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?

#MamaMojo

When I started my blog a little more than a year ago, my intention was to document my life. I shared my pregnancy, work-life, baby pics, what I wore, where I was going and what I was doing. But recently, I’ve had an epiphany…and it started because a stranger reached out to me through my Facebook page to tell me how she found my page “inspirational.” She commended me for being positive and feeling great in my skin. I thanked her, of course, but it started my wheels turning.

Not too long after that, I hosted a Facebook Live for my mommy group about how to dress your postpartum body. And one of the things that kept coming up was the word “flattering” (which I HATE!)  Moms wanted to know what to wear to “flatter” their new body. They asked me where to shop because the stores they used to go felt “too young” now. They told me how they were stuck in a rut, wearing the same black leggings every day. As I spoke to them, the re-occurring theme was how they feel lost and unsure of their new identities as moms. Pregnancy is a whooper on your entire physical and mental state and coming out the other side, it’s difficult to recognize yourself and connect with the “new” you! I’m talking about simple things like dressing your new “mom bod”, skin care, and self-care. As I answered their questions, I emphasized how important it is to find what they love about themselves, as they are now, and celebrate it. I wanted to let each mom know that they are worth investing in!

As I’ve discussed before, I still struggle to accept my new mom bod. But the one thing I refused to do is to let whatever self-doubt I have, get in the way of enjoying myself. Also, I’ve continued to do the things that I love to do, even with a baby in tow. Why can’t you be a fashion-lover, beauty addict, travel junkie, boss lady AND a Mom? Just because you’ve had a child, it doesn’t mean that you’ve stopped being who you are!

That’s when I came up with #MAMAMOJO. It’s the magical essence that you have as a woman and as a mother. It’s that thing that makes you do a double take in the mirror and give yourself a smile. It’s the power of looking and feeling your best just as you are. As I meet and connect with other moms and women, I want to encourage and support them to feel good about themselves and connect with their mama mojo! I feel so impassioned and motivated by this new motto and hope that it resonates for you too.

And it’s all thanks to you, lovely mommies! Thank you to all the amazing moms who’ve reached out to me to tell me how my voice has encouraged them to take a little more time for themselves…whether that be to put on some lipstick, take a time out to read a new book, buy a pretty new dress, or simply look in the mirror and truly love what you see.

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I found this dress at a street fair last year and every time I wear it, I feel like a boho goddess! Do you have that one piece of clothing that makes you feel amazing every time you wear it? Photo credit: Grey Cat Studio

REAL TALK: How do you find your own #MAMAMOJO?

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!

5 Reasons I’m Thankful for Charlotte

‘Tis the season to be thankful and my heart couldn’t be more full of gratitude. 2017 has given us the beautiful gift of Charlotte, the luxury of enjoying our time with her, a new house and has changed our marriage in so many profound ways.

 

There are probably a million reasons why Patrick and I are so thankful to have Charlotte in our life, but here are the top 5 that my grateful, love-riddled mind came up with.

(Scroll down for bonus reason #6 to be thankful! Hint: it’s a coupon code to shop Charlotte’s outfit, courtesy of Petit Atelier Enfant!)

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Shop Charlotte’s outfit courtesy of Petit Atelier Enfant
  1. She brings us so much laughter. I don’t think Pat and I have ever laughed as much as we have with Charlotte. Sometimes her expressions or sound effects are so hilarious, it literally makes us laugh-cry. You can’t help but smile when she throws you a gummy grin! And when she starts to giggle uncontrollably, her infectious laughter makes us double over.
  2. She has taught me the power of my own strength. I never considered myself an exceptionally brave or strong person (I’m stubborn, there’s a difference). But going surviving childbirth, sleep deprivation and chomped up nipples has made me feel powerful and strong, like I can do anything.
  3. She makes me feel like I’m the most important person in the room. All you parents will agree…there is nothing like your little baby grabbing your face and staring into your eyes. Charlotte will stroke my cheek and gaze into my eyes and the world melts away. I love the way that her eyes search for me when she’s being held by others, or how she tracks my movement when she’s sitting in in her activity chair.
  4. She has changed our days so profoundly. Honestly, we don’t even remember what we did without her. Seriously, what did we do with all that spare time? How did we have any fun before we worked book-reading and tummy time and baths into our routine?
  5. She reminds us what life is really about. It’s not about work or money, or any of the millions of little dramas that happen on a daily basic. Life is about family and love and all that good stuff. The rest is just details.
  6. BONUS reason to be thankful! Petit Atelier Enfant is giving you 10% off their online store to shop beautiful, designer children’s clothes. I love their unique pieces! They’re comfy, super cool and one-of-a-kind.

    Use coupon code: JEN10. 

    (Coupon is valid for 1 time use, until October 27)

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What are you thankful for?

 

Share in the comments 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!