Three Looks To Try

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The Intersection Of Motherhood And Politics

posted on: September 27, 2016

I've always taken a particular kind of pride in being able to meld my days of motherhood and work. Meetings, children, styling, playdates, bedtime routines, and then emails. It makes me feel as though I am being present in their core years, while also helping with the obvious needs of a family of four living in New York City. Now that Oak is in pre-school a few days a week, I've realized that I can not recall much when he was one. I know that I was busy. I know that they were busy. Most of all, I know that they were loved. It is comparable to that feeling one feels as they're navigating the early stages of the breastfeeding world; confusion rooted in that deep stomach ache of love. I feel as though I remember more of his 0-12 month stage then his 12-24 month stage, isn't that fascinating?  Maybe it's because he became more of a child; less needy, less wrapped in my my own habitat. Whatever it was, there is this calm and security that set in a little after this realization. I feel secure in what I did and gave, that is a wonderful gift.

I thought about this last night while watching the debate--pins and needles, barely a drinker- downing a cider or two, crackers nibbled to the core, stomach thrown to my chest. Hillary's words often bit off by his own lack of knowledge and overwhelming toxic ego, she still spoke. She was secure in what she did do and failed to do, and the work she's put in. She was secure in her preparation; as a mother, a woman, and as a candidate. Aren't so many of us mothers still fighting for the same? This inner voice to create and be, the digging and comparison of our own wealth of knowledge and history of those to our often louder male counterparts, while tapping in to this intuitive being that tells us to mother and be present?

We put in years upon years of work, and only if in one single moment in time we feel confident in what we are giving ourselves, our positions, and our art, we would all breathe a little easier. If only we had the world telling us we were to feel secure, that we mattered. If only our words led our little girls to podiums in front of millions as we changed the way history views women. If only is now.

Did you watch the debate last night?

What We're Reading

posted on: September 23, 2016

In June I made a goal: Read more books. Simple right? Often it didn't feel like it was. Picking up a book in-between the demanding throws of life felt foreign. I was a habitual start then stop, then start all over again. Once I committed myself to actually reading, all of that changed rather quickly.

I grew up in a place where the local guy on the street would sell you your books, outside, on a table, stacks and stacks. The library if dug-up correctly offered a plethora of reads. And of course, there are the stoop finds, often left in tiny stacks with FREE scribbled in black ink across flimsy cardboard. If you're lucky, you would find something you like, but most of the luck falls in the children's department though, if you ask me.

Since June, no matter how I come by them, I notice an overall shift in my energy when I sit down and read. Stepping outside of myself and wrapping my thoughts around someone's words instead of my own, or those of my children, husband or friends, feels as if i'm giving back to myself. That time is slow and steady, and it happens whenever I can fit it in, and as it turns out, it can happen quite often.

What we're reading right now
The Year Of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. My best friend recommended this book to me after  one of our many conversations. I am a few chapters in and have fell in deep. I highly recommend it if you haven't already.

Rad Women Worldwide   by Kate Schatz. Kate was so kind to send me an advanced copy of her newest book for the kids and I, and I'm excited to attend a private reading of it this October. I gifted Rad American Women a few times for some of River's friends, and she and I have already enjoyed reading this one.

"Imagine learning history right the first time, without ever having to unlearn all the lies and omissions. RAD WOMEN WORLDWIDE lifts the doom—maybe this is, in fact, a wonderful time to grow up." - Miranda July

Okay, what about you, what are you reading? 

An Ode To Denim Jackets

posted on: September 21, 2016

Today marks the last day of summer, and yet, the temperatures say other wise. In New York City, we felt a warm 80 degrees today, and in other states, they're just short of  hitting 90. The slow creep into the chilly weather and the constant return of the warmer weather has me a little confused at times. For instance, on Monday I changed my outfit three times. It was excessive, and by the third look I was exhausted. 

Yesterday instead of changing outfits more than once, I grabbed my jacket on my way out the door. Throwing it on in the morning, tying it around my waste as the temperatures peeked, and tucking it in my tote bag as I ducked in and out of cafes. When the night grew cooler, it went back on with a bandana wrapped around my neck for good measure.

Since my birthday dinner I've had the same lonely denim jacket floating about my apartment. It is pale in color, soft in texture, and hardly looks loved enough. It's my size, and still, I can't bring myself to throw it on. For good measure, I've texted every guest of the night and no claims as of yet. It's been two months. There's something about the action of wearing a lost staple, and possibly abandoning my own in the process that doesn't seem quite right. 

This hesitation got me thinking about beloved pieces-- denim jackets specifically. 'Tis the season and all that good stuff (even though it doesn't feel like it). Mine was found at a vintage store. It is boxy and stiff, no matter the quantity of wash. The sleeves are slightly shorter and can barely roll up properly to a comfortable bracelet length. The body feels larger than me, and the collar still smells of vintage store moth balls. Nevertheless, I wear it and I keep it. We've clocked years; snugged tightly beneath wrapped babies, under blazers, capes, and heavy winter coats. It's been in rain and thrown on subway platforms. Forgotten in-between moments at late night dinners and reclaimed shortly after. 

A few I love below just in case you happen to be on the hunt as well.
- With faux fur lining
- Brown undertones
- A floor-length 

Where do denim jackets fit in with your wardrobe? 

A One Bedroom Turned Into Two

posted on: September 16, 2016

If I told you that we technically lived in a one bedroom, would you believe me? If I told you that we created a bedroom for said one bedroom and turned it into a two bedroom within a day, then would you believe me?

One spring night we came into this apartment after deciding that we had grown tired of searching, and simply wanted to stay in our coveted neighborhood. We opted for a backyard in lieu of a two-bedroom on the fifth floor, and as you would have it, it has been one of our better decisions. There are difficulties, but the moments in which the birds are singing and everything feels just right occur more often than not. Believe me, I say this with hesitation, because unlike our old apartment where we swore we would grow old, we are simply taking it day by day with this one. I have realized the heartache when things don't go according to plan, and for right now I'm choosing to settle on simply being settled.
When faced with a large one bedroom, and a living room that couldn't comfortably fit a bedroom, dining room, and living room (something Erin beautifully mastered) within it, we chose to break the insanely large bedroom into two with the help of Manhatten Pressurized Walls. In theory, the size of our once actual two-bedroom apartment happens to be the same size of our created two-bedroom apartment. And this current room comes with additional perks; a sliding door, wood floors, crown molding, and walk-in closet turned playroom/closet. 

MPW created a cool room that feels private for all of us, but one that is also incredibly well designed and well-made. They left a large window of space that wraps around the room for natural light and of course, circulation. And as far as noise goes, it's the best it can get. Thankfully, we have two of the best sleepers on this side of the coast so all is going well in that department. The room feels jut like what it is-- a room. 

The dividing wall on our side of the room. 
I am in no way a design expert, but maybe my love of Brooklyn and our neighborhood, and being one of five and always needing to simply make it work, made me feel confident on making this work. And there is the reality that children, especially my children, need very little. Overall, I want to encourage you (and often myself) that not everything, (often very few things) arrive pre-paackaged as we would like. There will always be something we leave at the wayside, and something we give up for something else. Right now, our living priorities are location, ground floor (boy do we have some heavy walkers), and a space to just go out and play as we wish whenever we wish. I'm sure it will change sooner than later, and being open to the change is key.

Style: Three Looks To Try For A Fall Brunch

posted on: September 13, 2016

On Instagram the other week I briefly discussed my feelings towards fall and the pressure to cook-up a storm and gather in the evening. Simply put, autumn is the time you show up. There's little excuse—except I'm not a huge cook. I enjoy cooking, but often, if I invite someone over to a dinner party, it's catered or it’s a potluck.

But how about we change things up during this season of leaves falling and general style transition. Let’s swap out some of our heavy-set dinners for lightweight brunches, catching the cool early afternoon breeze, but surrounded by those we love nonetheless. And when it comes to autumn brunch style, my thoughts are exactly what you may expect them to be: cool and breezy.

In partnership with Noonday Collection, a socially responsible jewelry company that collaborates with over 4,000 artisans in vulnerable communities and provides jobs with dignity, sustainable income, and reliability, I am sharing three easy outfits to wear if you should host a fall brunch of your own.
Look One. With the weather cooling down, I love that we now have the opportunity to layer again. For an easy brunch look, you don't have to do much. Pair a slip with a favorite t-shirt and ankle boots and you're good to go. I chose simple Noonday studs and a bracelet with a pop of color to elevate the look a little more.

Look two. I overheard some commentary during fashion week in which someone said (very confidently): "Blazers are so in right now!" And I wonder when they weren't in?  To keep with the overall relaxed vibe of your fall brunch, pair another favorite t-shirt and mini corduroy skirt with a lightweight blazer. I like wearing a cream one during the early hours and a darker one in the evenings. You could even swap the skirt for a pair of jeans and the look would still have the same feel.

 Look three. For the last fall brunch look, I choose a pair of ridiculously comfortable wide-legged Ace & Jig pants with a basic top and vintage vest. You could skip the vest and stick to the top and pants if you choose. If you don't want to pay full price, there is no shortage of wide-legged pants at your local thrift store. Wide-legged pants have dual-power because they require attention, in size and shape, but do all the work in style. My necklace gave the look the "event" feel I thought it needed, but you could stick with larger earrings instead or a statement ring.

Are you willing to host a few brunches this fall? Less clean up, lighter food... I'm in. If you're up for it, you could even turn your brunch into a Noonday Collection trunk show where your friends get to shop and support ambassadors ( often mother's trying to make extra money on the side) and help artisans businesses all around the globe.

(Photography by Bridget Badore for LaTonya Yvette. This post is in partnership with Noonday Collection.)