Happy New Year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have had the urge to write for quite some time now, but then life happened.

I’ve had several drafts ready to go regarding toddler stuff or fashion stuff but I had to simply just write about life as of lately and being a working mommy/wifey.

I’ve previously posted that I’m constantly riddled with working mommy/wife guilt.  Has it gotten better?  Nope, but it’s bearable.  I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’ll never go away and that’s no one else’s fault but my own.  I shouldn’t feel bad about having to take care of my family whether that be financially or emotionally.  What matters is that I’m giving all that I can.

I have been quite busy at work for past 3 months.  That includes logging in time over the holidays.  Unfortunately, I have the opposite schedule of a tax accountant or a traditional auditor.  I do work for a public accounting firm; however, my busy season started at the end of September and doesn’t end until February.  There are weeks that are a little more slow-paced than others.  There are weeks that are intense but every week is different.  Every day is different.  I’d like to think that I’ve dealt with it all day by day, situation by situation.  The one thing that’s keeping me strong and empowered through all this, even if I am busy and overwhelmed, is my family.  My time with them is EXACTLY what I need to de-stress and calm down to push through the work week.  Sometimes I wish I could give more at home (Trying to control and do everything for them.  Be very Type A.), but frankly we’re happy, so why fix something that not broke.  Sure the laundry doesn’t get folded and put away immediately or the dishes pile up some days, but we’re fine.  The attention and love I give them is more than enough.  My husband has been the MOST amazing and supportive person.  When I start expressing my feelings of guilt, he tells me to stop because he’s not complaining nor is Eva.  He tells me to take the time to do what I need to.  And while I still feel guilt deep down at the pit of my stomach, that weight on my shoulder is lifted.  They are simply the best.

And while I previously said if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, I’m still trying to find the right schedule for me that doesn’t burn me out, carves out some me-time, keeps me productive at work and that works around my family’s schedule.  I want to have the energy (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) to be the best mommy/wifey/working professional that I can.  Sounds so idealistic right?  Of course, there are some things that need to give for that to happen.  Get more sleep, yet wake up early to workout and to get to work earlier.  Maybe lessen the time working at night after Eva’s goes down for bed (I try not to work at home until she’s asleep.  My poor husband, sometimes (not always) our QT gets invaded with work).  I’m getting there and realizing what works day by day.  I know nothing will ever be as perfect as I idealize, but as long as we’re all happy… I can’t ask for anything more.  They are my everything.

So in light of that, I’m going to deem this year to be gentler to myself.  My goal is not to be so hard on myself and while I’m better at that than when I was in my 20s, there’s still room for improvement.  Here’s to whatever makes us happy and having a healthy new year!

And with that said, I’m going to try to publish at least one post once a week this year.  Writing makes me happy.  Being creative makes me happy.  Cooking and being creative in the kitchen and sharing all that with you makes me happy.  I put this blog aside last year to figure out how working outside the home was working for me and my family.  I hope to post more than once a week, but I’m determine to have at least 52 posts up this year.  🙂  Until next week.

Momma Diaries: Baby Must Haves – First Year

Eva has been 1 for almost two months!  I no longer have a baby.  Babygirl is now a toddler!  😦  Yes, I’m super sad that she’s growing up (so fast at that).  I miss her being so tiny and cuddly.  Her personality is definitely shining through.  She’s more chatty, imitating our movements, and repeating some words.  Don’t get me started how she’s all over the place and in everything.  But it’s so great to see her grow.

Anyhow, my plan for after Eva was born was to post our quarterly must haves, but I didn’t get a chance to.  So today I’m going to talk about our first year baby must haves (besides the basics unless they were insanely great), broken down by every 3 months.

Fisher Price Glider – We bought this for our niece when she was a baby 6 years ago.  She used it, our other niece sister used it, and our 2 other nephews who followed used it.  We’d put Eva in the glider, turn it on and it would glide her to sleep.  Sometimes, we wouldn’t turn on the rocking motion and she’d fall asleep here.  This is more of a motorized bassinet than a swing.  As she got bigger (after 4 months) we eventually moved her to the pack and play or couch to nap (with us on the couch next to her).  Even though we only used it for 4 months, we got a lot of use out of this because this was where she’d nap the first four months.

Swaddle Me Blankets – While we’d like to think we were pro swaddlers (I should say my husband more so than me), Eva would find a way to ninja herself out of it every other night.  When changing or feeding her in the middle of the night, we were sometimes too tired lazy to swaddle her back up.  The Swaddle Me blankets were the quick and easy solution to our very moveable baby.  We received Aden and Anais swaddle blankets as gifts and those are supposed to be awesome swaddle blankets, but we ended up using these as quick fixes.  The Aden and Anais blankets are now used for lightweight blankets, scarfs, etc.  They’re so versatile and cute!

Moby Wrap – This was so great when Eva was so tiny and I had to get stuff done around the house or just a quick walk down to the street to Starbucks.  Because she was nice and snug and tucked into my chest, she would fall asleep so quickly.  Love a cuddly baby.  As she got bigger and more squirmy we eventually graduated to the Ergo (5 to 6 months).

Halo Wearable Blankets – Towards the end of Eva’s third month, she had both hands out of the swaddle and was showing signs that she would be rolling over.  At this time we switched to wearable blankets, which she wore up until she was 8 months.  Then it just got too hot to continue using them.  Note:  Halo also has a wearable blanket swaddle, which my bosses raved about for their kids.  We didn’t purchase these because the SwaddleMe worked so well for us.

Wubbanub Pacifier – Eva loved this thing before she discovered her thumb and fuzzy blankets.  She would sometimes need her pacifier to go to sleep and then she found her thumb to soothe her to sleep.  She loved this because she was sucking on the pacifier plus she’d stroke the soft plus animal, which is her go to way to put herself to sleep.  Even until now, thumb in mouth and a soft fuzzy blanket or stuffed animal.  Think Linus on Snoopy.

Ergo – We didn’t start to use the Ergo until she was 5-6 months old.  This became easier to put her into as opposed to the Moby because it gave her enough room to move a bit.  She was so squirmy at this age, that she no longer wanted to stay close to my chest :-(.  The Ergo isn’t front facing but she had enough room to move.  We still use this now when we’re traveling or going to highly populated areas.  I sometimes put her on my back using this but she HATES it because she can’t see me.

Lovie Blankets – Eva is a huge fan of fuzzy blankets.  As soon as she would feel one, she’d hold it up against her face and start sucking her thumb and put herself to sleep.  We didn’t want a regular baby blanket with her in the crib because of SIDS, so I was delighted when my sister got her a lovie square blanket with a stuffed animal at the top for Christmas.  Little did I know, my girlfriend got one for her too.  She uses both:  one in the crib for nighttime and the other in her pack and play for naps.  She knows as soon as we give her one of these blankets its sleep time.

Graco Space Saver High Chair – When she wasn’t sitting up on her own yet, we were using something similar to a Bumbo (our’s is the Mama and Papa Baby Snug).  But as she started sitting up on her own and was starting to eat solid food, we decided we needed a high chair.  We have a small apartment so getting a big high chair to put at our dining table for four was not feasible.  We put this on top of one of our existing chairs and wala space saved.

Magic Bullet/Blender – Do yourself  a favor and don’t buy a Baby Bullet.  It’s a waste of money in my opinion.  It does the same thing a Magic Bullet, blender, or mini food processor would do.  I do caution you though that when blending food for babies, don’t use one that you used to grind nuts or spicy food or any allergic food.  You don’t want cross contamination.  If you do, clean it REALLY REALLY REALLY well and maybe hot water sanitation too.

Ice Cube trays with covers – Don’t buy the fancy baby food storage containers.  Do yourself and save money again and buy these ice cube trays with covers (even better if they have silicone buttoms to get the food out easily).  You can make a big batch of food, put it in these trays and pop them in the freezer.  As soon as they’re frozen, pop them into a  ziploc bag and repeat the process.  When Eva first started eating, I found that these were the perfect portion size for her.  Defrost two to three cubes for any meal and it would just the perfect amount of food for her.  It was a mini portion and food wouldn’t go to waste.

Bumkin Bibs – We used cloth bibs when Eva started eating solid foods, but everything kept staining.  My boss recommended the Tommee Tippee ones, but they were so stiff that Eva would get so mad when wearing them.  Eva’s nanny mentioned Bumkins and how they were also waterproof.  These are so much better.  Softer and just as easy to clean and spill proof.  No need to worry about staining them too!

Neat Solutions Table Toppers – AMAZING!  Saw this on itsjudylife’s vlog and immediately looked on amazon for these.  I’ve seen them at Target and Babies R Us as well, but not as affordable as on Amazon.  Since Eva loves feeding herself now, whenever we go out to eat I have these in her diaper bag.  I take a placemat and stick it onto the table.  She can then feed herself on a clean surface and any mess on the table is contained on her mat which can be easily disposed.  AWESOMEEEE!

Note:  I purchased a majority of these products on Amazon.  I found that shopping on Amazon had better price options (and still is) for purchasing baby products.  Plus having prime and two day free shipping is GREAT!  

Honorable mentions

Diaper bag:  Long Champ Shoulder Bag Medium – We have a diaper bag which we use when we’ll be out of the house for 4 hours or more.  But usually I throw all Eva’s stuff in my Long Champ in little travel bags along with my items (small cosmetic bag, wallet, keys, and phone) and we’re ready to go.  I don’t bring too much stuff with me if we’ll be out of the house for 2-3 hours.  A change of clothes (in chase she spits up), bib, burp cloth (to clean up messes), blanket, 2 diapers, diaper change mat, wipes, water cup and/or bottle, snack, and if I know we’re going to be out during meal time her food and a spoon.  Yes all that fits in this amazing bag!  Plus you can easily clean the inside or outside of it.

Bottles:  I’m not going to add bottles here because every baby prefers different bottles.  I don’t feel like there is a must have bottle.  You just have to test which one works best for your little one.  Eva liked the ventair and drop-in bottles over the Avent ones.  Avent seemed to give her more gas than the Playtex bottles.  I was told that Dr. Brown’s and Tommee Tippee eliminated gas.  BUT since we found something that worked for us, we stuck with it and didn’t try anything else.

Feeding:  We used the Gerber Graduate sippy cups for learning how to drink from a cup.  We used Gerber spoons, but prefered the Munchkin ones as they were easier for us to grasp when feeding her; however, I think the longer handles make it harder for her to feed herself.  We used Gerber Graduates bowls for her food.  All these feeding essentials were BPA free.  I wanted to buy items from Europe as they are more stringent on their tests of baby items, but frankly they were expensive and some didn’t get great reviews.

Transportation:  Graco Snug and Ride is what we use to transports the pricess around.  Along with a Baby Jogger City Mini with adapter.

Diaper Pail:  Diaper Dekor Plus.  While it was amazing when she was first born, we found that solids make everything smellier so it doesn’t matter what type of diaper pale you use.

Breastfeeding:  I’ve been using the Medela Pump in Style and have no complaints.  We stored all the milk in Lansinoh Breast Pads and Milk Storage, which are pretty durable.

So those are our must haves during Eva’s first year.  Comment below if you have any questions or want a further review about products I’ve mentioned.

The Dressing Room – Mommy Uniform

So there’s been a lack of fashion related slash lookbook (otherwise titled, “The Dressing Room”) posts from my blog.  Why?!?

1.  I work from home and lazily hangout in my PJs/yoga pants all day with my laptop in my lap.  I try to change sometimes, but “changing” means putting on leggings and a tunic.  Not much of a departure from the PJs or yoga pants.

So true!!!

2.  When I do go out to run errands with Eva in tow, getting dolled up with heels, accessories, and a purse is NOT practical.  Pre-baby me would be frowning down upon me right now.

Alas I have worn the same thing over and over again whenever I step out.  My momiform (Mommy Uniform), if you may, which isn’t a bad thing.  Functional and practical is key, especially with a 9 month old mobile baby.  I’m featuring Momiform #1:  Leggings, T-Shirt or Tank with an oversized blazer or cardigan and flats.  It’s easy to put together when you’re trying to run out of the house with a baby (which always seems to be 30 minutes after I say I’m going to leave the house).  I’ve tried to dress up said outfits with jewelry or a scarf but even that is impractical at times, as Eva grabs and plays with it while I’m carrying her around.  Any time I’ve worn a scarf or necklace, she starts pulling on it, which has prompted me to stop wearing my beloved necklaces hubs has given me in fear of them breaking.  And to top it off, I’ve worn hoop earrings while carrying her (I know some of you are already saying “Oh no!” and flinching right now) and she got a hold of them.  Thank goodness we were home and I reached for her hand as soon as I felt her grab them.  Seriously, THANK GOODNESS!

So to dress up my Mommy Uniform, my go-to accessories are statement shoes or stacks of bracelets or rings (which Eva thinks are toys, but these accessories are better to wear as she won’t be tugging at my neck or ears).  I’m craving a TON of cute flats right now.  So many options, I can’t seem to narrow my choices down.

Here are the details of what I wore to the South Bay Bloggers meet up.



Tank:  Target
Cardigan:  H&M
Leggings:  Forever21
Purse:  H&M
Necklaces:  Anchor necklace from Melrose Trading Post & Cross pendant – gift from aunt, past present future pendant – gift from hubs, and dad’s wedding band.
Flats:  Target
Earrings:  LeMode

Do you have an outfit you constantly wear?  Mommies, what are your stylish yet practical and functional fashion tips?