parenting

pregnant or not at XPECTING boutique

February 11, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 6.15.59 PMXpecting boutique is a southern california, one-stop shopping mecca for mommies; both pregnant and not.

my partner in local-tomfoolery, leigh beach, and i were graciously asked by stefani, the owner of Xpecting, to kick off their social media campaign #pregnantornot; where two people, one who is pregnant and one who is not, wear the same article of clothing in three different ways to show how truly versatile and accessible Xpecting’s fashion is.

we had a blast “styling” ourselves; although i want a do-over when these 30lbs are gone.

 let’s get to know the woman behind this great retail concept:

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stephani clymer is a working mom of two awesome boys {nash-4 and pierce-almost 2). she started her career in PR at Neiman Marcus. after a brief outside sales stint she realized retail was her calling. with a bachelor’s degree in retail from the university of arizona, stephani had the perfect background to open up a successful boutique.
Xpecting came about from a life-long dream to open her own shop, and at the age of 25, stephani’s best friend was pregnant and struggling to find cute maternity clothes; that sparked an idea, and stephani opened Xpecting in 2006.
what’s interesting is that stephani opened Xpecting before she was even married; let alone pregnant with babies–this must be why her selection of non-maternity items is so fabulous.
i asked stephani a little more of what makes Xpecting so special:
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what makes xpecting unique?
i think our best/unique quality is the reason women love Xpecting, and that is the fact that over half of what we carry is NOT maternity. sounds crazy at first, but when you really think about it so many of today’s styles are long and loose making them belly friendly. we like to say we do the homework for you by choosing the styles that will work 9 months and beyond. of course we do carry a great selection of maternity denim, dresses, tops and bras because some items just have to be the real deal.
on top of all that we now cater to busy moms who are not pregnant by offering a wide selection of fashionable, price conscious, NON-maternity styles.
xpect
you’re getting in new stuff daily; what’s the best way to stay in the loop besides facebook + instagram on new finds and events coming into the store?
the best way to save at Xpecting is to become a VIP – for $50 you can save 15% off of every single purchase for an entire year, plus 25% off twice, each month. where else can you save on new arrivals with brands like Free People, Citizens, Splendid, Chaser, DL1961 and more?!
kimono

leigh and i couldn’t agree more, Xpecting carries rad, versatile clothes that both the mommy-to-be + the skinny bitch leigh can wear.

 we were asked to style the clementine long kimono from JACK by BB Dakota.

super lightweight and comfortable, it retails for $62, and Xpecting still has them in stock.

for the first “look,” on her way to a movie with her husband eric {he was SO bummed fifty shades of grey wasn’t out yet,} leigh paired her kimono with ripped black jeans and a beanie. she and her not-pregnant self couldn’t look any cuter.

i dressed my kimono up a bit, wearing it over a black blazer, trousers, and pumps.

where do you ask, was i going, so fancy-pants’d-up?

um, downstairs to the fridge thank you!

duh.

workout

leigh and i were both able to put the kimono to work for a barre class—she to take, me to teach.

i love the privacy it gives my growing bump, legs, and bottom.

date

date night can’t get any hotter with leigh in her leather pants, cheetah heels and kimono.

priscilla and i had our own version of date night, chilling out on our back porch in denim and boots.

thank you again stephani for letting us play “rachel zoe” for a couple of days, and thank you even more for letting us keep the kimonos!!

Xpecting is located at 369 E 17th Street in costa mesa, ca. their phone number is 949-574-2184 + you can email them at info@xpectingmaternity.com..

leigh and i had so much fun with this game we’ve decided to forray it into a new career…..we are open to all offers and businesses; particularly del taco, sidecar doughnuts, four seasons hotels and of course, mercedes benz…so give us a call.

wednesday happy to you m’loves! make it a fashionable day!

my life….of late….

January 26, 2015

katie2 (1 of 3)

as you can see i can’t keep this under wraps {or hidden beneath baggy shirts} any longer.

hunkiest, jones, priscilla and i will be welcoming the newest family member in april.

we have discovered a new definition for joy.

although this has been a formidable pregnancy {for the last twenty-three weeks i’ve battled hyperemis gravidarum–severe nausea every two hours, without any reprieve;} the “hellos“, kicks, and disco-dancing taking place in my belly are more than worth how sick i feel.

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our beasts are already natural babysitters.

it’s amazing how they can sense these things; rarely do they leave my side.

priscilla, especially, likes to get her snuggle on with my bump.

we spend most of our time here, in bed, trying to keep fluids and saltines down.

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 nursery rhymes + lullabies are rehearsed, we’ve been practicing our “inside voices” and not barking in the house {myself included.}

katie4 (1 of 2)

i’ve had to cut back on my work schedule a bit, but i hope to keep teaching as long as i can.

exercise has actually been the only thing to quell the nausea.

and trust me i have tried every, stinking, in some cases stupid remedy:

ginger, salt, carbs, protein, seabands, coconut water, acupuncture, prayer, IV fluids and intravenous medications, crying, bitching, meditating and begging—all to no avail.

i’ve lost one tooth and all self-respect.

but the time left is so short, and i cannot wait to meet my precious, baby girl.

so that’s my news on a monday!

oh…and the winner of the box of santa barbara bars is:

celena fahey!!

congratulations celena; i will be in touch to get your address.

shut the fridge: dena gross

February 11, 2014

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welcome to another edition of “shut the fridge” where we take an apologetic look into some of the most interesting people’s refridgerator’s.

i have been on-my-knees begging for this latest post.

today we welcome dena gross.

dena is a friend…more of an online friend, because she’s that cool girl, i have not had the confidence yet to ask out for coffee, dinner or to just let me breathe in her prettiness.

first espied at the gym, and then {like so many of my other victims,} stalked on facebook, dena has become another katie casualty and graciously succumbed to my badgering, allowing us a glimpse into her, now east-coast {yes, sadly she and her family moved away this summer–from me?!?!?!?} life.

dena has 3 A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E {we’re talking like j.crew model–ALL 3} children..twins and a plus one; all very close in age..and yet she still seems super chill, VERY connected to her awesome husband jared, and as grounded as they come…no wonder she left orange county…

ladies and gents….dena gross:chickensoup (1 of 1)

Growing up in the heart of commercial California farming, watching Big Ag crop-

dust my small town with liquid pesticides at regular intervals, I developed a certainamount of cynicism about the food supply and the average American diet. Raised by a mother who believed that processed food was nutritionally void and cooking at home was more economical than buying pre-packaged meals, my sibs and I ate lots of homemade bread, chicken & barley stews, fresh eggs, vegetables, and drank unpasteurized milk that a local farmer delivered to us weekly (by the pail). These foods were healthier and cost much less when prepared by Mom.

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Having three young kids of my own, I believe my role as a parent is to train my children’s appetites for real food.

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If I am a little uncompromising with them it’s because I know that as they grow more independent they’ll have plenty of exposure to artificial dyes, bleached flour, and processed junk masquerading as food. I want the things they eat while they’re young to be the highest quality I can provide. And now Ms. Katie has asked to peek into my fridge and know a little more about my approach to feeding young kids healthful food. In the early days I had three kids under the age of 2, so I went through a long period of pureed meals. I dedicated many Sundays to steaming and blending every combination of vegetable, fruit, and protein I could think of (sometimes nabbing ideas off the labels of baby food jars). My husband Jared would entertain the babies while I pureed “recipes” and portioned them out by the ½-cup amount in zip-lock bags, freezing them flat on a cookie sheet and stacking them in labeled rows in my freezer; a veritable “library” of options for the week to come; defrost as needed. Five years later I no longer have the luxury of a captive audience.

vegetables (1 of 1)

My kids have LOTS of opinions about what they don’t like and no one seems to be a fan of leafy greens (which is not negotiable in my book), so one of the mainstays in our house is a green smoothie several times a week. While I serve vegetables at every dinner and for many snacks, I find that by supplementing their diet with green smoothies I can be sure my bases are always covered.

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Smoothie ingredients vary but usually include a majority of the following (all organic): almond/dairy milk, avocado, big handfuls of raw kale, Swiss chard, spinach, green leaf lettuce, frozen bananas/grapes/pears, raw almonds or cashews, chia seeds, hemp seeds, mesquite powder, coconut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and frozen berries.

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If I make a batch before school pickups and store them in a cooler on the passenger seat, the kids hop in the car whining for a snack and I hand them a green smoothie.

Done.

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But back to my fridge: Top shelf: whole milk, almond milk, many containers of nuts and seeds and trail mix. Fresh greens and herbs keep oodles longer in a jar of water. Barley and spelt flours for these lovely muffins from GOOP, which are a staple in our lunch boxes.

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Harmless Harvest coconut water is costly but a lovely indulgence, presumably full of natural electrolytes – we drink it straight because it’s too delicious to mix with other things.

beets (1 of 1)

Also in my fridge you’ll find random items like roasted beets, a batch of cooked farro or wheat berries for serving cold as a salad in lunches, homemade beans (pimento, garbanzo, red kidney or white navy beans) to mix with brown rice or serve cold with a vinaigrette.

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The chicken on the bottom shelf represents a lot: salted & roasted with fingerling potatoes for dinner, a quick gravy from the drippings; panko-crusted baked “nuggets.” If there are any leftovers the kids will take chicken salad sandwiches for lunch.

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I often buy organic parts (wings, drumsticks, feet, necks) for stock that I use in soups, stews, and as the liquid for cooked grains.

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Recently tried making my own almond milk (see photo) and although it was sublimely creamy, it was a bit of a hassle to do on a regular basis. Plus, the “nut bag” could not be taken seriously.

fish sticks

My husband and I are not seafood fans so in order to get the kids a regular dose of healthy oils (outside of the panko-crusted fish sticks I make now and then), I supplement their diet a couple of times a week with Nordic Naturals fruit-flavored Cod Liver Oil.

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It’s a little gross but they’ve been eating it by the half-teaspoonful since infancy so they don’t think much of it. They also take a probiotic regularly.

cheese (1 of 1)

 Because dairy is my greatest weakness, elsewhere in my fridge you’ll find a very hearty cheese drawer stuffed with at least 6 varieties at any time.

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In my freezer are many of the usual suspects: frozen Ezekial sprouted grain English muffins (great toasted & slathered with almond butter and honey, but may explain my husband’s penchant for grabbing hot ham & egg sandwiches in the city before work), a backup supply of chicken stock and my collection of accumulated chicken parts for the next batch; leftover cannellini beans, Trader Joe’s Panang curry, and Niman Ranch uncured bacon. Berries or pineapple as fodder for future smoothies. And, of course, brie to be served warm with apricot jam because you can’t have too much cheese.

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