Now And Later

ramshackle glam pregnancy style

Over the past couple of days I’ve been scrolling back through my pregnancy style posts (both from this year and from 2011), and while I think I dressed pretty differently for Take 1 and Take 2 mostly because my style has changed a bit over the past couple of years, one thing was consistent: I never, ever wanted to not look (and feel) like myself. I love baby-doll maxi dresses and wrap dresses and other similarly traditional “maternity” cuts when I see them on other expecting women…but on me? I just don’t feel quite right unless I’m wearing something that I’d totally wear whether waiting-on-a-baby or not, so what I gravitate towards are the same slouchy tops and skinny bottoms that form the basis of my “regular” wardrobe.

Take, for example, this outfit. While it works for late-third-trimester (less than three weeks to go!), it’s still something I can easily see myself wearing two months from now. Even though those jeans are technically maternity jeans, complete with Secret Fit Belly (which is the BEST)…I can virtually promise that you’ll see them post-birth, because I am obsessed.


I discovered them during a Lucky Magazine shoot with Destination Maternity last month (more on that below), and they are lightweight and comfortable and very possibly the best jeans I have ever put on my body, and I now own them in both pale grey and distressed medium-wash denim. Why two pairs, despite the fact that I only have a few more weeks of pregnancy left? Because seriously: all you have to do to keep wearing them when not pregnant is either fold down the stretchy panel that goes over your stomach so it makes a kind of wide belt…or just leave the panel up, because who couldn’t use a little extra support in that area?

ag maternity jeans

deux lux clutch

ramshackle glam maternity

third trimester jeans

On Me: AG Secret Fit Belly Cropped Legging Jeans from Destination Maternity; tee from Marshall’s; Steve Madden heels; Karma Clutch ℅ Deux Lux; Tom Ford sunglasses; Samantha Wills earrings.

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P.S. Here’s how I wore the jeans in the Lucky shoot (that camo tank is another I-guess-it’s-technically-maternity-but-obviously-I’d-wear-it-anyway piece). The videos, in which I talk how to put together versatile denim looks with Destination Maternity Style Director Olivia Myers, will be up towards the end of August, so stay tuned.

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Summertime Hostess Gift Ideas


Alright, so here are my personal rules when it comes to hostess gifts:

Rule #1: Come Bearing Gifts. Never enter someone else’s home without something in hand. Anything. (If you totally space on picking something up in advance, stop into a bakery, florist, or wine shop on the way over; food, flowers and alcohol may not be terribly original, but they are always appreciated.)


  • For an evening at a friend’s house, you don’t need to spend a lot (about $15-$30), but shoot for something personal and useful - an unusual salt or spice, a potted herb or succulent, a cool dish towel, or a fancy deck of cards are all nice options.
  • For a weekend spent in someone else’s home, go thematic: a summery cookbook plus a treat from your hometown; a selection of cupcakes plus a fun tiered serving platter; a great-smelling apres-sun lotion plus a graphic beach towel.
  • If you’re taking an actual vacation at somebody else’s home - by which I mean five days or more – you’ll want to bring along something more substantial: I think a good rule of thumb, what-to-spend-wise, is to aim for about what you’d pay for one night in a local hotel. I like the idea of bringing along a gift that you can all use while you’re visiting - a retro radio that’s perfect for the beach, a fun pool float, a succulent planter, or a neat kitchen item (like a drink mixer) that they’re unlikely to already own.
  • If your hosts have kids, lucky you: just bring something for their offspring, and everyone will be thrilled.

stay out of my kitchen low-res

Rule #2: Stay Out Of The Kitchen. While you should definitely offer to cook (and be prepared to follow through if the offer is accepted), I usually try to stay out of my hosts’ way in the kitchen, because it generally ends up creating more work for them (“…Where do you keep your soup pot…?”). A better plan: keep the place stocked with wine and beverages, make runs to the store for anything your hosts need, and act as sous-chef – help chop vegetables, set the table, and keep things generally neat and tidy so the chefs can do their thing. If you’re staying for more than a few days, it’s also a nice idea to treat your hosts to dinner at a local restaurant.


Rule #3: Be Neater Than You Have To Be. Keep your room and the bathroom spotless (bed made right when you get up, toothbrush neatly lined up by the sink, etc), please-and-thank-you your head off, and be respectably self-sufficient: it’ll stress out your hosts if they feel like you’re tip-toeing around.

Rule #4: Be Self-Sufficient. Once you get the lay of the land, go ahead and make yourself some coffee in the morning, grab a soda from the fridge, etc. If you feel like you’re at home (but still on your best behavior!) it’ll make everyone else more comfortable. And it’s always nice to send a follow-up thank you card (I think a post-stay gift is overkill unless you stayed for an unusually long time) a few days later.

The Traveling Sweet Spot

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Road-tripping is kind of our traveling sweet spot. It’s our thing. (Apparently so much so that we glow when we do it. Thank you, Instagram filter.)

I was telling a friend about my fantasy of taking a family Route 66 road trip one day, and she said something like “That would be my personal version of hell.” And while I certainly understand that not everybody gets particularly jazzed about the idea of sitting in confined spaces for days on end and subsisting largely on gas-station beef jerky…

I love it.

There’s actually nothing I love more. Being out on the road, stopping at little diners to try local specials, picking up weird pieces of art from roadside stands, getting lost once in awhile and not really caring…it’s my idea of paradise. (And we will be doing that family Route 66 road trip sooner or later – mark my words.)

Happily enough: Kendrick loves road-tripping too, and – maybe bizarrely – we never get along better than when we’re locked up in a car together for hours on end. Something about the empty space around us and the songs on the radio and the opportunity to talk and talk and talk about whatever just feels so good for our relationship. So freeing. So we’ve been spending these last couple of weeks before the baby arrives exploring this new part of the world with as many mini-road trips (more “day trips,” really, since we’re not staying overnight anywhere) as we can. So far we’ve been to Carmel, Mill Valley, Santa Cruz (twice), and Berkeley.

It’s strange to me that I’ve never been to Berkeley before, considering how much it seems like an obvious Place I’d Love - I even thought seriously about going to college there. The morning we left, we were eating breakfast at a diner down the street and started talking to a couple of women, and mentioned that we were planning on heading to Berkeley for the day, and they gave us a totally disgusted look and said, “Why would you want to go to Berkeley?”

I was pretty confused by this reaction, but now I’m going to just chalk it up to them being the kinds of people I probably wouldn’t have an especially good time hanging out with…because now that I’ve been, I think a better question is “Why wouldn’t you want to go to Berkeley?”

Like, forever.

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Customizable ice-cream sandwiches – I went for mint chocolate chip sandwiched between enormous, warm chocolate chip cookies – for TWO DOLLARS (!!) at Cream

panic mom

Giving mom a heart attack at Mars Mercantile (lesson: we must tell a parent that we are hiding before commencing said hide)…

rainbow necklace

A brand-new necklace that all three of us agree is pretty much the coolest thing ever…

succulents rainbow

Sushi and succulents in the garden at Joshu-ya

vintage shirt

And a thrift-store find that doesn’t even come close to fitting me at the present moment, but that I couldn’t resist buying to tuck into high-waisted jeans this fall.


Tolkien speaks the truth. Sometimes, letting yourself get a little lost is the best thing you can do to help you finally find your way.

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