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Monday, September 30, 2013

Anniversary Trip Part 1!

I seriously have the sweetest husband. For our anniversary he planned a weekend trip to New England--somewhere we have never been. He even planned out babysitting arrangements with our families and initially wasn't going to tell me in advance about the trip, but he figured it might freak me out about having to leave the baby suddenly. I've never been away from Mariam for more than 4 hours since I exclusively breastfeed. 

We had so much fun and the weather was perfect! I couldn't have asked for a better vacation. There was lot's to do and all the food was great too. We left Friday in the morning after dropping the girls off at my mother in law's, and got to Boston around 4:00 pm. We didn't have time to explore Boston other than eat at Legal Seafood (which was really good) before we drove out that night to Falmouth in Cape Cod where we would be staying. We spent the next day exploring the little quaint town and then taking the ferry to Martha's Vineyard where we explored some more. That evening we got back, headed to our room and then headed back out to the town to eat at the local pub. It was so fun and I actually enjoyed a cape codder...(or 2) while I was there as we listened to live music. With pregnancies so close and then so much time breastfeeding, I haven't had a drink in over 2 years. I had taken my breast pump so I was able to pump and dump and still keep up my supply--though I only pumped twice a day. Hopefully this stint won't mess with my supply too much. 

The next day we rented some bikes and took explored the shining sea bikeway. It was so beautiful and tranquil. We got back with our bikes around 3, then drove out to another town in the cape to explore some more, and find little trinkets for the girls. After we got our fill of the city we headed back to our hotel, went swimming in their heated pool, ate at a restaurant on the grounds, and then called it a early night.

Today I am exhausted! Beyond exhausted really. We had to wake up at 3am to drive back to Boston and catch our flight. We could not wait to see our girls though. I seriously felt knots in my stomach just dying to see them and I couldn't stop smiling as we pulled into the driveway of my mother in laws where they were. The girls were watched by both my mother and H's mother at different times so that was really nice of them, and I felt comfortable that they were in good hands. 

I have tons of pictures so I'm breaking this up into two posts.

(Saturday-Falmouth & Martha's Vineyard)


Friday, September 27, 2013

Our Anniversary

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

Happy Anniversary to the love of my life, the father of my children, and the guy who still makes my heart skip a beat. He makes love easy. I don't take for granted how lucky I am to have this great love in my life, and I still thank God everyday that he's in my life.

There is something I would like to share that I've kept secret for many years from my own family. I had a secret ceremony the night before my actual wedding. I guess you could say yesterday was also my anniversary. Let me back up a minute. I am Mexican and Catholic and H is Arabic and Muslim. I was born in Illinois and he was born in Jordan. We found each other when we were living about 2 miles from each other in Texas. Meeting him is when my life changed forever.

When we set about planning our wedding, our biggest challenge was going to be where? I knew that whether it be in the catholic church, or in a mosque, it was going to be one of those places. It was important for us to have one of our religions recognize our union as an interfaith marriage. It was going to be far too challenging to go with a catholic ceremony in a church--and his family probably wouldn't have attended, so we were married on September 26th in a mosque. I remember earlier in the week going to Target to purchase a modest black dress and I borrowed a black scarf to cover my hair from my muslim babysitter. The night of, I had plenty of family members over visiting and preparing for the next day so I dashed out letting my parents know that I had some last minute honeymoon details to work out. I only told one of my bridesmaids what I was really up to.

I arrived at his house, changed into the clothes I was to wear, and then we went to his older brother's house where we had dinner with his family. He drove us over to the mosque and was our only witness. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous while I was there. I used to be shy around new people and I had to wait in a dining hall with several other women and children while H and my future brother in law went off to get the ceremony arranged. What felt like an forever yet really only an hour, finally H came back to get me and led me to another hall. I entered a room with the sheikh at a desk and two men kneeling in the center of the room. We both took a chair and my brother in law sat behind us. There were Arabic words I didn't understand spoken and then I was asked questions in english. Such things as how much H would be giving to the mosque for our marriage were mentioned, and other things I cannot remember. I do however remember being asked if I was going to convert. I started to cry. I was torn. I meant to say no, but I was afraid he wouldn't marry us if I did. Later H told me I didn't have to say I was going to convert (though I had no intention of converting and am still in fact a Catholic).

After all was said and done we headed out and were driven back to H's house. I really can't remember if we kissed while we were still on mosque grounds. I remember we hugged. Once we got back to his house, I quickly changed and rushed back home. I was excited and still a little nervous about my whirlwind ceremony. I told no one about it and only my best friend a few days later. The reason I kept it from my parents is because I didn't want them to be mad at the fact that I went through with a muslim ceremony but H did not do a Catholic ceremony. They loved him right off the bat, but I didn't want it to seem that I was sacrificing for him, and not the other way around. I guess I wanted them to see first what a great choice I made in partner and father. I'm beyond lucky and he treats me like a queen.

Phew so there, got that off my chest. I don't open up too much about personal matters other than when I'm feeling overwhelmed with the girls, but I wanted to share this because it is possible to find love through someone you might have never thought of. H and I are from two different nationalities, different religions, yet it works for us. Our differences have never been an issue with us or our children.

The one photo I have from September 26th


Our wedding on September 27th


A honeymoon picture...though we have sooo many. Here's one. ;)


Ps. No I'm not pregnant here even though it looks like he's cradling my stomach. Lol!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

New hairs

I finally got my hair cut and colored this past Friday and I'm now suitable to be seen in public again. Lol. I'm kidding--but my previous roots were pretty awful coupled with the color, seeing how I've dyed it myself the last two times. 

I feel much more put together now. The hair color is more reddish in the sun than I thought it would be seeing how I pull a lot of red in my hair, but it was pretty awful when I went in so I wasn't expecting miracles. The next time I hope to be able to make it more ashy light brown. 


Monday, September 23, 2013

Little girl pink

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was not too shabby as the weather was glorious. It was in the 80's and felt so amazing compared to how ridiculously hot it's been here in Houston! I walked outside each morning and just went "Ahhhh" It's still nice today and hopefully it stays that way so the girls and I can spend some time outside.

I also got some more rest this weekend. Layla caught a stomach bug last Monday and had a fever for three days. Her highest temperature was 103.9 at the doctors office at the doctor's office and I just felt so bad for her. She was miserable and it broke my heart. We all didn't sleep well for a few days. By Thursday she was much better once her fever subsided thank God. So that's pretty much what went on last week. I got pretty behind with orders and didn't get much done due to the naps gone awry and Mariam not sleeping well at night, but the silver lining was that I hired a seamstress. She'll be starting this Thursday and I'm ecstatic about it! I'll be starting her out on a few pieces at a time and she'll be working from her home. I can't wait to have my inventory built back up so I can just ship for the most part when ordered and work on designing more and the new items in plan for next year. 

So happy to see this little face smiling again.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Navy Girls




My best friend's youngest turned one this Saturday so the family and I attended the birthday party, and the girls finally wore their matching polka dot skirts. I even had Serena join in on the color coordinating fun (Yes, I'm that mom sometimes), and I wore a navy dress too. Cheesetastic much? Haha. It's fun though!

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cough..cough

End of summer cold = No Fun

I've had a cold since Monday and I'm not sure where I got it, but the girls had a cold about a week ago, so maybe I was storing it for a little while, or Serena brought home a germ from school that my immune system couldn't kick. I'm so grateful that though I've been chilly, sneezy and wheezy, my throat has been ok. I absolutely hate having a sore throat and I tend to get them with my colds, so I'm happy that not this time.

It's Thursday now and I'm not feeling a whole lot better yet, but I'm sure it's partly my fault for not getting enough rest. With 3 kids and a business there is no such thing. I've still been staying up till midnight. Tsk..tsk.

So as to not make this post a complete downer, let's talk shop. Tomorrow I'm meeting a potential seamstress. I'm actually on the hunt for two. One to help with the baby items and another to start working on something all new for 2014. I'm excited and nervous about it. I should have hired a seamstress early this year, but I pushed on doing most of everything myself, though I did have a marketing/social media intern this summer. As to no seamstress, I'm a bit of a control freak and I was nervous about trusting someone. You see I did a series of interviews last year keeping everything anonymous as far as my last name, and the name of my business during the interview process. Reasons that would make sense if I explained, and basically one of the women who took home a test bib to sew along with a premade one and thread, needles, etc, stole from me. A grown mother of 3. Unbelievable! I was so upset and it's an even longer story, but I'll spare the details. I stopped my hunt after that. I just stay up late night after night, and other than my family not have much of a life, but I love it at the same time. However I've had to temporarily stop some plans such as seeking out new wholesale accounts, working with some flash sale sites, and starting the new project as of a month ago because I can't handle all of it plus my regular orders. There's so much more that needs to be done, and so much more beautiful things I want to create, but I can't do it alone anymore. It's time to suck it up and put my trust in someone that can assist me. If I don't I'll only be hindering myself and the future of this business.


Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Trendy Tot Tuesday-Florals & Blues


Today I'm linking up with Kelly at Modern Camelot for Trendy Tot Tuesday. When it comes to dressing the girls. I like dressing them in all colors except for black. Not a big fan of browns either, but lately I'm liking a few pops of brown for fall. 

Here is what the girls are wearing today. Do not be fooled by this loveable face. That little blondie in floral pants pulled my ponytail while I was bathing her sister, and then later bit me because she was mad that I wouldn't let her take a sippy cup of milk in the living room. Welcome to the terrible two's of Layla folks. More on that later. 


A few other memorable outfits with blue in them.


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Recipe Share: Peach and Raspberry Crumble


This weekend I made a dessert that blew my tastebuds away! Peaches and raspberries were on sale at my local H-E-B, so I picked some up thinking to make some sort of pie with them. I wanted a recipe that was simple to make yet delicious and I totally scored with Joy the Baker's peach and raspberry crumble. 

With a few simple ingredients most of us stock in our pantries you can make this awesome dessert. It was seriously so easy and good. If you like fresh fruit desserts, you'll love this!

Peach and Raspberry Crumble

makes 1 8×8-inch square baking dish

5-6 medium ripe peaches, sliced

1 cup fresh raspberries (if using frozen, just thaw and drain)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Place sliced peaches and raspberries in a square 8×8-inch baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, oats, spices, and salt. Add the butter and toss the mixture together with your hands. Break the butter up into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small pebbles and oat flakes.

Toss a generous handful (about 1 cup) of crumble topping into the peach and raspberry mixture. Toss loosely with your hands. Spread fruit evenly in the pan and top with the remaining crumble mixture. Bake until fruit is juicy and bubbling, and the top of the crumble is slightly browned and crisp, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve with vanilla ice cream. Crumble is delicious served warm and can be stored, covered, in the fridge and reheated in the oven or microwave for serving.

{Photo and recipe from Joy the Baker}

Thursday, September 5, 2013

She's wearing white after labor day..

{Dress: Gap (old) / Shoes: Target / Headband: Honeygirl headbands}

and that's ok, because one, she's a baby, and two these pictures were taken last week. Hee-hee. Does anyone actually follow the whole don't wear white after labor day? I don't know about you, but I rock my white jeans year long.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Style File-Baby & Toddler Wear

I hope everyone had a relaxing weekend! Seems like most did--except for me and H at that. We got little sleep thanks to a few rascals that wouldn't stay asleep or would crawl into our bed around 3 in the morning. We also finally painted the kitchen. I'll tell you what, if I never start a kitchen renovation project again, it would be too soon! What a pain. Seriously it's a miracle H and I didn't kill each other in the process. All that's left now is to hang the drapes back up. That's for another day though. Today I want to talk about something fun...like baby and toddler clothes.

It's no secret that my favorite color is.....

wait for it.....

Pink!

Ha-ha. Big shocker right? With a house full of girls, pink can be found pretty much wherever you turn, whether it's due to a toy on the floor, or one of the girls wearing something with pink on it. As much as I like pink, I also love other colors and lately I've been drawn to navy, white and browns. The girls have enough pink so I haven't bought anything with pink in it my last few shopping trips. As far as prints, I love florals and polka dots. My go to shops for the girls these days are Old Navy, The Children's Place and Marshall's. I'm not a big online shopper other than for accessories, business needs, and household items because I'm a stickler about things fitting right and that instant gratification of driving home with something new. I did a recent post of a few recent purchases down below. Layla wore one of her new rompers this weekend and I loved how comfortable it looked on her. Perfect for this hot Texas weather!


Head on over to the Strawberryswingandthings blog and link up with some other lovely ladies to read all about their stylish littles. 

Have a great Tuesday!