Friday, January 28, 2011

Naptime Reading Material

There are definitely days when I miss work.

As a stay-at-home new mom in the middle of winter, there are mornings when I wake up and long to put on a pencil skirt, blouse, and peep toe heels and go to a PAC event without a burp cloth in my purse.

So, until I get a new job or figure out how to dress up without ruining my clothes with Lansinoh, I've been living vicariously through 9 to 5 Chic.

Written by Ahn, who works in medical device sales in San Francisco, 9 to 5 Chic is full of posts of her personal style with an emphasis on creative, but work-appropriate outfits. I love her use of silky blouses balanced with tough ankle boots. She also has a great mix of high and low fashion...great shoes and bags, filled out with pieces from Zara and Forever 21, and solid basics.

Further, the temperate San Fran weather which is always evident in her pics makes me long for spring. Yesterday someone told me spring doesn't appear until LATE APRIL in Pittsburgh.

Save a blouse for me, Barney's!

image from

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

3 Beauty Products You Can and Should Share With Your Baby (or buy even if you don't have one)

My mother-in-law tells a story about early parenthood wherein, being extremely tired, she went to brush her teeth one day and realized only at the last second that the white paste on her toothbrush was Desitin, not Crest. The smell saved her.

While I wouldn't recommend trying to make many swaps, I have discovered a few beauty products that I use for the baby doing double duty for myself. So, if you have a baby, these are things to keep in the arsenal, and if you don't, these are totally worth having around.

I've actually carried around a tube of this for a while for chapped lips and other assorted skin ailments. It leaves a lovely clear shine on lips, is not at all sticky and works like a charm. It is great over lipgloss and a little extra dab on knuckles and cuticles is great in the freezing dry winter weather we are having. It is also recommended for use on the baby's diaper area and over their dry skin right after birth.

The gold standard for no more tears baby shampoo in the iconic yellow bottle. Seriously, the smell instantly takes me back to the days when I would make a soapy mohawk in the tub and my mom would use a cup to rinse out my hair. It was one of the first items I picked up in preparation for the baby's arrival and the only thing I use on her in the tub. Well, I've also written about how it makes an excellent gentle eye makeup remover and it can be used to clean makeup brushes.

My reputation as a beauty blogger precedes me and I was given lots of fancy baby lotions at my shower. Right now, they are looking beautiful on the changing table, but the only lotion I've used so far is an industrial sized bottle of Cetaphil Lotion. Recommended by my pediatrician (who is so cool and laid back) because it's perfume free, dye free, and super gentle and appropriate for newborns. This stuff has kept the baby soft and comfy even as the frigid Pittsburgh winter drags on. I've also found that it's been great to swipe on my own windblown face at the end of the day and also works as a great hand lotion. It is light and sinks in fast, which is good, because, hot damn! Babies are slippery.

Please note! You shouldn't take my word on what to put on your baby! Please check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

images from,, and

Friday, January 21, 2011

Naptime Reading Material

Because seriously, who actually sleeps when the baby sleeps?

I can't remember exactly what bizarre train of links through the interwebs led me to A Cup of Jo, but I'm glad it did! Written by Joanna Goddard, a freelance writer based in NY, the blog is full of snippets of her daily life as a new mom to Toby (adorbs!) in addition to style and inspirational posts of what else is out there.

I spent a while poking through her archives pretty soon after my daughter was born and got hooked. Mostly because was fun hearing from someone who's been there, done that on a lot of new mommyhood things with great style (her post, "10 Things to Wear as a Nursing Mom" post is now my shopping list) and is totally chill about the whole thing.

As opposed to a lot of the rest of the hysterical internet ramblings about attachment parenting and whatnot.

As someone who was a total mess at the beginning of this thing, it was very promising to see a cool hip young mom. I highly recommend, even if you just want to look at her cute baby. He has the best hats!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Milking It

I had a pretty stunningly easy pregnancy. So I was thrown through quite a loop when I found out that motherhood and breastfeeding were not as simple as I had stupidly thought they would be.

I imagined myself out and about as a cool hip pulled together mom who would be instantly comfortable in my old clothes wearing my baby in the Moby wrap and nursing whereever and whenever I pleased.




Instead, it was more like a total spaz with no makeup and unwashed hair in black yoga pants and the, oh, I don't know, ONE shirt that fit my now ginormous chest with stains all over it. Oh, also manically checking the baby and readjusting the wrap because I'm sure she's asphyxiating in there.

So, when I finally started to get the hang of everything and started showering regularly, I decided I would splurge on some new nursing tops. Having seen a recommendation for the Milkstars line on the Pregnant Fashionista, I decided to order two long sleeved shirts, the Michelle and the Rachel, which have quickly become part of my "mommy uniform."

Nursing tops are kind of like the Constitution...they look simple and easy to work, but in practice can be devastatingly tricky.

The Milkstars line relies on the double layer shirt, which is a standard cotton shirt layered over an attached tank top that stays in place while you lift up the top layer to nurse. The beauty of this is that your stomach and back stay covered for modesty and warmth. Unlike some of the other nursing tops I got with this style (Old Navy, I'm looking at you) the undershirt goes all the way around and is separate from the top layer everywhere put the shoulder. This ensures that there are no wardrobe malfunctions while your nursing. The Milkstars tops are soft cotton with a little bit of stretch and come in great jewel tone colors, which makes them perfect for a casual work outfit or with jeans.

In fact, I've recently been known to do extra loads of laundry just to have these shirts ready to wear. Not an easy thing when the laundry is constantly full of tiny pink and white garments.

My only complaint is that I've heard that hand washing is the best way to ensure the quality of the top, which, let's face it, is NOT going to happen.

So, while I still check to make sure the baby is breathing in her carrier and wash my hair approximately three times a week these least my fantasy about discretely nursing and looking normal afterwards isn't a total pipe dream.

Disclosure: I was extended a friends & family discount on the Milkstars tops.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globes 2011

Olivia Wilde is topping all kinds of best dressed lists after last night's appearance in her sparkly Marchesa ball gown. While I am not going to deny that she looked amazing, I think it was more about her makeup than the dress (flashbacks to an eerily similar Oscar de la Renta look from a few seasons ago?).

Here's the breakdown of her favorite is the neutral but not cadaverous lip color created with the Velvet Pencil in Frivolous.
Also, she went to my husband's alma mater...go Hoppers!

NARS worked with celebrity makeup artist Spencer Barnes to create presenter Olivia Wilde’s glowing look for the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards.

“Olivia's look was inspired by images she collected of what she refers to as ‘the French girl.’ I wanted her skin to be fresh and clean with eyes that extended outward. Touches of rose gold and sheer pink-veiled lips completed her youthful coquette-ish look,” Spencer said.

Below is a list of products that Spencer used, including the soon-to-be-released Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil!

· Sheer Glow Foundation

· PRO-PRIME Multi Protect Primer With SPF (NEW for Spring 2011 – available February 1st exclusively at Sephora; for now, try NARS Makeup Primer With SPF)

· Copacabana Illuminator (NEW for Spring 2011 – available February 15th on; for now, try Copacabana Multiple)

· Amour Blush

· PRO-PRIME Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

· Nouveau Monde Duo Eyeshadow (NEW for Spring 2011!)

· Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil (NEW for Spring 2011!)

· Mambo Eyeliner Pencil

· Larger Than Life Lengthening Mascara

· Fantasia Lipliner Pencil

· Madere Pure Matte Lipstick (NEW for Spring 2011!)

· Frivolous Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil (NEW for Spring 2011 – available February 1st on; for now, try Super Orgasm Lip Gloss, also new for Spring 2011!)

Friday, January 07, 2011

Naptime Reading Material

A sneak peak into my Google Reader...

The recent editorial shakeup over at Lucky Magazine has had a wide ranging impact...ok, so maybe it's not the midterm elections or anything, but the aftershocks have been felt in my house. Notably, Andrea Linett's column at the end of the monthly is now gone. Each month, she would post a drawing of a look she was planning on adopting, complete with the provenance of each piece.

First, let me say that I didn't always get her aesthetic. I mean, the blanket poncho sweater thing she once featured was not exactly my cup of tea. But the woman does have an eye.

So, I was delighted to hear that she had launched I want to be her!, a blog-slash-shopping site where she features real women and has a breakdown of the elements of the look, plus where to pick up the pieces. It's a little like the Sartorialist and Garance Dore with actual information about where the clothes came from.

It's given me some serious inspiration to break out of my new mommy uniform rut. I also heard yesterday that Linett was named the new creative director of Ebay Fashion, so I hope she continues with the blog in addition to boosting the auction site's fashion profile.

image from

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Something You Should Know About Me

Something you should all know about me and my approach to beauty is that I'm fundamentally lazy.

I'll call it low maintenance, minimal, whatever, but at it's very core, it's all about the laze.

I know it sounds weird, considering how much time and money I devote to beauty products, but when it comes to actually using everything on a daily basis, I'm all about streamlining.

So when it comes to taking off my makeup at the end of the day, I'm all about skipping steps. Which is one of the reasons I always loved the Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup remover pads. I literally enjoy being able to skip the step of getting out one of those little cotton pads and putting the liquid on the pad. Plus, only one thing to buy at the store. See what I'm saying? Lazy.

But, blogger can not live on one makeup removal product alone, so I picked up a bottle of Benefit Cosmetics Gee...That Was Quick! Now, despite the awesomely suggestive name, this stuff is not that quick. It removes eye makeup, but with a couple of passes and I can still get smudges the next morning when I wake up.

Which means I need to remove AGAIN.

Which is way too much work for me.