Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Up Up & Away!

Between a serious cold (read plague) that won't go away, an ever-growing pile of agreements on my desk at work, and a quick trip to the beach in SoCal...the past few days have just flown by!

On Wednesday, I packed up the tot and trekked down to SFO for a little beach getaway with my family in San Diego. With only a 90 minute flight, it's the perfect location to jet to when you just need to get away (and boy, did I need to get away)!
I'm always asked, "is this tot's first flight?" No. Not even close. This little jet-setter has been just about everywhere including St. Thomas (USVI), Toronto, Charlotte, and Texas. But, traveling with an infant is much different than traveling by yourself and something all new mom's can easily prepare for. Don't be scared - I promise that getting on that daunting 6 hour red-eye with your 12 week old isn't as bad as it sounds!

Here are some tips & tricks that I've picked up over the past year:

1. Pick a family-friendly airline. You want everything from the check-in process to boarding to run seamlessly. Virgin America and Delta have both been amazing with tot as we prepare to sail away! From comping the bags with baby equipment to helping you fast-track security, both airlines have been phenomenal when it comes to the extra baggage you have to carry. Also, double-check on if you're allowed to pre-board. I travel with tot alone quite often, and always ensure that I befriend the gate agents ahead of time so we can get those few extra minutes to settle before the crowds race in.

2. Stock up the diaper bag (we have the one below)

Gray Classic - Pottery Barn Kids
I've been delayed for hours before and it is not fun unless you have your essentials with you. But, be smart about what you pack - you don't need the entire kitchen sink. Messy flights aren't fun so we always try to snag gear that is as mess-free as possible. Tot's bag always has a few of these stuffed in there:
3. If you're a couple that travels a lot (like us), you'll need compact and light gear for your little one. We knew some of our destinations can be a hard on our baby equipment so we purposefully did the research to ensure each product we purchased had a great warranty and could withstand a couple flights a month if we needed it to. 

For tot's stroller & car seat - we went with a brand we knew we could rely on. From the customer reviews, UPPAbaby led the pack in both safety and compatibility for parents. If you're renting cars at each of your destinations, you want a car seat you can easily plug in without any hassle or sweat. Who wants to work during a vacation? Not me! The Mesa is federally regulated, which means it can easily be placed on a plane in the seat next to you so you can enjoy that same episode of Vanderpump Rules you've seen 7x already while tot naps peacefully. I can't say enough wonderful things about UPPAbaby. Their customer service is phenomenal, and they're available at your local Nordstrom if you ever need any maintenance or additional gadgets to amplify your momma gear. Portability and safety - what more could you ask for?


UPPAbaby Cruz
UPPAbaby Mesa

4. Last, but not least...sleeping arrangements. You obviously can't carry a crib around with you and while most hotels offer you cribs, it's tough to pack your bumpers and safety gear in an already jam-packed suitcase. This was a tough one for us and it required a lot of research - we don't always stay in hotels and wanted the ability to gate-check or even bring our pack n play with us as a carry-on. After a lot of trial & error in the quest for a portable crib, we stumbled upon the Guava Lotus Crib. 
It's incredibly light-weight (13 lbs - including mattress and crib sheets), provides a hands-free portable option (backpack straps), and can easily fit in the overhead bin on any major US airline. While I may be book smart, I'm not the quickest with equipment set-up, but this crib can be assembled by ME in less than 15 seconds. It's easy to wash and most importantly, tot sleeps peacefully in it. She even sits in it while I'm working from home some days instead of using baby-gates. 

I don't think words can truly justify how in love we are with our Lotus Crib - take a look at this quick video for more information: https://vimeo.com/54987870

While every parent needs to decide what works for them while traveling, we've found these few little pieces of information incredibly helpful along the way. Always trust your gut and over pack if you need to - trust me, no one's judging. 

And momma's, I promise after a few test runs - flying alone with little one will be a piece of cake. See you at an airport soon - we'll be the girls in matching bows. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels...

Let's get real - being a hard-working mama, a kickass force in the boardroom, and staying fit is nearly impossible. I like sleep, sleep is good. And, post-pregnancy pounds might be the most frustrating thing to rid yourself of. They're like that clingy ex who won't stop "poking" you on Facebook, seriously. Go away.

I'm diabetic so healthy living is a huge priority in my life. Pregnancy was one of the most difficult obstacles for me, and during my 9 months of incubating my tiny tot I was incredibly knowledgable about what I put in my body. Pregnancy wasn't a chance to binge on my favorite junk food must-haves, instead it was about nourishing my body + soul with positive food and juices. But, even with all the caution I took during pregnancy, I still had pregnancy pounds to lose and it has been one of the most challenging aspects of my life. Once Reagan made her regal appearance in this world, I assumed slowly transitioning back to my old fitness regime would do the trick and in a few months, I'd bounce back. Giant negative.

"Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. Hard is what makes it great."
- A League of their Own

I needed to do something more drastic than a treadmill and some Pure Barre. I needed change. A massive life change. Enter SoulCycle.
Walking into the studio for my first class was beyond terrifying yet exhilarating at the same time. The white interior is oddly calming, especially for a girl who just popped a baby out of her and has never done a spin class before or really any cardio class for that matter - planking at Pure Barre was as cardio'ish as I got.  The scent from the gardenia candles quickly filled the locker room and instead of panicking, I felt a sense of ease as if this was going to be a meditation session. Let's get real, it's not a meditation session - it is the hardest 45 mins of your life and at times, your legs feel like they may just fall off. Your instructor will glide you through the class with ease, teaching you to ride to the rhythm of the beat. The studios are illuminated with only candles so the workout is a private session between you and the bike. The last few minutes of every class provide you with a reflection and inspirational period. It's those few moments that mean the most to me - getting back to what is important and what needs to wash away. Working out alone is boring and cumbersome - with SoulCycle, you're a part of a tribe and you ride together. I needed motivation while I transitioned to this new fitness lifestyle and SoulCycle has offered me that. I'm a spin junkie now, I get it. Make fun of me and my overpriced Palo Alto WARRIOR tank - it's cool. 
The pounds won't slip off, as much as you wish they would, but the stamina you build is one of a kind. And, slowly but surely - I started making my way back to my pre-tot weight. Granted, it took a few months of non-stop cycling, but things started melting away. Through it all, I found my Soul (cheesy - don't laugh).

Do I still have pounds to lose? Absolutely. But the strength I've found in these classes has made me realize that being the best me doesn't mean I go back to being a size 0/2 - I'll get close, but if I'm happy that's honestly all that matters. The thrill of SoulCycle keeps me craving more and that's what a healthy lifestyle is all about. Besides, you can't really complain about leaving a class dripping in sweat knowing you've kicked some serious ass with some super cool people. 

So you have a choice..you can throw in the towel or you can use it to wipe the sweat from your face. What will it be? 

See you at the studio!

Monday, March 13, 2017

What's in my bag?

Each week, I'll be delving into my magical beauty bag to share some of my favorites with you all. From great deals I've discovered at TJ Maxx to those Birchbox samples I can't live without - every Monday I'll update you with some of my staples hiding in my purse. 

Confession? I'm a lackluster lipstick girl. It's the one thing I've never been able to master whether it's shopping for a new shade or finding one that I can't live without. As a mama on the go, I'm constantly searching for that perfect shade of red that can survive longer than my Starbucks latte.

"Red lipstick is to beauty what the LBD is to fashion. The difference is that when you walk into a room wearing a red lip, people notice you." 
- Francois Nars

Until recently, I was torn up by the constant struggle to find the right "one." My beauty soulmate. I went on multiple lipstick blind dates and felt love-lost. But, thanks to the very sweet lady at Nordstrom a few weeks ago - my life has been forever changed for the positive. 

Welcome Chanel Le Rouge Crayon de Couleur. 

An absolute breath of fresh air in the make-up realm, this lip crayon is incredibly portable and has survived multiple hours for this busy mama on the go.  With a fabulous array of colors, this long-wear lip crayon does the trick and then some. I rarely even gloss over it as the color is just that bold & spot on. You know on a bad day there's always a kickass lipstick that can glisten your world. It's a my new must-have and I've already picked up my two favorite shades: N05 Rouge + N06 Framboise
So ladies, put on some red lipstick and live a little!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Oh, hello!

Hi there! 

Welcome to our little virtual oasis. 

First off, introductions are necessary. My name is Becky ("Mama") and, this little blonde bombshell on my lap is Reagan - our little Tater Tot. We're an east coast family surviving the chaotic & often stunningly beautiful life here in Silicon Valley or San Mateo to be more exact. I'm a 29 year old working executive mama here in the tech madness and Reagan is a prime 10 months old. We share our adoringly sweet life with the Mr. ("Dadda") and our little pup Cosette. 
Here, we'll share our daily struggles as a mama & tot finding the never-ending work life balance, life stories we've accumulated along the way, tips + tricks we can't possibly keep to ourselves, fantastic trips we take, and all things lifestyle & fashion because let's be serious - a good pair of shoes can solve most world problems (kidding..somewhat).
From the constant giggles we share in our little home to the tears we have to wipe away when things get tough - we can't wait to share our daily adventures with you - our spirit sisters. We're over the moon excited to get to know each and every one of you who stop by to visit. 

Sending all our love today and every day...
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