Because Swimsuit Season Always Sneaks Up On Me

bathing suit 2
Close friends were coming to California and invited us to spend the day with them at the Montage in Laguna Beach. My first thought was, “Yaaay! Good friends, a pool AND the ocean, and cocktails during the day. Life is good.” My second thought was, “Oh this could be bad. I am so not ready for a bathing suit and ‘Julie’ looks phenomenal after 4 kids. FOUR!” Starvation was not an option. Neither was liposuction. I debated looking into extreme Christianity to justify a full body bathing suit, but that was just weird. I decided to go for an old school glamour look where curvaceous women were celebrated. I self tanned like crazy, pulled my hair into a high bun, wore gold dangling earrings, bright lipstick, and of course high heels. I had never worn a one piece before until I had the tiny one, but with a bright pink color and sweetheart neckline, I am really into it. My glamorous front was sort of thrown off when I casually tried to move my lounger, only to find it stuck and I had to get into a deep squat sans cover up to try and move it, but I choose to focus on the positive. (Or, it’s too embarrassing to relive.)

katie swim

Here’s what I have learned about the glamour of the one piece bathing suit, because I am now so on board.
1. There is a fine line between glamourous and trashy. If it is labeled as a monokini, it is trashy. No ifs ands or buts.
2. The print and/or color can make a difference between sporty and glam.
3. Strapless tends to be more glam, but an unusual strap can be also. Avoid a regular strap if you’re going for a sultry look.
4. Ruching/shirring is not just for hiding a belly. It can draw attention to an hourglass figure, which is always the goal for glamour and sex appeal.
5. No bathing suit can make your thighs look thinner, but they can make you look feminine. Go up a size from regular clothing for the best fit, if you are a curvy girl.

They are not inexpensive generally, but a great bathing suit can improve your pool day immensely. Here are fun and innately feminine one piece styles to try this summer season.

My swim suit!!!  LaBlanca $109

My swim suit!!! LaBlanca $109

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Lenny Niemeyer Ruched Halter Mailot $221

Camilla and Marc $240

Camilla and Marc $240

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Gottex Lace Panel $158

Zinke Starboard $132

Zinke Starboard $132

Old Navy $20

Old Navy $20








Your Summer Wardrobe Saver

I am regularly convinced when I am in wardrobe crisis mode that I will open my closet and something perfect that I have never seen before will be casually lounging on my closet door, waiting for me. This has yet to happen, but I still fervently believe it will. The closest I have come to this coming true is when I pulled out my skinny clothes that were in storage and found items I had forgotten I owned. While I am waiting for my wardrobe Prince Charming to appear, I can always count on a dress to do the job for me. Women who do not wear dresses are missing out. I believe a great, casual dress is the singularly most important piece you can own for summer. A dress multitasks like your boss on Starbucks. As I write this, I am wearing an animal print jersey dress that is hiding the fact that I am beyond tired due to insomnia not induced by the tiny one. It is allowing me to be dressed for the day, but the jersey fabric feels like the pajamas I wore less than an hour ago.
The perfect dress is a jersey fabrication or extremely soft woven. It is not form fitting, but follows the line of your body. The simple silhouette guarantees years of wear in style. It hits right above your knee, or right below. You should be able to easily dress it up or wear it casually. It should be a second skin for whatever occasion you need it.

Here are some that I recommend:

I Stole Out of an Easter Basket

I am on videotape stealing out of my brother’s Easter basket. I was not 2 or 3 stealing out of my teenage brother’s basket; that would have been cute. I was in the 7-9 range, stealing out of my 2-3 year old brother’s Easter basket. I am honestly not sure which bothers me more; the fact that I did it, or that I did not notice a giant 1980’s video camera recording my every move. There isn’t any verbiage on the tape either. It’s like one of my parents was recording an animal in the wild doing what came naturally. I am fervently against stealing, as a side note. Whether it is physically stealing goods or stealing ideas, it is not ok. I do not know what came over me. I am an honest person; I know my flat spots and thievery isn’t among them. I blame the excitement of the goodies in the Easter basket after a mean, competitive hunt for the most eggs. Maybe I was actually just counting his eggs?

Next year the tiny one will get to participate in Easter and I cannot wait. I already talk to him about the true meaning of Easter, but for all children, the egg hunt and basket really are what make it an exciting holiday. The reverence comes later. In honor of the commercial side of Easter, here is what I would stash in my own Easter basket.

MAC lip liner in Whirl.  They are recognized for their Spice color, but I swear it is secretly an eye liner. Whirl is incredible. It is like the color of your lips after a high school make-out session. It enhances red lipstick and is the perfect base to a nude gloss.

Nails Inc Feathers Effect Nail Polish.  It looks like an Easter egg.  This should only be worn on grown up toes or little girl fingers. The only thing creepier than an adult woman accessorized like a child is a child accessorized like an adult.
nails inc

Kai Body Butter. This smells exactly like California in Spring, and it is fantastic. January through April is by far the best part of a Southern California year and this embodies it. I like the idea of smothering my body in the scent.

A Fantastic Statement Necklace, like this one from Anthropologie ($68).  These have always been my signature style. I cannot wear them with the tiny one’s curious fingers, but in a year or so, I will again. When you have a basic, flat outfit, all you need is a wow piece of jewelry to off-set the boring. Costume is usually even more baroque and fabulous than real.
necklace $68

Target Champion Sports Bras.  I need the motivation and I love the colors and fabric. They last forever.

Coffee from Koffi in Palm Springs.  I had a malted mocha latte from there recently and I DREAM about it. So, so fabulous.

Baby Gut

“Come on Baby Gut, get going!” This was the inspirational phrase my Pilates teacher chose to use mid class after I had shared with her my concern over my lack of hard abs 2 months post T’s delivery.  While I was not in the least bit embarrassed, it did create an interesting desire to pull my shirt up and ask for thoughts on the supposed baby gut amongst my classmates.  Relying on a phrase from childhood, I remembered that it isn’t always about me and continued on with class.

I have no patience for yoga, other than prenatal yoga where you are encouraged to not work too hard and stretch a lot.  Pilates, however, is a life and ab saver.  I love Pilates mat classes.  Most gyms and many yoga studios offer this class and it is energetic enough to keep me occupied, and definitely challenging enough to whittle the middle.  If you have not tried Pilates before, give it a go.  It is less embarrassing than doing Zumba for the first time, and is the best thing I have found for toning.

What to wear to class?  My current favorite tees are the GapFit Motion tees, which are a total knock off of Lululemon’s cult favorite, yet overpriced tees, but with a less delicate fabric and a nicer price of $34.95.  The fit is snug, but not clingy.  It’s long enough to not have to worry about flashing while bending, and it covers the upper arm area.  I find I am more inclined to attend class when I am wearing a cute outfit.  I never claimed to be deep.

gap tee

Man luxuries

It all started out with an innocent debate as to whether Wes was on the Real World Austin or Sydney.  Pat and I both felt strongly and decided to put a wager on our answer.  The loser had to sprint to the trash cans nude.  This isn’t as outrageous as it sounds seeing that it was 10:00 at night, our trash is 5 feet from the back door, and isn’t easily viewed from the street.  Still, the excitement was there.  I won.  Pat dragged his feet, but like any good man, owned up to being wrong and sprinted out the door.  I immediately slammed and locked it.  I then started yelling, “Who’s out there?” and our dogs went nuts.  Our neighbor’s lights came on and Pat used words that were 100% appropriate for the situation.  I let him back in and he said that just like game night, I had ruined any future betting opportunities.  (I might or might not have thrown a Scrabble board after losing.)

Today’s post is dedicated to little luxuries for your man.  I had some making up to do.  It was totally worth it, by the way.  The items below are tested tried and true by some of the most important men in my life.

Lululemon game on boxer briefs, $24.  The men said they were too expensive to buy themselves, which makes them perfect for gift giving.  The fit is great and the colors are vibrant.  The packaging is nice as well, no pun intended.

lulu boxer

Kikkerland pens, $6 for 5.  These were inspired by Mad Men and brought my brother back to his days of sitting at my dad’s desk.  The fit is comfortable and has a clean print.  I have never understood a preferred pen, but both my brother and my husband have preferences for their work.  It is a man thing.


American Apparel V-neck tees, $21-28 for short sleeve.  “You know how new sweatshirts are really soft until you wash them?  I like these tees because they stay soft, like a brand new sweatshirt.”  When men comment on a fabrication, you know it’s good.  This fit model looks like a jailed junkie.  They look better on real men.


Bugatchi socks, $19.75.  When we were in France, the only thing my husband bought for himself were French socks.  Printed socks are popular with men and give you a glimpse into their personality.  I love finding an unexpected print peeking out of a serious suit.  Bugatchi has fantastic prints and they last a very long time.  Where to buy them?  Of course….Nordstrom.  Zappos also carries them.


Dunkin Donuts coffee, roughly $10 for 12 oz.  I had no idea there was a cult following to this coffee.  A good friend of ours was harassed in the store for refusing to say ‘dunkaccino’, but still goes back for the coffee.  I have heard from several men that this is the BEST coffee.  Apparently a Southern California store arrival is causing serious excitement.  While you are at it, pick up the disposable coffee cups from the grocery store too.  Their convenience is appreciated by your man.

Kiehl’s Products.  Kiehl’s has clean, neutral packaging, appealing to men.  They are no-nonsense and straight forward in their promises and goals.  From their men’s line, my husband likes their facial fuel.  They also have the best non-scented lip balm.  Bloomingdale’s has a good in-store shop.  I find that their associates are honest about the products too.


Today’s Denim, a Fit Experiment

 Katie: I’m sorry.  I know this is serious.  I am listening to you, but I just need a moment to process the fact that I need to gain weight.  That is the nicest thing anyone has ever told me.

What I had just heard from my ivf doctor was, “You need to gain weight in order to maximize your chances  for a successful ivf transfer.  Blah blah blah blag too skinny.  Blah blah blah blah need more meat on your stomach.”  It might have been the greatest moment of my life.  Should I send a group text or let people know one by one that for the first time in my ENTIRE life, someone thought I needed to gain weight?  I am not too skinny.  I am normal by all accounts and regularly feel that I need to lose 5 pounds, but for one moment in life, I was too skinny.

The next month I split my beloved Joe’s jeans which leads us to today.  I could not rationalize spending  $150 on jeans that were a size bigger than normal and might not even fit afterwards if ivf worked and I became pregnant.  What to do?  Head to the Gap.  Premium denim was a rare thing 10 years ago, but now every mass marketer has it.  Status denim forced the change of denim the specialty stores offered and brought me back to a store that I had not stepped foot in for probably 10 years.

We all have our favorites, and different vendors all have different fits, but there is no longer a need to spend a huge fortune on denim, if you do not want to.  I was pleasantly surprised by what the Gap offered, and today I will also show you what Banana Republic, J Crew, Gap, and Urban Outfitters offer for a more reasonable price.  My darling model is my sister-in-law, Anna Goeschel.  She is athletic in build and tall.

Banana Republic. Our basic call out was that we would have preferred to have the pockets closer together.  If you want your tush to look smaller, look for pockets that are slightly angled and close together.  Banana offers a nice wear-to-work option in denim.  All denim styles shown were $79.50 and 89% Cotton, 8% Polyester, and 2% Spandex.

Sizing: runs more generous than premium denim lines.  Anna went down 2 sizes from what she wears in other denim.







Gap: Gap usually fits me very well and they had the widest variety of styles.  Anna was pleasantly surprised by how well she liked some of the fits.  Gap is the most economically priced as well.  All styles were under $70.  I felt the back pockets, washes, and details were more updated than what Banana Republic offered, but not as wear to work friendly.

Sizing: Runs a little more generous than premium denim lines.  Anna went down 1 size.

Always Skinny: $69.95.  98% Cotton, 2% Spandex


Curvy: $69.95. 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane


Perfect Boot: $69.50.  79% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 1% Spandex


Real Straight: $69.50. 79% Cotton, 20% Polyester, 1% Spandex


J Crew has the priciest denim, but had Anna’s favorite fit.  For me, it runs a little long.  I feel it’s best for a taller customer, but they do offer petites.  They only have skinny denim right now, but the shape of both offerings is right on trend.  The washes were a nice, flattering dark wash, but were light enough to look more current than the curvy wash at Gap and all of Banana Republic’s washes.  All denim is $125 and 93% Cotton, 6% Polyester, and 1% Spandex.

The sizing runs smaller than both Gap and Banana Republic.  Anna wore her regular size in comparison with premium denim lines.





Urban Outfitters offers their private label brand, BDG, at a very economical price.  The average is $58, but they often run pricing specials.  Colored denim continues to be huge, and a blue wash is a safe way to venture into the trend.

Sizing runs similar to premium denim lines.


Always Wear Your Underpants

  1. When I was a little girl, my mother one time told me to always wear underpants because if I ever got into a car accident, I would want to have them on. This has stuck with me.
  2. The entire time I have lived in California, I have never had central air conditioning. You only need it for about 6 weeks out of the year, but I still wish I had it. In this instance, however, it did help me out.

Pat and I first lived in an apartment near Old Town Pasadena, which is a fun area. One day, we had plans with friends and decided to walk to meet them. Coming home, we realized that neither of us had keys. Luckily, we had also forgotten to close the bathroom window. (#responsibleadults) Pat suggested that he hoist me up and I crawl through the window. I told him I didn’t want to do that because I had on an expensive skirt that I really liked. After a fair amount of brainstorming and a futile visit to the manager’s apartment, we decided that my climbing through the window was the only option. We also decided that I would have to take the skirt off in order to not rip it. Two thoughts went through my head. “If we are arrested, I hope they let me put my skirt back on” and “Thank goodness I’m wearing cute underpants.” I was hoisted up after Pat promised not to look and all turned out just fine.

The BEST skivvies are by Honeydew, in the mesh fabrication. You can buy them at discount at Nordstrom Rack, and regular Nordstrom usually has a good deal on them during their Anniversary sale. The mesh fabric is unbelievably forgiving (still matters even if no one is seeing them but you), they have cute prints, and they have a hybrid cut which means that you have moderate coverage, but will not have VPL. Even when I’m not fitting into my skinny jeans, I feel pretty good when wearing these.