Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Time

I've been running around this week trying to find a moment to meditate and breathe in the midst of everything going on in our lives. Some days seem to go by so slow, then I look up at the calendar and another week has flown by. Yesterday when we got to bed (after wrangling baby boy in the bath and putting him to sleep) I looked over to my esposito and asked--what in the world did we do with our free-time before Gabriel was born?

It was a funny thought because of course we got a lot done, I was working more than full-time in clinical research and getting the day-to-day completed as well. But for some reason I never felt as exhausted as I do now (on some days). Yet, I have also never felt as rested-- as when I get a sweet 4 hour stretch of sleep! It's so easy for me to go through the week and not take a time-out for myself and just breathe. It's as if I get caught up doing everything that I end up not doing anything at  all. 

I had to stop and think about the last time I stopped thinking about my to-do list, my goals for the week, what's for dinner... all the day-to-day mess. And really take some time for myself. And I'm not talking about taking some time to paint my nails or deep-condition my hair (which are awesome things that I need to get done... like yesterday) but I'm talking about reaching that place within myself that these things cannot reach. When was the last time I truly prayed and meditated?

I have a tiny obsession with finding out the root of words--what they really mean and in what context they were used. Because after all context can often define the meaning. I wanted to find out exactly what prayer meant. I wanted to find out more about this word-- back when it was first recorded. I wanted to find out the meaning in order to provide more meaning in why I need to do it more.

 What I found out truly blew my mind.

Prayer as defined in English is more of a petition--a wish we make,a way to ask for what we need.The word prayer is defined by Merriam Webster as: a (1) :  an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought prayer

The English word prayer was used because it somewhat captured the essence of prayer from the Hebrew texts but not fully. I found several words that more closely define prayer from the original Hebrew. One of those words-- is the Hebrew word tefilah that is derived from the verb pallel that means "to judge." In the Hebrew the phrase lehitpallel ("to pray"), which also means "to judge oneself " is used to define prayer. Therefore, in the original text and meaning-- prayer is not so much a petition but a time to judge oneself... Yikes! I hope you're still with me.

 When I first came across this definition I thought--when was the last time I released my thoughts and meditated? Really prayed, not about my goals or things I needed  to get done but  instead searched within beyond the daily noise and judged myself. Turns out it had been a long time.

Have you ever thought of prayer as a time to judge yourself  (notice I didn't say to judge others ;)?  When was the last time that you stopped, looked within yourself to that inner place and contemplated on your character and self-evaluated the inner person that no one sees? Your true self. I'll admit that's a scary thought-- there is so much within me that is hard to face. Whether it's my attitude, jealousy, mistakes that I've made-- I just don't want to go there. Yet it's exactly what it means to pray and meditate.

When we take the time to meditate on these things-- we are acknowledging that they exist and in turn, begin to make changes. Sometimes we can look at all of the wonky things within us and then we step into the realm of peace that truly surpasses all understanding.The further we dive into prayer and meditation the closer we draw to the divine and our best self. However, the less time we set aside to focus on these things-- the more unsettled we will become. 

I am challenging myself to not only get my deep condition in this week but also to meditate and make time to self-evaluate. 

My hope for you is that you are able to do the same.


Friday, November 22, 2013

an 'honest' review

Before having Gabriel we were faced with the huge task of deciding what type of diapers to buy. Now it wasn't until we had him that we realized that he had to be born in order to find out which diaper would work for him. But you know you can't tell that to new parents ha! We danced with the idea of cloth diapering. We like the idea of re-using, reducing waste and the environmentally friendliness of it all. However, it just wouldn't work for us at this point and we ended up just going with the traditional brands that most people buy. We have had leaks, blow-outs up the back, poorly made, well made and thankfully no allergic reactions!

Then I heard about the Honest company dipes, wipes and cleaning supplies. I was intrigued since they claim to be, "eco-friendly, ultra absorbent & free of lotions, fragrances & latex." Pretty much awesomesauce. So of course, I had to check them out and try them out for myself or rather have little G test them out for me. Because after all he decides what works! Lucky for us before taking the plunge and making the commitment of signing up for the monthly shipments- we could take a test run! We signed up for the free-trial of a sample size of natural, high performing diapering essentials. • Diapers (7 count) • Wipes (10 count) and we paid for the shipping.

I was so excited when I opened the box and saw all of the cute designs (a lot like cloth diaper choices) and quickly put them on Gabe. Let's just say he is gifted in the testing out diapers and wipes area! He really wanted to make sure they were well made ;)

I'll keep this part short and sweet- these diapers are so well made! We had no leaks and no blow-outs and no allergic reactions. Believe me- Gabriel christened these in the best way possible and they held up to the task. The cherry on top is that it's great to know that the materials used are eco-friendly and it really speaks to what we wanted in the first place. 

The Cons: They are pricy. If you price them out you are paying more per diaper than several other major brands. However, they do have deals if you buy bundles and will apply % off depending on how much you buy. 

The Bottom Line: These diapers lived up to their name. If you have the income to buy them- I'd say go for it! As with any organic/eco-friendly/natural product not only are you paying for the product but for the "cleaner" and environmentally friendly lifestyle :) 

You can order the dipes and free-trial here: Honest.

I hope you all have a wonderful (leak-free) weekend! ;)


*opinions are my own


Thursday, November 21, 2013

beauty or cutie

These days I am rocking a baby bag #likeaboss and that's okay with me! But I would be lying if I didn't admit that I can't wait for the day I can wear a smaller more portable bag :)

Enter these two gorgeous shoulder bags. Of course, I had to compare a higher end Chloe bag to a more affordable and equally bella Fossil burnt orange number. 

Both share a similar burnt orange color complete with the same gold hardware.

It was love at first sight!

         Chloe Beauty                                                          Fossil Cutie

*pics c/o respective websites
What's one thing you look forward to saying goodbye to once your little one is more independent?!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

my top 5!

I was just thinking the other day-- if I could put a survival kit together for a new momma (for those first few weeks) what would be in it?! For me, there were a number of things that were really helpful and made things with a newborn a bit easier (these are for momma- next time I'll make a list for baby ;) 

If you are going to be a new momma soon-- Congratulations! I hope these ideas help you a bit because trust me as a new momma you need all the help you can get!

Here are my top 5 mommy must-haves: 


A very wise momma once told me that I should use organic coconut oil as a part of my nursing care routine. I'll admit I was a bit leery at first- but now I'm a complete convert! Just when I think I've found enough uses for it-- I find more ways to apply this magic oil (dry baby skin, diaper cream, dry scalp... and yes even cooking) I love the Sonoma Harvest brand -- ok so this is more momma and baby ;) but it works!


Let's face it-some days you won't have enough time to wash your face (or even shower... yikes!). That's when these come in handy. Neutrogena face wipes are my go-to's (plus they have that night-calming effect that you will need) but there are all sorts you can choose from!
You might not have time to eat a very healthy meal those first few weeks either- between caring for this little human and sleep deprivation- it won't be on your priority list of things to do! Cliff Bars became my life line because it was a quick fix and at least I know it's a good choice:)

DRINK WATER! Even if you aren't nursing-- it's important to stay hydrated. Ben got me a Camelbak and I love it- plus they have so many fun colors.

 Even after you give birth your body will need these pre-natal vitamins! Especially if you are nursing. I loved these because they taste like candy and honestly it's one of the reasons I never forgot to take them ha!



What would you momma's add??

Monday, November 18, 2013

milwaukee public market

I've wanted to visit the Milwaukee Public Market since the moment I saw the giant red neon sign off the highway. So I was very excited when we had a chance to head over a a family this weekend.

The market was everything I imagined it would be. Fresh produce, great fish selection, local shops and plenty of hipsters ;) I really enjoyed sitting down eating my yummy pastry and people watching. I am really looking forward to going to one of their cooking classes- I see plenty of visits here in the near future! Another great place to visit if you are ever in the area!

Gabrielito wasn't sure about the height

He just wanted to suck on the window when we were waiting in the parking lot for Papi!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

7 months

Dear Gabrielito,

Today you're 7 months old! These months have gone by so fast and I can hardly believe it. This past month you had so many major milestones met and it's both exciting and a reminder of how fast time flies.

When you stopped army-crawling and began crawling like a big boy I started crying because it was so neat to see the changes. I want you to thrive and grow and being able to experience it first hand with you has been so awesome. It's amazing to see you learn and explore as well. You learned to give us kisses when I say "beso" and it is so sweet when you try to kiss our nose but end up drooling all over!

Now you pull yourself up and walk around furniture. You've given me a few major scares but thankfully you have only had a few bumps. You can pick up food and feed yourself as well and answer to your name. We started teaching you sign when you were around 4 months and now you started to sign "more" when you want more food. You started saying things like "caca" (which may or may not be how we say poo) "papa" and it sounds like you are saying "momma" when you cry. I know you probably do not know what you're saying yet but it makes both of us so proud to hear you say it!

You melt my heart when you act silly and laugh when Papi makes a funny face. These 7 months have been such a huge learning experience for us as parents and we can't wait to celebrate many more months with you!

Happy 7 months sweet baby boy!

Abrazos y besitos,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

e is for etiquette

I'm sure I am not the only one that's experienced a socially awkward moment-- where someone goes in for a hug and you go in for a kiss on the cheek! Or when you're faced with 2 sets of forks and two sets of knives- and are feeling a bit what the what?! At least I hope not! Although extremely funny there are books on the proper way to introduce yourself and which utensils come first.

from my very vintage etiquette book
Gold standard: classic etiquette book by Emily Post (now written by her grandkids)
I remember my very first etiquette class I took when I was 15. I went to a very small home school co-op and we all took this elective. I even have the very vintage book that I glance at from time to time. Even now it proves to be very useful because I always forget how to set a plate setting properly! However, it is very much outdated.

These days with all of the social networking, over-sharing and more casual settings-- we tend to forget very basic etiquette standards. Getting a good book to help along the way is the perfect way to get some rules on how to act (or react!) in certain social situations. 

    Especially with all of the holiday parties coming up...

So I wanted to find a newer book on etiquette and found "Modern Manners- Tools to Take You to the Top", this has become my new go-to book when it comes to all things proper. It has all sorts of useful tips ranging from social media to more traditional topics. And how awesome is that it's written by Liv Tyler and her grandmother?!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and avoid any faux pas this holiday season ;)


Liv Tyler's newest

Thursday, November 14, 2013

cozy winter knits

The other day I was flipping through one of my fashion mags and saw this red knitted Isabel Marant beauty and quickly imagined myself cuddling on the couch with Ben and our little man, while wearing it (yes I imagine these things). But then reality set in and a $655 sweater (6 months worth of diapers, 400 pouches of organic baby food) isn't exactly in our monthly discretionary fund budget. But the image was so real and vivid that I had to find the less-expensive counterpart :)

Behold my findings: a very similar gorgeously knit cozy red sweater from Dorothy Perkins (they deliver to the U.S.!) Now that price is much more doable and we still have enough for dipes and baby food...winning!

Some daydreams are just meant to be!

              Isabel Marant beauty                                                     Dorothy Perkins cutie

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

to boot !

One thing I love about Fall (even though it's already looking like winter out!) is that I can bust out my boots. This year I was obsessed with finding a good riding style boot. As much as I'd like to wear an above the knee boot - I would not be able to pull it off because they cut off my thigh in a not so flattering way (I am 5'3). That's why I stick with below-the-knee boots that elongate my legs and help reduce the frump factor! 

Here are some great boots (high-end designer dreams to more affordable options) that I love! I am obsessed with the black and brown combo and went a knee-high Aerosole number. I hope you find the right boot that suits you!

1. Chinese Laundry Flash Boots, $129.95
2. Salvatore Ferragamo Robespierre Boots, $895

3. Jimmy Choo Malden Suede Knee-High Boots, $1,295
4. Tory Burch Juliet Riding Boot, $525

5. Aldo Nono, $110
6. Aerosoles Override, $120

* all above photos courtesy of the companies websites

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


One of my absolute favorite places to visit here in Milwaukee is the Milwaukee Art Museum. I went there for the first time back in my single days and fell in love. Since then I continue to visit with Benjamin and now with our little man.

I get lost in all of the phenomenal architecture in the pavilion that was designed as an addition by Santiago Calatrava. The museum has 30,000 works of art and I have yet to visit every floor!

On one of my visits I became so excited when I found a piece from one of my most-loved modern artists, Elizabeth Peyton. Some day I hope to meet her in person and/or own one of her pieces (a girl can dream right?! ;) )

If you ever come to visit- this place is a must see and another reason Milwaukee is underrated.

from my first visit with Benjamin
the Pavilion

"Jackie and John" by Elizabeth Peyton

just insane how realistic

I think Ben was trying to tell me something

Friday, November 08, 2013

fish tacos

I've started adding more fish into our diet 1. because it's so much better on our cholesterol levels 2. there are so many different choices (white and lean are my preference like Hake) 3. it's delicious! 

So since I've been making more of it, grilling it every single time with a side of veggies get's old.... very fast. This time I wanted to make something different that wasn't going to take for ever to prepare (took like 20 mn!) This recipe is easy, fast and soooooo yummy! 

Fish Tacos (makes 4 servings)

you'll need:
1 loin fish of your choice ( I used Hake- a type of codfish)
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper (to taste)
4 corn tortillas ( you can use flour tortillas but I prefer the taste of corn)

for toppings:
lettuce (I like the Organic girl 50/50 mix)
salsa of your choice
fresh lime

to prepare:
  •  make sure to dry the fish once it's thawed on a paper towel
  • season the fish with salt and pepper
  • grill fish on a very hot skillet (if you heat the skillet ahead of time and wait until it's very hot then add cold butter or olive oil-- you will get a better sear) 3 mn each side
  • toast tortillas on stove top using another pan 
  • once the fish is done searing- remove from pan 
  • shred the fish 
  • add fish to the tortillas
once you have the fish on the tortillas- add toppings and squeeze the lime on the tacos for a nice citrus twist- all done!

Buen Provecho!