In case you’re wondering, I’m due any day now!
How do I feel? Well, I’m alternating between crazy excitement about finally meeting baby O + crazy panic about OMG, we’re finally going to meet our little princess and they’re going to expect that we take her home and like, keep her alive n’ stuff.
Last night we went to bed at 2am picking out baby lullabies for Olivia. And David finally made his hospital bag. We’re making progress.
Speaking of progress, I’ve been working on Olivia’s nursery for a few months now. I wanted so badly to finish the room before our little girl arrives, but yesterday I realized: “This room is never gonna be COMPLETELY FINISHED” (Picture me inhaling deeply + exhaling like Drogon from Game of Thrones).
What is a recovering perfectionist to do? I decided to show you Olivia’s nursery anyways, the first of many tours, cuz done is better than perfect, right? Right? Riiiight?
If you’re a mom-to-be like me, or a newish mom who’s still shopping for baby essentials + nesting, I hope this post is somewhat helpful to you. David + I still haven’t tested things out, but after a ton of research + advice from family, close friends and readers, we feel confident Olivia will L-O-V-E her room + all the goodness hidden inside.
Hope you enjoy Olivia’s Nursery Reveal!
But first, let me show you some hideous “Before” pics of the abandoned room, which served the purpose of Room of Requirement (Harry Potter fans raise your hands up high) – a room that magically transformes itself into whatever the seeker needs in that moment in time. To use it you must walk past the area of the door three times, thinking of what you need.
For example, when my biz partner came to visit it was a guest room. Then it mutated into a home office for David. Later it morphed into a trash can… I mean a storage room.
Take a look.
Now, are you ready for the “After” shots? Come on in! No need to tippy-toe just yet, there is no sleeping baby inside just yet.
I wasn’t interested in having anything too theme-y or puke pink all over the walls, so I kept it simple with a hint of whimsical, with lots of happy creative things + personal touches made with love, some by yours truly, other by my very talented friends.
Bear Door Decal from The Gatherer Store
Industrial Wooden Wagon Storage from Restoration Hardware Baby
Daydream Green Wallpaper by Julia Rothman from Hygge & West
You Got A Friend in Me Mixed Media Painting by Mayi Carles
Wooly Plush Rocking Animal from Restoration Hardware Baby
ABC Changer from Pottery Barn Kids.
Hampen Rug from IKEA
Whimsical Felt Mushrooms (custom made) by Felted Decorations
Red Mushroom Ultrasonic Air Humidifier from Duux
Domesticated Trinket Dish from Anthropologie
SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker from Bose
Pom Tassel Curtain from Anthropologie
Speckled Wood Curtain Rod from Anthropologie
Queen Bee Tieback from Anthropologie
Bobby Pin Art Print by Rifle Paper Co.
Single Ladies Art Print from United Thread
Pink Pig Art Print by Cori Dantini
Bear and the Bees Art Print by Becky Down
Olivia Fabric Letters (custom made) by my super talented friend Jenny Perez Lee
Fridusha Art Print by Mayi Carles
And Then They Became Three Art Print by Mayi Carles
Mini Felt Cactus Hoop by Mayi Carles
You Are Our Bucket List Sign by Mayi Carles
Love Tree Flag by Mayi Carles
Two Mini Paintings (still in progress) by Mayi Carles
Waiting for Olivia Photograph by Sarah Tyler
Melon Rocking Chair “borrowed” from my mom – This was THE rocker my mom used to breastfeed me! Can you believe it? I just restored + painted it.
Antique Brass Zinnia Handles from Anthropologie
Parisian Side Table from Restoration Hardware Baby
Cloud Pink Pillow from BlaBla
Knit Cotton Pouf from Restoration Hardware Baby
Sparrow Crib from Oeuf
Gold Dot Bedding by The Land of Nod
Felt Tassel Garland by Mayi Carles
Star Wars Mobile by Pink Cheeks Studio
So, how did I do? I think I did pretty good for my first time. I’m really happy with how everything is coming together. Even wrapping up this post is making me cry tears of just the most overwhelming happiness. This is truly the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.
Thank you so much for sharing this special part of my life with me. It means so much to be able to put all of this out there so publicly + receive so much kindness back. I’m so grateful for your loving comments + e-mails + gifts in the mail. I feel so blessed to have you in my life… that you’re family. And very very very soon our tribe will be PLUS ONE!!!
Here’s a quick recipe inspiration for ya': Choco Almond Smoothie with Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola. It’s been my go-to breakfast during this last stretch before baby Olivia pops.
This super healthy recipe is sweet enough to satisfy my dessert cravings + filling enough to keep me off the couch. Perfectly nourishing for moms-to-be but also anyone looking for an energizing way to start their day.
Tip: When using cacao, look for organic, fair-trade if possible.
Choco Almond Smoothie
- 1 ½ frozen banana, diced in cubes
- 2 cups almond milk,
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ice cubes
Step 1: Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender.
Step 2: Vroooommmm, mix it all up!
Step 3: Serve in a pretty glass jar + top your favorite granola. I topped mine with Choco Buckwheat Granola.
Chunky Buckwheat Cacao Granola
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup buckwheat
- 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup cacao powder
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: In a large bowl combine rolled oats + buckwheat + coconut flakes + chia seeds + coconut palm sugar. Roughly chop nuts + add them to the mix.
Step 3: In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup + vanilla extract + salt + cacao powder. Whisk to combine, until the consistency is smooth.
Step 4: Pour liquid ingredients over dry + fold coat.
Step 5: Spread mixture out in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Press firmly with a wooden spoon to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Step 6: Remove from oven, flip granola in large chunks + place back in oven to bake for another 10 minutes. Repeat every 3-4 minutes until toasted + fragrant.
Be very careful: This granola is very easy to burn. Take my word for it. The thing is, the dark color of the granola makes it hard to tell if it is cooked or not, so instead of going by sight alone, go by smell. Another good way to test if your granola is done is by tasting a hazelnut, which takes the longest to cook. If the hazelnut tastes nutty + pleasantly roasted, you’ve showed your oven who’s boss.
Try it + let me know how it goes, okay?
PS: This week I was a guest on The Cultivate Show, the podcast for parent entrepreneurs who want to be great business people and even better parents. I talked about life waiting for Olivia + how my business will evolve with her arrival. The episode is now live. You can listen to the podcast here!
June is here. I’m sooooo happy. Cuz you know what happens in June right? That’s right, baby Olivia is coming. The countdown is official on. WOHOO!!!
I’m so touched by the response I got from my post The Things I Learned While Carrying a Little Pea Inside My Pod. It’s been unreal to feel such overwhelming joy + support for the arrival of Olivia. Thank you aunties. It’s certainly made my final days of pregnancy so lovely.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be popping in with a nursery tour + baby inspired crafty tutorials + hopefully (if my increasingly demanding nap schedule allows it) some business related articles, like How to Run a Biz Empire When All You Feel Like Doing is Pin Baby Clothes or Sleep.
Today, I invited someone real special to step in + give me an extra hand + show us how to make a gorgeous Beehive Painting. I may or may not have mentioned my current obsession with all thing bumble bee + how I’m planning to giveaway wild honey jars at the hospital as favors for all those who come to bee-sit baby Olivia, so if you start noticing a theme going on around here, I assume full responsibility.
Without further ado, here’s the super talented Gaby Friedman:
Hi everyone! My name is Gaby Friedman. Painting is one of my passions and today I am very excited because I am going to be Mayi’s guest blogger. Please join me as I demonstrate how to create this painting. This easy technique is perfect for a nursery.
Watercolor is one of my favorite painting mediums to work with because of the way the pigment responds on your paper and for the transparency and glow that you can achieve.
To get started, here are the supplies that you’ll need:
- Any kind of watercolors (I used Dr. Ph. Martin’s Radiant Concentrated Watercolors)
- Watercolor paper of your preference
- Big round paint brush
- Paper towels to soak up excess water and paint
- Squeeze punch large-hexagon, 1.5″
Step 1: We are going to fill the entire paper with different shades of yellow and black. So let’s start by applying clean water on the paper.
Step 2: Put a little drop of yellow watercolor onto the wet paper and keep applying color while it is wet. I recommend that you let the colors bleed in order to create a nice background to work with. I used lemon yellow, orange and black because we are going to create a geometric beehive painting. Feel free to choose your own combination of colors.
Step 3: Continue doing the same exercise until you cover the entire sheet of paper.
Step 4: Paint a second layer if you would like to have a fuller background.
Step 5: When it’s dry, cut or punch plenty of hexagons from your paper and mix up the colors.
Step 6: Create a border to work within. Arrange the hexagons, lining them up neatly. You can either fill in the hole space or leave some white spots.
Step 7: Once you’re happy with the placement, glue down the hexagons one at a time.
Step 8: Place your artwork into a frame and your masterpiece is ready to hang in your bumble bee nursery.
I hope this easy tutorial will inspire you to pick up a brush and make your own piece of art for your little one. I promise you will have a fun and exciting time.
I was celebrating my 32th birthday when I second guessed myself before ordering a third round of mojitos. “It’s been a while since the last time I’ve used my Kotex pads in my beach bag”, I thought to myself.
The next day we were flying to Orlando, Florida to go to Halloween Horror Nights + Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, so I did what any slightly paranoid human being would do. I took a lab pregnancy test.
It came out positive.
That’s the moment my life changed. In an instant. One minute, I was extremely excited about wine tasting + upside down roller coaster riding. The next, I could only think of one thing:
I’m going to be a mom!!!
I’M GOING TO BE A MOM!!!
I’M GOING TO BE A MOM!!!
Everything else took the passenger seat.
Now I must confess, before I found out I was expecting, I knew pretty much nothing about pregnancy. I mean, only the basics – the possibility of morning sickness + the importance of belly oils to avoid stretch marks, but other than that, I was clueless. Clue. Less.
Being so close to the finish line, Olivia could pick her birthday any minute now, I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned about pregnancy + becoming a mom + expanding my tolerance for a lot more mess in my life and business. Whether you’re a mom-to-be + new-mom + pro-mom + mom-of-a-furry-creature-or-cactus or wish-to-be-a-mom-one-day, I think you’ll find something of value in this list. Or at the very least you’ll get a good laugh out of some of these.
Here I go, the things I’ve learned while carrying a little pea inside my pod named Olivia Larrinaga Carles:
1. Being pregnant is a freaking miracle. We lost our first baby. He’s teeny tiny heart stopped beating around the 3-month ultrasound. The pain we experienced, David + I, was inexplicable. It was the first time in my life I couldn’t “fix” what had happened. And that was very hard for me. That feeling of complete impotence. When we got the news we had been given another chance to be parents, we didn’t care if we were having a girl or a boy, if we were having twins or triplets, if the baby was a Scorpio or a Gemini. Nothing mattered but our love for this new life, this MIRACLE, that was growing inside of me. We just felt so incredibly blessed. They say, babies that follow a loss come from the rainbow. I absolutely believe it now!
2. Pregnancy is the happiest reason to feel like crap. Every leg cramp + every food aversion + every sleepless night + every emotional tantrum + every ninja kick that took my breath away in the wee hours of the night… all of it feels irrelevant. I know this may sound masochistic, but I swear, these have been the happiest days of my life.
3. My patience is a limited + precious resource that I now guard with my life. These days, the little patience I have left is exclusively reserved for my family + my community + top priority projects. No guilt or shame about it either. I’m not even looking to optimize my patience or apologize for losing my cool when my buttons are pushed. I’m actually enjoying this new “I give a darn about you, if you’re not worth my energy” attitude. Try it, it’s liberating.
4. Other peoples bad moods + insults + attitude problems no longer ruin my day. It was about time, right?
5. I actually don’t like Oreos that much. I only craved Oreos when they weren’t allowed. When I found out I was pregnant, I let my internal Yedi Council guide my choices. When I removed restrictions + punishment from the equation, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I’m not the Oreo Monster I thought I was. I’m much more of a homemade carrot cake kinda girl. Big revelation.
6. Surrounding myself with people who I like + like me back is so important. Having a loving support system of crazy aunties + grannies to laugh about pregnancy symptoms or ask stupid questions, like whether or not I could take bubble baths while expecting, was the biggest blessing. Simultaneously, I divorced every relationship that cost too much effort + time + head aches + constant disillusionment to maintain. Olivia truly gave me the courage to embrace petite committees and fire every whiny + pessimistic + energy sucking vampire in my life who is dimming my glittery eyes without feeling bad about it.
7. Life is not that complicated. We complicate things by saying “yes” when what we really wanna say is “no”. I thought it would be hard to clear my calendar + stop overcommitting + make room for baby Olivia. It wasn’t. People are actually pretty cool + understanding when you tell them, “I’m flattered beyond measure that you would think of me for _________, but as you can probably tell my priorities are set on baby making right now. I apologize I can’t do this amazing project justice.”
8. Pregnancy is not 9 months, it’s closer to 10 months. I’m kind of neurotic about timing + planning, so finding out the process was an additional month was an unexpected curveball.
9. WOW I’m not completely incapacitated. Pregnancy is not synonymous with being sick. What a breakthrough! Of course I’ve had my Unnecessary Freaking Out Over Nothing Episodes post eating the entire Christmas buffet table or a big ass-burger the size of my face all to myself, but other than that, I was very happy to find out I was able to go about my day-to-day things as usual. Although I’ve noticed I get more doors opened + everyone seems to want to help me at the grocery store. That’s been nice.
10. Watching Game of Thrones while pregnant is a terrible idea. Baaaaaad indeed.
11. Every dementor has a patronus. All of the changes that happen during pregnancy are so weird that it’s easy to assume there’s a scary new symptom + ache + pain around the corner. But the thing I found surprising is that even the toughest hiccups have remedies. For example, in my 26th week I started experiencing shortness of breath when sleeping on my back. It freaked me out. My doctor recommended adding more pillows + my auntie Aurita gave me this magical Nikken blanket. PUFFF!!! Problem solved! Just like that. I learned that there is always a charm for every curse that stand in the way. Always.
12. Some people… GOSH, are seriously annoying. People suddenly felt like it was appropriate to comment on everything, whether it was my weight + the size of my belly + my diet + even my lifestyle decisions for when Olivia is born. If I need breastfeeding tips + morning sickness tricks or any sort of advice for that matter, I’ll seek it – Google it + enroll in a course + hire a mentor + e-mail a friend or ask my mom. Thank you!
13. People who don’t give unsolicited advice are my favorite kinda of people. Seriously you guys are awesome!
14. People notion of boundaries shift when they find out you’re pregnant. Why? Strangers would randomly grab my stomach + others would over share every detail of their horrifying birth stories. It’s bizarre + I had to keep reminding myself not to take it personally.
15. If I didn’t plan for it, it didn’t happen. I was so forgetful about taking my folic acid + my prenatal vitamins until I got a 7 Day Weekly Pill Box Organizer to store my required supplements. As it turns out, just like with any other important project in life, if it’s not scheduled it doesn’t exist.
16. Having a baby belly is a lot like having Aladdin’s magical lamp, but better. I’ve asked for frozen yogurt in the middle of the day. Granted. I’ve asked for back massages with lavender oil. Granted. I’ve asked for a very specific color of turquoise napkin for my Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party. Granted. I’ve asked for M&M milkshakes. Granted. I’m gonna miss this for sure.
17. Furry creatures know something was up. We have a labrador named Hagrid – Keeper of Keys and Ground of the Larrinaga Carles Headquarters. He’s the size of a jumbo jet + has the personality of an unsupervised puppy dog on sugar high. I was a little nervous when I found out I was pregnant, because he has the tendency to knock you over when he sees you coming with a frisbee. Actually, when he sees you coming, period. But even before we knew a little baby girl was coming, Hagrid strangely became so gentle with me. He stopped tackling me. He suddenly just wanted to cuddle + lick my feet. Something changed that we can’t explain, but I swear, he knew, before we did, that Olivia was coming.
18. Belly oil is my BFF.
19. Changes are gradual. I assumed that changes to my body would happen suddenly, to the point where it would be difficult to shave my legs or get out of bed. While both of those tasks are becoming increasingly challenging, the changes have been slow. One time, when I was brushing my teeth, I noticed that I was splashing water everywhere. I thought that maybe something was wrong with the faucet, but realized it was my bump that was getting in the way LOL.
20. My choices sculpt our future. There is something about creating life + bringing that life into the world that gives you perspective. Perspective ladies + gentz. I believe our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past + present. And with each insensible decision + every act of kindness, we give birth to our future. Which is why I’ve been making more environmentally friendly choices, like picking cloth diapers over disposables + installing bamboo flooring instead of something Made in China, and taking greater interest in impacting positive changes in order to leave our Earth a better place for my daughter.
21. As my belly grows, so does my heart. While I’ve always considered David to be sweet, I wouldn’t have necessarily labeled him as a particularly sensitive guy, before I got pregnant. But he was overwhelmingly supportive of me every step of the way + watching him whisper into my belly every morning + sing songs to Olivia (her favorite “La Espera” from Cultura Profetica) + play Deepack Chopra audiotapes on fatherhood + take an interest in the smallest details of our baby’s life, brought out a new side of him that I’m absolutely head over heals about. I didn’t think I could love him any more, but seeing him in his new role as a dad has made me realize I was wrong.
22. Babies erase your loser scripts. I’ve always been a little self-conscious about my thighs. About my spider veins. About cellulite. About how I look when I put on a bikini. Any body issues or insecurities vanished the second I found out we where gonna be a mommy. Olivia just makes those silly thoughts fly away, like clouds with the wind.
23. You really do glow. It’s not just me + my new found over-confidence. Yes moms are excited about becoming moms, but it’s more than that. As it turns out, glowing skin is a very real thing for pregnant women. While pregnant, the amount of blood in our bodies will increase by 50%. The extra blood ends up showing through the skin in many areas, particularly the cheeks. On top of this, our preggo hormones cause the oil glands to become more active, resulting in a softer, shinier appearance. The result is a noticeable glow (aka Mayi feeling like a goddess).
24. The father-to-be is also a little pregnant. You should see us at every wedding we go to. We attack that dessert table like a lion attacks his prey. You could swear we are both pregnant. And David heartburn is nothing to joke about either. Call it sympathetic pregnancy or whatever you want. It’s real And, I happen to think it’s the cutest thing ever!
25. Pinterest is dangerous. Baby clothes + nursery projects + dressing the bump… oh my! It’s already too late for me, but if you can, safe yourself. Run the other way. That place is a trap.
This mama-to-be might have missed out on the mojitos + said sayonara to sushi for nine months, but it was worth every single second of waiting for Olivia. Every. Single. Second.
What about you? What lessons did you learn while expecting? Any funny revelations or big aha moments? Leave a comment below + let me know!
I have some really exciting news that I’ve been dying to share with you, but things have been sort of top-secret until now.
what is it?
My Life is Messy Planners are part of a huge bundle sale that’s happening in the next 72 hours. This flash sale is called Multi-Passionate Must-Haves + it’s designed specifically for people who have a lot of different interests + creative projects + big ideas in the shower. I’m talking a library of resources worth $1,712 to help turn your many passions into a healthy creative business, one that makes enough money to pay the bills + purchase fancy nail polish + splurge in organic produce if you want to, for just $97.
This year, everything that’s included has been curated to be all about career-related goodness!
Who’s getting pumped?
And wait till you hear everything what’s inside. The Multi-Passionate Must-Haves kit includes:
- 2015 Life is Messy Planners by Mayi Carles ($40 value)
- Best of the Right Brain Business Plan Video Summit by Jennifer Lee ($97 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Biz Shiz by Rebecca Tracey ($35 value)
- Coaching Biz Badassery Bootcamp by Jennie Mustafa-Julock ($250 value)
- Creative Business Kickstart by Amanda Genther ($75 value)
- Creative On Command: Instant Inspiration Exactly When You Need It by Jennifer Blanchard ($9.99 value)
- Find Your Career Compass by Michelle Ward ($37 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Finding Balance: Tools to Define and Defend Harmony in Your Life by Paula Jenkins ($15 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- How to Sell Art on Instagram by Cory Huff ($25 value)
- How to Write a Lovable Homepage by Carrie Klassen ($165 value)
- Living Room Strategy Training by Tara Gentile ($99 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Marketing for Creatives by April Bowles-Olin ($29.50 value)
- More Shenanigans Please by Tiffany Han ($31 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Multi-Passionate Branding by Michelle Nicolaisen and Emilie Wapnick ($67 value)
- The Perfect Set of Testes by Halley Gray ($10 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Ridiculously Awesome Resume & LinkedIn Combo Platter by Jenny Foss ($49 value)
- Say it with Grace: a blueprint for stellar client communications by Nita Apple and Jess Larsen Jukelevics ($159 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- The Ace Freelancer’s Guide to Negotiation by Katie Lane ($60 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Be. Write. Now. Bringing Presence, Mojo, and Momentum to Your Creative Process by Jen Louden ($49 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- The Thriving Artist Master Mentors Bundle by Bonnie Glendinning ($135 value)
- Resume Template by Splash Resumes ($79 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Business by Alexis Grant ($47 value)
- Client Conversations by Diane Pauley ($97 value)
- Rock Your Work – Journaling for Success, Sanity and Satisfaction by Deb Cooperman ($16 value – EXCLUSIVE to the sale)
- Awkward, Yo by Shenee Howard ($35 value)
- Create Your Shining Year In Biz + Life Workbooks and Meditation by Leonie Dawson ($18 value)
The total retail price for all of these products comes to $1,712, but for the next 72 hours, you’ll be able to snag them all for only $97!
it’s for a good cause!
And it gets even better. $10 of each sale will be donated to Michelle Ward (aka The When I Grow Up Coach) for the Avon 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer in NY. Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011 + declared cancer-free in June 2012. This will be her forth year walking. Having lost two of my grandparents to cancer, I feel honored to be backing up this do good mission.
This ku-ra-zy sale ends on May 14 at 11:59pm PDT, so if you want to support cancer research + get a ridiculous deal on some of the best products created by multi-passionates for multi-passionates (including moi!), order now!
If you purchase thru my link, I get a cut of the sale. Your support is what helps keep my little business running. Thank you so much!
PS: It’s worth reiterating that 100% of this bundle contains NEW products that haven’t been offered via this sale before, + as you can see above there’s a quite a few offerings that you can’t find anywhere else!