// live each day with a thankful heart // free printable //

yesterday, i was proctoring a test for high school students and was faced with a disheartening reality. there was a certification statement that the students had to copy, in cursive, and about a dozen of them genuinely did not know how to write in cursive. i was in disbelief and honestly, saddened. in talking to my former elementary teacher co-workers & friends, they have told me that states are moving away from even teaching cursive. ahhh. then i talked to my husband about it and he said he would have to really concentrate if he had to write in cursive, too! as we experience the consumption of technology (which i am an avid fan of, obviously), it saddens me that the basics are being abandoned with time (think handwritten letters, snail mail, photographs, the list can go on and on). 
handwritting has always been my preferred method of writing and have always been in love with lettering. so here is a gift from me to you, if you would like it. a free download printable of a quote that i lettered and look at daily to focus me. i'll add another next week that i live by and remind myself at least ten times a day while at work!

click the link underneath the image to download it!


p.s. is anyone else obsessed with snail mail as much as i am?


// a day with my son //

It's not every Monday that I get to cuddle with my baby boy in bed instead of rushing to work in a drowsy, mayhem-filled early morning. Having this past Monday off was Heaven-sent. Not only did this mama get early morning peaceful cuddles, I also spent a much needed day playing and loving on my son. 

My weekdays tend to be on the go. Patience dwindles by the evening, tempers rise and the rainbows and butterflies of parenthood tend to dissipate as dinners aren't eaten and bedtime routines are avoided by an unnamed toddler. Sprinkle in some tantrums, time outs and a new hitting phase. The precise recipe for a mama who questions if I am even meant to have this prestigious yet oh so challenging job in mamahood. Ay, is it tough. I know fellow mamas will nod their heads in unison as we all go through this. Which is why this Monday was long overdue. A time for just me and my boy to just be. And for the first 6-7 hours of our day, not a singlw tantrum was thrown, nor a voice raised. In lieu of that, giggles manifesting into roaring laughter (the sweetest sounds), and the constant raspberries of his plump lips making his trash trucks vroom by, filled our day. 

Mama's homeboy forever. 

// pumpkin patch //

This past Sunday, we frequented the local Pumpkin Patch. We have been going for the last few years, even prior to us having Oliver (with borrowed littles in tow, because we heart our friend's babies). We love Fall and all things themed, so it only seems natural to us to seek fun typical fall activities. Last year was Oliver's first year going, at the delicious age of 9 months. This year, the hay maze, petting zoo, tractor ride, sea of pumpkins and plethora of activities were a whole new world for our babe. There is nothing like experiencing life through the life of a child, especially your own. I cherish these captured memories and one day will he not only be embarassed by how often we twin, but hopefully get a warm feeling in his heart and feel how loved he is. This life is for you, Oliver D Cruz.


// 20 months //

what?! 20 months! noooo....too fast, slow down!!

30 lbs.,

cooking, both in his little kitchen and in ours; reading tons of books before bedtime, riding his bike, playing with cars and making them go "vroom," pointing out trucks, helicopters, airplanes, trash trucks, playing with his cousin and friends, accessorizing, pointing at things and saying their name, calling people on the phone, including FaceTiming.
The last weekend of your 19th month was so amazing. We watched you grow and mature. A lot less tantrums (knock on wood- I literally just did), and more independent play. A lot more snuggles and loves. Our crazy little piece of Heaven.
Absolutely the same as last month. There have been a couple of times this month where he has woken up crying and instead of helping him back to sleep, I have just brought him into bed with me. It is a completely new experience for me to have him cuddle with me without asking to nurse. It is amazing. He asked only one time and I distracted him and he has not asked since.

                                                                      New Words: 
Still repeating everything and we are loving it!
We took a 3.5 minute video asking him to repeat every word and name we could think of. His little voice is the best sound in the world- besides his laughing! 

Favorite Foods: 
Whatever he decides for that day! Some days he is super picky, while others he is a bottomless pit! 
We went out to eat and there was raw onions on the condiments section--this boy started eating them happily! Um..
22 days of no nursing!
Still can't believe it. 
I miss it but I am so proud of us!

Favorite Things: 
Same as last months: Still obsessed with all things kitchen, all things with motors, going on our nightly sunset "by ry" (bike ride), jumping (funniest thing ever), working out (this kid can lift weights my client's use!), eating, the pool, bubbles, music and books. 

Signature Moves: 
This month it's his surprised and excited face! Oh man, I have to get it on video. Geoff came home with a box of pizza the other night, and this baby boy, ran to him with his arms up, his mouth shaped in the most perfect oval, and he gasped! "Bi-sa!!!!!!!" Then he threw back his head and laughed and started jumping up and down! He does the same thing for anything he loves- oh, a truck! cue excitement!

Also, saying that things "Stink" and you need to throw them to the trash- because he is beyond obsessed with the trash!
He loves to give Honey Munster kisses and hugs. But he equally loves to tell her no and shake his little chubby finger at her. We have now changed our language with Honey to say "no, thank you" instead! haha! He also love giving her treats for tricks haha!

Mommy's Proudest Moment: 
Ah. So remember that he repeats everything?! Well, I needed that reminder. He was eating something weird, like raw onions. I made a face and said "gross," without realizing it and within seconds it became Oliver's favorite thing to say for the evening! ooops!

Daddy's Proudest Moment:  
Geoff decided it was a great idea to play catch with Oliver. He had him stand in the middle of his tub during the bubble bath. Of course, Oliver slipped and fell. And of course, Geoff didn't think anything of it! Ay. 

This Month's Highlights:
- Mommy and Daddy left you for a weekend so we could go to Titi Isa and Nino Jake's wedding! You did so great! We were so proud of you (and ourselves). 
-You became obsessed with tattoos (temporary ones) and want one on all the time!
-We celebrated both Daddy and Mommy's birthdays and you did an amazing job at blowing out the candles each time!
- You received your own little kitchen and became obsessed with playing with it daily. 
- Daddy went on a business trip and you spend a week with just Mommy. It was tiring but great to have that time together. 
- Mommy and you had a photoshoot!
- We went on lots of walks with Auntie Bre to help her get ready for having Baby Duke!
- We learned that you can make yourself cry with real tears and everything!
- PetSmart became a favorite place for you! You love looking at all the different animals!
- You met Baby Duke and it became official that you are in love with babies and want one of your own! 
- You took a picture of Mommy and learned to take selfies! haha!
- You helped make our first batch of pumpkin pancakes! 
- We went to Target and you chose a hot pink pumpkin! How could we resist buying it for you!?
- You had playdates with your cousin, Karston!


// the LB brand: the revamped mom uniform //

you know when you find a brand that you absolutely love and can't live without? little boogaweezin, aka, the lb brand, is one of those company's for me. i still vividly remember when oliver was first born and i was up nursing him in the middle of the night. i would busy myself on instagram, finding inspiration and motivation to continue nursing from other mamas. i ran into jen's rad company and "milk drunk" baby tees. it was an absolute must-have for us! i decided that if i made it x amount of months nursing, the baby tee would be purchased! and so it began, over the seasons, we have continue to be strong supporters. Oliver has outgrown a couple of milk drunk onesies and tees, while i have rocked some mamawear, as well. when the opportunity to work with the lb brand (the mama portion of this amazing company) arose, i was so ecstatic. i was able to preview this amazing tee before it's grand launch on sept. 15th (my birthday)! 

The full blog post can be found on HERE on the Lb brand's blog. You can shop the entire collection that is beyond, HERE

Thank you Jen, for this amazing and humbling opportunity!


Jeanette Canela Montgomery

JJJName: J (Jeanette Canela Montgomery)  Age: three decades in and still in denial!  Location: currently, southwest corner of the A to the Z  # of babes: my one miracle bebe, #odcm
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How would you best describe your style?
Constantly evolving. I love steeze & expressing myself through my style. I went through an entire year of only wearing 80s gear; then I went through another year of only wearing items I had personally made or re-created. In the last two years, I never once repeated an outfit at work- just as a challenge to myself. Since then, I have donated and sold 3/4ths of my closet and love the simplicity of creating outfits. A simple base can so easily be elevated by simply accessorizing!
Fashion icons?
Gwen Stefani. I fell in love with her style in seventh grade and have been inspired by her tenacity for change yet her raw sense of self; she always stays true to herself. I once had the opportunity to meet her and my little fangirl heart was so happy because she was as beautiful and sweet in person as I had always imagined!
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Brigitte Bardot or Kate Moss?
Goodness, what beauties! If I absolutely had to choose, I would go with my gut, which is BB. I dig a Bardot neckline and am a supporter of women who go against the grain- especially in times when it was not the norm.
What made you choose the LB piece your currently styling?
I am an avid fan of the LB Brand. Choosing was a tedious decision! I love them all! It really came down to an blind pick in order to make my final choice in a timely manner, haha! I love the fit of this PLM tee. I am so comfortable in black, and the cut is so versatile. It can be worn loose or side-knotted for a tighter look. The material is so delicious- it feels like butter on my skin! It makes me feel fierce with its powerful message. Roar.
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Top 2 picks from LB’s BLK&WHT collection?
I am a huge fan of black and white, in general. Most of my house is black & white (& gold, of course), and it transcends into my wardrobe, as well. But I tend to shy away from white tees. However, I am so attracted to the Protector//Lover//Mother White V-Neck. There is something so alluring about a white tee on demin that can be casual or easily dressed up, that I love! I am also obsessed with the genius that is the black hoodie with the thumbholes! I mean, seriously! So rad, on-point and heart-eyes-forever!
A few ways you keep yourself feeling good as a mama?
A am a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) on the side and working out is my jam! Not primarily for aesthetics, though. Nothing makes me feel more in tune with myself, as meeting my own fitness goals; nothing makes me feel like more of a badass than crushing a workout, lifting heavy and getting my glisten on! It is extremely therapeutic to me (I am also a counselor, haha), and need this time I set for myself to just be me. It is the only 30 minutes of my day that are solely mine- you know, when my baby boy doesn’t wake up in the middle of it, ready to start his day! I also love recreating indulgent treats into healthy, delicious foods, as well. Not that I don’t enjoy my pizza, cheeseburgers and froyo, though! haha! Lastly, a solid support system to validate the many days I doubt myself as a mama, is extremely important to me. Whether it’s my BFFs, my husband, family, the besitos from my toddler, or the amazing IG community, feeling connected and understood are invaluable assets to mi vida loca.6 Final
What are some things that inspire you when putting together a days look?
The season, weather and my mood; although I don’t follow any pre-established rules (fashion faux-pas are not my jam) and am pretty low-maintenance! I love mixing and matching timeless pieces with simple + frugal finds! I am also inspired by accessories, which I believe are key to my every day look- whether it’s any combination of a hat, headband, flower, earrings, [statement] necklace, scarf, belt, arm candy, rings, heels, sandals, or sneakers…it all comes together to complete one look! Oh, and of course, a bold lip!
Any tips for mamas juggling the demands of motherhood with the desire to still be stylish?
Keep it simple, keep it comfortable and stay true to yourself. When in doubt, wear what makes sense to you and simultaneously makes you look & feel good! Mamahood is hard and unpredictable. At least feel and look confident doing it! It’s like when I was in my undergrad: my roommate taught me to always dress up to finals- even when everyone else was dragging themselves across campus in their pjs from their all-nighter- you may fail your test, but at least you look good (& hence, feel good) doing so! Ultimately, we are all mamas doing this mamahood thing together- so when there’s your bebe’s oatmeal on your favorite tee, rock the ish out of it!
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