Sunday Scaries.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

I may have told this story before. Years ago, at a wedding, someone asked me a question about my blog. Before I had a chance to answer, someone else shouted across the table that it's basically just an ode to Brian. I felt embarrassed and defensive, but ha, it is. And when it's not, it's nothing more than my little Internet scrapbook. 
So, Internet, let's put it out there this evening that I am so grateful for that husband of mine. Eternally grateful and unsure how I got so lucky. It's been an exhausting week (six months? year? 10 years?), and by Friday night I had no gas in the tank. Not a drop. On Thursday night I had worked until 1am (rare), and Neda had woken up at 4am unable to go back to sleep (also rare). Earlier that day B had picked Neda up from school, made us both dinner and put her to bed. He had waited up for me and went to console her when he heard her crying in the middle of the night. The next morning he took her for a walk and came home with coffees for us. Days and weeks work because of him. I don't know how he does it. Neda and I adore him and are so thankful to the universe that he is ours. 
There's still no gas, so, yes, this blog is nothing more than an ode to B these days. But, I had to put this out there because after 167 days of spending almost every minute together, I'm more grateful than ever to have him. I've made a lot mistakes the past 32 years, but this will forever be my very best decision. 

Egg Bites.

Monday, August 24, 2020

I'm not typically someone who procrastinates (Brian even pointed it out in our anniversary post this year). If it eventually has to get done, or you want it to get done, I don't see the point of waiting. But these days I don't have the motivation to do much of anything. For weeks I've told myself to get myself together earlier than usual and head to Starbucks with Neda before work because I know she'd love their egg bites, and to get in the routine of getting dressed instead of stumbling around in my pajamas until 3pm, when I change into workout clothes I might exercise in.

But, in my defense, Neda has hit a sleep regression that is driving all three of us bonkers. I'm tired. I had forgotten what it's like to be tired. It's tiring. And, nothing in my closet feels appropriate except the workout clothes. My work clothes are much too formal, my typical summer clothes are too cheery and nothing else feels comfortable. So, thank you ADAY for this outfit. ADAY saved postpartum me (and new-job me!), and now they're saving lazy-, unmotivated-, quarantine me. 

Last week I hit the reset button for the millionth time in the past few months, and I told myself I'd actually do what I want to be doing. Like, seeing the chickens with Brian and Neda. Going to have egg bites with my best girl. And getting dressed. Before 3pm. In something other than workout clothes. 

I'm wearing ADAY's Chill Out Blouse and Kick Back Pants here. I love how both look and feel. Brian knows I'm obsessed with all four pairs of my ADAY pants. They're seriously like butter! 

The Chill Out Blouse is made with ADAY's new Cool Weave fabric (powered by brrr° technology). It's scientifically proven to keep you 80% cooler than other performance fabrics out there and made from 50% recycled fibers. The fabric is so beautiful and so comfortable. It feels like you're wearing workout clothes, but you're not. Does it get any better than that?

Also, before we all got stuck at home in March, ADAY sent me their suit set that I honestly can't wait to wear if we ever go back to the office. It came on March 16, the same day we were asked to work from home, so I never even tried it on! I busted it out this morning, and I'm still wearing it. B's like "why did we go from running shorts to suit?" Because that's 2020, dude. 

I am far from a fashionista, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like the jacket would look cute with a tee and jeans? Classy and kinda edgy? And I threw on my Awl Snap fanny pack to give it true mom vibes. Erin from Awl Snap sent it to me earlier this year, too, and I haven't gotten a chance to wear it or share it here! Because, sadly, I don't go anywhere... but I want to change that today and start savoring the end of summer. I'm going to wear the fanny pack, go for morning walks and eat the egg bites with my baby more often. This pandemic is long but life is short. Enough workout clothes, Ladan. 

(This post was sponsored by ADAY. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

Mom Shoes.

Monday, August 17, 2020

When I was pregnant (and intimidated) with Neda, I did the opposite of what I would have imagined. I ignored all the advice books, blogs, articles and podcasts and relied solely on advice from family, friends and even strangers. We didn't know the baby's sex, and I'd ask anyone who walked past me what they thought it was. I wrote down every little nugget someone shared in an elevator in my planner. I hoarded acquaintances' nanny contracts in my inbox. I took it all and left little, except for the advice to have a pair of slip on shoes I felt cute in. Why would that matter? 

Enter Neda, and nothing came easy. Even tying my shoes. Suddenly, the advice made sense. I didn't feel attractive in anything pre-pregnancy, even shoes, and anything that couldn't easily slip on and off was impossible with nobody home and a baby attached to my chest. I got a pair of RGV Styled sandals this summer, and I so wish I had them sooner. They're incredibly comfortable, stylish and have a beautiful story behind them. I still love my ragged Birkenstocks, but I'm reaching for my RGV avarca sandals much more often because they make me feel like a cool mom and not a disheveled mom at the playground :)

I interviewed founder Ruth Gonzalez Vega (RGV!) to find out more about her shoe collection and the beautiful mantra she lives by. 

Your shoes are gorgeous. Tell me about them.
Thank you. Having been born in Spain, to me, the avarca sandal and the jute espadrille epitomize the Spanish summer culture: effortless, classy, never-ending and fun. Both styles of shoes have had very humble origins, they were both worn by the farmers working the land. In Menorca, where the avarca sandal originates, they would sew two pieces of leather to a sole made from recycled car tires. Today, though the end product is a high-quality leather sandal made from the finest leathers sourced from Spain and Italy, the avarca sandal is still hand made on the island by local artisans whose craft has been passed on through generations. 

In terms of the design process, I am always scouting trends and derive inspiration from various sources, whether it be high-street fashion or interiors. In July I visit the factory in Menorca, where I get to see the leathers in person and discuss combinations that will work well together. Since everything is custom made for RGV Styled, I have my designs ready and submitted by late fall in order for them to be in production and shipped to the U.S. for the start of the spring market.

For my first collection, I named my shoes after girlfriends to give the shoes some personality and have kept that going. I wanted the buyer to be inspired by similar traits and make the buying experience relatable. I have had a number of occasions where a shoe is purchased for a friend because it reminds them of that person. It gives a personal touch in this digital age.

Why shoes? You've got a great sense of fashion, what made you focus on shoes specifically?
I love shoes, bags, jewelry... I guess I love accessorizing. I often joke that no matter how much my weight fluctuates with pregnancies or overindulging, my accessories will always fit, so they are worth the investment. 

Shoes specifically have the potential to take the same outfit form casual to dressed up. You can wear a jute wedge with denim shorts and a tank top during the day, or pair them with a beautiful flowing maxi dress for nighttime. The right pair of shoes are classic, timeless, and effortlessly glamorous as well as comfortable.

You say you want to "live life beautifully." I love that. What does that mean to you? 

Strive to be the best version of you, surround yourself with things that make you happy, whatever it may be, and whatever it may look like. Be kind to others and thankful for what you have. To me, that is living life beautifully. I always tell my boys to strive to be the best version of themselves and to be aware that it is going to look different for each of them. I think understanding that is key to living a beautiful life.

In such a noisy world with so many priorities, it can feel hard to do. How do you make living life beautifully a priority? 

Yes, and it’s definitely getting noisier. I am no expert, and I often have to remind myself of my own mantra. I try and prioritize my family and friends. Strong and healthy relationships are key to living my life beautifully. Sometimes we need to disconnect from all the stimuli around us and go back to basics. Ironically, the experiences the kids remember are usually those, the most basic and the most effortless. I think it is because we are at our most relaxed state as parents.

You inspire me in so many ways, but especially as a working mama. Talk to me about this. How do you "balance" the two? 

It is not easy, especially now in the age of COVID, finding that balance is harder than ever with everyone working from home. I think it is extremely important if you can to have designated working hours and a specific working space that the kids can respect. Easier said than done, I know! I’ve been waking up earlier during the summer holidays in order to get work done so that I can spend more time with the boys. To date, my biggest struggle is carving personal time out. These days “me time” consists of falling asleep watching the British Baking Show. I always feel cheated when I wake up!

I've asked a lot of questions, but I have to ask this one: What's one piece of fashion advice and one piece of parenting advice you'd like to share?
With fashion and parenting, there is no right way or wrong way, there is your way, the way that works for you and your family. Listen to what others have to say, but most importantly, go with your instinct. No one knows what they are comfortable wearing more than you do, just as no one knows your kids better than you. Different is not wrong, it is you and this needs to be celebrated. Personally, my travels inspire me. I like to wear things that tell a story, that remind me of a place or experience and have one item that will be a conversation starter. Wear what makes you happy and do the things that make your kids smile. Live life beautifully.

Thank you, Ruth! You and your shoes are beautiful. Check out Ruth’s blog here and her shop her beautiful collection here.

(This post was sponsored by RGV Styled. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

My Favorite Personalized Necklace

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

 



There were pros and cons to not knowing whether our baby would be a boy or a girl. It drove me kind of crazy when I was pregnant, but nothing will ever match that exhilarating feeling when I gave it my all for one final push, and a nurse told us it was a girl (actually, neither B nor I heard her the first time — we were staring deep into each other's eyes, in awe that it, boy or girl, was finally here and healthy).

Not knowing what I'd be holding, I wasn't attached to much yet. We had a name picked out for both a boy and a girl, but I couldn't imagine which we'd be saying once babe was earth-side. We had a couple outfits too, but I just kept wondering, who's going to be wearing them?! So, once Neda was here, it felt like a blank slate. And one of the first things I wanted was a piece of jewelry to wear daily that'd remind me of her.

My sister and I didn't leave an Etsy shop untouched, and I decided on a delicate gold necklace with Neda's name. It was a splurge, but it was something I'd keep for decades and eventually pass on to her, so, worth it. Weeks later, the necklace broke and the customer service left me dry — in a time with hospital bills rolling in, I'd wasted a lot of money.

I wish I had known about Haverhill Collection then. I was recently gifted a birthstone necklace, and love the subtle nod to our family with all three of our birthstones. I wear it almost every day, and it's like they're always with me (which, these days, they kind of are ;) Neda and B are the most important things in my life, and I love wearing this as a daily reminder.

I love the birthstone bracelets and earrings, too. And if you're not on the market for something personalized, there are lots of other cute pieces, too. I love that ours tells the story of our lives right now, and I can't wait to pass it on to Neda when I'm older and grayer xo

P.S. Haverhill Collection is offering readers 15% off with code MAKETHEMOST. 

(This post was sponsored by Haverhill Collection. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

Neda & Mommy's Matching Tie Dye

Monday, June 29, 2020


Questions for you: How often is too often to match Neda (oops, oops and oops again)? And how much tie dye is too much tie dye for our closets (oops, oops and oops again)? I'm slightly obsessed with both, ha :) I like to think we both (Neda and I, that is) are. Our matching Just About Dyed sweatsuits are our quarantine uniforms. We're so grateful for Kim for making them just as we (yes, we!) imagined. 



I had seen and loved this Free People sweatshirt but didn't love the price tag, so I'm thankful Kim was able to recreate it with more vibrant colors and make something similar for Neda, too :) Look how happy she is to be matching me!

 

Neda has a romper, and I have a matching sweatsuit. I asked for the pants in gray to switch it up because I knew I wouldn't wear the two together. I don't have the guts! I'm a nerdy corporate communications specialist, not a fashion blogger! But I've been rocking the pants at daycare pickup this week and even got a few nice compliments on my short walk over today. 

 


We didn't even ask Brian if he wanted a set — he probably does, right? Lucky for him, there will be more opportunities, I'm sure of it. I love all of Kim's ready-made pieces, but I also can't recommend her enough if you have a vision you want created. She's extremely responsive and kind, with impeccable attention to detail. And she has fair pricing, which is big because since tie dye sweatsuits have become a thing they've also become unreasonably expensive.


Tie dye is the quarantine fashion staple, and if your household is anything like ours, we're not going anywhere anytime soon, so I suggest adding a sweatsuit to your closet :)


(This post was sponsored by Just About Dyed. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)

Year Four

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Oh, what a year. This time last year feels like years ago. So much has happened since (big things, small things). I'm writing this blog post from home, where I've been working for the past three months. My daughter (I have a daughter!) is back in daycare after 15 weeks. My husband, who I've spent almost every hour of every day with for 93 days, is working at his desk 10 feet away from me, and it'll be like this for the foreseeable future. We're in the middle of a global pandemic and a civil rights movement. Everything has felt upside down for weeks, and I've spent the majority of it feeling anxious and overwhelmed. But, sitting here right now, I feel a sense of peace and gratuity. On this day, I'm reminded of what, who, keeps me grounded and how lucky I am for the support.

Today marks four years married to Brian, who was my partner long before then but it has been solidified over and over again since, especially this past year. I'm proud of a lot of things in my life, but our partnership is on top of the list. It feels silly to call a marriage an accomplishment, but this decision is the best I've ever made. I'm a better, smarter, happier person for it, and I'm so thankful for B.

To celebrate our anniversary, just like years one, two and three, we each answered some questions separately and then shared them with each other. I asked my Instagram followers to send me questions a few months ago, and these are all from that ask! Thank you, thank you!

I love you so much, B xo

1. After becoming parents, what has surprised you most about your partner?

L: B’s ability to never run out of energy. I feel like I’m always tired trying to juggle a million things, but he’s always ready to take over and seems to be juggling effortlessly. I’ll put Neda on our bed with some Cheerios and have her listen to her Spotify playlist so I can lay down for a second, but B’s always ready to play and explore. This is true to his personality, but it has surprised me how he can give 100% so much of the time.

Also, the fact that nothing seems to bother him. Between labor and delivery and some postpartum woes, B has truly seen me at my physical and mental worst, but he never flinches. He was there for every single one of the doctor's appointments for Neda, and all of mine and hers postpartum, always by my side. Sometimes even taking her to hers alone. There's no way I would have ever believed that this man would be doing and seeing some of the things he has this past year on our first date.

B: One thing that applies to both of us that surprised me was how quickly our mood can change based on something small that Neda does. I feel like there have been many times when one of us has been tired, or frustrated or annoyed by something (maybe, perhaps, possibly even by something annoying or frustrating Neda is doing at that moment), and then with one laugh, or wiggle, or smile, or sound it snaps us out of whatever is frustrating us. I didn't think we'd be swayed as easily as we are.

 
 

2. When they are at their lowest, what is the one thing you know you can say/do to break through?

L: B’s pretty good at acknowledging when he needs to take a break and change scenery. In fact, early on in quarantine he was unexplainably grumpy for the first time in our relationship (10 years!), and the “funk” feeling was so unnatural for him, he brought it up for weeks — “remember when I was grumpy that Monday?”

But if he’s deep in stress or sadness, encouraging him to do something else together, like go for a walk, watch a funny show on the couch or get Wendy’s Frosties goes a long way. He resets fairly quickly but needs that time away from his thoughts to do it.

B: I think just listening to her and helping her talk through whatever is bothering her and seeing if we can figure out something to make the situation better. Even if we're both at a loss, it seems like being able to get whatever is on her mind out in the open can help make it feel less overwhelming or terrible. Hugs and jokes are helpful too, but I think the biggest impact is just being available to listen to whatever is on her mind. Sometimes you just need to talk it out.

3. “It would make me a better person if I were more like you in the way you...”

L: Listen. And are patient. I’m notoriously bad at both, and I want to do better.

B: Thought ahead, paid attention to what I was doing, wrote things down. Ladan is both an epically talented planner and owner of an epic planner that is the key to her day-to-day life. I live pretty much one day at a time, and by my work calendar. If it isn't on there, there's pretty much no chance I'm going to remember to be at the right place at the right time. Being more like her would eliminate some minor annoyances in my own life (forgetting to pack something, losing things, double-booking weekend plans), but the real ways it would make me a better person are helping me be more thoughtful (she probably already has some brilliant gift ideas for next Christmas) and helping my manage my time better (which would allow me more chances to do nice/fun things with others). She's an inspiration.  


4. What has been the best/most rewarding part of watching your partner become a parent?

L: I leaned a lot on Brian during the first few months of Neda’s life, and I beat myself up for it. We introduced a bottle earlier than I had hoped, and I felt guilty about it. As her mom, I thought I was supposed to be feeding her all of her meals, changing all of her diapers, always being the face she saw in the middle of the night. I called him to come home during the middle of the workday once — Neda was being especially colicky, and I wasn’t sure what to do. I spent that afternoon crying in our bedroom. I felt defeated and ashamed.

The way Brian has stepped up from day one (of Neda’s life and our relationship) has blown me away. He builds both me and Neda up daily, and we couldn’t do anything we do without him. Accepting his help hasn’t been easy for me, but the support and love he shows all day, every day, is unbelievable. Neda smiles instantly at the sight of him. He’s fun, he’s helpful, and he’s always there. Brian was meant for this role.

B: I'm not sure I'll be able to adequately describe this. It has been amazing to see the exponential expansion of Ladan's love as a mother. Her love for Neda is so deep, so fierce, and so strong. I've always felt loved by Ladan, but to see the way she loves Neda has really been something else. I fear for the first person that does something mean to Neda. Sometimes you can see in the way she looks at her or squeezes her just how deep the love runs. Makes me smile every time.

 

5. What qualities of each other's do you hope Neda inherits?

L: I’m the dreamer in the relationship, and I hope she has the same ambition. I have enough business ideas to try a new one monthly for the next few decades, I want to see the world, I have visions for Neda’s future big girl room in our Chicago home but also living in the south of France with her. I want her to have big goals, and I want to do whatever I can to help her reach them.

That said, I want her to be level-headed, like Brian, and to have balance in her life, like him. She already seems to have my strong personality, but I’d love for her to have a bit of his calm and cool demeanor. I want her to be kind, selfless and smart, like him. Good at sports (good at everything he tries, really), always up for an adventure and putting others first. She’s incredibly lucky to have B as her dad, he’s the best influence she could have.

B: I hope Neda inherits Ladan's love, her work ethic, her appreciation of a good analogy, her passion, her belief in her ability to do anything, her sense of care for others and willingness to go the extra mile for those she loves. 


6. What's been your happiest memory this past year?

L: It’s to be expected, I know, but the moment Neda was born. It was a rush of emotions I’ve never experienced before and likely never will again. I was proud of myself and my body for bringing this life into the world, and I was proud of Brian for coaching me through it. I loved her instantly, and life suddenly felt more whole. I was so terrified of pregnancy, labor and delivery, that I didn’t expect it to be as beautiful as it was, and I hadn’t put much thought into the after — having this baby and adding her (her, a girl!), to our family. Life seemed to change entirely in one second and outside of Neda and her dad, nothing else mattered. 

B: Pretty hard to compete with the early hours of 9/14/19. Looking at each other right after Neda was born and realizing that she was here and they were both healthy. It was a surreal and exhilarating experience. Every year has been filled with good memories, but that one is pretty well burned into my brain.  

 
 

7. How would you describe the feeling of being in love in one word?

L: Security.

B: Dope. 

8. What do you think your most important similarity is?

L: Our love for each other and putting family first. I’m not sure what our family will look like in the future, but for now, the three of us are each other’s’ main priority. That gets me (us, I think) through thick and thin. It’s something we both brought to this relationship early on. We’re both incredibly close to our own immediate families and each other’s. That influences a lot of the decisions we make and that might not have been the case if we weren’t similar in this way.

B: I think the value we both place on spending time with our families is a big one, including setting aside time for our own now three-person family. If we weren't similar in that regard, I think it would be hard for the other person to understand why we are spending weekends away from the city with regularity (or, in the case of a global pandemic, why we are spending months away from the city...). It's a blessing to have our families so close by and I'm glad we are able to take advantage of that often.  


9. What about the other person is hardest for you to understand?

L: I make a lot of mistakes, but I feel I diversify them. I probably won’t make the same one twice. Sometimes I feel like Brian has chosen his mistakes and made a commitment to them. Like, he’s supposed to enter his time for work on a regular basis, and he always puts it off. Once or twice this has come up during performance conversations... and he still doesn’t put in his time until last minute (sometimes forgetting). Just put in your time at the end of every day! Right? But, this is coming from someone who doesn’t procrastinate. I pack my gym bag for Monday on Friday night. So, I guess we’re just different that way :)

B: This is going to sound like a joke answer, but it's not a joke answer. On Fridays when Ladan comes home from a long week of work, she comes in the house and sets down her stuff and looks like she is about to relax and unwind and start her weekend. But that's not what she does. What she does is she goes into our bedroom, pulls some gym clothes out, and packs her gym bag for the following Monday morning. Not a single fiber of my being can relate to this behavior.

 
 

10. Is there anything the other has changed your mind on over the years?

L: I kind of answered this last year — a lot of things. Over the years, there have been many things I’ve sworn I’d never do, or say, or be. And then, at some point in the future, I’ve done or said or been them. I can point to countless examples B has influenced (mainly, being a wife, mom and homeowner). But it goes beyond that. I’m pretty firm in my political and religious beliefs, and I always imagined finding a partner that mirrored them. B and I agree on many things in this regard, but we likely disagree more. He’s educated me a lot on both, and even if I don’t always agree, I can better see the other side.

B: Most certainly. I can be stubborn, but my opinions aren't impenetrable. Lately one of her favorite sayings is "you never regret working out." (I'm sensing a theme after the previous question.) I would like to maintain that there are a number of workouts that I regret. But, since she's started saying that I don't think there has been any activity I finished and regretted doing. She has a steel trap memory for details like this and I'm sure she has numerous examples of things I've said were bad, or dumb, or I wouldn't like, and then later indicated my opinion has changed.

 

11. Any regrets from the past year
?

L: I didn’t give myself an ounce of grace after Neda was born. I remember Brian running to get me a mortadella sandwich the day after she was born, and I was alone in the hospital room with her for the first time. Overwhelmed, I turned on my work laptop… I was in love with her, but she was so squishy and I felt I had no maternal instincts. Work, on the other hand, was familiar. Similarly, I maintained my freelance assignments while on maternity leave, cranking out pieces the first few days we were home. I needed to focus on something I felt I was good at. I have horrible memories of writing headlines at 3am while trying to get Neda to latch. It was all too much and took a toll on me physically and mentally. The routine would come, and I should have sat still and soaked it all in instead of juggling dozens of unnecessary things that could have waited.

B: Maybe some minor ones. Not doing even more fun stuff with friends and family, or more traveling. Not going camping. Not doing anything about the uneven floors and windows with broken seals in our house. Not working out my back more. The first three months of the past year were the final preparations for Neda, then the next six months were a crash course in taking care of a baby, and now the last three months have been in various phases of quarantine. It's been a weird, but very fun and rewarding year. We are extra lucky to have gotten to spend so much time with Neda over the last 9 months, which has been the most significant part of the year and something I'll never regret.

P.S. You can see all of our wedding and honeymoon photos here!

Happy Birthday, Brian!

Thursday, May 21, 2020


I want to sit down and write a long post on Brian's birthday, how grateful we are for him and how special he is. I want to include a bunch of pictures from the last year (oh, what a year it has been!). But I don't know if there will ever be time for that these days, so, for now, this is what we're putting on our Internet scrapbook (a day late...) so we never forget this special day, which we spent with B's parents (who we're temporarily living with for some extra helping hands): We adore you, BLH. No one on this earth supports us like you do. Thank you for being a loving and kind husband, and an exceptional father. We couldn't be luckier to be quarantining with you <3

The Perfect Sweatshirt (That Gives Back!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

 

Shannon Buth of House of Shan is truly superwoman to me. She’s a mom of four boys that’s running her own business, one that’s driving the fashion and non-profit company forward. She’s also fit and gorgeous and just makes you want to do better in every aspect of your life. She makes it all look effortless, but as someone who’s currently juggling one babe and one job, I know it’s not effortless at all. So much hard work goes into what Shannon does, and it’s inspiring to see it paying off.

I interviewed Shannon to talk about the beautiful clothes she sells, the message behind them and how proceeds benefit women’s charities always and health care workers right now. I love my Live What You Love sweatshirt and what it stands for (Shannon, make onesies, please!). More on that below xx

Tell me more about House of Shan.

I started my blog and website as a way to connect with women. Women thrive when we come together, support one another and lift each other up. I felt drawn to start my blog in the beginning of 2019. The logo is an imperfect heart because none of us are perfect, and we're all just doing the best we can.

What made you start the business?
My mom was dying of cancer in March 2015. She came to Chicago for one final trip. She was very sick but also determined to come and see her grandbabies one last time. When she was visiting, a friend of mine came over and gifted my mom and I matching bracelets that had “live what you love” engraved on them. I can’t explain it, but those four words resonated with me on an extremely deep level. My mom died a month later at 67 years old, and it changed my entire outlook on life. I truly felt that from that day on I was going to live each day with a purpose and always live what I love. Life is entirely too short — we need to live with passion, laughter and positivity every single day.

You're doing some great charitable work right now. Tell me about that.

Yes! Thanks for asking. This is what truly excites me. The fact that women can wear a product with a positive message and give back at the same time. I donate $5 from every purchase to women's charities. I started in December, and I have raised $3,000 for House of Good Shepherd. This is a special place that takes in families that are victims of domestic violence.

When this pandemic began, my dear friends created a GoFundMe page — Feed Our Frontlines. 100% of donations provide warm meals for our hospital workers who are on long, brutal shifts, while also supporting local restaurants who supply the meals. I have doubled my order donation to $10 an order, and each order right now buys a meal for a hospital worker. We've already been able to donate over 100 meals to Feed Our Frontlines.

How do you manage being a business owner and mom?
I honestly just get it in when I can. My boys come first, but my husband is so supportive of what I'm doing, and when he gets home from work, he knows that I need an hour… or three… to get things done. It's a tag-team effort. Some days I can't do anything for my business, and I have to realize that’s okay, too. We're all doing the best we can to balance it all.

Give us one piece of fashion advice.
My piece of fashion advice is always the same: If you love it, then it’s in fashion. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks, just own it. Wear what makes you happy, and be you. 

Give us one piece of parenting advice.
I screw up things daily as a parent. Someday I wish I would’ve handed something differently or not yelled, but my kids all know I love them because I tell them daily. I also tell them I'm sorry when I mess up. I think keeping those lines of communication open and honest is the most important thing as a parent.

Thank you, Shannon! You’re an inspiration. Check out Shannon’s blog here and her shop her beautiful collection here.

(This post was sponsored by House of Shan. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Make the Most.)