Breaking the Rules with a Fresh Take on Plaid

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons. Refreshingly crisp air, tart Pink Lady apples and golden afternoon light – I can’t get enough it. But it’s also my favorite time of year for style. You get to layer again, play with texture and wear rich warm colors. Truth be told, I’ve had a hard time finding my style since having Carter. It may look like I’ve regained my pre-baby shape but things have…shifted shall we say. It’s been challenging to find things that fit well and feel good. Stepping back into my signature heels has felt like torture. And if it isn’t made of sweatshirt material it’s felt totally impractical.

But last week I decided I needed to do something to feel more like myself again.


I slipped back into my black skinny jeans (yes, it was a tight squeeze), pulled on some killer fall boots and got ready for a mama’s afternoon out. Of course it wouldn’t be Fall without a new coat! Since I’m rediscovering my pre-baby closet I’ve been pretty judicious about my purchases, but this Adam Lippes for Target plaid coat had me at hello. While I realize the whole 90’s plaid thing is having a comeback right now, I love how the jumbo size and soft color palette breaks the usual plaid rules. It feels sophisticated and modern rather than grunge-esque. Mama approved.

20151002-IMG_994520151002-IMG_9965-Edit4what i’m wearing: rag & bone jeans // vince knee-high boots // black blazer // celine bag // target plaid scarf // adam lippes for target mohair plaid coat // illesteva sunnies // vrai & oro rings


I’ve also never met a plaid scarf I didn’t like. They are the perfect fall accessory – not a ground breaking statement I realize, but they are the perfect way to perk up a tired closet without breaking the bank. And they’re easy to justify. You can use them to stay warm on chilly mornings and then they serve as the perfect amount of flair for the rest of the day. Throwing on a silky fringe plaid scarf in warm neutral tones made my look even more autumnal – and I love how the mix of plaids play so nicely with one another.

Getting out and about inspired me to start playing with pieces that are already in my closet too. Mixing tripes and plaid is another fun way to spice up your look without having to buy some crazy print you’d only wear once. I love the pop collar of the Target flannel blazer that I found. It’s box plaid is the perfect match for a striped turtleneck. I’d rock this look with jeans or even a skirt {!} and my favorite peep toe booties.


Needless to say, getting a little dressed up and out of the house for a couple of hours of window shopping definitely helped me get my style mojo back. Never mind that I was back in sweats about five minutes after getting home!

How are you breaking fall’s fashion rules? You can shop the rest of my fall favorites RIGHT HERE. You can see the rest of my personal style posts RIGHT HERE.

original photography for apartment 34 by suzzana scott

This post is brought to you by Target Style. Shop the new Apparel & Accessories collection in stores and online. Thoughts and opinions 100% my own. Thanks for supporting collaborations we’re excited about and sponsored content that keeps our doors open.

Real Talk With Real Moms: {Feeding}

Today I’m excited to share the second installment of our Real Talk with Real Moms series. It kicked off last month with a discussion around sleep. At that time I was getting next to none and it was brutal. I’m pleased to report that Carter is now sleeping much better — thanks to sleep training. Yep, we bit the bullet and it was a total transformation and really not that bad. No, he’s not sleeping through the night, but I’m getting six hour stretches and it’s not taking 90 minutes to get him down and I’ll take it. I was actually thinking I should go back to that post and share all the nitty-gritty of our experience in one giant comment – if anyone’s interested {mention in the comments on this post if you are}! But for today’s posts, all the mamas are discussing their experiences with feeding our tiny little humans.


We have interesting relationships with food, don’t we? I don’t remember being a terribly picky eater as a kid. Sure I didn’t like tomatoes or avocado or black olives, but to my memory there weren’t screaming refusals at the dinner table, or hiding vegetables under my plate or anything. I remember generally enjoying most of what was put in front of me.

But as an adult who revels in food experiences and who won’t shy away from trying anything {save those black olives, still don’t like ’em!}, I find myself having a lot of anxiety about what my kid’s relationship to food will be – even though he’s only ever tasted breast milk! I think having a picky eater would just be miserable. Battles at the dinner table. Not being able to enjoy cooking. Having a freezer stocked with chicken fingers. I’ve given up so many aspects of my pre-baby life, having to give enjoying good food – and being able to share that experience with the people I care about most – feels like it could send me over the edge.


Of course there are all the health reasons why I want Carter to like food and be eager and willing to eat a wide variety of things. I have grandiose dreams of keeping boxed foods, microwavable snacks and gummy treats out of my kitchen. Yes, I already have a baby food maker just waiting for its inaugural use. And then there are the total extreme cases. I have a friend who’s little sister ate nothing but cereal for years! Of course I want to honor whatever my little dude’s personal tastes turn out to be, but if I’m truly being honest with myself, what I really want is to raise a mini foodie.


My favorite book on the subject thus far has been Bringing Up Bebe. That may be because it’s the only baby book I read prior to giving birth – ha! But regardless, in it, the author talks about how the French approach food with their children. In France there are no kid’s menus. Children don’t eat separately from the parents. Three course lunches that include things like fish, braised asparagus and stinky cheese are served to pre-schoolers – and they generally seem to not only eat it, but enjoy it all without fanfare. So why are we cutting hot dogs into bite sized chunks just to get some calories into our kids?

With the time to start solids rapidly approaching, I need to figure out how to kick this whole eating real food thing off and I really don’t want to screw it up! Yes, I’ve heard rumors about a few tricks of the food training trade. Introduce a food at least 10 times before a child can definitely indicate they don’t like it. Don’t offer fruit for quite some time so they don’t get overly used to sweetness. Pay attention to texture – that’s what could be unpalatable. But for the most part I’m flyin’ blind right now.

So to all those parents who have come before me, or to those of you who have simply read way more parenting books, I am seeking your advice! Any secrets to cultivating a little foodie hiding out there? I would be SO appreciative of any and all tips and tricks you’re willing to share. And of course I’ll glad share how that first introduction of real food goes. I think we might try it any day now.

For more thoughts and personal experiences on the trials and tribulations of feeding our littles – from breast feeding all the way up to toddler-dom, check out the rest of the mamas in this series below.

> The Effortless Chic

> Ave Styles

Parker Etc

PS – we’ll be going on a mini-foodie adventure in wine country this weekend and I’ll be sharing it on Snapchat. Follow apartment34 if you’d like to see where we end up!

image one by michelle drewes // image two by bess friday image three by luisa brimble



Finally Talkin’ About Being a Mama

Today I’m so excited to launch a new series with a group of seriously rad mamas. As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t wanted to inundate you with mom content, but when Jen Pinkston, the wonder-mom behind the lovely lifestyle blog The Effortless Chic, asked me to join a seriously cool group of mamas talking about the issues we face, I jumped at the chance. I knew this would be an interesting series with a wonderful group of blogger babes. The concept? We’ll all wax poetic on a specific mama-hood related topic, thereby giving you the opportunity to see a wide variety of perspectives, weigh in and hopefully add some new blogs to your reader in the process. As one of the newest members of the blogger mama club, I’m personally very intrigued to see what this diverse group of women has to say about each issue.

We’re starting off with a topic that could not be more relevant to my current reality: SLEEP!


Or in my case, the complete lack thereof. When you’re pregnant everyone warns you to sleep as much as possible. I certainly did my best. At the end of my pregnancy I was sleeping in until 11AM on Saturdays like a teenager! It was glorious. Now I know what you think I’m going to say next. The baby was born and all hell broke loose. Well, sure, the first couple of weeks were rough, I won’t lie. But then our little stud began sleeping 8-10 hours a night. It was bliss. Other mothers hated me. I loved it. I could totally handle one 4:00 am feeding and feel like a nearly functioning human {save the recovering from a 27-hour natural labor, but that is another story for another day!}.


But then the 4-month sleep regression hit. Yes, it’s predictable. Yes, we were warned. But no, I was not prepared for how brutal three, four or even five awakenings a night would be. Let alone the taking an hour+ to get our little terror angel down to bed each evening. Now I truly see the value of sleep because you start to go rather insane without it! I feel like I’m living in that hangry Snickers commercial, but no amount of candy bars is going to cure my sleep deprivation rage. And then there’s the memory loss. And the inability to stay awake past 9:00 pm. Or have a social life. Or a functioning relationship. You get my point – this isn’t good!

But I’m at a bit of an impasse. I’m on week five of basically no sleep with no end in sight. Yes, everyone has told me to sleep train at this point. Carter is four months old, he’s 16lbs, he’s ready yada yada yada. So after hearing so many stories of triumph I bit the bullet and tried it this week. I lasted one night. I threw in the towel when Carter started throwing up out of his nose after less than 15 minutes! I’m sorry, but cry it out is not my jam.

So now I’m turning to you, dear readers. Do you have magic elixirs to cure the no sleep disease? Secret tips and tricks that turned your child into a sleeping wonder? Any words of advice about how to survive through this period? I know it will get better. I know I will remember my own name again, but the future seems bleak when you’re in the thick of it.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment here or join the conversation with the hashtag #realmomseries. I’m also thinking about taking my mama-musings to Snapchat. Would you be interested in some more off the cuff thoughts and a little behind the scenes of life with le bebe?? If so, check it out at apartment34.

Here are the rest of the fabulous mamas who are talking about their trials and tribulations with sleep. You should be sure to check them out today!

> The Effortless Chic

> Parker Etc

> Smitten Studio

> The Refined Woman

> Could I Have That

> Ave Styles

> The Daily Something