Style, Stillness, and Shaking Things Up

It's been a while since I wrote a post dedicated to style, life updates, etc so here we go! First, I want to say thank you readers for taking the time to read my blog post and visit my little space on the internet. I love sharing style, family moments, and discussing/reflecting on things I have learned while navigating through life as an individual, wife and mother. Speaking of motherhood, my son recently turned one so I will definitely dedicate a blog post to that cause mama has had quite a year! Lastly, unless stated otherwise most photos on this blog are taken by my husband because we're a team so thanks for supporting my endeavor!

From Curacao with Love: Travel Diary Part 2

The colors of Curacao are captivating! We dedicated half a day to walking around and getting lost between the colorful streets of Willemstad while buying snacks and a few souvenirs along the way The capital city is lined with streets and alleyways full of colorful buildings, shops and murals. Take a peek below!

From Curacao with Love: Travel Diary Part 1

Curacao is currently my favorite vacation destination right alongside Trinidad and Tobago. The beaches have some of the clearest water I've ever seen (along with Aruba's beaches). Food, transportation and lodging are affordable and there is always something to do that won't break the bank. 
When I visit islands, I'm usually not pressed to go to the beach every day but Curacao really does have some the most beautiful beaches and I visited the beach during the three full days we spent on the island amongst our other activities. 
What I love most about Curacao, aside from the beaches, is the vibrancy of the Island. The colors of the buildings and overall atmosphere are so cheerful and uplifting! Naturally I styled my looks to complement the vibrancy around me. 
What made this trip so special was that I spent it with my family. It was a Birthday trip for my mom and spending quality time with my mom, brother, husband and son, all at once, was so meaningful to us. My mom was happy to be with her kids at the same time and my brother and son bonded after not seeing each other for months. We all arrived Saturday afternoon so we decided to take it easy; we went grocery shopping, bought dinner and relaxed. We rented a townhouse from Airbnb that had two gorgeous pools as well as access to the ocean! After breakfast, my husband took photos of me and then we headed to the ostrich farm with the family!

26 Trips Around the Sun

Why I took a Six Week Break from Instagram

As far as I know, the purpose of fasting is to grow closer to God. Fasting is a way of submitting your will in exchange for God’s. I decided to fast from Instagram because I was desperate for God to provide a break through in my life and Instagram had become my idol. An idol is anything that absorbs your time and love more than God. While I love God, I realized this year that spend way more time on Instagram than with God. Maybe the reason I’ve been struggling so much this year is because I was not seeking God wholeheartedly. Sure, I would pray, read my Bible and have devotions each day but I didn’t truly want to serve God more than my desires.
My desire to waste time on social media scrolling through Instagram, minding other people’s business was not only pushing me away from God, it was hindering productivity and triggering my depression. The first thing I noticed within my first few hours of abstaining from Instagram was how much I was able to accomplish in a relatively short amount of time. 
At the end of the first week of my fast, I realized that I did not feel depressed at all.  It was literally the first week this year where the signs of depression did not surface in my life. Sure, I was still dealing with some hardships but I didn’t feel like my life was on a downward spiral. There is a quote that states,comparison is the thief of joy” and my habit of scrolling through Instagram watching other peoples’ lives through their photos and Instastories made me feel like I was not doing enough with my own life.
There are some amazing people I follow and often come across on Instagram who I admire because they are doing great things that inspire me and they appear to be successful. However, I realize that I cannot compare this season of my life to someone else’s success season and highlight reel. I don’t know all they endured to get where they are and I don’t walk in their shoes.
I want to walk on the path that God has set for me and I want to be so in tune with God that I am living my life in accord with His will for my life. God promises that when we live a life of obedience to Him, we will thrive. “The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.” (Jeremiah 29:13).
Photographer-Kofi James
Top-Asos | Jeans-Old Navy | Shoes- Nine West

So it’s been six weeks and my fast is over! There were very specific things I was fasting and praying for during this time and I must say that God truly showed up for me in so many ways. All my prayers have not been answered yet, but I know God will in His perfect timing.

Pre-Father's Day: Making Time to be Present

New Mom, New Fears

Happy new year! If you follow me on instagram you know I welcomed my son, Avery, on November 5, 2018. Avery is truly the light of my life but the first three weeks of his life felt like some of my darkest days. Motherhood was nothing like I thought it was going to be at first, it was miserable and downright difficult. My first struggle was breastfeeding. Avery had a hard time latching on and whenever he did latch on, I felt excruciating pain. I put him on the breast as much as possible in the hospital but he usually had to be supplemented with formula. Breastfeeding was frustrating for both of us; he cried often because he had a hard time latching on and was hungry. I cried because I felt like I was struggling to give him what he needed. Sometimes he did latch on and would stay on for 30-60 minutes while I cringed from the pain.

Eventually I kept Avery on the breast less and gave him more formula because I couldn't bear the pain, which made me cry even more. I pumped everyday (and still do) but my milk supply was and still is too low to feed him breastmilk only which often made me cry in the first few weeks. I felt like a bad mom because breastfeeding wasn't going well and breast were created to nourish babies. I saw a lactation consultant twice within Avery's first two weeks and thing never got much better. However, I still put him on the breast everyday and keep him on until I can't withstand the pain.

As if breastfeeding wasn't enough of a struggle my baby became super fussy by 5 days old and cried ALOT.  Every time he cried for prolonged periods of time, so did I because it was so hard to calm him. I'll never forgot that one Thursday where he cried for 3 hours straight and my mom was consoling both the baby and I as my head laid on her shoulder while she held him in her arms.

I was so scared of everything those first few weeks and developed anxiety. I was scared to be alone with my baby because it was so hard to console him, scared he would choke (because he choked for the first time at two weeks and it was the scariest moment of my life), scared he would stop breathing in his sleep so I checked his breathing several times throughout the night and missed out on a lot of sleep. My husband, Avery and I spent the first three week's of Avery's life at my mom's house and she helped us so much! When it was time for us to go back to our apartment, I cried. I didn't know how I would manage by myself all day with the baby and I cried as my mom held me in her arms assuring me I would be okay. Those first few days at our home were tough. Avery cried most of the day and there was no help until my husband came home. I called my mom almost every day crying. I felt sad often, but every time I was able to calm my son and watch him lay sweetly in my arms I felt like a winner.

My son is 3.5 months now and he is a healthy, happy and curious baby boy. I'm confident in my abilities as a mother and I'm enjoying motherhood very much. I took these photos during the last few days of my maternity leave when my biggest fear was retuning to work and leaving my baby at daycare. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety around this time, but I took these photos on a day when I felt good. I've been back to work for over a month now and it hasn't been easy, but I know I will be okay. To all the new moms dealing with fear and anxiety, take it one day at a time. Remember that you're doing to best you can!

Dress-Zara | Coat- Zara | Shoes-Target