When it comes to dressing my kiddos, I’m all about finding brands that work for all three of mine. I can knock out all of their clothes shopping in one fell swoop and also buy pieces that coordinate. I realize my days are limited for having creative control over their little wardrobes, so I’m going all in for matching/coordinating outfits whenever possible.
Busy Bees Kids has been a go-to brand for years. Busy Bee’s prints are super cute and I love their traditional dresses and also cotton separates. Plus the boys clothes are adorable, which is super rare if you ask me! We wear Busy Bees multiple times a week, from the park to church and outside for bike rides–the clothe are super cute, functional and hold up extremely well.
The girls love Busy Bees dresses because their “Pretty and not itchy!” Perfect for everyday playtime, but nice enough to wear for special occasions too!
London-based Rachel Riley has always been a favorite childrenswear brand for my kids. Although my own fashion sense tends to run the gamit between traditional and edgy, I tend to lean traditional with my babies. Rachel Riley’s design philosophy is just that, as she draws inspiration from the forties, fifties and sixties with fine tailoring, beautiful hand smocking, hand embroidery and vintage-inspired prints.
Rachel Riley pieces tend to be the outfits and dresses that my girls want to wear every.single.day. Great taste, these girls have! Each Rachel Riley piece is also so special to me because they evoke such fond memories from milestones and special occasions in my childrens’ lives. Since baby Jack came into the picture, it’s been hard to find a clothing line where I like both the boys and girls clothing options, so Rachel Riley is a go-to when I want to coordinate outfits for the kids!
You might recognize some Rachel Riley pieces on the Royal children–Rachel Riley is a favorite of Princess Kate!
Remember back in the day where Monday’s were for all things motherhood?! We’ve been a bit behind lately, but are excited to bring y’all some mom stuff today. I’ve been a loyal Dr. Brown’s user for all three kids so why not let y’all know why I love this brand for my family?! I’ve also had lots of questions over social media about baby products, including bottles, and have to say Mr. Jack is doing quite well with bottle feeding thus far. His chubby cheeks will tell you he’s not missing meals at our house. Wink, wink.
I’m still nursing but transitioning Jack back and forth from breast to bottle has been a breeze with Dr. Brown’s nipples. I’ve recently started using their glass bottles too. If we’re running around town I’ll prepare Jack’s bottle with hot water and by the time I’m ready to feed him the milk is the perfect temperature.
Dr. Brown’s has been a big part of our family for the past 5 years and my bottle of choice for all three kids. The bottles are well made, easy to clean and the vent system is known for helping reduce feeding problems and colic. Our house has traditionally been full of pink Dr. Brown’s bottles, so we did have to swap them out for blue when we found out we were having a boy!
Happy Mother’s Day weekend to all of you wonderful moms out there. Earlier this week, Bret asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day. Sleeping in and organizing my clutter filled closets were the first two things to pop into my mind. Neither of which involved my kids, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of Mother’s Day. I feel like a jerk now that I’m actually writing this but have a feeling that a lot of other moms out there would ask for similar things too, right?! I’m going to go ahead and chalk it up to being normal and human.
What I didn’t realize is I would get the best Mother’s Day gift of all a day early. This morning there was some sort of magic in the air in our house. And it wasn’t because I got to sleep in. I actually brought Jack into our room earlier than he normally wakes, teething the likely culprit for the early morning alarm clock. Lucky for me, he’s at the age where he’s totally happy hanging out in my nook, so we did just that until the girls were awake. Then each of the girls made their way to join the cuddle fest. No agenda, no hustle to get dressed and out the door, just our little Z tribe.
I took in every last hug, smooch, giggle and conversation. I took in holding my sweet boy’s tiny feet in my hands, smelling his little head full of wispy baby hair. That baby smell, can we please bottle it up?! I took in making eyes with my amazing husband. Feeling all the feels after 6 years together. Yes, this morning was magic, my friends. Magic that you can’t plan or orchestrate intentionally. Magic that happens when you least expect it. The only thing missing was a cup of coffee. I think I’ll revise tomorrow’s Mother’s Day gift requests to include just that. And another morning in bed with my little people. The closets can wait another year.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. In case you’re searching for a little something special for a very special mama in your life, we’ve got you covered with some of our favorite gifts. When it comes to accessories, I love everything by Mignonne Gavigan. Her pieces are so unique and beautifully made. This necklace is a really rad fashion and art collaboration. And the entire MG site is 25% off right now too!
English Norman’s personalized bangle sare my favorite monogrammed accessories that I’ve received since entering the Mom Club. And you can’t go wrong with flowers, a spa day or wine club membership (my fave!) for Mom either. Sign me up for any and all!
I get nostalgic coming home. This week Jack and I headed home to the house I grew up in, over the rolling hills miles outside of the small southern Ohio town that I’m from. There are so many memories here, happy ones and sad ones. This was the place I ran through the tiny maze-like hallways with my cousin and our baby buggies. The kitchen table where I had years of “cakes in the morning.” The gravel driveway that I ran across barefoot to and from the pool during the summertime. At the other end of the driveway, the school bus stopped for me from grade school until I got my first car. The house where I spent every Christmas with my insanely large and AWESOME extended family. Christmas gifts covering the pool table in the basement, sheer chaos and squeals over getting Pound Puppies from Uncle John. The house where I hunted Easter eggs and I’m pretty sure there are some misfit eggs still hidden in the basement.
I got ready for all major high school dances in this house. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, I packed up my car and headed to Ohio State University, and this house was always the first stop I made when I got back into town. On September 11th, 2015 I woke up to see Today Show footage of the Twin Towers just moments after the first building was hit. I brought a few boyfriends to this house and finally “the one” who asked for my hand in marriage in the living room. 3 months after my wedding, I surprised my family with news that a baby was on the way in this very house. My Mom took her last breath here, surrounded by her family. And I’ve continued to return to this house with each of my children. And it will forever be a special part of their lives too. They’ve built snowmen in the front yard, run barefoot in the grass, caught lightning bugs on hot summer nights, and cuddled with so many family members here. My heart is happy when I’m home.
I don’t typically share a lot of personal stories on L. Avenue. I mean, my life is pretty norm core and I think most of y’all pop over here for the fashion, right?! I can be pretty witty, so maybe it’s for the one liners too. HA! Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with dear diary entries, but feel compelled to write a little more than just a typical outfit post today. Today is my Mom’s birthday. She passed away a few years ago and it’s the 3rd birthday without her. Even though she’s partying in Heaven today, I make a point to celebrate her birthday here too. It’s therapeutic for me. And so is writing this blog post. Truth be told, she didn’t love birthdays and said she was 29 for like my entire life. So she’s probably shaking her head at the idea of me writing to the world about her big day. Don’t worry Mom, I’m not telling them your actual age, ok?!
I woke up pretty sad today, missing her and feeling a major void when I told the girls it was Nana’s birthday. So I tried to fill my day to stay as busy as possible. I had a productive breakfast meeting after carpool drop-off and then headed to Nordstrom for some shoot prep. Guess who I ran into?! My MOM! Not really, but in spirit, we bumped heads we were so close. I swear I’m not totally cray, but while perusing Nordstrom’s contemporary collection I came across a graphic tee that reads, “AC/DC 1981 tour.” Get this y’all, my mom’s favorite band was AC/DC and guess what year her only daughter was born in? Can you guess?? 1981! Now if that’s not a sign I don’t know what is. I felt her presence and of course bought the tee. She would be so proud to see me rocking it today. My mom was a really cool chick. Anybody reading this who knew her is probably sobbing right now. Hope the tears are happy and that you guys play “You shook me all night long” for TJ today.
More big baby news for L. Avenue! My brother and sister welcomed a little girl into the world this Wednesday. We love Eloise Jane already, and I can’t wait to watch her grow up with her big brother, Max. Here’s five links for reading this weekend:
Decorate :: Eloise will have a Palm Springs inspired nursery with this crib sheet. Seeing this girl’s room makes my imagination go wild for all the magical ways her room can evolve with this theme and color scheme.
Go :: I’m already salivating for a boozy brunch at Leo’s Oyster Bar on the San Francisco Bay for my birthday, but my next stop may be this whimsical café on the other side of the world.
Browse :: I feel as though I’ve found my British kindred spirit in Louise Roe, budding lifestyle blogger who happens to reside in the same city as my top two faves, Garance Doré and Emily Schuman. May have to pay a visit to LA!
Eat :: I recently discovered acclaimed Houston chef Chris Shepherd’s curated list of his favorite spots around town. WD and I tried London Sizzler, and it satisfied my saag paneer craving big time.
Shop :: I love the feminine edge of this biker jacket, and for the price, I wouldn’t feel bad for only wearing it on occasion in the mild Houston weather.
Looking forward to volunteering at tonight’s A Couture Cause and meeting some of you. Don’t be shy, and please say hi!
There’s a scene in the movie Christmas Vacation where Ellen complains to Clark about his ridiculously high expectations on big events like holidays. Boy can I relate to old Clark Griswold. My family will shake their heads in agreement while reading this post. And I’m pretty sure they’ll remind me for years to come about how I frantically went to great lengths to dismantle our dead Christmas tree in order to put up a new, fresh tree just 5 days before Christmas. Stringing lights with a newborn strapped into the baby bjorn…do not try this at home, folks. I digress here, but have to ask, do any of y’all obsess over this type of stuff too? If not the tree, stressing over getting the right gifts for people, writing thank you’s in time, making sure you sent a Christmas card to your OBGYN because well, she was responsible for a safe birth of your newest family member on the front of the card. Ha!
Seriously, there is so much chaos during the holidays, how do we not all go cray cray? I spent the best part of December worrying about things that are mostly out of my control, like what if a kid is sick for the holidays? There isn’t enough hand sanitizer out there to prevent this fear from coming to fruition sometimes. And the sickness train rolled into town and stopped at our house multiple times this Christmas.
My biggest anxiety was realized when a perfect storm of illness swept through my family a few days before Christmas. As a result our social calendar of festivities with family and friends was shut down. And we were on lock down. But in the end it was still a great Christmas. Maybe the best one yet. How can this be??? Well for starters we were forced to be at home with just us. Our new family of 5. At times I longed for my sisters or a babysitter or someone (anyone!) to just give us a hand while in the trenches. But while we were down there some really magical moments happened.
I guess that’s what you might call the spirit of Christmas. The good stuff. While I was too sick to even text my friends Merry Christmas (sorry guys, can this blog post shout out count?), I was laser focused on my kids on Christmas day. I spent zero time cleaning up anything (the house can wait) even though towards the end of the day the kitchen was starting to remind me of a frat house. I spent zero time trying to get my family dressed to the nines to go to Christmas dinner at our friends house. And as much as I look forward to going to that fun festive party, I honestly didn’t mind frozen pizza and pigs in a blanket with my party of 5. Gathered around the table eating the freezer’s finest, holding Jack while he slept so angel-like, the sweet voices of my little girls, and catching my husband’s eyes and knowing that he got it too. I’ll store this scene in my mind as the best Christmas memory to date. No frills, just us. And then next December when I get all crazy about Christmas being perfect I’ll remember what perfect really is.
We just received our New Year’s cards in the mail from Minted and I love how they turned out! In case you missed my earlier post, you can read more about the design process here. And in case you didn’t get around to sending out a Christmas card this year, there’s still time to put together a festive card celebrating the new year on Minted.com. The process is super easy and the card design options are pretty legit. There are cards with real gold foil, glitter (my fave!) and the letterpress options are gorgeous. Once you upload your photo/photos, there’s this slick feature that let’s you preview a sample card in each design template with that photo. This saved me so much trial and error and I put our New Year’s cards together in less than 20 minutes. I included the feature to print addresses on the envelopes which is also a major time saver. And Minted had my cards to me in less than 3 business days. It doesn’t get much better than an efficient, seamless process for beautiful cards for a mama with not a minute of free time to spare these days.