Eliminate the unnecessary

You know what’s been pretty powerful and transforming? Simplifying life by turning the focus on to myself, my home, my family and on the things I really love and enjoy. The minimalist approach to life offers me the space to breathe into what and who I love, the focus and energy to perfect my living space and the relationships that mean the most to me.

Bringing more energy into our living space has been so much fun and there’s been a huge shift in everything else, too. I suppose that is how energy works, right? Because we have gotten rid of so many of the things we didn’t really care for, our space feels lighter, and so do we.

The newest change we’ve made: we got rid of our TV! Beside it not being pleasing atheistically (I mean who wants a huge black box in the center stage of their small living space),  it also didn’t serve us in any true positive way. To start, we barely watched any TV. So the first obvious thing was to cancel cable because wow, that’s a money saver. The second was that I don’t want my daughter really growing up on screen time. She’s barely ever watched TV in her two years of life, and I only resort to the ipad on long travel journeys, which are rare. She has certainly watched the occasional educational video or sesame street (she loves Elmo!) But her normal day to day life doesn’t include screen time and I really want to keep it that way the older she gets. The best way for us to do this is for her to not to grow up with TV at all. By the way, this is our own personal family choice, and who knows how long we can last, so no judgement at all if you do provide screen time.  To each their own. 🙂 The third reason is because it just gives us more time to do other things we want to do, but sometimes don’t because TV is an easy go to. I’ve finished one book in the time we haven’t had a TV (I know that’s not a lot but I haven’t finished an entire book since Darya was born!) I also want to take up some baking, and focus more on writing everyday.

Also, I signed up for a digital marketing class and a french class. I feel like this is the time where I am doing all the things I always wanted to. What are somethings you’ve always wanted to do but have been putting off and what things/activities/relationships do you need to eliminate to give you the space and energy necessary to do those things?






Living in a loft with a toddler and having no closets can translate to a lot of different things for people. Usually, the first reaction is horror and “Where do you put all your stuff?!” is usually the first question we get. And  I usually start by answering with “we don’t have a lot of stuff, or at least we are trying not to have too much.”  We are in a state of purging the things we don’t love, and keeping the things we do. Like, really really really do. But as much as we purge, there’s still so much! It amazes me how much crap 2.5 people can accumulate.

The purging  started with our bedroom, specifically our clothes. Since we use racks and everything is visual, keeping that area simple and clean is very important to the overall energy of our room.  We hired a feng shui specialist* for this process, and it is worth every penny.  She’s wonderful!

I also came across a concept of having a wardrobe capsule which is basically owning 37 items (for everyday use so not work out clothes, fancy dresses, or undergarments) for each season. I’m not too strict with it and try to keep by the philosophy more than exact numbers. The challenge is to not shop in those three months. I think I did a pretty good job with Spring, though it was hard at times and I did do a shopping run here or there, because well, spring in New York can also mean winter on some days and summer on other days. But all in all I’m proud of what I accomplished and really enjoy this idea so I’m going to try to apply the same capsule wardrobe for my daughter. I try to apply it not just to her clothes but also to her toys. Who says kids need a massive amount of toys and clothes? They don’t. It’s a misconception that just because you have kids, it means you have to have toys everywhereeee. Why? How many of those toys do they actually learn from, engage with, and develop skills from?

I understand that it’s a challenge and it’s easy to buy more  because we live in a society of consumption and consumerism, the images to BUY and BUY are everywhere. Society is always trying to sell us the new thing we absolutely need to have and the signs for it are everywhere. Well, when you don’t have the space to store all of it, you’re forced to think about it and really be honest with yourself about what you really need. It’s a conscious choice to give thought to what items bring you actual joy and love and which ones are you keeping just ’cause. I hope I can raise my daughter with this awareness, I hope that she’ll see birthdays and holidays not as ways of gaining more stuff but as windows to new experiences and memories with loved ones. Raising her in America, honestly, will make this very difficult because the “more more more” mentality is everywhere, but I want her to know B A L A N C E and that starts with me.

More to come on this. But for now, in an effort to have less, we also got rid of our coffee table! What do you think? We are getting rid of that shelf too and either creating a plant or gallery wall, whatever makes it feel less noisy. Lastly, meet our newest addition, Fiona, our beloved Fiddle Leaf Fig tree which makes me sooo happy. Honestly, it’s the most beautiful indoor plant I’ve ever seen and I hope I can keep her healthy. The little corner where we have her brings me peace. Any tips on how to keep her thriving? I know sunlight is super important for this plant, getting enough sunlight but not too much of it is crucial. What else?



*Feng Shui designer: Ashley Peacock | https://ashleypeacockfengshui.com/


España | Shoot My Travel

Hi friends!


Our babe will be two very soon, so I’ve been going down memory lane and looking at pictures from her first year of life. Some of my favorite captured moments with her are from our trip to Spain when she had just turned one. We don’t take family pictures often, as in paid photo shoots, so we’ve decided we will take those shoots on our adventures. Those adventures and memories are our most memorable, they give us uninterrupted time as a family, far far away from home and our daily routines. They are priceless to us and so photographing them is a no brainer! We are also not in to the posed-forced kind of family photography we see often, and wanted to take a different route that best suites us as a couple and as a family.

Thus, we decided to use Shoot My Travel, a company that provides you with a photographer in almost any city you want to travel to (and they are rapidly expanding, so don’t worry if your destination isn’t on the list yet!) They also recently created an app, which serves like an Uber for finding a photographer. It’s the easiest thing, and the most valuable, too. I highly recommend using this service when you’re in a different city or country because most of the time, you’re either taking selfies, or one parent is in the photo and the other is taking it. As a mama, I know that we are rarely in the picture! We are usually taking them of our babes, and we forget to be in them, too. Well when she grows up, and looks back on these memories, since the photos will be all that she will have from these experiences, I definitely want to be in them. Mama’s, you know what I am talking about 😉


I’ve also been getting asked a lot about tips on traveling with a baby. I’ll be following up with that shortly, stay tuned! for now, here are some of the photos from our photoshoot in Seville!





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Is it, indeed, a “happy Monday” for you?

Happy Monday!

I know that “Monday” isn’t necessarily linked to “happy” for many people. In fact, some may even find themselves counting down to Friday. That’s been me with my current career. I was counting down to Friday, dreading Monday. That’s such a crazy way to end up living most of your life right? Wishing the days would pass? We aren’t defined by our careers (even though our society really wants us to feel like we are) but what we choose to do most of the hours of our day really contributes to our health and happiness. I consider myself  a joyful, madly in love with life, type of person, so why was I allowing myself to feel locked in by doing something I didn’t love to do?

The obvious reasons, of course,  such as finances and obligations, but it was also the feeling that I had worked so hard at a degree and for a career that didn’t fulfill me. That’s a hard reality to reconcile with because the one thing we don’t ever get back is Time. That time could have been spent with me obtaining a degree, a certification or experience in a field I do love. That being said,  I am working on not looking at those years as a waste of time. They provided me with a career in a field thats always growing, a career I can find a job in nearly anywhere I go, a skillset that is unparalleled and actually also helps me be a better Mom. For that, I’ll always be grateful. And I understand that its a luxury to have the choice to step back from it, too.

But it’s a choice I have to make now. And it’s up to me, and its scary, and its exciting, and it’s so many things. You see,  by nature I am a multi-passionate person, which can get me in trouble because I want to try e v e r y t h i n g and it makes me less likely to commit fully to just ONE thing (my husband excluded!) I want my life to look like a few different things, and I have no interest in doing one thing my whole life or living in one place my whole life. etc. I need evolution. I crave it. I don’t know what the next stops on the way to career fulfillment are,  but I have to take the first step. It’s a journey and maybe it won’t end up meaning I’ll give up what I’m doing completely, maybe it will, but all I know, is that I have to leap into it whole heartedly and accept that whether I fall or rise, I tried. At least I tried.

I’m trying.



Take Walks

Take walks on the beach and take them often. Take them with yourself, with your friends, with your lovers. Take them with your soul mate(s), with your parents, with your children. Take a walk on the beach and take it often. The ocean takes you to your limits, to your dreams, and to your desperation.





Cafe’s make my heart sing. Whether they are in my own neighborhood or whilst traveling, cafe’s draw me in. They have their own stories to tell. Lovers & friends meet for a latte or two, make up’s happen at cafe’s, break ups, too. There is something so romantic about being in a cafe, and it almost always makes me want to write, or take a photo, or dream of something much more. Luckily for me, my neighborhood is packed with some really special ones. Sweethaus is the cutest little nook of a coffee/ cupcake shop and I adore the old-time feel of the leather seats and the bud vases so effortlessly and elegantly placed. I imagine if Hemingway where here now, he would sit for hours at Sweethaus.


“It was a peasant cafe, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old water-proof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a cafe au lait. The water brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.”- Ernest Hemingway

-x & happy June!


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Montréal ~ It truly is Europe without having to deal with jet lag. I absolutely live for cobblestone streets, corners filled with cafes, and bustling restaurants. All of which you can find in Montréal. No trip to Montréal would be complete without a visit to L’Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal. It’s an absolutely gorgeous Church (and Canada’s biggest, too!) and the view of the city from up top is stunning. We also spent some time in the Old Port, which is where you can find many of those cafes, restaurants, and cobblestone streets. It’s a good place to travel with kids, as there are lots of green spaces, and places to walk/run around and explore. We also were visiting family so we had a good village/team of helpers this round and it felt amazing 😉 On the last day we took an hour and a half drive up to Mont-Tremblant. The buildings in the village are so colorful and you can find a photo op and every corner. It’s a magical little place and worth the drive if you can squeeze it in!



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White City + Fields of green

“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” – Jack Kerouac

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This past weekend we took a flight to San Francisco with our now 21 month old daughter. My best friend was having her civil ceremony at San Francisco’s City hall (which is, by the way, just the most gorgeous building) and I was her witness. This particular moment in time means a lot to me because she has known a lot of grief and loss in her life, so to have the chance to celebrate her happiness now is particularly special and an experience  I was not going to miss. After the ceremony, the 4 and half of us took a road trip to Napa Valley. Napa is heaven on earth, it is beautiful in an unassuming, charming, organic way. It was splendid and glorious and the weather was incredible. Napa is all about those open fields and vineyards which was easier on my baby girl. She had lots of room to run around with the sun shining down on her.

She had an incredible time but traveling with our toddler is much more challenging than when we traveled with her as a baby. She really can’t sit still for long periods of time (i.e. a 6 hour flight), is finding her voice but not enough words yet to effectively communicate all her wants, and is also coming to terms with some levels of independence and the ability to say “no no no no” over and over again. All of those elements combined can be challenging to say the least. In fact, it had the most challenges we’ve experienced with her to date on any travel. But it is so so worth it. Looking back on the photos we have from the weekend makes my heart sing. It’s the kind of love I know we will look back on years and years from now and be glad that the fear of those challenges did not keep us from building memories. I’m glad that we did not let a temporary discomfort keep us from building permanent life-long memories.  Obviously what goes unseen are the tantrums, the countless pictures that often stand behind that one good one, and other general toddler moments that exist when traveling. We sometimes joke about how staying home is more of a “vacation” than going away but despite the fact that they may not always be relaxing vacations, they are our greatest adventures. We get to view the world through her eyes and that is pure magic. Every traveler, I think, dreams of that moment where they finally lay their eyes on that far away magical place, those street corners and nooks, cafes, and streets, and the smell of local food that brings life to the streets. Every traveler aches for that moment when they see for the first time a city they only held dear in their dreams and when we are blessed enough, we get to lay our eyes and hearts on those cities and streets, again and again, each time having a whole new experience. Traveling with a child highlights that experience even more because they see the magic even in places where you don’t. Everything is anew, everything is special, every corner and nook is worth exploring. And each time my girl ran down a street or stopped to dance with street performers, my heart would explode. She was in the moment and I was happy to have bought her to it.

Those moments run through my veins, they give life to my spirit, awakening and reawakening me time and time again. They spread like wildfire in me embarking and welcoming me to the next adventure that awaits.



May.| Postpartum awareness

May is Postpartum Depression awareness month. That means something to me having experienced postpartum anxiety for a few months after I gave birth to my Darya. Drawing awareness to the issue means being authentic with my experience with it. It means joining the solution, not continuing the problem by denying and ignoring the reality of what it means to become a new mom for many, many women.  When we deny what postpartum is we isolate the mama’s who are currently experiencing it, making them feel alone and misunderstood. We add to the stigma and to the need of appearing perfect. Perfectionism and the idealistic depiction of motherhood breeds loneliness and it keeps us separate from one another. Postpartum anxiety, for me, grew stronger, in fact, when all I saw were images of mom’s appearing perfect. All. The. Time. Because that image of perfection didn’t align with my personal experience and [my birth] as a new mom. And so it’s important, I think, to show the whole range of emotions that can occur. Yes there is bliss. Yes, of course, there is love. But there can also be anxiety, sadness, confusion, loneliness, etc. It’s necessary not to just show yourself at your best, even if this society begs for just that, because it’s begging for a lie. The human experience is not meant to be perfect, its not meant to look perfect, it is not meant to be easy. That’s why it’s also beautiful. It’s the whole range of it. Not just parts of it. And as much as I, too, want to only show the best of it because I am a true believer that focusing on what is good, helps it expand, and focusing on what’s negative, well, breeds negativity. As much as that holds true, this is different. In this particular instance, only showing the positive and the glorified aspects of being a new mom, contributes to the problem. It contributes to the stigma and THAT is negative.

I am hoping to light the candle of hope for friends of mine or women who I don’t even know, who are suffering silently or out loud.  I’m hoping to shed light on what is considered to be very dark and cruel. I hope it lights the way, I hope my being authentic and vulnerable with my experience will allow you to do the same. And I also hope it serves as a reminder that we are warriors, as women and as mama’s, and we overcome the hard parts. And you will, too. #Notapreexistingcondition #postpartumanxiety




Is your breath happy?

This past weekend I had the chance to go away for a short weekend getaway with one of my good girlfriends. Her and I always get into very [below the surface] type of conversations which I LIVE FOR. For me, the whole range of emotions we feel as human beings is beautiful, raw, and meant to be experienced fully. I am grateful to come into contact with others who are just as emotionally raw, passionate, and wild in spirit. She happens to be one of them. It was also the first time I spent time both away from husband and daughter! I wasn’t far at all but I realized how just necessary it is. To carve out time for yourself is really powerful  for you in your day to day life. You arrive at each morning a little bit refreshed and able to conquer, with a little more strut in your step, and more strength..everywhere. Add that in there with time with a good girlfriend, and you’ve got yourself a pretty good deal.

The past weekend got me thinking a lot about relationships in general. To evaluate each experience and ask yourself if a relationship/experience serves you or not. How many relationships do we have in our lives that are built from obligation/history? and how many are there because we really feel truly connected, happy, and alive within it? That is not to say that it always has to be all or nothing. Not every person will be e v e r y t h i n g. People also play roles in your life and each comes with their own light + gifts, so that’s not what I mean. Deep down you know which spaces and places, which people, do not always serve your higher purpose, your higher good. Deep down we know the relationships that we are better saying goodbye to, the on the surface, sort of- shallow situations that often drain us, but we keep up with them anyway, because either our society or our culture or our insecurities beg of us to do so.

But regardless of how seducing some situations and people may be for us, there are questions we should ask ourselves when we are actively putting our energy into things. Energy is all that you have. It is the compass that sets you forward, lights the way when you feel lost. And it shouldn’t get clouded, foggy, disrupted. It should stay clear, bold, and translucent. There are questions to be asked and Nayyirah Waheed says it perfectly here:

“things that should be asked often. in every type. of relationship: how is your heart. is your breath happy. here. do you feel free?”

I hope you answer, yes. But I also hope you have the courage to rise up and away, if the answer is “no.”

Much love & light on this particular Monday,