MY PERSONAL NEST

Sharing my thoughts, feelings, and observations through the journey of parenthood
He’s here!

He’s here!

If you follow me on any of my social media accounts (links below) you know that my baby boy arrived earlier in May. Just like his sister, he decided to wait 1 week after his due date to make an appearance. More in this subject later. We have been overcome by joy, as well as by tiredness and toddler tantrums! He will be 2 months next week and we are now getting into a groove as a family of 4. So in between diapers, feedings, laughter, and cries, I will slowly try to come back to posting so many of the thoughts and emotions that have been going through my head since the end of this pregnancy up to today. Please stay tune for more posts to come! And for now, don’t forget to follow on social media on: Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest Snap Chat –... read more
March for Babies 2016

March for Babies 2016

And like that another year has passed and another March for Babies is around the corner! This will be the 3rd year the Loving Nest is proud to participate in the March for Babies in Boston. Last year the event took place at Fenway Park and this year it will return to the DCR Hatch Memorial Shell. This year’s walk is 2 days after my due date, so although we will not be physically there, we still want to contribute as much as possible.   Tell me more about it, you say.   Well, March for Babies is a wonderful cause that raises money to help give each baby a healthy beginning. The money raised not only is used in research, but also supports local programs that educate women and reduce risks during pregnancy, as well as provides comfort and information to 90,000 families with a newborn in intensive care through March of Dimes NICU Family Support®. Their involvement has also helped the U.S. premature birth rate to drop for the 7th year in a row. When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to nearly half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies.   How can I help?   This year I won’t be physically walking, but anyone who wants to spend a nice day in Boston walking for a wonderful cause is welcome to join and represent The Loving Nest’s team. Don’t feel like walking? That’s fine too. Head over to our page and place your small (or big)... read more
7 Lessons from Frozen I want you learn – a letter to my daughter

7 Lessons from Frozen I want you learn – a letter to my daughter

You were born in October of 2013, right when the Frozen fever began. Of course, with you being a newborn and me being a new mom, watching movies was not on our priority list. However, after seeing all the little kids go crazy about it and it being the Disney movie of the year you were born, I had a goal to one day watch it with you and start our own Disney movie tradition. Little did I know that I would watch it hundreds of times, know all the songs and most of the dialogues… Yes, even though we were late to the party, the Frozen craze reached our household and at a young age. You have been watching bits and pieces and signing along to the frozen songs since you were about 15 months old. Now you are 2 and you still love it! We even watched the whole thing from start to finish for the first time just recently on one of these wintry and snowy day! Watching it so many times has not only made me memorize lyrics and dialogue but has also made me appreciate a lot of the details about the movie. I have compiled the 7 real-life lessons I want you to learn from Frozen and wanted to write you this letter so I could share them today with you, while it’s all still fresh in my mind. You are too young to understand this now, but hopefully you will read this when you are older and you will appreciate your mom’s words of advice. So, here we go! 1. “The heart... read more
15 Thoughts I Had During My 1st Trimester

15 Thoughts I Had During My 1st Trimester

A second pregnancy is definitely a whole different experience form the first one! Even though this pregnancy was very well thought out and planned, it happened way quicker than we expected, specially given the fact that the first time around we had the exact opposite experience. So here are some of the thoughts that ran through my 1st-trimester-pregnant-and-hormonal-brain this second time around:  Holy s***, I am pregnant!  Holy s***, I am really pregnant! – after testing for the 2nd time around  How is it even possible to love another human being this much?!  – while looking at my sleeping 2 year-old Oh, great! And this started already! – while suffering from bad all-day sickness What is it with me, pregnancy, and pickles? How the hell am I going to take care of a newborn AND a toddler?! How am I going to run errands with a running toddler and crying newborn? Ohhhhh, she’s going to be such a sweet big sister! – when visiting newborn cousin  What if I am pregnant with twins??!! Well, at least this time I won’t be pregnant during the summer! Although the snow doesn’t seem that much more appealing… Sorry, L! Mom is going to be a drag for the next 10 weeks! – while suffering from extreme fatigue and just wanting to lay on the couch all day long Oh, our sweet baby! – while holding back tears and feeling emotional at our first ultrasound I feel bad for you kid! – feeling bad for L every time I though that she would no longer get my full and exclusive attention anymore Now that this was getting so much easier… – thought that ran through my head after each successful outing, nap, bedtime, etc. ... read more
Gender Reveal: It’s a …

Gender Reveal: It’s a …

When I was pregnant with my first we were so excited and anxious to find out what we were having. Not so much because we had a preference, but just to materialize it all – so the baby wouldn’t be an it anymore, but a he or a she; so we could pick a name; so we could tell our, also eager, family. We just wanted to find out and tell everyone right after. No surprises, no parties, no fanciness. A simple “It’s a girl!” picture-text was enough! This time around, we were as eager to find out, but wanted to make it a little bit more special. The 2nd pregnancy announcement never gets the same level of attention and liveliness as the first. People usually say: “oh, you are having another?”, followed by a “congratulations” that can range dramatically in enthusiasm level or by some uncalled for comment like “are you crazy?”. So, we thought, why not try to make the gender reveal a bit more interesting and entertaining. We still did not want to be surprised. Both my husband and I are not really the surprise-loving kind, but we wanted to make it a bit more fun for family, who at that point were placing their bets on whether baby number 2 was a boy or a girl. Before we found out the gender we announced that L was becoming a big sister and included a cute picture with her holding a sign and a great design I purchased for instant download on Etsy (read more here). That design is also a cute way to start the boy/girl guessing game. We found out the gender at our 20-week ultrasound. Despite having... read more
New Product: big sister/big brother announcement

New Product: big sister/big brother announcement

Did you like the poster I made for our “Big Sister Announcement”? Well, a lot of people have asked me about it and showed interest in using the same template. So, I decided to add another category to The Loving Nest’s shop and make this template available to anyone who might be interested. Just add the product to your cart and tell me in the “notes” section all the details I need to know to send you your high-resolution .pdf document: up to 3 colors of your preference; who is being promoted? Is it a big brother or a big sister?; new baby’s due month and year. Then, you can print it and use it at your own discretion. In my personal case, I decided to print it at home and tape it to a framed chalkboard we already had in the house and have used for other milestones pictures. Go ahead and take a peak at the new Product section in our Shop. PURCHASE... read more
Bundle Organics: from nausea to breastfeeding, they’ve got us covered

Bundle Organics: from nausea to breastfeeding, they’ve got us covered

This 2nd pregnancy brought along much more nausea than I had the first time around. To the point I could barely eat anything but toast and apples. I started worrying about my baby’s health and development and wanted to make sure it was getting appropriate nutrients, despite my inability to eat nutritious foods! Fortunately, around the 2nd week of my bad nausea, I learned about Bundle Organics. They are a fairly new company who developed organic juices that are safe for pregnancy and ObGyn recommended. They were developed with the help of doctors and are fortified with all the extra nutrients and vitamins that a pregnant or breastfeeding mom needs to support their health and their baby’s health. These juices are not meant to substitute prenatal vitamins in any way, but to complement your daily vitamin intake with all the goodness you should be intaking during your pregnancy. The pasteurized juices are fortified with folic acid, iron, calcium, vitamin D, and more. Needless to say, when you are nauseous and don’t really want to eat, green juices can be so helpful to keep not only your daily fluid intake at an optimal level, but also to keep you “eating” healthy. Plus, two of the Bundle Organics flavors contain ginger, which is known to help alleviate nausea. I have to say, that was the best part for me! The days when I felt worst, sipping on a bit of these juices throughout the day made a world of a difference. I also drank a lot of lemon and ginger tea, but sometimes you just want something fresh from the fridge and... read more
“I’m being promoted to big sister”

“I’m being promoted to big sister”

Birthdays, holidays, and a new year translated into the blog being put aside for a couple of weeks (or months!).  However, if you do follow me on social media, you are already aware of our most recent announcement: baby #2 will be arriving in May of 2016 and L is being promoted to big sister! We are so excited to be expanding our family, to welcome a new little person into our lives, and to watch L grow into her new role as a big sister! After a busy summer and an early Fall move to a new house, we found out we were expecting. Literally, the day after we moved in! However, with a first trimester that was tougher than with my first pregnancy, with much more nausea and fatigue (plus, running around chasing a 2 year-old), priorities shifted and I wasn’t able to give the blog as much attention as I was hoping for. Now, that we are past the nuisances of the first trimester, past the holidays, and in a new year, I am hoping I can share this journey with you as much as possible, as well as fill in so many gaps that I have been meaning to share from L’s first two years of life. Will you be following along? Do you like this design? We used it as part of our announcement. You can find it on PRINTS by MAdesign Etsy’s shop to purchase for instant download... read more
Fall colors, foods, and GIVEAWAY

Fall colors, foods, and GIVEAWAY

Orange is an important color in our lives. I have always enjoyed its brightness and vibrance. It makes me think happy thoughts. But it was not until I started to attend college that it really took on a personal meaning. I studied Psychology. In Portugal, at least, orange is the color of psychology majors. It became my color too. I met my husband, also a psychology major, in college. For our wedding, we had an orange/white/silver color scheme, of course. So far, orange was part of my major milestones: college and marriage. But when I found out I was pregnant with my first child and she was due in October, it gain an even bigger significance. I was having a little Fall pumpkin! Now, orange is a simple reminder of all the things I love the most! It makes me smile every time I look at it. So, now that you know all about my orange craze, it’s easy to understand why I picked the color orange for my first Re-Play starter set! They have so many amazing colors, but this one, was mine! Are you familiar with the Re-Play brand? Did you know all their products are made from recycled milk jugs? Re-Play is a family owned company that manufactures, assembles, and tests all their products in the USA. Their products strive for sustainability by using recycled products, safety by meeting all FDA requirements, functionality, durability, and affordability. All this, while being a company that is socially conscious, providing employees flexibility around their family and lives. Now, I would say that is pretty impressive and a model which other business owners... read more
Babies, moms, and photography

Babies, moms, and photography

I love taking pictures! For years I have been the designated “photographer” for my family, being responsible for snapping all the pictures during travels and family events. Even though I enjoyed taking pictures, many times I would end up frustrated with the results and thinking: “why are these pictures not capturing what I am seeing?” I used a point and shoot for years, but when I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband thought he would solve my picture frustrations with a nice Nikon DSLR as my birthday present that year. I was so excited to get started with my new camera! For sure my pictures would look better now! For sure it would capture what I was seeing! I read the manual several times, practicing while reading; I watched the DVD; I even did a 3h workshop in Boston. Although the pictures were definitely getting better, I was still not 100% happy with the end results. When I saw that Nicole Starr Photography was doing a workshop on how to use your DSLR, I knew I had to go! I had been following her work online and loved her airy and bright pictures! I enrolled in the workshop and began the journey into, what I like to call, the “Nicole Starr experience”. If you have worked with Nicole in the past, you know how she is all about the little details. Everything she does, she does well and beautifully. Starting with a pre-workshop questionnaire so she was aware of all the participants’ camera models and what they were looking to get out of the workshop, to creating a Facebook group for post-workshop follow-up.... read more
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