Tag Archives: esther

Lean in, lean out

Once upon a time, about three years ago.. a dear friend named Bonnie introduced Lauren and I. Bonnie is one of those fabulous people who everyone adores.. she also knows a lot of people and has this amazing super power in connecting people.

Lauren was(is) a photographer and fashionista and I was a fashionista wanna-be and creative person! I was pregnant with my son at the time and Lauren did a pregnancy photoshoot for me and helped put together outfits. She had (has) this amazing collection of clothes, shoes, accessories.. all specially curated and found at thrift and consignment shops. (Lauren’s super power is finding diamonds in the thrift shopping rough).

Anyway, we became friends (because Lauren is also fabulous!) and I suggested she start a fashion blog. I tried to convince her the world needed to see her unique and timeless style and be inspired. She said she would think about it if I would do the blog too.. and so it started and evolved and we created Dit-Elle a fashion, food, lifestyle mommy blog.. in attempts to inspire other busy moms. We’re both introverts so it felt a little awkward at first just putting ourselves out there in this blog and on social channels, but it took off.

Lauren did most of the fashion posts and I did most of the food posts. I love food photography and wanted to build a collection of my favorite, true and tried recipes. I was also gluten free and dealing with stomach pains.. and wanted an arsenal of recipes I could refer back to anytime, a go-to cookbook. When I made a new dish (and if it was good!), I’d immediately put it on a fancy plate, place it by my kitchen window, and with one kid on my hip, the other playing on the floor, snap a bunch of photos, hoping to get at least one good one! And then I blogged those food photos twice a week when the kids were asleep.. sometimes I would do posts on wellness, health, gluten free or paleo living, food allergies and other tips and tricks. On occasion Lauren would talk me into doing a fashion post. We rarely saw each other, but we alternated fashion and food posts to create a rich collection of inspiration for our readers and for ourselves!

This past fall.. it seems like life caught up to me and I had to stop blogging. I work full-time outside of the home in a very demanding job and industry. Then I have that other full-time job of raising two kids which I think is actually the more demanding job (and kudos to all those moms who do that full-time because it truly is a full-time, 24×7 job!). For me, juggling the office job and home job provided a kind of balance. I love (most of the time) going to an office and working on demanding projects with intense people.. success was always defined and I felt like I was growing and doing great things. Raising two small kids was very hard. Everyone says “enjoy it, because those toddler years are so fleeting, they go by so fast..” but for me, every day was slow and tough and difficult. And people don’t talk about that. And when midnight rolled around, and the house was finally quiet, and I was still amped up from getting the kids to bed (feeding and bedtime in the zoo!) and then perhaps some “fire drill” project that had come my way from work.. I would blog. And it would bring me some peace and quiet and space for my creative energy.

Anyway, there you go.. which brings me to now. My kids are  demanding attention from me in a different way.. Ava is in kindergarten and Anders is a little 3 year old terror (a super cute one, but still trying to tear the house down at every opportunity). I rarely cook and am thankful for food services like Munchery (read my post about “Not Doing It All” here). When I’m home with them, I want to give my kids undivided attention. I want to take care of my body (hot yoga, walking the dog, sleep..). And on that topic, after years of a huge sleep deficit I am now enjoying finally sleeping through the night on a regular basis (wahooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Sometimes you have to lean in to what inspires you and gives you energy. And sometimes you have to lean out. Right now I have to lean out. And take a break from blogging.

My philosophy has always been this: every parent is different, every kid is different, every family situation is different.. you simply have to find what works for you at that moment in time! And hopefully have some fun, and laugh at yourself a bit along the way! 🙂 I will not be blogging much this year but if I do make something interesting, it will find its way here! 🙂

Happy happy 2017! Wishing you a wonderful year ahead! 🙂

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One of our family goals is to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of screens (because we do a lot of that for work!). Here the huz, Ava and Anders and I on a fall hike on Crystal Mountain! 🙂

Fall gray and black palate with day to night shoe options

Those days when you look at your wardrobe and don’t feel inspired? That’s when I reach for my black skinny jeans, a soft gray sweater, and boots, flats or kitten heel wedges. I’ll usually add some jewelry to complement the shoes – most often, I’ll do something with silver tones and subtle sparkle, but this is a great neutral palate to add some crazy colorful or fun jewelry to. Not shown here, a sparkling red ruby necklace, bright pink crystals or other gems that pop work great.

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Blog Esther Boots

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This is the day Lauren and I did our super fast whirlwind photoshoot in the park between rain showers and wind storms.. I was calling to my kids to “stay where you can see me and I can see you”..!

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On me..

  • J.Crew Toothpick Jean here
  • Boden Relaxed Merino Silk Sweater here

Shoes..

  • Banana Republic slip-on sneaker like this one
  • Timberland Savin Hill Tall Boot, found on Amazon
  • Rockport Alika pump on Zappos
  • Shoes- Nene “Emma Flats” with Pink and Taupe here

dit-elle-Esther

Nene Ballet Flats for Mom and Daughter

Ava and I have matching pink ballet flats thanks to Nene Shoes, a new company we discovered because they discovered us (through this blog, dit-elle)! I guess it never occurred to me to wear matching shoes (or even look for them), but Ava was pretty thrilled for us to be shoe twins! The shoes are very well made, leather, comfy slip-on ballet flat types, and cute cute cute! 🙂

Also, see Lauren and Maya’s matching shoes here.

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On me..

  • J.Crew Toothpick Jean here
  • Boden Relaxed Merino Silk Sweater here
  • Shoes- Nene “Emma Flats” with Pink and Taupe here

On Ava..

  • Gray shirt, found on ThredUP
  • Black leggings
  • Shoes – Nene “Emma (matching mini) Flats” with Pink and Taupe here

dit-elle-Esther

These boots are made for..

You know those boots that you could practically live in? Boots that are super comfy, that don’t mind a puddle and some dirt, and that are also cute? These are my “made for walking” boots. I was in Barcelona last week and I’m glad I brought them with me. I skipped around cobble stone streets, wore them out to dinner, and even ran through an airport to get to a connecting flight.

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On me..

  • Timberland Women’s Savin Hill Tall Boot, found on Amazon in color “Tobacco Forty”
  • Faux Fox Fur purse here
  • J.Crew Toothpick Jean here
  • Boden Relaxed Merino Silk Sweater here
  • The last photo here is from another post, see this and more details on kids outfits here

dit-elle-Esther

Happy Thanksgiving and a Beautiful Autumn Day

As mentioned a few days ago in my Faux Fox Purse post, despite living in the same city, Lauren and I only get a chance to get together a few times a year. But we’ve kept this blog going for several years now sharing stories of mom life, food posts and some occasional DIY crafts and designs. In a world of constant change, I’m thankful for the constant that this blog has offered us.. even though it’s “one more thing to do”. And as a super bonus, we’ve gotten to know many fellow bloggers! 🙂 The one word  that summarizes it all? #thankful

Here’s a post from Veteran’s Day – Lauren captured some shots of us – a rare occasion where we are not only all in focus, but all happy, and the weather is also good!

Thanks Lauren for the photos and Maya for keeping us all entertained as we jumped around to avoid the ‘hot lava’! 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving all!

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We were jumping over “hot lava”!Blog Esther and Kids-2

 

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Maya, Lauren’s daughter, was so cute running around keeping everyone part of the game!

On Ava..

  • Gray shirt, found on ThredUP
  • Black leggings
  • Western Chief Hello Kitty boots

On Anders

  • Button down shirt, found on ThredUP
  • Shorts
  • Nike running shoes

On me..

  • J.Crew Toothpick Jean here
  • Boden Relaxed Merino Silk Sweater here
  • Timberland Savin Hill Tall Boot, found on Amazon

 

dit-elle-Esther

Blue, Cream and Gold.. Distressed Jeans and Sweater Weekend Wear

I rarely do fashion posts.. time, setting up the camera takes a *little* more time and effort than snapping a selfie on a cell phone.. and my pro camera skills are (very) limited. Lauren was able to get these a few weeks ago before I had to whisk the kids away for a nap.

Because I dress up for work and dress down for time at home (read sweats and PJs!), it can be hard to find ‘in between’ clothes – for example when I actually want to look somewhat put together on a weekend. Because my kids are at that wild toddler stage (2 and 4) – where they constantly seem to be either covered in food and reaching little blueberry stained or applesauce covered hands towards me.. or running from me.. my “on duty” mom clothes have to allow for sprinting and chasing, tumbling, sitting on the ground, and getting food thrown on me. Maybe this cream colored knit sweater wasn’t the best choice, BUT it takes a heavy duty wash just fine, as do the jeans, so it worked out..

I can’t wear much jewelry around the kids because Anders is a little monkey and reaches for anything shiny or colorful and wants to play with it.. so I just avoid long necklaces and earrings for now. I did add a little sparkle to the outfit with some gold sneaker flats. Super comfy, super fun.

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This little nugget was ready for his nap!

 

On me..

Sweater – Gap cream knit sweater from a few years ago.. (similar here Gap Open Knit Sweater)
Jeans – Banana Republic Distressed Skinny Jean in Tall (I’m ~5’11” and it was a little long even for me, but perfect for rolling up into a cuff)
Shoes – Banana Republic Brenna Slip-On Sneaker (super comfy)

On the kids..

All thrifted clothes.. I’ve been having good luck finding little button down shirts and jeans for Anders at ThredUP.com.

dit-elle-Esther

A Pop of Fuchsia for Gray Fall Days

Inspired by the bright pink flowers on Camelia trees, and especially in winter or days when all you want to wear is black, gray, blues.. a fabric flower clip adds such a nice pop of color to the palette! Flower clips are easy to find online or in stores or make one with a flower from a craft store and clip. I’ll add that to my DIY & kid fun project and publish whenever we get there! 🙂

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Blog Black Outfit with Flower-1

Lauren’s daughter Maya was entertaining us by digging in the dirt and having a lot of fun! 🙂

Jeans: Silver Jeans Co. On sale now. 🙂

dit-elle-Esther