HI, I am Lauren and I I’m only 5’0. I created Fiercely Charming as a way to empower women at the office, at home, at a girls night, wherever through fashion. I have always been a firm believer that when you dress yourself in your specific style,
Now that I am back to work, I have been trying to plan my outfits out the night before so I am not wasting time in the morning determining what to wear. With a 6 month old, I try to get everything organized the night before so I feel prepared in the morning.
One piece of clothing that is so easy to dress up or dress down, are ‘fun’ tops – and when I say ‘fun’, I mean tops that have fun prints, different style details, i.e. ruffles, a high neckline, fancy sleeves, open shoulders – I could go on. But the beauty of tops like this are they become the statement of your look. You don’t need to determine which pants go best with them or shoes, because you can keep those fairly basic.
This peasant top I loved because it’s sweet, comfortable, airy for summer, and can easily be paired with denim, white pants, tucked into a skirt, the list goes on. So on a week night when I’m tired but need to plan my look, I can always fall back on this:
Pick one of your Fun Top.Here is another example of a fun top you could pull from your wardrobe. You’ll notice, you can pretty much pair anything with it – grab some denim, shorts, white pants, and then slip on your summer slides and you’re ready to jet out the door.
Grab some Denim. We all have denim – so this is easy. Pick your favorite pair – it does not matter the color.
Pair with Flats or Heels. Then snag some comfy shoes or dressier ones for work and you are set.
As a new mom, I’m always trying to find ways to keep myself, Chuck, Charlie, and our life organized. For me, if I wake up and don’t know what I’m going to wear – I’ll try on 10 different outfits, not like any of them, tell Chuck I don’t have any clothes, and am instantly irritable. Anyone else feel that way? So figuring out easy, fast ways to pull together a polished look helps me and I hope it will help you too!
It is officially white denim season! And I’ll be honest, when I cleaned out my closet, I had one pair of white denim from Banana Republic and I’ll be honest – they did not fit…at all. They were skinny jeans and a super stiff denim. At this point in my life, I’m all about the stretchy denim so when I saw these Nordstrom pants, I had to try them out.
First off, I love the exposed hem at the bottom and I like that they’re straight leg denim. They can be dressed down with some flip flops and a tee, or dressed up for work in a look like this – just need to add a blazer or sweater.
I also like that they are stretchy – not too stretchy but stretchy enough that they are super comfortable. And they are high waisted so for me, I love that they snug my stomach a bit. Lastly, they’re $75 – that’s it. For me, it is hard to find denim that fit well, are comfortable, and are under $100. So when you do – you click ‘Buy’ immediately.
If you need a new pair of white denim – head to Nordstrom and snag yourself a pair!
Today is the day I go back to work after being on maternity leave for 6 months…! It has been such an amazing, hard, tiring, and exciting 6 months but boy did it fly by. I wanted to write this post to reflect and share my experience leading up to this day plus how I’ve prepared myself and what I plan to do to keep our lives in order.
Throughout maternity leave, I would take time to check in with myself about going back to work to make sure it was something I still wanted to do. And without hesitation, I absolutely did. I was super excited thinking about it and thought, I won’t be too sad when the time comes – I’ll be ready to get back into my daily work routine and not have my days revolve around nap schedules. Well, as much as that is true, it sure hit me with a ton of bricks this past Friday.
I cried and cried and cried thinking about going back and ending this first chapter of life with Charlie. Chuck calmed me down and reminded me how good it will be for Charlie to be around other people and kiddos and how good it will be for me to get back into the ‘swing of things’. Honestly, I think just getting a good cry out, made me feel better.
One thing I will say is the anticipation SUCKS – it’s like you know there’s a huge test coming up and you’re not sure if you’re fully prepared. But then you take the test, and you’re like – that wasn’t too bad! Or you’re dreading that big marathon you’ve been training for but once it’s done, you’re so glad you did it!
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this day – Getting my headspace right and my emotions under control and as I hit, publish, on this blog post, I feel a sense of relief. Relief that Charlie is taken care of, relief that the anticipation is over with, and relief that the Lord is watching over all 3 of us on this day to ensure it’s a smooth ride. On top of the emotions, I’ve been trying to plan for how we’re going to keep our lives in order with two full time working parents and a 6 month old.
So, here’s what I’ve prepped (And I’m excited to share how well it works out after a few weeks!).
Prep your Meals. We have made the decision that every Sunday afternoon, we’re going to meal prep for the entire week. This includes breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
AmazonFresh is my Best Friend. Going to the grocery store with a 6 month old is not fun. So I avoid it at all cost. Over the past 6 months, I’ve used AmazonFresh to deliver my groceries and I tell you, it has made my life much more efficient and happy. I know that if I can plan my meals and order the food to be delivered Sunday morning, I will be able to make time Sunday afternoon to meal prep. And this gives me all day Saturday to do chores around the house, spend time with the fam, etc, without spending an hour or two at the grocery store. No thank you!
Get out (or Start) the Family Planner. I’ve always been a planner girl – and yes, I’m talking to old school paper planners. I obviously use my outlook calendar for work and to keep our evening plans aligned for Chuck and I. But all other personal things, go in the paper planning – from meal prep to daily reflections to goals for the week to to-do lists – they all live in my planner. This helps me prepare our weeks and gives Chuck and I the opportunity to sit down at night, after Charlie’s gone to sleep, and check out our week and what we have planned. It has helped us throughout maternity leave and I am excited to continue working with it as I get back into work life.
5:30AM Wake Up Call. Charlie wakes up between 6:30 and 7:00AM, so I am going to wake up at 5:30AM so I can take my time and get ready before he wakes up. That way, I can feed him and jet out the door. Early bird gets the worm!
Night Before Prep. Not only is it important for us to have meals prepped, but there’s Charlie’s stuff, my work stuff, a clean house – all of which don’t prep or clean themselves. One thing I’ve been trying to do daily is clean up before I go to bed – fold the blankets on the couch, put Charlie’s toys away and clean the kitchen, so when I wake up, the house is ready for me. Now that I’m going back to work, I want to put my work bag and Charlie’s bag in my car the night before so it’s all set for the following day. This way, I won’t rush in the morning and forget something. We’ll see how this goes!
As I start this first day back to work, I want to wish everyone a blessed day with full hearts and slow deep breaths. We all need that sometimes. As I get back into work life, I’ll be sharing how I’ve managed to keep everything in line (or NOT!) in life. If you are currently on maternity leave and going back to work soon, enjoy every second with your little one and hopefully these tips will help keep your household together.
Charlie is 3 months old this week (where has the time gone?) and boy have I learned a lot. Not just about being a mom, but about being a human being who has been called to take care of another human being. And beyond that, I think about how blessed we are to be able to take care of him for the rest of our lives, which is such a privilege.
While we’ve learned so much from Charlie, I have also experienced some realizations that I did not expect. For all of you soon-to-be mama’s or gals who want to be a mom one day, take a quick coffee break and take a read.
Single Moms + Parent’s of Twins are Truly Angels. A day or so after we had Charlie, I remember sitting in the hospital thinking, ‘How do single mom’s do it and how do parent’s of twins do it?’ I mean, really – they are absolutely amazing human beings. I always would think, ‘Gosh, twins would be so fun but must be a lot of work. Oh and single parents are amazing – not sure how they do it.’ But you don’t REALLY ‘get it’ until you are sitting in the hospital after giving birth and it just clicks and you realize – Holy smokes, those people are saints. Like how do they do it? So to all of you single parents and parents of twins out there – All hail to you! You are amazing and I have a new found understanding of you.
You Miss your Partner. I talked about this on my Instastory a little bit because I would say this was the hardest thing for me, personally. When Chuck went back to work (3 weeks post delivery), I cried. I had knots in my stomach and just felt like I missed him so much. He was such a huge help when we got home from the hospital and I thought – how am I going to do this by myself (again, the reason I have MAJOR respect for those single mama’s out there – you are amazing!). But I did. You figure it out and you just do it. Then, every night when he would come home, he’d spend time with Charlie and have to go to bed early because he so graciously wanted to help me with one feed in the middle of night and I would do the other. But it felt like we were ships passing in the night with no 1:1 time. Then at around 1 1/2 months post-partum, we started putting Charlie on a nap schedule and that gave Chuck and I an hour at night to be together 1:1 and boy did that make a difference. It allowed Charlie to get good sleep and for us to be together. Win-win!
Life Changes Overnight and You Feel the Mom Guilt Immediately. So here’s whats been on my mind – prior to having Charlie, I worked full time and have been working since high school. It’s all I know and being a ‘career woman’ is who I felt like I was. And I knew when I got pregnant with Charlie, I would get to add a new, adventurous, fun part to my life – being a Mom. But what’s crazy is overnight, you go from working full time – waking up, getting dressed, and tackling your day at the office to taking care of another human 24/7. It’s a change, a major one. And it’s the biggest blessing of a change I’ll ever have in my life but it doesn’t mean I won’t miss the career part of my life. I am fortunate enough to stay home for 6 months on maternity leave and spend time with my boy but it does create emotions that I’ve never had, i.e. mom guilt. There are days where I feel like I need to get out of the house alone and what do you think happens – I feel bad. Like, why do I feel this way? Aren’t I supposed to want to be with my child every second? And in my heart I do, but I realized we all need a mental break from our day to day. So I’m slowly but surely trying to encourage myself to NOT feel guilty when I go get my nails done or go to the store by myself. Would love to know how you mama’s out there handle this?
If you know me, have been following me for awhile, or are just starting to follow me – I love handbags! I love the architecture, the designs, the fabrics, the craftsmanship, everything. I also love functionality of handbags – those that I can wear all the time.
Below, I’ve included a few handbags that are a) reasonably priced b) look designer and c) are functional for your everyday life.
Michael Kors Mercer Leather Crossbody. This bag is simple. It’s easy to throw your wallet, keys and phone in and it will all fit (yes!). The trick to smaller, cross body bags like this is the leather. It has to be a soft leather bag so it’s easy to grab your stuff when you’re on the go.
Rebecca Minkoff Small Darren Leather Bag. The beauty of this bag is it looks like an Hermes bag but is a third of the price (if not more). There are 4 color options that are neutral enough that you can wear it with anything and it easily closes for all you mama’s out there who need a bag that can be closed up fast.
Madewell Transport Tote. Every girl needs a good tote – one they can throw their laptop in for work everyday or to throw diapers and bottles in. This Madewell bag is really well made with a soft leather that is flexible to get in and out of and pairs with any outfit, whether you choose the cognac or black color.
Ok – you know when you’re 30 weeks pregnant, all you want to wear are sweats, sweats, and more sweats. So when the Monday thru Friday grind rolls around, it can be hard to want to put normal clothes on let alone ‘dress up’ for the office. But ladies, I have a go-to trick I’ve been using and I have to say, it’s been working.
Here’s what I do: Grab a pair of your maternity denim or leggings, throw on your maternity tank top or short sleeve shirt, and lastly – the final trick – throw on your favorite blazer. And you’re instantly dressed up for the office. Plus, you’re comfortable (and at this stage in the game, that’s all we want to be!).
Since I’ve been pregnant, I really haven’t wanted to invest in a ton of maternity clothing. Instead, I’ve been investing in blazers, long cardigans, and sweaters that work as my bump grows but also can be worn post pregnancy. So not only do blazers work to dress up your look while pregnant, but is a statement piece that you can wear forever and not just during pregnancy.