Dear Carter

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I’ve contemplated when and how to bring this up on here but now almost a month in to motherhood it finally seems appropriate to document my journey to motherhood. Now that the initiation phase is over (I think.)

It all started back in March when Chris and I found out we were expecting. To be honest I think we had both already expected that we would never be parents. After 7 years together we figured if we were meant to be parents it would have happened already. But boy were we pleasantly surprised- over the moon actually.

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I honestly think I was reluctant to shout it out to the universe because I had waited so long- and not to mention a guilt of sorts of being blessed while several other women I know personally have struggled. I didn’t know if I was struggling to have a kid (medically speaking anyways) but I did know that look of “but you don’t have kids?” and the awkward sense of being judged when the subject comes up and not being a part of the kids club.  Kind of contradictory to the previous statement of accepting that there was a possibility of not having kids I know. At the end of the day I still had Olivia and she has been the daughter I always dreamed of- fur realz.

Let’s fast forward through the Spring/ Summer of 2018. This is a fashion blog so we’ll start there (forewarned this most likely will become a baby/ baby fashion in addition to but more on that later.) I actually only bought two maternity dresses- one for my gender reveal and the other for my baby shower. I don’t like form fitting dresses and A-line and flowy dresses were the solution to my ever growing baby bump. I used to think it would be dreadful to be pregnant in the Summer but it actually turned out to be the ideal situation. The end of my pregnancy turned out to be the biggest struggle. Feet were so swollen only my Chloe ballet flats fit. I was terrified I would never fit into my shoe collection again. I thought I’d have to say goodbye to my Louboutins. Pants were not an option. Jumpsuits were the answer to a So. Cal chilly day.

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But enough fashion talk let’s get back to the star of this story- my precious baby Carter. First and foremost his name. If you have known me since I was about 9 years old- or entered my life at any point since then you know I’m a HUGE Backstreet Boy fan. I used to joke with my old boss that it’s in my unwritten contract that whenever the Backstreet Boys are in town I automatically get those days off. Since the names Nick, Alex, and Kevin were already taken (I know too many Brians and Howie was out of the question) I opted to go with the next best option, and the ideal one I concluded in the end- Carter would be the winner. I love Aaron too despite popular public opinion. I’ve met him a few times and to be honest he’s one of the nicest most humble celebrities I’ve ever met. Carter was almost Connor but that would have been after a UFC fighter per my boyfriends request and I would not be naming my kid after someone who fights.

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My pregnancy for the most part was easy. I was very blessed and fortunate for this. First trimester was full of nausea that lasted all day which made Disney trips and work a challenge. I never thought I’d want to be sick after riding the Jungle Cruise but man that boat is rocky. Second trimester was a dream considering it was in the middle of Summer and included a work trip to Vegas. The most random symptom I got during this trimester was nose bleeds. But my Dr. said this was because of being in dry weather and likely the elevation of flying. Third trimester was not awful but not ideal either. When you commute an average of an hour and breathing conditions are impacted by fires you feel like the forces of the universe are working against you. Not to mention the fact that the Holidays were upon me so I made every attempt to prepare before Carter’s arrival. No joke I was putting Christmas lights up the day before I went into Labor.

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Sunday, November 25th at about 4 in the morning I started having contractions. I thought it was just my iron pill (required for my anemia that developed) doing me dirty and I was about to vow to never take an iron pill again. Early morning after the pains started getting sharper and closer together I realized it wasn’t my iron pill. I was having contractions. I called the hospital and they said that they were still too far apart to be admitted. Around 3 PM they were between 5 and 10 minutes apart. Chris meanwhile was stating that we couldn’t do anything because we had a turkey in the oven. Fast forward to about 5:30 PM when contractions were now officially 5 minutes apart consistently. I lost my mucus plug and was in so much pain walking became a challenge. At this point I wanted to go to the hospital but Chris made me wait because it was the mid season finale of “The Walking Dead.” Finally 7 PM, the Walking Dead was over and I made the executive decision to go to the hospital. This decision would not be made without a struggle either. A week before we bought a new car- a 4 door as opposed to our Coupe so we could comfortably drive Carter from the hospital and around in general after his arrival. Well wouldn’t ya know the second we pulled into the neighborhood the breaks on the car started to grind. We thought the breaks were faulty so we couldn’t drive it to the hospital. Turns out it was just a palm tree seed that dropped and somehow lodged itself into the break area of the car. Shout out to STG of Montclair for towing us back to their dealership after we got home from the hospital to figure this out without a fee. Now that’s good customer service!

Alas, we got to the hospital around 9. At this point a wheelchair was absolutely necessary. I was admitted and 2 CM dilated. But the hospital wanted to wait to see if I was dilating even further to officially admit me. About an hour or two and lots of pain and tears later I was officially 4 CM dilated and the hospital was finally ready to acknowledge I was in active labor. My water had broke at this point and I told Chris I was going to die if I didn’t get pain meds. I swear the epidural lady went on a holiday vacation to Aruba or something and the only thing they were willing to offer me was Fentanyl- the pain medicine that killed my mom. Well, I’m allergic to Vicodin, makes me have seizures so the options for pain management was limited. I told the nurse my reasoning for not wanting the Fentanyl and she said “so you don’t want it?” Desperate times call for desperate measures so I reluctantly obliged to take their recommendation. Didn’t help anyways.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity I got the epidural. Thank GOD! After that labor was a breeze. I joke now that I can push all day long and twice on Sunday. Around 3 in the morning the nurses told me I could expect Carter before noon, and sure enough at 11:33 AM arriving at 6 llbs and 4 ounces and 20 inches long- Carter Joseph Gonzales made his debut. It was love at first sight. I wanted nothing more than to hold my precious baby right away but there was still the matter of delivering the placenta and getting sewn up. Plus, Carter was born with meconium. Basically he pooped before I delivered and he ingested it causing breathing problems. The NICU team was on standby in the delivery room. As I was getting sewn up I watched them work diligently to stabilize him. After what felt like forever I finally got to hold my baby. Carter is strong willed just like me and his Dad. And no joke before he was even an hour old he was trying to lift his head up.

The entire staff at the Kaiser Hospital in Riverside was beyond incredible. They took such gentle care of Carter and made sure we were well informed before we left. I’m not gonna lie that past few weeks have been full of happiness and lots of sleepless nights. I don’t think I’ve ever paid as close attention to someone’s breathing patterns. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world and I can’t wait to watch him grow up and start making memories that make him look back and say his childhood was magical.

Carter- you are the perfect angel I waited my whole life for and I promise to love you unconditionally for eternity. Let’s start this grand adventure called life and make every minute count. X0X0X0- Mommy.

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I had been on the fence about doing a maternity shoot and then a newborn shoot but then I discovered a photographer who would do both- Kayleigh Ashworth.  Not only is she one of the sweetest souls ever but she has an artistic vision that captures the beauty of pregnancy and the vulnerable innocence of a newborn. I never thought I could be moved to the point of tears by photographs but that’s exactly what her work did. I will forever cherish the images she captured of the most magical part of my life. 

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Bracing For Winter in My Barbie Sweater

Top: Forever 21 Pants: Saks Fifth Avenue Red Label Shoes: Valentino

              Top: Forever 21 Pants: Saks Fifth Avenue Red Label Shoes: Valentino Sunnies: Dolce and Gabbana

I didn’t think it would ever happen but sweater weather finally arrived today! And in typical cliche form I couldn’t help but talk about it with nearly everyone I came into contact with today. Even the guy at Verizon, who enlightened me to the fact he spent $200 on his seasonal sweaters yesterday. I couldn’t help but share with him my technique for prepping my closet for a new season is to think about that season after it ends. Scratching your head thinking, what in the world is she talking about? Basically, my secret for being seasonally appropriate is to invest in seasonal pieces in the after sale. I got my swimsuits in January when stores were trying to move through their previous seasons to make way for new collections. Similarly, I invested in my sweaters a few months ago when the temperatures were still triple digit.

Ok, truthfully I would have looked for any excuse to buy this totes adorbs Barbie by Forever 21 sweater. But I knew it would be perfect for a cold day and wouldn’t ya know, I was right. It is just enough for temperatures that drop to about 60 degrees, aka the time of year when So Cal residents fear of dying of hypothermia. Ok, maybe that’s just me, but in truth anything less than 75 degrees is only acceptable temperatures when I have cute sweaters such as this to endure it.

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Oh my favorite Tarina earrings. Always the perfect accent when looking to complete that Barbie girl look.

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Simply Chic on Sunday Funday

Top: Equipment Boots: GC Shoes Necklace and Hat: Saks

                                        Top: Equipment Boots: GC Shoes Necklace and Hat: Saks

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that the plan for the day involved heading out to the hill side to give my boyfriend’s new Daniel Defense Rifle a try. I’m not a huge fan of guns but they seem to make him happy and if it makes him happy then I’m ecstatic. But instead of partaking in pulling the trigger on a firearm I opted instead to be snap happy behind my new telephoto lens. It’s beginner lens, but that’s exactly what I am so I figured there is presently no need to invest the two grand just yet if I’m not quite sure how the thing works anyways.

The last time I went shooting though and shared the experience on my Facebook page, a friend of mine that knows me all too well said he wouldn’t be surprised if I was wearing heels. The thought had crossed my mind, but that time I opted for combat boots and camouflage. Seemed appropriate, right? Well this time around I figured if that’s what people are expecting of me may as well give the crowd what they want! Just because you’re doing a dirty job doesn’t mean you have to look dirty. This isn’t always the case though. There was one time when it didn’t occur to me that going snow boarding meant you had to actually wear snow boarding gear…aka snow proof attire. I totally thought jeans and a Hollister Jacket would suffice. Fortunately for me, the same friend who called me out on wearing heels to go shooting also anticipated I would overlook the fact that snow is water and would not come prepared, thus bringing a second set of snow gear for me. I love that not only do I know my sense of style but that my friends do as well.

Testing out my new telephoto lens! It sure does capture a beautiful sunset.

Testing out my new telephoto lens! It sure does capture a beautiful sunset.

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My boyfriend knows how to shoot a gun but can't for the life of him focus a 50 mm lens. FYI this is NOT a loaded gun, otherwise I would not be holding it like that. Safety first always!

My boyfriend knows how to shoot a gun but can’t for the life of him focus a 50 mm lens. FYI this is NOT a loaded gun, otherwise I would not be holding it like that. Safety first always!

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When You Have to Ask Yourself: What Would Suri Cruise Do?

Dress: Free People Shoes: Chloe Necklace: Saks Sunnies: Dolce and Gabbana Hat: H&M

Dress: Free People Shoes: Chloe Necklace: Saks Sunnies: Dolce and Gabbana Hat: H&M

When your best friend texts you and says the evenings plans involve a cute dress, you can either (a) head to the mall and invest in a new ensemble or (b) think to yourself what would Suri Cruise do? Ok, I guess Suri would opt obviously for choice  (a) but fortunately for me I have a closet full of cute girly dresses that are totally suitable for a “cute dress” occasion. Truthfully, I’ve finally run out of room in my closet so I need to start limiting my mall trips to really important occasions.

The best part of cute dresses is you, the wearer are completely in control of how cute you want to make it. I asked my BFF on a scale of cute to glam how was I to style my dress? Her response? LOL! That response alone told me to save my ruffly Zac Posen for Target dress for another night (an oldie but a goodie when it comes to my favorite dresses that I own.) When in doubt I suppose it’s best to go with a signature style. Pink, lace, girly and two of my favorite labels later I had an outfit that was totes appropriate for the occasion. Simple yet girly. Pink, and perfect! While I hate being an outfit repeater, I love an opportunity to re-work an old fav. And in this case I simply incorporated some of my faces to make an epic outfit!

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Confessions of An Outfit Repeater

Dress: Equipment Belt: Nordstroms  Hat: Saks Boots: Joie Dalton Boots

                             Dress: Equipment Belt: Nordstroms Hat: Saks Boots: Joie Dalton Boots

Ok, so when it comes to accessorizing I am guilty of one of the worse fashion offenses a fashionista can make. Yes, I am an accessory repeater. But that’s the best part of accessories! They’re so versatile and always the perfect thing to add flare to basic pieces. Since May I’ve been obsessed with my House of Harlow pieces. Particularly my sunburst necklace. It’s always just enough of a compliment. And take it from me, you don’t need the brightest sparkliest piece on the shelf to make a statement with accessories. Although, don’t get me wrong I love those too.

But the best part of subtle accessories is you don’t have limit yourself to just one amazing piece. I like to look for balance when putting together an ensemble. For example if you have a huge statement necklace with large jewels and bright colors, you probably want to steer clear of equally if not louder chandelier earrings. They’re both pieces that deserve their chance to shine! Don’t make them fight for the spotlight! The same thing is true for your outfits. If you have a sparkly top it’s not necessary to go for equally shiny jewelry. It’s too distracting and too shiny. But when you have an amazing basic piece,  such as one of my favorite Equipment France pieces, it’s like starting with a blank canvas. The neat thing about this dress is on cooler days I can turn it into a layer and use it as a jacket esque thing. I suppose it works better for your wallet to invest in basics because of all the infinite ways you can re-imagine an outfit. Huh, what’d you know? Turns out I’m better at being an outfit repeater than I thought.

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Style Fashion Week LA: A’Qua Swim

A' Qua Swim Debuted Their 2015 Collection At Style Fashion Week LA Friday night.

                 A’ Qua Swim Debuted Their 2015 Collection At Style Fashion Week LA Friday night.

A’Qua Swim definitely kicked Friday night’s Style Fashion Week LA off right. Designer Adrienne Fuqua, a Southern California designer introduced the audience to her swim collection that had me thinking I need each and every one of those pieces! Sometimes I see swimsuits on a runway and I think to myself that’s truly amazing, but really how many girls would actually wear this on a beach? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for glitz and glam but it is possible to go too far.

Fuqua get’s this. Her swim collection, comprised of bright colors, bold prints, and subtle yet powerful detail was exactly what every beach babe wants. A knock out swimsuit that gives her confidence in knowing she’s going to turn heads. I loved that there were a variety of silhouettes to cater to each woman’s comfort level. Just because you can wear a bikini doesn’t mean you don’t have days in which you want to be a little more conservative. One of my favorite pieces of this collection was the Barbie pink one piece with short sleeves. The second I saw that piece I instantly had a vision of pairing it with a wide brimmed hat, giant sunnies and some nude wedges (fashion blogger problems, every good piece inspires a styled photo shoot.) No one piece was over the top and provided just enough of a foundation to make every wear a runway experience. Oh, and for all of my Disney Princess loving friends this fun fact is for you. There is an “Ariel” inspired swimsuit available for purchase on A’Qua Swim’s website.

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