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!
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
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!
This week, the blog turns ONE! Even though the archives show posts back as far as February 2015, I didn't officially publish and promote the blog until I had enough content up and was making it a point to publish entries. But anyway, I can hardly believe it. I set about on this fun little endeavor thinking that I'd probably have a few close friends and family reading it. I don't get millions of hits to the site, but I get way more than I ever imagined.
First of all, I want to thank YOU! Yes, you! Thank you for reading and commenting and reposting and coming back to read my thoughts! You are the reason why I continue to put the effort into this little corner of the world. There have been days when I've thought about giving up, and I'll get a message from one of you, or someone will mention to somebody I know that they have been reading my posts and something resonated with them.
Know that in this age of algorithms and popularity-based views on social media networks, every like, share, and comment is so meaningful. I am eternally grateful to those of you who follow along and support all these posts that come from my heart!
I also want to take a minute to thank my husband, Eddie, and Caleb, the little guy who inspired me to start this blog. They are my number one fans, and are always putting up with me taking pictures and saying stuff like, "I can probably use this for the blog." Creating content regularly is no easy feat, and they never complain about my shenanigans.
And two two more friends I want to thank, Cary over at Cary Diaz Photography for capturing these awesome first birthday themed photos for me, and Kristi at Habit Boutique for dressing me perfectly for the occasion! The dress and blouse I am wearing in these photos were provided by her boutique. The colors are perfect and the quality of them is excellent! If you've never been, check it out in the heart of Coral Gables - she has beautiful pieces!
I've learned a lot about myself and about others over the past year of blogging. Some of it good, and some of it bad. But there are three things in particular that I want to share with you, whether you are blogging, working someone else's business, running your own business, or running your family.
1. Believe in yourself. You have to be ready to put in the work, but you also have to know that whatever vision you have for yourself, it can be done. I've learned that my mind is the most powerful tool I have, and vision plus hard work equals results.
2. Stop comparing yourself. I've had to tell myself countless times to stop comparing myself to so-and-so because they have 10k or 100k followers. I haven't been at this that long, and it's a saturated market. I have a unique perspective to offer, and comparing myself to what everyone else has or doesn't have is going to take my eyes off of my end goal. Just be 100% you.
3. There is an amazing world of kindness out there, you just have to be open to the opportunity. Early in my journey, a girl named Bessy (check her blog out here) reached out to me. She invited me into a group of blogger friends that she had made and they were all so kind and supportive. It was incredible to see how they embraced me so quickly. And like those women, I have found so many who are kind and helpful. Women who have helped me to be lifted when I was down about something. Women who told me to brush off negative comments or imitators (yes, I had someone copy my blog name ::insert eye roll here::). Women who empower other women and want to see nothing more than for them to succeed. Had I not responded to Bessy's initial message, I would have missed out on this amazing group of women. I've also made some amazing virtual BFFs, who I hope to highlight for you in the coming months.
But birthdays mean presents, right?! I'm not asking you for presents, but I AM giving some goodies away! I was going to give one bigger gift, but I thought it would be more fun to have multiple winners. So each week this month, I'm going to be giving something away! I'll be giving away products I LOVE and use often so that you can benefit from them, too! So check back weekly in the month of April to see what I have for you. The giveaway will open Monday morning and will close Thursday evening. I'll announce the winner Friday morning. And I'll be doing this for four weeks!
Thanks for all the love, friends!
Giveaway #1: Fueled by Caffeine & Jesus (grubby toddler hand not included)
When I was about 6 months into this stay-at-home mom gig, I still hadn't adjusted. I was feeling like I had to do everything at home perfectly and like I had to get everything right all the time. I'm not even sure how I came across it, but I somehow happened upon The Super Mom Myth by Becky Kopitzke. Her book pointed out so many things that I was doing and stressing over that I didn't need to be! It really changed my outlook on being a mom and a wife. And I want you to experience that, so included in my first giveaway is this book, along with this adorable one of a kind mug, complete with my handwriting, made by my friends at Creative Sparkles, and a sleeve of Nespresso coffee pods. Follow the directions below to enter and win!
I received no compensation for any of these products. Clothing was provided by Habit Boutique free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.
Friday is St. Patrick's Day already. I can't believe we are halfway through March! I shot this look with Lauren of Laurel Creative and knew I wanted to post it this week. I know I mentioned in a previous post about how I couldn't believe some people make such a big deal about St. Patrick's Day, but the truth is, I grew up in a Catholic school run by Irish nuns (our team name was the Celtics). St. Patrick's Day was always a cause for celebration, and because I have been very close to some of those Irish Catholic nuns, it is a day I hold dear to my heart - just not for the reasons of green beer and leprechauns that everyone is all about now.
Truth be told, I may not even really celebrate the day. I will think of those Sisters of Mercy in my life fondly and I will say a prayer for them. But I will most certainly wear green!
I wasn't too sure about this outfit when I first put it on, but then I actually went crazy over it. I'm excited to wear it somewhere now! I like how the top balances out the skirt, and I love these lace up heels that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. I like that this dressier outfit is infused with some color, so it's fun while still being sophisticated. I paired it with a double layer choker and a simple envelope clutch that I've had for probably 10 years (don't ever get rid of classic pieces - they can always be used!).
And if you're not into St. Patrick's Day at all? This is a great spring outfit, and I'm so ready for all the pastels and brights and skirts and dresses that come along with spring!
Top: New York & Company (Similar here)
Shoes: New York & Company
Choker: New York & Company
Bracelets & Purse: my own
So it's date night, the sitter just knocked on the door, and hubby is ready to go enjoy a night out with you. But you glance in the mirror on your way out the door and realize, holy cow, I can't do date night looking like this!
Girl, I've got you! Been there, done that. Luckily, I have a super fast makeup routine for everyday. You can read that routine here. So, I do that, and then I just take it up a notch. My friends over at Reina Rebelde sent me some samples of their products, and I absolutely loved their products to help elevate my look and take it from day to night.
I love Reina Rebelde because it was started by a Mexican-American woman, Regina Merson, and the line is all about embracing duality as a Latina woman who not only loves her Latin culture, but also embraces America and everything it has to offer. The name Reina Rebelde translates to "Rebel Queen," and the line itself is unabashedly Latina. The colors are versatile, which I adore. Some days I want to look just put together enough where I don't scare people on the street, and other days I want to really have that extra oomph in my look. This line lets me do that.
For my eyes, I used their 4 Play Wet Dry Eye Shadow in Azteca. I used the lightest shade (top left) in my brow bone and on the inner corners of my eyes. For my crease I used the shadow in the top right, and I then I wet my brush and used the darkest brown to line my lids on the top and on the bottom.
For my lips, I used their Bold Lip Color Stick in Brava. I am a sucker for bright lips, and red is my absolute favorite. It doesn't hurt that hubby loves it too! This red is classic, and the color is definitely long-lasting. I also love when I don't have to line my lips, which eliminates another step, and with this Bold Lip Color Stick, I didn't have to do that. The color didn't bleed or feather, and it didn't dry out my lips, either.
There you go! Date night makeup in under 15 minutes. I'm sure you can get on board with that!
If you follow my Instagram account, you know I have spent the last few weeks preparing for Caleb's second birthday. Last year, we didn't do a birthday party and instead took a trip to Disney with family. This year, when Eddie mentioned that he would love to throw a party for Caleb, I started my Pinterest board right away (Of course).
I decided on a Neverland theme, with the idea that I could incorporate elements of Peter Pan (a classic) and Jake and the Neverland Pirates (which Caleb loves and recognizes - as a matter of fact, every pirate is either "Jake" or "Hook"). Pinterest is a dangerous place, and my ideas quickly spun out of control. Thankfully, my parents are amazing at executing ideas and were able to let me borrow a LOT of things they already had. I took most of the photos myself, and in doing so while also trying to enjoy the party, I did miss a few details, but for the most part, they're included! Read on for party details...
I can hardly believe that today is your second birthday. It feels like just yesterday we found out we were expecting you, our perfect little creation. But lo and behold, two whole years have gone by since I first held you in my arms.
Watching you grow has been nothing short of miraculous. I see your personality coming through all the time, and your sense of humor is already leaps and bounds ahead of what I ever thought it would be. You have an uncanny ability to make me laugh and smile even on my worst days. You are, as you say, "fummy."
Your second year of life has brought so much adventure and energy with it. I am learning along with you, and to quote you, "my goodness!" How much I have to learn! Every day is an adventure, a learning experience, a load of fun. You have definite likes and dislikes. You love raisins, cheese, cookies, and all kinds of food, really. You don't like being dirty and you love the bath. You love Mickey and Cookie Monster and you love to explore. Just yesterday you searched all over the front yard and down the street for "Hook."
They say that the twos are terrible. We've seen a few snippets of the behavior that causes people to call them terrible, but I'm so excited to see you learn and grow even more. Two is going to be an amazing year for you and for us! I'm going to try to not let your twos be remembered as terrible. I'm going to try to remember that you are still growing and learning and that the big world is a tough place to navigate and you can get overwhelmed by it all. I may slip up, and we may have some rough moments, but I will do my very best!
We are going to fill your next year up with even more adventures and fun. You're going to keep growing, and learning so much. After all, this will be the year you start school! We are so excited to embark on the next year with you. While I know that memories fade, I will try to document as much as I can for you, while still being present and enjoying the moments we experience together. I always want to remember your smirk, and your funny grin, and the way you say, "Bye! Soon! Love You!" I want to remember how you push my face and Dad's together so you can see us kiss each other. I want to remember how you hook your arms around my neck and nuzzle into my hair. I want to remember how you look when you are napping with your Daddy. I want to remember how you call out "MOM!" every so often, just to make sure I'm still around.
Every day my love for you grows. Some days it's all I can do to keep from smothering you with hugs and kisses. Yes, your mom - the non-snuggler - has a hard time not snuggling with you. I also have a hard time disciplining you, but I know it's necessary. But I certainly do not have a hard time loving you.
But I can hardly believe how quickly the time is going. The saying is true, "time stops for no one." So I am going to make the days count. I'm going to make the hours and the minutes count. And I'm sure next year, I will come to this day and ask myself the same question I have asked myself for the last 2 years, "Where did the year go?"
And I know that one year from now, I will be even more amazed by you, and even more in love with you than I am today. Because you, little guy, are pretty amazing.
Cheers to two, and everything that comes with it.
I love you.
The end of a year always brings on reflection of the past 365 days. This was a year filled with adventure and growth. We traveled more than I ever thought we would - it felt like every month I was packing for something or other. I wouldn't trade the adventures we have had as a couple or as a family for anything in the world.
It was also a year of growth in many ways. We grew in wisdom as parents. I no longer feel like I am so reliant upon the opinions of others. I know my son and we as his parents know what is best for him. This also means we grew in confidence when it comes to Caleb and our parenting decisions.
I grew my photography business, even though I didn't have plans to do so. It ended the year on a really high note.
Finally, I started this little labor of love and it has been a far greater and more fulfilling endeavor than I ever thought. I started it thinking that not very many people would be reading it, but knowing that I wanted to write about motherhood and life in general. I never imagined the feedback I would get and the number of people who would tell me that they loved reading my blog. I have had moms of toddlers, women younger than me who don't have kids yet, and women of my mom's generation alike tell me that they love reading what I'm writing. It's been so much fun and it's been incredible to hear that kind of praise for something that truly comes from the heart. So thank you, dear reader. Thank you for your shares, your likes, your comments, and for sticking around and hearing about my journey through motherhood!
My goal in the new year is to post more consistently, but also to maintain great content. It's important to me to keep this blog true to how I started it, maintaining authenticity and quality content and writing.
I'm looking forward to all the incredible things 2017 will bring our way. May the next year be filled with peace, love, and prosperity for each and every one of you!
I haven't been very good about posting, but it has been a little bit crazy over here. A quick recap for those of you who don't follow me on Instagram.
Two weeks before Thanksgiving, Caleb wound up sick with croup, two days before we were leaving to LA. We got him treated for it and went off to Hollywood and its neighboring areas (which you will read/see more about below). We returned to Miami the day before Thanksgiving, only to wake up that night to a screaming, feverish Caleb. Treated him for the fever, and spent Thanksgiving Day (which was also my hubby's birthday) lounging around and trying to keep Caleb comfortable until it was time to go to dinner. He spent the next five or so days battling a virus and it was awful. The Monday after Thanksgiving, my grandmother passed away. She was 99 years old and lived an incredibly full life, but it was a sad, emotionally draining event nonetheless. We are finally all better and deep in the throes of Christmas preparations and also getting ready for a whirlwind Christmas trip, and planning a birthday party for Caleb, but those are good things!
Anyway, I though I'd share with you a visual diary of our trip!
Top spots: Urth Cafe, Manhattan Beach, Malibu Farm, Nobu Malibu, In-N-Out.
Where we stayed: Mondrian Beverly Hills
Enjoy some photos below!
Until next time, friends!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.