on my list this week…

we are experiencing a horrendous heat wave. the weather is gross, muggy and over 100 degrees!

i am in the mood for loose, flowy, 70′s inspired pieces that can easily take me into fall.

1. i am picturing this DREAMY gauzy dress loose and cool during the day and paired with a leather jacket or vest at night.

2. natural selection alicia bag, marc by marc jacobs

3. i love the loose flowy shape and earth tones in this relaxed blouse.

4 & 5. with all this heat the only jewelry i want to wear is delicate and small and i don’t want anything around my neck.  i love these knuckle rings… and did you notice the “leo” ring?

6. can’t wait to trade in my tried and true wedges for some oxblood clogs for the fall.

7. always and forever,  flared jeans might be my favorite. maybe it has something to do with having a 28″ inseam but these high waisted pants paired with the clogs and i dare say i just might look “leggy” haha. its hard to find a good pair so when i see them, i get them! i also have these by j brand and if you are in the market level 99 has some great options and madewell comes out with them every once in a while and swoop in!


wardrobe essential: distressed jeans. they make every look just a little cooler. i love them so much i have devoted an entire pinboard to them on pinterest. check it out here.  here are some of my favorites.

top left: hudson on sale $92 / top right: Joe’s Reserve Vintage on sale $132

bottom left: gap sexy boyfriend $69 / j crew vintage straight $168 bottom right: Jack 350 $245

please note, if you purchase items by linking through my site, I MAY earn a small fee. nothing to pay for college, more like enough to buy a diet coke to keep me up late at night, creating more posts I hope you love.  I will always link to products that I really truly love or that I really truly would love to have.


for our last day of baby week we are talking newborn pictures. what are the essential newborn pictures every mom wants to have but can’t think about on the day of the baby’s birth? here is the run down. get’n wordy today folks.

most moms would say, “the day my child was born was the best day of my life”.

not all moms but many. i realize for some that day is filled with sadness or sorrow as complications arise or hopes are not met so i want to acknowledge that first.

i would like to add  the day AFTER baby’s birth as  one of the “best days of my life”.  the morning AFTER my children are born is so special to me.

i love the feeling of waking up and thinking, “wait, where is that little critter? i need to seem them NOW”.  and “did that really happen? is there a whole new person in my life that i love completely?”  when the nurse brings them into my room,  i examine them all over again. babies change so much after the trauma of the first day (reason #3 for taking pictures the day AFTER baby is born) and i love to see how their cheeks are a little creamier. their clean skin has that smell only babies have that cannot be bottled.

mercilessly i take them out of their blanket cocoon to look at their rolls (or chicken legs in ruby and ello’s case).

the temptation is just too great to not see a naked baby. i have to. i nussle under their chin. i look at their hair in the natural sunlight to see it’s color and predict what it will be.

i am never right.

i practice saying their name to be sure it fits.

and as my sister is constantly making fun of me for, i smell their breath. its the best. i squeeze my flat nose right in between their cubby lips and breathe in their smell. their scent. am i gross? anybody else do this?

i savor this time. me and my new baby, alone in my room. everyone else is gone and will be back soon. its just baby and me. its this moment when i think. where have you been? we have only just met yet i feel like i was missing you, exactly you.  this time is so precious to me . i have to capture it. have to remember it. have to look back and try and breathe it all in again.

they are my most favorite pictures of the whole experience.

i get baby dressed. i take a few shots without a hat on just so i document their  hair and head roundness and circumference.

then i always put the hat back on.

the reason you ask? their head seems fine to you but when you look back at those pictures you are going to see how odd and misshapen their dome is. just use a hat, trust me. you won’t regret it.

i like the regular hat the hospital gives you but i also like the texture of a chunky knit hat against their smooth skin as well.

when you let the family back in the room  get a good picture from above for perspective.

for these shots i stood on the hospital bed, made sure i had a really good grip on the camera and shot straight down. the perspective of them alone in their crib or with siblings leaning over is always something that happens naturally and lends an idea of how tiny the new baby is.



this mama style is about the peplum top. oh you don’t wear lace peplum tops with pointed leopard print shoes to school pick up? weird.

so maybe we should call this look, mama style…gurl’s night out.  if i was that cool, that is what i would call it.

we are  just gonna get right to it… i have a major problem area.  my muffin top. yes, myes, i just said that in a public forum. proud?

i am self conscience of my midsection, so i thought a body hugging shirt like this would not be a good option for me but i was wrong… the top hits just at the right spot to show off a small waist and flares out right over my “special spot”. lucky me. lace is going out on a limb for me, but paired with high waisted worn denim it takes that preciousness out of delicate lace. i love the idea of pairing the sweet top with tougher pieces. i got these stud earrings a  month ago and wear them nearly every day. if you are on my christmas list you will soon know what i am talking about. they are my item this year.

i have been obsessing over this outfit for a couple months and slowly collecting all the pieces.

for the chillier weather, that i am still waiting for here in southern california, here are some great layering options…

this tweed jacket

this cropped blazer

this military inspired jacket

and of course i would switch the velvet pants out for these jeans anytime.

so tell me? have you tried the peplum top yet? i have been eyeing them since spring but just took the plunge.

what would you pair yours with?


photo inspiration…overcoming your insecurities

there are million reasons to NOT take your family pictures… money, stress, outfitting, husbands who don’t like to take pictures (not that i would know a thing about that), your extra poundage…. a. million. reasons.

however, i never let it stop me. although this year i really really wanted it to. my heavy may not be your heavy. my double chin cheek crease may not be your double chin cheek crease. my bad hair may not be your bad hair. my frustration level may not be yours. but they are mine dag namit (thanks for that ingenious phrase dad)! and they are real.

they bug me and i definitely didn’t want to record them for all to see or for my children to project onto a large screen at their wedding/baptism/graduation one day. supersize double chin cheek crease? no thanks.

regardless i did it. we recorded our family for this year. and let me tell you, i am so over the moon happy we did.  i love them.

a few weeks ago a longtime childhood friend of both my hus and mine came to take our holiday pictures. we remodeled our 1984 track home last fall and i have been wanting pictures of  us in this space we love, doing what we do,  ever since.

and we are definitely doing what we do in these shots.

a sink full of dirty dishes.

sitting in our favorite window seat/bed/art center/reading nook

i am not sure why it worked out so well this year. maybe it was the fact that we have known michelle and her family forever?

or maybe the fact that we were on a tight sched.  getting all the kids ready for a photoshoot before school and  then rushing off to work in the classroom, taking baby to mom’s, that sort of morning that i didn’t have time to over think it.  whatever it was we surrendered to the process, didn’t sweat the dishes (or my chin) and it was so fun and so easy that i couldn’t be happier with what she produced.

on myes: plaid collar shirt / ringer tee (old) but similar here / blue jeans/ gray desert boots (old from gap, see this post for similar options) on the hus: plaid flannel find similar here / gray volcom jeans (old) similar fit / top siders  on baby ello: blue oxford / thermal henley / gray jeans / top siders (old) / on ruby: polka dot collar shirt (sold out but similar here) / gray dress / ballet flats (sold out but similar here) / hair bow (old from lou and lee but check them out for similar styles) or here  on me: denim shirt (love stitch from local store) / tipi sweater / high waisted jeans /

the kids all lined up at the island making demands and cracking us up like they do every morning.

it is a lot to take family pictures. a lot of planning. a lot of styling, and restyling (i am not wearing what i planned at all in these pics) and a sacrifice of funds.  however,  every year, i am so happy we did. it takes a snapshot of us where we are. makes us remember the realness of our lives. and gives us something to look at and talk about for years to come.

thank heavens for all the lifestyle photographers who pioneered natural, meaningful photography. the more normal we make it, the less anxiety my kids have and the better their smiles are and the more likely i am to let go of my chin crease and smile along with my fam.

i can’t say enough about this lovely lady, Michelle Hanson Photography.


wether you are braving the amusement parks, setting up camp or hitting the museums i am breaking down what shoes to wear for this spring break. keep them stylish and comfy… and please leave those running shoes in your gym bag. you know what i am talking about. pointing at you. you can do better.

1. stud sneaker by Ash 2. green moccasins 3. yellow and tan tory burch 4. stud smoking slipper ( super comfy)5. nike with red swoosh 6. black and white sneaker 7. teal nike

part of me is still not ready to put my booties away. they are so comfortable and the perfect transition to spring. i am LOVING this boot.

i have been a tried and true fan of the chuck taylors. my red pair are my fave. when you feel like keeping it classic, simple and affordable. they are a go to. high top, low top, whatever they will never fail you.

this is how i do disneyland…

these babies with the gold hardware just might be perfection.


ms. ruby is my boho baby.

ruby has been toting this Anne of Green Gables book around for a week, despite the fact that she cannot read this 5th grade level book. doesn’t it just add to her hipster appeal to carry it around? all she needs are the thick glasses.  she wants to read real bad. she loves to lay in her bed and pretend to read out loud to herself. after three days of carrying Anne of Green Gables around she asked, “mom, what is this book about again so i can act like i am weading it?”

on a side note, i met the lovely owner of the printed palette recently here and her items are so adorable. they are thoughtful and smart, soft and comfy and endearing and fun. and the colors? she gets the colors just right for mama, baby and kids alike.

born to be wild tee by the printed palette $28

straight gap kids jeans $29.95 (35% off right now), distressed DIY tutorial here

target fur vest $22.99

floral dr. martens $65

slouchy beanie old from zara but find very similar here


there are blessings that come with a noncomplainer. whining is kept to a minimum. you can get away with handing them the last drink, it can be the wrong flavor they are fine, they figure it out. if a complaint does escape their lips it is brief and they move on.

“i want to sit in the back.”

“not today.”

“ahh, okay.”

it is kind of  a relief from the normalcy of trying to placid everyone else all day.  the downside of the noncomplainer is that they can be overlooked. ya know the whole squeaky wheel thing. we have a lot of squeaks around here and they definitely soak up a lot of oil. sometimes all the oil i have.

ruby is my noncomplainer. while in mammoth this weekend she woke up one night warm and thirsty, but not complaining and we hadn’t quite mastered the whole temperature control in the room so everyone was warm. the next morning she couldn’t wait to get to the mountain for ski school. we got up. she ate breakfast. she dressed. no complaints even after asking several times if she was feeling okay, checking her forehead etc.

after an afternoon of skiing i got a call from a friend that my little ruby tuesday was done for the day. that’s all. as i walked up to the slopes i noticed a little body laying at the bottom of the chair lifts. i almost passed out, she had to be hurt. my friend was trying to save me from some really horrible news with all that, “she’s done” talk in his calm collected voice. i know better. that is what friends/fellow parents do. you call all calm like so the parent doesn’t panic. i have played this game before.

Luckily she wasn’t injured.  she really was done. dead asleep on her instructor’s jacket right there at the lifts. no broken bones, no blood.  obviously i knew right away she wasn’t feeling well. i mean who could fall asleep in the snow, right? unfortunately i can’t carry her and my dear friend had to shlep her completely dead weight body all the way back to the condo. now that is friendship. she couldn’t feel her arms for days.

i have been told i spend an extra amount of attention on my little girl on this blog or my instagram and i see that as a good thing. Because you see, she rarely makes a fuss and when she does she is easy to please and return back to an even keeled state. if i give her extra attention, especially here where she has her very own Ruby Tuesdays, that is fine by me. the girl deserves it. in fact, she can be so easy going about things that she often gets swept up in all the boy activities and my hus and i have to stop and say “when was the last time ruby got to choose what we do?” she gets shlepped from the baseball fields to football practice. she patiently plays on her iPod while i calm my other boys’ nerves and creates crazy art projects in her room while i help myes through piles of homework.

after a trip to the doctor we found out she had a sinus infection. she is on the mend… and not complaining

top 5 spring fashion picks

Hello. am i back? i don’t know. but so many friends have reached out to ask me what they need this spring so i am going to tell you the top spring basics i am jonesing for this season. lots of white, gray, textures in brown and distressed denim.

1. A white or off white blazer. need and want.

love the collar on this one from jcrew

i have this one from zara. i don’t love the silver buttons so i will be replacing them but at this price i feel a-okay about doing that.

2. Slubby Gray Tee– i will never get sick of a slubby gray tee.  this muscle one is great under the blazer to keep things nice and breezy. or this cult classic v-neck by rag and bone.

3. High Waisted Flares- preferably with some distressing:)

I love these by citizens of humanity because i have a very long torso and they rise nice and high.

but for you girls with a shorter waist, try madewell flea market flares. great price, with a 9 3/4 rise compared to the citizens 11″ rise. AND they are on sale right now.

4. Button Front Skirt- this white one is light, breezy with texture. perfect with a tee knotted at the waist.

5. Leather Sandals

i strongly encourage everyone to nab a pair of these cut out sandals. especially if you have dry heels. your welcome. the brown is not your ordinary brown. its not too orangey and goes with everything.

or for beach and pool days i am loving these black slides by free people

6. Straw Hat

love this cute little guy from gigi pip and such a great price

i have this one from madewell because its PACKABLE.


i am now in the home stretch of this pregnancy with only 8 weeks left to go. the last thing i want is something tight on my bod. i have been wearing every loose, flowy dress i can get my hands on. Light and breezy caftans, muumuus and day dresses paired with sandals are my new maternity uniform. other then my vintage & etsy finds which you can read about here and here , this is where i am hunting them down on the web.