Loving Lately

Hey, Ladies!

No video this week, but there's still lots to love around here, so I'll get to it!

1. Blanket Scarves

It's been in the 50's and 60's in the mornings around here so I've been tossing on a blanket scarf (this is my absolute fave) and then ditching layers as the day warms up. I know this one will be coming to Maine with me for Christmas, no question! It just drapes perfectly and the fringe isn't too overpowering, plus the gray color is perfectly neutral.

I hope you like my other ever-present accessory. Lambie. Lambie had a rough day yesterday when a kid peed on the slide and Olivia dragged Lambie through it before I could get to her. Epic mom fail, and the poor little guy took a ride on the hottest cycle our washing machine could manage. Lambie, that is, not the pants pee-er.

2. Target Trips

I know it's so "basic", but I really just love a good stroll around Target. Liv and I split a popcorn, and take 20 minutes or so to just browse the aisles, putting way too much stuff we don't need in our cart, putting it back, and then putting it in the cart again, and then putting most of it back on the shelves again. Make fun all you want, but it's just darn fun. Olivia uses this as a chance to put her feet up and rest. Because her life is so stressful. There are purple smoothies to dump on your head and on the beige playroom rug, salt shakers to empty on the kitchen floor, and bananas to flush down the toilet. It's tough.

3. Back to the Gym

I took a couple weeks off (slacked epically) while we had company and not only was my waistline begging me to go back, my sanity was too. I feel way better when I get the (almost) daily endorphin boost from a quick 30 minutes on the elliptical. Liv likes the childcare center a lot and it's a great chance for my classic only child to get some socialization.

4. Topknots

Once a week I seriously consider chopping my hair and going for a more sophisticated, chic look. Then I realize I couldn't do a topknot and I'd be screwed in the hair department six days a week.

5. Coloring

Just love it. We have a table in the center of Liv's playroom that we stretch a big roll of paper across and we can spend many, many minutes coloring. My artwork is spectacularly bad, but she doesn't care, thank the Lawd.

Have a great weekend and a safe Halloween!!

Current Beauty Faves

Thanks for all the sweet comments on my seriously verbose post yesterday. I love the solidarity around here and you all are the best!

I thought we might switch gears and talk about something a little less serious today, like makeup. My favorite.

I have a pretty steady makeup routine and don't change it much, but it's been a while since I talked about the daily face, so I'll give you my favorites!

Current Beauty Faves

Let's start with the face. My skin is still all kinds of cranky at me, but I've been trying this Paula's Choice system and am really liking the results so far. It's extremely mild, I've had no drying, and it's keeping the blemishes at bay during a time they'd normally be really bad. My favorite part? You can order trial size in most anything so you can decide if it's going to work before you splash out more cash on a full system. I also think this is priced more reasonably than a lot of other acne systems (cheaper than my once loved La Roche Posay for example), so worth a try! I've loved the Neutrogena oil free moisturizer for years since my high school dermatologist recommended it and it's here to stay. Between the spf protection and the thin, no residue formula, I'm sold.

I'm still loving the L'Oreal Lumi foundation - excellent coverage. With the Real Techniques brush I barely need additional concealer on big bad breakouts, and I don't feel like it's caked on. It lasts all day (I do set with some pressed powder, MAC is my fave), and I don't see myself trying anything else anytime soon. 

The Milani blush in Luminoso is still my favorite (narrowly beating out Orgasm by Nars) and lasts forever. And the price? Can't beat it.

I talked about this L'Oreal lipstick before (I have the Julianne color) and I still love it. Creamy, slightly glossy (I'm not a huge fan of matte), and the perfect, perfect pink. I sent the J. Lo color to Steph and she was obsessed, so stop by your Target to see which famous face associated with the lipstick is closest to your coloring and you won't go wrong!

The love affair with Anastasia Brow Dip Pomade with brush is still going strong. I love, love, love a bold brow and this packs a lot of punch with very little product.

I've been using the Naked palette for shadow and eyeliner since it's just convenient. I love the color Chopper, especially for blue eyes.

To take all the makeup off? I use these wipes so that my face wash doesn't have to work as hard and so that I don't wake up looking like a raccoon.

Finally, you knew I couldn't wrap up a beauty post without talking about Elnett. I just love that stuff. Amazing, amazing hold without being stiff or looking unnatural. I have 3 cans stashed in my drawer because running out would be a travesty. Drama, drama, drama.

So tell me, because I need to know, what are your favorite products lately?

Two - What I Know

It hit me like a pie in the face yesterday. That in a few weeks, Liv will be two. Yes, it makes me sad and nostalgic, I miss the newborn stage like crazy (seriously, I yearn for it) and I look back at photos like this almost daily. 

12 weeks

I miss that bald baby noggin and little elf ears and feel like I could cry. 
That's not what this is about. It's not about my deeply seeded fear of adding another baby to the mix either. That's another neurotic story for another day. 

Lately I've been thinking about what I learned these past two years. Who I turned into, what we've done. What I know. 

This is not a parenting advice post. I'm a parenting novice and will be for some time, so please don't take this as educational in any way. This is just me rambling at you. Like always. 

Let me just preface this by saying that I was a much better parent before I had Olivia. We're talking way better. I'm not saying I'm a bad parent now, I'm just saying that holy cow, things sure happened differently than I planned them. Imagine. 

So here's what I know.

1. I feel guilty every day. 

I shouldn't have raised my voice, given her that third Oreo, that extra few minutes (ahem, hour) of tv time. I should have been more present, engaged, more fun, less tired. 

A stranger at the grocery store picked up a little toy she'd dropped out of the cart and handed it back to her the other day. Then he apologized and said that he was sorry, I probably didn't want her putting that in her mouth now that it had been on the floor. Without blinking, I said that it was probably the least germ ridden thing she'd put in her mouth all day. There I was. No cart cover, no hand sanitizer in my purse. Just a full pack of Target brand baby wipes in case she managed to get the top off her milk.

Those are the not the qualities you hear when someone describes a good/prepared/preventive/blog worthy parent.

For all the "I shouldn'ts", though, there are nearly as many redeeming moments. I pat myself on the back because she ate an apple, said please, or for not flipping out when she dunked a whole roll of toilet paper (the last one in the whole house) in the toilet, and instead congratulated her on (attempting) to flush the potty herself. 

She's since mastered that particular task in case you were wondering.

2. I think I have a split mom personality.

One minute, I'm cool as a cucumber while she attempts to swan dive out of the grocery cart, and literally 5 seconds later I'm taking deep breaths in the canned vegetable aisle because she's managed to open and dump a box of pasta on the floor and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my shit and end up on YouTube courtesy of some childless person with an iPhone.

3. I've got it pretty easy.

I've just got one. Just one. Not that she isn't a handful (what kid isn't?), but the one to one ratio is something I appreciate daily. This ties into my second child phobia, but again, that's a whole other bag of crazy. I periodically have to check myself with a swift metaphorical kick in the butt and tell myself to stop my whining because my two year old isn't cooperating with my desire to leisurely stroll through Target, venti latte in hand at 10 am on a Wednesday.

4. Each age is the hardest (for me).

First they don't sleep when you want to sleep and you're afraid you'll break them. Then they're mobile and everything within arms reach becomes a choking hazard and the explosive diapers will.not.stop. Then they get some serious independence and will literally elbow you in the throat should you try to impose your will on them. 

People always say it will get easier, but for me, each stage just eventually becomes the new normal. I get used to it and then think I was a total whiner for complaining at all about the stage before. Spoiler alert: I am.

5. I need mom friends (and my mom) more than mascara.

I love my mom friends, and my mother has been my lifeline to sanity (the dramatics are really kicked up a notch around here today) many times. Having someone who gets it, or will tell you that you're doing a good job, and will occasionally coddle your maternal ego helps so much (for me). 
I also like having someone tell me that it's ok to put your kid to bed at 6:30, that a banana peel is far from the strangest thing they've seen thrown in a toilet, or that their kid also growls at random people at the post office, where the line moves slower than molasses.

6. Sometimes being a mom isn't enough.

I don't know if I'm treading into unpopular territory here, but before I had a baby I was convinced that if I could be someone's mother, I wouldn't want to do anything else for the rest of my life. Being a stay at home mom would be living the dream. It just didn't shake out that way and it made me feel guilty before I realized it was ok.

I have to have something that's mine, that challenges me and excites me. It makes me a better mom and I mean that. When I get to take a little time for my personal endeavors, I do a better job with all the things I listed back at number 1. I'm more present, I'm more patient. I'm not perfect, puh-leeze, but it helps and there's a 75% chance I'll just laugh when she refuses to pee on the potty and just bolts into my closet and pees on the floor.

7. No matter how bad the day, how much I've failed, she's antagonized, and we've both melted down, I miss her when she goes to sleep. I still go in and place my hand on her chest to feel it rise and fall. I find myself realizing that I'll be sad when the day is over, despite having been counting down the minute until bedtime. 

When she was 8 days old (in this photo below), I cried most of the day (and night) because my hormonal self was realizing that she'd never be that small again. That every day, she would get further and further from the tiny baby who changed our lives on a warm December afternoon. 

Now every day I realize that I'm getting further and further from the parent I thought I'd be and I'm more ok with it each day. I think we're going to be going through phases, getting to know each other, testing each other, and loving each other at the end of each day, for the rest of our lives, and that's just motherhood. For me, it's not like I just found my mama groove and stuck with it (Pinterest lied to me). It's a daily adjustment, evolution, and my list of things that I know is constantly changing. 

I know this was a heavy ramble, so kudos to you if you made it this far. I can't promise not to get all weepy when she does turn two, but I promise to try to keep my blubber off the blog as much as possible. It's strange to see her get older, but when she runs towards the microwave because she saw me take the frozen french toast out (high meal standards here) and says "IIII doooo eeeet", it's hard to begrudge her getting older. 

Weekend Photos

Hey, friends!

Hope you all had a great weekend and that Monday is off to a promising start! I thought I'd drop by with some quick photos of our weekend and some outfit details, since I'm oh so very stylish, ya know.

Friday morning was ballet, followed by our usual post-class crepes date, and a little iPad sesh in the car. Note to self: never do that again, since prying it out of her addicted little paws will result in a very public meltdown in the grocery store parking lot.

A banana and Nutella crepe plus coffee/milk on the rocks is our usual after ballet jam. It's hard work hiding under my chair and crying for half the class. It's also hard work chasing bubbles and running from one end of the studio to the other during the other half of the class.

Ryan got back from South Korea on Saturday afternoon so we just took it easy until he and Liv passed out at 7:30. I grabbed a glass of wine and made my way upstairs to work on some WC things and watch X Men (I secretly love those movies).

Sunday morning was one of those mornings when you knew it was going to be a trying day. Liv woke up crying and kept it going strong most of the day. When she and her jet lagged companion passed out for nap time, I snuck out for a mani/pedi, and battery recharge. I came home, scooped up Liv, and we went to lunch with a friend which did wonders for both our moods while Ryan continued to sleep off his travels.

We stopped into Anthropologie which is always the best/worst idea and Olivia got her hands on this book. Immediately obsessed, she plopped down in a chair and was the happiest little clam.

It's still pretty toasty here, so a super light weight sweater, white jeans, and pedi preserving sandals were the order of the day.

And that's all she wrote! Nothing too crazy, but we're all ready to tackle another week (including some Halloween fun!). Have a good one! 

A Quick Update

Hey hey!

Just dropping in for a quick update since I've been slack on the blog front the past couple of weeks. I promise to have a video up for tomorrow too!

Basically, it be crazy over here and in the best possible way. I'm usually on the fly, just stopping to take a shoe photo or selfie, because priorities. Liv is busier than ever and so is WC (thanks to you all, you're the best!), and oh yeah there's a house to clean, meals to cook, and groceries to be bought. 
Speaking of groceries, let me give you a sneak peek into our day. Yesterday as we were checking out, I went to put a gallon of milk on the conveyor and Olivia lost it. Full flip out mode and both the cashier and I just looked at her like "what?!". So we let her hold it after it was scanned and she just sat in the cart, arms wrapped around a gallon of milk.
Toddlers are a total mystery to me.

Last week I mentioned that Liv wasn't really into talking very much and a couple of you suggested getting her ears checked in case there was some fluid. We paid a quick visit to our pediatrician and she told us we were ok. Of course while we were there, she rattled off a bunch of words and made me look like the neurotic first time parent I am. Her newest thing? Hovering over the snack drawer with her finger pressed to her lips saying "ummm" while she deliberates what to pick.

Then she'll usually run towards the playroom screaming something that sounds like "Daniel Tiger, Daniel Tiger!". I guess we're going to be ok in the words department.

WC is keeping me busy as usual, and getting ready to drop the Winter stuff on 11/3 is super fun and super time consuming. Thank the good Lord that Steph is the website master and is handling a dozen other things so I can get orders made, send pieces to our photographers, and take some here myself. In non-Megan style, though, I'm not stressed. I think I've finally (or temporarily) got a balance worked out. I had a good old fashioned come to Jesus conversation with myself that went something like this:

"Megan, get it together." 

I realized that yes, I'm doing the single parent thing a lot. Ryan works a lot, travels a lot, and that's not going to change. So I could wallow in fatigue and toddler over saturation or find a solution. I needed the reminder that I'm lucky to be able to stay home AND work at something I love. I can't feel fulfilled professionally and stay home with Olivia without having full days, long hours, and the complaining/dragging/eating waffle fries to fuel myself wasn't working. So I signed her up for Ballet so we'd get out of the house once a week minimum and we have a standing weekly playdate as well that gets me some grown up time with a friend. She's starting Mother's Day Out once a week as soon as she turns two which will allow me some more time to work. 

Other things are factoring in to the new positive outlook, like having a small daily checklist (drink water, read her two books, clean one toilet, take 10 minutes for a solo cup of coffee in the morning, etc.) to help me feel like I've at least fulfilled some of my roles as mother, housekeeper, person. Make any sense at all? No? It's ok.

We've also instituted a twice monthly date night for Ryan and me. It's fantastic and we love our babysitter (and friend) almost as much as Olivia loves her. This way we at least see each other once in a while and can get some grown up time squeezed in.

Oh, and once in a while, when we go to the Post Office, we swing through Chik Fil A for a small ice cream and a large Diet Dr. Pepper. I park and let Liv play in the backseat (which is apparently a blast) while I eat ice cream and read a book. It's 15 random minutes of relaxation and it totally recharges my batteries, because when we get home there is sure to be only 1 wipe in the house, an overflowing toilet, and a toddler who will rage because the marker she bit the tip off of isn't working.

Once the crises are temporarily resolved, it's work time again. We've been updating the site with new photos and it's a slow process, but we're getting there.

headband | top (on crazy sale and crazy flattering)

In case you forgot what I look like and wanted to see the fruits of my amateur photography labors. 

Enough about me. What's up with you??

A Weekend With My Parents

My parents arrived on Friday and are flying out today, so we've enjoyed a nice, long weekend with them. Unfortunately, they have actual lives and jobs to get back to (incredibly inconvenient for me) so we'll just have to survive without them until Thanksgiving, which is thankfully just one short month away. 

We ate, we shopped, we chatted, we watched football. We laughed, had deep talks, and each gained a few pounds. Just how we like it. My parents did laundry, watched Olivia so Ryan and I could have date night, and we begged them to stay longer. 

Here's a peek at what our weekend looked like. I'll be crying into my coffee, so don't mind me.

Olivia managed to un-glue herself from my knee for at least half of her ballet class on Friday, which is a major improvement. This week our goal is not to flip out when the instructor takes away the tambourines.

We hit up City Centre (as usual) for dinner Saturday night and the weather was glorious. 

(I'm convinced these are perfect toddler shoes. They slide on, are waterproof, and light weight)

On a trip to the park, my mom convinced Liv to try the climbing wall and she hasn't looked back. 

shirt (in H & M stores) | cat ears

Lastly, here's a look at some outfits from this weekend. I'm absolutely not a fashion blogger (it's just laughable) but I always like to see what other moms/women my age are wearing so maybe you do too?

Dinner with the fam:

Drinks with Ryan : 

More dinner: (I wear dresses so my stomach has room to expand. It's strategic)

shirtdress | scarf (similar)

I hope you all had a great weekend!

You've Been Boo'd!

I've got a weekend recap planned but am saving it for tomorrow since my parents are still in town until Tuesday morning and we've got some more stuff to squeeze in together before they leave! 

Today I'm teaming up with Jennifer from Jennifer Alison Designs (the mind behind my WC logos) to bring you some Halloween fun for your kiddos! 

Our neighborhood does "booing" around Halloween time, where you randomly get a treat on your doorstep with a sign that says "We've Been Boo'd". You display the sign on your front door and you have two days to "boo" two more houses. It's super fun and I love that our neighborhood does fun things like this around the holidays! 

I wanted to do little jars (spice jars from IKEA - 4 for $3!) of candy for our "boos" and these labels from Jen are perfect! 

She's giving all of you a 50% off coupon to download these for yourself (all you need are some round labels which you can get at Target!) for less than $2. Use the code WILLOW and grab them here !

These are awesome as tags with a hole punched and some twine threaded through, or just as stickers for a sticker obsessed toddler. All of my shoes have stickers in them, so I think you know which option Liv would pick. They're ideal for treats and we're headed into the treat giving time of year!

We're hitting the pumpkin patch today and then dropping some of these off to some neighbors. It doesn't get much more October than that!

What's Up With Us

Hi Guys! I took a couple days to get (somewhat) caught up on life and now I'm back with a little update about what's been keeping us so busy...or at least not blogging.

Our company left Monday and my parents are coming on Friday which means my laundry loathing self needs to get it in gear and turn the guest room over. Steph and I have been working like crazy to more or less overhaul the WC site and get it ready for Winter pieces. In case you missed our insta announcement, Steph is officially a WC team member and I'm psyched. She's honest, full of amazing ideas, and kind of a slave driver.

Sometimes we get so tired we just have to lie down in the middle of the sidewalk.

Liv is still not very interested in talking. She'd rather cry and grunt, but hey, toddler's gonna whine whine whine, ya know? She'd rather hit the bubbles and hit 'em hard, and that's cool. The weather has been gorgeous and cool enough in the mornings to warrant a scarf before the lunch time warm up.

vest (sold out) | boots

We've been grocery shopping, stocking up at IKEA, trying to get our house to a reasonable level of clean, and Ryan's working, like always, except when he comes home early and we go for frozen yogurt which we did last night. Every one was very, very happy. Almost as happy as Olivia when she hit the sticker jackpot at Trader Joe's. 

So today I'm polishing off the small mountain of laundry that remains, finalizing our Winter collection, filming a Loving Lately video for all of you, and dragging my sorry rear to the gym. It's needed. Friday is ballet, coffee with a friend, airport pick ups, and coffee again (duh).  See you tomorrow!

Weekend Photos

We had a busy weekend with Ryan's parents in town and we're sad to see them go. Olivia loves having them here, they love spending time with her, and we love the free babysitting. I'm joking...kind of. In all seriousness, we'll miss them between now and Christmas, but we squeezed a lot into our time together. 

We took them for crepes, Tex Mex, went to the zoo, the park, and spent lots of time just chatting and catching up. They kept Olivia super busy and let me get lots of work done. I managed to squeeze in a little shopping and a visit with Veronika as well, so it was busy. 

Just before we picked them up on Friday, Olivia had her first ballet class. I'd say it went so so. She loved the bubbles at the beginning and the lollipop at the end, but was a little bit of a stage 5 clinger for the middle. We'll try again this Friday and hope she warms up.

Out to dinner with Ryan's parents Friday night in the blush version of the best top ever

We never leave the house without lipstick or Lambie

I can. not. wait. to show you what WC has in store for this buffalo check fabric. 

Ryan and I went to a fancy steakhouse Saturday night and I'm still kind of full.

If you watched my video Friday, I said I may never carry another bag or wear other shoes. Proof.

shoes | shirt (similar)

Livia wanted to climb right in with the other wild animals. 

I said "can you say elephant" and swear to you, she looked at me, laughed and said "no". 

Is "stubborn as an elephant" an expression?

Camera Skills

I mentioned a while back that I was going to work on learning my DSLR and I held true to my word! Have I mastered it? Um, no. Am I getting better at it? Oh yeah.

The primary motivation for learning the camera comes from needing to be able to take better product photos for WC, but it's been nice to capture moments from every day life in better quality too. 

As much as I love the DSLR, I'm committed to editing on my phone. I'm really loving the VSCO Cam app to help get the bright, crisp qualities I like the photos to have. 

Do I think they're super profesh? Not really, but they're a far cry from where I started so that's progress. I'm still anxious to learn more, so tips, tricks, and editing apps are welcome so hit me with 'em!

Some Randoms

Honestly, I wasn't planning on having a post for today. It was my birthday yesterday and in my post-margarita, new shoes, new bag, Ryan came home before 8 PM bliss, I was just going to call it a day.

Then I thought. "Get it together. These people come here every day looking for half-assed iPhone photos, so that's exactly what you're going to give them!"

So here you go.

Every night, every single night, I put on the softest clean shirt I can find and watch Big Bang Theory. It takes my mind off anything stressful and (with the help of Melatonin) helps me fall asleep.

I'm crazy for waffle knit. Any size, any color,  I love it.

Walked in yesterday and found her like this. Swear.

Dinner out requires three bracelets, sunglasses, and Ryan's toothbrush. We don't question it. 

There's ivy growing up the side of our house and I'm crazy about it. It reminds me so much of all the ivy covered brick buildings when we lived in Boston.

I'm not in a rush for the cold weather, but when it comes I won't be mad we have to wear these.

old jacket | Liv's coat

Deceptively still and sweet. Love this little monkey and her non stop climbing, won't keep a shirt on, kisses me when I try to tell her no,  salsa loving, vegetable hating, foot stomping tatruming, wild hair self. 

Pick a paint color for my laundry room? That'll happen the day after never.

Had your fill? I'm going to try to get it together for tomorrow. 

I said  try, no promises.

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