Kickin’ Off Summer With Hey Mama Teas

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As I get older and learn more and more about the world around me, nutrition has become a HUGE factor in my life. I will cut into my wardrobe budget (GASP!), if it means that I can spend more on choosing the right foods and nourishment for my family and me. It has also become increasingly important to me that we are all obtaining our essential vitamins from what we eat and drink, versus taking vitamins everyday. And, nutrition becomes even more important whenever a woman is trying to conceive or is pregnant or breast feeding. Since we plan on expanding our family soon, I can't tell you how excited I am to have found Hey Mama Teas! While this is definitely NOT a pregnancy announcement, I am absolutely in love with the idea that these refreshing teas can be enjoyed before pregnancy (during the time you are trying to get pregnant), during, and after! It has been great having a refrigerator filled with these, especially with summer in full swing. And in all honestly, my little Branden has been guzzling them down, too and I 100% prefer him to be drinking these naturally caffeine free, USDA Organic, Non Gmo, Kosher teas that 100% of the RDA of Folic Acid - it's perfection in my eyes! They have everything that a Mama needs to be drinking throughout the day. With there being so many different types of drinks on that market, it's refreshing to see Hey Mama Teas create a product for the demographic that was clearly being left out of the picture - the Mamas (and Mamas-to-be!), … [Read more...]

Good Threads: Belts For a Cause Bigger Than Us All

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I can't stress enough how much I love a feel good story, especially whenever it involves the marriage between fashion and helping people - especially when the benefits are endless. Our daily news is filled with so much tragedy, that it's refreshing to hear something wonderful and be introduced to a company that's finding a solution to a problem. To put it simply, the world would be a much more beautiful place if we had more people like those who have founded Good Threads.  This company is championing change for the women in the Dominican Republic - mothers of children of the Joan Rose Foundation, one belt at a time. Can you imagine ever having to watch your child cry out in hunger? This is something that no parent should ever have to face, and that core belief led David and Timmy Palmer to founding Good Threads. The company sells stunning, hand made, men's needle point belts and dog collars that are so much more than a fashion statement. Each piece is made beautifully by these women and provides food for their families and steady work so they are able to pay their rent. In addition, the company has started a micro loan program for their workers at an in company bank where they can start a bank account and even further their financial gain. If you didn't get the impact already, here is a major wowing fact: the women who are employed by Good Threads makes 250% more than they could at any other jobs available to them.  This heartwarming video tells a bit more about the … [Read more...]

Summer Lovin’ With PS From Aeropostale

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Summer is magical. Maybe it has to do with the heat going straight to your head, but no matter how it happens, there is something so special about this time of year. Yes, it's filled with anticipation of vacation, day trips, getting to see friends and family that might live far away, smores, and lots of summer lovin'. // Kids' Swell Gradient Tank // Kids' Neon Flat Front Shorts // But my focus today is on the beautiful in between moments. The days that haven't been planned out. Those mornings where you wake up and say, "What do you want to do today?" Those are the moments where adventure happens. // Kids' Canvas Strap Flip Flops // PS From Aeropostale has the perfect adventure clothes for kids! They are inexpensive, as cute as can be, and perfect for outdoor summer play! So, take some time to live in the swell this summer. Enjoy these precious moments and don't forget that it's important for both kids and adults to have play time - this is what summer is for! // Kids' Palm Tree Boardshorts // And most definitely don't forget to run in those sprinklers! As a city kid, this is something we do pretty much on a daily basis during the hot summer days, and these PS From Aeropostale swim trunks make the experience that much more exciting! As an added bonus, these pieces are all 70% off right now, and PS From Aeropostale offers free shipping a couple times a month, so there are some great deals waiting for you! Want some exclusive Mama inside scoop? Join our … [Read more...]

Long Lasting Makeup Tips to Beat The Summer Rays

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If your summers are anything like mine, they include an awful lot of time sitting at the park - sometimes reading, sometimes messing with my phone - while my son runs around and plays. I jump in from time to time whenever we bring the soccer ball, but most of the time sitting (this is my tanning time). Then there are beach days, day trips, and vacation trips thrown into the mix - all including time in the sun that we want to be captured by our cameras. These moments work against our makeup routines and leave us in dire need of long lasting makeup tips. First and foremost, whenever you know that you will be heading to the beach, or even the park for a lengthy period of time, pack the essentials. This will keep you prepared and oil free. Then, keep in mind that less is more in the summertime. If you are loading it on and then sweating from the sun, it can cause clogged pores and breakouts - we don't want that! Long Lasting Makeup Tips These simple long lasting makeup tips will help keep your face intact while basking in the summer sun! 1. Don't over-moisturize We all want moisturized skin to keep our face supple and youthful looking, but using too much will fade makeup away faster during the day, especially in the summer rays. Instead, opt for a moisturizing face mask like this L`Occitane Olive Tree Organic Moisturizing Face Mask. 2. Prime your face Primer is important year round, especially if you need your makeup to last long into the night, but even more so to … [Read more...]

Thoughts On Being The Mean Mom

He doesn't look like he thinks I'm mean here, huh?

"Mom, why are you talking mean to me?" Branden says to me from time to time. "Because you aren't listening, and I need to keep repeating myself," is my typical response. MEAN. This is a word that I hoped would never come out of my little man's mouth in reference to me, but it has happened. It's inevitable, and I am certain you ALL have been there before. So why does it sting so much? I truly madly, deeply believe it's because we know that we are doing our best to make the right choices, but sometimes we quickly get upset and let our negative emotions shine through - and our kids pick up on it. Deep down we know that everyone says things they don't mean, especially a child who doesn't know how to fully express themselves yet. I wish I could say that I was happy 100% of the time, but no one is. And our kids aren't always angels that make us happy, and we get mad. I would be lying if I said that I didn't get quickly irritated some days. We all know that parenting requires patience, but most days that allotment of patience gets spent mighty quickly. So what is my quick solution for when you're being called "mean" by your child? Breathe. There's not a solution. You must simply take a step back, a deep breath, and regain your poise. Sometimes we need to be mean in order to get our point across. Our kids need to know who the boss is, and if that results in them thinking we are mean for a day, then so be it. It will be over, eventually. And always, … [Read more...]

Why I’m Wearing a Bikini This Summer No Matter What

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I've been ashamed of my body pretty much my whole life, and I'm getting sick of it. I can't pinpoint exactly whenever this shaming of myself started, but I went into it in more detail HERE. I get it, I'm not fat, so I have nothing to complain about, right? Wrong! We all have insecurities that we deal with on a daily basis that cloud our judgement and lead us to miss out on fun things. I've talked a little bit on Facebook about my "bikini journey" this year and how I'm determined to make it happen, so I'm keeping that vow to myself. Looking back, I have a very vivid memory of whenever I was 14 and went on a trip with my church to see the Pope in Italy. It wasn't a luxury trip at all by any means, but a true pilgrimage and an experience I will never forget. We slept on the floor in a large middle school about an hour outside the city and would travel to and from Rome by train everyday. The trip was during the month of August, which is the month that everyone who lives in Rome leaves because of the unbearably high temperatures - so it was a bit toasty for us visitors. Anyways...we spent one afternoon at a local pool, everyone having fun and splashing around - all except me. I couldn't bring myself to get into a bathing suit and draw any attention to my flaws, so I missed out. This has poured over into adulthood. Which leads me to my first point: I'm sick of missing out. It's very simple, I've missed out on way too much by being afraid of anyone who might catch a glimpse … [Read more...]

5 Life Changing Mom Moments That Define Who You Are Today

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Right now, we are living year number 6 in our sweet Branden's life. Though not every moment has been as heavenly as he is during bedtime cuddles, they have all helped to shape and define the mom that I am today. While we have many years in life ahead, and I'm thinking the teenage ones might be the toughest, today I'm pinpointing the most impactful, life-changing events that have struck me to my core to mold me as a Mama and be the best version of myself. 1. The day you give birth. I'm not talking about that moment whenever your precious new baby is placed in your arms for the first time and you warmly welcome them into your life. Nope. I'm talking about the process of birthing that beautiful baby - the pain, the mess, the emotions - all of it. This is where it all begins. This is as raw and passionate and pure as motherhood gets and the [most likely] one time you will fully let yourself be vulnerable to it all. This life changing moment starts your motherhood journey. In this moment when you are feeling intense torment and happiness all at the same time, your eyes will be open to the immense strength inside you, and it will truly carry you through each day as you move forward. 2. The first time your baby smiles at you. Well, there's not much explaining that's needed here. This moment fills us with pure bliss and tugs really hard at our heart strings. Take a mental screenshot Mamas, because this is the place that you will need to go back to whenever that little pile of … [Read more...]

Father’s Day Gift Guide 2015 {Giveaway}

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I love being a mom and all the joys and challenges it brings me everyday, but I can admit that Daddy is the center of our little guy's world. He's simply the coolest and Branden looks up to him in every way imaginable. I keep telling Chris to soak it all up, because it won't be long before he is uncool, like me, in B's eyes. Without a doubt, I wouldn't be the mother that I am without my husband by my side or my parents showing me what being a good parent was all about. So, today we will honor those special men in our lives here with some awesome gift ideas that they will love and never have to give a fake smile when receiving. So push aside your thoughts of personalized coffee cups and take a journey with me to Father's Day Gifts for the cool dads of the world. Father's Day Gift Guide 2015     1. Maine Birch Works Cuff Links This innovative company takes cuff links to a whole new level of cool. What could be more manly than Dad walking around the office in these rustic, hand made just for him, cuff links to accessorize his favorite dress shirt? I think nothing. Maine Birch Works will help your husband or father carry their favorite place - the outdoors, with them all day through!   2. The Original James Tee I love the work "custom" and so does the Original James Tee. This fun company custom makes tees to fit all of your wants and needs to make each piece super special, and memorable. Dad will be so proud walking around this summer showing off his favorite … [Read more...]

5 Beach Bag Beauty Essentials For Staying Gorgeous at the Shore

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It's been a year since we have done a family beach day, and we have never done a family beach trip yet, so needless to say, I'm super psyched for our vacation this year! So excited, that it topped my list of 5 Wishes For Summer. We're not doing anything crazy because taking off work is tough, but we are meeting my sister and her family and possibly my parents for some fun in the sun at Ocean City, Maryland - where I grew up vacationing. It's going to be filled with nostalgia, and of course - I'm thinking about my beach bag beauty essentials. Being at the beach to me is magical. There is something so soothing that it can lull you into a happier state, no matter what. I know that it can be busy whenever you have littles to chase, but even if you get a few minutes to soak it all in, the moment is priceless. I also know that whenever you head to the beach, especially as a family, you are camping out for the day - no turning back! So, the beach bag beauty essentials that you pack become even more important to keep you feeling good all day through. The thing about the beach is that you don't need much in terms of makeup to glow, but there are other beach bag essentials that will make your day easier - and we could use some of that, huh? Beach Bag Beauty Essentials That Will Rock Your Summer 1. These Apivita Express Beauty Face and Eye Cleansing Wipes are perfection! They are great to wipe your whole body down whenever you need to freshen up at the beach and are … [Read more...]

5 Wishes For Summer Break

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If you are an NYC Mama, summer break is fast approaching, starting officially June 26th. If you are a suburbs Mama - God love ya, because your kiddos are already probably on summer break and terrorizing the shit out of you - just kidding! I can whole-heartedly say this: I  am hopeful, and kind of excited about summer break this year. In fact, I'm in a completely different frame of mind than I was last year. Last year, we sent our little guy to summer camp, and since it was mostly great, I even wrote a piece last year called "Benefits of Summer Camp: Why It's Great For Parents & Kids Alike." Now, I'm not knocking summer camp. We just felt that along with the good, B also picked up on some bad habits that we didn't like that rubbed off on him from some kids there, so we chose to say "no" this year. I even got the conversation going on about this debate on Facebook, because in this NYC culture, summer camp is "the thing" that you do. While I'm open to admit that I am feeling that pressure to plan wonderful activity filled days, but still remain wildly in control of my businesses, I know there will most likely be a balance struggle taking place during these months of no school. But I'm excited about what is to come, and wanted to share some of those hopes with you all. Summer break, this year I think I'm looking forward to you. 1. I want more connection. I will be the first to admit that our days have gotten a bit robotic. We get up, rush to get Daddy and B … [Read more...]