TINY NYC ARTIST

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Today was one of those days. The kind of day that made me think “was there a full moon I missed last night?”. Lucas is energetic but today he was on turbo. Fighting me tooth and nail on just about everything. Running around like a tiny wild man and leaving behind a path of destruction. After his nap (thank the heavens for a 2 hour snooze fest!) I offered him pasta and meat sauce for lunch. Nope. I made mashed potatoes. Nope. Cookies and strawberry butter? Almost, but no cigar. Finally I got him to eat a cup of greek yogurt, which coincidentally he had for breakfast. At that point I was in no mood to fight. The boy wanted yogurt and that was that. As long as he was eating, right? Right? So on to the point of this post. We have a wonderful art studio in our neighborhood that we have passed so many times but I never felt Lucas was old enough to sit still and actually enjoy it. Well hello Monday! The Craft Studio it is! ANYTHING to calm him down. vsco_0-2vsco_0-6vsco_0-11vsco_0-3vsco_0-7vsco_0-9vsco_0-5vsco_0-12We chose a batman ceramic for daddy and Lucas painted his little heart out. The neon colors and crazy brush strokes..the kid is an art genius! The Craft Studio is a gift sent from up above. The staff is beyond friendly and helpful. They also have infinite patience. Lucas might have took about 15 painting breaks to peruse the studio and check out the toys. He also might have tried to help sweep. What can I say. He likes to clean like his mama. If you are a NYC mama I highly encourage you to check it out with your little ones! Thank you to The Craft Studio for saving the day and this mamas sanity.

 

A LOVELY SATURDAY

So the hubs and I arrived home Saturday afternoon from our parents only getaway (I promise to post pics soon!) and to be honest – we couldn’t get home fast enough. I needed to squeeze and hug and kiss my boy. I was shockingly okay for most of the trip but I found myself occasionally listening to voice notes and videos which I had to quickly shut off before the water works started. When someone asked about Lucas I’d whip out my phone and start scrolling through photos. “And here’s another one. Isn’t he cuuuutttteee?!” Oh yes. I was that mom. Fast forward to Saturday. We threw our bags down and Ivan went to collect the boy from my mom. Soon after I received text telling me just how stoked he was to see daddy. Shrieks and giggles galore. When I heard the door unlock my heart jumped and I ran to greet my boy. He was happy alright. Happy to see the dog. Cue the violins playing very sad music. Seriously dude? I might have squished him with mama love anyways.
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We took a walk to grab crepes for dinner and he did such a great job! Held our hands for 10 blocks without trying to run away. 2 days away and he’s become a champ city walker! There is a street close to our apartment that is closed off from incoming traffic where people usually walk their dogs, play ball, relax, etc. On the way home from dinner we stopped in to let Lucas run and let out some toddler steam. We met a gentleman who was sitting on a bench with a set of congas and maracas. Lucas gave him the side eye and a grin – the boy loves him some music! Immediately he invited Lucas to come over and play. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I’ll say it now – I heart NYC. Where else can your toddler have a 20 minute personal jam session in the street? Lucas was in music heaven. As we were leaving he thanked us for allowing Lucas to play with him and share. Sometimes I feel like the luckiest mama in the whole world. My little guy brings us so much joy and it is so very satisfying to watch him share his heart with others. I also made sure to thank this lovely man profusely. It is a gift as a mom to watch others  interact with my son with such patience and love. For a few minutes I got to witness pure magic.

 

BESOS DE MAMI | DOS BORREGUITAS

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Karla and I are both giving Dos Borreguitas two thumbs way up! This adorable company features clothing and accessories for the whole family. Every design features fun sayings in Spanish. A few of my favorites: Chicle: Pegado a Mama (Gum: Stuck on Mom), Mijito/Mijita (my little son/my little daughter), and Se Habla Spanglish (I speak Spanglish). Every shirt is produced using American Apparel organic shirts and they are super soft. Love!

IMG_7744IMG_7751IMG_7659IMG_7675IMG_7701Karla and I talked with Cynthia Garza, founder and owner of Dos Borreguitas. First off, I can’t express enough how lovely she was! We absolutely loved her responses to our q&a and we hope you do too.

Any advice you would like to share for someone dreaming of starting a business or following their passion?Do one thing every day that moves you closer towards doing what you really want to do. I’m a former journalist so making the jump to starting my own business was a really scary idea at first because there was so much to learn and do. It can feel overwhelming at times, but just make a to-do list and keep moving forward and scratching things off that list, one at a time. You’ll get to where you want to before you know it. How does being Latina affect the way you raise your children and what traditions do you hope they will continue to pass on? I very much want my daughters to grow up knowing all the traditions I knew, everything from cracking cascarones at Easter to attending posadas and eating tamales at Christmas. We live in Washington, D.C., though which is a fabulously rich cultural city to raise kids, but also a hard place to find a good authentic taco or a bonafide piñata. I grew up in South Texas and my husband in South Florida where it’s all Latino all the time, but here it takes real effort to connect with our culture. That’s a big part of the reason why I started Dos Borreguitas, because I wanted to somehow channel all these wonderful cultural ideas and experiences to my own two little ones. And in return, they’ve been such a source of inspiration to me. What part of being hispanic do you love the most?The passion, that little flicker inside!

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Dos Borreguitas got it right with their quality and fun sayings. Lucas rocked his tees and received so many smiles from strangers who clearly approved of Luche Libros. PS I absolutely loved this fun spin on the infamous Mexican wrestler Luche Libre. The graphic features Luche Libros: two books in battle. Because clearly books and learning rule! You can follow Dos Borreguitas on Facebook and Instagram @dosborreguitas. And don’t forget to head on over to Karla’s blog to see France sporting her tees and read part two of our interview with Cynthia!  

PARENTS ONLY GETAWAY AND A FEW UPDATES

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I just can’t contain my excitement! This Thursday the hubs and I are leaving for 2 nights for a wedding. NO BABIES ALLOWED. I’m going to miss my pumpkin like crazy but I am crazy excited for 3 days of alone time with the mister. I can’t even remember the last time we went away just the two of us. I love the feeling of checking in to a hotel – just thinking about it is making me feel all relaxed and giddy ). I have a ton to do before we drop off Lucas at Nana’s house but there’s most certainly a newfound pep in my step. If you follow me on Instagram I apologize in advance for the amount of no baby allowed photos that are about to flood your feed!

A few links you should check out:

10 day trips to take in NYC with your kiddos
7 modern and sweet crib sheets for your nursery
My list of must have apps for new mamas
Create an at-home spa for your toddler

Also, one of my fave kid stores, Little Vida, is having their annual summer sale. Up to 60% off, ya’ll!

20 MONTHS

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20 months people! How is this happening? Lucas is almost TWO YEARS OLD. I. Can’t. Believe. It.
A few big boy updates:

– His personality is shining and he is quite the people person/baby. We are still working on sharing and I feel like the such the proud mama when he offers a toy to another child.

– He really loves his quatro legos. He can connect them properly now and will try different blocks until he gets the right fit.

– We are using a fork and spoon, ya’ll! Well technically he’s been using his spoon for a while but this month he has fallen in love with (and is shockingly good at) using a fork. By the way, I  almost cried the other night when I couldn’t think of the last time I actually fed Lucas an entire meal. Mr. Independent is breaking my heart.

– I’ve been going over colors everyday with Lucas and just last week he said what definitely sounded like “rojo” (red) when I showed him a picture of a red dog in his Andy Warhol color book.

Summertime has been nothing but fun with my boy. He is such a joy and has been a trooper even in this crazy NYC heat wave. His love of the sprinklers is still going strong and the joy he brings his mama grows each day. How is it possible that you can love another human being that much. Just when I think my heart is full, I wake up each day and fall in love all over again. Lucas, thank you for keeping me on my toes, allowing my heart to grow beyond measure, and for those sweet, slobbery kisses. Happy 20 months baby!

BESOS DE MAMI | THE TRADITION OF A LULLABY

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This week on Besos de Mami, Karla and I wanted to share one of the many sweet traditions we have created with our babies. Lucas is a big cuddler. Always has been (I know. I’m a lucky mami ;). Part of our cuddling and snuggles involves singing lullabies. Our favorite is Que Linda Manita. The lyrics are:

Qué linda manita que tengo yo
Qué linda y blanquita que Dios me dio
Qué  lindos ojitos que tengo yo
Qué  lindos y negritos que Dios me dio
Qué linda boquita que tengo yo
Qué linda y rojita que Dios me dio
Qué lindas patitas que tengo yo
Qué lindas y gorditas que Dios me dio
 
Translation:
What a pretty little hand I have
So pretty and fair that God gave to me
What pretty eyes I have
Pretty and dark that God gave to me
What a pretty mouth I have
Pretty and red that God gave to me
What pretty legs I have
Pretty and chunky that God gave to me
 
I remember bringing Lucas home from the hospital and humming this to soothe him. His crying would fade into a tiny whimper until there was silence and his cherub face would be nuzzled into my chest. I’d kiss the top of his head and listen to his sweet snores. Bliss. I still sing this very lullaby to Lucas and I hope he will sing it to his own children someday (que the waterworks) and continue the tradition. As he gets older I hope hearing the lyrics will evoke memories of his mama rocking him. Memories of kisses, endless snuggles, and love. So much love.

YESTERDAY WAS GOOD

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Yesterday was good. Oh yes it was. The hubs woke up with the baby (at 7! thank you sweet heavens!) and I slept in until 9. At 10:30 we all fell asleep again for a family nap. It was glorious – there’s really no other way to describe it. I decided to take a quick solo trip to our newly renovated Good Will and scored a few gems. Afterwards the boys got dressed and we headed to our favorite Central Park picnic spot. I love it because it’s enclosed. So basically it’s a giant baby play pen.
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We stopped to watch the bubbles at the entrance of the park but um. Lucas had pretty much zero interest so we moved on. We claimed our patch of grass and let the boys run free. We blew our own bubbles (which Lucas promptly emptied out) and relaxed. Nothing big. No crazy activities. But it felt so so good. We left as soon as we felt a little drizzle and little man fell asleep in his stroller. We stopped to get some Mexican (noticing a trend here..;) and Lucas woke up just in time to eat an entire basket of tortilla chips and salsa. This gal right here had shrimp tacos. Yesterday was good.
tee c/o little boogaweezin | pants by mini rodini from little vida | moccasins c/o freshly picked

A NYC SHOWDOWN

This week was trying to say the least. I shall call it the week that tried to bring me down. Test my patience if you will. Lucas has decided that 5am is his new wake up time. Now, I have an amazing hubby who takes the morning shift but when you live in a studio there’s not much wiggle room when it comes to privacy and peace. I’m a pretty solid sleeper but a screaming baby at 5 in the morning..I mean, you try getting some good shut eye during that commotion. Not only has Lucas become an extremely early riser, he wakes up full of energy. Seize the day is this boys motto! Side note: it must be said that I go to bed extremely late. I’m usually catching up on emails, doing work, and watching the Kardashians on volume 1. This is totally my own fault but nevertheless 3-4 hours of sleep hasn’t been cutting it for me.

So anywho, when the hubs leaves to work it’s just the energizer bunny and I. Normally this is awesome. Just my boy and I ready to take on Manhattan. This week I was totally drained. Fast forward to Wednesday. 3 hours of sleep and a cab ride later we were on our way to visit our gals Lindsey and Stella on the West side. When we arrived I reached down into my bag to grab my debit card. I noticed the screen was blank and asked the driver to please turn it on so I could pay. Apparently he had already turned it on and I had pressed the cash button, making the on screen option to pay with a card disappear. Never happened. He proceeds to get upset, insisting I pressed the button then moving on to say that my son pressed it. Now, I know Lucas is showing signs of being a baby genius but the odds of him pressing the cash button in the 2 seconds it took to grab my debit card was highly unlikely. Impressive, yes. Possible, yes. But seriously? I tell him I don’t have enough cash and I have to pay with my card. He told me I would have to walk to the ATM (2 blocks away) and leave all my belongings in the car. When I said NO, he would have to reset the machine (which btw is 100% possible) he flew off the deep end. He officially begins to curse, shout “you’re trying to cheat me!”, and tells me I’m trying to run out of the cab. DUDE. I’m holding my baby, have two huge bags, and my stroller that’s worth more than a 5 hour joy ride in your silly cab stowed away in your trunk. Where the heck was I headed? I start repeatedly asking him to stop talking to me and to please stop yelling in front of my baby. I then called Lindsey to come down with cash and got out of the cab to wait outside. The man gets out and proceeds to scream at me. At this point a crowd is forming and people are staring in disbelief. I finally called the cops. My blood was boiling and let’s be serious. I was carrying Lucas and I in no way wanted to put him in harms way. You can’t fight crazy with crazy.. The cops show up and the driver is still yelling. The first thing out their mouth was “Are you serious? She has a kid.” Another lady even stopped to yell at the driver! By the time we all left and headed to Lindsey’s apartment I was sweating, shaky, and down right exhausted. Our morning with the ladies was great but I honestly didn’t think I’d survive the day. By the time Ivan got home all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and be alone.

The rest of the week continued with 5am wake up calls and my patience running thin. I found myself feeling short followed by guilty mom feelings soon after. Sucky to say the least. There are weeks when I feel like I’m on top of the world. Super mom! This week brought me down a notch and made me get off my high horse. Every day can’t be perfect. There will always be moments when I feel aggravated. Times where I feel like nothing I am doing is enough. AND THAT’S OK. Tonight Lucas gave me so many snuggles and fell asleep in my arms on our bus ride home. No matter how hard it gets, he thinks I’m the best and that’s all that matters. Every day is another opportunity to start fresh and if those daily morning hugs I get from my baby are any indication, all is forgiven in the eyes of our children. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.

Now here are some of my favorite pics from the week. Just to prove it wasn’t all that bad.

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BESOS DE MAMI | TROMMPO

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This week Besos de Mami has teamed up with Trommpo. This incredibly gorgeous children’s line was founded in 2010 by Catalina Bouza and Dean Xavier. Carolina is Uruguayan and this is where their workshop is also located. They locally produce all of their garments on family based farms! The Trommpo signature design is simple: bold, graphic, and with imagination and play in mind. When Karla and I received our packages in the mail we couldn’t get over the cut and quality of each piece. Luxurious to the touch – swoon! They fit both Lucas and France beautifully with room to grow. Best part? They look amazing and the kids are comfortable. Winning all around. Karla and I had the opportunity to chat with Carolina and she was an absolute doll.
What do you enjoy doing on your free time?
Going to the movies, spending time with my sisters, walking our dogs, going to museums and food markets.
 
Tell us your top “mom essentials”.
A loving attitude and patience. Having enough time to share with her and being really present in our playing sessions.
 
What is your biggest inspiration?
Modern and contemporary art. I love going to museums to get inspired. 
vsco_03vsco_0-32vsco_0-23vsco_0-62vsco_0-51vsco_0-41Truly, their shop is full of gorgeous staples that belong in your kiddos wardrobe! These are pieces that you will treasure and can be passed down. You can read the rest of our interview (and see little France modeling her threads) over on Karla’s blog. You don’t to miss little France modeling ). Carolina – thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Trommpo has won over this mamas heart.
Karla and I are honored to highlight amazing companies influenced and run by strong, Latina women. We hope this will empower everyone to have the courage to make their dreams come true!
romper and coat c/o trommpo

DIY | TODDLER TANK

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I purchased this shirt about a month ago but after careful consideration I decided it looked much cuter on Lucas. It’s a woman’s crop top but in the world of children’s fashion anything goes. I decided to turn it into a tank and had my mama help with her sewing skills.
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Iron the shirt and lay it out on a flat surface. Make sure all the seams are lined up.
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Pin the seams on the arms of the shirt to hold them in place and make sure they are aligned.
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Use a pencil to mark where you’d like to cut. I wanted a slouchy fit so my mom made the markings about 2/3 away from the collar. You can use one of your toddlers tanks as a guideline if you want a more standard look for the sleeves. Either way, create your markings with a little more space – you can always cut more or sew the sleeves more to your liking. It’s better to give yourself a little room to play with. Once you cut, you can’t go back!
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Use good cutting shears to cut where you made your marks (regular kitchen scissors are tougher to use on fabric). DO NOT remove the pins until you’re done cutting.
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Time to grab your needle and thread. Turn the shirt inside out and slightly fold the unfinished hem as you go along. Sew using small stitches.
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That’s it! Since my shirt was originally a crop top I left the bottom as is. If you want to shorten your tank, use steps 3-5 to create the length you want. This is in no way a “perfect” tank but I think it looks pretty sweet. Plus it’s incredibly quick and easy. This would be a great project for a fun vintage find or even one of your old school college shirts. Happy sewing!