Our Future Dream Home

Every night after we tuck our son into bed, my husband and I turn on HGTV. We are both utterly obsessed with all of the shows featured on the channel. This year we have been paying even more attention when we watch, as we are about to begin the process of buying our first home. Thankfully, we are both in agreement as to what type of house we want and what we want the interior to look like. We both love the idea of an all-white, open concept floor plan with a huge master bathroom. Of course, there are other things on our wish list that we would like as well, but we are okay if the home that we purchase needs a little bit of renovating.

The following are some photos that I found on Pinterest that show what our future dream home would look like:

Kitchen

Dream Kitchen

Living Room

Dream Living Room

Bedroom

Dream Bedroom

Dream Bedroom

Bathroom

bba2be9d3cdc1c3da6f781302bbc3b7c

Closet

Dream Closet

Office

Dream Office

In order to purchase a dream home, most people must get approved for a home loan. This process can be incredibly overwhelming! That is why I teamed up with CapitalOne to give some tips for first-time homebuyers that we ourselves will be following.

Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

  • The first step for homebuyers is figuring out how much you can afford. Start by sticking to the correct price range. A rule of thumb is to look at houses that are 2.5 times your annual salary.
    • Ideally, your monthly housing payment should not be more than 28% of your gross household monthly income.
    • Use an online mortgage calculator to help figure out what you can afford.
  • Your financial history is important. Lenders look at income, assets, job history, credit score, total debt, and how much you are willing to put down as a down payment.
  • The traditional estimate for a down payment is 20% of the purchase price of the house.
  • Remember that closing costs can add to the amount you need to close your loan and take possession of your new home. Look them over carefully, because they can vary from one lender to another.
  • Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes, and which one you choose depends on a lot of variables, including your budget, the amount you can afford to put down, the interest you will pay, and the term length. All mortgages have pros and cons, however starting with at least a top-line understanding of what is available is important as you save for this major purchase.
  • Capital One’s goal is to help first-time homebuyers understand how the home loan process works, which is why they have launched a new online learning center that features the know-how they will need to become the savviest homeowners on the block.
  • The Capital One Home Loans Online Neighborhood is a free online resource where you can learn all about home buying. They have gathered easy-to-understand articles and helpful videos, as well as information about Capital One’s home loans offerings.
  • If you are interested in learning more about Capital One home loans and how they can help you get your dream home, visit https://www.capitalone.com/home-loans/direct/learning-center or call #855-900-8886.

Buying a home is an important and life changing process, but certainly not a simple one. Capital One’s new online resource lays the groundwork for everything you need to know. I know my husband and I will be referring to their website repeatedly until we find our dream home.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Review: Maxwell Scott Bags

Since I juggle three careers and being a Mom, I am always on the lookout for the perfect work/diaper bag that is both practical and stylish. Surprisingly, it has been difficult to find one. Thus, when I was introduced to Maxwell Scott Bags and saw The Rivara, which is described as a “large leather work bag” and appeared to be gorgeous from the online photos, I was sold instantly!

Maxwell Scott Bags is a small British company that specializes in one-of-a-kind quality leather luggage bags, purses, and accessories. All of their creations are luxurious and fuse modern style with traditional Italian craftsmanship. The brand’s beginnings can be traced back to a tour of Italy by the founder William Scott Forshaw’s mother Jacqueline. During her trip, she discovered a love for leather goods and conceived of a business idea: Maxwell Scott Bags. A tannery was then established by William in the heart of Tuscany using traditional methods with British design. Unique and durable, the full-grain, vegetable tanned leather ages beautifully over the years. William to this day continues to supervise the creative direction of the brand. Everyone of the masterpieces comes with a 25-year guarantee.

Maxwell Scott Bags
The Rivera has two large compartments; one with a zipper and the other with a magnetic clasp. It is perfect for those who have a lot to carry, but still want to look chic. Designed with a business women in mind, this stunning bag is great for work, as it can accommodate: files, books, folders, and a laptop. The Rivara can also be used as a shopper or a carry on when traveling, as it is an ideal size for taking on board a plane. This is the kind of bag that will stand the test of time and never let you down. It comes in three different colors and can be embossed with your initials for an extra special touch. I chose the color classic tan and had my initials personalized in gold.

Maxwell Scott Bags

Maxwell Scott Bags

Maxwell Scott Bags

Depending on which job I am headed to and if my son is with me or not, the contents of my bag varies greatly, however you will always find in my work bag the following:

  • wallet
  • iPad
  • car keys
  • iPhone
  • pen
  • planner
  • makeup case
  • keys
  • sunglasses
  • magic blanket for Joaquín

Andi Perullo de Ledesma

What is always inside your work bag?

Laser Hair Removal And Vein Treatment At Sound Vascular

In this world where cosmetic medical procedures have become the order of the day, laser hair removal is by far the most common procedure performed on patients. This is because most people prefer certain areas of their body like the arms, legs, and face to stay hairless and perfect for various reasons. The other related procedures are vein procedures for varicose veins and spider veins. Sound Vascular offers safe and effective treatment for your hair removal and vein treatment procedures. Whether you visit for laser hair removal or vein treatment, there are a few things you need to know about the procedures offered:

Laser Hair Removal

As a patient, depending on a number of factors, you may have to attend several treatment sessions for you to get the desired results of smooth skin. Laser hair removal is commonly used to get rid of unwanted hair from the face, legs, arms, underarms, back, and from the bikini line. A dermatologist will first have to conduct a physical exam and review your medical history to see whether you are a viable candidate for the hair removal procedure.

Laser Hair Removal

At Sound Vascular, the doctor will discuss with you what you should expect from the procedure, the potential risks for you, and the cost of the procedure. Prior to the procedure, there are a couple of things that patients are advised not to do. Things like sunbathing, waxing, collagen injections, tanning beds, and chemical peels should be avoided for at least two weeks after the procedure. Perfumes and deodorants should also be avoided, as they cause irritation of the skin during and after the treatment. Herbal supplements, aspirin, and other anti-inflammatory drugs may also increase the risk of bleeding during the hair removal procedure. The success rate of the procedure is impressive after a few sessions, so much so that you are given the look that you wish for. There are no major side effects; all you will experience after the procedure are the normal pain and soreness.

Vein Procedures

Varicose veins mostly appear on the legs and feet, but they can develop on other parts of the body. They appear as purple or blue veins or as bulging or twisted cords. They are painful and they are caused by prolonged standing and pregnancy too. Most patients seek varicose vein treatment, both to look good and for their own comfort. An ABVLM-certified professional uses laser technology to offer safe and effective vascular care so that you are back to normal in no time. Other methods of treatment available for this condition include: Radio Frequency Occlision, Scleotherapy, Laser Ablation, Mini- Phlebectomy, Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy, and Foam Sclerotherapy.

As for the spider veins, they mostly appear on the face and legs, although they also develop anywhere else on the body. Just like the case in varicose veins, spider veins are best treated by an ABVLM physician with a specialty in this field. Laser technology is still applicable in this treatment procedure among other methods which include: Sclerotherapy and Foam Sclerotherapy.

Laser hair removal and laser treatment of spider and varicose vein treatment are safe and effective procedures, which will not damage your skin while it focuses on the problem at hand for impressive results. Visit your physician at soundvascular for professional consultancy, so that you know the best treatment plan for you.

Top Three Passport Stamps From Around The World

Your passport is your ticket for easy travel both domestically and internationally. Begin your passport application with plenty of time before your dates of intended travel, if you do not yet have one. Passports have long made experiencing new cultures an exciting reality and the more you travel, the more awesome souvenirs you are able to acquire. Many people see passport stamps as unforgettable keepsakes to remind them of their exciting memories of travels abroad. Three of the most exciting stamps from around the world include:

Greenland

Greenland Passport Stamp

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/top-10-brag-worthy-passport-stamps#!7-greenland

Greenland is part of North America with just 50,000 inhabitants and located in the kingdom of Denmark. Greenland is remarkably beautiful with both snow and ice landscapes. Known by National Geographic as the “ground zero” of global warming, you can run into some pretty drastic temperature changes while visiting. With varying activities to do in Greenland, such as watching the Northern Lights, taking a cruise, diving, snowboarding, and sitting in some natural hot springs, this passport stamp will be one you can surely brag over. With very few visitors each year, you will be able to get several “cool points” when you mentioned you have made it over. When landing in Greenland, you will get a stamp with the city you have arrived in, as well as the date. Some Greenland passport stamps will be embossed with the Danish crown as well. The easiest way to travel to Greenland is by taking an Air Iceland flight from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Kulusuk, Greenland. The trip will take around two hours.

Republic of San Marino

Republic of San Marino Passport Stamp

http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/top-10-brag-worthy-passport-stamps#!10-republic-of-san-marino

San Marino is officially part of Italy and is comprised of a 24 square mile landmass entirely enclosed by Italy. Founded in September 301, San Marino is self-proclaimed to being the oldest sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world. San Marino has an open-border settlement with Italy, which allows visitors to enter and exit the landmass freely. Although there is no particular border regulations, visitors are still able to get a stamp in their passports. Shopping in San Marino is tax-free and the landscapes surrounding the country are absolutely breathtaking. There are neat local traditions like the changing of the guard at the Piazza della Libertà that will allow you to get a feel for the local culture. Visiting San Marino is pretty rare and so adding this passport stamp to your collection will mean you’ll have a host of unique stories to share.

Easter Island (Chile)

Easter Island, Chile Passport Stamp

http://gobeyond.sg/top-tens-prettiest-passport-stamps-in-the-world/

When flying into Easter Island, you will not be able to get your passport stamped at the airport or at a border. However, if you just stop into the local post office (there are not a lot on the island), you will be able to get an extraordinary memento Easter Island passport stamp. The stamp boasts images of the mysterious Moai heads which are sure to stand out in your passport. Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, can be found 2,182 miles away from the coast of Chile. Known for being one of the most obscure destinations in the world, Easter Island is definitely not your most commercial destination. The Island is most known and famous for its Moai heads, which were left behind mysteriously by the original people on the island. Although the passport stamp itself is not that exciting, having proof that you have been to one of the coolest places off the beaten path will never get old.

My First Mother’s Day

There are simply no words to describe how I felt on my first Mother’s Day, other than to say it was one of the best days of my life. I was so emotional that my family kept joking that I must be pregnant again! I just never knew how badly I wanted children, until my son was born. I feel such an honor and privilege to be Joaquín’s Mom.

My sweet husband, Lucas, was so thoughtful and bought me a gorgeous bouquet of peonies (my favorite flowers) and a new camera lens that I had been lusting after forever. Of course, these things mean the world to me, but my best gift is definitely Joaquín.

Peonies

Before we went out to dinner, we had an impromptu photo shoot in our backyard. I was dying to test out my new camera lens!

The Ledesma Family

Lucas took the following photos and I was blown away by them when I saw them later. For someone who knows very little about photography, he sure can take a good picture! I definitely plan on framing some of these.

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The next photo is my favorite. If only I could freeze time and keep Joaquín four months old forever! Although, I know his journey in life is going to be extraordinary and I cannot wait to see the path he takes with me by his side cheering him on.

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

Mother’s Day dinner was at the Cajun Queen, a restaurant my Dad invested in years ago. It is where we celebrate most of my family’s special occasions throughout the year. If you ever travel to Charlotte, North Carolina, make sure you dine there — the food, drinks, and atmosphere are fabulous!

Cajun Queen

Cajun Queen

Cajun Queen

Raising a child is the hardest work I could have ever imagined, but thankfully I have an amazing partner by my side. Lucas makes parenthood look so easy. He never gets stressed out by anything and has incredible patience. My favorite part of the day is when we put our son to sleep. Lucas feeds Joaquín the bottle, while I read him a bedtime story. After I am finished with the book, I watch Joaquín slowly drift off into sleep cuddled in Lucas’ arms. They both radiate love for each other and every single night I am in awe of the moment.

The Ledesma Family

The Ledesma Family

Of course, no celebration is complete without multiple bottles of champagne and delicious food!

Champagne

Cajun Queen

Cajun Queen

Cajun Queen

All in all, it was the most perfect day. I can hardly believe that on next Mother’s Day my son will be walking and talking!