New Acacia Scarves

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We released six new prints today! Check them out here. Most are a silk/cotton blend and and top left and bottom right are crepe cotton. The gold palm print (top right) might be one of my all-time favorites. 

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One, Two, Three, Four

I got this question today:

Could you post this anon? I am writing because I’m curious (if you’re willing to talk about it) if you knew from the beginning that Iz would be your only child. If so, how did you come to that? Most days I feel like that will likely be the choice we make too, but I’m always curious how other people get to that place. I always thought we’d have two. Or more. But time. Money. Emotional fortitude. It’s a lot. I’d love your insight. xo

I have no insight.

I have nothing except questions and what-ifs and thoughts that creep up in the night as I’m lying in bed. I think about it at the grocery store when I see siblings fighting and I think about it at the park when I see siblings playing together. I think and I do more thinking. I think I know how I feel and I know that I’m unlikely to change my mind, but still. The thought is there

I actually almost wrote a post about this last week but I changed my mind about posting it at the last second because I was getting frustrated about my ability to verbalize my very complex, very uncertain feelings about a topic that I know a lot of people feel strongly about. I hardly ever shy away from posting things that I know people will feel strongly about, but this is so personal and real to me, to Brandon, to Isobel. And although having or not having another child is a family decision, I can’t ignore how strongly this falls at my feet and my feet alone. This complex, nuanced, larger-than-life decision falls to me and my uterus—and this isn’t even taking into account whether we might have difficulty conceiving. 

Yet, even though I’ve just said that I’m having a hard time finding clarity on this, I do know deep down what is right for right now. That’s hard to admit, since so much of child-rearing and parenting means sacrificing all for the sake of the child(ren). We are in a place culturally that requires parents to weigh so many potential decisions by the impact they could or will have on their children. We move to different cities so they can go to better schools. We change our budgets so they can go to summer camp. We alter our work hours so they can attend the best extracurricular activities. Even pregnancy (and childbirth) are overwhelmingly outcome-oriented with relatively little attention or honest discussion paid to the mental, physical and emotional health of the mother. (Well, except for when she is watched carefully to see that she passes her glucose test and is within the weight guidelines her doctor specifies.) In this prism, having one child is confusing. As someone with a sibling, even I am unsure how to navigate it. (I used to say, “I don’t really want kids, but if I do, I want at least two. Maybe four.” Maybe four! That came out of the mouth of someone that didn’t know anything.) Anyway, I get why having one child is still somewhat uncommon and why people have strong feelings about it. Having multiple children implies companionship, camaraderie, success, completion. I think that’s what I must have thought back when I believed having four children might be a good idea for me.

You mentioned time, money and emotional fortitude as concerns for having another child. These are very important factors. Money especially. I have been told many times that “you always find the money.” And yes, perhaps. Maybe you do. But the thought of spending over $3,000 a month on daycare makes me ill. Staying home and choosing not to work? That’s not even on the table. Work is, for me, a non-negotiable. I will work. I will always work. 

So—emotional fortitude. That’s a concern too. I view the first year (or so) of Isobel’s life through as realistic a lens as I can, seeing as there is such a veil of nostalgia and contentment that has grown over the more difficult and frustrating memories. The further I get away from them, the less clear they are. And it is vital that I do not forget. It is vital to my emotional and mental health, to my marriage, and to my ability to parent Isobel the best I can. I have struggled with mental health issues—depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder—on and off for years. I have been medicated, though I am not currently. I freely admit that I am unsure whether I have the strength to do it again. If you have ever taken medication for depression, you will know that (most of the time) it does help. But, for me, it also numbs. It numbs everything, including the way I feel about the people I love. On medication, I am not sleeping 18 hours a day, but when I am hugged, I feel nothing. So I am scared to wake the sleeping giant. I am frightened of the unknown about myself. How far can I go? How far would I go? I’m not sure. But the risk is there and it is real. I am not alone in a vacuum with this, either. I have a daughter that depends on me. I have a child. And we are so happy right now. So very happy. She hugs me and says she loves me and I feel a warmth, a deep, painful love that I have never before experienced. It is a beautiful thing that I have to cherish and keep safe. And so, you see why I must think about these things. 

But I still don’t know the answer. I don’t know the final answer, anyway. I think I probably know, but I am young and there are unknowns. 

For now, as we walk to the park as a family, the three of us, I feel that we may be complete. My daughter! She is so independent, so feisty, so funny. When I look at her, I do not see the hazy outline of another standing beside her. I can’t fathom it. It doesn’t make sense. It may not ever make sense. For now, I see only her. Friends who were pregnant around the same time as me are having second children. I think, “How nice,” but I know that I do not yearn or desire or need that yet. 

Isobel is so many wonderful, frustrating, indescribably beautiful things to me, but mostly she is enough. I think about all the things I want to do for her and do with her. I can give her those. We can give her those. That is enough for now. 

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Hello Jaclyn! Do you have any ideas for a diaper bag alternative? I'm thinking of a well organized carry all that doesn't scream Mommy!! Thank you! -Kathryn

- Asked by kdittynw

Sure! 

First I’ll list some actual diaper bags (that don’t look like the typical diaper bag) and then some other totes that could double as diaper bags. 

For what it’s worth, I used my Skip Hop Versa in black ($59) until VERY recently. It just worked so great for me. I loved wearing it crossbody and it fit perfectly across the back of our stroller. The insulated pockets were good for carrying bottles (or juice/water) and keeping it cold. It is just a fantastic diaper bag and I still use it when we have longer days out. It looks pretty sleek for a diaper bag. I’m a huge fan. (Skip Hop’s new gray stripe Duo ($64) looks really good too.)

If you want something a bit more casual, this gray tote from Pottery Barn Kids ($119) is so cute. I love that it’s monogrammable. It can be carried crossbody too. It’s available in a slightly different shape too (for $149). 

Matt & Nat diaper bags are gorgeous. This gray faux leather one ($199) is fantastic. The cognac version is available for pre-order. This bag is so sleek that it would make a great commuter bag or carry-all once you don’t need it for diaper bag duty anymore.

The Danzo Baby canvas tote in natural/black looks so chic. It can be worn crossbody too. It’s $195. 

Timi & Leslie’s Charlie diaper bag ($160) is really clean and minimal. It looks like it has tons of interior pockets too. LOVE. 

Okay—let’s move on to bags that aren’t diaper bags but COULD work as diaper bags. 

Fossil’s crossbody Sydney satchel came to mind ($178). It’s not too big, not too small and has a few pockets inside. This might be a stronger choice if you don’t have to haul around tons of bottles, blankets, toys, clothes, diapers—but if you are still carrying around a big haul of stuff, this is probably not large enough. 

This Urban Originals tote ($90) is backordered, but it looks perfect. It has lots of space for organizing inside and can be worn crossbody. 

ZARA’s Citybag ($89.90) is a good option too. It’s not super big, but it has lots of pockets for organizing your things. 

Also—do check out the bags from Lo & Sons. They’re not cheap (most are over $200) but they’re really spacious and designed specifically for organization. 

Last, Etsy has a lot of sellers offering unique and thoughtful diaper bags. Ikabags is a popular store. I love this one from Kinies. This one from SheetaDesign is great. 

  • k 14 notes

Hi Jaclyn - I'm 29 weeks pregnant and my family is hosting my baby shower in a few weeks. Between all the baby prep (crib buying! choosing a color palette! registering!) I'm feeling overwhelmed and not completely in the mood to shop for a baby shower dress. I'm looking for something stylish, probably solid (yet spring appropriate!) colored (although I'd love to wear spring florals, everything I see tends to look like a muumuu), looks good with nude heels, and less than $100. Know of anything?

- Asked by livemylove

Yay! Let’s start with actual maternity dresses and then look for stretchy jersey dress styles that aren’t maternity but might work for you. (I couldn’t find anything for my baby shower so I ended up wearing a very forgiving jersey dress and it worked great.) 

I like this H&M MAMA chiffon dress ($35), especially in coral. 

ASOS has lots of good options. This midi length dress is on sale for about $30-$40. This pink wrap dress is one of my favorite options for you (it’s $52). I kind of love the super sexy fit on this dress ($37). This swing dress is pretty ($52). I LOVE the monochromatic floral print on this midi dress too ($52). If you want a softer look, this gray/peach lace dress is sweet, but a little over your budget at $103. This cobalt midi dress is simple and the bright color is fun ($33). Last, this pink/red floral dress is stunning and is just $84. 

Now for non-maternity ideas:

This T-Bags Los Angeles jersey maxi dress on Gilt is $99 (from $202) and has a high empire waist. 

This empire waist jersey dress from Boden ($58 from $78) comes in several different prints and might have enough stretch to work perfectly, especially if you size up. 

Maxi dresses are always a really safe option. If they don’t have a zipper, you’re probably good to go. This Rhyme Los Angeles dress has a great print ($98). This Tart dress ($101) is really stretchy with 5% Spandex. This LA Made cami dress is just $54 in a great peach/coral color. 

Swell has some good maxi dresses too (at affordable prices!). This pink one is forgiving, though it may be more casual than you’d like ($59.50). This Minkpink dress ($97) is a fun, bright print and the empire waistline is great. 

Revolve Clothing has tons of jersey items too, like this Bobi tank maxi dress ($62). I also love this stretchy, multi-wear dress from Kamalikulture ($96)—it is black though! I had to include one black dress. I couldn’t help it. :) 

(Speaking of black dresses, if you want to do something kind of AVANT-GARDE BABY SHOWER, this Narciso Rodriguez dress on RTR for $85 is so good.) 

Anyway, I hope one of these catches your eye! If nothing looks good to you, let me know and I’ll keep searching. I hated shopping for my baby shower dress so I feel you on this one. 

  • k 7 notes
What I’ve Read:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani - I will always and forever be a sucker for coming of age novels set at boarding schools. In this book (set in during the Great Depression), Thea Atwell’s Florida citrus-rich family sends her to the Yonahlossee camp after a scandal that is slowly revealed in flashbacks throughout the book. The book is sensual and vivid: The horseback riding scenes (though there aren’t many of them) are especially good. Thea is an interesting character and as the story progresses, my feelings toward her become more and more complex. She’s not a conventionally likable heroine, but I did really like her. The book moves fast and feels more suspenseful than it should, given the subject matter. I felt like I was plowing through the last half because I was so anxious to see what happened. I liked that Thea was not easy to understand. Her motives were sometimes unclear, her coldness toward some characters (and warmth to others) seemed random. I thought the book was better for it—giving me room to speculate about her several days after having finished it. (One last warning! This is not a book about horses. This is a book set in a camp where they ride horses occasionally. If you want lots of horsey material, you may want to look elsewhere.) 
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan - This book is pretty brilliant. It’s also sad and introspective and thought-provoking, but mostly brilliant. It’s the story of Kim Larsen, a pretty 18-year-old, who disappears mysteriously one summer night. The police are lackadaisical about her disappearance at first, but foul play becomes evident before long. It’s a tabloid, true crime-ish plot, but it’s not really about Kim’s disappearance, or the investigation or the person who kidnapped her. It’s about the family she left behind (her mother, father and younger sister) and about the friends and boyfriend that had seen her several hours before her disappearance. The book is sparing and almost flat and I think this is purposeful. We tend to look at cases—disappearances, in particular—and concoct all of these dramatic and speculative horror stories or conspiracies, but the reality almost always seems so different. There is an initial surge of interest—a huge media push for anything, everything the family can offer. They give as much as they can and soon it fades away to a daily monotony. This portion of the book seems almost like a purgatory, with the family acting close to their normal selves. It seems strange to the reader that the family is not more dysfunctional or emotionally unstable, but taken as a whole, you can see their slow exhaustion from riding a bubble of hope and expectation. When they grow tired and that becomes too difficult to maintain, there is nothing left for them to do but resume the “normal” lives that had been put on hold. Movies and the media have led us to expect a certain kind of grieving or suspense in stories like this, but I expect this portrayal is more accurate. It feels more accurate, anyway. I occasionally watch the show Disappeared on ID and am always frustrated, sad and incredulous at the episodes where the missing person seems to have vanished into thin air. The show’s interviews with family and friends seem to echo a lot of the sadness and the desperate emptiness that O’Nan has woven into each of the characters in this book. I am glad I read it: Though it is occasionally slow and mundane, these are the same qualities that make the book so meaningful. 

What I’ve Read:

  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani - I will always and forever be a sucker for coming of age novels set at boarding schools. In this book (set in during the Great Depression), Thea Atwell’s Florida citrus-rich family sends her to the Yonahlossee camp after a scandal that is slowly revealed in flashbacks throughout the book. The book is sensual and vivid: The horseback riding scenes (though there aren’t many of them) are especially good. Thea is an interesting character and as the story progresses, my feelings toward her become more and more complex. She’s not a conventionally likable heroine, but I did really like her. The book moves fast and feels more suspenseful than it should, given the subject matter. I felt like I was plowing through the last half because I was so anxious to see what happened. I liked that Thea was not easy to understand. Her motives were sometimes unclear, her coldness toward some characters (and warmth to others) seemed random. I thought the book was better for it—giving me room to speculate about her several days after having finished it. (One last warning! This is not a book about horses. This is a book set in a camp where they ride horses occasionally. If you want lots of horsey material, you may want to look elsewhere.) 
  • Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan - This book is pretty brilliant. It’s also sad and introspective and thought-provoking, but mostly brilliant. It’s the story of Kim Larsen, a pretty 18-year-old, who disappears mysteriously one summer night. The police are lackadaisical about her disappearance at first, but foul play becomes evident before long. It’s a tabloid, true crime-ish plot, but it’s not really about Kim’s disappearance, or the investigation or the person who kidnapped her. It’s about the family she left behind (her mother, father and younger sister) and about the friends and boyfriend that had seen her several hours before her disappearance. The book is sparing and almost flat and I think this is purposeful. We tend to look at cases—disappearances, in particular—and concoct all of these dramatic and speculative horror stories or conspiracies, but the reality almost always seems so different. There is an initial surge of interest—a huge media push for anything, everything the family can offer. They give as much as they can and soon it fades away to a daily monotony. This portion of the book seems almost like a purgatory, with the family acting close to their normal selves. It seems strange to the reader that the family is not more dysfunctional or emotionally unstable, but taken as a whole, you can see their slow exhaustion from riding a bubble of hope and expectation. When they grow tired and that becomes too difficult to maintain, there is nothing left for them to do but resume the “normal” lives that had been put on hold. Movies and the media have led us to expect a certain kind of grieving or suspense in stories like this, but I expect this portrayal is more accurate. It feels more accurate, anyway. I occasionally watch the show Disappeared on ID and am always frustrated, sad and incredulous at the episodes where the missing person seems to have vanished into thin air. The show’s interviews with family and friends seem to echo a lot of the sadness and the desperate emptiness that O’Nan has woven into each of the characters in this book. I am glad I read it: Though it is occasionally slow and mundane, these are the same qualities that make the book so meaningful. 
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I love this simple jersey shift dress from H&M and the price is even better: $12.95! 

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Swimsuit coverups can be stupid expensive, so try one of my favorite tricks: Buy a cheap dress from Forever 21 and use it as a coverup instead. They’re perfect for keeping the sun off your shoulders and going to/from the beach or pool. They’re not as sheer as most cover-ups, so you can throw on some sandals to grab a quick lunch or drink mid-day too. 

TOP:

BOTTOM:

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I get questions every now and then from petite women about maxi dresses and this new one from ASOS’ petite line is just $37. The style is great for a shorter woman (it gives the illusion of really long torso/legs) and you may not need to hem it since it’s designed for women 5’3” and under. 

I get questions every now and then from petite women about maxi dresses and this new one from ASOS’ petite line is just $37. The style is great for a shorter woman (it gives the illusion of really long torso/legs) and you may not need to hem it since it’s designed for women 5’3” and under. 

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Two nice basic tee options from Nordstrom: Left is on sale for $25 (from $38) and is available in 3 colors. The right (tunic length!) is $28 and available in 7 colors. 

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I like the drawstring (STRETCHY) waistband/lounge pant trend. The LOFT Lou & Grey pair at left ($59.50) are a great length for wearing with sandals. The Aerie pair at right ($35, take 40% off with code GETHOPPY) look a little more loungey, but would be cute with a simple white tank and sandals for summer errand running. 

  • k 12 notes