Mamahood: Why adventures with a toddler are worth the effort

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I got the idea for this post when a fellow mom asked how we (meaning Tim, Nolan, and I) always had the energy and time to do fun things.  “Isn’t it just overwhelming?”, she asked.  This got me thinking- I guess we DO do a lot of “fun things”- but I didn’t necessarily see our adventures as something out of the ordinary- we’ve always kind of been “get up and go” people— we love seeing new things, trying new restaurants, staying in new places and hotels— I guess it turns out that “having fun” is sort of my hobby!

Let me explain…

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Remember when we were kids, and having fun was easy because, well you were a kid and it was pretty much your only job, other than to go to school.  Even throughout high school and college, it’s still pretty easy to have fun, go on adventures, travel, eat out, explore etc.

Then BAM, you get a big girl (or guy) job, have to pay rent/ a mortgage, maybe have a kid ( or two or three or whatever!) and now you’re just tired AF and it’s just so much easier to stay home. “Having fun” sometimes feels like another line on the old “adulting” to-do list.

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Outfit details: Sandro tee | the BEST faded cropped straight leg high waist jeans | leopard cardigan | headband | Gucci mules

Which I get. Believe me, it may seem like we are always on the go on social media, but we LOVE a good Netflix session as much as the next person.  Of course there are (plenty) of days where we never get “dressed” and hibernate at home too.  But then I get this itchy feeling like I need to go somewhere, do something, see something new- and especially since having Nolan, I want the same for him.

To get right to the heart of this, I think what I’m trying to say is that while it’s not always easy to get out of the house, take a toddler somewhere not necessarily toddler friendly, and kind of just “wing” an adventure, ITS ALWAYS WORTH IT. Never once have we gotten on a plane or train, traveled to a new city, taken Nolan to an event, restaurant or activity and said “gee I really wish we had stayed home.”  The adventures are not always perfect, in fact, far from it.  This past mini- getaway, out to the Hamptons for apples and pumpkins, def wasn’t- we couldn’t control the fact that Nolan wouldn’t nap in the car, that it rained all morning, and that oops, he may have (definitely) rolled off the hotel bed in the middle of the night (ok maybe we could have helped that but hey, didn’t we ALL roll off the bed at some point as kids?!) But the fact that we knew we couldn’t control all of these factors was not a deterrent for us from going.  We just pushed through his nap time and put him to bed early, went out to lunch in Southampton (Sant Ambrose!) while waiting for the rain to end, and well, just moved Nolan right in between us in the hotel bed after he fell off (lol).

On the way back home, we stopped at our fave vineyard, Wölffer Estate, which I would not categorize as “toddler friendly”.  I mean, they were def super nice, and no one looked at us like we were crazy or anything— but it’s not a place with like TVs with Disney channel on, or toys to play with, or even a dedicated place to play.  But we wanted to go (don’t even get me started on people who would claim this is “selfish” and how “when you’re a parent, it’s not about YOU anymore” bc screw that, each member of our little fam is important! And last time I checked, Nolan isn’t the one paying the mortgage amiright?!) SO WE DID. And it was fun- really fun. We brought his sticker books and cars and he just read and stickered and played and ate crackers at our table while we wined and cheesed- I swear, he’s learned that some places are for mommy and daddy and that’s ok.

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My point is, when I think about why some moms/parents hesitate to travel with/ adventure with their babies/ kids it’s because we then have to let go of even more control- the unknown, even if it’s just “will he pick up garbage on the subway and eat it” (maybe) or “will she freak out on the plane” (definitely) or “what if he doesn’t like any of the food served at the restaurant” (almost certainly) – can be really damn annoying to deal with, and down right anxiety inducing for us (especially moms, I think).  What will other people think if my kid misbehaves? What if it ends up being a disaster- we might as well just not go- it’ll be easier.  The thing is, “easier” usually doesn’t lead to “having fun”.  And I’ve found that people are really understanding of babies and toddlers- if they freak out a little, it’s not a reflection of you (not always, at least lol)— and people, most of whom are parents themselves, totally get it.  The more adventures we go on, the better Nolan gets at going with the flow— it’s really the only way he knows- on weekend mornings, he’ll ask “where we gonna go to?!” – he knows that most days bring adventure.  Also, our on the go lifestyle makes the three of us, Nolan included, appreciate and value the Netflix (or in his case, Moana!) marathons even more satisfying 💛
I really hope this post inspires you mamas (or dads) to plan a little getaway, go on a fun day trip, or just have a spontaneous adventure this weekend- I promise, the memories will be worth the effort! 💕
Xo, ❤
Christine

NYFW September 2018: What I Wore, Where to stay, and How to Get Invited

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Hey guys! So here’s Part 2 of this season’s #NYFW coverage- this post will focus on the more personal side of fashion week- what I wore, where to stay and eat, and how to get invited to events and shows!

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Anine Bing Tee | Leopard skirt (similar here and here) | lace up boots | oversized denim jacket

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Fashion week lunch at one of my fave spots, Gotan, right around the corner from where most shows are: lots of charging stations, grilled cheese, soups, coffee, mint lemonade- need I say more?!

1. What I Wore: the above look was my outfit for the first round of shows… sometimes I’ll do multiple outfits in a day, but this season, it rained almost every day so I honestly just didn’t feel like changing! So one look per day it was! When I put together looks for fashion week, it’s super important to still feel like “me”— I think some people kind of go a little nuts in terms of almost wearing a costume- which , hey,  do YOU, right? But for me, I really try to build my looks using pieces I KNOW I’ll wear again and again- ones that have “remix” power if you will.

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Gucci Tee | Floral kimono | red boots (old Zara, similar here) | jean shorts | vintage Fendi

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For instance, this Gucci tee was def a splurge (I actually had to eat my own words on this one- having said in the past that I would never spend more than $100 on a tee! Just goes to show, never say never!). My justification is this: I’m a tee shirt kinda gal, so why not splurge on a classic that I’ll wear forever?! I literally wear it at least once a week.

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Mixed print dress | white mule heels | Belt bag

While I don’t normally wear a ton of dresses, I loved the bold mixed print of this one- if you’re gonna step outside your fashion box, fashion week is the time to do it! I kept the look “me” by adding white mules and a belt bag.

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Red floral suit : Zara| Gucci mules (similar for less!) | Parisa Wang bag

This was my fourth and final look for my last day of shows- and I loved it! You guys know I love a special blazer, and this one will be easy to remix all fall and winter to jazz up jeans and tee combos, or with a denim or leather mini and sneaks or boots.

2. Where to stay:

I get asked this question a lot, mostly from blogger friends of mine who are coming in from out of town to stay in the city for fashion week. For the past few seasons, most shows have been at Spring Studios in TriBeCa and Industria in the meatpacking district. You’re best bet to be close to the action, is somewhere downtown, in TriBeCa ( we LOVE the Roxy hotel- walking distance to the shows at Spring Studios, and just a few blocks south of Soho’s best shopping and food), Chelsea, Meatpacking, Soho, or the Lower East Side. Some of my fave fashion week hotels (ambiance, fashion-y vibe, location and price taken into account): The Roxy, Public, Soho Grand, Hotel Indigo, The Dream, and The Standard Highline.

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Coffee and Room service at The Roxy Hotel

3. How to get invited: plain and simple- it takes work and time. As I stated back in a fashion week recap a few years ago, gone are the days (for the most part) of walking into a show and maybe getting a standing spot (as I did with my very first show ever, Tibi, back in 2013!). Now everyone is ticketed, scanned and rescanned- a friend in the industry shared with me an interesting tidbit- that seats at a show cost hundreds of dollars per person in theory- meaning what it costs the company to put on the show, divided by all the seats available for attendees- so you have to make it worth it for the designer/ company to have you there! Some helpful tips:

1) Build your readership/following- I mean duh, right? And trust me, I know just how frustrating this is at this stage of this overly saturated, increasingly competitive game- I always say, I feel like I came into blogging at the “tail end of the beginning”- when you could still gain traction and carve out a niche for yourself- not to say it’s impossible now- bc it’s def not- it just takes more work and time I think.

2) Go to small, up and coming designers’ shows, find shows that are open to the public (Style Fashion Week is always a good start) and COVER THE SHOWS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS! Do insta stories, and insta posts obviously, but really, a dedicated, detailed actual old fashioned blog post is what the designers and companies want to see. After 24 hours your runway insta stories disappear- you need a more permanent place to catalogue your coverage. Once you’ve built up a few seasons of coverage, go to the next step below and use what you’ve written and your photos to…

3, Email PR companies and the designers/shows you want to attend! Most designers’ PR companies, or media specialists are google-able, or you can go through Modem Online , which compiles a lot of them alphabetically. I’ve even DMed some designers/companies through insta to start the conversation about my interest and what I can offer in exchange for a ticket. Your emails should start a few months before the shows in September and February, and should introduce yourself BRIEFLY, give a few of your stats, express genuine interest in this designer, and LINKS TO YOUR PAST BLOG COVERAGE OF SHOWS! This last part is vital- it shows companies who are sorting through 9273727 email requests that this person (YOU!) aren’t just in it to look cool- but that you actually will take the time to do a write up and permanent post on the show. Take a look at my last write up if you need inspo!

So that’s it you guys! Till February, another NYFW in the books! Hope you found this helpful!

xo, ❤

Christine

NYFW SS19 Runway Review: September 2018

So this time around I decided to break my NYFW coverage into two separate blog posts; one for a Runway Report (what trends I saw, looks I loved from each collection, what you should try working into your wardrobe now)— and another separate post for what I wore to fashion week, where I ate and stayed/ tips etc!

Wih that said, here goes Part 1!

Show 1: Taoray Wang

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Collection summary: Lots of perfectly tailored suiting, with strong shoulders and cinched waists giving a chic nod to the 80s.

Colors: Navy, pink, grey

Get the look: pinstripes, midiskirts, double breasted blazers, puff shoulders, corsets and cool belts

Show 2: Son Jung Wan

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Collection summary: Details, details, details; more is more, lots of incredible patterns, textures and layers that Son Jung Wan is known for.  Sheer fabrics, pastels, and iridescent materials really stood out.

Colors: Aqua, checker, yellow, pastels, iridescents

Get the Look: try out sheer skirts over minis or shorts or pants, layer colors and textures, shorts with blazers

Show 3: Yuna Yang

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Collection summary: super feminine, light and airy, Yuna Yang’s theme this season was “Freedom”— and the pieces def lived up this idea.

Colors: white, cream, lace pastels

Get the Look: more ruffles, midiskirts with shirts tucked in, off the shoulder looks still going strong

Show 4: Nonie

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Collection Summary: Lots of fluid, slinky satin looks, combined with sheer pieces— extremely wearable, somewhat minimalist, and impeccably constructed

Colors, white, black, fuchsia, red

Get the Look: silky or satiny wrap dresses, plunging necklines, sheer pieces layered over pants

Show 5: Ruby Fang

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Collection Summary: mostly evening wear, Ruby Fang’s attention to detail with a slight Asian flare make her pieces true standouts that any woman would love to wear for a schmancy occasion… this green suit was my absolute fave, in addition to these sheer sparkly dresses

Colors: Black, cream, mint, red, gold

Get the Look: Again, longer  sheer  pieces layered over shorter and more substantial ones ruled; get yourself a slim fitting, cropped suit immediately!

Show 6: Veronica Beard

Collection Summary: So much print mixing inspo, bright and happy patterns for suiting, more midi skirts with shirts tucked in— an overall tropical safai vacation gone very chic.

Colors: Yellow, tropical floral, metallic sequins for day, pinks, gingham and checkered pieces

Get the Look: if you didn’t get the patterned/ textures midi skirt with a contrasting shirt tucked in memo by now, consider this your wake up call! Also, if you’re a shorts person like me, try high waisted or paper bag shorts with patterned crop tops and blazers!

Show 7: Sally Lapointe

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Collection Summary: Ah, Sally Lapointe— my fave of all faves for her mix of aspirational looks that are still very wearable- she just gets how the fashion forward New York girl wants to dress.  This collection, as per usual, blew me away— mixing textures like cozy sweaters and vinyl/patent leather, lots more sheer pieces layered in interesting ways, shorts in varying lengths paired with cool jackets and the chicest iridescent plaid you ever did see.

Colors: monochromatic looks dominated the runway in colors like fuchsia (take note for spring) , nude, navy, peach and plaid

Get the Look: pair unexpected textures- think soft and hard together- patent and fuzzy, sheer and thickly constructed pieces. And more fitted midi skirts with sweaters or course.

…and that’s a wrap on this fashion week! Stay tuned for Part 2- my shoppable looks from NYFW, where I stayed, ate, and tips for going if you’re interested!

xo, ❤

Christine

Austin: Where we stayed, What we Ate and How we Traveled with a Toddler and Broken Leg

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Crop top | ruffled midi skirt | net bag | sandals

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Gingham top | mom shorts | mules | bag

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T shirt | wrap skirt | sneaks | sunnies

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Crop top | wrap skirt | mules | sunnies

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes to make lemonade out of lemons— when dealt with a sucky situation, I like the challenge of trying to make the best of it.  So when my husband Tim broke his leg and tore his meniscus a few days before we were supposed to fly to Austin, Texas for (ironically, a jiu jitsu competition , which is how he injured his leg to begin with!) vacation, we (really, I) decided we were going to make it work and still go.  We’d never been to Austin before, so we packed our bags and off we went!

Flying with a broken leg: (basically what I googled into the wee hours of the night two days before we got on the plane)

1. We called Delta and informed them that my husband would be flying in a cast (removable, not hard cast; check w your doctor/ airline before flying with a hard cast!) and crutches and that we would need a wheelchair curbside to the gate, both on the NYC end and in Austin. They also upgraded us to extra legroom seats free of charge— honestly, they could not have been more accommodating! The wheelchair met us at the curb, we got through security in a matter of minutes (didn’t even have to wait in line!) and they even checked our bags for us at the curb. In fact the process was so much faster    than we expected- we even had time to grab breakfast and eat at the gate!  We also called our hotel and had them change our room to a walk in shower so Tim could get in without his leg bending.

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Flying with Nolan:

This was actually Nolan’s 5th time flying, so we knew what to expect and how to prep.  Most airlines let kids under 2 fly for free- so even though Nolan turned 2 in May, we actually fudged his age with the airline and said he would turn 2 in August!!! (Don’t judge lol- this saved us a couple hundred dollars!) No one even asked for ID or anything for him so it was really fine.  The staff was so nice, they even let him sit up in the cockpit! The plan was to hold him on our laps, but a nice guy let us switch some seats around so that Nolan ended up having his own seat bc there were a few empties on the flight to Austin. As always, we brought plenty of snacks, and we picked out a few new toys/books/stickers the day before so he was well entertained in the flight (about 3.5 hours). Every hour or so we took a walk up and down the aisle and hung out with the flight attendants in the back of the plane (really because that’s where they kept Nolan’s fave Delta cookies!)

Where we stayed:

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So instead of a traditional hotel, we decided to try out Locale in Austin. We stayed at Locale on Rainey street, which is basically the main street for bars, food trucks, restaurants etc (shout out to the 8362638 bachelorette and bachelor parties we saw in the area!) Locale is a combo between an Airbnb and a hotel- it appeared on Expedia (where I booked) but was really an apartment (2 bedrooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, master bathroom bigger than my first apt) inside an actual luxury rental building.  So we had access to the gorgeous rooftop pool, fitness center etc on the building property, but since it wasn’t a hotel, there was no front desk, room service, or housekeeping. At first I was definitely apprehensive about the lack of hotel amenities, bc after all, we go on vacation to NOT have to do chores right?! But I actually turned out to be great- we could put Nolan to bed/ nap and still be able to stay up and hang out in the living room… I threw in all our dirty laundry before we left and we were able to return home with all clean clothes… and the extra space was great with a toddler and Tim on crutches!

What we ate (most importantly!)

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Brunch at Forthright

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The Best BBQ at Terry Black’s

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Grilled cheese and soup at Fareground

As you guys probably know, there is no shortage of amazing food experiences in Austin- it’s def a foodie city and every meal we had was better than the last! Here’s where we ate and what we loved:

Banger’s Beer Garden : casual beer garden / picnic table food (sausage specialty) but the real draw is how they have toys for kids to play with while parents eat and drink!!

Torchy’s Tacos: kitschy but incredible- get one of each!

Forthright: delicious and pretty brunch spot; amazing waffles!

Josephine House: Tim called this place “fancy brunch” lol … think marble tables, very instagram friendly- food was incredible as well!

Fareground: Indoor food hall with gourmet vendors – had the best grilled cheese and tomato soup of my life here

Jo’s Hot Coffee Good Food : breakfast tacos!!!

Counter Cafe: traditional diner food, but better

Terry Black’s BBQ: worth the 40 minute wait in 105 degrees… with a toddler and broken leg… that’s how good this food was.

Moral(s) of the story?

Austin was awesome; will def go back- probably the best dining experience in a city we’ve had so far (and we live in NY!!)

Don’t be afraid to travel with a broken bone or a two year old- you’d encounter the same exact challenges at home, and somehow when you’re  in a change of scenery, the adventure overrides the minor difficulties!

Hope this helps!

xo, ❤

Christine