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Little Miss Amara Dielle is ONE!!!

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Amara my sweet...

I love your fearlessness and the way that you waive hi;

I love your puckered lips and the special mark on your eye.

I love how sweet your breath is all day and all night long,

I love that you start to dance when you hear every single song.

Our love for you grows every day and this is just the start,

Because you're the biggest piece of Mommy and Daddy's heart.

Happy birthday baby girl ♥ 

 

I wanted to have something like this amazing infographic for Amara's first birthday and Brad was all, "Super fun! Let's do it!"  He made this one for her and did such a great job, I love it:)

A year ago today...

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I was taking this photo and praying that the little girl inside my belly would turn upside down so that we could have a lovely natural birth. That very night, the very large bellied woman you see above was laying on an inverted ironing board, moxibustion-ing her pinky toes and crawling around on all fours to help persuade little Amara to flip.  What I know now about Amara that I didn't know then, is that, try as you might, you cannot impose your will upon her.

Taken today, a year later.

Taken today, a year later.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.  If she hadn't stayed breech, I would have been in the beautiful birthing center instead of the hospital getting a c-section where the talented surgeons discovered I had placenta accreta and not only saved my life with three blood transfusions, but also saved my uterus so that I can have more babies.  If Amara had done what I wanted, as the doctors and nurses told me many times during my 8 day stay at the hospital, I would likely have died at the birthing center or en route to the hospital.  

I wish I could tell my top-picture-self not to cry and that everything is going to be all right.  Trust God, there is a plan and there is a purpose, you are in good hands.

Amara will be one whole year old in 8 days!

Hello Friday!

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I'm so happy to see you!  It's a bright and sunny day here and it's going to be 89 degrees this weekend.  We won't be here to enjoy the heat though because we're leaving for our trip to DC!  Looking forward to seeing friends, family and those beautiful cherry blossoms.

Have a beautiful weekend all!

Good Morning!

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Brad came home late last night and Amara and I were happy to wake up and see Daddy!  The coffee is on and it smells amazing.  Brad is Reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to Amara while she practices standing and clapping at the same time.  The mornings when Daddy is home always seem more exciting.  xoxo

image via here

A few of my favorite things...

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My Dana Rebecca "Lauren Joy" necklace in rose gold and diamonds.  This was my push present from Brad after Amara was born, I haven't taken it off since.  It is the perfect dainty, sparkly, feminine, wear everyday and for every occasion necklace.  It is actually quite strong too, Amara often tugs on it and I thought for sure it was a gonner a few times - my child is freakishly strong and, sometimes, disconcertingly aggressive.  But it has survived!  

The best leggings on earth.   I own two pair so one is always clean.  Around Christmas, I found these divinely inspired leggings at TJ Maxx in Vancouver, WA.  After wearing them everyday for the rest of that trip, I went online to find out where I could get more.   I even thought about buying my sisters and each of my friends a pair.  "Every girl I know needs to have these in her life!", I thought.  So, I know Spring is upon us and you're not thinking of buying cozy leggings right now but these things are fantastic.  I've pretty much alternated between wearing identical pairs since Christmas.  

Wrinkle Revenge Restore and Protect eye balm.  Ever since getting pregnant, I have thinner skin under my eyes, dark circles and puffy lids.  It makes me look so tired and worn out.  No matter how much water I drink, I haven't been able to look hydrated or rested.  This cream really has made a difference.  It is approved for use on the upper eye, which is great for me.  How to properly apply eye cream:  with your ring finger, apply a dot of product under the eye on the socket line and another dot above the eye in the eyebrow.  Gently blend in a C motion all around the outside of your eye; it all gets absorbed.  It has only been about a month but I'm really loving the results so far.  What would really make a difference is if Amara would start sleeping in!

Recent Life on Instagram

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What's been happening on my Instagram feed lately...

I'm totally stoked about Amara's "Macaron" birthday dress!  It's from Rock Your Baby - a totally cute shop.  I only wish I had glittery gold and pink shoes to match hers:)  Her bright pink and gold soft shoes are really comfortable and look kind of perfect on her little baby feet.  She wears gift bags as purses instinctively which makes my chest tickle inside.  I made a cake that didn't turn out quite how I wanted.  We love to sip Starbucks (or chew on the tiny cup Momma's poundcake sample came in) and go outdoor shopping.  Every Saturday morning, we go to the children's museum, meet new peers and play around.  On those days, Amara can wake up at 6 and stay awake and happy until we get home for a nap around 11:30am (and she sleeps so long!) - the Thinkery is a miraculous place.  A picture of my long hair last weekend.  Now it has been maimed.  I cannot bring myself to even take a photo of it.  On the first day of Spring, we played with Amara's new pom pom tutu and dressed her bunny in one to match:)  When I ordered that skirt from Zulily, I didn't even realize it came with a matching mini - a pleasant surprise!  You can get the skirts from Dollie & Me (they are so cute).  I'm trying to expose Amara to Spanish as much as possible and relearning it myself in the process.  We watch YouTube videos on my laptop and she is (often) fully engaged.  One last picture of my gone but not forgotten hair.  Why is it often so difficult for hair professionals to accurately execute a client's wishes?  Even when given 7 photos showing the same color and cut in 7 different ways?  And what part of, "I want to keep my length and I'm growing out my layers" made you decide to cut 4 inches off my length and give me an awkward "my bangs are growing out" type of layer?  I can't even talk about the awful color, made even worse the second day when they "fixed" it.

Okay.  I thought I had made peace with what happened to my hair but clearly that is not the case.  

Happy Monday;)

Spring Weekend

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I hope you all are enjoying the first weekend of Spring!  I am actually having a horrible weekend so far.  I had my hair done yesterday and am still reeling from the horrible results.  I slept for 3 hours last night because I tossed and turned and cried and rehearsed what I was going to say today when I go back in to have them attempt to "fix" it.  I was so excited to get my hair done because it had been so long since I have done anything to it.  I wanted to keep the length that I worked so hard to grow (for two years!) and have some killer highlights put in.  But he chopped off the length and gave me the most awkward layers possible.  I have naturally very curly hair so this is devastating.  Wearing my hair curly will be impossible unless I tie the short pieces back and curly hair takes a painfully long time to grow.  There are zero highlights in the back of my hair and only very fine, wrong colored highlights in the front.  I hate that I have to go back today.  I missed taking Amara to the children's museum we go to every Saturday morning because I was so exhausted and took a nap at 8:30 while Brad played with her.  Now, I have to spend 3 hours away from Brad and the baby on our cherished Saturday to be somewhere I most certainly do not wish to return.  

I just can't shake this feeling of sadness and disappointment.  I will be wearing ponytails for a while.  

image via Fashionising

Mommy/Baby Wish List

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I am crazy about Sonnet James' playful dresses for playful Moms, such a great idea!  They are so cute and super Mom functional.  You can bend over to pick up your little one without worrying about your neckline and get down on the floor to play without being self-conscious.  I can see myself living in these dresses so I have my eye on a few of them.  For Amara, this coral colored wooden camera from Twig Creative is too stinkin' cute.  I know she isn't quite old enough for it yet but I'm excited for when she brings along her camera on our walks to snap some pics!

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I've wanted this watch for almost 2 years now.  I'm going to ask for it for Mother's Day:)  Once Amara realizes what jewelry is and that you're supposed to keep it ON, I want her to have a pretty little gold bracelet like this one

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We have a black leather messenger style diaper bag and it has been okay but there are just too many darn slots, pockets and zippers!  I am always digging for things and it irritates me.  I want a simpler diaper bag with more open space.  I love the "Charlie" diaper bag because it just looks easier, bigger and certainly prettier.  It's on my must-have-very-soon list.  Oh my gosh, I just cannot wait to play dolls with Amara!  How precious are these handmade clothes and sweet little accessories for her special little dolly??  She doesn't have a doll yet but when the time is right, we are going to have a lot of fun!

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There are so many things I love from Juju Bunny Shop, I forgo a personal item in favor of more for Amara.  This is my absolute favorite shop for little girl clothes!  If I could pick one store to have an all out shopping spree in, it would be this one for sure.  

I have sworn off the bikini since having Amara due to the wonderful aftereffects of pregnancy (stretch marks, "the black line" cesarean scar), which means I get to explore the fun world of one-pieces!  I am loving it.  They are so much more interesting than bikinis!  My favorite brands are Mikoh, Cia Maritima and Gottex.  It is kind of sad bidding adieu to my (massive) collection of bikinis.  Honestly, I was very sad and upset at first.  But I have made peace with my new tummy and I'm happy there are so many cool swimsuits that still make me feel sexy and even a bit more modest.  I am a Mommy after all!  And for my little one,  I'm a fan of the Love U Lots brand.  My girlfriend, and one of Amara's fairy godmothers, bought her this mermaid swimsuit and it so precious!  I'm kind of in love with mermaids.  She'll also have to have one of these awesome towels when she's a little bigger:)

Golden Dandelion and Honey Cake

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Funny story about this cake...

I've been wanting to make a cake inspired by this Oscar de la Renta dress for a while and last Friday, in the spirit of the soon coming spring, I set out to do just that.  Since the dress is covered in yellow flowers, I wanted the cake to taste kind of earthy and not super sweet; I decided I wanted there to be flowers inside the cake too!  There are dandelions of plenty in Texas at the moment so, they seemed to be the perfect flower to bake with.  Especially upon my discovering that they are actually quite good for you.  I made a basic yellow cake and added a hand full of dandelion petals (about a cup, plucked from the flower), and about 3 tablespoons of honey.  I also used a not-too-sweet vanilla cream cheese frosting.  I didn't have any yellow flowers to decorate with yet (dandelions weren't quite the right look) but I figured Amara and I would just go to the store and pick some up while the cake cooled. 

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I thought there would be plenty of yellow flowers to choose from but I only found two kinds at the store, daffodils and this plant called Sweet Broom, which I had never heard of.  They were pretty and the right kind of yellow so I thought, "I can make this work."  When we got home, I frosted the cake and then cut the flowers and arranged them on the counter to look like the pattern on the dress.  Before I put the flowers on the cake, I thought it would be a good idea to Google them and make sure they weren't poisonous or anything.  I'm sure glad I did that.  It turns out, daffodils and Sweet Broom are both very poisonous!  ¡Ay, caramba!  I was planning on taking this cake to a birthday party of a new Mommy-friend of mine... can you imagine if I had poisoned everyone there?!  Although no one probably would have eaten the flowers on top of the cake, the toxicity might have transferred to the icing or something.  Not worth the risk!

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Plan B:  There was no Plan B.  I just looked in my container full of cake decorations and scallops came to mind.  Not the sea variety, although they are reminiscent of the Jean Paul Gaultier mermaid dress Marion Cotillard wore to the 2008 Oscars - I loved that dress.  I cut one of my plastic biscuit cutters in half, dipped it in a plate full of edible glitter and then lightly pressed it into the cake in a scallop pattern.  I went over them a couple of times and then I sprinkled on some silver stars.  I really wish I knew how to photograph glitter!  The pictures don't do the sparkles justice.  

Funny little random, mismatched cake.  It tasted good though, it was moist with a mild sweetness; we didn't really taste the dandelions but the cake slices sure looked pretty speckled with yellow and a little green. 

Brad was traveling while I was baking so, when I told him that I almost brought a toxic cake to the party, he laughed and said that I was going about this making new friends thing all wrong.

Ay yai yai.