Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: September, 2015

Pinching Yourself

I’m one of those people who goes into a grocery store/specialty shop just to beeline it for the sample table. I mean, I DO always buy something because otherwise I’d feel guilty about having snuck by and snatched a treat three times…  

So basically me + Pinch me is a match made in samples heaven. A free box full of goodies? Sign me up.  

 My favorite things in this months box included the Kura nutrition smoothie powder which made my smoothie oh-my-God delicious.  

 These Fisher Nuts popcorn almond clusters were also soooo yummy. I snacked on them while we watched Nick coach a soccer game on a sunny, cool early fall afternoon. 
 Red is sitting in his chair while I write this and I’m about to give him a much needed bath. Major blow out at the soccer game this evening, and I forgot a change of clothes so we drove home with him in his diaper covered in blankets…anyway, this Shea moisture baby wash smells so good it’s ridiculous. I pretty much spend days just sniffing his head.  

 I really wanted to like this skin fix lotion, because my hands are so dry these days from constant washing and sanitizing in an attempt to keep germs off baby ( my husband is a teacher so… Lots of germs). But it just sort of leaves my hands feeling greasy, so it’s not on my favorites list. 
Also I wish my nails were painted in that picture. But they’re not. I want a manicure and a pedicure and a massage and a full nights sleep but…that little face up there is a good trade.

Anyhow, if you want to join the Pinch Me fun, you can do that Here

Now I’m going to try to get some sleep in. 

Gingham and Pumpkins


  Red had a tough week. Between the beginnings of early teething and the onslaught of his first cold, he was fussy and cranky and that made me tired and sad. So by Friday, I was in need of some sister/niece time. Lucky for us, they live right near a gorgeous farm that was like a fall explosion. It was just what we needed. Red was happy looking around and watching his cousin (whom he is obsessed with and vice versa), and I got to have grown up conversation and hot cider and donuts.  

Consign Trilogy gave me this gorgeous vintage gingham circle skirt while I was pregnant. I remember looking at the waist and thinking, I hope I EVER have a waist again to wear pieces like this… Luckily the woman’s body is a wonder, and I was so excited to wear it this week! 


The weather has been incredibly beautiful, and just cool enough for Red to wear his adorable fox hat from Cozy Nooks. They’re offering my readers 20% off with the code HANNAHJOY if you want a darling hat for your little. But be quick cause the code only lasts until the 30th!

Anyway. I’m tired and getting a cold so I’m off to eat hot soup and drink warm cider.

Skirt:c/o Consign trilogy

Top: forever 21 (old)

Reds outfit: old navy

Reds hat: cozy nooks 

What’s in YOUR diaper bag?



Hands down the item I spent THE most time searching for, besides Reds crib quilt, was a diaper bag that looked classy, not tacky, and that was affordable. Luckily  Little unicorn had both a perfect diaper bag AND a quilt. I always feel like one heck of a stylish mom prancing about with this bag even if I’m wearing jeans and a t shirt and my moccasins… Cause it’s almost mocc season again! I don’t actually prance either by the way. Anyway, I’m a very disorganized person and my purse is usually a horrific and humiliating disaster… So I’ve been working really hard to keep my diaper bag under control so I can find what I need when I need it.  

 To make sure I don’t forget something (always likely) these items, minus the carrier, never leave my bag. In the first photo you can see my carrier hanging up (it’s a baby k’tan) which I bring everywhere in case of a baby meltdown or to make things like shopping easier. I have my burp shawl (printed), my nursing cover (navy blue), my changing pad, a change of clothes for baby Red ( he had his first blowout today at my sisters) and I keep diapers and wipes in the cloth case. I also have his pacifier, and then my stuff… Wallet and make up so I can feel like a Real Girl when I realize I forgot to put mascara on and I look like I’m asleep still.  

 Also, with all the nursing and our long walks we take every day, hunger hits me suddenly and hard. I don’t really ever feel hunger “pains”, I just tend to get suddenly exhausted and weak…so I try to keep a snack handy. I love granola bars, but want them homemade with ingredients that can be found in real life and that I can pronounce…so I like the bars from Oat mama and Heat and go. After eating them, boxes granola bars taste like cardboard. Which, have you ever eaten cardboard? Me neither. I don’t know why that comparison exists. 

For fall and winter, I’m definitely swooning over the lust worthy diaper bags from Mina Baie. They are gorgeous. Beyond gorgeous actually… Red thinks so too.  

Happy weekend everyone! Thanks for reading! 

Burp shawl c/o Burp necessity

Nursing cover c/o Nuroo Baby

Oat mama bars c/o Oat mama

(But I’m dead serious about loving all these products!)

Falling into Fall (whether I like it or not)

My mom really loved fall. Like most people I guess. But I grew up in Thailand  where there is no autumn and my New Englander mother deeply missed the cool air, the crisp smell of fallen leaves, the harvest food… And that was before the pumpkin spice craze!  

 We moved back to Massachussetts when I was thirteen due to my moms cancer. And every fall, we embedded ourselves in Autumnal Activities like apple picking, pie baking, leaf peeping drives, and heavy cider drinking. We would have adventure days and discover new, adorable New England towns. My mom would DECK OUT our house with pumpkins, dried corn, mums, autumn wreathed, acorns… It was a wonderful time. 

  My mom passed away a little before my 18th birthday, and now fall is hard for me. I love summer and hot weather and I have a hard time maintaining my sunny disposition throughout our never ending winters, so fall marks the beginning of what is a tough season for me. But beyond that, I feel overwhelmingly nostalgic when the weather starts to change. I always want to do all the things and I never can capture those feelings I used to have when we were teenagers and I was experiencing fall through my mothers love for it. No matter how many pies I bake, or apples I pick, or towns I stroll through. 

 But this year I’m feeling different, now that I’m a mother. It feels like a beginning, this season, not an ending. I’m happy for the break in the heat so that my little guy can be out in nature for a few hours without sweating his baby brains out. I’m reveling in bundling him in leggings and moccasins and allowing him to feel the cool air on his soft skin. 


(Red loves when I eat my  Oat mama bars because he knows it means extra milk. Look at that face.) 

 On this recent cool morning, we walked with coffee in hand to a local public garden. The trees were heavy with apples and the air smelled of all the fruit on the ground. My heart is full so often with gratitude these days. And that day was no exception, because with my son, every day and every season seems filled with possibility and hope. My mother would have loved to hold her grandchild. She would have loved how his face reflects mine, how he lights up with a whole mouthed smile when we play with him, how he observes the world with such seriousness. I hope that I can fill him with a knowledge of her even though he’ll never get to meet his grandma. I have some sense now of how much she must have loved me because of how deep my love is for my child, and I’m grateful for it.

Dress c/o Envie de Fraises (maternity and nursing friendly)

Shoes: j crew, old

Reds leggings: Target

Reds moccasins: Old navy

Summers Dog Days

These  have been the doggiest of days, although if you asked my poor neglected and oft scorned dog she would disagree. Poor Lupe. It’s hard to be suddenly replaced by a tiny tyrant (which is how she views the little human that showed up) and have daddy go back to work and be stuck home with mom AND for it to be so hot out that we can only walk early in the morning. Lupe is an incredibly good dog, and gentle with Red, but I feel like a god awful dog mom because I’m so filled up with love for my son and husband these days  that I don’t have much room left for my pup. Hopefully that will change soon as I get more used to mommyhood. 

 (Our daily morning ritual. Lupe refused to look at the camera because she is practicing her right to rebel.)

Anyway, yesterday we went to Newburyport for a lunch date with a dear friend and dessert with my sister and niece. 

 I wore this bright pink dress (with shorts underneath cause it’s pretty close to a shirt…) and stuck my hair up and ate a mango-matcha chocolate dipped Popsicle and sweat profusely. 

I also wore my lariat necklace that you can barely see, it’s so delicate, which I love. It came in this months Rocksbox package and I’m pretty into it.

 The babies dealt with the heat in their own ways. Red passed out during tummy time and Aurelia covered herself in Popsicle. 

Dress: Sheinside

Shoes: f21, old

Diaper bag: Rotunda

One Month and an Envie de Fraises Dress

So I’ve been a mom for over a month. A month and two days to be exact. These days it’s real good… Now that the Trials of the Breasts are (hopefully) behind us. Red is a good baby. A good sleeper (for now) and a good little companion when he’s awake. I miss him when he naps sometimes because I just want to be holding him. Then other times I’m so glad that he is sleeping so I can wash dishes or make lunch or clean our room easily.  

 I watched a video of someone and their newborn yesterday while Red nursed on me, the two of us lying curled into each other, his little hands holding onto me in just this perfect, instinctive way, and I cried a little. I already miss those initial days– holding him to my chest, investigating his features for the first time, his tiny toes, his delicate fingers. He’s such a baby now, so much bigger already–he’s outgrown some of his 0-3 month clothing, and gets longer overnight it seems sometimes. His personality is developing, at least to me. He seems thoughtful, a little serious, always curious to quietly observe his surroundings.  


We do normal things. Little things to keep our toes grounded. Coffee in the morning. Long walks. I am desperate to be working out again, but have been directed to stick with low impact until the mastitis is gone gone gone. Today we went to a bakery together, and he was alert and watching everyone around us. I felt painfully proud to be his mama. A dear friend came by for a luxuriously long visit, and we talked and laughed while Red watched and listened, or nursed on me (or peed on me). And you know? Life is a beautiful thing.

Dress: c/o Envie de Fraises (maternity friendly, and adaptable to breastfeeding after pregnancy!)

Shoes: target (old) 

Flower Powers


So, due to the evil scourge of Mastitis, my husband and I actually missed our date night to go out for our three year anniversary. Luckily we celebrate most things late, so it didn’t matter, and we waited until last night to dress up, load our baby into the stroller, and head down to our local Fancy Restaurant.  

  We went to Thistle Pig, which has an always fabulous, always changing menu, chock full of local meat and produce. We ate well, drank well, and had grown up conversation. Which usually winds up being about raising children –it’s always been a favorite topic of ours. That, and general gossip. You know. Gotta keep up on everyone. 

After days of stumbling around the house in ragged pajamas or just straight up topless (so much extra nursing of the extra painful variety) it felt indescribably good to get a little glam in this gorgeous floral gown and put on some make up and spend stress free time with the man that I love so much it hurts sometimes. He is so good to me, patient, playful, and he happens to be really damn good looking too. I don’t know how I got so lucky and that is a cliche but it is true. 


I also don’t know how I got so lucky with this little guy. Even if my boobs WERE still so swollen for our date that I could barely get them into my nursing bra… He’s so cute and was so handsome in his date night outfit I almost died. 

 He slept all the way until our chocolate stout cake came out for dessert… Then maybe he wanted some, I don’t know, but he got pretty noisy. We got it to go, and ate it while I nursed him, and it was a lovely evening. 

Dress: thrifted

Red’s shirt: Gap baby 

Real Deal

First off… When things are going well they really are good. A few days ago, I felt like a fabulous mama and a great wife. I was getting dressed every day, going places, taking Boots (one of Reds millions of nicknames) to the park… Making dinner… I was “in the swing-ish” of things.   

 Happy baby… Happy mommy…happy husband…but, then on Saturday I felt the familiar breast pain, the exhaustion, the on set of chills and fever, and before too long I was slammed with round two of mastitis.   

(Feeling like super mom…)

And you know? This is HARD! I had an easy pregnancy, a quick birth…I thought it was smooth sailing. Pre baby, I’d never spent a night in the hospital, never gone to the ER, never even gone to the doctor for anything outside of routine check up. Now? I’m like a freaking frequent flyer there. “Oh hey! Yes, yes it’s me again. Oh you know, just casually INFECTED and weeping. Again. Because that’s how we apparently roll here. Am I calling at 2:30 am? Why yes it seems I am.”

  (Two days Pre-Misery and it feels like months ago. Whine whine whine)

The thing is, I feel like women need to talk more about OUR trials. I mean, everyone told me ” the sleep deprivation, the crying, no time,” ect, but no one said, “oh and your boobs may become inflamed and your fever may spike to 104 and your nipples may get covered in blisters and you may be so blocked up your skin cracks–just a heads up!” Which made me feel so alone as I wept yesterday over my precious sons soft blonde head while he nursed and it felt like daggers being stabbed into me (I exaggerate but only just.) Until I talked with my sweet sister who drove up to me with her little one while I stumbled about in a terrified haze (is my baby starving?? Do I have enough milk coming out??) of sickness and exhaustion alone because paternity leave is over folks and school is starting and boy do we miss dad! 

She reminded me that everyone has something. We just don’t talk about it. I can be as guilty of it, cause when things have been good they’ve been so good. And I don’t want to sound like a failure mom around other moms because Red and I sometimes struggle with nursing, and because I had to crack open the formula to supplement him when I was totally blocked, and because I have spent multiple sick, hospital bound, frantic days sobbing hysterically that I wouldn’t be able to feed my angel boy. I want to sound happy and together as I watch them easily nurse their babies on their perfectly normal nipples (how many times can I say nipples in a post? A lot. I do not have perfectly normal ones.) 

But you know? It’s ok. I’m not a failure mom or a failure wife and this too shall pass. Hopefully. And we will get through and recover and if I can’t wean Red off the darn nipple shield until he’s two months old the world will not end nor will the nipple police arrest me. 

And that face. Those hands. His joy in the sensation of the outdoors and the grass and the breeze on his toes. The way he quiets down to hear his daddy’s voice when Nick comes home. The little half smile he gives us and his mischievous grin when he farts on me while I change him. The way he gazes at me for a moment when he nurses (even when I’m braced for the pain that comes with this illness) with his big almond shaped eyes–a perfect cross of my husbands and mine–his little mouth in an “oh” of baby adoration…it’s worth it. Obviously I’m welling up now.  

 And someday I’ll look at that photo of he and his cousin and marvel that they were ever young, that they were ever held in my arms. That they ever needed me, and nuzzled their soft heads into my shoulder, and clung to me with their strong baby hands. And I’ll miss every one of these days.

So. There it is. Too many words, too much info on my boooooobs but it’s the honest truth. Any truths to share?