Wednesday, July 12

Summer Nursing Style // Date Night in NOLA

Not only have I realized that I really REALLY love doing these nursing style features, but so many of you wonderful readers and friends have told me how much you love/want/need them as well!  That makes me so happy!  You have no idea how much I appreciate each and every single one of you for following along and being so genuine with me and not only that, but it has given me great purpose to provide you with inspiration. I can't wait to share with you all of the wonderful transitions that are coming and update you on what my family and I have been up to!  But first, let me tell you a little bit about my obsession...all that is floral print..

Last week, we took an impromptu trip to New Orleans and we had the absolute best time!  Yes, you can still be spontaneous with 3 young children (post on that soon but I digress haha).  I made sure to pack this plum colored floral dress to surprise my sweetheart with on a date night.  I love dressing up for myself, and for him.  I knew the weather would be super H&H, HOT and HUMID haha so I needed something lightweight but also elegant and that I could wear with comfortable shoes because we would be walking everywhere.  It actually didn't fit me for a while post-partum but now that I've lost most of my baby weight, I was so excited when I tried it on and it fit!  It has feminine flutter sleeves and a deep V that is perfect for that emergency nursing session while out on a date with you gorgeous beau (because how many of us non-pumpers have had to run home real quick!)  The lower part is lined only until about mid-thigh and it has a sexy slit that kept my legs nice and breezy (because here in the humid south we need breezy).  I got it from the sweetest blogger turned boutique owner local to me in Little Rock.  I paired it with my absolute favorite Kendra Scott statement earrings and my heavenly comfortable mom hack clogs- because wooden clogs were cute for about a minute before they murdered my feet and I had to find an alternative. 

And lastly, my baby bag/backpack purse is what dreams are made of!  With 3 girls, I could literally pack the house in one small outing, so I have become as minimal as it gets when we go out.  This bag is perfect for that, and since I have to have both hands free most of the time, I absolutely needed a backpack.  It's my first ever Tory Burch purchase and my favorite thing is that it has those outer pockets to function as drink holders.  I'm pretty sure I bought the last one of her site though but I'll link up some similar ones.  I've got some super sexy and functional outfits coming soon so stay tuned!

Dress // Brand is Everly & I'm wearing a Medium, sold out at I Do Declare Boutique but this one is similar and I'm obsessed with it!  Check out their Instagram here.  I found an S and an M available at this Australian boutique. Also similar here and here on Amazon.

Earrings // Kendra Scott - similar ones here and they are ON SALE!!  I found the exact ones on Poshmark (obsessed with this site by the way!) and if you use the code JSISY, you get $5 off your first order!

Shoes // Dansko - the most comfortable shoes known to man and so cute, here

Backpack/Diaper bag // Tory Burch - similar one here but the exact one here on Poshmark, if you use the code JSISY, you get $5 off your first order!

Happy shopping darlings <3  Let me know if you need help with sizing or styles.


*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase, at no cost to you.  Thank you so much for keeping my little side hustle alive, I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.*

Monday, June 26

Honey & Sage Co Review

Once upon a time, I was chosen for a series called the Sling Diaries where I met a group of the loveliest and like-minded women on this planet.  A few months later, I got to meet one of my favorite humans from the series at Gwendolyn Rose's first birthday party, Sarah.  She was everything I ever thought she would be, and truly, much much more.  A few months later, Sarah and her friend Nova launched what I believe to be the best and most useful care packages and monthly subscription boxes out there.  Together, they are Honey & Sage Co and go all over the Dallas, Texas area helping post-partum women.  They have devoted themselves to helping mothers around the world and honestly inspire me every day.

I've waited a bit to post this review because my post-partum experience with Florence was a much longer period for me than with our other daughters.  I'm sure it has to do with a bunch of different factors.  Maybe because we were in the 3 under 3 club for a while and then transitioning to mothering 3 little babies because that's what they are, babies.  I needed longer moments to breathe and longer moments to take in the joy and even longer moments to be present.  It sounds like I was pretty needy and that's the absolute truth.  I'm not sorry for it.  Technically, the post-partum period is considered the 3 months after birth but for me, can I honestly tell you that I feel like I've maybe just gotten out of it...emphasis on the maybe.  Florence is 10 months old.  

Sarah sent me my care package just in the nick of time.  I chugged the happy drops and bliss tea in times of distress, so basically all day haha!  But really, I'm Arab so naturally I'm a huge tea drinker and the bliss tea was my comfort.  The feeling of warmth on my hands from my mug along with the floral aroma of the tea was what I look forward to every evening as my love and I talk about our day.  I love that it's called Bliss tea because that's exactly how I feel when I'm drinking it, blissful, high almost.  There's that birth high that I'm so addicted to and I truly feel like my tea drinking ritual prolonged that feeling for as long as possible.  I carry the Happy Drops in my baby bag for emergencies, and oh my goodness, just the taste in itself makes me happy happy.  The pharmacist in me is so intrigued by it, the compounding formulation.  I'm like, what's in this stuff and why is it so good?!  It makes me feel womanly and in tune.  Something about it, gives me that "ahhhh" feeling.

I feel like every item that Sarah and Nova so very carefully select to include in the boxes comes with such beautiful and powerful intentions and affirmations.  The package as a whole is so well thought out, and fills so many needs (and sometimes wants because those are important too) of a mother.  This really is the perfect gift for a baby shower as well, so unique and beautiful and thoughtful.

I think what I love the most about Honey & Sage Co is that they are thinking about the mamas.  I feel like so many times after women give birth, we give all our love and energy to this beautiful tiny bundle that we almost forget about the mama.  Our society has this expectation for the woman to just get up and go 4 days after giving birth and we glorify that.  When I'm out and see a mother with a week old baby shopping at Target, instead of saying 'oh good job for being out so soon,' I'm always like 'no no, go back to bed mama, give me your number so that I can come over and bring you a meal, bond with your baby, heal, recover, let someone else do the laundry, and the groceries." The thing is, when you take care of the mama, you're also taking care of the baby.  Her milk production increases and her hormones release and her muscles relax and that is just recipe for a beautiful post-partum period and beyond!

Forget happy wife happy life, when a mother is happy and nurtured and pampered and is physiologically and mentally well taken care of, everything that flourishes within her also does the same in the life that she has just given birth to.  

Here's to the blossoming of life, both for mama, daddy, and baby.  Thank you so much Sarah and Nova for letting me experience just that, you are destined for great things mamas. 


*Thank you so much to Honey & Sage Co for sponsoring this post.  As with anything that I review on my blog, all products are held to the high standards of the City of Hearts brand and all opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the makers and doers and movers and shakers that make this blog possible <3*

Tuesday, June 13

WHOLE30 Easy Oven Baked Beef Ribs

Stop what you're doing right now and go make these!  Then invite your whole family and friends and neighbors and aunties and uncles and cousins and let them be impressed by your amazing cooking skills.  Then as if you didn't already blow everyone out of the water, you can tell them all about how they are Whole30 compliant and then they will never want to leave your house wanting to know more about what that is!

Whoops ok.

Maybe don't do that if you ever want privacy again, so just make these for your sweetheart haha!

In January, my love and I finished our first ever Whole30 program.  I'll tell you more about how it went soon in another post but long story short, it was amazing, it changed our lives, and I still cook about 90% compliant consistently, even 6 months later.  I plan dishes around taste factor obviously but also ease of preparation because I am a busy wife and mama and can't spend hours in the kitchen. 

My husband loves protein any way that he can get it which is one reason why we chose to do the Whole30 program.  He also loves to grill for me but his work schedule doesn't really allow for any grilling except on weekends.  I really REALLY wanted to make him some type of ribs for supper but knew that I would have to use the oven since it's what I know and I have no idea how to work a charcoal grill.  He brought me home some beef short ribs from Whole Foods one day because they were on sale and I thought, I have got to make my man something with these that will be over the top amazing!  So I used my pharmacist skills which surprisingly do come in handy from time to time and experimented and this is what I came up with.

Needless to say, his exact words were "This must be what it feels like to eat like a King!"  I don't know about you but this is my goal in life, to make my husband feel like he is a King to me.

If your hardworking man is the kind of that receives love through his stomach, this is the perfect Father's Day meal!  So if you want your love to feel like a King or Queen too, then here's what you will need.

  • 3 lbs meaty beef short ribs
  • 2-4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning (or any Cajun seasoning without sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional as the creole seasoning already has salt) 
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (I use Hungarian paprika because my sweetheart is a quarter Hungarian :P)
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 F (or wait if you have time to marinate).
  2. Rinse ribs and thoroughly dry with paper towels.
  3. Lightly coat ribs in olive oil.
  4. Mix together seasoning and sprinkle generously over ribs, front and back. (don't have to use all of seasoning mix)
  5. Massage the spices into the ribs with your hands, adding more olive oil to help distribute the spices well if needed.  Ribs like to be pampered, and so do I.
  6. If you have time (I don't most of the time because #momlife and #mombrain I would probably forget them for a few days haha so skip to #7 if you're like me), place the ribs in a large ziplock bag or covered bowl and marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours. 
  7. Place the ribs on a baking pan in a single layer.
  8. Cover the baking pan tightly with foil.  Be sure to seal the edges of the foil so that it's tight and steam won't seep out because you're creating a heat pocket.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of 3½ -4 hours. (I usually plan for 4 if I'm cooking for a large group of people) Check on it after the 3½ hour mark. The oven temperature is so low so you can afford to cook it a bit longer without worry.
  10. When the ribs are done to your liking take them out and let them sit for a few minutes.  You can keep the drippings for au jus if you're into that (we sure are!).
  11. Serve hot with some sides like sweet potatoes and salad and enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 7

Spring Nursing Style- Mom Hack Edition + Giveaway!

I wanted to start off this post by saying happy WednesYAY but then I was like wait do people even get excited about Wednesday and then I didn't want to seem like a total dork haha I mean, I get excited about any day of the week when there's free stuff involved!

So I've had so many people ask me about this dress and my answer is always an enthusiastic "Target!'  Pronounced with a fancy French accent and everything.  Ain't no shame in my game because we all know that Target is my happy place.  But here's the thing about being a nursing mama who loves fashion, you learn little hacks that make spending money on an otherwise non-nursing friendly dress worth it.  Are you ready for this?

I'm wearing this dress BACKWARDS...!!!  Yes.  If you scroll down my photos, you'll see me proudly showing off the tag in the front haha!

And honestly, I think it looks so much cuter this way!  I wore Florence in my sling, nursed her, danced, and had a wonderful time with my family all while feeling fabulous keeping my very functional little secret in my backwards Target dress.  

So here's your chance to win this perfect for Spring and Summer gingham dress and carry the same little secret with you as I do every time I wear it.  

All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment that you've done so and you're entered in the giveaway.  For more chances to win, head over to my Instagram @city_of_hearts and Facebook page found here and enter there as well.  You do NOT have to be a nursing mom to win! If you are, then Happy nursing!

The giveaway ends Sunday, June 11th at midnight.

I added our future little fashionista photobomber in here for good measure.  I love our sweet girls so much.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase.  I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.  XX, Madina*

Friday, January 6

My secret for the perfect messy bun, everytime!

The cute and messy bun is incredibly trendy right now, and I love it because it's in for everyone, mothers, youngsters, hipsters, and grandma's, and even dad's alike.  It's cute dressed up or dressed down, or even for the just getting out of bed look haha.  Trends make me laugh!  The ones that fit into my lifestyle though, I hold on to them for dear life.  The real root of this post is actually in the accessory that I use.  I have really really long hair, like down below my waist long, which means that it's heavy and most hair bands don't hold it up.  And if they do, they start hurting me after about 30 minutes.  These little things called spin pins are amazing!  I carry a pair in my diaper bag and in my purse for a quick up-do if I get hot or if I just need my hair out of my face.  They also make the messy bun so extremely easy and quick, and best of all, pain free!  I can keep these in all day, and if you can tell from the 4th photo down, I can even get the "dread-lock" look from keeping my hair in a bun for literally days haha.  The truth is, I've always wanted dreads so this was a pretty neat surprise, even my sweet husband was into it.  Anyway, you can find these spin pins practically anywhere, including here on Amazon Prime and most likely, your local grocery store.  I also found an 8 pack here on Amazon which is great because I lose mine all the time!

I will be doing more tutorials on easy hair styles for the busy but fabulous mama and so many of them feature these spin pins so stay tuned!  If you have any ideas for more tutorials that you would like to see, don't hesitate to contact me at madina dot lawlis at gmail dot com <3


*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click and shop through my blog, I receive a commission from your purchase.  I only post about things that I truly and confidently believe in so that you can do your shopping confidently as well.  XX, Madina*