Back to Work – Oh, No! OOTW

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I have been making the very best of it in nursing gear and feeling more and more comfortable with a messy bun, leggings and duck boots as my daily go-to. But lo and behold, it’s time to go back to work. Mat leave is done. Sob.

So, I cut my hair. And scoured the internet for outfit inspo to return to the daily grind (and not the kind that involves scouring the floor for renegade cheerios and packing, repacking and schlepping a diaper bag all over the city). I tried to make my life easier by inviting myself to a party  – a plan two weeks of outfits so you can get up at 5 am, get a one year old ready, get out the door on time and go be profesh… without having to think of what you’re wearing. It’s the weekly meal-prep of outfits.

Chop chop! First, I needed a fresh bang to start work and feel as cool as the new near-zero temperatures.

 

From Monday to Friday, I basically recreated these looks:

 

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From Dress Design Queen

 

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For the snow day… black sweatshirt and tee, with a toque and leather jacket.

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From Always Judging: crisp oversized dress shirt with big gold chains (buttoned up, obvs). High waisted denim. Leopard print oxfords. Red lip.

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Merrick’s Art : This blog has a great range of wearable inspiration and outfit ideas. 

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Who What Wear – check it out

Crushed it. First week down. The funny thing is… I feel like I never left. Maybe some of that is dressing for something other than nursing. And dressing for myself was pretty key to feeling right at home in front of a class for the past five days. Can’t wait to keep this pretty ball rolling.

Real talk. It’s hard to pull it together she. Your day starts at 5 am.

Out and Proud

Love, Open Letters, Wedding

Saw a lovely post from a teacher who speaks about coming out, after marrying her wife.

He roost reminded me why I came out and keep coming out each year, each semester, in each new class. Being out in my classroom is one of the most valuable lessons and teachable moments I have to offer. It shows closeted kids or those with queer family that it’s possible to live a beautiful, rich and happy life; to be a professional; to be respected and successful as a queer person.

What else motivates me to be out in my classroom? It provides visibility and hope to kids and a learning opportunity about the diversity within our community. So many important steps towards inclusion and acceptance begin with the risk of being seen. For many it is about knowing someone and having that relationship spark the curiosity to question what we have learned or previously taken as truth. It’s hard to bear hatred or intolerance when you have a face to put to the name, whatever the marginalized group or person may be. I am their teacher. Someone they know and care about. Someone who has modelled caring and for respect for all the things that make them who they are. I actively teach anti-oppression and critical thinking about diversity, myth-busting the rhetoric that too frequently is used to promote intolerance.

If it’s safe to do so… come on out. Our kids need to see you there.

Holidays with a Newborn

Love, style

I’ve been noticeably busy. Lol

I am planning a post about what to wear while caring for and feeding an infant. Planning. Everything takes longer and best laid plans get complicated and deterred.

Then comes the holiday season. The holiday show must go on. And we made merry like it was no big deal. We are getting the hang of things.

Our son is now two months old and we are smitten. From tree-side selfies to family party snaps … I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Dabbing his way through the holiday.

All about the bust

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Inspired by easy access to the boobs, these are the outfits that are in rotation right now – as a newly-nursing mama. 

First up, ASOS; they have an amazing selection of basics, as well as nursing/maternity dresses and tops, so cute that they don’t even look like nursing specific garments.

ASOS DESIGN Maternity Nursing Cami With Clips 2 Pack SAVE
C$52.60


Zara is a treasure trove of items that aren’t nursing specific, but sure do fit the bill. 

I can’t wait to wear this in Mexico when we head off with our little one in tow. 


Zara checked dress
Draped checked blouse, riding the plaid trend from fall into winter.
Zara dress
Oversized patchwork shirt – Zara
Bird satin tunic – Zara



The basics already in your closet can also find their way into nursing-friendly outfits. 

I made a point of sectioning off my closet, moving conducive items to the front of drawers (I fold Marie Kondo style, like library books in my drawers, spine up), and in the closets I have a section just for items that ‘fit’ as nursing wear. 

The penchant for sleepleisure is perfect for moms (or anyone, really). A cool relaxed pant and pajama-style top are easy, breezy, with full front access. 
This screams chic, while maintaining the comfort needed to plunk down on the floor, change a quick diaper or feed a writing child. 
Chicnico is on to something with this mustard-hued sweater. Wear anytime, anywhere. Almost. https://www.chicnico.com/collections/cardigans/products/chicnico-stylish-open-collar-oversize-casual-solid-color-cardigan-3?lshst=collection

From a site that boasts ‘sexy but modest’ clothing… this is definitely a wear-on-repeat idea. I have a Halston Heritage-inspired vintage silk dress, handed down from my mother, that looks pleasingly similar to this one! https://www.sexymodest.com/products/brigitte-button-down-maxi-dress

More great cardigans from Lauren McBride. Versatile and cozy. https://www.laurenmcbrideblog.com/2018/08/feel-nice-with-qvc/

Rounding out the on-trend items on deck, we have a jumpsuit, onesie, or romper. I have a gorgeous crush velvet version in navy blue from Aerie/American Eagle. It’s surprisingly easy to wear and layered over a cropped t-shirt it actually functions like a nursing outfit, but also looks amazing and feels like a playsuit. Velvet is in demand this season, but has staying power since it keeps cropping up when the temperatures drop. https://www.stitchfix.com/?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=pinterestschedule

An easy, ‘yes.’ Who doesn’t have a patterned longline blazer or cardigan? Wear it over lingerie or a bedroom inspired tank. Double yes. https://www.chicnico.com/collections/cardigans?utm_source=zucardiganpin-3&utm_medium=zucardiganpin-3&utm_campaign=zucardiganpin-3&pp=0&epik=v%3D1%26u%3DvG1DZXtTbiXVFlycJY74k91QGpu-nsuv%26n%3DdfRx8Pk_e0HpPQERQArRtw%3D%3D

Basic, in the best possible way; buttons, waffle knit, loose and versatile. This even has snaps instead of buttons. I couldn’t ask for more. 
https://www.instagram.com/p/BnwgFpDHN6V/

What I like best about all these pieces is that many are items I already own. Others, I will be able to keep wearing them long after my little one has graduated to solids… which is, I think, a solid investment. 

A Few Good Picks

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Here is my fall line-up of nursing-approved, affordable fall-into-winter items. I mostly haven’t purchased anything new (either for maternity or breast-feeding), but here are the five items I’ve added to my rotation.

Not really a fan of uniform dressing, but this tunic/dress is going to save my life. I made the mistake of going out for lunch at a nice place, once already, in a dress that required a whole half top/sleeve removal to allow feeding access. This Old Navy Swing Dress is cheap and cheerful (about $40 but with a bonus 40% off and free shipping).

 

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I got it in three colours. Layered over pants, open over another top, or with leggings and over the knee boots, this is going to be a go-to piece for all my nursing days when I’m out of the house.

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Next up, also from Old Navy, and also on sale (!) the Chambray utility onesie…

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With summery shoes this will be perfect in Mexico when we head for a winter getaway, but also for fall with rolled cuffs, a slubby scarf and some lace up combat boots. Open to the waist with a tank, or with a contrasting, or embellished belt – this piece is pretty versatile. Today I wore it with a half-up topknot and this teddy bear coat from Chance and Fate. So comfy. Paired it with pineapple embroidered velvet slides… No big deal.

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My goal is to buy as little ‘new’ stuff as possible – this might be it. As my sister-in-law (also breast feeding) said: “oh, yay… (not) another cross front top.” When maternity options are underwhelming, I’m going to try to be inspired by what’s already in my closet. Challenge accepted.

39 weeks

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OOTD – while the due date approaches,… it has been a tough few days. I’ve been having some anxiety. Bad dreams. But pushing through.

I’m dressing like Phoebe from the 90s. Vintage patterned dress, oversized cardigan and knee high socks. Black silky top with bold silver statement necklace from Shannon Passero. Throw on a muppet-inspired navy faux fur coat from Zara for the eve of legalization party at The Drake. Spend a cozy day in a classic sweater dress in camel and navy stripes.

Food Prep For New Moms

Foodie

I was inspired by a friend who went on a marathon food-prepping session – following a plan from StockpilingMoms.com

I picked the most appealing plan and hit the grocery store with the pre-made list from the site. This, after two weeks of trying to eat up other leftovers and clear out one whole drawer of the freezer. With a total bill of $300 (including some leftovers like olive oil, lemon juice, etc), I will have twenty meals of four servings each – stored flat in the freezer and ready to simply throw in the slow cooker/crockpot. Ready and delicious with just a side or two to prepare.

It did take a while, but the cat seemed to find it more exhausting than I did. I prepped and labelled the Ziploc bags yesterday, and then went ahead filling the bags, starting with one type of meat, and moving through the rest. I kept my compost out and my recycling bin handy, and really only used a few knives and several cutting boards. I am beyond thrilled with my stockpile of food. Although my wife is eating vegetarian, and on most days I do as well, some of these meals have meat and will be great while I’m replenishing my iron stores post birth with a high dose of protein.

My pictures don’t look very different from the ones on the StockpilingMoms website!

Check out the site for some handy and well-organized meal and grocery plans to suit anyone, from full vegetarian to Paleo.

Perhaps this is the ‘nesting’ everyone talks about. Let me know if you have other tips and hacks for new moms!

Week 37 Bump OOTD

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My last week at work flew by and I can hardly believe it’s maternity leave, starting today. I’m feeling bigger than ever, but I’ve definitely got the hang of planning outfits that still make me feel like I’ve got some personal style, as well as being comfortable – to whatever degree you can be comfortable when your bump is this big.

From top left-

1- I got this tiny floral print pink and tangerine blouse from a clothing swap, layered over a tank and paired with fall lips and nails. Simple gold jewelry.

2- This is a pre-pregnancy favorite: a gray and black striped oversize sweater, with a wide, long torso and fitted sleeves. Black jeans and a glass and silver necklace from Toronto designer Biko.

Bottom-

3- One of my very favourite sweaters, in a blanket print, maxi length with a hood and bell sleeves, from Free People. This necklace, a gift from my friend, who picked it up at H&M for a song, really takes things up a notch when layered with my summer slip dress in slate gray.

4- My wife is a fan of two things, the colour blush, and oversized, drapey tops. Fortunately this is perfect for third trimester. This blush tank is super soft and works as a base layer, under a floral kimono, with my everyday nameplate necklace from Seven Reasons and some swapped earrings.

5- This is my witchy outfit- A broad brimmed black hat, soft T-shirt style black sweater tunic, black leggings, black Blundstones, and a maxi length lace and fringe vest… Also black. I almost feel ‘not pregnant’ in this.

Maybe now that I’m on that leave, I will abandon all efforts to look pulled together. But probably not 😉