Mommy & Me Take Mexico | Banyan Tree Mayakoba

I never quite agreed with the whole It Takes a Village philosophy with raising children; but I wholeheartedly believe in the tribe. The bonds we form throughout different stages of our lives are so special and they don’t usually form overnight.. until now. Motherhood has been such a magic potion for practically instantaneous, incredible friendships. It truly is a sisterhood.

Nothing can prepare you for those first few months: healing from a major medical event, sleep deprivation, hormones, night sweats, frustration, worry, self-doubt, and sheer joy. Luckily, the long list before the silver lining was bearable and worth it, Iya is worth it. My local mom friends are absolutely amazing and so supportive but their babies were walking talking toddlers. I’d lay awake at night feeling like I was the only one never sleeping and spend my days talking to one little human who couldn’t respond yet, not even with a smile. The feeling of isolation was defeating (but that eventual first smile for mommy was EVERYTHING :) ).

I’ve known Saira & Zaineb via Instagram for some time but not on a personal level. Their babies are a few months older than Iya so I found myself connecting with each of them individually for advice (& just some company!), while they were doing the same with each other. We had quite the mom love-triangle goin’ on.. until one of us started a group chat and the rest is history! <3

These girls helped me through so many new trials, e-wiped my tears, sent me in fits of belly laughs, and always encouraged me to be the very best ME! We’d turn to each other on our low days and share the joys of even the tiniest of milestones. A great support system and a little bit of self-care is so so important. A good mommy needs to be a well cared for mommy! Back in September we stayed up late one night sending each other TBTs reminiscing over our pre-mom days (& bodies LOL) and began planning a girls-trip to just get away and get a break. We very quickly realized that it wasn’t our babies or our responsibilities that we needed a break from, but rather the monotony of daily life…

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Japan Lookbook | Travelgram

Happy New Year loves!

My little family & I just got back from spending Christmas & New Years in Japan!  This was one of our favorite trips & destinations to date and I can’t wait to share my travel diary soon. In the meantime I wanted to post my lookbook here on the blog – you’ve seen these on Instagram already but everything looks better when bigger on the blog! :)

I’ve always had trouble dressing my body-type so I’m definitely no fashionista but I loved how these looks came together! Japan has such cool style so I was really able to experiment and take a few risks. I knew it would be cold around the holidays so I ordered a BUNCH of sweaters and planned my outfits around them. To be more specific, I ordered a bunch of pink sweaters lol. While I was packing I was convinced that it’d look like the same outfit over and over but I think it all came together nicely as one cohesive lookbook!

Which look is your fav?!

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Whistler with BECCA Cosmetics | Canada

Iya’s first international trip, y’all! This time last week I was cuddled up with my lovebug in the mountains of Whistler, British Columbia! BECCA Cosmetics invited me to celebrate the launch of their holiday palettes, the Aprés Ski Glow Collection, and they were so accommodating with me bringing my daughter along. Iya is just shy of four months old and is exclusively breast-fed so there’s no chance of us being separated any time soon, neither of us are ready! I already got sappy about it on Instagram, so I’ll spare you the dramatics but BECCA welcoming us with open arms truly meant a lot. I had all kinds of anxieties about becoming a mother in this industry, thinking I wouldn’t be able to travel anymore or really participate in things but so far even with the challenges, my work-life balance has been incredible. Gotta roll with the punches!

Shop BECCA’s Aprés Ski Glow Collection

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Babymoon Travel Diary | Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Celebrating every milestone to the fullest is becoming more of a norm than a novelty these days. Me, being the perpetually extra person that I am, have absolutely no complaints about this new age of gender reveals, babymoons, and push presents! Waseem and I have traveled quite a bit since getting married four years ago but a dream babymoon was something I just had to have IRL. The era of just us was coming to an end and we needed one last hurrah before two became three.

Haha yes, I plagiarized myself & my Babymoon Essentials post (shh!) but I put my sentiments into words a little too perfectly there and I blame my new-mommy brain mush for being unwilling to write up a new intro.

Bora Bora has been on my bucketlist for years and I had my heart absolutely set on it being our babymoon destination – I refused to even think of a back-up. When I know what I want, I just have to have it! I wanted a relaxing, exotic, & obviously Zika-free vacation and I wanted to stay in an over-water bungalow. This pretty much narrowed it down to French Polynesia…

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Bali Travel Diary | Indonesia 2016

Last summer I had the pleasure of attending Institute of Code‘s 10 day coding retreat in Bali, Indonesia! Not only was it my first time properly exploring that side of the world, it was my first formal exposure to coding after 15+ years! I wrote up a super honest post last year How I made my #LifeGoals a Reality and talked about my journey with content creation — it all began with learning very basic coding in my 7th grade computer class. It was at this pivotal, young age I realized how important it is to be self-reliant. As much as I do need to hire someone to give my bloggy a little make-over, I like to have the option of doing it myself in the meantime while I’m being lazy :)

I was totally geeked, in every sense of the word, to discover Institute of Code! Not only did it get me excited to properly learn how to code, it ignited all of my wanderlust too! Talk about a two-fer!

I hated school. I hated school so much. It felt like prison – & I can confidently say that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. This is where IOC’s philosophy really stood out to me, they don’t believe that hard work & enjoyment are mutually exclusive. Who says you have to be miserable in order to reach your full potential? If anything, shouldn’t it be the other way? Yes, yes it should! & it is. IOC is all about getting us into our flow state – “when they are inspired, motivated, supported and eager to learn, they can accomplish so much more than they would in a normal day.”

I had to steal that blurb right from their website because it is so true! I didn’t think I’d learn more than basics over the 10-day course but I learned, absorbed, & retained so much! Not only did the program provide everything we needed so we could just focus on learning to code (chef prepared meals, yoga, meditation, massages, etc), being around other like-minded individuals was super motivating and inspiring. When we weren’t in class we got to explore the beautiful island of Bali – sigh, which isn’t just any ol’ destination. Travel goals while you’re pursuing your life goals.. that’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

do recommend planning for an extra day or two (or more!) in Bali after your course though just in case you don’t get to check everything off of your bucket list during your stay! The outside activities & sight seeing seemed to be really dependent on the collective group’s interests. While I was very interested in checking out the cultural and historical sites on the island, most of my classmates were more into relaxing and hanging at the beach so I went off to explore on my own a couple days – totally worth it! Just something to keep in mind!

Within the past year, Institute of Code has expanded their course offerings and now also offer Digital Marketing & Blog Mentorship workshops!! FOMO!!! Kiersten of The Blonde Abroad is leading the Blog Mentorship workshop – she is such an inspiration to me as a content creator & globe trotter. I’ve followed her work for some time and actually met her while I was in Bali as she was coincidentally visiting at the same time. She not only knows how to create beautiful, compelling content.. but also clearly understands strategy as one of the most visible female travel bloggers! If I weren’t a million years pregnant, I’d attend her workshops this summer in a heartbeat! You can find deets on all the different courses IOC is currently holding on their website.

My vlog from the IOC villa is above if you haven’t checked it out yet! They have since gotten a new campus which blows the previous out of the water – check out their Instagram page for an updated look on everything they have to offer! And now…. on to my photos! :) Enjoy!

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