Mother’s Day gift guide:

Mother’s Day is just a few days away, and I wanted to share some gift ideas for your mom, mother-in-law, mother figure, grandmother, sister, aunt, or whoever you celebrate!

I know it’s easy to just buy someone a gift card & call it a day, but why not personalize the gift a little more? Picking out something for someone, makes it more meaningful and special! (But don’t get me wrong, I love a gift card to Starbucks or Target, hah!)

 

Gift someone your favorite book.

I’ve read some incredible books since 2020 started. I know everyone may not be a “bookworm”, but books are timeless presents. They can be read more than once, and they are great discussion starters. If you’re too scared or insecure about your book choice- get them a gift card. Maybe I can help; some books I have in mind?

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Beloved by Toni Morrison

 

 

A personalized necklace.

Quality jewelry can always be a nice gift for someone. Does the person you love wear necklaces? You can personalize it with their own name, a name of their grandchild, their own child, their pet, or their partner! The possibilities are endless. JAYS AND JEWELS has some pretty amazing pieces. I stumbled upon their website on Instagram, and told Dex that I wanted Ellie’s name on a necklace. haha. So honestly, I picked out my own Mother’s Day gift! But I’m super excited for it to arrive in the mail.

 

 

Beautiful blooms.

I’m a sucker for flowers. If flowers weren’t so expensive, I’d order myself some every month! haha. Sending someone flowers is always a sweet gesture! I love getting mine delivered from Farmgirl Flowers they are based out of San Francisco. If they are sold out, I’d check out your local flower shops!

 

 

Cozy lounge-wear.

I love a good pair of sweatpants. Why not get the person you love a nice lounge-wear set? Buttery soft, and comfy to wear all day- try LOU & GREY. Their Signaturesoft Collection is amazing!

 

 

Cute tote bag.

Everyone can use a nice tote bag- for shopping, outings, or work. I found this adorable one from Anthroplogie! “MAMA KNOWS BEST”, how perfect!

 

 

Floral press candle.

If you want to gift someone something small, what better than a candle? Anthropologie always has scrumptious candles. I love this floral press candle & it would be so pretty on someone’s nightstand. I’d probably choose garden tangerine or neroli june. Yum!

 

 

For the cat and dog mama.

Know someone who is a wonderful cat or dog mama? Get something from this beautiful store called The Foggy Dog. I love all their fun prints, and they have such beautiful pet beds… I want to get Lola this Blush Pink Gingham bed! Pet moms matter!

 

I hope this list was helpful! To all you beautiful mamas, Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you feel appreciated, loved, and valued. You matter.

 

-Krystal

thoughts & feelings finishing my pumping journey: real + raw motherhood.

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If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you probably didn’t see my short post about finishing my pumping journey. Although this post won’t be relatable to many, I thought it was important to document my thoughts and feelings.

I exclusively pumped for 1 year and 4 months. My journey ended last month & I couldn’t be more relieved and thrilled. If you don’t know what exclusively pumping is… I used a breast pump to get my milk, and would bottle feed Eloise. She never nursed directly from my breasts. Why? Because it just didn’t work out that way.

A little background: when I was pregnant, I never gave breastfeeding much thought… other than knowing I would breastfeed Eloise. I had NO idea how hard breastfeeding was, ha. I had NO idea what was in store for me!

After Eloise was born- November 30, 2018… our breastfeeding journey “began”. I had problems from the very beginning. I had no fucking clue what I was doing! It came so unnatural to me- looking back. Which is fine, because these are things that you learn! I saw a breastfeeding consultant in the hospital, and she was nice, but Ellie just wasn’t getting a good latch. After leaving the hospital, I was on my own! I had a manual pump, because I was producing so much milk! My milk supply was never the issue, it was her latch. Well, to make a long story short, I was in SO MUCH PAIN with each feeding… not to be TMI but my nipples were just torn up. I was bleeding, and crying of the pain with each feeding. I was so frustrated, exhausted, and I felt like a total failure. Defeated.

I really only “nursed” Eloise from my boobs less than two weeks, really. I just couldn’t take it anymore, things weren’t getting better. I ended up getting mastitis (OUCH- google it). The hospital issued me an amazing breast pump- and my pumping journey began!

I swear, this journey has been all trial & error. I have had to learn my body, and know when I was “empty” so that I wouldn’t have mastitis again. It was many many hours of being tied to that pump! Early mornings, and late nights. In the beginning, I was pumping every 3 hours. Constant! As Eloise got older, my body adjusted and at the end tail of my journey I could go up to 6-7 hours without pumping. There was a time when I got a huge abscess on my boob, but I pumped through that. It was the most painful experience (worst than mastitis, in my opinion) and I almost quit! But I didn’t.

I sure will NOT miss taking my pump (and it’s parts) EVERYWHERE! If we wanted to have a fun day out, my pump would always come along. I’ve pumped in my car a million times, I’ve pumped at airports, in public restrooms, etc. It was a hassle, for sure.

I don’t mean this post to come off like I’m whining… but being an exclusive pumper is no joke. I HATED IT! It’s a TON of work! But I did it! I surpassed my goal of ONE YEAR! I’m beyond proud of myself and all the sacrifices I’ve made for my daughter.

This post is for all the mamas out there, who’ve felt defeated like I did! Being a mother is the hardest job EVER! If you breastfeed, exclusively pump, have to supplement, or completely have your baby on formula- YOU ARE AMAZING. Every mom’s situation is different. Every mother’s experience and journey is different. No one is better than the other. I think mother’s don’t get enough credit!

If I’m able to have another little bundle of joy, maybe my next journey will be different! At least I know what to expect & know what I’m in for! haha. Being a first time mother is SOOOOO overwhelming! But man- I’m so lucky to have a great partner by my side. All those late nights I’d have to get up to pump, Dexter was by my side bottle-feeding Eloise. I couldn’t have done it without such a patient, loving, & present partner.

I DID IT! YAY!

 

CURRENT PRODUCTS I LOVE:

I wanted to share a couple of products I’ve been loving & using for awhile:

 

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I FINALLY made the switch to aluminum-free deodorant. I’ve tried doing this before in the past, and the transition was horrible. I would sweat profusely, I would smell awful, and it would irritate my armpits. UGH. I was strolling through Target’s aisles (before quarantine happened) & I saw this Native deodorant. I thought, eh, I’ll give it a try. I’m so glad I did! This has been the only aluminum-free deodorant that has worked for me. It is for sensitive skin, and it’s cruelty free. Such a plus! If you want to get away from aluminum deodorants, try this one… maybe it’ll work for you!

 

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This has been a life savor! TMI: but I recently got back acne out of nowhere. It was BAD. I truly think it has something to do with my hormones being off, because I recently stopped breastfeeding. Anyway, I was freaking out because it looked so gross and I was embarrassed. I came across Neutrogena Body Wash and started scrubbing my back every time I showered… I’ve seen a huge difference already. I have been using it for over a week and hoping my back acne will be all clear in a few more weeks. Crossing my fingers. If you have any great body washes that target breakouts- let me know!

 

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I love this face wash. Although it is on the expensive side (at least for me), it’s worth every penny. I have been using this face wash for over a year and I’m a fan of all Kiehl’s products now.

 

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If you’re going to get the face wash, you should also try the serum-infused water cream. OMG. I love this! It is so light and hydrating. In the morning I’ll put this on, then add my face sunscreen on top of it. Kiel’s products don’t irritate my skin, or break me out. I do want to work on my pores next, so I’m trying to see what product of theirs could minimize them. If you have any pore minimizing products you love, please let me know!

 

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I don’t do much to my hair (rarely use heating tools, don’t color it, etc) but I do love to keep it healthy and shiny. I found this leave-in conditioner awhile ago & I’m almost done with the bottle. I will be repurchasing! I use it after I take shower. It smells good, and I like the way it feels on my hair while it air dries. I have thick, wavy hair, and it works great for me.

 

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I’ve been using this body mist everyday. It’s inexpensive, it smells divine & isn’t overpowering. I love body mists when you want something a bit more lighter than an actual perfume! You can easily reapply this throughout the day. You could use it as a hair perfume, and sometimes I spray it on before bed. haha.

 

 

Any products you love? I know this is a small list, but I wouldn’t want to list anything I don’t genuinely love! I am currently testing out other products (face masks, some makeup, shampoo, etc) so be on the lookout in the future! I hope you all have an amazing rest of the month. May is on the way!

-Krystal

 

 

 

 

 

*this was not sponsored, all products bought with my own money

HOW I’M COPING WITH TOUGH DAYS:

I know I’m not the only one feeling bored, frustrated, scared, anxious, and at times hopeless. It’s such a weird time right now. Going out in public & having to wear a mask is so strange, staying home for days on end, and doing the same things every single day… it’s tough. How am I coping?

Well, let’s be real, I’m doing the best I can. I have broke down multiple times (feeling overwhelmed), but I try to stay positive. I allow myself to feel like shit, though. Taking care of two toddlers (mine & my sister’s) is exhausting. I don’t get any down time! Whatever your situation may be, you’re not alone. As corny as it is, we are all in this together. And we will get through this!

Here are some ways I’m coping with quarantine life & I hope you find some of these useful!

 

JOIN A BOOK CLUB OR BOOK SUBSCRIPTION:

I swear, reading has helped me pass time & it’s become one of my favorite hobbies. I currently have a subscription with BOOK OF THE MONTH & you can use MY LINK if you’re interested in signing up. No pressure! I’m loving it so far. I’m currently reading THE GIRL WITH THE LOUDING VOICE & it’s SO GOOOOOOOOD. I am loving it so far! I also downloaded GOODREADS app for my iPhone to keep track of the books I’ve read, read people’s book reviews, and connect with other bookworms!

 

PLANTING A MINI GARDEN/ TENDING TO PLANTS:

If you have some space (a backyard/patio/even a corner of your home) why not try gardening? Whether it’s a small vegetable garden, or a few plant babies- it’s so relaxing and therapeutic caring for plants.

 

GETTING OUTSIDE:

I know we all should be social distancing, but there’s NO problem with getting outdoors for a walk/run around the block! I have been making it a point to go for a walk around my neighborhood multiple times a week. It helps me clear my mind, get some sunshine, enjoy some fresh air, and get my steps in! The weather is getting warm where I live, so I refuse to stay indoors all day long.

 

WRITING IN MY JOURNAL:

Writing has always been super therapeutic for me. I have a journal I jot my feelings/thoughts into, and it helps me regulate my emotions. Sometimes I don’t feel like unloading all my shit onto my partner, so I’ll write it into my journal. I mostly always feel better afterwards, haha.

 

WATCHING A SHIT TON OF TV:

Okay, I do this one the most! After any long day, the first thing I want to do is curl up in my bed and watch some tv! I am a huge fan of anything on Bravo, HGTV, and the food network. What are some of your favorite shows? I would love to watch something new!

 

CLOSET PURGE:

I recently did a closet purge & posted so many things on Poshmark! (You can find me at @krystalmelissa on the Poshmark app. if you’re interested). Got plenty of free time? Spend some of it going through old clothing/shoes you no longer want and make money! I’m not sponsored saying this- I just think it’s great to make some extra cash & to organize your space at home! I hate clutter, and would love to eventually have a capsule wardrobe- so getting rid of a ton of things has been so freeing!

 

I hope some of these helped spark some ideas for you. I know I’m not the first one to do any of these, but these are some things that have been keeping me sane. Ha. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week! Talk to you all later, and take care.

 

xx

Finding happiness in the small things

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Life has been pretty monotonous. It’s the same thing every single day, and I’m not trying to sound like a negative complainer; I know I’m very grateful to be healthy. But today, I just felt so off. A little upset, annoyed, and just on edge. Has anyone else been feeling like this?

Some of the things that bring me happiness in these kinda depressing times is reading books, taking long walks outside with my daughter, hanging with Lola girl in the backyard, watching some good shows, and cooking. We recently subscribed to Hello Fresh (not sponsored) and they’ve been fun to cook for dinner. Not only are they super simple to make, but they take less than an hour from start to finish!

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Top: Italian meatloaf with potatoes and green beans. Bottom: Chimichurri pork chops with buttery black beans over rice.

They were both so good! We also made a Chickpea-Powdered Mediterranean Couscous – WOW. Probably one of my favorite meals we’ve made. I love couscous.

 

I’m just trying to keep myself sane in this scary and unknown time. I still occasionally go to Starbucks drive-thru (like once a week) just to get out of the house… but other than that, I’m home 24/7. I hope you all stay safe & had a lovely Easter. We still made an Easter basket for Ellie to open, and she loved all her new toys. I’m glad I was able to do that for her. The weather is warming up, so I look forward to blowing up our mini pool & having some fun with the girls! It’s the little things that bring us happiness & joy.

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Talk to you all later, I’m off to finish my 9th book of the year, and possibly watch more re-runs of New Girl on Netflix.

 

x

Books & TV Shows I’ve been loving:

Hi there!

How have you all been? I’m trying to keep myself busy, and it isn’t that hard having a one year old… she keeps me on my toes. Today is a stunning day; so sunny, and warm outside. To keep myself sane, I’ve been going on daily walks around the neighborhood. I’m trying my hardest to walk outside every day or every other day. Sadly, I’ve felt myself gain some weight and I want to get it under control! It’s so hard to do at-home-workouts because Ellie is constantly wanting to be held or entertained. Mom life!

To keep myself entertained I’ve been watching a lot of tv, reading whenever I have down time, and trying to organize/clean any chance I get. Below are a few favorite things I’ve been loving:

 

Last books I’ve read:

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Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

 

 

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The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

 

 

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

 

 

 

Books I’ll be reading next:

 

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Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

 

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The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

 

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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

 

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The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

 

 

Shows I enjoyed watching:

Ozark: Season 3 on Netflix

The Sinner: Season 3

Re-watching all seasons of Dexter on Netflix

ALONE: all seasons available on Prime Video

Anything on Bravo TV

90 Day Fiance

All seasons of Better Call Saul on Netflix

 

I hope you all have a beautiful day. If you have any show or book recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments.

xx

Springtime wish-list: baby edition.

Happy Friday the 13th! It’s been raining all day yesterday, and today. Times are a little scary, with the Coronavirus going around- my family and I are staying indoors for awhile. We had many trips planned for Springtime: the aquarium, museums, Disneyland, a small trip to San Diego- but they have all been cancelled. It just isn’t worth going out and exposing ourselves when we don’t have to. We are taking this very seriously, and I hope you all stay safe!

On a lighter note, I thought it would be fun to post a Springtime wish-list for Eloise. I’m a *sucker* for baby clothes. I told Dexter that I love dressing her everyday & I look forward to picking out her outfits! I mostly get Ellie’s clothing from Old Navy, GAP, Target, and a few pieces from Janie and Jack (when they have good sales). I also LOVE Rylee & Cru, Mini Boden, Spearmint Baby; but they can be so pricey!

OLD NAVY:

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Floral flutter-sleeve dress. $14 on sale

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Short-sleeve crew-neck tee. $8 on sale

 

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Bubble one-piece. $12 on sale

 

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Medium-washed jean jacket. $22.99

 

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Tie-shoulder top & bloomers. $19.99

 

BABY GAP:

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Organic cotton one-piece. $34.00 on sale

 

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Sleeveless denim one-piece. $18.00 on sale

 

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Baby bow sandals. $18 on sale

 

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Baby bubble one-piece. $24.95

 

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Organic cotton bodysuit. $9.00 on sale

 

 

MINI BODEN:

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Flutter dress. $60.00

 

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Gingham embroidered dress. $48.00

 

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Leather shoes. $45.00

 

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Everyday tights. $16.00

 

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Printed overalls set. $48.00

 

 

JANIE & JACK:

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Rabbit print one-piece. $39.00

 

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Hunter rainboots. $55.00

 

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Ditsy floral print one-piece. $38.99 on sale

 

 

I am loving Springtime clothing! I love putting E in dresses and one-pieces, if you couldn’t tell by the things I chose. 😉 I’ll be posting my own wish-list next, so be on the lookout for that. I hope you all have a beautiful weekend… wash your hands, drink plenty of water, and take care of yourselves!

 

xx

 

 

A Trip to Huntington Library.

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Last month we finally made our way to the Huntington Library, in San Marino. I’ve been wanting to go here for months; if you’re ever in the area you should definitely go! It’s absolutely beautiful! There are gardens, museums, places to dine, and art collections. You could truly spend hours here!

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I love spending time with my family, and experiencing new things with my daughter. She loved walking around the open grass areas, and looking at Koi fish.

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We plan to go back in March or April, when the weather is warmer & all the flowers have blossomed. Walking in beautiful gardens is my idea of fun… I find it so relaxing, and it gives me ideas for my future gardens. 😉

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How’s everyone’s month going? February has been flying by, and these next couple months I have a lot of activities planned for our family. I want to go on more museum/aquarium visits, and do some weekend trips to San Diego & Santa Barbara. I’m going wedding dress shopping in April & I couldn’t be more excited! I also might be going out of state very soon for a weekend getaway. So many fun things to look forward to, and I hope to document some of them on the blog! What do you have planned for the months ahead? Any fun things planned?

I hope you all have a great rest of the week, talk later!

xx

READING GOALS FOR 2020.

I’m so glad I’ve gotten into reading, and making the time to enjoy a good novel. Reading is a great way to unwind after a long day, and my reading pile keeps on growing. This year my goal is to read 30 books (I think it’s attainable with a one year old). January is about to be over, and I’ve already read two books: We Met in December by Rosie Curtis & Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I’m onto my third book: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’ve heard such amazing things about this novel- as it is a VERY popular read! I’m only on the first chapter and hope to finish by the first week of February. Would anyone be interested in book reviews?

 

Some books on my reading for the next few months include:

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What books are on your reading list & if you have any good book recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Follow me on instagram for reading updates @krystalinthecity

I’ve also made a new instagram account selling affordable used and new books @lolacolettebooks 🙂

 

I hope 2020 has started off great for you all!

 

xx

Saying goodbye to 2019.

Christmas is officially over, and things have calmed down. I have been reminiscing a lot about 2019: there were many highs and lows. 2019 was a huge year because it was my first official year of motherhood. So many emotions! My patience has been tested, so many lessons I’ve learned along the way. As I look back, I cannot believe it went by in a blink! Where did the year truly go? I have no idea… Eloise has been my main focus and it’s so bittersweet looking back on photos of her being a tiny sweet newborn. Time truly waits for no one!

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My sweet girl only a few months old!

 

 

Another high of 2019: I asked my partner to be my husband! I PROPOSED! If you missed that post you can read it HERE. I loved our engagement… a warm March day by the ocean. Muir Beach in Northern California will forever hold a special place in my heart. 2020 is going to be the year we finally say “I DO”! It’s exciting… and long overdue.

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2019 we did a bit of traveling: Northern California, New England, Colorado, and Utah (for some national parks). I have to say… New England during Autumn was hands down my favorite trip of 2019! It was PURE MAGIC! It was also Eloise’s first plane ride, and she did so amazing. (I stressed out for nothing!) I’m really hoping 2020 brings more adventures… and I’m crossing my fingers it’s international. Some places I’d love to visit in 2020: Hawaii (Maui of course!), the Bay Area- to visit friends and our old stomping grounds, and Europe (hoping we can go to the Netherlands & France). I know that’s a lot to hope for… but I’m putting it out in the universe. 😉

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A pic from New England… pure beauty!

 

 

I am also pleased with all the reading I did in 2019. I’m going to officially make a “reading” goal for 2020- be on the lookout for that! My favorite books of 2019? The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides you can find HERE. Also The Editor by Steven Rowley you can find HERE. I actually met Steven Rowley at a book signing in Pleasanton, California. He was so friendly, and gave good advice on anyone aspiring to write their own novel (yup, I asked). I already have a stack of books going into 2020 that I want to read- I’m so excited! I signed up & am officially a member for BOOK OF THE MONTH. If you’d like to sign up too- CLICK THIS LINK. 🙂

 

This year I turned 27 years old… and I feel content growing older. I lost a lot of weight, but want to focus on feeling healthier and stronger. I’m hoping I can stop my lazy ways, and start a workout I am truly passionate about. I start school again in FALL 2020! I have one year left until I graduate, and that’s probably the biggest goal set for myself. FINISH SCHOOL: COMPLETE MY BACHELOR’S DEGREE. It’s been a crazy journey, but taking time off from school to focus on being a mother has been the greatest blessing. I am fortunate to stay home with Eloise- but I need to finish what I started. I need to show Ellie that no matter what struggles and hardships I endured: mommy finished strong!

 

 

I have been lagging on my blog this entire year… it took the backseat because I’ve been so busy or tired adjusting to mom life. But I want to explore my creative side more! I want to do fun posts about fashion, food, motherhood + travel. I want 2020 to be the best year yet… and venture outside of my comfort zone. I hope you all have an amazing New Year! What goals do you want to accomplish this New Year? Any travel plans? I’d love to read them. I wish you all good health, happiness, success, and lots of love. See you in the New Year!

BRING IT ON 2020!

 

 

xo