October 24, 2014

Fashionable and Functional Diaper Bag

Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing a cozy look and my go-to diaper bag. I remember when I was pregnant I thought I'd be able to use a designer bag as a diaper bag (I got this one for that purpose), but soon found out that as much of a minimalist mommy I wanted to be, I still couldn't fit all the stuff I needed to bring for Liv in a chic-looking bag like that! 

It was a long search for a beautiful and functional diaper bag; I was ready to admit defeat and just buy a bulky diaper bag (accepting it was part of my new mom role), when the women at Lily Jade contacted me and offered to send me one of their new diaper bags. I chose the Madeline in Brandy and have been so pleased with my choice. I was a little hesitant to use it at first - it was so nice I almost didn't want to use it for fear of messing up the leather! Thankfully I got over it though, and especially now with fall, the brown leather is my favorite!

I love the functionality of this bag - the adjustable long strap (and two shoulder straps) allow for the bag to be worn as a shoulder bag, messenger bag, or backpack! I'm not going to lie, I initially thought to myself - who would want to wear a nice bag like that as a backpack!? Don't knock it till you try it. Having both hands completely free without a bag one side or the other makes chasing after Liv so much easier! It also makes it convincing as a "men's diaper bag" and N carries it (as a backpack or messenger)! Hehehe.

And the pockets, oh the pockets. I love that there are three large exterior pockets - these usually hold things I need in easy reach - my phone and keys, chapstick, and tickets or papers for whatever we're doing that day (and tissues - all the tissues I can fit for Liv's constantly runny nose). Best nappy bag.

{Liv has proven herself to be quite the expert photo bomber}

The inner pockets are really where all the magic of this bag is, though. Any search for designer diaper bags will give you some pretty gorgeous bags, but when you hover over the images you see that the inside of the bags are empty! A dark abyss that will lead to lots of endless searching for whatever it is you're reaching for. The Lily Jade bag has so many pockets! The red organizer has at least a dozen pockets and is completely removable and washable. This is a game changer - I never thought about all the potential milk or baby food spills in the bag or how I would clean it - with the insert you can literally just pop it in the wash! 

The best part is that you can buy the insert separately. This is big time. Let's be honest - many of us (at least I know I speak for myself and some of my readers) can't afford to spend $300 on a diaper bag. Lily Jade understands that and has made it so that any mama can get some of this amazing functionality in whatever bag they choose. Awesome. 

The baby bag inserts are all on sale for $49, and the rest of the line of Lily Jade diaper bags is on sale as well, with prices ranging from $135 - $305. Don't want to get too far ahead f ourselves, but Christmas is around the corner - this bag would make for a great gift for any expectant or new mom!

I hope you all have wonderful weekends!!

October 22, 2014

Style: Lou & Grey

If you all have followed my blog for a while, you know I have a go-to style. I wouldn't necessarily call it fashionable, and not trendy either, it's just my style. And that style involves lots of neutral basics, soft tees and comfy sweaters - simple but relatively polished is what I'm trying to go for most of the time (although, Liv loves adding her touch of yogurt or crumbled cheese to my outfits too)! 

When Lou & Grey contacted me to check out their new store just outside of Boston in Natick, I checked out their website quickly and couldn't wait to visit the store. This brand was made for me. Their motto? Clothing for a comfortably confident life. Seriously, does it get more "me?" Below are some shots from inside the store - the place is heavenly! Online you can find most of the Lou & Grey pieces, but inside the store you'll find so much more. Beautiful pieces curated from amazing crafters, dainty gold jewelry, succulents on display, a library, home goods, and more! I seriously didn't want to leave. N had to go and check out J. Crew on his own because I was in my zone haha! 

Here's how I styled some of their pieces for an easy look that can take you from errands to dinner - then swap the jeans and boots for cozy leggings and slippers and you're ready for movie night in! That's exactly what I did, didn't want to take the sweater off! ;)

{Shopping links for: sweater, jeans, boots, hat, necklace}

Also - I've been in love with this Janessa Leone hat for some time now and couldn't believe they carried it in the store! I had to get it! (For those who want a similar style at a fraction of the price, Target has a version for $16)! 

Shop some of my favorites from Lou & Grey here! Thank you Lou & Grey for sponsoring this post! 

October 20, 2014

Interview Packing List

Happy Monday everyone! That time is already upon us... that's right, it's interview season. For tips about medical school interviews, read my post here, but today I wanted to share a bit about packing for interviews! Whether you're traveling by car or by plane, I hope this post can be of use! 

The number one rule for interview travel - keep your suit with you! Do not check any baggage, if you can help it. And you can help it. So don't do it! A close tie for number one rule is to pack light

With those two out of the way, let's get to what you need to bring with you. 

To cut down on what I pack - I like to have a designated "travel outfit" that I wear on the way to and back from my destination. This is usually something super simple like leggings, a tee shirt, a light cardigan, and some travel flats. I've heard amazing things about Tieks but they're pretty pricey and don't really fit in my budget - these travel flats by Ugg (two) are a good mid-price option, and these leather flats from Target are a great find at $40. 

My hands-down best travel bag is the O.G. by Lo & Sons (one). Fits absolutely everything and is well-organized and simple. Had I not gotten it for a Christmas gift, though, I likely would not have it as it too is a bit on the pricey side. This diaper bag would also make an amazing travel bag (even without baby)! Both of these bags make for great carry-ons; my must-haves include outside pockets, two straps, and a zippered top - these both fit the bill!

Inside your carry-on you'll pack all of your goodies. Make sure you have your interview suit (some people hang the suit instead, but I just roll it up neatly and compactly in it's own bag and put it in my carry-on, ironing later if need be). For residency interviews this year I'm going with this suit jacket and these pants, both by Loft (six). Keep your shirt simple. Make sure you've also got some comfortable interview shoes. Don't forget your phone, phone cable (four) and charger (five). I love using a phone case that doubles as a card-holder so that I can keep one thing out while getting through gates - no digging through my wallet each time I need my I.D. or debit card - this Kate Spade case (three) is amazing! It's up to you whether you prefer a portfolio (eleven) to carry throughout the day or a handbag - if you go with a bag make sure it's clean, subdued, and professional - this bag is perfect (ten). You don't want anything too large or flashy. Make sure to bring other seemingly random life savers like a lint brush (seven) and cash in small bills (good for cabs and public transportation).

Important things to bring with you interview day include copies of your CV and publications (I've literally never had anyone ask for these on interviews, but I don't want to be empty-handed if I ever do), a small notebook for jotting quick notes and names, water and small snacks, and a couple of key emergency goodies - ibuprofen for the potential headache, stain remover, breath mints, floss, and oil blotters. Someone did most of the work already and made a perfectly packaged little emergency kit with all of these goodies already inside - thank you!! I always carry this on me - it's even got double-sided tape (which I had to use once when a shirt button broke)! Lifesavers I tell you!

Equally important is to have all the information you'll need for the day - emails from programs, maps, questions you had in advance, hotel information, etc. Some people like to carry physical copies of all of this with them - I prefer taking a camera shot on my phone of all of the important details - you can then organize it on your phone into albums and have all that information in easy access at all times! 

Above is a checklist for packing that I hope you can find useful. Would love to hear about travel necessities and things you bring on interviews in the comment section!  Good luck on all of your interviews - you'll wow them all! 

October 17, 2014

Sling Diaries: On Bliss

Happy Friday! Today I'm sharing few (ok, a lot) of photos from our trip to Shelburne Farm last weekend, and a letter to Liv on this month's Sling Diary topic of bliss. Read the rest of my entries here, and check out all the other amazing Sling Diarists here!

Dearest Liv,

"Wherever you are, be all there."

This my sweet girl, is how you find bliss. It's hard to come by, this bliss, not because it isn't always there for us to find, but because the busyness of the everyday drowns it out. Be present in what you are doing, whether it be work or relaxation, and you will find focus. This focus will allow you to think clearly and work efficiently, but more importantly, it will allow you to experience the blissful moments. For me it's watching you play and laugh out loud, or watching you muster up all your effort to stack blocks, my heart beating with pride and my face beaming with joy. It's the hugs and pats on the back you give me when we reunite, or your little hand rubbing my arm or playing with my necklace as you nurse. It's laughing with your dad. It's feeling accomplished at work. For me bliss is so many things. 

I like to think about what will bring you bliss. Right now it's blueberry muffins, or your apples - I'm giggling now at the site of you closing your eyes in enjoyment and saying "mmm!" It's finding a perfect acorn, or being up on your daddy's shoulders. Maybe it's even our hug when we reunite, too. I hope you'll get to experience many blissful moments. The important thing to remember is to not let the hustle and bustle and stress and mess of the everyday dull the sparkle of the blissful moments. 

Wherever you are be all there. 

Love always,

I'm wearing a burgundy cardigan (similar here), a grey v-neck tee (here), JustUSA jeans (similar here), Wayfarer sunglasses (similar here), H&M Chelsea boots (exact here - and for less than $35!, amazing real leather ones here, way more than $35 lol), and Liv in my Sakura Bloom linen sling in Maple.

Liv is wearing a Sherbert Lane bow (here), Gap top (here), Carters jeggings (here), and Mocassins (similar here).

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