I'm starting a new series here - one I am pretty sure I can keep up with! It's going to be a monthly list of what I'm currently obsessing over or loving. It's a way for you to get to know me a little better, I guess! So without further ado - here is the October list! *This post contains affiliate links.
1. What I'm Watching: The Good Doctor on ABC
Fall TV has some great options, but one of the new shows I've really been enjoying has been The Good Doctor. It's about a young doctor who has autism and how he and those around him adapt to his new job working in a hospital. Since I worked with many students who have autism, I'm always drawn to works that have autism as a central theme. I feel like The Good Doctor does a good job in portraying how difficult everyday communication can be for someone who has autism, but i also love that it shows that just because someone does have autism, doesn't mean that they cannot be successful.
2. What I'm Reading: Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Recently, my sister-in-law Priscilla started a blog - Of Petals and Pages - about her thoughts on the books she reads. One of the books she posted about that caught my attention was this one. I'm actually listening to it on audiobook, and I'm not very far through it, but so far it is really intriguing and such an interesting way of learning about a culture that is very different from ours. I'll keep you posted, and I'm hoping to finish it soon, but so far it's a really interesting read!
3. My Current Obsession: Anything GOLD
I have ordered gold flatware, gold-rimmed plates, gold accessories for our new wall unit, gold hardware for the wall unit and the kitchen... catch my drift? I think it's a classic and always looks elegant, so yeah - current obsession.
4. Favorite Beauty Find: Farsali Unicorn Essence
Okay, so I probably watch way too many beauty blogger videos, but it's so incredible to see the transformations and the techniques they use. One of the products I had been dying to try was Farsali's Unicorn Essence. So I stopped in at Sephora the other day and picked up a small bottle. First of all, the smell is amazing. I think if unicorns had a smell, this would definitely be it. And secondly, it's an awesome makeup primer. It isn't thick, and it helps my makeup to stay put without changing the consistency of it!
5. What I'm Wearing Nonstop: Isabel for Target Maternity Yoga Pants
These yoga pants, with their supportive crossover panel, are so comfortable for a growing belly. I personally favor maternity bottoms that support my belly, especially with this pregnancy, where I am carrying much lower than last time. Anyway, these pants are in constant rotation!
6. The Best Meal I Ate: Cafe Martorano
A few weeks ago we stayed in Fort Lauderdale for a couple nights and we went to eat at Cafe Martorano. Eddie had been wanting to go for a long time, and since we were staying down the street we decided to go. We were a little worried because the reviews had said that they weren't kid-friendly, but we didn't find that at all. The service was fantastic, and the food was absolutely incredible. Some of the best Italian food I've had in a really long time. I had the Rigatoni special but the Cheese Steak was an amazing dish too. If you're in the area, this is definitely a must-try. Pro tip: Make reservations.
7. What I Can't Stop Humming: Itsy Bitsy Spider & Ed Sheeran's Perfect
Clearly I have a toddler. lol. That's all.
8. Purchase I'm Most Excited About: Maternity Overalls!
When I first found out I was expecting, one of the items I kept looking for was maternity overalls. I didn't want to pay an exorbitant amount for an item that I would use for a limited time, but I really wanted a pair. So I found these at Motherhood and I snatched them up!
9. What I'm Most Looking Forward to Next Month: New York, Thanksgiving, and Eddie's Birthday!
November is a busy month for us! We are taking a trip to New York where we will get to visit Eddie's brother and his wife, who is also expecting and is due just about 5 weeks before I am! I'll be taking their maternity photos, and we're also having our photos taken, which I'm super excited about. We are hosting Thanksgiving for the second time (more on that coming to the blog later this week!), and Eddie's birthday is the day after Thanksgiving (gift suggestions welcome)! So many great things happening this month.
10. Wish List Item: Tury Burch 'Fleming' Convertible Shoulder Bag in Royal Navy
I guess if I put it out there in the universe maybe it will happen. lol. Christmas is coming up, honey! ;) But seriously, I'm loving this bag!
There you have my October list!
A special thank you to Mixto Food & Drink for hosting us! And thank you to Jessica Marinello for most of these photos since I was a scatterbrain and didn't take any photos with my camera!
A few weeks ago I hosted my first brunch for local mom bloggers at Mixto Food & Drink in Miami Springs. It was an intimate affair where we got to chat about motherhood, family life, and balancing real life with being a blogger. It was a nice change of pace to be able to chat with other moms who are going through the same things as I am in multiple ways.
The brunch was an idea Gina, who owns the restaurant along with her husband Ernie, brought to me a few months ago, and after a postponement due to Hurricane Irma, we finally made it happen. I was excited to host brunch in a new spot with great meals, and Mixto did not disappoint!
First, can we talk about their decor? I love the black and gold decor and the amazing chandelier that you see when you walk in. The second floor is set up like a mini library with a few tables as well. I also love the communal table in the center of the restaurant. One of my favorite things however? The tables, which are decoupaged with pages from some of Gina's favorite books! She and her daughters did those all themselves. Such a cool idea!
But I know what you really want to know about is the food, right? They kicked off their brunch just a few weeks before we went, and the brunch menu made me want to try one of everything. I was between the Croquette Benedict and the Tater Tot Waffle, but I settled on the Croquette Benedict because, well, Eggs Benedict. Honestly, it was so good that I would have licked my plate had it not been for the fact that I was in the company of really wonderful ladies whom I did not want to gross out!
I followed up my breakfast with a cup of decaf hibiscus tea, which was delicious. And we decided to split a slice of guava cheesecake, which was spectacular.
And the amazing ladies who joined me, you should definitely go check them out! They are all amazing mommas and have some incredible talents and focuses that they show off on their blogs!
Angie at The Real Food Mama
Jessica at A Mother Adventure
Saray at Saray & Co.
Yarlenis at Her Inspired Guide
Nicole at Nico the Adventurista
We got to chat about blogging goals, motherhood goals, and shared tips and tricks for everything under the sun.
So go check out these mommas, and if you're in the area, go check out MiXto - I promise they won't disappoint!
P.S. If you're in the area on October 28th, MiXto is participating in a community trick-or-treat party, which is free to the community. It will take place from 5:30 - 8:30, so go check them out!
I was provided with this romper free of charge. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Anyone who tells you pregnancy sucks because you have to look frumpy never met this Fiesta jumpsuit from Meet Me in Miami. I felt nothing but fierce and fabulous while wearing this jumpsuit. To boot, it will fit me until nearly the end of my pregnancy, I'm sure.
It is honestly the softest jumpsuit I've every worn - made of a soft rayon blend jersey, and trimmed with bright and beautiful pom poms, it's a festive look for any occasion, and comfortable enough to keep you and your ever-changing pregnancy bod comfy. I wore this for a night out to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday and we went to happy hour, had dinner, and danced, and I was comfortable the whole night. Even trips to the bathroom (and let's face it - they're pretty frequent these days!), which are usually semi-nightmarish in jumpsuits like this, were a breeze. One of my favorite things about Meet Me in Miami is that all their items are handmade in the USA. At just under $100, it's a great piece to wear for nights out and more special events. I know I'll be wearing this at least a few more times during this pregnancy!
I paired this romper with a pretty gold necklace, this embellished clutch that my mom brought me from Barcelona, simple black peep toe heels, and a bright pink lipstick to complement the bright colors on the pom poms.
Stay sassy, ladies!
Jumpsuit: Meet Me in Miami
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Bag: Souvenir from Barcelona
Bracelet: Fringe Boutique Miami
Lipstick: MAC Girl About Town
I received clothing for this post in exchange from my honest review. All opinions are mine.
Photos: Nicole Gonzalez
Before I start, I need to ask your forgiveness for being a little absent lately! Between a rough first trimester, Caleb starting school, my volunteering at school, and then Hurricane Irma rolling through town, the blog has taken a backseat. But I'm hoping to have some great new material for you in the coming weeks!
A quick update: my first trimester was rough. I tried to keep a really positive mindset the whole time. The fact that my nausea was so persistent was really difficult, but I tried to bear in mind that it meant that this baby was growing and that it was a perfectly normal side effect of pregnancy. I actually ended up on a medication called Diclegis, and that was really the only thing that helped with the nausea. I had tried anything and everything that I had read online or that had been suggested to take away nausea, and while it helped, it never completely took it away. The Diclegis was what finally got me feeling like a normal human being. I was also totally and completely exhausted. Add Caleb running around and needing a whole lot of attention, and I ended every day completely wiped.
But now that I am in the second trimester, the nausea has subsided, and my energy is back up quite a bit. I still fall into bed every night and sleep like a baby, but I can make it through most of the day without needing a nap to survive. My belly is definitely growing - at 17 weeks my uterus is now the size of a melon and the baby is the size of a navel orange. I haven't gained a pound yet - which is good considering I started with a little extra weight on me. We still don't know the sex, so the blue shirt in this post says absolutely nothing about that (stop reading into things so much, guys - I promise, when I have news, I'll share it!). What else do you want to know? Ask me in the comments below!
Right before I announced my pregnancy, I discovered a brand that was just launching called Meet Me in Miami. I am a sucker for cute maternity clothes, and I was immediately drawn to their very "Miami" vibe. I also loved that their garments are made to be work before, during, and after pregnancy. So I reached out to them, and they had me come in to their workshop and try on some pieces, several of which I took home with me! In visiting their workshop, I learned that each and every item is handmade right there, locally. What a plus to be buying into our own economy and supporting locals.
This Salsa Mambo top could not be any more fun. I mean, just look a these sleeves! They just beg to have you swing around and let them move. The off-the shoulder is on trend, and I don't think it's going anywhere for a while. It features a raw trim edge with layered sleeves and is made of the softest material. I had so much fun shooting this top, and I can't wait to wear it again!
I paired this top with maternity jeans - I picked these skinny jeans up at Motherhood Maternity during my pregnancy with Caleb, and they are from the Jessica Simpson brand. You know I love me some pointy-toed flats, and these lace-up gold ones from Old Navy fit the bill perfectly. And this Kate Spade bag, which was a gift from my friend and fellow blogger Kathy over at Freshly Squeezed Fashionista, matched the top so perfectly. A turquoise tassel necklace rounded out the look, which is perfect for anything from running errands to a casual date night. This top can easily be dressed up - a pair of nude heels would have very easily taken this look straight to the dance floor.
Last week I had the pleasure of appearing on a segment on our local news station. Caleb and I appeared for Mommy & Me fashions on NBC's 6 in the Mix, in a segment put together by my friend Kathy over at Freshly Squeezed Fashionista (I've talked about her before - she's the one who took these shots of me, and these). Kathy has been super helpful in getting me out of a style rut - she wears combinations that I would never think to put together, and she's always challenging me to wear something out of my comfort zone.
When I was shopping for pieces for this segment, I went to Old Navy, and I sent her photos from the fitting room. I sent her a shot of this outfit and said, "I can do the shorts with a white top OR the shirt with white shorts." And her response was, "NO! I love them together!" I was a little hesitant, but I ended up really loving this outfit! I'm calling it my "Tranquila & Tropical" look - tranquila means relaxed (tranquil).
I would never have paired the same print on the top and bottom, but I feel like this just works, and it's a really fun look I could wear on vacation, or even for just a day out and about in Miami. The earrings and clutch were provided by Fringe Boutique, and the shoes were provided by Chiffino. My gorgeous hair and makeup were done by some awesome ladies from GlamSquad. I loved the side braid, and the bronzed makeup accented the (minimal) tan I acquired on our recent stay at the beach!
This top is the softest, thinnest material, and it is perfect for summer. Old Navy really hit it out of the park with this top! The shorts are a linen blend, so also really perfect for summer! It's a comfortable, breathable outfit - and aside from the fact I'm wearing heels, it's a great outfit to run around after Caleb,
I love the colors on this clutch - I feel like it would go well with almost anything, and those pom moms are too cute! And the heels, while a little high for me and what I have been wearing lately, I did love the way they made my legs look!
Stay tranquila & tropical, babes!
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!
While I was getting ready to write this, Eddie looked over at me and says, "Wait, so you're writing a list on what to get for Mother's Day for other moms to read it?" So I almost nixed the idea. But then I thought, "No - because I'm usually the mom that has no idea what to ask for, and I would love to have some ideas of what I could ask for this year." Plus, we have other moms we buy for don't we? So I decided to stick with it and publish this list anyway. Use it to buy for the other moms in your life, or send it to your significant other in an e-mail. Or not. I included things I've been pining over or things that have been a hit as gifts in the past.
For every mom
I have been swooning over Taudrey's stuff for a LONG time now. Their pieces are all handmade and personalized. They are a local Miami company - I actually went to the same high school as Tiffany (and I taught her little brother, too!) the owner and designer. Their pieces are dainty and beautiful on their own, mixed with other pieces, dressed up, or for everyday. I actually have this necklace, with Eddie & Caleb's initials. This is another beautiful option. As a matter of fact, you probably can't go wrong with a whole lot from this company, and there's a Taudrey goodie included in this week's giveaway! Read all the way to the bottom for details on how to enter and win!
For the mama to be
If you haven't heard of Lauren Arboleda at Food from the Heart, you should definitely go check out her blog. She has healthy and delicious recipes that you would never guess are so good for you. And she recently published her first book, Pregnancy from the Heart. She includes tips for pregnancy, healthy eating, including a fertility diet, recipes, tips for staying active, and what to do to get ready for baby. What I love about this book is that she isn't giving you tons of technical terms - it's like you're reading the words of one of your best friends!
And guess what? We're giving away a copy! I've teamed up with Lauren and one of you lucky readers will get a copy this week! Follow the instructions at the end of this post to enter! Not expecting? So what? I'm sure you know someone who is - and even if you don't, the recipes in here are definitely usable for those of us who aren't pregnant!
For the practical mama
One site I am always checking for new products is Mark & Graham. They do a lot of personalizing and their preppy modern take on items is so lovely. If I were to choose just one thing to add to my list is would be this super cool car organizer.
For the mom who needs a break
You can't go wrong with a day at the spa, a massage, or a mani/pedi. Just saying.
For the mom who's always on the go
I've talked about how much I love my Vauva pack backpack before, and the more time passes, the more glad I am that I got it. I have used these bags for Disney trips and every local outing imaginable. Heck, sometimes I put my camera lenses in there even when I don't have Caleb with me.
For your own mom
We actually gave my parents a family photo session for Christmas this year, and they absolutely loved it as a gift - I don't think we could ever top that. I know that as a mom, memories with my family are one thing I will always cherish. So why not gift mom a photo session? Check out local photographers in your area (oh, hi, Miami mommas - time for a shameless plug), and book a session for mom! I promise it will be a hit!
For the mom who loves to cook
Anything from LeCreuset is always a hit for me. The quality is amazing and cast-iron is always a good idea! For our anniversary, I actually got a special edition Beauty & The Beast soup pot, and it is a permanent fixture on my stove because I love it so much. That one is no longer available, but look how beautiful these flower ones are!
For the sentimental mom
Make her something, or help your kids make her something. Any mom will love a handmade gift, more so when it comes from their children! I'm leaving a couple of pins below to give you a few ideas!
For the shoe lover
Last year I got a pair of Soludos and I have not stopped wearing them. What better gift to kick off the summer season than an adorable pair of espadrilles? Soludos has all these cute designs and you can find a pair for everyone on your list! How cute are these flamingo ones?
This won't cost a thing...
Give mom the day off. It can be on Mother's Day, or another day of your choosing. Let her sleep in. Don't let her wash dishes. Take care of bath time. Get the kids ready for brunch. Keep the house picked up. Sometimes as moms, that's all we need!
At the end of the day, know that whatever you get your Mom, she will be happy. It will be a gift, from you, from your heart. And you can only truly understand that when you become a mother yourself. It's not about the presents, it's about your presence. But something thoughtful and from the heart never hurts.
Anniversary Giveaway #3
I'm a little late with this one, and I apologize, but I was stuck in bed with a stomach virus and it was not pretty! But this week's giveaway includes the beautiful Pregnancy from the Heart by Lauren Arboleda, and a Taudrey hair elastic/cuff that says "Mom Life." Perfect Mother's Day gifts for the moms in your life! Enter below for a chance to win! Giveaway will run through 12:00 am Friday and the winner will be announced Friday morning, as usual!
I was provided meals at no charge for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Transitioning from a full time stay-at-home mom to an almost full-time work from home mom has been a huge adjustment. It wasn't a conscious decision, it was something that just happened, and it's been a blessing in more ways than one, but it has definitely been a bigger adjustment than I ever imagined. Some days I feel guilty because I am not giving Caleb my full attention all day long, but I have come to realize that I need to find a balance. And if I can dedicate two hours to just working in the morning, then I can focus on him for the majority of the rest of the day, or at least until Eddie comes home.
On weeks where I know we will be extra busy, Babe Appetit has come to the rescue! Babe Appetit is an organic meal delivery service based in Miami, FL. They design food plans for children ages 6-36 months. Packages range from 6 meals for parents wishing to introduce new flavors a few days a week, to 10 meals, which would cover all weekday lunches/dinners. This was designed to offer weekend flexibility since many families (at least ours) eat out on Saturday and Sunday. Meals are delivered on Sundays.
The meals are delicious. We have tried several of the items off the menu, and I can honestly say that it is food I wouldn't mind having, either. With samplings like mojo chicken, vegetable lasagna, and turkey chili, who can go wrong? There are meals for every taste and they are all executed deliciously.
So if you're like me and you need an easy fix for your mealtime worries, don't hesitate to check out Babe Apetit!
For more details and pricing reach out to Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org
A couple of months ago, my friend and I were chatting about things we wished existed that would be a great service for moms. One of the things we talked about was a nail salon that somehow had a playground incorporated into it, where you could take your kids when you have nobody to leave them with while you go get your mani/pedi.
Lo and behold, about a week later, an ad for Pod22 showed up on my Instagram feed. It was exactly what we had been talking about. Pod22 calls itself an urban break room. It's an indoor playground facility with lots of kid friendly play structures and padded flooring. It also has a lounge area, wifi, and a nail salon. One of the things that called my attention about Pod22 is that they have supervised play. Your kids aren't just running around - they are being watched by someone else so you really can relax!
The first thing I noticed when I stepped in is how modern and open the space is. From anywhere in the space, you can see almost the entire playground area. You enter, sign a waiver, and hand your little one over to the play supervisor. In Caleb's case, he was one-on-one with her the whole time I was getting my mani/pedi. The playground area is very clean and well kept, and is visually appealing for kids and adults alike.
Once he was entertained, they led me to the nail salon, an enclosed area with a glass wall where you can see your child in the playground area. The glass is tinted from the outside, so it's not very easy for your child to notice you in there, and the attendants do a great job of keeping them away from the windows.
My manicure was lovely. My manicurist was friendly and did a really great job on my manicure and pedicure. As a matter of fact, a week later, and my manicure is still perfectly intact aside from new nail growth. The fact that I could see Caleb the whole time I was getting my manicure and pedicure was comforting, but since I could tell he was having fun, I was really able to relax. At one point I looked out the window and saw him dancing to the "Hot Dog Song" from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which made me crack up.
As a matter of fact, he had so much fun that as soon as we sat in the car, he knocked out for his nap and slept for nearly 2 hours! That's a successful playtime to me!
Another great thing about Pod22 is that you don't necessarily have to go and get a mani/pedi while you are there. You can use supervised play and sit in the lounge area. They have great wifi, so if you have work you need to get done, like oh - say - a blog post that needs to get posted, you can take your kids to supervised play and get some work done.
They also have memberships available, which include supervised play and give discounts on services. And they offer birthday party packages, which is definitely a super option, especially if your child's birthday is in the warmer months when doing something outside is really difficult. Another plus is dedicated parking in the back of the building, which can be hard to come by for some places.
For me, the one drawback is the location - it's a little over 13 miles from home for me. That being said, there is nothing else like this in Miami, which makes it worth it for me to make my way there, even considering the distance.
I really can't begin to say enough wonderful things about this place, and I guarantee Caleb and I will be back again soon! I only wish I had come up with this idea myself! lol
So if you are in the Miami area, check them out, and let them know I sent you!
*I received free services at Pod22 in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. They also provided me with photos to include in the blog post.
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.