Maintaining My Sense of Self (and sanity)…

I must admit, motherhood is most definitely an all-consuming job and lately, I have been struggling with maintaining a sense of self in the process. I love my little bean so completely that I have found myself putting me on the back burner. Yep, there are times I forget to brush my teeth, to eat, and makeup…well, that has simply become an extravagance!

So, as mentioned in my previous post and to reinforce my sanity, one of my top goals for the New Year is to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood. Or rather, to not lose myself within this new role of motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mother. I love watching my little bean explore the world, one finger at a time. I love providing comfort and snuggles. I love his wide, curious eyes and his sideways smile. But I have to remind myself that in order for me to be the best possible role model for him, I need to take care of myself.

You musn't be afraid to sparkle.

I typically curate my inspirations via Pinterest and then quickly forget all about them, but this year, I plan to hold myself a little more accountable by sharing my style inspirations with all of you and actually taking action…

banana republic loafers | late afternoon

…like purchasing these leopard loafers from Banana Republic (that no longer seem to be available…argh!). Although, I love the whole outfit – the distressed boyfriend jeans, the striped sweater, the chunky bracelets…very casual chic!

scarf + hat + red lipsOr buying and wearing more hats because 1) I seem to have a permanent bad hair day lately, and 2) a hat can truly pull together any look (paired with red lips and a chunky scarf and you’ve got yourself a complete ensemble!).

Triangle Symétrie BraceletAnd wearing more simple, quality jewelry like this piece.

These are all tangible, purchasable things, of course, but beyond that, they inspire me to really develop and refine my personal flair. More importantly, it inspires me to be more confident and comfortable with myself.

A couple more ways I hope to pamper myself:

Silver + neonGet more manicures….

image…learn a few tricks to get me out of this bad hair funk. The key is quick and easy!

Victoria's Secret Model's Full-Body Workout..…and (gulp) workout! Even if for a few minutes at home. This workout is a great place to start. I’ve done it a few times already and I can actually feel my muscles working.

For all you moms out there, what do you do to maintain a sense of self (and sanity)? And how do you pamper yourself?

Bring It On…

imageHappy New Year! Is it really 2014 already? I’m so excited for what this year will bring. With a new accessory on my arm – my handsome little man – I am already flying high.

I have no doubt this year will be a thrilling one!

Looking back on 2013, however, I realize that I was a bit lost. I was somewhere between motherhood and wanting so badly to hold on to my autonomy. I wanted everything and nothing at the same time – I wanted to become the best mother possible, I wanted to be that perfect homemaker (there’s that word again; perfect), but I also wanted to let loose, have fun, feel young again, and somehow rediscover my life’s purpose. I suppose I was afraid of losing myself and couldn’t grasp the fact that I could have all of these things and more (aside from perfection). I wasn’t unhappy, but I think this confusion caused quite a bit of strife within my mind.

Are there others out there who have felt this way?


But this year, it is my resolution to let go of those petty annoyances, enjoy the small things, and to revel in motherhood. And instead of floating in a limbo of worries and insecurities, I hope to adjust my purpose and rediscover myself – a happier and more positive self. Because truly, what isn’t there to be happy about?!

Munchkin Face

Seriously, how does one NOT smile at that face?! Makes my heart melt.

Yes, this is the year of good thoughts and passionate living. It will be a year full of little giggles, sparkling eyes, and bubbly toes. But I also hope to concentrate on myself outside of motherhood; refine my style, rediscover my creativity, live a healthier lifestyle, and fall in love with myself again.

I mean, what’s not to love…?

A “few” more resolutions I have:

  • Stop waiting and start living – take more risks and go outside my comfort zone.
  • Don’t dwell on the past.
  • Have more fun! Put aside to-do lists and instead, concentrate on what makes me happy.
  • Laugh more. Don’t take life so seriously.
  • Be more patient, loving, and affectionate.
  • Put heart into everything I do.
  • Be the best mom that I can be. Have fun, treasure every moment with my little guy, and let him experience the world and grow at his own pace.
  • Do something creative every day.
  • Paint a picture.
  • Take a photography class.
  • Join a mom’s group.
  • Find studio space.
  • Run at least 2 races
  • Start yoga.

Tell me, how do you plan to love yourself more this year?

I am so ready 2014. Bring it on!


For a little extra motivation, you can purchase this print here.

Baby Advice from a Recovering Perfectionist…

My little guy is a little over a month old now and my God, it has been such an incredible learning experience. As all mothers know, raising a child is hard. The worries, the sleepless nights, the constant crying that pulls at your heart strings… motherhood is most definitely not for the feint of heart! But that innocent and content face and those inquisitive eyes make it all so worthwhile. It still boggles my mind that I actually cooked this guy up for nine months and now he’s this living, breathing, beautiful little person. Just…WOW.

Sleepy Head copy

What surprises me most of all, however, are the many things I have discovered about myself in the process. The boundless patience and newfound ability to calm myself down, the incredible instinct to nurture and protect, the desire to be the best that I can be while allowing myself room to make mistakes, and the amazing capacity to thrive on little to no sleep! Don’t get me wrong, deep down inside of me is still this person that strives for perfection, but luckily the more logical, sane, and imperfect part of me has taken the drivers seat.

So, from one new mom to another, here are a few words of advice from a recovering perfectionist:

1. LET IT GO. That mess will still be there for you to clean tomorrow. Your post-partum belly will not disappear in a day, a week, or even a month. And your precious little package (aka…baby) will not die if slightly off his feeding schedule. Instead, get some rest! TRUST ME. Letting it go is the best that you can do for yourself and for everyone around you. (And sometimes I need to learn to take my own advice…!)

Co-Sleeping copy

2. Speaking of a feeding schedule, and for those that are breastfeeding: DON’T PANIC if your babe doesn’t feed by the books. I still struggle with this one, but it’s imperative to your sanity and peace of mind. Putting it nicely, most babies become pretty darn vocal when hungry. If they seem perfectly content after a feed, and if they are gaining the appropriate weight, there is no need to freak out. This said by the Queen of Freaking Out.

3. DON’T BE AFRAID. I’ve heard stories of mothers that are too afraid of making one little mistake to handle their own baby. Fortunately, babies are malleable, squishy little creatures. They are meant to be handled, cradled, snuggled, and often contorted into awkward positions. They will be ok, and so will you. Just give them that hands on comfort they will inevitably crave…and scream for.

Me & My Guy_edited-1


4. Watch out for what I have dubbed as the “MONSTER PHASE.” It is something I am currently experiencing and I cannot understand for the life of me why this phenomenon isn’t more often vocalized by mothers around the world. For all you newbies and moms-to-be out there, if you think you have a quiet, sweet baby…just wait until the 6 week mark. I will tell you now, shit will hit the fan. That innocent baby of yours will become the devil reincarnated. This may last for a few days and even up to a few weeks for some of you poor souls out there. If you hear nothing else, hear this: it will get better! Those horrific screams will slowly subside into laughter and smiles. At least, that’s what I have been told…

5. Lastly, if you do choose to breast feed, don’t ever let anyone undermine your feelings of frustration and despair. Breastfeeding can be hard. It puts all the pressure of sustenance onto one human being. Add to that the fact that you are feeding every 2 hours or so and you quickly begin to feel like nothing more than a milk machine! And yes, there may be production problems, allergy problems, and/or extreme gassiness problems. I’ve already had numerous meltdowns over breast feeding and have on occasion substituted formula just to give myself a break. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, feel like a failure if you choose to give your baby formula sometimes or all of the time. I was a formula fed baby and I turned out ok (if I do say so myself!) so turn a deaf ear to any naysayers out there! No one knows what’s best for you and your baby but you.

Perfectionist or not, the most important thing you can do is enjoy this time with your little one. Despite the screams, despite the messy house and dirty diapers and the sleepless nights, take pride in this little human you created and remember, there is a very bright, sparkling light at the end of this tunnel. It will all be worth it in the end!

Cutie Pie copyHead Shot 2Smiles copyI'm Awesome copy

ps….for all you non-mommas out there, I will get back to the basics soon! Please bare with me while I revel in babydom for just a little longer Smile

My Everything…

I knew motherhood would be one of the most exciting, satisfying roles I could ever undertake, but to truly put into words how I feel is impossible.


Truth be told, I didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of love and attachment the moment he was in my arms. I felt a sense of relief and awe, but a large part of me felt numb and incredibly humbled – it was all a bit surreal and I couldn’t quite fathom that this tiny being was mine.

Was I really allowed to take this perfect little person home?

But that love and attachment grew day by day as I began to accept that this little man truly was mine; that he was a part of me, dependent on me, and ready to be filled with all the love and joy and experience that I could offer. And dear God, I have a lot to offer.

Staring into that little face, my heart fills with an indescribable joy; my love and happiness are overflowing…

Greyson 1

…and I am so thrilled and grateful to not only embark on this journey into parenthood, but to share this journey with such a remarkable man, husband and father.

Daddy & Son 1

Daddy & Son

I am a lucky girl indeed.

Greyson & LambWelcome to the world Greyson Rhys! You are my everything and I can only hope that one day you will realize just how much you are loved.

Hello October.

Hello October

I can’t believe it is October already. With the cooler weather and the turning leaves, it already happened to be my favorite month, but now – now it becomes that much more special because it is the month my son will be born. My little Greyson. My mini man, my heart, my soul.

It seems like yesterday that he was just a part of my imagination. Then, one day, he suddenly became a reality. I didn’t know he was a HE at the time, just a tiny bean growing in my belly. But eventually, that little bean did become a boy, and he just kept on growing. And now, with only ONE week to go (hopefully…), it’s amazing to think that this reality will become even more real. And tangible. And squishy! I will finally have this wonderful baby boy in my arms. It’s mind-blowing, actually.

I can’t wait to revel in the joys of motherhood. And I know that it’s not all joyful – there will be some hard, hard days. And even harder nights. But they will all be meaningful and full of purpose, and to me, that will make them joyful (please remind me of this after a few weeks of no sleep…!).

via Marshalls Abroad

With this small shift in perspective (motherhood, that is), I now find myself drawn to an even wider variety of blogs. Blogs that are not only about home décor, DIY, and fashion, but Life in general, and Love, and Family. It’s so exhilarating to peek into the daily existence (and struggles) of a mother…

via Fairytales Are True

IHOD-Happy Baby Wrap

via In Honor of Design

 photo _MG_2612edit.jpg

via The Weigands

via Steve and Jess Marcum


via Day Dreaming Mama

…and it’s encouraging to read that despite these picture perfect images, every single one of these mothers had – and continues to have – her share of doubts, insecurities, and imperfections. Despite those bad days, weeks, and even months, they survived, and they remain fabulous mothers.

Almost There

Hello October. I look forward to the many challenges and unconditional love you will bring!

No Apologies…

Be yourselfWith motherhood looming, I find myself re-examining myself and this thing called Life. Not that I’ve been unhappy, but I have been in a bit of a rut for what seems like years, coasting through life rather than actually living it.

Sometimes, I think I just feel so much that I become overwhelmed, overstimulated, and over-sensitive to the world around me. So I simply shut down, out of fear I suppose. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of not living up to expectations, fear of judgment.

I look at all the other amazing and inspirational blogs out there and think, “wow, why can’t I write like that? Or decorate like that? Or cook like that? Or even look like that?” Where  is my sense of style and creativity? Where is my passion? Where is my personality? And how did others get to be so lucky? These are questions I ask myself with a growing sense of dread. I will never be perfect…

But perfection isn’t what we should be striving for. Character is what we should be striving for, with all of its ups and downs, its messiness, its risks, its heartbreaks and failures, its grace, its pride, and above all, its love.

No one is perfect, no matter how hard they make themselves appear so, and I am no exception. But, taking a little inspiration from this post, I am offering no apologies.

I don’t apologize that:

My house isn’t clean 98.8% of the time. I have berated myself for this time and time again because somehow, I got it in my head that my house should be 100% magazine ready 100% of the time. This reach for perfection has led to many a tear, more than one argument, and a crap ton of needless stress. For what? So I can brag that I have a clean house? Ridiculous.

My photography skills are less than amateur. I have no idea how to work my camera most of the time, and Photoshop still requires a huge learning curve. But it is a work in progress and something that I can actually see developing into a passion.

I DO NOT jump out of bed with a smile on my face every morning. In fact, there are some days, even weeks, when just getting out of bed at all is a struggle. More often than I care to admit, I wake up grumpy. Grumpy as hell. Sometimes, I remain grumpy all day. And yeah, this makes me feel pretty damn guilty, which makes me even grumpier. But hey, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate my happiness without a little bit (or a lot…) of grumpiness thrown in there, right?

I cook only because I have to, not because I like to. And by no means do I cook gourmet meals. Or even attempt to. I’m a chicken and rice kind of girl. Like, salt and peppered chicken in a skillet and a box of flavored rice. Sometimes I’ll go out of my way and mash some potatoes instead. To give myself a little credit though, I do try to go fresh and organic as much as possible. And I always have a side of veggies.

My closet is NOT full of brand name clothing. Kohls, Old Navy, and Target have become my staples (actually, I recently discovered Steinmart, which will now be added to the circulation). This isn’t to say that I’m not into fashion – I actually do try to keep up with the trends, but in a casual, comfortable, and frugal kind of way. And honestly, I’m in yoga pants more often than not these days, so…don’t judge.

I snack far too often on cookies rather than carrots. I like my carbs. So what? Particularly in this last trimester of pregnancy. I dream of cookies. But every darn time I have that delicious morsel, that little voice in the back of my head screams at me, “don’t you want to fit back into your post-pregnancy clothes?! What the hell is wrong with you? Carrots, carrots, carrots! Cookies are the devil!” And then, because I feel so damn guilty, I grab another cookie.

I work out spontaneously – at best. I love going for a walk on those beautiful, sunny days. Before I was pregnant, I would even break into a run. And on those not so great days, I will very occasionally motivate myself to go to the gym, but that is only because I ate those extra cookies…otherwise, like most people, I count cleaning the house as exercise.

And I am scared to death of becoming a mother. Sometimes, I can hardly take care of myself, and very soon I will have another human being totally and completely dependent on me. This innocent, tender-hearted being for me to shape and mold and build into a man. Hopefully, a good man. No, a great man. And, dear God, that is a great responsibility that I can only hope to live up to. Where do I even begin?

But that last point there, that is really why I am re-examining my life. Because while I know I will not be perfect, I want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be. And I don’t think I am there yet.

You see, I want to live my life with pure intention and joy, rather than basing it around to-do lists and petty insecurities. I want to find enjoyment in the small things, rather than enduring them with machine-like intensity. And I want to stop hiding behind this façade of perfection, let go of my fears, and embrace this messy, chaotic life…because heck, life is only what you make of it! To me, that is the greatest lesson one can ever share with a child: to live life to its fullest.

So, with ALL of that said, my friends, I am going to take a week or two off in order to give myself and this little blog o’ mine an overhaul. Because I believe that a part of living with intention is writing with intention, and I think I have been failing in that respect.

Of course, there will still be plenty of posts about fashion, home décor, and DIY because frankly, that’s where my passion lies. But I will be writing only about what truly and honestly inspires me – not about what I think you want to hear – with the hopes that it will inspire you too. I also hope to insert a little more of my very imperfect self: my beliefs, my frustrations and heartaches, my fears and insecurities, my progressions and successes, and little tidbits of my daily thoughts. ME.

Because truly, what’s the sense in writing if not from the heart? The very best I can offer you is myself and for that I have no apologies.

XOXO. I will be back soon.


It’s hard to believe that I’m already so close to my third trimester! Yep, today is the 26th week and I’m beginning to feel it – the ever-growing belly is getting in the way, the outie is making an appearance, and my feet are actually starting to ache from the extra poundage I’m now carrying around.

26 Weeks Funny 1

I love the excitement and anticipation this pregnancy brings, 100%, but I must admit, there are some days when I simply freak out. There’s so much to do! So much to buy! So much to read up on and understand! And heck, it’s not always easy facing (or dressing) that bulging belly in the mirror.

26 weeks Funny 2

But after about 30 minutes of panic, I calm down and remind myself that this is a magical process. There is a little person inside of me! A little person that is wholly mine and completely dependent on me. A little person that will become my whole world. Sure, it’s scary, but the joy and wonder he will bring is insurmountable.

26 Weeks

So, while I’m on a bit of a lovey-dovey role, I thought I’d write my first love letter to our little man…Greyson (that name seems to have stuck!).

Dear Little Greyson,

I can feel the movement of your tiny hands and feet now – my, you are an enthusiastic one! Every kick and flutter brings me a joy that I cannot even put into words. They are a constant reminder of this magical little being growing inside me. I often wonder about you, what you will be like. What kind of man you will grow into. What your personality will be like. What kind of life you will lead and where your heart will take you.

I also worry, as all moms do. I’ve been thinking a lot about what kind of mother I’ll be. I do know that I will do my very best to be there for you, to guide you, and to understand you. I know sometimes I will fail, but my heart will always be in the right place – with you. It already is and always will be.

I can’t wait to meet you and to watch you grow – but not too fast! The world is at your fingertips, as you will soon discover, and I look forward to seeing that sparkle in your eye and that sense of wonder on your face. You can do anything and be anything you want in this world, that is something I hope to instill in you. But in the meantime, I’ll be content with you as my little man for as long as you will allow it.

3 more months and I will be giving you the first of many hugs and kisses to come!

Love always, Mom


You may have noticed that I’ve been a little MIA this week, and there is a legitimate reason for this my friends. I’ve been mulling over my excuses, wondering what to write, how much to share, and only now, as I type these words, do I realize that I must simply tell the truth. This is for you, my dear readers, as much as it is for myself. I suppose it is my release, a way to say goodbye, and hopefully, mentally reset myself for the joys of the future.

It was the 8th of July when I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I had been casually trying, so it wasn’t a shocking discovery, but it was a startling one nevertheless. It happened so soon! For many, it takes months, sometimes years, of calculating cycles, flows, temperatures, and moods. Charts are created, tests are taken, and with these considerations often come heartache, disappointment, and fear. I had been one of the lucky ones.

I was five weeks along when I discovered that I was pregnant, and the emotional and physical shift in me was palpable. The feelings experienced when you first see that positive line is indescribable – it’s such a mixture of love, excitement, hope, and fear. Frankly, my very first words were “holy shit!” which sums it up quite perfectly.

The ensuing couple of weeks were magical and terrifying. I felt an amazing connection, knowing that this tiny little bean was solely dependent on me and my body. I felt instinctively protective, and there was a growing confidence inside of me – I knew that I was going to be a great mother.

I felt healthy, happy, and things seemed to be progressing well. I know many expectant mother’s wait until after the first trimester to share the news, but, well…I’m the first to admit that I’m the least patient person I know! I was bursting with the secret that was growing inside of me, so I chose to tell a very select few, immediate family and best friends, about the good news. My first blood test was taken on the 18th of July.

I received a call the very next day asking me to come back in for a 2nd blood test. This in itself is not uncommon, but the numbers that came back (HcG levels) were. Now, I’m not at all ignorant of the pregnancy process, but this being my first, I was a bit naïve. I didn’t quite understand the meaning of low HcG levels, and amazingly, not a single doctor or midwife was available to explain it to me. I went back in for my 2nd blood test on Friday, the 20th of July, was ushered straight to the lab technician, and ushered right back out in a matter of minutes, again with no explanation. I had to beg the receptionist for my initial lab results (needless to say, I will NOT be returning to this clinic again). I received a call from a nurse practitioner later that afternoon with more bad news – my already low HcG levels were not rising properly and I was to come back in on Monday morning for a third test. With lab results in hand, I turned to my dear friend Google, and proceeded to scare myself into a frenzy.

The weekend was miserable. My days were spent reading every pregnancy website out there, searching for success stories, but mostly finding disappointment. My husband made every attempt to help me remain optimistic, but I knew in my heart that things were going downhill fast. I felt it in every nerve of my body. I started bleeding on Sunday. I was 7 weeks to the day.

I drove myself to the ER on Monday morning, and went through all the necessary tests to confirm a miscarriage. Now, Google can be a blessing or a curse and in this case, I had read so many horror stories, I became certain that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I watched the poker faces of the ultrasound technicians as they analyzed my belly (per hospital policy, they are unable to communicate results directly with me and must first report them to the doctor) and I swear I saw brief moments of sympathy and concern. By the time I was wheeled back to my closet-sized, curtained room, I was in tears, convinced that I as going to lose a fallopian tube.

The doctor came in 15 very long minutes later with the news – I was having a miscarriage, yes, but my fallopian tubes would remain exactly where they were. I was flooded with relief and sadness. I suppose that is the one good thing about expecting the worst – when you hear otherwise, it is a brief moment of fresh air. For a very brief moment, I was once again one of the lucky ones. And then the sadness set in.

Now, there are varying opinions about miscarriage. I was early enough that the bean was still just a bean, and many people may say, perhaps out of discomfort or indifferent logic, that I should be thankful that it happened when it did, or that it is simply my body flushing out something that wasn’t viable to begin with, and that miscarriage is unfortunately not an uncommon experience (supposedly occurring in 20% or more pregnancies). I’m aware of all these things, but that doesn’t make it any less painful – physically, mentally, or emotionally.

The first two days were rough. I had such a rush of feelings, but I almost felt like I didn’t have the right to them. I was hurt, I was sad, and a cloud of depression was settling over me. I just wanted to bury myself in the couch and mourn. But I was one of the lucky ones, right?

I watched as my husband continued with his grueling work schedule, stopping only momentarily to recognize my loss, perhaps not fully understanding or not wanting to acknowledge his own. And the few friends and family that were aware of the situation were hours away. They called and offered condolences and comforts and shoulders to cry on, all very much appreciated, but I remained sad, alone, and wholly unsupported and invalidated by the one person that I needed to be there.

I had an appointment with my midwife yesterday afternoon and only then was I offered a sense of validation. I do have the right to mourn; this loss is not an insignificant one. When you lose something that was a part of you, that was connected to you to some way, shape, or form, no matter for how short a period, it creates an emptiness that takes time to fill. And I have the right to take the time to fill it. It was also suggested that I do something for myself; no matter my religion or spiritual leanings, to do something to say goodbye in my own, special way. So I chose to write.

And it has helped. I feel a release and a comfort in writing this, knowing that this little part of me did exist, if only for a short period of time, and that it didn’t go unnoticed. And now I can truly take the time to pick myself back up, recharge my batteries, and look toward the future with brighter eyes.

With that said, I plan on taking this remaining week to do exactly that. I will be offline tomorrow and through the weekend, and come Monday, I will be back on schedule. Thank you all for baring with me!