Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Me, myself, and the portal

After yesterday's post, a few readers asked me why I made the portal, and how has the blog evolved since I started.

If I would say that this blog is about "fashion", I would not make it justice. To say it with one of my favourite bloggers, Joslyn Taylor of Simple Lovely, this blog is about fashion, life, style, kids, parenting, and much more. 

I am a working mom who lives in Montreal with her husband, second-grader son and baby boy.  Starting a blog about fashion for thirty-something moms like me has been one of my shelf projects for a little while -- that is, since I shed away the baby weight I had accumulated during my first pregnancy and I got interested in fashion again. I realized there was a vacuum in the resources for moms who, even though they are not Kate Hudson or Katie Holmes, want to be a bit fashionable. Indeed my time management skills have been confronted with a number of challenges since my son's arrival. Sitting and relaxing after work to flip through Vogue and catch up with the latest fashion trends? No more. After work now equals to a frenzy of bath-prepare supper-eat supper-have quality time together before you pass out or you force yourself to do some more work to catch up with what you have not done during the day while you were busy getting an appointment with a pediatrician or picking up the soccer's outfit for next week's game. Window shopping downtown on a Saturday afternoon with your girlfriends? Forget it. Weekends equal to the after work frenzy on steroids -- since they generally involve playdates as well.

The most important thing I realized is that I do not mind the challenges. My sons are all worth it, and more. I just need a little time to figure out what to wear in the morning without feeling I went to work in my pajama or, worse, without imagining my mother's disapproving look for the outfit I picked without looking. This brought me to envision a space to share thoughts about fashion (and likely about kids as well) with other moms like me. The project moved from the shelf to the web in 2011.  I
 am sure you now wonder how I finally found the time. I became one of those lucky university professors who, after receiving tenure, could take a year of "sabbatical leave" from their home institution. This time has to be dedicated to research -- the one element of a professor's curriculum that is crucially important but that is most easily swallowed by other responsibilities, especially when children come in the picture. But I decided that, since I had never taken break since elementary school, I could dedicate one percent of this time to this project (after all, it can be considered research as well, right?).

The first year of blogging was easy. I spent my sabbatical leave in Italy, with easy access to everything: fashion, design, different parenting styles, you name it. (Full recap here). Two days after we got back, I found out I was pregnant for the second time. Updating my online pregnancy style journal thus kept me busy during the second year of blogging. As documenting the challenges of post-pregnancy style came to an end, at the beginning of 2014 I found myself ready for redesigning and reinventing.

That's how the portal was born! Now I try to be more locally grounded, by sharing resources on reads, shops, sales, events, you name it. So if you live in Montreal, I hope you get on board and follow along!

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