21 weeks

5 Must Haves for Pregnancy

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21 weeks

Hey guys!


Today, I am 21.9 weeks pregnant, and feeling the most energetic I’ve felt in a looooong time. :)


Lately I’ve been focusing on allowing myself to rest when needed and overall just exemplifying some good ole’ self love.


My go-go mentality has taken a much needed back seat now that I am expecting baby number 2. Society puts a lot of value on ambition, and it has been quite the journey for me learning to, well…relax.


Pregnancy is a powerful time of transformation for a woman. It is a time to look inward, fulfill your needs, and be a bit selfish. THE most important things are when a woman is expecting 1) the growing baby and 2) mom. And I’m proud to say that I have learned the value of saying “no” during this pregnancy. People pleasing is no longer an automatic response from me. I only say “yes” to things out of love, not obligation or guilt.


Below, check out a short list of must haves for pregnancy. This is the list I’ve utilized for this pregnancy. It’s made all the positive difference physically and emotionally, and I wanted to share it with you. :)


5 Must Haves for Pregnancy


1) A great prenatal

I love New Chapter’s Perfect Prenatal because I don’t have to eat before taking it, it’s probiotic, non-gmo, and is an actual food made of organic vegetables and herbs. When I found out I was pregnant, I had no doubt in my mind that these were the multivitamins I wanted to take.





2) A pregnancy journal

Pregnancy brings up all sort of repressed issues and emotions–things we may have subconsciously tried to stuff under the rug. What has really helped me stay sane and mentally healthy is writing in my journal–daily. I’ve found that releasing thoughts on to paper has miraculous effects on the psyche.





3) Cute and Comfy Maternity Clothes

With my first pregnancy, I was completely unprepared with how to dress my bump. This time around, I realize you can be both comfortable and fashionable. I love the dresses from Figure 8 Maternity. Anything I order from home, throw on, and feel cute is a winner to me!





4)  Support System

Having women to talk to (whom I trust) has been oh so needed during this pregnancy. Yes, it is helpful to write things out in your journal, but sometimes you need to rally your sisterhood for support and love. My husband is great, but there is no substitute for divine feminine wisdom.




5) Time to Nurture YOU

This one is essential and often overlooked. Taking time to do the things that make me smile does wonders for my pregnancy and mood. I know that the happier I feel, the more benefits go to my growing baby girl. So, I exercise outdoors, I make nourishing meals, and spend time with those whom make me smile.




How do you take care of yourself during pregnancy? And if you’re no longer pregnant, how did you take care of yourself while you were expecting?


Remember, we can’t be the best moms or wives we can be if our own cup is empty, so to speak. Take care of you first, and your whole family will reap those benefits, not just you!




Monica Bencomo  PhotoGrid_1432162015060

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4 Things I Wish I’d Known BEFORE Going to College

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Hey friends!


I woke up today wanting to share some nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned the past several years in my college career. I’m sure many of you who’ve gone to college can relate to what I’m going to write!




Not all of us are blessed with proper guidance to know the best case scenario for us when we officially become adults at 18. I am very grateful for having guidance from my sister to get enrolled in college in the first place, but there are some things I wish I had known that I am realizing retrospectively.




It is my hope that this provides some guidance to some youngins thinking about registering for college, or at least some comfort to those who’ve already gone to college. Here it goes:




Things I Wish I’d Known BEFORE Going to College


1) Just Say NO to Unnecessary Loans

I grew up in a household where financial awareness was not exactly fruitful. We pretty much grew up at poverty level. You can imagine my delightful surprise when I was told my school would give me money based on my financial need. “Me?!” I thought. “You’re going to trust me with thousands of dollars? I’ll take it!!”  I signed the necessary documents and hurried off before they could change their mind.

The “loan counseling” offered me little guidance to what I was really getting myself into. No student should have to graduate from college with loads of debt due to ignorance and lack of quality guidance. My kids will definitely be getting this lecture from me!


2) Say HELL NO to Unsubsidized loans

Unsubsidized loans, unlike subsidized loans, begin accruing interest as soon as you take them out. And of course, my school was offering me abundant loans…unsubsidized. If I really understood the implication of this, I don’t think I would’ve accepted them as eagerly as I had.




3) Major in What You Really Want to

Everyone will have an opinion on what you should major in. Finishing up my degree while managing my restaurant, I would have tables come in to eat and people would say, “You should major in business! It goes with what you’re doing!”  Great idea, but the only problem with that is that we should major in what we have sincere passion for, not what is in demand or what will pay the bills. Consequently, my confusion delayed my completion in school. I changed my major 5 times before realizing Communication and Psychology were my ish. I created my own degree track and named my degree “Bachelor’s of Communication and Mental Health”.


4) Your Internet Search History Offers Clues to Your Passions

A guy came into Pasion while I was working one day back in 2011 and we started talking about the difficulty in choosing career paths. He told me something I never forgot: He said that what you tend to search for and learn about on your free time often gives clues to what you should major in college. I went home that night and did some prodding: most of my internet search history went to reading psychologists’ blogs, life coach seminars, and all things authentically inspiring. Knowing this helped me narrow down what I didn’t want to major in, and helped me focus on classes that sparked exciting interest.



I have not regretted going to college one day of my life. It was one of the best decisions I could’ve ever made. These are just the main things that if I’d known years ago, would’ve saved me some money and years of indecision. ;)


My biggest inspiration wasn't feel well on my grad day :(.

My biggest inspiration wasn’t feel well on my grad day :( .


But like most things in life, experience is necessary. After all, our life experiences are what make us wiser! #noregrets


Let me know in the comments below what you wish you would’ve known while in school. I’d love to know your nuggets of wisdom!




Monica Bencomo

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How to Lower Stress During Pregnancy…And When You’re Not!

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I get it. Life happens.


Your children are yelling at you while you’re on an important call. Deadlines are piling up. And you barely had time to shower let alone get your daily workout in.

Last week (right before graduation), I had one of the busiest, most stressful weeks. I wanted to pull out my hair and curse out anyone who even looked at me funny.


It was all worth it.

It was all worth it.

The good thing about that week was that it helped me realize that this pregnancy has offered me a great opportunity to find balance and lower stress. Chasing around a toddler while pregnant and trying to keep up with daily duties has been challenging to say the least.

But every time I want to scream out in frustration, I realize I’m trying to get too much done at once. So, I try to go easy on myself. You don’t have to get it all done today, Monica… hey, we all need to talk to ourselves sometimes. :)

These are some signs I usually am overloading my plate: overeating, snapping at my (usually) innocent husband, Elvis, or being unusually impatient with my son Eliel.

Hey, we’re moms–and we’re never going to be perfect. I get that. No one is aiming for perfection. But I have created a list that helped get me through one of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a long time. Check it out and comment below.


How to Lower Stress and Achieve More Balance:

1) Learn How to Say No.

“No” is a complete sentence. We do not need to be superwomen and pretend we can do it all because we can’t. Say no more to requests you don’t really want to do and honor your time.

2) Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

If you’re anything like me, you find extreme fulfillment the more you scratch off your to-do list. Well, that is fine, but make sure that list isn’t so long you have to sacrifice much needed time for YOU.

3) Stop. Remind Yourself of the Bigger Picture

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, stop doing. Reflect (even if for a minute) on why you’re doing the things you are doing. Chances are, they are building a better future for you and your family. Chances are, you are doing amazing things. Chances are, you’re on the right path. Remind yourself and watch inspiration return.

I want a great life. Not a perfect one.

I want a great life. Not a perfect one.


4) Stop Aiming for Perfection

I remember a moment I had last week while I was making myself crazy trying to write a 20 page paper. Hey, it’s okay if I get a B and not an A, I had to remind myself. I decided I’d rather have my sanity and happiness than a perfect grade. Sometimes you need to put the simple things in perspective, ya know?

5) Act Like A Kid Again

When I get too serious in life, I do something that takes me out of the grown up element: I give myself permission to act like a kid. I take my son to the park and I swing on the swing-set with him. I go doggie-paddling in the pool. Or, I act ridiculously goofy with my son (who at 2 finds it hysterical)–it usually cheers us both up!




6) Write it Down

One thing I’ve noticed is that I write in my journal a lot when I’m overwhelmed. Emptying my thoughts right before bed on paper really helps me find peace and get a good night’s rest. Sometimes you need to be your own best friend. Especially when it’s 11 pm and your real bff is SLEEP!  :)

The point here is that we all get stressed from time to time. That’s life. We have work, family, husbands, and  to-do lists that can pile on more duties some weeks than others.

But I’m pretty sure we came here to enjoy life. To celebrate it. And to acknowledge our blessings more than our complaints. We all can use the reminders listed above. Share this blog with your friends. It may help someone!

Thanks for reading and remember to comment below!


Monica Bencomo





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Family Trip to Bounce n Boogie + VLOG

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I’m always looking for new, fun activities I can do with my son, Eliel. A huge bonus for me is when I can find activities that also help foster new skills like gross motor, speech, etc. while he has fun.


So I made a trip to a place called Bounce N Boogie with my husband, Elvis and Eliel to try their class called Big Kid Boogie. In the video below, you’ll see some of the fun activities Emily, the owner, had planned for the kiddos.


Now if you’re interested in trying one of the classes offered from baby yoga to soccer, to dance and art, check out her website and try a class. She offers classes for children ages 0-5!



 If you try one of the classes with your little one, let me know how it goes!

And lastly, what activities do you do with your little one(s) do keep them entertained and learning? I’d love to know in the comments below!


Monica Bencomo

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6 Ways My Second Pregnancy is Different From My First

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Hey guys!


It seems close to impossible to not compare yourself these days to other people, but I’m finding it extremely difficult to not compare pregnancies.



Pregnancy #1:






If you ask any pregnant woman,she’ll tell you–Pregnancies are very unique and different–no two are the same. And that goes for the same woman who has more than one child.

I was so excited my first pregnancy, I wasn’t too strict on anything other than do’s and don’ts from my midwife.

After having my son, Eliel, I promised myself that my second pregnancy would be more conscious. Check out the list below that illustrates how my pregnancies have changed!


How This Pregnancy is Different From My First


1) EATING: I gorged when I was pregnant with Eliel. I weighed 133 when he was conceived, and weighed about 193 when he was born (yup! I gained 60 lbs!) It’s not the weight gain that bugged me as much as my diet–too often I ate McDonald’s, pizza, and other artery-clogging foods. This pregnancy, I am drinking green smoothies, a gallon of water a day, and getting a more balanced diet full of protein and whole grains. Do I still treat myself to cravings like chocolate, strawberry ice cream, and pizza? Um…YA! Just in moderation. :)






2) WORK/CAREER BALANCE: When I was pregnant with Eiel in 2012, I worked at my husband and I’s restaurant until a day before I gave birth. I balanced heavy plates, mopped huge floors, and at times, would serve a full house all by myself. I wanted to prove a point–I might be pregnant, but I still got this! This pregnancy, I accept help from strangers to family members who insist on helping me with grocery bags because of my “condition”. (Lol) And while I still am ambitious (in school full time and still a businesswoman), I am not set on proving anything to anyone–I’m enjoying this pregnancy and resting when needed.



My son and I at our Restaurant, Pasion Latin Fusion

My son and I at our Restaurant, Pasion Latin Fusion



3) EXERCISE: (Sigh) My only source of exercise with baby #1 was walking–walking to work, and walking all day at work serving tables and hosting. While I do recognize that is much better than nothing, my spirit thrives with physical activity. I was a dancer and runner until I got pregnant. I didn’t need to stop being active. This pregnancy, I allow myself a good workout 3-5 times a week for about 20 minutes. I’m not lifting heavy, but I am more toned than my last pregnancy!



18 weeksss



4) LABOR: With my first pregnancy, I had an episiotomy and an epidural. The epidural made me feel like I was going mad–I really wanted to move my legs and couldn’t. This time, I have a birth plan, and I’m opting for a natural birth. Wish me luck! (Full blog on this here).






5) GENDER: It’s a girl this time! Yay for one of each! ;)






6) POTTY TRAINING: I was not anxiously hoping my toddler would be fully potty trained by the time baby #2 comes!




Of course, I could keep on going, but these are the most apparent ways my pregnancies are different.

Let me know in the comments below–how were your pregnancies different?

Please share and like with your fellow fit mommies!


And as an early Happy Mother’s Day, enjoy great discounts at one of my favorite online maternity stores, Figure8maternity.com!



Monica Bencomo


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Why I’m Choosing Natural Birth for Baby #2

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Hello hello! Today I was reflecting on all the reasons I’m choosing to opt for a natural birth (so I don’t talk myself out of it!) and thought I’d share it with you.


First, let me go over what I mean exactly when I say “natural birth”. To me, this means no unnecessary interventions–no epidural, no drugs, no induction–nada!

It’s so interesting when I tell other women my plan to go natural with baby number 2. I hear such varied responses ranging from, “You don’t get a root canal without drugs, why’d you give birth without it?!” To, “I totally understand. I want the same and trust my body will know what to do.”






At the end of the day, regardless of those who support my decision and naysayers, I have made the decision that giving birth to my baby girl naturally is something I truly want to do. I’ve compiled a list below that I borrowed from my journal that explains why I’ve made this choice.



Why I’m choosing natural birth:


1. My husband and I have decided that we are content with 2 kids. Therefore, I may not have another chance to give birth. I want to experience what natural birth is like to know the contrast.



2. Hospitals are notorious for performing unnecessary procedures like episiotomies (when they cut opening of your vagina). My midwife gave me one with my last labor–didn’t ask if it was okay–just did it. Let’s just say it hurt to pee weeks after I gave birth…



3. Healing postpartum is much faster without interventions



4. Pregnancy and labor are divine opportunities to get in touch with your spiritual goddess–I want to experience the euphoric hormonal surges associated with natural birth–oxytocin and beta-endorphins can=quite the pleasurable experience!



5. Epidural, drugs, etc. blocks communication between mom and baby which slows labor. I was 60% dilated when I went to hospital to give birth, but my contractions slowed down after receiving epidural. I honestly think I would’ve had Eliel hours before had I not received one.



6. Giving birth naturally lessens chances of developing postpartum depression. I’ve read that the amazing hormonal bonds between mother and baby add to euphoric moods. It’s hard to be depressed when happy!



7. After I got my epidural with Eliel, I started to go crazy because I couldn’t move my legs. It was pretty uncomfortable! It just felt foreign. This time, I’d like the freedom to get up and walk around during labor. Seems like the natural thing to do.

I could go on, but these are the main reasons I am hoping I can do this labor differently–and natural!

Would or have you ever given birth naturally? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below!





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Gender Reveal Bencomo Baby #2! It’s A…!

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Hey guys!






Today I am 16 weeks and 3 days and guess what??  We found out if I’m pregnant with a boy or girl! I’m am so excited to share with you all this exciting news… Below is a short video that reveals the sex of Bencomo Baby #2–please check it out BEFORE reading more!  :)








So now you know…




It’s a girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We gave our ultrasound tech two pieces of clothing–one pink and one blue. After our appointment, Elvis, Eliel and I opened the bag to see the pink shirt come out, and I cried like a baby!!! (Tears of joy of course).






My intuition knew it was a girl, but my logic begged me to think otherwise. I was craving salty, savory foods and most of the old wives tales pointed to boy. Plus I took the Intelligender at home test which said I was having a boy. BUT the Chinese gender predictor was right.  Baby number 2 is a girl!



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We are overjoyed and are including Eliel in as much as possible. I can’t believe lil man is going to have a little sister!

Well, I’d love to hear your comments below–did you guess right?


Monica Bencomo


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Top 8 Tips to Have a Healthier, Happier Day

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I am coming at you today almost 16 weeks pregnant today. This pregnancy has been great so far–and a roller coaster emotionally and physically.




For one thing, I am completely ecstatic about welcoming another baby to our family of 3. Yet some days I wonder if I can manage the responsibilities that being a (GOOD) parent really demands.


You see, I don’t just want to go through life and not stop to really enjoy the beautiful, ordinary moments of motherhood. I love being a stay at home mommy, but have to manage that role with full time classes and running  businesses.


15 weeks



I see two types of moms very often: the one that is a stay at home mom yet yearns for professional acknowledgement and another who seemingly has both yet is stretched beyond her limits more days than not.



The basis of my book 7 Habits of a Healthy, Happy Mom is that if moms want to produce happy, healthy kids, we need to exemplify those qualities authentically. You must figure out what makes you tick. In other words: what truly makes your heart sing? Do you feel as though something is missing? And, how can you achieve some standard of balance in your life?



I believe that optimum health and wellness means one is emotionally AND physically FED. We cannot give to our children if we are starved for connection, appreciation, and fulfillment.

So the following list speaks to addressing both spiritual and physical needs. This is how I find some ounce of balance in my life–I hope it helps a woman out there!



Top 8 Tips for a Healthier, Happier Day!

  1. Wake up early enough to reflect. As soon as I open my eyes, the dreaded “to do” list starts to creep up in my psyche. I’ve trained myself to thank God for another day, reflect on the day I want to have, and listen to guidance I may receive.

  2. Drink a BIG glass of water with lemon upon waking. Doing this aids in digestion, offers an immunity boost, and naturally promotes clearer skin.

    Fist thing I drink every morning. Lemon helps with alkaline levels.

    Fist thing I drink every morning. Lemon helps with alkaline levels.

  3. Prioritize–don’t overschedule. Don’t try to do it all today. Do enough to be proud of yourself, but there will always be time tomorrow to handle that 7th thing on your list! I try to live by the “do the worst first” mantra. Get that ish out of the way!

  4. Have something green before lunch. Green smoothies, salads, green juice–grab something and discipline yourself to eat (or drink) it daily. Your skin, digestion, and energy levels will thank you. :)  PhotoGrid_1427649146435

  5. Spread positive vibes everywhere you go. There are so many angry, cynical people out there. Be the light that shines in a dark world! This means good karma and an even better mood for you.

  6. Feed your spirit before the day is over. For me this means listening to someone I admire–Oprah, TD Jakes, etc. Or reading a great book. Find out what sets your heart on fire and DO THAT!

  7. Try to get outside and get moving. The vitamin D the sun releases is scientifically proven to elevate your mood. Go for a walk, take your kids to the park–be THAT mom who is active with her kids! ;)  11098446_1590900854458339_37669351_n

  8. Reflect and plan before bed. What went great during your day? What could you learn a lesson from? What do you need to accomplish the next day? Write it down. Clear your head. Empty your thoughts. Trust me, you’ll sleep MUCH better.


Here is my list of top tips for optimum health–pregnant or not!

Tell me, how do you unwind after a long day? How do you find balance while being a mother? I’d love to hear in the comments below.




Monica Bencomo

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Ingrid and Isabel Maternity Dress

My Top Tips and Picks for Maternity Fashion

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Hey guys!


Welcome to my 13th week of pregnancy. Great news, I am officially showing! (No hiding this belly!)



Dress and Blazer available
on Figure8Maternity.com!

More good news–my burgeoning belly has given me a great excuse to…go shopping! But,  being wrapped up in school, my blog, my restaurant and more, I decided to save some much needed time and energy and shop from home. That’s right, online baby.

I found a really cool website for maternity clothes called Figure8maternity.com. As it turns out, they’re gearing up to celebrate their 10 year anniversary, so there’s some really great deals going on now if you need some maternity, postpartum, or goodies for the baby (including free shipping!)


 Watch the latest episode of Parenting 411!


If you checked out the video, you know my top tip is keeping maternity shopping affordable by buying versatile pieces. Opt for high quality pieces you can wear before, during, and postpartum to save some coins!


Next, I recommend buying simple: if you’re going to be pregnant in the summer months like me, strive for a closet of cute and comfortable dresses. So easy–you slip ‘em on; you’re out the door.


Lastly, as I said, buying online has saved me some much needed energy. Check out some of the looks I recently ordered from Figure 8 Maternity and receive 10% off my using the coupon code momswearheels10!


Alex Maternity Blazer Boatneck Nursing Top charlette dress Front zip dress Ingrid and Isabel Maternity Dress maternity pants nursing tunicnecklasce



If you have any maternity or postpartum fashion tips, do leave them for me in the comments! I’d love to hear them.




Monica Bencomo

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Eliel big brother

Big Announcement!

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Life is a constant series of changes; how we respond to them determines our happiness…




I, for one, am very happy to let you know that I am currently experiencing a major life change. In an effort to make this guessing game a bit more fun as to what this change is, I’m going to offer you a few hints! Here we go:



  1. My workouts have become less intense

  2. I want to sleep all day

  3. A good cheeseburger and strawberry shake literally makes me the happiest girl in the world

  4. I smell what my husband had for lunch as soon as he walks in the door from work

  5. TV commercials make me cry

  6. I pee almost as much as I breathe





Ok. You’ve guessed it right??

I’m pregnant!!!!!!!!!




Eliel big brother



Yes, I my hubby and I are expecting and the baby boy or girl is due September 2015. I’m proud to say I’ve kept it just between us (and our son:) the entire first 3 months! (Huge accomplishment for someone like me). :)



PhotoGrid_1426131214830 PhotoGrid_1426131177502


How’d I hide it for 3 whole months, you ask? Baggy shirts. Very baggy shirts.

Interestingly enough, keeping this news from my Instagram community was very hard! I feel like my followers know a lot about me and my life, and my normal workout videos and fitness selfies had not been posted in 2 whole months…



Eliel was kissing my belly before I knew I was pregnant :)
I was 4 weeks here!

The reason for this is simple: I didn’t want anyone to guess I was expecting! I started showing really early–like around 7 weeks. This, I believe, is due to the fact I was very lean when I conceived, and women show earlier after they’ve already had kids.




It is a huge relief to share this with you all. If you’re wondering how my pregnancy will affect my blog and social media, this is what’s going to happen!


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  • I will be posting prenatal fitness workouts on here, Youtube, and Instagram regularly

  • I will be sharing healthy meal ideas for everyone (including pregnant women)

  • You will get to see firsthand how I lost the baby weight the first time (Round 2!!)

  • I will be making weekly pregnancy vlogs tracking belly growth, cravings, symptoms, etc.

The good news is that even if you are not expecting, my workouts and meal ideas will still be something you can try! I only would suggest taking it up a notch by adding heavier weights if you are comfortable doing so.



My husband and I are very excited that Eliel (our son) will be a big brother. I’ve always wanted 2 kids close in age, and since Eliel is doing very well in potty training, I feel this spacing will be good!


Well, that’s my announcement, guys. I thank you in advance for your warm wishes, blessings, and hugs. I can’t wait to share more of this journey with you!


Monica Bencomo

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