Between the Gold

Shop My Favs

No one talks about just how hard it is to name a baby. I mean this kid comes out with a clean slate and the name you tag on them can either set them up for success or failure right off the bat. Okay, that’s a little melodramatic, but a name holds some serious weight. It is what teachers, friends, classmates, co-workers, bosses and more will call them for the rest of their lives. So when you do choose a name, you want to make sure you choose wisely. 

Would you believe me when I tell you Tate’s name was picked out before we even knew he was a boy? When it came to naming our baby there was no debate. We had 2 solid first and middle names (one for boy and for girl) that were set in stone. Growing up our entire lives each having to correct teachers for mispronouncing our names, we knew we wanted something unique but easy on the eyes as well. 

Being a nurse working in a children’s clinic there were constantly names being thrown around. You had the usuals: John, Ashley, Joseph, Brittany, etc. And you had the not so usuals as well. But every now and then you heard a name and it just kind of stuck out. That was how Tate was for me. Once I heard the name I knew it would be my child’s. It was both unique, easy to spell and straight to the point. Plus it kinda sounds presidential don’t you think? 

Once we had our names chosen, they of course had to go through a few tests. Here’s my top 5 tips I used in picking my baby’s name: 

  1. Meaning. What does this name mean? Soon after deciding on Tate’s name I ran it through the google search engine. I mean the last thing you want is to name your child something that means butthead. Tate, an english baby name meaning cheerful or joy. That checked number one right off my list. 
  2. Initials. What will the initials read? This was a tip I read on The Baby Center that I had never thought of! Imagine naming your baby Ashley Susan Smith, A.S.S. Ashley if you’re out there, I’m sorry hun you’re probably a really sweet girl and not at all what your initials say you are. T. J. B. Another check in my book! 
  3. Common. How many people have this name? With both me and Briean having such unique names, our child’s name was destined to come with some originality. I knew right away I wanted my child’s name to be something that when people heard it they had that two second pause because it wasn’t something they heard every day. After working in the pediatrics for 3.5 years and baby sitting many many years before that I had only heard one Tate. Check, check, check. 
  4. Nicknames. How can I make this a nickname? Okay, okay, if you‘ve checked out my Insta lately then you know my all-time favorite thing to call Tate is Tater tot. I am a nickname person. I love to give nicknames and to have my own special thing to call a person. The second I realized “Tater-Tot” was an option for Tate, the deal was sealed! 
  5. Love. Do I love this name, judgement and all? When picking Tate’s name I never thought of anyone else’s opinion. I didn’t care if people thought it was too short, weird or was more tied to a certain race. I LOVED the name. I knew that after we announced the name no matter what backlash people said, at the end of the day I would still want that name and that was all that mattered. 

With everything else going on during pregnancy it’s easy to sweat the small stuff. But picking a baby name should be a joyful experience, so don’t let it stress you out! Have some fun with it. Play a guessing games with close friends, have a name release party or even keep it to yourself like a secret between you and your small family. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to use the tips above. The last thing you want is to have your baby looking like an Ashley Susan Smith. 

See ya! 
Aysia B. 

When you imagined how you’d be defining your body after your baby what were some words you used? I know for me it was overweight, fluffy, saggy, stretchy and other words that were demeaning to my self esteem. Now don’t get me wrong, my body is nowhere near perfect. In fact I haven’t quite hit my goal weight since having Tate. But I’ve realized those words hold less weight in actually defining my post baby body than my own beliefs about myself.

One of the major hits we take as mothers after having our babies is on our bodies. I mean naturally they went through hours (20 for me, thank you Tate) of hard labor to bring another human into this world. You would think we would be a little more forgiving and appreciative of them. After having Tate I realized that my post baby body in no way defined me as a mother or as a woman. I could work out every single day, not hit my goal weight but if I felt good then I could check that box off on my list as done. It was less about what the scale said and more about how I felt on the inside

This shift in thinking gives me back the power. It takes the power away from insecurity, anxiety, and especially society. When I began doing research for this blog post I was shocked to see so many google searches for the ‘definition of post baby bod’. I mean what is a definition on what your body should look like after baby? Here’s my definition for my post baby bod: whatever I damn well please. If that means fluffy around the core, great. If it means cut & defined around my quads, great. And if it means tone down bottom but loose on top, GREAT! As mothers we have to stop letting outside factors define who we are as women and mothers. And this mama is no stranger to this very statement. 

4 months after having her youngest son, Conway, this incredible mama auditioned for Sports Illustrated Swim model competition. Talk about defining your post baby body! This week I talked with her about body image, self esteem and more. Check it out now!  

About 4 months after having a baby you decided to try out for the Sports Illustrated Swim model cover.  Where did you find the confidence for this?

Sports Illustrated is something I have always dreamt of doing- it truly is a childhood dream I think every girl has deep down. Becoming a mother has given me the "screw it" attitude. I have given birth to TWO humans. I have gained and lost over 200 pounds in two years and seen firsthand the power of the human body. If I can do that, I can do anything. Motherhood has really empowered me in so many ways and allowed me to become fearless at anything I choose to tackle in life. My husband Tyler is also my biggest support system-he's been pumping me up since before I submitted my audition video!

Being a brand spanking new mama and obviously not the typical size '0' model that we're used to seeing, did you receive a lot of back lash or negative comments in regard to you deciding to become a SI swim model?

I didn't receive negative comments first hand, but I can only imagine what people are saying behind my back. But to be completely honest, I pay no attention to that. I have no idea what people think of me. All I do is focus on myself and how I make me feel. I feel bad for others who talk down on people, especially those going after goals in life. I will always empower and pump up women going for anything in life. 

Sports Illustrated is such an incredible brand breaking so many barriers for women. I LOVE that they are showing all different body types because that is what is REAL and relatable. And that is exactly what I hope to use my platform for- to relate to other women and help them find confidence within themselves. 

Sometimes it's hard for moms to get over the idea of what everyone thinks about them and what they look like.  What would be your advice to those moms that's struggling with silencing the noise and loving their own body image?

I think I truly became confident when I decided this was MY journey, and no one else's. I understood that I was in full control of my actions and emotions and that there were no such thing as excuses. Our bodies are not the same as they were pre-children, and that is something we must accept. Like anything in life, all we can do is focus on what we can control- and that is putting in the work. It will take a little longer, it will be a little tougher, but we must all learn to enjoy the journey and the process. I myself am not where I want to be quite yet, but I know in my heart I am putting in the work every day, so that feeling of accomplishment and self love go hand in hand. 

What would you say is your most challenging part of your fitness journey?

I am happy with the work I put in, so that helps KNOWING I am giving it all with eating healthy and working out daily. Something I've learned is even in the tough situations, there are lessons to be learned. For example, my core will be the last to come. It is very frustrating some days. But in this part of my journey rather than give up and compare myself to other girls, I am practicing patience and perseverance. It is no secret to looking and feeling good- consistency is key! 

With two boys, a busy fiance, his career and your career, where do you find the time to workout?

It is no doubt VERY hard to make time for yourself as a mother. But that's exactly what we all need to do- MAKE the time. If it's important to you, you will make the time. And that's exactly what I do. About 4x a week while everyone is sleeping I wake up at 5am and drive a half hour away to this amazing boxing gym that leaves me dripping sweat every time. Does it suck waking up that early? Absolutely. But it's important to me so I make it a priority! 

So many individuals have different goals for fitness (i.e. what the scale says, what the mirror looks like, etc).  What would you say is your goal for your fitness journey?

My goal is confidence 100%. Years ago it was all about the scale, but now it's about how I feel and look in clothes. I have learned to embrace my curves. Rather than wear baggy clothes I wear tighter clothes and show the goods! It is also important for me to look fit. I don't want to look skinny, I want to look like hard work, like 'damn, that girl works out for sure.' I think your physical appearance says something about who you are without uttering a word. It says 'I care about myself and I work hard.' No matter how much I weigh, I want to walk into every room with my head held high comparing myself to no one but the woman I was yesterday. And trust me, that energy shows more than any outfit or bikini!

p.s. be sure to keep up with Kristen's Sport Illustrated journey on Instagram!

See ya!
Aysia B.
Who loves wearing a crown? I know most of my ladies definitely do. But how amazing is it when your crown is your own hair?! Since having Tate my hair has definitely been my own personal crown. 

Let me take this moment to say this is not one of those reads that tells you the typical what pills to take and what DIY mixtures to use on your hair. I do NOT take any hair, skin or nails pills (outside of occasional prenatal vitamin). I do NOT make my own conditioners to use. And I do NOT have a super strict hair and skin regiment. Okay, so let’s continue.

I’m sure you’ve heard statement, that less is more. Well that’s pretty much how I live my entire life, but definitely how I live when it come to my hair and skin. Here would be my top 3 hair tips:

  1. Leave your hair
  2. Go about your business
  3. Watch your hair flourish

Okay obviously it’s not 100% that simple, but with a few minor tweaks & additions, that is how I achieved my post baby hair crown. 

Since high school days I have been a major supporter of Carol’s Daughter Hair Care. I used to have really bad shedding and the Monoi shampoo and conditioner was the only products I found that would help with the issue. As I got older I found that the conditioner part of the Monoi products would dry my hair out terribly and cause breakage. That is when I switched to using the Hair Milk conditioner from Carol’s Daughter. In addition to stopping the shedding I was able to add moisture. And that’s it! No literally 2 products are my go to for wash day and that is it. 

I (mama’s attempt) to wash my hair once a week if I wear it curly. I wait until my little Tot is nicely tucked in bed and use my few free hours to wash and style my hair. After using the Monoi shampoo and Hair Milk conditioner I typically will air dry for about 30 min or until my hair is damp and then prepare to style. I use Olive Oil smooth and hold pudding to achieve my twist outs and Shea Moisture Leave-in conditioner if I’m doing the occasional wash and go. After styling I go to sleep, wake up and then let my hair flourish! 

Now my skin care regimen is a little similar. My main principles are again as follows:

  1. Leave your skin
  2. Go about your business
  3. Watch your skin flourish

Again not completely that simple so I’ll explain. Sunday’s is typically my mama self-care day. It’s the one day of the week I dedicate to both my hair and skin on the same day. After a day of make up in church, it’s pretty much the only time my skin takes the most “beating”, with make up that is. 

I start my routine by removing my make up with my ItWorks facial cleanser. I try to use my cleanser at least 2-3 times a week while in the shower. However On Sunday’s, after my cleanser I will spend the time “rolling” and “chillin”, literally speaking. I use a Geranium Face roller and roll it over my face especially my under eye and forehead. This roller is said to prevent the presence of wrinkles and tighten the skin. I roll for about 10 minutes and then move on to the chill. I found some cheap $1 cucumber packs from Forever 21 and also use them to target my mama bags. These also stay on for about 7-10 minutes. I pop both those tools in the freezer while I’m in the shower and then take it out and begin use. After my roll and chill sesh I continue on with the skincare by using my ItWorks exfoliating peel. This product smells amazing and has been doing wonders on my skin in the short time I’ve been using it. After my entire face routine I top it off with some age defying moisturizer from Olay. By this time little Tater tot is usually awake and mamas skin can rest and take in the nutrients! 

My entire Sunday self-care routine can take me anywhere from 3-4 hours straight. This all depends on how many times Tate wakes up in between my ritual and how tired I am. 

Being a mom I know just how important my own self- care is. I spend numerous hours out of my day taking care of a little one.  I think I can use 4 hours on a Sunday for myself. So no matter how busy the day, how stressful the night I always make sure I participate in some type of Sunday self-care ritual. Even if some days that just means ice cream. Tell me what’s your self-ritual?! 

See ya! 
Aysia B. 

p.s. It’s good to focus on your skin and hair but don’t forget to love the rest of your body too! Get my 4-page affirmation workbook on how to love your post- baby bod! 

ItWorks links are affiliate links provided by a friend of mine in which she gets commission from purchases made from these links at no extra cost to you. 

The moment you share that you’re expecting a child, everyone becomes a parenthood expert. People you’ve never talked to before come out of the woodworks with “extremely important” information that your little one could NEVER survive without. As a first-time mom, you do your best to soak in the madness and prepare for what you can prepare for!

By the time you’re hospital ready, you’ve already done way more prepping than you needed to. Baby’s nursery is spotless, the diaper bag is packed, crib’s set up, you have bottles on deck and a million onesies are washed & folded. In the off chance that your kid pops out ready to walk, you even have rows of shoes (they’ll never wear) in their closet, ready for action. We’re all guilty of it. Something in a mother’s DNA just doesn’t allow her to “play it cool” when getting ready to have a baby.

You anticipate the immense love you’ll feel for this little human and try to wrap your mind around actually caring for someone that much?! You imagine their first word, first steps and their first day of school.  You expect that at some point, your child will mess up. They’ll wet the bed, spill juice on the brand new sofa and throw a tantrum in public while everyone stares. They’ll fall off their bike and run to you, expecting one of those magical kisses you keep stored up for ‘boo-boos’ that only mommy can fix. They’ll wipe their nose on your shirt like you’re a napkin and they’ll believe coloring on the walls with the crayons you bought them is considered art. How are you supposed to get mad at their work when all they wanted to do was “draw mommy a pitcher!” Yeah, right.

From the moment I saw two lines on that pregnancy test, I’d been preparing. Mentally and emotionally preparing myself to be a mother, my husband to be a father and our unit to be a family. Through all of the tips and tricks I received regarding my son and becoming a parent, no one prepared me for the amount of support I would need, day in and day out.

And they sure didn’t tell me I would find it on Instagram of all places?!

Once you pop out a kid, it’s like a newsletter goes out to every mother on the planet. They will find you, and they will love your child just as much as you do. Don’t let these women go. When they say “it takes a village” to raise a baby they aren’t kidding. I found my village not long after I gave birth to my son, Mikah.

It started off with a few moms reaching out when I would ask for advice via social media. These women quickly became a part of my tribe when I realized just how much I needed them to lean on. When you have a baby your entire world is flipped upside down and you have about 30 seconds to adjust to it. I was overwhelmed my first few months of motherhood; I suffered from postpartum depression and couldn’t figure out how to get through my days without feeling like I was completely drowning. I spent about two months thinking something was wrong with me. I didn’t feel the way everyone said I would and I wasn’t dizzy with this crazy love everyone said I would feel. I hated my body, I was furious with my stretch marks and baby weight that wouldn’t go away. At the end of the day, even with family surrounding me, I felt alone. No amount of help was enough to get me out of my own head, and it wasn’t until I stumbled across a group of women who understood what I was going through, that I didn’t feel like I had to get through it by myself. From there, it was a sisterhood.
Nowadays, social media can carry a terrible reputation. Non-stop highlight reels, photoshopped images and frappuccino pictures can get annoying to scroll through. But, if you can get past that, the community that it allows us to be apart of is truly incredible. The amazing women and badass mamas I’ve come across have changed the entire game for me. They have taught me to love myself for who I am, the good the bad and the ugly, and to take it easy. As a mama, you always need to be reminded to relax. I no longer hide my struggles, I own them. I no longer hate my stretch marks, I love them. I no longer compare myself to another woman’s journey, but instead, support the hell out of her. I no longer feel alone, I have my girls.

Regardless of what happens throughout this crazy journey we call parenthood, I find peace in knowing that there is a community of amazing women out there that have my back. No matter what. A support system this strong is something you don’t see everyday.

For that, I am so thankful.

Ariana Carter
Let’s face it, just like everything else in life you need a community and motherhood is no different. When I became pregnant I noticed my circle changing. Not in that “have a baby your friends will leave you way”, because s/o to my community y’all are dope and no one worth keeping has ever left, but more in a there’s strength in numbers kind of way. Let me explain. 

When you become pregnant your view on the world totally changes. All of a sudden you realize how much you DON’T know about babies, pregnancy and family. Questions such as: how many times a day should I pee when I laugh?, how much is too much poop for a newborn?, and is it okay to physically kick daddy and his useless nipples out the bed while he sleeps?, begin to flood your google search engine. In those moments, you need community. The ones who will drive around just to find the “good ice” to satisfy your pregnancy crave. Friends who will answer your weird poop questions at 3am because they’re up feeding their baby too. Or even just friends who will sit and cry with you because they are the only ones who understand when you say you haven’t had a solid night sleep in 7 months. For all of you wondering, yes it’s been 7 long months and my baby’s still not sleeping through the night. But it’s okay, he’s okay, we’re okay; soft method approach still going strong over here! 

After Tate got a little older I realized this can’t be it. Not that my circle isn’t amazing or anything, but I knew there had to be other mamas out there going through the same struggles at the same time and I just knew I had to reach them. At that moment social media, blogging and internet connections completely changed for me. It was no longer an empty space filled with codes and firewalls. Instead it was central park at lunch time with food vendors and free music. It was the beach on fourth of July weekend in the middle of the day. It was in short- my community. 

Blogging for me was not only about expressing my feelings. It was about hearing “me too” and knowing that I wasn’t the only one who was struggling with these parenting issues. And on the flip side, it was about me telling another mama “me too”, so she knew that she too was not alone. My love for my community stems deeper than likes on Instagram, repins on Pinterest or views on my blog. I strive to grow and build with this community. Empower and lift up my fellow mamas to ensure our community stays stronger than ever. And seeing little Johnny grow up, well that’s just community perks. 

No matter what stage of life you are in you need a community, from careers, to school to hobbies, everyone needs a place that they blow and can feel the love and support from others around them. Mine at the moment just happens to be a tribe of strong mamas. 

Are you looking to use this blogging world to create your own community like me? If so, I’d love to do a “mini” BTG Giveaway and work with 3 individuals to create their own online tribe! Whether you’re a parent, nurse or astronaut I’d love to help you get you’re blogging journey off the ground with some “blog-startup” consultations. Just enter your email below to be automatically included in this giveaway! This giveaway ends 8/27 and I’d hate for you to miss out on your tribe! 

p.s. this Friday I have a special #BTGFF from one of my own strong mamas. She is a huge part of my online community and you do not want to miss her.

See ya! 
Aysia B. 

Start your online community now!

* indicates required

Copyright © Between the GoldCREATED BY ThemeShine