“I’m Not Like A Regular Mom…

…I’m a cool mom.” A quote made famous by the cult classic Mean Girls, and immortalized on tee shirts everywhere.  I totally get the sentiment, but I don’t think I need the shirt because my wardrobe says it all.  I wore this outfit just recently for a lunch date with girlfriends, then breezed over to pick up my daughter from preschool.  I’m not at all shy about showing up at her beatnik, suburban preschool dressed to the nines.  And even if the other moms think I’m weird I don’t care.  My sense of style hasn’t changed just because I’m a mom. And for me that is seriously important.  Women sacrifice so much to be mothers, and I can tell you firsthand it’s easy to lose yourself, especially in the early years.  Babies and young children are inevitably needy, and because they’re helpless, their needs come before yours.  I’m not particularly self-sacrificing, but I love my daughter more than anything on earth, hence I would do anything for her. So it’s a strange and uncomfortable paradox.  Somewhere in there I must retain my sense of self.  It’s not an easy task, and I believe that loss of autonomy was a major contributing factor to my mental breakdown.

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The Devil Inside

In the early days of my breakdown, when my mental state first started spiraling out of control, I called my uncle. He’s a clinical psychologist and knows me very well, so I was desperate to get his take. I couldn’t understand why my anxiety suddenly shot through the roof. I’d suffered from low-level anxiety nearly my whole life but always knew how to manage it. This was different. This was can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t stop shaking, full-on fight or flight. His immediate assessment was childhood trauma. He spent time with me as kid and witnessed the house I grew up in and felt I’d been suffering PTSD for years but never really dealt with it. After having a child of my own and not being able to dedicate as much time to self-care and coping mechanisms, I reached a breaking point and everything started spilling out.

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Tranquility Amidst The Madness

2019 isn’t over yet but it will easily go down as the worst year of my life.  Earlier this year, in March, I had a severe mental breakdown. The incident was so bad that I was ultimately hospitalized and wound up on anti-depressants for the first time in my life.  It all started with panic attacks that kept building in frequency and intensity.  The panic became so prevalent that I eventually stopped sleeping.  The insomnia was so severe that even a cocktail of Xanax and Ambien only granted me a few hours a night, if I was lucky.  And the lack of sleep fueled my anxiety to epic proportions.  I stopped eating.  The mere thought of food turned my stomach, and my weight dropped into the 90’s.  I was a shell of my former self and everyone around me could see it…

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Mellow Yellow Casual Maxi

Truth: I absolutely loooove this casual maxi dress.  It’s lightweight and perfect for everyday wear.  The silhouette is super simple and the length easily allows for flats, which means it’s a frequent “go to” on my off days.  Plus the price can’t be beat – it was a lucky Target find courtesy of Who What Wear.  Honestly, I have to run past the WWW section at Target whenever I go shop for diapers and baby food.  Otherwise I’d be buying stuff every time because the clothes are so cute and affordable.  This dress is an older purchase, but I linked up some current Who What Wear finds below!

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Brand Spotlight: ASTR The Label

I first discovered ASTR some years back while shopping in store at Nordstrom.  I’d never heard of them prior to that, but found the clothes to be super cute and affordable.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  The brand is LA based but they don’t have any brick and mortar stores.  Fortunately Nordstrom stocks a ton of styles both in store and online.  I found this particular dress while I was out shopping with my mom – and it was the only one left.  As soon as I tried it on I fell in love.  It’s definitely more appropriate for a dressy occasion.  Some maxis are easily dressed down, but this is a sleek and sexy evening dress. I wore it for a dinner party with some neighbors, and even used their cute midcentury house to shoot the look!

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Two-Piece Chic In Chambray

This next look is not exactly a dress – it’s more like a maxi skirt with a crop top. However, when the top and bottom match (or complement one another), it’s often referred to as a two-piece dress.  This outfit didn’t come as a set, but I knew the items would pair well. Dusty blue with white is a classic color combo, and I love the contrasting textures. I wanted to showcase this variation on a traditional maxi dress because the “two-piece dress” is very in right now.  It’s a great option for a vacation getaway, or in my case, something as simple as brunch with friends.  I love that dressing up is part of my job – and there’s nothing wrong with dressing up for everyday events no matter who you are and what you do!

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Moon River Maxi + Instagram Giveaway

Happy Saturday everyone!  First and foremost, I’m here to gush over my love for Moon River.  Moon River is a new-ish local brand.  Their aesthetic is actually inspired by the song (which if you don’t know is an absolutely lovely, old-school 1960’s tune.)  When I first discovered the brand via Instagram, I fell in love with the elegant vintage/boho vibe.  My only struggle (as I learned after trying on a few dresses at a shop in Claremont) is that their clothes run a bit big.  I finally settled on this striking black and white floral maxi, though for an XS you can see there’s a lot of fabric.  Of course I’m on the extreme end of petite, so I often struggle with sizing.  Nonetheless I love this dress.  I’m a sucker for black and white and the lattice detail around the neckline adds a special touch.  I wore this dress for dinner with girlfriends and received several compliments.

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