Life Lately: May

I’m feeling very excited today because we only have one more day until one of my favorite long weekends of the year, MDW. It’s the official unofficial start of summer and I couldn’t be more excited for the season. My last few summers were kind of a bummer: Last year I was in the throes of post-partum anxiety, the summer before I was pregnant for half of it and in a newborn fog for the other half, and the summer before that I was pretty depressed and out of it in the midst of our infertility.

But this year? This year is gonna be a good one. I can feel it. Slash, I am manifesting that sh*t. Amalia loves swimming, the beach, and ice cream, and watching her experience all of those things regularly is enough to make me a very happy mama. And with the nice weather lately, it’s been so nice to spend more time outside with her on her little pink scooter.

Here are a few things that have been going on this month…

Sustainable fashion. The last month has been a little strange personally and professionally as I navigate my way through a new way of looking at fashion. I was feeling terribly discouraged about the fashion industry and my role in it after watching The True Cost, but over the last week or two I’ve been discovering more and more brands that are doing things the right way. That gives me a lot more hope. I’m trying hard to support and share these brands as I discover them, including in the links below.

I’ve also felt sustainability become more important in other aspects of our lives. I used to eat organic food because it was better for my body, but when I am at the grocery store now I find myself thinking more about the environment than anything else. My eyes are open to the overuse of single-use plastics and my family and I are committed to cutting down in any way we can. It has been an interesting shift, and I will share more as I learn and grow in this area.

Winter came and went. On a very different note, the end of Game of Thrones was disappointing to say the very least. After investing nearly a decade of my life into this show, the many characters, and the twisting plot lines, to see it all wrapped up in a cute little bow in the season finale was not what I was hoping for. We all love GOT because of how dark and unexpected it is, and the ending didn’t feel true to the show. It was an underwhelming TV experience, but I’ll always hold a special place in my heart for this show because I went into labor during this episode. What did you think of the finale?

Old lady vibes. I have a weak lower back and I’ve historically thrown it out/had a back spasm two or three times a year for the last decade. Last Sunday I bent over to put away some of Amalia’s laundry and felt it snap for the first time in two years. I’ve been working hard to strengthen my back and loosen it with stretches every night before bed which has made a huge difference, but as Amalia gets heavier, it has become harder to hold her without pain in my shoulder and back. My mom keeps telling me this means I need to hold her less often but she’s still my baby and I don’t know how to do that!

My Bravo TV debut. Ok so technically I’m just in the background, but it was still exciting for this Bravoholic! Yesterday I was invited to watch the taping of the season finale of Project Runway, and the experience did not disappoint. I was seated right next to the judges (I could literally see what Karli Kloss was writing in her journal) and saw the finalists showcase their lines in the most fabulous fashion show held in an old bank in Brooklyn. The finale airs on June 15th so be sure to look for me sitting in the background. And here’s a photo of me with my new bestie.

First solo flight. Next month I’m taking Amalia to LA to visit my mom and grandma and we’ll be doing our first flight alone together. I’m pretty nervous, not gonna lie. Any tips are greatly appreciated. As a little practice run, tonight we’re going to be flying up to my dad’s house in New Hampshire together so we don’t have to sit in hours of holiday traffic tomorrow when Anel’s done with work. It’s only an hour flight so it won’t be too hard (I hope). I’ve been pumping her up for it all week and she’s excited about the whole thing and the trip in general. Wish us luck!

I hope you all have a great long weekend. I’ll be back on Tuesday with my next wellness challenge which is by far my favorite one yet!

Reformation bodysuit / Levi’s shorts / Wayuu Mochila bag / Steven sandals / Sunnies

Around the Web

Unsubscribe from unwanted catalogs. I don’t know about you but I get an inordinate amount of catalogs in my mailbox every week. I keep them in a pile and once a month I unsubscribe from them (for free!) at Catalog Choice. Based on what I see in my own mailbox, I can’t imagine how much paper is wasted every day on catalogs that people don’t sign up for or want. I urge you to commit to doing this with me! It only takes a minute or two per catalog and costs you nothing.

The Girlfriend Collective. I have been getting Instagram ads for Girlfriend, a sustainable, ethical, and size-inclusive athletic brand for weeks. After reading about how their leggings are made from recycled materials and their public pledge to being an ethical fashion brand here, I finally bought these leggings in Pansy blue and will report back on the quality/fit once I try them out.

Currently watching. I binge-watched Dead to Me on Netflix in a week and couldn’t get enough. Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini were awesome and the last minute of every episode had some sort of twist or shocker. I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t watched it already. What should we watch next?

Serena & Lily sale. My favorite home line is having a 20% off sale for Memorial Day. I always get asked about my kitchen chairs and counter stools which are both from there and part of the sale.

Summer reading list. Thank you, Bloomberg, for this list of 10 books that will help you escape reality this summer. You know I love me a good summer beach read!

Reformation bodysuit. This month I made my first ever purchase from Reformation, the perfect black bodysuit (shown above). I had always thought that their clothes were super cool but overpriced. After reading about the brand and their commitment to ethical production and sustainability, I decided to support them by buying a few pieces and sharing them. This bodysuit has a beautiful neckline and fits perfectly. I did a little Instagram story featuring 5 ways to wear it the other day because it’s so versatile. These photos don’t do it justice so I may just do a full blog post dedicated to it.

A walk-through of Notre Dame. My mom sent me this interactive walk-through of the fire in Notre Dame which is both fascinating and heartbreaking.

Current playlist. Victoria makes the best monthly playlists on Spotify and I’ve been listening to her April one nonstop while I work.

Wayuu Mochila bag.  My friend Alex shot her company’s last campaign in Colombia where she met the people who make these incredible bags there and on Etsy. At a lunch she recently hosted, she picked out a custom bag for each attendee based on their favorite colors. Mine was obviously pink and blue and I’ve worn it every day since. It’s nice to have something totally unique and to support an artisan who handmakes such a beautiful piece.

Bickering vs. fighting. Any marriage has its share of bickering and its share of fighting. But what is the difference?

Sustainable towels. I have been wanting to replace our bath towels for a while now, and I picked these up at Target last week. They are OEKO-TEX certified which means that everything from the dyes to the fabrics are tested and verified as free from harmful levels of more than 300 toxic substances. They’re both affordable and sustainable!

How to take a compliment. How many times have you shrugged off a compliment? I can’t remember the last time I didn’t make an excuse when someone complimented me. Jess’s post made me think twice about that and gave a few tips for how to truly accept a compliment. I’m going to work on this. Will you join me?

Fleece tee. My girlfriends at Dudley Stephens dropped their summer line and it’s fantastic per usual. My favorite piece is a ribbed scoop neck tee that I like to wear like a bodysuit under jeans or a skirt. As always, their fleece is made from recycled plastic bottles.

Lately on Lemon Stripes

How We Divide Parenting Roles
Spring Pasta Recipe
Where to Donate Used Clothing
Silk Pillowcase Review
May Book Club

Photos by Julia Dags.


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  1. Trixie said:

    Love you guys! I love this! I’m so excited for summer 2019. Im waiting for Drake to release a summertime song, and I’m already building a MDW playlist! ❤

    5.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Hahah yes! Drake is for sure going to drop in the next week or two 🙂

      5.27.19 · Reply
  2. Jamie said:

    On this weeks Keep It podcast, Rae Sanni said the game of thrones finale was like “having mediocre sex with someone who’s not in love with you anymore.” I just about died laughing – what a perfect description!!

    5.23.19 · Reply
    • Jamie said:

      I also meant to say that I’ve been loving Amour Vert for sustainable, ethically made fashion. Their pieces are also a little bit more expensive than you would expect for the quality, but their clothes are almost all made in the US (in California) and that’s just what it costs.

      5.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      O.M.F.G. That is, without a doubt, the best description of the GOT finale I’ve heard yet. And thanks for the Amour Vert tip. I just bought Amalia a striped tee based on your advice.

      5.27.19 · Reply
  3. Brigid said:

    I was listening to a story on NPR this morning about the ban on plastic bags and how it may be creating even more plastic bag use (and how reusable cotton bags and paper bags aren’t all that much better for the environment!) and it had me feeling a little like “is there anything we can say with confidence is the ‘ethical/sustainable/responsible’ thing to do?!” I applaud your efforts to live a more sustainable lifestyle and I am trying to do the same. I think what I have come to realize is that for me that means I want to be very intentional with my purchases. I may not be able (or want!) to purchase every item from an ethical or sustainable brand, but by limiting the number of things I’m buying in general and really focusing on things I “need” I think it’s a step in the right direction. I’d rather have a pared down wardrobe of items I love and wear often (even if they’re from questionable brands like J.Crew…) than drawers full of tops from the “right” brands, if that makes sense. Just something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. xo

    5.23.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      That is so discouraging! I honestly think that we can only do our best as long as we’re educating ourselves and trying to make the smartest decisions for our lives and our planet. Unfortunately, the nature of the world right now makes it virtually impossible to be perfect. But I’m glad to know that you’re out there trying too!

      I am trying to figure it all out as I go but I agree with your intentional purchasing strategy and fully support that.

      5.27.19 · Reply
  4. Christine Balarezo said:

    This post left me feeling so happy and positive! I am so excited for this summer to be YOUR summer, and to fully enjoy it <3. When my kiddo was a toddler, we'd travel often to San Francisco, CA to visit my twin sister and her family (from FL) It was always just us (I'm a single mama), and I'd always get anxiety. 4 hours+ flight, not to mention getting from home to my sister's home in one piece. But some things helped me make it easier. I checked in any luggage and little kid stuff (car seat, playpen we used as a travel bed, and stroller at the gate) so I had my hands free to walk with my toddler. I also wore a travel backpack (I love Travelon and PacSafe)so my hands were always free, again, for holding hands and letting my kiddo walk as much as possible. They never tire and like to move as you know. Pack a lot of snacks, change of clothes (for you both), toddler-friendly headphones if they like cartoons, entertainment (iPad/little dvd set), and any cool toys they love. My son liked play-doh and Thomas the Train, so they came with us. Thankfully, cartoons and watching a kid-friendly movie worked wonders, but his naptime went out the window. Oh, and if the flight is in the evening, I put my kiddo in his pjs and we brought his blanket. You are prepared, organized, and got this!!! <3

    5.23.19 · Reply
  5. Ashley said:

    FWIW, Girlfriend leggings are pretty great! I prefer the high-waist for more rigorous workouts, but they hold up after many washes and hikes and the size inclusivity/sustainable angles make them worth it!

    Happy summer – let’s enjoy the hell out of it! 🙂

    5.28.19 · Reply
    • Julia said:

      Yes! So happy to hear that. Can’t wait for mine to come!

      5.28.19 · Reply