Monday
Jul012013

Closet Change Up: Everyday to Maternity Style, Week 30 & Baby Reading List

Above: ALC dress (similiar here), Zara sandal (on sale!), Proezna Schouler PS1, Hannah Blount necklace, Karen Walker Northern Lights sunglasses

 

Oh my goodness, I am feeling like a big ole baby mama to be! The heat! The humidity! The exploding belly!

And looking back on this ALC dress, from just over a year ago, wow, makes me kind of wistful for a waist to cinch again. But thank goodness this is one of those items I unearthed from my closet that pulls double duty, well triple, since I initially wore it here as a transitional summer to fall piece (originally posted here). You'd be surprised what you can make work- believe it or not this is a size 4, albeit a generously cut size 4. It's also a fabulously lightweight sheer fabric, perfect for these last two months of pregnancy.

I can't believe we are in the home stretch already- makes me nervous. And makes me realize I am way behind on my baby reading. I had a heavy binge session on my current baby book yesterday in an attempt to catch up-Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: New, Revised, Edition, by Dr. Ferber. It's not what I'd call a page turner, but full of helpful advice on how to instill healthy sleep practices in your child, from infancy to teen years. I find myself worrying about this because, while I want to put the little one down to sleep early, I also want her to have time with daddy....who often works very long days. Put her to sleep too early and she misses time with dad. Put her to sleep to late and I worry it isn't setting a good model for years to come.

Other books I have read along the last 7 months:

The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy  I would definitely recommend that new moms start with this light hearted read. It contains advice styled after gossip your friends would tell you. Very funny and a very nice way to ease into the pregnancy.

What to Expect When You're Expecting The baby bible, right? Well, learn from my mistake, I read this first and scared myself to no end. It's full of absolutely everything you might ever need to know about baby, prenatal issues, the birthing process, and all the bits in between, but it was a bit clinical and scary since it explained so many technical issues and possible outcomes. More helpful to read this month to month (as the chapters are set up) and as a resource to look things up as they arise.

Likewise, the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy, is more of a resource to look things up rather than read cover to cover. Which is what I have been using it for after my WTEWYE experience!

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting Knowing my obsession with all things French, you knew this was on the list right? Part tale of displaced American in Paris, part parenting guide, part entre into the the French style of parenting, it is in my opinion, full of useful advice. I particularly liked the sections on sleep and eating habits (how NOT to have a picky eater!!). As with all books, there is also some advice I would leave by the wayside, but that is why it helps to read a lot of options.

Baby Bargains: Secrets to Saving on baby furniture, gear, and more! This guide comes out anually and is a must buy before you start assembling your registry or buying anything. Chock full of reviews, ratings, resale value, and feedback, it is what guided me through most of the big purchases- car seats, strollers, etc. I also relied heavily on Amazon ratings and reviews! 

Still on the reading list: The Happiest Baby on the Block, On Becoming Baby Wise: Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nighttime Sleep, and French Kids Eat Everything. Phew! A lot to squeeze into two months!

Any recommendations? 

Thursday
Jun272013

Bonjour Bebe Shower! 

 Greetings and signage created by my on site coordinator, and cousin, Ekaterina!

 

 These paper doilies would make a great, and cheap, alternative for chargers on the dinner table. Will definitely recreate this look at home.

 


 Another rare Mr. MPCC siting! 



 photo IMG_2070_zps662fad1a.jpgCompetition was intense during the baby game set. The winning team finished in record time. I now have baby socks to outfit a village!

 

 photo IMG_2080_zps4e7ac308.jpg

Oh, almost forgot outfit details! I wore a Tibi dress scored on clearance at TJ Maxx (similar here). Plenty of room for baby bumps, lady lumps, and in slimming black. The earrings were a find at CUSP by Kenneth Jay Lane (in red at Zappos). Underneath all that material I managed a pair of Jimmy Choo wedges in leopard (this year's version), all day! 


 photo IMG_2125_zps47ebc069.jpg  photo IMG_2118_zpsbaa68184.jpgA bushel of baby books- including Bonsoir Lune, art cards, and songs in French for children!

 

 photo IMG_2063_zpsb141b21a.jpgPhotos: All courtesy of my my talented, dear, life long, extra fabulous friend, Kara Clark.

 

If you follow things from Mon Petit Chou Chou on instagram you probably saw that my baby shower went down two weeks ago- I can't believe it!  It was a gorgeous day, gorgeous venue, wonderful friends and family, all in all a perfect way to fete bebe.

Our venue was a new local spot, Steel & Rye, a fabulous restaurant that just opened up the street from us and has quickly become a weekly outing. They have a thoroughly progressive cocktail program (as the name would lead you to believe), delicious seafood, and farm fresh to table cuisine, not to mention the perfect rustic, industrial decor.

Husband's one request? Keep this event budget friendly. The gauntlet hath been thrown! Time to channel my innermost DIY, decor, diva and rock this out.

I began prep by focusing on a French market theme, complete with lavender accents. As posted previously, gifts for guests were home made bottles of lavender simple syrup, complete with recipe ideas for cocktails. Guests definitely need to report back if they recreated the delicious cocktail Ted, bartender extraordinaire at Steel & Rye, crafted for the day. Ted's cocktail was quite fancy, including a lavender tincture (something of a cross between a bitter and a flavored syrup, concentrated in a sous vide), which he soaked into sugar cubes and poured champagne over. I have been using the extra syrup in champagne cocktails for husband, an addition to sangria, on fruit, and in lemonade. Another pal of mine also used it a top her daily Fage yogurt, genius!

Flowers were a combination of potted dried lavender and DIY bouquets I crafted with peonies, goldenrod, and green hydrangea. Rustic burlap runners, doilies, vintage photos, banners, and all nature of things were sourced from vendors on Etsy. I filled in a lot of the blanks with crates, vases, and goodies from Homegoods, of course. My newly unleashed crafty persona also managed to assemble a vase for the entrance table, put together with branches and vintage baby photos.

Steel & Rye whipped up a delicious custom menu for the shower, down to my favourite cupcakes- carrot cake with salted caramel cream cheese frosting (I was even able to score the recipe! Trust me, I'll be making a batch of these ASAP). The lucky guest who found the creepy plastic baby inside their cupcake scored a prize for enduring the traumatic event....a play on the Mardi Gras staple galette des rois.

A special shout out to my lovely friend Mary and Aunt Leslie, who coordinated games for the event, which were executed to perfection:

-Guests were given an old fashioned diaper pin upon entry (which you can see on me in the pics) and challenged not to say the word baby throughout the afternoon- if you caught someone in the act, you got their pin!

-I loved watching people split into two teams and see which team could assemble their basket of baby socks into matching sets the fastest. I thought this might take a while- I was wrong! Competition was heated. And I now have enough baby socks to outfit the entire hospital maternity ward.

-While guests ate, they were asked to complete a card of baby advice mad-libs for me and the Mr., I just loved going through these after the shower, full of funny, sweet, and insightful advice.

-Guests were also asked to contribute their thoughts, wishes, advice, for baby and parent for each letter of the alphabet, all bound in a beautiful book. 

It was a casual day of festivities, full of my favourite people. Exactly what I wanted. Thank you so much to all my friends and family for joining us and helping make it happen. Bebe MPCC (et moi!) is lucky to have so much guidance from knowledgeable mamas, and friends, ready to welcome her into the world. Thank you! Thank you!

 

Monday
Jun242013

Whoa Maman: Dressing the Bump Week 28-29

Above: Maeve maxidress via Anthropologie, Dolce Vita sandals (similar), GAP leather tote, Forever 21 earrings and bracelets (old)

 

As promised, here is maxi dress number two from BBQ's last weekend. Are you sick of all the maxi's from Anthro yet? Hope not, they are having their sale now! I broke form and bought some crazy pants and a flowy embroidered top- maybe I have hit the maxi ceiling? Nah, I doubt it. 

Sale season is in full swing right now, any fantastic purchases to report? I have been pining for these Carven Paris flats, but I am trying to be good....and save up for a nice surprise for husband's birthday. So many nursery and baby things still left to get, I'm afraid much of my fashion is on the chopping block, and I think husband could use something nice for all his support. I mean, let's be real, the only thing I can really fit into right now is shoes, and there will always be plenty for me to buy in the future.

This GAP tote turned out to be a great purchase- originally intended for Paris but never saw the light of day over there with the gloomy weather- just seemed too summery. It is however, perfect for our hot weather and some beach days. Such a basic style, material and cut, has me thinking about other colors.

Regale me with your fabulous sale purchases please- let me live through you non-pregnant shoppers! And let me know if you have any fabulous ideas for gifting the man in your life. I am on the hunt!