Monthly Archives

July 2015

Before Pregnancy, During and Forever After

Lessons learned from 3 failed attempts –
what you really need to pack in your Hospital bag for delivery

There are tons of ‘what to pack in your hospital bag’ checklists, so what makes mine any different from all the other posts from veteran moms? It comes down to “I’m pregnant with my 4th baby and I’ve never packed my bag right”, for real.  Based on my previous mistakes, I can now narrow it down to what you really need to pack in your hospital bag for delivery.


With baby #1, Jude, I thought I had nailed it. I was packed at the perfect 36 week mark. I had purchased some nursing tanks and cheap cotton underwear. But in hindsight, I had packed like I was going on a vacation for a week to an unknown destination. Like who needs 4 pairs of jeans for a 48 hours hospital stay? I really was under the delusion that I was going to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans just 6 hours post-delivery. Although considering I walked into Labor and Delivery at 6cm dilated wearing kitten heals to give birth, it’s a blessing I had tucked in some sneakers last minute.

With Nico my baby #2, lets sum it up by stating that the day I delivered was the very weekend Will and I were going to put together the crib. When labor started at 35 weeks, I was not prepared. There was no crib, no carseat to hold a preemie, no diapers, no birth plan, and especially no hospital bag. My husband came back to the house later that night to grab some clothing, do some laundry and clean up the house. So needless to say, he graciously grabbed what was familiar and accessible, so thongs it was.


With baby #3, Violette, I was determined to get my act together. How can the girl who loves a list and pre-planning be bombing out with what seems like the simplest task of having a baby? I packed that bag by 32 weeks with all the mini-travel Aveda products I owned, yoga pants, lots of socks, a robe, comfy nursing tees, and treats for the boys when they met their new sibling. So where did I go wrong? I was still forgetting the basic mom hacks that solve major delivery issues new moms face at 6-48 hours postpartum.

So then here comes baby #3, which has been one complication after another, so I should have gotten my act together by now and packed that bag, but my denial that this pregnancy is as far along as it is has been blinding, but we will leave that for another blog post.


Since I have zero experience on packing the ‘perfect’ hospital bag, the only advice I am going to give is on what I’m packing right now, today, not a minute later, to restore my my previous failed packing methods. Here is my hospital bag checklist for this 4th time around!

  1. This may take some humility to accept, especially for 1st time moms, but adult diapers. The mesh underwear they give you to wear is itchy and uncomfortable, and I always experienced leakage. Adult diapers are thin, disposable and full coverage. Enough said.
  2. This will be my 4th baby I’ve nursed and it never ceases to amaze me how sore my chest gets that first day. Like really crazy sore. While the hospital passes out free nipple cream, I’ve come to rely on this Natural Nipple butter by Earth Mama Angel Baby
  3. While I’m comfortable stripping down to nothing in the moment, my feet get freezing. I prefer a fresh pedicure and some soft socks like these 
  4. BLANQI High-waist support leggings for medium compression on my belly – nothing too restrictive, but enough to gently hold me in after delivery.  They are amazing!
  5. Maybelline The Falsies waterproof mascara.  My secret weapon for pretty pictures with tears 😉  Make sure to include makeup remover and face wash.
  6. Wash with Water’s Barenaked Babydoll shampoo & body wash for baby’s first bath.  Certified organic and unscented it’s specifically formulated for infants and contains no added scents, colors, SLS or other synthetic detergents or extra ingredients.  Just ask the nurses – they will have no problem switching out their regular soap for yours.
  7. Bathrobe.  With summer babies I prefer a short cotton one (make sure it’s a dark color – there is bound to be some leakage!).  Easy to wear getting in and out of bed, makes breastfeeding easy, and is perfect for quickly covering up as everyone comes in and out of your room.  Loving this one – DKNY ‘Urban Essentials’ Robe found on

Leave a comment below and share with us your “must-pack-for-delivery” items!

xx Valerie


This is me – and my (eventual) journey to motherhood

So, this clock of mine has started ticking…Its sound is very faint, and far off in the distance.I do seem to hear its tick tock more clearly when I receive a birth announcement in the mail, or when I scroll down my newsfeed and see five more of my friends announce to the world, “We’re expecting!  The biology behind all this just seems so messed up.  I’m just not ready to make a baby!!  As I inch closer to my 30’s all of these new kinds of unprompted questions have started to circle around my head… I mean, I know I can’t be the only one feeling this cloud of weird, invisible pressure… Or am I? Am I crazy? Have I lost my miiiiind!? I’m just not ready!!! Kids are in the future, but there is no rush for me. (I am aware you first need a man to grow a baby, and I’m in no rush to land one of those either 😉 ) I look forward to my eventual journey to motherhood. Eventually – I’ll elaborate on that later.


In the meantime, I’m just a single girl, living on her own in manhattan, trying to accomplish my dreams one day at a time.
Call me cliche, but what they say is really true “if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.” BUT, Don’t mistake this for some ‘Sex and the City’ spin-off. Manhattan is almost nothing like Carrie describes it. It’s a little more magical, a lot less clean, and I take public transportation because I can’t afford to take a cab everywhere all the time. Come on, Carrie’s salary as a writer living in Manhattan must have been in the six-figure range to be able to afford her kind of lifestyle. I guess 100$ was worth more out here in those days… Whenever I can afford a pair of Manolos, not use the subway, and still be able to afford the rent on a place like hers, I’ll finally say, “I made it” (That, and I’m not running around after any boys nowadays – The only thing I’m probably running after is a margarita – it’s summer, okay?! 🙂 )

I’m a makeup artist by day, and a professional multitool when I’m not at my day job. I absolutely love what I do, and I have been very lucky in being able to share that passion with others. I live to encourage women and people from all walks of life to believe in themselves and I have an amazing outlet in which I’ve been able to do so. With hard work and perseverance anything is possible!

(I really am this cheery in person)

Like most of us I’m just trying to figure it all out, but I’m sure that’s mostly because I dream big…
I still think that I have a chance of getting into the space program.

I’d love to have you join me in my ‘ultimate (eventual) quest’ into motherhood!
Hey! Maybe I’ll teach you how to perfectly execute a smokey eye too 😉

xx Odelle

Favorite Finds, Sabina's Life

5 reasons for kids to wear cotton in the summer

I have a confession to make – I love, love, love cotton! ( I’m pretty sure it has something to do with growing up with a mother who shunned all but natural fibers – I can still hear her voice echoing down the hall, telling me to always wear cotton underwear 😉 )   As it turns out, mother knows best – there are many great reasons for kids to wear cotton, especially during the warm summer months!

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1.  Breathable – Cotton allows better air circulation, which helps in absorbing and removing body moisture caused by sweat.  It breathes better than oil-based synthetic fibers like polyester, and keeps sweat and moisture out to minimize fungal breeding ( yep, fungal breeding!)

2.  Cool – Cotton is light in weight and in color unless it is dyed. Being light-coloured will help the light to pass through instead of being absorbed and hence we will not feel the heat as much. If you wear loose clothes instead of tight fitting clothes, there will be ample of space for the air to pass through. ( The Human Touch of Chemistry )

3.  Tough – Summer is for climbing trees, building forts, rolling in the grass, and playing in the mud.  Cotton is as tough as your little one and will hold up against warm weather antics and super heavy washes.

4.  Sensitive – Cotton is soft, doesn’t trap moisture, and doesn’t irritate delicate skin like synthetic fibers.

5.  Odorless – Cotton releases sweaty, stinky odors more easily than other fibers.

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It’s actually not that easy to find clothing made of 100% cotton, so I was super excited when I came across Marya’s store, Swallow’s Return.  Beyond adorable designs for the little ones and mom!  I fell head over heels for this modern-yet-girly flutter sleeve dress.  It satisfies both my modern aesthetic with the geometric print and Sienna’s princess aesthetic with the blush pink flutter sleeves and long length.  She twirled around in excitement and lit up with joy like a little firefly!

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  If you haven’t already, do yourselves a favor and go, no run, over to Mayra’s store and get your hands on one of these cute creations, then sweat, rinse, and repeat 😉


xx Sabina



Introducing Odelle!
Perspective from a 20-something single girl in the big city

Meet Odelle:  Just shy of 5’ tall, born-and-raised Puerto Rican firecracker, loud and sweet, with more enthusiasm and eagerness than a labrador puppy.  She’s a single girl in the city, trying to accomplish her dreams one day at a time.  She’s going to share her journey, as she tackles life and takes on questions like “Should I freeze my eggs? Which new brunch spot opened up downtown? What is a cord blood bank? Bloody mary or mimosas?”.  Follow along, find out what it’s like to be a pre-pregnancy BLANQI girl, and most of all, enjoy! 🙂




– I live, in what I like to call my very own “treehouse” in New York City!

– I love manhattan. (I hate manhattan.)

– I have a weird obsession with miniatures, and things that are shaped like food.

– I love to sing, but I have the WORST stage fright!!

(I may or may not have the whole “Cats” soundtrack memorized…)

– One of my dreams is to open up a bakery someday, and to also own the farm that supplies it.

– I am obsessed with space. Like, “I-will-stay-up-all-night-thinking-about-space” obsessed. I made my parents take me to Cape Canaveral for my birthday (two years in a row).

– Two words: “Call Mom”

– One of my guilty pleasures is to go to Laduree in the Upper East Side and buy a box of French macarons. Then, take a walk to Central Park, and eat the whole box while people watching.

– When I was a kid, I would spend most of my weekends at my aunt and uncles beach house in Dorado, PR. We would spend hours swimming over reefs in crystal blue water, exploring caves by the ocean. I literally know that the best way to nap is on a hammock by the sea, I spent half my childhood doing it. I am so blessed to have a family that has taught me to culture my imagination.

– Sometimes I tend to communicate better in photos…

– Aaand last but not least!

BLANQI and its cofounders have had my heart from day one.

They have taught me so much, and most importantly, they have let me be who I am and have celebrated it in the process.

Valerie and Sabina are my family. Seeing all of their hard work, along with the mission behind BLANQI has not been just an inspiring one but a driving force behind a lot of what I do.

I am so excited to share this journey!