christmas is that you?

Friday, December 4, 2015

I can't believe December is finally here! It may sound cheesy, but this IS the best time of the year. I love how people come together to celebrate each other and spend quality time side by side. Maybe it's the colder weather that brings people closer, or perhaps the desire to celebrate an accomplished year. All I know is that the air is crispier and the smell of fresh pine trees make me wish that every month was December. And let's not forget all the twinkle lights...

This will be the very first time we spend the holidays at home. Partly because this 34 week pregnant gal can't really go anywhere at this point, but I love that we will be able to host my parents here for the holidays. With that said, I get to pick out a tree and decorate our cozy little home. With the baby coming after the holiday, I want to keep it simple - b&w stripes, gold and silver accents with a hint of the outdoors. While in Tahoe for Thanksgiving, my mom and I went on a hunt and brought back a whole bag of fresh pinecones from the woods behind our cottage. They smell amazing and will definitely be going everywhere around our little apartment.

What are you planing this Christmas - staying in or going out? If you're off on an exotic adventure, please do share. I would love to live vicariously through you while I lounge my big ole belly on the couch.

Hope you come back soon,

P.S:: For more Christmas inspiration, hop on over to my Pinterest album

how to face the world when you're not motivated

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ironic that I write this post from my couch, on a Thursday morning. I had an incredible to-do list for today, however given the fact that I have been feeling icky all week, I decided to stay home and rest my body - and my mind. Hate to write another "pregnancy sucks" post, and I promise this is not one of them! Just something I've had to develop in the past few months to adjust to a new life and to new feelings.

It's definitely not a part of my personality to go,go,go all the time. I've always been more of a chill person and always moved a tad bit slower than others. Not to say I'm lazy. I've always have faced challenges that come my way with hard work and perseverance. Just in a slower pace than most people do. However, lately I have been feeling a little unmotivated... My energy level is super low and even though, I have the desire to get out of bed and conquer the world every morning, there is a constant internal struggle with getting up and facing the world. I'm not sure if this is related to pregnancy at all, but I have started to develop a different routine in order to motivate myself and increase my productivity throughout the day. In case you're in the same boat as I am, I put together a few things that have helped me a lot.

Figure out what you're afraid of.
This may sound stupid, but I discovered recently that I have a subconscious fear of getting dressed in the morning. I have build up this unreasonable fear of not being able to pick out the perfect outfit each day - which is weather appropriate and that has the "vibe" I'm looking for. Ridiculous, I know. However, now that my options are pretty slim when it comes to clothing items, I've had to deal with it straight on. My solution? I face my fears the night before. Every night before I go to bed, I pick out my outfit and lay it out for the next day. Something about having it together the following morning, motivates me to get out of bed and tackle my day. Also, I've started shopping for neutrals a lot more. It's much easier to mix and match when you have a set color palette in your closet.

Recognize when you're at the top of your game.
Everyone has their power hours, that time of day where you feel the most productive and can get more stuff done. For me, it's definitely during the day - I can't get anything done at night. However, there are times where it feels like my brain stops functioning and nothing good seems to come out. It's okay to feel like that! Just figure out when you feel and work your best, and do all the things that take most of your brain power and focus during that period of time. And when you feel like you can't do anything else, take breaks. Go for a walk, talk to your co-workers, and press refresh! It always works for me.

Cut yourself off from social media. 
At this point we are all well aware of our addition to social media. I manage several accounts for work, and sometimes it finds a way of getting in the way of things. When I am at my"power hours", I close all social media and focus on what I'm doing. If I'm working on blog posts, I usually pull out a notebook, a pencil and handwrite all my posts. There is something about taking your eyes away from the screen and all the noise that comes from it.. It makes me feel so relaxed!

I despise clutter and if my desk is a hot mess, there is no way in hell I'm going to get work done. Ever! So organize your stuff. Clear your desk, your desktop, your dropbox, and throw away unnecessary things. Trust me on this one, you will feel renewed and dare I say... powerful!! ;)

Give up. 
We are all humans and even though, their are plenty of inspirational instagrams, pinterests, and tumbles. out there saying "go girl boss. conquer the world." some days, all you want is to be in your pj's and watch Gilmore Girls all day. It's okay. That's why you have those personal days to take at work. Use them - you will feel renewed after that and will come back productive as ever.

Do you have any other tips on how you get yourself motivated even when it feels like nothing is going to happen? Please do share. I could always tweak my routine.

Hope you come back soon,

to look back on later

Monday, November 9, 2015

This post has been sitting in my draft page for a while now. Every time I make an attempt to publish it, something holds me back. Sometimes it's a word I used that somehow doesn't fit in the context anymore, other times I have changed my mind and it all seems to no longer make sense. Or maybe it's the fear of over exposing myself during this emotional time. Nevertheless, I made a promise when I started this journey, and I need to stick with it. Promised I would be true to other women and that I would talk openly and honestly about what it actually means to carry a baby. Hope I somehow accomplish this goal. Even if it means to write scary, icky and not so perfect feelings that so often come and go. 

Deep breath in... here we go. 

Pregnancy is certainly a beautiful thing and an absolute privilege. I know I am so incredibly lucky to have this experience - especially when many are trying so hard to and can't. But man oh man, the physical discomforts a mother deals with during this time are pretty unbelievable to me, and I am astounded that women choose to do this multiple times, year after year. It somehow encourages me that the reward must be so sweet in order for all to be worth in the end!

It’s almost laughable at this point – and trust me, the husband laughs at me all the time. I sleep with a mountain of pillows behind me, around me and underneath me. Because everything is sore and my organs are definitely not in the place they should be. I know it’s only going to get worst and sleep will eventually become elusive. Maybe the universe is training my lazy, sleep loving self to get used to not having it for a while… Never mind the sweet little peanut who is trying to get as comfortable as possible while poking every inch of my insides. The kicks are no longer just cute, singular experiences that make me smile – they are long stretches of baby rolling and kneading and sharp intakes of breath when I feel a little foot in my rib. Pretty sure all those ultrasounds were wrong, and I’m actually giving birth to an octopus for all the places I feel arms and legs at once. How is that even possible? And does it make me a bad mother for wishing it to stop already? Pregnancy can be tough. Sometimes, I wake up with the illusion that I'm no longer carrying all that extra weight in my belly and it feels so good. Until I try to stand up and all my daily struggles come back - things like putting socks on, picking up that pen that fell on the floor, and even sitting through an 8 hour work day become your worst enemies and sometimes you just say "to hell with all of this. I'm done with being pregnant. Someone please get this baby outta me!" 

I have a feeling that the look on women’s faces after giving birth is both the joy of finally holding your baby in your arms and the relief of not having to carry them in our bellies any longer. I'm sure that the simplest things will feel like the world’s greatest luxuries once this little one is on the outside and I can finally have my body back. I look forward to both, and will never under-appreciate my body ever again. It is powerful, it is mine, and I will be thankful every day that is healthy enough to give me life.     

To be honest, I'm at that point where there is a ton of complaining and it might seem like I'm not appreciating growing this tiny little person that I will surely love so very much. Trust me, I'm not! I have loved every minute of this journey and wish every single women the opportunity to go through it at least once. However, I do feel like it should be okay to complain, to wish for your body back and to cut yourself some slack - and your partner as well! Love was what created this baby in the first place and love should be where it all collides - be it in the beginning, middle or the end. The reason Chris and I waited five years to have a baby of our own, was because we knew how important this would be for us. I wanted this baby oh so bad, but wanted it to be right as well. Wanted to build a foundation where nothing else matters but love, and that no matter what happened we would support each other until the end. 

Pregnancy takes a toll on you and I can’t even imagine what it’s like to raise a child. I’m sure it comes with compromises and challenges to both you and your spouse. There is no better feeling than having that person next to you, pushing you forward when you think you can’t go any further, laughing at how ridiculous you look while trying to get out of bed in the morning, and teasing you because somehow the whole tub of ice cream disappeared over night and you won’t admit it was all your doing. And when you see the look in his eyes when the baby – your baby – moves, it’s unlike any other feeling in the world.

I know, I went through a lot of frustration before while all the women around me were having cute little babies and growing their families, but trust me when I say it is all worth the wait. Pause for the right time for you and your partner. Because growing a child is no joke and bringing it into this world with someone you love beyond anything else, is something worth fighting for. Even when you feel like giving up, or when every single part of your body is screaming for help. Love concurs all. And, in this romantic gals opinion, it also cures all!    

Hope you come back soon,

let there be fall

Monday, November 2, 2015

Fall has just commenced here in Southern California and I am so excited to pull out the few sweaters that still fit this ever changing body of mine. I know I'm going to have to resort to shoes, handbags and cute jackets - which quite honestly I don't mind doing... 

However, If I had to put together the perfect fall outfit for my non pregnant self this would definitely be it! The plaid shirt, skinny girlfriend pants (best one out there for us petite women), the handbag (just ordered one for myself as a late birthday gift), flats and this amazing necklace to top it all off.

What are your fall season essentials? 

Hope you come back soon,

now that i'm back, a little update

Monday, October 26, 2015

These have been interesting months so far. Tons have happened since I announced that we were expecting little baby Hodges. Most of the changes were to be expected, but a few were surely a surprise. So here a few updates on my part...

- Creating a baby is no joke! Even though I kind of knew the changes that would occur to my body, I don't think anyone can actually grasp the feeling until you go through it yourself. It's a blessing to be able to experience the miracle of life happening inside you, however it's also a pretty weird occurrence. Let's just say there are a lot more fluids involved, hiccup outbursts that don't come from you, and a ton of pushing and shoving happening inside your stretched out belly.

- If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Chris and I moved into a larger apartment just down the street from where we used to live, and I can say that one more bedroom makes a huge difference. After living in tight quarters for the past 5 years, it's amazing what one extra room does to you. SO much space!! When you live in an over populated and expensive city, a few more square feet can make you feel incredibly powerful!! haha... Even Lady the dog is feeling might fine! She loves roaming around the house, and napping in all the different places she has claimed her own. Mostly rugs and soft surfaces, of course!

- I turned 30!!!!! And a had a delicious glass of red wine the day of my birthday. I know you're not supposed to drink when you're pregnant, but one glass won't hurt baby and I think I deserved that glass. 30 years on this planet, and my oh my it's been a good ride. More on this later.

- Oh, and I can't forget to mention... We're having a girl!!! Caroline Caldas Hodges. We decided to stick to the Brazilian tradition of carrying the maternal name as a middle name. She will be half Brazilian after all.

Alright, enough about me for now. Tell me what's been going on with you!!!

Until next time,

is it too late to come back?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Is it too late to come back?

At this point I am sure I have violated every single rule of blogging and probably all of my few hundred readers (if I even had that many to begin with) have vanished into internet space. But I want to come back. I want to write again. My mind and soul needs it.    
Life does get in the way sometimes doesn’t it? Even though it probably isn’t exactly life’s fault. What does it have to do with all this anyway? Life is what we make of it and this time I have a feeling I made it get in the way. 

Therefore, I’m here today asking permission to return. Please don’t shut the door on me, or ask me to leave so abruptly. Let me sit down, make you a cup of tea and catch up. I’m sure that we will be just like old pals that, no matter the distance we’ve had between us, it will be like I’ve never left.
Maybe, you need some time to think it through. I’ll come again soon.

Brownie promise!  

featuring - move loot

Thursday, July 16, 2015

sectional couch / floor lamp / area rug / coffee table / chair

Move Loot has quickly become my newest obsession. If you are anything like me, you consider searching for furniture online is the best hobby ever. I can go hours looking through craigslist. Refreshing the pages to make sure nothing good has been added. My search doesn't even have any filters added, because I need to see everything. Just in case, you know, I stumble upon a magnificent accent table I don't even need. There is one thing that holds be back when it comes to buying used furniture online. I always rely on my husband to come with me to check it out. No woman in their sane mind would roll up to some strangers house to look at a vintage mirror. And truth be told, I missed out on so many good pieces because Chris just didn't think we really needed that extra comfy chair - and he was probably right 99% of the time! :)

Nonetheless, I have found a solution to all my furniture seeking problems: a site called Move Loot. It's like craigslist, but without all the awful pictures and the hassle of having to find a guy to come pick up the piece with you. Granted, it's not available all over the States, but if you are located in the cities that they serve, definitely check it out. Did I mention they deliver to your house? Yep. I just purchased a media stand from them and two super nice guys came to my office and dropped it off right on schedule! 

Since I will take any excuse to re-decorate, I set out on a mission to curate my favorite living room pieces in Los Angeles! Sadly, I do not need any new furniture therefore, feel free to use all the items in this post - and I encourage you to. :) 

Hope you come back soon,

This post was not sponsored by Move Loot. I just really love to share tips and products I love with all of you. 

more than just a book review.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July, 5th, 2015.

I have been reading this book. I don't want to admit that it is a pregnancy book, because those kind have bad reviews and scare the living hell out of you. So let's just call it Beth Ann Fennelly's book, Great with Child. I do not dare classify it as a the P word, for one reason and one reason only; it talks more about feelings and relationships than it actually does about the physical act of creating a child. Beth Ann is a poet in practice and in heart and every single word she writes is like a symphony of emotions - the good ones and the not so good ones as well.

Yesterday, while laying in bed recuperating from the long holiday weekend, I came upon this quote: " I think our inability to recall and relieve the memory of pain has to do with the fact that during hard labor, you go to a place beyond language." Yes, we all fear child labor, and dare I say it I am one of the scared ones. However, If I have learnt one thing about this whole process is that there are no words to fully describe it.

I've always hated the fact that other women wouldn't share what it was like to carry a child. Now that I have been the one that has been dealt that hand, I understand that I misplace the word couldn't with a wouldn't. I am now in that place of discomfort. I can't seem to tell my story; and here I thought that this was my best trait - storytelling! Give me numbers, and I can't add much; however give me a piece of paper, a pen and words, I will tell you all.

Sure, I can meticulously describe the physical symptoms like nausea, low blood pressure, fatigue. But  this is not exactly what it was before; it didn't feel the same before I was pregnant. Is it because just like child birth there is something greater that just the physical pain? Or maybe there is already an emotional attachment greater than I can possible be aware of? Perhaps it is all the above colliding into something so big that what your body is enduring no longer seems like a burden to carry. On the contrary, you start carrying it with pride!

At this point, all I can say. Today. IS that I have never trusted my body as much as I do now. Therefore, I am letting go. Allowing it to do what it does best. I have a tiny little feeling that Beth Ann was right and when all is said and done, I will be reborn and "recollect the pain as bellonging to the old life, the way the butterfly unfolding her wet wings recollects the cocoon."

Like I have said before, I no longer hold my words as a statement of truth. My emotions maybe. So forgive me if all this seems out of the ordinary. These are true feelings that one night I scribbled down  in my journal. I would love to hear from you - that is if you have experienced such things. If not, maybe just a hello?!

Hope you come back soon,

meal planning: nicoise salad

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Have you ever thought about what you are eating every single hour of your day? My response will forever be no. Sure, I have been on weight watchers and numerous other diets throughout my life, but I have never had to meticulously think about the nutritional value of the food I am ingesting this much. That is until I found out I was pregnant. Oh boy… After that moment everything changed. There are so many do’s and don’ts that I feel the need to google “can pregnant women eat (insert item)” Every single time my stomach screams for food – which is every other hour. I am serious. My iPhone already knows what I’m about to type and it always gives me a helping hand by filling in mid-way through my sentence. It happens everywhere; at the grocery store, restaurants, at the office and even at home. I have to admit it can get kind of embarrassing, but who cares right? I’m assuming everyone knows I’m a newbie at this and will continue to learn throughout the process. Pregnancy still freaks me out and amazes me all at the same time.
Anywho, let’s get down to business. Ever since my list of don’ts have increased exponentially, I've been having a really hard time figuring out what to cook at home. Since I am the first one home in the evenings, if there is no plan in place, I usually end up devouring a buttery grilled cheese standing up at the kitchen counter. Needless to say I have to get back on my meal planning game in order not to gain the 50 Ibs I am terrified of gaining and to feed this little peanut some nutritional value other than carbohydrates and dairy.
I was very excited when I came across this salad on Pinterest. It’s the perfect mix between cooked and raw veggies and it’s not boring – and has olives and carbs! Win-win in my opinion… The original recipe had canned tuna and after googling “can pregnant women eat canned tuna” and finding out that the answer consists in a very long debate, I decided to substitute it with chicken breast. 
Let the meal planing begin! 
Nicoise Salad (Serves 2)
• For the dressing:
2 tablespoons champagne vinaigrette
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper

• For the salad:
4 ounces green beans
½ pound small new potatoes
2 eggs
2 small heads of jem lettuce (or 1 head romaine), cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
¼ cup assorted olives
cooked chicken breast
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

Whisk together champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until combined, until thickened and emulsified. Set aside.
Boil a saucepan of water, add green beans, and cook for about 3 minutes or until bright green. Drain, and place in an ice bath, drain again and set aside. Refill saucepan with cold water, and add potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let them cool. Toss the potatoes with just enough dressing to coat. Place eggs in a small saucepan of cold water. Bring to a boil and cover. Remove from heat. Set aside for 8 minutes. Place in cold water to cool, then peel and slice in half.
Assemble the salad in a large dish. Arrange lettuce, green beans, eggs, tomatoes, olives, and tuna. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with parsley right before serving. 

Hope you come back soon,

oh, baby!

Monday, June 15, 2015

This might be the most surreal blog post I have ever written. Even though I have been practicing it in my mind for the past two months, I'm at a complete loss for wordsIt's finally time to share the BIG news: we're expecting!! 

After 4 and a half years of marriage and a whooping 8 years together, we are finally joining other couples in parenthood. I have to admit it wasn't planned. It wasn't supposed to happen this quick! But we are all adults here and know how babies come into the picture.... Ha Ha! Nevertheless, we couldn't be happier. I have been through a roller coaster of emotions these past two months. After crazy hormones, intense morning sickness and a midsection that appears more like beer bloat than baby, I have realized I really don't know a lot about anything anymore. Except for one little detail... I am having a baby with the love of my life! I can't help but feel so incredibly lucky. Not only do I get to spend the rest of my life with him, but now I get to carry his child. There is no one on this earth that I would rather go through this with, and he has been a trooper so far.  

These days, I have plenty of moments of doubt, followed by excitement and a ton of crying. Like A TON. However, I do know that I'm surrounded by the best support system a gal could ever ask for. The hope and joy our family and friends have given us makes me feel so blessed. I am sure there will be plenty of emotional freak outs the next 8 months, but I also know that I will always have someone there to hold my hand and help me navigate this new path.    

I can't wait to share our journey through pregnancy and parenthood in the big city, alongside challenges like small apartment living, full time careers and our inexperienced rolls as parents! For now we are making sure this little baby gets all the nutrition it needs despite my aversion for all things food related that isn't deep fried and that Lady the dog gets used to not being the only babe around. Wish us luck!

Hope you come back soon,

SPARK YOUR PRINT All rights reserved © Blog Milk Powered by Blogger