It's time for another post in our 'Hip Mom, Smart Mom, Stylish Mom' series, and I couldn't be more excited about this one. Before I introduce you to our current hip mama, here's a little recap of what this is all about. When I was pregnant, I thought a lot about what kind of changes would take place in me after the baby arrived, and if it would be difficult to maintain my individual identity and style. I knew that I absolutely wanted Essley to come first, without question - but I also knew that it was important to continue to stay true to who I was, and to continue to enjoy the things that made me ME, pre-baby. Well despite much less sleep and free time, a consistently messy home, and a wardrobe that is rarely wrinkle-free or truly clean, I can honestly say that I at least make a conscious effort to be somewhat stylish, to create a relatively healthy balance between work/family/life, and to remind myself that it's neither necessary nor appealing for me to fit into the mold of the stereotypical, traditional mom. I'm lucky to know (and constantly meet) other moms who feel the same way that I do. These women are committed mothers who defy convention. They are true to their kids and true to their families, but also true to themselves. These moms are hip, smart, and stylish - and I'm thrilled to be able to share, in their words, what makes them that way.
For the fifth post in this series, I'm stoked to be featuring a truly inspiring lady named Jessica who I initially discovered online a couple of years ago, then proceeded to basically stalk (because she's just that rad), then asked to share some of her incredible plant-based recipes on Bubby and Bean. (You can check out her recipe contributions here: Vegan Cherry Brownies, Sun-Dried Tomato and Cashew Cheese Stuffing, and Lentil, Root Vegetable, and Arugula Salad.) She is a designer and wellness advocate, the creator of the JessicaMurnane.com, and the voice behind the super inspiring podcast One Part Podcast. She also recently released her new digital cookbook, A Year Of Breakfast (so, so good). Jessica is dedicated to helping the world find a happier and healthier way of living - one step at a time - by encouraging positive and incremental changes in the way we eat, think, live, and love. She's also a new mom to one of the most adorable babies ever named Sid. Welcome the hip, smart, and stylish Jessica Murnane.
Welcome Jessica! Let's start out by having you define your style. You get three words.
Layered Witchy Flow
What is different (if anything) about your style/wardrobe now than before your became a mom?
I feel like it hasn’t changed much! I didn’t give birth, so I never had to go from regular clothes to maternity clothes to post-pregnancy clothes. It’s all my same gear as before Sid came home…lots of black, flowy patterns, and hats. But I will say that I have to change my clothes more during the day. Haven’t mastered the dodge-the-baby-puke move quite yet.
As a work at home mom, what is your usual daily 'uniform?'
My daily uniform working from home is usually black pants of some kind, a flowy/drapey thing on top, and a good pair of comfy socks. Although, on days that I don’t have to leave the house for meetings, you’ll find me in a giant Mrs.Roper caftan-style robey thing.
What do you wear when you go out with your husband or girlfriends? Are your outfits different or the same as when you're hanging with your little one?
The weird thing is I pretty much only have one set of clothes that I wear to everything. They aren't too dressy and they aren't too casual. You won't ever find me in yoga pants and tennis shoes (unless I’m working out), but you won't find me in a super dressy clothes either. Which has created some problems in the past when a. Someone wants me to go hiking or b. I have a fancy party. I probably need a better range of clothes!
What are your top three wardrobe staples?
Some form of bootie (high or low), something leopard (pants, jacket, shoes), and an awesome hat (and it’s gotta be an Optimo).
What are your favorite places to shop for clothing that you'd suggest to other hip/smart/stylish moms?
Shit. When I find the place, I will tell you. I have the hardest time finding clothes! Whenever I say this to my friends, they say "but you have lots of clothes". I really don't. I'm just good at mixing it up. I'll find a piece I like once or twice a year and then just wear it in different ways. I try to buy solid pieces that aren’t too trendy and know will look good forever. I haven't bought anything new in so long and still on the hunt for something new. But in baller mom dream world…I'd buy all Lanvin and zero + maria cornejo.
What are your favorite places to shop for baby and/or kids clothes?
I love Monica & Andy for basics. They have the best stuff and it’s all organic and minus all the weird chemicals that they put in kid’s fabrics. I have a boy and even though I love patterns and playful things, I like to dress him pretty classic - solids and stripes. But if I had a girl, I would dress her in Mini Rodini and Mara Hoffman all day long.
How do you 'balance' everything you have going on (work, kids, family, life!) while still keeping a sense of style?
I feel like even before Sid, I was always working on balance. It’s always a work in progress for me.Having him in my life has forced me to prioritize a bit...which is a good thing. I tend to say “yes!” to everything, even if I really don’t have time to fit it in. Now I consider - Do I really want to do this? Is this a good move for my brand? A lot of times the answer is no, so I’ve started saying that more. It feels kind of good. This winter was pretty brutal for me. It kind of messed me up a little in terms of focus and balance - so I decided to do a deep dive into a Ayurvedic 30-day cleanse through the Hamsa Center in Chicago. I’ve never done anything like this before and excited to see where it takes me. For me it’s less about changing my diet through the cleanse (I already eat lots of good stuff) and more about learning to meditate and truly take care of myself. I’m starting tomorrow! I’ll let you know how it goes.
What is your ultimate favorite thing to do with your family when you have some downtime?
Does doing nothing count? Ever since Sid came home it has been a constant flood of visitors, travel to see family, and commitments. Which has been a lot of fun and would never take back those special visits. But it can get a little draining after awhile. It just feels so good to lay in bed together without a single thing to do all day but read books, sing, and eat really good food.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would! Thank you. Ever since I’ve become a mom, I’m always surprised about the negativity I get from other women/moms. One of the first questions you get is “oh god, how are you sleeping?” or “just wait until he (insert negative thing here)”. I think sometimes it’s just small talk and easy things to say. But I’ve loved being a mom so far and want to share the positive things too! So, maybe instead we start asking one another our favorite part of being a mom or things that bring us joy. We don’t have to be fake about it and if shit is really going down and you need a shoulder - let’s talk about it. But let’s also not automatically jump to something negative. It gets a little repetitive and boring. I think you do a great job of this on this site - being open and honest about motherhood, but also showing that it’s pretty damn fun too. Thanks for having me!
You rock so hard, Jessica. Thank you again for being a part of this series and continuing to be an inspiration to moms/women/people in general! Make sure you guys check out Jessica's website, and her podcast (it will be your new favorite). You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Photo credits: 1/4/5 Jessica Murnane, 2 Eva Deitch, 3/6 Suzzane Brown/Simply By Suzy
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