life lately.

Hello there! Remember me? I am so sorry for dropping off the face of the earth for the last few months. (Didn't you know that the face of the earth was this blog? I kid, of course.) Truth be told, the transition back to work after maternity leave wasn't as seamless as I thought it would be. When I'm not working, I'm making the most of my time with {jv}. Even though he has a somewhat regular bedtime these days, I don't feel like I have the "free time" to share posts like I imagined in my head. I have plenty to share in my drafts folder, but I refuse to put up content that isn't quality -- just for the sake of posting. I did a "life lately" post a few months ago and loved that I was able to share a ton of random thoughts in one place. (Since new mom brain is also in full effect, I decided that a random compilation of thoughts is an acceptable practice. My brain always seems to be on ten different tangents (at once!), so it only makes sense. Without further ado, here is a window into my life lately... xoxo {av}

P.S. As always, if you want the most recent updates (and shall we say "micro blog posts"), my Instagram is the place to find them!

-This satirical article from The New Yorker about Pinterest cracked. me. up. In the months since {jv} was born, I have spent much less time perusing Pinterest. While I miss it, I do find myself less inhibited by the pressure to make my life look "just so". My home won't always be ready for a photographer to stop by -- and I'm more than fine with that ;)
-Since May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, it doesn't feel right to let it pass without a yearly reminder about my own experience with melanoma. If you're in the market for sunscreen this year, here is a round-up of my favorites. (I have a few new sunscreens to test out this summer, so I will be sure to report back.) I also appreciated this honest perspective from Jacqueline Weppner about her battle with skin cancer after the birth of her daughter.
-On the topic of returning to work after maternity leave, I found this discussion around the cost of childcare fascinating. There is so much more work to be done on this topic. I'll leave that there.
-Sharon Holbrook read my mind with this one. I can only blame the hormones so much now, but this post makes me tear up each time I read it. I live quite a distance from most of my friends (and a good portion of my family), so Sharon's words definitely struck a chord.

-We've been in our new house for six months now -- and we're still not completely unpacked. Oops? I blame it on my inability to be away from {jv} or my pump for much longer than four or five hours. I need to find a few more storage options for books and a variety of accent tables to round our our space. I don't want to unpack things just to move them again (I'm all about efficiency here!), so those things will remain in their boxes until I have what I need. (If that isn't this first year, maybe we don't need the contents of the box after all...) I will say, however, that the packing system I shared last fall worked like a charm for finding things we needed from random boxes. Small victories.
-You know what small thing makes me feel like I conquered something big? Framing recent photos! We ordered a few framed photos from Framebridge and I'm obsessed. They can print directly from your Instagram feed (and the prices are reasonable too!). I am always a sucker for packaging and the Framebridge crew knocks it out of the park there as well. Do yourself a favor and frame a few of your favorite Instagrams (or photos just hanging out on your camera roll). You'll be so glad you did!
-Slowly but surely, we're crossing little projects off our list. Hanging {jv}'s gallery wall and our bigger pieces of art was a step in the right direction. Since I can't forget about everything I see on Pinterest, I'm working to round out some of the "tchotchkes" and little vignettes. I would love some off-the-beaten path places / websites where you've had good luck. I don't want something super cookie cutter, but I also want to invest in something which won't end up in a box in the basement in 18 months. Send along your favorites -- I'd be forever grateful!

-I can hardly believe the baby in the picture above is mine. I feel like he graduated from newborn status in the blink of an eye. {jv} is sitting up like a champ, though he still hasn't quite mastered the whole rolling over business. I won't complain though -- he can entertain himself in one spot for a little while longer. I know I'll be chasing him soon enough! (If you have kiddos, did they do some things "out of sequence" too?)
-{jv} joined in our annual Memorial Day weekend on the Cape! I was excited to break out this playard (that the kind folks at Delta Children sent us this winter) for a few days away. We have a larger playard from 4moms (which we have handy on the first floor of our house for easy diaper changes), but I was thrilled to have something a bit smaller for his first year. If we're staying somewhere other than a hotel in his first year, I can guarantee this will be in use. It's lightweight but still sturdy -- and the price is super attractive too.
-In the months since {jv} arrived, there has been a large influx of stuff in our house. I found this post a few months back and it made me feel better about our decision to not buy out the toy store. While I want him to have whatever his little heart desires, I think there's a limit as well. (I may do a post down the line on what toys you really need -- because, let's be honest, the options are limitless!)
-When I wrote my last "life lately" post, I asked for tips on pumping while at work. Though I never thought I would get pumping down to a science, I have managed to make it work and I am just about two weeks away from my "goal" to breastfeed for six months. In my day job, I spend a ton of time on the road which makes pumping super difficult. In a perfect world (and one where I worked in a cubicle!), I would try to keep breastfeeding exclusively. I am hoping to transition to a first feed + a dream feed combination, supplementing with formula during the day. If you've made that move, I would love to hear more about your experiences (and if you have any tips!).
-Last note about my "ladies": my supply has started to decline in the last few weeks, as I've been away from {jv} for longer stretches because of work. I always thought lactation cookies were just a disguise for eating cookies, but I believe the hype. With limited time to bake, I took the easy way out and bought a pack of the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies from Milkmakers. Let's just say I'm going to have a hard time not ordering these cookies once I'm done breastfeeding ;)
-One final plea for my fellow mamas out there: what tricks worked for you with teething? {jv} has had a few early mornings the last few days and it kills me not to have a good answer.

my new mom uniform.

creating your own new mom uniform.

This weekend, I am thrilled to celebrate my first Mother's Day! I have so many posts on my brain about the journey to motherhood (and how my life has changed since I got here). As of late, I'm feeling all the feelings about being a mom. Instead of a novel on how the last year has changed me, I decided to round out the week with a more light-hearted post about my mommy weekend wear.

Truth be told, my new mom uniform doesn't look that different from what it did before {jv} arrived. The big difference? My little guy has an eye for sparkly things, so I can't wear much in the way of necklaces, bracelets, or earrings. While it simplifies getting dressed, I sometimes feel a little "plain jane" without them. Without further ado, here are the necessary components to my new mom uniform:

ON TOP: Since I'm still breastfeeding, I need a top that isn't impossible to get up over my chest when out in public. I am loving the length of these crinkled gingham J.Crew boy shirts. If I feed {jv} on the go, I'd prefer not to show everyone my lower back -- so longer shirts that also open in front are clutch. (Want a more cost-effective option? These Old Navy button-downs will do the trick.) I know I'll have to re-evaluate this top once the warmer weather decides to stay, but for now, these tops work beautifully. I typically sport one of these maternity tanks (from Target!) underneath my top. Yes, I said maternity tank. I love their length and I don't think I'll ever buy a "normal" tank again.

ON BOTTOM: I protested destructed denim for ages, but I finally broke in late February. These toothpick jeans from J.Crew had just the right amount of character; they were also shorter in length, so they looked cute with sneakers. Most of the sizes are gone, but many retailers are carrying similar styles these days. (This pair from Old Navy isn't destroyed, but I still dig them.) I know many people who swear by leggings, but I generally leave my leggings to work-out wear.

ON FOOT: As pictured above, these New Balance sneaks are the thing of dreams. They bring some pizzazz in my wardrobe when accessories are out. Slip-on sneakers have also become a go-to because they're about as easy as they come. (You can call me boring, but I bought this pair of classic Vans.) I also adore my Supergas. Even once the weather warms up, you'll find me in sneakers 95% of the time. I need to be sure-footed when I'm running around with {jv}. 


If I'm not in this uniform on the weekends, I'm typically in some sort of workout gear -- or athleisure, as they're calling it now ;) This get-up, combined with my abbreviated beauty routine, is an easy way to feel put-together without being overdone. I'll have to switch things up a bit when summer comes around, but I have a feeling it might involve this chambray popover and some colorful shorts ;)

Pulling together this post sparked the idea for another post about dressing for the "fourth trimester" (aka the three months after birth). Are there any other topics you'd like me to explore as a new mom? (Or anything you'd like me to explore in general?) Now that I'm getting in a groove with {jv} and work, I'm finally finding more time to blog. When I do post, I want to give you relevant and helpful content, so it'd be great to hear what you'd like to see! I'd also love to hear what's a part of your weekend (or new mom) uniform. xoxo {av}

P.S. If you're newly pregnant (or know someone who is), I wrote this post on building a maternity wardrobe just for you. If you're staying active during your pregnancy, you may also like this post on my favorite pregnancy workout gear. If neither of things apply to you (but may one day), hop on over and pin them for future reference!