Saturday, September 10, 2016

New Gig: Little Mango Children's Boutique


As some of you know, I took a big step outside of my comfort zone. My work comfort zone.  And I opened Little Mango, an online baby and children's boutique filled with brands and small shop merch that I've found and fell in love with.

For 12 years I worked in the casino industry, in the only big girl job I've had since graduating college. I worked a ton, I traveled a ton. And I loved it. Until I didn't. I was burned out and didn't have the love for my work that I used to. I knew something needed to change.

For the longest time, I had wanted to open my own shop. I loved kids clothes and putting together fun, trendy outfits for Cruz and I loved sharing them with family & friends. And I usually got really great feedback on the items I found.

I found myself daydreaming about my own shop. Seeing others take the leap and loving it. Making themselves happy doing what they loved. And I knew I needed that in my life something fierce.


So in April of this year I put in my resignation at work, while on maternity leave with our second son, Leo.

I was scared shitless.

What was I doing quitting my good paying, stable job to open an online boutique? What did I know about it? Would people buy my stuff? Would they like the stuff I chose to carry in the shop? What if, what if, what if...

And on June 20th, Little Mango opened it's virtual doors and we haven't looked back since.

Sure I don't know what I'm doing most days. And I know there are things I should be doing but I'm not. But I'm loving the challenge of trying to figure it out. Of reaching out to other mamas in the same boat and hearing their advice, their struggles and knowing I'm not in this alone.

If you haven't already, I would LOVE for you to take a look.

Check the site out here

Give us a follow on Facebook and Instagram.....pretty pretty please :)

And let your family & friends know - I would love you forever if you shared the shop with them! <3

Whether you have kiddos of your own. Or maybe grand babies. Or maybe your friends are having babies. Or you need a super cool birthday gift for a niece or nephew. We have so much great stuff - I'm in love with it all and love all of the brands we work with.

And if you have already followed the shop, shared the shop, purchased from the shop, tagged your goods - seriously I can't thank you enough <3 <3

Because I love all of you who have stuck around this blog, especially in my lengthy absence, here is a little code - take 25% off your entire purchase. Everything in the shop using code YELLOWMANGOLIFE at checkout. (This will be valid through September 30, 2016 but you can use it as many times as you like.)

And just check out these cuties in our goods. You might recognize the little blonde boy :)







Friday, April 15, 2016

Birth Story: Leo Florian Manganaro


After waiting for what felt like forever and at the same time sped by so quickly, our second Little Mango joined our family on Thursday, February 4th at 9:33am. He weighed a whopping 8lbs 8 1/2 oz (all thanks to his big ol' head) and was 20 3/4 inches long. And he is absolutely perfect. The most amazing addition to round out our little family of four.

It all started on Wednesday. Since my doctor had scheduled me to be induced on Thursday morning, we had lined it up that Cruz would go to my sister's (aunt Titi) and spend the night since we had to be in the hospital for delivery so early the next morning. Nick and I decided to take advantage to our last free night - we got pedicures and had dinner at Baby Blue. Sushi (cooked, of course) had been my go to during this pregnancy for sure. It was at dinner that I started having contractions. I didn't mention it to Nick because it felt like I had been having real contractions so many times in the weeks leading up to his birth that I felt like I was becoming the girl who cried wolf. The Braxton Hicks with Cruz had definitely been different than they were this time around.

Once we got home from dinner, the contractions got stronger and were coming closer together. After a couple hours, I called my doctor to get her thoughts on if we should go in. She gave me some tips on how to keep them at bay (drink tons of water, walk around when I felt them coming on, etc) and if they didn't slow down to call her and head to the hospital. Since I was scheduled already to see her in the morning, I don't think she wanted to drag herself out of her house on that cold night for an earlier birth. =) I could tell Nick was nervous because he was pacing around the house and throwing stuff into a hospital bag, asking me repeatedly if I was ok, should we go in, are you sure, you just tell me when.

My contractions continued getting closer and stronger, so we decided to head in around 9pm. It would be better to labor through them at the hospital versus trying to get comfortable at home knowing I wouldn't be able to sleep that night. And the hospital has drugs. Always go where they have the drugs. By the time we left for the hospital, my contractions were about five minutes apart.



At the hospital, we got checked into the room where I would give birth. They ran tests and got me hooked up and after talking to my doctor determined they were going to try to get me to hold off until morning. The night was rough, I'm not going to lie. The nurse gave me some meds to help with the pain and while they worked for a while right after she gave them to me, they didn't last. I did manage to get a couple cat naps in here and there.

By 7am, a new round of nurses and residents came in and got me ready for the pitocin. Once that was given, the Anaesthesiologist came in around 8am and set up my epidural. Surprisingly when I had Cruz, Nick watched them administer the epidural needle into my back. Surprising because he does not do well with needles. This time around, the nurse set up a chair in front of me and made him sit in it. They said they do this for all husbands these days because they've had too many hit the floor and didn't want to risk it.

By that point, I was feeling no pain...

Then my nurse asked if we wanted a mirror to watch the delivery. I had no intention going into this thinking I would ever want to watch it...and Nick definitely didn't want any part of that. I surprised myself by telling her I wanted her to move the mirror in and if I changed my mind, I would have them move it. I figured this is the last time I'm doing this, if I don't watch now, I may never see it happen live.

Around 8:30am, I was 9cm dialated and by 9am I was at 9 1/2 cm. It was at this point I started feeling what can only be explained as hot flashes and then nauseous. Then I puked. A lot. My nurse told me this was common at this point in the labor. Now it was go time. My doctor came in, the nurses got me set up, and I was told a resident was going to do the delivery while my doctor stuck close to manage. (Whatever....if you get this kiddo out of me quickly, I really don't care who does it.)  This was approximately 9:25am.

With Nick at my head (grasping my arm, headphones in and looking toward the wall behind me - I promise this was for the best, we didn't need a man down) and my nurse at my side, I started pushing. All I know at this point with both my deliveries is that they are asking you to push as hard as you can, and you think you are, but you can't really tell/feel it so you don't know. After one push and a look in the mirror, I could see the top of the head and a mass of dark black hair (holy surreal). Throughout, Nick kept squeezing my arm and looking down at me, almost completely oblivious to what was going on just a few feet away. =)

A few more pushes and they realized that his shoulders were stuck by my pelvis. They used the forceps to guide them out and the next thing I know little Leo was out. They cut his cord, swaddled him up and immediately handed him to me...goopy, gross and all. Tears were streaming down our faces. I was in love. And I wanted to hold him forever. After a few minutes of them stitching me back up, the nausea came back and I called to the nurses that I was going to be sick again. I quickly handed Leo off and threw up yet again. After they cleaned me up, I got my baby back and got to feed him for the first time. He ate quickly and feverishly.

Labor hair. Don't care.
How was watching the delivery? Well, the best way I can describe it is as the most disgusting, interesting, weird, crazy, amazingly beautiful train wreck. Even if I wanted to look away, I couldn't. "How is that coming out of there?" kept repeating in my head.


Once all the tests were run on Leo and I and after they cleaned him up (finally), they moved us down to our recovery room where we would stay for the next two nights. Fortunately we lucked out again and got a double bed, which is so nice. Nick was able to stay right in bed with me and not have to park it on the uncomfortable couches in the rooms. Similar to Cruz, we took advantage of having the nurses and sent Leo to the nursery each night. Some may not agree with this, but for us it was some of the best advice we were given. It gave us a chance to rest up while knowing our little man was getting attentive care in the nursery.

Throughout this pregnancy, I struggled with how I could love another human as much as I love Cruz. I mean, I am nothing short of obsessed with Cruz. He is my best friend and my favorite person in the world. There was no way I could have that much love to give another baby.  And I can't explain it, but as soon as they put Leo in my arms, I was overcome with the biggest feeling of love and pure blessing. It was such a surreal experience, but I immediately knew that I loved this little guy as much as his brother. And I'm equally as obsessed with him. I'm so lucky that I get to be a mama to two of the most amazing little boys.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Well, hey there.....

Wow.

It's been a over a year. An entire year since my last post.

I never intended for this little break of mine to be so lengthy, buuuuuuut the proof is in the pudding.

I'm not sure if there is anyone who still cares about this little old blog (except my sister and sister in laws), but I've been missing it something fierce and wanted to get it going again.

So a lot has happened in a year. Weird, I know, right?

How about a lil' recap.

{I got knocked up!}
I finally made good on one of my New Year resolutions (remember, from this post) and I went and got myself pregnant.  After what seemed to take forever...and in comparison to Cruz it was, we finally got pregnant.


{It's a BOY!}
We found out this little bun was a boy. I'm not going to lie, I was a tad disappointed at first. You know that dream, that perfect little family where the older brother looks after his younger sister? Yeah, I had that. I was sure it was a girl. It wasn't. And it didn't take me long to forget about that first dream and fall in love with the fact that Cruz would have a little brother to take care of and I would get to watch our two boys grow up together and be the best of friends.



{Six years!}
Nick & I celebrated making it six years on August 1st. I mean, that's an accomplishment, right? The fact that he puts up with me...that I put up with him. Let me just tell you, it's a BIG accomplishment.  And there isn't another I would rather have spent these past six years with.



{We bought a bar!}
It wasn't in the master plan, but the opportunity came up and we partnered with friends of ours and took over a bar in Omaha. In September, we immediately closed it and got to work on making it into what we envisioned this area of Omaha needed.



{Cruz turned four!}
In November, we celebrated Cruz-A-Palooza and our little man turning FOUR!  We made it a mix of all of Cruz's favorite things - dinosaurs, carnival, baseball pinata, rootbeer floats, cake - if Cruz liked it, it was there. Even the weather cooperated and we were able to enjoy time outside.  We had the best time celebrating our boy with our favorite family and friends.



{Leo Florian Manganaro was born!}
And just like that, little Leo joined our family. We couldn't be more excited to see Cruz and his little bro grow up together, they are already just the sweetest. We decided on his name soon after finding out he was a boy and knew from the start that his middle name would be Florian in honor of Nick's grandpa who had passed away the year prior. Grandpa Florian was a hard-working, genuine, determined, kind, thoughtful man - exactly the characteristics we hope to instill into our boys.



{We opened our bar!}
In March, we opened Blue Chip. All of the credit really goes to Nick, Jeremy & Sirvan. Nick busted his ass and immersed himself into all things Blue Chip for the three months the bar was heavily being worked on. The end product is nothing short of exactly what we imagined. A cool spot that we would see ourselves spending time at. A focus on happy hour and after dinner drinks, a great place to watch the game but not a sports bar, good music, great staff. I'm so proud of him and what he created.




As you can see, we had an extremely busy and amazingly blessed year. We traveled a lot, enjoyed watching Cruz grow, spent time with family and friends, worked our asses off and now here we are.

And I'm excited to be back in this little space of mine sharing the happenings in our life. I promise I will be here more frequently.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Thank God It's Friday

So this week has been an interesting one to say the least.

Coming back after being gone for a week + solo parenting because Nick is out of town definitely has equaled a lot of craziness.

And to top it off, Cruz has had diarrhea all week. So gross I know, but it's true. Sorry folks you get the good with the bad around here. =)

And of course it only seems to rear it's ugly head at around 2am. So I have mastered him sitting on the toilet while I sleep sitting up on the bathroom floor waiting for him to get done. Actually a couple times I've put a towel down on the floor and laid on it. I swear it's like he's just sitting on the toilet as long as he can until I can't keep my eyes open any more and then I just hear him laughing at me while I start to drift off.

And to make matters even worse? I decided to take him to our favorite toy store - Fat Brain Toys - the other night to pick out a toy. We were in the store for at least an hour playing with the newest and best toys when he walks over to me and I smell him. I did the old "diaper check", except he doesn't wear diapers anymore, and he literally had sharted (yep, I went there). No, no, no. It was so gross. And I felt so bad for him at the same time.

Me: "Cruz, did you go poop in your pants?"

C: "Yeah, mama, my belly hurts. But it's ok, wight?"

What do you say to that?  He didn't want to leave the toy store, so I'm pretty sure if I hadn't smelled him first, we would've been there for quite a bit longer.

Poor kid.

I grabbed him - he didn't get a new toy - and we beelined for home and straight into the tub. Normally I would've just taken his clothes and tossed them - I don't have the time, or the stomach, to be washing his business out of his clothes - but the pants he had on were one of my favorites, so I had to.

Eh, just living the dream over here. What can I say?

Let's talk about more pleasant things, shall we?


{ONE}

When I'm not at work, I live in workout clothes. I like to be comfortable. Plus running around after a crazy three year old, well you have to do yourself a favor and keep it comfy.  I've recently posted about Fabletics and I just received my third order the other day. I'm a big fan.  Not only have I found that the pants fit really well but I've been loving the tanks and other tops I've gotten too. Plus the prices are pretty reasonable. And I can tell you this tank came in super handy when I was on my Vegas trip last week - I had forgotten to pack a slip and had to get creative and used this instead. It totally worked and no one was any wiser. =)

Cherrystone Tank/Tights // Brooks Runners (best running shoes I've ever worn)

{TWO}
Speaking of clothes, I'm also obsessed with my Athleta Gleam tights. Not only do I love Athleta tights in general (the fit is amazing), but I love that these are so versatile. Meaning I wear them out ALL THE TIME. They are a little party up front (the faux leather look) and business in the back (normal legging look) - like a mullet of pants, but waaaay cooler.  And did I mention they are so comfy? Notice a theme here?



{THREE}
I also love pictures and physically having pictures vs. looking at them on my computer (I'm the girl who printed out every photo back in the day and put them into photo albums).  However, that is so time consuming.  I was pretty stoked when a friend told me about Chatbooks, but I wanted to wait until I received my first one to post about it to make sure I like it. Well, I didn't like it, I loved it. Like really loved the book I received. It is great quality and it's awesome having all of my iPhone and/or IG pics printed out in a book that I can look back on.

The best part is I got a code (VAJNZX) that others can use to place their first order for a FREE Chatbook. Like totally free. No S&H. No cost. Mine was too because I used a friend's code. Even better, right?



{FOUR}
I finally ordered the SkinnyTaste cookbook. I've only been talking about it for months now and I'm so excited to get it. I've tried a couple of her recipes already and am a huge fan. Although, I guess this means I need to cook more....

{FIVE}

This beauty and I are headed for three nights of girl time in Dallas next week. Seriously I love my sis Tessa more than anything and even living in the same city we live completely different, super busy lives and I don't get to spend nearly enough time with her or her adorable family. So we've taken to planning trips together. You may remember our LA escapades from a few years ago (parts one, two, three). And while the weather was much nicer and stalking the Kardashians was kind of amazing, I still know we are going to have a blast.

But I need to know if anyone has any Dallas recommendations - we haven't been since we were in high school, so need to know what to see, where to go, what to check out. Please and thank you!


Linking up with Karli, Natasha & Amanda.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Easter Style For Your Little Guy

We've literally just finished one holiday (like, literally, I'm still trying to get the green food coloring out from underneath my nails), and another is quickly upon us.

St Pat's was a lot of fun. We bought shamrock balloons, drank the heck out of some green milk and I suckered Cruz into a little photo shoot. I really just wanted to get one good shot for a St. Paddy's Day pic and then he goes and gives me this.

Tee // Moccs
I mean, come on. Seriously this boy.

But now that St Pat's is over, I can get back to figuring out Easter plans.

I think we are planning to go to my parents again for church, dinner and an Easter egg hunt with the kiddos. The best part, Nick's mom and man friend D come over as well so we don't have to feel bad about splitting our time and Cruz gets to see 2/3rds of his grandparents in one place.

Did I tell you how munch I love that our families get along??

Obviously I've been thinking about little man's Easter outfit for the last few weeks and finally have started ordering some of the items. I was just turned onto Next, an amazing UK company that one of my besties who is originally from Ireland buys from for her little guy. I have an order coming and cannot wait to get it. Seriously I think every item on their website is amazing. (After posting this, I was told Next has a US site. How did I not know this? Check them out here!)

Mix some of those items with some of my other faves and you have these two outfits that I can't get enough of. And you know I had to incorporate a little yellow into his Easter outfit, didn't you??


What are your Easter plans? Hopefully they include lots of good food, even more mimosas and being with the ones you love!

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Weekend


This weekend went a little quicker than normal. I spent the week in Vegas for work and while it was a great trip, as per the norm I missed the heck out of little man.

It was so great to come home.

Although I feel like the moment I got off the plane on Saturday it was all running to go pick up C and then get all of us ready for Nick's brother's surprise 30th birthday party.  And, of course, then we were the ones with a baby toddler in the bar.

Cruz was the life of the party. He really was. The kid knows how to work a crowd. And I wasn't going to leave him home after being away from him for so long, so he had to come.

Not only that, but we got to see so many people we love. Nick and I are so fortunate our families all get along and have such a great time when we all get together.

As much fun as the night was, it was also great to have an excuse to leave early to head home and get some sleep.

Three of my beautiful SILs (Britt, Marcy & Joey) and my gorgeous sister Tessa

As for the rest of our weekend? Cruz and I played like crazy people since the moment I flew back into town. And I loved every second of it.

With the weather was so nice, we had to take advantage. Our ducks were out, so we made a trip to the pond for our first feeding of the year. We seriously went to this pond no fewer than 25 times last year and since it's such a short walk from our house and because we both love going there, I guarantee we will be there just as much this year.



And then we played "safari" in the back yard with the water gun we had brought home for him. I hid his animals around the yard and then Cruz (and daddy) sought them out and soaked them in water.
 


If you follow me on Instagram (katiemango), then you've already seen some of these weekend snaps. I did receive some questions on little man's Best Kid Ever tee - it's from Littlest Prince Couture, but is on sale over on Zulily today. Check it out here!

How was your weekend? Hope it was as great as ours.

Linking up with Biana.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friday Favorites


So this kid....

Last night when he was taking a bath, it seemed like just a normal night, letting him play while I sit on the bathroom floor next to the tub, kind of checking emails and the rest of the time having C create me really fun bath water 'drinks'. The next thing I know he stands up in all his naked glory and goes all Scarface on me and says,

"Mama, say hello to my little dinger."

Ummm. What?

Me:  "Cruz, what did you say?"

Him:  "I saaaaid, say hello to my little dinger."

Oh.

And I instantly knew where that came from. There is another guy in the house who is a HUGE Scarface fan and quotes that line all the time. The actual line, though, not the way Cruz had chosen to use it.

Which made me think about this that I saw on Facebook earlier this week...

{ONE}

I've definitely already had a few of these moments already and know the others are just around the corner. And the "no pants" ones are so Cruz. The kid loves to run around with NO PANTS.  Always no pants.

{TWO}

Remember when I was looking at gym shoes (here)? I found a great pair of neon yellow ones, but also picked out these Asics Gel-Fit Sana Trainers and they are my new favorite. They are great at the gym or running around town in workout wear. And I'm not a person who generally wears gym shoes unless I'm at the gym. I even wore them when I met Chris & Whitney. =)



{THREE}
Speaking of shoes, Katie went and posted about these Steven Madden fringe ones and I instantly fell in love. Not so sure the mister is going to agree that I need another pair of shoes, but seriously how gorgeous are they? I can't stop thinking about them.



{FOUR}
I saw these eggs on Pinterest the other day and now I cannot wait for Cruz and I to make them for Easter.  Aren't they just the cutest? He loves playing with the emoticons on my phone, so I think he will get a kick out of these.



{FIVE}
With that, I will be spending the next week in Vegas. Of course it's work but seriously how great will it be getting out of this terribly cold weather? Although as it normally works, as soon as I'm leaving town, the weather is supposed to get pretty nice around here.  And the worst part, always the worst part, is leaving my little man for an entire week.  However, he will be spending the week with my parents and I think he's just excited for me to get out of town so he can get to the farm. He LOVES the farm.



As I'm finishing this post, Cruz runs out of his room as daddy is putting him to bed and says, "mommy, daddy and I are stinkin' up the house. We are fartin' in there. Don't come in my room!" And then runs back into his room and slams the door, while laughing hysterically.

I'm surrounded by stinky, gross boys...

Enjoy the weekend!

Linking up with Karli, Amanda and Natasha.