Friday, December 27, 2013

Shoe Love: New Year's


Thanks to pregnancy exhaustion, I won't be able to ring in the New Year this year at midnight. I go to bed every night between 9 and 10pm! It got me fantasizing about what fabulous parties I would be missing and what fabulous shoes I might wear to those parties. This year, I'm thinking something metallic would be fun. In my mind I would wear heels and bring my flats so no matter how long the party lasted, I wouldn't have to go barefoot or call it an early night. Will you be going to any New Year's parties? What shoes will you be wearing?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas in Kuwait

photo via my Instagram

I wasn't sure what to expect this year, having Christmas in Kuwait. I moved to the Middle East with little knowledge of how an Islamic nation was actually run and how conservative or liberal it would be in practice. To my surprise, one day at the grocery store almost all the Christmas accouterments were being offered for sale - from Christmas trees to Santa hats to Advent calendars. It turns out that although  Christmas is a Christian holiday, it is celebrated by many (Christians and non-Christians alike) for one of its basic components: spending time with loved ones and giving oneself and gifts to those loved ones. This also makes it a rather profitable holiday worldwide. It got me thinking - what is the meaning of Christmas in Kuwait?

We started off by decorating our home, listening to carols, and drinking hot chocolate. There was a botched attempt at homemade eggnog and because we had a plastic tree this year, a pine tree smelling candle filled our apartment with Christmas cheer and tricked out noses into believing the tree was alive. The German Speaking Women of Kuwait had a festive party at the German Ambassador's residence complete with German holiday treats, coffee, Santa, and many in their favorite Christmas sweaters. There were holiday bazaars on the Cornishe and special events at the U.S. Embassy for homesick Americans.

Although we weren't without festive celebrations, something felt off for me. The holidays didn't seem to be the same so far from home. Yet people who were strangers to me just weeks ago reached out to Gman and I and brought us into their homes. The generosity of our new community to feed us, entertain us, and become our friends touched me more than the presents under the tree or ritual watching of Christmas Vacation. Christmas in Kuwait, it turns out, means what I already suspected: the generosity of new friends gathering around the holidays makes a foreign land feel more like home.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

And in case you're interested, past Christmas stories: Zoo Lights at the National Zoo, dealing with grief over the holidays, my favorite things to do in NYC during the holidays

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Images via: Garance Dore, NordstromNet-a-Porter, living room pic

I've noticed recently while browsing through my Life(style) Inspiration pins that if I'm on a pinning spree one day I'll pin groups of objects that have a similar vibe without realizing it. My choices must reflect whatever mood I'm in or life vibe I'm feeling. It makes me think about when I'm out shopping and everything I pick up goes with the outfit I'm wearing. It happens almost every time! Do you ever notice that? On certain days you're just in a mood and all your choices reflect your frame of mind?

For some reason it makes me think of this Kendrick Lamar song.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Building a Maternity Wardrobe

24 weeks - still holding on to my favorite chambray shirt!

When I was about 4 months pregnant my pants stopped buttoning/zipping. I wasn’t showing at all but it was like I went up a pants size. I wore a bellyband for a few weeks but it became pretty uncomfortable and I was still nervous about my pants falling down (never a good thing, especially when meeting new people).

I started browsing websites for different pregnancy looks, suggestions, and clothes to buy. Most of it wasn't really "me" and I started to feel frustrated. I didn't want to change my style just because my pants no longer fit. While my mom was in town she thought it would be a good idea to go with me to Destination Maternity for moral support and because they were having a 75% off sale. I liked the name, so off we went with Gman in tow (I needed all the support I could get). Immediately upon entering the store I started coming undone and started crying. None of the clothes in there were my style. I didn't want to dig through racks of t-shirt dresses to find a gem nor did I want to be associated with anything "mom" and "maternity". I don't want to wear "mom jeans". It felt like I was shopping in a middle-aged schoolteacher's closet. One who thinks her sweaters are fair game for arts and crafts projects. Not only that but once in the fitting room (hey, I was trying to be a good sport even though at this point I was full on sobbing) nothing fit! Even the extra large was too small in some instances! There was a fake belly in the fitting room you could strap to yourself to see how the clothes would fit at 7 months. I nearly fled the place without my shoes. It was too much.

25 weeks, winter layers

So now what to do? I had to make a plan. I had to try to be rational and decided to plan a maternity wardrobe. Some people will say don't buy maternity clothes or only buy one or two pieces. And yes it is difficult to justify spending money on clothes you will only be wearing for 5 months to a year. But in reality a lot of us do that anyways. Besides, to have peace of mind while I'm trying to dress a changing and unfamiliar body in the morning, and having a wardrobe that fits and feels comfortable is worth its weight in gold.

After making a plan and a budget, I bought a whole new maternity wardrobe. In the end it was actually really fun to plan a wardrobe from scratch and I started playing with new shapes. I included several non-maternity pieces that I could wear from 5 months up until I can't see my feet at (I’m assuming) 8 months. Seriously now that I wear elastic waist pants, I’m never going back! Once the baby is born, the elastic waist will come in handy as I get back down to my regular size.

You can check out some of my favorite maternity pieces and essentials over on my Maternity Must Haves pin board over on Pinterest. Below are a few of my favorite looks so far – which you’ve seen if you follow me on Instagram. Interesting note: looser regular clothes seem to hide the bump and maternity clothes all enhance it. Good to know if you are trying to hide it for work reasons or for a big reveal.

I’m at 26 weeks now and some of my non-maternity button-up shirts are starting to be a bit snug around my belly. I’ve been layering them underneath a maternity sweater and unbuttoning them at the bottom to get a little more wear. 

Thanksgiving dinner (so thankful for the elastic waist pants this day especially!) 23 weeks

Wear to work, non-maternity sweater dress at 24 weeks

Do you have any maternity favorites? I'm curious to know, how long did you wear your maternity clothes after your baby was born?
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