California Babymoon: Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu + Laguna Beach

July 17, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon

Baby girl is only a few months from making her grand entrance, but we know as soon as she arrives, time to ourselves will essentially be non-existent. So as a last ditch effort to have one more trip just the two of us, we planned a little babymoon getaway to southern California. A few years ago we had a great time in Central California and this felt like the perfect time to make our way south to enjoy an easy going vacation. We began our trip in Venice Beach, a really cute LA neighborhood centrally located and a perfect base for exploring the surrounding areas.

HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^First stop was a delicious lunch at Gjelina. Located on Abbot Kenney, one of the main streets occupying Venice Beach, which is also lined with lots of other great restaurants and cute shops.HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon^^Tucked back amongst the homes in the area, you’ll find a series of canals in homage to the famous ones located in Venice, Italy. It’s a great place to take an evening walk before dinner to admire the water-front houses, watch the ducks swim by, and view the sunset over the canals.HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonSHOP THE LOOK

HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon^^breakfast at Gjusta, a more casual sister restaurant to Gjelina with a focus on baked goods: pastries, fresh bread, pizza…as well as breakfast dishes, smoothies, fresh juices, coffee and sandwiches.  There’s a really great patio out back as well + a spot on curated homes goods store next door if you’re looking for something with that southern California bohemian vibe.HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon^^Great way to get around the neighborhood: Scooters….only a dollar a mile when you download the app. ^^Can’t get enough of the plants and flowers everywhere. I guess that’s what perfect year-round weather will do.^^Spent a day at Venice and Santa Monica beaches relaxing and getting some much needed sun. Santa Monica is about a 1.5 mile walk up the beach from Venice. ^^Route 66 begins in Chicago and ends at the Santa Monica Pier. The Pier is full of lots of rides, games and your typical carnival type foods but it would be a great (although busy) place to take kids or just to check out if you have some extra time. The view from the very end of the pier is really nice. HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonSHOP THE LOOK

California_babymoon_Goop California_babymoon_Goop California_babymoon_Goop California_babymoon_Goop^^Indulging in a little shopping at Brentwood County Mart. We stopped in Goop, Doen and Poppy Store and had lunch at Farmshop. Really cute area with a great selection of boutique shops in a nice outdoor setting.


We spent a day in Malibu, about a 30 min drive north up the PCH from Venice Beach. I really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and the less crowded beaches. We arrived early and found easy parking right off Surfrider beach by the pier. We grabbed breakfast at Farm Cafe (at the end of the pier – counter service), set up on the beach for the morning, then grabbed a late lunch back at Farm Restaurant (at the front of the pier – sit down service). After a couple more hours enjoying Surfrider beach, we made our way up the coast to El Matador beach and spent some time there. On the way back we drove up through the hills into Calabasas and back down to Venice Beach, which made for a nice scenic detour. It was definitely one of my favorite days from the trip.

HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^Finding this dress from Faithfull the Brand I purchased last year to be quite useful this summer over the baby bump. HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^Farm Cafe—how breakfast should look every dayHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^settled in—happy camper anytime I’m set up on a beach for the dayHANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonSHOP THE LOOK

HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^Cauliflower crust pizza from Farm Restaurant—delicious! HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon^^El Matador Beach – really beautiful atmosphere with big rocks and little coves to hang out in.


Our final stop of the trip after spending a few days inland in Palm Springs, was to visit our family in Laguna Beach. The vibe is really laid back in Laguna so it was the perfect place to end our trip. We had a great time visiting the various beaches in the area and hanging out with our cousins and their adorable kiddos. Made for some great practice for the years to come :)HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^Anita Street at Laguna BeachHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^Crystal Cove BeachHANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon^^Sandcastle time :) Crystal Cove is really family friendly with lots of space for kiddos to run around, dig in the sand, + a couple nice restaurant options. You can also rent condos right on the beach if you are really looking for a beachfront experience.HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon ^^San Clemente—about 20 mins south of Laguna. A really quaint little Spanish inspired town with a nice beach, beautiful pier and lots of cute restaurants and shops.HANNAH SHELBY: California BabymoonHANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon HANNAH SHELBY: California Babymoon


Venice Beach/Santa Monica:

Airbnb / Palihouse Santa Monica / Shutters on the Beach


The Surfrider / Native

Laguna Beach:

The Ranch at Laguna Beach / 14 WEST / Surf and Sand Resort


Venice Beach:

GjelinaGjusta / Felix / Rose Cafe


Malibu Farm Restaurant + Cafe / Nobu / Neptune’s Net

Laguna Beach:

Rothschild’s / Nick’s / Oak / Shake Shack at Crystal Cove

Part two of our Babymoon in Palm Springs: HERE

Photography: Images shot using the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens and the Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R Lens, as well as the iPhone 6s.


Nursery Inspiration

June 13, 2018

Today marks 19 weeks—almost to the halfway point! Time is flying and before we know it our little girl will be here and our lives will never be the same.

One of the first instincts of a mother is to begin nesting for her baby, and of course that includes planning the nursery. When I began thinking about what I want our baby girl’s room to look like, I didn’t begin with a theme, but more some design elements I wanted to incorporate: rattan, an iron crib, a vintage dresser and a fun wallpaper to add lots of character. I’ve always been really drawn to the Parisian style apartments, filled with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern, effortlessly collected over time. Last week we found a really great mid century dresser with brass hardware and long legs on Craig’s List. And I’m really loving this fun but sophisticated woodsy grey Bellewood wallpaper from Rebelwalls and this olive green velvet chair from Article.

I’ve been eyeing these rattan bassinets since well before we became pregnant. Unfortunately they aren’t yet readily available in the states. I managed to find one at Pottery Barn Kids which seems to be going in and out of stock, but outside of that they are really only available in Europe and Australia. You can find some vintage versions on Etsy which I’ve added below. There are several shops in Australia selling new versions they don’t currently ship to the states including The Rattan Collective, but this particular site does note availability in the US is coming soon so its worth keeping an eye out. With the popularity of rattan, it’s only a matter of time before someone in the states will have them available.

 HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery Inspiration HANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationHANNAH SHELBY: Nursery InspirationShop these items below:


First Trimester Recap

May 31, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap

The news of our pregnancy came with great joy, and I will say I had a hard time believing the pregnancy test at first! For us it happened very quickly, much quicker than we were anticipating. I think we both expected to spend a bit more time trying and so when the test really did read YES to being pregnant, we were both very happily shocked. But I think no matter how the process of conception goes, being that it’s one of life’s greatest miracles, it’s hard to believe it’s really happening to you no matter when it does. If you are over 30 and hoping to conceive, I highly recommend reading How to Conceive Naturally: And Have a Healthy Pregnancy after 30  by Christina Orecchio and Willow Buckley. The book takes a holistic and nutritional approach to priming your body to its most fertile state naturally from the get go as well as returning to its optimal state post pregnancy. From the authors:

“With HOW TO CONCEIVE NATURALLY: AND HAVE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY AFTER 30 readers will discover that it’s possible to have a healthy pregnancy in your thirties or early forties. Experts Christa Orecchio and Willow Buckley share their vast knowledge of holistic health, nutrition, and fertility in this powerful program that has helped thousands of women conceive naturally and quickly. From a 12-week preconception fertility detox to a postpartum plan to rebalance hormones, this book empowers women to take charge of their fertility at any age.”

I thought I would share some of my experiences from my first trimester, as it was helpful for me to read about other women’s experiences to know I wasn’t alone. Even though I had read various bits and pieces about morning sickness and the like prior to getting pregnant, and heard a few stories from friends who had already gone though pregnancy, I was not very prepared or truly informed yet on what to expect. I found that I had a lot more symptoms than I thought I would, solely based on not realizing how common so many symptoms are. But with that said, every pregnancy is very different! All of the below are strictly my own experiences, and should only be taken at that. Once you do conceive, I highly recommend downloaded one of the pregnancy tracking apps like What to Expect or Baby Center which both provide day by day info on common symptoms and a weekly update on your baby’s growth.

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap(14 weeks along and finally saying hello to trimester two!)


For the first month and a half I had almost no symptoms at all, but right at the 6 week mark I did begin to develop the elusive “morning sickness.” For me there was nothing morning about it. In fact the mornings tended to be the time of day I felt the best, maybe because of being freshly rested. Some days I did feel ill straight away, but most days I would feel decent for the first couple hours and then the nausea would get worse as the day went on. Luckily never to the point of throwing up, but enough to just make me feel completely and totally lousy. I tried ginger ale and ginger candies, neither or which seemed to help any. Getting a little bit “hungry” usually made the nausea worse, but then it also made it even less appetizing to eat. To help with this I found it best to lightly snack throughout the day. Soda crackers and almond butter were my go-to. This was not a pleasant symptom so for those of you who do not experience sickness, consider yourself very lucky! But for those of you who do, just hang in there, it does get better. I would say around the 11-12 week mark it started to get a little bit better and was almost entirely gone by week 14.


I really had no cravings at all because my appetite was strictly for survivals sake. Trying to eat, wanting to eat, even thinking about eating is so UNappetizing when you feel nauseas. Even my favorite foods never sounded good, which for someone like me who loves food, was such a bizarre thing to experience. Cooking was also just not appetizing at all and the smell of many foods was enough to send me running. Food was easier to eat if it was in front of me with little to no preparation required on my part. Occasionally something that didn’t sound good wasn’t too horribly bad once I started eating it, but eating really just lost most of its appeal entirely. Breakfast was usually the easiest, and dinner the worst. Thankfully my wonderful husband really took over and did a lot of the dinner cooking and that was a tremendous help.


This was a big one. Tiredness from growing a baby is no joke! Again, this arrived right around the 6 week mark. We are talking very intense fatigue…ready for bed at 7pm and sleep for 12 hours fatigue. By the end of the day I simply felt done.


As someone who has been consistently working out since college, this was something I was really determined to continue. I definitely had a few days where I knew the best thing was to listen to my body and take a rest, but for the most part I was able to maintain my general fitness schedule with a little bit of tweaking. This included a mix of running, walking and weights. My motto has been if it feels okay then its okay and if it feels like too much then don’t push it. This is something I really hope to continue for as long as I can throughout this pregnancy. I know that as my belly grows I will likely need to adjust some of my routine so for now I’m just thankful to be able to do whatever I can.


No matter who you are, I think the reality of the transformation your body makes as it grows a child is miraculous and beautiful, but also a bit scary and overwhelming. It can take some time to really settle in to the idea that your body is going to change in ways you can hardly even imagine. And you can’t help but wonder not only how your body will change but how it will recover and what will return and what will never be the same. The first trimester for me wasn’t physically filled with a big amount of change, and for the most part I was still able to wear my regular jeans until around week 12-13. At this point I could still get them buttoned but not without some discomfort. Having your clothes begin to fit differently definitely takes some getting used to.

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap(9 weeks trying my best not to look ill, but hey—still fitting into my jeans!)


Back to how quickly this all happened for us, it definitely took some time for everything to sink in. The general feeling for the first month or so was mainly happy shock. Doing the first ultrasound at 8 weeks and hearing the heartbeat helped to make it feel much more real. The day we found out the first thing I did was go for my run, and I do remember feeling a very overwhelming sense of pride for my body and what it was setting out to accomplish. A few weeks later in the throws of nausea and fatigue, the need to simply get by was my main focus. I of course told my mom right away because I needed her support through it all, but outside of that we decided to wait until the very end of the first trimester to tell our friends and family—which makes it a bit strange to have big happy news but no one to be excited and celebrate with. It does however make that excitement just between the two of you very special. Once we were able to share the news, it was like a whole new world of excitement and happiness was opened. Sharing your body with a growing baby is an incredible experience and really makes you reflect on being the healthiest and strongest you can for that little growing soul. Its changes everything, to say the least.


We moved in to our new apartment back in the Fall and knowing it was where we hoped to bring our first child into the world, we really prioritized putting our new home together and making it feel as cozy as it could. Coming from a small downtown apartment and moving in to a much larger walk-up meant we were pretty much starting from scratch. We spent the first six months painting and furnishing and doing all kinds of jobs around the house every weekend getting things put into place. Our new couch miraculously arrived early and right before my nausea hit—without that cozy couch I’m not sure how I would have made it through those weeks! Now our apartment feels ready to welcome our baby girl this November and we couldn’t be more excited to snuggle up as a family of three :)

HANNAH SHELBY: First Trimester Recap



3 Summer Trends to Love

April 19, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love

Summer is right around the corner—backyard BBQs, weddings, strolls in the park and nights spent relaxing on the porch. Ah, yes. There is absolutely nothing quite like summer. This year in keeping with tradition, we are kicking off the summer season with our annual trip to Northern Michigan, and it can’t come quick enough. In the meantime, here are a few looks I’m eying for all the months of sun ahead.


About as summer as it gets if you ask me. I’m loving all things smocked—crop tops, dresses, and yes, even swimwear! Such a beautiful and intricate detail added to the perfect whispy, breezy summer cottons. Solids, stripes, gingham, florals—you’ll find everything looks good with a little smocking.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love




Lace, ruffles, that classic high neck…this tends to be a perennial favorite of mine. The classic white combo with denim can’t be beat, or on its own in dress form. Easy to dress up or keep casual.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To Love



Nothing makes me think of a romantic, european summer more than that perfect floral print. Paired with an espadrille or sandal and woven bag, and voila—meet your summer uniform.

HANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: 3 Spring Trends To LoveHANNAH SHELBY: Summer Trends To Love HANNAH SHELBY: Spring Trends To Love



Winter in New Orleans | February 2018

March 12, 2018
HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New Orleans

February has always felt like the month where I’m really beginning to lose my patience for winter. The holidays are long gone, and it feels like eternity since 90% of my skin has seen the light of day. While not always possible, one of the best ways to remedy this lack of seasonal enthusiasm is to pack up and head for a warmer climate. We did just that in early February with a trip to New Orleans, and it made for a nice little break from the Chicago winter. The 60 degree temps didn’t quiet call for swimwear and cutoffs, but still a big improvement from the frigid Windy City.

New Orleans is without a doubt one of the most fun and unique cities in the states, with beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine and a celebration all its own: Marti Gras. And while I’m not exactly a Bourbon Street kind of girl, it was fun to be in the city during this holiday season. Seeing all the decorations, partaking in a little parade action, and of course indulging in some beloved King Cake made for an entirely different vibe than previous trips to The Big Easy.

HANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New OrleansHANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New OrleansHANNAH SHELBY: Snapshots from New Orleans Continue Reading…