hello world!

Thursday, January 28, 2016



I never thought it would take me this long to pop in and update you on our sweet baby girl's arrival. However, if you follow me on Instagram you are already all updated and probably sick of all the baby pictures! I guess you could say I'm under the spell of Caroline Hodges - also known as sleep deprived and completely infatuated. Since she made her drama filled debut on Sunday January 10, 2016 at precisely 7:46 pm (more on this later on),  I've tried to find the right words to describe what it's meant to me. I'm still not entirely sure I know what to say and how to say it, but I could try some random motherly thoughts... 

1. Not only do I have a new level of respect for moms but I'm in complete awe of those who do this whole mama thing on their own and full time. They deserve to be celebrated - going to work every day is a piece of cake compared to this!

2. Change is the most excited and terrifying thing ever.  My world stopped spinning several times during labor, during and after my c-section. And while I was desperately trying to catch my breath with a fury of people around me, all I could think about was my fear of change. The amount of change in my life right now feels uncomfortable but it's humbling too. There's little room for selfishness when it comes to being a mother and this, I know will be the most challenging part for me.

 
3. It takes a village. My mom has been living with us ever since Caroline came into this world, and I am so thankful for all the help. I am not superwoman. I am not perfect. 
With having to heal from surgery and take care of a baby at the same time, I've had to give up trying to do it all and accept that things won't necessarily go as planned. Not that 


4. 
Everyone tells you that these first few weeks are brutal, and they're right. It's hard to explain, and usually when I try to talk to Chris about how I feel it just sounds dam right crazy. There are moments of exhilaration, where you know you are doing things right and the love you have for your little one is beyond comparison. However, there are other instances in which you feel completely hungover, and nothing makes sense. I feel awfully confused and in absolute love all at the same time. Try explaining that to others around you. Ha! Nevertheless, when that little 8 Ibs baby starts cooing in your arms you can't help but feel complete and that all this is worth it in the end. 


I am still trying to figure out what all this means and how life will resume from here. This blog has always been a way to express myself and create meaningful content, and I have no intention of turning it to a mommy blog. Bare with me while I put my thoughts and life in order. To all who have been filling my Instagram with sweet words of encouragement, I thank you! 


Hope you come back soon,
M


 

when you kind of forget you are pregnant

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Hello sweet friends! Welcome back and happy 2016. I am officially on maternity leave and, even though I thought I would have all the time in the world to blog, nap and take it easy, it does't seem that way. However, I trying to make the best of this semi-quite week before baby comes and my entire world is turned upside down.

It is hard to forget you are carrying around a 7 plus pound baby and that your mid-section is resembling a basketball more than an actual belly, even so there are those (sadly hilarious) times that you might forget that you are pregnant. This happens to me more than I would like to admit it... and perhaps it has something to do with my clumsiness. I do "feel" pregnant all the time at this point, however there are days that I forget the new girth around my mid-section, or that my body really has changed and I am now incapable of doing things I once did just a few months ago.

I'm not sure if you are pregnant - or have been - but you know when you try to squeeze between your co-workers to only remember that you could no longer suck in your gut, and ended up knocking everything and everyone in front of you? Yep, that happened to me a lot.

And that feeling of disconnect with the length and size of your belly - as if it's not a part of your body - has led to lots of moment where I forgot I was carrying a baby. When people would ask me when I was due, I would be all like... "Say what? What I DO?" :) Not to mention opening the fridge door only to realize it hit you right in the belly... bumping into things like the pan and stove while cooking also count. I hate to admit, but my every growing belly is guilty of turning up the heat on the gas stove every single time I cook. I have though of taking the knobs off... ha!

Hugs are just as different when you are pregnant! I often try to give someone a hug (yes, I am a hugger) and remember that I need to shift to the side in order to properly give the hug, otherwise I would just leaning forward and feeling all kinds of awkward.

There are also those moments when you still think you are that tough girl despite your pregnancy statues, and can still accomplish amazing feats of strength and physical fitness, until you try and fail miserably. I went from yoga inversions to downward what?? No way my head is going that far down my legs without me passing out.

Most of all, I find it funny that it takes longer for your mind to adjust to your physical changes and how this can often put you in funny situations.  How about you - have you felt anything like this before? I sure hope I'm not the only clumsy, ops I forgot I was pregnant gal out there ;)


Hope you come back soon,
M


rockabye baby

Thursday, December 17, 2015


The nursery is complete! I mean as complete as one room can be in my house. Truth be told, I have a terrible habit of constantly changing things around and I hate doing final room updates. Because in my opinion, they are never done. The actual living in them and making subtle changes as needed is when the decor actually comes together. It's the perfectly imperfect home that I always seem to talk about. Even though, there was a thought process when you picked out every single item in the room, the messy part of living is what actually makes a room, your room.

Caroline's nursery is no different, and maybe the fact that we haven't met yet made it even harder to decorate. It was a constant challenge between my personality and this little gal's unknown taste and routine. How are you supposed to decorate for someone you have never met? I'm not sure what her needs will be, or how girly (or neutral) I should go. In the end, I know that all this is superficial and that she probably won't even notice where the rocking chair looks the best. But somehow, it seems that all mothers-to-be are fixated on making the nursery a sacred space. Maybe it's the wanting and needing to connect with this little human that we are so tenderly growing inside us - it's the first thing we are actually able to provide them with. A home, a space to nurse them when they are hungry, and soothe when they become unsettled. 



That is what I focused on when picking out furniture and color palette. I wanted it to be a peaceful and calm space, but have a few elements of playfulness. It also had to fit our small budget and my minimalist personality - I tend to freak out with clutter and piles of colorful plastic stuff. Craigslist became our very best friend - purchased the brand new rocking chair off a local mama - and we managed to re-purpose a few things that were no longer needed around the house - like the ikea bookcase and the frames I once used in the walk-in closet that we no longer have. 



I also had a bunch of wine crates that were given to me by this lovely older guy when I was shopping at an estate sale a while back and used two of them clued together to make the toy chest. To be honest with you, I am not that handy with DIY projects, so I totally got my mom to tackle these things. She also made Caroline a few other items that I love dearly. 



In the end it all came together with this gorgeous rug, my mother in law so kindly gifted us. I found it on Etsy and it is made in NY, pet and kid friendly! Deciding on a rug was definitely the hardest part of the process. I absolutely hate those colorful kid ones you see online, and I didn't want it to be boring. This one did the job! It ties in the flower theme and adds the playful aspect to the space. Maybe later on I'll need to add more padding to the hardwood floors and will have to purchase a larger area rug. However, this will definitely stay there as a top layer - who doesn't like laying rugs am I right?  

The space works perfectly and all it needs is a an extra sleeping space for when the grandparents (and other family members) come stay with us. That is on the list for sure. But for now, I will sit here and take advantage of all this natural light... 

Hope you come back soon,
M

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,
M     


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!

Organize.
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,
M

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,
M   

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,
m

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,
m

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,
M



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

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