my life who have either successfully battled the toddler years (while juggling school FT - I know, sainthood right there) or have recently had little ones - I am so thankful for each and every one of them for all the wisdom they impart on me daily. But, I've also discovered the beauty of social media and the ability it has to bring fellow mom's together. Through Facebook & Twitter, I've cultivated this great unit of Mama's in both the Bay Area and beyond who all are facing the same obstacles. From career-oriented parent groups (Moms in Tech - my constant lifesaver) to Golden Gate Mom's, these support networks allow Mom's the opportunity to vent, rage, and rejoice in all the wonderfulness that is parenthood. You are never judged, never segregated - we're all on this ride together and we won't leave anyone behind.
My intention this year is to continue just being my truest self with this Mom Crew – uplifting my fellow Mama’s and really focusing on supporting each other. This job is the hardest job of all, and it truly takes a village to raise your children these days and boy, we have a pretty awesome village.

Note: I didn't want to inundate you with pictures of our tribe, but they are so loved and go far beyond the lovelies in these pictures. 

3. Accountability

One of the biggest intentions I wanted to set was to be accountable in my daily life. Accountability is defined as being responsible for one’s intentions, decisions, or language utilized. When it comes to work – I’m a one-woman kickass machine. I know my deadlines; I have my guidelines and I just plow through. Nothing gets in my way. But, I find in life, that focus is pretty blurry. I want to be accountable with all aspects of my daily routine, not just with my career. 

My husband is amazing when it comes to budgeting, and while I dab here and there with focusing on it I’m never truly accountable for my part with the budget. Grocery shopping, shoes for Reagan…ya know, the essentials – there are boundaries and I need to be accountable enough to live within them. 

Fitness is another big area I want to be accountable with. Yes, I work out. I would even say I work out more than the average person, but I’m never really accountable to my fitness schedule I try to set each week. The intention isn’t really there and I need to set the schedule and ensure that I’m accountable for sticking to it or rescheduling things to ensure I still get that time to do what I set out to do. It’s not solely about organization because I’ve improved on that since becoming a Mom, it’s just about not focusing on the things that will make me a better well-rounded person, which includes accountability.

What are your resolutions or intentions for the New Year? Share below. I’d love to hear from you!

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