January 24, 2018

chill mama : clarissa fago

The Chill Mama is an interview series featuring bold and beautiful mothers. Each month, I reach out to an amazing woman who loves her babies fiercely but also believes in the power of self care. I’m always interested in hearing her unique story and how she keeps her cool on a daily basis – because in all honesty, I need all the inspiration I can get ;)


clarissa fago : chill mama of two

Clarissa Fago, 32

RN, FNP; Benicia, CA

Mama to Casey, 3 years and Chloe, 5 months


What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up, have coffee, make Casey a cheese omelette or whatever he is crying for that morning. Lol. By then the baby wakes up and it’s time to nurse her. And the day begins toggling the wants and needs of a toddler and infant. But if I’m lucky it’s a school day for Casey, and I get 2.5 hrs one on one time with Chloe while he’s at school. Despite all of the chaos, it really is sweet when I can sync their naps together and see them both asleep. There’s something so peaceful, sweet and innocent when they sleep.

What does a dream day look like for you? Think unlimited time and $$$!

I would go on a trip to one of those fancy hotels I’ve seen on “Great World Hotels” and enjoy everything the spa has to offer.

How do you chill?

Going out to get a massage or pedi, although I feel like I rarely do it.

What inspires you?

My hubby. He works so hard to support our little family and makes sure we have everything we need. He’s such a good father too, and never complains.

Describe your labor + delivery experience in a nutshell (if that’s even possible).

With my first it was not easy. I was induced and it took me 3 hours to push him out. I delivered a 8lb 6oz baby boy. What were tears of joy and happiness were quickly cut short and they had to take him off my chest. To my surprise I was bleeding. My uterus wouldn’t clamp down and I was losing a lot of blood…FAST. A whole team of nurses and docs came into the room. I remember a nurse getting in my face asking me if I’m ok with receiving blood, and someone yelling “last bp 64/39!” As I could feel my eyes rolling back and trouble breathing, I turned to my friend who was in the delivery room and said,” I need oxygen.” As I grabbed her hand I remember thinking to myself, I’m crashing…this is it. Shortly after they were able to stop the bleeding. After everything settled, they said I had lost 2 liters of blood which is why I needed the blood transfusion, and I ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days. Now with my girl, she was the easiest smoothest birth. I knew I was in labor with mild contractions, and called my parents to stay the night…”just in case” so someone could be home with my son. My water broke at 2am, when we got to the hospital, I asked for the epidural. Once they placed that, they checked and I was already 8cm dilated! When it came time to push, she came out in 5 contractions/pushes. It was a beautiful delivery with no complications. Hallelujah!

What would you say to your pre-mama self?

Your body isn’t yours for awhile…even after the baby is born. I feel like I’m always being touched! Lol. But you learn to accept it. I’d also say don’t forget to make time for you and your hubby, because sometimes that can be forgotten and lost, especially when you have more than 1 kiddo.

Besides your lovies, what’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?

My phone. It’s my connection to friends, family, and social media to remind me I’m not alone having crazy mommy days. Lol.

If you could hop on the next flight, where would you go? With or without the littles?

Philippines- I’ve always wanted to see what it’s like out there and what my culture is about.

What are you listening to these days?

Any song from the “Sing” movie.

What is the last book you read?

Five little monkeys. Haha.

And the last thing you ate?

Eggs and hash browns.

Early bird or night owl?

Night owl

Coffee or tea?

I use to drink a lot of tea before babies, but now it’s coffee.

Dogs or cats?


If you could leave us with one bit of #momlife advice, what would it be?

Take any help offered, and find yourself a good group of mommies you can talk, laugh, and relate with.

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Thanks for sharing, mama! Hopefully I’ll have a similar birth story with baby #2 – you give me hope that it will be easier, or at least faster, the second time around :) And I love how you mentioned alone time with hubs. I feel like it’s so, so important to really make that happen even if we have to actually schedule it into our lives. Kids seem to have a tendency to take over anything if we let them!

I’m so happy we were able to squeeze this little family session in just days before you moved up north. Mamahood looks so natural on you, I loved capturing these sweet moments of you and your boys. We’ll have to get Chloe in there next time! xo

January 11, 2018

crystal pier sunset


When everyone in your house is taking turns getting sick, all you want to do is escape for a little fresh air! We’re now going on week 3 of illness here… Not fun, but it does make me realize how happy and sweet my toddler is when she’s not feeling miserable. Poor thing. Bryn’s had a rough few days and I’d do anything to switch places with her. Looking forward to getting back to our little life, free of the flu. Please send any healthy vibes if you got ’em ;) Happy weekend!

January 8, 2018

holiday card outtakes 2017


Don’t let this sweet little smile fool you, girlfriend is a WILD child these days! I took Bryn to our favorite spot, Windansea Beach, thinking we’d do just a few test shots, but when we got home, I totally fell in love with the first two photos and sent them out as is! Ryan snuck in a few pics of baby girl and I  (which makes me so happy because I’m usually the one behind the camera), and of course we had to smile for a quick selfie before wrapping things up ;)

Here are our holiday cards from 2016 and 2015 – I can’t believe how much B has grown over the last 2 years!

December 14, 2017

newbury street


Wandering around Newbury Street was my ideal dream day of shopping and people watching growing up – still is!I remember exactly how I felt the first time I took the train into Boston by myself. I knew I wanted to live in a city one day. It’s funny how I ended up back in the burbs, except on the other side of the country, but I always make an effort to squeeze in some Newbury time whenever I visit family in Boston. Here are a few shots from my last trip in August 2017.

December 12, 2017

reese + rella


Remember that beautiful mama from last week? Well, here are her TWO gorgeous girls, 3.5 year old Rella (left) and newborn baby, Reese Mae.


Maybe it’s because I have a sister, or maybe it’s because I have a daughter and possibly another on the way, but I just could not wait to capture these precious moments between the two girls, getting to know each other for the first time. How sweet are they together?! Rella seems to be a natural and I know Reese will look up to her forever. I love the closeness they share already, knowing that bond will only get stronger as they grow. Built-in best friends <3

December 7, 2017

cape cod


A few shots from our family trip back east this past August. I spent every summer here growing up and some things just never change. Parts of the cape feel exactly as they did 25 years ago, especially Marc Anthony’s, the little pizza place down the street from our cottage. I love taking Bryn here and hope to keep the tradition even though I know adding another little one to the mix may complicate travel plans. It’s one of my favorite places to visit, we’ll just have to make it work!