Mamahood Styled


// diy subway tile //

We have been debating whether or not to do DIY home improvements on our owned condo for the last year. We know we want to sell and relocate sooner than later and it's hard to continue making it a home when we know we will not be staying here forever. We compromised and did some smaller, less expensive DIYs in the meantime! We had been drooling over white subway tile backsplashes and didn't realize how cost effective it actually is! 

Kitchen backsplashes have a million options on installation, but this is the one we went with. I warn you, the hard parts can definitely be done in a weekend, and although not necessarily difficult, some parts are a bit tedious- or at least were for us! I still strongly recommend doing it yourself! I wanted to share how we did ours in case anyone is interested! And for those wondering how inexpensive this can be- our initial expense was $131 for our space! We ended up exchanging some materials and purchasing others and I estimate we ended up spending no more than $150- I stopped keeping track after one too many trips to Home Depot or Lowe's! 

1. Buy a sample of your desired tile. Go home and measure how much of it you would need to cover your space. If your backsplash includes behind your stove, make sure to account for the space behind it. 

2. Purchase your supplies:

- Tiles (we originally wanted the larger 3x6 individual tiles but they were too big for part of our space so we opted for the smaller, which only came in a mosaic. We ended up buying enough for 24 square feet) 
- Tile Adhesive (we bought the premixed kind and recommend it) 
- Trowel 
- Grout Float
- Grout Sponge
- Grout (we went with an non-sanded tinted grout- there are different color options and depending on the tile gap, you would get sanded or non-sanded. We were right at 1/8" and decided we'd prefer non-sanded; anything above 1/8", sanded is usually recommended)
- Tile spacers (we got one bag and ran out at the end and had to reuse the earlier used ones- if you're doing individual tiles or your space is bigger than ours, you'll definitely need more than one bag)
- Caulk (we originally went with a bright white and it looked way too bright compared to our grout. We ended up buying the same brand in the same color as the grout, and realized that this brand is so watery, it was such a pain to do it. I love caulking- it fixes everything- but this brand was way watery and I had to wait a few hours for it to dry, then add another layer so it looked thicker. If you want it to match as your caulk, then I recommend the headache, but if you want white, I'd recommend a regular silicone based caulk; by the way, we already had some regular caulk on hand and ended up needing it to fill in spaces, too). 
- Grout sealer- this is the very last step and you apply it a day or two after everything is done- you can add an epoxy sealer to your grout and never have to seal but this was more cost effective for us. 
- a piece of wood to act as a scaffold behind your stove (if this is applicable to your kitchen)

Step 1:
Turn off the electricity to your kitchen outlets via the breaker. Remove outlet covers, tape up your outlets, and cover your countertops- it gets messy! 

Add that piece of wood behind your stove. Feel free to clean under it, too. I couldn't believe how dusty it was under there- isn't that a fire hazard?! Embarrassingly enough, I also found an avocado pit and a brand new cookie sheet. :/

2. Find the center of your kitchen. This will be your starting point. For us, this would be our sink. Lay out all of your tiles on the counters so you know approximations on where cuts will have to be made, what corners will look like, and where cabinets will meet. We did NOT do this and have some major headaches when we reached the top of our cabinets and realized that they were all installed crooked!!! Thanks, builders who did ours! 

Apply your adhesive with your trowel. Follow the instructions on the label- super easy! 

Step 3:

Tile away! If you are doing a mosaic, make sure the tiles are evenly spaced, you'll need spacers at the bottom to make room for your caulk line. If you are doing individual tiles, you'll need spacers throughout each tile. How you insert them is up to you- Geoff and I had two different methods and both worked! 

Step 4: Cutting tiles

As soon as you hit your first outlet (can you believe our little space has EIGHT of them!?), you'll need to cut. We originally purchased a tile cutter attachment to the dremel- didn't work! Geoff tried a drill attachment- took way too long! Finally, he ended up just using his grinder and it worked perfectly! I don't have a picture of him doing this, but don't worry about cuts being perfect! They'll be hidden behind the outlet. Do make sure your outlet can still screw in properly, though!

Step 5: Admire your adhered tile and let it dry for 24 hours! 

This is when we realized a couple of things: our cabinets were installed completely crooked, leaving very awkward gaps in our tile edges. We had to return our original tile ends and go to a different hardware store to find some that matched better. Geoff was a genius and literally grinded/sanded down each piece to fit the narrow, crooked space. Here is when we also found out that you can take marked tiles and get them cut for FREE and hassle free! What?! No one had ever told us this! I would definitely go this route next time! Lay out all of your tile, mark your cuts, go get them cut, and THEN start. As long as you measure correctly, it would make everything so much faster and easier!

Step 6: After 24 hours, it's time to apply your grout. Follow the instructions on the label, the application is pretty easy! When cleaning off the grout, you'll be rinsing your huge sponge a lot! Rinse it, fold in it half like a hamburger, and then wring it out! 

see the crookedness below:

Step 7: Add your caulking! This took me a few steps and an extra day and even though we went with the harder to apply caulk, I'm really happy with the results. I also used regular white silicone caulk to hide all of the crooked areas and it worked seamlessly.

I hope this encourages you if you have been thinking of tackling this project! Let me know if you do! 

P.S. A trip to the hardware store is never the same without this guy befriending everyone he meets and getting into mischievous trouble!



Have you heard of TheLBBrand?! Run over here and check out the amazingness that is this brand! Jen, the creator, is an amazing soul. Talking to her, is like connecting with an old friend who you haven't talked to in awhile, yet you seamlessly pick up like you haven't missed a day! I connected with her over a year and half ago and have been motivated and inspired by her ever since! Her brand, Little Boogaweezin/ The LB Brand strives for the connection of modern parenthood and womanhood. She encompasses the unity we all strive for as we go through this rewarding yet challenging point in our lives. Her brand makes you feel like a badass individual, while still being a mama! That balance that I know I strive for daily, and sometimes gets overshadowed by the demands of mamahood, my career, and my marriage. My first feature was here and now I am happy to be a fitness contributor for The LB Brand! I am sporting the Protector.Mother.Lover muscle tank in sea foam green that can be purchased here! I love the idea of wearing this as your outfit and coming straight home or to the gym to workout! Below are two workouts and my article! Enjoy!


I look over to my now two-year old shoving kale salad in his mouth from my bowl, as he already finished his, and I am overcome with a sense of pride. Every time I work out with him, I catch him huffing and puffing, doing baby burpees or squats while he watches me out of the corner of his eye. His confidence is contagious and I wish it was something that didn’t get tainted as we grow and learn. Especially with our images of our own bodies, our own self-love.
I loved being pregnant, once I found out I was pregnant. You see, my husband and I were told that after his first bout with Testicular Cancer in 2010, surgeries and extensive Chemotherapy, there was NO way he could have children naturally. Two years later, he was diagnosed with Cancer a second time, just as we found out we were miraculously expecting our first, and only child (as now, it is literally impossible to get pregnant naturally). At the time, my after-work job was as a Personal Trainer at a local gym (working out had become a passion of mine when he got sick the first time, as I began to prioritize health). I kept working out, with the guidance of my midwife, with the same intensity as before, yet listening to my body (and her recommendations to a tee). I was constantly greeted with stares that appeared to be full of judgment or comments about how I should not be working out while pregnant. The truth of the matter is that working out is my therapy and I genuinely love it. It definitely helped me stay in shape during my pregnancy and I genuinely believe it gave me the strength to push through a delivery with no medications, and a much easier “bounce-back” within three weeks of having him.
Two years since his birth, I probably look the same since pre-pregnancy, but I know that my body composition has changed tremendously. The weight I never had to worry about, and the metabolism I was always praised about, completely shifted. My entire life I never worried about weight as the incessant food I ate did nothing to my physique. Now, my stomach and thighs are the first to gain weight. I breastfed for 19 rigorous months, and although I was one of the “unlucky” ones whose weight did not go below pre-pregnancy and could not eat whatever I wanted, it definitely kept me healthy, as I knew everything I was consuming was going straight to my precious miracle baby boy who, truth be told, I was just trying to keep alive and occasionally get a shower in for myself, here and there. At 7 weeks post-partum, my husband did a 12-week clean eating and weightlifting challenge, and although strict “clean-eating” has been part of our everyday life since 2010, this took it to a whole other level of measured commitment, with counting macronutrients. Combined with lifting heavy weights, it absolutely gave me results like never before: sculpted muscles, firmness, and abs. Alas, the coveted abs. Then when I went back to my regular 80/20 rule of eating, I found myself feeling deprived and binging. My abs would fluctuate and I would measure my success by how many I could see or what the number appeared on the despised scale. I had anxiety whenever we would eat out and felt unhappy with my appearance. I wanted my abs year round! I couldn’t believe I was facing these issues. As a counselor and personal trainer, I knew I needed to change my ways of thinking; my husband hid the scale and it took me months to relieve that anxiety. I thought about my baby boy- did I really want him growing up thinking he had to weigh his food or be judgmental of foods? No, I wanted him to be educated and aware, and make balanced, healthy choices for fuel and health!
I still struggle with it, like I’m sure most women (and men) do! But, I am on a quest to love my body for what it is. I have incorporated “regular” foods into my diet and work hard to not feel guilt, but also not binge (as I have the appetite of a hormonal teenage football player); I work out hard and continue to do so for strength and endurance, rather than the previous priority of aesthetics being number one. I am on a mission to love my new body, love what is has created, and embrace that I am still in amazing shape! Working out is my “me-time,” just like having wine and pizza are, too! (Side note: pizza is my baby’s favorite food and the other night, he woke up at dawn, begging Daddy for quinoa- all about balance).
Whether you have had a baby (or three) or none, I am sure as women we can all relate! We want to feel and look fit, while still enjoying the foods we love. Although I was once a strict “clean” eater, my best results for my mental well-being have been being an intuitive eater, as the exercise part comes easy for me, most days. Baby, or no baby, being active is an outstanding achievement! We all want to be healthy! Nothing makes me feel stronger and more of a badass than giving my all to a difficult workout.
High-intensity workouts are my jam- intervals mixed with strength training are my favorite! Giving your maximum effort with very short rest periods are effective. You need to go hard! But you need to be smart about it and not hurt yourself!! It should hurt, but it should hurt good. Sweat, glistening, a burning sensation in the muscle(s) being used, & shaking- all great responses to a hard workout; dizziness, blacking out, sharp, localized shooting pain- not so great! Proper form is absolute key to success! How many times have you seen someone working on the elliptical or bike at the gym, chatting away, reading a magazine? If you’re there to do work, all you are doing is creating heat, rather than burning fat or gaining endurance and strength. As a busy working mama with a lot of side projects, ain’t nobody got time for that! I prefer a max of 30 minutes of daily HIIT workouts that can be done anywhere! Incorporating plyometrics, weight training and cardio are my jam! & I want it to be yours, too! Weights will NOT make you bulky! Pushing past your limits during a grueling workout is worth your time in gold! Psychologically, it leaves you in an all-time high, unlocking the badassness we all have inside of us!
Get a friend, or do these yourself, have a sensible approach to fitness while being realistic. Think long term goals. Think that you CAN. Commit! Try these workouts. Lift with proper form and with weights. Improvise, adjust. Too easy? Go harder, faster, stronger. Too hard? Go lighter, slower and focus on each movement. You’ve got this. Go to sleep in your workout clothes and wake up ready to do work! Wear your cute workout outfit to run errands and then go straight to your workout! A healthy and well-balanced LIFE is attainable! We are all in this together! We’ll have good days, rough days, amazing days, and unmotivating days. The important thing is to work every day toward your ultimate goal until this becomes part of your lifestyle. Because being a healthy and strong woman is rad.
Using a timer, set it for 50 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest (I use the free version of the GymBoss app on my phone). Choose 6 exercises to complete 3-5 rounds in. Remember, those 50 seconds are meant to push you! Jot down your reps and each round, try to meet or beat that number! Get it, girl! I am here for you! We are all here for each other!

*all pictures by @gmontgomery



// easter 2015 //

this easter was so much fun! we woke (like this) and the first thing oliver asked was if the easter bunny filled his basket! it was so cute to watch him get excited over this! we read about jesus and the reason we celebrate easter and counted all of our blessings!

we always go to momma's and poppa's house for easter festivities. this year, i got to make breakfast and it was a hit! 

the day before, we painted eggs but o was more interested in peeling and eating them. i think he ate three. 

and somehow, my hands ended up way more stained than his. i should focus on the eating part more. 

the boys had their egg hunt on sunday:

that night, he dressed himself in his pjs, like this, haha!

the following day consisted of bunny food and egg salads and mama having a day off from work!

and still wearing his bunny ears and slippers for our morning walk.

wanna remember easter 2014 and a sneak of easter 2013? click here!

// 15/52 //

// a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015" //

such a rarity. gosh, we adore you.

// 14/52 //

// a portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2015" //

"mama, say 'cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese', smileeee, mama"

always for you, baby, always.
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