Shift into Summer

olive green cover up
Hello and happy Friday! Like many, one of my favorite things about Summer is the longer days. The Banker is home before dark much more often in the Summer so we get to take a family stroll and catch up on the day before the kids go to sleep. It a great way for us to get in some exercise on days where something more intense isn’t possible. I’m wearing a new Tobi shift dress that I’ve been living in this week because it’s been super hot in our house. It’s the kind of lazy-day piece I’ll wear around the house, out to eat with the family (with a little bralette or cami under) and as a cover-up at the pool. Who doesn’t need more pieces like that?

janessa leon hat mom style blog LA olive dress with tan hat

Shift dress / hat / sandals

Best Sunscreens for Summer 2017

solid and stripe elle bikini
top & bottoms


You guys, it’s almost the 4th of July! [Insert fireworks emoji.] It’s always so much fun getting people together to celebrate. I love the pool time, the gluten free turkey burger someone always begrudgingly throws on the grill for me and of course, blue and red is one of my favorite color combos. Just not on skin. In exchange for fun in the sun, one must of course wear sunscreen (or you really will be red) so I’ve made you guys a little video about my all time favorite sunscreen products. These are sure to keep you  oiling and lotioning, lotioning and oiling with the best of them all Summer long.

*Thank you Preen.Me for providing some of the Supergoop products featured. All opinions are my own.

That’s So Meshed Up

at home workouts

If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been having trouble prioritizing my workouts lately. I love going to yoga, but it’s been really difficult to get my mat time in. I’ve got 99 excuses, but lack of / love of sleep is the main one. I just started Kayla Itsine’s BBG program and it’s kicking my ass. It’s so convenient too. Each workout is 28 minutes so I do them after I get the kids to sleep at night, but before I Netflix and Chill. I am trying to get up earlier to get my workouts in before the kids wake up so I started a morning bootcamp at my yoga studio which begins at 6:15 (insert yawn face) and lasts for 2 weeks. I’m hoping that morning wakeup call and the joy of having completed a gnarly workout by 7:15 am changes my habit of sleeping in until 6:30-7 everyday. More importantly, I’m hoping it helps me change my habit of staying up until 12am each night.


Trying to look totally ‘natch’ in my new mesh jacket. 🙂
Do you have any habits you are trying to break? Any Summer workout or fitness goals you are trying to make? Whatever it is, remember it IS possible. If I can be at the gym by 6:15 anything is possible! #notamorningperson


Move of the week: lunges. Adding jumping lunges to the end of my workouts all week to get that booty in swim suit shape!
BraJacket / Shorts

My Hair Extensions Experience [Hair Loss After Pregnancy]

what to do if you lose your hair after pregnancy
I recently went to a ‘mom’s night out’ and some of the mamas were asking me about my new ‘do.  While flattered (really, good hair is not something I pride myself on thanks to lack of time and propensity for frizz) I can’t take much credit because it was my friend and stylist Katie Carroll that hooked me up with my new-and-improved mane. Talking with many of the moms that night made me realize many of us had the same issue — hair loss after pregnancy. We just weren’t talking about it. Sure, we have a thousand (give or take a few) more important issues to discuss, but if you’ve ever experienced hair loss you might agree it’s tough to well, get out of your head.

To combat my hair loss after having our youngest, I tried a multitude of things. Some days the kitchen looked like a pharmacy meets chemist lab with Viviscal, Biotin and DIY yogurt, avocado, name-that-trendy-oil hair masks strewn about. I don’t want to say none of them worked, but I wasn’t getting the results I wanted as quickly as I wanted them so I turned to Katie for tape in hair extensions, cut and color. Now I am wondering why I didn’t go sooner. Oh yeah, she’s in AZ! (Insert sad face). If you happen to be on the Phoenix area, her contact info is below. 🙂 If you’ve ever thought about getting extensions, watch my video because I’m breaking it all down for you!

Find Katie on Instagram and if you’re in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, I couldn’t recommend her enough for cuts, color or extensions. She’s done them all for me over the years and left me happy. Her contact info is in her Instagram profile. 🙂

Celebrating Every Day While Grappling with Grief

My mom died almost 9 years ago.  9 years. It seems surreal to even write that now almost a decade later. Sometimes I still want to call her. Sometimes I look at my own two beautiful, happy, unaffected children and mourn the relationship that she will never have with them. I mourn the relationship that I will never have with her. The best friend I don’t get. The help I don’t have.

But I’m also relieved. I’m relieved that she’s not in pain on Earth. Suffering through anxiety, depression and a debilitating mental illness. I’m no longer sick with my own anxiety over whether or not would not wake up the next time she deemed this life too uncomfortable to bear. Shortly after her death, a close friend told me, ‘you’re finally free’ and I thought, ‘now, that’s cold‘. There is a sense of freedom in death though. With freedom comes great responsibility (right, America?) but it’s a burden I’ve learned to bear with strength and joy (most days).

In the past few years, I’ve witnessed friends suffer their own significant personal loss. Whether they’ve lost one of their parents, experienced yet another painful miscarriage or, the one that I’m still wrapping my brain around, lost a spouse who left behind not only her but their young son, I feel the pain all over again. I am reminded of my own experience and how I deal  with grief and I want to share that story in hopes that it helps those who have lost a loved one feel a tiny bit better. Even if just for a moment.

Airing My Dirty Laundry: Why I Left Google (+ a video!)


Hey guys! I have thought about making this video for awhile, but I didn’t want it to be too ‘click-baity’. Some of you have been asking me about quitting my job, so I finally put together a Why I quit my job at Google video for you! It’s not at all comprehensive as there were many, many reasons that I left. Reasons that I gave serious consideration for at least a year. I was so scared to unlock those golden handcuffs, but at the end of the day I had to stop living in fear and start living. Watch the video to find out more and please leave me a comment on YouTube if you have any questions or want to know more! Thank you guys for reading and watching — it means so much!

working at google
^Just for fun this is me at the YouTube HQ circa 2013. The photo was in Refinery29  and I am dying because that outfit was so so so bad. I asked The Banker why he let me wear that and he said he thinks it is cute. I was nervous to be in Refinery29 so I wore all of my best pieces TOGETHER. No girl, no.

(First photos by Brittany Curran and Julia Ralston)

What Moves You: Part 2

proud mom moments
I’m honored to have teamed up with Banana Republic once again to share what moves me. I think of my children automatically. A few weeks ago, we went to Mammoth Mountain for the first time. Harlowe had never skied and despite being together since 2009 and having snowboarded several times since then, Kaare and I had never snowboarded together. What?! Unreal I say!

Merino Ruffle Vee Sweater
So when he had to go to Mammoth for work I decided the kids and I should go out and meet him because why should he have to ‘work’ all by himself? 😉 Harlowe went to ski school during the day which was a little overwhelming for her because it was only her 2nd time even seeing snow. (Her first time was actually earlier this month in Palm  Springs!) Anyway, we sent her off to ski school and The Banker and I did a few runs which took me a long time because I am rusty! After a few runs, we went to watch Harlowe and she saw us and had a melt down! Never, ever show up for your kid’s ski lessons. The instructors will hate you and your heart will break when you see your baby crying. It took everything not to pull her out and hug her. She was stronger than me because after we left, we could see her get right up and give it her all until she got up the poma and down the hill ALL BY HERSELF.

Valentino dupes White Studded Lace Up Sneakers
To say it was one of my proudest moments is an understatement. Kaare and I were both overwhelmed with joy and pride that she stuck with it and she did it! When asked if she wanted to go again the next day, she said, ‘definitely not’, but she’s talked about her first time skiing every day since so I know how much it meant to her.


The first time I went skiing until I was 17 and my friend’s mom took me and paid for my rentals and lift ticket then graciously taught me to ski. I still remember how much fun it was and how empowered I felt coming down Mt Lemon alone for the first time. It felt like I was going 40mph but I was probably going slower than the small kids. I am so glad that we were able to give Harlowe that experience as a little kid! I honestly think she’s already a better skier than me and it makes Kaare and I so happy that she has these opportunities that neither of us had as kids.

We wrapped up the trio with some breakfast tacos with friends and I wore this ruffle sweater from Banana republic — perfect for colder Spring days like we experienced in Mammoth and on sale! I’ve been loving all things ruffled lately especially when paired with studs like these freakishly good Valentino dupes! Got to have a little bit of edge with your outfit especially when you’re feeling like a bad ass mom after a day ‘sending it’ (slowly but surely)!

Psst… if you missed part one check out 5 things to get down on in honor of International Women’s Day after all, you can do this stuff day, errry day!

White Studded Lace Up Sneakers valentino dupes

SweaterBag / Shoes / similar jeans / sunnies

Skin care update: caring for dry skin

skin care for women in 30s
I noticed my first wrinkle at the age of seventeen. I was in my grandma’s bathroom where we were both getting ready for the day and I caught a glimpse of a tiny line that could only be the beginning of crows feet mirror. Out of surprise, I began to cry and my grandma told me that crying would only make more wrinkles. Tough love I suppose, but that day was the day I started taking better care of my skin. Growing up in Arizona, I was always in the sun and it showed in freckles and tiny lines before I was legally an adult. I started using Clinique my senior year in high-school (which I’ve dubbed the gateway drug of skincare) using too much of my money earned lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons to pay for their 3-step regimen. I finally started drinking the recommended amounts of water mixing it with lemon to make it more desirable. It seemed to work. I wasn’t getting new wrinkles yet…
Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum
Fast forward to now, I’ve had two kids (read: little sleep), love the outdoors and like most, I’ve had my fair share of shockingly stressful and shockingly wonderful life experiences. All of which have left a few lines, roughness, dark circles and ugh, bags under my eyes. Now before I get all vain on you, you should know that I abhor the word ‘anti-aging’. I am so incredibly happy that I get to age. Everyday we get to live one more day is a blessing and if that means skin has to look a little more worn, it’s a small price to pay, but I do pride myself on taking care of my skin along the way.

 Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum

So when my friends at Peter Thomas Roth reached out and asked if I wanted to try their brand-new Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream and Serum I was like, how soon can you ship? If you don’t know about hyraluronic acid yet, where have you been?! It’s going to help lock in moisture while improving hydration for healthier-looking skin. It’s crazy because it attracts and retains up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the atmosphere. Excuse me while I apply it and then hang out in the marine layer all morning. The serum also contains superpower humectants like Sodium PCA, Sea Algae, Honey and Yerba Santa from the Pacific Northwest to help replenish the appearance of dehydrated, aging and environmentally-damaged skin. Fine lines, wrinkles and roughness are visibly diminished and your skin actually feels smoother so you know it’s working. I shot these after using it twice daily for just one week.

HYALURONIC HYDRATING MOISTURIZER  
Now, so you can tell the difference, below is a pic of me before using it. I’m sitting in the same room at the same time of day and am wearing the same face makeup. Overall, the roughness diminished a little and my complexion is generally more youthful-looking and glowy. Of course, food, sleep and a number of different things can effect this, but I know I ate and slept like crap before and after both photos so I will be stocking up on this stuff. Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench
Check out my video on my winter skin care routine for more of my favorite products. They’ll be good to your face all year long.


Our Palm Springs and Arizona Trip!

mom LA lifestyle blog

  
Last week we went to Palm Springs for few days. We stayed in a Kid and Coe  house that we totally fell in love with. We are dreaming about buying a place in Palm Springs now for the kids to play at all the time. It turns out I have a lot more in common with the owner than our shared love of pink rugs and beautiful lamps; her name is also Bethann! Weird, right? Seriously, look at her place and tell me you aren’t drooling. The house is #decorgoals

We also went to Arizona to spend some time with friends and family. We experienced a killer egg drop at Open Arms Church in Scottsdale. Watch the video — it was the coolest Easter egg hunt I’ve ever seen. It was a little difficult coming back to LA after getting to hang out with so many of our old friends in AZ. I wish they would all move here! 🙂 It is nice to be back in 70 degree weather though.

What are you all doing for Easter? I hope it’s a great one! xx

 

Let’s Eat!

As I write this, Gunnar is chowing down on chow mein and sautéed vegetables using a fork like a little man. Harlowe ate the same thing last night and is getting pretty good at mastering chopsticks. I’m not trying to brag about how good they eat. They eat processed foods, sugary foods, even… gluten. Gasp! I just can’t believe how far both of them have come from the days where the only thing on the menu was milk. It seems like that was yesterday.

They’re getting so independent it kills me. This EZPZ mat has been a huge help for me in that it helps make me more creative about what I put in front of Gunnar. I originally bought it so that he’d have a plate that he couldn’t throw on the ground, but I found that a.) if there is a will there is a way and b.) I get obsessed with offering him 1-2 new flavors with each meal. To my surprise, he loves grilled broccoli. My experience with Harlowe has taught me that he probably tries/likes everything because he’s not mature enough to have an opinion yet, but let’s hope this appreciation for greens sticks. 🙂

toddler dinner plate

I just discovered Baby Cubby which is where I scored the EZPZ mat and his Rags to Raches romper (these rompers always sell out on the Rags site before I grab the ones I want). I really like Baby Cubby because they are there not just to sell “stuff” but to be a resource for us throughout this journey of raising tiny little people.  
Speaking of resources, I am going to make a video on a few of the meals that I prepare at home. The kids and I eat the same things for almost every meal and I have gotten a few questions lately about what I eat. I am really excited to share some of my quick and healthy, picky-eater-approved recipes with you and if you have any favorites you want to share with me please do!

rags to raches

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Rags to Raches romper and EZPZ mat c/o Baby Cubby P.S. on these rompers, I’d size up two sizes. The site says size up one size for a baggy look, but they run small IMO. Gunnar is a big 18-month-old (100th percentile for height and weight) but he wearing a size 3/4T in Rags rompers.

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