Stripes. Sunshine. And a Sprinkle.

striped /blue and white dresses
ashleyajones.JPG

Forgive my cheesy titles. Sometimes I sound like I'm a kindergarten teacher. Oh well...  The "s" theme in the title is appropriate. I have to share some of my favorite striped fashion for the season (and I WAS in the sunshine at my girlfriend Ali Fedotowsky's sprinkle for her second baby!). 

I'll start by saying Ali's shower was adorable with a "blue jean baby boy" theme. If you followed along on the stories, you saw the gorgeous flowers and place settings. Plus, it was kinda cloudy the day before, so the sun literally came out and shined on Baby Manno for the sprinkle. Awww. I'm sure Ali will share more on her blog soon, too. I'll let you know.

Ali/Sprinkle

I wanted to wear something theme-oriented, but also something that I just felt comfortable in, too. I picked this blue and white striped fit and flare dress. The exact one is sold out now, so I linked a similar dress in a different shade of blue. For a reference point, I'm in a size 2 in this dress. It's not the most affordable piece I've worn, but I know I'll wear it a lot. This is one of those dresses that works in your 20s and even in your 60s. I'm not kidding! There's always a cute white cardigan to add (the one highlighted is $20!- white or  blue)... If you're looking for something that would work for day events or early evening-- bridal showers, baby showers, concerts, graduations, summer parties, etc.... I just love the classic combination of blue and white.

My girlfriend Willa Ford also had on stripes. I must say, she was the sexier version of stripes! And also on point with the trends right now. I'm loving the cut out, bit of skin here and there. 

SeeingStripes
group shot sprinkle

And of course, Ali looked beautiful. And no, she really doesn't have a name yet for Baby Manno. But, we all chimed in! And Miss Molly danced out on the beach.  What a doll. She and Hayden are slightly obsessed with each other. And I'm slightly obsessed with Ali's dress! I found the the print in a few other styles, too... take a peek below.

beach shot
Stripes/redshoes

 

 

I walked Oscar when I returned home. Joel snapped this picture kinda tongue-and-cheek making fun of me. But, I'm glad because it shows my favorite red flats. I actually wore them the day before, too. You've probably heard me talk about Rothy's. I love that I can wear them to the beach, then wash them when I get home (I air dry them afterward, but you can also "fluff" on delicate).   

 

I'm not quite done with this post, but I'm gonna publish it to go up for now anyway. I have a few more things to add (like I'm kinda into Willa's sunglasses... anyone else wanna know how to get a pair!?)... so stay tuned, I'll return later. Gotta few appointments today.  xoxo

 

Mother's Day! Gift guide and more...

Last year, Hayden was almost here.... but, I still got to celebrate being a stepmom and doggie momma and, of course, my own mom. This year feels different, though.

Mother's Day comes shortly before Hayden's first birthday (and the day before Huck's 5th birthday! Then, my mom's birthday and my brother's all within days!) Plenty to celebrate. 

We took these shots before leaving to shoot the film in Canada. He has already changed so much. Waving to everyone, jibberjabbering like crazy (he's really trying to figure out that tongue and talk!). Due to jet lag and being in a different environment, night shoots, etc. our sleep schedules are off. Hayden's been amazing and we've made it work, but I for one am looking forward to rest and sleep somehow, someway. However, traveling or not, most mothers I talk to are dreaming of sleep! 

So, for a quick Mother's day gift guide, I thought I'd go with the theme of... if you love me, let me sleep! And I'm gonna start with the pajamas you've seen me wear since I was in the hospital with Hayden (or in this post here). I love how pretty and versatile they are... I wore them as maternity, post maternity nursing and I'm even wearing them in the film we're shooting now! They absolutely don't need to be just for maternity. (The set I'm wearing comes with a little matching gown for the baby, too, so it makes for a beautiful gift set). I recently gave this set as a gift, too. It's on sale right now, but sizes are going fast!

For mothers with babies, the dock-a-tot pictured above gave me the gift of time (and sleep) because Hayden slept more... and it was a great place to "dock" him during the day. If you are co-sleeping at all, even co-napping at times, check it out for that, too. Hayden just outgrew the deluxe size, so I'm looking at the Grand next stage 2. Don't just trust me on this, read the reviews! 

ps- for Hayden's cute organic elephant (those are elephant heads) onesie, check out Finn & Emma HERE or HERE! We were them all the time... as you know if you watch instastories on our instagram page.

I'm still writing the rest of this post, so check back... Joel arrived from LA and we're taking a quick lunch! See you back here soon. In the meantime, these are a few items on the list. xo 

Flashing Back this Friday for Upcoming Holidays (and for SHOPBOP sale alert!) xo

This was one of my favorite dresses to wear when I was pregnant and figuring out what worked best for me! See my original post about it HERE. I recently discovered it's available for the holidays in four gorgeous colors: pink, black, white and navy. I love color, but really love it in winter white. This is the type of strong, stretchy, textured material I could wear even now post-baby. I'll let you know if I decide to go white. ps- it's under $100 and if you are a SHOPBOP addict it's part of their MAINEVENT16 sale!  I have more to add...check back in later today. Off to work and bringing baby, wish me luck!

Mother's Day Out

My mother recently came in town last week  (thank the Lord) to help while I went back to work filming GENERAL HOSPITAL- check back for more info in a post soon.  Hayden turned one month old.  Read more HERE about the reality of the first month.  We managed to have one outing together with the baby.  We were on a mission to finish the nursery (I can't wait to share it all with you!).  

 

I'm wearing my first ever NURSING topI didn't think I'd need or want one, but let me tell you, when it came time to feed Hayden, it was so nice to simply unzip each side and discretely nurse.  I haven't had the easiest road this first month with breastfeeding, so things that make it easier are welcomed!

Plus, I got several compliments on my "adorable" top - with pockets!  It's flattering without being too tight (I'm wearing an XS and there's still room). It comes in red, too. I'm picturing wearing this again in the spirit of 4th of July  with these sandals and white shorts - maybe a red purse! This day, I added my favorite go-to Ippolita silver Earrings to dress up the look with flats and jeans.

 

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PRE AND POST BABY FAVORITES!

It's #throwbackthursday and I'm already feeling like time is going by too fast with the little man. I started looking at pictures while I was still pregnant. Once I got over the fact that 9 days ago Hayden was still inside me, I realized how these NON maternity dresses and tops are going to be fun to continue to wear all summer. And some are on sale---Like the purple dress I love-- 40% off for $30!! Click on photo to shop the outfit, or shop the post at bottom.

Prints Charming!

I love a good print. Especially one that pops (pun intended- re:baby) and makes me happy. The pink color and palm design make me feel like leaving for a vacation, which I won't be doing any time soon, so it's fun to pretend and let my mind wonder.  (Although, this IS non-maternity, so I'll be wearing it this summer and will definitely bring it on our first vacation post baby). It's longer in the back, which I love to cover my backside. Once I start working out again, I think this would double as a cute coverup over a bathing suit, too.  It come in other colors AND a maxi dress!

I've paired it with white bottoms, a statement necklace (that blends well here and looks amazing against this black and white printed top, too!)

...and some kitchy, incredibly affordable sunglasses for under $18 in both pictures!

Baby Blues!

I mentioned a while back I was wearing more blue lately. Kinda funny, I know my friends pregnant with girls have been wearing more in the pink family. For a recent family picture (for the blog I'm writing on People.com), I wore- yes, blue. Non-maternity & comfortable and under $100, this is a great summer style. I love the solid lace back (comes in other colors, too). It shows just enough skin, but still keeps plenty to the imagination. For added fun, I threw on my new favorite heart sunnies (at $16, who can resist!).

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STEPPING UP and VENTURING OUT 39 WEEKS PREGANT!

At 39 weeks pregnant and counting, I debated if I had the energy to venture out today, but some things are worth the sacrifice. Step Up Womens Network is one of them (read more about the event and see other pictures here!). I went back to my trusted, comfy tank dress (that comes in tons of colors- I'm wearing an XS-- I wore the purple version - and a few other styles HERE). Plus, I add in extra support and confidence with maternity spanx.  I wore these heels only on the red carpet (pictured below) and then quickly slipped into my fold up, go to flats that fit in my purse and save my feet, completely worth the money. 

Charming Charlie was one of the main sponsors of the charitable event... Ali and I sported a few of their pieces. Ali's wearing one of their maxi dresses (under $35) and several pieces of jewelry-- and I love her purse/clutch. It's only $25! I think I'll be ordering that one. I was excited to wear these fun (incredibly affordable) earrings!

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

 Ali (32 weeks pregnant here) and I took a few pregnant pictures together in the press line.

I just started timing my contractions on the way home with my girlfriends...(more on that here). My husband is texting me demanding I get my hospital bag together! I can't believe we're in the last days.... better go get it together. 

 

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

JUMPSUIT? Pregnant?! Um... YES! Read WHY!

No baby news, yet. He's still content in my tummy. So, I'm trying to stay relaxed at 9 1/2 months pregnant.  This jumpsuit I'm sporting in the picture (read more to see the lookbook of high to low pricing options) must be the most comfortable thing I've ever put on... better than PJs. It'll be added to my list of staples for the next pregnancy (eek! Lord willing, but, I know, let's get through this one first!)

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The LIST Part Two

The list of my pregnancy staples is growing, so I'm breaking it down into parts. Read Part One HERE -- and scroll down for more!

5) Crisp White Shirt

Don't we find this on EVERY list of staples? I swear, InStyle magazine has this as a must have for every season, every year. 

Well, there's a reason it ends up on so many essentials list. The white shirt (I'm wearing in the picture for this post) by IsabellaOliver keeps an outfit modern, fresh. It's incredibly versatile. Works over leggings, jeans, skirts.  Wear it with leggings and converse or with jeans (see Part One) and booties. You will look put-together. And let me tell you, being this pregnant, it's hard for me to feel put together.  

 6) Leggings

I've live in leggings in general... yoga pant type leggings. I didn't subscribe to needing a pair of maternity until recently, though. Once I hit the 3rd trimester, my girlfriends kept telling me how much I'd love real pair of maternity leggings. Ali Fedotowsky loves hers and preached how much I needed a pair. I must say, once I put them on, I was sold.  Leggings are a must have. 

7) Face Wipes

The further along I get into pregnancy, the more I'm less likely to be diligent about my skincare. At the very least, I've promised myself to remove all my makeup, pollution, sunscreen etc. So, I keep facial wipes with me in my car and by my bed. Most of the time, I enjoy the full nighttime routine of taking off the day and preparing my skin to relax. But, just in case I'm about to fall asleep (happening more and more), I can at least do something.  I have a feeling these will be on my "new mom" list of survivals, too.  I also have stocked up on THESE and the ones below.

Finding what works for you...

Maternity wear is tricky... finding what works for your body and comfort level is crucial. Once I find a style that works, I  stick with it. And I'll wear it over and over. The dresses that are ruched tend to work well with my growing belly (here is one I own - pictured with Ali Fedotowsky at her shower if you scroll down below---for under $100 that you'll wear over and over...plus I love all the color choices! And, I add maternity spanx.  It's fun looking back wearing the same dress, watching the belly grow as the weeks go by. Also, textured dresses that camouflage a few areas have been great, like the one I wore (again, scroll down below) to the Milk and Bookies event recently.  What I've noticed is that these don't just work for me, but my other pregnant girlfriends are loving them, too. Take the picture directly below, for instance.  Lacey (how darling and gorgeous is she here!!) and I are wearing the same ruched Ellis tank dress... she is doing the whole black and white theme! I've been drawn to more color recently (Ali and I both own this dress in blue, as well), but loved the black on Lacey so much, I went and got that one, too. I must say, the fabric on the these thicker dresses is phenomenal. You may pay a bit more, but it's worth it. I like the "supported" feeling the fabric gives the bump.  ps- Yes, that's adorable Amy Davidson that recently gave birth! She has been wearing the ruched dresses postpartum. I love knowing these cute tank dresses will work all summer as non-maternity, too.

At Milk + Bookies event with my husband.

I've tried so many, here is a round up of some of my favorites below.

Because you asked! Blue Dress for Baby.

Even though I touched on the dress in another post, so many of you have asked about it via social media, I'm posting about  it again.

When the time came to pick a dress for the shower, I went through several options. In the final hour- and I mean, truly last minute, I wanted to go with blue for the obvious reason. This dress by Seraphine fit the bill.* I learned how to (attempt to) camouflage the bump at work, but for my shower, I wanted to almost enhance it. I was 8 months after all! The cool thing about these ruched dresses (besides all the color options) is how they will stretch while the belly grows, and shrink when the belly shrinks. So, I'll be wearing them postpartum, too.

Here are some other options you'll be seeing on instagram in the weeks to come. And some you've already seen. 

And yes, I'm liking blue right now- see the LookBook below that also includes the  maternity spanx that make me confident enough to wear form fitting dresses by smoothing out the extra bumps (not baby) that come with pregnancy. Okay, let's be honest here... I wear regular spanx even when I'm not pregnant! 

BABIES, BABIES, BABIES!! A weekend of #babybump #babylove

If I ever worried starting a family later in life would be lonely, last weekend took those thoughts away completely. On Saturday, my sweet girlfriends, Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan, hosted a safari- themed high tea baby shower for me. (It was a wonderland!) I'll be writing and posting later about not only what an emotionally charged, memorable day it was, but also how this past weekend transformed me. 

Then, on Sunday, we celebrated Ali Fedotowsky's little BabyManno in an ethereal, mid-spring day's floral setting.  As you can tell in the picture we had fun--and I'm really embracing the bump now in this dress (it comes in many colors, too!) Read more about the baby boom surrounding me HERE.

FEELING SPRING-Y... what to wear, how to feel it.

I have basically been waking up every night around 3am for a while now. If you follow me on twitter (HERE), you may have seen me tweet during these times. Is this my body preparing me for night feedings once the baby arrives? I also get these crazy leg cramps. I know it's normal, but it doesn't seem normal in the middle of the night when the pain wakes you up.  It's like a charlie horse on crack. I'm keeping active during the day and trying to remember to stretch, but they still sneak up on me! Needless to say, the lack of sleep and leg pain can leave you feeling sluggish the next day. Unmotivated. Slightly depressed.  It's nice to have something easy and bright to wear like this WRAP DRESS HERE.  I am obsessed with wrap dresses in general (thanks to DVF), and this one shows a little leg with a slightly higher cut in the front and lower in the back. It elongates the silhouette nicely. And it's under $75. It's not maternity, so I can wear it throughout the summer.  If you click on the picture OR HERE and see the model wearing the dress, it looks so effortlessly chic on her.  Seriously thinking of wearing this to my shower Saturday and calling it a day. I'll pair it with these heels HERE on sale that I'm wearing in the picture below (and bring THIS pair of flats that have been my go-to so far).

And I feel girlie and alive and ready to face the day. What are your tips for feeling and looking fresh? I hear this only gets harder, not easier, with kids. Especially newborns. Do you have your own tricks to share?  I know it's always good to remember gratitude. Grateful people are joyful people. 

xo

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SHOWER DRESS! OH WHAT TO DRESS THE BUMP?? And look at this photo of the hostesses!

MY SHOWER IS THIS WEEKEND!! EEK.

I'm so grateful to my sweet friends hosting (Kaley Cuoco and Marisa Coughlan).  Look at this picture I found of us from years ago! What a different life! Marisa is pregnant with her fourth!! We're actually due the same day, can you believe? And I think this is pre- Big Bang Theory for Kaley...

Marisa, me and Kaley! How long ago do you think this picture was taken?

Marisa, me and Kaley! How long ago do you think this picture was taken?

I'm 8 months pregnant today! I'll never forget the day I took the test and saw the pink lines. And now I'm dressing the bump. I was talking to another preggers girlfriend yesterday about maternity clothes. I'm looking for something so specific- a fitted maxi dress.  She brought up that it almost doesn't exist.  I found this one that I love, it's non-maternity, so it doesn't "grow" with you. However, it is so affordable ($52!!) and darling and so comfortable, I'll be wearing it till I can't fit in it, then post pregnancy! I love the pockets and the v-cut back.  I'm out looking today for more shower finds, so may be asking for opinions later!

 

 

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