Retail therapy anyone? If you are anything like the 99.9% of women who love to shop, you just shouted, “YES”! Shopping makes me feel good (until I see my account balance) and having a baby made our expenses double! Don’t get me wrong, give me any excuse to shop and I take it, but I was blind sided when it came to how expensive children can be. I honestly thought after all that shopping we did to prepare for our new baby’s arrival (see my Newborn Checklist) there was no way such a tiny human being could possibly need anything more; and boy was I wrong!
Babies go through several stages of development and each stage requires something new. Whether it’s bigger clothes, more toys, walkers or a potty training seat, it all adds up! As a stay at home mom, I had extra time on my hands so I researched every product before making a purchase, and so far every buy has been a success (see my list of favorite products- year one); but I later learned that while I needed some of things I bought, others I could’ve done without and as much as I love a little retail therapy, I don’t like to waste money. Result – I’ve learned to shop smarter!
Red Velvet cupcakes with butter cream icing was my biggest weakness during pregnancy… literally my kryptonite! It’s packed with calories but oh so good and to make it worst, you can’t just eat one. Needless to say, after giving birth I was left with more than baby fat around my midsection and I was desperate to lose it!
I exercised as often as I could (with no nanny and little sleep) and tried several fad diets; and although I did lose weight, I gained it right back immediately after I stopped. My post baby diet and exercise was a very effective weight loss routine, but I later learned to keep the weight off permanently I needed a more balanced diet. A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrition it needs to function properly; In order to get truly balanced nutrition, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
When we’re looking to lose weight, the first thing we often think of is to slash the calories in our diet; I was depriving my body of all carbs, fatty foods, snacks and skipping meals all in a bid to stick to a low-calorie plan. The problem is that very low-calorie diets (or “VLCDs”, as they’re known) slows down your metabolism along with other problems and even the best of them should be undertaken only under strict medical supervision.
Taking deeper breaths, being more patient and choosing my battles more wisely are some of my newly acquired skills… Yep, it’s true becoming a mother has changed me for the better. Things that use to bother me, I’m no longer fazed by, I value time, relationships and myself a lot more and I set bigger goals! My life isn’t perfect, but each and everyday my son reminds me that it’s all worth it.
I might not be singing Kumbaya or chanting Namaste, but I strongly believe in the law of attraction, which says “by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life.” My mother taught me this and I’ve lived by it for over a decade; but somewhere along the path of me trying to find myself, I lost this very important lesson.
You see the world is full of hate, but I refuse to breathe life into negativity when I have so much love and positivity around me. I’m living life vicariously through the innocent eyes of my baby boy… he’s fearless, noncritical of others or himself, brings happiness into the lives of everyone he encounters and I’m inspired by it.
From the paint on the walls, to the chandeliers and plush toys, designing my baby’s nursery was one of my favorite things to do while pregnant! I had a blank canvas, which allowed me to design from scratch and let my creativity flow. Living in a big city, I had many options to choose from and with online shopping I figured whatever I couldn’t find here, I could order online… sounds simple right? Well not quite when you’re a moody, hard to please, pregnant woman!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a perfectionist and if things don’t go according to what I have in my head, I throw tantrums (don’t judge me, I’m a working progress) so instead of expecting my interior decorator to have psychic powers, I decided to take a leap of faith and design it all myself.
First I set a budget, then I checked online for a few ideas and pinned everything I liked to my creative board to organize all my finds (you can use Pinterest or any Pic Collage Apps). My board was very detailed, from the theme of the nursery to the design of the crib, linens, accessories, book shelf, changing table, toy box, storage bins, diaper pail and rug… everything had to coordinate!
As much as I’m addicted to online shopping, I knew it made more sense financially to see what my local stores had to offer before I began ramping up international shipping fees. I found amazing pieces at Pottery Barn Kids, The White Company, Zara Home, Mama’s & Papa’s and Home Center.
Changing diapers, picking up toys and cleaning up food stains everyday is exhausting and can become overwhelming over a period of time. My baby boy is on the move and there’s no stopping him; I was literally two seconds away from screaming HELP when my husband surprised me with a much needed vacay to one of the destinations on my vision board… Phuket, Thailand! It was like I won the lottery, I was doing the moonwalk through the beachwear aisles in the mall and singing happy tunes all the way to the departure gate in the airport!
Traveling with a baby means extra luggage and requires more energy, but fortunately for me I’ve somewhat mastered the art of keeping our son happy/ entertained on a plane which made the flight a very pleasant one. (For a detailed post on all you’ll need when traveling with a baby click here). With him being a few months older than he was when we last traveled, I had to do a few things differently such as:
Babies are the most incredible creations, from their itty bitty toes to their cute little nose… they are the most accurate description of a masterpiece! I’ve always had a keen interest in the human body, there’s something about how our organs work together that I find interesting (maybe I should’ve studied medicine, I always thought it would be fab to have Dr at the start of my name), but it wasn’t until I became a mom and practically witnessed my baby transform before my eyes that I became fascinated with how babies develop!
Babies are individuals; they grow in unique ways and develop at their own pace. There’s a wide range of what’s considered ‘normal’, but they usually hit their milestone target within weeks (sometimes months) of each other. Being a first time mother, I celebrated every thing (if I could have a party every time my baby did something new, I would); it’s crazy the little things we (adults) take for granted that are big accomplishments in a baby’s life.
For me, the “milestone party” started during my pregnancy, from feeling my baby kick for the first time to giving birth and now seeing him smile!
Most little girls start dreaming of their big fairytale wedding by the age of 12, for me it was at the age of 6 (I was a fast bloomer); I imagined it just like all the Disney princess stories I was told at bedtime, you know the ones where the prince rescues the girl and they lived happily ever after? Yes, those! As cliché as it sounds, I did actually “find my Prince Charming” and although I had to kiss a few “frogs” (more like slimy toads) to get there… it was worth it in the end.
My now husband and I were in a relationship for a year and a half before we got pregnant and married. We always said we wanted a lot of babies together, but our son came sooner than expected and we were the happiest people on the planet when we found out! He proposed to me at the place we first met and it took me by surprise; we didn’t wait to get married as it was more important for us to have a vow ceremony (with no added distractions), just the two of us with our pastor. We had a very intimate ceremony in the world famous Viscaya Gardens, with a backdrop of the ocean and humming of the birds… it was magical!
However, as much as we loved our vow ceremony we want to share our union with our close friends and family, so a big wedding is definitely in order! I’m caught in the midst of baby fever and planning my fairytale wedding; I want my children close in age but it seriously took me a year to lose the baby weight and I want to look amazing in my dress, so I cant decide which to do first.
Whether it’s a candle lit dinner, a walk along the beach, cinema tickets for two or a simple cuddle on the sofa; date nights are special and should be kept as a priority in your relationship. When you become a mother, your undivided attention goes to your baby and there’s nothing wrong with that… for the first few months; but after a while, you have to snap out of your hypnosis and start balancing all the things and people that are important in your life. Making the transition from “everything baby” to having a life outside of that is not an easy task and it does require effort, but we’re women… we were craftily designed to multitask (effortlessly in 6 inch stilettos)!
I couldn’t part with my baby for months, so during that time my husband and I would take our son with us everywhere, including our romantic dates. To be honest, we eat out quite often and have been taking him out since he was 10 days old; to this day he’s well behaved. For some people, that’s a bit much but we are first time parents and that worked well for us.
From birth to about six months old, I would make sure our son was fed and almost sleepy before we went out; this was great because he slept while my husband and I dined. Now that’s he’s older we don’t take him on our “date nights” but we do take him on other outings. To keep him seated and entertained at the table we bring organic snacks, juice and share bite sized portions of our main course with him.
Seeing a hot mom does one or two things for me; major girl envy or motivate me to step my game up! There’s no better look than a woman who seems to have her entire life figured out (I’m sure she doesn’t, but it’s the perception). From her fit bod, contoured make-up, great hair and stylish outfit to her well-dressed kids, it’s a sight that leaves many women wondering how she does it!
I do try to dress up when I go out during the day; but it takes forever and I honestly don’t have the time (my falsies alone take up to 15 minutes to apply). I’ve already delegated tasks in my home, so I do get 2 hours to myself; however I use those 2 hours to workout, work from home or meet up with my girls for lunch.
Is it too much for me to want to look good all the time? Does that make me a bit superficial? I just don’t want to look like I got ran over by a garbage truck when I’m home; messy hair and pajamas covered in food stains (yes pajamas, I don’t change until my afternoon shower… at 5pm, right before my husband gets home from work lol)! My rule is, never let the hubby catch me off guard… perception, remember?
Well, usually I avoid all mirrors when I’m home taking care of the baby (because I know the state I’m in), but my son has a new obsession with seeing his reflection so I ended up face to face with a barely recognizable me. It left me a bit grumpy and feeling like there has to be a solution to looking like a human being at home and a faster way to get dolled up when going out; so while my son took his nap, I began my research.
Here’s what i found:
Two words that get moms excited? Sale and Free! Well, we’re not selling anything on MMTB but we are excited to announce our upcoming giveaways! Every few weeks we will randomly select a subscribed reader of our blog to win a free gift; each gift will be taken from my list of Favorite Products so be sure to follow our social media pages for updates.
The rules are simple:
- Subscribe to our blog
- Follow us on Instagram
- Like our page on Facebook
- If we are partnered with the makers of a product for the giveaway, there may be additional rules
- Contest rules are subject to change
This is our way of showing appreciation to our readers for their continuous support. As a mother myself, I know how expensive children are and it all adds up (especially when you only buy the best products for your child) so a little freebie is always a perk!
If you do not win on the first try, it’s ok! We have plenty of goodies to giveaway. Please do not email us about the giveaways unless you are the winner, in which case we will need your shipping information; However, as a subscribed member we have your email on file and will contact with instructions on how to claim your gift.
Thanks for visiting our blog! xo