Me Too

Me too campaign

One of the things that often goes unmentioned and even forgotten, is how sexual abuse doesn’t just effect the victim for her lifetime, but for generations to come. My mother was sexually abused by someone close to her. She didn’t talk about the abuse other than to tell me that I couldn’t have a canopy bed when I was a kid because they give her bad dreams. Come to find out, she was abused in one. She has since passed away after a lifetime of dealing with depression, borderline personality disorder, severe anxiety and often had suicidal thoughts (which she acted on a number of times). I miss her terribly, but I know with certainty she is in a better place where she no longer feels the life time of pain that her step-father inflicted upon her.

Growing up with a mom that suffered sexual abuse brought it’s own struggles. Because of the trauma she endured, she didn’t quite have the capacity to be a mother (or to know that she didn’t have the capacity to be a mother). She was committed to mental health inpatient care units numerous times when I was a kid. Despite her trauma, she did her best and I’m stronger for it, but it took years and years of therapy to get to the point where I am today. I’ve spent so may years being angry at her for everything — having kids, being mentally ill, not putting the abuser in prison where he belonged, making me grow up too fast. Then, there was that time a teenage boy (son to my babysitter) asked to see my privates. I was in kindergarten and scared and I showed him. ME TOO. I mustered up all of my confidence and guiltily told my mom what I did. She said “okay” and I kept going to the in-home day care where he lived. What hurt way more than being taken advantage of at that age was being taught that it was ‘okay’.

I hated my body after that and grew ashamed of it. I developed an eating disorder that lasted almost two decades and spent the same amount of time believing I didn’t have ownership over my body. It left me deeply insecure and unable to have healthy relationships. Men made me very uncomfortable for most of my life. I saw them as potential threats vs allies (even the ones I really liked — except my husband of course). I didn’t capitalize on relationships with girls/women because I had too much anxiety and never felt like I fit in. I felt unhappy and alone for most of my life and felt guilty for feeling that way. Years later, I realized that we’ve all had trauma. Perhaps not sexual, but it’s not unlikely. That is not okay.

Sure, we can all talk about our abuse and I applaud all those who have com forward, but we need to change our whole culture if we are going to fix this. As one friend put it:

Culturally, it starts before your daughter is even born. Men, when telling their friends they are expecting a baby girl often tell each other, “better get your guns ready.” Think about what this actually means. You are accepting that men are creeps and that your daughter will be subject to some sort of predator or harassment. This is not funny. This is not something to laugh about nor congratulate each other on. Yes, it’s your job to protect her from the sad inevitably that someone will likely hurt her one day but this should not be the most defining or anticipated quality about her… give her a chance to show you that she will bring more to this world than physical attraction. Nor is she a burden, something to look out for. She is not the problem to fix. -Rachel Melby

Be conscious of minimizing the issue, by just writing “ME TOO” on social media. Instead, think of what we can do as a members of society, male or female, to shift our cultural beliefs about sexual abuse and mental health because they go hand in hand and they won’t just go away. We need to stop the silence, but more importantly, we need to show up and support those that need it and end the cycle.

Graphic by my friend Max Rosero

On Wearing Pinafores Over 30


I haven’t worn a short denim skirt since my Sophomore year of college and even then it wasn’t the look for me. I’m definitely not one to think or say that any garment of clothing has an expiration date based on a woman’s age (f*ck that!), but denim skirts were just never me. Neither were overalls for that matter. Enter denim, overall dresses and ummm… I need that. After two kids (and a lot of hard work on my fitness) I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin. (I have to say, there’s something magically liberating about being in your 30’s makes many women super-comfortable with their bodies regardless of how tight their bods are though.) Regardless, I love how youthful and fun pinafores and overalls and I will wear them because I like them. Do we really need any other reason to wear something?

Psst.. if you want to try the trend without putting forth too much cash, here’s a denim pinafore that’s SUPER budget friendly!
What do you like wearing that “Google” says you shouldn’t? Whatever it is, keep doing it.

8 things I learned about kid fashion by letting my 6-year-old dress herself

  1. Princess shoes go with everything.
  2. Boots or, as Harlowe calls them, high heels are for any season and any ensemble.
  3. Jackets are over-rated, but they might need one for no more than 2 min at some point in the day, so you better have one handy.
  4. Jeans are also over-rated, but you’ll need one pair because just about every 6-months they will be the best. thing. ever. (for one day).
  5. Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and add one more accessory. Extra points if you have a headband with ears handy.
  6. Always have an extra headband with ears handy in case one goes missing (or more likely, is gifted to a sweet friend).
  7. Modesty shorts (aka ‘shorties‘ worn under dresses) are wildly difficult to remember. One must always double-check for them before leaving the house.
  8. When given the option, they will want to dress just like you (so long as you are not unnecessarily wearing jeans or a jacket.)

My dress / Harlowe’s dress / my boots / Harlowe’s boots are Zara (last year) / headband with ears / my headband

Our favorite books right now

books for 2-year-olds

It’s a lesser known fact that October is National Bullying Prevention month in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness month. Luckily, we haven’t had a big problem with bullying yet, but Harlowe is starting to hear (and let’s face it, probably even say) some unkind words at school. Regardless, as a victim of bullying myself I don’t think it’s ever too early to start teaching kids about it and brainstorming ways to be kinder to people, animals and our planet. As any parent can attest, sometimes mom and dad’s words go in one ear and out the other. Books on the other-hand, are super-entertaining and filled with facts…or at least, fun non-facts that kids want to read about over and over again. Since books are so wickedly wonderful at helping me parent better and Harlowe has to read for 20-min a day (1st grade homework) we’ve been collecting books each month based on themes. We  kind of have a self-awareness/kindness theme going on in our house right now. I’m listening to Present over Perfect on Audible and I love it! It’s about living more simply and choosing to be present over trying to be perfect — something that really hits home for me and I’m guessing most of us. It has a religious undertone for sure, but is really good content for anyone regardless of your faith. So far, I think it’s helped me model self-regulation in so many areas: less technology, less snapping, less consumption, more control, more rest.

empowering books for kids

The kids and I have been enjoying these together:

You Be You is about a fish who goes on a journey alone and realizes that every fish in the sea is different and that we all have something special that only we can share.

I Like Myself about a young kid who celebrates themselves both on the inside and outside no matter what. A good reminder to kids that they are great the way they are (even if they have  a porcupine spine!)

What Does it Mean to Be Kind talks about what is and what is not ‘kindness’ but doesn’t take the road you may expect. There’s loads of inspiration for kind activities listed on the back that has been really fun to tackle with Harlowe.

I am Peace is a moderately hippy-dippy book on mindfulness that gets kids find peace and calm on their own. There’s a guided meditation in the back that we have yet to master. 🙂 I like this because if kids are to hit, bite, scream, etc. it’s usually because they got scared/angry and lost control. This book helps them find the “anchor to their ship” and find their own peace. The illustrations are adorable too.

Batty Betty about a giant who dances unapologetically to her own drum, who unsurprisingly is quite different. The story shows the kids that their differences are actually their strengths and makes it an amusing lesson.

Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night not about self-awareness at all, but Gunnar can’t take his nose out of it. If you have a young boy and don’t have this book — fix that!

best books for empowering girls best empowering books for kids

5 Fall Dresses For Date Night / GNO

It’s official Fall is here! While Fall-fashion typically means cozy cardigans and boots, I have a hard time passing up an opportunity to wear something less casual. On date-night or girl’s night out, you’ll likely find me in one of these Fall dresses worn with a scarf or leather moto when the weather calls for an extra layer. I love the wine color of this lace dress at an under $100 you can’t go wrong.
Fall date night girls night out dress ideas

Fall date night girls night out dress ideas
Los Angeles (or at least the places I go!) is so casual so most of my dresses are too. The fabric and cut of this one makes it a little more formal than the others, so  I paired it with sneakers. Fall date night girls night out dress ideas

fall date night girls night out dresses
I love the print on this red floral dress  because it’s really season-agnostic. This is one of my favorite brands becausse their prints and fabrics are consistently incredible and their cuts are always flattering on everyone! My necklace shows up in a few of these looks — it’s just so versatile and adds a little extra glam without being too much. I have been reaching for minimalist jewelry like this lately; if I wear any at all.
Fall date night girls night out dress ideas
This dress is a must IMO because it can be worn for anything and is also season-agnostic. Fall date night girls night out dress ideas

Fall date night girls night out dress ideas
I love the detail on these sleeves; they make me want to twirl around with my arms out all night. It’s one of the more detailed dresses I have. I thought it might be too much with the pattern and fancy cut, but I found it just lovely when paired with simple shoes. I bought the ones I am wearing on sale and they are sold out now, but these ones are really similar (and 20% off!)

Fall date night girls night out dress ideas

5 Tips I wish I Knew Before Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom


As many of you know, I left my corporate job at Google/YouTube earlier this year to pursue my dream of building a small business out of sharing my life on the internet. Before I left, I really knew nothing about being a work-at-home mom or starting a business, but I knew a lot about YouTube and was ready to transition to a more creative endeavor so I dove in head first and never looked back. Here I am about 7 months later with a whole lot of knowledge about working at home and I am super excited to share it with you.

  1. Get on a schedule. I used to be the type of mom that would roll her eyes upon hearing other parents speak of the rigid schedules they kept for their toddlers. I mean, take a chill pill, it’ll all work out, right? That was because my whole day from 7am-7pm was planned out by default. Wake up, make breakfasts and lunches, drop off both kids, drive to work, meeting, meeting, meeting, eat lunch at desk, more meetings, pick up kids, make dinner, bedtime routines… you get the picture. Each day I did the same things over again and it was exhausting so on the weekends, we lived carefree with no schedule. As soon as I started working from home, I realized I need to have everyone (including my husband) on a schedule because if one ball falls, this juggling act will come crashing down.
  2.  Refine your process constantly. Once you get on a schedule, you will likely find that the juggling act will come crashing down at home just as it did at work. Only 2x what you’re expecting because at work everyone was professional (except that one girl who is miraculously is still employed — there’s always one) but, at home everyone acts like a 2-year-old because well, some of them are. You really, really, reeeeallllyyyy need to refine your process multiple times when it comes to just about everything especially how you make peanut-butter sandwiches (which this week are made with NO jelly whatsoever).
  3. Be open to failure. You may not have failed a lot in your corporate gig which is why you were confident enough to work for yourself. Remember that juggling act we just talked about? Now when you are juggling work inside the home with kids, your offspring are in your care vs. someone else’s so anything you need to accomplish (including going to the bathroom) comes in second. Here’s a list of failures both big and small that I’ve had in the last 24-hours:
    1. I burned (and still ate) an entire frozen pizza.
    2. I left the house 4 min late for school. We all had to run to make it on time.
    3. This post was suppose to get written last night, but I fell in to a NyQuil induced slumber while listening to The Goal Digger Podcast.
    4. I don’t recall anything from yesterday’s episode of the The Goal Digger Podcast.
    5. I was less than nice to my husband too many times to pick just one.
  4. Ask for help. If you’re like me, you seldom ask for help or even hire help because by golly, you can do it all! (Isn’t that why you left your plush corporate job to make a bigger impact on the world and your bottom line anyway?) Girl, you can totally do it all, but sometimes it’s best that you get a little help with the house work so you can FINALLY edit that YouTube video that is over a month old (like I did yesterday, yay!). Invest in yourself and lean on friends, family, previous colleagues, etc. Just don’t forget to pay it forward and help them out the minute they need it.
  5. Slow down. I’m type A so when things start accumulating on my to-do list I want to stay up extra late to accomplish them all and I give little thought to what a nutcase I will inevitably be the next day. When you’re working from home, you will have more to do than you ever imagined, but children live in the moment and get stressed when we push our hectic schedules on them. Here’s a few things I am doing to try to make life a little slower for the kids:
    1. Eliminate “hurry up” from my vocabulary and say something like, “let’s work together to get X accomplished” instead.
    2. Read for 20 min a night and discuss what we read.
    3. Eat one meal together a day.



I hope these tips help you whether you are working from home, outside the home or staying at home with your brood. Let me know in the comments if you have any tips to share! P.S. Thank YOU for reading because if it wasn’t for you there is no way I could have the flexibility to spend the time I do with my kids and work on projects I truly love. It truly means a lot to me.

72 degree Fall


Happy first day of Fall! Despite us still wearing shorts and trying to escape the heat, I’m very much dreaming of sipping extra-hot pumpkin spiced lattes in my cardigan and making gluten-free pumpkin muffins with the kids all weekend. I made muffins a few weeks ago because I spotted some pumpkin puree at 365 and couldn’t pass it up. I used this pumpkin muffin recipe and just substitute the whole wheat flower for Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Flour. They were gone in less than 24 hours. While nothing can stop me from baking Fall treats, 70+ degrees is not ideal for boots and cardigans. For now, it’s tee shirts and sandals for this Los Angeles-based mama, but believe me I have some cuuuute Fall pieces I want to share with you once I can stand to put them on!
       

Wearing: top (also comes in a dress version!) / similar shorts / slides (less than $25!)

Museum of Ice Cream


You guys, we FINALLY got out to the Museum of Ice Cream here in LA and it was just as beautiful as I imagined. Seriously, it was really well done plus, they fed us ice cream or treats at every new room. It was hard to tell the kids no in that environment so we all had stomach aches after and the kids went to bed about 2 hours after their bed times. Each room had a different theme. I tried to capture a picture in all of them, but it was difficult because one of my kids was always running to the next room. My favorite part was definitely the pool of sprinkles. They have faux, anti-microbial sprinkles in a shallow pool that you can jump in to and roll around in. Gunnar was v confused, but he cam around to it.


Surrounded by his favorite food and not sure what to do!


You pick up phones in the first room a a celebrity ice-cream fairy (Seth Rogan) gives you the scoop.    
This tee is so soft and obviously, I love the message.


Huge thank you to my friend Brett for getting us tickets!

My shirt /shortsHarlowe’s dress / shoes / Gunnar’s outfit

Rainbow Dress

Anthropologie Sale

This rainbow dress is on sale now for less than $50 which is just a crazy good steal that I had to share. PSA: Anthropologie has 20% off all full-priced items now so this top I wear all the time (and get lots of complements on) is #addtocart status for sure. Oh and I wore this top to a show at NYFW and love the sleeves!  I’m going to have to pull the trigger on this dress or this dress myself. They are perfect for Fall and I can’t afford not to. Have a great weekend, all!

Rainbow Crochet Midi Dress  

I drank Bone Broth for 2 weeks and Here’s What Happened

You’ve probably heard of bone broth by now. I mean, Gwyneth Paltrow drinks it so aren’t we all a little curious, if not devout bone broth guzzlers? I recently tried drinking bone broth each morning for 2 weeks after doing some research on it  and finding that it is considered liquid gold by many. I read Bone Both Diet Book which discusses all of it’s benefits and also has a wild diet that last for 21 days and requires you to give up lots of food and wine (no thank you). After reading it and doing some heavy internet research, I decided to give it a try in hopes that some of my fine lines would be less noticeable. I got my hands on some  Kettle & Fire Bone Broth (which was so much more convenient than boiling my own bones for 24 hours) and sipped the syzurp broth each morning to find that the claims are actually pretty true. Watch the video to see what happened!

Wearing: Dress  / Necklace

PS I’m thinking of making this a series so let me know if there is anything you are interested in so I can consider it for the next ‘WTF is…’ post.