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Things We Loved in February

Sharing a life update on motherhood, maternity leave and of my favorite things from the month of February 2020. Everything from my favorite products, treats I’m loving, my experience on being a mother during the first month, and a recap of everything on the blog last month!

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Happy freakin’ weekend (and almost March)! How are you? I accidently skipped the things we loved in January post because I was busy having a baby! If you missed out on Sidney’s birth story, you can read it here.

Truthfully, I love writing these little updates because they’re fun to look back on and also gives me a moment to reflect on what’s happened in my life. Sometimes I simply forget the things I cherished or the little moments that made my days and week that much brighter. This is simply a space to share my favorite things and remind you of what you might have missed. So grab a cup of coffee or my hot chocolate, maybe a slice of my almond flour banana bread, and settle in for a good read.

mug of hot chocolate

On motherhood & maternity leave

This past month: was wild. I mean, I had a freaking 9 pound baby so I spent the majority of February healing my body and mind. If you haven’t checked out my postpartum healing essentials list, I highly recommend as it’s a great resource for new mamas. The list is everything I needed and used.

monique holding a baby in a swaddle

Giving birth was so much more and very different from what I envisioned and expected, and I think that’s certainly a common theme with new moms. What I can say is that the experience, and of course, my son has changed my life for the better.

At times though I’ve also felt a loss of independence settling in. I mean, how could I not? I went from doing whatever I wanted, when I wanted, to being home to a human and taking care of him around the clock. My responsibilities, priorities and even my body has shifted and changed — and I think that finding a new sense of self is something I’m looking forward to. I realize I can’t expect to operate my business or life the same as it once was, and I need to adjust my expectations and the pressure I so often put on myself to perform at 110% and be successful. Since I’m a type A former (and admittedly sometimes still) perfectionist, I’ll likely find myself struggling with balancing motherhood, self care and work. But hey, I know I’m definitely not the only one in that boat and that so many mothers struggle with this. I don’t expect to have it all figured out, but what I do need is to give myself GRACE and patience with the process.

monique with her baby on her chest

I still have yet to really take a full maternity leave. Most of you have seen that I have continued to put out recipes, and while these have all been tested ahead of time, there are still small tweaks here and there that need to be done. Not to mention that posting on Instagram and Instagram stories keeps me busy (as weird as that is to say).

We’re also working on improving the website even more and offering an even better experience. This along with future brand partnerships, has kept me busy to the point where I still feel stimulated — and if I’m being honest, that feels good. I love enjoying time with my son, but I also love what I do and that it fulfills me in a different kind of way, which is totally okay!

I’m still so very passionate about Ambitious Kitchen and inspiring you all, in and out of the kitchen.

monique taking a mirror selfie

So that’s currently where I’m at, and it feels good for now. I have no set timeline for when I’ll return to work full time or what that will look like. I’m lucky enough to have built this business so that I can take time off of work to enjoy this season of life. I have recipes done through March and some of April and OMG you guys, they’re so delicious — I can’t wait to share them! It almost feels like taking this time off has inspired me to get even more creative in the kitchen, and I’ve been writing all my ideas down in hopes of getting back into the kitchen within the next month or so!

If you want to see me write about a specific topic on motherhood/baby stuff, please let me know in the comments below. I love sharing my journey and experiences with you!

baby sidney

What I’m looking forward to next month

Warm weather! Honestly, I can’t freaking wait to enjoy warm weather and the sunshine again, but especially because I want to take Sidney on long walks. Tony and I are obsessed with walking around the city and can’t wait to bring our little guy on our adventures. We recently started using our Culugo stroller and LOVE it. We have the compact version. If you’re interested in the stroller, you can use the discount code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for $20 off your order of $125 or more. My code expires 3/31 so hurry!

Another thing I’m looking forward to is developing recipes again and finishing up a project I’ve been working on for FOREVER. Finally I feel like I’m in a good space to finish it. It’s top secret so I can’t share any details, sorry! But soon, I promise.

monique pushing a stroller

Personal posts from February

Sidney’s Birth Story

Postpartum Recovery Essentials

Recipes from February

two bars of eating evolved chocolate

Things We Loved in February

I can’t stop eating the cashew cookie dough chocolate bar from Eating Evolved. OMG TOO GOOD.

Another chocolate bar to fall in love with? Honey Mama’s! Seriously incredible. They sell mini versions at Trader Joe’s.

Locke and Key on Netflix! Tony and I binge watched this show in 48 hours. What other shows have you been loving? I still need to finish season 2 of Killing Eve on Hulu.

This is the nursing and pumping bra I’ve been using. I really love it!

Haaka Breast Pump: this thing is a game changer when it comes to catching milk. Every day I’m able to get 2-3 ounces just from putting this on my other breast when nursing Sidney.

I’ve been wearing this Free People knit tunic when I go out and about. It’s easy to nurse with because it’s so big. I suggest ordering a size or two down.

Primally Pure Baby Oil: this is the baby oil I’ve been using on Sidney after he gets out of the bath. He loves his baby massages. Use the code ‘AMBITIOUS’ for 10% off your first order!

Mama ring: Tony got me this beautiful ring after I gave birth to Sidney and I thought it was the sweetest thing in the entire world. I never take it off.

Floral Gym Bag: Abra’s favorite new gym bag that I got her for Christmas!

Majka Lactation Powder & Lactation Bites: I’ve been eating Majka’s energy bits and using their lactation powder to help boost my milk supply. They are AMAZING and I have a discount code for you: use ‘ambitious’ for 10% off your first order!

Chicago restaurants we loved: Giant restaurant in Chicago. Abra went here recently and RAVED about how good it was. I went to Momotaro with a few of my girlfriends and got some matcha cocktail and loved it.

I’ve been loving the Spindrift raspberry lime and half&half flavors. I usually get them at Target, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Everyone has been raving about this hair dryer brush and now I feel like I need it too.

I basically live in this Sherpa Quarter-Zip Sweatshirt.

That’s all I’ve got for you — have a beautiful, happy weekend! xo.

If you haven’t joined our private Facebook community yet, we’d love to have you; it’s been so much fun to see your AK recipe creations!

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