Candy + Bagel

Responsibly Handmade Fashion by Jean Chung

etsy

Candy & Bagel Etsy Shop Update!!!

Candy & Bagel, Announcement, BalletJean ChungComment
Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" Skirt in Mint. 

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" Skirt in Mint. 

So so so exciting!

At the end of last year, I started making ballet skirts for my friends at the studio and decided to start an Etsy shop. Well, if you have been following me on Instagram, my life this year has been especially challenging with my health issues and my dad's passing in January. 

But as always, fabrics/colors/yarns/textures rescue me from my worst days. I picked up where I left off. I looked through the most requested designs and colors; I grouped them and named each group; I changed prices (you'll see some skirts are now being offered at LOWER prices!) I replenished my fabric stash; I modified some of the patterns according to my friends' feedback. 

You will see here SIX categories of ballet skirts in my shop now. I can't wait to introduce them!

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" in purple velour.

Candy & Bagel "Don't Look Down" in purple velour.

The first group is "Don't Look Down" wrap skirts, so classic and feminine. This is your classical ballet wrap skirt, hits just around your knees. The long ties help you adjust around your waist and accommodates a wide range of waist sizes from (24” to 30”). This style is popular with my customers who are still new to ballet and need some staples in their ballet class wardrobe or who can’t get enough of the femininity in wrap skirts. It’s especially pretty when you turn!

 

Candy & Bagel "Pull Up & Out" skirt in pink/gray/turquoise/brown stripes

Candy & Bagel "Pull Up & Out" skirt in pink/gray/turquoise/brown stripes

The next group is the "Pull Up & Out" skirts, in a style most commonly known as "SAB style" ballet skirt. SAB stands for the School of American Ballet, and this skirt style is very short, shorter on the sides than the front & back, creating uneven curved hemline. It creates long, lean ballerina look while still giving you some coverage. It’s popular among my customers who are petite in height or have boyish figures. 

 

Shine and be yourself! Candy & Bagel "Radiance" skirt in Blue and Gold.

Shine and be yourself! Candy & Bagel "Radiance" skirt in Blue and Gold.

California. Sunshine. Hollywood. This skirt has two layers, lace overlay and sequins underlay. The silhouette is similar to the “Pull Up & Out” SAB-style skirt but Radiance is longer in length, perfect for more mature dancers who want more coverage and modesty. It’s still fun, lightweight, and class appropriate but made mostly in opaque tones (as opposed to sheer).

C&B "Toe Ball Heel" Rehearsal Skirt in Mint

C&B "Toe Ball Heel" Rehearsal Skirt in Mint

This is a long “rehearsal” length skirt, hits below knees and popular with customers who love taking photos in their ballet outfits for some Instagram love or blogs. I personally love wearing these for pointe classes or when I know I would be doing a lot of turns or leaps in class. 

Candy & Bagel "Breathe" Dress in Light Pink Lace

Candy & Bagel "Breathe" Dress in Light Pink Lace

This is a dress! I wanted to offer something other than just class skirts, and this came to my mind when my pointe recital group was trying to decide on what to wear for our piece. We ended up wearing romantic tutus, but as my daydreaming often goes, I was itching to create something simple enough to wear to class (like contemporary or for those classes with teachers who are less strict about what you wear...) but also dramatic and different for a performance or a photoshoot.  It has the perfect balance between drama and simplicity. Made in stretchy lace material, it’s comfortable to wear, but the dramatic hemline is super fun to dance in. Try a side tilt with this on! 

The last group is like my special-edition stuff, like these legwarmers in sparkly cashmere yarn.

The last group is like my special-edition stuff, like these legwarmers in sparkly cashmere yarn.

Onesies are kind of like “special-edition.” These are from me just trying out a new pattern, to finding some cool limited-edition fabrics, or knitting something and think, “oh cool, I wonder if people would like this enough to buy” These are definitely specially priced items, and in exchange, I definitely welcome any and all feedback (By the way, this goes for all my creations, not just Onesies!) - I plan to add that baby pink romantic tutu I made here too!

That's it! Did you notice that most of the names are basically corrections you often hear in class? :D 

I'm on The Sweet Georgia Show!

AnnouncementJean ChungComment

Last month, I received a very exciting email from the Sweet Georgia Show, inviting me on to the show for an episode. Felicia of the Sweet Georgia Yarns supported yarns for several of my designs in the past, and we've briefly met in person at TNNA before but never really had a chance to sit down and get to know each other.

Listen to the interview and read about the giveaway here

061-Episode-Artwork-4.jpg

 

The giveaway ends on November 14, so be sure to submit your information for a chance to win a free pattern and a free ballet skirt!

We talked a lot about my day job, my passion for creating, and balancing and juggling everything. I am one of those people, "multipotentialite" (See TedTalk by Elimie Wapnick), and I have so many interests. Even before becoming a mom, I always pursued several interests at the same time, totally devoting myself to those passions. In high school, it was writing, journalism, and dancing; in college, it was dancing, political science, and Korean traditional drums. Finally, in law school, I was pursuing knitting, law, and yoga. 

So the idea of juggling many different passions is not new to me, although now that I'm older and not a student anymore, the expectations have grown. But this pressure is what keeps me sane and interested in life. When I tried to cut one aspect of my life, in hopes of simplifying my life a bit, it became boring and uninspiring. I was in a creative rut for several months!

Understanding how I work, and knowing when to let go were really important part of the lesson. I embraced my need to fill my life up with multiple passions, and when I reach certain point in the pursuit of that passion, I know that I need to take a break, and explore other options too. 

That's where I am at with Candy & Bagel as a brand. For many years, Candy & Bagel was the place where I did my knitting and designing. Now I have a need to pursue something beyond knitting and designing. More importantly, I have a need to grow Candy & Bagel into something that help me and people like me. 

Don't let your history or investment limit your growth. Sometimes, you need to analyze whether to let go and pursue something else, and let yourself have a little break. It's not the end, it's just part of your growth and expansion into the world. 

 

Life Things: Products I loved during pregnancy

Life ThingsJean Chung2 Comments

I still have a couple more weeks to go in my pregnancy, provided that Logan will arrive close to his due date, so I thought putting together a list of things I loved during this pregnancy would be helpful. As a first timer, there were a lot of things I didn't know in the beginning, so I did a lot of research. And although I have NO PLANS to get pregnant again ANY TIME SOON after this one, I think it'll be a good reminder/list for baby shower gift ideas too!

1 Mama Bee Belly Butter $13.00  burtsbees.com  | 2 Aura Cacia Organic Sweet Almond Oil $13.65  auracacia.com  | 3 Belly Bandit Flawless Belly  $49.95  bellybandit.com  | 4 Maeband Maternity Band $21.95  Maeband Etsy Store  | 5 Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment $18.00  julep.com  | 6 Organic Peppermint Tea $4.49/box  traditionalmedicinals.com  | 7 MegaFood Blood Builder  local WholeFoods stores  

1 Mama Bee Belly Butter $13.00 burtsbees.com | 2 Aura Cacia Organic Sweet Almond Oil $13.65 auracacia.com | 3 Belly Bandit Flawless Belly  $49.95 bellybandit.com | 4 Maeband Maternity Band $21.95 Maeband Etsy Store | 5 Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment $18.00 julep.com | 6 Organic Peppermint Tea $4.49/box traditionalmedicinals.com | 7 MegaFood Blood Builder local WholeFoods stores 

1. Mama Bee Belly Butter

When I first learned that I was pregnant, the main thing I was worried about was changes I would be going through appearance-wise. So many times have I heard, "I used to be _____, but 'ever since I had kids,' I am now _____. Oh.. you'll see when you have kids yourself." type of complaints from so many older women and I just did NOT want to be like that. Shallow? Perhaps. But it was important to me to feel like myself even though I am becoming a mother.

I wanted something natural and fragrance-free, and this product had very good feedback on Amazon's review page. I ended up going through the entire tub and got a second tub just a few weeks ago. I started using the product at Week 10 (I know, a bit too early), and yes, my belly never really grew that big -- at the end of 37th week as of now, I'm still measuring 30th week -- but I never had to deal with itchy skin or stretch marks. I used this in the morning and sweet almond oil at night, put on the Flawless Belly wrap to keep the moisture in, and my skin was indeed flawless all throughout this pregnancy.

2. Aura Cacia Organic Sweet Almond Oil

This one wasn't a new addition to my skincare routine. Since I was in high school, I used this Sweet Almond Oil with rosemary, tea tree, or lavender essential oil, depending on my needs. I use rosemary oil as anti-wrinkle blend on my neck area. 

There are a lot of people who stay away from essential oils during pregnancy, I've since learned. The decision has to be yours, but I used essential oils throughout my pregnancy. There are almost no research showing any dangerous effects of topical use of essential oils   during pregnancy; the popular tonic oil from Clarins that many pregnant women swear by also contains herbal essential oils, including rosemary. For the first 35 weeks of my pregnancy, I didn't even know that some people are cautious with herbs like rosemary during pregnancy (rosemary, in medicinal quantity, is said to cause contractions; the quantity used in cooking, like rosemary chicken, is perfectly safe), so I used rosemary oil and sweet almond oil on my stomach almost every night with no problem. I am taking it with me in my hospital bag, along with the lavender oil.

Whenever I use oils on my body, I try to stick to the organic oils, to be on the safe side. Because it's definitely more oily than the Belly Butter, I put it on before bed.  

3. Belly Bandit Flawless Belly

This one was absolutely the most frequently used item during this pregnancy. From about Week 15, I wore it EVERYDAY. I didn't show much until Week 30, so I didn't need it to "lift" or "support" my belly, but I could definitely tell the difference when I wore it with Belly Butter or the oil. My stomach felt so much more moisturized and soft. 

It even came with 1 oz Mama Mio stretch mark butter, but unfortunately it contained wheat germ oil, and I'm Celiac, so I had to give that away. 

Now at 38th week, the Flawless Belly also serves as a belly band for those shirts that became too short for me to wear alone. I wear this and then wear my regular tops like shirts or tshirts, so that my belly won't show. :D 

4. Maeband Maternity Band

Did I mention that I was super worried about my appearance in the beginning? (I still am) I bought this Maternity Band on Etsy in Week 8 or something. I just assumed that my belly will start growing exponentially and that I won't be able to wear any of my clothes very soon.

Well at Week 38, I am still wearing my regular jeans with the button closed and fit into some of my dresses with zippers as well. But sometimes when I have to sit for a long time and Logan starts hiccuping, the skin around the jeans button feel very very weird. So starting around 36th week, when I know I'll be sitting in the car for a while or something, I zip up but leave the button undone, and use this band instead. It's easily covered with the Flawless Belly wrap or long cami tops I wear under t-shirts. 

On a side note, this is why I want to tell you if you're a expecting mom for the first time, don't go buying maternity clothes too soon. You might not need to buy any, because nobody knows how big you'll get, and when. If you buy maternity clothes too early, they may never be worn before the weather changes. I still have not bought any maternity clothes. I still wear my regular jeans, and I can still find some dresses to wear in my closet for more formal functions. I am small, but I was always the one to gain weight very easily, so I just assumed I would gain a ton of weight on this pregnancy too. I never knew I would only be gaining 16 lbs by 38th week.  

So definitely, wait till you really need maternity clothes before you go shopping. You may be able to just get through with some modification. 

5. Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment

Last week, I noticed my nails were peeling. I've always had brittle nails before finding out about my Celiac disease, and they have gotten much better since I found out and changed my diet. But I needed something for my nails and the bottle of Nailtique Formula was too old to use (I hadn't needed to use it since the dietary changes). 

I just joined Julep Maven club in the beginning of this year, so I added this Nail Treatment to my box in the February box. I started using it last week, and I really think this is as good as the Nailtique Formula one that I swore by before, but I like this one better because it has pink shade and makes my nails look very well manicured.

6. Organic Peppermint Tea

Again, there are some people who will tell you about some dangers of herbal tea during pregnancy. There are almost no research showing that drinking herbal tea is dangerous during pregnancy (medicinal use is different because they use herbs in much larger quantities). 

Peppermint tea has always been a part of my diet. I started drinking it when I was first diagnosed with gastritis, and I love how it helps me digest. I didn't stop drinking it just because I was pregnant. I just changed the brand to an organic one. And I still love it, and think that it's one of the major reasons why I never had morning sickness or heartburns.

7. MegaFood Blood Builder

My doctor recommended that I start taking iron supplement even though my hemoglobin level was still fine.

I did some research and found this brand of supplement. Especially on pregnancy forums, people said this one didn't have any negative side effects such as constipation or nausea like other brands.

I found it at my local Whole Foods store, and am glad that I didn't experience any side effects from it. I am familiar with iron deficiency, since I always got dizzy and weak before getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I'm still feeling fine, no dizziness. Some reviews I've read also said that their hemoglobin level went from low to normal within a month of taking this! I haven't done any blood test since the 2nd trimester so I don't know but I'm thinking it's a good sign that I haven't experienced any typical signs of iron deficiency.

 

So these are all my favorites. And some of these, I am going to be using even after the baby. And now I have to ask, if you've been pregnant before, were there any products you really loved or found very helpful? 

 

Disclaimer: I purchased all the products mentioned in this post. The opinions in this post and blog are entirely mine, and I was not otherwise paid, compensated, contracted, or obligated to review this product.