TRUTH BEHIND MY 3 WEEK POSTPARTUM BODY

posted by Elshane on Apr 28 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

Says the girl who always worked hard on maintaining her fitness...

If my body can't be where I want it to be right now, at least my workout lewk can be on fire! Grab this Alo Yoga lewk here.

The human body is pretty amazing. It's been 3 weeks since I delivered my little baby chica and I'm still under doctor's orders to refrain from working out (mega tear). I wanted to take these "before" photos to remember a few things, 1- how important it was that I worked out throughout my pregnancy, ultimately allowing my body to bounce back after birth to a fairly good state, and 2- to see how I can transform back into my good ol' self once I get the nod from the doc to hit the gym again (hopefully around 6 weeks postpartum). 

Most women can start working out two weeks after delivery, but I got diagnosed with something called Diastasis Recti during my pregnancy which means my ab muscles basically split down the center and broke in half as the baby started growing inside. It was a huge bummer and source of depression for me throughout my pregnancy because I knew getting back my pre-baby six pack would be a very difficult endeavor. So what does this mean for my postpartum fitness routine?

2/3 of pregnancies end in Diastasis Recti, but most women don't know it happens until after birth. Mine was pretty severe during pregnancy so it was very obvious that I had it. How'd I know?

When I would lay down and then lift my upper torso in a crunch position, my abs from belly button upward towards my chest would form the shape of a Mohawk in the center, "tenting" as they call it technically. The tenting is a result of the abdominal muscles splitting in half and sort of just floating on each side of your belly. And what's underneath that belly Mohawk? My non-doctor approved guess is your skin, your baby, your belly, etc... all just chilling there with no connected core tying it all together.

Before I go back into abdominal workouts, I need my core to reconnect so I don't continue to separate the muscles even worse. I'm hopeful that I can work around this issue and get my pre-baby body back in no time by working all of the other areas of my body instead. Maybe by the time that happens, this not-so-cute linea nigra pregnancy line on my belly will disappear! At least my very obnoxious pregnancy outtie belly button has RIP'd already. ;)

Only time will tell! 

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LAZY SUNDAY WITH 4MOMS

posted by Elshane on Apr 25 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

This whole newborn thing has taken me for a bit of a surprise. Yes, I knew how much responsibility an infant would be, but I guess I never realized how hands on 24/7 it actually is. Between an hour long feed (can someone invent a burping machine already?), a little play time interaction, and then those few celebrated minutes of nap time in between, it's hard to get anything done with two hands!

When Sunday isn't napping during the day in her crib, I love bringing this 4moms Bounceroo (I call it the "egg") all around my house. If I'm in my office doing...well... this very article, I'll bring her egg in with me so she can sit and watch me, and then fall asleep. Same goes if I'm in my courtyard relaxing, living room watching television, etc.

I love this chair because of the angle that it allows for Sunday to lounge. It's upright enough that I can put her in it right after a feed to avoid that unnecessary throw up moment, and it's flat enough where she can easily fall asleep in it-- swaddled or unswaddled.

Lately, as of her 4 week milestone, she has been fixated on the colorful mobile arched overhead. The shapes and colors seem to intrigue her and it's so fun to watch her stare. I'll put the chair in vibration mode if she starts to get a little cranky, but I honestly try to avoid it because I don't want her getting in a habit of needing the motion. Like a good ol' concert, unplugged is always best, right?!

 

The egg's ability to give me some hands-free interaction with the little lady is my favorite part. I'll lean the chair right next to me, and it's like I'm sitting next to my best friend sharing stories. The only difference is, this best friend is a great listener, and doesn't seem to judge me at all! ;)

 

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SUITED IN ORANGE

posted by Elshane on Apr 18 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

I wore this look during one of my last weeks of pregnancy at 38 weeks as I did some final errands before the big day.

It's an oversized tuxedo blazer that I transformed into a maternity dress. I'll tell you, I would do anything to make clothing in my wardrobe fit in order to not invest in an actual "maternity" item. This was the final straw!

I recommend this style idea for a day running around; best meant for flats and minimal bending over. ;) The things we do to feel ourselves, right? 

I love looking back at this final pregnancy moment... but let's be real, I love looking forward to wearing my old favorite styles again now that I'm bump-less! May the blog now get back to regularly scheduled programing!!!

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WELCOME HOME, SUNDAY FORD!

posted by Elshane on Apr 11 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

Welcome home, Sunday Ford!

It's been two weeks since I delivered my daughter Sunday and I'm finally able to sit down for a few minutes to recap the best day of my life. It was sort of like a super intense sporting competition, and team Elshane's World came out victorious!! That's truly how I look back at my day in labor, and here's why...

Read on to take a journey through my complete birth story. 

Friday morning, March 25 (39 weeks and 1 day into my pregnancy), I woke up after having some mild to medium contractions all night long. I had been having minor contractions through my sleep for a few days now, so I wasn't overly excited or anxious about these cramps. 

I went to the bathroom and I noticed my mucus plug had come out in the toilet (sounds gross, and well, it is... it's this bloody mucus ball that releases from your body up to two weeks before you go into labor). Again, since this wasn't a tell-tale sign that labor was eminent, I just took it as a check mark in the box of steps closer to the big day.

It was Good Friday so my husband Taylor randomly had off from work all day. We joked in the morning that this could be the big day, but went on with our day plans as usual. I headed to do errands around town all morning as my contractions continued steadily for one minute intervals, every 30-45 minutes. Again, I wasn't alarmed because I was always taught that you're not in labor until the contractions are 5 minutes apart for one hour straight. These contractions were intense but not earth-shattering. They were a 4/10 on a high tolerance pain scale. Enough so that twice when I was at Bed Bath and Beyond that day (insert many, many mom jokes here), I was keeled over my shopping cart making very strange noises while the entire staff cheered for me! But the day went on...

My husband had a golf tee time at 1pm an hour away from our house. Again, insert wife of the year award here! I told him it was ok that he went to play, as long as he kept his phone glued to his body. And he did... and at 6 pm when he was on the 16th hole, he got the call...

My contractions were getting more intense and running anywhere between 10-20 minutes apart. They were not consistently getting closer together, but they were consistently not stopping, and getting stronger. I kept texting my New York best friends who just had babies, "am I in labor?" as I'd screen grab my contraction tracker iPhone app monitor (the app I used is called Full Term) and send them the updates. They all agreed, "yes!". But I still wasn't convinced.

Taylor got home from golf by 7 pm, and at this point the contractions were steadily the same as they were the past hour. Sometimes 8 minutes apart, sometimes 20 minutes apart. We ordered in dinner, put the final packing touches on our hospital bags, made arrangements for our dog Homer, and took some painful walks around the block to speed things up...

By 10:30pm the contractions hit 5 minute intervals and it was go time! The hospital is around the corner from our house, so we were checked into our labor room before we could blink. I cried from the walk in the parking lot into the hospital. I was so nervous. 

When we arrived at the hospital they checked us immediately into our labor room, skipping the preliminarily triage room where they check to make sure you're in labor. They could tell by my contraction pains, despite my ability to manage the pain, that it was go time. Now, the pain was a 6/10.

Within an hour of checking in, I got my epidural and Petocin to speed up the contractions. I was 4 cm when I checked into the hospital. Taylor and I had just watched the movie, The Business of Childbirth, and were extremely wary of Petocin to speed up labor. We learned so many cases where the introduction of Petocin caused emergency C-Sections and we wanted to do anything we could to avoid that scenario. It's complicated to explain, so I suggest either watching the documentary or googling it to understand more.

Luckily my water broke within one hour of the Petocin, which naturally sped up my contractions, so the nurses immediately took me off Petocin for the remainder of labor. The nurses told Taylor and me to take a nap for a few hours, which was shockingly easy to do, considering the drugs I was on, and the 3 am timestamp on the clock.

Less than two hours after I got off the Petocin, I was at 10 cm, my doctor arrived, and it was time to push! I was so amp'd up to push because I'm such a workout girl and I love my ab exercises! I thought I'd be the best pusher in the game. Breaking news? Pushing is HARD. Really hard. Keep in mind, I couldn't feel much because of the epidural. It felt like a ton of pressure, but nothing worse.

It took me under 45 minutes, and here's the best part of the story... 

Over half way through, once I got the baby into final position, my doctor proved his all-star status. (Side note, we love our doctor so much that we made custom baseball hats for him and Taylor that read "Coach Taylor and Coach Bobby" to cheer along the process. When my doc walked in, we gave him the hat and without hesitation, he put it right on his head and got to work!)

Instead of having me push the baby out, my doctor literally said "BLOW!" He told me to ever so gently and with such light force, blow as if I'm blowing out one single birthday candle. I lightly blew, and blew, and blew her head right out! This process allowed me to get her out without tearing at all-- WOW!

So, I blew the head out, and then had one big push to get the shoulders out. Then, my doctor grabbed my hands and put them on a slimy, wet something, and before I even knew what happened, I pulled my entire baby out myself.  I put her right on my chest and at 7:46am on Saturday, March 26, 2016, my little Sunday Ford came into this world. <3

{Ok, I know what you're all thinking... couldn't we have held her in for another 16 hours so she could have been born on a SUNDAY!?} Well, you can't mess with fate! :)

Disclaimer: My labor experience was so positive and filled with love. I know many women go through extremely traumatic labor stories which leave them never wanting more children. I am so sorry for anyone who has gone through a bad experience and don't wish it upon anyone. The truth is, my experience was so liberating and incredible that I can't wait to go through it again. I hope this story excites and empowers moms-to-be to have more children. <3

So that's the story... I'd love, love, love to hear any comments you have, below. Thank you so much!

 

Newborn photo by Diana Henderson. Hospital photos by my teary-eyed husband.

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LAVENDER AND GOLD NURSERY

posted by Elshane on Mar 29 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

Hello! Welcome to Sunday's new nursery!

I had honestly never dreamed of a nursery space, so when it came time to design my daughter Sunday's, I really started from square zero. I only knew for certain two things: 1. I wanted to stay on a tight budget (she has her whole life ahead of her to have grandeur rooms!), and 2. I wanted to repurpose my DIY handmade purple tulle and silver butterflies wedding veil as a focal point of the room.

After a few short months of brainstorming, I sourced items from near and far (from Target to Morocco), and ended up with a space that is both calming yet completely on point with my personality. 

Please enjoy the 30+ photos of the beautiful space, including my mini-me's infant closet tour, and the one mom accessory that I just can't contain my excitement over, by clicking the **continue reading** tab, below!

Enjoy, and please, please leave comments with your thoughts!

So how did I start from zero inspiration and end up here? I used my favorite home decor meets rapper chick formula...

(Insert beat...) I started from the bottom now I'm here!

No, literally... I started with the rug. Not the small accent rug under the chair, but the absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous grey and purple half Persian-inspired, half contemporary "mush/faded" rug that I worked with Safavieh Rugs to source. Safavieh has always been my go-to rug source, and they delivered once again with this room stand-out staple!

I knew I needed lavender to be a primary color of the space to allow my wedding veil to weave its way into the decor. I also knew I wanted to mix gold and silver accents into the nursery to create an ethereal, glistening world. The rest? Well here's how it all went down...

This is the special "mommy and me bonding time" corner of the room, featuring our glider chair, foot rest and side table. A glider is a chair that both rocks and sways, allowing mom to breastfeed her baby with ease and comfort.

I opted for this perfect grey glider chair by Babyletto since it was the most comfortable chair that didn't sacrifice style or bulky space. It's chic, clean, and comfy-- a deadly combination! Oh, and only one third the price of its Pottery Barn Kids competitor! ;)

I spied this ottoman at Target and it was an instant win. I nabbed it before anyone else, I promise... but now you'll see it on some seriously enviable home decor sites and instagrams worldwide. It's the hottest item out there right now, and it's as inexpensive at it gets. I knew I could use it for years to come... as an ottoman, stool, table, etc.

The overlay rug is a Moroccan Wedding Blanket that I sourced from the least expensive location outside of actually flying to Morocco! I've been a fan of layering rugs since my days working in Public Relations for Diane von Furstenberg-- she taught me all about the power of the layered rug! Score your very own Wedding Blanket here. (p.s.- it's traditionally called a "blanket" but it's definitely a rug!)

This rose gold drum table was another Target score. Rose gold is bursting through the jewelry scene right now, but it's pretty rare to see it in the home decor space. Had to have it!

How sweet does this doll look perched on the glider? Her manufactured name is Everly! Pottery Barn Kids Unicorn Doll

 

4Moms Bounceroo Swing chair, for baby's sweet and sound little daytime naps!

Do you want to hear about the curtain saga or shall I spare you the details? 

I'll give you the abridged version. I didn't get the memo that nurseries needed black-out shades until late in the game. Well, it wasn't easy to find black-out shades that suited my gold and silver needs! So after much research and investigation, and two trips to fabric stores to make my own curtains (that didn't turn out favorable or cheap), I came up with the idea to do two rows of curtains. The back row is a chic and simple tassel black-out set, and it's covered in the front by a beautiful and whimsical gold confetti curtain set. 

Solution? Close the back when nap time is eminent, and only close the front when you want that beautiful morning light to shine through the sheer confetti drapes! Pat.myself.on.the.back.

Ahhh, my DIY wedding veil has made an appearance! This wedding veil was one of my favorite memories of my wedding (did you catch the feature that Glamour mag wrote on my wedding?)

I knew the second I found out that I was having a girl, that I wanted to incorporate my special veil into her nursery. I envisioned it as a canopy above her crib, and executed it as such!

Jumbo Lamb Plush

Dreamy Cloud and Stars Crib Mobile

 

My perfectly pretty crib (and matching changing table/dresser) is all by Babyletto. I chose white so that the set would be timeless for kids of all genders to come! ;) I also thought the white would pop best against my painted grey walls. I found the Babyletto design of this crib set to be the chicest and most affordable of all of its equally high-end competitors. 

Elephant Crib Sheet Set

Gold Swiss Dot Crib Skirt

 

No room is complete without a touch of leopard (pimpin' gold Versace choker necklace sold separately). Plus, her other leg is engraved with my little lady's name in bold white letters. <3

Pottery Barn Animal Plush Rocker

 

Public Service Announcement: I discovered Babyganics baby products and am very excited about it. It's a full line of affordable, natural and non-toxic products that are both green and planet-safe, and baby-safe. I plan to use the entire line for my little lady, from their laundry and dish detergents to their shampoos, wipes, and hand sanitizers.

Besides, the packaging is kinda cute sitting on top of my changing table. You're welcome!

 

All hail closet time!

I've been very superstitious thus far and haven't bought many cothes for her, so this is it. These are a few of those "I just couldn't resist" items, particularly accessories, faux fur jackets, and little woven dresses from my trip to Mexico in December. One things for certain... I hope she likes color as much as me!

 

I discovered the baby shoe brand, Umi, which makes a large variety of little leather slide-ons for every little tater tot's toes! That's where you'll find these metallic moccasins that every infant wobbles and strolls around in, and the black and white star-printed Mary Jane's, too! 

And of course, turbans of every color, shape, and size will be a staple in her wardrobe. Like mother like daughter!

 

We've got swaddles, and stroller blankets, and security blankets, oh my!

The cutest prints and best fabrics for your too-cool-for-school-tot? It's a tie, and yes you need multiples of both! Lulujo and Bebe Au Lait.

 

Check list? Baby bookshelf. Check!

I filled this Pottery Barn Kids bookshelf stack with a curated selection of beautiful, meaningful, and purposeful accents.

Milestone Baby Cards Book (30 photo cards to capture your baby's first year)

Farm Animal Rattle Soft Blocks

Denim Ballerina Bunny

Gold/Black Chevron Milestone Blocks

I found the most affordable storage bins at, you guessed it, Target! The large storage bins you see in most glam nursery photos are over $100! Mine were under $20.

I filled them with the most delicious plush toys in the shapes of hot dogs, donuts and strawberries from my favorite stuffed animal brand, Yummy World.

 

Oh, and this ol' thang? Only my FAVORITE accessory that I can't wait to rock!!! It's the newest LILLEbaby limited edition Tokidoki printed baby and child carrier. It's the best and safest carrier in the game, and so happens to come in the world's coolest print.

You'll be seeing this carrier on me daily. Best part? You'll be seeing it on my husband, as well! (Took me a few days of convincing him to go with this wild print, but like I always say to him, he knows exactly who he married!)

So there we have it. A glistening lavender and gold room, a male labradoodle in a purple tutu (Homer loves dressing up, I promise!), and a closet and toy bin just waiting to get rummaged through.

I hope you liked Sunday's nursery tour! Please leave your comments below. :)

 

Photography by Valorie Darling

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A GUIDE TO PREGNANCY LAYERING

posted by Elshane on Mar 23 2016, under Baby/Motherhood

A tunic and a crop top can take pregnancy fashion to new heights!

For the gals who have chic crop tops spewing from their closets, it's easy to shove them in a back corner during pregnancy. However, I have found that pregnancy is one of my favorite times to break out a crop top moment.

With a simple layering technique, a billowy crop top can make a pregnant fashionista feel like herself again (yes, it's really possible)

Here's the recipe for success:

Pick a tunic that is slim to the body (but not skin tight), and stretchy. A long button down shirt is not ideal because the buttons will eventually bust open and the shirt will tent out at your belly (no thanks!) instead of falling straight down to slim you out.

This tunic that I'm wearing is lightweight and slimming, which keeps my belly front and center without making it look any larger. Also, a long t-shirt like this option will totally do the tunic trick, as well!

Add a crop top that is billowy and loose under the chest, like this option. The breakup of the crop top to the tunic should fall just where the top of your belly starts, showcasing a fashion-forward, flattering, and cool mom-to-be look that is anything but "maternity"!

Top off with skinny maternity jeans and a shoe that you feel most comfortable in. Heels or flats, no judgment!

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FAREWELL WINTER, HELLO FRINGE

posted by Elshane on Mar 16 2016, under Fashion

Let's throw two fingers in the air and collectively say PEACE to winter! 

It's been real. The snow, the running noses, the endless fur-- I can appreciate it all! But let's be honest...

Spring is where the heart is! 

Fringe has made its way through the seasons and it's not stopping for spring! It's actually such a forecasted staple that it's even being shown on the runways in Paris for Fall 16' and in endless campaigns worldwide for next winter.

I rounded up a few of my favorite lightweight fringe sweaters to transition during this season shift. Binge on Fringe!!

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DIY ROCKSTAR NAIL DIP

posted by Elshane on Mar 14 2016, under Beauty

I created my own DIY nail dip and I wanted to share it with my peeps!

It all started when I had a free hour in the afternoon a few days ago and I wanted to give the Hello Kitty x OPI polishes a whirl. I grabbed the Starry Eyed (Hot Pink) and painted my nails, figuring that's where the story would end...

After I finished painting, I looked down at my nails and I just didn't feel satisfied. The color, which looked so cool in the bottle, actually gave off a bit of a dorky vibe sitting alone on my nails. However, after all of the work I just did, I didn't want to take the polish off. So I sought out a solution to "rock them out"!!!

I grabbed for the Never Have Too Mani Friends (Black) color in the same Hello Kitty x OPI kit. I knew if I offset the pink with black, my nails would instantly pop. I thought about what I could do with the black... add a black dot in the center of each nail? Do a black French tip? I settled on a half/half nail dip design because it seemed easy enough to execute.

So that's the story. I waited until the pink dried completely, then did a half paint of black from cuticle to mid-nail, directly over the pink. Finished it off with a top coat and instantly my nails transformed! 

Get the look with these polish colors: Starry Eyed (Hot Pink) and Never Have Too Mani Friends (Black)

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Beverly Hills, CA
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HI! IT'S ELSHANE FROM LOS ANGELES, CA
(BY WAY OF NEW YORK CITY)

I STARTED MY BLOG IN 2010 AS A WAY TO ARCHIVE ALL OF THE ONE-OF-A-KIND RUNWAY PIECES THAT I OWNED FROM WORKING AS THE IN-HOUSE STYLIST FOR DIANE VON FURSTENBERG IN NYC.

THEN, IT ALL HAPPENED SO FAST... BIO

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ELSHANE@ELSHANESWORLD.COM

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