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The other day Chris told me a very upsetting story. He was upstairs with Isla when suddenly she stood in front of our mirror, pulled her shirt up and said something along the lines of, “My belly is fat, Daddy.” He was shocked and when he relayed the story to me I nearly cried.

This did not come from me. I swear it and I know it. I have NEVER said those words since that sweet child came into this world. And that’s not because I have some crazy six-pack abs. On the contrary, I will likely never wear another bikini and don’t often marvel at the state of my post-baby belly in the mirror. The truth is, breastfeeding has been kind to me and I’ve easily dropped my baby weight, but I haven’t been comfortable with my mid-section since I was 16. There’s quite a bit of mushiness leftover and I’m alright with it. I hope to dedicate some time in the near future to my own health and I’d love to get a little stronger in some areas, but motherhood, and specifically being the mother of a daughter, has brought me to a place of acceptance. I made a promise to myself and to my daughter (though not to her face) after she was born that I would stop criticizing my body and that I’d never let her hear me be critical of my appearance. No trash talking or comparing other women’s bodies either.

That’s not to say I don’t think about this stuff in my head. Do you have any idea how many of these “outfit photos” I delete and deem unworthy of ever seeing the light of day? A LOT. But I keep taking them. Not because this is the most creative outfit ever and you guys all need to go out and look like me, but because this is me and this blog is called Really Risa and sometimes I get dressed and take pictures and tell you why I love something I’m wearing or how I’m feeling. And because it helps me. It’s therapeutic as a stay-at-home mom to have something that is mine. This space. These pictures. It’s really nothing. But it’s something to me, no matter how many of you read it. So yea, I’m as critical of myself as everyone else. You’re your own worst critic, right? Right.

Isla asks me on a daily basis why I wear make-up. “What you doing, Mommy?” followed by, “Why? What? Why?” My response is: “Because I like it!” The truth is more along the lines of: “Because I’m breaking out like a teenager and my face is asymmetrical in ways that are upsetting and getting worse with age and the list goes on.” But my toddler does not need to hear those reasons. So she steals my makeup brushes and mimics me in the mirror and smiles up at me and then moves on and goes about her day. We don’t say things like “girls need makeup” or “makeup makes you pretty” or anything like that. In fact, we don’t talk much about physical appearance at all. We tell her she’s strong when she lifts big things and helps with Theo, we praise her for working hard when she solves a problem and encourage her when she can’t quite figure something out by telling her to “Keep trying!” and “You can do it!” We praise her thoughtfulness, encourage her empathy, talk about kindness and friendship and constantly tell her we love her.

Simple, important messages.

Some days she wears a tutu, other days she wears the super hero underpants she picked out from the “boys’ section” at Target. Some days she wants to be a “cowboy,” other days she carries a raccoon purse and twirls around the house. She loves Diego, Paw Patrol and Buzz LightYear. She also loves mermaids, cats and butterflies. We just go with it.

This also goes for my son. Not just because I want him to be respectful of women and care more about their character than their appearance, but because women don’t have a monopoly on body image issues.

I have no idea where Isla learned the phrase “my belly is fat” and if I get my hands on the person who said it in front of her I’m going to have a very strongly worded conversation with him/her. My hope is that she has no idea what that phrase means and will forget she ever heard it. In the meantime, let’s all agree to be kinder to ourselves, to our daughters and to each other. I won’t be jealous of your rock-solid abs if you promise not to be envious of my mushy middle parts.

But seriously. You’re beautiful. Inside and out. Repeat that until you believe it and then live it because it’s true and you’re the only person you need to convince.

And our children are watching.

{ON ME: Zara top + shorts; Naot sandals via Carella’s Art & Sole; Made by Mary necklaces // ON ISLA: Zara dress; Saltwater sandals}

outfit outfit OutfitIsla and mama

Hers and Mine, Style


Hers and Mine: RompersIt’s been so disgustingly humid and every day “feels like 108” so rompers are the only things between me and my birthday suit. Well, and my one favorite pair of black cut-offs with tank tops, but today we’re talking rompers. This crescent moons romper by dRa Los Angeles is by far my favorite. It’s baggy and breezy in all the right places, making it my uniform for sweltering summer days. I wore it on my birthday with a linen army vest, to my cousin’s bridal shower with a belt and blazer vest and sometimes I wear it with flats. I’m hoping to find ways to transit it to fall, too, though I bet you 10 million dollars this fall ends up feeling more like summer. Because global warming.

There are so many cute rompers out this season but my search for fall jumpsuits has been a little more difficult (short legs and all). Hopefully I’ll find one worth photographing soon. In the meantime, click the links below for a few of my favorite short rompers that should last you until Christmas the way this heat wave is going.

{ON ME: dRa x Kelli Murray romper; Madewell sandals (old); Nena & Co. “Lucia” carryall; Made by Mary necklaces // ON ISLA: Zara romper; Target sandals}

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Hers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: RompersHers and Mine: Rompers Hers and Mine: Rompers



Petit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat_3It took me a really long time to find a rain coat. We’re talking years. Every season I’d look around and Pin things I like online but I could never find exactly what I wanted. Because pushing a double stroller and carrying an umbrella is damn near impossible, I wanted something waterproof, obviously, and hooded. Something with a lining that’s warm enough for fall and cool enough for spring. Something loose enough for layering but not too drapey and oversized. And something blue. I toyed with bright yellow, because who doesn’t love a bright yellow rain coat? But blue is more my style and I found the perfect bright yellow rain coat for Isla (which I got on sale) so I’ll just live vicariously through her, as I do with the rest of her wardrobe. After lots of searching, I settled on this coat from Petit Bateau. I thought they only made kids clothes, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a women’s section. The coat is exactly what I wanted and needed. I now find myself looking forward to rain just so I can wear it! And while it’s a bit more than I wanted to spend, Petit Bateau offers 30 percent off plus free shipping on your first order when you sign up for email. Bonus! Money well spent.

{ON ME: Petit Bateau rain coat; top from Miss Demeanor; Madewell jeans; Converse sneakers // ON ISLA: Gap rain coat; Zara dress; H&M leggings; Converse kids’ sneakers}

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petit_bateau_navy_rain_coat_7Petit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat_6Women's Petit Bateau Navy Rain Coat + Gap Kids Yellow Rain CoatPetit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat_4Petit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat_5Petit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat_2 Petit_Bateau_Navy_Rain_Coat



Zara Floral BlouseA few things.

1. Yes, my hair looks orange. I did dye it. It was time for some gray-be-gone. But I went very similar to my natural color, only a little darker. Kind of a chestnutty brown (seen here). For some reason it looks orange though. A reflection from the flowers maybe? Beats me.

2. I upgraded to the larger Fjallraven Kanken backpack (on sale right now). Since Isla has been using the Mini for preschool, I needed one of my own. I also needed something a little bigger to fit all the stuff required for two kids — double the diapers, snacks, a change of cloths for Theo, burp clothes, toys for two, more snacks, the list goes on. I still use these nylon pouches to keep everything organized and it all fits perfectly in this larger backpack. I still love, love, love this bag, but when we’re venturing through the zoo or to the park I’d rather have something on my back than on my arm.

3. It’s tank top weather! I wore this blouse with a blazer the other day for a meeting — with an adult! — for some work I’ll be doing on the side and I was excited to wear it again now that the weather is nice. I forgot what it’s like to get dressed in clothes you don’t want covered in baby fluids. It was a lovely change.

4. We’re all permanently sick with the plague. It’s never-ending. Fevers, ear infections, horrendous coughs, yucky eyes, sore throats, mastitis, blah, blah, blah. Damn preschool. I’m thankful for short walks and sunshine though.

{Zara top + jeans; Sam Edelman booties; Fjallraven Kanken backpack}

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Floral_Blouse_Kanken_Backpack_3Floral_Blouse_Kanken_Backpack Floral_Blouse_Kanken_Backpack_4 Floral_Blouse_2



hers and min bagshers + mine crossbody bags

The other day I was looking at the pile of shoes that somehow always seems to migrate to the corner of the dining room no matter how many times I clean up, and couldn’t help but laugh at the similarities between my shoes and Isla’s. Same for the coats in the closet, our black and grey skinny jeans, the list goes on. Clearly I buy things for my daughter I would wear myself. Or vice versa. So I walked around the house taking pictures of the similarities while the kids were sleeping because that was more fun than cleaning. And because Isla is sick again and we have cabin fever. Now all I need is a mermaid lunchbox of my own and our mama-daughter twinning will be complete.

hers and mine jacketshers + mine rain coats; hers + mine (old Zara, similar) spring jackets
hers and mine shoesclockwise from top left: 
hers + mine (old from Gilt, similar) winter boots; hers + mine converse; hers + mine (old Madewell) booties; hers + mine (old Michael Kors, similar below) rain boots

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