Among the list of job titles boasted by Natalie Comstock (including graphic apparel shop owner and style blogger!), none of them is quite so important as her role as “mom.” We caught up with Natalie to talk shop and to also tour her baby girl’s precious pink nursery. Take the tour and read Natalie’s interview below!
You look like you’re loving being a new mom! Tell us, what has it been like adjusting to your new role?
I am! It has honestly been the most amazing experience in my entire life. But don’t let that fool you. It has also been, hands down, the most challenging and testing! Adjusting has been a process and I’m still in it. I think from the outside looking in and kind of the big picture view, things have mostly been really good. Everyone is healthy, I’m lucky to have an incredibly helpful and present husband with a very flexible schedule, we have an amazing support system and Talie is generally a pretty happy baby. Emotionally and mentally, it’s felt a lot harder. There are days when I feel like I’m buzzing along and I feel so good. And there are days that I feel are really, really difficult. I’ve set many things down for the time being (like the majority of my work) and sometimes that feels tough. I’m beginning to make that transition back into working more, so I’m excited, but it’s hard because then the guilt starts to crop up. Feeling all the contrasting emotions and feelings of motherhood is a wild experience!
Tell us about what you do outside of being Talie’s mama?
I have a fashion and lifestyle blog called Natalie Dressed where I share my style, document our life and write a lot about spirituality and real life. I also have a graphic apparel brand called Style + Spirit that’s all about creating clothing for the conscious, encouraging kindness and reminding humans of our connectedness. My work has mostly been on an extended pause while I try to learn this new way of life. Thank goodness for Instagram, which keeps me connected!
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve been given about motherhood?
To just love your kids. My parents remind me of this all the time. Motherhood can sometimes feel like a battle you can never win with all the varying opinions about every topic you could ever imagine. At the end of the day, nothing can compare to our kids feeling loved to their core. We don’t have to be perfect or make all the right decisions—we just have to love them.
How are you juggling work and raising your daughter?
So, this is a bit of a two-part answer. There honestly isn’t a whole lot of juggling happening because there hasn’t been much working. When she was younger, it was fairly easy to squeeze in work here and there because she would sleep so much, but for the past six months or so, my work has mostly been put on pause. It’s been a really hard shift. I’m so thankful that I have the ability to be home with her and wouldn’t change that for the world, but I also have a deep desire to continue working and creating. It’s kind of felt like the ground has been pulled out from under me and I’m wobbling around trying to get my footing again.
When I’m in that place of ego-driven fear and this sense that I’m falling “behind” (like there’s some invisible marker that I need to keep up with), it feels scary and a little frantic, like, “I need to get back on my feet quickly or I never will.” However, when I’m able to step through that fear and drop into my intuition, it feels more like, “The ground was taken out from under you so you can move to higher ground.” Like a new way of being is on the horizon.
Since having Talie, there has been a desire deep within me to work differently moving forward—to work from a very aligned, high-vibrational energy as much as possible and to not work all the time. So, it feels like that’s coming, but hasn’t quite arrived. It’s been a constant process of surrendering and I’ve had to consciously allow myself to be in this state of unraveling and shedding old ways of being. It’s been uncomfortable in a lot of ways, but I’ve been trying not to rush the process and to take action when it feels aligned.
I’m so thankful that I have the ability to be home with her and wouldn’t change that for the world, but I also have a deep desire to continue working and creating.
What’s a typical day look like for you?
From a logistical standpoint, I don’t really have a typical work day right now. I feel like I’m on the verge of emerging from that transition bubble and finding a new way of working, so we’re kind of in the throws of experimenting to see what works. My husband works a 48/96-hour shift, so he’s gone for two days and then is home for four days, which is a godsend. When he’s gone, I may do a little work while she sleeps, but other than that, there’s no work other than social media on my phone. When he is home, I have more flexibility, and will sometimes go to a coffee shop or somewhere away from home to work for a few hours. Or he’ll just be the parent on duty and I’ll find little blocks of time throughout our day. We’re still figuring it out!
What are your go-to 5 beauty products you can’t live without now?
- Glossier Cloud Paint
- BeautyCounter Tint Skin Foundation
- Inika Loose Mineral Foundation
- Pacifica 7-Free Nail Polish
- Cocokind Facial Repair Serum
What’s Talie’s age and her daily routine?
She’s 11 months old. Generally, her routine goes something like this:
- 6:30/7 a.m.: Wake up and lounge in bed a bit (aka crawl on my face and try to rip my eyelashes out)
- 7/7:30 a.m.: Actually get up
- 9 a.m.: Breakfast
- 10 a.m.: Nap #1
- 12 p.m.: Lunch
- 2 p.m.: Nap #2
- 5:30 p.m.: Eat dinner
- 6:15 p.m.: Bath
- 7 p.m.: Bedtime
There is a lot of variation from day to day. We try to keep her naps pretty consistent, but they can vary a little bit depending on how she slept the night before and the cues she’s giving us. Her sleep has been a work in progress lately and there’s been a lot of interruptions due to teething and developmental milestones, so when that happens, the entire schedule can get out of whack. Between the naps and meal times, we will go on walks, play in the living room, clean up the house, hang out on the patio, go to the beach, run errands or just hang out. I go to my parent’s house fairly often when Seth is working, so we will go hang out with my sister and play over there, too.
If you could only buy three key pieces for your nursery, what would they be? Where would you splurge and save?
Crib, dresser and rocker. I’d splurge on the rocker because it’s all about comfort and a lot of time is likely to be spent there. I think the crib is an easy place to save. You can get something that looks good and does its job for not much money. I’d say if the dresser is a piece that can be used in various places throughout the house or is timeless enough to last them their entire childhood, then it’s worth investing in, but it can also totally be an area to save depending on your living situation.
What inspired the style of Talie’s nursery?
It’s kind of a mix of a lot things. I wanted it to be well-styled, but still functional. I went with mostly mid-century style furniture and a foundation made up of a lot of white and wood finishes to bring in my style from the rest of the house and then allowed her toys and décor to bring in a little quirk and that carefree, California spirit. I also love me some boho touches, so I got this rug that I fell in love with from Hesby because the blue lines reminded me of the ocean. Then I incorporated things like rattan and wicker baskets, straw bags, plants and varying textures. The white shelves and wood file boxes are actually left over from when this room was my office. Our house is tiny and there’s nowhere else to put them so I made them work in there. They’ve actually been great because they provide so much storage. We also have a few sentimental items like books and stuffed animals from our childhood and handmade gifts and artwork from meaningful people scattered throughout her room that kind of add to the cheeky personality of it.
How do you unwind and relax?
Most nights, it’s pouring a glass of wine, sinking into the couch and watching shows on our DVR after Talie has gone to bed. Also, unplugging and reading before bed helps immensely—I don’t do it consistently enough. Massages every so often are a must for taking a time out and releasing the tension that loves to live in my neck, shoulders and back. And, of course, dark chocolate!
At the end of the day, nothing can compare to our kids feeling loved to their core. We don’t have to be perfect or make all the right decisions—we just have to love them.
Where are your go-to spots for shopping for baby décor and clothes?
For clothes, my go-tos are Zara, Old Navy, Target and Gap. Some of the small shops I love are Margot + Me, Little House in the Orchard and Bitte. As for décor, she doesn’t really have any “baby décor” per se. The majority of the décor is either stuff from places where I normally shop (Target, IKEA, Urban Outfitters, HomeGoods, World Market, All Modern) that I’d use in any other part of the house, or it’s just different toys and books that I’ve displayed. That said, a couple shops with great toys and clothes are Childish and Burro, and my friend Meghann Miniello has some of the cutest artwork for kids rooms.
What are three apps you can’t live without as a busy mama?
- Evernote (my brain lives here)
- Audible (read and walk, read and clean, read and drive)
- Instagram (that’s a given, right?)
Are you a more tidy or more messy? How do you handle organization with a baby and all her gear/toys?
Definitely more messy. However, her room is the one room in the house where everything has a home, so it stays the cleanest.
Her dresser and the drawers on the IKEA shelves hold almost everything—clothing, diapers and wipes, sheets/burp cloths/wash cloths, accessories, clothes that don’t fit yet, all of the random little miscellaneous items and even some of my accessories. The IKEA baskets at the bottom of the white shelves are life-savers. They’re easy to throw toys into for quick clean up and also are great for things like holding clothes she’s outgrown that I haven’t yet transferred to the garage. They’re perfect for the items that I don’t know where to put, but I don’t want to look at!
The wood file boxes hold all of our household files. Her room is a random place for them, but we don’t have anywhere else for them, so the boxes conceal them nicely. I display things that she’s acquired collections of like hats and sunglasses. I figure it does double duty—makes for cute décor and saves space. As for the bigger baby gear items like walkers and swings, those have always lived in the living room. They kind of just float around because our house is less than 1,000 square feet, so it’s hard to find the room to give them a permanent home.
List of 10 most-loved things to do these days.
- Trader Joe’s Chocolate Lovers Dark Chocolate
- The Lively Show
- All the books on spirituality/consciousness/
- Levi’s 501 Skinny Jeans in Summer Dune (28″ inseam, please)
- Our intelliBED
- Wide-brimmed hats
- Domino Magazine
- Delicate gold jewelry
- Reality television
You live in Santa Cruz, California. What are your favorite spots to visit with Talie?
She loves the beach, so we’ll walk to Seabright or Twin Lakes every so often so she can play in the sand. We also love to walk through the Harbor and through Arana Gulch to say “hi” to the cows. Harbor Cafe, The Buttery and Earthbelly are our go-tos for eating out and they’re all super family-friendly. We also get acai bowls at Samba Rock or Amazon Juices pretty often. We take walks around the neighborhood a lot and will pop into Childish and Home/Work to say “hi” and check out the new stuff.
What are the most Instagrammable spots?
Cameron Marks, Home/Work and both Stripe and Stripe Men are musts for cute boutiques. Dig and Botanic and Luxe are plant and home décor stores that are Instagrammable from literally every angle. Verve (the Westside location is probably my fave, but they’re all Insta-worthy) and Cat & Cloud are the raddest coffee shops and they have amazing coffee so, you know, that’s important, too! 41st Avenue has a bunch of great spots—Zameen, Verve, The Penny Ice Creamery, Zen Island, Patine and Warmth Company. West End Tap, Bantam and Assembly are all restaurants with great interiors. A walk down West Cliff or East Cliff is a must for those quintessential Santa Cruz beach shots.
It’s been a constant process of surrendering and I’ve had to consciously allow myself to be in this state of unraveling and shedding old ways of being.