Do it with passion or not at all.

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First let me say, there is still hope that Pablo may turn into an Instagram husband. I literally dream of this. Lol! He took these pictures and I don’t think they’re half bad, si or no? Second, I am so happy to use some of my downtime during this holiday weekend and look back at my blog. It’s been 6 months since my last post! I stopped a little after my nanny quit and I just could not do it anymore. In fact, I was feeling resentful about all the things that were pulling my attention. So I’ve done some major rearranging in the past six months. The lesson here is that when you aren’t happy with with how things are going, you aren’t forced to accept things the way they are. Change things! Don’t get me wrong…I have been stuck plenty of times in my life where I’ve blamed everything and everyone. And there were times where patience was in order and I’ve had to buckle down and wait for the right timing. However, I am often asking myself the hard questions, and I am continuously rearranging aspects of my life to make sure that I still feel passion, joy, connection and peace. Sometimes, it’s as simple as trying a new exercise regimen and other times it’s more difficult, like letting go of things or people that hold you down or waste too much of your time.

It takes support to live this way, especially as a wife and mother, and I am thankful that my family is so supportive. But it also takes courage. To feel the fear of people’s opinions or even failure, and do it anyways!

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In 2017, I hope you find new ways to feel passion, joy, connection and peace. Cheers to rediscoveries and reinventions!

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details

Dress: Undeniable Boutique in Mosaic

Boots: Vince Camuto Melaya Boot (now 40% off!)

Clutch: South Moon Under (old)

Ring: Gift (Michael Kors)

 

Sometimes motherhood kicks my butt, and other times I win too!

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Hi friends! It’s been so long since the last time I posted on my blog that I even forgot the password! Fifteen minutes later, and I’m finally in this familiar and loved space where I’ve shared so much of myself (the good, the bad, and the fashionable).

The business that now takes up all my time was built on blogging, so I will always go back to it. Even still, I struggle with the feeling of wanting to share everything on this platform and also nothing at all.

If you follow me on any social media, I’ve mentioned a few times how my nanny left from one day to the next, without a warning. It was a sad moment. I was flung into a situation where I was managing MAB full time and the home full time. For 2 years I had an awesome nanny from Tuesday through Saturday. She washed the boys clothes, kept our home neat, and would do school drop offs/pick ups. And I could focus on work, blogging and building my business during the day! IT. WAS. FREAKING. FANTASTIC. I couldn’t have done it without her (or my mom, or my husband.) It really takes a village.

Since she left, I have placed Mateo in part-time Pre-K, which means I have at least one boy, if not all 3 boys with me at all times. The only times I am kid-free now is when I’m on-site for gigs (and nana or hubby take over).

I thought I was cool the other day and took Levi and Mateo to the post office with me. You know…a quick trip. Well, there was a smallish line, but I really needed to pick up a check. The boys thought it was the perfect time to make a scene. They started chasing each other around me. Laughing. Yelling. Fighting. Running into other adults. MAKING A SCENE. I must have turned beet red. I asked them to stop. Pleaded. Separated. Nothing. Finally, I got down on one knee, looked them straight in the face and used my mad “I’m not playing” voice: “STOP IT! Right NOW!” The kind of voice that makes other adults a little uncomfortable.

I learned two things: Never take your 3 and 4 year old boys to the post office when there’s even a hint of a line. If you have to, make sure to have something you can bribe them with. Lollipops. A phone. Mickey Mouse…..WHATEVER YOU HAVE!!! GIVE IT TO THEMMMM! Aye.

On those days, I feel like MOTHERHOOD is kicking my butt. I feel like I’m no good at this mothering thing. Like I can’t even DEAL. (Read exasperation here.) And I ask, “Lord, whhyyyyy did you see it fit for me to be a mom of these 3 little humans?” Not sure I can get this right.

But other days, like today. Where I made them a home cooked meal of chicken and rice, and Levi still said “I don’t LOVE that food, mom!” and Mateo spills half of it on the floor while he runs around like a madman. On days like today, where I sat there anyways patiently and made sure they ate every last bite (this can take an hour!). And then cleaned up the kitchen, and baked cookies for them (Pillsbury, just FYI), and bathed them, and prayed with them before bed.

On days like today, I am reminded that yes, sometimes motherhood kicks my butt, but other days I am winning too!

Love,

Ana B

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A little throwback to Easter with the “primos”

Hello Love Handles

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Hi friends! How are things? I’ve been doing pretty good over here. You know how I know? I’ve got this new set of five pounds. Okay, yea it doesn’t look like it from these pictures, but these were taken a few months back. I know why they’re called “love handles”. They come from the love of good food, the love of good company, the love of vacation time, and the love of warmth and cuddling on cold rainy days. This all leads to a little extra padding on the sides.
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(Cause we all work out with our sunglasses on!) AnaB-Sept-54

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Photography by: Alumbra // Outfit: Fabletics 

Five pounds are not the biggest deal, right? Well, here’s my secret to staying “fit” in my mid-thirties after three kids and a deep love of donuts, sweets and pizza. I have a five pound zone I’m comfortable with. As long as I’m in that window, I know the jeans will fit, the energy is there, and I’m not over-indulging in the not-so-healthy foods. This is not a “weight-loss mode”, which requires a more intense approach, and I’ve written about this here when I lost the baby weight. This five pound zone is how I manage my weight. I’m definitely at the top of the five pounds after vacation and Thanksgiving. I’m not mad about it, the carrot cake (that I single-handedly ate) was totally worth it. But it’s definitely time to tackle these love handles before all the Christmas celebrations take me over the edge! Here’s a few ways I do that:

  1. Get Rid of the Goods: Time to give throw out or give away the ice cream cake in the freezer, and the cupcakes hanging out on the kitchen island.
  2. Make a Plan: Plan and purchase meals for the week. This is as simple as choosing what I’m going to cook for dinner at the beginning of the week, and making a grocery run so I don’t end up at the fast food joint mid week.
  3. Have Easy Options: Have healthy snacks and quick foods to curve mindless eating and sudden pangs of hunger. Some of my favorites are green shakes, greek yogurt, fruit, nuts, protein shakes, protein and fiber bars, and sliced peppers or veggies with hummus.
  4. Temporary Cuts: When I’m out of sorts with my eating, I will cut out restaurant food, and prep all my meals altogether for a week or two until I feel I’m in control. It’s hard not to dig into the bread basket and generous portions when I’m feeling weak. Taking a break from eating out helps me get back on track.
  5. Hit the Gym: Make a date, or two or three with your gym buddy, your playlist and the gym! I’m a sucker for classes because working out in a group gets my competitive juices flowing! I like to work out just as hard, if not harder than anyone else in the class. Recently, I’ve been doing HIIT classes, barre, and zumba. I’ve said this a million times, but an active lifestyle gets easier and more fulfilling with time. Eventually, you will crave your gym time!

I hope this helps you (AND ME!) get going on these love handles. Feel free to comment, like and share this post! I appreciate you <3.

Love,

Ana B

Flare It Out

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Sometimes jeans can feel like a dime a dozen. Don’t get me wrong; I have my favorite old pair that are my security blanket whenever I wear them. Yet there’s something about a pair that make a bold statement. These Hudson flares, also worn here and here, are my statement jeans.

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I paired them with a white summer dress and plaid shirt a la Joanna Gaines, because whatever Joanna Gaines does is awesome. The end. I’ve linked my Hudson jeans and the rest of my outfit below <3.

Love,

Ana B

p.s. In case you don’t know who Joanna Gaines is.

p.s.s. Special thanks to Susannah of Alumbra Photography for taking these spectacular photos!

Make it Black and White

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There is a really simple way to look put together, and it’s wearing an outfit of black and white. I actually don’t do it often, but when I do I feel effortlessly chic. On the days when I am not seeing clients, I tend to stay in my gym clothes, so I’ve been on the hunt for ways to take my athletic wear up a notch. It’s such a plus to be able to walk into the grocery store, or grab some lunch after the gym without looking like a sweaty college kid. So many brands have caught onto this, and are now making transitional active wear.

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Photos by: Alumbra Photography

The one I’m wearing is an oversized white muscle tee and leggings by Kate Hudson’s Fabletics. I subscribe to them monthly and I get to pick from outfits already put together for a great price and great quality. I can also skip the month if I’m not interested in purchasing an outfit.

There are other great affordable options like these ones at Target and Kohls. The point is ladies; if you’re gonna wear your active wear all day long, you might as well make it cute! You’ll not only feel great about working out, but also look great while doing it.

A second post will be coming soon on “How to get your butt back into fitness mode after an all inclusive vacation to Mexico”, hehe! :)

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Faux Leather Jacket: TopShop

Outfit: Fabletics

Tennis: New Balance

Bag: Victoria’s Secret (Similar)

Things to Do In October

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October came in with a FURYYYY, didn’t it?! I mean the raining, the dark skies and the uh, hurricane warnings?! It’s definitely fall in Virginia, we can’t fight it anymore! There are ways to help make the transition to this cooler weather a little more enjoyable. Here are some ideas!
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ALL PHOTOS BY: ALUMBRA PHOTOGRAPHY

  1. Closet Rotation/Organization: There’s no point in sifting through all the summer clothes you can’t wear anymore. Find a few hours this month to do some closet reorganization. Put away your summer shorts and dresses, and make some room for all your light sweaters and fall inspired outfits. I enjoyed getting out my fall wardrobe and rediscovering some nice purchases I made this time last year.
  2. Donate and Recycle: It’s also a great time to make a bag for donations. If it’s too big, too small, no longer your style, or you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s probably time to donate. The kids clothes will also need a donation pile, as they grow out of everything so fast!
  3. Make a Purchase List: Once you’re Fall/Winter closet is newly organized, you can see what you need to invest in (rainboots anyone? new sneaks for the kids?)
  4. Visit a Pumpkin Patch: I still remember the first time I went with Diego.  It was just so fun! We’ve visited a few times since then and I’m definitely planning to visit with my tribe again.
  5. Join a Dance, Fitness or Martial Arts Class:  If you follow me on Instagram (@Love_AnaB) or Snapchat (AnaMetLeno), you’ll know how much I just love Zumba. I mean, latin music and a great workout?! I LOVE IT! Pablo and I also joined a Krav Maga self defense class together. It’s a great way to learn a new skill as a couple, all the while doing something physically active.
  6. Decorate for Fall: You can do it yourself, or buy it at Target, but a few Fall inspired pieces to decorate your home will make the transition more enjoyable. A few easy favorites of mine are pumpkin spice candles, a fall wreath for the door, and white or decorative pumpkins for the kitchen table.
  7. Get Your Baking On! I’m planning on trying these Pumpkin Protein Muffins for a healthier alternative.

Wishing you a fantastic October <3.

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Sweater, booties and MK Bag: Ross 

Jeans: J Brand/Nordstrom Rack

Nail Color: OPI Muir Muir on the Wall 

Bracelets: Alex and Ani

Washington Redskins Walk the Runway for a Great Cause

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Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Redskins Runway Show at Bloomingdale’s in Tysons Corner, VA. The show’s purpose was to raise funds for the Redskins Charitable Foundation, which goes to youth programs throughout the region. The players and their wives walked down the runway showing popular fall trends available at Bloomingdale’s. Here are a few highlights from our night!

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My brother Josh and I pose for a pic with the lovely Redskins cheerleaders.

Enjoying the “front row” view with my two sisters, Myrta and Veronica.

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RGIII makes a splash in his suit and tie.

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Love both of these neutral looks for the fall!

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Deep purple faux fur vest, patterned dress and ankle boots…a big yes!

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The fiercest (and cutest) performers around.

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Darrel Young looking dapper.

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Redskins first lady, Tanya Snyder, is just gorgeous in her gown!

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Wife of team president, Kiersten Allen, receives a round of applause for bringing her vision to life with the first Redskins fashion show.

Tanya SnyderThe WOW Wives and the players were naturals strutting down the catwalk, but I must say the youth dance team stole the show! I really believe the good will of this Fashion Show led the way for an amazing Redskins win on Sunday, so cheers to Kiersten, Tanya, the WOW Wives, the players and all those who took part.

A big thank you to Vicki Griffith for inviting me to the show.

Photos via Redskins.com

Love,

Ana B

P.S. For more pictures of the show, please click the link!

Mexico on the Horizon

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Okay, so I know that summer is basically over and it’s starting to get a bit nippy in the evenings, but I have a trip to Mexico planned in October! Yay! Sans kids. Double Yay! This means I will be keeping some of my summer staples within reach to take on that trip. I haven’t been out of the country since I was a little girl! This didn’t even hit me until I had to renew my passport, which I’ve never actually used. It’s a sad situation and I feel terribly uncultured (insert frown emoji here). I vowed to Pablo that I would be visiting a new country every year from now on. So yea, there goes the kid’s college fund. Joking! There’s no college fund. AnaB-July-41AnaB-July-35 AnaB-July-36 AnaB-July-33 AnaB-July-37 AnaB-July-38 AnaB-July-47

Photos via Alumbra Photography // Stylist: Adriana Castanon

A couple notes on this outfit. These boyfriend style jeans are from Target and I wear them a few times a week if possible. I love their relaxed baggy fit and distressed style. They are perfect for running errands with kiddos or you can dress them up with heels like I did here! The kimono is a clothing piece that I will be buying more of since it’s great for layering and makes a simple jeans and tee outfit so much more interesting. Lastly, I was informed by my dear friend and stylist Adriana Castanon that my espadrille shoes are a new, more grown up version of the converse in that it’s casual, versatile and cute! I’m going to second that because I wear them every chance I get.

Love,

Ana B

Here are a few more photos of recent summer shoots with Susannah of Alumbra Photography!

Outfit Details:

Kimono, Shoes and Hat: Nordstrom Rack of Springfield Mall

Jeans: Target

Accessories: She’s Unique

Bag: Bishop Boutique

Summer is a State of Mind

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Hey fashion people, I have a bone to pick with you. Stop trying to make me rush into FALL, when we have a few more weeks of perfectly good SUMMER. And you know what? I didn’t get enough beach time. So I’ll just wear summer. On. My. Shirt. AnaB-July-54 AnaB-July-63 AnaB-July-65 AnaB-July-66AnaB-July-68

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Photo: Alumbra Photography // Styling: Adriana Castanon

Summer is a state of mind. Summer is relaxation, cold drinks, family time, get-togethers, relishing the great outdoors, bike rides, bug bites and SPF. I plan to take it all well into FALL, maybe less bug bites. So keep your booties and your chunky knit sweaters. I’ll be wearing those soon enough. But not quite yet.

Love,

Ana B

Outfit Details:

Shirt: Nordstrom Rack (Springfield Mall); Rings: She’s Unique, White Jeans: Target, Shoes: Nordstrom Rack (Springfield Mall); Gold Bag (It’s a secret) // GET: OPTION 1 // WANT: OPTION 2

P.S. Currently up to shenanigans on my new obsession “Snapchat”. Find me there under “AnaMetLeno”.

Mother of Boys

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My dear friend Susannah of Alumbra Photography recently came over my home and captured Diego, Levi and Mateo in all their boyish glory. If these photos had a volume button, you’d hear lots of giggles, yelling, excitement and general silliness. 58-BuitragoBoys201565-BuitragoBoys2015b60-BuitragoBoys201549-BuitragoBoys201555-BuitragoBoys201556-BuitragoBoys201505-BuitragoBoys201507-BuitragoBoys201510-BuitragoBoys201524-BuitragoBoys2015b03-BuitragoBoys2015

Being a mother to these boys is by far the most challenging job I’ve ever known. I have learned to embrace the noise and the mess of it all. I can eat a full meal in like two minutes and I’ve developed cat like reflexes to dodge a toy car to the head. Survival folks! I have cried many tears of frustration, but also have cried out of sheer joy and pride over my little ones. I am growing along with them, and I don’t always get it right. I have learned to give myself room for mistakes, and ask for forgiveness from them when I need to. The beautiful thing about kids is their amazing capacity to love so generously. Levi and Mateo greet me with a huge smile and yell “MAMAAAAAAAA” every time they see me. Even if I just went to the bathroom. Yes, its freakin’ cute.

I know they won’t be this little always. I get excited about them becoming more independent. But I also just want to cherish this moment…when I’m still their world. God knows they’re mine.

Thank you again Susannah <3.

Love,

Ana B

All Photos by: Alumbra Photography