When Little B was 13 weeks old, we had a photographer come to our home in San Francisco and do a family shoot. I wanted to do another when T was 13 weeks old. The lovely Aubrey Stopa came to our house for a couple hours on a Saturday morning, and here is some of what she captured.
My friends, these are two different babies. Can you tell which is which? I think it’s safe to say they’re sisters…
Thanks Aubrey! You Frill us!
Friends, full disclosure here. This is in no way healthy. This is in every way decadent, stick-to-your-hips, raise-your-blood-sugar, delicious. To make matters worse, it’s easy. Apologies in advance.
One day, shortly after T was born, I happened to be lounging, nursing her and watching PBS, which is pretty much the only TV we have, being as we went cable-free over 2 years ago (and never looked back). Well, P. Allen Smith’s show came on. And he was making this Orange Marmalade Cake, which instantly grabbed my attention. How could it not? It looked so delicious and simple and fresh and lovely and scrumptious. And it has lived in my mind ever since. Finally, an excuse came along to make it: to celebrate the visit of a dear cousin.
Yellow cake, plus layers of mascarpone cheese, cointreau-tinged marmalade, slivered almonds, and fresh clementines. Well, I will refrain from tempting you more. But if the opportunity arises, and you feel like a splurge of gooey sweetness is in order, look no further.
PS: I made this with a gluten-free cake mix and it was fairly magical.
Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! Today I’m starting an ongoing series on the many ways to style a chambray. I’ve had mine since September, and since then I’ve found that I wear it AT LEAST once a week. I’m starting to feel like a pro when it comes to getting various looks out of it (see here and here), so I thought it would be fun to document the chambray top’s endless functionality and versatility as a basic closet staple.
Today’s look is pretty simple. I’ve left the chambray untucked and am letting the details do the talking.
Layered bracelets, but not too many. I wanted to keep things simple and classic:
A rolled sleeve over a coral colored cardigan:
Buttoned all the way up to accentuate the deliciously gaudy, layered necklaces as well as to emphasize the preppy vibe:
Gold heels + Animal print = sophisticated statement piece:
I’m excited to show you some other fun ways I style my chambray in the coming weeks. If you have a chambray top, what are some of your favorite ways to wear it?
I found these vintage children’s bookends in a box of paraphernalia that came from my grandmother’s house. I fell in love with their little mischievous faces. I also find it hilarious that their boat is named “Pequod,” which is the name of Ishmael’s boat in _Moby Dick_ that tragically sinks and leaves Ishmael the only survivor. So I guess these guys must be Ishmaels. True to their name, they have survived culling; I have saved them and given them a home on the bookshelf in Baby T’s room. Which, incidentally, is starting to come together. I love it when I find little gems like my Ishmaels.
And this is one reason we like Texas: cause we get to play in the dirt…
…with crazy post-nap hair…
…and wear flipflops…
PS: Thank God for Oxy-Clean.
Do you practice any sort of Lenten fasting? This year I’ve given up one of my favorite things: reading blogs. (Er, obvs I’ve not given up posting on them.) I like Lent. I like the opportunity it gives me to reign things in, take stock of how I’m spending my time (or money or energy or calories, depending on what I’m fasting from any given year.)
And I really like blogs. They are like magazines you get to read for free, about any topic you’re interested in. They can be endlessly inspiring, but if I’m not careful, they can be an endless time suck, and a distraction from the nourishment and spiritual boost deeper reading can give me. So this year instead of reading blogs I’m reading the daily office each day, as well as reading through several books.
RHE’s _A Year of Biblical Womanhood_, in which she de-mythologizes (is that a word?) and challenges common assumptions about what it means to be a woman who follows God. Love RHE. I’m allowing myself to read her blog, because I consider it a form of nourishment.
Kathleen Norris’ _The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy, and Women’s Work_. This slim volume, really an elongated essay, is kicking my stay-at-home-mom ass, challenging me to consider all work, even laundry and dishes and diapers, as holy.
I’m re-reading (for the second or third time, can’t remember) Anne Lamott’s book of essays, _Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith_. It blessed me the first (and second?) time, and I was listening recently to a friend talking about how impactful it was in her faith experience, and thought I’d grab it off the shelf again.
These are the three I’m reading through so far, but I think I’ll likely be finished with all of them by this weekend. Anybody got any recommendations for more spiritually nourishing reading? I’m considering reading some CS Lewis I haven’t gotten to yet, maybe _The Great Divorce_.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Anne Lamott’s essay, “Ashes” about Ash Wednesday, which was a week ago today and is the beginning of Lent in the traditional Church calendar, and which sums up some of the reasons Lent is meaningful for me:
The ashes remind us of the finality of death. Like the theologian said, death is God’s no to all human presumption… [In awaiting redemption and resurrection] how can we cooperate with grace? How can we open ourselves up to it? How can we till the field? And so people mark themselves with ashes to show that they trust in the alchemy God can work with those ashes–jogging us awake, moving us toward greater attention and openness and love.”
We have this random cubby-like space in our house, just off the fireplace room. It used to be a wet bar, complete with 80′s-tastic mirrored shelving. That promptly went the way of the eight-track. We have little use for a wet bar separate from the kitchen, and would rather make a better use of the space for our family’s daily operations.
Since we moved in, it has just been blank space, sitting dormant, waiting for me to decide how best to utilize it (and to actually have time/energy to execute a plan). I spent last weekend painting some old office furniture; a desk I’ve had for many years, a file cabinet my mom wasn’t using, and a cubby-organizer thingy. Because I’ve finally decided to make it a home office space (aka You Frill Me headquarters). Here it is now in a disorganized mess.
I’m going to ditch the big brown desk; it cramps the space too much. We are thinking of installing a sturdy desk-height shelf to make an L-shaped configuration. But still mulling over how best to make the space pleasant, uncluttered, and harmonious. And of course, FRILLING. I’m hoping for pretty shelving, a cool vintage-y chair, some fun wall art, and good task lighting. My budget for this project is pretty much nonexistent, so I’ll have to find some time for thrifting.
Meanwhile I’ve been pinning inspirational small offices and organization. Got any ideas?
After sharing Baby T’s room, I thought it would be fun to show you B’s room also. It’s all about vibrant, playful patterns, and of course, handmade details.
As in T’s nursery, I deviated from my white-walls-only policy and, at the risk of being cliche’, chose pink for the wall color. I wanted the palest shade of pink I could find, and I have ended up really liking it; it’s so pale it reads neutral and allows the vibrant colors and patterns to pop, but adds just a fluttery hint of extra femininity to the room.
Many of the elements from her original San Francisco nursery (also here) have made it to her new room in Texas, and are right at home in their new setting — the framed prints by Erin, my grandmother’s needlepoint footstool, my handmade crochet heart bunting, the vintage bird prints, and the lantern/pom installation, to name a few. But I’ve added and re-purposed some elements as well. One new item is the ubiquitous Expedit shelf unit, which makes for great toy storage.
The dresser was my own childhood dresser. A basket on top makes for a convenient place to keep shoes (keeping them out of toddler reach means they are strewn about less of the time. The map of SF was gift from my aunt; I framed it and gave it a home here because B is our San Francisco baby.
The rug is a family heirloom that belonged to my great grandmother. The rocker is the twin to the one in T’s nursery. And I chose a playful floral for the window valances, which were sewn by, you guessed it, my mom. The little hand-painted porcelain shoe was a gift from a family friend, inscribed with her name and date of birth.
These bookshelves are a DIY a la Pinterest, made from vinyl window gutters. I was dubious about them at first, but they work well. I even added an extra one by the rocker for the special bedtime books. You may recall the “sugar and spice” cross stitch from a previous post. The play kitchen is from Ikea.
We just love all the special details in this room. It’s a pleasant place to play and rest.
Today I’m FRILLED to share a peek at Amber’s fun maternity style. You may remember her from her Frilling crochet creations. Well, now she’s sporting a cute bob and a baby bump. Amber has a classic style and always looks polished, even at 36 weeks preggo!. This is baby #3 for Amber, so she’s got some experience in the maternity wear department.
These green maternity cords are comfy and cute paired with stripes, a chartreuse cardi, and a chunky seafoam-green beaded bangle. I think that mix of greens is so unexpected and interesting; and stripes are always the right pattern. I never see a stripe I don’t like. Leopard flats add more pattern interest.
This maternity shirtdress is a hardworking piece; neutral in color, very versatile for many occasions and very multi-seasonal. She’s wearing it for winter here (even though it was like 80 degrees here when we took these photos) with black tights, boots, and a warm cardi; but it would be just as nice with gladiator sandals and loads of shimmery gold jewelry. (For spring I’d add a bright patterned cardigan to liven up the neutral olive, and exchange the sash for a fun skinny belt; but that’s just me.) In fact, this is the second pregnancy this dress has taken Amber through, so it has proved its worth.
dress: Motherhood / cardi: Gap / leggings: Ross / boots: JC Peney
For a more dressy occasion, Amber picked up this sparkly non-maternity dress at Ross. I love finding non-maternity pieces that work for maternity. The gathered v-neck will even be nursing friendly. A dress like this is a find, my friends. Until you start looking, you don’t know how hard it is to find dresses that work for nursing, much less nursing + maternity + beyond.
In her own words:
How would you describe your personal style? “Elegant and classic but fun.”
What’s your shopping M.O.? : “Price and versatility, practicality, trendiness, all have a place, but in that order. At the same time, I decided a while back that I wouldn’t buy something just because it is priced right and practical, I have to LOVE it too.”
What are your favorite accessories? “Earrings and bracelets. necklaces are too tempting for the littles to grab and…I love scarves!”
Where do you go for fashion inspiration? “I like to read blogs (like yours!) and window shop. That’s where I see what’s “in” and typically decide whether or not I like it. But I don’t consider myself uber-trendy regardless because that would be less practical. I usually stick to a few trendy pieces in the wardrobe for fun and stick with classics (or what I won’t tire of, at least) for the rest.”
Quality or Quantity? “Quality. It’s more practical. And more classy.”
Anything else you’d like to say, just for frills? “Many women in the last month of pregnancy feel like a whale, walk like a penguin, and don’t feel attractive at all, but I say we should flaunt those beautiful bellies in tasteful style!”
Amber, You FRILL us!
Gals: if you’d like to nominate someone as a Frilling Fashionista, send us an email with photos at youfrillme at gmail dot com. We love featuring real-life women who have a unique sense of style and are Frilling it up in their everyday lives
It’s been a while since we’ve done an edition of Stuff We Love, but I have some good ones to share for mamas and babes. Check em out:
1.Weleda Baby Shampoo and Body Wash and Weleda Calendula Cream. German company Weleda is known for their clean, non-toxic skin care products, and I have used many over the years. These two baby products are in daily use at our house. The baby shampoo is gentle and creamy and has a lovely light, natural calendula fragrance. The baby cream is pretty thick and moisturizing, and is doing good things for a touch of cradle cap on Baby T’s scalp. It’s also good for diaper irritation. If you don’t like a thick cream, opt for Weleda Calendula lotion. Highly recommended by most of the Midwives I know.
2. Bare Minerals Matte Foundation. I have been using this stuff for 3 years now, and I love it. One product does the work of three: foundation, powder, and concealer. Gives me just the right amount of coverage, depending on how much I apply. Always looks natural, and covers dark undereye circles and blemishes admirably when applied with a concealer brush. This stuff is just the thing for anyone who doesn’t have much time to spend on makeup (hello mamas). Also, the mineral ingredients are fairly clean. I have literally thrown away every other foundation or concealer product I used to use. I usually wear it with a few swipes of Bare Minerals Warmth. Mascara, lip gloss, and I’m out the door.
3.Wet bags. I got mine from For Keeps; Amanda, the shop owner, custom made them in the fabrics of my choice (aren’t those cameras so cute?). Wet bags are heat-sealed to keep wet, smelly messes in. Even if you aren’a a cloth-diaperer, you need a reusable wet bag in your diaper bag. I can still remember the time B had an enormous blowout at Whole Foods and I had to carry her clothes home in an industrial-sized trash bag because that was all the guy there had to give me in a pinch. Don’t make that mistake, mamas. Also useful for swimsuits and stinky workout gear.
4. Zutano baby booties. Forget baby socks; they never stay on long. Zutano fleece booties snap on and hardly ever fall off. Plus they’re completely adorable. Note: the non-fleece ones don’t stay on as well.
5. A good scarf collection. I still maintain that a cute scarf is a nursing mama’s best accessory. I wear one pretty much every day. Besides making an outfit look put together or adding a pop of color, a scarf serves as a nursing cover, spitup stain hider, impromptu baby blanket, and can drape over your stroller or carseat carrier for naps on the go. My most-used scarf is a black and white patterned one that goes with everything. You’ve seen it (on Aurelia – she borrowed it) here. Black + white = bang for your buck. But I think this blue animal print is pretty versatile as well.
6. Skin Eternal Cream by Source Naturals. This is a recent discovery of mine. I’ve been using it at night for a few months now, and every morning when I wake up after a long night of parenting and nursing I think: Wow, my skin doesn’t look as tired as I feel. And if that isn’t a good testimonial I don’t know what is.
7. NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator. NoseFrida is my good friend. You may have met her here before. I can’t parent without her. She is easy to clean and easy to use. Get rid of your bulb syringe because it isn’t doing you any favors, and plus you have no idea what’s inside it.
8. And one more thing I’d like to add, which I couldn’t find a good image of: Heron’s Nest Herb Farm Healing Salve. Heron’s Nest Herb Farm is a local (for me) farm and producer of completely natural, wholesome skin care products in Blanco, Texas. I picked up a jar of their healing salve at a farmer’s market. For diaper rash, I apply a layer of this stuff for soothing and healing, topped with a layer of Boudreaux’s All-Natural Butt Paste as a wetness barrier, and the irritation is soon gone. Also good for cuts, scrapes, random rashes, bug bites, and the occasional cracked nipple (wipe off before nursing).
Do you have mom/baby items you love that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!