To do: Get yourself a real swimsuit

bahamas with a one year old
When my oldest was 13 months, we took her on a family vacation to the Bahamas. Upon arrival we headed out to the zero-entry pool. While another tot sat calmly and splashed in the shallows, Beatrice ran in full force until she was over her head and couldn’t breathe. We yanked her up so her head was above water and she laughed delightedly. “Again!” she cried. “Again, again!”

That was our crash course on swimming with young kids. Now that we have two we don’t even consider swimming as a family unless we have two adults — one for each kid. Beatrice and her younger sister, Blythe, are still the same at pools — constantly on the move and always seeking out water that is just a bit too deep for them.

Swimsuits for me used to be something I wore while lounging on a deck chair, a book in one hand, a drink in the other. Sure, sometimes I’d languidly dip in the water, but it was easy to find swimsuits I liked because I didn’t need to DO anything in them.

Then I became a mom and those little flimsy suits from Old Navy didn’t cut it anymore. I needed a REAL suit. One I can run around and scoop up my kids in without worrying about how my stomach looks. A swimsuit with enough structure on top that my two-year-old can’t yank it aside with one errant hand. I want to be able to be as active as my kids want to be, and don’t have time to constantly fuss with my suit.

But I want to feel attractive, too — the last thing moms want is a “mom suit.” Feeling self-confident is also important for me to model for my girls.

When Leonisa reached out to us to see if we wanted to do a review, I took one look at their suits and said YES. Here is what I had been looking for: swimsuits with structure on top that more closely resembled the care and quality that you select in a bra. Suits with a little helping hand in keeping those abs in. Cute colors and patterns that don’t look like you wandered into the teen section at Target, but also don’t scream mom.

Leonisa swimsuits

I ultimately selected this tankini because it’s super flexible — you can wear it long for that sleek, flattering one-piece look but still have the convenience of two pieces (YES!). Or you can synch up the sides to get some sun on your abs during lounge breaks. Also, that gold clip is removable, to dress it up (couples vacation at a swank resort) or down (local swimming beach with the kids).

Leonisa Tankiki Swimsuit

Swim season is coming soon (if you haven’t already been hitting the waterparks), so head on over to Leonisa and pick yourself out a great suit. (Or two —  I was wondering today why I always get a couple of suits in each size for the girls, and I only buy myself one good suit, when I’ll wear my suit for the next five years.)

Summer, and swimming with my two crazy kids: bring it on.

Clickery for February 6, 2015

clickery header 2 copyWelcome to Clickery, a weekly feature where we share things we like because maybe you’ll like them too.

Breanne’s Links


Penguin Classics selected 26 books – one for each letter of the alphabet — and designed them in a rainbow of colors as part of a special Drop Caps series. SO PRETTY. Also fun to see what books they picked. The list inspired me to give E. Nesbit a try; her young adult books are a delight.

Have you been following the chatter lately about how the subculture of MN and surrounding states needs to be recognized more, beyond merely “the Midwest.” Why not the North? This line of thinking is exactly what Borealis is about — that there is a way of life here underrepresented or acknowledged nationwide.

Design Mom does a great series called “Living With Kids” that features home tours of amazing women (and their families). The homes are always gorgeous, but it’s the peek into real life that I really love. From this week’s post, this quote: “Each child goes through the inevitable ups and downs of development. We aren’t there to fix them all or take them personally. Our job is to stay consistent and help them not get arrested.” Also in this post: sex after babies.

A new product in our house recommended for better sleep/more focus/a natural laxative for kids (especially given all of the cautionary tales about Miralax).

Jen’s Links

Today is National Wear Red Day — a day to raise awareness of women’s risk of heart disease. I wrote a post for Huffington Post about why awareness is so critical, and why no woman should ever hear she doesn’t fit the profile for heart disease.

(If you are inspired to learn more, see this post from my heart blog about ways to “Go Red” during February, American Heart Month, and see this woman-power PSA too.)

I went to a high school open house last night. High. School. What!!?? It is so true that “the days are long but the years are short.” I can’t believe this is me.

So as we’re asking our mortified eighth grader which open house sessions he was interested in — theater arts, computer science, broadcast journalism, IB diploma, world languages — and were met with grunts and shrugs, I had to bite my tongue and sit on my hands to keep from intervening. Because we have to let him make choices and decisions and learn to take initiative; helicopter parent I do not intend to be. I love the writing and advice of Jessica Lahey, teacher, columnist, and author, and she’s really helped me through these junior high years (especially this article). I’ve just pre-ordered her book “The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed” coming out right before the first day of Owen’s freshman year. Gulp, here I go.


Vitamin Mama

Snuggle with girls after MW

Some days I am amazed by the huge, intense, real, deep NEED my girls have for me. I can love them up so hard, snuggle them so tightly they feel like part of my body again, and they come back the next day, ready for more. Sometimes I check to make sure it’s not just […]

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Winter hike-in cabin camping with children at Tettegouche State Park

Granite Gear pulk sled

Every winter some friends of ours hike into a cabin at Tettegouche State Park, and I’ve always wanted to try it. Their trips sounded so magical — sipping coffee while big snowflakes fall outside, taking long snowshoe or ski outings on the vast network of trails, reading in front of the wood stove. Our seven […]

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Top 14 posts of 2014

top 14 featured image

Today is the end of our third full year of blogging, and as is tradition, we end the year with our most-read posts of 2014. We chose 14 (seven each), plus one bonus guest post that was the most-read post of any we published in 2014. The top post of 2014 The gift of Hannah: […]

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Why we love our standing desks


Like we often do, because great minds think alike, Jen and I decided independently to get standing desks this year. If you’ve read any of the research, they are calling sitting the new smoking, and saying that even if you exercise regularly you cannot overcome the adverse affects of sitting at your work all day. I’ve […]

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Saying Goodbye to the Buddy


Before we were actual parents, we were cat parents. When we found mice in our first apartment in Uptown, we brought my childhood cat, Rocky, to live with us. (And yes, he solved the mice problem). When he passed away two years later, we adopted Cadbury (Cat-buddy) and Stilton, two Siamese brothers. They were more […]

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Borealis gift guides: Minnesota-made gifts that work

work featured image

We work hard in Minnesota, and we expect our gifts do the same. These are some very Minnesota-nice, useful, practical, yet delightful gifts we’ll love to give — and would love to get. Totally getting this for some men in my life who both paddle and motorcycle and everything in between. From Winona-based Sanborn Canoe […]

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