Hello and happy week. Hope it’s a good one. Today I’ll be reintroducing my Spotlight Series, and from this point forward I’ll be including a new focus on mamas or mamas in the making. While I myself just transitioned into motherhood, I’d like to tap into how other moms are embracing their style from the inside out. I know balance can be challenging, especially when it comes to taking care of yourself, but the women I’ve connected with are super inspiring. While social media can paint an overly glorified picture, I’m looking to these mamas to share their authentic experiences. I want to take a glimpse inside their lives to see how they make it all happen. We know it ain’t easy, but there is so much we can relate on. So let’s talk about it. In addition to the feature here, these ladies will each do a 1-2 day instagram takeover on the @yoursoulstyle handle. This way we can have a visual snapshot too. I can’t wait to introduce you to these incredible gals!
To kick things off, I’d like you to meet Hailey Andresen, founder of Household Mag, a blog dedicated to all things food, lifestyle and “building a nest in brooklyn”. I ‘met’ Hailey over our beloved instagram where we’ve both found an incredible community of women to connect with. It’s amazing how close you can feel to someone through the medium of social media. I felt like I knew Hailey after a few exchanges in the comment section. Oh – the wonders of modern day technology! While both pregnant at the same time, we shared our journeys and were able to show support. Despite both giving birth (Owen Drew was born on September 21st), we continue to share our daily thoughts on motherhood.
Hailey is a recent transplant to New York and comes to us by way of Phoenix. Living here was always on the radar for both her and husband Zack, and on the day Zack landed his dream job, Hailey found out she was pregnant. Leaving friends, family and all of what was comfortable behind would be difficult, especially during this critical time, but they decided to take the leap regardless and have not looked back. Household Mag launched quickly after Hailey’s arrival and has been building momentum in a big, bad way since. Full of beautiful story-telling, photographs by the incredible Amy Frances, recipes and dynamic lifestyle content, Hailey provides a voice that is both humble and relatable. She speaks with honesty, and is helping to create a community of strong, fierce women looking to design their own lives. Being that I work towards the same goal, I couldn’t wait to meet her!
Taking our instagram friendship off-line, we met in Prospect Heights to chat more about motherhood, lifestyle and how to balance it all. Our babes joined us too and while both managing conversation, coffee and tending to our little ones, I knew it was the beginning of an awesome friendship. Hailey, my new idol, seems to be doing the impossible. She was already back to work almost immediately after Owen’s arrival, and seems to have this whole working mama thing on lock. She likes to say, “coffee, coffee, coffee!”, but I think she’s got a few other tricks up her sleeve. How does she juggle it all while continuing to radiate beauty from the inside out? And how does she make it look so easy!? I needed to find out more. So I asked Hailey, what is Your Soul Style?
YSS: What is Your Soul Style?
Hailey: My soul style combines my desire for comfort and style. For me being comfortable doesn’t necessarily involve sweatpants (although some days it ABSOLUTELY does). Most days being comfortable is so much more about being comfortable in my own skin which fashion plays a huge role in to. Finding pieces that compliment my figure and my lifestyle as a new mom are what I am all about.
YSS: How do you describe your personal style?
Hailey: My personal style has become more and more simple over the years. I used to be into vintage and prints, and while I still throw that into the mix every now and then, I enjoy more neutral colors, flattering silhouettes, and staple pieces that transition easily with the season and over time. I would rather purchase timeless pieces than anything super trendy.
YSS: What does your style say about you?
Hailey: I think that being concerned with fashion often times gives people a bad rap when it’s unnecessary. I don’t believe we need to look at it that way. Having style doesn’t mean spending a fortune. It means selecting pieces that compliment your figure and your personality. When I walk out the door I want to feel like my best and most confident self. My style says I’m strong and confident, but not high maintenance.
YSS: You’ve recently moved to New York by way of Phoenix. How much of your style is influenced by your old stomping grounds?
Hailey: I will always have a love for turquoise and southwestern prints, but those are items I use sparingly in my wardrobe. I would say more than anything else that coming from Phoenix has influenced my budget and what I’m willing to pay for pieces. I am a true bargain shopper at heart, and that has transitioned into my life here in New York as well.
YSS: And now that you’re in New York, how much has your style changed?
Hailey: What’s incredible about personal style progression in New York verse Phoenix is that there is so much more originality here. In Phoenix if you wear something a little unique, heads turn and you create a scene. In New York there is so much culture and fashion influencing our everyday lives that wearing a funky print or different waistline than the crowd doesn’t exist – it only makes you fit in more. I love that. Living in New York has made me fearless when it comes to trying out new styles.
YSS: Since becoming pregnant, and now a new mama, how has your style evolved?
Hailey: I have had to become much more practical in the pieces I purchased both while pregnant and as a new mom. At the moment, since I’m breastfeeding, that means button front tops, and more two-piece ensembles. Because I am such a bargain shopper it’s hard for me to justify spending money on items I won’t wear after I’m done breastfeeding so I simply don’t do that. I am more thoughtful when it comes to garments that are both stylish and functional which makes shopping a whole lot more difficult. This was the same scenario while pregnant. I almost refused to purchase maternity clothing.
YSS: Where do you draw your style inspiration from?
Hailey: I recently revamped my closet after having my first son. Because I had a particular budget, I went straight to pinterest and put together outfits. I didn’t do a full on capsule wardrobe, but I tried to keep that mentality – a few classic pieces for fall/winter. I sourced images from my favorite shops and blogs and attempted to stick to a color scheme where almost everything I bought would go together in one way or another.
YSS: Now that you’re a new mama, what is your go-to clothing item that you can’t live without?
Hailey: Loyal Hana is the one breastfeeding line I have pieces from. The dress in these photos is from their newest collection. They have almost invisible zippers along the chest area that makes wearing a one piece ensemble possible.
YSS: One thing every new mom should have in her closet?
Hailey: A nice fitting pair of jeans. I recently got a pair of high rise jeans from Madewell and I can’t tell you how great they make me feel and how practical they are for this season of life.
YSS: What does your morning routine look like? Do you find it more difficult to get dressed?
Hailey: Every morning is a little different. It’s definitely more difficult to get ready now, but I always make it a priority when I have plans outside the house. My son likes to be fairly awake first thing in the morning so showering at night, after he has gone to sleep, makes things much smoother the next day. If Owen isn’t up for a nap after feeding in the morning, I typically will put him in his swing right outside the bathroom with the door open. That way I can interact with him while getting ready. This requires more time than it ever did pre-baby and a whole lot of patience, but it’s worth it!
YSS: Any tips on how to make it easy?
Hailey: Aside from showering the night before, I would suggest a low maintenance hairstyle. I cut my hair above the shoulders while I was pregnant and this cut my getting ready time in half. Now I let mine air dry at night and normally just through some quick curls in it before walking out the door. Giving myself more than enough time in the morning also limits stress and allows for the curve balls that ultimately come your way as a new mom.
YSS: What has been your biggest style struggle since becoming a new mom?
Hailey: Sticking to functional pieces day in and day out when all the pieces I loved prior to getting pregnant are just waiting in my closet for me. These pieces are mostly dresses that just don’t make sense for breastfeeding. I reorganized and put all of the pieces that are breastfeeding friendly right up front. This way I’m not sifting through those garments daily when getting ready and trying to convince myself I can nurse in them.
YSS: What were your favorite maternity brands? Breastfeeding-friendly brands?
Hailey: I really regret not purchasing the maternity line from Storq while pregnant. If I were to do it over again, I would make that my first purchase. I bought a couple things from Pink Blush Maternity, which is great because they have something for almost any and every style. As far as breastfeeding goes – Loyal Hana.
YSS: Balance is hard for all of us, especially new mamas. How do you find the time to write for Household Mag, take care of Owen and still look good at the same time?
Hailey: I have set up a schedule based not on the time on the clock, but on Owen’s feeding times. So the first feeding of the day, then the second and so on. For everything I want to get done I give myself double the amount of time. So I plan for the time between feedings and if I don’t accomplish what I was hoping for during the first chunk of time I attempt it at the next one. A friend of mine suggested using a post it note each day. If you can’t fit your whole to do list on a post it, chances are you aren’t getting it done that day. So prioritizing and not overwhelming myself is important. I’ve had to learn that chances are I won’t get everything done I’m hoping to most days, but Owen will never have a shortage of love or care and that’s at the top of my list. Then comes self-care, which involves eating well and getting ready, or some days just making sure a shower happens. I’ve really had to learn to be patient with myself.
YSS: What would be your advice to women on achieving work/life balance?
Hailey: I’m a schedule and checklist kind of person – which can be good and bad. Setting myself up where both work and life are involved in my schedule is essential. Making time for my life and self is just as important as work. Some days it doesn’t work out as planned, but if I can always be striving for setting myself up for both, I am absolutely happier.
YSS: What is your advice to new mamas on how to embrace individual style?
Hailey: Find pieces that fit you well at whatever stage you’re at in motherhood, and be forgiving if you aren’t where you want to be body-wise. The transitions you experience through pregnancy and motherhood ebb and flow and some days our jeans are gonna be a little tighter than they were the day before. Always make time for self-care, but try not to beat yourself up. Being a mama is one of the hardest jobs there is!
photos via Amy Frances