Hooray Heroes

I remember growing up, my mom would always read to me and I remember falling in love with books at a young age. One of my very first birthdays, my parents got me a princess book, but to my surprise it was a personalized book specially for me! Each page was curated with my name included and a part of the story. As a kid, you have no idea how happy I was! Since then, I’ve always loved personalized books.

Now that I have a daughter, I was so excited when hooray heroes sent my Rylee girl her very own personalized book; When Rylee Grows Up. This book is such a cute gift and gives your kids a sense of imagination of what they can be when they grow up! I was able to edit the characters to fit the description of how Rylee looks and got the opportunity to select 10 different careers to add to the story. The book turned out great and of course my girl loved it!

We were able to add a sweet little note at the beginning of the book and we gifted it to her on her first birthday! As she gets older and begins to read and understand, this book will definitely be more valuable, but for right now, I’m okay snuggling up with her and reading it to her at night while she looks at the pictures!

Thank you, Hooray Hero’s for giving something my daughter will keep for years to come!

Mommy Blog Q&A –

I’ve been blogging and trying to grow my online presence for the last year and I’m at a place where I feel comfortable sharing some things I’ve learned! I’ve had multiple girlfriends who have reached out to me and asked me how I got started and the common questions anyone would ask when first starting out. By no means am I an influencer, but it is flattering when people reach out and tell you they want to start a mommy blog too! It’s seriously pretty great.

I’ve compiled a list of Q&A’s that I get asked frequently so I hope these help! 🙂

  • Where do I start? 
    • When I first started, I created my blog on WordPress.com. Came up with a title that reflected what I wanted my message/brand to be and as a first time mommy, decoding motherhood just felt right! Once I created my blog and had a few posts ready to publish, I started building my Instagram presence. I found accounts who are similar to mine and started following them and targeting their followers and learning how Instagram truly works.
  • How do I continue to grow my followers? 
    • The key is ENGAGE! Follow accounts that interest you, like and engage with their posts, write genuine comments, and get to know your fellow mommy bloggers! I’m a part of a few mommy pods and we’ve all gotten to know each other and engage with one another. We’re all trying to figure out the same thing so it’s nice to also have that support from other moms.
  • How do I get my Instagram to look cohesive and have the same aesthetic throughout?
    • This one took me a long time to figure out! I also heard that brands/people are more inclined to follow you if you have a cohesive feed – 100% true. My question was, how do I achieve this goal?? I tried for months to take great photos and use the same filters, lighting, settings, etc… but even with the same edits, it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t until I discovered presets. Absolute game changer! You gotta pay a pretty penny for it, but it is so worth it. I’m currently using Alexa Jean presets and I love them!
  • How do I keep up with posts? What if I don’t know what to write about? 
    • I keep a little calendar and I plan all my posts a head of time. I’ve been slacking the last few weeks, but when I first started, I would write 3 times a week. Decide what you want to write about and put it on a calendar so you can see everything laid out for you. I usually see what other bloggers are writing about or head to Pinterest for some inspiration!
  • How do you get great photos of your daughter smiling or laughing? 
    • Haha my quote literally every time we take pictures, “Let’s make this quick, we only need one good one out of a hundred!” My husband is the man behind the camera and he just snaps away. He usually sings the ABC’s or If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! It gets a smile, giggle, or even a little wiggle every time!

If you’re thinking of starting a mommy blog or even just a personal blog, my advice is just do it. No one is judging you for your writing ability or skills, or even more so, your feelings. Blogging is such a great platform to keep track of your life and I think it’s something that people would actually enjoy doing!

 

On the Road to 30 – Change is Coming

It’s September which means it’s my birthday month! Yes, I’m totally one of those people who celebrate the entire month because one day just isn’t enough.. especially when you’re turning 30! I’ve had such an amazing life leading into my thirties and while I’ve had my share of bad times in my twenties, the last few years definitely made up for it.

As you approach the last year before you hit a milestone birthday, you start to reflect on your life, you know? Your accomplishments, what you’re going to be doing in the next few years, your career path, etc.. I’ve been really lucky to cross off husband, house, and baby on my list, but something I have been thinking of a lot lately is my blog and what I’m doing with it and where I want it to go. I remember back when Tumblr was hot! (Shoutout to all my OG Tumblr friends). I used to blog so much back then about young love and heartache lol, and loved writing whatever was on my mind! When I resurfaced blogging again last year, I forgot why I even stopped to begin with.

In the last year of writing again and learning how to use social media as a platform to send a message, I hope I can stick to writing more often and creating content that my followers will enjoy, hence “Change is Coming.” With my one year blog-aversary approaching, I’m changing up my whole blog vibe and while every day I’m decoding motherhood, I also want to explore other outlets that I absolutely love; fashion & home decor.

I hope you’ll stick around and see what I have in store for you! Don’t worry, your dose of Rylee pictures will not be affected! 🙂

xx

Transitioning from stress to relief

I’ve been at my new job for about a week and a half and I can already tell I’m loving every minute of this transition. As you guys know, the hotel industry doesn’t stop for anyone. I spent countless times stressing about things that were not in my control and I came from working 10-13 hour days, having two phones, constantly worrying about my groups and how my inbox will look in the morning, and the list goes on. I was always stressed and it just wasn’t worth being unhappy. So I knew I had to make a change to better myself.

I’ve been working in a doctors office and the change is incredible. I work in a small office with seven people and it’s seriously a breath of fresh air. I do a ton of little administrative tasks, checking in patients, organizing, and inputting data into reports and it makes me wonder why I didn’t leave the hotel sooner. I’m able to clock out, leave work behind and go home to my family and enjoy time quality time with them.

We’ve been slowly working on fixing up the house and I can’t wait to share all the fun things we’ve done! We’ve opened up our dining and living room to accommodate all of Rylee’s toys (pictures to follow), I’m slowly working on her bedroom and creating a space she can play in when we’re upstairs, and hopefully by the fall, our backyard will be ready to host gatherings with a fully furnished backyard.

With all the extra time and energy, I’ve definitely felt a sense of relief. I’m currently happy with where I am and how the next few months are looking!

Below are just a few tips I have for anyone thinking of making a change in their work life:

  • Take the risk. My biggest dilemma in all of this was trying to figure out if risking my job to do something else was worth it and I went back and forth multiple times before making the jump.
  • Get rid of the fear you have. I was legitimately scared to leave because I didn’t want anyone to judge me for leaving behind a great career or to burn any bridges, but once I got rid of that fear, I felt unstoppable. I knew I made the right decision.
  • Just do it. We all want what’s best for ourselves and our families and sometimes you just need to rip the band-aid off and just do it.

If you’re having ABC problems, I feel bad for you. I got 99 problems, but my ABC’s ain’t one!

Rylee was gifted with these dope books from @thelittlehomie and they couldn’t have come at a better time. As she nears her first birthday, we’ve been reading to her a little more each day and teaching her, her ABC’s & 123’s. These books are for the next generation of OG’s.

I grew up listening to hip hop and rap, and these books showcase some of the greatest artists of our time. The reason I love these books are the illustrations and the simplicity of it. There’s no fancy sentences or anything complicated about it. Just books full of culture and creativity.

Thank you, The Little Homie for providing such a fun book for the little babes in the world!

Why Taking a Step Back is Important.

I knew having a baby would change everything, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be trying to balance a career and a newborn baby. I totally get it now though. I’ve been working in the hotel industry for six years and more recently I’ve been a meeting planner for the last three years. I thought running down this path with a baby wouldn’t be as hard as I’ve found it to be the last year. I came back from maternity leave in October and I’ve seen things more clearly than I ever have.

I never used to mind the long days, working weekends, sometimes working 14 days straight, having two phones, etc.. but when I came back and was in a situation where I had to work 12-15 hour days and weekends, I began to dread it because I knew waiting for me at home was the sweetest little babe and I couldn’t do anything about it because I had to work. I didn’t have the typical 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday job that allowed me to be at home more and for months I was unhappy at work knowing that I could be doing something else that wouldn’t require so much attention and stress. But what could I really be doing if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now??

I was at ends trying to figure out what I truly wanted; to be a #BossMom and juggle my life as a meeting planner and move up in the corporate world or be a more present mom who was able to come home after work less stressed and probably happier. That’s when my decision was easy – I value my family so much that I just can’t bear to sacrifice a few years of missing out on my daughter’s life just so I can move up the corporate ladder. I am completely fine taking a step back in my career if that means I can be there when my daughter needs me and when she hits all her big milestones. The thought of having to work as much as I’m working as a meeting planner is daunting to be honest.

I can’t say that it’s the best decision I’ve ever made because it is scary venturing into the unknown, but it’s the best decision for my family right now. I am so relieved and happy that I’ll be able to dedicate more time to Rylee, my husband, & myself. I’ll be working in a Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon’s office where I’ll get to leave my work at work everyday and that is truly one of the best things to come!

 

Rylee Takes the East Coast; Our First Cross Country Vacation

Good Afternoon Loves! We just got back from our week-long family vacation to the East Coast. To say the least, it was quite an experience. Weeks leading up to the trip, I was already feeling anxious and my stress was a little more elevated than usual. I had been doing tons of research and asking friends and family for advice on how to travel with a baby for the first time and once it was time for takeoff, I felt ready.

We had taken Rylee on multiple road trips to our surrounding states, but never flying across the country. Here is a list of things I learned while traveling with a baby for the first time and some advice.

  • Plan your flight early in the morning so it coincides with their morning nap schedule. Rylee slept the whole flight going to NY and we planned our flight back to Vegas late at night so she would sleep the whole night. It worked for most of the flight, but she was definitely a lot more fussy during the boarding/takeoff process.
  • I had Rylee strapped in her baby carrier while we went through security and that was probably the best decision because it was so easy-going through security. I had my cellphone, boarding pass, and ID out so I could easily put them in the bin along with the diaper bag and my purse.
  • Snacks! Don’t forget the snacks! We gave Rylee Puffs anytime we felt her getting fussy and it worked.
  • I went a little overboard and made little baggies for the passengers that sat around us that consisted of ear plugs, airheads, lollipops, & Jolly Ranchers. Since it was Rylee’s first time flying, we didn’t know what to expect, but if she was fussy, at least the passengers would have a little goodie bag to know we weren’t intentionally trying to make their flight miserable!
  • Bring an arm pillow or some thing that will keep the baby comfortable. All we brought was a blanket and I wish we would’ve been more prepared.
  • Your carry-on means everything! I was able to pack all of Rylee’s essentials on my rollaway luggage – diapers, wipes travel drying kit, bottles, formula etc.. It was nice knowing that all her essentials would stay with us.

When we finally made it to the East Coast, I thought the stress would lessen, but it definitely didn’t! We had a jam-packed week of activities and I thought with everything going on, it would keep Rylee entertained, but we learned that her attention span was short-lived. After all, how exciting is Time Square for a baby? Along with trying to keep her busy, we learned that she had three molars coming in hot! How convenient right??? As if traveling isn’t stressful enough, add three molars and an extremely fussy baby to the mix.

We tried to make the most of it and stay positive during all the meltdowns, but it’s definitely tough. Below is a list of things I learned while taking her around the city and some advice for new parents that are planning a trip.

  • Have a game plan. A lot of our trip was based on spontaneity which made it difficult to plan ahead. I had 5-6 bottles with me at all times beacause I didn’t know when we’d be able to get back to our hotel or how long we’d be gone for.
  • Have a comfortable baby carrier and stroller. We bought a travel stroller for the mere purpose we didn’t want to bring her big bulky one, but I’m so glad we ended up bringing it because she napped comfortably in her stroller when we rode the subways and cruised through the city. I don’t think it would’ve been the same had we brought the travel stroller.
  • Bring lots of wipes and hand sanitizer. I don’t know how many times I wiped Rylee’s hands because of how many times they touched the ground lol.
  • Buy disposable table mats for when you go to restaurants. I found these on Amazon and it was probably my favorite travel purchase! They stick directly on table and stick underneathe the table so when they’re in their high chair and try to put their mouth on the table, at least they’re gnawing on the table mat.
  • Rely on your significant other to help. As mom’s we’re just naturally inclined to take control of the baby and try to calm them when needed, but having a S/O who is so involved and tries to help as much as they can is seriously amazing. It helps when both the stress is on both parents and not just the moms.
  • Try and have a great time even if you’re feeling frustrated! I feel guilty for having a lot of frustrating moments during this trip which resulted in everyone being in a bad mood, but once you realize that there are somethings you can’t control, you just gotta roll with the punches and take it for what it is.

Once we finally made it back home, I was so happy! Regardless of the events that played a part in this trip, I think it’s safe to say that I’ll stick to ground transportation with Rylee for a little bit longer! We definitely loved the East Coast & all it’s beauty though – take a look at some of my favorite pictures!

Headwraps: Stevie J’s – Rylee loved them! They stayed on her head all day and they’re super comfy!

Rompers: Old Navy & PatPat

Off the Shoulder Rose Top: Angelique Leotards