Monday, August 11, 2014

Leaving a Child

As we were planning our vacation, I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted it to be just the two of us. We haven't been away from Jonathan for more than a day in the last two years and it was something we needed as a couple, as parents, as adults. 

So we booked our vacation and arranged babysitters for Jonathan but as the day to leave him behind approached, my heart dropped. I was worried and besides myself. Honestly, I could hardly sleep the night before thinking about the worst possible scenarios happening while we are gone.

How could I do this? How could I leave my baby behind (with family, mind you) and just enjoy a week without him? How will he be without my constant care and attention? How am going to survive without his flamboyant personality and happy giggles? 
And to be honest, I don't know how.

Just to paint you a fuller picture of how much of control freak I am, here is exactly what I did before leaving. I scrubbed my house from top to bottom and washed all the laundry, changed all the bed sheets and stocked fridge with milk. Then I packed Jonathan's bag which included pretty much everything from ten spare shirts to fever medication and bibs. I wrote out a detailed list of his every day routine and gave to family members (yes, I know). 

Let's just say that packing for this vacation was heck of a lot more work than it would have been staying home. But I had to make sure that people who were able to raise a few children of their own would be well equipped looking after mine (oh the irony). 

In the end, I know he's in safe hands and that this time away from every day life is so good for our marriage and relationship. I know it in my mind and I know it in my heart. So I'm putting my dear baby in The Father's care and praying for him to be safe and content while we are gone. 

No matter how much we love out children, relationship with our spouse should always come first. I know sometimes it's hard to get away but it's absolutely needed to renew, refresh and rekindle the love. After all, children thrive in a loving and caring atmosphere and  benefit from a happy marriage.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Reality of Instagram

Life as a fashion/beauty blogger may seem perfect according to social media. I certainly don't make it my goal to make my accounts look like a magazine spread, neither do I have resources to do so. I don't have a gorgeous walk-in close (it's shelves and some hangers), my house isn't going to be featured in a magazine, and nobody wants to know where I got my rug. I have a normal life. I'm flawed and this is just how un-perfect my life is. For real.

Caption: Look at me grabbing some caramel frappuccino while out and about. Of course, I have a floral top on and my hair is naturally this pretty. I'm having fun and loving it. 

Reality: I was running super late and snapped this picture while waiting for traffic light to turn green. I was in such a hurry that didn't even read the caption after I wrote it. Talk about embarrassing!? And the frap? Forget it! It was absolutely nasty and way too sweet - we don't have fancy Starbucks for miles around here. I was starving the rest of the day because I didn't eat anything in the morning trying to get myself and Jonathan ready. Oh and the pretty blazer? It's covering the fact that my top isn't ironed and has baby drool on it. Oh the life of a momma (through Instagram filters)!

Caption: Just running errands, looking polished and pretty. Oh you know, kids are being kids but I totally got this. 

Reality: I had to run errands with both kids (babysitting for my sister) right before nap time, and they were getting cranky.  As we pulled up to the grocery store it started raining, I mean it was the worst torrential downpour. We were waiting on the rain and kids didn't like it. I jumped out of the car as soon as it stopped pouring and stepped into a huge puddle. As I was getting my niece out, Jonathan got all excited about the puddles and jumped right in. I had to carry both of them into the store because there was so much water. As we were about to leave, I realized my niece was walking barefoot. After a few minutes, we located the shoes and safely proceeded toward the parking lot. Phew, that was exciting!

Caption: Look at our kids playing together and smiling at each other. They play so well with each other and always share, being the cutest little toddlers. They have so much fun in the sandbox!

Reality: It was Jonathan and Zoe's very first time playing in the sand box. They kept fighting the entire time and pouring sand all over each other's heads. The sand was everywhere - even in the diapers and mouth. While one of us wasn't looking, they found water and got back into the box. It was a mud box! Jonathan was snatching what Zoe had and vice versa, so there was a lot of screaming and hitting going on. The worst part was when we went inside and the sand was everywhere! Bath time.

Caption: I'm enjoying lunch by myself, while kids nap, while reading the Bible. I'm such a spiritual person.

Reality: Kids woke up as soon as I set down. So much for me, myself and I. I had to hurry up and eat lunch while folding laundry because let's face it, no one has time to sit and eat. Bible reading? It was a great idea but it didn't happen at all that day. Up and at it with million things to do, mainly mopping the floors, doing laundry and cooking dinner. So the lunch got cold before I could actually finish it, and reheating grilled cheese is just nasty. My life is glam!

Caption: Just doing a little shopping in my cute little outfit. My kid is just standing next to me and behaving like all other angel children. I bought half the store because you know, fashion blogger and all.

Reality: I didn't even buy anything because I already spend too much shopping that month. Sure my outfit looked cute but my feet were burning from walking all over in those stupid boots. Jonathan was throwing a fit and wouldn't sit in the stroller, so I took him out. He layed on the floor, looking outside the dressing room through the space between the door and floor, saying hi to all the strangers. He wanted to drink, then snack, then nap and who know what else. While in the dressing room, he kept pushing the stroller to run me over, laughing every time. It was fun for him, but hectic and stressful for me.

Friday, August 1, 2014


top: Forever21
pants: Loft
shoes: BCBG
bag: Ali Express
I have one pair of printed pants and to be honest, I wear them more than any other pants. I'm lacking in good quality jeans and very much dreading the day when I will have to go shopping. Jean shopping is my least favorite because I know how hard it is to find a good pair for my shape. I hate low rise jeans that expose unnecessary elements every time I sit down, or bend over to pick up my child. At the same time, I don't want mommy jeans. It's a very delicate balance right in the middle of not to high and not too low on the hips. Also I do not want to spend half an hour getting into those jeans so they cannot be very skinny, but I'm not a fan of boot cut either. 
So, I as you can imagine, jeans are quite  the commodity in my closet and I only have two well fitting pairs. Come fall, you will find me in every single department store, grunting and sighing at the impossibility of finding well-fitting jeans. But for now, it's printed pants all the way!
Have a great weekend ladies! 

xo, Anna 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Judge Not

Summer is our favorite time of the year. Jonathan loves all the outdoor activities and spends most of his time running. The shoes take a beating every time he's outside and don't last very long. So, long story short, I found myself at the mall the other day walking from store to store, searching for toddler sandals. Notice that Jonathan hates flip flops. Every time I would try to put them on his feet he would say that they hurt. Apparently retailers forgot how to make regular boy sandals because I could not find even one pair.

Jonathan was completely tired after about an hour of walking around. I was getting frustrated because I couldn't find what I was looking for, he didn't want to sit in the stroller but I couldn't let him walk as he would run away. So after another attempt to calm him with a toy and some snacks, I did what I have judged others for - I searched the YouTube for cartoons. The connection in the mall wasn't so great and it was taking a while to load one 15 minute video but it kept him occupied. He was watching a cute Russian cartoon that I have watched as a little girl and being somewhat cooperative. Target came to the rescue with only the very last pair of sandals in his size, and we were on our way home.

It's taking me a while to realize that there are many ways to parent. Some parents let their kids go to bed late and then sleep in the morning, other parents have a bed time and stick with it. Some parents don't have food guidelines and others have strict instructions what their child can and cannot eat. No matter what your parenting style is and no matter how paranoid or laid back you are, I don't judge you. I'm doing the best I can and you are doing the best you can, so we are in the same boat. People come from all sorts of economical and societal backgrounds, having gained the knowledge of what's normal from their parents. If someone has been less fortunate or simply disadvantaged in some areas, it's not my job to criticize their skills and abilities. We, as parents, need to encourage and help each other along because this job is hard enough without someone criticizing me for doing my best.

xo, Anna

Monday, July 28, 2014

Navy Blue

 dress: H&M
blouse: Loft
bag: Ali Express
necklace: Target

Whenever I go shopping, I'm instantly drawn to dresses. In almost every store, I look through the dress section first, then consider everything else. I love dresses. I love them formal, casual, floral, solid and denim. There is just something feminine and classy about a girl in a nice dress. It instantly gives you a whole outfit and you can play around with it in so many ways. 

My body shape is sort of disproportionate. I have small bust and womanly (haha) hips; so whenever I want to buy a dress, it's a struggle. If I get a size that fits my bottom, it's way to big on top and vice versa.  This dress didn't look like much on the hanger but after trying it on, I fell in love.

Lesson of the day: always try things on. Sometimes it feels like a waste of time but in the long run it will save you a trip back to the store to return something unwanted. I have done it way too many times, so take it from me. Thank you for reading!

xo, Anna