We are home from our two week stay at the beach! We enjoyed ourselves so much, but if you have ever spent a day at the beach, you know how hungry you can get - and let's just say that we ate heartily! I got groceries yesterday and decided to whip up some acas bowls for breakfast this morning, in an effort to get some good nutrients in and to fill our bellies with yumminess.
This is a breakfast that is easier to make than it looks. Just pick your ingredients and toss them in the blender! The fancy toppings are just an extra, and you absolutely don't have to spend a lot of time on that! I don't really measure the ingredients, I just do it based on what we want that morning, so I'll give you an estimate, but feel free to change it up and add what you like! Frozen fruits are always best to use in these, they make the bowl less "soup-y" and more custard-like.
Peanut Butter Acai Bowl
1 packet frozen acai puree (I get this at Trader Joe's)
1 cup kale
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 cup frozen cherries
1. Blend together first 6 ingredients until smooth.
2. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Top with blueberries, 1/2 sliced banana, chia seeds, and granola.
A while back, I posted about accepting my MomBod. And while I don't beat myself up about my weight or the way I look anymore, If I'm 100% honest, I don't always love myself the way that I should. I brush off compliments and say, "Oh no way, they're just being nice." And really, that's a knee-jerk reaction that we develop to compliments when we don't feel worthy of them. And I don't want that to be what my son learns from me - that I, or any woman, doesn't feel worthy enough to accept a compliment from the ones they love.
I didn't realize just how much I did this until recently, when Eddie told me how beautiful I looked while we were at the beach last week. I nearly rolled my eyes and I definitely made some kind of guttural sound like "ugh, yea right." And he called me out on it. He wasn't upset or hurtful, but he definitely made me realize that I'm not as receptive of compliments as I should be. And in the last few weeks, Caleb has started to tell me, "Mommy, bee-ful (his version of beautiful)!" I don't ever want to shoot down his complimenting me. Because guess what? In their eyes, I am beautiful.
Lately, I've been having Eddie take outfit photos of me. Not because I don't want to work with photographers, but because there is something different in the way Eddie captures me. I don't know if it's because he knows my best angles, or because he's looking through the lens at someone he loves, but I'm always so happy with the way those photos turn out, and I tend to nitpick at them way less than I do at other photos.
I actually had him take some photos of me this past week, on the beach, in a bathing suit. We had gotten up early and the morning was beautiful. I threw on my swimsuit and a sarong, and I grabbed my camera on the way out the door. I asked him to take a few shots of me, not knowing what I would use them for. When I started browsing through them, I was pleasantly surprised. Because before I noticed my belly sticking out, I noticed my smile. Before I noticed that my boobs didn't look perfect, I noticed how relaxed I looked. And I noticed that I did, in fact, look pretty.
And you know what? Since that moment on the beach, I haven't felt self-conscious about the way I look. I have been focused on making memories with my family, and relaxing, and enjoying the time we have been spending together. Because years from now, my son and my husband won't remember that I had a little extra back fat. They will remember jumping in the waves with me, and building sand castles with me, and walking up and down the beach with me. And that's what I want them to remember. Not that mom was too ashamed to take off her cover-up to jump in the water with them.
So from now on, I'm going to try to be more accepting of compliments. I'm going to try to see myself the way those who love me see me, for myself.
And you should try it momma. Because you're beautiful, just as you are. Trust me.
P.S. I want to shout out a blogger who epitomizes body confidence and positivity, Sarah Tripp at Sassy Red Lipstick. She is gorgeous, and every time I see her posts, I realize that I am normal, and that I should be happy with how I look, right now. Go check her out, I promise you won't be disappointed (her hubby also happens to be her photographer and they're the cutest).
Bathing Suit & Hat: Target
If you have been following me on social media, you know I'm not posting as frequently because we are on vacation at the beach. This year, we decided to do a staycation on a beach close to home. We arrived a week ago, and we'll be here for another little bit. Unfortunately for us, the weather has been terrible! We've had a few flashes of sunlight and clearer skies, but for the most part, it has been soggy and rainy.
We have decided to make the most of it anyway and we have been doing a lot of reading, playing together, and spending time with one another. It has forced us to slow down and enjoy one another, which is something I will never be upset over.
But since our time in the sun has been limited, I try to have my beach bag ready to go at all times so we can just run out when the sun comes out. Truthfully speaking, my beach bag is always packed and ready to go in our linen closet, especially in the summer months, when last minute beach days are always a possibility.
Keep in mind a couple of things:
1. We are staying on the beach. If I was spending a day at the beach and was further away from home, I would probably pack a lot more.
2. Caleb requires a lot less now than he did last summer or the summer prior. Now he's happy to play in the sand most of the day and run around chasing the birds or run from the waves.
I'm using a Longchamp bag that my mom gave me for Christmas as my beach bag. This one is colorful, and it doesn't let the moisture in. Plus, I can zip it up to keep the sand out when I'm not using it. It cleans up easily enough, just wiping it off with a damp cloth.
Inside my bag I keep a few essentials (not everything is shown in the photo above):
A couple of other things we take to the beach, but that are not in my beach bag:
And for Caleb, since sunscreen application and re-application is important, but sometimes difficult, I dress him in a swimsuit and swim diaper, but I always put a rash guard with SPF on him to protect him from the sun's rays and preventing a sunburn.
And there you have it, our beach essentials! I hope this is helpful, and I hope you have some amazing summer beach days! I'm off to enjoy some sunshine. :)
This post is not sponsored.
It's Memorial Day Weekend, which means it is the unofficial start of summer. And nothing says summer like pineapples, right? I had been eyeing this Eva Mendes for New York & Company skirt for a while, but I hadn't made the plunge because "when will I wear it?" Two weeks ago I caught it on sale, and I couldn't pass it up. I love that the colors are neutral, because it really makes this skirt appropriate for just about anything!
I actually wore it for a mass and welcome social for new families at Caleb's school this past week. I paired it with this blouse because I love the eyelet detailing (I wore it with a tank underneath for the mass and social), and I love the peekaboo effect of the bra through the blouse. Metallic lace ups are always a good idea, too. The skirt can definitely be dressed up or down - you could pair it with a more structured blouse for work, or with a simple tee and necklace for Sunday brunch. You could also just as easily pair it with heels or sandals and change up the look every time you wear it!
I am pretty wide in the hips, so I find that A-line skirts work best on me, and help me to balance out my shape.
When I wore the outfit, I didn't have time to photograph it, but I keep thinking that this look was one I really wanted to share. So this morning, I dragged Eddie outside (okay, not really - he was pretty willing to help out), and he snapped these shots for me. Didn't he do an AMAZING job?
I wanted to do a few with the hat because I feel like this is such a great vacation look, too! I could totally picture myself walking down the streets of a vacation destination sporting this look.
And while we are celebrating the kickoff to the summer season, let's take a moment to remember all those who have served for our country, those who have lost their lives, and those who continue to put their lives on the line for us.
And with that, have a very relaxing and peaceful long weekend, friends!
This is a sponsored post. I was provided a monitor for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
How many of us have been baffled by the concept of reading our BBT (basal body temperature) when planning for or trying to avoid conception? I know I have always been. Basal body temperature is your body's temperature when it is completely at rest. In women, BBT rises during ovulation. It is a great predictor of ovulation.
If you have been following my blog for a while, you know we went through some infertility issues. When we were first trying to get pregnant, I tried tracking my BBT a couple months. First, the thermometer I purchased was broken. Then I kept forgetting to check my temperature when I first woke up. At the end of the day we knew we needed a doctor's help so we went with that.
We aren't necessarily working on number 2 yet, but we are thinking about it. Since we are thinking about it, I wanted to make sure I had a better feel for my body and for what was going on. I had considered ordering a BBT Thermometer, but kept putting it off because I knew I would have to do some research there too.
But a couple of months ago a friend of mine reached out to tell me about this new monitor. It's called Himama, and it was created to track your BBT.
The oval that looks like a "button" is actually the monitor. It comes in a hard casing, which is actually its charging station. There is also what appears to be a bralette (but it isn't, because it doesn't cover a thing - which is why you don't see photos of me wearing it), and you insert the monitor into the space on the bralette, and wear it overnight. While you sleep, it records your information.
When you wake up in the morning, open up your app, and voila! all your information syncs to the app. It is really convenient because the app tells you when you are ovulating, if you are pre-fertile or pre-menstrual. It also lets you know if you did not appear to have ovulated one month (anovulation).
Overall, I have found it easier to use himama than to remember to check my temperature before getting up to pee every morning. I typically leave it on my pillow so I remember to put it on before I go to bed. It has been a great tool for getting to know my body and learning that I am, in fact, ovulating!
If you are interested in ordering, visit the himama website. From now until June 30, use the code TTN15 for 15% off your purchase!
When I was teaching, I so looked forward to summer, because that meant long days, sleeping in, and most importantly, not going in to work (even though I did spend a lot of time working at home, preparing for the following school year).
Now, I don't have the same things to look forward to, but summer still means longer days, vacation, and carefree styles. Summer means a tan (always practice safe sun and wear SPF correctly)! And tans are best shown off by whites and brights, right?
So a little white dress is just the ticket for your summer wardrobe. I love this one. It's lined, so it isn't see-through. It's light and airy, and of course, totally on trend with the off the shoulder and embroidery details. I love that I can wear this dress with sandals for something more casual, or wedges like I did here. It's the perfect addition to your summer wardrobe rotation.
Kathy and I had lunch at the Cabana Club at the Nautilus Hotel (which was amazing). Then we got ready to take some shots for each of us. As soon as we were starting to shoot, a major downpour started. Hence why I look a little like a wet dog. But we changed gears, shot under the covered terrace, and then moved to the walkway when the rain had stopped.
Dress: Habit Boutique, Shoes: Steve Madden (old), Necklace: Taudrey, Bracelet: New York & Company
Guys, the twos have seriously taken me by storm. I know I promised this wouldn't be a horrible year, and there has been a lot of amazing development going on in Caleb's little mind. But man. It's been tough to keep my cool. And to be totally honest, I haven't always been able to do that.
The last few weeks have been fraught with tantrums, hitting, and an unimaginable stubbornness on the part of a very tiny little dictator who thinks he runs our home (truth is, he might, to a certain degree). I didn't know little personalities could be quite this strong.
If you follow me on Instagram, and you watch my stories, you have caught a glimpse of it. Truthfully, I have never been the kind of person who felt like she needed a glass of wine at the end of each day. I now feel like on the hardest evenings I need not just a glass, but a bottle. There are days when from start to finish, I feel like I am a hostage negotiator, negotiating every single little mundane detail of the day.
"If you let me change your diaper, you can play with Mr. Potato Head."
"If you eat one more bite, you can play outside."
"If you pick up the toys, you can watch TV."
"If you get in the tub, I'll fill it up all the way."
And so go my days. The negotiations are easy compared to the tantrums and the hitting though. On more than one occasion, I have relegated him to his crib so that I could calm myself down while he was contained and couldn't wreak anymore havoc on me.
And at what point do I say, I can no longer chalk this up to normal toddler behavior? I still don't know the answer to this, and I'm not sure I ever will. But according to everyone with whom I have spoken, we are still within the realm of toddler "normalcy." Everyone has told me to breathe, drink often, and remember that it's just a phase.
And you know what? It might not be over, but today was a good day. Today we played together, he napped when he needed to, and I didn't get hit, at all.
So don't you fret mama. Because this too, shall pass.
Earlier this week, my friend Kathy from Freshly Squeezed Fashionista and I went exploring in Little Havana, a classic Miami neighborhood that pays homage to all things Cuban. We took some outfit shots for her, and then I handed my camera to her and had her snap a few shots for me as well.
We started off at Ball and Chain, where we hung out for a little bit, I snapped a few shots of her, and we had this incredible drink called the Pastelito Daiquiri. It had rum, guava puree, and a few other ingredients that I'm not sure of, but it had a pastelito de guayaba floating in the top of the drink. It was like my favorite childhood breakfast was turned into the drink of my dreams! Haha Ball and Chain has live music all the time, and the night scene is pretty awesome. If you're looking for a cool spot to hit up in Miami, this is definitely a great one!
We had been promising our boys ice cream all morning, so we decided to stop into Azucar. We both got the Abuela Maria, which is vanilla ice cream, with chunks of guava, cream cheese, and Maria crackers. This is a snack my grandmother used to make for me after school, so it's always a little bit of nostalgia when I have this. The boys loved their ice cream!
The bright streets and lively colors of the Little Havana area made for the perfect backdrop for these photos. My friends over at Truth & Glory sent me this adorable Blessed Mama tee, and I think it's perfect for any mama in your life. And from now until Saturday, use the code TOPKNOT to get 15% off of your purchase from their shop! They are a local Miami shop, so if you want to shop local - contact them for sure!
I paired the tee with these super comfy shorts from Gap, and these colorful pom pom sandals from Target.
We wrapped up our afternoon by having a delicious medianoche sandwich at El Exquisito. Overall, it was a hot but really fun day in Little Havana, and I can't wait to go back!
In case nobody has told you yet, momma. It's okay.
It's okay to feel overwhelmed.
It's okay to feel like you're drowning sometimes.
It's okay to want to escape.
It's okay to cry.
It's okay to not want to have to clean up after anyone.
It's okay to leave the dishes in the sink.
It's okay to take some time to yourself.
It's okay to feel like you don't have it all together.
It's okay to NOT have it all together.
Motherhood is hard. Working moms have it tough. Stay-at-home moms have it tough. Work-from-home moms have it tough. And some times are tougher than others. And it's okay to feel the pressures of motherhood weighing down on you.
I've had meltdowns more times than I care to count in the last few months. Call it the terrible twos getting the best of me. Call it overworking myself. Call it trying to be a perfectionist in everything I do and feeling like I'm not succeeding at anything. Whatever you call it, I've been feeling it.
And guess what? Until I asked for help - from my hubby - it wasn't going to get better. Until I asked for help with the dishes and the laundry and the picking up and time for myself. I wasn't going to stop having tantrums on par with Caleb's.
But the thing is, I don't have to be perfect. I have to be present. I have to be happy. I have to be loving. Perfect doesn't fall into any of those categories.
But one day you'll wake up and feel better. One day you'll have an amazing morning with your little one, and maybe you'll be lucky enough to wake up and the dishes will be done, and the house will be picked up. And there's nothing wrong with me, or with you, when you're not okay.
But until that day, momma, it's okay to not be okay. Because soon it will be.
I try to limit Caleb's usage of my phone and iPad as much as possible. Truthfully, he doesn't use it very much at all when we are home - he typically uses it when we are out and he is tired and starting to pitch a tantrum. It's just the easiest way for me to cut the tantrum and not ruin others' dining experiences. Otherwise, though, the phone is solely an emergency use basis. I keep the iPad mounted on the headrest in the car and he watches it like a TV when we are on road trips.
With that being said, there are a few apps that we go to for just such occasions.
The folks over at Kidloland sent us a subscription for unlimited access to the content in their app. It's been such a great resource for me to use. Even if Caleb isn't using my phone, sometimes I get stuck on what nursery rhymes or songs to sing. Their library is absolutely enormous. They have songs for counting, ABCs, and phonics, and they all involve some kind of interaction, so your kids aren't just watching the videos. They have tracing activities and coloring activities. Have a picky eater? They have songs about fruits and vegetables. They have a phonics module, and tons more. The app is recommended for toddlers through age 5. Their website also has some great resources and coloring pages! I know that I will be renewing my subscription for this app!
The awesome people over at Kidloland have given us some free subscriptions to give away to you all! Read all the way to the end of this post to find out how to enter!
To download the app:
Because, duh. Mickey and Minnie and Goofy and Pluto. Caleb likes to watch the episodes. They also have games, but we haven't explored that very much. You can sign in with your cable provider account info and have access to all full episodes for your kids' favorite shows. This is convenient for those moments when your child (well, my child) is yelling for a specific show.
These apps are adorable. It's basically Elmo & Cookie Monster FaceTiming your little one! The app accesses your camera so it looks like they are really on a FaceTime call. There are pauses for your child to respond back, and this is another one that makes Caleb crack up.
This app kept Caleb calm basically the entire flight when we flew from New York to Denver this past December. You can build Mr. Potato Head with all kinds of accessories and then put him into different environments. Then he interacts with the environment and does silly things, which always elicits a hearty laugh! (I have to say that Mr. Potato Head is Caleb's favorite real life toy. He plays with it every single day.)
This app is great for identifying things around the house. Caleb loves to have Daniel use the potty and he loves to put him to bed. It's not an app he will use for an extended amount of time, but it doesn't keep him busy for a few minutes at a time.
This app is for mamas, not for little ones. I haven't used this much lately, but when Caleb was a newborn I did, a lot. I used it to track his feedings, and his wet and soiled diapers. I also kept track of his growth when we would visit the pediatrician. It is a very functional app with a lot of capabilities. If you're a pumping mama, it helps you keep track of your pumping sessions as well, including how long you pumped, and how much your output was.
We probably spoiled Caleb for life, but we have a sound machine in his bedroom that we put on for him every night. It helps to drown out the other sounds in the house, and I have found that he sleeps so much better with some white noise.
There you have it! Our favorite apps! Don't forget to enter the giveaway below for a 3 month subscription to the Kidloland app!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and first-time mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.