Santa Monica Pier Pictures

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Photos by Karly Spalding 

A few weeks ago I managed to talk the family in to sitting pretty for family photos. I really wanted to capture our family now that Gunnar is a little older. The last ones we took he was a wee little 9-week old! I can not believe he’s now almost 9 months old. Man, time flies. He’s grown SO much and is still the happiest baby ever. He laughs at just about everything, especially anything Harlowe does.

I LOVE the way these turned out.  We took them at Santa Monica Pier about a mile from our house. Having a short drive for the kids is key. Besides that, I really dig the colors, memories and cotton candy. We did give Harlowe cotton candy for being such a good sport that day. Much deserved. I cannot recommend Karly (our photographer) enough. She had a wonderful temperament, a kindness and silliness that resonated with our kids, and a swift and focused management of the session.  If you’re in LA, book Karly, stat! Not sponsored in any way — she’s just that marvelous.

Wearing

my top / skirt / shoes / necklace

H’s dress / H’s skirt and leopard camiGunnar’s outfit

 

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Maui Mama

white summer dress

It’s been a week since we got back from Maui and I’m still dreaming of lobster-stuffed mahi. And sleep. I reluctantly didn’t bring the kids on this trip because it was a work trip for KW which meant events each night that were not kid friendly. As hard as it was for me to be away from them for that long of a time, I have to say, I felt brand new after that much rest. Brand freaking new. At first, I didn’t know what to do with my sans-kids self. Most of my time away from the kids is time at the office. With the laptop at home where would I invest my energy? Would I even have energy? Well, I did figure our what to do. Hashtag, adaptable.

white summer dress

We took these photos at Mama’s Fish House on our last night there. The restaurant is totally worth all of the hype. We had a few locals tell is it is a haven for tourists and warned us against the over-priced menu, but since we don’t get these dishes or views in LA, we had to try. We ordered so much food and oddly, ate everything. I’ll definitely go back on an empty belly.

Things to do in Mauiwags in the wilderness

I’ve been stand-up-paddle boarding only once before, but I am hooked. Ever since my last SUP excursion, I’ve been dying to get out on the water again. We paired a SUP session with a little snorkeling by our hotel on Wai’alae Beach. I am happy to report I saw a sea turtle again, but there wasn’t a lot going on under the sea that day. We did see a lot more sea life on our last snorkeling trip which was on Kaanapali Beach.

white eyelet dresseyelet dress vacation dress

^This was at our hotel. I spent most of my time at the hotel because there was so much to do there. My favorite activities were sipping pool side margaritas and indulging in spa services. KW and I got a pedicure and a couple’s massage on the beach. OMG, it was the best massage I’ve ever had. If you ever go to Hawaii and get a massage go see Bethany at the Fairmont Kea Lani. :)

mamas maui

I’m putting together a video with loads of fun highlights from Maui so be sure subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss it. Thanks for reading! xo

Wearing: Banana Republic Tie Front Dress c/o / Steve Madden ‘Stecy’ Heels

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Life At Home

bethanimalprint mom style

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Hi all! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. We’re going to celebrate by riding a roller coaster that Harlowe has been begging to try! I can’t wait. These photos are from yesterday hanging around the house. After coming back from an adult-only vacay, hanging out at the house and stealing snuggles was all I had on my mind. I hope I never forget these moments because they go by so quickly.

Speaking of quickly, now that Gunnar is a sturdy 8-month-old, I’ve started using some of the beauty products I avoided during pregnancy and his early months. Perfume was one of the things I missed most. Without it I felt not totally dressed like forgetting rings you wear every day.

I’ve talked about Pinrose before and am still a fan of their unique scents. Their Merry Maker perfume was specifically designed with new moms in mind and is safe, and calming, for babies!  Studies have shown that infants can quickly learn to prefer certain scents if the smell is paired with cuddling, sooooo I guess Gunnar and I will be doing a ton of cuddling with Merry Maker.  Seriously, get some for yourself or the mom in your life.

For grandma, I picked up Pinrose’s Gilded Fox at Sephora. It captures the essence of a bold, sexy bombshell… just what grandma needs. :)
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My Happy Place

palmtrees

palm springs wagners

Last week we went to Palm Springs — a strong finish to Harlowe’s Spring Break. We started in Arizona where we spent Easter weekend with friends and family. Palm Springs was really our first vacation as a family of four and I’m happy to say, it didn’t disappoint. We met some friends who have a daughter Harlowe’s age.  The hotel we stayed at was the most kid-friendly resort imaginable. we’re talking ice-cream socials, Despicable Me 2 playing under the stars (we didn’t stay up late enough to make it to that) and three pools designed for the 4-foot and under crowd. Picture all the fun of Disneyland without all the walking. :) I’m already planning our trip there next year. Now that I’ve got one trip under my wings there are a few things I would do differently and of course, a few I wouldn’t change.

Omni resort palm springs

^Gunnar wouldn’t change anything. He loves all the things.

lazy river

^The pools weren’t heated and this lazy river was chilly! Harlowe found a warm spot barnacled to me so she didn’t mind. Temperature not withstanding, it was a great time. It’s really relaxing going around and around…and around. Harlowe wanted to go like a dozen times soooo…

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^Sibling love. Is there anything sweeter?

Ace hotel

^We went to King’s Highway for dinner and OMG, delicious. It’s kind of time-warpy going in there because everything is 1955-ish except the other diners who were total 2016 hipsters/musicians. I’m generalizing, but seriously, everyone there was super-cool.

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^Parking lot at the Ace Hotel. Cool city.

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^From the photo booth at King’s Highway. It took us a minute to get the timing right (see that embarrassing photo at the top left?), so we took another shot (on the right).  Harlowe, our little Leo, wanted to take some on her own. Her shots are our favorite, hands down!

wags in palm springs

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Desert Flowers

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This is my Spring Break. Yes, Spring Break is a real thing for this mama of two. A real week-long thing that forces parents to take a week off of office work to do the hardest job of all…entertain toddlers. This year, my plan of action was to take a trip to grandma and grandpa’s house in Mesa, AZ.

Spring is unquestionably the best time of year in Arizona. The weather is a dream, the desert flowers are blooming and you just can’t help but spend loads of time outdoors. You know, before temperatures reach the three-digits. :) Under Spring conditions, I always catch myself thinking I will return here eventually. The more time we spend here, the more Harlowe gets familiar with the joys of having grandma and grandpa to visit with each day. I know it won’t be long before she asks us if she can move to AZ. I’m mentally preparing myself for that day already.

Luckily, no matter where we live, there are plenty of adventures to have and memories to make. For Easter, we drove down to Tucson to spend time with my grandma. She set up an easter egg hunt that I could map out in my sleep because I’ve hunted eggs in that backyard just about every year of my childhood. Harlowe promptly found all of the eggs and  asked Grams to hide them again…and again. They hid the eggs three times before she retired only to eat strawberry pie. It was my mom’s favorite Easter desert and has since become mine. It’s delicious and brings back so many memories.

Another favorite? Not Easter specific as much as it is Tucson specific — Eegee’s. If you find yourself in Southern Arizona, even remotely close to Tucson, you have to get yourself an Eegee and ranch fries. Get some for a friend or loved one too. They will thank you. Total cheat meal, but it’s totally worth it.

I hope you had a great weekend and Easter (if you celebrate).

*Banana Republic provided free product in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Our Wedding and Reception Story

SF wedding ideas

Bethann Wagner birdcage veil

Planning a wedding is hard work, which is why wedding resources exist in the first place. Even so, you’ll never truly understand all of nuances of wedding planning until you go through it yourself. To help give local brides some advice on the process, Borrowed & Blue, the online planning resource that knows a thing or two about San Francisco weddings, came to me to ask all about my wedding planning experience. I had so much fun reliving our wedding day through this Q&A with Borrowed & Blue:

casual wedding attire

Describe your wedding in six words. Quaint, picturesque, intimate, simple, nostalgic, unforgettable.

Kaare and Bethann San Francisco City Hall Weddings

Even though you’re based in LA, you had a SF wedding. What makes San Fran unique and how did that play out during your big day? San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We feel lucky to have lived there for a few very exciting years. From passing trolley cars to fog covered hills, you have 7 square miles of beautiful scenery. It’s a city known for it’s fog (I’m looking at you, Karl) and our mid-November wedding day was as cool and dreary as you’d expect; rain included. Rain is said to be cleansing and it actually works really great for photos, so we didn’t mind!

San Francisco wedding Day of the dead cake topper

What moment sticks out most in your memory from that day? Dancing at Top of The Mark with all of our friends at the impromptu after-after party! It wasn’t a private event so we were dancing with strangers. We made some new friends and everyone was so happy!

Hot Sauce wedding favors

What was your favorite detail from your wedding day? Technically, it wasn’t from our wedding day as there was a separate reception we had a little later, but I loved our party favors. We gave out Bacon Hot Sauce which was founded and created in SF by a guy we met in a cooking class! We both love hot sauce and this one was sentimental to us so it was a no-brainer.

Handmade wedding bouquets

Your bouquet was so unique! Can you tell me about it? Why the decision to steer away from using flowers? My good friend made it for me! I wasn’t going to carry a bouquet at all because our ceremony was not traditional, but she put it together for me and I fell in love with it. It was very detailed and each piece meant something. My mom passed away when I was 24 and ladybugs always remind me of her, so there was even a ladybug in the bouquet. It was really special to have that touch that you can’t get from a store-bought bouquet and I get to keep in forever!

I wasn’t going to throw that one!

Carnations at wedding

If you could go back and do your wedding over again, what would you change? My shoes. I found a pair of gently-used blush and cream Louboutins on eBay and had to have them. It was the first pair of Louboutins I ever owned I was clueless about how uncomfortable his shoes can be. To top it off, the strap on one of the sling-backs broke the day of and we had to pin them closed. You couldn’t tell when they were on, thank goodness!

SF weddings Top of The Mark

What would you keep the same? The venues. We got married at San Francisco City Hall. My husband and I think it is the most beautiful venue! The inside is truly stunning and so romantic. Our reception was in his parents back yard! 

Natural wedding makeup

What was the most fun part of planning your wedding? Knowing I was going to marry my best-friend soon! I never wanted a big wedding and I’m not known for my party planning skills. I started a wedding-themed Pinterest board after my wedding! I loved having the freedom to abandon planning guidelines by opting for a small wedding.

colorful carnation centerpieces

The most stressful part? Probably transportation. Uber wasn’t around yet so we had to get taxis to get from City Hall to Hayes Valley where the after-party was. It was raining and everyone was trying to stay dry while they waited for cabs!

Dia de los Muertos wedding cake topper

What do you wish you would have known before you started planning your wedding? I wish I enlisted more help. I thought ‘small’ meant ‘totally manageable’, but I wish I had someone helping with details like sending welcome gifts to the rooms of out-of-town guests and dealing with logistics like transportation.

Which of your wedding vendors would you recommend to other couples getting married in SF? What was great about them? City Hall! They make it so easy whether your affair is large or small.

San Francisco Wedding Ideas

What advice do you have for couples just getting engaged? Enjoy this time together and try not to let other’s opinions influence your decisions too much!

And that’s all! Thanks so much to Borrowed & Blue for reaching out and to everyone who helped make our wedding special.

Photos by friends: Christa Scott and Megan Rogers (rockstars, am I right?)

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Baby Style: Je T’aime!

black baby baseball cap

huxbaby

You guys remember how I told you if Gunnar’s personality was a onesie it would be this particular one, but you couldn’t really see because he was snuggling me in all the photos? Well, no complaints about the snuggles EVER, but here it is. The most ‘made-for-Gunnar’ onesie I’ve seen in awhile. It’s a super soft, organic cotton onesie and I just love the clean aesthetic. Check out Huxbaby’s clothes — you won’t regret it.

je taime hat

Seriously, this kid is ALL smiles. Everyone at his daycare tells me how happy he is all the time and part of me is bummed that he is super happy when I am not there, but most of me respects his enthusiasm for life! I am so grateful for this smiley little/big man. He couldn’t be more like his daddy.

whistle and fluteblack baby baseball cap

His hat is from Whistle and Flute. Pretty much ALL of their pieces are on my wish list and I’m trying to exercise restraint since kids grow out of their clothes so quickly. My favorite things of theirs are still these!

Have a great day everyone!

 

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Sunny Disposition

Huxbaby girls clothes

Huxbaby girls clothes

Hi friends! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I’m reminiscing about family beach time and admittedly counting down the days until we can do it again! It looked cold outside on Sunday so I had everyone dressed for a beach picnic instead of splashing in the water (I don’t know what was in my Starbucks that morning…it ended up being pretty hot).  We ordered Mendocino Farms for curbside pickup (they have the best gluten-free bread!) and spent hours building sand castles with Harlowe, splashing in the whitewash (and feeding Gunnar).  I’m so glad we finally found a beach we like that isn’t too crowded and only 10 minutes away.

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Wearing: blouse / skirt / hat / Celine sunnies

What Harlowe Wore: High-low dress (on sale!) & she and Gunnar shared this sweet hat

Gunnar’s onesie Real talk: If his personality was a onesie it would be this one! (I’ll share more pics of him in it soon.)

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Kindness Matters & Fashion Blogging Kind of Doesn’t

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Mom Style

You may have noticed posts have been sparse here lately. I assure you I still love fashion, #MomStyle and the fitness grind. Heck, I still love fashion blogs and stylish people working hard on them, but after 3+ years of fashion blogging (sprinkled with a full-time job, a new baby and a move to LA), I’m no longer excited about a lot of the things that come with fashion blogging.

I actually started blogging because I wanted to get a better understanding of the fashion blogging landscape to help me with my role at YouTube. What surprised me, however, is I developed a passion for blogging and eagerly shared my love of fashion and fitness with the world (the “world” was initially a dozen readers consisting of my husband and friends).

Kids Style
I still love fashion and even sharing bits of my life online. I’ve shared some of my most exciting memories here like my first NYFW experience  and my crazy birth story. Creating posts in collaboration with brands I love helped me make revenue which led to more content and a sense of accomplishment. I had turned a passion project in to a way to make enough cash for some guilt-free shopping!

Ultimately, releasing paid content combined with the more personal editorial I wanted to share started to feel like, well, a LOT of work. Unfortunately, more blog content meant less time with my family and less time enjoying the things I blog about.

Casual Outfits

To keep things fun around here, I’ve made a conscious decision to post here less. A conscious uncoupling from the blog if you will. I really just went there! I’ll keep sharing my outfit posts here and random life stuff on Snapchat: bethanimalprint. Please join me there for more frequent updates! I’ll be sure to let you know when there’s new content here because there are some things I just have to share half-a-dozen non-square pictures of.

Kindness Matters Graphic Tee

^ Like these ‘Kindness Matters’ tees that I just L-O-V-E!

Casual Outfit Ideas

Lori at B.Gatsby makes some absolutely killer tees for the whole family. I also adore her Peanut Butter & Jealous tee, but thought I’d explain to Harlowe why kindness matters before we get in to what ‘jealous’ means. If I tried to explain jealousy in the context of that shirt she’d just end up asking me for peanut butter. I loved hearing her thoughts on kindness even though she told me that I wasn’t kind for making her eat all of her veggies before she could have a treat.

Monochrome Kids Clothes

Okay, now go check out B.Gatsby’s tees and then follow this blog on bloglovin’ or subscribe via email (it’s on the right –>) so you know when there is a new post waiting for you and know that it might be awhile. Thank you so much for reading Bethanimalprint over the past three years. It truly means so much to me and I am so grateful for the relationships I’ve made with all of you! Seriously, huge thank you to all of you for being part of my fashion blogging journey.

Shop the look:

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Stay tuned.

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