Unicorns and Hair Bows

Not one member of the Wagner family appreciates accessories like our little Harlowe. Like many four-year-old girls, she has her own style. One that we try not to influence. One that brings me so much joy and even inspiration. I hope she always wants to wear five things in her hair at once, tights in the summer and handmade necklaces. Her innocence and fearlessness come through in so many of her choices and the fashion-y kind are sometimes the most obvious and definitely, the easiest to document. There are times I try to intervene, like when I tried to tell her that we don’t need to sleep in down jackets…in LA…in June…but she doesn’t listen to me.

kids valentino rock studs
^New hair accessories from BanaBean just in time for Summer. The monthly subscription box for girls keeps her hair game on point and saves me a ton of time. I love doing her hair each morning, but I’m not great at shopping for them (that might shock some of you!) and we both really enjoy having a box of cuteness arrive each month just for her.
^Bathtime fun with her unicorn towel and our favorite shampoo. It is actually a body wash, shampoo and conditioner in one and since it’s so versatile I love traveling with it. I packed it for a recent trip Oregon and somehow it ended up in Harlowe’s carry-on so sadly, I lost it going through airport security. #Fail. We like a lot of SoCozy’s products especially their mousse, gel and leave-in conditioner too. They all smell SO darn good…think mangos.
^One of my all-time favorite Harlowe pics.
so cozy shampoo
What are you favorite shampoos and body washes for kids? Do you have any go-to shops for hair accessories?

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Fitness after Baby #2

workouts after baby

A few of you asked about getting back in to shape after having a baby. Gunnar is now nine months old and I’ve finally started to nail down a fairly strict (yet fluid) health and fitness regime. I decided it would be a great time to share what I’ve been doing to ‘get my body back’.

working out with kids

First, coming to terms with the fact that my body will probably never get back to ‘normal’ was key. This amazing body has had two children, sits at a desk for a good chuck of the day and enjoys wine more than water so yeah, it’ll take longer to get strong abs and that is A-okay. Remembering my body created two beautiful babies makes abs seem trivial.

workout out after baby

Strength training is critical. Carrying a 25 lb baby (yes, he is THAT big already!), sitting at a desk and missing out on some serious zzz’s depletes my energy in a major way.  Luckily, strength training elevates endorphins which helps boost energy levels, contributes to more restful sleep and serves as a natural anti-depressant.  This is hugely important for new moms suffering baby blues like me. I take an OrangeTheory class 1-2 a week to get my weight training fix.

fit mom tips

Get sweaty and social. KW and I will have a workout date instead of a fancy dinner more often than not. We choose a gym that has childcare we felt comfortable with and go together when we can. On a whim, we took Zumba a few weeks ago and we can’t wait to go back again! It was hilarious…. mostly for him because I have no rhythm. :)

Hold yourself accountable any way you can. If you know you have trouble holding yourself accountable get friends to nag you or sign up for an event you’ll need to train for. I’m definitely more likely to stick to something when there’s external pressure and signing up for a half-marathon has helped me stick to a moderately stringent running schedule. I’m running the race with KW and a group of girlfriends, so they are all holding me accountable too. We tell each other when we are training and it’s been so inspiring. (I’ll see you in April, Nashville!)

working out after baby

Everything in moderation, including moderation. I’m still nursing and you can trust me when I say, I am ravenous. Being hangry all the time can lead even the best of us to grab some junk food and devour it, so I do make a point to carry healthy snacks at all times. I keep snacks in my bag, my car, my desk and home. My favorite snacks are string cheese, fresh fruit, greek yogurt with almonds and chips and guac. For the non-perishable variety, I eat a ton of This Bar Saves Lives – the dark chocolate cherry and sea salt is f’ing delish and I probably have 1-2 every day.  :)

Wearing: Bra / leggings / tank (all c/o Lucy) / similar Nike shoes also love these for everyday wear.

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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…

palmsprings

^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.

palmsprings

^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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