October 4, 2017

Q&A Part II: Motherhood Edition

Sweater: H&M (wearing a small) | Denim: H&M (old) | Loafers: Chanel (similar) | On Nate: Sweater: Ralph Lauren | Pants: Zara (old)

Todays portion of my Q&A is all about motherhood! There are lots of other questions (not motherhood related) that I still didn’t get to, so I’ll leave that for next time. In the meantime, lets jump into it!

Q: How do you dress when you meet up with other mums/children. For example, I’m a mum of two and before I had children I absolutely lived in heels and adored fashion/looking after myself, not in a vain way, just because I enjoy it. However, since having children, sadly I find myself “dressing down” and toning down my make up because I find other mums can be SO judgmental. I haven’t worn heels for a long time. I find the horrible looks and judging from other mothers so hard to deal with. Yet I’m so unhappy dressing down just to try and fit in with them. The worst time for it is doing the school run. Have you encountered anything like this yet? 

I love this question so much! Like you, putting looks together and looking after myself makes me happy! I do it because I enjoy it and it makes life more fun. At the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about? Doing things that make us truly happy? If someone were to judge me, and I’m sure there are many, because I show up to a kiddie event with a red lip and a Chanel bag, screw them. I don’t mean to sound aggressive, but that’s honestly how I feel. Those are the people I don’t care to waste my energy on. I’m so lucky to have some incredible women in my life and that’s who I try to focus on.

Now, with that being said, in the last 1.5 years, I’ve been finding my “mom wardrobe,” so while I won’t be wearing a 4″ heel, I’ve invested in chic flats and booties that still make me feel good. Things like my leather jackets, my handbags, my skinny jeans, my painted nails and my accessories still remain the same. I don’t believe in saving things for a special occasion as life is the occasion. For my hair, when I don’t have time, I’ll usually stick it in a cool hat or sleek bun, but I do still make the effort on most days.  More importantly, I make sure I always have plans to look forward to! Plans with Keith, plans with my girlfriends, just any plans where I can dress up and feel like my old self! I still want to put on a little black dress and a over the knee boot and go out. It might not be with Nate, but since it’s so important to me, I make it a priority. Even if it’s once a month, I think as moms (and dads), it’s important to have an outlet. I believe it makes us better parents and spouses. I can’t imagine not dressing up because other women were judging me. To hell with them! A bit off topic: I recently read an article that the key to happiness was not just experiences and plans with loved ones, but the actual lead-up to the event also promotes feelings of happiness.

Q: How did you get in shape so quickly after having Nate? How many days a week do you work out and for how long? What types of exercises do you prefer (cardio, weights, HIT programs…)

A little backstory: I gained roughly 27-30lbs when I was pregnant and could have easily gained more, but I tried to be as healthy as possible during my second and third trimester. I’ve mentioned this before, but my first trimester was a $hit show. I ate a bagel almost every single day and as long as something combatted the nausea, I did not care. When I finally started feeling better, I was able to have a little more self control and workout a few times a week until I hit 8.5 months. It was hard, but I think that helped a lot.  BUT, i did not lose all of my baby weight until I stopped breastfeeding. On the contrary, I remember weighing myself when he was 5 weeks old and actually panicking because I gained weight from two weeks prior. I did not know that this was normal and looking back, I wish I wasn’t so hard on myself. Once I weaned, I lost all of my baby weight plus more and ended up evening out to my “normal” weight about 8 weeks after weaning. I definitely went a little crazy in wanting to bounce back (again, wish I was easier on myself) and I gave up dairy, gluten, sugar and ate a mostly plant based diet.

Now, I follow a similar plan, but am not as strict. There are days when I want feta cheese in my salad or a cappuccino, so I’ll have it. Just not 100% of the time. I wish it were easy for me, but it most certainly takes a lot of work!

I try to workout at least 3x a week. Currently, I’m mixing in the BBG workouts (HIIT) and cardio. They’re  hard but I love that they’re 28 minutes and I really do see results when I’m consistent. I also walk a lot! When I’m with Nate, I walk 1-2 miles a day, if not more. What would be ideal is if I could also incorporate some yoga in! I haven’t found a studio by my house that I love and I’m not that great at practicing at home. There is no doubt that my body looked best when yoga was part of my routine – I was much longer and leaner!

Q: What are your favorite healthy meals and snacks and how often do you indulge / have cheat days? 

I answered part of this question in my previous Q&A post! I eat well, but I definitely indulge. I don’t really have full-on cheat days, but if I want something naughty, I’ll have a little. I know that I work best when I practice moderation! If I’m going to Paris, you better believe that I’ll be eating croissants every single day, but I’ll just make sure I walk a little bit extra and I’ll be stricter when I get home.

Q: I’ m currently expecting my 1st child and would love to know about your skin routine during the pregnancy. What were no goes and what worked for you? Did you use acids and, if yes, which ones? I noticed my skin getting much worse during the pregnancy – I’m getting breakouts on my cheekbones and jawline which I never had before. And I’ve been drinking at least 2 cups of spearmint tea every day…

Quite honestly, I used a lot of the same products. I did a ton of research, asked some of my trusted skin “experts” and made the decision based on that. The only that I avoided was retinol, but I know that some dermatologists say that retinol is allowed. It all can become pretty confusing, but that was the decision I made. As many of you know, I value the opinion of Caroline Hirons and I found this video pretty helpful. I’ve posted it before, but in the event you missed it the first time! I still used my P50 (but without phenol) and my Good Genes. I did use natural deodorant because most drugstore deodorants really are so bad for you, but I haven’t found one that I love yet. My instagram friend (lol) whose opinion I trust,  swears by this one. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m planning to, so  I’ll keep you all posted! Why is it so hard to find a natural deodorant that actually keeps you smelling fresh?! I’m all for natural, but I’m not trying to smell like a hippie 5 hours later.

Q: When did you start wearing maternity jeans and were you able to wear the same size throughout the entire pregnancy? I’m worried that the jeans I got now (5 months along) won’t fit me anymore towards the end of my pregnancy.

Up until 5 months, I wore my regular jeans and used a rubber band to secure the waist. Eventually, I ended up getting two pairs of maternity jeans that I lived in until the end. My size stayed the same and there was no need to buy more. I wore these from Citizens of Humanity and these from Topshop. Depending on what top I had on, I preferred each pair for different reasons. If I had to pick one pair, I’d go with the Citizens.

 Q: Did you end up using postpartum corset – if yes, please type your thoughts, experiences with sizing and fave brand?

Yes! I wore one as soon as I gave birth and up until he was 3 months. I ended up getting the popular Bellefit Girdle, but unless you have a c-section, I’d go for one that doesn’t have snaps on the bottom. It did help my stomach and waist, but most days, I left the snaps opened so I wouldn’t get irritated (I did NOT have a c-section!).  I ended up getting a small and it was incredibly tight at first (and not that comfortable) but by week two, it was better. Overall, I definitely think it helped in getting my stomach flatter.

Q: What does a typical day of meals look like for Nate? Do you feed him exactly what you eat or do you make some modifications to his meals? Would love some inspiration!

By nature, I’m not a regimented person and typically go with the flow, but I quickly learned that babies thrive off a schedule. Unless we are traveling or taking a day trip somewhere, Nate is currently sleeping (in his crib) from 7:30-7 and napping from 12:30-2:30. I like knowing that if we choose to get a babysitter for a date night, I can put him down at 7:30 and at 8:30, he’s down for the night. We did have a few bumpy nights after we got back from LA (serious separation anxiety kicked in), but thankfully, we were back on track after a few nights.

For feeding, I’m a lot less strict. I don’t abide by a crazy schedule and I just offer him several meals and snacks throughout the day. If he’s hungry, he eats and if not, I choose not to stress over it. Typically, he does eat what we eat. Lots of roasted veggies (with less seasoning for him), fruit, eggs, toast with peanut butter, quinoa and buckwheat. On weekends, if we’re having pizza and pancakes, so will he! I wish I could be that mom who makes all of her food and gives 100% natural and organic, but I’ve quickly realized “aint nobody got time for that.” We do the best that we can and I think we do a pretty good job. On occasion, I give pouches when we’re on the go and I like Plum Organics the best.

Q: What’s your typical day like? How do you balance motherhood and blogging/work. Do you have a babysitter?

I have a babysitter about 3x a week and even still, the balance is the hardest part of it all. Typically, I use those days to edit, work on projects, have meetings and catch up on everything in between. Even still, there are not enough hours in the day. I’m on the computer most nights, something I’d like to cut back on. I recently hired an assistant for the blog (she starts in two weeks) and I’m pretty excited! I really needed one and hopefully, I’m able to take a bit off my plate and have a little more sanity and balance in my life.

Well, that concludes the motherhood portion of this Q&A but if I missed your question, please comment below and I’ll be sure to answer in the next series! Thank you so much for asking your questions and for taking out the time to read!





  • Ewa Macherowska

    Beautiful post! x


  • Lilly Gorman

    I agree with you – don’t waste your energy on those others who would judge you for doing what you like! I’m not the best at getting chic for the day, but I do love to cook. I sometimes get similar vibes from other moms about how much I cook every week. We all focus our energy on what matters. Thank you for sharing!


  • Briana

    You sound like a great momma and you have a beautiful baby!


  • Lorna

    I love your attitude to wearing what you want and not caring what others thing. More often than not the judgement comes in a form of jealousy anyway, where those other mums will be envious that you can dress that way and you look glamorous and they don’t. It always comes from insecurities of the other person so you’re right not to invest your time and energy in them! Go girl! 😀 😀


  • Francine

    Hi Helena,
    This is a good post and I can absolutely relate.
    I’ve been working from home since I’ve had my boys (3 young sons) and I feel like I’ve straddled the “working” vs “SAH” lines the entire time. Didn’t quite fit in with 9/5 moms and certainly not the full-time at home moms. I do remember going to the park with my oldest son wearing heeled Prada boots and getting the stink eye. But I could care less! When you consider how much your life changes, you cling to the parts of yourself to stay sane. Getting dressed for the park or school drop-off, well, that’s an effort to stay who I am (not just Donovan, Kellen and Griffin’s mom). Make sense?
    Viva lipstick and heels 🙂

  • AmbeR

    Hi! How did you deal with hair loss post pregnancy? Any treatments? Vitamins? Your motherhood blog was helpful as it prepared me that it was going to happen.

    Thank you soo much.

  • victoria

    You should try Schmidt’s deodorant if you haven’t already. I love the lavender one.

  • Naty Diaw

    this is so cute!

  • Nicole Sioui

    The answer to the first question really hit home with me! I live in a small town where pretty much everyone knows everyone. Having a passion for fashion, the desire to take care of myself and to look as good as I possibly can; I’ve often felt judged by others. I try to be true to myself and stick to my signature look: jeans, heels, a fabulous top/blazer & accessories (this is why I so relate to your style) I’ve carried my Chanel bag to the grocery store and flea market on many occasions. LOL. My children are grown and have children of their own. I feel that it’s women in my age bracket that really give me that questionable look. I’ve always been slim and looked younger than my age and in my younger years it really bothered me because I just wanted to “look like a woman”. Today, I no longer complain as what I hated in the past has now turned out to be a welcomed advantage!

    • Nicole Sioui

      Nevertheless, occasionally those looks bother me and I find myself looking downwards. Do you have a tip on how to keep my head up?

  • Sharon

    This is such a great post. I feel the same way a bout people who judge you for being put together. It’s weird that they think it’s weird we like to look nice. I think Audrey Hepburn said, one can never be over dressed or over educated!

  • Jaimie kwon

    Hi Helena! I’ve been following you and your blog for quite some time now. Thank you for your honesty and transparency! It is really refreshing. I look forward to reading more of your Q&As, they’re so interesting to read! 🙂

    • Whitney

      I agree with Jamie, it’s fun to read Q&A’s. I’m a new mom (and a blogger) so it’s fun to read about your experiences and thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

  • Erica

    Have you ever considered a second, or do you think you will stop at one? Doing our own family planning and so curious what others decide!

  • Christiane

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. I am also a mom that loves fashion and while my son loves going to the park and being outdoors I don’t want to change my style just because I have to fit this new lifestyle. Fun patterned sneakers , colorful coats and tops as well as still putting my makeup is what makes me feel like my usual self. Someone told me look good, feel good even when you are going on much less sleep. Anywho, I like you « who cares about what others think » attitude.


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