TOTW: Ella Dynae Daily Dress-up (& Giveaway!)

photo-19 Ballerina Fairy (wings worn upside down because she likes the way it looks)
photo-11 "Fairy Princess Party Dress" (skirt worn inside out because she likes the way it looks.)
photo-22 photo-7 photo-16
I've been looking forward to this post for the the last month, ever since Richelle at Ella Dynae sent Fable a custom costume just because.

"I think Fable would appreciate this," she said.

I fell out of my chair when I looked through her links. And then Fable fell out of her chair when I showed her the links and then we both fell out of our chairs together and died and came back to life and then jumped up and down and then Fable picked the colors she liked and two weeks later, BAM.
(This picture was taken moments after Fable opened the box and put on her "ballerina fairy" costume for the first time. I literally cried when she put it on because it was magical and I had never seen a costume like this before and how LUCKY ARE YOU, FABLE! YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!) 
For the last year Fable has spent more time in costumes than not. She wears princess dresses to school, to the breakfast table at 7am, to bed... 95% of the time, Fable is wearing a "costume" because that is who she is and what she feels most comfortable in.
A few weeks back Richelle sent Fable a second costume to experiment with and wear for the holidays. Something she could wear to holiday dinners and over leggings to play outside. Something that could be mixed and matched with her other costume or her clothes or whatever.
Fable's Dress 5 Option #1
Fable's Dress 6 Option #2
Fable assumed the tulle that was included in the box (for decoration) was part of the costume so she created a veil by wrapping it around one of her headpieces because she is a costume wearing genius of make believe dress up costume design.
(flowers plucked from the vase on the living room table)
I kept her home yesterday to have a mother-daughter day where amongst other things, she played dress up, and then (of course) wore her get-up to lunch. (We left the wings in the car.)

When the server asked what the special occasion was, Fable smiled shyly.

"This is just how she rolls," I said.

And it's true. Six days out of seven, this is her stitch:
photo-18 Fable, yesterday, in one of her Ella Dynae skirts. Mixing it up with some striped tights. photo-4
In the past, Fable's costumes have been store-bought princess costumes. Which are wonderful in their own right and Fable loves those as well (Ariel, Rapunzel and Cinderella are faves) but the Ella Dynae costumes are different. Not only are they handmade, customizable with many different layers and parts to change-up every time she wears them, they're TREASURES. Heirlooms. The kind of pieces Fable will pass on to her own children.
photo-12 (and sisters) IMG_8880
Are they expensive? Yes. Should they be expensive? Yes. They are IMPECCABLY crafted multi-piece works of art, handmade by Richelle who is awesome.
Richelle has been so generous with us and I'm so grateful for all of the hours Fable has spent make-believing she's a fairy and a princess and a fairy flower princess bride (who is getting married to herself) in Richelle's creations. They're truly works of art. (Thank you, Richelle!) 
Richelle has generously offered to make a handmade costume for the child in your life who lives (and loves) to dress up. To win? Leave a comment with your favorite childhood pastime (mine was keeping pet rats. And snails). I'll pick one winner next Friday, December 7th.

Richelle has also offered a discount code for GGC readers. Use code GIRLSGONECHILD at checkout for 15% your entire order + a free headband of your choice. (ED: All orders placed before December 14th should get to you by Christmas.)
photo-8 Good luck/happy dress up!


P.S. For those looking for other gift ideas for costume/play, I just bought Fable another Kevin Murphy Color Bug, this time in purple to match her costumes. 

UPDATED: Congratulations to disqus randomizer winner, Gerry! I loved your comment! Thank you so much for sharing! (And to everyone else who participated! Thank you. So many amazing stories.)

you make bath time

photo photo-1 photo-3 photo-2 so much fun. photo-4
photo-5 (and sometimes not fun) photo-6 photo-8  (but mostly fun.)


P.S. Just found these photos of six-week old Bo and Revi during bath time and died. Is there an emoticon for a clock in running shoes? Because there should be. 
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The Faces of Honest (Sponsored & Giveaway)

The following post is part of a series sponsored by Honest, of whom we have been paying customers since the twins were bitty babes. Thank you for being behind us, Honest. Keep rocking.
A couple of weeks back I took a trip to the Honest headquarters, to get to know the team behind the brand and in doing so, introduce them to you guys. I wasn't prepared for the experience that followed - the stories of dreams realized and risks taken, of people genuinely excited to go to work, motivated to make a difference, proud of their jobs. (Honest has 62 employees including customer service fulfillment and everyone works together under the same roof.)

I don't get out much, clearly, because at one point I got all emotional listening to Sarah, my Honest contact, talk about her blog as passion project and how it turned into a passion career (see below) - something that hit home for me, obviously, but also made me realize how much opportunity this space creates for people like me. And Sarah. And Honest. A company that lives and breathes solely on the web, care of the shoulders of amazing humans doing the behind-the-scenes lifting.
...And now I will stop my jibber jabber and introduce you guys to the people behind the butterfly.
IMG_0768 IMG_0769
Tim Hankins
Head Designer (All the cute diaper prints? This guy.) 

Before working at Honest, Tim worked in the record industry, designing album covers amongst other awesome rockstaresque things. 

"And then my son, Benjamin was born and everything changed. I couldn't afford to work as a freelancer anymore. Honest was a perfect fit. We're a tight knit team. It's a lot of fun. And I love that I'm making something I can turn around and use with my family."

"Plus," Tim adds, "its humbling to design something (diapers) and then see that something destroyed on a daily basis. My son LITERALLY poops on my art all day long."
Melissa Williams
Team Lead: Honest Support

"Most businesses don't have their customer service team located in the same office as everyone else. We're all here together - communicating and helping each other. Everyone's on the same team."
Janine Jimenez
Team Lead: Honest Support

"I love working here because I believe in the mission. We have a great community I feel is trustworthy and we offer solutions for families."

When I asked Janine, a Science major, what she was passionate about, she held up founder, Christopher Gavigan's book, Healthy Child, Healthy World.

"This book! And breastfeeding."
IMG_0749 Roger Kuo 
VP Client Services

Roger runs the customer service part of HONEST. I have never met anyone so passionate about Customer Service in my life. I am passionate about passionate people, apparently, because after ten minutes of chatting about the call center I realized I wasn't taking notes in my phone, but rather, discussing the importance of "embracing the noise" in work and in life. 

"No cubicles allowed! Everyone is in this thing together!"

IMG_0754 Carol Tsui
Honest Support Specialist

"There was a customer who recently called and we totally bonded. She'd call sometimes just to talk and then one day she stopped by the offices and brought us all cookies. It was amazing. Building relationships is really important to us. Making friends... We believe in these products and our customers believe in us."
IMG_0752 IMG_0750 "deliver delight"
IMG_0762 Christopher Gavigan
Honest Founder/Chief Products Officer
(Seen here with his son Luke's self portrait.)

Christopher is amazing. He just is. His passion is palpable and Honest is his fourth child (he has three children, aged 5, 2 and 4 months) and it shows. 

When I asked him why he founded Honest (with partner, Jessica Alba, who was on location during my little visit) he explained that it was his dream to create one destination for environmentally friendly products for parents. 

Christopher, an environmental health leader, author, speaker and the former CEO of Healthy Child, Healthy World, spent the last fifteen years committed to environmental research and empowering parents to steer clear of some of the harmful toxins found in many household products. 

Before Honest, both Christopher and Jessica found they had to shop at a dozen different places for the right environmentally/child friendly products.

"Nobody was covering all the basics. Jessica and I sat down one day with the idea to create a one-stop-shop environmentally friendly brand that would be representative of the modern mom." 

Honest is just over a year old and has not only fulfilled its goal but continues to grow by the day. You go, Christopher and Jessica. 
IMG_0759 David Yeom
VP Marketing (and father of two: a two year old son named Aaron and a six week old daughter named Averie who at the time of our meeting, wasn't sleeping very well.)

When I asked him what it's been like working here, David shook his head.

"Coming here was... ideal wasn't even the word. I've been a web guy for a long time. Worked at Myspace and eBay... but this is... it's just such a joy to be here. I'm a parent now and it's such a joy. I'm so happy."

I think I hugged David for ten minutes straight because he was so awesome, not to mention, ANYONE, coming off a sleepless night deserves an extremely long hug. 
IMG_0741 Sarah Reisert
Content and Community Manager/Heroine

Sarah is my friend. I didn't know her until a few months ago but now I don't ever want to un-know her. She's amazing. She's inspiring. She has incredible taste. She's one of those people you want to follow around because holy, hell, girl - how do you do it all? But it wasn't until my visit at the office that I actually got to sit down with her and hear her story. 

Sarah's story goes like this: she was working in Washington DC as an attorney before moving to LA, when her husband was transferred for work. Her husband's job meant a lot of travel which meant that for Sarah, a new mom, sixteen hour days at the law firm was far too demanding. Meanwhile, feeling creatively stifled, Sarah and her friend Sarah had started a blog called Salt & Nectar (You guys should totally follow if you aren't already! It's awesome) which caught the eye of actress/Honest Co-founder/blog reading mom, Jessica Alba. From there Jessica and Sarah made plans to meet. Sarah interviewed Jessica for Salt & Nectar and Jessica invited Sarah to come and work with her. 

"She believed in my writing and in me and now I'm here."

Sarah quit her job and started working at Honest right away as their blogger, content relationship specialist, copywriter who assists with a few lawyerly duties on the side.

"I went from being a lawyer who social-media'd on the side to a social media person who laywers on the side."

Not only is Sarah one of Honest's right hand women, she also STILL regularly updates Salt & Nectar which... I don't even. 

"I was an Honest customer before I worked here, so I already loved the products and the company. I believe in this. Everyone here cares—it's truly about the customer. Jessica thinks of everything down to the bottle design from a mom's perspective. Christopher will give his personal email to customers so they can contact him directly if they need anything. We read every Facebook comment. When our first wipes went on sale and customers thought they could be improved, we listened, acknowledged the problem and then made them the best on the market."

(ED: I was one of those who complained about this first generation wipes. Customer service, woo!)

When I asked Sarah if she had any advice for women who want to start a blog in what seems like a saturated market she said this:

"Get a partner! Having a partner meant I had to keep posting! Sarah and I posted for each other at first and then for our audience. It's why I'm still posting! I don't want to let anyone down."
IMG_0757 IMG_0764 IMG_0744 IMG_0745 IMG_0742 IMG_0766 IMG_0770
With Sarah, Jen and Christopher, in the kids play area.
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Interested in giving Honest a whirl? Check out their FREE trial and see if it's for you. Honest is also offering free shipping for first-time customers. Use code GGCFreeShip2 between now and 12/13. Honest is also offering one reader an Honest Gift Kit of your choice. You can choose between the new baby arrival kit (boy or girl), pampering kithousewarming kitoutdoor fun kit, bath time kit and the essential samples kit! To win, just leave a comment below with the kit of your preference. I'll pick one winner next Thursday, December 6th. Good luck!

Updated: Congrats to DISQUS randomizer winner, Josephine! You just won yourself a Housewarming kit, lady! And thanks to all of you who participated! Much love to all!