Just Breathe…

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Eating Disorders Awareness Week was from February 26th to March 4th. Those very close to me know the importance of both to me- those who know me extremely well know of the battle I won against both.

Before the month is completely over I wanted to share some of my story, not for attention, but because of the importance of sharing, because maybe it can help someone, or show someone that they are not alone.

For those who believe that having an eating disorder is a choice, it’s not. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to have an eating disorder. At this moment in my life I was suffering internally. I had let people in my life destroy my soul while I screamed silently, completely frozen. I felt that I had lost every possible control of my body, my life. I felt helpless, hopeless, alone, lost.  I was constantly mad, disappointed, scared, and/or sad. I was desperate to find something that I could control. Right when I felt like I had nothing left my eating disorders made me feel like they were there to help me through the pain, to help me cope, to be my friends, but it that was far from my reality.

People had a tough time understanding what was happening to me physically and internally. I would lash out for the smallest things and then just burst into tears, or suddenly I’d be overly happy trying so hard to be the nicest person. When I had a good day my parents felt a glimpse of relief feeling like they finally did something right, when they never did anything wrong. It was all me. My parents are humans, humans make mistakes, we each keep growing as people and learning from one another- there is nothing I have to forgive my parents. My parents are one of my greatest gifts from life, and I have been truly blessed.

At that moment in my life everything turned dark and scary. I couldn’t control my emotions or my thoughts, my mind was driving me crazy and I couldn’t find a way out. I was trapped. I realize now that those that I believed in whispered lies into my ears. Lies about me, lies about my family, lies about everything.  I realize now that I was surrounded by incredible people that I let slip out of my life. I realize that my family was and is as beautiful as they come. I realize now that my family wanted to help me, but simply didn’t know how but kept pouring all their love my way.

It wasn’t about the food or a desire to be thin. This isn’t something I wish on anyone. Eating disorders are not a joke. Joking about them really hurts and poking fun at someone hurts. Don’t say something like “You need to eat an entire pizza, you’re barely visible,” maybe you don’t mean harm, but that stabs. It’s insensitive and diminishing.

It’s disgusting to me how people don’t take this matter seriously. What’s more appalling to me is the constant jokes made about eating disorder saying things like, “Date a girl with an eating disorder, that will be a cheap date.” People have no idea the suffering that others go through. Someone standing right next to you can be going through an eating disorder and be planning to end their life, yes it can lead to suicide, be careful with what you say and how you act.

Eating disorders can affect absolutely anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, race, and/or age. They’re a mental illness with physical affects meaning it’s not tied to your shape or size- you don’t need to be abnormally over or under weight, someone can be in their “right” size and be suffering just as much.

Be mindful but also become informed. I suffered from anorexia and bulimia, but did you know there’s more than just those two eating disorders? Some others include Atypical anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, purging disorder, night eating syndrome, etc.

This is an issue that needs more light on it, an issue that needs to be taken a whole lot more seriously. We shouldn’t be hearing jokes about it on TV or reading jokes about it anywhere. You shouldn’t judge anyone for going through an eating disorder, you’re just pushing that person more over the ledge, you’re making them feel more trapped.

Eating disorders aren’t a trend or a phase, and they most certainly aren’t a choice.

It’s not impossible to recover- I promise you. We are stronger than we believe we are and more beautiful than we think we are. You aren’t alone in this. Just breathe.

For more information on eating disorders:

Www. Nationaleatingdisorders.org

For their help line call:


Here’s a link to an article I thought was a good read:



It’s a struggle but not impossible

Today started out great until I went to check my school status- I was no longer registered for one out of my two summer courses and I was put on restrictions. For those who follow me on Twitter, you’ll see that I mentioned that I didn’t do like I would have liked in one of my courses, and well, here’s the consequence for it. Instead of taking a new class this summer, I will be repeating that class- thankfully everything is fresh in my mind and I have tons of notes that I’ll be reviewing starting tomorrow before class starts next week.

I cried, I’m a cryer lol. Not doing well in school is something I’m not really used to. For the longest time I was always an honors student and/or a top student in school, I was always advanced but I took a huge dip.

My life is different now. My life isn’t just about me now. My first priority isn’t school, it’s my family and I’m not going to change that BUT I am going to school to offer my family a good life, one they deserve. So, with that said, I am going to work 100x harder.

It was difficult for me because in class I would think about Gio, at home I’d push all studies aside and do a ton of other things, even during Gio’s naps I didn’t study. I didn’t really pick up a rhythm until it was unfortunately too late. Now I know, and lesson learned.

Erwin always offered me this and that, but I would always say no that I wanted to do this and that instead (such as give Gio dinner and a bath, take him to the park so I can study, etc.). Erwin is amazing. He helps me so much, and I need to take advantage of the help that I have.

It’s not impossible for me to succeed, for a spare moment today I was just so overwhelmed because it just felt like I failed not only myself but my family as well, and that feeling sucks. It felt like so because I’m trying to finish all my courses in a specific time period so I can officially apply to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program on a particular date, and for a moment it looked like I couldn’t and that I’d have to wait longer- but it looks like with extra work and study time I might be able to still do so.

BUT, even if I can’t I already came up with a plan. I still plan to finish all my study plans next spring semester, and if it’s too late to apply to the DMS program THATS OK. I can work during my break time, help my household, focus on Gio, and then apply and kick some serious ass in the program because I know that I can do it. I know that I will be great. There’s no doubt about it in my mind.

I’m really tough on myself, I’ve always been, but I’m working hard on teaching myself that things happen. Everyday is a new learning experience for me, for anyone. I finally have my balance. I finally have a peace of mind. I have the best family and every reason to be happy, so now that I’m well focused I’m only going to push forward, work harder, and show myself that it’s not impossible to be greater and better.

Finding his little self 

Lately Gio has truly been growing a personality and even show favoritism towards things.

Erwin and I don’t really push Gio into liking particular things or even introduce him to much- he sort of has found on his own what he likes, and lately we’ve been picking up on different things.

Of course Gio has been given toys, but all mainly infant/toddler toys so none are “gender biased.” I put quotes on that because I don’t believe that “girl toys” are only for girls and that “boy toys” are only for boys. We don’t want him to feel forced or obligated to like something or do something because he has to like particular things based off his gender. So, that’s why Erwin and I aren’t strict on that. Yet, the funny thing is that Gio seems to be falling into your stereotype of a “boy.”

Erwin got him this little rattle toy months ago that is actually a car. When he was smaller he would just shake it none stop but then I actually put it away for a long time until he found it again in all his toys. We never taught him how to use it properly as a car, he actually discovered how to do it on his own and since then he really likes pushing cars around. So, I found two small cars for him so he can push them around, and he does that forever. He even learned on his own that it is has to be on the side of the wheels for it to go how he wants it too- so he’ll flip it until it lands on the wheels, lol. We think  that because he’s into cars now he really enjoys watching “Blaze and the Monster Machines.” That seems to be his favorite show now.

Also, Erwin actually was the one to notice that each time Gio goes into his ball pit he always picks up a blue ball. That ball bit has 300+ balls (I’m serious) of multiple colors but Gio always crawls out with a blue one to play with. We tested this out a couple times paying close attention to how he searches for a ball, and each time he picked out a blue one. He would dig through or look around until he spots a blue one. I thought it was too early for him to have favorites, like a color, but apparently not!

Balls seem to be all little kids favorite thing, or one of them at least, and Gio is no exception. He loves throwing them down the steps to play catch with Erwin, tossing it around the floor and following it, and especially kicking it around- his dad has high hopes of him loving soccer as much as him and it seems so far that he might. I love soccer as well ( what made me want to become a sports broadcaster) so who knows, maybe the chances are high? ‘Cause Erwin and I like to watch it and talk about it with one another, and there’s been times when Gio will sit or lay besides us and watch too! But you never know, he might end up being whatever about it.

Gio is also really funny. He does the silliest thing and the silliest faces, and he seems to be completely aware of it. He notices when you laugh and will keep doing it over and over until he’s over it lol

It’s been so much fun watching him grow and find himself! Especially now that he’s in that time where he discovers and learns a lot! I’ll be sure to keep you guys updated 🙂

Mother’s Day

A day late but Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful ladies, and to those who play both roles in their kids life! I hope everyone had an amazing day.

Yesterday I had a pretty great day with Gio and Erwin. Erwin had to work from 12 to 5, but once he got out we went out to eat. I really wanted to keep the day simple, especially since we’re moving (hopefully this week), but Erwin insisted on taking me out so we did and I’m so happy we did. We went to a Mexican restaurant and we both loved it! It was SO good. Gio ate so much there too! He had plantains, tortillas, and beans 🙂

All I really wanted to do yesterday originally was take Gio somewhere to play. I actually wanted to dedicate the whole day to him but he slept for 3+ hours while Erwin was at work! He had a tough night so I didn’t want to wake him during his nap. But right after dinner we took him to Chuck E. Cheese for about an hour. He had so much fun and that’s all I really cared about.

I know yesterday was Mother’s Day and the day is supposedly a day to dedicate to the moms but I wouldn’t be a mom if I didn’t have him. So, I wanted to thank him for blessing me in the greatest way possible, for constantly challenging me and making me stronger, smarter, and  braver, for loving me unconditinally, for teaching me so many lessons, for introducing me to the purest of loves, and for giving me the honor and privilege to be his mami. 

The boys and Erwin are all I need in this crazy life of ours. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world, ever. I can’t imagine a world without them and I don’t even want to.

I hope everyone had an incredible day with their loved ones, and I hope everyone had a great week! Xoxo 

17 Home Activities for Babies & Toddlers 

When I got pregnant, Erwin and I knew we wanted to be Gio’s main care takers. Of course Erwin works, 6 days out of the week right now, but I’m with Gio everyday. When I’m not with him, meaning I’m most likely in school for 1 to 3 hours than Erwin is with him.

Sometimes being home all day with a baby/toddler can be challenging. Yeah, we go to the park, library, and I used to take him to his gym class but all those activities aren’t necessarily all day kind of things. And honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to go out.

Gio is very active. He’s constantly on the move, which explains how he’s getting so strong, and always wants to be doing something. So, staying home can be a little bit of a challenge sometimes. Babies/toddlers get bored, so now what? They eat and sleep, but what about when all that is over and done with? What do you do with such a little person who still might not even know how to cruise around yet?

1. Practice new skills 

Can be tummy time, rolling over, touching their feet, crawling, clapping, standing, and where I’m with Gio right now, walking. I would practice for as long as he was up to doing so, and I don’t force too much out of him either.

For example, right now he can take a few steps but then just falls. He’s really scared to walk, so I don’t force him to because he will eventually get really upset. I’m going at his pace.
2. Sit and play 

Recently Gio notices the difference when he plays alone and when he plays with someone. He puts the biggest smile one when you sit and play with him. He’s into cars and balls, so we’re usually passing those around

3. Dance, dance, dance 

It seems to be Gio’s new hobby. He’s ready to get up once he hears the song  Despacito by Luis Fonsi. He’ll hold onto my hands facing me and start to “dance”. He’ll walk around, bounce, even sway but he’ll dance until he’s tired and then crawls away. If your little one isn’t standing yet, hold them or dance sitting down. Babies love music and movement. I would dance bachata around the room when Gio was so tiny and he seemed to love it.

4. Teach them something new 

New words, new letters, new numbers, how to pick up their head, how to find their toes or mouth, how to use a sippy cup or bottle on their own. Right now I’m teaching Gio three letters (ABC) and threee numbers (123). Don’t overwhelm them with too much information either. It can get confusing

5. Color 

Coloring not only stimulates their creativity but also helps with their motor skills, prepares them for school (’cause they’ll definitely be doing A LOT of it there), it helps teach them colors, it can help with their handwriting, and it helps with your hand and eye coordination. And like it can be for adults, it helps them express themselves and maybe even release stress too. 

For Gio I have the jumbo crayons by Crayola. They’re bigger and supposedly harder to break, so I think they’re perfect for him. I introduced them to him when he was 9 months- yes, they were headed straight for his mouth but we kept practicing. Now, he puts them right on the paper and will scribble for a little. It’s not the biggest distraction for him yet but it does seem to interest him a lot.

6. Build something 

Small or big, doesn’t matter. Use blocks, legos, cups, blankets and pillows, just build something together. A fort maybe? Help them find the door into their imagination and be amazed by how big a kids imagination can be! Right now I have blocks that on one side have numbers, on another is letters, the other is pictures, and the last side is actually a piece of a puzzle. Gio likes it when we stack them up and he laughs each time he knocks it down.

7. Play with bubbles! 

Either inside or outside. Bubbles amaze kids so much, and gets them moving! Gio follows them around like crazy.

8. Sit with them to watch their favorite show/movie 

Something so simple makes them so happy, and you can probably answer a lot of questions they might about their show/movie. If they answer wrong to a question that a character asked, help teach them the correct one. It’s a good chance to steal some snuggles too.

9. Read

I started reading to Gio when he was a newborn and he still lets me read 2-3 books to him daily. Reading is both entertaining and educational. It may be silly to read to such a tiny baby, but it’s a great habit to install in them from early on. It teaches them about communication and listening skills. Reading also helps build their vocabulary and helps them memorize things. Also, you keep teaching them new concepts like letters, numbers, animals, or bigger things like sharing and importance of family!

10. Let them explore 

If your baby is tiny, sit them by a window and let them look outside or let them watch you while you clean- if they let you! If your little one is cruising around on their own, crawling or walking, let them explore around and you supervise. Gio likes exploring the house, crawling under the table, through chairs, from the room to the bathroom, etc.! It’s helped him remember where specific things are and helps him be aware of his surroundings as well. While he explore I explain to him where he is and the importance of each room.

11. Arts & Crafts 

Put paint on their tiny feet and let them stomp on a piece of paper or you can stamp their little feet onto something like a bear or frame. Grab a few items and put together a master piece! It’ll be a piece of art that you’ll treasure more than any other.

If your little one is tiny that’s ok! Create something for your boyfriend, parents, in-laws, siblings, friends using their little hands and feet- there’s safe paint to use and so many cute ideas! If your child is older, teach them how to use glue, let them cover the paper with stickers, and put glitter everywhere! Making arts and crafts has so many benefits like coloring, and they’re always excited to share their masterpiece that they become so proud of!

12. Plant something 

A flower, a fruit, a vegetable! Check on it daily to see progress and explain to them how it works. Let them give it water so they feel engaged with the plant. Teach them about what you’re planting- they’ll grasp onto informtation and do their best to rephrase it to you. Keep doing it every year and each year give them more information than from the year before.

Other things I haven’t tried, but will once Gio is just a tiny bit older are the following:

14. Baking

15. Cooking 

16. Cleaning 

17. Put away food, clothes, etc. 

Those things are considered chores, but 1. it’s good to start at an early age to teach your kids the importance of having good habits, being clean, and being productive. 2. It helps them feel good about themselves when they see that they’re actually helping you in something. 3. It teaches them the how to be responsible and the value of work. Of course when they’re so tiny they can’t do much, but maybe they can help you carry some clothing items from the dryer to the basket or help you pour milk into your cookie batter- you’d be surprised how happy and how proud of themselves they become. They’ll be happy when you say come help! Don’t forget to tell them how they did a good job- VERY important.

I hope this helps give some of you ideas on what to do at home with your little ones! If you have any more suggestions, please let me know! I’d like to give them a try 🙂

11 Free/Inexpensive things to do with your kids

So lately I’ve been trying to not spend too much money. With us having to move soon, paying for school stuff, and just stuff, I’ve been cautious with our money. I love doing things with Gio. In the past I would take him to a gym class 3 times a week, but had to cancel that, so now I look for other stuff to do that is free or quite inexpensive. Below are some ideas for everyone!

1. Parks 

Obviously parks are free. I know that with small kids they can be a little tough at times, but they’re worth the struggle. Gio loves the swings, slides, and tunnels! Plus, he’s exhausted in the end so he falls asleep right after- meaning I get to do stuff around the house, homework, shower, etc.! Also, it’s the best to have them outside enjoying fresh air and socializing with other kids

2. Libraries 

I tend to take Gio to the library after a nap or when he’s in a really good mood. Simply because the library is a very quiet place and when he’s fussy it’s not the best place for him. Otherwise, he likes the libary. He usually behaves very well. They have large windows so he likes it when we sit and read by there. For Gio, I pick out simple books about numbers, colors, shapes, or cartoons he likes. He only lets me read about 3 or so books, and usually giggles the entire time. He knows when I’m about to read to him and snuggles into my arms. After we’re done reading he likes to wander around, which I let him do in the kids area. He likes watching what the other kids are doing or just listens to them.

Also the library offers plenty of free programs! We’ve gone to baby story time, toddler story time, family story time, pj story time, movie showings! It’s great because not only does Gio get to socialize, but he’s learning from others and grasping onto new things. Plus, it looks like he’s going to love books!

3. Mall play area

It’s a great excuse for you to make a trip to the mall so maybe it’s not so free or inexpensive, lol. But before we even go to the play area we always go for a walk around the mall, maybe have a snack. Then, I let Gio go play. Mall play areas are usually really simple, but it does the job! Gio likes exploring the little area and usually finds a friend or is usually fine on his own too.

4. Chuck E. Cheese 

If your kid is older this can be a pricier trip, but with Gio (who’s 1) it’s a $5-$10 trip and lasts 1-2 hours. Now that he’s bigger, Gio likes it here. He likes the racing games for the steering wheel, he loves attempting the soccer game, loves the clock ride, and all the other little games. We usually go after lunch time, so around 12 or 1? Also, we go during the week when kids are in school and there isn’t usually much people there so that way the little ones can cruise around with much more ease

5. Home Activities  

Throughout the day I try to keep Gio busy so I can get stuff done, but I always have times where I dedicate all my attention to him. Usually during those times we play together or attempt to practice a new skill like coloring. He’s always so happy when he notices that your full on attention is on him- so no other people, no electronics, no distractions. (I will make a blog post dedicated to home activities :))

6. Go for walks 

There’s this cute town center called Rio close to where I live and Gio enjoys going there for walks during the spring/summer time. There’s always people walking around, people with their dogs, ducks walking around, a big lake right in the center, on the weekends there’s a live band and lights- it’s a fun spot that entertains us both. There’s restaurants, a movie theater, ice cream shops, shops, but we usually go for a walk! He’s still in a stroller but I’m sure once he walks he’ll enjoy it more. It’s a good time for him to observe and for us to bond, too.

7. Pet stores and shelters 

Only if your kids aren’t allergic, of course! I have yet to take Gio to an animal shelter but we have taken a few trips to the pet store. He’s very intrigued by animals and always follows them around or wants to touch them. So, since we don’t have a pet of our own, I take him to see animals that he’ll be able to touch, maybe even follow around. I’m so happy he’s not scared of animals, and I hope he doesn’t get scared either.

8. Have a dance party

Anywhere!  Gio loves it when we dance to we grab him and make him dance with us. It makes him happy and at times throws in his own little moves. It’s cute

Here are some ideas that I still Have yet to try just because I was waiting for him to get older! 🙂

9. Museums

We live in Maryland so museums in D.C. and Baltimore would be great to visit but I’d be a whole day thing so now that Gio is older I’m sure I can definitely try this out!

10. Aquariums 

Baltimore has a great one, but can be pricy! BUT there are occasions when prices are lowered or even better, FREE. I’m definitely keeping an eye out for that.

11. Movies 

At home you can set up a little fort, throw pillows on the floor, grab some a snacks and play a movie! You get cuddles out of it which is always the best. Or go to the movies! Movie dates can get pricy but movie theaters usually have specials on weekdays early in the day that can always workout!

1 way to make money at home! 

Sell. Sell. Sell. 

After I had GioVanni, I haven’t worked. Erwin and I decided that the best thing for our son, is to always have me around so all my time is dedicated to my family and school. Not working is something I’m not used to so it’s been an adjusting process for me. I want to help bring money into the household, even if it’s only to pay one bill or gas money but it’s something, you know? 

So I did my usual Google search and looked up various things like ways to make money at home, stay at home mom ideas, etc. I came across surveys, apps, and so many things but something that truly stuck out to me was selling stuff we don’t need anymore.

Usually I just got rid of my clothes or threw away items we no longer wanted, but I started listing on apps to sell items and it’s been a good run for for. I’ve been doing it since Gio was born, so about a year. I don’t know exactly how much I’ve made since then but between now and November I made almost $2,000, and I don’t think that’s bad at all from stuff at home! 

Somethings I’ve sold are: 

-Grown out clothes: of course from Gio. He had so much nice stuff just in boxes because it no longer fit him 

-Grown out shoes: same story as the clothes 

-Toys: just items Gio no longer paid attention to or liked 

-Baby Gear: car seats, swings, jumpers, gates, chairs, play yards, 

-Movies: I had duplicates of some 

-My own clothing: stuff that no longer fit or grabbed my attention

-Shoes: same as clothes 

-Maternity items

-Accessories: items that might not be your style anymore, maybe never wore, were gifts and you didn’t like, sell it! Rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, sunglasses, purses! 

There’s so much you can put up, you’d be surprised! 

Another way I’ve made money, is going to a store called Kid to Kid. They buy used items, clothing, and shoes- even maternity items, too! They will give you 15%-20% of what they will sell it for, but it’s very quick and instant cash, unless you want store credit then they will give you an additional 20%, I believe. 

Some apps I’ve used are Mercari, LetGo, and 5miles. 

These apps and store have been very helpful to me. I’ve been able to bring in some money to the house, get Gio thigsC or help pay a bill here and there! It’s worth looking into, I promise 🙂 

Xoxo- Aura 

Big boy haircut! 

In case you guys haven’t checked out my social medias, which you should ;), Gio finally got his first real haircut. I mean real as in professional. 

I’m not sure if I’ve shared it on here yet, but I am a licensed Cosmetologist so I guess you could consider me a professional, but I was never so successful cutting Gio’s hair, haha. 

I LOVE the end result of his haircut. My baby looks so handsome, I can’t even 🤦🏻‍♀️ I thought the process of getting the haircut done was going to be difficult but he did so well. He definitely surprised me because he never really liked it when I cut his hair,so of course there were some “oops” pretty often. So taking him to get a professionally done cut had me nervous since machines would be involved too, not only scissors, but he was good. He was very curious about what was on his head and would want to look so I kept his face in my hand until he realized he had to stay still. 

Of course I had my tricks to help him stay still. On my phone I have the Nick Jr. app so that helped distract him throughout the cut. I kept switching up the episodes he was watching to keep him distracted. The lady cutting his hair, Lucy, was also so good and so patient- she even had a drawer with little toys to help distract kids as small, probably even smaller, than Gio. 

I’m so proud of how good he did! Hopefully I’ll be taking good pictures soon for you guys 🙂