Wow! To say it’s been a busy month would be an understatement. Between the frantic driving to/from daycare, a grueling social schedule on the weekends and mastered a fledgling work routine, I don’t know where the time went. The leaves seem to have turned colors overnight and we’re one step away from a snowflake here in Montreal.
The last thing on my mind recently has been blogging (but I have been ALL about Insta-stories, so if you don’t follow me, you better!) But when I came across this online boutique, I knew I had to hop on here and share. Fox + Wit is for all my size 12 and up ladies, for those that love one-of-kind plus size pieces that make you feel like a million bucks. AND, they’ve even started to offer extended sizing (sizes S-L), so everyone can wear fabulous clothes. I connected with Janean, the Fox + Wit Founder, through Instagram because we share the same motto: when it comes to fashion, size doesn’t matter! Her mission is to find unique, modern and fun pieces that you can’t find anywhere else.
Love how different these pieces are! The sweater has a cool, lace-up detail at the back and would look equally great with jeans. The skirt is vegan suede and features a patchwork detail at the front; I took a close-up to show you how pretty the detail is. And the blanket scarf I’m wearing is literally the scarf of my dreams! Not only is is my fave plaid print, I love how cozy and soft it is. The clothes fit true to size, which is rare for a plus size boutique. I wear a 14-16/1X and that’s exactly what I’m wearing here. Also, I’ve been a big fan of tucking in my tops recently. It used to freak me out that my baby belly would show, but I’ve been owning it more and more. Like RuPaul always says, “If you can’t love yourself, then how the hell you gonna love someone else?!”
As a special treat to you, Fox + Wit and I have teamed up to give away a 50$ gift certificate to shop online!
Like my contest post & comment by telling me one way you like to spoil yourself!
Tag a friend for extra entries!
Winner will be picked at random and contacted through DM.
Contest ends on: 10/30/18 at 8PM EST
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.
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.
7:50am 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?
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!
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.
REAL TALK: Do you like to wear dresses? What kind of clothing makes you feel your best & puts your #MamaMojo in full effect?
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.
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.
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.
REAL TALK: What’s your go-to mommy outfit? Is there a piece that you love? Let me know in the comments below!
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.
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).
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!
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.
Niplash. Enough said.
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?)
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 😉
Until next time friends!
REAL TALK: Do you feel guilty shopping for yourself? What’s the best thing you’ve bought recently?
‘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!)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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)
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!
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.
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!
9 Months of Fashion – What I Wore During My Pregnancy
Today is my due date and no baby yet…We went to see the doctor this morning and she said there’s been progress so that’s a plus! We scheduled an induction for June 6, so hopefully baby comes on her own before then. I really don’t want medical intervention…but I guess I just need to be open to whatever happens. One way or another, baby is coming out in a week! Excited…scared…more as story develops. LOL
To distract myself from the impending birth, I want to talk about my most favoritest thing ever…FASHION! As you may know, I live for and work in fashion. And maternity clothes don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to being fashionable. But, with a few small tweaks, I survived 9 1/2 months of good outfits. Let’s countdown my favorite looks – month by month.
1 Month Pregnant
As revealed in my previous post, we didn’t know we were pregnant until about 5 weeks, so I had no clue I was expecting here. I just knew that I was SUPER tired, hot all the time and couldn’t bear the thought of pants!
2 Months Pregnant
At 8 weeks pregnant, I was on vacation for 2 1/2 weeks overseas. Our best friends live in the U.K and we planned a massive trip before we discovered baby girl’s arrival – London, Scotland and Iceland. (Blog post to come detailing how to survive traveling in your 1st trimester!)
I lived in super stretchy jeggings, running shoes, oversized sweaters and my leather jacket. My belly wasn’t showing, but I felt SO bloated so anything with stretch was my friend.
3 Months Pregnant
At 12 weeks, we revealed we were pregnant to friends and extended family (the core fam had the inside scoop). Although I didn’t have any morning sickness, I was beyond exhausted. I could sleep anywhere, anytime. It was also the Holidays, so I had to slap some lipstick on and get on with it. I borrowed this dress from my BFF Jamie and got rave reviews!
4 Months Pregnant
It was the dead of winter and comfort was key. My bump started to show around 16 weeks and I loved accentuating it. Leggings, oversized knits and cool blazers were a go-to during this period.
5 Months Pregnant
I live in Canada – it’s cold. That pretty much sums it up when you’re pregnant in January.
6 Months Pregnant
Now it was really getting fun dressing up my bump. Athleisure was a cool way to add a touch of fashion to comfort. I’m wearing Asos Maternity and couldn’t be happier.
7 Months Pregnant
They say the beginning of the third trimester is the best time to go on your babymoon – and we did! Pat and I headed to Las Vegas for some adult fun-time before baby. Loved this cold-shoulder bodycon dress. It had a ton of stretch, so I just sized up and it was perfect.
8 Months Pregnant
I LIVE in my jeans and was so happy to find cool, ripped ones with a maternity waistband. YAY! Pink is my fave color ever and this jacket is everything. Oh and a peplum top, while pregnant. Go for it!
9 Months Pregnant
At this point, I’ve pretty much given up on pants. Even high-waisted bottoms roll down under my belly, so bodycon dresses are a uniform. And stripes are an obsession, so this dress is in heavy-rotation.
So there you have it…9 months of maternity fashion. Fave looks? Questions? Fashion advice? Comment below!