Exciting News

Thursday, April 20, 2017

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

teacher outfit, mom style, casual dress, old navy swing dress, Rebecca minkoff MAB tote

Dress: Old Navy // Loafers: Coach (similar) // Hat: Forever 21 (similar) // Bag: Rebecca Minkoff MAB Tote

This outfit is symbolic of a time in my life that is circling back. This is the epitome of what I'd call a "teacher outfit" consisting of a conservative dress, comfy shoes and a huge durable bag for all the strange things that end up there after a day of teaching! This really has been my uniform for so many years and is what makes up the majority of my closet. We can't forget the pencil skirts either. I'm working hard to fit back into those!

For the last five months I've been enjoying the heck out of Athena, motherhood and this new life of ours in the mountains.

But, somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it had a bit of an expiration date. You see, teaching is in my blood and it has been stirring in my mind for a long time. I'm passionate about teaching and have loved every year, good and bad, of my 11 years of experience and am forever thankful for all that it has taught me. 

Last Spring, I was subbing but was also pregnant and very sick, so it was short-lived. However I loved the school I was subbing at. Very unlike my inner-city public school teaching on the south side of Chicago, I was substitute teaching at a small private school here in downtown Salt Lake that was introduced to us by a coworker at my husband's job. I instantly loved the intimate vibe and the culture of the school. 

Flash forward to Athena's baptism when she was three months old. We were at our church, and to our surprise, guess which choir we noticed making a special guest appearance at the mass, but that very same school! I hadn't seen the kids in almost a year but it was so special having some of my old students singing at her baptism. It was so sweet to be able to go over and say hi and introduce them to Athena.

This prompted me to get in contact with the principal and let her know how special the coincidence was. When I did, I was informed there were some job openings that sounded perfect for me! I wasn't expecting a teaching opportunity to appear so quickly after Athena's birth but it just felt right. Isn't is funny how things just fall into place sometimes?

So as of last Wednesday,  I officially signed a contract to go back to teaching next year!! I will be teaching 4th grade!  Really, nothing has ever fulfilled me professionally like teaching. I'm so happy that Athena will get to grow up seeing me do something that I love and helping families. It's really the way I've always imagined my children seeing me and the example I'd like to set. 

Why not stay home with Athena? As a teacher, I have always seen the importance of the socialization aspect of being around other kids. She will be going to daycare until she is old enough to come to school with me. Sure it will be hard for me to leave her but I know it's what is best for our family in the long run. 

So when do I start? August, which gives me about four more months with my girl. I'm really savoring each day as much as I can because I know, much like summer break, the days seems to fly by when there is a start date looming ahead of you.

I'm really excited to start planning lessons and set up a classroom again. I think both Andrew and I are happy to get 11 years worth of teaching boxes out of our storage room too. I'm happy all my books and resources will get to be used and enjoyed by kids again. It made me sad that they have just sat in a closet for over a year.

So now for the hard part, mamas, how did you cope with going back to work with a little one? Tell me your secrets that will make this transition easier on not just me, but Athena too.



Mom Life and My New Priorities

Monday, April 10, 2017

city mini baby jogger, mom life, mabo kids in slc

city mini baby jogger, mom life, mabo kids in slc

city mini baby jogger, mom life, mabo kids in slc

city mini baby jogger, mom life, mabo kids in slc
Shoes: Adidas // Sweater and top: Zara // Hat: H&M // Jeans: Old Navy

Since moving from Chicago last year, my life has changed dramatically. 

I went from a full-time teacher who got up at 5am and had a super full day with school, extra curricular, workouts, social and blog events. I also ran my business but never really had enough time for clients during the school year. Five hours of sleep was my average and I loved being out and about around the city.

Today, people are always asking me how I'm adjusting after leaving bustling Chicago life for Salt Lake City, and really the answer is that I'm just as busy, if not more busy, just in a different way and a different setting.

For anyone who thinks that the job of a stay-at-home mom is easy, the only way to know is to do it yourself. I have been fortunate to have had a lifetime of experience with children: My mom ran a daycare out of our house when I was a child, and later ran a school that I worked at during my teenage years. In college I even nannied for a few different families. Even after all this, and being an aunt and a teacher for 11 years, nothing truly prepares you for what it is like to have a child of your own. 

The teacher in me is constantly trying to find activities to stimulate little Athena's brain and challenge her to learn and grow. Yes, I know it's a lot to ask of an infant but it's kind of the only world I know. Education, structure, and purpose are in my blood and have been part of my daily work with children for over a decade! It's hard to turn off that part of your brain. I'm constantly reading about what is best for Athena's growth and development and wanting to make sure she's learning.  

Outside of that, which keeps me pretty darn busy, I've made sure that I have time for myself to do the things I love most. My top "Me" priorities are as follows...

Blow drying my hair: Seriously, this might sound ridiculous, but I think it's not worth my time to wash my hair if I can't blow it out too. I have naturally curly hair that I kind of hate when it air dries. Blowing out your hair is something that most people hate to do, but I love it. In fact, I think I'm better at blowing out my own hair than most salons that have ever given me a blowout. It makes me feel more put-together and like myself when I look in the mirror and my hair is done. I may be wearing pajamas all day or workout clothes, but with my hair done I feel a million times better and more presentable. And let's be real, I only get a chance to do this every 3-4 days so it's worth it! It's a simple thing really, but sometimes that's what you need to feel like yourself. Andrew is good at helping me get time to do this and Athena is mesmerized by the blowdryer and curling wand, so she makes an excellent audience. 

Getting in a workout: I love to work out, specifically by taking classes. I'm so excited that a new pilates studio with child care opened down the street (now for me to be brave enough to actually bring Athena and possibly have to listen to her cry through the wall during my workout!) and a new cycling studio just a few minutes away.  

There are also my favorites, Corepower Yoga and Bar Method, that I go to quite regularly. I've even been trying to do the 7 minute workout on the app on my phone while Athena plays on the floor. She is VERY interested in why I'm doing wall sits and jumping up and down so much.

Keeping the house clean: Not everyone is like me about cleaning, I know this. I however function best when my house is clean. I mean really clean. Like everything is put in its place, the laundry is completely done and the swiffer has touched every baseboard in the house. I'm kind of a nut! That sense of order keeps me grounded so that if life feels crazy or stressful, I have that as something to bring me peace.

Getting out of the house: Sometimes this is with Athena, and sometimes it's just me. Andrew helps me get time to just go shopping or get a pedicure just to have some "me" time. But I think it also helps me to get out of the house with Athena. Even thought she was born in the thick of winter, we have always made a point to take her outside and you can tell now by how much she loves it, that it's worth it. It's crazy how getting outside instantly makes her happy. She's our little outdoor baby.

Sleeping: Athena may go to bed around 7:30 pm but I'm not far behind her. I'm really bad at falling back asleep once I wake up with her in the middle of the night so I try to get as much sleep in during her most sound chunk of sleep, which is right after she goes down for the night.

Making healthy meals: I love to cook and make healthy meals but for anyone who has done some form of clean eating, they know it takes a lot of time to prep food! I try to make things in bulk so I have food ready to go all week. Andrew and I both love to do Whole30 but it's quite time consuming. We are in the midst of one now and we did one right after Athena was born, but neither of us made it fully to the end. Oops. It was pretty ambitious for 2 people with a newborn. Better luck this time I suppose.

Some of you may be wondering where blogging is on this list, but to tell you the truth it simply can't be a top priority anymore. I know that makes me just about the worlds worst blogger but at this point in my life, I've got this amazing opportunity to spend my whole day with my favorite little human who's growing so fast. It won't be like this forever! I am beyond happy to be completely and utterly obsessed with her right in the here and now - and I'm clearly not shy about sharing her pictures on here with all of you! 

In the end, I know personally I'll be happier that I spent time with her or on one of the priorities I mentioned above, than writing a blog post. I do love that it's still here when I have time, like when Athena takes a marathon nap! I also love that even though my posts are sporadic, you guys understand and still read. That is the reason I still do this! I love all the connections I've made with people through blogging so keeping up with it even occasionally feels good enough for me. 

So what are you're top priorities when it comes to getting me time? And to all you mamas out there what were your priorities that helped you to keep it together after having your babe? I wanna know!

*Picture by my blogger buddy Sandy!


Gimme All The Gingham

Saturday, April 8, 2017

I've been kind of on a gingham kick lately which seems to happen every Spring. It's just such a fun easy pattern that is timeless and looks great on practically everyone! Here are a few of my favorites I've been crushing on lately.

Easy Harem Pants

Friday, April 7, 2017

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

ruffle tee, harem pants assos, gold loafers, rebecca minkoff love cross body, briar handmade bonnet

On Athena: Shoes // Socks // Pants // Sweater // Bonnet

Just wanted to let you all know that these harem pants are on sale right now for $26! I know, your'e thinking harem pants are hard to pull off. I thought the same thing until I tried these on. They match with everything, are extremely comfortable and have an elastic waistband! They run a little big so size down.

Also how cute is Athena in her bonnet? I think bonnets might be my favorite baby clothing item. They just make her look even cuter and squishier than she already is. And if you haven't noticed, Athena is usually not down to smile for pictures. She's a pretty serious baby most of the time, but maybe one day I'll capture a smile.





The Perfect Spring Floral Maxi Dress

Friday, March 24, 2017

rebecca minkoff love cross body, free people avant garden maxi knot pointed tow zara flats

rebecca minkoff love cross body, free people avant garden maxi knot pointed tow zara flats

rebecca minkoff love cross body, free people avant garden maxi knot pointed tow zara flats

rebecca minkoff love cross body, free people avant garden maxi knot pointed tow zara flats

rebecca minkoff love cross body, free people avant garden maxi knot pointed tow zara flats

No other store's products sizing confuses me more than free people. Am I alone in this? I swear, I own mostly XS and S items from them and I'm NOT small. it always leaves me wondering what the actual small girls are wearing or are they just REALLY embracing the flowy slouchy look and wearing the same size as this 5'9 girl??

Case in point, this dress. I saw it in the Free People store at City Creek Mall and all they had was a small. Normally this would be enough for me to stop looking at an item but I remembered this is Free People, where sizes are merely a suggestion so I gave it a go. The slip that came with it was comically small on me, like more of a tank top length than a slip. Luckily i have an extensive collection of vintage slips and knew I wouldn't need it. 

This dress was just too pretty to pass up. That is the other thing you can always count on Free People doing, taking all your money. You win again, Free People. But then again, with this gorgeous floral dress that's perfect for spring, so do I.

Photos by Sandy Chang







Family Moab Trip

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

My friend Kylee kept putting up posts about her trip to Moab, UT so I suggested to Andrew that we take one of our own. Then I immediately started to get excited about taking Athena on her first real hiking trip.

Moab holds a special place in our family's heart. Andrew's mom and dad lived there shortly before he was born; his mom passed away 20 years ago so it's pretty sweet for him to be in a place that his mom lived and loved. 

It's also special to us because it is essentially one of the biggest reasons we moved to Utah. Four years ago Andrew and I took a trip to Utah for him to run a half-marathon. We flew into Salt Lake city, and really (and somewhat unexpectedly) loved the city. After a few days, we drove the quick trip south to Moab and realized that if we lived in Utah we could have the best parts of city life, with amazing places like close enough for weekend trips. It was the best of both worlds in our eyes. Nature and city, a little something for everyone!

Fast-forward to last summer, about a half-year after we made the move to Utah. I was 18 weeks pregnant with Athena, my girlfriend Amanda flew in from Chicago and we drove down to Moab together to do the famous Delicate Arch hike. I knew it was only a three-mile round trip so I thought it wouldn't be that bad. Boy, was I wrong. It was 100 degrees with unrelenting sun and no shaded spots except for one tiny tree. We got about 3/4 of the way there and I just couldn't do it. I got yelled at by some older women to come sit down and that I needed to think about the baby and stop. I was so bummed because in my head this was going to be an easy hike, but I never got to finish.

Needless to say, this past weekend we went back to the Delicate Arch hike with unfinished business.

This time, with a cooler temperature and Andrew and baby Athena strapped to his chest, we made it to the arch in just under an hour. It's amazing how the heat can really get to you, especially when you are pregnant. That 30 degree temperature change made all the difference!

On the delicate Arch hike as well as a couple of other hikes throughout Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, Athena made the most adorable cooing noises while watching everything and every one. She loved it! It was so special for both Andrew and I to get to experience a place we love so much with her right there with us. It was such a fantastic trip. 

First gas stop of the trip. Baby girl needed to stretch her legs out too.

Andrew found us the best little two-bedroom condo with a balcony. We got there right at sunset which was perfect and so pretty with the red rocks in the background.


moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
This is the Balanced Rock in Arches National Park. Pretty incredible, huh?

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
First hike was a quick one, only a half mile roundtrip, to see the Double Arch. Athena was still a little sleepy so she hid from the sun in the Ergo carrier with her cute little sun bonnet on.

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
You really get to see how massive this is when you see just how tiny I am standing next to it

The hike to the Delicate Arch did not disappoint. It's pretty amazing what nature creates!

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
At the end of our hike the moon made a pretty appearance.
Athena's Outfit:" Tee // Bib // Bonnet

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
Just an average side-of-the-road view in Moab!

landon, neoprene weekend landon bag
Andrew and I managed to fit all of our stuff in this new neoprene "Landon" weekend bag from Dagne and Dover. It's roomy and sleek and even Andrew likes it!

landon, neoprene weekend landon bag
Activewear was really all I brought with to wear on this trip but it worked out just fine! My Albion jacket is super thin and light and matches with everything. As for shoes, I didn't want to bring hiking boots because I knew the terrain wouldn't be bad so I settled on my Nike Fly Knits! They are so comfy and light and can be worn with or without socks!

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
Andrew and Athena at Canyonlands National Park

moab, arches national park, canyon lands, albion, baby, hiking trip
Family picture at the Mesa Arch! You can see the red-rock canyons and the snow-capped La Sal mountains in the background.


Getting Back in Shape After Baby

Friday, March 10, 2017


jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket, nike blazer mesh orange

jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket, nike blazer mesh orange

jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket, nike blazer mesh orange

jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket, nike blazer mesh orange


jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket, nike blazer mesh orange


jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket

jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket


jujube legacy diaper bag, athleta cut out chaturanga tight, audrey and olive bomber jacket

If you knew me before my rough pregnancy, you knew I LOVED to workout. I love taking classes and trying new ones as much as I can. However with my pregnancy came serious nausea, heartburn and carpal tunnel that swelled my hands so bad that even prenatal yoga became impossible. I had to quit doing Bar Method at 18 weeks because the nausea and heartburn were both too bad. Then at 26 weeks even my once a week attempt at prenatal yoga was too much on my hands and wrists that I couldn't even do a down dog. 

Now coming from a girl who liked to work out every day, this set me into a serious funk. Working out was always my release and happiness for the day. It made me happy to do something good for myself, and without it, I didn't feel strong or have that daily reset that I craved. I didn't feel like myself and it wore me down hard.

I have been dealing with this here body of mine for 35 years now and I know that I have the type of body that will gain weight quickly and loose strength if I don't keep active daily. When I had to stop working out I could feel myself loosing strength and muscle and it felt just plain gross, especially because I couldn't do anything to control it. To make matters worse I hated everything about food, especially veggies and fruit for 9 months straight and it was all kinds of depressing. It sucked to just watch my hard work disappear and there wasn't much I could do about it.

So now here I am on the other side of that rough pregnancy trying to fix the damage. And any of you who have had a baby or even a serious injury, know how humbling it can be to start back at square one. Classes I was once good at and excited to take, now make me feel like a newbie and leave me drained. But I am not letting that stop me! I have been back at hot yoga for the last 3 weeks, Bar Method at least 3 times a week and hiking and walking in my hilly hood with the baby daily!

Food also instantly changed after I had the baby. I love Whole 30 and clean eating because they are the easiest for me. The fruits and vegetables that once made me absolutely sick when I was pregnant are back to being my main source of food. It was so strange that the instant I had Athena, I was ready to eat them again and it was such a welcome comeback. First thing I ordered in the hospital was green beans and 2 fruit cups!

I knew this would be a struggle but it really is a whole new beast after baby to get healthy again. Aside from just making healthy choices you have the struggle of being able to actually carry out those choices. You want to workout but are exhausted from being up with the baby all night, or you can't get away for long enough to take a class or even pick up groceries to do meal prep, also just preparing a meal can be daunting. At one point in my pregnancy I was so scared I'd forget healthy things I liked to cook so I made a list called "Jill Food" so I would remember what I liked when food didn't make me sick. I still look at this list because my brain did forget all the yummy things I used to cook on the regular. I'm glad I made it because I look at it now and get great "new" ideas!

People also keep telling me to cut myself a break and that it takes time and I think I really am doing that even though it's throwing up new challenges daily, I think Andrew and I are working really hard to make sure we keep up with a healthy way of living. He's been very supportive of helping me to get a work out in and allowing me time to rest to have energy to recover from it. 

Progress will be slow and steady, but I'm up for the challenge. If you have any tips for getting back in shape after baby (or after injury, cause I've got one of those from childbirth) send it my way. 


Athena's Baptism

Sunday, February 26, 2017

bell sleeve dress, blush spring dress, Anthropoligie, lilibet dress, cocoon coat j crew,

baptism, gown, dress, baby girl

bell sleeve dress, blush spring dress, Anthropoligie, lilibet dress, cocoon coat j crew,

baby girl, baptism gown

bell sleeve dress, blush spring dress, Anthropoligie, lilibet dress, cocoon coat j crew,

bell sleeve dress, blush spring dress, Anthropoligie, lilibet dress, cocoon coat j crew,
On me: Lilibet Dress // Flats // J. Crew Cocoon Coat // Necklace is vintage from a dear friend
On Athena: Baptism gown via Etsy

Hey all. Just wanted to share some pictures from Athena's baptism a little while back before it gets away from me. 

We had such a great weekend with Athena's godparents and their baby in town, not to mention great weather as well. Utah has been pretending it was spring up until a few days ago so we really had a beautiful day for this special event. Athena wore a vintage dress I got on Etsy. I insisted she wear a bonnet because, I mean, look at her in a bonnet! It's the cutest! Also if you look closely you can see how loose her "tights" are on her! That was literally the smallest size I could find and still too big for my little peanut. I wore this blush bell sleeve dress from Anthropologie. I really think they carry the best special occasion dresses for daytime events. They always have such pretty, ladylike options too. Andrew was looking classy as well in one of his many Uniqlo cardigans. 

Thanks for stopping by on a Sunday! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!