Sunday, June 23

Cozy and Comfy in Jackson Rowe

I promise you someday soon I will wear an outfit that is neither a jumpsuit or overalls. But not this day. This day I'm sporting all Jackson Rowe including the girlfriend T in cognac and the overalls. They make the comfiest clothes and I love supporting a Canadian brand.

This outfit is super simple and get a load of that mom hair, but I still kinda love it. Simplifying, living in my body and my wardrobe, living in my own skin -- without retouching -- it's all part of becoming the person, and the mom, I want to be.

I bought these overalls anticipating I would need some stretchy cuteness to wear postpartum, and they didn't disappoint. They're super comfortable. I even tried them on while I was nine months pregnant and they fit over the belly. I wear a large.

The girlfriend T is definitely my favourite shirt at the moment. I bought this one first, fell in love, and ordered another in oatmeal right away. I can't wait for new colours. They're made in California with a modal and spandex fabric. They hold up pretty well to repeated washes, though my cognac T is starting to look a little pilly since I wash it *so* often. Something about the fabric, every single bit of baby drool or spilt breast milk stains. I find I have to pre-treat every single stain before I wash it or it won't come out. Not a huge deal, but I worry it's hard on the fabric. That's part of why I bought two of the oatmeal T's (they're on sale for $24). I figured they would last longer if I alternated between them. I love the colour of this cognac one though, so it's my fav. I wear a medium in the girlfriend T.

Tuesday, June 18

The LBJ (Little Black Jumpsuit) by Gus Sloan

The last few months I've been trying to tame my shopping habits and focus on shopping ethical, sustainable and -- where possible -- local designers. It's tough! Not only is there a lack of transparency (even from fav 'radically transparent' Everlane sadly), but the cost is pretty astronomical compared to shopping fast fashion. When you're used to spending $10 on a T-shirt, shelling out $50 USD for an ethically made one is an exercise in matter over mind!

That's why this special edition LBJ by Gus Sloan appealed to me. The company is very local, as in, I drove to the owners home to have her hem the leg when it was slightly too long local. It's also run by a kick-ass lady who is striving to be transparent, ethical and sustainable. I knew right away, this is a business I want to support! My only hesitation was colour. All of the jumpsuits in the permanent collection are plain black. I'm not a plain black jumpsuit kinda gal! When I saw this beautiful floral fabric I knew I had found the LBJ for me. The hardest part -- not purchasing all of the special edition jumpsuits as they're released.

There are a few special things about this particular jumpsuit.

The neckline is finished with an elastic making it super easy to slip in and out of, and keeping the boobs happily contained with no bra showing ever! It also makes nursing a breeze. 

Pockets. Enough said.

And of course, the beautiful, light and drapey fabric. I have had multiple people mistake the flowers for embroidery. It's really special! I also love how they cut and pieced my jumpsuit in particular. The flowers on the bust line up perfectly and curl upwards in a way I think frames my face. Totally different from the sample, and individual to my jumpsuit since they cut each one a little different to reduce fabric waste. 

I can really see the attention to detail in this piece.

I ordered a size large, I do wish I had opted for the customization option and sized down in the top as the top is a little loose on me. Luckily, that amazing elastic neckline keeps everything contained and I don't feel like the sizing is an issue.

I'm looking forward to wearing this with different layering and outerwear pieces. I've already styled it with a green, drapey vest and my denim vest.

Short story: if you're looking for the perfect LBJ, Gus Sloan might have just the one for you.
Outfit details: Special edition LBJ from Gus Sloan. Slide shoes from Everlane.

Tuesday, June 11

Favourite Colour in my Capsule Wardrobe

I can't wait to share my capsule wardrobe! I've been working on it the last couple months and I almost have it where I want it. Being postpartum, I've found my body is completely different and half my existing closet either wasn't nursing friendly or no longer fit right. Seemed like a good time to buy some new clothes -- and I attempted to take a methodical approach to it.

One of the big things that helped me decide which pieces to buy was selecting a colour pallete of what I refer to as 'yummy colours'. I call this beautiful orangey-red colour sunrise but I've seen it referred to as rust, clay or ginger. I think it's gorgeous and it's my current fav, so you can bet my new wardrobe is built around it. I'm saving up for some gorgeous trousers in this colour and so far I have this pinafore, a pair of overall-shorts, a jumpsuit (of course), and a few T shirts. There's a bit of a range in tones, some trend a little more pink (clay) and some a little more orange (ginger). The yummiest spot is right in the middle, but I love to mix and match the different tones together for a monochromatic look.

I should stop and mention that I am obsessed with the girlfriend T's by Canadian brand, Jackson Rowe. This one is in oat, but I also own it in cognac. I wear a medium in these shirts, as they trend a bit larger. Order your actual size for a more drapey look. The T's are super soft and stretchy, and wash well, perfect for nursing.

It's mid June and the cherry blossoms on my tree are no longer in bloom, I'm so glad I captured some photos while they were at their fullest!

Outfit details:
Straw hat: old (I think from Gap)
T-shirt: girlfriend T in Oatmeal by Jackson Rowe (currently on sale for $24)
Pinafore Dress: Spicy Mix, Tencel, from Zulily
Shoes: Everlane (use my affiliate link to help me afford more Everlane goodies)

Junie hates the sunshine XD

Wednesday, June 5

Two Pieces I Always Put Together

I gotta tell ya, this is my favourite jumpsuit right now. It's not the most flattering. It's not the best looking on me. But it is hella comfy and so, so easy to throw on and wear all day. It's linen, which is my jam. A beautiful olive green. And has a button placket as well as a hidden zip fly -- making it one of the easiest jumpsuits I own to both nurse, and go to the bathroom. ;) Something about the shoulder/sleeves/waste line gives it an eighties mom sorta vibe and I love it. Easy to layer with a sweater/vest/jacket -- this is the jumpsuit with everything. Except pockets. There's always something. Even so, I've been living in this jumpsuit for the last couple of postpartum months.

Let me also talk to you about the vest I'm wearing in these pics. You may find me wearing it in...every outfit post this summer. Not only does it layer with everything flawlessly, it has the most giant pockets on the inside. I'm talkin, two exterior angled pockets and two ginormous straight pockets on the inside. When wearing an outfit with no pockets, it's my go to. I don't even wear a purse most of the time these days (I already have to lug a diaper bag). Instead, I wear this vest. I put my wallet in one pocket and my cell phone in another. The other night we went out for dinner and I had a pill bottle full of antacids in one (HELLO THIRTIES AMIRITE).

What's your go to uniform these days?

Old Navy jumpsuit, J Crew vest (a few years old), Everlane rain boots, 100% human pin Everlane

Tuesday, May 28

Nursery Tour May 2019

I love the way our nursery turned out. You may recall I shared pictures of this room last year when it was set up as my hobby/writing room. I LOVED having a hobby space, haha, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I became obsessive about clearing out the room and making room for baby. We purchased a roll top desk for our bedroom which is now my writing desk. I'm sure I'll share our bedroom updates at some point as well!

In the nursery, the biggest task was simply cleaning out the room. The dresser, which is now our dresser/change station, had been used for storage. The closet had been used for storage. To clean it out meant major downsizing and reorganizing. Once we had a blank slate I considered what I wanted to change. I painted the closet doors with beautiful Annie Sloan chalk paint in dark, rich green (Amsterdam Green), and a gifted side table was painted to match. That was the only painting I had to do! We added a gold curtain rod and I ordered white black-out panels from Bed Bath and Beyond that my crafty mum trimmed with blush pom-poms.

The crib and shelving in the room are all from Ikea. We went with natural wood wherever possible. The tall white metal shelf I already had, and the wall shelf I purchased with that in mind. I loved this wall shelf with it's built in hanging bar (it's marketed as a hat rack). It's very handy as an extra drying spot for wet stuff, or to hang outfits. The shelf is almost at the ceiling so that anything hanging doesn't get in the way while we're using the changing station.

The rocking chair was thrifted and my mother covered the old velvet fabric with a wonderful natural canvas that can be removed and washed. She really is amazing!

The single best addition to the room once we started to use it was the log stool. It's the perfect second seat for occasional nursery visitors, and it holds lots of toys. 

I've taken lots of pictures of this room along the way, so I definitely intend to share how it's changed and evolved over time. 

Saturday, May 25

The Ad Jumpsuit by Avy and Co

 I was dying over this linen jumpsuit by Avy and Co the entire time I was pregnant. Its one size fits all, roomy design is perfect for accommodating a baby bump. I didn't pull the trigger till after baby, but it turns out the Ad jumpsuit is just as comfortable postpartum.

Somewhat hilariously, all of the outfit photos I've done so far in 2019 for the blog are of jumpsuits! Turns out, I'm a tad obsessed. You can tease me about my jumpsuit love, but the fact remains it's the perfect uniform for a new mama! One and done, grab and go! While baby is taking her morning nap I can pull a jumpsuit on and feel cool and collected when the mailman turns up.

I look for a couple things in a jumpsuit: nursing friendliness, colour, material and versatility.

For nursing, I look for jumpsuits that have a cross wrapped bodice (like this one) or buttons.

I've recently created a colour palette for my wardrobe that is helping me size down what I have, and be more particular about what I buy.

I've made a resolution for 2019 not to buy any more polyester. Natural fabrics only for this mama! Of course the Avy and Co jumpsuits are beautiful linen. I have a major linen love, but a few others I own are linen/cotton blends, cotton and modal.

Jumpsuits that are sleeveless are great for layering a shirt underneath, which I think makes them extra versatile. When styling jumpsuits with sleeves I tend to look at how the colour mixes into my wardrobe (getting easier now that I have a palette) and how easy it is to wear by itself! If I can style something up with jewelry and a high shoe, or style it down with a denim vest and some converse -- it gets mad versatility points. I prefer jumpsuits with pockets so that I don't need a second bag when I take baby out (I don't like putting my phone in the diaper bag).

Here I'm pairing the Ad jumpsuit with an olive green Tahari vest made of tencel. I think it helps to break up the all white, and make the jumpsuit feel a little more casual.

A couple things to note about this jumpsuit is that it is pretty sheer, and it doesn't have pockets. It also has a bit of a dropped crotch, harem pant look. It's not as wearable as I had hoped! I'm actually wishing I had waited a few months as the newly released Iris jumpsuit is more of a natural colour, and has those coveted pockets as well as buttons (which I like better for nursing). That said, it is a truly beautiful piece and if you're into linen like I am and you want to try out a gorgeously made jumpsuit -- head over to Avy and Co.

Addendum to say these pictures were taken before all my hair fell out from postpartum hair loss and it's making me miss my pregnancy hair! If you have recommendations for dealing with postpartum hair loss tell me in the comments. XD

Thursday, May 16

Welcome JJ

Our little JJ arrived late on January 31, almost a February baby. She was 10 days past her due date and we were more than ready to meet our babe. As the doctors talked induction, I resisted the idea. I had just spent nine months preparing for a birth, and Nick and I had spent a lot of time discussing my preference for a drug-free delivery. I was sure that if I went ahead with induction, I would end up with an epidural. The doctors were keeping a close eye on us as we soared past our due date of Jan 19. We had ultrasounds and non-stress tests galore. We went for a special ultrasound to check babies fluid levels. The tech was sure they were fine. Just two days later during our non-stress test at the Sturgeon hospital babies heart rate was abnormal. She just didn't seem to be as active in there as she had been before.

The OB strongly recommended we go ahead with the induction. We went home for lunch, grabbed our stuff, and then headed back to the hospital. They put us back on the fetal heart rate monitor. Babies heart rate continued to be abnormal for about three hours, and they wouldn't start me on Pitocin until they had a better idea of what was going on. We had been keeping in contact with our doula throughout the day. Poor Kayla (of Transition Doula Collective) was on call for that evening and had been planning on a skiing trip out of town that afternoon if nothing happened with her clients. She was sticking around until we knew if our induction would proceed. She recommended something called a "trail of labour" and to our relief, the on call OB recommended the same thing. They would start us on Pitocin and increase it rapidly over the course of an hour to see what babies heart rate did. If she didn't tolerate it well, we would know that she wouldn't tolerate real labour either. About a half hour into the Pitocin drip, I started to experience some contractions. At the end of the hour, the OB took one look at the readout from the heart rate monitor and told us we were having a cesarean birth! Definitely not something I had ever planned on. I was lucky that both my doulas and my own reading had prepared me somewhat for what to expect.

With that decision made, they started to prep me for surgery. At this point my contractions had become more painful and, knowing I would be getting pain meds anyway, I wanted them ASAP! I was so, so lucky that everyone who we came into contact with was amazing. The OB on call that night, Dr. Lacasse, was an absolute dream. She made me feel heard when she offered the trail of labour instead of jumping to the cesarean, and she stressed that no matter what happened it would be a celebration when this baby arrived. Even if she didn't come the way we planned. She made the atmosphere as we went into surgery very upbeat. She was joking with the nurses, complimenting me on my pom-pom slippers, and just generally making me feel at ease. I was so, so grateful for her (and of course her expertise!). If you're looking for an OB in Edmonton, I strongly recommend Dr. Michelle Laccasse out of the Sturgeon hospital in St. Albert.

My anesthesiologist was also amazing. He really put me at ease. They gave me a spinal block instead of an epidural, and he stayed by my head and chatted with me the whole time I was in surgery. The only thing I didn't expect before going in was that the medicine started to move upwards and made my lower chest feel numb. As a result, it felt like I was short of breath. I told the doctor and he reassured me I was breathing fine and tipped my bed so that the fluid was leveled out.

As the surgery progressed, Dr. Lacasse commented on the fact that there was no fluid left around the baby. She was all dried out! She told me later that she exchanged a look with the NICU nurse at one point and they both mouthed "where's the fluid??". Baby was whisked off for cleaning and weighing and I soon heard her cry. Nick went to take a look at her and he told me she was just six pounds even. I couldn't believe she was so small after being two weeks late! They placed her on my upper chest while they closed me up and I couldn't see her face, but I could hear her blowing bubbles and making little noises. Her tiny, wet breaths warmed my neck and I held onto her with my one free had, terrified she would slip away.

As we were wheeled into the recovery area, I was shivering from the medications and they kept covering us with warmed blankets. After about ten minutes the nurses encouraged me to start nursing and one of them helped me latch her. They wheeled us after to our room where our doula and Nick were waiting. They again helped me latch the baby, and she continued to nurse. Her latch seemed shallow to our doula, but I was never in any discomfort. Everyone who examined the baby commented on her small size and her tongue tie! Luckily, it hasn't caused any problems so far and as she gets bigger it seems to have stretched out on its own.

The first night in the hospital I held JJ while she slept. Nick dozed next to the bed on a fold-out chair. The light was dim and the room was quiet. We never ended up with roommates despite being in a shared room. Nick was playing soft music on his Bluetooth speaker, a playlist I made called "Like a Lullaby" of soft acoustic music and songs written about having children. Whenever the nurses visited they asked if I wanted to put her in the bassinet, but I didn't want to put her down. I didn't feel tired. I just wanted to look at her. They cautioned me not to fall asleep holding her so I didn't, I stayed awake all night instead. I couldn't wait for my family to visit the next day so I could show her off. I remember trying to soak everything in about those perfect, wee morning hours.

Our families visited in the morning and it was magical. I have a picture of my grandparents holding me in the hospital with the pink curtain behind them and as my dad held JJ, talking baby talk to her and rocking in front of the pink curtain, I felt overwhelmed with happiness.

That day they did a few tests and told us the baby had a touch of jaundice. They wanted her under the blue light for 24 hours. That was a rough 24 hours. About the roughest we've had. She hated being in there, naked but for her diaper and with the little blindfold on. She wanted to be held and all I wanted in the world was to hold her. She cried the full 24 hours and Nick and I didn't sleep a wink. We were completely exhausted the next day and I cried when they told us we could take her home. The only hitch, she still didn't have a name!

We had picked out names years ago, before we even were married, but I was having cold feet! It's silly, but it bothered me that our chosen name was in the top ten most popular for girls born in 2018 -- I wanted something more unique, and I wanted to save our daughter from having three other girls in her class with the same name (as was always my fate as a Kaitlyn). Poor Nick eventually gave in and we gave our daughter the controversial name I had picked out just weeks before -- Juniper. With that decided, we agonized over a middle name and eventually decided she didn't need one. Her middle name is my maiden name. Nick is a big fan of the nickname JJ, as those are her initials.

These pictures are from when JJ was ten days old. We were still recovering big time, both from the surgery and the sleepless nights at the hospital. Now that we were home, I was sleeping a bit, but still not enough. JJ gave us four or five hours of un-interrupted sleep right from the beginning, but I was finding it hard to turn off my hypervigilance and allow my mind and body rest. I would often have to wake up JJ to feed her, as she was attempting to sleep through the night but was too small! Of course, that passed in a few weeks and she resumed a more normal sleep schedule of a five-hour stretch, a half hour nursing session, and then a three-hour stretch.

At ten days in, the internet kept reminding me that baby photos should ideally be taken at ten days when baby is the most 'poseable'. I pulled out some props (a blanket? a winter hat? lol) and made an attempt. JJ was not very posable at all. In fact, she was chilly, hungry, and kinda annoyed. My favourite pictures are the ones I asked Nick to take of us while I nursed her on the bedroom floor. Intimate and real. I barely felt human at the time, and she barely was human. This tiny, dependent little thing so wholly new and ours.

Thursday, January 24

Thoughts at 40 Weeks

You guys, the time has been flying for months and now that I'm past due with this nugget it's slowed to an abject crawl.

Pregnancy has been a hoot, but I'm about ready to get to the next phase of life as a family of three (plus Lola and Tommy of course). When Nick and I started on this journey in May of last year, I couldn't have imagined what pregnancy held for me or where exactly it would take us. Now that baby has been served the official eviction notice I've had some time to reflect on the experience.

Although all day nausea for about six or seven months off and on has me questioning whether I'll want to do this growing a human thing again, the experience has been overwhelmingly positive thanks to the amazing support I've gotten from almost everyone in my life. I am truly a lucky lady and I'm so grateful to my extended support network.

Best husband award goes to Nick, who has stepped up his game around the house, brought me countless McDonalds cheeseburgers at all different hours of the day, and never once complained about ... anything (other than my wishy-washy flip-flopping on baby names).

Most amazing parents awards go to my mum and dad who have been there at every turn with advice, food, and elbow grease when I need shelves put up or my freezer stocked. These guys are absolutely golden!

Nicks parents are truly fantastic in-laws who jumped at stroller/car seat purchasing duty and have also done an amazing job stocking our freezer, bookshelves, and babies closet.

It's so much fun to prepare for baby when your family is as excited as ours have been to welcome her.

Huge huge props go to my super supportive work. My career has been on a bumpy ride in the last three years after I was laid off from my job of five years. I went back to school, graduated on the dean's list and got fired from my first job out of the gate before landing my current gig. After losing that second job I went through a season of self-doubt and depression. It was tough! I was going through health issues. I lost a lot of the things that I had been using to give my life meaning. Not to mention, I hadn't saved any money. I turned inwards for a while. I made some changes. I built up my relationship with my husband.

When I got hired at this new company, it was for a part-time, evenings and weekends position. I didn't care, I was thrilled to have gotten anything! The company turned out to be amazing for me. I transitioned into full time after just a month. I got a desk in the office! I made friends! Moreso, when I got pregnant just six months into the job I discovered that I had ended up in the perfect place. I was so nervous, but my work has been incredibly accommodating every step of the way. I could not have ended up in a better place for this season of life than a company owned and run by women and mothers. For the first time after working in male-dominated environments my entire career, I have supportive women all around me (and the guys there are great too). Honestly, this has been a revelation. I'm so grateful. Not only have my supervisors in this position supported and accommodated my pregnancy, but I have been encouraged to grow and excel in my role. My work has been appreciated and it has healed my heart a little after going through a period where I was not set up to succeed. Leaving work for my maternity leave was probably the hardest thing I've done as a mom so far.

Staying on top of my skills and the industry (I'm in social media so ... it changes fast) is gonna be tough. If there's one thing I've learned in the last three years, it's that you can't get comfortable in life. You get comfortable, you make too many plans, you decide you've learned all there is to learn -- well, you're probably due for a shakeup. So get comfortable with change. That's all you can count on!

Adding a new life to the mix is definitely going to be a big change. We're nervous. We're excited. We're terrified -- but we're also calm in our hearts, knowing we can tackle anything together.

Nick and I are super excited to be welcoming our daughter (whoa) soon. Any day. I mean today would be swell. My calendar is clear. Come on little nugget.

Tuesday, October 30

Guess what?

I've been holdin' out on you guys just a touch. Not intentionally mind you, I've been a bit preoccupied. In May, the day before Mothers Day, Nick and I found out that we're expecting a wee one!

We are super excited and have been from day one, but morning sickness kicked in around six or seven weeks and I have had very little respite ever since. Keeping me going: Tiny booties, adorable fox prints, and nesting. I am a natural nester. In fact, I think it's my natural state.

It's been an interesting fashion challenge that I can't wait to tell you about, and I've got more than one little update about our home as well!

These pictures are from the summer, baby is definitely looking like a baby now and not just a womb slug. Things are changing, and we couldn't be more pleased. Thanks for sticking around.


Monday, April 16

Here's hoppin' you looked this adorbs for Easter

 Hope you all had a lovely Easter! Yes, it's a bit belated. The last few months have sprinted past! I wanted to share these cute pics from Easter despite the lapse in time. I wore this adorbs headband to my inlaws house only to be greeted by my sister-in-law wearing a bunny headband! We matched! Lola also got in on the lovin', too bad we didn't have any bunny ears for her 😂.

PS. I'm absolutely in love with my ISH lipstick palette from the spring Fab Fit Fun box. Expensive lipstick, turns out, is completely worth every penny.