Maternity Shoot with Sadaf Murad Photography


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I was lucky enough to have one of my closest friends capture some images of me and the belly recently, and we were featured today on 100 Layer Cakelet.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite images here with you – and to tell you that if you’re pregnant, and you’re thinking about doing a maternity shoot, I really think you should go for it. I didn’t with Olive – and the more I think about it, the more I really regret that decision.  Sure, it was because it was my first go around and I was super self conscious. Yes, it was also because I was riddled with acne, PUPPPs, and a general lack of confidence the first time around as well. But I think the biggest factor that prevented me from documenting my first pregnancy was because I was really grappling with the huge change that was before me, and when I looked in the mirror, I felt more nervous than I did proud. I felt more scared than I did beautiful.

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I’ve had a few years to get used to this Motherhood thing now. I’ve found somewhat of a balance and a peace within – of the person I was B.C. (Before Child) that I had to let go of, and the new person I’ve become. And this time around, I feel like I’m in a place in my life where I’m ready to welcome this change without going crazy about what my life spiraling out of control. I’m happy, and I wanted to document that.

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Working with Sadaf was wonderful. I think that because she suggested that we did this shoot in my home, I was able to really feel comfortable and in my element in front of the camera. Thank you so much Sadaf for being there and making me feel so at peace.

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Pregnancy isn’t always comfortable, or only filled with sweet moments. But if you’re able to sit still and enjoy it for even just a second – please do. Because it goes by so fast.

Photos by Sadaf Murad Photography | Leaf Crown by Emblem Flowers 

 

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Baby Number Two: Splurges


BABY NUMBER TWO SPLURGES

Hey, so remember when I was expecting my first child, and I basically bought EVERYTHING off the internet because I believed I needed it all to be a well prepared and good mother? Then realized somewhere along the way that I didn’t need half of that stuff, and tried to sell it online months later?

Well, determined not to make that same mistake again, I spent almost all of this pregnancy purchasing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Instead, I was purging, and purging a lot of old stuff – determined to get rid of the clutter that I didn’t need.

That is, until I looked up recently and took a look around.

Do you know how much new stuff has been invented in the 4 short years since my last pregnancy? SO MUCH NEW STUFF. And I mean, really – logically, I survived without them the first time, so how much do I really need this new stuff now, right? I get it. But some of these new fangled inventions are so good that I really can’t pass them up. So here I am again, at the intersection of “I Probably Don’t Need This” and “I Want This” ……. and here are my splurges for Baby Number Two.

Owlet Baby Care Monitor: Instead of buying a baby video monitor this time around, we are going to purchase this fancy thing instead – it’s a little sock that your babe wears around his/her foot when they are asleep and it monitors their blood flow and oxygen levels while they are sleeping (just like that clip that they put on your finger in the hospital) and it alerts you if anything is wrong. It keeps a watch on your childs vitals (like heart rate and oxygen levels) and sends all that info to your phone. Learn more about Owlet here.

Baby Bum Brush: Okay, full disclaimer here. I feel insane purchasing this, BUT have you read the reviews on this thing? THERE ARE NO BAD REVIEWS. It seems like someone has basically made a rubber spatula for putting diaper cream your kids’ butt, and not only are people loving it, but they are purchasing multiples for their home and diaper bags. You have to check this out here.

Kiinde Milk Storage System: This is the purchase I’m most excited about. I am really hoping this system works as well as some people say it does, because it might just be life changing. This entire system eliminates the transfer of pumped breastmilk into storage bags, and it also eliminates the need for bottles to be cleaned. You basically go from pump to bag, and bag to freezer, and freezer to feeding. Anyone who has ever experienced having to clean and sterilize multiple bottles, multiple times a day will tell you what a huge suckage of time it is (and a suckage of fun, I’ll tell you) so I’m really optimistic that this will change my whole life. Get your starter kit here.

So there you have it. I (sort of) caved and bought some new stuff.

But hey, every pregnant mom and new baby deserves to be celebrated…with stuff, right?

Hope you guys have been doing well!

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The Season For Change


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Hello, Third Trimester.

Well, we’re here in the last season of this pregnancy, and as the glow of the 2nd trimester fades and the angst and discomfort of the 3rd rolls on in, I can’t help but to really start thinking about how our lives are going to be changing, and really soon, as well.

Our little family is in a really comfortable place right now – Olive is independent and relatively easy as a child; and as a family we’re in a great groove and really in sync. We have our schedules down to a comfortable science. We have enough sleep, and we have enough fun. However, I know that as soon as this new baby arrives, all that will be up in the air, and we’re going to have to find a new normal. Our time will be more limited, our patience and tempers will be shorter. Hopefully, because this is our 2nd time around at this newborn thing we won’t be as blindsided about the lack of sleep. But who knows? I know we’re in for a rough few months. I am NOT GREAT without sleep.

In terms of my career, I’ve been the busiest I’ve ever been since starting this small lettering business. This year has found me consistently inundated with projects that not only stimulate me, but bring in revenue as well. Being able to contribute financially to my family as well as to my artistic AND business sensibilities has been extremely rewarding for me. I’ve always been a person who doesn’t just need a career, but thrives with one – so watching my work and business grow in the past 2 years has made me very proud of this achievement. And I want more. I want to grow more.

I recently had to sit down and plan out my maternity leave; and have already started to decline projects because I know I won’t be able to manage them pregnant or with a newborn.  As a person who is self employed, having that decision rest fully in my own hands can be a double edged sword. Taking too much time off and I feel like the momentum I’ve worked so hard for will just disappear;  however, taking too little time will leave me stressed out and resentful. What is the perfect amount of time to resume a feeling of balance? Where is the line drawn?

For a little while there, I really thought I had this Motherhood/Wife/Career thing worked out; but I realize how little I do know, and how much I still have to learn.  Everything is constantly evolving, and I just have to do my best to keep up.

Anyone who has advice out there – Moms of two, Working Mothers…anyone. I’d love to hear from you.

And as always, thank you for being here.

Photo Credit: Sadaf Murad Photo

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The Only Pregnancy Outfit You’ll Need


I’m almost done with my 2nd trimester, can you believe it?

Well, my body can. I am feeling pretty large – which I hear it pretty normal for pregnancy 2. Everyday, there is a moment when I happen to accidentally drop something on the floor and I literally spend a full minute debating whether I should pick it up, or just leave it for Patrick to find later. Bending over is hard, people!

As this belly grows (and everything else, too) and the summer heat descends upon LA, I’m finding it harder and harder to dress comfortably, and fashionably. I’m trying to really embrace this bump instead of hiding it, but when it’s a million degrees out I honestly just want to wear a potato sack.

However, I recently purchased 2 dresses from Storq and I’ve been wearing them almost exclusively these past few months. If you’ve seen me around, i’m probably almost definitely wearing one of these outfits. And the best thing is that not only are they SUPER comfortable (they really are, it’s insane) but they are much more flattering than a potato sack, too. Quality wise, I’ve been pretty blasé about the recommended care instructions (so lazy, you guys) and I’ve just been throwing them into the regular wash, and it hold up really well as well.

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I’ve been able to dress them up or down too – I wore them with heels and red lips to date night, and with flats and a topknot to the farmers market. Honestly, having something this versatile for this short time in my life has really been awesome.

If you’re pregnant, and if you’re looking for a chic and comfortable way to get through this time – this is honestly the way to go.

Shop these dresses here:

  1. The Dress
  2. The Tank Dress in Black
  3. The Tank Dress in Grey

 

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Bad Moms – The Movie


Have you guys SEEN this trailer?

It’s the most insane, amazing, true thing I’ve seen and I cannot wait to watch it with a gaggle of my mom friends. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn star in this movie and it looks absolutely hilarious. This movie goes out to all my mom friends who are so sick of trying to be that “perfect” mom….. Let’s all be bad moms! (Okay, even if it’s just for a minute)

Who is coming to watch this with me?!

 

Xo, Jody

 

Pregnancy Acne and Other Skin Problems


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Acne.

It’s been one of those things that people keep telling me I would outgrow, but you know – i’m well into my 30s now and guess what. I haven’t. So like my dad always says – some problems can’t be solved, you just have to manage them.

So, I’ve been managing it all my adult life with trips to the dermatologist but now that I’m pregnant, there are so many things that are off limits when it comes to treating acne. I remember when I was pregnant with Olive my acne was the absolute worst. Between the new pregnancy hormones and already being predisposed to acne, I had severe back and chest acne, and my face was covered with cystic ones. So when I found out that I was pregnant this time, I was determined to prevent these problems from the beginning. And so far, regimen has been working, and I totally wanted to share it with you.

Cleanse

When I’m not pregnant I usually use a sulfur based face wash for my acne – but that isn’t allowed right now, and neither is salicylic acid (which is what you’re going to find in most drug store brands.) What I really needed was to find a cleanser which provided gentle cleansing but also exfoliation to prevent my pores from being clogged. Regular Benzoyl Peroxide cleansers were too drying for me (which in turn, causes more acne).

My dermatologist recommended a gentle glycolic acid cleanser which aids in the sloughing of dead skin cells, which in turn helps your skin breathe. I’ve been using this on my face as well as my chest and back since the day I found out I was pregnant, and i’m happy to report that my chest and back are so far free from acne, which is something to freakin’ celebrate. I alternate this with a super gentle Cetaphil cleanser when my skin feels a little drier, and it’s worked well for me.

Moisturize

My skin has been incredibly dry this pregnancy – from my head to my toes I feel like I want to swim in a vat of lotion. I love using BioOil especially on my belly and boobs – it helped me prevent stretch marks with my pregnancy with Olive. I also use Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream all over – especially on my lips and extra dry spots like my elbows and knees. A little goes a long way; and it lasts forever.

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I love masks n’ things. I especially love this Rose Mask from Fresh – with my skin being crazy dry, this wonderful smelling mask delivers a powerful punch of moisture to just cleansed skin. The smell is also to die for, but i’m partial to the scent of roses; I always have been! When I do get spots on my face, I use Aesop Camomile Anti-Blemish Mask to calm my skin. This clay blend mask doesn’t seem to over dry or over aggravate my troubled skin like so many other clay based masks do.  Sometimes when i’m feeling especially lazy, I smooth these two masks on together, at the same time. Seems to work for me! And a time saver. Score.

This last treatment is something that I had to get prescribed from my dermatologist – but I think it’s been really worth it. It’s a combination of an safe-for-pregnancy antibiotic and benzoyl peroxide, which i use sparingly when I have breakouts. It’s able to safely reduce swelling for my smaller zits, something that over-the-counter remedies just aren’t able to do. However, once in a while I get really deep, really painful cysts that won’t go away for months – the only solution here is to get a cortisone shot in these spots at the doctors. Don’t worry, these are also totally safe after the 1st trimester of pregnancy.

Do you have any tried-and-true acne or skin solutions during pregnancy? I’d love to hear if you’re willing to share!
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Dear Olive, I Miss You.


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To my Dear Olive,

Now that I’m halfway done with my pregnancy I find myself missing you more and more. No, you haven’t spent more time away from me, but I’m starting to mourn the fact that you’re not going to be my only child anymore. You’re not going to be my only baby anymore.

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For so long, it was just you and me. Daddy traveled a lot for work and school for the first 2.5 years of your life, and during that time you and I spent so much time as a team; just us girls. Yes – sometimes things were rough and lonely, but we made it through, together. Adapting to early motherhood was very challenging for me, I’ll admit; but as you started to grow into this emotional, sweet and happy little girl I just fell in love with you, and in love with being a mom. More specifically, in love with being your mom.

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While I’m really happy that we’re pregnant and expanding our family, I can’t help but think about how my attention is going to be divided between you two kids. I can’t help but already miss the time we spend alone together: our Color Me Mine dates, our park dates, or our mani-pedi dates. I’m going to miss you being my friend, my sidekick, and my partner in crime.

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I’m also worried that you won’t understand why we can’t hang out all the time anymore. I’m worried that especially in the early days (the ones that are full of breastfeeding and no sleep – we went through that with you too!) that you will mistake my absence or fatigue for me not loving you anymore. Or that your baby brother has replaced you. Or that I don’t want to hang out with you. Because I promise you that I do, very very much so.

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I miss our time together so much already that it makes mama really sad. I will try to snuggle up on your more these few months, so please don’t think i’m smothering you. To be honest, i’m probably going to pull you out of school on random days, ‘just because’ – I intend to soak up as much of our duo as much as I can. What do you want to do? We can go to the zoo, or the bakery….whatever you want. Let’s do it.

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Oh, before I forget. I just want to say that I am so proud of the big girl that you are. You are kind, and thoughtful and funny – and you have a sweet and generous heart. You are not only an amazing daughter to Daddy and I, but you are going to be the best older sister. I can’t wait to watch you discover that relationship and learn how to love your sibling. It won’t always be easy, but mama knows that you’re going to be great at it.

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One last thing – please don’t ever forget that you’re forever my firstborn child, my first true love, and that you and I will always be something special. I’m here for you, and I’ll never be too busy to listen to you, to love you, and to be there when you need me. I promise to always make time for you.

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Love always,

Mama.

 

 

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Photo Credit – Photos 1, 2, 3 and 6 by Sadaf Murad Photography. Photo 6 by Erin J Saldana Photography. 

New Product in Shop!


So happy to have been able to take the last few months to work on a new mug design for my shop! I designed the You Got This mug a few months ago when I was having a tough time getting through the day without wanting to chug a vat of coffee. You’ve had those days, right?

Photos of Jody Che's Mugs: Mr & Mrs, You Got this, by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

Photos of Jody Che's Mugs: Mr & Mrs, You Got this, by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

I also had some more photos of the Mr and Mrs mugs updated, just in time for wedding gift season:

Photos of Jody Che's Mugs: Mr & Mrs, You Got this, by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

Photos of Jody Che's Mugs: Mr & Mrs, You Got this, by Michelle Mishina Photography @mishinaphoto

Thanks to my husband for modeling (you’re a natural hand model, babe) and to my friend Michelle of Mishina Photography for taking these beautiful pictures.

All mugs are available in the shop!

 

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Mothers Day Giveaway with Swellpress Paper


You guys, I’m so excited to be doing this collaboration-giveaway with my friend Britt who is the boss lady behind Swellpress Paper.

We created these super cute notecards that I’m stoked about – I did the lettering, and she did the letterpress and hand-dip dye and I’m so thrilled with the results!

Just in time for Mother’s day, we wanted to give you guys a chance to win a set of these personalized, hand lettered, letter pressed and hand dipped note cards either for your mama. (or for yourself, just because.) I’ll personalize the hand lettering with a first name, and Britt will take that and create a gorgeous set of notecards just for you!

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Would you like to enter? WELL THIS IS HOW!

  1. Follow both myself and Britt on Instagram
  2. Find the picture that corresponds to /announces this giveaway and tag 3 friends in the comments section.
  3. We’ll announce the winner this Friday, April 15th!
  4. NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS OPEN INTERNATIONALLY!

What you’ll win:

Personalized 25 flat stationery cards with envelope, hand dip dyed & letterpress printed in your choice of color on Crane’s Lettra Cotton paper, valued at $125.00

Good Luck, and I can’t wait to create something for the winner!

x,

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Oh Boy…Here We Go


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I have a confession to make.

When I found out I was pregnant with a little boy, I was perhaps slightly let down that I wasn’t having another little girl. I’m a creature of habit, so I already knew what to expect with a tiny girl. (Plus, she has all the same parts as me. Just seems easier, you know?) I am truly worried that I won’t know how to be a boy-mom! (Trucks? Dinosaurs? Huh? )

I also already have all these really cute baby girl clothes that I was really hoping to reuse with baby #2. I mean, we have heaps and heaps of clothing gifted from family and friends, and from too many sessions of late-night-breastfeeding-online-shopping. These will never be used again! Sob.

As I get further into my 2nd trimester, I’ve finally started to buy a few items for Baby Boy Che. Specifically, I’m looking at little clothes and swaddles – and I’m pleasantly surprised to see that I was sorely mistaken – cute clothing for little boys does exist! Okay. I’m not going to lie, baby girl clothes are still way cuter. But I’m not as disheartened as I thought I would be – designers have started to move away from the typical dinosaur or superhero decals and moved into beautiful colors and unisex patterns. Now THAT i can get on board with.

One last question though, for those of you who have little baby boys already…. can infant boys wear leggings? Genuine question. Please help.

Hope your Monday is going well.

Shop this post here: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04

 
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