silk + bright yellow + my love for period drama

For my swatch-lover friends out there ~ what's your fondest memory of your swatch growing up?
Shop these white watches using my affiliate links. 

// Affiliate links are used //
Top, Banana Republic, here in black
Skirt, nordstrom rack
Ninewest pumps
Louis Vuitton Empreinte leather, Montaigne MM
earrings from my cousin
Watch, exact one

// shop the look//

I am still trying to squeeze some bright colors before I dive into my fall and winter clothing. Co-workers remarked on this bright yellow scuba skirt with a full back zip. I paired it with a gray silky top (clearance from Banana Republic a couple of months ago) and my old, trusted low heeled Nine west pumps.

It's also getting harder and harder to take photos because the sun sets earlier and earlier. Quite a bummer. I love using my big camera. I am also behind on posting Lucas' 5 month old pictures because, again, hard to take photos when it's bleak and dark outside. Natural light helps amateur photographers like me.

Switching gears~
I watched the PBS masterpiece classic Victoria! wow! I love the British monarchy ~ they are so intriguing. A soap-opera that I follow diligently.  It's something I got from my mother. She had the Princess Di haircut  and named my younger sister after the late Princess.

I had a crush on the young Prince Wills' and wanted to be queen of England. oh my teenager self... But that was short-lived. Since he's Anglican and I am not... and he's lost quite a bit of hair.

Mostly now, I love following the fashion of the modern royals and watching documentaries and period drama. I like reading about their medical issues (hello consanguinity!)

I am also fascinated when arranged marriages actually work.   V&A's love story makes me forget that they are first cousins (!!!) They were truly in love  producing 9 children in their 20-some years together. It saddens me that Albert died so young and left the queen alone for 40 more years.  Speculations of his cause of death due to Crohn's disease vs stomach cancer... again, as a physician, I am fascinated by all the medical side of the monarchy.

I have received recommendations to watch The Crown and also the new movie, Victoria and Abdul.

Do you have any other recommendations?
For fellow British monarchy followers ~ any documentaries you suggest?  I will check my local library for your recommendations, so please leave comments below.

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five tips for an unmedicated natural birth

1. Go to a birthing class.
I was already a resident physician when I was pregnant with my eldest. Yet, I learned lots in that birthing class that I did not learn during medical school. My husband is not in the medical field either so learning the stages of labor and what pregnant mamas go through was helpful.

The class we went to also offered a book. Keep this book! If you plan on doing a second (or third... or fourth) natural birth, then reread this book. Reread your notes. Keep the handouts with the different relaxation techniques and positions.  I learned about swaying, bouncing on an exercise ball and the breathing patterns of "shh, shh, who..."  Lower back massages are so helpful during a contraction.

2. Have a labor support partner.
This is key! Whether it is your husband, partner, mother, sister, doula. I cannot imagine going through all that pain alone. Make sure that you and your labor support are also on the same page. There has to be a balance from the labor support of "you can do this" and "I am here for you if you change your mind."

My husband and mom were there for my first delivery. Then hubs was there for the other four. He was encouraging but also supportive of changing my birth plan if needed.

3. One contraction at a time.
Labor can be mentally exhausting. Specially if you paid attention to your birthing class and then reread your book during early stage of labor. You then remember that contractions get closer and stronger during the transition phase. This for me was the most painful part.

However, it's best to think of one contraction at a time. In between contractions, close your eyes. Relax. Listen to your labor playlist (if you have one). We played pandora classical music station during my 3rd delivery but those ads in between (sometimes timed during a contraction) were not relaxing. I did not have any music on for my 4th or 5th labor.

There's lots of free apps that can time and record contractions. Ask your labor support partner to time contractions for you. So he/she is onboard with your progress.

4. Offer it up. Eye on the prize.
I just said  take one contraction at a time but here on the next tip - I am asking you to think of the reward. Kissing and cuddling my newborn was definitely a HUGE driving force why I was able to do 5 unmedicated births. I know that there is an end to the pain. That the pain is temporary. It has an expiration time.

I also offered up my pain. I put those painful contractions to something bigger than me. I offered the pain for those children without parents. I offered the contractions for my own children.

5. It's okay to change your mind. 
If you're not doing well; If the labor is a long one;  If the baby is having decelerations -- it's ok to change your mind.  It is not a sign of failure. It is actually a sign of strength. Loving oneself and knowing your limits is a strength.  There are so many battles we deal with as wives and mothers. A natural birth (thanks to modern medicine) is not something we have to face if we do not want to.

For all my pregnant mama friends, good luck! You will soon see your sweet baby. Whether it's a natural or medicated or Caesarian delivery ~ labor and delivery is hard work.

For birth stories~
baby #1
baby #2
baby #3
baby #4 - here's the first part ~ or just skip to the end
baby #5

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eleven years

^Love the way he looks at me here

I used to be so sad when autumn starts. That meant summer is over and that winter is coming soon.

Being with hubs changed my attitude towards autumn. It is now a favorite season of mine. I got engaged in October. Then got married a year later, also in October. Autumn is also football season. I am already a Colts fan before we started dating. But the fandom grew since  I married him. One cannot not enjoy football when married to Derrick. He is a numbers guy and knows stats for football (college or pro.. or even highschool).

Our wedding day is the Feast of the Our Lady of the Rosary. We could not have picked an even better day for our wedding (besides Christmas or Easter!)

I am not sad when autumn comes anymore. I enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and trees.  I embrace the layering and chilly mornings. I welcome it with a big smile... on my face and in my heart.

We change because of the people we love. We learn to like what they like, until we end up loving what they enjoy.

Happy Anniversary, love!

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Sunday in Louisville

// shop the look using my affiliate links//

// Affiliate links are used //
dress, dcb
Steve Madden boots, nordstromrack
sunglasses, Nordstrom, mine are sold out but these are fun!
necklace, nordstromrack, exact one

lucas' outfit c/o JCP, exact one


life updates

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Top, thrifted
Skirt, gift from my sis
Saltwater sandals
LV, preloved


lipstick love with lipSense

// This is a product review but opinions are my own. //

LipSense lipstick in Mulled wine c/o Redgatebeauty.
LipSense Matte lipgloss
top, nordstrom ~ similar
shorts, nordstrom, similar cut offs
jimmy choo flats


Lucas @ 4 months {sqt}

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onesie c/o JCP

1. stats:
weight at 4 mos WCC 15 lbs and 5 oz ~ just above the 50th percentile
length 25.5 inches ~ 50-75th percentile


mockneck cold shoulder + maxi skirt

not too late to get lace up sandals

{Affiliate links below}
Top, DCB
Skirt, LulaRoe c/o
Marc Fisher lace up sandals, exact one
Chanel Wallet on chain
Watch, MK, exact one


blue polka dot dress {my Sunday best}

// Affiliate links are used //

polka dot dress, Dottie Couture Boutique ($10 off for you!)
Gucci marmont shoulder bag
Valentino espadrilles, here in white. Not wanting to splurge? here are cute ones
Cropped top, BR
Swatch, exact one


same outfit but minus the belly

affiliate links are used

Top JCP, similar also from JCP
skirt, exact one also JCP
Chanel jumbo, preloved
pumps, old Franco Sarto, similar
lipstick, MAC


sunday best in black...

top, DCB
skinnies - nordstrom, Topshop, exact ones.  I love these tons ~ I want another pair.
chanel mini - pre loved
manolo's, bought on sale


cute finds from the JCPenney Carter's Baby Sale

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As an infant, my family dressed me in all whites. My grandma preferred that before we turned one year old, that we wore white. You should have seen her face when I showed her my babies in brown, orange, and dark blue clothing!

As a mom of five, I finally saw the "white appeal." It's just so fresh-looking and cute.  I'm still not dressing my children in all white all day everyday. Hence I love dressing my babies in neutrals and light colored clothing... with white onesies of cute prints

I enjoy shopping for my babies. For my girls, there are many colorful and affordable styles that won't break the bank. With my sons, light color of blues and grays are my go-to colors. I can get away with whites and creams when they are very young  - no solids yet!

I'm so thrilled to partner with JCPenney and ShopStyle and shop their Carter's September baby sale! I found light blue and gray favorites for Lucas. I picked up "wear now" items for such affordable prices. Carter's knits are so, so soft. When I shop Carter's at JCPenney, I know I will be getting quality clothing for an awesome deal!


black is forgiving + postpartum thoughts {sqt}

Posting my seven quick takes early this week. Make sure to come back  here on Friday and see why I moved SQT midweek.

// affiliate links are used //
capri leggings via nordstrom rack, exact one
old Burberry bowler bag
top, old from Urban Outfitters

1. Black is forgiving. Here I was in the middle of the summer still sporting athleisure like none other because nothing fit post baby. Black capris and a flowy white top to the rescue.

How I will miss summer ~ when I can wear short sleeves or sleeveless tops.
I am not quite ready to layer yet.

2. Getting chillier here specially in the mornings. Soccer games are in full motion.  Thanks to auntie Feli, Uncle D and Auntie Cora for getting the boys their shin guards and new cleats!
We still need to get a goal net for the boys. what do you all think of this one vs this one?  We will put the gc to good use!

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