Before I introduce you to the current hip mama in our 'Hip Mom, Smart Mom, Stylish Mom' series, here's a little recap of what this is all about. When I was pregnant with Essley, 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. And now that I'm pregnant again with #2, I hope to continue on this path. I'm also 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 sixth post in this series, I'm excited to be featuring an online pal who I originally met a couple of years ago when she was an advertiser here on Bubby and Bean. We remained friends through Instagram, and I was absolutely thrilled for her when she became a mama to sweet little Bryce Atticus earlier this year. She's a numbers whiz (girl was a professional accountant for many years, which is automatically impressive to this fearer of all things math), a sometimes blogger, a dedicated SAHM, an expert vintage and thrift fashion wearer, and truly one of the sweetest people I've ever known. Welcome the hip, smart, and stylish Marlyn Pena.
Welcome Marlyn! Let's start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi there! I am so excited and flattered to be part of this series. Thank you for having me! My name is Marlyn, and I'm new to the wonderful world of motherhood. I am married to my best friend, Jon, and we have a four month old son named Bryce. I recently traded my days at the office to stay at home with my baby, and I can truly say that it is the best job I've ever had. I also have the cutest boss ever! I would love to start my own business soon, whether it be in accounting or a vintage shop. I majored in accounting, and I love working with numbers. I also have a passion for thrift shopping and fashion. I have been away from my blog for quite some time now, but I hope to start posting again soon. I would love to document these days, because I consider them the best days of my life.
If you only had three words to define your style, what would they be?
Comfortable, simple, and classic.
What is different (if anything) about your style/wardrobe now than before you had your son?
Now that I have a baby, I feel like my priority is comfort. I don't put as much thought into my outfits like I used to, but I still like to stay true to myself. Nursing friendly outfits are also a must for me. I am usually wearing button down dresses and shirts, v-necks, and pretty much anything I can easily breastfeed in. My favorite accessories are a Chewable Charm teething necklace and my Sakura Bloom baby sling.
As a stay at home mama, what is your usual daily 'uniform?'
You can usually find me sporting a topknot (which I have renamed the mom bun), a flowy top or comfy tee, and skinny jeans or a flowy skirt. I'm also glad that things like dry shampoo and under eye concealer exist!
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?
I may wear the skinny jeans and the flowy top. But instead of the birks, I'll wear the wedges. Oh, and I might just curl my hair and wear some eyeliner.
What are your top three wardrobe staples?
A cute hat, skinny jeans, and Saltwater sandals.
What are your favorite places to shop for clothing that you'd suggest to other hip/smart/stylish moms?
I consider thrift shopping one of my hobbies. This probably explains why the majority of my wardrobe is thrifted. However, I also love Target, Forever 21, J.Crew, and Crossroads Trading Co.
What are your favorite places to shop for baby and/or kids clothes?
I usually shop at Target, Old Navy, H&M, and babyGap for my little guy. Also, nothing is cuter than a baby in a white onesie!
How do you 'balance' everything you have going on (kid, family, work, life!) while still keeping a sense of style?
My sense of style is part of who I am and is reflected in my everyday outfits. I am most confident to tackle the day's tasks when I feel most like myself. My days are hectic and my to-do list is always jam packed, but I believe that it is important to make some time for ourselves daily. This is why I make an effort to get out of my PJs and clean myself up a bit for the day. It only takes a few minutes and does wonders for my self esteem.
What is your ultimate favorite thing to do with your family when you have some downtime?
We used to be quite the adventurers. We would go out every weekend. We live in California, and we wanted to get the most out of this beautiful state. However, we are now major homebodies! This started when I was preggo, and all I wanted to do was take naps. We love relaxing at home, watching movies, listening to music, and sometimes even playing it too. I play the guitar and sing. I'm definitely not a pro, but I know the basic chords. I hope we can get back to our adventures soon. Now it'll be even more exciting with a baby in tow. I can't wait to see his reactions to all of the beautiful things this world has to offer.
Thank you so much Marlyn for sharing some of your life and style with Bubby and Bean readers! Make sure you guys check out Marlyn's super darling Instagram feed* - I promise you'll be glad you did. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. (*UPDATE: Sadly, someone decided to be incredibly creepy and repeatedly steal images of Marlyn's son from her Instagram account to use as her/his own within a fake account. Despite Marlyn reporting this account to Instagram and their subsequent removal, the same person continued to set up more fake accounts using her photos. Ultimately, she was forced to delete her account - which was very popular - and start a new private account. This happens way too often to IG mamas, and is the very reason I am in a neverending battle in my head about whether or not to replace my account with a private one as well. It's really too bad that a few bad people have to ruin it for the rest of us. We love you Marlyn and are so sorry you had to deal with this!)
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