Hey Mama, It's Okay: Postpartum Depression & Baby Blues

When I was pregnant with Matteo I was a reading machine. I read nonstop about what size fruit he was each week, what I should be eating for him to be healthy, what I should expect while I was expecting-if you will. Then I moved on to reading about parenting styles, and the things I wanted to implement with my baby. I read like crazy about labor and delivery, breastfeeding, sleep, and of course-I read product reviews like it was my day job. I was so sure I was prepared to bring my new baby into the world. I was ready. The books told me so.

And then, my baby was born. My tiny, hairy little baby. Holding him for the first time, breathing him in, hearing him cry, it's a feeling that a book could never really make me understand. I felt so much joy and pride. We had MADE it. 39 weeks through a difficult pregnancy, 33+ hours of labor, 40 minutes of intense pushing, and there he was! This was it. Everything I had been preparing for. We got to go home the day after I had him. I will never forget being wheeled out of the hospital with my little fur ball in my arms. It was dark and surprisingly cold, but I've always lived in Southern California so cold for me is anything below 75. The dispatcher dropped us off in front of our car, wished us luck and peaced out. And there we stood, our family of 3, in the dark...realizing our car seat base was installed wrong. Naturally this is the moment Matteo needed milk. I walked myself to a bench, sat my bloody diapered up booty down and nursed in public for the first time while Andrew figured out the car seat. Hiding behind my nervous laughter was a sudden pang of fear. What had we done? We were exhausted, we had no idea what we were doing, and we were being trusted to take this 2 day old home with us and keep him alive? Oh shit. And that my friends, is when I spiraled.

I cried for about 2 weeks straight, only taking breaks to put on a fake happy face when excited visitors came over to admire our beautiful little boy. I cried over my aching boobs, I cried over the lack of sleep, I cried over the stitches and the bleeding in my underwear, I cried over the house being messy, I cried. I cried all the time. I wish I could tell you my sob fest ended after those 2 weeks, but my reality was not that. What I thought was intense baby blues was something much deeper. Something I was ashamed of. I was depressed. I was so unhappy with my new life. I found myself staring at my perfect baby, mourning the loss of my freedom. And friends, that feeling lasted a long time. Once Andrew went back to work and I was really alone, whoa. The crying was on another level. I kept thinking, BUT I READ THE BOOKS. I felt like I was living in a literal nightmare. I felt so much stress and guilt. Oh man-the guilt. How could I possibly be feeling this way? I had always wanted to be a mom. Why wasn't it what I was expecting it to be? You often hear about celebrities being so brave for talking about their postpartum depression, but truly-very much like experiencing labor-you have no idea until you're in the thick of it.

It took me about 10 months for me to  slowly start feeling like myself again. This post isn't a guide on how to overcome your postpartum depression, I am obviously in no way an expert. Instead, I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. You can feel so much happiness, love and joy over your little baby while feeling like you need to run away to a remote island stat. You can cry. You can be unhappy about this super permanent change in your life. It's okay if you aren't completely in love with your child right away. If I could go back and give myself some advice it would be: see your doctor asap girlfriend! Lean on your friends and family, ask for help, take a shower and get out of the house, and remember that it all really does pass. Mama, it's okay! I am rooting for you!
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Oh Baby Baby!

Woah, hey there! Long time no internet chat, friends! If you're still following along here for some miraculous reason, thank you! SO much has happened since I last updated my little space. First off, WE HAD A BABY! Matteo Jacob Keller was born November 6th 2017. He has completely changed me, and I'm excited to get back in here and share my life again. Becoming a mama has been beautiful, exhausting, scary, rewarding, joyful, and every other feeling in between. As you can probably imagine, my life is so different than it was before. I hope you enjoy following along as I figure out my new life as a mama!
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Midway Ice Castles, Utah

Ah, these ice castles...a dream come true! Living in Southern California all my life, I've never experienced snow quite like this before. It literally took my breath away! I had been wanting to visit these castles for quite some time now, so late last year I decided 2017 had to be the year I finally saw them. The drive up to the castles was so beautiful I literally cried (and sat in the car laughing at myself for being so overly sentimental...while crying at the same time haha!). The castles themselves obviously did not disappoint! This is a super family friendly place! You can take pictures with Elsa before walking in, there are built in ice slides and tunnels you can play in, and if you time your visit right you can see some fun night shows! We got our tickets for the 4:30pm time slot and we got to enjoy the castles with plenty of daylight. Around 5:15pm or so, the castles lit up with beautiful lights and a fire dancer came out to perform which was super neat! They also had really yummy hot chocolate and other treats available for sale. All of this combined with "Let It Go" playing faintly in the background made for the absolute best snow trip ever! 

Midway Ice Castles are located at:
700 Homestead Dr.
Midway, UT 84049

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2017 Goals

Hey there friends, happy Friday and happy 2017! I hope the first week of the new year has been all kinds of fresh and magical so far! In an attempt to keep things real around here, I have to confess that I had no intention of blogging anymore. 2016's theme in my life seemed to be "overwhelmingly busy all the time". Naturally I made a ton of goals to slow down this year, learn to say no, etc etc. So when it came time to thinking about renewing my domain name and keeping this blog, I initially thought it was time to shut it down. I had every intention of doing that, until I started to think about how much I used to love taking pictures and blogging. How much joy it brought me to make new friends online and share my life with totally cool strangers who were so supportive (some who even became real life friends), and how much I've been missing this little hobby of mine! I'm not 100% sure what I want to do with this site just yet, but for now it will continue to be my happy place where I share my goals and fun pictures of things I'm up to.

If you've been here for a while, you know that I love making lists and writing out goals. I'm actually really good at that! What I really suck at is following through, ha! I think that huge flaw of mine is a big reason why I spent so much time last year feeling like everything was so out of control and time was slipping out of my hands. This year I've decided I'm going to take a different approach. Instead of making goals for the whole year that I'll likely forget about by February, I'm going to focus on a few goals and check in/change them up at the start of every quarter this year. SO, here are my 2017 first quarter goals (January, February, March):

1. Go to yoga 3 times a week
2. Read 6 books (that's 2 per month. Totally doable)
3. Develop a peaceful (and realistic) morning routine.
4. Limit eating out and buying coffee to once a week.
5. Mail friends and family birthday cards instead of sending them a text.
6. Take 1 photo a day!

Easy enough, yeah? :)

Your turn! What are your goals for 2017? I'd love to hear them! 
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Duke Goes Apple Picking

Hey, what's up, hello! Long time no see! I've really been thinking a lot about this little blog, and how much I love and miss it. I'm dusting off the cobwebs today to share Duke's day of apple picking because FALL is finally here! This time of year is when I seriously come alive and thrive, ha! A lot of changes happened during the summer. We moved, Andy and I both started new jobs, we began talking more seriously about starting a family and discovered the stress and heartbreak that comes along with that sometimes; basically my entire life felt a little all over the place. Things are finally starting to slow down a bit, and I feel like I've adjusted to our new routines and day to day. I'm giddy over these cooler days and quiet nights at home with my little family and my giant collection of Fall candles (hehe). We thought we'd kick off the season by taking a drive to Oak Glen to pick some apples. This was our first year bringing Duke along, and although slightly challenging, I was happy to know Oak Glen was more or less dog friendly enough for us to bring our little fur ball!

On some of our previous apple picking trips, we've gone to Riley's Farm (you can checkout that post here!). Although Riley's Farm is also dog friendly, we found that it's very very busy. If your dog is anything like ours, large crowds are a big no no.  This year we drove just a tad up the street and visited Riley's Apple Farm instead! It's still just as beautiful but significantly smaller so the crowds don't get overwhelming. Riley's is dog friendly, and the staff is awesome! The only "downside" is you have to carry your dog through the orchards. No one wants dog pee on their apples, yeah? This wasn't really a problem for us because Duke is basically our toddler and we tend to carry him a lot anyway, haha. We also got there right when they opened, which really help with the whole crowds issue!

After picking our apples, we headed to Oak Tree Village, which is at the center of Oak Glen. It's the sweetest little village with tons of shops and restaurants where doggies are always welcome! Before heading home we stopped for fresh cider and BBQ at one of the many ranches in the area. Most are dog friendly, just call ahead! Overall I would say Oak Glen is a great place to bring your 4 legged pal so long as you're prepared to carry your little munchkin around a bit!

Riley's Apple Farm is located at:
12201 S. Oak Glen Road
Oak Glen/Yucaipa CA 92399

Psst, put your apples to good use and make a cocktail with them ;) apple and mint moscow mules HERE!
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Honey and Fig Wine Spritzer

My husband recently admitted that he had never had a fig before outside of Fig Newtons. To some people that might sound crazy, but he's not much of a fruit eater so I'm rarely surprised when he shares what fruits he hasn't tried. A few days ago I saw that Trader Joe's had rolled out their Tiger Figs and immediately I knew I had to find a way to get Andy to have some. At first I considered throwing them into a fruit tray for him, but again, I've married someone with a serious distaste for fruits (so weird). The minute I stepped foot into the booze aisle though, I knew Operation Feed Husband Figs was about to take off. I picked up a cheap bottle of Trader Joe's Charles Shaw (love you long time, $2.50 wine!), some rosemary and my trusted figs and went on my way. 

Fig season always feels so short lived but so, so good! It's a sweet reminder to me that Summer is coming to an end and Fall is just around the corner. The notion that opposites attract could not be more true for Andy and I when it comes to our love for fruits! Any who, I whipped up a simple wine spritzer because it's what you do when your wine is under $3.00 and I put it to the husband test.

Andy ended up loving his fig wine spritzer, and over the weekend he even ate a fig all on his own. O.F.H.F. (Operation Feed Husband Fig) was a success!  To make your own fig wine spritzer you will need:

-FIGS! Some for your cocktail, some for munching on.
-3 oz. white wine 
-1 oz. club Soda
-simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, heat till dissolved, pop half a fig in for flavor while dissolving)
-light dollop of honey if desired (makes it extra sweet and yummy!)

Combine all ingredients, serve over ice and top with a little rosemary. There are a ton of flavors going on in this that work really well together!  

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Our Stay at the Flamingo Las Vegas

There's something you should know about me: I have mega butter fingers. Hand me something and there's an 80% chance I'm going to drop it. My phone is probably what I drop most often, so naturally it had a shattered screen for a while. Again, I'm a dropper, so a shatter screened has never bothered me until the home button, aka the main button on the iPhone, actually fell out of my phone leaving it looking totally nakey. I freaked out immediately after realizing that not only was my home button now gone, my entire phone was completely frozen. My tech life flashed before my eyes as I realized that I hadn't backed up any of my photos, and I hadn't connected my last Candy Crush game to Facebook. AHHHHH! K, but really. All jokes aside, I was fairly upset till a few hours later when my phone had a moment of rebirth. I frantically started backing up all my photos, which brought me to this little trip I forgot to share! There's always a bright side, am I right?!?

Although we took this trip forever ago (almost a year ago, to be exact), I figured I'd share it today because it's National Pink Day! We've been to Vegas a handful of times and I had always wanted to stay at the Flamingo because hi, it's pink and it's flamingo themed! Andy found us a pretty great deal and we decided to go for it. We booked a room for $35, and much to our surprise, we were upgraded to this INSANE suite when we got there. Since we had never been upgraded this way, we pretty much spent the entire time in the suite, drinking champagne and watching Bachelor in Paradise, haha.

We're itching to go back to Vegas later this Summer. More than likely back to the Flamingo because their service is impeccable and also, did I mention there's a lot of pink?!?
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Hey there, I'm Jess! A DIY and glitter enthusiast. Obsessed with color, my husband, our dog, and Disneyland! Here you'll find colorful DIY's on a budget, boozy sips, and snippets of my life as a newlywed. Grab a cocktail, stay a while!



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