Reader FAQs: White Jeans, Toy Storage, + Living Room Rugs.

There are a couple of questions I often receive via DM when I post Instastories (and I love and never tire of answering them, so keep them coming!) — so I thought I’d share some of them here for inquiring minds.

Q: Where are your white jeans from?

A: Any time I post a picture of myself wearing these jeans, I get a lot of questions — sadly, they appear to be sold out in the exact style I own but I swear by all J. Brand jeans and will be buying these as a replacement when the time comes. You can still find my exact pair on eBay, though!

Not distressed, but I also like J. Crew’s toothpick jeans.

Q: What are those bins you use for mini’s toys?

A: We own these in the medium size in the pink color (more colors here). Inexpensive and the perfect height to slide under the bottom of her bed. We keep one bin for her play food, one bin for these blocks, and one bin for Magnetiles.

A couple of other toy storage options I love: Pehr Designs canvas bins (we use these for mini’s Maileg mice), coiled rope baskets (we have the white with leather pulls), beachcomber baskets (we use these in our living room to stow a select number of toys there), and this sorting basket. We also put this Ikea shelving unit into mini’s nursery (turned on its side, so the bottom row is 4 squares long) and lined the bottom row with these wicker bins: one for doll clothes/accessories, one for dress-up, one for musical instruments, and one for “random toys” (like, where do they come from?!). We use the top two rows for her extensive collection of books and puzzles. I am so impressed with the quality and the functionality — and it is in-line with the philosophy of mini’s Montessori education, whose ethos is to keep everything accessible/proportional/at eye-level for children, so they can engage with their surroundings in a self-directed way. I have found that making her books and toys easily available to her leads her to read a lot more widely and play with different things throughout the day. We also stow a bin (<<absolutely love these versatile totes; great for taking to beach/pool, stowing snacks for a picnic, grocery shopping, art supplies, etc., as it affords structure but can be easily wiped) of art supplies on the floor beside her little art table in her bedroom and she draws or paints at least once a day — often a lot more often.

P.S. More organization ideas.

Q: Where is your living room rug from?

A: It’s the Stark Fauna rug in almond. (P.S. Sources for almost everything in our bedroom, living room, and dining room here.) As I detail in this post, I loved this rug so much, I bought it twice. The first one we had was a little too small for our current living room (general rules of thumb are that front legs of the furniture are on the rug, and that there is about 6″ of rug on each side of the furniture) — and the cording/banding on one side of it had started to unravel after six years of heavy use. It’s a superb rug for high traffic areas because it masks stains/dirt well thanks to the pattern, and it’s more interesting than a neutral BUT kind of behaves like one? It can go with so many different styles, patterns, colors, etc. It’s also soft and plush underfoot. We use these rug pads under all of the rugs in our home to prevent them from slipping, to protect both floor and rug, and to add some additional cushion. WTTW: roll out the rug pad first and place it where you’d like it in the room. Then take the rolled rug to one side of the rug pad, line one edge up exactly, and carefully roll it across the rug pad. I had no idea what I was doing the first time and had to call our super up to help. Ha.

P.S. Another living room rug I love for a more coastal/casual vibe.

Q: Where is your watch from?

A: Major investment – Hermes H Heure. I wrote elsewhere about high-price-tag items that are worth the investment.

Q: What size M.Z. Wallace tote do you have?

A: The medium in rose gold (this color appears to be more difficult to find now, FYI — I love the new rose and mushroom colors, though)! I love it. I will agree with reviewers that the straps do slide off your shoulder easily (especially with my heavy duty winter coat on), but I tend to use it when with stroller (hanging on these hooks). I answered more questions about it here, but it’s pretty much my ideal diaper bag for two kids. With one, I got by handily with a Goyard St. Louis tote. Then the amount of stuff I needed to tote ballooned out of control. Now that mini is toilet-trained and micro drinks bottles less frequently, I can probably get by the the Goyard for short excursions and pared-down essentials, but the M.Z. Wallace is still fantastic for longer trips / trips to outdoor places (it’s a lot less precious and a lot more inclement-weather-tolerant than the Goyard).

Q: I am about two have my second child. Would you recommend the M.Z. Wallace backpack or the tote?

A: Backpack (I own it in black). I’m assuming you already have a diaper bag from the first go around that you can use when convenient, but I am confident you’ll find the backpack a must-have. I use it every single time I’m out with both on my own and nearly any time I am taking the subway, even with only one, so that I can have my hands free.

Q: Where are your dining room table and chairs from?

A: Table is from Ballard Designs (it has a nifty hidden extension) and chairs are from Restoration Hardware (you can get the look for less with these, which come in great colors). More details on our dining room here, but can I unprompted add how much I adore this rug (we have it in a larger size) and what a lovely change these chandelier shades made to the gilded chandelier in our rented apartment? The latter makes the room feel so much more finished and elegant.

Q: I’m x months pregnant…what should I wear to my shower?

A: This is probably one of my all-time most-asked questions: what to wear while pregnant to a shower/wedding/special occasion? Some of this will be trial-and-error as my pregnancy philosophy was to avoid maternity clothes and buy things with a loose/roomy fit and/or a self-tie waist that I could repurpose post-pregnancy, so you’ll have to test and see whether it works well with a bump. My absolute top pick is one of these buttoned linen Sleeper dresses. They are so sweet, so comfortable, so airy — and they work beautifully while pregnant, nursing, and none of the above.

A few other favorites:

BEAUTIFUL JULIET DUNN

THIS PRETTY BATSHEVA

FLOATY BOHO FLORAL

THIS DRAMATIC ZARA (OR THIS)

THIS BOW-BACKED PRETTY

DEPENDING ON HOW TALL YOU ARE, THIS $40 BREEZY MINI

STUNNING FLORAL MAXI (LOOK FOR LESS WITH THIS)

THIS DRAMATIC STAUD (THE LINER IS REMOVABLE — REPLACE WITH A MATERNITY-FRIENDLY ONE)

If you’re at that stage where non-maternity is not an option (somewhere around 35 weeks, the bump takes over), a few maternity dresses I like:

THIS HATCH BEAUTY

THIS PETAL PINK — WEAR WITH GREAT SHOES, LIKE THESE

THIS BRODERIE ANGLAISE PRETTY (HATE THE WAY ITS STYLED ONLINE, COULD LOOK SO SWEET WITH FLOWER EARRINGS AND PRETTY SHOES)

P.S. More pregnancy picks here, and I absolutely LIVED IN a black column jersey maxi like this in the final months of pregnancy. It was easy to dress it up with a scarf or trendy headband, could be worn with sneakers or slides, etc.

Q: Expecting my first – is the 4Moms worth it?

A: [Micro was often seen in this for the first seven months of his life, before he got super active. Now those days of putting him in one place while doing something else are long gone…tear.] The answer is a confusing: “hell, yes!: and “It depends.” I say yes in that both of my children absolutely LOVED it and enjoyed being in it until at least six months of age — and trust me when I say that having extra places to “store” the baby is always a good thing, even if they only tolerate it temporarily. (Rule of thumb now having two children: there should be some “baby holder” in every well-frequented room to place your baby.)

I say “I’m not sure,” though, because I have read reviews/comments by moms whose babies “couldn’t stand xyz rocker” or “hated to be put in the xyz swing” — so, as with everything, tolerance for these can vary child by child. Anecdotally, I have not had any friends whose babies had viscerally bad reactions to the 4Moms — almost everyone I know loved it!

Long answer short: I personally very strongly endorse this. I also cannot urge you to get a Boppy any more heartily. They are easy to move around and for the first few months such a great way to keep baby close to you while watching TV / pumping / etc. Similar to the Dock-A-Tot but smaller and cheaper (and can be tossed into the washing machine).

Q: Where is mini’s crib/bed from?

A: It’s Crate&Kids’ convertible Harmony Crib/Bed. I loved it since I first laid eyes on it.

Q: Must-have baby products?

A: A full round-up of my favorite baby gear here, but the short answer — for newborns:

KISSY KISSY FOOTIES (<<LOVE THIS NEW BEE PRINT)

PHILIPS AVENT 4 OZ BOTTLES

ADEN & ANAIS BURPY BIBS

AFOREMENTIONED BOPPY

WUBBANUB (THE STUFFED ANIMAL ISN’T JUST CUTE — IT ALSO MAKES THE PACIFIER EASY TO FIND AND TENDS TO STAY PUT IN BABY’S MOUTH)

PUJ FLYTE (A MUST IF YOU ARE RECOVERING FROM A C-SECTION — FITS IN ANY SINK AND ENSURES YOU DON’T NEED TO BEND OVER)

LOVE TO DREAM SWADDLE SACKS

TUBBY TODD ALL-OVER OINTMENT (WORKS ON EVERYTHING FROM BABY ACNE TO CRADLE CAP TO DIAPER RASH TO DRY SKIN)

P.S. More answers to questions here, here, and here.

P.P.S. The only thing I want to wear right now.

P.P.P.S. Is anyone else panicking to find certain things with really long delivery lead times on Amazon? I went to order my Glycolix face wipes and couldn’t believe they wouldn’t be delivered until April 22nd. Walmart to the rescue: they are still delivering within a few days, and their prices are better on some things, too. I ordered Gylcolix and my current favorite face cream. Who knew!?

2 Comments

  1. I’ve noticed that same phenomenon with Amazon — they’ve “deprioritized” a lot of “non-essentials”, like books, certain beauty products, things like the headphone cable I desperately needed this week to stave off fights between two pre-teens, etc. (ha!) Frustrating, but it’s also helpful in re-calibrating my expectations (i.e. that I just can’t expect to have anything I want delivered in 1-2 days! In a lot of ways, that’s not realistic, even though it’s what we’ve come to expect)

    Anyway, I still want that Sleeper dress in the floral print! For now, I’ve drastically reduced my shopping for clothing, especially while things seem so uncertain. That said, while buying a few goodies for Easter for the kids earlier this week, I did scoop up a Liberty-print dress from J.Crew and I’m hoping it will be just the ticket to breathe some spring freshness into my wardrobe.

    xx

    1. So true – such a good reminder that I’ve become conditioned to a RIDICULOUS luxury in free, fast shipping.

      Treat yoself!!

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