The routine I never knew I needed


morning exercise routine essentials // brittanyMakes


I used to be a runner, did you know?? Half marathons were my thing. Then… I got pregnant and had a kid and now I’m a full time working mom with a 3 hour round-trip commute. Cue the music! But seriously, it’s a tough gig! Finding time to exercise has been SO difficult, especially considering I would have to give up the time I spend with my kid to exercise. Part of me I felt super guilty about any time I chose to work out over spend time with Zano, while the other part of me feels depressed and bummed out about turning ‘soft’. Is it so much to ask to fit into my pre pregnancy jeans?!

I started talking to some other working moms who seem to have their sh*t together, and spotted a common theme. They all wake up early (like 4-5 am early!!!) and do their exercises before the kids wake up, before breakfast, before traffic, before work… I was fully convinced I could never be a ‘super early’ morning person. Waking up before 7 am requires a bit of effort. BUT! I was determined, adamant actually, to change my routine so that I could squeeze in a workout before I actually start my day.

I read somewhere that someone said – if there’s something you want to do today, and doesn’t happen before 10 am, chances are it’s not going to happen.

It’s so true! How many times have I pushed off the day’s workout into the evening and ended up bailing on myself because ‘I had a long day’ or ‘I’m tired’.

Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is, it’s officially been a full (work) week of me successfully waking up before 5:30 and squeezing in a workout before the day starts. I realize I might still be in the ‘honeymoon phase’ of this new routine, but I can’t tell you how emotionally pleased I feel. I feel energetic, happy, and best of all, guilt free! I can chill with my son in the evenings without feeling down on myself for not having exercised that day

I made some huge changes to my morning routine. I started putting my alarm in the kitchen, so that I have to exit my room and walk to the kitchen to turn it off. It helps me wake up!  I also started setting up my workout station & gear before going to bed so I don’t have to think very much when I get up. I also made a point to get the appropriate training shoes. I’ve only owned running shoes, but come to find out running shoes are not good for your form when lunging and jumping and doing other cross training exercises. OH, and it doesn’t hurt that I found the cutest sports bra ever! I took advantage of the Labor Day sales :)

I’ve done the P90X workout routines in the past, my husband actually lost over 60 lbs doing the first installment. My biggest complaint has always been they’re such a time commitment. I’m not quite ready to do a 60 minute workout in the morning, but I can do a 30-40 minute routine! I’ve started the P90X3 series. I’m not super strict on the workout schedule and diet yet, and who knows if I’ll get there, but I do really like the workout routines. My abs and butt are totally sore! And just so you know, this isn’t a sponsored post, and in case you wanted to know, yoga is hands down my favorite routine in all 3 of the P90X installments.

I still run on the weekends. I found a jogging stroller on Craigslist and have been pushing the stroller while I run. It’s so heavy and hard!

Now that I’ve put it out there for all to see, it’s your turn to tell me how you all do it! I’m committed to this new routine, and hope I stay diligent in becoming a super early morning person!




Life lately!

Hello, hello! I’ve let a few too many days pass since the last post, sorry! It’s been an interesting last few months. Some of you who have been reading for a while know I’m a financial accountant in my day job (it’s as cool as it sounds). Well.. this past spring I was promoted to Controller (yay me!) and somehow my workload tripled and all my free time disappeared. The blog is taking the brunt of the suffering, which is in no way intentional. The hour or two I have each evening after the kiddo goes to bed, I’ve been working on a very exciting new venture: an online vintage rug & textile shop!

Vintage African Indigo pillow

sneak peek!

(pardon the crappy iPhone pic)

I have a few more very important things to do before launching, but if I were to ballpark a launch date (since everyone seems to ask!), it will most likely be 4-6 weeks from now.  Starting a biz on your own dime is no joke, it takes time and patience! So, thank you for being patient with me, and I hope you’re as excited about this as I am!

Some other super fun updates – we had another bathroom mirror setback. I don’t know why this mirror became such a giant ordeal. I’ll have the full story for you soon, and I’ve been told it’s definitely being installed this week.  I’m so over it.

On a brighter note, we’re teaching Zano how to play bocce ball!

backyard bocce


Italians start ’em young :) PS: how adorable are his sandals!



My first Mother’s Day

Baby Zano // brittanyMakes

What did you do for Mother’s Day? I know it was a week ago, but I had such a wonderful first Mother’s Day, I can’t stop thinking about it.

There are a lot of things I like to do – hobbies I take on, like DIYing everything and interests I have, like blogging and decorating – that some people just don’t quite understand. I rarely force my interests and hobbies on others, including my husband. Prime example – flea markets! I think I’ve only asked my husband to go with me to the flea market twice in our history together. Both times he declined. It’s cool, I’d probably be miserable if he joined me. He’d be giving me death stares all too frequently as I touch ALL THE THINGS. Our marriage is better for it. He stays home to relax while I take a couple hours and touch other people’s garbage. It’s great!

It was my first Mother’s Day, and I think Antonio (my husband) knew it would be a special day for me. He gave me a choice between a) breakfast in bed or b) a family trip to the flea market. Well, first off, I never eat in bed, and as classic and delicious as that sounded, the way to my heart is through the flea market! We went fleaing together as a family of three. I swear, I’ve never had a better flea market day! I scored 3 killer rugs, and got to introduce my little family to all my favorite flea market vendors. Then, we grabbed a quick breakfast and shopped at my favorite cactus shop in Berkeley.  As much as I love flowers, planting something in the back yard to commemorate this moment to me is much more meaningful. So, we bought two cacti to help us kick start our drought-tolerant backyard landscape.

I went to the flea market yesterday, and it just wasn’t the same without my family…



Take 5 with Shannon Claire



Happy Monday everyone! I’m over at my good friend Shannon’s blog, Burlap & Lace sharing some embarrassing things about myself (that I would never post on this blog!) – just kidding!

Pop on over and read some hilarious deets on these fine ladies. The entire series is so fun!

Make sure you swing by tomorrow, I have a killer giveaway up my sleeve…



2014 Highlights

Hello! I hope everyone had a fantastic last few days celebrating with family and friends and loved ones. We had a great time making my son Zano’s first Christmas a joyful memory. Did you catch his Christmas outfit? I had that vest/pants combo planned for over a year! The best secret to clothing shopping for your kids is to shop the post season sales for the following years sizes #genius. Sadly this doesn’t really hold true once your an adult. Super bummer.

SO! It’s that time of year we get to reflect on ALL this year has brought; all the projects, all the memories, all the ups and downs.. This year was quite conflicting, it’s been a tough and rewarding year, and honestly I’m glad to see it go. We experienced life and loss. We bought our first home and helped others in their struggle to keep theirs. We reached career milestones only to realize the fight isn’t over. 2014, you’ve been quite the feisty lady, but it’s time to turn the page. But! Before we do so, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane and check out all we’ve accomplished on the blog this past year:
The best thing we did to kick off the new year was finding out we were having a boy!

Talk about highs and lows, it wasn’t much later I found out my identity was stolen

Arguably the second highlight of the year was when we bought our first house! It’s tiny but mighty!

I started working on the nursery beginning with a little DIY of course, a mobile and a potato stamped swaddle, a woven wall hanging from a bath mat! That one was your favorite :)

All too quickly (actually the opposite!) the little bambino arrived! And I shared my birth story.

Summer quickly came and we hosted a s’more party thanks to The Home Depot and the Patio Redux Challenge.

We were finally settling in to our new home also with a little help of sir DIY, our woven bench coffee table was quite a hit.

It took 3 long months but we finally completed the first major renovation in our home: the kitchen! And boy did you guys love it.
Not only did our kitchen get a makeover, our bedroom finally got a beautiful facelift!

I feel like with that kitchen we finished the year off with a bang! We have grand plans for 2015, so let’s get the party started!



I know I know, I’m one of those moms who hashtag their kid.  Don’t judge me too hard.

#babyzano // brittanyMakes


It’s been a couple months since I posted a motherhood update.  Let me be very clear, I LOVE being a mom. I love seeing this little nugget’s face in the morning, all smiles and cheeks, so innocently joyful for no reason whatsoever.  My heart melts every day for this little kiddo. I can’t believe we created this little being, his little heart, his little lungs, his toothless grin, we created him and it blows. my. freakin. mind.

The first thing I tell couples who have no kids is this: there is absolutely nothing like the love you have for your child. There is nothing you can feel prior to having a kid that will compare. Nothing.

The other thing I tell couples is, as special and as extraordinary this love feels, it is SO common.  Every mother and every father feel the love of this magnitude for their children.  It baffles me that something that is so personal and so individualistic and so significant to us is commonplace.

Some other random tidbits I want to share now that I’m a mom:

  • I can’t stop buying baby clothes. Baby jeans, baby sweats, baby Christmas sweaters, baby bear claw slippers, baby hats. All this baby-wear is the new hoarding, and I might have a problem.
  • Every move he makes, every giggle, every fart, every roll, every wiggle, brings me blissful joy.
  • This book saved me
  • We’re officially sleep training as of last Friday.  Now, he’s always been a decent sleeper, and because of the book mentioned above, he’s literally like a clock for naps and feeding, but the last 4 weeks or so he developed a bad habit of waking up every 2 hours at night (I blame Thanksgiving), and of course I couldn’t help but run to the rescue when he woke up. But no more! I can happily say that during the last two nights he’s slept at least 8 hours straight.  SO! There is hope I will sleep again!
  • I haven’t gone for a run in like 2 months. I feel so gross.
  • Being a working mom sucks.  Some moms love it, I know, but it’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do, besides childbirth.
  • I will look at pictures and videos of him while I’m at work, with a big fat grin on my face.  I will also show strangers and random coworkers pictures of Zano at any moment of awkward silence.  His cheeks are the best ice breaker.
  • I haven’t joined a mom group yet.  I had it in my mind that I would hang out more with friends that have babies of similar age, but they either live too far away, or are as equally consumed by juggling work and parenthood that we just can’t seem to find the time to hang.  Sometimes it makes me feel sad.
  • We’ve only been to the theaters once since the baby was born, and that was to see Interstellar
  • I am so fearful of having a second kid.  I worry that there’s no possible way I could love two kids the way I love one.  I know it’s an invalid thought, but it really worries me.
  • What is the best time to have kid #2?

This is pretty much the most random post ever.  I’d love to hear your thoughts! How did you feel when your first baby was 6 months old? How did you get the courage to have baby #2? What did you do to sleep train? What crazy things should I look out for in the next 6 months?



What day is it?!




Today’s my birthday! I’m not one to call it out and plan posts and my entire week around the day, but I thought I’d share some cute pictures of our weekend celebration.  My husband (who I realize I’ve never mentioned his name before – It’s Antonio by the way!), myself and baby Zano went to Hogs Island for some oysters this last weekend.  Oysters are in high season right now.  I remember last year I wanted to do this on my birthday but I was preggo and seafood is a no-no when preg.  We had such a fun time! It was just us 3, chillin’ by the water, eating artisan cheeses and breads and shoveling oysters in our faces.  I love making new memories with our new family.  It’s the best thing ever.


And how cute are Zano’s batman shoes??? They’re from Target, although I cannot find them online.

Have a great day everyone!



On my mind…

I wasn’t sure how to share this, probably because I still can’t figure out how I feel about it all, but I needed to let you know: I’ve gone back to work.

You’re probably wondering “but why?” or “what about when you said this?” or “who’s going to watch your baby?”

I’m so incredibly torn over this decision.  Many of you chimed in that work brings you balance and sanity, while others applauded my desire to be a stay-at-home mom.  I desperately want to be at home with my baby, but I couldn’t help but feel tossing my career out the window wouldn’t be the smartest decision for us right now.  My husband and I can provide so much more for this little man if we both work.  On the other hand, I’ve always felt it’s a luxury to be able to be at home with your children, something that is priceless and could never be outweighed by a day job.

Yesterday was his first day in daycare.  I was told he did well for his first day, but judging by this picture I think he was hurting just as much as me.  On the bright side, it makes me feel just a tiny bit better that he has a little buddy to hang out with all day.

zano daycare

There are so many working moms out there, so many women who have struggled with this same decision.  If any of you are reading, please tell me! How do I feel less guilty for working? I feel like society is saying I’ve chosen work over my baby, which isn’t true! But why do I feel this way?

I love my little man with all my heart.  If I could be at home with him all day, I would.



From The Weekend: 4th of July


From the Weekend: baby's first photo booth | brittanyMakes


From the Weekend | brittanyMakes


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating America and all her glory! For us it was sadly another year we missed a fireworks show, I don’t know how we seem to always miss a show, but there were plenty of pyro-enthusiests setting off fireworks leading up to, and of course after, the holiday.  We spent the weekend in Monterey, CA, my husband’s hometown, celebrating the union of some close friends.  What a fun weekend to get married, huh? We even brought Zano to the wedding! As you can see in our photo booth pics, we had a great time, although I have to work with Zano on his poses, he didn’t quite understand he needed to mix it up on each shot 😛  Silly 5-week olds.

I’ve gotten this question a lot so I thought I’d explain where sir Zano’s name from.  We named him after my husband’s dad, Luciano, a hearty Italian man who came to America straight from Venice. Zano, pronounced “Z – on – o” is somewhat a derivative of Luciano, which we use as his nickname.  So yes, when he’s an adult and decides Zano is not a businessman’s name, he can resort to his full name, if he chooses.  We, however, will call him Zano, as it is unique and is as hearty as his heritage.

So there you go! And tell me, what did you all do this weekend? Did you miss a fireworks show like we did?



Our Birth Story & the First Month of Motherhood

Reader beware, this is a long post! (FYI I’ve truncated this post for optimal loading)

Our baby boy, Zano, is 4 weeks old today.  I can’t believe how quickly these last 4 weeks have flown by.  In many ways he’s the same little infant that made his grand (for lack of a better word) appearance 4 weeks ago, and yet in so many other ways he feels like he’s about to apply to college.

Family Picture | brittanyMakes

Here we are, 2 weeks in! 

So, how’s motherhood going, you ask? Basically it’s come down to one thing: being a mom means you’re severely and constantly afraid about how quickly time is ticking by, and you always worry you’re not soaking up every moment enough.  It’s emotional torture to love something so much and be so afraid all the freakin’ time.

All in all, motherhood is total bliss. It’s a foggy, tiresome, bags-under-your-eyes-clothes-are-too-tight-bras-don’t-fit-super-sore-breasts-spit-up-in-your-hair heavenly bliss.  I seriously wouldn’t trade it for the world.


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