How to Wear Merlot 2 Ways this Fall.

Oxblood. Burgundy. Crimson. Ruby. Merlot. Gang's all here.

Since I can't drink it (the merlot, not the oxblood), I might as well drape myself in this mighty bold shade that just conjures up all the decadent delights of fall. I love mixing the merlot color with like-minded shades, or wearing it simply on its own as a statement. It works really well as a neutral in the fall, or as that necessary pop of color we are all looking for. I styled a few ASOS pieces 2 ways, showcasing my favorite color for fall - M E R L O T.

What I love about this first look is how sassy and free it feels, while still being super functional. The backpack is perfect for my stage of life - running after a toddler (okay, waddling, because I'm currently 8-months pregnant), and keeping all the increasingly pudgy parts of my body well-covered while maximizing comfort (that cardigan!) and fun (that hat!) I love this look, especially because it makes me still feel like I am in the fashion game.

Don't break my heart and tell me any different.

Outfit Details:
Look 1:
ASOS Midi Cardigan c/o, Blanqi Support Tank c/o, ASOS Maternity Rivington Denim Jegging in Oxblood with Under the Bump Waistband c/o,  ASOS Leather Embossed Backpack c/o, Sebago Claremont Boots, Urban Outfitters Hat (similar here)

This sweater dress is pretty much everything to me right now. Worn alone (like I did on this day), or over jeans or leggings, it's an essential piece for fall. Especially when you are growing at the rapid rate like I am. I especially love the ribbed fabric on the sides and the bitty turtleneck. Just a hint of Audrey Hepburn in that turtleneck, which is really all a girl needs to feel ladylike. And again - that color. It's making me feel all the crunchy leaves and taste all the hot beverages.

Outfit Details:
Look 2:
ASOS Maternity Knit Swing Dress in Cashmere Mix c/o, Kate Spade Varick Street Abbie Bag (on sale in this color!), Stella & Dot Alila Cuff

What is your favorite shade to wear for fall? What colors make you "feel" your wardrobe in a new way for the season?

Many thanks to ASOS for sending products to style for this post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that make running this blog a joy!

Multitasking Motherhood.

Moms wear a lot of hats. And that's not just because we are trying to hide the dirty hair (just an added bonus).

We are busy, we are constantly innovating, continuously problem-solving, multitasking, thinking through the next meal plan and activity and whew - trying to get some laundry done while we're at it. Don't even get me started on full-time career moms because I don't know how they do it. I can only hope they outsource a lot.

All this multitasking can sometimes lead me to forgetting to take care of myself. Being so focused on the family and their well-being is the nurturing gift of being a mom, but I often have to ask myself, "Did I take good care of me today, too?" This past month my family spent our time in New York while the husband tackled a work project. We wanted to keep our family together and enjoy a mini adventure instead of missing dad for an extended period of time. I loved that we got this time together, but wow, it definitely threw off my normal routine, and Everett's, too! We settled into a nice schedule after a week or so, figuring out where to grocery shop and which parks were better (the ones with big water fountains, duh mom). But one thing I had to figure out was how to squeeze in some exercise while not having any free time to myself - no babysitters, no grandmothers to lean on, no school to occupy him for a few hours. Just me and Everett, all day, everyday.

I got creative with our park dates and amped up my "play" self. Made sure to dress properly for the occasion and hightailed it in the stroller to our favorite local destinations for some good old fashioned park time. It might not have been as focused as an hour at the gym or my new barre class obsession, but it was surprisingly athletic! I really believe that if you get intentional with a goal, you can make something happen! We did all the normal park activities, but I leaned in a little more than normal and engaged with him in a really active way. And you know what? It works! How silly is it that just fully committing to the moment could actually give me the exercise I would have never expected to get. I promise, this motherhood gig is full of surprises.

This Isabella Oliver top epitomizes the needs of a multitasking mom, and is something you could wear to the gym, the park or out to dinner, and it would equally serve all purposes beautifully. I wore this on a play date with Everett and Stevie one evening (we had to show Dad the newest of our park finds), and afterward I quickly threw on a different pair of pants and shoes for dinner downtown. We went from the playing on the swings to ordering crepes in about ten minutes flat, and that included freshening my lipstick and throwing on some earrings :)

The pieces in this collection make me realize there are other moms out there who "get it" - the need to take care of your family, take care of yourself, stay active and be flexible with the moments we are given. And feel stylish while doing so (I should have put that higher on the list just now, because who am I kidding - IT MATTERS). The Isabella Oliver brand is attractive because it's created by a mom who recognizes the need for beautiful, transitional clothing for the ebb and flow seasons of motherhood. The amazing part about the fall collection is that almost every piece works beautifully for before and after the baby comes. I think there is something magic in the ruching (and I don't normally care for the look of ruching), but the way it folds can easily accentuate a baby bump or look really slimming when there is no baby bump to display :)

A few other pieces I am loving from the fall collection are this dress (perfect for holiday parties!), this tunic (another multitasking piece), and this top (because seriously, SO cute). If you're into catalogs (I am), you can request one here - and it's a fun read, kind of like a book.

Look 2:
Isabella Oliver Helston Maternity TopSebago Claremont Boots, Gap Maternity 1969 Full Panel Skinny Jeans, Kate Spade Stevie Diaper Bag (mine is sold out, similar color here)

Many thanks to Isabella Oliver for sponsoring this post and providing free product. All opinions expressed are my own.