So I decided to change things up a bit…
La Femme Boheme is now Up With Joy at upwithjoyblog.wordpress.com !
Same site, new name… come join me over there!
So I decided to change things up a bit…
La Femme Boheme is now Up With Joy at upwithjoyblog.wordpress.com !
Same site, new name… come join me over there!
So I’ve been having a good ol’ time styling this baby bump! (But I really haven’t been snapping enough pictures!) I’ve been a little surprised by what I’ve ended up feeling most comfortable in as this belly grows, so here’s what I’ve learned:
- Tighter tops actually make me feel smaller! (Especially if I throw a blazer or button up over them.) I assumed that I’d be jumping for the loose, flowing pieces, rocking some kaftans or those dresses that just sort of hang… but as it turns out, they make me feel like I look so much bigger than I actually am! So I stocked up on plain white t-shirts and cotton tank tops, and some stretchy tank tops to pair with flow-y skirts (like that anthropologie maxi pictured above) and those have been some of my favorite outfits!
-If I do go loose or drape-y on top, then I go tight on bottom! (and vice versa) So far this season I’ve been getting lots of use out of my leggings, and I just finally found the perfect pair of white pants! I plan to wear these white pants with pretty much everything! They are low wasted, stretchy and 2 sizes bigger than my usual, and they’re perfectly comfortable!
-Most things look cuter as the bump gets bigger! For some reason, a lot of the loose empire waist and tight stretchy dresses that I planned to wear actually make me feel smaller as my bump gets bigger. It seems to draw them out farther in front, leaving less hanging wide (in the case of the loose dresses) and when it came to some of the tighter pieces, I felt like there was an awkward bump stage where they just didn’t work, but now as I get bigger I love them!
So those are my Bump Styling tips! (Hopefully we’ll be doing some sort of little bump photo shoot in the near future so I can better capture this special part of my life!)
Fellow expectant moms: What are your favorite ways to dress your bellies?!
A couple of weekends ago my husband and I ventured over to The National Arboretum in Northeast DC one lovely spring day for a little garden stroll. We probably should have gone a week or so sooner to really catch it at its peak (now we know for next year!) After a year in California I sort of forgot how short lived spring blossoms are here on the east coast. The grounds were still gorgeous, the bonsai displays and herb garden were my favorite. We just missed the azaleas, but it was such a nice walk through that garden I imagine they’re quite wonderful in full bloom! Next time we will definitely pack a picnic, the large sprawling lawns were really calling to us. We plan on bringing lots of visitors here next spring (by far the best time to visit DC from what I can tell.) Our neighborhood is so beautiful right now, full of green trees and gardens, really beautiful gardens in front of all the brownstones!
I definitely recommend this little national treasure as a worthwhile stop on any DC must see list! (I would especially recommend making a picnic day of it!)
This post Baby Shower stage has me in full nesting mode. I love everything to do with home design, and have an obsessive love for organization, so prepping for baby is a natural delight. My mother and father were generous enough to offer to purchase our nursery furniture (dresser/changer and crib) and we received so many gift cards that could be put to use on any further necessities (which there aren’t much of after all the gifts we received!) The problem: space. The other problem: we don’t know where we’ll be living 4 months from now.
I shouldn’t say that space is a problem really, because we’re perfectly happy to live with less of it, and in a way prefer it due to our adoption of the minimilast philosophy. Less space = less stuff. Less stuff = more peace of mind. However as hard as we try, there’s still more stuff than the storage of this space allows for. We love our apartment and hope to stay here for another year, and have a lovely plan for where we will curtain off space in the living area to create a nursery nook for the baby. (I quickly realized while searching 2 bedroom apartments that most of them had the same or less square footage as we have now but with higher rent, unless we want to move out to the suburbs which we just aren’t ready for yet.)
Unfortunately our timing is a little off with my husbands career path, and there’s maybe a 50/50 chance we might have to relocate at the end of his current contract, 2 months after the baby is born. This delays my nesting process! It isn’t any real problem of course because the baby will be sleeping in our room for the first few months anyway, and we can fit his dresser/changer in our room and just wait to set up the crib when we know where we will be for the next year. We are also very budget conscious at the moment, with me being about to be out of work for a few months.
I spent all day today reorganizing our closets to make room for the baby gifts we have brought home so far (half are still at my parents house, including several of the larger items.) I’ve spent a lot of time searching storage solutions and decided on this ikea shelving unit with these rattan baskets which I think will match nicely with the nursery furniture, and well, I LOVE baskets. We are currently under debate in my household over whether this purchase is necessary or not, my husband hoping we can save the money and use the closets, basically just not understanding at all that I am going through a pre-babies arrival process that involves the need to organize all of his things in an adorable way and feel prepared. My argument: since I don’t have a nursery to decorate, my only source of nesting joy is organization, which is really a great source of joy for me, and so I should be able to put some of those gift cards to good use on a lovely cheap piece of furniture that will allow me to create a neat, easily accessible space for Roman’s things!
As far as budgeting, I think ikea is the way to go. I was originally going to use their Gulliver crib (which gets great reviews), but this babyletto set is reasonable and more eco friendly. I was having a hard time finding a dresser that could work as a changer (in a reasonable price range) to pair with the ikea crib. (We simply don’t have room for a separate changing table and dresser.) I was absolutely amazed at how expensive stylish, environmentally friendly, baby safe furniture is. I am quite pleased with the modern style of this babyletto set, especially the color of the finish, which I think goes nicely with our budget friendly rocking chair found on sale at CB2! I just loved that shade of green, its eco friendly and outdoor/indoor furniture turns out to be much more affordable than the other options I was coming across. With a pillow and a throw blanket it is totally comfy! I saw a photo awhile back of a baby room with a gorgeous basket storage unit, I couldn’t find it, or anything like it, anywhere, at least not within my budget. Though this ikea shelving looks nothing like it, the baskets give it that same natural feel that I was looking for, and these color choices match the baby furniture so nicely! We also got the thrifty ikea play gym for a natural looking option, and I’m going to pick up their very budget friendly sheepskin rug to throw under it. I just wish we could have his little nook all set up, I can see it now!
So who how out there is with me on this nesting craze? Any stories, solutions or inspiration to share?
I’d been hearing about this documentary for some time, then the other day, while I was feeling quite exhausted due to lack of sleep and other pregnancy side effects, I was searching Netflix for something to watch and came across it! I’d heard of Bill Cunningham of course, but was never an avid follower or anything of the sorts, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As it turns out, the film is as interesting and well, excellent, as everyone says. That man is a real inspiration. Terribly interesting in his ordinariness, and truly a rare specimen. How often do we come across people today who are so passionate about their work that they make the choice to tare up years worth of pay checks to ensure creative freedom?
If you haven’t seen it, here are a few other things about this man that are amazing:
-He lives, or lived, (they were kicking the remaining tenants out while this film was shooting) in a studio apartment in Carnegie Hall for most of his life. A tiny space without a kitchen or bathroom, with a little cot for a bed and all of its space taken over by filing cabinets full of his work and book shelves.
-He has literally amassed an enormous archive of fashion in NY from 1960 until now, capturing and cataloguing a significant aspect of our culture single handedly. Holding on to the negatives of every photo he has ever taken. They could dedicate a whole museum wing to this work, or perhaps even a whole museum.
-He is 84 years old and still biking the city daily, photographing every day people in their stylish splendor, and hitting up multiple society events a night to photograph for the NY times, refusing to accept so much as water as they try to wine and dine him.
-He left women’s wear daily after they used a spread he created to show how women on the street were sporting clothes from the runway, to mock the everyday women in comparison to the models. He feels that if he photographs it, its in, thats why he’s taking the picture, and will not participate in any “in” and “out” reporting. He celebrates personal style, he loves clothes and the more adventurous wearers of them!
I highly recommend watching this documentary!
(Also, this totally had me wishing I could still call New York City home!)
Today I wanted to share a glimpse of the beautiful baby shower my Mother threw for me this past weekend! (June 2nd, 2013)
With the help of my sister and mother-in-law, she turned this lovely patio into a little Baby Shower paradise! I was so happy to be able to celebrate outside in the sunshine with our huge party of friends and family who came baring oh so many gifts for our little one! It was truly a downpour of a Baby Shower, with 60 + people in attendance we were given all that we could possibly need for this baby and, well, much much more! (We will literally not have to spend a dime out of our own pockets on little Roman for what seems like quite a while.)
Most of my friends felt that such a large party must be quite overwhelming, and yes, opening gifts in front of that many people for that long isn’t the most comfortable experience, and making sure to spend time talking to each guest leaves you with little time to eat and relax, but it was quite an exciting affair, full of joy, and we are so very grateful to have been the recipients of such generosity. I’ve been to some small, intimate showers that were really wonderful, but now I can say that I fully support the big shower bash as well! (With living away from home, and having a very busy summer this year, we simply didn’t have the extra weekend to split up our family or friends into multiple showers.)
As far as the details… my fabulous mother made that fabulous cake, and decorated my Aunt Sharon’s famous carrot cake with that adorable surfing baby scene (my husband and his family are surfers.) She even made those little elephants out of fondent! We had a onesie painting station set up in a lovely little gazebo which gave guests (especially the kids) a fun little activity to entertain themselves with. There was also a mimosa station, a candy station for filling up those adorable blue mason jar party favors, and a baby picture table full of adorable snapshots of our childhoods to help guests guess at what little Roman will look like! As usual, I wish I took more pictures. We even brought our nice camera to be sure to capture the day, but of course forgot all about it in the midst of all the excitement! Luckily some friends snapped some photos for Instagram and I have plenty of lovely shots to help remember that special day!
Also, my dress is from Anthropologie, empire waist maxis work so well on pregnant bodies!
I must say, receiving all those baby gifts made it all feel so much more real. In only 2 months this little guy will be here, wearing these onesies, cuddling in these blankets, playing with these toys… I just can’t wait!
This post over at A Cup of Jo just made me realize that I have yet to share my baby naming experience!
As soon as my husband and I decided to start trying to grow our little family, I became absolutely addicted to searching baby names. It was a complete obsession, possibly bordering on unhealthy. It took us 6 months to make this little guy, and in that time I had formed quite the mega list of both boys and girls names. I spent most of my hours on Nameberry and many others searching other sites for names mostly based on meaning. I loved the idea of giving our baby a name that had something to do with light, or space, or the ocean, or that referenced something to do with mythology, math, science, or literature. I always felt that I would have a boy and focused far more intensely on boys names. I wanted something strong and classic, but unique. A name you don’t here a lot but that has been around forever (reason for the mythology obsession). I wanted a name that you could picture on someone smart and successful, but also fun, quirky and free spirited. My husband mostly just wanted something that fit nicely with our last name.
We found out that we were having a boy 13 weeks into the pregnancy. I knew making the final decision would come much easier after the gender was officially confirmed. I had a few favorites but nothing was feeling “just right”. Then one night, moths ago now, we were searching itunes for a movie to rent and came across a Roman Coppola film. I thought hmm, I like that name. Later I was surprised that I hadn’t thought of it sooner, my sister briefly dated a young man named Roman and I remember really liking it at that time (when I told her our choice she said she had just been thinking about suggesting it!) I thought I had already read every name possibility out there, but there it was, strong and classic but still unique, a name you don’t here a lot but thats been around forever, a name that fits very nicely with Laielli, isn’t too original that it will draw strange looks from friends and family, but not currently trending. It grew on us so strongly and quickly that it felt like we had sort of discovered his name, not decided on it, as if it was there waiting for him all along.
Unfortunately we still haven’t “discovered” his middle name. At first my husband wanted something short because of all the syllables Roman Laielli already has to roll with. We thought maybe Kai, which means ocean. I wanted something meaningful for a middle name since Roman doesn’t really have any meaningful connections. Now we’re starting to think we might use my husbands name. He was named after his father and though Michael was just far too common for us to ever consider for a first name, we’re coming around to the idea of keeping it in the family line.
I definitely recommend Nameberry, the Name Voyager is also a great tool if trends and name popularity are of concern or interest. Nameberry lets you search for names in all sorts of interesting lists that can really help you narrow down what you’re looking for, along with some great message boards, blog posts, and a feature that lets you create your own lists to keep all those names you’re collecting organized!
We had some friends that opted to keep their baby name choice a secret until after she was born, I am a terrible secret keeper and never even considered such, but I imagine it was nice to avoid feedback and opinions, no one will say anything once that name is officially connected to that adorable little baby! For us, I found that stating straight out what the choice was helped to avoid any unwanted feedback. Before we chose Roman, the experience of sharing the different names we were considering was much different than sharing the dead set official verdict.
I think baby naming is such an interesting process, I mean, what a responsibility! And how funny to think with all the millions of options out there, how we can all have such different ideas and tastes when it comes to names! I love that our current generation of mammas and pappas seems to prefer to give their children less common names, to the point that some of the current most popular names are awfully unique! But with all those “unique” names becoming popular, how “out there” do you have to go to be original? The major plus side of all this, besides new generations of kids sporting beautiful, interesting names, is that I imagine the name related teasing so many of us remember is more or less non existant now! This sure seems to be an increasingly creative world…
OUR WEDDING ALBUM
So, like the rest of you I am sure, I’m a pretty big fan of Etsy. …
Around the time of my wedding I spent countless hours browsing its many inspired shops. In the end, I made what turned out to be one of my all time favorite purchases, this gorgeous photo album! I know everyone these days orders beautiful photo books from their photographers, or puts them together on shutterfly or some similar site (something I have yet to do, but do intend to someday, with our roadtrip photos perhaps…) I’m a sucker for the old fashioned. Lucana Work, located in Portugal, creates gorgeous wooden albums out of reclaimed wood. (Mine was once a piece of antique Portuguese furniture!) They carve whatever custom design you would like… no one I know has anything like this… I love having a wedding album that we can keep out on display as its own piece of art, instead of shoved away on a shelf or in a box somewhere! I put it together with some simple gold corners and used my vintage typewriter (a Christmas gift from my husband) to type up little captions with details from our wedding, our vows and the words to our song. With plenty of pages to spare, I think one day I’ll begin adding anniversary photos!
I jut love these pictures…
…and I cannot wait to reconstruct these photos with my husband and our little son!
I have often heard, as I’m sure you have, that you should never marry a man unless you would be happy to have a son just like him. My daily gratitude: I cannot wait to have a son that is just like my husband. I love imagining his little mini me joining our lives, to picture little Roman walking next to his father, mimicking his movements, sitting next to him on the couch in the same position. I like to imagine that he’ll look just like him and have all his same quirks. I have no idea what this little man will really be like of course (only ten more weeks now until we start to find out!) But it feels good to know he has such a wonderful role model for manhood, and that this sweet man I married, who reads the Hobbit to my belly every night, and has been studying The Birth Partner regularly, will be as supportive and loving a father as he is a husband.
I LOVE SPARKLERS! As little girls, my sister and I spent every New Year’s Eve with our Grandmother. Every year we’d stand out on her front steps and light sparklers and throw “poppers” onto the pavement. They were a 4th of July staple as well of course. I have very fond memories of these enchanting sparkling sticks and have promised myself that when I have kids (so soon!) I’ll be keeping them in stock in the house year round for spontaneous magical evenings! These sparklers come in the loveliest tube, and I really don’t think any barbecue or night time party of any sorts could be complete without them! I was quite excited to spot them at my favorite little Old Town VA store, Red Barn Mercantile!
TOPS Malibu, the makers of those lovely sparklers, also carries these lovely Ice Lights! (They come in some other colors as well.) Another perfect way to add some sparkling enchantment to your evening celebration!
Wishing you all a Magical Memorial Day!
Isn’t this charming?!
TOPS Malibu’s Tea Leaf Reading Kit has a lot of party potential if you ask me…
At my bridal shower, I wanted to avoid any traditional shower games, it just wasn’t my style, but we wanted some sort of fun activity, so my mom and mother-in-law hired some psychics! Everyone at the shower was treated to a tarot card or palm reading, it was a huge hit! Tea leaf reading would be an even more original and slightly more charming way to add a fun game to your party without getting too, may I say, cheesy. (Especially with this stylish little kit.) What’s more, you could give them out to everyone and have the guests read each other’s leaves (party favor, check!). In fact, you could really plan a whole party around just that… tea parties are all the rage these days as far as I’m concerned, and I think I may just have to have one…
Here, the philosopher Roman Krznaric, author of How To Find Fulfilling Work, of The School of Life Series, and a founding member of the organization, shares his thoughts on empathy, its implications in our time and its potential for social change. Accompanied by the brilliant animation of RSA Animate, it is a lovely way to spend 10 minutes of your time!
Some highlights, in his words…
“Instead of the age of introspection, we need to shift to the age of outrospection, and by outrospection I mean discovering who you are and what to do with your life by stepping outside yourself, discovering the lives of other people, other civilizations, and the ultimate art form in the age of outrospection, is empathy.”
“We make assumptions about people, we have prejudices about people which block us from seeing their uniqueness, their individuality, we use labels, and highly empathic people get beyond that, beyond labels, by nurturing their curiosity about others.”
“I think in the 21st century we need to recognize that to know thy self is something that can also be achieved by stepping outside yourself, by discovering other peoples lives, and I think empathy is the way to revolutionize our own philosophies of life, to become more outrospective and to create the revolution of human relationships that I think we so desperately need.”
Isn’t this great?! I really couldn’t agree more, and I am especially fond of his dream of building the world’s first empathy museum! Sure people may complain about many of the ways this technological era is transforming the social realm, but its potential for facilitating communication that can break down barriers and help us to relate to our global human community is truly exciting and hope inspiring!
Have you seen this year long celebratory collaboration of writer (and Brain Pickings creator) Maria Popova and illustrator Lisa Congdon? In their words, The Reconstructionists is a “yearlong celebration of remarkable women — beloved artists, writers, and scientists, as well as notable unsung heroes — who have changed the way we define ourselves as a culture and live our lives as individuals of any gender.” Each monday a new illustration is posted, accompanied by a brief essay, recognizing remarkable women and inspiring its readers. The project’s title is a reference to Anais Nin’s diary entry on “woman’s role in the reconstruction of the world” and represents the essence of their undertaking.
I spent a nice chunk of my evening last night enjoying each entry, some of which payed homage to some of my favorite women, and some of which introduced me to new inspirational figures. Once again Maria Popova has filled a void in the world wide web (and my life) that I hadn’t known was there…
So I’m sort of obsessed with TOPS Malibu‘s many lovely party products… some of which I think would make adorable favors for all sorts of parties… like these Treasure Candles, which come in different sizes and colors… you burn them throughout the dinner or event, and by “dessert” you have a little surprise! (some little “lucky treasure”) The little treasures are cute mementos, useless perhaps, but romantic none the less, and what’s more is that the candles provide ambiance and a little excitement and mystery!
I also love this idea for favors for children’s parties (this shop has me itching with anticipation for throwing years of birthday parties for my son to come!) Purchasing their Lucky Pouches would get a little pricey, but it is such a simple Do-It-Yourself! Kids just love little trinkets and anything suggesting mystery or magic! They would make the perfect prize for this scavenger hunt game…
Another easy do-it-yourself, though I do think their capsules are particularly charming… and can be reused as “wish capsules” if you give the children another strip of paper, have them write down their wish, put it in the capsule, and save it for good luck!