Lovely Simply

Style and Lifestyle in New England

Month: July, 2016

Escape into Vintage

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When I was younger (many moons ago…30 is looming large these days…) I wore vintage clothing almost every day. I was less concerned about a level of comfort then, and enjoyed making a statement with my petticoats and my stand-out dresses. I still have a lot of those beautiful pieces in my closet, and I’ll probably keep them forever (because, every year that I get older, they do too, and thus more precious) but I don’t wear them much any more. But every so often, I like to inject a little vintage flair into my look. I love imagining a scene with an outfit…does that make sense? A feeling. Like, this gingham skirt and off the shoulder top that I wore to Portland Maine last week made me imagine Italy. A small, pretty  town like the one I lived in for one magical semester of college. A beautiful Italian summer day. Wine at an outdoor cafe. A stroll down a hot, cobblestoned street. Window shopping in Assisi. Pastries in the Piazza del Duomo. You see? Portland is, of course, a beautiful town, and it has its own magic in the summer. But I would do nearly anything to get myself and my little family to Italy. I want to walk hand in hand with my husband through the tangled, winding streets. I want to sit in a family owned restaurant, up late for dinner, with Redmond and the other Italian families. I want it all, and preferably in an outfit like this one.

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I paired my look with these lace up sandals that I have been wearing constantly lately, and this classic watch from Daniel Wellington. I don’t wear jewelry very often, and a lot of the time, I will just throw a watch on as my only accessory. This piece has blue hands on the face of the clock, and I love that playful little touch. img_6667

Also, I specifically had to crop my head out of this photo because I had just eaten ice cream and I had a chocolate mustache that my husband failed to inform me about…img_6724

I also love a good thrift store find like this yellow frock here. I found it YEARS ago, before my husband and I were even engaged…I remember wearing it on a day trip to Newburyport. Lupe was just a puppy then, and Nick and I were so young, and so giddy in love. He took a picture of me standing in this dress holding Lupe by her light blue leash. My hair was blonder, her fur was whiter, and the world was a lot simpler then. Or maybe it wasn’t. Maybe I was so wrapped up in trying to pay bills, working constantly, staying up late with my roommates, going to parties, learning how to be in a real relationship, that I didn’t have the time or the interest to listen to the news and know what was going on. There was a sense of carefree then that was very real, but I wouldn’t trade it for our life now. My love for Nick is deeper, wiser, but still giddy. My yearning to protect my child has made it necessary  to know what is going on in the world, and I value the knowledge. That being said, it’s nice to escape into imagination sometimes. Whether its strolling the streets of Italy in a full skirt and an off the shoulder top, or going down memory lane with the help of a little yellow dress. Sometimes, you just have to get away.img_6721img_6722

outfit #1 details: off shoulder top, gingham skirt, both vintage c/o Consign Trilogy/lace up sandals/watch c/o Daniel Wellington

outfit #2 details: Dress, vintage/ clogs c/oshop amara/diaper bag, c/o coco and kiwi– this color is sold out but I LOVE it in this teal colorheadband

**My dear friend sells these headbands at her shop in Tarytown. You can contact her and see some of the things she currently has for sale/what she’s up to by following her on instagram: @consigntrilogy

 

The Edge of One

img_6586So about five minutes ago I was writing Redmond’s birth story and now very suddenly, he is almost a year old. I can vividly remember holding my infant to my cracked and aching nipples and watching my one year old niece happily toddling around the living room. I had mastitis. I was overwhelmed and ill and my husband had started back at work and my sister was there helping me, comforting me, and all I could think was…I can’t imagine my tiny newborn being a year old. I can’t imagine him being independent from me for even a moment. And here we are. My niece will be two, Redmond will be one. How? WHAT IS THIS THING WE CALL TIME? I know. We all rattle on about how fast it goes and holding on  to time and all the rest but…my goodness.img_6583img_6587

I haven’t been diligent about these little updates. I want to start journaling more so that I don’t forget what he was like as he grows older. So here, as we cusp upon the first year, is a little check in.

Redmond likes to please people. He is friendly, and outgoing. He will initially smile a someone, and then hide his face in my shoulder, and then peek out and smile and usually reach for them. He just started crawling, and it is hilarious and adorable to watch him. One knee is still up, and he sort of pulls with his arms and pushes with his other leg and he is so excited to be able to explore on his own. He is continuously trying to get outside to sit on the porch and sample cat food. He just started pulling himself up to standing as well. He is very proud of his abilities and looks around at us for approval and congratulations with his big toothy grin.img_6584img_6581

He has ten teeth now. He just got two top molars, and he was patient and brave while they broke through. He loves to eat. I still nurse him 3-4 times a day, but he is growing less interested in breastfeeding and I know I will miss it desperately. Even if he pulls my hair and sticks his fingers up my nose while he is doing it. His favorite foods so far seem to me Mexican (rice and beans, guacamole, pulled spicy pork, refried beans, ect.), pizza (if it has lots of exciting toppings on it. He isn’t that into plain cheese, and I don’t know why he feels the need to be so pompous about his pizza but he probably gets it from me.), anything with curry or coconut, and any meat he can get his hands on. img_6585img_6582

He loves to perform his “tricks” for us, and he is slowly adding to his repertoire. He waves hello and goodbye, blows kisses (my favorite), gives high fives, nods yes and no, and points at things he wants. He says “dog-dog”, “mama” (only when he needs something…). “ball” and “Dada” every time he gets even a glimpse of Nick. He also is starting to say “that” when he points.

He got his first hair cut last week, and I love it. He looks like a little soccer player, and it fits since his favorite game to play is “catch” with his mini soccer ball. He’s so tall, and so handsome, that he just keeps looking more like a toddler and it breaks my heart but makes me feel so proud.

He is so much fun. He’s social, and friendly, and is generally happy as long as he has people to meet, places to see, and feet that aren’t sweaty. He likes traveling, sleeps like a pro, and loves being around other kids. He is my little side-kick, and his daddy’s boy, and our favorite thing in the world. img_6588

These photos are just a smattering of some of my favorites from a few days with him this past month. A few of them made it to Instagram, but I wanted to put a few more up here– the ones that maybe aren’t the highest quality, but warm my heart so much.

Outfit details: breastfeeding is my cardio T c/o nestleandthyme/stiped dress c/o kimi and kai/chambray dress, old, similar here/ diaper bag c/o Mina Baie/lace up sandals/

Reds outfit details: pirate moccasins c/o Kimi and Kai/playsuit

I found this while I was reading through my journal, and reminding myself of why I like to keep a record of life. I wrote it when I was pregnant, and the sentiments ring so true a year into motherhood. 

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There is a cracked rhythm to this pain I feel.

Each twinge a medallion of honor in a battle that,

having just begun, will not end until my body is

laid to rest inside the deep, warm earth.

A creaking of time, at once these days with you,

imagined one, are long and sweet

and quick and terrifying– my hopes are so high.

They are like a helium balloon, my hands small

like a childs’, tugging on the string–

scared to lose it, to break it, to see any harm come to it.

And yet, my wrists are tied. 

My control is waning.

There is nothing I can do against this wave,

this  terrible, wonderful wave of love for you. 

My little.

Our hearts yearnings all wrapped tight in so tiny a package.

 

The creaking in my ribs, and the upset in my belly

seem too light a price to pay. Such a miracle

should require more. 

Social Summer

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To be honest, I have been feeling a little bit overwhelmed/discouraged/anxious lately. I mean, if you read my post below this one, you will know that. And while it was mostly a tongue in cheek sort of reflection, there is a good amount of truth to it. I can’t quite put my finger on it, and maybe it is nothing, but I have been sort of mildly struggling. And, social media is really fun. I have a great time with it. I do. But it also has the unassailable ability to make one feel not good enough. As if your worth is based off of the amount of likes that a photo gets. And I find myself imagining that if I could just buy that big bouquet of peonies, or just go out to that place that has the great acai bowls everyday, I would be perfectly happy. Which, of course, is completely untrue. img_6382

I have been trying to actively disengage from time to time, not because I don’t like seeing other people’s photos or reading other people’s blogs. I love doing all that stuff. But because I need to remind myself that my life is what is around me. My life is my husband, my son, my sister, my friends, my piano. I want to start writing–really writing– again. I want to read a gosh darn book this summer. Probably Harry Potter…because, um, JULY 31st GUYS! I want to live in the moment and not be constantly worrying if I am stylish enough, or if my house is pretty enough (it’s not) or if my day-to-day activities are fun enough, or if I am a “fit” enough mommy, or if I am a good enough mommy. I just want to remember to be. Because it is enough. It’s all enough. img_6380

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things that helps when I go through these “down” periods is to stay busy. It takes a little more forethought to be out and about with Redmond, but it’s completely worth it. It helps to have a diaper bag stocked with food, water, sunscreen, and a ball. It’s honestly hard for me to remember that he needs solid food now because for so long, he was content with breastmilk. So I have to actively remind myself to pack his fruit and crackers– or a sandwhich if we are going to be out for a long time– in my bag.  I have quite a collection of gorgeous diaper bags, but I am going to go out on a limb and say…the one I have in these photos from Mina Baie is my favorite. It is definitely a luxury item, but it is incredibly gorgeous and built so that even though it is SO BIG and roomy, it feels really light on my shoulder. It is also super easy  to find stuff because the pockets are wide and visible. It’s one of those pieces that I get complimented on everywhere I go. And they are a start up company that is run by two best friends which makes it all the better. I’d love to run a company with one of my besties. img_6379
I have matching stroller attachments, but our stroller is the perfect size to just hang it over the handle. But…when I want to feel extra classy I use the attachments.

The weather has been warm– hot even– for the past few days (after a weirdly cold weekend) and I have been living in cut off shorts and breezy dresses like this one. And I’ll share with you my “secret” for wearing short dresses as a mom. Since I’m constantly bending over to pick Redmond up, or having him tug on my clothes– you know– I wear bike shorts under everything. That way I don’t have to worry about flashing the neighborhood when I load him into his car seat or stroller. It works like a charm. img_6384

Anyway. We are walking into the weekend, and I am so excited for a little family day adventure tomorrow. Thank you all for reading. And I would love to hear your thoughts on your feelings about social media!

Thanks to Mina Baie for sending me this beautiful bag. I was not compensated for my opinion, and my thoughts are 100% my own. I love being able to collaborate with small, female owned businesses like this one. 

Dress c/o THML clothingwatch c/o Daniel Wellington/

Starfish and Lists

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First off, (as always) I love the tranquility in these photos. My dad and I stopped at the beach after running some errands when we were down on Cape Cod to snap these photos. It had just rained, and the air was cool, and the beach was almost empty. I love wrap dresses because they are so easy and so flattering on literally every body type. This one that I’m wearing is from All For Color, and pretty much every single thing from their line screams summer weekends at the beach. I paired it with my canvas tote from Sloane Ranger to complete this preppy-inspired look. It was also big enough to double as a beach bag. We stuffed our towels, snacks, and books in it before spending the day on the sand.img_6185img_6193

And now on to my list. We have been going on visits every weekend for the past few weeks to see family and friends. I love staying busy and going to new places, but I also have a fair amount of anxiety when it comes to doing anything that is outside of my normal day-to-day life. Not that it stops me. It really doesn’t. I love to travel. But I am always, always stressed out before we get on our way. So for fun, or therapy, or solidarity, or all three, I’m compiling a list of Things that I am Currently Anxious About.

  1. Our bedroom. I manage to keep the rest of our home fairly clean and organized. But our bedroom always looks like a bomb. I scroll through Instagram and see everyone’s gorgeous, light filled, white, minimalist bedrooms and I’m like….where is the pile of dirty laundry in their room? Where is the explosion of make up and hair products (AND I BARELY EVEN USE make up and hair products) on their vanity? Where is the pile of baby books strewn on their bedside table? NO? JUST ME?
  2. Driving. I used to have severe anxiety when it came to driving, and I’ve gotten a lot better. But my car was giving me issue for a few weeks, and although we have fixed the problem, I still keep having car crash nightmares. And every little sound my car makes causes me to immediately start sweating.
  3. Ice cream. Its summer. I want to eat ice cream on every hot day. But I can’t eat ice cream on every hot day, because my shorts will stop fitting. But I don’t want to waste a hot day and not eat ice cream. But I want my shorts to keep fitting. DO YOU SEE THE QUANDARY?
  4. The beach/pool. If its a hot day and I can’t get to either of these destinations, I feel like I’ve wasted the heat. Its a real thing here in New England, the summer guilt. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. I get actually stressed when I know that its going to be a perfect swim day and we won’t be able to swim. This is absurd, I know. But the fact remains.
  5. My bicycle. I have a really cute bike, and last summer I didn’t get to use it at all because I was very pregnant and my husband was terrified that I would fall off my bike (I don’t usually fall off my bike, just for the record). Since he had to deal with all the anxiety of me running in the woods and the risk of my tripping over roots, I saved him the double anxiety of bicycling. So now it’s this year, and I want to ride my bike, but it’s in the basement and I don’t have a baby seat for it, and so I haven’t ridden it. And I keep WASTING DAYS NOT RIDING IT! Clearly, a lot of my anxiety circles around Living Summer to the Fullest.
  6. BUCKET LIST stuff in general. We haven’t yet been to any concerts in Portsmouth (they have a free series every year) and at this time last year, we had been to tons. Tick tock, tick tock. WE ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME. The same goes for the lazy river in Ogunquit, the lobster boat in Portland, Portland in general, and the list goes on…
  7. My keys. I lost my keys. I have no idea where they went. They disappeared. Luckily we have several sets of spares, but every time I think about them, I get a little pit of stress in my belly.img_6192
  8. Returning text messages/phone calls/emails. I’m relatively horrible about this. Granted, I have gotten much better about emailing since all of my collaborations for this blog and Instagram are based off of emails. But I still get anxious about them. And that person I need to call back. And that client I need to text. And that post I need to write. And…And…And…you get the idea.
  9. Mailing things out. I have this item that I need to return. I look at it every day and I think about it AT LEAST once a day…but have I returned it? No. I’m the same way about library books (discussed here). It’s an issue folks. A real issue.
  10. General Mess and Stuff. I sometimes feel like I just want to throw everything away. And I do keep throwing stuff away. But there is always more. Just like, I do keep vacuuming/sweeping/cleaning our house. But there is always more dog fur. Always more fur!

And for now, I think that is enough. That was less therapeutic than I had hoped, because now I’m just thinking of more and more things to be anxious about so…I’m going to go finish packing (something else that makes me anxious) and then go get myself a coffee and some lunch.

Just so you know, I’m not a crazy person.

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What things make you anxious? Anything on my list?

Outfit details: starfish dress from All for Color, c/o/ Varsity Gold Tote c/o/sandals, old

Goodbyes in Clogs

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I love my little nephew photo bombing back there!

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My dad and stepmom head back to Thailand today. I am always sad, but this year I am a little extra sad. The past month has been blissful– the beginning of summer– almost like a long staycation. Meals together, drinks out, day trips, weekend travels. We spent the past weekend on Cape Cod and it was wonderful, like it always is, but everything is somehow more special, more memorable with the addition of Redmond. He is nearly endlessly happy. This past weekend, he stayed up with us until 11:00. We sat around the firepit behind my Aunts cottage (the fire wouldn’t light, so we were gathered around just the pit which made everything better and more hilarious) drinking drinks, telling stories, and laughing. Redmond sat snuggled in his blanket on Nicks lap, calm, sleepy, quiet, watching everything going on, listening to the laughter, so contented to be included. Family is made more precious with each additional child and our clan is growing. There were kids running around, babies babbling, toddlers toddling and making trouble and being adorable. I felt so deeply fortunate to have this tribe of people that we get to call family.  img_5946img_5947

It seems like about five minutes ago that I was wearing this dress over my massive bump. It was five days before Redmond was born, and I remember feeling so impatient, so ready to meet my baby, so desperate to hold him in my arms. And to no longer feel like a whale. But you know its a good dress when it works for both a gigantic baby belly and for a perfectly normal non-pregnant body too. I love that its off the shoulder (of course) and that it looks equally good with flats and with heels. I’m definitely a flats girl. Mostly because I like to be comfortable, and we tend to do things that require a good amount of walking. But if I can find a pair of heels that are comfortable enough to wear for a few hours, then I am all in. I have wanted to get a pair of clogs for a while, so when I saw these ones from Shop Amara, I was psyched. They’re not too fancy and have a touch of that “cool girl” edge that I always am secretly after. And they were comfortable enough to wear for a few hours around Syracuse before changing into flats for an afternoon at the museum. I pretty much always pack a pair of flats with me if I wear heels…which is another reason I’m loving this  season of diaper bags because I always have space for extra stuff.img_5945

Anyway. I’m trying to keep my chin up and look forward to all that summer has in store for us. I know that tomorrow I will be deeply, heavily sad when I wake up and it’s just me and Redmond in the house. Nick is teaching summer school, and my dad will be gone. I know that the next few days will be hard for me because I get lonely easily. But we have friends to visit, birthdays to celebrate, and oceans to swim in. And summer has only just started.

All that being said, I wish we were also getting on a plane and heading to Thailand.

K. I’m just gonna go cry into my salad now…img_5943

Outfit Details: Dress: Asos, old but similar style here / clogs c/o shop Amara/ belt, vintage/similar bandanna/similar boater hat on SALE!