let your heart run free/a giveaway with dimvaloo active living

Everything I'm wearing in the photos above can be found at Dimvaloo Active Living in Ladue.  

Yoga has been a big part of my life since college, and it's been the biggest commitment I've ever made to an exercise routine.  I really believe in it as the perfect workout - it does so much for your  physical & mental well being, and well-taught yoga works for every body type!  I love running, but after Claire was born and I needed to slowly step back into a workout, I went straight back to yoga.  Not only do I think it made me capable of running again so soon, I think it's what keeps me sane and reminds me to live in the moment as a mother.  Claire & I even go to mama/baby yoga classes every Friday - I'm starting her early!  

I hate to admit it, but on days when I'm going to yoga, I pretty much wear my gear all day long.  It certainly helps if it's cute!  Dimvaloo in Ladue has to have the most fun yoga clothes on the market.  I love the prints, the brights, the patterns - I mean come on, those lime green pants!  Their clothes would make a great gift for the yogi in your life, or as a little incentive to really get after your New Year's resolution (which is to go to yoga more, right?)  Luckily I can help you get a head start on your shopping.  Kate at Dimvaloo is giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky reader - and you can enter below!  This is just the start of an ongoing collaboration that I'm incredibly excited about.  I'll be teaching a class and hosting a "Wine Down Wednesday" event in January with the amazing Jess of City in a Jar, and there will be even more fun prizes to win at that event as well.  More details to come!  


friday link love

And just like that, it was winter!  Or so it seems in St. Louis - I spent a bit of time this week digging out my windshield, we put up the tree, and things are feeling very festive around here whether we were ready for it or not!  This weekend we're going home to Mt. Vernon to see family, Claire & I will be attending my friend's baby shower, and then after this weekend, it's time for Thanksgiving (crazy!)  Here's hoping I have time to sneak in a few runs, and maybe see the new Hunger Games?  

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Here are this week's links...

What would Disney princesses look like with real waistlines?  Apparently, a lot more normal!  How had I never noticed how crazy they were drawn?

I already have an issue with buying headbands for Claire, but now that I've found this Etsy shop I think it's going to become an even bigger problem.

Do we have a "mommy" problem in this country?  I thought this article was so interesting.

A day at home with a newborn, in excruciating detail & accuracy.

Ever since the temperatures have dropped, all I want to eat is soup!  This one sounds particularly yummy.

I've been reading this book & loving it - although admittedly, I've been tempted to just start re-reading Harry Potter, because for some reason this time of year makes me nostalgic about it!

I've been wearing Uggs for years (don't care, they're stupid comfy) but I've been thinking it might be time to upgrade, what with St. Louis' notoriously snowy winters the past few years.  These look kind of amazing!  


vienna sling share/volume 2: jessica & crystal

The next women to sharing their babywearing experiences in the Vienna Sling Share series will be Jessica, gorgeous mama to baby Emily, and Crystal who is wearing her daughter Ava, and also has a son named Braxton.  Take it away ladies!    

For us, babywearing began when my husband deployed to Afghanistan.  It was a life saver to put my daughter in a sling to get her calmed down, walk our two dogs, and get stuff done around the house.  It became a way of life for us.  I was so honored to be part of this sling share for a mama who needs a carrier.  My daughter Emily & I had a great time breaking in Huckleberry.  We did a lot of shopping and a lot of dog walking!  This was the first sling that we ever experimented with different carries - we mastered kangaroo and a back carry!  My favorite memory with Huckleberry was taking a trip to a pumpkin patch for Emily's first upcoming Halloween.  She was able to look at pumpkins, pet the goats & ponies, and be cuddled up with me the whole time.  We loved taking part in the Vienna Sling Share and sent it off with lots of love from the two of us.  I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as we did!  


Emily & Jessica

When I first became a mom with my son Braxton, baby wearing wasn't really on my agenda. I didn't know anything about it besides randomly seeing people using those Baby Bjorn carriers...even back then I thought to myself how uncomfortable they looked for both mom and baby so I steered clear of them. When I was pregnant with my second, Ava, I was introduced to the world of baby wearing by some friends. That's when I saw that there was so much more out there than those awful Bjorns. 

When Ava was born I realized that if I wanted to get anything done with two kids, I was going to have to wear her. Baby wearing really is a necessity when you have more than one child. Luckily Ava loved being close to me, and being worn. I started out by wrapping, because somehow ring slings intimidated me. The thing with wrapping is it can be time consuming compared to a ring sling where you just have to basically throw it over your shoulder, put baby in, and go.

I finally decided to buy a Sakura Bloom ring sling when Ava was around 7 months old, and I remember the first time I put her in it I was kicking myself that I didn't do it sooner. It was much easier than I had ever imagined. It may sound silly but because of the sling, I gained friendships with other like minded ladies from all over the world. There really was a community of moms out there that came together out of the love for using these slings. 

Because of that community I got to participate in the Vienna Sling Share, which is such a great idea. Instead of doing it for profit, or for personal gain, it's purpose was to break in a brand new sling for a deserving mama at the end. It's nice to know that there are people out there that still do nice stuff for others. Ring slings can be expensive, and I know that some people overlook them because of the price, but they really are worth it. 

When we got the sling in the mail, I instantly opened it and put Ava in. She was so sleepy already but I just couldn't wait, and neither could she since she fell right asleep in it. The color, Huckleberry, was seriously the perfect choice for the sling share. It was rich but subtle at the same time, so it works well for everyone...even me with my bright red hair. We were fourth on the list to get the sling and it was already super soft. I have never had a silk sling, only a pure and a simple linen by Sakura Bloom, but it felt amazing. It was pretty much love at first wear. Vienna Springs really makes a great sling, I'm telling you. 

We got the sling just in time for Halloween and it came in handy! Ava and I put on our kitten ears and did some trick or treating with Braxton around our small neighborhood before putting on the real costumes and going out for the night. Ava's costume was a little too poofy to wear in the sling but it was still fun. I don't see our baby wearing journey going for much longer, considering she's becoming very independent now, but I have cherished these moments. I'm so grateful that I have had something to help me through these "mom of two moments" and that I haven't had to rely on getting flustered with strollers or feeling helpless. My advice to any new parent is wear them, and don't be intimidated, because it will make your life so much easier. 




the weekender

Oh hey!  Hope you had as rad of a weekend as we did : )  

There was lots of snuggling, lots of snow, lots of sushi.  Really, lots of all the things & people we love.  So let's get this kicked off with the picture that embodies our life right now - a semi-mobile baby with a cute cloth diaper booty.  

Babies in bonnets in slings - is there anything cuter (the answer is no!  No there's not!)  

Friday night we went to Art: 314 @ the Contemporary Art Museum - a fun excuse to dress up.  Claire was not into my selfies quite as much as I was, but come on - gotta max out on the selfies when your false eyelash game is on!  

And then I got exactly one photo of my outfit...... #notafashionblogger

Claire woke us up at 7 the next day (actually, that's later than I thought we would get) so we got productive and put the tree up!  It was perfect timing - the first snow of the year started to fall that afternoon.  

And then this happened.  I swear my best timeline of Claire's growth will be the insane amount of photos I have of her sleeping on her daddy's chest.  Why can't it always be the weekend?  


friday link love

I'm not sure why, but my link love posts always get me so reflective.  Probably because it's always the end of another week, and the weeks seem to pass so quickly with Claire in the mix.  

This week, I really felt how close it is - how close we are to that time of year where everyone really shows their true colors.  Where you can feel stressed, or feel the joy.  I'm already feeling a little anxiety about our family gatherings - there's so much more pressure on us to come to EVERYTHING and to be everywhere because of Claire.  Just looking at our calendar for Thanksgiving & Christmas makes me nervous.  

But, I just need to keep in mind that the most important thing is us three and I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that we can't do everything.  Christmas with a baby will be a lot easier if we just simplify.  A few things we're doing differently this year?  Fewer gifts - I'm talking just parents, siblings, and one another.  I love buying something for each and every one of my loved ones, but this year of course we want to devote the majority of our resources to Claire, and the time investment in finding the right thing for everyone is just too much!  No doubling up on events - we won't be carting ourselves around to three lunches between noon and 3 pm.  Just one Thanksgiving dinner.  Living in the moment, rather than worrying about having Claire fed and changed by the time we have to hurry hurry to the next house.  

Lastly, no pressuring ourselves about decorating.  We'll have a tree - and that's it! And even though we'll be using our good old fake tree we'll probably take a trip to a tree farm for some photos of a bundled up baby, because you have to, right?  

Ranting about the holiday season, finished.  Here are this week's favorite links!  

Seriously, stop asking parents how their kids are sleeping!  

I cannot get enough of these funny posts captioning old paintings: here, women having a terrible time at old parties, and women being proposed to.  

Did you know that even sign language has accents?  

I don't have any *fancy* holiday parties this year, but I kind of wish that I did so I'd have an excuse to wear this dress!  

Graphic design can be so clever!  I never noticed most of these hidden messages in famous logos.  

Made me laugh, but also makes me shake my head!  I think someone from Mt. Vernon, IL wrote this e-card.  

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