Let's Start Again

Hello to my beautiful tribe of women (and a few men) that follow along here at Raising Girl. I am really excited to be meeting you here again and, to be not only be resuming what I began 3 years ago with this blog, but, to be bringing you content that speaks to you intimately, my female warriors, mothers, creative enthusiasts and those of you on your own journey to self love.

In the last three years, I have continued to press on in my personal search to uncover my gifts and talents and find effective ways to share them with my community. I have made strides in overcoming my own controlling relationship with food and long-term eating disorder, orthorexia. I continue to be humbled in my role as a mother to my 3 1/2 year old, Florence. In the last year our family has decided to put down roots in Minnesota and I'm learning to embrace (think wool clothing) all that comes with moving back to the place I grew up.

Since college, writing has been my favorite way to untangle the inevitable knots of living and through my writing I've be able to connect and share with so many beautiful individuals-via social media, this blog and in my freelance business. I continue to be challenged by this role, yet called to keep going, so here I am today.

My hopes are to show up for you regularly with bright, insightful content about being a woman, journeying in self love, partnering with you as a mother, and encouraging you (which encourages me) to move closer to the vision you have for yourself, no matter the obstacles. This journey is not meant to be done alone, you're never the only one going it.

I really look forward to meeting you here or in the face-to-face (even better). Please consider me a friend and resource and let's have some fun. Here's a list of some posts you can look forward to:

My Review of Thinx Panties!

6 Favorite Instagram Accounts for Women

This Book Transformed How I Parent My Back-Talking Toddler

Detoxing From Sugar 101

Our Minnesota Home: First Time Home Owners

All my rainbowy pinterest saves,

Aly Bird

Why I'm Marching.

Today, as the inauguration of the 45th president was happening live in Washington D.C. I sat at a dining room table ironing vinyl letters to the front of a cotton t-shirt. The girls and I are marching in the Women's March tomorrow afternoon in Atlanta. We'll be wearing shirts that we made.

When I became a mother I always knew I wanted to be the kind that had long conversations with my child. I enjoy being generous with how I inform her. Only now, she is 2 and catching the meaning of things faster than I can frame my explanations. I struggle to know which conversations we are ready for.

I see my role in parenting as a steward. As the person who illustrates what a choice looks like. The adult who makes moral responsibility appear on a blank page. I am the one who can draw kindness and make it real, for my daughter who eagerly waits to see what she can make out from the strokes I am placing in front of her eyes.

As her mother I am the steward of her right and wrong.

From the comforts of our home, where the tv chirps the rhymes of Daniel Tiger to the beat of a dishwasher being unloaded, and the chaos of our day is trying to get the toddler to eat her fish sticks instead of cramming them into the pocket size hole in her booster seat, the 3 bedroom world she knows well is control by us; it has minnow size rights and wrongs. It's out there that my explanations feel inadequate. Out there, where the questions get a little harder to answer as her eyes grow wider. In this very real world, I feel cheated of words for how to respond when she asks me about the man on the park bench, and if he is sad.

But that doesn't mean I stop talking. I'm convinced this bold and uncertain world is ever in need of our motherly conversations.

When I heard about the Million Women March happening in D.C. I was moved and excited, because I believe this march is a conversation that needs to be heard. Because when hundreds of thousands of women, men and children plan to show up in their cities to unite and voice their concerns, you better believe I'm going to pay attention. Because our explanations can only serve us if we are truly willing to listen. Because I'm not going to pretend I know your story. Because my best explanations include everyone. So yeah, I'm marching. And though I couldn't physically make it to Washington, uniting in my own city of Atlanta with my neighbors and friends feels pretty darn awesome too.

I watch my 2 year old collect new understandings at an exponential pace. This makes me realize that I too must continue to engage intentionally with the things that are hardest to understand about our world. I have to show up and at least try.

Because what scares me more than a difficult question, is the silence of misunderstanding. As a country, we can't afford to have that happen.

I'm looking forward to the day when Florence reaches the age that we talk about history. We'll talk about the Women's March that happened on January 21, 2017, and, as her mother, I can say I was there.


Glasses Shop

This is my second sponsored blog post, and I really only say yes to working with brands and companies that I, myself, love and feel good about sharing with all of you. Today, I'm collaborating with www.glassesshop.com to show off how to get away with wearing non-prescription glasses.

My mom has been a glasses wearer for most of her life, and as a girl growing up my mom was my beauty icon. On her, glasses were an endearing attribute, one that I loved because, for me, they symbolized her and all the beauty that I saw in her. As a kid, I never needed glasses, which most would consider lucky, but to my 10 year old self it came as a bit of a disappointment.

Now, that I'm a mom, and a maturing lady, I decided that if I want change the way I look or take on a new style, or look a little more like my own momma, why shouldn't I? So, I ordered myself a pair of glasses; a cool transparent pink, wayfarer style pair. I wear them as an accessory, mixed in with some denim and a little bit of dirty, no shower hair :)

They have a great variety of glasses online, as well as prescription sunglasses. And for someone who impatiently awaits mail/packages, I was stoked to see them arrive at my door in one week! If you want to get your hands on some of these frames, RaisingGirl readers can use the code: GSHOT50 to get 50% off eye glasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).

Photos by: Stefanie Meyer

It's good to be a little daring with your style, get out of your box and wear glasses if you want to. Dye your hair purple if it makes you feel more alive. I'm a big advocate for expressing your self with fashion. You do you. Let's see what Florence takes from that as she gets older...


Tracking My Cycle with Clue

Between the ages of 18-24, I didn't have a regular menstrual cycle. That's 6 years of my life, my womanhood, that I lived without a clue as to what was happening with my own body.

After seeing a nutritionist and getting some help with a long-term eating disorder, my body resumed it's normal cycles, and I finally had a period again. After being clueless for so long, I now have this deep appreciation for my period. Many woman probably laugh to hear me say, my period is sacred. But, the truth is, for me my period signifies that my body is on track, it's a reminder to myself that I have come a long way from the unhealthy girl I was for years. And, of course, my period will always be connected to my journey to having Florence.

A few months back, I discovered , Clue, a company in Berlin that makes tracking your period and ovulation accurate, fast and friendly. And guess what?! They have an app and, ladies, it's free. I think I love my period even more, now.

I used track my cycle by making little black "x"'s in the corners of my planner days. Clue helps me track all the things that come along with my period like: pain, mood, fluid, and sexual activity. There's even an option to enter good hair vs. bad hair days, because we all know that is a real thing, am I right?! One of my friends who is a creative entrepreneur uses the app to track her motivation/productivity on a daily basis to help her identify patterns that affect her work flow.

The best thing about using the Clue app: it empowers me by providing a simple way for me to track my own period and see a complete picture of how my cycle affects me. 

What I Love about Clue:
-user friendly
-simple icon-based design
-tracks emotional side affects, as well as, physical ones
-it's free!

Do you track your period?


Finding Your Personal Style Post Motherhood

Last week my favorite podcast, Being Boss, did an interview with Tiffany Ima on finding your style. Hearing her advice was an answered prayer. I found solutions for so many of my style issues and I could not wait to write this post. 

After motherhood, I was at a total loss when it came to my own sense of style. As someone who finds a lot of joy and confidence in expressing myself through fashion, this was confusing for me.  My closet hadn't changed at all before and after having Florence and my shape hadn't changed dramatically either. So I couldn't really explain why I just felt awkward in my old clothes.

Until I realized, after being pregnant and now a parent, how I feel about myself has fundamentally shifted, and I decided my style needs to as well. 

For years I've been a consistent closet purger. I like to be able to see everything in my closet. I find that if I can narrow down to the few things I always want to wear then getting dressed is way more simple and I'm more willing to try new combinations because the choices are not overwhelming.

I have a tendency to immediately then start buying new things to fill up all the space I just created. Instead of taking the time to consider what I actually want to add to my wardrobe, I just refill it with things that seem like a good idea, or that I like the idea of and in a few months my closet is all congested again. 

So this time, I followed Tiffany Ima's advice and after doing my closet cleanse I came up with a few words to describe my new style and created a Pinterest board. The three words I chose are: sexy, comfortable/relaxed, and of course, minimalist

 I love this because now I have a goal for my style and I have some guidelines for when I'm shopping that will help me be happy in the long term. No more quick fixes with closet fillers. I actually want to take my time and slowly build my new, mom confident wardrobe.

Do you share my style problems? What are your solutions? I'd love to hear how you've embraced your post motherhood style.


18 Months // Growing Pains

I lay in bed the other night thinking about Florence, as I do so many nights. I still had the bedtime song we sing playing in my head, "Elmo sings you a song, a kiss on the cheek...". I thought about the food she didn't eat for dinner, bits of pasta and chicken scattered around her placemat, a mess I lazily leave to clean up in the morning. I remember how today she said the word "mermaid", clear as day, my heart violently applauding her from down the hallway. 

With my head on the pillow, it hit me that I know all these things, only I do. 

I started to think how if something happened to me, where would all these special and specific pieces of knowledge go? If one morning I just didn't wake up? Of course, there is Papa, but it's me that is home everyday. It's me that sings our favorite songs and decides when we go or stay. Me that knows that "oosh" means shoes and "eesh" means cheese. I am the key to the box of her most intimate moments. For now, at least, I know all of it.

So I wrote out a list titled "Florence 18 Months, Everything You Need to Know". I used every remaining page in my notebook.  

Today we visited the home where Flori will be starting daycare in a few weeks. Just two days a week. Really, just one full day and one half day. Really, just 12 hrs. This is a step that feels gigantic for me. One that I've been inching towards everyday since I first held her. For her, it's like moving up in shoe sizes. She'll do it and it's only me that can see the old, smaller pairs sitting on the shelf. 

I realize it's less that she needs me, it's more that I am scared to miss out on knowing every detail.

But I know too, that I can do this. I will be okay. I do believe there are gifts hidden in these changes ahead of us, in getting a few hours to work quietly in my studio. The mental clarity I'll have a chance at with those few afternoons to myself will pay off. It's a step we both will grow into. These are the growing pains that I knew would one day come. I just didn't remember how much they can ache.  


Summery Makeup Style

Doing a post on makeup feels a little out of my box, if I'm being honest about it. I can't remember now exactly why I had the idea to talk about it in the first place, but I actually really enjoyed putting this one together. 

Growing up I didn't feel entitled to wear makeup. For one, I was athletic and I never had friends or sisters that were much into getting dolled up, so I never learned how to wear it or buy it. And then from my own place, I felt compelled to seek beauty in other ways which then I could only understand by rejecting parts of my femininity. I thought that you had to be either or. Athletic and ungirly or feminine and makeup wearing. For years, I just stirred clear of that feminine territory.  

It was a confirming moment for me when, at nearly 30 years old, one of my best friends told me she likes wearing makeup because it makes her feel more adult. I totally agree. In the past few years I have embraced my femininity in a way that makes me feel free to express my body. Makeup has been a fun part of my maturing. It's been an outlet for me to embrace a side of myself I didn't understand before.     

As a makeup minimalist, I generally use just four products, which I'll share with you. Part of my minimalism comes from still not having a lot of experience with makeup, so I stick to easy basics that give a nice pop and hardly take any time to apply. I also just like the look of light, airy makeup.

 My four things:

1. Facial Oil (john masters organics)

Because I spend a lot of time under the sun playing with Florence, I use this nourishing facial oil. It keeps my face feeling rejuvenated after being exposed to sun rays and being in and out of chlorinated pools. My skin is also very dry, even in the summer. It's definitely a middle to heavy oil I wouldn't recommend it unless you're on the dry skin end of the spectrum. I use it at the end of the day, after I've washed my face or showered. However, for a dewy summer look, I apply it on my eye lids and creases when put on mascara.

2. Blushhhhh (Gabriel)

Blush is by far my favorite piece of makeup. I love a rosy cheek look, especially for the summer with sunned skin and freckles. This one I like a lot, it's called Apricot by Gabriel. You can buy it at Whole Foods.

3. Mascara (L'Oreal)

I have a hard time finding great mascaras. I loathe a clump prone mascara. This Voluminous stick by L'Oreal works pretty well. I also prefer a finer applicator. I'm still searching for a perfect mascara.

4. Lip Color (Aveda)

I'm a solid fan of Aveda products and I especially love their lip sticks. My favorite color is this pinky coral, Peruvian Lily. I also like to mix lip colors, do you do this? I have a light nude pink that I mix for a lighter look.

Thanks Instagram friends for encouraging me to lean into my feminine side and share my makeup routine! I've also been totally inspired this makeup wizard woman, my cousin-in-law, she's incredibly talented and fun.    

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