A Day in the Life

So many of you asked what a typical “day in the life” looks like now that I’m back at work and balancing a career, mom duties, being a wife and generally living my life. Here it is, as honest as I can be. Hope that you’ll find some comfort in the fact I’m a completely normal person, just trying to get through a day.

6am Alarm on phone rings. I hit snooze for 10 minutes. My husband has been up since 5:30AM getting ready for work, and of course, because I have super human mom hearing, I knew he was awake even before he did! I try to sneak in some extra Zzz’s because I am NOT a morning person.

6:10am Snooze goes off. I check the baby monitor to make sure Charlotte is still dozing. She usually wakes by 7am, so that means I have 50 minutes to get ready in the morning. My hair is washed from the night before, so that saves shower time.

6:15am Wash my face and moisturize. While waiting for my serum to soak in, I check social media and the weather. I refuse to do more than 3 steps of skincare in the morning, so 5 minutes later I’m onto makeup and hair, which take 30 mins total (I will totally share these routines when I am not strapped for time!) Hubby leaves around this time, so I kiss him goodbye for the day.

6:50am My clothes are chosen the night before so I never have to try to think of outfit inspo…because again, I am not a morning person! I inevitably always change once before settling on an outfit. Today I’ve chosen a dress that I’m absolutely in love with. It’s from one of my favorite online stores, Pink Blush. They carry everything from maternity, plus size, regular size and even plus size maternity. It’s fashion for modern motherhood. I’ve talked about their incredible dresses before HERE and HERE. I love a wrap dress because it’s the ultimate feminine silhouette. I love how the wrap shows off my waist, and for once, the neckline actually stays closed! I did NOT have to re-adjust ONCE! Miracle of miracles. You can get this exact dress HERE. It’s a stunner.

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Navy Stripe Ruffle Plus Wrap Dress available at Pink Blush.

6:55am I head downstairs to make Charlotte’s breakfast (fruit, yogurt and multigrain toast with PB) and prep my coffee. I try to let Charlotte sleep for as long as possible so I eat breakfast quickly solo and get my shoes/coat/bag ready. Lunch is made the night before, so I don’t have to worry about that in the morning.

7:10am-ish I start to get antsy if Charlotte hasn’t woken up by now. So I’ll head upstairs and pace outside her door before going in to wake her. I absolutely HATE waking her because, like me, she’s not a morning person. But the morning cuddles are the best! Quick diaper change and change out of PJs into daycare clothes (which I lay out the night before).

7:15am Charlotte is a super fast eater, so everything gets devoured pretty quickly. If she wants to take her time with her yogurt pouch, I bring it to daycare so that she can finish it there. We do 10 quick minutes of playing/cuddling/talking/singing/dancing/reading before packing up and walking to the car.

7:30 am Charlotte and I are in the car on our way to daycare. It takes approx 9 minutes to get from home to the daycare and Charlotte is dropped off by 7:50 latest. I like to take my time and chat with the daycare educators…they are looking after my child, after all! I want them to know everything she’s been up to since yesterday and also let them know that I value them and respect how hard they work.

7:50 am Headed towards the highway, probably listening to Adele “25” because I’m a mega-fan like that…feeling like my life is under control…until I hit TRAFFIC! Living in the suburbs can be the worst! Work is only 20 kms away and it can take upwards of an hour to get there.

8:30 am Ideal day, I’m at my desk by this time, checking emails, gossiping about the latest fashion news or what we bought online the night before.

Yadda yadda yadda (wait, did you just yadda yadda work? Yup! Because my days are always different and my routine constantly changes, which I love…but this blog post is long enough already LOL)

4:30 pm Time to hit the road. TRAFFIC sucks the life out of me. I usually call my mom and chat with her on the drive home. If she’s not available, I’ll listen to a podcast to pass the time. But mostly, I’m counting down the minutes until I can see my little nugget.

5:15 pm FINALLY HOME! I burst in the door as Charlotte is eating dinner. My husband finishes work early so he always picks up the baby and gets dinner ready. I try my best to have something made the night before for her. I also made a ton of frozen meals before I went back to work, so that that there’s something ready to go for hubby and me.

5:30 pm  Family time. Usually it’s a dance party starring “Baby Shark”, but sometimes it can be a walk together. This is my favorite part of the day.

6:00 pm Bathtime. Another favorite. Charlotte is happiest in the tub. I have her bedtime routine down to a science and it takes exactly 25 minutes to bath her, slather her with cream, in her pjs, in the sleepsack, 3 songs and then sleep.

6:30 pm Charlotte asleep and it’s time for Mommy and Daddy to eat.

7:00 pm Post-dinner cleanup and wind down. I like to watch any “Real Housewives” series, and Pat prefers working on his truck or watching something sci-fi. Or, I’ll blog while he cleans up from dinner, or, he’ll snooze while I fold laundry. Ah married life, it’s so sexy. We usually chat about our days, or organize the weekend’s activities. Maybe even watch a movie if we’re feeling wild LOL

9:00 pm I shower the night before work to save time in the morning. It also allows me to luxuriate and take my time with my skincare routine and hair prep.

9:30 pm In bed. I always read before bed…it relaxes my mind. I really try to avoid any screen time 30 mins before I go to sleep because I find it riles me up too much!

10:00 pm Asleep! Pray for me that Charlotte doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night. And hopefully I’m in a deep enough sleep I can’t hear my husband’s snores.

And there you have it! An exciting day in the life. I didn’t even realize I was so scheduled until I sat down to write…but you know what? It’s what keeps me sane!

Real talk: What’s your day-to-day like? Any life-saving tips for surviving through the morning/evening rush?

 

 

This Floral Maxi Had me at Hello

There is nothing that I love more to wear than a beautiful dress. There is something so feminine and transformative about a long, flowing maxi. And right now, with a heat wave headed our way, lightweight and airy is necessary!

I discovered Pink Blush when I was pregnant and looking for a maxi dress for my baby shower. I wanted something that wouldn’t be fussy, or ride up when I saw down with my gigantic bump. When I discovered that they also did plus size maternity, plus size and straight size, I was so excited! First of all, I love a company that is serving style for every size. The fact that women of all sizes have access to the same clothes is revolutionary. Their clothing is unabashedly feminine, with lots of floral, lace and girly details. Honestly, my #MamaMojo was in full force wearing this beauty!

I also wore a Pink Blush dress at Charlotte’s 1st Birthday because of it’s ease and gorgeousness. Guess you know where I’ve been shopping…

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Wearing a size 1X in Light Blue Rose Off the Shoulder Plus Maternity Maxi (whew! that’s a mouthful!)

First of all, the color palette of this dress is absolutely stunning! I actually had several people stop me as we shot this to ask where it was from. I adore the off the shoulder look (it actually stays put and doesn’t ride up!) Also, the simplicity of the shape makes accessorizing really fun! I added beaded tassel earrings and an amethyst bracelet for just a little pop. I dressed it up with a lace-up heel, but you could easily pair it with a gladiator sandal or slide for a more casual vibe.

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Shoes: Nine West. Similar HERE

REAL TALK: Do you like to wear dresses? What kind of clothing makes you feel your best & puts your #MamaMojo in full effect?

My Thoughts on Thinx

Would you ever pose in your underwear? Would you ever pose in your underwear on your period? Yup, that’s what I did…When Thinx approached my mom group (Perfit Moms) with the opportunity to test out a pair of its patented “period panties,” I was totally down. Even if this meant facing some personal demons and letting it all hang out at a photoshoot with 9 other moms.

I love this picture! It’s for every woman that’s felt weird about their bodies. It’s for all the moms that are getting used to their new bodies post-baby. And it’s for everyone who has ever doubted themselves!

Warning TMI to follow…if you aren’t into period talk, then move on!

So immediately after this shoot, I got my 3rd post-baby period. The first two periods were awful! I’ve never been one to have cramps and I felt like I was in pre-labor. And they were the heaviest periods I’ve ever had…I ruined 3 pairs of underwear and decided to put on a leftover pair of Depends I had used after giving birth. I AM SO GLAMOROUS!

For my third period I wasn’t taking any chances. Our Thinx test couldn’t have come at a better time. If you’ve never heard of them, here’s how they work…depending on your flow (light, medium, heavy) Thinx period-proof undies can be a replacement for pads and tampons, or be worn as back-up with tampons and cups for extra protection against leaks and stains. Thinx hold up to two regular tampon-worth and keeps you fresh, dry and leak-free. It’s patented technology is made up of four layers: the first layer fights bad odors and wicks away moisture, the second is super-absorbant fabric, the third layer is a leak-resistant barrier and the fourth holds it all together. Plus, Thinx are light and thin so they feel like everyday underwear.

 

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I’m wearing a THINX Hi-waist panty in XL.

Here’s how they held up to post-baby period…AMAZINGLY well! In the past, I’ve always used pads because of tampon leak issues, but pads are bulky and stinky. I used a tampon with my Thinx hi-waist panties for the first two heaviest days of my period and had ZERO leak issues. On day 3, my period slows down quite a bit and so I just used the panties, without anything else. My period tends to go from heavy to light quite fast, so I was able to use just 1 pair of panties during the day, and then rinse and dry for night until the next evening. If you’re period goes from heavy-regular-light, then you may want to consider 2-3 pairs for changes throughout the day, or consider using a tampon/cup along with the panties.

Taking care of them is pretty easy. Rinse them first, then put them in a mesh laundry bag which will keep your delicates delicate, then cold wash and hang dry. Don’t use bleach or fabric softener!

In terms of sizing, their chart is bang on. I wear a 14-16 jean and the XL was perfect. Just keep in min that Thinx runs a bit more snug than regular undies. This actually works to your benefit because I find it kept me sucked in – period protection and a light slimming effect, HOORAY!

Also, did I mention how CUTE their underwear is? Like if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that these were super high-end! The mesh inserts on the side are sexy AF and the high-rise style accentuated my shape. Hubby will have no idea these are period panties!

REAL TALK: Have you tried THINX? What’s stopping you? 

Mom Uniform

I knew maternity leave would be at such a different pace. I knew that I wouldn’t have time to shower every day. I knew I wouldn’t always be wearing makeup, or have my hair blow dried, or my nails done. I knew that most of my clothes would get covered with a variety of baby bodily fluids. I knew that a lot of the clothes I wore before baby would never fit the same. I even knew that I would likely wear the same outfit over and over until it smelt and/or got stained with aforementioned baby fluids.

What I didn’t realize is that I’d still want to feel like “me” – the girl who never went to work bare-faced, that loves bright lipstick and has an outfit for every occasion.

Dressing my baby bump had been pretty easy. I wore fitted dresses, peasant blouses and maternity jeans that went up to my armpits. I stuck with flat shoes, or kitten heels, with the occasional stacked heel. Postpartum dressing has been the real challenge! I need clothes that are comfortable, take zero thought to put together, that are forgiving of weight fluctuations and very forgiving of stains. I thought I would have to sacrifice my personal style for baby, but instead, it evolved! Let’s say that I went from glamour girl to practical Patterson. I swapped stilettos for sneakers…and you know what? I’m not mad about it.

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Mommy tummy out and I’m ok with that! This is my signature mat leave style – leggings and cool top. Lululemon leggings (Align Pant), HYBA Floral bomber (in size XXL).

My absolute favorite buy while I’ve been on maternity leave has been the Align Pant by Lululemon. I bought 3 pairs in the last 10 months. Best investment ever! Not only are they super lightweight and buttery soft, they come in every color of the rainbow. This means I can dress them up and down and convince the world that I’m wearing “real” clothes and not leggings 24/7. Plus, the signature high-rise style with mega-stretch and shape retention means the pants lie flat against your skin and won’t dig in. Perfect for post-partum mommies! Oh also, I should mention, the Align is known for giving you an instant butt-lift. Hooray! Get yours here.

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Wearing the Align Pant in size 12 (I wear a 16 in jeans). Color is Black Currant. Bomber is from HYBA. Look how happy my mom butt is!

 

REAL TALK: What’s your go-to mommy outfit? Is there a piece that you love? Let me know in the comments below!

#BreastfeedingStruggles

Breastfeeding is hard. You may have read about my struggles early on; Charlotte had a tongue tie and a lip tie and my nipples were ruined. I would bite down on my lip in agony every time she would latch! But since then, Charlotte and I have developed a nice routine. I nurse her three times a day – in the morning when she wakes up, before her lunch and right before bed.

Despite the sense of pride and accomplishment that I feel for having made it to this point, there are so many difficult moments that moms endure during their journey. Even though I may feel like somewhat of an expert, the breastfeeding struggle is still real! Hope that fellow BF moms can related to these funny (and painful!) struggles.

  1. My wardrobe lately is based on whether or not I can pull my boob out of my clothing easily and quickly. Thank god nursing clothes have gotten so much cuter! Enter my sorority sister, Britt. This badass momtrepeneur is the founder of Lark & Lux and the creator of the Melly (aka my new fave dress). It’s perfect for all-sized mamas (from sizes 4-20) as it’s made of super luxe bamboo fabric with incredible stretch and softness. And there’s a built-in bra that keeps the ta-tas contained and comfy. Honestly, this is probably the most versatile piece in my wardrobe. Feeding your baby shouldn’t have to mean sacrificing your personal style and The Melly lets me #feedfearlessly wherever my day takes me. As special treat to you all, Lark & Lux is offering you 15% off your very own Melly dress. At checkout, use code: JUSTJEN15. (Offer valid until May 31, 2018).

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    Wearing the Melly Dress in navy & white stripe by Lark & Lux. Available in size small (size 4-6) to extra-large (size 16-20). For all you plus size moms, I’m wearing the XL for a looser fit. P.S. I like the way that Charlotte is coping a feel here. 
  2. I am NOT a punching bag! Does anyone elses’ child smack their boobs when they are hungry? Or, squeeze them while they’re nursing to get the milk out faster? I swear, I have never been as abused as I have been while nursing Charlotte. She scratches my chest, pinches my underboob, pulls my hair and fish-hooks my bottom lip with her finger. She is a beast!
  3. The first time I discovered that OMG this kid bites! As you may know, Charlotte is a super early teether. She had 7 teeth by the time she was 6 months old. As you can imagine, she tested those little chompers out on my nips. Word of advice: if you child tries to bite you, push her head into your breast. You want her to be as uncomfortable as possible (maybe even gasp for breath a little – I know, I know, horrible mom!) But trust me, it will get them to stop nibbling at your bosoms.
  4. Niplash. Enough said.niplash
  5. I’ve learnt that I can perform any task with a baby hanging from my boob. I’ve made coffee while breastfeeding, answered the door, made phonecalls…hell, I’ve even peed while breastfeeding (hey, you gotta go when you gotta go, right mamas?)
  6. I HATE PUMPING! Major props to all the pumpers out there, but I hate that damn machine. The whirling of the motor will haunt my dreams. I tried to avoid it as much as possible, but it did come in handy when I was weaning from 8-10 feeds daily to 6-8, then 4-6, then 4, and now 3. And now I have quite the stash of milk, which is useful. But, there is nothing more unpleasant than pumping before bed and then cleaning the damn tubes and shields.
  7. Do you boobs hang low, do they wobble to-and-fro? Can you tie ’em in a knot, can you tie ’em in a bow? My initially perky nursing boobs have pretty much drooped to my ankles by month 10. On the bright side, I’ll always know which way is South!

Real talk: Got a biter? Are you over nursing bras? Do you hate pumping with a passion? Share your own breastfeeding struggles below!

Things I’ve Bought Recently

In my “real life” (the one where I work full-time and have disposable income), I would treat myself nearly every week. There’s something thrilling about a package arriving at the door…almost like it’s your birthday every day! Alas, maternity leave/new house/baby has significantly reduced my weekly treats to exciting things like Amazon diaper subscription and toilet paper from Costco. Wow, I live a glam life!

But, recently, I’ve been itched to do a little “treat yo self” time and have been indulging in some purchases for myself. And OH THE GUILT! No wonder my mom only ever shopped the sales when we were kids, or why I remember her wearing the same dress for all special occasions. It’s because when you’re a mom, you feel TERRIBLE for buying something frivolous (if you don’t, you’re a unicorn, so good for you). Most mommies I know will sacrifice their own pleasures to ensure that baby has everything its needs. And take it from a former-shoppaholic, it has been a struggle to adapt.

That being said, with Spring around the corner and the fact I’m getting used to managing my limited budget, here are some things I’ve bought for myself in the last month.

  1. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination Concealer. This is the Holy Grail of under eye concealers. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on under eye products and this one puts them all to shame. With a tiny dot of product, I go from looking like the tired-old-hag that I am, to radiant momma. Plus it’s waterproof and it’s crease-proof. See below for photo evidence!

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    Left: Before. Right: After using IT Bye Bye Undereye Illumination Concealer. Same light, no filters. I look so much awake and brightened!
  2. Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream. Keep me young forever! Deep wrinkles have started to appear in my forehead which have left me freaked out and googling where to get Botox (anyone know a good doc?) So to push pause on the aging process, I turned to my fave skincare line, Fresh, for this lightweight moisturizer. It leaves my skin soft and hydrated and has noticeable reduced fine lines.
  3. La Neige Lip Sleeping Mask. This is literally the most delicious lip balm I have ever tried. The cold weather leaves my lips burning and one pea-sized drop of La Neige Lip Mask and they are butter smooth. I put it on at night and the product stays on my lips until morning.

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    My attempt at beauty blogging. This trio of products keeps me glowy and fresh-faced: 1) La Neige Lip Sleeping Mask 2) It Cosmetics Bye Bye UnderEye Illumination Concealer 3) Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream
  4. Jordache High Rise Ankle Jegging. As a new mom, I spend a lot of time at Walmart. It’s my one-stop-shop. And these pink jeans caught my eye as I was dashing out the store to make it home before naptime. I grabbed my usual size (16) and tried them on at home. They are SO stretchy and comfortable! Plus, the high waist sucks in my post-baby tummy and cropped ankle length leaves my legs looking long and lean. And it’s the perfect shade of spring pink.

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    Mom uniform, but make it Spring fashion!
  5. Addition Elle Faux Wrap Printed Dress. Obviously I keep up with what’s going on back at work, and this dress caught my eye bigtime! In fact, you all voted via IG stories that I should buy it, and I did. It’s literally the most flattering thing I’ve put on my body in a while. Hugs my curves in all the right places. But you’ll just have to wait and see it in photos 😉

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    I’ll be wearing this gorgeous dress in an upcoming post.  And hurry! It’s currently 50% off!

Until next time friends!

xo Jen

REAL TALK: Do you feel guilty shopping for yourself? What’s the best thing you’ve bought recently?

SHARE below!

The Coolest Baby on the Block

Before Charlotte, I never subscribed to the phrase “less is more.” For me, more has always been more! Why buy one pair of shoes, when you can have two? I don’t just want a new top, but a whole new outfit and bag to go with. Of course baby girl would have mountains of clothes, new outfits everyday and accessories to match. But as Charlotte quickly outgrew her substantial newborn wardrobe, I realized that most outfits had only been worn once or twice. What a waste!

With that in mind, I decided to do better. I set out to find clothes that fulfilled a few requirements. Firstly, with sleep training Charlotte (more on that in a later post), I needed outfits that weren’t super fussy and would transition easily from sleep to play. Secondly, I like clothes that don’t look like baby clothes – no cheesy slogans or silly cartoon characters. Thirdly, with Charlotte outgrowing outfits within 2 weeks, I was struck with the question of what to do with everything? I decided that I wanted to have more quality items for Charlotte, and that I wanted them to be local.

That’s when I came across Miles Baby. I have a personal connection to the brand as one of my favourite former co-workers, Marie-Helene, is the artistic director. She is super talented and I love her modern aesthetic. Miles Baby is cool, very cool. It’s playful and comfy and inspired by the neighborhoods that we all live in. What I love about the brand is that they seek to encourage local commerce and celebrate our communities.

Scroll down for a FREE SHIPPING COUPON!

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Nothing better than baby toes! Wearing the Playblock leggings from Miles Baby

 

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Wearing the Splashed Tunic & Playblock legging from Miles Baby

Charlotte is wearing pieces from the “From the Block Collection.” I love that they have a bit of an edge and don’t look like your typical childrenswear. Inspired by play blocks and buildings in our neighborhoods, the collection is playful and loungy, unisex and super cool.

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Wearing the Miles Baby Neighborhood Top & Pompom Hat

BTW, Miles Baby has given me a sweet coupon for FREE SHIPPING!

Use coupon code: jenxmiles

Limit 1 per customer, Valid in Canada & USA only. No expiry!

 

I love supporting small, local businesses and hope you will too!