If there’s one thing I want Rylee to know is that she is beautiful and so very loved.  I grew up with amazing parents who loved me well and told me I was beautiful and always reminded me of my worth….and yet, I still remember struggling with self confidence.  There was so many things I felt were imperfect about appearance….my nose, my hips, my hair, my flat chest.  I was pretty good at picking out my flaws and telling myself that I just wasn’t good enough and that no, I was not beautiful.  I fed into those lies in my head and I let it affect who I was.  Oh to go back in time again and know the things I know now.  I believe that we are all created with purpose.  We all come in different shapes and sizes and colors and that is what makes us beautiful and unique.  Being a mom to a little girl scares me sometimes.  As women, we are so often held to an unrealistic standard of beauty and I want so much to protect her from that, but I know I can’t.  But as her mother, I know what I can do is love her (and tell her so), encourage her in her passions, acknowledge her strengths, and remind her that “even as a girl” she can be anything she wants to be if she works hard and believe’s in herself.  And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, she grows up to see herself the way I see her!

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I love the message that Dove’s #LoveYourHair campaign is spreading. Dove Hair believes a positive role model can greatly impact a girl’s confidence. In fact, a recent Dove study found that 82% of girls learn to care about themselves from their mother.  Rylee is at an age now where she looks up to me in almost every way.  She wants to be just like me, and while I selfishly really love that, it also holds a certain weight, knowing my words and actions are being soaked up like a sponge.  Teaching her to love herself, starts with me.

Join Dove’s mission and inspire a young girl in your life to love her hair. Create and share your custom animated message by visiting LoveYourHair.Dove.com!

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Leave it to Rachel Zoe to design the chic-est stroller of all time!  She partnered with Quinny, merging their popular Moodd stroller with her own fashion sensibility.  It’s a perfect mix of classic black and white and brown cognac leather with oversized gold detailing.  It really is the most beautiful stroller I’ve ever seen!  Quinny’s Moodd stroller design is one of my favorites because it’s equipped with an automatic opening mechanism that makes opening and closing a breeze.  And let’s be honest, when it comes to strollers, functionality is at the top of the list.  Luckily, Quinny and Rachel Zoe have merged all of our dreams of functionality and style into one amazing stroller! :)  You can purchase the whole Rachel Zoe collection through the links below!  Now….if only I had a tiny baby to put in that beautiful infant carseat!  Sigh.  Still wrestling with the decision of adding #3 to our family or calling it quits.  Why does it have to be so hard!!?  For the moment, I am just trying to enjoy my two little loves, who as you can see, are finally starting to really love each other!

Rylee is Five!
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Rylee turned 5 a couple weeks ago and we celebrated with a fairy princess party per her request!  She wanted everything pink and purple, so with that in mind, I did my best to create a little bit of magic for her on her special day.  We surprised her with this amazing dress by Tutu Du Monde the night before….you should have seen her face!  I swear, it’s been two weeks since her party and she has worn it at some point every single day since she got it.  Needless to say, she loves it.  We had the party at a park by our house, which always creates a challenge with food and drinks and set up, but we pulled it together last minute with some help from some sweet friends.  She invited a handful of her favorite pals and they just played together at the park, opened presents, talked about princess things and ate yummy treats made by Sweet & Saucy Shop.  I mean, how pretty is that cake!!?  And those little gem cake pops!  As much as I love to make birthdays special (and pretty!) for my kids, I’ve realized over the years that they don’t need anything extravagant or over-the-top.  As long as we make them feel loved and special (and remember the cake and presents), they are happy campers.  I suppose the planning and the decorations are just as much for me as they are for her!  Rylee loves to craft with me so she helped me make all the gold leaf crowns we handed out to her friends along with the wands and “pixie dust” bottles!  Sam and I always laugh about how ‘gifts’ are definitely her love language.  Year around she is pretending it is Christmas or someones birthday just so she can have a “party” and wrap presents.  I’ve never seen a kid like presents more than she does.  But what I love more is that she loves to GIVE gifts as well.  I think she is learning that as wonderful as it is to receive a gift, sometimes it feels even better to give one!  I am just so so proud of this girl.  She is growing up far more quickly than I’d like, but I love watching her grow into the beautiful person that she is.  She makes me really proud to be her mom, and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for her!

Happy birthday Ry.  Love you to the moon kid.  xx

sources:  Dress – Tutu Du Monde  //  Ballet Slippers – Bloch  //  Cake and Desserts and stands – Sweet & Saucy Shop  //  Paper Goods – Harlow & Grey  //  Crowns, Wands – DIY  //  Glass Slippers 

Rylee & Cru Fall 2016 Collection
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Well, this is coming awfully late and most of our collection is already sold through (what!!??) but I HAD to still share these campaign photos here for Rylee & Cru FW16 collection that launched last Wednesday.  Shot by my insanely talented friend Jackie Wonders.  When I chatted with Jackie about my vision for the shoot, we were both stumped on location.  The collection is titled “The Woodlands” and the theme is centered around woodland animals, so obviously, a forest seemed fitting. But finding a forest in San Diego is just not in the cards.  Luckily, we found the next best thing at a hidden trail in Del Mar of all places.  I’m so thrilled with the outcome.  Jackie always has a way of taking my vision and bringing it to life, not matter what the circumstances or curve balls that are thrown at us.  Being flexible and rolling with the punches is a necessity when it comes to shooting with children, and no one does it better than her.  Possibly my favorite campaign photos to date.  You can still shop the collection on our website (although it is quite picked over) or through any of our amazing retailers – stockist’s listed here.  Do some digging and you may be able to find the pieces you are looking for!  This job is a dream and while it might be hard and demanding at times, I wouldn’t change it for a thing.  OH, and did I mention we just bought a new warehouse / studio space!!??  Big things happening guys.  More on that later!

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Hope you all had a great halloween weekend!  I actually intentionally tried to not do the DIY thing this year.  It’s probably the busiest I’ve ever been with my businesses and the thought of making our own costumes this year seemed daunting (even though it’s something I really love).  I gave in and bought Rylee a Target princess dress a while back that she was obsessed with.  She wanted to be Merida (from the Disney movie Brave) for Halloween for months….so that was always the plan. I didn’t think about poor cru until the day before…but came up with the idea of making him a quick gnome hat and beard.  I mean, how cute is a baby gnome!?  And when I started making his hat, I knew Rylee would want one too.  So I made her one…..and then I thought all of us, with our blond hair and Scandinavian roots, ought to be a family of Swedish gnomes! So there I went, doing just the thing I told myself I wouldn’t do. haha.  Luckily for me, it really didn’t take too much time and Rylee loved the gnome costume so much that she wanted to be that instead of Merida.  I’ve got to admit, I was pretty proud of that decision over the run-of-the-mill princess dress…though I was willing to let her choose whatever it is she wanted to be! :)

Rylee’s skirt is by Soor Ploom from Le Petit Organic + vintage boots / Cru’s Shoes are by Zuzii

I created a quick tutorial for you guys to file away for another year, if you decide you want to be gnomes too! Continue reading for the full tutorial >>>

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