Happening Lately.

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Can I have a moment for a heart dump?

The past few weeks have been a bit of a blur.

Stevie and I spent so much time gearing up for our trip to London - packing, planning, and preparing to leave Everett for the 5-day trip. It was an emotional process, especially for me, and I spent the drive to the airport bawling. Not like one cute tear. Like, questioning my life choices - "Why didn't we bring him? What if he feels abandoned foreverrrrr?!!! The ocean will be between us!!!!" That kind of thing. As it turns out, he did marvelous during our time away. He didn't just survive - he did wonderfully! It was such a relief to get the video texts from my sister, mother-in-law, and sis-in-laws, because those videos don't lie. He was really happy and I could tell he felt safe and comfortable around so many loved ones. I prepared a pretty mega itinerary for him for this particular trip, with a full-on meal plan and play dates, and I think having a set schedule and activities with lots of cousins and family made the difference for him. So thankfully, I was able to relax more on our trip when I knew that he wasn't in the fetal position howling for us.

And London! It was so so fun! I still have countless photos that I am going through and editing to share, which will continue on for the next few weeks. It was honestly just what Stevie and I needed, so as hard as it was to leave Everett, I feel more convinced than ever that it was the right choice for us. We needed that time away together to adventure just the two of us, because it helped us relax and really talk about things that have gone unspoken for a while. I just love that man and I am so thankful for who he is.

When we got home from London, Stevie found out about a work opportunity that would bring him up to New York for a month. This was something that had been on the horizon for a long time, so in the back of ours minds we kind of knew it was a possibility, but we didn't realize the turnaround would be so quick. I mean, we made the turnaround quick, because there are some commitments in September that we need to be present for. So we just decided, let's load up a car full of toys and books and oh yeah, clothes, and do this thing. We were home a total of 4 days between London and New York.

So here I am, in a furnished rental in White Plains, listening to the Metro North train roaring by, doing a bit of a therapeutic brain dump because I need it. I am so grateful for this opportunity to keep my family together for the month, but it's not all dreamy traveling fun. Last week there was definitely an adjustment period and I felt pretty lonely and unsure of what to do with myself and Everett everyday, while Stevie worked extremely long hours in the office. We've been figuring out a new routine in this place, the areas of town where its safe to get out and walk with a stroller and how to use the train and - oh my goodness - how to drive up here! The drivers are intense! It's been an experience, I'll say that. But I wanted to give this little update because I think that sometimes social media can create an unrealistic interpretation of what's happening. Obviously, we all post our favorite moments to social media and I am a sharer by nature for sure, but I also wanted to give the flip side of what this adventure is - it's still real life. We are figuring out what our budget looks like when none of our expenses feel normal and we are figuring out how to cook with like 3 kitchen utensils in this rental and we are figuring out how to get Everett to sleep a normal amount with this train zooming by his window at night. The truth is, I could look at this experience and say, this is so hard. Or, I could look at this experience and say, this is an exciting adventure, and opportunity for my family to make memories together. And I'm saying it's both. Attitude really is a choice, and attitude really does make the difference in the outcome of experiences. 

I'm thankful for this forum to share this myriad of thoughts. I love this blog so much and I love interacting with other families and mamas that read here. Thanks for listening and being such a wonderful, rich, honest community!

Over the next few weeks, there will be a mix of London and New York posts happening here, along with some more sponsored content that I'm super excited about. Actually, all the sponsored content you see is always stuff I'm super excited about - I don't work with any brands or products that I don't actually think are cool. Ha. And don't forget, I'm running a giveaway with Pink Blush Maternity right now - if you haven't entered to win, you totally should! Happy day to you, friends!

Bohemian Pink Dress (+ a Giveaway with Pink Blush Maternity!)

Outfit Details:
Pink Blush Maternity Dress (c/o) (on sale now!), Lizard Thicket Booties (sold out, similar styles here, here and here), mix of bangles, head band (perhaps stolen from my sister's bathroom?)

I needed my go-to dress.

A dress that made me feel good, with colors that popped, with details that perhaps distracted from other details, like cellulite and bulge and the other joys associated with this pregnant body of mine.

This Pink Blush Maternity Tribal Embroidered dress nailed it.

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Yes, this dress is loud, it's got fringe, and it looks like something you might see if you peeked inside of a kaleidoscope. But that's kind of the fun of it. And even better, the fit is like butter. This material (a blend of polyester and spandex) skims over my body in just the right way, without clinging, and leaves me feeling confident and actually, really pretty. I guess pink has a way of doing that, but this material really has a way of doing that.

For all of you ladies, do you know about Pink Blush Maternity?? They have an enormous selection of styles (both pregnancy and non-pregnancy!), and I am especially addicted to their maternity dresses, which have me in the dangerous practice of filling my online shopping cart to the brim. Don't tell Stevie :)

I love the bell sleeves, the off-the-shoulder detail and the easy way this dress dances a bit as I walk. It's the kind that can be dressed up for a dinner date with heels and a clutch or dressed down with flats and a topknot. The possibilities are endless. Which is really necessary when I'm working from a small pool of maternity clothes in my closet!

I am overjoyed to be partnering with Pink Blush Maternity today to give one lucky Oy! reader a $75 gift card! Follow the prompts in the Rafflecopter below to enter - and good luck!

Also, I've linked below to a few of my favorite Pink Blush Maternity picks for fall - as the seasons change (and this bump continues to grow!), my wardrobe has to adapt, right?

Many thanks to Pink Blush Maternity for sponsoring this post and sending me the product. All opinions expressed are my own.

A Sari on Queen's Gate Road.

I can't believe it was only 10 days ago that we were in London, celebrating at our friend's lovely wedding. One of the events was the traditional Indian Mendhi & Pithi, where the bride's family welcomes the groom's family into their home. We were shuttled as a group out to the bride's family home in picturesque Surrey where we danced, ate and drank the night away. The mocktails were flowing my friends. It was my kind of party :)

Sometimes I feel so sheltered by not knowing enough about other cultures and religions. This was the most enriching experience, seeing the gorgeous Indian culture up close, in all its vibrancy and spice and tradition. The bride and groom were so elegant, draped in their crystal and white outfits and performing the traditions of this ceremony. It was amazing to watch. My dear friend Nabihah arranged a sari for me to wear (in the most stunning shade of fuchsia!), and made sure that I had help getting assembled and dressed by her husband's sweet aunt Laila. I would have been lost in the folds of this sari - I had no idea that it's just one continuous piece of fabric that has to be draped, looped and wrapped a zillion times.

If you look closely enough, you will see that the material is sheer. My pregnant belly was more exposed than I thought it would be! I was slightly self-conscious about this, but at the same time, I just wanted to immerse myself and embrace the experience. Pregnant sari and all :) Besides, most Indian saris show some belly and back, so I guess I was fitting in?

We took these photos in about 30 seconds (we were rushed, didn't want to be late to the first event!), but I wanted to share them with you because it's not everyday that an American girl gets to attend an Indian wedding in London. Documentation had to be made.

Outfit Details:
Fuchia Sari (gifted, I've linked a few similar styles below), Stella & Dot Alila Lace Chandeliers, Stella & Dot Alila Cuff, Steve Madden Heels, Sephora Lip Stain in Mulberry, Banana Republic Clutch (gifted, I've linked a a few similar styles below)

I'm so grateful that Stevie and I got to have this experience together. It was like going on a surprise date, where neither of us quite knew what was going to happen next, but what happened next was always fun and wonderful. We feasted on the most delicious of Indian foods (I'm addicted to naan now), learned to dance with dandiyas (well, sort of, Stevie broke his pair), savored the coconut ice cream and wandered through the family's rose garden after dark. If it sounds magical to you, then you're getting my drift, because it pretty much was.

And this was only the beginning of our trip!

Have you ever been to an Indian wedding? What was your favorite part? After this experience, I would love to hear about yours!

Our 5 Favorite Toddler Reads (Lately).

One of my favorite things in the world is reading books with Everett before we put him to bed at night. He gets so snuggly and focused on the story - it's just the sweetest. I know that every parent must feel like this, but still, the whole parenthood thing somehow feels like a one-of-a-kind wonder when it happens to you. Most people read books with their kids at night, right? But it still feels like our own little ritual and I am just so grateful to have this meaningful experience with him, especially since my days as a mom of just 1 are numbered. I'm really trying to soak up our time together, just the two of us. Sharing my love for books with Everett has been a really special process, because I was a child who absolutely loved to read. It's been amazing to see how his appreciation for reading has grown as he's gotten older and his understanding for stories has expanded. Lately when we're reading, he points to the characters and laughs at the funny parts and imitates the sounds of the animals/cars/trains in the story. He's just the best.

I wanted to share a few of our favorite reads lately. I am always on the hunt for more story books, especially good ones that actually make me laugh, too. Because let's be honest, some kid's books are LAME. The following aren't. :)

1. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
This is such a great book for little boys. It goes through the process of each tractor on a job site, what they do and how they work, and then how they get ready for bed in the evening. It's so cute. Everett got this as a gift from his girl "friend" Finley and he has really gotten into it in the past few weeks. He even says, "goodnight, tractor!", "goodnight, dump truck!," and "goodnight, crane!" as each one goes to sleep in the story. It's sort of long though, so it took him a few months to actually finish the book. He would usually get bored halfway through, but not anymore!

2. Knuffle Bunny
This book legitimately makes me laugh out loud. Something about the illustrations of how the parents are depicted in the book is just so spot-on. This is a great one, especially for kids who have a special animal, doll or blanket that they carry around. This story has helped us teach Everett why it's important to take care of our "babies" (that's what he calls his stuffed animals) so that we don't lose them in public places. This was also a gift from his friend Evie - his friends really know how to pick cool books!

3. Dragons Love Tacos
I can't help it - every time I read this book to Everett, it just comes out in a Boston accent. And I do a terrible Boston accent, but still! Something about the main character of the story is just so Massachusetts to me. Bahahah so I end up reading this book and laughing through most of it because I'm a dweeb with a terrible accent and then Everett laughs at me and then we get hungry for tacos. Aside from all of that, the book itself is adorable.

4. Paddington at the Rainbow's End
Another gift! We just brought this one back for him from across the pond from his London pals Ella & Milo, and he's already asked for it every single night since then. He absolutely loves how Paddy walks through the village in his rain boots and coat, finding items that are different colors of the rainbow. It's such a sweet story, and he has a Paddington Bear that he clutches the whole time we read this one. So so good.

5. Peep!
This is an interesting book, because almost the only words used in the entire story are "peep!" It's about a baby duck growing up and how he goes from saying "peep!" to "quack!" But the thing about this book, is that Everett giggles so hard every time I say "peep!", which is obviously a lot in this one. It's not even a funny story, but by the end we are both practically on the floor from laughing and such silliness. It's really wonderful. But then we usually have to read another book to calm down, so it's not a closer, if you know what I mean.

There you have it! Just a few of our favorites lately. Like I mentioned before, I am always on the hunt for great books - any you can recommend? Leave in the comments below please, I know other parents out there would love to know, too!