jane sews slow fashion

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as time goes by, my style has seen a lot of subtle change. one major focus for me in more recent years has been a movement away from fast fashion, with a focus on timeless, understated pieces that can be worn any time of year, regardless of the trends. so of course, the new jane sews slow fashion lookbook is right down my alley. the collection is crafted from natural fabrics, like pure linens and super soft tencel. i love the pared-down aesthetic with lots of relaxed pieces that can be layered in any number of ways or worn simply with a few key accessories.

if you’re not familiar with the brand, jane sews is an independent clothing and footwear brand based in durban, south africa. each collection is designed in-house by their small team of makers, and they do not outsource or mass produce any of their products. the focus is on quality and classic design translated into key pieces that you can build your wardrobe around, with everything made from quality materials and designed with great care.

photographed by rebecca meissner
worn by monique irma schreiber and philippa godson
styled by amy venter 

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tiny moments

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about a week after edith was born, i was surprised to discover that her precious baby skin started to peel! my only experience was with adam, and this never happened when he was born. it was a little disconcerting to see so much of her skin start to flake and peel off, but i talked to her pediatrician who reassured me that it’s completely normal for most babies. she recommended that we take care not to bathe her too frequently, and that we could apply a very gentle lotion to help keep her skin moisturized. so when we got home, i decided to incorporate a daily moisturizer into her routine.

when babies are so tiny, their skin is sensitive, so i was thankful when Aveeno got in touch and asked if i’d like to try their Baby Wash & Shampoo and Baby Daily Moisture Lotion. i especially love the moisturizer because it’s a hypoallergenic formula that is free of fragrance, harsh chemicals and allergens. i’ve been using their products since i was a kid, so i felt more than comfortable using it on edie, and i’m so pleased with the results. her skin is baby soft, just the way it should be.

this time around, when it comes to bath time, my trick is to wait until her belly is full and she’s been napping for a few minutes before i gently pick her up and very slowly dip her into a luke-warm bath with the water running. with the temperature just right and the white noise of the water, it’s such a soothing experience that she actually stays asleep or just flutters her eyes a little bit during the entire bath! she stays completely calm and relaxed, even as i gently remove her from the water and quickly wrap her in a warm towel. then it’s the perfect opportunity to moisturize her skin with some lotion while i give her a baby massage. it’s great because i can tend her delicate skin and enjoy some special bonding time with my baby while i rub her little fingers and toes. it’s tiny moments just like this that i know i will cherish forever.

share your #TinyMoments and tag @AveenoUS to show off your #AveenoBaby.

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i partnered with Aveeno® on this post. all opinions are 100% my own.

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finding the perfect diaper bag

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i may have had my maternity style all figured out, but even after two years with adam, i never quite figured out the most important of all baby accessories: the diaper bag. i’ve used a few different bags and backpacks, but i’ve never actually settled on anything i love. somehow, my diaper bags has always been more of an afterthought, even though it’s such a crucial item to have with me when i leave the house! so now that i have two kids to contend with, i’m thinking i might finally need to up by game and ditch that canvas tote for something a bit more grownup. granted, only one of my top picks was actually designed as a diaper bag, but i really don’t want anything that screams baby. i’m not one for puffy-sided totes or juvenile prints, and i really want something that can also be used for years to come, even after my kids are potty trained.

the julien backpack diaper bag by leader bag co. this is the only pack on my list that was truly designed as an actual diaper bag. it’s got all of the bells and whistles: it’s very chic and comes in a variety of neutral colorways, it has detachable stroller straps so you can keep it handy while walking baby, and you can buy it in a bundle with a matching change pouch and mat, so you can keep all of your diapering essentials right at hand. and it’s handmade in nyc.

the harvest backpack by kika ny. while not designed solely for the purpose of carrying baby things, the sleek and simple all-leather design of this backpack makes me swoon. it’s essentially a leather tote with a zipper top, but instead of shoulder straps, it’s got backpack straps. it does come with a divider and large pocket on the inside, as well as a small zipper pocket on the outside. the leather is vegetable-tanned and water resistant, and i love that it will come in handy long after the toddler years as a regular backpack. it’s also hand-made in nyc.

the mini bike to beach bag by alite designs. this simple canvas and leather bag is both a tote and a backpack. i like the minimal design and easy-access to all of the things inside. the straps across the front of the bag can actually be adjusted so you can secure a rolled up a blanket or jacket, so it’s got a bit of sneaky extra storage. and it’s made in san francisco.

the clare v.messenger tote and flat clutch. i actually already own this classic design from one of my favorite handbag designers, but i was recently thinking that it might be a great contender. as you can tell, i definitely prefer backpacks, but this messenger tote can be comfortably worn cross-body so you don’t have to worry about dropping it off your shoulder while trying to manage a newborn and a toddler. simply add some zippered pouches to keep everything compartmentalized, and you’re ready to go.

so what do you think? do you have any favorites? any seasoned mamas have a few words of wisdom to impart?

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enter to win big with olly kids’ wellness boosts!

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i can still vividly remember taking vitamins when i was a kid. my dad was a pretty big health nut, so he insisted that we swallow these terrible, uncoated, yellow speckled horse pills every morning. every time he would call us over to take our vitamins, there would be lots of moaning before we took them. and no matter how hard i tried, i would always get that bitter taste in my mouth before i was able to force it down. sure, it was good for us to supplement our diets since kids can be picky eaters and vitamins are important for growing bodies, but taking those nasty pills bordered on traumatic, haha. so when my friends at olly asked me if i’d like to try their new kids’ wellness boosts, i was totally on board. i’m a fully grown adult and i still can’t force myself to take anything but their women’s vitamins, so i knew that their new kids’ formulas would be a huge hit with adam.

the best part is that each formula has a different color, flavor, and purpose. every day, as part of our routine, adam gets to pick between four options: happy tummy is bright yellow with probiotics, prebiotics, and peppermint. super brainy is aqua blue with omega-3s, blueberry, and choline. growing bones is pretty in pink with calcium, vitamin d, and sea minerals. mighty immunity is dark orange with cherry, elderberry, and zinc. he gets to pick his favorite (lately he really likes the pink!) after dinner and before our bedtime routine. the best part is that he comes running from wherever he is in the house and happily takes his vitamin every single time. in fact, as you might expect, we have to hide all of the bottles or else he asks to take them all the time!

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to celebrate the new kids’ boost launch, olly vitamins is giving away a huge prize package! click here to enter their up, up and away giveaway for a chance to win:

  • a year supply of your choice of two OLLY Kids Wellness Boosts 
  • $250 gift card to tea collection to keep them suited up in style.
  • $500 gift card to target for all the gadgets and gear needed to keep their day action-packed.
  • $100 gift card to starbucks so you can keep up as their trusty sidekick.
  • and a year supply of method cleaning products so you can transform their super world back into your home.

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wild poppy goods

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a couple of weeks ago, one of my dear internet pals relaunched her beautiful shop, wild poppy goods. this portland-based online shop boasts an incredible selection of minimal vintage clothing and housewares in addition to a selection of affordable handmade jewelry and luxurious apothecary goods. if you’re looking to shop responsibly, support local businesses and international artisans, then you really need to look no further. her aesthetic is on point, and i pretty much wish my entire house could look just as elegant as her shop!

shop wild poppy goods!

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getting out of the house with munchkin latch

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believe it or not, adam never took a bottle his entire life. shortly after he was born, i made the decision to work from home, and i was all in. i didn’t know it or plan it beforehand, but i ended up being a total crunchy mama. i was all about attachment parenting, baby-wearing, breastfeeding on demand, co-sleeping, night-nursing. sure, there were a few times when i tried to get him to take a bottle or a pacifier, but in the end, i was never away from him long enough to even warrant the need. i have no regrets with how i chose to do things with him, but in hindsight, my dedication came at a cost. i often wore myself thin and pushed myself to the limits. i didn’t take as much “me time” as i should have, and i probably made it harder on myself than it had to be.

now that my little edith is here, i still intend to parent the same way, but i am definitely feeling more comfortable letting go and giving myself a break more often. in fact, this time around, i’ve already gone on a date with brendan, and she only turned three weeks today! i don’t even think i had left the house at this point after adam was born. not kidding. and over the weekend, our entire little family packed up our bags for a picnic in the park, and i didn’t sweat it at all. i pumped a few ounces of breast milk, and took it as an opportunity to get some fresh air and to let brendan and adam get in some much-needed bonding time with the tiny new addition to our family. and it just felt so good to get outside.

obviously, i want the best for both of my children, but i think that this time around, i’m learning to strike a better balance around taking care of myself so that i can truly take the best care of my baby (and toddler). so of course, it was really great to have the opportunity to team up with my friends at munchkin to try out the munchkin latch bottle. the idea behind the design is to help baby transition from breast to bottle and back again. the accordion-style nipple stretches and bends like the breast, allowing baby to latch on correctly. and it has an anti-colic valve to keep air from traveling through your milk. and i’m happy to report that edie took the bottle on her very first try and had zero issues going straight back to breastfeeding after we got home. it went so well, that later that evening, grandma was on duty while brendan and i went out on our date!

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this post was sponsored by munchkin latch.

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clare v. spring 2016

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when it comes to handbags, clare v is definitely one of my favorite designers. every season, she comes out with a fresh crop of minimal handbags that are never short on style. for spring, she introduced plenty of her signature french-inspiration alongside mini versions of some of her classic handbags, along with a good dose of fun prints and interesting textures. my favorite is probably the round sisal alice bag. it seems like the perfect upgrade from my smaller round canteen bags and simple sisal totes from seasons past. and i am always smitten by the fun designs on her simple flat clutches.

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what to wear when you’re expecting

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i know i’m backtracking a little bit on this one, but i am so excited to finally share this little project that i started working on shortly before edith was born. being pregnant for the second time around, i had a lot more confidence than my first. when i was pregnant with adam, i was a lot more insecure about losing my personal style (and my identity, for that matter), so i basically tried really hard to dress exactly the same as i did before i was pregnant. which totally works for the first several months of pregnancy, especially if you don’t tend to start showing until pretty late in the game. but once you hit that third trimester, things get rough, and it’s good to have a realistic game plan for how you want to dress. i mean, yeah, lots of sweatpants are involved, but if you’re like me, then you probably still want to look pulled together no matter how huge and uncomfortable you might be.

so while getting dressed this time around, i made note of what my “essential” maternity wardrobe looked like. the tried-and-true pieces that got me all the way through until 39 weeks. and yes, all of these looks were shot in that last week of pregnancy, so these were all outfits that worked when i was full term. because like i said, it’s really that third trimester (and even the fourth) where getting dressed is the biggest challenge and most likely to alter your usual sense of style. so here it is…

 

what to wear when you’re expecting

the caftan – or pretty much anything from maternity-wear brand fillyboo, including this dress. i often refer to the third trimester as the caftan phase. you’re gonna be feeling huge and uncomfortable, and there’s just something about wearing a cool, floaty dress while pregnant. i thought it was too cliche to dress-up like this during my first pregnancy, but now i don’t know how i ever managed! a huge pregnant belly is just screaming to be swathed in a luxurious caftan. it just feels so right. this one is especially awesome because it’s actually a duster. you can completely unbutton the front and throw it on over pretty much anything. above, wearing the fillyboo “bojangles” button-through maternity duster, avenue boutique espanola hat, and swedish hasbeens pearl high clog sandals.

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the jumpsuit – when i was pregnant the first time around, i was terribly afraid of wearing jumpsuits or overalls. in hindsight, i have absolutely no idea why. these days, i can’t seem to get enough of them. they look great on pretty much everyone, and i always seemed to get a lot of compliments when i wore this one from hatch collection. my only word of caution is that this might not be for you if you’re suffering from incontinence because it will take a bit of effort to get off in a bathroom emergency. otherwise, jumpsuits are a really nice alternative to just wearing dresses, and give you just as many styling options. bonus because the button-front means you can wear it while breastfeeding after baby is born, too. here, i’m wearing the hatch twighlight jumpsuit with a brookes boswell cortland straw hat, and sandgrens morocco clogs.

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the jersey dress – this versatile storq modal jersey midi dress by also comes in a storq bundle paired with a tank top, pencil skirt, and high rise leggings. for the purpose of this post, i’m just talking about the dress, but i can tell you right now that the entire bundle came in handy throughout my pregnancy and especially after the baby was born. the dress is perfect because it is incredibly soft and stretchy, while also being thick and comfortable. you can wear it alone on a hot day, or paired with any number of different tops, jackets, and accessories during the spring, summer, and fall. i wore this to the hospital the day edith was born, and threw it back on for my first walk around the maternity ward. worn here paired with an elizabeth suzann linn tee in cotton twill, born stephane sandals, clare v. petite kenya handbag, and avenue boutique espanola hat.

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maternity jeans – ok, i’m kinda cheating because these are vintage levis that i found at the thrift store and converted to maternity jeans using a belly band. i didn’t put together a diy for them, but a quick google search comes up with tons of tutorials. you basically cut off the top part of the pants and sew on some stretchy spandex. pants are the most challenging thing to wear during pregnancy (unless we’re talking sweatpants or leggings), so it was especially nice for me to be able to pull on a pair of jeans toward the end when all i wanted to do was feel normal. if you don’t want to diy a pair like i did, you can buy any pair of bootcut maternity jeans and just cut the hems to get a similar look. seen here wearing a vintage men’s button-up, vintage levi’s that i converted to maternity jeans, marais usa jardin heels, clare v messenger, and brookes boswell cortland straw hat.

 

and a few extras:

socks and low heels – you already know about my obsession with clogs. i find that they’re a really practical choice during pregnancy if you get them with a low heel. a very low 1-2″ heel helps to alleviate some of the lower back pain that you’ll experience from carrying all that weight in the front. i know it sounds counterproductive, but it actually helps to balance out the weight a little better.

cake maternity black rock candy bra – i am speaking for the very full-busted among us, so you can disregard this if you can fit into traditional a-d cup sizes. but as someone who typically wears a 32ddd and up to a 32i during pregnancy and nursing, i have had a lot of challenges when it comes to finding a bra that will fit and be comfortable. after the first trimester, it becomes incredibly painful for me to wear an underwire because it starts to put pressure on the top of my belly and restricts my airflow. this bra, while not as supportive as a traditional underwire, will help you to breathe a little better and actually comes in larger cup sizes. it will also come in handy right after the baby is born.

granny panties – much like a bra, this really does come down to personal preference, but don’t shy away from granny panties if that’s what is most comfortable for you! i found that super high rise granny panties and shorts were the most comfortable for me. regular underwear would roll down off my belly, so i’d be awkwardly pulling them up all day long.

belly bandit upsie belly – at some point in the second or third trimester, you will start to feel the pain of that heavy belly pulling you down. this simple back brace made a huge difference for me. i didn’t wear it all day long, but i definitely threw it on if i knew i was going to be on my feet for a long time.

maternity pillow – this might seem silly, but wait until you get into the third trimester. even if it seems pricey, the leachco snoogle was totally worth the 80 bucks. i didn’t get one when i was pregnant with adam, but i really wish i had. in the third trimester, it become a painful undertaking to just turn from one side to the other. you will appreciate this pillow. trust me.

self care – i’m talking luxurious lotions, scrubs and face masks, bath soaks, scented candles, and massages. whatever your budget, i highly recommend you do anything you can to pamper yourself at least every now and then. there is no reason to suffer through pain when something as simple as a soak in the tub can help! when i was pregnant the first time around, i really didn’t take care of myself as well as i should have, and i think i suffered for it. i know not everyone can afford a spa day, but hopefully you can find some time to at least chill out and take care of yourself. you’re making a baby, you deserve it!!

 

want more maternity-wear ideas? click-through my maternity archive for a few more of the looks i’ve worn throughout my pregnancy.

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mother’s day

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it’s kinda fun that mother’s day is so close to edie’s birthday. i couldn’t think of a better mother’s day present than to see these two together for the very first time. before she was born, i was pretty anxious about what it would be like for adam to meet her. he’s only two, so we tried our best to talk to him about her arrival without confusing or scaring him. it’s a fine line to walk with little ones. but of course, the moment they met, all of my anxiety melted away. adam actually walked right past me and made a beeline to his new baby sister. he smiled and cooed and hugged her and kissed her, and everything was well in the world. now edith is one week old, and while adjusting to a new family member is not without it’s challenges, i’m just completely focused on the love that i’m feeling right now.

right before she was born, enrou reached out and asked me to answer the question, “what do you love about being a mother?” at the time, i was heavily pregnant and feeling pretty grumpy, but in hindsight, it was all worth it. i still remember the day that adam was born over two years ago. i’d been in labor for over 24 hours, but my progress had stalled. i was exhausted, i was shaking, and i was crying because i was terrified of having a c-section. by the time we reached the operating room, i had to ask brendan to hold down my arms because i was shaking so violently. but the moment that i laid my eyes on him, my entire body relaxed. i took in a deep breath and felt warm tears fill my eyes. i was instantly in love, and none of the fear or trauma could change that. i will never ever forget that moment. and since then, my love has only grown. he’s taught me so much these last couple of years about what it means to love so unconditionally. he’s taught me patience. he’s taught me how to slow down and live in the moment. he’s changed my life forever in a way that i never thought was possible. and now i have two! before edith was born, people warned me that it would be twice as hard. but you know what else? my heart has grown to love twice as much. and i am so excited for what she has in store for me.

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this month, enrou has launched a made for moms, by moms mother’s day collection, including this beautiful handwoven chiapas throw, made by a mayan artisan and mother of 10 in southern mexico. i couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate mothers than to support the fair trade of goods to help women like elena to put food on the table and send her kids to school. not only that, but 10% of the proceeds go towards supporting artisan education, youth academic scholarships, and community health initiatives for the artisans of aid to artisans. this is not a sponsored post, it’s just something that i truly support, and i’m honored to have the opportunity to help spread the word.

use code ‘calivintage10‘ to get 10% off your orders for mother’s day!

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welcome edith!

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if you follow me on instagram or facebook, then you may have already heard the good news… my little baby girl was born on april 26 at 10:10am. her name is edith, and i am in love. the birth went so well that i was able to go home after two days, even with a c section. and i’ve just being doing my best to rest and recover while our little family adjusts to our new addition. so far, adam is insanely excited about her. he asks to hold her in his lap, and still doesn’t quite understand why she sleeps all the time and doesn’t know how to talk haha. we are all so excited and i can’t wait to share more photos and talk more about my experience as a now mother of two!

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