Who Was In Your Top 8?

Friday

Could we seriously take a minute to figure out what we were we doing in the early 00's?  I recently stumbled upon my old MySpace from college and it made me wonder how we spent that much time on a simple, social media website.  Seriously though, what did we even do?  I remember being on there for it seems like hours with my friends sharing our favorite music, bands, artists, literally everything.  Going through my old MySpace it was crazy to see how time has changed, my music choices have evolved (although not that horrible back then apparently), relationships have evolved.  There were people in my Top 8 and friends lists that I didn't even know or remember.  How does this even happen?  All I have to say is that I must've been super social to say the least.  Also, during this time Facebook was still basically beta so MySpace was it.  That's all we had.  That and texting basically (that's right, this is before Blackberry's even came out, so we couldn't even check out emails from our phones yet).  Yes, we actually had to use our phones for talking.

Flash forward almost 10 years and social media has a completely new purpose.  Social Media isn't about gathering information or just talking to friends anymore but also making money.  MySpace is dead,  Facebook is on it's way out, and social media apps like Instagram and SnapChat are the main source of communication.  Let's not even get into how many marriages have fallen apart due to this obsession.  I can't tell you how many of my own personal friends have had to go on a "social media cleanse" or break to remember how to be a human again.  It kind of makes you wonder if they knew that this would be an outcome or such a simplistic idea of communication.  Needless to say, in years past I tried to delete my MySpace account but had no luck so it's here to stay as a reminder of how the social media business started in the first place.  For those of you who remember MySpace, this will most likely be a comical and cringe-worthy reminder and for those who are completely new to MySpace, this is how it was believe it or not.


Photo: MySpace

Here it is, the typical myspace profile picture.  Do you remember these?  If not, this is what a selfie looked like, pre selfie stick.  If you remember these were also usually in black and white.  Ha.



Here's the "I posed for my friend's Ad project" photo.  Art School kids will know what I mean.  I remember I strolled onto campus one morning and before you know it, I had a donut on my face.  Also, most likely last night's or yesterday's clothes.  


Photo: MySpace

Almost every artist has gone through the "I can make creepy art" phase, here was mine.  Luckily for me, it was short lived.  2007 was a good year for my photography in art school.  All of my hard work was finally starting to get noticed and had started to pop up everywhere so it was an obvious choice to show this one off on MySpace.  So good.



Photo: MySpace

Oh yeah, the "I still love this picture but we're not dating anymore" photo.  We all knew someone (even if it was ourselves) who had one.  When I saw this I felt terror followed immediately by laughter because I can't believe this will be on the internet forever.  Definitely cringe-worthy but I love it.  Back then, I modeled for my friends alot and sometimes that meant that whoever I was dating at the time had to model too.  It happens.  But that's the thing that makes it so great, no matter who and where you are in your life now, this is who you were.  It's a little piece of history.    

What's In Your Diaper Bag: A Basic Checklist for New Mamas

Thursday


Congratulations, you've made it through pregnancy, labor and everything else- you're a mama!  Now that you've given life to a beautiful little one, you want to show him or her off to family and friends (with your doctor's approval of course).  So what do you pack in your diaper bag you may ask?  Here's a few ideas from a new mama, herself!

The key is to pack light and efficiently. Don't over do it, or your body will pay for it later.  Just because your diaper bag has all of that space, doesn't mean that you have to use all of it (and maybe you'll need to use that space for something else).

The Diaper Bag


These days, diaper bags come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  At my baby shower I was gifted a great diaper bag with a shoulder strap which we love, but it got to the point where it was just too heavy and bulky.  I eventually came across diaper backpacks and I have to say whoever came up with these is a genius!



Diapering

I know, the first thing you think of when it comes to a diaper bag is diapers of course.  But how many do you pack?  Well, it depends on the length of your trip and how often you have to change your little one.  For us, I usually pack 2-4 diapers and our trips usually range from a half an hour to about 4 hours at the longest.  Just remember that each baby is different so pack as many as you think will last the trip, just don't pack diapers and leave room for nothing else in your bag.  Something you may also want to include are of course wipes.  I suggest the normal size of wipes (about the size of a letter envelope) but depending on space, there are also smaller sizes.



Feeding

Bottles are a given.  Whether you just take one or go with a couple it's up to you and the length of your trip.  If you are feeding your little one formula you can also get premixed bottles and pack those as well.  Once the doctor says it's ok to start feeding baby food, you can food either in containers or jars (however it comes) with the utensils needed, just not the whole drawer.



Blankets

I can't tell you how easy it is to overpack with blankets!  Baby will always need one so depending on the weather or season you will need to chose wisely.  We live in a warmer climate so I usually go with soft muslin blankets.  I keep one in the car and in the diaper bag.  Muslin blankets are great because they can keep baby either warm or cool, whichever is needed and they're also great as a breastfeeding cover for a feeding on the go!



Health Monitoring

Our baby was a C-Section baby and like most C-Section babies she had some breathing and swallowing problems in the beginning so the nasal aspirator was a must.  I mean we took that thing everywhere for the first couple of months (even if it was the next room) because you just never know.  Something else you may want to consider is a small travel thermometer.  Let's face it, babies get sick.  It's always an added bonus if you have one handy, just in case.  Lotions are also great to keep on hand.  Our baby had really dry skin about 2 weeks after she was born and our doctor suggested a non-scented lotion for her which we still keep handy.  Also for the hotter months, sunscreen is a must!  Babies burn very easily and you want to keep your little one safe when you're out in the sun!


Clothes

Accidents happen and sometimes its best to pack an extra outfit if you have the space.  An extra onesie and pair of socks (and sweater depending on the weather) are usually good enough.


Entertainment

Does your little one have a favorite toy or book?  How about a baby mirror?  Bring it.  Sometimes peek-a-boo just won't cut it and you need some backup.  Also, some extra bonding time is great for everyone!


Everything Else

We would've never thought that our baby was starting the beginning stages of teeth at a little over 2 months but there we were.  With that in mind, I highly suggest at least packing a teething accessory of some sort, but me personally I try to always have a teething necklace on hand at all times.  Bibs are also a must.  Although our baby is a happy baby she sometimes spits up and drools and a bib comes in super handy.  Pacifiers are also great for self soothing, because sometimes baby is cranky and needs a little "me" time.



Extras You May Want to Think About


Ever since we got the green light from the doctor to take the baby out (and she got her 2 month shots) we took our little one out a little more with each trip, even if it was to the grocery store and we learned alot.  Something that no one every thought to tell me was to bring a bag to put dirty diapers in.  I mean what are parents supposed to do if they're on the road and don't have a trash can handy?  Bring your own bag, even if it's a plastic one, it will make everyone involved alot happier.  Also, your baby is going to spit up.  Alot.  And if you're like me, sometimes you won't notice it until you're in the checkout line at Target.  Bring an extra shirt.  Lastly, depending on your view on baby wearing you can pack either an inexpensive sling or wrap as well (because you never know when you will be in a situation where you'll need one).  I have a sling that easily folds up flat and I put in the front pocket of my diaper bag, it's such a life saver.



Just remember, these are all suggestions based on a new mama's experience.  Every baby is different and you little one may have different needs.  In the end it's all about you and your baby!

Note: This post was originally written for The Vintage Honey Shop

How to Master Pre and Post Mama Work Style

Saturday


Let's face it, finding a great work wardrobe is hard.  It's even harder when you're trying to dress both a pregnant and then post-pregnant body, not to mention how expensive it can be.  Just don't do it.  If you can actually find clothes that fit, you'll most likely won't fit them in a short while anyway so essentially, it's a waste of money.  What I didn't know when I was a soon-to-be mama and wished that someone told me was that I really didn't have to spend that much, most of the time what you wear while you're pregnant is totally wearable afterwards as well (when you're working on getting your pre-pregnant body back).

Here are some great mama approved work looks that you could totally rock when you're still transitioning your wardrobe and body, no matter the job. 


Whether you're meeting clients for a meeting or attending a luncheon, this look is great and it's all about comfort.  As a soon-to-be mama, we all want to feel good in our clothes and most of all be comfortable.  Just because you're not pregnant anymore doesn't mean that you have to throw out your maternity clothes, use them while you still can.  Learn to love your post-pregnant body, and wearing clothes that fit will help you with that!  

This look is great because we have everything about this look in our closets already.  From the stretchy grey top and skinny pants to the comfortable booties, this is what makes this outfit so easy to copy and perfect for transitioning.  The stretchy top that was tight in your third trimester, will perfectly cover your fourth trimester tummy, while you're still trying to get back to your normal self.  Polished off by the blazer and in all neutral tones (which look good on everyone by the way), this look is a must.


Photo: How Does She

Office looks were definitely the hardest when I was pregnant.  I wasn't the type of mama-to-be that wore super tight clothes that showed off my bump (even though it was super obvious and no offense to those who did/do), so I basically had to get creative.  That's why this look is so great.  No matter how much you grow while your pregnant and then shrunk afterwards, the shirt over the dress look is a great go to.  The key to this look is finding a stretchy dress.  It doesn't have to be a tight stretchy dress, just a comfortable dress and throw on a nice button-down shirt and there you go, office attire perfection.

  
Photo: Pink Peonies

I wished that I could try heels when I was pregnant with my little one but alas, my feet were too swollen very early on, but kudos to you all that could do it (you know who you are).  Whether you work in fashion or marketing or maybe you just have a killer sense of style, this look is for you!  This look has got to be the easiest look on this list because it revolves around a black dress.  What's so great about it?  We all have it in our closets already!  This look works great for someone who's pregnant and just had a baby because it's not only stretchy but classic so it's 100% transitional for your after baby body.  The black dress will still show off your shape but also be comfortable, just add a fitted jacket and a pop of color and you're go to go!        



When I was pregnant I was very lucky because I worked at a very relaxed nonprofit in their art/marketing department and this was literally my outfit almost every single day (minus the hat).  If your job dress code allows, this is the most fluid transitional look for mamas-to-be to mamas after baby.  Everything about this look screams comfort from the Birkenstocks all the way up to the long cardigan (without looking too relaxed for the office).  This look is very forgiving and can either grow with you or shrink if need be.  Even though I've lost most of my pregnant stomach, I still rock this look for time to time.
    


This look is for everyone's favorite day of the week, Casual Friday.   Even though the office dress code might allow you to technically wear a t-shirt and jeans, you want to be comfortable and professional at the same time.  While I was still pregnant, it was easy to swap out a graphic tee for a stretchy, loose fitting top that served the same purpose.  Even after you have your little one, that top will still look great with your maternity jeans (if you still wear them) or a pair of comfortable skinny jeans.  To polish off your look, add some cute peep toe shoes and your look is complete.  


Just remember, no matter your size or shape it's so important to love who you are!  Dressing your new body after baby should be fun, don't get discouraged because your "old clothes" don't fit anymore.  It takes time to get your body back (you were carrying another human for crying out loud) and you should embrace the new you because you are beautiful!

Note: This post was originally written for The Vintage Honey Shop

How to Get Your 💩 Together In 2017

Sunday

Finding the ideal planner for your life can be overwhelming.  We are all at different stages in our lives and it can be truly difficult to get the most out of your planner and organize your life if the planner just isn't a perfect fit.

For those of us who's New Year's resolutions are to get organized (or just for those of us who need to) here are some great planner options so you can get your 💩 together this year.



Erin Condren planners are really great.  There are so many different types of life events and goals that we plan for (or should) and the geniuses at Erin Condren totally get that.  Whether it's a wedding, teacher lesson plans or you have a major goal you want to accomplish this year, they have your back.  And if you're anything like me, I love to accessorize and decorate my planner.  It makes reaching your goals all the more colorful and fun!  Not only does Eric Condren sell planners but also accessories along with it.  But if you don't like any of their accessories, you can go to etsy and find some that you do.  


Video: Volunteers for Community Impact

Passion Planners are the mecca of all planners.  When I was part of the Marketing team at a nonprofit last year, we were able to all get Passion Planners for free and they changed the way we organized our lives.  Passion Planners are basically extremely organized life planners.  The video above is a video our interns made thanking Passion Planners for donating such amazing planners (my planner is the cover photo as well as the 3rd and 8th planners used just in case you were wondering).  I was able to track my pregnancy, freelance and nonprofit projects all in one planner without it looking too crazy or disorganized.

 Passion Planner started off as an idea and because so much more than that.  These planners come in small and large sizes and make your life so organized (or at least they can make you feel that way).  If you are a girl boss or an aspiring one, this is the planner for you.


Photo: Brilliant Life Planner

Brilliant Life Planners are planners aimed at the Stay-at-Home Moms who also work from home or own their own businesses.  They have the planner essentials in addition to areas that help you look ahead and reflect.  Brilliant Life Planners also have free printables  for when you run out or just want more, as well as an online community for Business Moms.  As a Mom, having time to reflect and seek out my goals it key.  Also the cute covers don't hurt either.


Photo: Julia Kostreva

Julia Kostreva is a super talented artist who also makes planners and notebooks.  These planners are great for designers or the minimalist at heart.  Her planners are small enough to put in your purse and plan away on the go.

Photo: Julia Kostreva

 My favorite part about her planners aren't the beautiful, simplistic design but the fact that they aren't dated.  You literally can start this planner whenever you want and keep it with you no matter where you are.



xx


Can 2016 Leave Already?!

Wednesday


A photo posted by Allison Dandrea (@allisondandrea) on

We still can't believe it.  
2016 has been a cruel soul.  Here's to 2017 being a better year (because it's only up from here) 👏🙌

xx

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