December 2013 | Dearest Lou


"A portrait of Zaden, once a week, every week, in 2013."
Last portrait of 2013, love those big brown eyes and little tongue

Zaden Turns O N E!

Pictures taken November 23, 2013

Here are a few pictures of my big O N E year old a little over a month later (; 

This past year has been so amazing and exhausting at the same time. Nothing could have ever prepared me for motherhood, but even when times are hard everything is worth it at the end of the day. From having a natural birth to successfully nursing Zaden a full year (13 months now) it has been quite the journey. Zaden is so full of life and personality, I absolutely adore everything about him. I can't wait to see what milestones he reaches this upcoming year and spending more time with my growing toddler <3

Christmas Eve

Zaden has been extra adorable today and I couldn't help but capture a couple of pictures of him before the sun went down.

Merry Christmas Eve!

2 years

Today is our 2nd Anniversary.
I love this man with all my heart.

Jolly Chic $100 Gift Card Giveaway

Hey guys so things have been a little hectic around here and I haven't had a set time to blog (since the little guy has been sick and it's really taken a toll on him sleeping through the night). I should be back to blogging on more of a regular schedule once the holidays pass. 

However, I have a fantastic international giveaway coming your way. The wonderful people over at Jolly Chic are offering one lucky Dearest Lou reader a $100 store credit to their online store! Jolly Chic is an international clothing website with adorable and affordable clothing and accessories.

Here are some of my favorite items under $50:

There are 3 mandatory requirements to keep in mind:
1) You must register for Jolly Chic
2) "Like" Jolly Chic on Facebook
3) Leave a comment with the url of your favorite item from Jolly Chic 
**If the email you used to register is different from the one you use to login to Rafflecopter; please leave a comment with your name, Rafflecopter email, and Jolly Chic email, so that I know you've completed that mandatory step!**

Contest is open worldwide thru December 29th at 11:59PM EST. Winner will be announced on or after December 30th. Thanks friends and good luck!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mama & Baby Style: Cozy Knots

One of my sweet readers sent Zaden and I these adorable hats from her new etsy shop, Cozy Knots. Iris sells quality and cozy crochet hats and scarves in all sorts of different sizes and colors. She did a mama and baby custom order for Zaden and I. We are absolutely in love with our hats and Zaden loves that they are matching. He will crawl around our bedroom and specifically hand me mine and put his on afterwards and then just look at me and giggle. He is too adorable.

Iris is offering all US Dearest Lou readers FREE SHIPPING with promo code: DEARESTLOU. Happy Shopping (;

What I wore:
Coat: Emerging Thoughts
Skirt: c/o Lulu*s
Tights: Forever 21
Wedges: Shoe Carnival
Hat: c/o Cozy Knots

What Z wore:
Hoodie: OshKosh
Pants: Baby Gap
Shoes: Baby Gap
Hat: c/o Cozy Knots

PS: Don't forget to enter the #DSWShoeHookup giveaway here.

#DSWShoeHookup Giveaway

I'm so sorry this post is getting out this evening. I had originally planned on having it posted by this morning but I was up all night with Zaden. Turns out he has an ear infection and has had a pretty bad fever so I have been taking care of him all day.

For those of you who didn't have a chance to read about the #DSWShoeHookup here or here, I have teamed up with DSW to bring not one but FIVE lucky winners $50 gift cards to DSW. There will also be 5 runner-ups who will win a copy of the New York Time's best-seller, Do You Speak Shoe Lover.

All you have to do is sign up for the DSW Rewards Program to participate and follow Dearest Lou on Bloglovin, easy peasy! The DSW Rewards Program will grant you access to even more perks: Free shipping, reward certificates, special offers and much more. 

Please enter by using the rafflecopter widget below. This contest ends December 15th at 11:59PM EST. All winners will be announced the following day. Thanks for reading and good luck.

* Contest is open to US only. Limit one winner per household/per family from the 50 blogs participating in the promotion. Individuals winning more than one giveaway will receive only 1 prize and the other winning entries will be disqualified and alternate winner will be chosen. Winners will receive an electronic Bonus Card (via email), within 2-3 weeks of contest completion

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure and check out all of the other blogs participating:

12/02–12/05   MyBelongingShoe Smitten
12/03–12/06   My Fashion JuiceBelle de CoutureGentri Lee
12/04–12/07   Alterations NeededThe Chic StreetMuch Love, illy
12/05–12/08   Life, Love, and the Pursuit of ShoesPink AvenueCoffee Beans and Bobby Pins
12/06–12/09   Jadore-FashionFashion SnagMelanee Shale
12/07–12/10   High Fashion 4 LessFashion FlingDenim Debutante
12/08–12/11   Jimmy Choos and Tennis ShoesOh So GlamCorals + Cognacs
12/09–12/12   Kimmy ErinCrystalin MarieSandy A La Mode
12/10–12/13   My Own Blog ReviewAround LuciaTrend Hungry
12/11–12/14   Stiletto BeatsVintageorTackyGirl Avant Garde
12/12–12/15   Behind the SeamsFancy Things BlogDearest Lou
12/13–12/16   The Fashion PoetLet it Be BeautifulMae Badiyan
12/14–12/17   Good, Bad, and FabKel & KateThe Frugalista
12/15–12/18   Fashionably BrokeLittle Miss FearlessModly Chic
12/16–12/19   The Fashionista Next DoorStuds and SapphiresBritt + Whit
12/17–12/20   Living in Color PrintLove Fashion, Live LifeA Mom in Red High Heels
12/18–12/21   Fashionable HostessesDistrict SparkleCrowley Party

Coconuts Britain Riding Boot Review and Nordic Sweater

I wanted to do a review on my DSW shoe pick before the DSW Shoe Hookup Giveaway tomorrow. I was immediately drawn to the Coconuts Britain Riding Boot because I don't own any black boots and they are very versatile and classy looking. I absolutely love these boots, they were the perfect shoe for this snowy afternoon. I was able to walk around town and to our church Christmas party without worrying about snow. However, there isn't much traction at the bottom of the shoe and I almost slipped a few times (;

I was reading on their website that some of the other reviews say that the calf circumference runs small. I personally didn't have a problem fitting my calf into the boot and I even have a little muscle on my calves, ha. Overall, I'm very impressed with the boot and it really added the finishing touch to my casual Christmas party look. Don't forget to sign up for their rewards program because it will be a requirement in order to enter the #DSWShoeHookup giveaway tomorrow.

On another note, have you guys heard of Brag Vintage? It's one of the fastest growing online thrift stores located in the UK. I'm all about supporting small businesses and happened to come across this gorgeous vintage Nordic sweater. I've seen a lot of cheap adorable imitation ones on many online stores but wanted the real deal. What really drew my attention to this sweater is that it is 100% wool. I have been looking for a wool sweater to  keep me warm against the cold winter breeze. It was also made in Norway which I think is pretty neat (;

When I was doing my body measurements before ordering the sweater I knew that the sleeves would be a little short on my arms but ordered it anyway and figured I would be layering it since wool tends to be itchy. Overall, I'm very satisfied with it and have been frequently checking their inventory. I would LOVE to thrift in Europe someday! They offer free shipping to UK, so all of you UK readers should take advantage of that.

What I wore:
Sweater: Brag Vintage
Skirt: thrifted American Eagle
Shirt: c/o Kingdom and State
Leggings: Nordstrom
Necklace: c/o Lulu*s
Boots: c/o DSW

What Z wore:
Shirt: Baby Gap (sold out online)
Pants: Baby Gap (on sale)
Vest: Carter's
Shoes: Baby Gap (sold out online)
Beanie: Baby Gap (sold out online)

Floral Watch and Z Standing in the Snow

Happy Monday! I'm pretty excited that it isn't going to snow anytime soon and that the weather should be back up in the 40's by the end of this week. These pictures were taken on a cold afternoon before we went grocery shopping at Costco.

Zaden has started taking baby steps and can walk about 3-7 steps on his own when he feels like it. However, he would much rather crawl since it's faster (; He spends a large majority of his day on his feet but I've noticed that he is a bit hesitant to stand or walk on anything other than carpet. We had him stand up for the 3rd to last picture but as you can see he was reaching up for me to pick him back up. I was telling Daryl last night that I think the reason he does this is because he realizes that if he falls down it will be on the super cold snow; he is no dummy!

Born Pretty sent me this pretty watch to incorporate into one of my outfits. I was expecting to get it a few weeks ago before the snow hit but better late than never (; I wasn't quite sure what to style with it since it's floral but I whipped together this outfit fairly quick and added leggings underneath my skirt to keep my legs warm. I really love the vintage floral feel to this watch and it's a steal for only $10.86. You can use code CECILIAHC10 for 10% off your order and they offer FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE. Check out Born Pretty here for more awesome deals.

What I wore:
Shirt: Nordstrom
Blazer: Rue 21
Skirt: Delias
Leggings: Nordstrom
Boots: Nordstrom
Purse: c/o Lulu*s
Necklace: c/o Sarah Ha Jewelry (use promo code holiday for 20% off) 
Watch: c/o Born Pretty (use promo code CECILIAHC10 for 10% off)

What Z wore:
Hat: Baby Gap
Onesie: Baby Gap
Cardigan: Baby Gap (sold out online)
Pants: Baby Gap
Shoes: Baby Gap (sold out online)

PS: Make sure and check out Born Pretty's coupon page for more deals and discounts (;

Mama and Baby Photos: Muni & Rey

I really wanted to get some pictures of my gorgeous cousin Monica and adorable Baby Rey before they headed back to California. We only had about 15 minutes of shooting time and these were a few of my favorites that I couldn't help but share. Absolutely love these two with all my heart!