My First Full Year of Blogging

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and it has been such an enlightening and fun experience! What’s really unique about managing a blog, is that it can be an artistic outlet of whatever it is you want to express. For me, at times, it can be writing, sharing creative ideas, implementing my personal style, or creating aesthetic content. But the best part about running a blog, is that it is 100% whatever I want it to be. No rules, just purely what I want it to be made up of, and I can change it as I grow. My goal is to open up my life in a way that connects me to others and hopefully become a positive influence and resource. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some fellow bloggers and become apart of a community of local bloggers, called the So Cal Blogger Babes, that has provided me with some amazing opportunities, but most importantly, genuine friendships. One of the opportunities I’ve been blessed with, was being able to attend New York Fashion Week in September. This experience was filled with getting hair and makeup up done with a glam squad, attending fashion shows, dining at restaurants, photo shoots, and countless, ridiculously long Uber rides. I never even thought that attending a NYFW was in my reach as a blogger, but the fact that I got the opportunity to go, was a chance of a lifetime! 

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

What I enjoyed about this trip to New York, was the dressing up! As a mom, you get used to the casual day to day wear, and typical athleisure, that you forget about what it felt like to get all dolled up. I’m not sure if anyone can relate, but sometimes the outfits that catch your eye, you say “that looks cute, but not on me.” Well, I think like that all the time. This trip, I put those thoughts to bed. If those were the looks that appealed to me, then I’m going to wear them! I’m so used to wearing safe, basic looks to the grocery store, this Mama was ready to get out of her comfort zone.

Pictured with Lifestyle Blogger @ayeshamahali  Photo by @emily_mcgahee

Pictured with Lifestyle Blogger @ayeshamahali

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

It is practically impossible to make a trip to New York, without leaving inspired. This trip taught me a lot about what I wanted to blog about, and directed me more toward my personal goals in every aspect in life.

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

Photo by @emily_mcgahee

About a month later after my trip, I landed a Social Media Marketing gig with the restaurant I’ve worked for for almost 10 years, and was able to use a lot of the things I’ve learned through blogging, towards helping market a restaurant that is so near and dear to my heart. This gig really helped me to start thinking about ways to work from home, to make some cash while being with my babe.

Photo by Foodie Blogger Alexis Amato @fullofsips @fullofsipsphotos

Photo by Foodie Blogger Alexis Amato @fullofsips @fullofsipsphotos

Then, about a month later, I got pregnant with my second. My husband and I were holding off on having another baby for a bit, but decided we were ready to take the leap.

Photo by @dollfacephotography

Photo by @dollfacephotography

Once I found out I was pregnant, It weighed heavy on my heart to be at home full time. I started to explore different avenues on how to generate income blogging, as well as through freelance writing, and my mind was set. I need to quit my part time job. Although, quitting will be a financial adjustment for us, it truly is best for our family and that’s what was our biggest concern.

Now that I’ll be home full time, it will allow me to really hone in on my writing, and get things done! I do have some freelance writing projects in the works, and I can’t wait to share them with you all!

Photo by @dollfacephotography

Photo by @dollfacephotography

Bringing Our Babe Home

jacob crib.jpg

Photo: Doll Face Photography

The day you bring your babe home for the first time is exciting, to say the least. I can still vividly remember walking in the front door on a November afternoon. The sun was starting to set and my husband had Jacob in the car seat in the front corridor holding our pup back to welcome me. I was choking back tears, but physically couldn't cry because my smile was too wide. I was walking into a whole new life that I was anticipating for months. Actually, I've been anticipating this my whole life. I'm a mommy! We're new parents! 

But on a real note, becoming a new parent can also be a bit overwhelming and scary. You have this new, little, fragile nugget that needs your undivided attention. Forever. Not that I didn't know what I signed up for, but actually becoming a new parent immediately makes you feel 1000% responsible for this precious life. 

I wanted to share what made my first couple of days of motherhood easier and some products I couldn't live without. I also want to share things that I, in retrospect, wish I did. 

  • First and foremost, DO NOT BE IN A HURRY TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL. We were discharged from the hospital 30 hours after delivery. We were so anxious to get home. But really, the longer you stay at the hospital, the longer you have the nurses to help and time for both parents to rest. You have time to ask questions and to learn what you can from medically qualified people. The nurses change all the diapers, teach you how to give baths, burp the baby, and guide you on how to breast feed. Some hospitals also have Lactation Consultants, if breastfeeding is what you choose to do. Also, get all the free stuff you can. They will give you baby items as well as feminine care items.                                                                         
  • Contact your medical insurance provider to see if you qualify for a free or discounted breast pump. Most insurances do provide one for you. I had to contact them after the baby was born to receive the pump. The sooner you get it, the better. Your milk supply can be extremely plentiful in the first couple of weeks, so pumping during that time will be highly beneficial for your breastmilk reserve.                                                                                                                                            
  • Fisher Price: Rock 'n' Play! This thing was a godsend! We used it for about 5-6 months. But most importantly, we used it the first night we brought the baby home. We were so nervous to have him lay anywhere while we, heaven forbid, fell asleep. The Rock 'n' Play was perfect and eased our mind. The baby fits snugly with no option to turn over and is nestled at a 45 degree angle that helps with digestion and reflux. It also has a vibration option that may soothe the baby. Some babies like it, some don't. In essence, it rocks back and forth, and is aesthetically appealing. I have a light grey and mint green, chevron print one. There's plenty other options depending on your color scheme of choice.                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Dr. Browns bottles are great! They come with "vents" to prevent air bubbles and reduce gas for babies. Definitely, my #1 pick.                                                                                                                               
  • Halo Sleep Sack- I had my baby in November, and our house can get a bit chilly. Sleep sacks are a safe alternative to having the baby sleep with blankets or any other loose item.