10.22.2014

warning: this post is alllllll about strollers

I know, I know, the last thing the internet needs is another post about strollers.  BUT.  I owned a lot of them, and I really feel like there is a serious lack of info about jogging strollers/inexpensive strollers in particular out there, and that's mostly what I owned.  So without further adieu...



1.  The Britax B-Agile

This was our first ever stroller, and it's the one we still have for everyday use.  It collapses in one piece, holds a ton of stuff in the storage basket and zip pocket, and is a total dream to steer.  Claire hates pretty much all strollers - REALLY - she way prefers to be worn, but this is what we use if we're shopping for clothes and wearing her isn't really an option with all the on and off.  It's super affordable, and we really love it.  I would say its only cons are that it can't convert to a double stroller, and once you stop using the carseat with adapter, the baby can't face you.  But, it's really fantastic.  This is by far the stroller we see the most in St. Louis, which is a town where people drive everywhere.  We also see a lot of B-Readys, which is a similar model you can convert to a double stroller - in hindsight, I might have gone for that one.  I'm assuming its popularity has something to do with the fact that one single parent can fold it up and throw it in the trunk with ease, even with the baby on your hip.  I would put a disclaimer here - I didn't love the Britax B-Safe carseat that often comes with it, and neither did Claire.  We just switched to a Maxi Cosi Pria convertible seat and she seems to prefer it 100x over.



2.  Bugaboo Frog

This, we got on Craigslist.  I had heard SO many things about how amazing Bugaboo was that when I found this on Craigslist, I snapped it up, since it was listed at just $120.  I had read that it was basically the exact same as a Cameleon (it is, I often had people mistake it for a Cam) but truth be told, I didn't like it much.  I thought the storage basket wasn't easy to access, and I didn't like the two piece fold.  This is more of a city stroller than a suburban stroller - i.e., if you're pulling it into your apartment complex and parking it, you'll love it.  If you aren't, it's a huge pain.  Some of the benefits are that a) it's pretty, and b) baby can face you or face out.  Otherwise, I'd say it's a no go.  I actually ended up handing this one off to my parents to keep at their place, and they only use it to go on walks with the baby.



3.  BOB Revolution SE

This is another stroller that we bought used, for a little over $300 at a local resale shop.  The BOB is HUGE, which was fine because we never folded it and took it anywhere, I used it solely for running from our apartment to the park.  It folds in two steps (not a one-handed operation).  If this was your everyday stroller, you could get a lot done with it.  The front wheel can be locked for running or unlocked to swivel - I see a lot of families using this at the mall or just on a slow stroll.  The basket is gigantic, the sunshade basically encapsulates the entire thing, and of course it's a dream to steer.  The ONLY downside is that it doesn't block wind, you would need a rain cover to make that happen, and for that reason we ended up selling it because I run mostly in the winter.



4.  Thule Chariot

This is definitely my favorite jogging stroller.  It steers amazingly well considering that the front wheel stays locked, and totally encapsulates baby to block out wind and moisture.  It also has a "hammock" insert for jogging with infants that keeps them from getting jostled about, so you can jog with them from a very young age even when head control isn't 100%.  It's got a big basket in the back for keeping your water bottle, diaper & wipes, and a wrist strap that is actually long enough (the BOB's keeps you pretty closely tethered to the stroller.)  It's also incredibly lightweight - my mile time doesn't decrease when I go from running with to without.  If you're a biker, this stroller's front wheel removes and you can use it as a bike trailer.

The cons?  The front wheel doesn't swivel, this is a jogging stroller only.  It's pricey, retailing for at least $600.  If you need an all-in-one stroller and that's your budget, I would definitely get a BOB + the rain cover.  BUT, if you're going to be running for a long time and have more than one baby, this  is so worth it.  If I hadn't received this as a hand-me-down, I would go back and buy it for myself.  

10.21.2014

awkward & awesome tuesday



Awkward: 

Installing our new Maxi Cosi car seat.  It's got about 40 straps and buckles attached to it that I wrestled with for about 10 minutes, all to figure out that if your middle seat has a normal seatbelt, you just slide it through, and done.  Ours does.  Carseat > my brain.  

I spilt breast milk on my iPhone Wednesday - it fritzed for about 5 minutes afterwards, and I pondered all the while "what the heck am I going to tell the Verizon people if this breaks it?"  

We went to brunch with friends on Sunday and Claire fell asleep in her sling, as she usually does when we went out.  Assuming I had the rest of the meal to just relax and sip my mimosa was oh-so premature.  About 5 minutes into her nap, I was suddenly soaked in warm wetness.  Claire had pooped, then peed in an already heavy diaper and it exploded all over me, the sling, her, and the floor.  While Darrell carried her at arm's length to the restroom to clean her up, I attempted to dab away the mess from my sweater and not focus on the fact that our food hadn't even shown up yet and I was totally covered in baby.....everything.  

Darrell declared last night that our living room lamp was broken.  I'm a person who hates clutter, so I went to grab it and put it in with the trash - that was, until Darrell saw me heading for the door and shouted "wait!  I'm going to try putting a new bulb in it."  That's right folks, my husband the genius decided a lamp was broken without attempting to replace the bulb.  

Awesome: 

Finding our local jazz station, and realizing how INCREDIBLY CALM it makes Claire.  I know that this has unfortunately stolen my ability to listen to anything else in the car but jazz, but I kind of like it (read; it's tolerable) and anything that makes that kid happy in her car seat works for me.  

Gilmore Girls on Netflix - in my head, I've moved to Stars Hollow.  It's on all.  the.  time.  How did I not watch this show as a teenager?  Also, every episode of Friends is coming to Netflix in January - it's like the universe knew I just had a baby and was thereby spending a LOT of time at home.  

Did you know that there is a gif keyboard app?  It is amazing, and it has made texting my true emotions so much easier.  

It was our two year wedding anniversary yesterday, and we went to the fanciest restaurant in town for a very fancy date.  It feels like we've been married forever, and yet like our wedding was yesterday.  I still haven't thought of anything to get him yet, *cotton* suggestions are welcome in the comments.  I know this will shock you, but Darrell bought me a pretty new sling.  #predictable

10.20.2014

#stlfw recap featuring breeze blow dry bar

Get ready to be super proud of me as a blogger guys; guess how many photos I have of the outfits I wore to the two fashion shows #stlfw hosted this week.  Ready for it?  

ZERO.  Claire decided this week would not be my week (oh no, no it would not) and on night one she essentially screamed unless I was holding her, until she screamed unless Darrell was holding her, until I left without any pictures to speak of that documented my outfit.  In retrospect, it was just a black mini, with black tights and a leather jacket so nothing groundbreaking.  We'll all live.....hopefully.  

Instead of nicely edited outfit shots, here are some pictures of me with no makeup on getting my hair done @ Breeze Blow Dry bar - aka my new favorite place in St. Louis, where someone does your hair while you have both your hands free to hold the baby that will only nap in your arms.  


I am pretty sure my stylist thought I was insane, but actually the dryer noise was totally soothing to Claire and she napped the ENTIRE TIME.  Praise the hair gods, because that much volume doesn't happen in my normal routine of air dry/curling iron/shake it out.  

Moving on to night #2 of fashion week, it just gets better.  I successfully ran out the door in time for the show, and my sweet friend had just handed me a glass of champagne when my phone buzzed.  The husband informs me that he thinks Claire has a fever.  Not bad.....but boobs are needed.  So about 30 minutes after arriving, I ran back out to the car that was waiting with Darrell and our screaming infant and went home.  I am choosing not to even be mad about this though, because she still went to bed at a decent hour and seemed 1000x better the next day (I'm blaming teething?)

(Want to see photos from the runway?  Definitely head over to Alive Magazine for all the fashion coverage.)  

 My favorite event of St Louis Fashion Week has historically been the blogger tour of the city.  Riding around in a silly Fun Tyme limo with bloggers + champagne all day? There are worse ways to spend a Friday.  Besides just being a fun day of activities, eating, and shopping it's always amazing to connect with women from all over the country with similar interests.  We all ended the day discussing how grateful we were for the chance to meet one another and form a little community.  St. Louis Fashion Week forever!  


Definitely head over to the STLFW website to check out some of this year's guest bloggers. 
Some new favorites?  Lara's blog Pretty Connected, The Wanderlust Girls Abigail & Emily, Alexa's A Life in the Fashion Lane, and Tamera's Plan T Style.  I kept up with Megan's reliably awesome blog TF Diaries since meeting her last year - anyone who loves tights & leather jackets that much is a girl after my own heart.  

The next night, I tried my best to get a real outfit shot before the blogger dinner at Hiro Asian Kitchen...


and nope.  


Oh hey, Instagram saves the day!  Thanks Clr - Mnstr - for the pic, and the awesome cocktails.  

I DID get pictures of Claire's outfits this weekend.  They're better anyways.  



She's killing it.  If I'd spent half the time on my outfit photos this week as I did on hers, maybe.....well actually I don't know where I'm going with this.  I know you all come here for the baby pics, so perhaps it's better that Claire stays the star of this blog.  


But just in case you're here for more of my all black ensembles, how about I take us out with a mirror selfie from the final night's cocktail hour?  Over and out #stlfw, until next year!  

10.16.2014

Well Dressed Midwest VIP Blogger Lounge/#stlfw



If last week's Blogger Lounge is any indication of how #stlfw is going to go, I am in for an amazing week!  Held at Scape American Bistro, one of the prettiest restaurants in the Central West End, we were treated to cocktails, amazing food, flash tattoos (obsessed), and of course amazing company!  I've been out of the St. Louis social scene for so long (thanks to a tiny human who likes to be at home) so I was so excited to see these girls again; you've never met such a stylish and vivacious group.  Brands who attended got to network with an amazing group of bloggers - myself notwithstanding - all brought together by Well Dressed Midwest founder and host of the event, Lindsay Pattan.  I can't wait to see and hear more about what this new organization does for the bloggers and businesses in our region!  

10.15.2014

Mitch STL

So full disclosure: I almost always feel like I must be the MOST boring person to any hairstylist.  I don't color, mostly just get trims, and I like a standard blowout.  I would've done my usual wash, air dry, curl for the Well-Dressed Midwest Blogger Lounge this week, but then the perfect collaboration fell into my lap!  Jack at Mitch STL contacted me about coming in for something fresh, and I was so grateful.  Fashion Week is upon us and my hair needed some help.  I love the Grove (maybe the coolest neighborhood in St. Louis?) and I knew it was a match made in heaven when I pulled up next to this red door - don't you just LOVE a red door? My future dream home has a cherry red front door just like this.  


photo courtesy of mitch stl

The salon itself is gorgeous, set in the main floor of a renovated south city home.  The floor to ceiling windows in the main room make for some amazing light, even on the rainy day I visited them. 



photo courtesy of the stylist

I came in, took a look around, and Jack offered me water, wine, or beer.  I picked water because it was 12:30, but could absolutely see myself coming back another afternoon and having a glass of wine because Jack is exactly the kind of person you want to have a drink with - he was interesting, engaging, and funny; what more could you want in a hairstylist?  I think my favorite part of visiting Mitch was getting to chat with him for a bit!  (Okay, and the scalp massage - isn't the best part of any hair appointment the scalp massage?)  


After we talked a bit about my usual routine & my lifestyle, we ended up just freshening up what I already had - then Jack teased the heck out of it for the big blogger bash that evening!  It fell a bit in the rain, but I was so happy with it when I saw this promo shot from the party the next day: 


photo courtesy of alive magazine - bloggers Julia of Oh, Julia Ann, Rachel of Style Everyday, myself, and Marisa of Vogue Rhythm.  

Shinier and bouncier than it's been in MONTHS.  He also gave me a nice little mom hack: velcro rollers do wonders for the haircut he gave me!  No heat means I can wear the baby while they do their work - game changer.  I will definitely be back, and I highly suggest you do yourself a favor and book an appointment with Jack!  

PS - The lovely redhead on the left is Oh, Julia Ann of lifestyle blogger fame, and Jack is responsible for her pretty locks as well.  We've both let the secret that he's in town out now, and I have no doubt that within a few weeks getting in with him will be easier said than done!  
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