motherhood

Motherhood Mottos – Mommy & Me Giveaway

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I can’t believe I’m approaching my 3rd Mothers Day.  I remember March 26th 2015 so vividly…..as if it was yesterday.   The day my life changed, and I became a mother.

No one prepares you for motherhood.  You think you now what you’re getting yourself into…but until you experience it first hand you really have no idea.  I knew I was going to love my daughter, but I didn’t expect this kind of overwhelming love.  I knew days would be tough and tantrums would happen; but I didn’t realize how much guilt I would feel if I got upset or frustrated because of it.  I knew I wouldn’t have as much time for myself, but I didn’t foresee that it would take me an extra hour to leave the house everyday.

Motherhood is a rollercoaster of emotions.  Some days you have your ups, and others your downs.  As much as I’m teaching Carlota about the world she’s inspiring me to be the best person I can be.  Motherhood has made me re-evaluate my priorities and how I view life.    That there is no such thing as perfection, we are all human.

I have met some wonderful mamas along this journey.  Since Mother’s day is just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share our Motherhood Mottos along with a Mommy & Me Giveaway.  What a great way to come back to the blog from my little hiatus.  What are some of your Motherhood Mottos?

With Love,

Andrea

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“Motherhood isn’t about having a picture perfect home with spotless floors & perfect little ones running around… Motherhood is about loving on your crying baby at 3am, changing the millionth dirty diaper, & enjoying the sweet and very real moments that come along with being a mama… I’m just enjoying the journey of motherhood because these babies of ours sure won’t be little like this for long.” – Kasey of Thee Girl in Yellow

“For me, being a mama is all about doing whatever it takes. Whether it’s figuring out how to survive with a baby who doesn’t sleep, or balancing work and motherhood, we all have to do what works best for our babies and our families. We are all doing the best we can, and no one is ever going to agree with everything you do (and that’s ok!). You do you mama!” – Lindsay of Middle of Somewhere

“Motherhood for me is complete selflessness. I’m not the focus, my children are. Motherhood is all about never giving up the struggle. It’s a struggle everyday but a beautiful and fulfilling one. When you tell yourself never to give up that’s when the real beauty of a mom is shown. We fight the good fight of surviving the hard days and the good days. It’s the only job in the world I never want to quit!” – Alia of Little Mrs. Priss

“Motherhood is a personal journey that looks different for everyone. It’s important for women to learn what their core beliefs are so they can incorporate them into their parenting style + daily routine. My motherhood motto is find who you are as a mom and be that, everyone else is already taken. Find your top 5 parenting values, thrive on those and don’t fret too much about the rest.” – Lindsey of Lindsey Lee & Co

“My motherhood motto is support and patience. It’s about allowing your tiny human to find their own way, while guiding them down the right path. Then to not lose your “you know what” when they don’t make the right choice.” – Megan of The Fashionista Momma

“Motherhood is a marathon not a sprint. I’ve learned to just do the best I can and to not be so hard on myself. There is no such thing as a perfect mom.” – Andrea of With Love… Andrea

“For me, motherhood is about balance, grace, and love. Raising tiny humans is so hard and not at all glamorous, but it is also beautiful, amazing, and so rewarding. At the end of the day you just have to see the beauty in it all, give yourself grace, and embrace it. Amidst all the chaos, motherhood is a joyous journey.” Jessica of Mama Essentials

“Motherhood in the last two years has taught me strengths I didn’t know I had, fears I didn’t know I could have, but most of all a love that I didn’t know existed!! Motherhood is a wild and crazy ride that I feel so blessed to experience.” – Kayla from A Darling Dream

“Motherhood is so many things, but the one word that encompasses it all for me is selfless. A mothers life is dedicated to loving and raising her children, often with little concern for herself. It is a crazy, fun, busy journey and there is nothing that has brought me more happiness in my life than my children.” – Kaycee from Cordially, Kaycee

“I’ve only been a mom now for two years, but it has been the best two years of my life so far. Everyone always tells you when you’re pregnant that your life is going to change once a baby comes, and it does, but for the better. You see this little person that you created growing each day and experiencing things for the first time and it brings you an indescribable joy to your life. Being a parent is the hardest thing I’ve done so far, but it is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I’ve had moments in my life where I wasn’t sure if I wanted a child, and now that I have one I can’t imagine not being able to experience such a crazy type of love for someone. Does becoming a parent change your life? Absolutely, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!” – Sarah from Sew Sarah R

“Motherhood to me is trying to be present in the wonderful moments + the chaotic moments. Whether you’re present or not, time will slip right through your fingers. #YouHaveMyWholeHeartForMyWholeLife” – Stefanie from What’s Up Buttarcup

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Giveaway

These lovely ladies and I are excited to be teaming up to give away the ultimate mommy and me giveaway prize pack. Be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter below. Also, remember that the more entries, the better your chance of winning is! The giveaway is open to US residents only. It will run from 12am MST on 05/10 until 05/17. One lucky winner will receive the following:

A $150 gift card to Target

A $50 gift card to Incredibundles.com

A set of 6 supersized bath bombs from Sky Organics

A Mother’s Day gift set from All in the Cards

A $50 gift card to Miss Match

A 5mL bottle of Lavender essential oil from Young Living

A diaper caddy from b.box for kids

A pair of boy or girl shoes from Pediped

A ergoPouch ergoCocoon swaddle to sleep bag

A $40 gift bag of assorted products from MAM

A $30 gift package of assorted GoSili products

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Merry Christmas my friends

This holiday season flew by.  I can’t believe it’s already over.  This Christmas we decided to celebrate in Los Angeles.  In the past I’ve always gone home to Canada or to Spain to visit our family.  This year we finally ended up having Christmas at our home in LA.  My parents flew in and we celebrated with my Brother and Sister in Law and niece.  Celebrating with children really brings back the magic of the holidays.

 Carlota was so excited opening her presents, listening to christmas carols, and eating all the delicious food.  I’m so lucky to have a husband who loves to cook…and is really good at it.  He made such a feast of Classic Catalan Christmas dishes , after lunch, we watched Home Alone and most of us passed out.  Later in the evening we did the Caga tio (a Catalan tradition of hitting a log and then finding little gifts if you’ve been nice).  Carlota got really excited as we each took our turns and somehow ended up helping each of us.  We ended the night sitting around the kitchen table having coffee and slovak cookies and just enjoying eachothers company.  What more can you ask for?

As I sit here thinking about the momentous day, I can’t help but get excited about some new traditions we will incorporate to our future Christmases.

My heart is so full as I’m able to share these holidays with my loved ones.  This really is the meaning of the holidays and that was on full effect for me this year.  What did you do yesterday?  What is one of your family’s traditions?

With Love,

Andrea

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Dress: Maje old (Very Similar here) //

Heels: Schutz (Similar here and here) //

On Carlota

Dress: Little people rocx  (Love this, this and this) //

Pom:  June & January (get $10 off your first purchase with this link) //

Boots: Zara (Love these and these) //

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My Instagram looks!

When I started my blog 3 months pregnant, I received many comments stating this will be difficult to keep up once baby gets here.  In my head I thought to myself….I’ve survived many sleepless nights studying for dental school exams,  I’ve got this.  Here I am almost 2 years later struggling to find time to get weekly posts in.  Not to mention we only have one child!!  Motherhood is tough.  It’s time consuming, exhausting, but also the best thing thats ever happened to me.  Carlota is changing and growing daily and I don’t want to miss a second of it.  If that means sporadic blog posts….so be it.

We are currently in Spain and just got back to Barcelona from the the Costa Brava.  With no wifi where we were staying I had to take a mandatory break from this post.  I can’t wait to write all about our vacation.  So far Carlota has been having a blast and enjoying the beach, water and being completely spoiled by her grandparents.

There have been a few looks on Instagram that didn’t make the blog.  I wanted to link some of those items for you here!

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Necklace:  SheIn  (also here and similar here) //

Top:  Here  (On sale but different shades here and here) //

Purse:  Here (More affordable here and on major sale here) //IMG_6475

Necklace:  SheIn  (also here and similar here) //

Tank: On sale Here //

Shorts: Here (These are also similar) //

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Tank: Here  (on sale) // 

Skirt: Here (on sale) //

On Carlota:

Tee: Gap (New version here) //

Tutu: Etsy shop (Similar here and here) //

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Blouse:  Equipment (Similar and on sale here and here) //

Jeans: Zara (Similar here and here) //

Wedges: Here (More affordable version here) //

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On Trend

I definitely wouldn’t consider my style as “trendy”.  As you can see from my posts, I tend to stick with items that are classic and casual.  I have emphasized this even more since becoming a mother.  It must be something in those pregnancy hormones that changes you.  I just can’t justify spending a lot of money on something I will only wear a handful of times.  Finding the online retailer SheIn has been a game changer.  I’ve found many trendy  and classic pieces for a fraction of the cost.

This off the shoulder blouse was one of my recent finds.  I love the knot detailing on the sleeves. It will look perfect when the weather decides to cool down and I can pair it with some distressed skinny jeans.  The best part is that its currently on sale and under $20.  I’ve linked a few of my favorite pieces from their site below.

Carlota on the other hand is always on trend with the latest baby fashion….at least I like to think she is.  Finding cute outfits for her has become one of my obsessions.  I wish they made half the things I find for her in my size…..mind you it probably wouldn’t look quite as good on me.  This romper was a recent find and on major sale.  Everything I find for her is always on sale!! (At least thats what I tell my husband).

With love,

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FullSizeRender-3FullSizeRender-2Blouse:  SheIn (Similar here and here) //

Shorts: Club Monaco old (Similar here, here and here) //

Hat: Gap (Also here and here) //

Sandals: Celine (Exact duplicates here and here) //

Carlota:

Hat: Gap (in stores) (Similar here) //

Romper:  Little minis //

Sandals:  Salt Water ( Also here) //

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4th of July Inspo

One of America’s biggest holidays is coming up and Carlota and I were in the festive mood with this fun shoot.  I’m not sure what we are going to do for 4th of July but I do hope it involves a pool, BBQ and some cocktails!  Our weekend will be one big celebration because Canada’s day is on July 1st.  Unfortunately we didn’t have a Canadian flag to take pictures with or you know we would have a Canada’s day themed post as well.  Ohhh well something to plan for next year.

I definitely have a love affair with jumpsuits and rompers.  I think they are super flattering and chic.  I love that you can dress them down or up depending on the occasion.  I usually veer towards black jumpsuits but decided to get out of my comfort zone when finding this red number.  I was a little nervous with the cut out back, but as soon as I put it on I fell in love.  It’s high waisted so it exposes all the right places. (Post-baby love handles are no joke!!)  I have a few birthday’s and showers coming up and this outfit will most likely make an appearance.

What are your plans for 4th of July??

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Laura Goutcher Photography

Jumpsuit:  BCBG (I also loved this one on Sale here) //

Clutch: Clare Vivier last season (Similar and both festive here and here) //

Wedges:  Here (Less expensive and look identical here, also love these) //

On Carlota:

Denim Jacket:  Here on sale (Also on sale here) //

Top: Here on sale (Similar here) // 

Leggings:  Here (In love with these and these) //

Moccs:  Here //

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Motherhood….& what I’ve learned

It’s been just over a year since I’ve been a mother.  Time sure does fly when your having fun.  Watching Carlota change and grow right before my very eyes is such an amazing gift.  The thing I never realized was that I would be changing and growing right along with her.  Many things that used to matter to me before baby….just don’t anymore.  My outlook on life has shifted, and I would sacrifice anything to give my daughter happiness.

Those first few months when Carlota was first born all seem like a blur to me now. (You can read her birth story here).  Everything was so new and scary.  I constantly worried I was doing something wrong.  I’m the type of person who wants to do everything perfectly and lets be honest there is no such thing as a “perfect” mom.  I needed to get out of the house but then would panic when the baby started to cry in public.  I can still remember the anxiety I had when she cried on a walk, in a restaurant, in the car etc..  Would family, friends, or even strangers think I wasn’t a good mom?  That I didn’t know what I was doing?  These were constant thoughts in my head.  It doesn’t help when everyone tries to tell you what YOUR baby needs when they are crying.  “YES I know they are probably hungry”…. but as I’m paying for my groceries I can’t really stand here nursing my child!!  (I quickly figured out how to nurse and run errands using my carrier and this erased a lot of my baby crying stress.)

The first few months are hard!!  At this point I don’t know how you mothers do it with multiple children….you are superwomen for sure!!  It does get easier…and at some point you will miss those early days.  At about the 4 months mark is when I started to have my groove.  I started to be more confident in my knowledge and how I was raising my child and let all the outside advice or comments roll off my back.

There are many theories and books telling you what you need to do in that first year of life.    There is a lot of advice that can be contradictory and confusing.  This is especially true when it comes to sleep!  If there was only one right way to raise a child we would all be doing it.  The truth is that every baby and family are different.  What might work for one may not be the best option for another.   I have learned that you just have to trust your gut. Do what you believe is best for you and your baby.  Don’t worry if you’re not doing  what is written in the textbook.  There is no such thing as a perfect mom and you are bound to mess up at some point…..that’s OK!!!!  As long as you are giving love and support to your child thats what really matters.

That one piece of advice I would give is to find a mommy support group.  I was so fortunate to meet such wonderful mamas in a mommy and me group when Carlota was just 6 weeks old.  These ladies will be friends for life.  I don’t know how I would have survived the first year without them.

Looking back what advice would you give to someone starting this journey?

Today I’ve linked up with Alia from Little Mrs Priss and Sarah from Sew Sarah R.  Its fun to collaborate and support other bloggers.  To submit your post, use the button below to post a link back to this link-up, so everyone can come and visit.

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Leggings: Lululemon old (Similar and great price here and here) //

On Carlota

Sweater and Jumper:  Bonds //

Sneakers: Munich //

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Carlota’s turning 1!!

How has it been a year since this beautiful being has entered our life?  When I first got pregnant I was so excited, but scared at the same time.  Would I be a good mother?  Would I know what to do?  How would my life change?  And the list goes on.  I had no idea what to expect.  Carlota came into our lives and our world has forever changed.  She is such a beautiful soul and I’m so proud to be her mother.

This year has been a whirlwind.  Many firsts,  sleepless nights,  late night online research, play dates, tantrums, pump breaks, diaper changes, tears and smiles.  It has been the best year of my life, but also one of the toughest.  I’m sure all you mothers reading this understand exactly what I’m talking about.

I love experiencing the world through her inquisitive eyes.  Everything is so exciting and new.  She loves playing outside, especially at the park.  If she could go up and down the slide all day she would be very content.  She is miss independent at her daycare.  She likes to explore her surroundings and is chatty Cathy.  We have no idea what she’s saying but she loves to talk.  I wonder where she gets that from.

Her best friend at the moment is our Boston Terrier, Pinxo.  They are best buddies.  She runs after his favorite toy and brings it to him to play.  He loves it.  Not to mention she likes to feed him all her leftovers.  Of course he is her sidekick.  She’s a smart lady.

This weekend we celebrate Carlota’s birthday.  I’m getting all the final touches ready.  As much as she won’t remember it I can’t wait to look back at the photos from this amazing year and tell her all the wonderful memories she has instilled in our minds forever.

I thought I would be the one who would be teaching her about life….but as it turns out, she’s the one teaching me.  I see the world very differently now with her in my life and I am very thankful for my little angel.

I can’t wait to share her first birthday with you.  Thank you for being a part of our journey with us.

With love,

Andrea

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Sun hat:  here, and here //

Top:  Zara (Similar here , here and here) //

Leggings:  here (Other fun ones here and here) //

Cat flats:  Old Navy (Similar here and here) //

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