A DAY IN THE LIFE

Glasses: Warby Parker Sweater: Tobi C/O Jeans: ASOS Socks: Matt’s HA!

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Guys! I did a poll on Instagram last week on what kind of content you all wanted to see on my blog and I was super surprised to see how much you all love my Mom and lifestyle content! It motivated me big time to bring you guys what you want to see so get ready for lots more on the blog under that category. I also had a lot of you ask me to do a “Day in the life” post so here it is!!

7:00 A.M. Wake up! Charlee wakes up pretty consistently at 7:00 A.M. ISH. We get the occasional 6:30 A.M wake up, but she knows she stays in her bed until 7:00 A.M. no matter what.

7:15 A.M. Feed Charlee. Charlee takes 7 ounces of HIPP formula 5 times a day. She loves her bottle (and food for that matter) and her morning bottle is my favorite. We snuggle up and I feed her. She’s so happy to see us in the morning! Matt usually gets her out of bed and plays with her for a little bit before she eats. He leaves for work really early so I give him that special time with her before he is off to work.

7:30 A.M. Prep Charlee for daycare and Shower. I prep Charlee’s bottles and pack her food and snack for the day. I label everything and get her organized for her day. Once she is packed and ready I will hop in the shower for a rinse and to wake myself up. I pop Charlee into her bouncer and she bounces while I get dressed and showered up.

8:30 A.M. Drop Charlee off at daycare. Charlee used to be in daycare all day when I worked a full-time corporate job, but now that I’m focusing on my styling business and blog we have her in daycare part-time from 8-3 P.M. This gives me time to get my work done, workout and tackle the household.

9:00 A.M. Breakfast! I usually have my favorite peanut butter protein pancakes, a bowl of cereal, eggs and GG crackers or if I am feeling like I deserve it, a bagel! I get caught up on the news, read emails with my cup of coffee and figure out my plan for the day.

9:30 A.M. GET TO WORK. If I’m not working with a client, I am working on my blog in some capacity. I am either shooting content, editing photos, writing a post or working with my Engineer J.A. on the back-end. It takes a lot of work to keep up a blog but I love it!!

11:00 A.M. Workout. I just recently started the BBG program and I am obsessed. It’s been a wonderful program that I’ve been able to keep up with and I’m excited to see the progress. I completed the initial 4 week beginner BBG and now I am on week 3 of the BBG 1.0. I usually just head down to the gym in my building and use the equipment there. Once or twice a week I will take a class, but the BBG App (Sweat in the app store) is like having a personal trainer on your phone! I try and workout 6 days a week. It’s how I decompress and relieve stress.

12:00 P.M. Shower and get ready for the day. I know it sounds like I get a late start to my day, but by this time I have done a LOT. You can get so much more accomplished when your day starts at 7:00 A.M.!

1:00P.M. This time of day varies from day to day. I usually do a ton of laundry, clean the house and make dinner for the family. If I have more work to do, I’ll also do it at this time. I use this time to get organized and tackle something different.

2:00-3:00 P.M. I pick up Charlee from Daycare! Depending on the day and my to-do list and workload, I’ll pick Charlee up anywhere between 2 and 3. I miss her all day so it is rare that I actually leave her at daycare until 3:00 P.M.

3:00-4:00 P.M. Play with Charlee! I try and be 100% present when it’s just Charlee and I. She is so active and into everything so playing with her is so much fun. I like that I am able to get all of my stuff done during the day and be totally present and with her when I pick her up until bedtime! Sometimes we head out for a walk or to the park if it’s nice.

4:00 P.M.-4:45 P.M. Charlee usually takes a nap around this time. She is taking three 30-45 min naps a day. I am trying to get her to take two but because she is at daycare she gets very stimulated and likes to take her last nap in the late afternoon. During this time, I’ll unpack her bags from daycare and start on dinner.

5:00-5:30 P.M. Daddy is home! Our evenings are really chill. Matt rushes home from work to see us and play with Charlee. He loves spending time with Charlee and will play with her for a while, give her a bath and feed her. He is such an amazing and hands on Dad. Around 6:45 he heads down to the gym for a workout and I read Charlee a book and put her down to sleep at 7:00 P.M. We have dinner around 8 P.M. and then I usually pour myself a glass of wine and we watch Netflix or a new movie! Nothing too exciting!

I hope you enjoyed getting a little look into my everyday life. My days vary but one thing is consistent and that is spending special time with my beautfiul girl. I feel very blessed!

Xoxo-J

 

 

IS IT SPRING YET?!

Top: J.Crew Boots: Stuart Weitzman Purse: Gucci Skirt: Vince

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Man do I love a weekend! I just love having the family all together and being a bit lazy. During the week I am so productive and it’s nice to chill together on the weekends!

I was so excited about the nice weather in NY this week that I ran outside and shot this neutral spring look. I really need a tan but otherwise I loved how it all came together. A very popular trend right now is having one color scheme paired together. I love a monochromatic look and was excited to put together a look with this in mind. It can be tricky because you don’t want to end up looking like a crayon in one color! It’s important to break up your look with a pattern, accessory or to bring in another neutral to keep it balanced. I picked up the piping in my blouse and added in black with my boots and in the details of my purse.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Here’s to hoping this weather gets better soon!

xoxo-J

MIXING PATTERNS

Photography by Shadi Garman

Earrings: Nordstrom Rack Jeans: J.Crew Blazer Coat: Banana Republic T-shirt: B.P. Bag: Henri Bendel Mules: Steve Madden

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. Matt and I had a lazy night in on Friday and then Saturday we had brunch and a double date night. Sunday we took it easy and played with Charlee all day. This age is SO fun! She is turning 7 months next week and I just love it! She is so responsive and just wants to play. It’s a blast and every day it gets better and better.

I put together this look the other day and love how it all came together. I consider leopard print to be a neutral and love pairing it with different colors and patterns. I pulled the leopard print in by pairing my look with these AMAZING statement earrings which are currently 50% off! I have found amazing jewelry at Nordstrom Rack recently. Have you guys checked out their jewelry selection?

My Mom is currently at the airport in Charlotte and on her way to NYC to spend three whole days with us! I can’t wait to have her here!! Make sure to follow along on my Instagram to see what adventures I have planned for us :)!

xoxo-J

3-6 MONTH BABY ESSENTIALS

Now that Charlee is officially 6 months (closer to 7 now eek!) I can confidently share with you all my absolute must-haves that we used from when she was 3-6 months old.

  1. Bumbo changing table This was a part of my newborn necessities post. I love love love this changing table and don’t know how I survived without it for the first month. It’s a lifesaver! It wipes clean so any messes are easy to handle. It’s also cheaper than the keekaroo and is basically the exact same product.
  2. 50/50 Love to Dream Swaddle This product was amazing for transitioning Charlee out of the swaddle. It weirdly looks like it would be incredibly uncomfortable for a baby and I felt a little weird putting Charlee into it, but it totally worked and she loved it. We used it as is with the wings attached for about a month around 4 months old. Then we took one wing off for a week, and then the other side the second week. It was a totally seamless transition! I was so worried about transitioning her out of the swaddle and this product made is so much easier. Once she transitioned we used the swaddle without the wings as a sort of blanket. I highly recommend this product!
  3. Baby Bjorn Soft Carrier We have been through SO many carriers it’s embarassing to admit. We started with the Solly Baby Wrap which was awesome when Charlee was super tiny. That lasted about a month MAX ha! I couldn’t wear that wrap after she was over 10 lbs, it really killed my back! We moved on to the larger Bjorne but for some reason Charlee really didnt like it! She was uncomfortable and I guess a little too small for it. We finally found this wrap and I still use it today! It’s soft but sturdy and really easy to put on. It will only last you around 7-8 months from birth but it’s worth it.
  4. Muchkin Latch Bottles These are great bottles and Charlee took to them easily. I know bottles are a very “by baby” item but these worked great for us!
  5. Baby Bjorne bouncer seat God bless this seat. I can’t tell you how much use we got out of this seat. I only JUST NOW am not using it. It lasted us a full 6.5 months.
  6. Skip Hop Activity Center Charlee loves this activity center. It’s also not an eye sore which selfishly was something I was concerned with. We have a two bedroom apartment and no playroom and the activity center in on display. This one is sort of chic looking lol and she also loves it. A WIN WIN!
  7. My Breast Friend Pillow I have used this pillow every day for every feeding since Charlee was born. It makes it so comfortable to feed her and offers that arm support you need.
  8. 7 A.M Enfant stroller bag I hate that I am STILL using this because that means it’s still cold outside, but this stroller bag is the best. It’s SO warm and I swear just radiates heat. I can put charlee in a light sweater and a hat and she is almost sweating by the time I take her out of it. I feel really comfortable that she is super warm when we go on walks when it’s cold outside. It’s expensive, but worth it!
  9. Noggin Stick  This toy will always have a special place in my heart :). It was her first toy and she still LOVES it. Can’t say enough about it. We call it “Mr. Noggin” and every time I pull it out she starts to bounce and flap her arms. It’s a great toy to throw in your diaper bag for walks and trips. Charlee loves her “Mr. Noggin.”
  10. Take Along Tunes Toy Not sure why every baby loves this darn toy, but they do! This has been in the toy rotation from the beginning!
  11. Nose Frida The woman who invented this thing is a GENIUS! I swear Charlee has had a runny nose every week since she was in daycare. I have used this thing so many times and it really does the trick!

Ok that’s it for my 3-6 month essentials. Did I miss anything you can’t live without?! Leave a note in the comments!

xoxo-J

LAYERED

Sweater: Chicos Blouse: Gap Jeans: J.Crew Shoes: Sam Edelman

Hi Guys! Happy Wednesday. I love a short week but it gets ahead of me so quickly. I had a billion things on my to-do list and haven’t gotten through half of it but here we are and it’s halfway through the week. Oh well! I snuck Charlee out of daycare early yesterday and took her to the playground for her first time on the swing! She LOVED it! I have been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather. It makes me so happy and excited for spring. I need Vitamin D in my life!! Those moments make it worth skipping items on your to-do list, am I right!?

I found this beautiful cream sweater at Chicos when I was down in NC shopping with my Mom. I NEVER shop at Chicos but I went in there with my Mom and I saw this sweater and loved it! I wanted to add some depth to the look so I added a blouse underneath and a cute statement necklace. I am all about layering these days.

What are you guys doing this weekend? Matt and I have brunch with friends and their 6 month old. We are major brunchers lol. I feel like it’s the thing to do as new parents!

I have some fun projects and collaborations coming down the pipeline so make sure to keep following along and sign up for my newsletter!

xoxo-J

 

POPS OF RED

Photography by Shadi Garman

Dress: Banana Republic Coat: Asos Similar: here and here  Boots: Stuart Weitzman Earrings: Baublebar

Hi Guys! I’m super excited to share this look because I am absolutely obsessed with this dress. I found this gorgeous dress at Banana Republic on super sale a few weeks ago shopping in NC with my Mom and I couldn’t wait to style it. I have been home with my sweet girl this week but absolutely love seeing all the amazing looks from NY Fashion week. I got inspired and put this look together.

I hope you all are having a great week. I am SO excited for the long weekend. Matt has been traveling for work these last few weeks and so we can’t wait to have much needed family time. What are you guys doing this weekend? We are going to have a belated Valentine’s Day date and spend lots of time with our sweet girl.

Xoxo-J

POSTPARTUM ANXIETY-LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

Photography by Shadi Garman

Becoming a parent is one of the most life changing experiences a person can go through, in my opinion. Every single part of your life changes! Your body, your responsibilities, your relationship dynamic with your partner…etc. etc. etc. the list goes on! On top of these changes, we as mothers are challenged with hormone imbalance which is super tough. After I had Charlee, I was so happy. I remember being just euphorically happy. I say that because I didn’t realize that while being so happy, I was actually suffering from postpartum anxiety.

I was diagnosed with postpartum anxiety when Charlee was about 12 weeks old. At Charlee’s three month appointment, my pediatrician asked me to fill out a standard questionnaire that she gives to all new Moms. The sheet was basically a rating of how you have been feeling recently. I filled it out honestly and didn’t even think twice about it. After the appointment, my Dr. came out to the waiting room and asked to talk to me about the results. Apparently I had scored pretty low on this test and she recommended that I go talk to someone. She gave me a referral of a local therapist that specializes in this sort of thing. To be honest, I was actually pretty surprised and it took me a few days to wrap my head around talking to someone. I just was super happy and knew I wasn’t depressed. I did, however, know that something wasn’t quite right. I want to do my best to explain how I was feeling because maybe you are feeling this way too. I guess the best way to describe how I was feeling is is to say that I was just constantly “on.” I had a very difficult time relaxing because I was always worried about something. Something as simple as packing the diaper bag to take Charlee out of the apartment had the potential to sort of put me over the edge. I would talk to myself out loud and question myself. I would walk through every single possible situation that could arise and make sure I had what I needed to handle it. You can imagine my diaper bag was pretty heavy haha! It was difficult to just be present and in the moment because I was so wrapped up in my thoughts. Even when Charlee slept I would have anxiety and constantly question if she was breathing. It was not good! I was so deep in the middle of it that until our pediatrician said something about it, I didn’t even realize how much I was suffering. I decided to take my pediatrician’s advice and made an appointment with a therapist. I can’t tell you how amazing this decision was for me. I have been seeing her for over three months now and I can’t even put into words how beneficial the therapy has been for me. We use cognitive therapy and I have learned how to control my thoughts in a more productive way. She has taught me ways to manage my anxieties and has truly made me a better and even happier Mom. I was able to recognize that there was nothing weird or wrong with me for having these feelings and I had nothing to be ashamed of.

I think postpartum anxiety and depression is way more common than people realize. I don’t know why we as women don’t talk more about it. I wish I had been able to talk about this even earlier than I am. I guess it’s easier to talk about it now that I am on the other side of it. I know I still have work to do, but I am so much better than I was before. It’s so important to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally. I think I am an even better, more present Mom because I took the time to work on myself. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, don’t be ashamed to ask for help! It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and your family!

Xoxo-J

A MUST HAVE THIS SEASON-THE PLAID BLAZER

Blazer: Banana Republic (40% off!) Earrings: BaubleBar Jeans: JCREW Sweater: Asos Booties: (sold out) Similar: Rag and Bone Bag: Chanel Belt: Gucci

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Everyone! Wow it has been QUITE a stressful few days. This past weekend I was SO excited to head to NJ to celebrate my nephew’s fourth birthday but by the time we arrived, I started to feel incredibly queasy. It got progressively worse throughout the day until I literally could keep NOTHING down! Not even water! It was so terrible! I started to feel a little better Sunday night, but then Monday morning Charlee woke up with gunk in her eyes. I took her to the Dr. and it was Conjunctivitis. Today, I am finally feeling better and Charlee’s eyes are looking better than ever but oh my goodness it was a crazy start to this week! I was planning on getting this outfit posted Monday but the universe had other plans ;)!

Anyways! How cool is this blazer?! I have been seeing a lot of people rock oversized plaid blazers and wanted to get in on the trend. I just couldn’t find one that I really loved until I found this one! It’s super lightweight and can be worn as a blazer during the winter under a coat or in the spring as a light jacket. I decided to pair it with my new favorite Gucci belt, a bright sweater and statement earrings. I was FREEZING shooting this by the way! Oh well, I’ll do anything for the LEWK ;)!

Xoxo-J

LAYERED

 

Photography by Shadi Garman

Coat: Genuine People Jeans: Asos Sweater: H&M Boots: Stuart Weitzman Belt: Gucci Purse: Celine Dion

Hi Everyone! I am SO over this winter. Everyone is sick, the cold won’t let up and all I can wear is multiple layers! Anyone else over it?! At least we can get creative with layering our outfits, right? Countdown to summer has begun!

While we continue to count down, I want to share this gorgeous Genuine People coat I got for Christmas. I was so excited about this color and the best news is that it’s currently on sale! It runs oversized but I ordered a Medium so that I could wear chunky sweaters underneath. I paired it with my new favorite Gucci belt and Stuart Weitzman OTK boots. Both classic pieces I had been lusting after for a while now. You will be seeing a lot of these pieces re-worked in different ways on the blog! I’m excited to style them!

So, I wanted to share with you all that I am no longer working full time! I’m not sure how long this will last…I’m thinking I will most likely go back to work. That said, I am really looking to find the perfect fit of a job. Something I am super passionate about and a position that I feel 100% comfortable leaving my baby for all day. Ya know!? I had been struggling with working and having a sick baby (daycare is so tough on baby’s immune system) and it feels good to know i’ll be able to be there for my baby without feeling pulled in other directions. I’m super excited about what is in store and I wanted to keep you all up to date with what’s going on in my life. There will be a lot more blog posts coming at cha which I am super excited about. I look forward to having the time to put towards this blog! I really love this little community I’ve started and your support means so much to me!

xoxo-J

 

 

12 HOURS by 13 WEEKS…HOW I SLEEP TRAINED MY DAUGHTER!

Photography by Shadi Garman

Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I recently did a poll on Instagram asking my followers if they would want me to put together a sleep training post. The results came in at 98% yes, so here it is! I would like to preface this post by saying I am in no way a sleep training expert. These tactics and methods worked for me and my baby. Every baby is different and there is no right way to sleep train!

Ok, now that that is out of the way, on to sleep training! When I first had Charlee, I was up every 2-3 hours. This is normal and common for newborns and sleep training wasn’t on my mind. I was just trying to survive on no sleep and knew that she was too little to be trained anyways. Babies need to eat every 2-3 hours at that age. It wasn’t until 8 weeks that I started the training, so if you are a new mom just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel but the first two months are tough! Once Charlee hit 8 weeks, I started using the book “The Baby Sleep Solution” by Suzy Giordano as my guide. I highly recommend this book. Suzy is a mother and understands that as a new mom you have limited time. She made this book an easy to read (it only takes 2 hours) straight forward situational guide to get your baby to sleep through the night.

Before I get into what I took away from the book, I wanted to preface that I did not breastfeed Charlee. I was unable to, due to my anatomy (flat nipples!) and instead I exclusively pumped and gave Charlee a bottle for her feedings. This was very helpful because I knew exactly how much she was eating and how many times per day. Please just keep that in mind. I know that this method works for breastfeeding Moms too, but it may be a bit challenging when trying to eliminate the middle of the night feeding (more on that later).

Ok, anyways! The Baby Sleep Solution offers a sleep training guide based on a “light cry-it-out method.” There are a few other sleep training methods where you make your baby cry until they basically pass out from exhaustion. That didn’t sit right with me (even though I have heard it’s extremely effective…no judgment), so the idea that I could sleep train my daughter without making her too upset really appealed to me.

One of the first things Suzy recommends you do before you start sleep training is to make sure you extend the feedings to every four hours and that your baby is getting a minimum of 24 ounces a day. Now, I have to be honest and tell you all that I was NEVER able to get Charlee to eat every 4 hours. Still to this day she eats every 3 hours.  She just didn’t want to wait that long! Can you blame her?! Ha! I was still able to get Charlee to sleep through the night eating every 2.5-3 hours which is great. I think the point is to offer your baby structure so that they become accustomed to a routine. Routine is SUPER important for babies and essential to getting your baby to sleep through the night.

I wanted to talk a little about how I extended Charlee’s feeding schedule before I go into the sleep training, because this was very challenging. I hadn’t read a sleep training book before I had her so I honestly was just feeding her on demand. This is important to do during the first month, but after that if you continue to feed on demand, your baby starts to learn to snack. Instead of allowing her to get hungry and then full after a bottle, I was giving her a bottle of a few ounces every time she would start to fuss. Suzy talks a lot about how to get your baby to extend their feedings and the main thing is to distract them! I would bring out a new toy, move her from her rock and play to her play mat, and do whatever I could to distract her to buy more time. It was a slow process and I would get 15 minutes more each time by doing this but eventually we got into a new routine of eating every 3 hours.

During the time I was trying to get Charlee on a feeding schedule, we were also introducing a bedtime routine. Our bedtime routine looks like this: bath time, massage, bottle, playtime (most of the time for 10 minutes) then in bed by 7P.M. Doing the same routine every night helped Charlee recognize that these events signaled bedtime. We started with this routine and then began putting her in her crib at 7:00 P.M. for bed. I would swaddle her, give her a pacifier, sing a lullaby and then put her in her crib AWAKE. Then I’d say goodnight, turn off her light and leave the room. This is crucial. I used to wait until Charlee passed out on me and then I would creep to the crib and try to transfer her. This was NOT effective. The key is for babies to see you when you put them in their crib and put them to bed. In the beginning, she was a little confused and would fuss for a bit. That’s where the “light cry-it-out method” came into play. If she would start to get fussy, I would give myself a timeline of 3-5 minutes depending on the severity of her cry. Now, keep in mind that I would only go in if she CONSISTENTLY cried for 3-5 minutes. If she stopped for a period of time, then the clock started over again. Eventually (usually within 10 minutes) she would fall asleep. It really wasn’t that bad and I never felt like I was torturing her. I knew she had just eaten and didn’t need food and was just having a hard time putting herself to sleep. I think it’s important to recognize that sleep is incredibly important for babies. It’s of course important for you as a parent to be well rested, but babies need sleep even more. They grow when they sleep!

I used this method every night from 8 weeks to 13 weeks when she finally slept through the night. Each baby will transition into a full night’s sleep differently, but for us Charlee was very good at leading the way. At the beginning of the sleep training, Charlee was waking twice in the night. Once around 1 A.M and then again at 4 or 5 A.M. In the beginning I knew she needed to eat so I would just give her around 2 ounces in a bottle (this is where it can be a little tougher when breastfeeding since you don’t know exactly how much you are feeding them). Before I fed her, I would make sure to check her diaper first in case it needed changing. I felt that if I waited to change her after she ate in the middle of the night it would stimulate her too much. After she would finish her bottle, I’d swaddle her and place her back in her crib. If she fussed at all I would go back to my light cry-it-out method. Most of the time she would go right back down after fussing just a little, but on the nights she challenged me I just never gave up. I would keep going back in after the 3-5 minutes and she would eventually go to sleep. I think being a little tough on her and not giving in really helped her become an independent sleeper. Over the next few weeks (from 8-10) Charlee naturally dropped one of her feedings and was only waking once to eat. Then a few weeks after that she naturally dropped her second feeding and was able to go through the night without eating. This happened around 11 weeks. It’s important to note that at this time she still woke up once in the night, but instead of giving her a bottle, I would let her cry a little in case she fell back asleep. If she didn’t fall back asleep in 3-5 minutes, I would go in her room, rub her belly and give her the pacifier. What she learned was that no matter what, she was in her crib from 7-7. I never picked her up, even when she fussed. She learned that sleep happened between 7:00P.M and 7:00A.M. She also knew that Mommy loved her and was there for her but she was strong enough to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own. Now, she is an INCREDIBLE sleeper and incredibly independent. Sometimes I try and sneak her into our bed for naps on the weekends but it’s never as lovely as it sounds. She is just a better sleeper on her own which makes me very proud.

I do want to mention that it’s important to remember that her sleep schedule isn’t always perfect and rules can be broken. Charlee has gotten sick a number of times since she is a daycare baby. When she is sick and having a tough time staying asleep I will of course pick her up and help make my baby feel better. We also went through a week of a sleep regression (at 4 months) when she was waking up again in the night. I never fed her, and worked overtime using the “light cry-it-out method” and she got back on track after a week. It was exhasting but we made it through. Another challenge for us has been days that Charlee doesn’t nap as well at daycare. This actually happened last Friday! She was so overtired that I ended up putting her to bed at 6:30 and she passed right out. She is used to a 12 hour night though, so she woke up at 6:30. Instead of running to pick her up when she woke up, I let her chill in her crib gabbing to herself and she fell back asleep after 5 minutes until 7:15. She never cries when she wakes up early because she knows she stays in her crib from 7-7 no matter what!

OK! I feel like that was the longest post ever so let me break it down into the major takeaways of sleep training that I find valuable:

1.Routine

2. Feeding schedule

2. Put your baby to bed AWAKE

3. Baby does not leave the crib from 7-7 (or whatever 12 hour period you choose…6-6, 8-8 etc.)

I hope you guys found this helpful and clear. If you have ANY questions please reach out to me. I’d love to help! Sleep is so important for parents and baby!

xoxo-J