Archive for May, 2014

When I started Juggling in Heels my daughter was almost one, I had somewhat adjusted to having three children and I was looking for a way to express myself in ways that my career wasn’t allowing.  I had always loved to write and blogging seemed like an easy way to have an outlet without having to commit to too much.  I laugh now, thinking how little of a commitment I thought it was going to be and then realizing I was really creating my fourth child.

My daughter has just turned four and here we are, three years later, sitting in a position that I never could have foreseen when I first checked to see if the JUGGLING IN HEELS domain was even available.  I have had the opportunity to work with and get to know incredible retailers, designers, owners, and bloggers.  I have made commercials, created videos and done photo shoots.  I have written for publications and have been recognized in numerous ways for my blog.  In all honesty, it has been NUTS and completely unexpected.

I think that after all these years, I have finally come to a place where I feel truly committed to this.  I have always wanted Juggling in Heels to be a place that moms and moms-to-be can come to chat fashion, design and food, but also share in our challenges and successes.  I feel that it has become this and I am extremely grateful for that.  Just like my daughter, Juggling in Heels has grown up.   

And with a little age comes a new look.

Yes, Juggling in Heels is getting a facelift.

Not only I have done a complete redesign with the help of the fabulous people at Yellow & Savvy Design but we are also transitioning my blog from blogger to wordpress.  This entire process began in February and I am so excited that we are at the final steps.  For this reason, the blog will be on hiatus over the next few days as the transition begins.  You won’t be hearing from me but I promise you, it will be worth it as I am so excited for what we have created and I think you are going to find the entire site more accessible, a cleaner look and easier to move through.  This illustration is a little treat of what is to come, compliments of the incredible Lauren at Lauren Taylor Creates  

While I am off the blog, I will still be posting to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.  You cannot get rid of me completely!

Thank you for supporting me from day one and I can’t wait to see what is to come.

See you soon!

“These fallen heros represent the character of a nation who has a long history of patriotism and honor – and a nation who has fought many battles to keep our country free from threats of terror.”


There are no words to express my gratitude to those individuals who have given their life in order to protect me and my family.
Thank you.


With Memorial Day weekend arriving, the summer sales have also kicked off.  It is crazy the number of deals there are out there and so I pulled together some of my favorites below to help you update your summer wardrobe while enjoying the long holiday weekend.


Happy Shopping Weekend.
Here is the thing.

I live in activewear.

Whether I am really going to work out or I am pretending like I am going to work out, I throw on activewear every morning.  

As much as I would love to look put together and refreshed at 7am as I leave to take the kids to school, I just enjoy sleep way too much and prefer to throw on activewear pieces and sunglasses, looking somewhat presentable without having to do much.

And perhaps it is a mental game but I believe I am 99% more likely to workout if the clothes are already on me over having to change.

Being that these clothes get more use than anything else in my closet, I am always on the look out for new activewear lines.  Yes I love my Lululemon but I just can’t be one of those people who is in head to toe Lulu every single day.  I just can’t.  Variety is a necessity in my life.

One of my favorite lines, Emerson Fry, just launched a simple set of activewear and I am extremely intrigued.  Offering four pieces (the element crew, yoga capris, the racerback tank, and the surf short), it is a simple introduction to the activewear space, providing a relief from the norm.  I definitely feel these pieces need to be given a chance and I am excited to see if they expand the collection over time.  For now, I like what I am seeing.
 


Here I go with my pasta again.

I just love pasta.  Can’t help it.  And so, you get another pasta recipe.  The thing is, there are just too many good combinations that involve pasta that you just cannot help but try them all.  Plus, the title said bacon which really means “you would be silly not to try”.

This dish was a nice surprise from the traditional pasta dish.  Not only was bacon included but the butternut squash, red pepper flakes, garlic and cheese helped deliver an unexpected taste for dinner.  Something to note: if you do not cook bacon very often, it cooks fast and you could potentially burn it while checking Instagram.  Oops.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lbs. peeled butternut squash, cut into large chunks (or pick up the already peeled, already cut butternut squash at Trader Joe’s!  It made this part SO easy)
8 oz, thick bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2/3 c. half and half 
6 large, fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 lb. rigatoni pasta
1/2 c. coarsely grated Pecorino cheese

1. Coarsely shred the butternut squash while bringing a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Cook the bacon on medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until it is crisp.  Drain but leave 2 tbsp. of bacon fat in the skillet.
3. In the skillet, add the garlic and crushed red pepper.  Cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently.  Add the butternut squash and 1/4 tsp/ salt.  Cook 10 minutes stirring and mashing frequently.
4. Stir in half and half and sage.  Cook 2 minutes and remove from heat.
5. While the squash is cooking, cook pasta.  Reserve 1/2 c. cooking water.  
6. Drain the pasta and return the pot.
7. Add bacon, squash mixture, Pecorino, reserved cooking water, and 1/2 tsp. salt. 
8. Toss until well coated.
 

 

Have you ever been just a tad bit curious about a Designer’s design process?
I have.


When I worked at Nordstrom way back when, I developed a true appreciation for how certain designers made their clothes and the amount of time it takes to go from the design stage to holding an actual item but I have never really understood exactly what happened.

It has always been something I have admired and wanted to know more about.


Last week I sat down with Courtney Kates the designer behind Maison Du Soir,  a sleepwear line that I adore and have featured previously here on the blog, to chat about her design process.  She patiently walked me through each step, from start to finish.  It was incredibly fascinating.  I had to share because I think we sometimes forget how hard designers work to create pieces that we love.  Here is a little walk through the Maison Du Soir process…

Picking out the fabric and colors for a collection

What originally caught my eye when I first saw Maison Du Soir were the colors used and the beautiful silk selected.  Courtney does an incredible job of bringing beautiful color combinations together.  Can you imagine how fun it is to select from so many options?!

 

Here is a look at the color combinations and silk selected for the Fall 2014 collection.
 

 

Creating the drawings
After the colors and fabrics have been selected, it is time to start designing.  Courtney will begin by drawing it out, assigning colors and creating different styles.  Then she will move to having tech sketches created, which will pull together the line as a whole and allow her to make sure that all the pieces work together.  These tech sketches will provide not only the design but specific instructions for the bindings and hems.
 
Patterns and Salesmen Samples
Once the tech sketches are confirmed, it is time to move to paper pattern making and the creation of a Salesmen sample.  The Salesmen sample is the sample that will be brought to accounts to showcase the collection prior to production.  Below is a Salesmen sample from a new piece launching this Fall.
 
Grading
Once the paper pattern has been confirmed, it is time to make different sizes.  The pattern is digitized and then graded to get the cuts needed for each size.  As you move up in each size, the pattern becomes a certain percentage larger.
 
Calculating your fabric
Ever wonder how a designer knows how much fabric they are going to need?  Once the patterns are created for each size, a marker is created on fabric paper based on how many of each size Courtney would like and printed for the cutter. Below is a small scale example.
 
Time to cut!
Both the marker and rolls of fabric are taken to the Cutter and the cutting begins! 
 
The Sewing
Once all the fabric is cut (can you imagine the number of pieces of fabric you are now responsible for?!) it is off to the Sewer.  When arriving at the Sewer, Courtney must ensure she has EVERYTHING.  The fabric, the elastic, the buttons, the labels, the hang tags.  EVERYTHING.  Once the Sewer has everything, the final products are created.
 
The Advertising
On top of having the pieces created, Courtney works on putting together a media kit to accompany the Salesmen samples to be delivered to different accounts and publications.  This kit will include the photo shoot and a line sheet, showing each item available in the collection, along with the fabric options.
 
The End
At the end, a beautiful collection is created and as a designer, Courtney hopes everyone loves it as much as she does.
And I do.
  
Then she starts all over for the next season.
 
Sitting with Courtney and talking through this entire process, you can feel the passion she has towards her design and it makes me love Maison Du Soir that much more.  I also have a new found respect for all the time, work and love that is poured into creating just one collection.  And she creates a couple collections a year!  It is amazing. 
Makes you think a little more about the clothes you own and how much was put into creating that one piece doesn’t it?
 
Thank you Courtney for sharing your process.  You’re the best!
I can’t wait to see the final Fall 2014 collection!
 
If you would like to preview the entire Maison Du Soir line, click here.
You really should.  It is gorgeous.
Memorial Day is right around the corner and I cannot help but get excited for the kick off to summer and of course, summer pieces.
So this is crazy.
 
My Partner in Crime turns 4 on Sunday.
 
Yes, we are shocked.
 
It is weird crossing over from the “young family” to the “family with big kids”.
 
After what seems like YEARS (almost 10!), the only thing that is left in the house that reminds us that we had babies living with us is the crib that is sitting in our garage (if you are interested in it, let me know…) and a car seat that will go into retirement on Sunday.
 
We are officially out of the baby stage and moving on to the “kids have busy schedules and are beginning to have their own lives” stage.
 
CRAZY.
 
And my baby is four.
FOUR!
I now know what they mean when they say that the youngest will always the baby.
 
She is my other half in this family of boys and I smile when I think about how many fun things we have done together and how many more things we will experience together as she gets older.
 
What is she up to at four?
Shoes, Mom’s makeup, coloring, dresses that twirl, princesses, music, playing soccer, Mom’s high heels, punching her brothers, reading stories, saying inappropriate words that her brothers teach her, swinging, hugs and kisses, picky eating, and sure she can be crazy but so can her mother so who can blame her?
 
Oh yes, and of course, selfies.
We just cannot take enough of them.
You should see how many are sitting on my phone.
 
Happy Weekend and Happy 4th Birthday Baby Girl!

WAY BACK in September (feels like FOREVER ago right?) I mentioned how much I love my Everlane tees.  And then I ordered more.  And then more.  And then I became an Everlane tee snob and refuse to wear anything else.  They are hands down, my favorite tees.

Then the weather became increasingly warmer (if that is even possible, I mean, it has been summer since last Fall here) and I figured it was about time I tried out one of the Everlane tanks.  If I loved the tees so much, the tanks can’t be half bad right?  I placed an order for the Ryan tank and there it was again.  Another favorite.

With a loose fit and extremely soft feel, the Ryan tank is the perfect summer essential.  When I say essential, I mean that I probably wear mine way too much and people would like to see me in something different.  I have thrown them over a bathing suit for the beach, paired with a skirt for dinner and with cut offs for a baseball game.  They come in my uniform of colors (white, black, heather grey, navy and charcoal), making them a seamless addition to my wardrobe.  
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I could go on and on about these tanks but then it would just start to sound obnoxious so I will stop.  I will simply close with, if you have thought about ordering from Everlane, the Ryan tank is the perfect way to be introduced to their pieces.  You won’t be disappointed (and perhaps you should throw in a white v-neck too…just my suggestion).  You can shop the entire Everlane collection here.

 
Last week, Juggling in Heels and Birdaria Home and Gift joined forces to give my girlfriends one last hurrah before school is out and summer begins.  Specializing in custom placemats, lucite trays, bottles, canvases and more, Birdaria was the perfect co-host as we all get ready to entertain all summer long.  Birdaria brought in their beautiful pieces that we placed around my home as decor while I put together a lunch filled with some of my favorite things (I am a sucker for a croissant sandwich). Twenty women joined me to eat, drink and learn about Birdaria and all the products they offer.  Some loved the line so much that they couldn’t leave without placing their own custom orders.  It was too much fun and made me think I should have been doing these lunches all year long!
 
What I love most about the Birdaria products is that the sky is the limit when it comes to design.  They can say anything you want them to with any print you want.  The colors, the font, the design.  Everything is up to you.  The lucite trays and placemats are double sided so you technically get two designs or the price of one.  Having a themed party?  You can also order additional inserts for your trays to make them relevant to any celebration, holiday or “just because”.  Like I said, the sky is the limit.
The canvases come in every color combination imaginable.
What are they going to say?
It is up to you!
I am obsessed with my new custom lucite tray and placemats
 
The lucite trays served as perfect serving pieces for our cocktail options.
There are so many patterns to choose from there is definitely something there for everyone
Birdaria-11 Birdaria-13 Birdaria-14 There are always two that dress alike.
Birdaria-20
This might have been the most popular saying among moms with teenage girls.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Birdaria site, I highly suggest perusing all their items here.

There is a new collection around town and I am falling quickly for it.

 

 
A line created by husband and wife duo Lauren and Jason O’Dell, they launched their first collection this Spring 2014 and it is picking up steam fast.
 
Offering flowing silhouettes along structured pieces, the line is designed for the woman who wants to be chic but doesn’t look like she spent two hours trying to achieve it.
This line was made for me.
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t but it is me through and through!
 
I was first introduced to the line at the Blue Eyed Girl in San Juan Capistrano and had an incredibly hard time deciding on which pieces to take home.  I settled on this racerback dress and it is a current closet favorite.
 
I can’t image a more perfect dress for Spring and Summer.
 
After loving all the pieces in the store, I made a visit to their site to preview the rest of the collection and that was probably a mistake because now a number of the dresses are on my wish list.
 
Here is a look at some of my favorites.
I would pick them all up if I could.
 
You can view the entire collection here and shop the collection at Blue Eyed Girl, here.
 
I see a beautiful friendship between the ODells collection and me in the future.  If this is their first collection, I cannot wait to see what next season brings!