Guys, I am so excited to share that my blog post on the importance of meditation was published by Elephant Journal!! It was a goal of mine to be published this year, and I’m so thrilled that it came to fruition. Here’s to hitting more goals in 2017! Please click the link to check it out on Elephant and share it if it speaks to you. ❤️
I hear it’s supposed to be in the 70’s tomorrow but right now its freezing! I lived in Minnesota for 10 years so I really shouldn’t feel this way, but the South has a way of thinning the blood quickly!
I love everything about this outfit, and the best part is that it keeps my warm while still looking cute.
Puffer Vest: Calvin Klein
Pom Pom Hat, Oversized Shirt and Bar Necklace: Express
Sports Bra: Jockey
I love this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald. It reminds me that today is another chance to make little moves towards whatever goals and dreams are whispering to me when things get quiet.
My dream is to have a beautiful life. For me that means a healthy and happy family, financial security, good food, travel, art, lots of books, a peaceful mind, and love.
I’m reading an amazing book right now, “The Four Agreements” by Miguel Ruiz. The main premise is that true peace and freedom from suffering is found when we do the following:
1) Be impeccable with your words (No gossiping or beating yourself up. Instead, use positive words towards yourself and others);
2) Don’t take anything personally (Nothing others do or say to you has anything to do with you, they are fighting their own demons);
3) Don’t make assumptions (Ask questions and establish clear communication with your partner and everyone else about what you want); and
4) Always do your best.
I am guilty of being extremely hard on myself, and have been on a long journey of self-love and acceptance. This book is another tool I will use to help create and nurture the beautiful life we all want and deserve.
Boots: Nine West
Bar Pendant: Nordstrom
When I was a child, my mother would tell me the story of my birth on my birthday. Even though by the time I was six, I knew it by heart, she always indulged me because she knew it made me feel special. As one of four kids, we constantly fought for attention (and the best cereal), and so she knew by telling me the details of that day, I was made to feel important on my birthday. I wanted to carry on the tradition while the memories are still relatively fresh, and detail my experience of bringing DC into the world so that he will always have it, and feel special too.
My youngest son, DC, (i.e. Douglas Clifford after his grandfathers) turns two years old on Sunday. If you’ve ever met DC you know that he is someone that plays by his own rules, and no manner of chiding, begging, or bribing will make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. There is a great deal of academic debate on the topic of nature vs nurture in determining the character and personality of an individual, but I have the opinion that most of who we are, and how we behave is derivative of nature. DC is so diametrically different in demeanor from his more timid and acquiescent brother, that sometimes I wonder how they can be related. Personalities aside, his birth, as is often the case, was indicative of his determined and independent personality.
Days before my due date (January 30th), my parents drove from Florida to help with soon-to-be older brother Nash for when the time came for me to leave for the hospital. Life was fairly unchanged, my pregnancy had been easy, and I was able to run, work, and sleep normally. On January 28th, my husband, Sam, left for an overnight work conference. Thankfully it was in Atlanta where we live. I spent the evening with my parents re-watching old episodes of Game of Thrones as they caught up on Jon Snow’s influence over the Wildlings, and then went to bed. I remember feeling extremely alert and having trouble falling asleep, but around 11 pm, I finally did. Around 1 am, I woke up with strong cramps, and I knew DC had decided to make his appearance while his father was away for the night at a conference. I was beginning to know DC.
Nash’s birth had taken exactly eight hours, so I knew I had time. I called Sam and he, in his quintessential, easy-going manner, said “Ok, tell me when your water breaks and I’ll leave.” (We naively thought this birth would go exactly as Nash’s had, where the water breaking with him had signaled us to leave.) I went downstairs and turned on the t.v. which woke up my concerned parents. I told them to go back to bed and rest because labor had just started and we wouldn’t need to leave the house for a few more hours. Adorably, both of them got out of bed and stayed with me, and so we decided the best course of action was to finish the Game of Thrones marathon. Finally, the contractions had become powerful enough to warrant a drive to the hospital, even though my water still hadn’t broken like it had with Nash. Since Sam was staying overnight at the conference hotel, my dad took me, and luckily we had just skirted the infamous Atlanta morning traffic.
There were a lot of vehicles on the road despite the early hour, and the winter sky was still dark. When we arrived at the hospital, my dad ran towards the Labor and Delivery entrance to see if we could enter there, or be forced to go through the main ER entrance because it was so early. While I waited for him, I texted my sisters, who both immediately texted me back with words of encouragement, solidarity, and love. I felt as if they were in the car with me, comforting and guiding me along. Soon my dad was running back to the car and leading me out of the cold and into Labor and Delivery.
At 6:30 am we checked-in at the hospital, and I was given a comfortable room, fitted with a large birthing pool. The midwife asked if I wanted to wait to fill the pool, warning that warm water will sometimes delay the progress of the labor. I smiled, and politely asked her to fill it up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad more miserable, and even though I wasn’t making any noise, he told me that just knowing I was in pain was torture for him as a parent. I told him to go to get some coffee, and I labored alone for a few more hours as women have done since the beginning of time.
My reliance on meditation carried me through the continuous waves of pain. I focused only on my breath, and imagined the safe delivery of my baby. I trusted in my body and the process, and knew that I would be fine. I never allowed fearful thoughts to take over, even when it was hard for me to catch my breath. I treated the pain like riding a wave, trusting that I wouldn’t drown. I let go completely and let my body guide me. The warm birthing pool was essential for keeping me comfortable and allowed me to easily change positions as needed. The hours flew by and soon the sun was shining through the cracks of the closed blinds.
The midwife and nurses came in periodically to check the unborn baby’s vitals, acknowledging that all was well. Sam arrived at the hospital around 9:30 am, after not escaping the aforementioned traffic. DC was born an hour later in the birthing pool, and as soon as the cold air touched him, he cried out loud and strong. I know that I was waiting for Sam to arrive in order to give birth, and I still jokingly rebuke him for extending what would have been a perfectly fast and easy labor because he had work obligations.
DC came into the world happy and healthy, and we knew that our family was complete. Later in the day, my parents brought Nash in to visit us, and upon seeing them, I burst into tears. I broke down, not from exhaustion or the hormonal crash (which is very real) but because some of the most important people in my life, individuals whom I love the most, were all in the same room–every one of them feeling this intense, palpable love for this newest member of the family. It was a perfect moment that I will never forget.
We left the hospital the next day, and life ever since has been one chaotic but beautiful wild ride, thanks in great part, to the unbelievably cute and indefatigably rebellious DC.
Today’s dreary rainy weather called for an outfit that was comfortable, yet still work appropriate. I opted for a buttery soft sweater, statement necklace, dark wash jeans and classic heels to finish off the look. I feel so comfortable and ready to take on the day, no matter the weather outside.
Jeans: Rag and Bone
Heels: Calvin Klein
Bracelets: Alex and Ani
One of my favorite shows, Chopped, challenges competitors to make delicious meals out of seemingly random ingredients. I am no chef, but I enjoy pretending I’m on the show when faced with a surplus of leftovers or fruit that’s a tad too ripe.
Such is the case today when I opened the fridge and found a full container of strawberries that were not long for this world. I decided to whip up healthy protein smoothies for me and the boys and they turned out delicious!
2 cups of strawberries
1 package of GoGo Squeeze Organic Strawberry Banana Applesauce
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup of chocolate milk
Today’s Outfit of the Day is inspired by some of the things I love most. I have found that everyone has a certain style, whether they realize it or not. I lean towards a more classic vibe, lots of solids and block colors. Black and white are staples in my wardrobe, as is anything neutral.
With these pieces setting the foundation, you can add a trendier feel through the jewelry you choose or a color popping handbag. Even make-up can be used to complete the look and add variation to a go-to style uniform.
Jeans: Paige Jeans
Bag: Louis Vuitton (Neverful MM Damier)
Coffee: Venti Americano 😂