Today we are taking a glimpse into the life of wife, mother and founder of Solly Baby. Elle has always been an inspiring business women + mother for us and one that we have always looked up to. We are thrilled to be able to share a bit more about her and what life is like in Oregon with her family!
Elle Rowley made the first Solly Baby wrap in 2011 in the sewing nook of a little house in Salt Lake City after the birth of her second child, Solomon (hence the name Solly Baby). After using migraine-inducing carriers that left her feeling like a packhorse with her first baby, Elle wanted something comfortable and chic to wear, that could not only best meet Solly’s needs, but also enable her to still chase after her toddler as well. Today, Elle and Jared live in San Diego with their four children: Lucy, Solomon, Frances and Hazel. Read our Q&A will Elle below!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU
I started a baby carrier company, Solly Baby, six years ago in the sewing nook of our little Salt Lake City, Utah home while my husband, Jared, was still in school. We now run the company together in San Diego with our four little ones (Lucy, 8; Solomon, 5; Frances, 2; Hazel, 3 months). Life is new every day and always a little crazy, but we love it.
WHAT FIRST INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE SOLLY BABY?
Necessity and my babies. After using migraine-inducing carriers that left me feeling like a packhorse, I wanted something comfortable and chic to wear my baby in so I could still chase after my toddler and meet her needs as well. Being able to do this for my own family instilled in me a passion to share it with others.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU + YOUR WRAP COLOR CHOICES?
I’m inspired by colors and prints that feel fresh and on trend, and, most importantly, make moms and dads excited to wear their little ones. I go all over for inspiration from nature to runway fashion.
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE PARTS ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I love telling the stories of mothers as much as I love sharing great products with them so social media has created the perfect place for an entrepreneur like me to find the stories of real parents using our product, even if it’s just a snippet from someone’s day, and to be able to share them. I’m still amazed I’m able to share our product in this way and that it’s been as successful as it has been. It’s so fulfilling for me.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORK LIFE AND FAMILY LIFE?
It’s always changing! Sometimes my kids will have a time where they need more of me and then other times work will require more of me. It’s continually a balancing act, but being deliberate about my time and creating healthy boundaries for both has definitely been key for me.
AFTER A LONG BUSY WEEK WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO UNWIND?
Order in some Indian food and hang out at home with Jared and the kids or go to the beach and just sit on the sand while my kids run around. That always gives me fresh perspective. If it’s been an especially crazy week then I love fitting in a massage or dinner with friends.
WHAT QUOTE BEST DESCRIBES YOU + WHAT YOU LIVE BY?
“Your real work is to figure out where your power base is and to work on that alignment of your personality, your gifts you have to give, with the real reason why you are here,” – Oprah (Always, Oprah!)
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR OTHER WOMEN + MOTHERS
Live your life to the fullest now! I get the feeling that a lot of mothers are waiting until their kids get older to start living, but really you enjoying your life now will teach them the most important lessons.
What’s for lunch today?! This Sesame Shrimp with Asian Greens Rice Bowl is a must to try! The first time we tried it we instantly fell in love and can always use a little spice in our life! The mix of shrimp with edamame and asparagus is a great balance of healthy goodness that we for one can use more of! Throw it all over your favorite rice and you’ve got an easy + delicious meal for the fam! Recipe + directions below!
– ó cup ponzu sauce
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
– ¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar
– 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined with tails remove
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 5 cups rainbow swiss chard, chopped with hearty stems removed
– 6 green onions, chopped
– 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
– 1 cup shelled edamame
– 10 stalks of asparagus spears cute into 1″ pieces
– 4 cups cooked brown rice
– 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1. In a medium size bowl, whisk the ponzu sauce, grated ginger, sesame oil, garlic, brown sugar and red chile flakes. Add the shrimp to the sauce and toss to coat. Set aside the shrimp to marinade for 30 minutes in the refrigerator up to 1 hour.
2. In a large pan or a wok, bring the heat to high and add the oil to the pan. Add half of the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked on one side then stir the shrimp quickly with a wooden spoon or tongs for another minute until the shrimp is browned on each side. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl and add a bit more oil of needed then add the rest of the shrimp, repeating the cooking process, and transfer to the bowl when cooked. Pour the remaining marinade in the pan and bring to a boil then scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the swiss chard, spinach, asparagus and edamame and cook, tossing often like stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until slightly wilted. Add the shrimp back to the greens and stir to combine. Garnish with more green onions and sesame seeds.
3. Divide the brown rice to serving bowls and top with the shrimp and greens. Serve immediately with Sriracha sauce if you like it spicy.
Bosses demand good quality clothes, even if he is just a baby! Kira Kids, one of the most celebrity-favored and fastest growing kids’ clothing brand, just released a collaboration collection with DreamWorks on the studio’s latest animation film, The Boss Baby. The limited-edition collection, made with the softest eco-friendly fabrics, includes rompers, t-shirts and pants for newborns and babies up to two years old. Our fave piece is the “Power Nap Time” romper! See more of the collection below!
Today we are diving into the touching story of our friend, Carly Kenihan, of the of the Bun Bun Book Blog as she shares her struggles + journey with IVF. It’s a must-read for any of you women out there struggling with infertility and will leave you with a happy heart + hope for your own journey!
Infertility was never a label I expected for myself. I have so much to be grateful for: a loving husband, a supportive family, good health, happiness, and success (damn, my life is almost as perfect as my Instagram feed), so a year+ of trying to conceive shouldn’t have been a big deal, right? A few negative pregnancy tests were nothing compared to the couples struggling with three or five or ten years of infertility, so how dare I compare my ache to theirs? After five rounds of Clomid, a couple invasive tests, a diagnosis of Endometriosis, and a round of In Vitro Fertilization, I told myself I should move on with my life as a normal mama, blogger, and woman. But. As much as I wanted to continue with my daily routine, my life quickly became 1% flowy wrap dresses and lavish lunch meetings and 99% needles, meds, pharmacies and doctors appointments while I clung on through the wildest rollercoaster ride of my life. My social appearances diminished into moments of isolation, and my anxiety of facing the outside universe increased. My blog posts felt empty. My head was removed from my “Top Trends for Fall” post and stuck in the clouds with my future babies and finding another IVF sister’s blog hoping for inspiration and support. As I sat at my computer facing writers block for the hundredth time, I realized that I had an opportunity. As much as I’d wanted to keep my struggle with infertility to myself, it dawned on me that maybe my story could help other women the same way so many had helped me. I decided it was my turn to contribute to the infertility community, and that the blank page in front of me was meant for my story.
I felt so broken in my quest for motherhood. What was wrong with me? Why couldn’t I do the one thing I felt I was supposed to do? I knew I had to get over this overwhelming and depressing thought to make it through and be a success story, so I shoved it aside and accepted that God had a different plan for me. Instead of letting my self-administered injections terrify me, I told myself they empowered me.
I paid attention to how lovingly my husband would study the pamphlet to get the syringes prepped exactly right. I looked at the times we left dinners and events early so we could get home in time for our “nightcap” (aka injection) as a step forward rather than a missed opportunity. The shots hurt and sometimes left welts and bruises on my abdomen, but each poke was one step closer to baby. I took every difficult and negative situation and turned it in to an exciting opportunity. The thought of being one step closer to baby made it all worth it. Next came egg retrieval. Sometimes I laugh at this one because, in truth, the only way to survive this period with sanity was to lighten up and chuckle a little. Along with three or so weeks of injections came visits to the doctor every. other. day. They wanted to ensure the injections were stimulating my eggs correctly and through blood draws and ultrasounds they would decide what meds to add, what doses to increase, etc. During that time I canceled on my niece’s baptism and a family wedding and literally played my life by ear for a solid month because I couldn’t make a doctor’s appointment more than a few days in advance.
The doctor called us around day 16 of my cycle and basically said your retrieval surgery is tomorrow at 7:30 am, take x and y shot at precisely 10:30pm tonight, and we will see you in the morning. Just like that, we dropped everything, prepared for the big day, and in we went. I remember the anesthesiologist being so nice to me. I’d never been put under before, and he made me feel like a champ. They rolled me into the OR, I asked them to put some music on, and the next thing I knew I was awake and in pain until the nurse gave me morphine. I asked why there was so much pain from what I anticipated to be such a seamless procedure, and she said they had pricked my insides with a needle 32 times and retrieved 32 eggs which was way more than they expected! Things were going in the right direction. Meanwhile, my husband supplied a sample so we could create the embryos. My doctor came to recovery and said that although the original plan was to freeze our embryos while they treated my Endometriosis, my uterus was “looking beautiful” from the past weeks’ meds so they were going to do a fresh embryo transfer in 5 days. It was the cherry on top! Within a few hours I was home in bed sleeping off the anesthesia. The next few days were rough. Post-egg retrieval bloating is no joke. I read about it but didn’t think it would happen to me. WRONG. And the way I felt was on another level. I could hardly eat because my ovaries tripled in size from the 30+ eggs (remember we usually have only one mature egg a month) and were squishing my stomach. I spent the next 4ish days on bed rest and miraculously felt normal the day of the transfer. Initially we planned on one embryo with the transfer, but after several conversations with our doctor, we decided 2 embryos was the best choice for this particular fresh attempt. We were ready.
We told no one about our fresh transfer. Since IVF takes some of the surprise factor out of the equation, we took this as our chance to possibly gift our families and friends with a completely unexpected pregnancy. We went on a date the night before the transfer, and I got zero sleep that night. The next day was so special between my husband and I…arguably the most sacred day of our lives thus far, and I don’t regret keeping it a secret. I detached from my phone, we walked to the beach, I wrote Hunter (my hub) a letter, and we watched our wedding video. We listened to Coldplay as we drove down the empty road of hope to the fertility center where we met my acupuncturist for a quick treatment. Hunter got in his scrubs and met me where I was admitted. They took us into the OR so we could meet our embryos for the first time and it was such a surreal experience. It was the first look at my (em)babies, and I was in love. They did the transfer, and we got to watch on a screen as the two embryos literally entered my uterus. If you are TTC, you know how deep that dark baby hole is in your soul, and this was the first time I felt a bit of it, maybe, quite possibly, start filling up.
After that came more bed rest, a 2-week waiting period, and lots of calls from my mom ignored. I tell her pretty much everything, and I knew I’d let the secret slip if I talked to her too much. She can always sense any excitement or upset emotion of mine, so she for sure would have figured something was up if I’d given her too much phone time. They say you are PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) post transfer, so aside from hardcore rest, I had to eat and (not) drink like a pregnant person, abide all the rules, and continue taking my 17+medications/vitamins/hormones.
At the end of the two-week waiting period, I was on so much estrogen (among other hormones) that I was crying every other day. The kind of cry so deep you don’t know where it comes from. What if it didn’t work? What could I have done wrong? Do I deserve it? I was so optimistic the first week that by the second week I entered the reality that it might not all be butterflies and rainbows and things might unravel differently than planned. But I kept my head up. It was hard to resist my cabinet of at-home pregnancy tests, but I refused to be heartbroken over one more little white plastic stick.
On the final day, Hunter took me to get my blood test and although there are always tons of couples in the waiting area, I particularly noticed two other women who were getting their blood drawn. I remember thinking I could be ending Part 1 of my journey, and they may just be starting theirs. I smiled at them, and I felt for them. I then stuck my needle-bruised arm out for my lab guy (who by now was my buddy), he took what he needed, said “good luck,” and I walked away.
It takes a few hours to get the results, so Hunter and I spent the rest of the day attached to my phone. Our plan was to call his parents who were traveling, then my best friend, then drive up to Lake Arrowhead where my parents were to tell them the good news in person. We’d be over the moon. And we would be able to breathe again. And then the phone rang. Hunter pulled the car over as I answered. I heard my nurse say “Hi Carly,” but she didn’t need to say much more. I knew from her tone of voice it was unfortunate news, so I said thank you, hung up the phone, and instantly fell into tears with my husband. Neither embryo had implanted. I couldn’t help but feel angry with myself and my body for a second. It was one of those moments I wanted to end so badly, but at the same time, I didn’t know what I would do once it did. We failed. Our first IVF attempt failed. We know now in our hearts it wasn’t meant to be, but we went through a lot of heartache and pain before we realized that. And that’s okay. We are human. We are allowed to cry. We are allowed to be sad. We are allowed to FEEL. And now, after a second round of IVF and a successful transfer and the news that we’re having TWINS! I can say I’d do it all again to get where we are today. I’d take months more of fertility drugs just to understand the concept of trial and error. I’d travel across the world again with syringes in my suitcase to realize the distance I’d go for my child. I’d cry a million more tears to exude the permanent smile that now lives on my face. And I’d prick myself a thousand more times to receive the joy I now know.
It’s funny to think about last year and our original “plan.” One thing I know is that life doesn’t go as planned and, as my dad always says, the journey is half the fun. Had I known then that one year later I’d have not one but two beautiful gifts on the way, perhaps I would have slowed down a bit to enjoy the ride. I have learned how to fight for something I love, practice patience for something that felt unreachable, and understand physical, emotional, and financial sacrifice for my children before ever even meeting them. The reward I feel now is intensely overwhelming as my once broken heart is now pieced together with double the love. “We don’t always know why God does things the way He does, but His way is always better.”
Wait! It’s already April and Easter is just two weeks away! How are we already here? Well we actually had our first pre-egg hunt practice at our grandparent’s cabin over the weekend so I guess we are pretty ready for the festivities to start! We’ve got a lot to cram into the next two weeks so we thought we would start things off with a round-up of our favorite Easter gifts for little peanuts this season! Perfect to give as an early gift to enjoy before the holiday and also great ideas for basket fillers! Also, make sure to check out our list of fave baskets below!
Your little one won’t be able to resist this delightful wood and leather bunny teether from Garbo & Friends! Made in Germany from untreated beech wood and naturally tanned leather, it’s a sweet – and safe – choice for gummy smiles.
From one of our favorite animal doll companies, Hazel Village, we are obsessed with Lucas the Rabbit. We know your little peanuts will love carrying this sweet critter buddy around with them everywhere they go!
This sweet bonnet from Briar Handmade is lovely year round, but especially appropriate for Easter! The grey linen and striped ear lining make it a perfect gender neutral addition to your Easter basket.
An all time favorite book + perfect for spring! Little Nutbrown Hare shows his daddy how much he loves him: as wide as he can reach and as far as he can hop. But Big Nutbrown Hare, who can reach farther and hop higher, loves him back just as much.
Williams Sonoma always has the best holiday treats that are festive + delicious. Our go-to place for Easter basket candies! Everything Easter is currently 20% off + free shipping so make sure to snag your babies some goodies!
We don’t know about you but we’ve been seriously dying to bring out all our spring dresses + shoes and it’s finally looking like there might be some warm weather at the end of what seems like the longest tunnel ever! We’ve had a few really nice days mixed in with some rainy days which always messes with our moods…. but I guess that’s just what life is like this time of year! Today we are sharing at a look from our spring issue that we are simply obsessed with! Bring on all the playful dresses in soft spring hues! Can you even believe the darling cut-out on the back of this dress from Tuchinda?! See more below!
We’ve known about a little secret our friends over at Fawn Design have been working on and today is the day we finally get to share about it! If you weren’t already obsessed with this brand and their innovative faux leather bags then know you will be because they just released their mini bag collection today and we seriously can’t stop heart eyeing every single bag! It’s the same bag you know + love just now in a mini size perfect for little peanuts and even adults! You can twin with your mini in their four classic colors: blush, brown, gray + black. Or if you’ve been loving the mini backpack trend for yourself these Fawn Design bags are perfect! We’ve actually even sported one around Disneyland before and give the mini bag an A++ for comfort, functionality and style! Check out more below and make sure to snag you one of these bags because they will sale out quick!
Spring has officially bloomed and we’ve even been able to enjoy a few spring-like days around our house. It’s been so refreshing and much needed! I finally feel like we are exfoliate off those harsh winter months and moving into some of the best parts of the year! Our little peanuts can finally spend more time outside and the warmer temps have already got us planning all of our summer trips + adventures. 2017 feels like such a good year and we can’t wit to see what else it has in store of us!
Speaking of exfoliating, in this issue we are starting things off by sharing a bunch of our favorite beauty products for moms, to help slough off that winter skin and get it feeling refreshed + moisturized for the upcoming months. We are also sharing a mother’s story about her struggles + triumphs with IVY and taking a glimpse into the life of one of our all time fave inspiring mamas, Elle Rowley, founder of Solly Baby. If you are trying to plan the perfect vaca trip this year for your family then our Glamping with little peanuts feature is sure to be a must-read + a must to try-out with your own family! As with every issue here at LPM, we always talk about our favorite fashion pieces for the season and finishing things off with sharing our favorite family friendly recipes. I’m so excited to have you here with us + hope you leave inspired! Read the Spring 2017 Issue HERE!
It’s been a while since we’ve featured the faces of some cute families so we thought we’d share this darling family on the waterfront brought to you by Amy Frances. An afternoon spent strolling around the waterfront of the Brooklyn Bridge Park + the ever picturesque Jane’s Carousel couldn’t be a better back drop for some beautiful family photos. Plus an added bonus, how cute is their labradoodle that joined in for a couple shots. We love everything about this adorable family + the pics that were captured!
Mikoleón in Spanish means Monkey-Lion and we sure think it’s the perfect name to for a kids clothing line! It was 2015, after a visit to Guatemala that the idea of designing up-cycled goods for children was born. It took many trips back to find the right suppliers, set up a sewing studio, finding and training the right seamstresses and cobblers to finally launch! We are huge fans of their hand-crafted, artisanal, eco-cool, up-cycled, 100% cotton, chemical and dye free, fare trade, reduced CO2, and sustainable pieces! Mikoleon simply love naturally made products and so do we! They recently launched their Spring 17 collection and we can’t stop swooning! Check out some of our favorite pieces this season below!