September 26, 2016


Motherhood comes with a lot of changes, and while most of them are amazing and wonderful, there are also a lot of changes that can make it feel like you'll just never be your old self again, that you have to have padded walls and plastic everything in your house, and that you'll never have time to do your hair or makeup ever again.

That's why I love baby products that are functional and well-designed, but they don't scream that you have small children. I teamed up with Munchkin today to check out their new Luna baby gate, and I was instantly impressed. It was super quick and easy to install (just a little turnkey that adjusts the width), it comes with add-ons to make it super wide (hallelujah, I've been looking for an extra wide baby gate for years!), the gate opens either way, and it even has a motion detector light at the base for night time. It gives all the function without being another cluttery, bulky baby essential.

I try to make an effort to keep my home beautiful on top of having babies, so I love that this gate allows me to do both.

And inspired by the Luna baby gate, these are three other things I do to not completely lose myself in motherhood:

1. Make time for me. With little kids, it's easy to let some things fall by the side, like getting ready for the day, or reading a book just for you, or taking a trip without kids. It's definitely more of an effort to do these things, but when you make the time for yourself so you feel like a real, functioning adult, you're such a much better mom.

2. Find momiform wardrobe pieces that make you feel like an adult. There are times when I just want to wear sweats and a tee, but it's important to have a few pieces in your closet that are mom friendly but make you feel put together. Like a stretchy dress (like this one that's easy to move in, but super flattering), a great pair of jeansa nice button up shirt, or a cute pair of ankle boots instead of flip flops. They're easy things to buy that make a big difference in how you look and feel, and they're just as easy to throw on as sweats.

3.  Get out of the house without the kids. Whether it's date night, girls night, or just hiring a babysitter for an hour so you can get out and take a walk or go to the grocery store by yourself, it's important to get out of the house. I'm a total homebody, but being home all day every day, day after day, can mess with your mental health as a mom. Don't forget to get outside and interact with other adults on an adult level!

created in partnership with Munchkin
photos by rad and happy

September 23, 2016


White Lace Top_Merrick's Art

White Lace Top_Merrick's Art

White Lace Top_Merrick's Art

Metallic Lacoste Sneakers_Merrick's Art

NYFW Merrick's Art

Merrick's Art White Lace Top

There was basically nothing bad about New York Fashion Week. It was such a dream and I had so much fun. BUT after three days of wearing heels the entire day, my feet were done -- I had so many bandaids on my feet and every part of my foot just ached. I have zero trouble going to sleep at night, but I laid there in bed on our last night (knowing I had to get up at 3am for our flight the next day) and couldn't sleep because my poor feet were throbbing!

So on day three, I was feeling super grateful for these sneakers. I was planning to wear this white lace top with this skirt and these heels, but I went with the sneakers for a more comfortable and casual look.

Metallic sneakers are huge for fall and I love the little bit of glam they add to an outfit. I'm excited to wear them with plaid, all black, boyfriend jeans, or just with skinny jeans and a white tee!

shop some of my favorite metallic sneakers below:

And shop my outfit here:

Merrick's Art White Lace Top

photos by jordan zobrist

September 22, 2016


MY OUTFIT: TUNIC DRESS  ||  SIMILAR JEANS  ||  ANKLE BOOTS c/o RACK ROOM SHOES (so comfortable and come in 3 other colors)  ||  NECKLACE 



We've started making "bucket lists" for the kids and me every season as a way to fit in all the things we want to do. We crossed off all of the things on our summer bucket list before school started, and now that we're a few weeks into school and the weather is starting to cool, we've made a list of things to do during the fall and we'll slowly start going through them -- I'm so excited, cause fall is my favorite season!

Writing down all of these activities helps me remember what we want to do, gives us a few fun things to look forward to, and also helps us plan out our weekend family activities so we don't waste our Saturday's.

Here are a few of the things on our fall bucket list:

1. Apple picking.  I've been wanting to do this for years and I always remember when it's too late and all the apples are gone. So this year I'm being proactive and scheduling it in early so we can finally make it happen this year. If you're in Southern California, go to the farms in Oak Glen -- everyone says they're the best!

2. Go to a pumpkin patch. There's just something magical about a pumpkin patch for me. It feels so fall and so happy. And of course I always have to get the typical kids-with-the-pumpkins picture. We usually go to Strawberry Fields in Orange County or Irvine Regional Park because they're gorgeous pumpkin patches with fun activities like hay rides, train rides, petting zoos, and haunted houses, and then we go get cheap pumpkins at the grocery store (cause I like to buy a bunch and the big pumpkin patch pumpkins are pricey).

3. Baking. My boys love being in the kitchen with me, and even though it's five times messier, it's just so fun to forget about the mess and have fun with them. And there's pretty much nothing better than cooking in a warm kitchen on a cool day.   I've been pinning a few delicious fall treats over on my dessert Pinterest board if you want to check them out -- I mean, how cute are these?? Plus I want to make some apple crisp with the apples we pick, and make these pumpkin sugar cookies again.

4. Make a thankful tree. We usually do this for the month of November in honor of Thanksgiving, but I love the idea of starting it early to make sure we're all feeling grateful. We cut a big tree trunk and branches out of brown construction paper, and then a bunch of leaves out of yellow, red, orange, and green paper. Every day we each tape a leaf on the tree and write something on it something we're grateful for. It's easy at first, but the longer it goes, the more creative we all get with things we're grateful for.

5. Leaf rubbings. I introduced B to this last fall and it about blew his mind. Fos has gotten really into coloring this last year, so I'm excited to show him cause I think he'll love it too. We'll first go to the park and crunch around in the leaves with our new boots from Rack Room Shoes, collect some pretty leaves, and then come home and do leaf rubbings with them.

6. Start a new novel. Reading novels aloud is one of my favorite things to do with my boys, and I just read an article about seasonal reading. I love the idea of starting a book about fall during the fall. There's nothing better than cozying up on the couch with my boys and a good book. If you have any suggestions of fall novels, leave a comment!

7. Go to a corn maze. I loved going through corn mazes when I was a kid, and if it's a really good, big one, I still love them! I really want to introduce them to my kids, so I'm on the hunt for a good one in Orange County. If you know of one, I'm all ears (no pun intended ;))

8. Carve pumpkins. This is one of my very favorite traditions. I've been slacking the past few years since it's hard to spend a lot of time carving with little kids, but in years past I've loved going all out with my carvings. I dug up some old photos of some of the pumpkins I did -- I wish I could find more! But this year I'm totally doing something fun.

What are some of your favorite things to do in the fall with your family??

created in partnership with rack room shoes
photos by rad and happy 
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