Last week, I had the most amazing time moderating a panel discussion for the Mommie Series! As part of the Mommie Series, several times a year, speakers on fashion, finance, health and family gather to discuss topical issues on the minds of modern moms, and this season, I was thrilled to be part of the discussion.
Being a mom is an incredible privilege, and it’s also a huge challenge. As modern mothers, we face pressure on all sides — from career choices to competing parenting philosophies to crafting modern marriages that are satisfying and fulfilling. So nights like this one are incredibly special — they’re those rare nights out when we get to dress up, sip champagne, and discuss the issues that are important to us. Our night of speakers tackled topics like charitable giving, access to social media for kids, thyroid function, and spring fashion trends. Yup, all of it. That’s why this event is so amazing: one moment you’re talking about the tax advantages of setting up a charitable foundation, the next you’re drooling over white leather for fall.
That’s my kind of night, ladies.
So I wanted to share a few photos from the night with you guys, because it was such a fun, special experience. I was honored to be asked to be part of this session, and can’t wait to be in the audience for many more to come.
Photos by Quy Tan.
Last Friday, I had a lunch meeting with another lawyer, and she picked a spot in this really chic shopping area, one that I hadn’t visited in a while. And I was coming off a very busy morning, and didn’t have much scheduled in the afternoon, so after our lunch ended, I thought I’d just take a quick peek into my favorite Houston boutique, which just happened to be right next door.
And quick peeks are always bad for my wallet. When I’m looking for something specific, I’ll shop for hours and come home empty-handed, but when I’m just browsing? I always find something amazing. It’s a curse, I tell you.
So, about twenty minutes later, I found myself deciding between two pretty incredible pairs of shoes, which I captured on Instagram in the photo above.
The ones on the left are Giuseppe Zanotti flat sandals, and obviously, are pretty amazing. And the ones on the right are pretty much my exact favorite shoe in the world — Jimmy Choo heels. I have Jimmy Choo pumps in nude and black, and you guys have seen them in, oh, probably half the outfit posts on this site. They’re chic, streamlined and elegant, and they go with absolutely everything. I bought them both for full price (something I almost never do) and they average out to pennies per wear — that’s how much use I’ve gotten from them.
The response I got on Instagram was almost unanimous — go for the Jimmy Choos.
And, you guys, I almost did. Almost.
But then I had a moment of complete candor with myself, and you know what I realized?
In the last eight months, since our son was born, I’ve worn heels maybe a dozen times. Total. And most of those times were work-related, so those peep-toe pumps? Probably not going to fly. (While the fashionista in me disagrees, and open-toe shoes don’t really work in court.)
But you know what I wear all the time?
And ugh, you guys, there’s a part of me that is so disappointed that I’m writing this. I’m 5’2″ and have loved platform heels since they hit the market — I love being able to look straight into people’s eyes, and that boost of confidence that a tall heel always gives me. I love the way that heels shape your leg, and I love how glamorous it feels to wear them.
Unfortunately, though… I’m also a really big klutz. I can’t tell you how many scraped knees and ripped jeans that I’ve endured from toppling over in my high heels, and the fact is: when I’m carrying our son around, I just don’t feel safe in platforms. Sometimes, if Bear will be in the stroller or I’ll be sitting down, I wear them anyway. But most of the time, these days? Flats.
So, I bought the Giuseppe sandals.
And, you know what?
Lemons, meet lemonade. Sure, I can’t wear my platforms as much as I used to. On the other hand, how amazing are those sandals?
Full outfit post in them soon, but for now — swoon!
What a year this one has been!
I’m charging head-on into 2015, but before I do, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on all the wonderful moments from this past year. So, if you’re new to this blog or you missed a few posts here and there, I’ve pulled together some of my favorites from the last 12 months.
This marked the birth of our son, which turned my life upside down in the happiest, most wonderful (and yet totally overwhelming) way possible. I think my favorite post of the year was on my decision to give up the idea of being a “perfect” parent and to focus on enjoying time with our son. This is something I still struggle with nearly every day, but realizing it has made our lives so much happier and better. If you’re going to read one post I wrote in 2014, head over there.
In other news…
I briefly turned into Godzilla at the sound of our baby crying… and wound up breaking our freezer.
The best advice I received as a new parent: Just Wait A Week.
Our baby broke a $500 jar of Vaseline. Oops.
I shared Baby Bear’s birth story, the most incredible night of my life. And I surprised myself by dreading those newborn weeks so much, and then finding out that I actually liked them.
We had an epic meltdown in the grocery store.
I wrote letters to our son at one, two, three, four and five months… and then somehow completely forgot to keep going. Baby Brain, people. It’s a real thing. I’m hoping to revive these in 2015! (And, if you want to get all technical about it, I technically wrote two letters to him at one month old… with no recollection of the first when I wrote the second. I blame the two combined hours of sleep I was getting per night at that point.)
I wrote about our decision to vaccinate, and why it shouldn’t be a decision at all. Please inform yourselves about the facts on this incredibly important issue, for the safety of your child and others.
I wrote about our struggles with breastfeeding and the solution that worked for us, as well as two posts on nursing mom style tips (here and here). I wrote about the products you actually need as a new mom (hint: it’s not a wardrobe of pint-size newborn clothes)!
I wrote about why parental leave isn’t just a women’s issue — engaged dads make for happier families, and paternity leave is important too.
And finally, I wrote about life as a working mom, and the challenges I’m juggling with balancing my career and our family.
Baby bump posts took up the first four months of the year! I had so much fun styling my growing belly! At the time, I felt huge and totally self-conscious, but now I look at those pictures with so much joy. This pink ASOS dress and this LOFT top were my favorites of the whole pregnancy. And this festival-inspired dress at sunset continues to be one of my favorite photos of the year.
I wore head-to-toe leopard print at eight months pregnant. And full-on sequins. Because, hey, why not?
Post-partum dressing was a big challenge, but I did my best! A great tropical-themed outfit here, and our puppy Rambo had a cameo over here. I did a number of fun collaborations, and this dressbarn style was a big favorite, as was this White House Black Market summer style. I waited nine months to wear this Mara Hoffman dress, which is basically the most perfect thing ever.
I styled an outfit for our imaginary life in California, the one we almost lived. And I shared my top five tips for dressing stylishly while pregnant.
And last but not least, I was featured in the July issue of Glamour magazine! Thanks again to my wonderful readers for pointing this out to me — without you guys, I never would have known!
Our crockpot was the workhorse of 2014 — life with a baby inevitably makes the slow cooker into your most valued possession. They’re great for creating healthy, easy, low-stress meals that won’t burn when you leave the kitchen eleven million times while preparing dinner. I loved our Southwestern Chicken Stew and BBQ Chicken for easy weeknight staples.
I also focused more on breakfasts than ever before, and made egg dishes with quinoa and avocado toasts that were delicious and super healthy, and blueberry sour cream pound cake that wasn’t so healthy but was really delicious.
And finally, you guys know me. There were some dessert creations this year, obviously. Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies that were surprisingly awesome, as were my No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars.
And finally, a two-ingredient cocktail that can’t be beat: Kahlua and Chocolate Ice Cream. Yes. I went there. And it was glorious.
(Caramel Sandwich Cookies weren’t the worst thing in the world, either.)
I shared our “ttc” (internet slang for “trying to conceive”) story, and ups and downs of finding out that I needed surgery almost immediately after we started trying to have a baby. For silly superstitious reasons, I didn’t feel comfortable posting this until after our son had safely arrived, but so many families struggle with infertility, I think it’s important that we share these stories openly and honestly. So I did.
My biggest, most epic pregnancy meltdown: The story of the ceiling fan. (Or: Why Pinterest and Pregnancy Hormones Don’t Mix.)
I wrote about my nervousness with all the ways that our life was about to change, the same way I felt about leaving New York when we moved to Texas.
I tried to remember to enjoy being pregnant, and not just focusing on when the baby would finally get here. (It’s tough, at the end, let me tell you.)
I confronted the terrifying reality that new parents have no idea what they’re doing. And that I’d probably do just fine anyways.
I ate an entire chocolate cake by myself.
And on that note, I wrote about pregnancy weight gain. I spent way too much time freaking out at the numbers on the scale at the beginning of my pregnancy, when I gained way over the “recommended” amount… which was, ultimately, exactly what my body and our son needed.
And finally, despite the many, many posts about pregnancy, I wrote about the fact that there are so many wonderful ways to create a family. Sure, pregnancy is one, but what binds a family together isn’t genetics: it’s love.
In October, we left the baby behind for a pretty amazing trip to Mexico. I slept for, like, fourteen hours a day. And it was basically the best week of my life.
I made over our breakfast nook and created the most gorgeous nursery in turquoise and white. My IKEA dresser hack went viral on Pinterest, and well deservedly so. At under $400 for all the supplies, it simply can’t be beat.
Chad and I had our five year anniversary, and I shared our very unprofessional (but totally wonderful) wedding video here.
And in September, we lost our beloved dog Calvin, who I still miss every day.
I shared some meditation tips for beginners – one of the biggest changes in 2014 was that I started meditating on a regular basis, and it has improved my outlook so dramatically. If you haven’t given it a try, I definitely recommend it!
I wrote about our new puppy Rambo, who eats poop. We like him anyway.
I had an incredible baby shower, and was so grateful to celebrate with our wonderful friends and family.
I cancelled my trip to New York for Fashion Week because I was pregnant, and then promptly reconsidered. I ended up going at seven months pregnant and had a total blast — my video diary was posted here.
And I capped off the year by finally telling you guys about my disastrous Christmas dinner in 2013. Oops!
What a year! Just writing this has put a huge smile on my face. It’s been a crazy, wild ride and a joy every single day. Can’t wait to share 2015 with you guys, too.