velvet bow

I couldn't purchase these VELVET BOW FLATS quickly enough.

When I stumbled upon them on Pinterest from the fashion week runway, I thought that with that perfectly oversized, dramatic bow, they were a stage piece that wouldn't make it to retail that I would have burning a hole on my wish list. I literally was stumbling over myself when I found them in my size this fall. The one good thing about our extremely over heated late fall and winter here in San Diego, was I was wearing flip flops and hadn't yet had something that I deemed 'velvet appropriate.' 

Well, lucky me! Because then I score them on 30% off sale for Cyber Monday and was shocked that I tended towards the black than my normally obvious choice of navy. 

And lucky for you they are currently on sale HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. {high heel version available HERE and HERE. if you are unable to find the combination of size and color on sale, there are more size options available HERE but not currently on sale.}


workout wednesday: Current favorite green smoothie and my weekly schedule

best protein green smoothie

I also just ordered this chocolate protein powder

I love a green smoothie.

Even I am out and about and stop to get one, I always ask for extra spinach. You can't taste it and it gives you an extra boost of iron, protein and all the other awesome things that spinach provides. While I have loved a peanut butter banana smoothie for years, I can not get enough of this smoothie now and crave it all day long. {I had one this morning and I might have to go make another!}

- Coconut water
-Frozen Mango
-Nub of peeled fresh Ginger
-Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
-Pinch of Turmeric
-Filtered Water 


-Spinach: I normally do a helping handful and then whatever leaves fell out when I was grabbing.
-Mango: If this fruit isn't your jam, grab something else. Try 1/2 banana or a small handful of berries. I do about enough to fit into my palm
-Ginger: I love the taste of this in my smoothie! I add about an 1inch peel nub, but maybe try a little less while you get used to the mix of this flavor
-Spices: I tip each bottle over the cup once
-Water: For whatever reason, my BULLET BLENDER wasn't having it this morning so I had to go back and add more water to make the smoothie more of a smoothie than an ice cream constituency. If you want more of a smooth taste, add unsweetened almond milk. If you want to save on calories, skip the coconut water and just do regular water

CorePower Yoga Sculpt

3.35 miles run outside with Leo and McKinley


Kayla Itsines Week 8 round 2 Abs & Arms

OrangeTheory 6am class

Kayla Itsines Week 8 round 2 Abs & Cardio

3.5 mile run pushing the double stroller
and McKinley's last run

4 mile walk pushing the stroller, going up every hill I could find in our neighborhood!




It was love at first sight.

And it was one sided. We picked her up at the airport, where she flew in from Maryland. She was scared after being in a crate all day and a little loopy from the intense day. I couldn't snuggle her quickly enough, but she look petrified. 

We began the drive home, with my husband driving and her on my lap. About 20 minutes into the drive, with my husband and I repeatedly looking over at each other, exclaiming how cute she was, McKinley looked up at me and wagged her tag making a large banging noise on the side of the car. 

When we got home, we placed her on the grass, which she then proceeded to hop around my husband's feet in a circle. The shy scared puppy we first met about an hour before was replaced by the goofy, loving dog we would proceed to have in our family for the next 6 and 1/2 years. 

She was my best friend, my first born and my sidekick. She would be in the deepest of sleeps, but would get up and follow me when I moved rooms, started to cook dinner or head to my office. She was a little skeptical when we brought Madrid home, wondering what kind of animal we brought with us, but promptly met Leo with a hard wag and a joyful lick, once she finally noticed him... after he had already been home two days. 

She had had stomach issues for a while, but I always thought it was from eating the kids' food, her useful task of cleaning anything and everything on the floor, or me sharing my lunch with her. It got worse about two months ago, so we sent her to the vet for testing.  And after it didn't get better and actually got much worse, with her loosing about 35 lbs in a month {She was originally about 120, and closer to 130 in these photos, and was down to 85 as of a week ago.}, they did an ultrasound, called me with the awful news that it looked like cancer and asked me to consent her for biopsies. 

We got the awful potential news on Tuesday and the confirmation on Wednesday.

Her week of lasts was brutal. She was visibly uncomfortable and there was nothing we could do. We tried to keep her happy, I hand feed her salmon, eggs, cheese and purchased and cooked red meat for the first time in my life. I was half convinced she was only eating because I was feeding her. 

The last days were torture, to see her try to be a part of the family, want to eat but be so uncomfortable. To want to play with the kids or snuggle with me on the floor, but move to a quieter spot after a couple of minutes.We took her on her last walk, her last trip to the playground, cried the last time we brought her bed upstairs and I was up multiple times her last night, giving her love and keeping her comfortable. 

She died on Saturday, January 13th, in my lap, with my husband and I whispering to her how much we loved her and what a good dog she was. 

She went beautifully, peacefully and with lots of love. 

We love you McKinley.

You are the start to our perfect family, an all too awesome girl to only be around a short time. You loved the kiddos, going for walks and runs and being a family dog. I miss you every time I go into a room, when I come home, I look for you to great me in the hallway and I reach over the side of the bed first thing in the morning, looking for my morning greeting. 

If you got a chance to meet her, you know that she was special. Our home seems so empty and my heart is broken. My husband said that her presence is in the silence, instead of the silence being a reminder that she is gone. I am getting better everyday, slowly, ever so slowly moving through the stages of grief. Instead of crying thinking about stories and that she isn't here anymore, replacing that with laughter, thinking of stories about what a goofy, fun loving, special girl she was.

We will never forget her and she will always be the start of our family. She made our house a home and two newlyweds a family. She will be missed but I look forward to carrying her with me, always. 

photos by my dad, Asha Bailey Photography, Susan Magre Photography, my dad again, and the remaining by Asha Bailey Photography


instagram lately

mom and daughter

This photo was taken after a magical Saturday eating at Our Country Club. We have recently been making it a weekend habit to head there with the kids after a morning of getting house stuff down and each taking our turn to sneak away to get a workout in. We are still in awe of where we live and love our gratitude filled life. Plus, the kiddos love running on the grass after lunch...
You can see Madrid giving me a hug in this photo and the hint of a smile on her profile. 

jean shorts outfit

I wish I remember what I was thinking when my Instagram husband snapped this shot. But this expression was perfect for how I felt about returning to real life after a magical Christmas season. 

I thought this STAR AND TULLE TOP was perfect for New Year's Eve, but to be honest, I ended up wearing a cocktail dress but I love this top with distressed denim and feminine pumps or pumps. 

striped ruffle sleeve dress

This dress and shoes sold out, but I have included budget friendly similar options below.  


faux fur and mom shaming

faux fur vest outfit

faux fur vest outfit
blush top and white jeans outfit
blush top and white jeans outfit
louboutin and white jeans outfit
louboutin and white jeans outfit
saint laurent nano bag outfit
saint laurent nano bag outfit
blush outfit
blush outfit

more faux fur vest options

Mom Guilt: It is a real thing. 

Unfortunately, mom shaming is also a real thing. As I shared on my Instagram Stories this week, I have seen a weird combination of the two on social media with moms "bragging" how they have no "help" when they have countless hands helping with their children. Listen, mom life is awesome, but it takes a village. I quit my dream job to do this full time and still need extra help. 

I thought things would be a little different when we had our first child, but we kind of hit a wall and the first time she was out of my sight {seriously!} was when she was 6 months and I finally relented and hired a nanny. Before I became pregnant, I always said that I wanted to be a working mom, doing it all. As I was a nurse working at a hospital before becoming a mom, I thought that this would be 100% doable. And then I met her. My daughter, the child that I was worried that I would never be able to have and something that I've known that I have wanted my entire life. {We had a little difficulty getting pregnant, but I will share that another time.} Within the first week, I thought "Oh, no..." the thought of leaving her with my husband so that I could take a nap was something I struggled with, so I would instantaneously start crying {hello post partum hormones!} thinking about leaving her for 13+ hours. Originally, I thought that with nursing, I could find a good balance between the two worlds that I loved. Many, many moms do it, and I applaud them. But the thought of this in those early days, petrified me, scared me to death and made me nauseous. 

I took my calling as a nurse extremely seriously: I wouldn't do anything too tiring the 24 hours before, including having a glass of wine and I would get to bed early in hopes that I would and could be the best nurse that I could be the next day. If you are lucky enough to know a nurse in your life, then you are familiar with the idea that for a 12 hour shift, your time is not your own. I would go hours without eating, peeing or having a break, even when I was 8 month pregnant. In my early months, I would {somehow} balance morning sickness, intense nausea and getting sick between passing meds, holding hands and being a patient advocate. Even before becoming pregnant, this would lend itself to me being extremely tired on my days off. I would often stay in my pjs until 9am and then workout and get our life running for the next time I would be out of the house from 5:30 am to 8pm. The heart wrenching feeling of being concerned that I wouldn't be able to do my career with 100% effort and I would be away from Madrid for half the week, made me come to the realization that I had to take an extended leave. 

This is what we decided was best for our family and it was feasible. 

This is not to say that you cannot be a working mom and do it all. This is not to say that you can't be a nurse and a mom. This is to say that I give you a million percent respect for finding the balance. I just didn't see it feasible for what I wanted. 

{Disclaimer: as Madrid became older, her naps more consistent and myself more confident, I was able to find a new balance and that is when the blog became more of a career. }

Because of all of this, I thought, "I don't need help. I got this!" Then I hit a wall. 

I wasn't able to have any moment to myself, I wasn't able to get to the gym and I lost my sense of independence. Not to mention, I was 8 months + over due for the dentist and I would have loved to get a pedicure. {call me vain, if you must.}

Enter our amazing nanny. She was amazing with Madrid and totally understood my mom technique, my obsession with a nap schedule and my desire to feed an organic, sugar free diet. The first time I got in the car, leaving them at home together, I was panicked but relieved. I was gone for 3 hours and felt a little like myself again. I went to the gym and the supermarket and returned with more energy, calm, patience and 100% felt like I was a better mom with a little time away. We were able to get a date night every so often and then I didn't have to miss out on family things that happened after bedtime. I remember one of our first nights out was to celebrate my parents' wedding anniversary with my parents and brother. 

So, this is turning into a super long story, but yes, we have help with childcare. My in-laws and my parents both live close by, but they have lives of their own and aren't always available to babysit. Plus, sometimes we need a babysitter so we can go to dinner with them! I have been mom-shamed more than once, with moms saying, "well, you have a nanny," or "I don't have childcare, like you do." These comments have normally come from people that have different situations than I do, with their moms helping around the clock, husbands that don't have work demands like mine does, or other kinds of childcare. 

I have seen similar kinds of mom shamming on social media. Moms letting it be believed that they don't have any childcare help, going so far to be prideful and judging to other moms that are honest about their childcare, their moms helping or having a nanny. 

We should all be uplifting to each other, supportive, even when having a difference in opinion about this issue. Honest to what each of us is doing to make our home life and mom life happy. By being honest as to all the hands that you have that help and letting other moms know that it does indeed take a village, will give everyone confidence to make the best decisions for them and their families, instead of feeling guilty that their life might not look likes your edited down version that social media provides.

So yes, I have a nanny. Sometimes, when she is with the kids, I am working, running errands or going to the market. And sometimes, I am getting a pedicure, a haircut or a solo outdoor run in. 

SO.... the point of this post: I don't want any mom, reader or not, to feel guilty or compare themselves to others. Unfortunately both are inevitable, so I want this post to give you confidence and to tell you something that you already know: what you see on social media is not the whole truth. Do not feel inadequate because you don't "measure up" to other moms that you see. I guarantee that they have countless moments where they are comparing themselves to other moms too, wondering how they do it all. Just because you see a gorgeous, edited photo with happy, smiling children with a mom that looks like she just put in 100 hours at the gym and woke up with the perfect blow out, doesn't mean that she doesn't have full, live in childcare, daily stress or subject to those "bad days."

Social media is a blessing but a curse. With it, I have found friends, countless inspiration and a way to make an income while still being an at home mom.  With it, I have also felt insecure, inadequate, fat, and like a bad mom.  I have had many of you send me direct messages on Instagram that you like how "real" I am, so I wanted to share that the truth about how I make our household happy, healthy and efficient. I hope to never make anyone feel inadequate or compare themselves to my life. I share because I hope that it inspires and never discourages. 



Workout Wednesday: my weekly schedule & 45 second Interval training

best 7/8 workout legging
UPF TANK // my favorite ever! 7/8 LEGGING // RUNNING SOCKS and my little boy's toy car

As I said in my IG Stories yesterday, I came up with the below interval training after being inspired by my recent frequent visits to OrangeTheory. I would have loved to wake up before everyone yesterday morning to sneak in a class and be back during breakfast, but because I have been going so much lately, I have a gnarly blister on my palm and wouldn't be able to do the rowing machine interval at 100% {what a smug workout thing to say, am I right?!}

Therefore, I thought I would attempt to recreate my own little treadmill interval training, with 45 second increments. 

minutes 0-2
warm up at your starting pace
mine is 5.7mph

minutes 2-2:45
increase by adding at least 1.0mph to your starting pace
mine was 7.5mph

minutes 2:45-3:30
sprint at whatever speed you can handle
my first increment was 8.3 mph

minutes 3:30-4:15
return to your starting pace
mine was 6.0mph

Repeat for at least 3 miles.
I included a list of times with my speeds at the bottom of this post if your rather not decided for yourself.

Repeat, changing your middle and sprint speeds, as needed. Push yourself! But don't feel bad to mix in an increment where you go much slower. I did this for 3 miles and felt like I got a great workout in under 28 minutes. If you are a new treadmiler or are getting back into working out for the first time in a long time or for the first time, ever, don't be too hard on yourself! Here are some starting goals:

1. start slow {walk}
2. make a goal for a low time {10minutes} or low distance {0.75 miles} and know that you will improve the next time and over time.
3. be proud of YOURSELF for making the commitment, for however little time you did, and be proud that you set up a little you time and crushed the beginning of the pavement of the road to being a treadmill enthusiatist, like me!

CorePower Yoga Sculpt 60 minutes class


25 minutes walking uphill on the treadmill 
while doing shoulder presses and bicep curls with 5 lbs wights



6 am CorePower Yoga Sculpt 60 minute class

CorePower Yoga Sculpt

minutes 0-2: 5.7mph
2-2:45: 7.5mph
2:45-3:30: 8.3mph
3:30-4:15: 6mph
4:15-5: 7.7mph
5-5:45: 8.5mph
5:45-6:30: 5.7mph
6:30-7:15: 7.4mph
7:15-8: 8.2mph
8-8:45: 5.9mph
8:45-9:30: 7mph
9:30-10:15: 8mph
10:15-11: 6mph
11-11:45: 7.7mph
11:45-12:30: 7.9mph
12:30-13:15: 6.2mph
13:15-14: 7.5mph
14-14:45: 8.4mph
14:45-15:30: 5.6mph
15:30-16:15: 7.2mph
16:15-17: 7.9mph
17-17:45: 5.9mph
17:45-18:30: 7.7mph
18:30-19:15: 8.2mph
19:15-20: 5.7mph
20-20:45: 7.5mph
20:45-21:30: 8.5mph
21:30-22:15: 5.9mph
and so on...



maple holisitcs

As you saw on my Insta Stories last week, I have recently fallen in love with MAPLE HOLISTIC shampoo. Honestly, my hair has never felt better, been shinier and holds a curl better than ever. I hate to admit it, but before...I tended to use shampoo that I can purchase at the grocery store. I know that these products are full of chemicals, including cancer causing products but I always figured how different can shampoo really be?

Well, MAPLE HOLISTICS has me convinced that there is BIG difference!

Not only can I not believe how different my hair is, I love that you don't need conditioner, one less product you are buying, one less product in your shower and one less product on your body! If after two weeks, my hair feels this awesome, I can't wait to see how my hair feels after I finish the bottle.

This is the shampoo that I am currently using {this is the conditioner that I haven't tried, or needed!} but I am excited to try this one next. But honestly, my current shampoo is the smallest never ending bottle, ever! I haven't needed to wash my hair as much but I am still surprised how long it has lasted! Also, I don't suffer from dandruff or dry scalp, but I still love the difference that my hair has shown. And I can not believe that that photo is my hair!

Thank you to Maple Holistic for sponsoring this post. 
all opinions are strictly my own. 



instagram lately

These shoes are just too good. Velvet, an oversized bow and they come in navy. Which is surprising since I kept them in black. I got them on a crazy Black Friday sale but I totally think that they are worth paying full price {but I did manage to find them on sale here!}

all black blogger outfit

Lately, I have been loving dressing in all white or all black. I find that these kind of outfit are extremely versatile. I wore a similar outfit to a Church Leadership dinner and the next day to run to the market with the kids. 

This ASYMMETRICAL SNAP FLEECE was something that I feel in love with last year but it sold out quickly and I missed the chance to get it when it was quickly restocked. This year, I snagged it the second I saw it, even though this winter in San Diego has been unseasonably warm. {The week of Thanksgiving, it was in the 90s!} It has been restocked countless times but I promise promise that it will sell out again. 

Original post HERE

Just because the holidays are over, doesn't mean you can be in love with this dress. This BOW FRONT DRESS is on major sale here. I am wearing a 4P. It also comes in navy and I think the red would be super cute for Valentine's Day, bachelorette or any early 2018 or spring weddings you may have. With this dress on sale an under $70, how many excuses do you need???


1/2 zip

Patagonia half zip

Patagonia half zip outfit

white ripped jeans outfit

monogrammed tote bag outfit

barrington st. anne tote

barrington st. anne tote

barrington st. anne tote

This company is one that I recommend all the time. Their totes are amazing, but I feel in love with them when I was sent their diaper bag. As you saw on my Instagram Stories before Christmas, I couldn't resist and got myself this, but picking a monogram is more difficult than you would think. 

Check out my Instagram tonight to check out the pattern and monogram I picked!

this post isn't sponsored and I planned to share a post on mom guilt or why I didn't make a New Year's resolution, but #bloggertruth, I was watching The Bachelor on Wednesday night {we were too crazy busy to watch it before then} and I was exhausted and had a hard time focusing...

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