Tell us what you're up to you these days.
When I'm not changing a diaper or running carpool, I'm working on my blog, Born on Fifth and my newly-launched lifestyle shop, Bows & Blue. This week planning our next product launches and shooting my Dillard's collaboration campaign which debuts in early spring!
And what did you do before?
I spent a wonderful almost-decade (my whole twenties!) in marketing and branding at Spanx. It will always remain a special company to me.
What made you start a blog?
I majored in magazine journalism and love writing. Working at Spanx helped me hone someone else's brand, but I loved the idea of starting something on my own. Oh, and Sara Blakely told me to, so I figured that was sound advice coming from such an entrepreneurial icon.
How did you go about building a following?
It took a while to find my niche! Consistent posting, honing my style and putting myself out there online as well as in real life by going to conferences like The Southern C, Creative Camp, RS the Con and Create & Cultivate and learning as much as possible (then and now, as it's an evolving industry).
Any tips for people starting out?
I feel like it's been said, but find something unique and ownable! It will get you farther than trying to do what someone else is already doing.
How do you maintain such consistency in your posts? What do you use to edit your photographs?
Consistency was a self-imposed pain point for me at the beginning since I'm not a photographer. Over the years I've learned how to edit (and take) photos myself. I mostly use Darkroom since I'm most often on my phone vs. at my computer. Eva Chen says that your feed doesn't matter and I think there's truth to that, but I also want people to understand my brand visually and semi-consistency on the feed allows for that if people don't click through to your blog.
Tell us about your kids. How old are they? What are their names? Are they similar or different? Explain.
My little love bugs! Eloise James (who we call Elle) is four and a half. The half is very important to include at this age, Elle would like me to note. Jennings Fitzgerald, whose middle name popped into my head during a prenatal massage, is seven months old. They are quite different already! Elle is very petite and took forever to outgrow clothes, while Jennings' toes popped through his pajamas the other night he grew so much in his sleep. We don't know where the height comes from! Elle is very dainty and was a doll-like baby, and Jennings is much more active and full of energy. He is already the life of the party!
Does "real life" look as neat and pastel-washed as life on Instagram? If so, how do you do it?
Yes and no. Most of our decor and walls and dishes are in this lovely color scheme, so they're easy on the eye. I do love to have fresh flowers around as often as possible too. An instant mood lift. But outside the frame, counters are messy and full of stuff, my dining room-as-office is stacked high with boxes and Birdie, our darling dog, just stained my sisal rug. Instagram is a blessing and a curse in a way. You can definitely paint a partial picture, and while I use my space to share pretty things, it's most certainly a place for meaningful conversation too. I've found a real community, especially when discussing motherhood-related topics like IVF, miscarriages, post-partum and social-related issues like elevating melanated voices and the upcoming election.
How has life changed from having one baby to two?
I feel like my brain has about 100 tabs too many open at any given moment. To me one to two has been a harder adjustment than zero to one, but Jennings was born during the shelter-in-place stage of this pandemic so that may weigh on my answer too! There has been very little normalcy.
How do you balance work life and parenting?
With an amazing nanny, a lot of late nights and red wine. It's hard, working from home and being physically present but not necessarily available can be confusing at times for kids I think, but Elle is really proud of Bows & Blue and that's giving me hope that she will look back on me working in a positive light. I am lucky in many ways to be able to in a job that allows me the flexibility to run carpool and also take on major brand campaigns on any given day.
Name a few items you couldn't have gotten through pregnancy without.
Pepcid AC (seriously I had the worst heartburn both times), sour cream and onion potato chips (not sure if there's a correlation there) and a very understanding husband.
Any books you enjoyed about pregnancy or the first year of baby's life?
I read Moms on Call with Elle. This time I'm flying by the seat of my pants and have my doula on speed dial.
Anything you splurged on for baby that you would skip next time around?
A beautiful wool rug for the nursery. Elle did not have a wool rug, nor did she spit up. Unfortunately Jennings does...and does.
What are some of the prettiest but useful items for baby that you have come across?
I loved our Theophile & Patachou baby lounger. I'm sad we've outgrown it!
What's the most rewarding part of motherhood?
Currently, watching Jennings and Elle interact. It's as if Elle knows this melts me...she asks for a baby sister daily.
What's the most challenging part of motherhood?
Not losing my patience or getting frustrated over small things. I'm still working on letting it go, like Elsa says ;)
What has been the biggest surprise of motherhood?
The old cliche...how quickly and slowly it goes. There are days or phases that feel like they'll never end and then you blink and forget it ever happened. Elle's wise and she knows it goes too fast. She loves Peter Pan and often says she never wants to grow up. Tear.
What's a memory or tradition from your childhood that you can't wait to recreate with your little ones?
Growing up we had Shabbat dinner every Friday night. While we don't light the Sabbath candles weekly in our house, we have a Friday night Le Bilboquet family date tradition that we're finally picking back up post-Pandemic and baby! It's a time I really look forward to with Elle and Michael...and one day I'll brave taking our active boy.
Parenting is...magical, messy and my hope is that everyone who wants to experience it gets to.
Bottles: Old school Gerbers
Diapers: Pampers Swaddlers
Bathtub: We had Angelcare with Elle and Skiphop for Jennings but recently transitioned to the Summer Infant Baby Bath Seat since Jennings is so mobile. The Stokke bath must be new because if I would have seen that, I would have ordered. So pretty!
Soap: Just ordered Paloroma!
Body Lotion: Noodle & Boo
Car seat: Uppa Baby Mesa for Baby and Nuna for Toddler
Stroller: Uppa Baby Vista, Babyzen Yoyo 2, Thule Double Jogger and if I had a bigger garage I would love a Silver Cross Pram with my next baby
Playlist: Raffi, which reminds me of my childhood
Toys: Our Lovevery mat has been a winner for Jennings
Book for bedtime: On The Night You Were Born, a must-read!