Category: Baby/Motherhood

GALAXY GIRL NURSERY

posted by Elshane on Jul 9 2019, under Baby/Motherhood

 

And here she is… introducing GALAXY GIRL and she’s OUT OF THIS WORLD! It took making a second baby for me to finally grab a hold of this whole “nursery” concept, pushing past the Pinterest norms of baby pink bows and chevron grey drapes that I (very naively) thought ALL nurseries HAD to be. No, really… for my first baby, I didn’t even know it was feasible to find crib bedding, decor, and vibes that spanned beyond that classic Pottery Barn/ Restoration Hardware look that is so extremely NOT me!

 

This nursery proved to surpass my expectations in so many ways.

 

First, take a 50 square foot room. Yes, 50 square feet! Roughly the size of small master bathroom, a large kitchen pantry, a laundry room. You get the idea. 50 square feet of pure love, made possible by a room dividing custom bookshelf that sections this space off of the living room. Gotta love the craftiness of tight NYC living! Here’s how it all went down…

 

 

I met well-known nursery interior designer Lisa Janvrin from @youthfulnest right when I found out I was pregnant. I reluctantly enlisted her help after I realized I was in way over my head trying to design a feel-good nursery in such a tight space. {I say reluctant because I had never worked with an interior designer in my life before, and as a super type-A Virgo, it was hard for me to accept another’s opinion about decor.} Well, let’s just say that Lisa is an angel sent from above, because I could have never done this without her!

I selected Lisa's Premium Package which comes with a floor plan, color consultation, room installation guide, and personal shopper! The process was flawless from start to finish!

We designed the room around our @rebelwalls space-themed wallpaper. The theme was a no-brainer for me. I knew I wanted a Galaxy theme since I was naming my daughter Vega, one of the brightest stars in the sky! The rest started falling into place…

 

 

 

Lisa pushed me to choose black furniture, which was a homerun for the space (again, took some convincing-- thanks Lisa)! The mellow black allows the wallpaper, rug, and small decor pieces to shine front and center, without the eyesore of any bulky furniture in its way. This mini crib from @projectnursery with @rookiehumans galaxy sheets was a natural fit for the space!

 

 

For a small space, each decor item has to make a statement in order for the room to feel just right. @paynesgreyhome was my go-to for this gorgeous plush rug, swooooonworthy end table, and pop of color throw blanket that I put over the glider. I’m so relieved to have finally picked furniture that’s innately ME, instead of pieces that look “quintessentially nursery” …. SNOOOOZE! 

 

And then my heart skipped a beat when this burgundy pouf arrived from @burkedecor. Are you sensing a theme here? Theme: No need to stick to children-like furniture in a nursery! This pouf can translate from nursery to living room to foyer in the blink of an eye. Regal realness!

 

 

 

Let me put a little PSA out there. It really helps to have a baby daughter if you already have an older one! Vega’s closet filled up FAST with all of Sunday’s favorite old clothing. That was certainly a stress-reliever-- no need to shop. Um.... ok, ok, ok, don’t worry… I’ll still shop plenty!

 

 

 

We hired @Wall2WallNY to build a custom bookshelf room divider to make this nursery as space efficient as possible. Wall 2 Wall was able to build a realistic space around my exact needs, and it’s all temporary! When we move in a few months, the bookshelf will come down without a trace. They can build temporary walls, doors, bookshelves, and more. They were a dream to work with in NYC. Mention ELSHANE to them for 10% off your installation.

 

 

I did call on the classic nursery gods for one thing… my @PehrDesigns bins! Because, let’s be honest, what nursery is complete without them? These canvas bins are the perfect organizational tool for any nursery-- providing toy storage, diapering storage, and a cute laundry situation, in a plethora of color options. I went with navy and blush pom poms, a little yin and yang!

 

 

Styling the built-in bookshelf gave me all the mama bear vibes. A nursery can never have enough books, special plush stuffed animals, and @venusetfleur flowers. Also, I found these milestone blocks on @etsy and plan to use them for weekly/monthly baby photos!

 

And can you even spy my @googlenest camera? It blends in perfectly on the bookshelf…

 

 

 

Selecting art for the walls was fun… well, let’s be honest… this was all Lisa, too! These whimsical prints from @kiscoprintshop were the perfect addition to the space, and I framed them in these affordable gold frames from @target, then wove the colorful @shopleokids tassel garland in between the art. 

 

Of course, the V baseball cap from @reytoz gives the room a personal touch, and the @babyjives moon and star mobile is another nod to her special name.

 

 

 

Throughout our few months of decorating, Lisa and I joked that we belong in an episode of HGTV’s Small Rooms show (if that show even exists yet). Every inch of this space was precisely measured, built and executed around the most practical furniture that would fit. I’ll always look back on this nursery design and be proud of the larger than life feel of the very small space.

It’s a super small room, with a whole lotta LOVE.

 

Photographed in NYC by Chiara Mecozzi

 
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MY IVF SUCCESS STORY

posted by Elshane on Feb 14 2019, under Baby/Motherhood

 

My journey with IVF was just that-- it’s mine. It’s not what I read about on web forums. It’s not what my forever kind followers messaged me about. It’s just mine. I hope this story inspires some, and I know it will frustrate some, too. But this is my tale.

 

Our IVF story really began with that very first needle pricked into my belly. Up until that exact moment, I was so completely and utterly certain that I was not an “IVF girl”.

 

The backstory is short and simple. We had started trying to have our second baby a month before Sunday turned one. By month three of trying, we were pregnant! That pregnancy lasted 11 weeks, at which time we lost the heartbeat. Of course I could write a lengthy tale of emotions on this topic, but truthfully, aside from the utter shock and disappointment, I was ok with it. I knew the statistics of how common miscarriage was, and I was so thankful for how happy and healthy our little Sunday was, so I felt this was a right of passage for our family’s next step. Sort of a, “we got so lucky with the first, so it was written in the stars that we would have to pay for it, somehow,” mentality. Balance the blessings with the curses, blah blah blah...

 

After that, we continued trying naturally for another six months-- each month that went by, I was positive that it would be our lucky month. By month seven, we started IUI’s, both non-medicated, and medicated, and by IUI month six, we achieved another pregnancy! This pregnancy was short-lived and vanished by six weeks, just shy of hearing a heartbeat for the first time.

 

If you could imagine, I was still convinced that if I tried naturally one more time, it would be the lucky time! So we did. And it didn’t happen. Cue: first day of IVF, 20 months after we first started trying.

 

 

The waiting room at fertility clinics feels like a factory of gentle robots. Dozens and dozens of women gather at 6am, ages 20’s to 50’s, all ethnicities, just sitting silently. Exhausted. I always wondered why no one spoke to one another, offered a hand, a smile, a word of encouragement. Looking back, I sat silently because I was afraid of what I would hear. I was so positive in my mind that my fertility story would be an epic success, that I didn’t want to be weighed down by a neighbors story of years and years of failure. I needed to keep my head in my zone. This aside, there was much comfort in knowing that so many women were going through a similar experience-- I was not alone.

 

IVF was like a game to me. I was given the rules and I was determined to win. The general format of IVF is that you visit your doctor’s office every morning or as directed, to have a nurse draw blood from your arm which allows your doctor to read your hormone levels. Once the results come back a few hours later, you’re instructed by your doctor to take X-Y-Z medication that day, typically self-administered injections, either subcutaneous or intramuscular, in your lower abdomen, thigh, or upper buttocks. Usually the shots have to be administered at the exact same time every day, give or take 30 minutes or an hour. The shots happen daily, for weeks or months or years, depending on your protocol and your luck. I did mine at 7pm every night, which allowed me the flexibility to go out to dinner and enjoy my nights after my shots, if I so desired.

 

 

My shots were FUN. Am I allowed to say that? Of course I would rather not have to go through it all again, but yes, the experience was fun. My husband, who usually gets home from work very late, agreed to be my biggest partner and advocate. He came home every single night, like a rushed Superman with half his cape trailing off, to give me every shot on time. We bonded... hard. We laughed every single time. We hysterically laughed every single time. Who were we? I was a Journalism major and he a Finance major and here we were mixing top secret sterile powder-to-liquid solutions with needles seemingly fit to tranquilize a horse. We were slowly becoming trained Anesthesiologists (is this sounding too Dirty John?) and we were convinced that we were ready to be on call at NYU hospital should we need to be of service. I dreamed of putting babysitter-like fliers up on my neighborhood streets offering assistance to anyone who needed a hand with injections. Speaking of...does anyone need a hand? We’re available.

 

Our memories of stabbing my tush and belly with shots every night were left only with smiles. I didn’t react poorly to the hormones and turn into a raging emotional version of myself. I was happy. I felt like, finally, after this near two year journey of feeling out of control, that I was finally taking control of our destiny.

 

We got lucky. Our IVF transfer worked on the first try. We picked the “healthiest” embryo and prayed that this “Science Baby” as we always called it, would join our family. I spoke with Sunday every night about how excited we were to one day give her a little sibling. We told Science Baby that it was welcome in our house and we couldn’t wait to greet it with open arms.

 

My journey with IVF was short (only 9 weeks of needles) and sweet. Our experience was a blessing and we are so thankful for our little fresh transfer embryo who worked so hard to grow inside my belly. We cannot wait to meet her. She will forever and always be our Science Baby.

 

 

I thought it would be important to share a real, unfiltered diary of my IVF experience. These photos below are as basic and unedited as it gets. The captions describe the process along the way. Here's how it all went down... 

 

 

Hoarding serious medication with a wandering, curious two and a half year old running and climbing around is no easy task. Unlike my vision of keeping a neat, sterile table with my daily medication laid out in perfect order, my meds were stuffed into any and every corner of my medicine cabinet, far from the reach of my daughter's tiny hands. 

 

 

Nightly injections were a quick routine...

Step One: Do something against all of our parenting beliefs to occupy Sunday while we whipped out our secret stash in our bathroom. Television, iPad, cookies... we tried it all.

Step Two: I'd prep all of the injections (Virgo OCD style) while Dr. Hubby would ice my belly with frozen peas.

Step Three: Barricade the door closed from the inevitable Sunday busting through the doors at exact mid-injection time nearly every night.

Step Four: Throw my hands in the air to divert Sunday's eyes upward so she wouldn't see any needles entering my body. 

Step Five: Rapidly clean up and pretend that nothing just happened. The end.

 

 

This was around day 10 of my shots. Bruising here and there but no bloating luckily. I resumed light workouts per my doctor's permission. It felt good to just be myself. 

 

 

I maintained weekly and bi-weekly acupuncture throughout my IVF process, as well as long before the IVF even started. So many reports say acupuncture helps with fertility, and I didn't find one study that said it hinders it, so I gave it my all. 

I will particularly recommend acupuncture around your egg transfer timeframe. Acupuncturists strongly urge the benefits of doing acupuncture the morning OF (right before) your transfer, as well as the afternoon (right after) your transfer. Yes, that's twice in one day. I listened!

 

 

Retrieval Day! After about 13 days of shots, I was scheduled for my retrieval surgery at the hospital. The whole process takes a few hours. A team of doctors put you under anesthesia, extract all of those beautiful follicles you've been growing as a result of the injections, and store and monitor them very carefully over the next 3-5 days to assess which are healthy enough to be sent out for genetic testing or get frozen right away.

Many eggs are lost in this 3-5 day process. It's not uncommon to extract 20 eggs but only be left with 2 after five days. Also, every month is different. On any given month, you could produce a different number of eggs. Pretty crazy to hear that fact when you invest so much time and money into this process. Did I pick the right month to do this!? Ahh!

 

 

 

 

This photo cracks me up. This is about ten minutes after my retrieval surgery. I was slowly coming off of the anesthesia and I asked my husband to take a photo of me. I truly thought I was smiling with my eyes open in this photo. Truly! And what am I eating?

 

 

More photos please! I wanted to get the "perfect shot" so I asked my husband to take another photo of me. Look at me! Eyes open (ish) and smiling! Just like the last one!! ;)

P.S.- Surgery went well! Successful retrieval! They matched my eggs with my husband's sperm and let embryos grow over the next 3-5 days. This is now what separates full IVF from just freezing your eggs. If you just freeze your eggs, you're officially DONE! If you're doing IVF, now's the time to make embryos (egg plus sperm) and start cooking up those science babies!

 

 

Here's the fun stuff that the doctors don't mention during the IVF egg retrieval process... the nightly progesterone shots that you'll have to take in the tush with needles fit to tranquilize a horse-- and no pre-icing allowed! (These shots are oil-based so they need to stay warm to spread well through your muscle tissue.)

After each shot that my husband would give me (with satirical joy, may I add-- he would dart these into my tush so hard and we'd be cracking up each time because these shots were NO JOKE), he would lay me on the bed, massage the injection site for nearly 10 minutes, and then I'd use a heating pad for another 10 minutes to continue to spread the oil throughout. 

Do you remember what it felt like in elementary school to get a dead leg? Imagine a dead butt... everyday... from when you wake up in the morning until that very evening when you'd have to inject once again! All good, though ;)

 

 

Here we are for our fresh transfer day, five days after my retrieval! This is the day that they insert the best looking grown embryo back inside of me, hoping it will "stick".

 

 

Doctor gave me a photo of our "science baby"! This is the embryo that they transferred inside of me. They said it was the most beautiful embryo they had ever seen. I agreed, of course! I remained very positive throughout this process. And wow, was it quick. No anesthesia! In and out of the hospital within an hour. 

 

 

About 10 days after my transfer, I took the test. Science baby stuck! We were so happy. I just knew, even after seeing a few of these positive results in the past but then being let down by miscarriage, that this one was our baby. This was our science baby.

 

 

Here I was 16 weeks pregnant. I can't help but be much more nervous this time around. With my first pregnancy, I was so chill. This time, I'm a bit more filled with angst. But with each week that goes by, my worry subsides more and more!

 

 

We had a gender reveal with all of our closest friends. We were absolutely shocked when pink confetti flew out of the balloon!! Of course it's 50/50 with gender, but for some reason, we were convinced it was a boy! 

I've always been utterly envious of the relationship that sisters have-- I don't have a sister. I am absolutely, positively FREAKING OUT SO EXCITED TO GIVE SUNDAY A BABY SISTER!!!!!!!!!! 

Girl gang for life. I seriously couldn't imagine it any other way. <3

 

 

Photographed by Sara Kalish at Venus Et Fleur NYC, at 20 weeks pregnant

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OUR NYC NURSERY ON THE FLY

posted by Elshane on Aug 13 2018, under Baby/Motherhood

 

So we moved to NYC in a flash and I was determined to create a nursery for Sunday that felt warm and inviting, as if she never left Los Angeles. I knew that this NYC apartment was temporary for us, since we'll be back in LA in no time, so I was on a serious budget, but I didn't want to sacrifice style.

I styled my nursery around this palm printed peel on/peel off (like a sticker) wallpaper to remind our family of our life in Los Angeles that we love so much. The rest of the decor was up for grabs...

I stumbled upon Hutch.com, a home decor site that allows you to visualize your space as you decorate it with items from their site. Since their database of inventory spans from all of our fan-favorite home decor sites, from Pottery Barn and West Elm, to Wayfair, Serena & Lily, and beyond, I was able to search items by price and style to fit my needs.

Here's how it works...

 

 

I found this dreamy orange rug that I thought would compliment my palm printed wallpaper perfectly. Then I played around with different cribs--  I surprised even myself when I ended up choosing this light wooden crib. Once I saw virtually how well it sat on top of the orange rug, I knew it was my best choice. 

Funny thing is, if I were shopping in a store and didn't first see the virtual layout of this room, I never would have picked the wooden crib to go with the orange rug. Hutch.com made me realize how important it is to virtually see a layout of a space before you make big decisions.

 

 

The apartment we rented came fully furnished, so this white daybed was already in the room. If I were designing the room from scratch, I wouldn't have chosen to add this piece of furniture, but it's proven to be an incredible lounge space for Sunday and I to lay on and read together every night. 

 

 

The closets in the apartment were designed for adults-- beautiful, ample hanging space-- but that leaves so much wasted space when storing tiny kids clothing! I purchased these fun plastic drawers to store all of Sunday's foldables, which allowed for maximum usage of the closet space.

 

 

Now that I look at it, I definitely was subconsciously inspired to choose that orange rug because of the incredible orange light fixture that came with the room! If I could, I'd run away with this light fixture and never come back! It's so fabulous and really adds an element of individuality to the space. 

 

 

Most importantly, Sunday absolutely loves her room. She loves her crib (is it ok if I keep her sleeping in one until she's 10?) and she loves the juxtaposition of color and good vibes. 

I hope it reminds her of Los Angeles the way it does for me. 

It seems that a slab of wallpaper, a crib, some throw pillows, and a few baskets can really go a long way for a "nursery on the fly"! 

With love from NYC, XO

 

** You can shop all of my decor pieces in my shop the look section below! **

 

Photography by Cameron Mirza

 

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CASUAL AND COLORFUL

posted by Elshane on Oct 25 2017, under Baby/Motherhood

 

Sprinkle a little color into your everyday routine! That's easy for me to say-- try standing inside my closet to pull for something black. You may find a few pairs of black socks and... and... and.... ?!

A little color can go a long way. Take this playdate that Sunday and I had, for example. I think half the fun of our playdate was chasing around all of the colors of our very own rainbow. It's certainly enough to make someone smile.

Next time you're in a wardrobe rut, reach for color. Happiness approved!

 

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GIRL POWER

posted by Elshane on Sep 19 2017, under Baby/Motherhood

 

What an interesting moment we are at in history; a time where it's more important than ever to teach our children about gender, equality, acceptance, and love. A friend of mine started making these incredibly inspiring baby tanks that you can custom make for your little tot. 

Sunday wears hers loud and proud, and it reminds me of how loud and proud I am of my own Jewish roots...

Custom make your own tank through my SHOP THE LOOK link below! xo

 

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PIMP MY RIDE

posted by Elshane on Aug 21 2017, under Baby/Motherhood

Sunday's moving on up in this world! Who knew being a baby was so luxurious? I sure didn't...

This Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Max Nomad Collection car seat is like sitting on a super cumulonimbus cloud-- you know, the floating cotton candy of the sky. Well imagine sitting in one in your car...

And... why don't they make cumulonimbus cloud car seats for adults? I could have used one all summer for all of the road trips I have been on.

Ok, enough of the dreamy fantasy. Here are the facts:  It’s the only premium convertible car seat that offers a first-class ride from 5-85 pounds and premium innovations that make it easier to get your child in and out of the seat. As a fully-functioning rear and forward-facing seat, both stages benefit from the safer side impact protection provided by Air Protect® technology which protects your child where it’s needed most, around the head. Plus, keeping the Pria 85 Max clean is simple. The seat pad unsnaps and removes easily over the frame. No need to remove the base, ever!

So, like I said... when will they start making one for adults!? ;)

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BABY'S NEWEST PLAY ROOM

posted by Elshane on Aug 3 2017, under Baby/Motherhood

When us mommy's look for toys for baby, we look to hit all the senses, right? A fuzzy stuffed animal that moves his head and giggles, a wooden train that pieces together with a choo choo on top. 

Well, what if your best toys were hiding in your very own closet? Sometimes when Sunday and I are getting stir crazy and we don't want to/can't go outside, we lock ourselves in my closet and get WILD.

I show her the fuzzy fur coats, the spiky sequin tops, and all of the colors of the rainbow. She opens and closes my accessories drawers, she takes clothes off the hangers, and she "cleans up" when we're done. (You know... putting all of the clothes in one pile at the corner of the closet!)

Point is, it's a great way to spend 20 minutes of time. Plus, it's a great way to revive that silver sequin dress that you haven't worn in years... ;)

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TRAVELING WITH A TODDLER

posted by Elshane on Jul 26 2017, under Baby/Motherhood

Traveling with a toddler? It's not easy, no matter how you slice it.

The flight is a nightmare (they just want to run the aisles when the seat belt sign is on). The packing is insane (day diapers, night diapers, snacks, cute outfits, spill-able outfits).

And then there's the "stuff"... the stroller, the car seat, the lovie blanket, the sound machine. 

Now that Sunday's walking running, having an "SUV" stroller as I call them (think Bugaboo Cam, UppaBaby Vista, Baby City Mini), is completely unnecessary. They're bulky, they don't fit through narrow spaces, and they're so heavy to lug around.

So here it is... I found the most incredible "umbrella" stroller-- as you can see it folds up to the size of a bread crumb... and it even has a shoulder strap so you can carry it around (it weighs 13 lbs, as opposed to my 24 lb Bugaboo)! It's absolutely the perfect travel essential.

So there you have it. Yet another necessity to add to your ever-growing baby list!

 

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HI! IT'S ELSHANE FROM NEW YORK, NY
(BY WAY OF LOS ANGELES)

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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