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I feel like I just did my October list! I had a lot more posts planned than what I was able to get up for you all, but vacation and Thanksgiving and being sick got the better of me, and here we are, already hitting on December! Without further ado, the November List...
Some days I'm just over wearing jeans or yoga pants. I still want to be comfy, because I'm loading a toddler in and out of the car, taking numerous trips to the bathroom, and running errands. But I really enjoy looking put together while I do those things!
I also don't claim to be a fashion blogger, but I do really enjoy putting looks together and making old things current again. Every item I'm wearing in this look I have had for years. This dress is maternity, a holdover from my pregnancy with Caleb. It is the softest t-shirt material and I have worn it countless ways. The chambray shirt is probably the first chambray shirt I ever purchased and I honestly have no idea where I even got it. I typically wear this shirt tied around my waist, because it doesn't have much of a shape, but I thought tying it in a knot above my protruding belly would add another fun layer to the look. I would never wear a shirt tied this high up unless I was pregnant, because hello, I don't want anyone to think I am pregnant when I'm not!
These Cole Haan Zero Grand Wingtips are some of the most comfortable shoes I own. My husband had a few pairs and before we took our big trip to Paris a couple of years ago, he convinced me that they were a good buy. I'm glad I listened to him and spent the money on them, because I have worn them more times than I can remember, and they really are the comfiest (they weigh nothing).
The backpack is from Ryla Pack - it's actually from their line before their recent rebrand. It's the best "diaper backpack" anyone could want!
And as far as my hair - I fell asleep with it wet last night, and woke up with it looking pretty wild. To tame it, I took a straightening iron to it and threw in a few waves to make it look presentable. When I do this, I focus mostly on the front, which is what most people pay attention to anyway!
The look was even comfy enough to help Caleb put together this pumpkin! (Thanks to his madrina for getting all the supplies and painting the pumpkin ahead of time!)
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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 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.
Dear 18-year-old Jenise,
You probably can't imagine this yet, but yesterday, we turned 32. I know. You probably think 32 seems so... ADULT. But really, it's not that bad.
As a matter of fact, 32 might actually be a prime year for you. In the last year, you've achieved things you didn't think you ever would - like run a half marathon (yes, I'm serious!), maintain a successful photography business while working from home, and reach many women, most of whom you have never met, via your blog. The next year only holds promises of even greater things.
You are married to this amazing man, Eddie (you've actually already met him and been on a date with him, but it didn't work out just yet. Be patient.). He treats you like a queen and loves you probably more than you deserve sometimes. You have a beautiful home you have built together, and an adorable two-year-old boy named Caleb. He is the light of both of your lives. You have a dog named Bella, a Lhasa Also, just like your first dog, Sassy.
The road here hasn't always been the smoothest. But with faith, family, love and support, you've made it to where you are, and you have come out stronger on the other side. But I'd like to give you some words of wisdom, from yourself, a few years down the line.
Love your body. Your body will do some incredible things over the next couple of years. Those boobs you were ashamed of because they grew so fast and were never perky enough? They will nourish your baby for nearly TWO years. They will sustain him completely for the first 6 months of his life. You'll carry your son in that belly that has never been quite flat enough, and there will be nothing on earth that will make you more proud of your body. Keep exercising - your body will do whatever you push it to do - including run 13.1 miles through Walt Disney World Resort. Feed it wisely - stop going through those drive-thrus and eating crappy junk. When you finally start to nourish it well, you'll notice a world of difference. Trust me.
Stop chasing love. Love will find you. Or rather, you will find each other. And it will be sweet, and it will be fiery, and it will leave you weak in the knees. But the day you decide to make it a forever kind of love, will be the day where you are more certain of anything than you have ever been in your entire life. Stop stressing yourself out over love. It will come. And on that note...
Don't put up with anyone mistreating you. This comes to guys and friends. You'll have one relationship in particular that will challenge you and leave you with scars. Don't let those scars get too deep. But if they do get too deep, don't beat yourself up over it, for one day, they will heal (because you will find the kind of love that is perfect for you). Friends will come and go. Friends who you thought would be forever friends will slowly start to fade into the background and new friends will emerge. But anyone who mistreats you or disrespects you shouldn't be in your life.
Don't carve your path in stone. This monumental decision about your career? Go with your gut. You will have a successful run in a profession you love. But you will also find something else that you are passionate about, and you will hone your skills and become good at that. You'll also find that running your home is a lot more work than you ever thought it would be, and you'll adapt to life as a stay-at-home mom, too.
Trust your gut. At 32, it hasn't steered you wrong. It will guide you on everything from your career, to your love life, to being a mother. People will try to give you advice about what you "should" be doing all the time. Your judgement will tell you which way to go. Trust it. You will always make the best decisions for yourself.
Accept yourself. Love yourself for who you are. Don't change your personality because someone else said it was cool to be a certain way. At the end of the day, if you've been true to yourself, you will lay your head on your pillow every night and rest easy. Be your kind, level-headed, easygoing self. You'll appreciate those traits more the older you get.
But most important of all, enjoy the ride. Life is so sweet. Savor every moment. Dance. Read. Hop on a plane. You'll never regret living your life fully.
This post is not sponsored and contains no affiliate links.
We are in the dead of summer around here, and man is it HOT. I don't know about you, but when it is this hot outside, the less clothes that actually touches my body, the better I feel. Yoga pants are impossible, as are jeans. I spend a lot of the summer in shorts and swing dresses, which help me stay cool. So this outfit is perfect for me!
The shorts have a drawstring waist - I've actually blogged about them before. They are so soft and so comfortable. When I purchased them, I knew they would be a summer staple, and boy, was I right. Especially after two and a half weeks of vacation, and a weekend at BlogHer, the drawstring waist came in super handy.
The embroidery on the blouse keeps it on trend and makes the outfit a little dressier. I can't stand tight tops in the summer (hello underboob sweat!). I wouldn't normally pair two loose items, but this was such a fun outfit with so much movement that I couldn't help but be happy about it. The biggest plus was how comfortable it was.
I paired it with tan sandals and a tan choker, along with some colorful sunnies. It's a perfect summer weekend outfit. You can also dress it up with wedges or add some color with some fun tassel sandals. Either way, you'll be easy and breezy.
Tank: Habit Boutique
Sandals: Tory Burch
Sunglasses: Old Navy
I shot this look back In February and hadn't gotten around to blogging it, but it's okay because it's actually a perfect look for a summer date night. My love affair with crisp white shirts is never-ending. When I was working, anytime I would come across a white blouse with interesting details, I would snag it and then I would wear the heck out of it.
While this blouse probably isn't work appropriate for most professions, it really is the perfect top for a night out. The off-the shoulder and the gorgeous bell sleeves are just perfect.
I of course, am a jeans queen and love my denim, but denim and a crisp white shirt are one of my favorite looks of all time. While silhouettes may change and fit may change, the look itself is classic and can be dressed up or dressed down. In this case, I paired it with olive green pointy-toed block heels, but this look would be just as perfect with a pair of flats, or wedges, or sexy strappy sandals.
I've posted about these embellished jeans before and how much I love them, but I think the embellishments add the perfect little touch to an otherwise pretty simple outfit.
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!
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
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!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.