Don’t Sugar Coat The O’s!

Editor’s Post by Deborah Hetrick Catanese Twenty and thirty and forty, OH MY!  Certain birthdays can push our buttons, especially those that end with a zero! And it starts YOUNG.  Remember 1-0? Otherwise known as ten?  Yes, you reached the excitement of double digits, but what fun was there in that, since you STILL weren’t a teenager? It brings to mind that old phrase…"It’s just a number." Well, don’t believe it! It’s kind of like a lot of that unsolicited advice, right, Allison, LOL? (See "The Tango of Unwanted Parental Advice" )  You can choose to believe the myths that keep on coming at you, but when it comes to age, it’s probably best to just trash the rationalizations and face up to the O’s. Trust me on this, since I have more experience with these O’s than many of you. So let’s just take a look at all of these potentially troublesome numbers and let my hard earned “wisdom” guide you along the way. 2-0. Well, THERE is a very annoying number.  You have to stop being a teenager. But you are not officially an adult. Adulthood is not necessarily something you are striving for just yet, but you DO want to be able to have a legal drink.  You want to show that real ID while being carded, and get all those free drinks!  Next year, sweetie. Enjoy limbo for a year, while your friends run out to bars! 3-0. There was a phrase when I was young that sums this one up…"Never trust anyone over thirty."  We were so foolish as to think we had absolutely FOREVER before … [Read more...]

Parenting Pet Peeves

Dear Diary, I'm not the kind of person to judge or run up to people in public that I don't know and offer unwanted parenting advice. Unless I am asked, I try to keep my mouth shut and turn my head in the other direction. I do believe that every family has to find their balance, their "normal", and their own ways to parent that work best for them. I wouldn't want people coming up to me and telling me that I am doing something wrong, whenever it is working for  me. With that being said, there are two parenting pet peeves of mine that bother me beyond belief. I need to get them out in the open, because they don't just affect the family of the children but everyone else that is around them. Unfortunately, I see these terrible behaviors very frequently, and it is simply bad Mama behavior. Parenting Peeve #1: Swimming with a newborn I understand how cute it can be to dress your new little bundle of joy in a teeny weeny bathing suit and show them off at the pool. Keep in mind, Mamas: A LITTLE INFANT CANNOT HOLD THEIR OWN BODY TEMPERATURE!!!! Therefore, putting a tiny baby in a swimming pool when they are only a couple of weeks old is not a good idea. Nor is it advisable to put sunscreen on a child's entire body at this age, so allowing your infant to be exposed the brutal rays of the sun is a poor choice as well. [Pediatricians advise that newborns should be mostly covered by clothing whenever out in the sun, and sunscreen may be applied to small areas such as hands and … [Read more...]

The Mommy Beach Bag

Dear Diary, This past Memorial Day Weekend, I celebrated with my boys by having an awesome beach day! My husband and I planned ahead to make sure that we had all of the necessary beach essentials ready for the next day. On Monday morning, we packed up  the car with all of our towels, beach bag, etc, and headed to Far Rockaway Beach for a relaxing day. (Don't worry, whenever I buy my mansion in the Hamptons, you will all be the first to know! But for now, Far Rockaway it is!) Throughout our beach adventure day, I realized that there were some things that I could have brought with us to make things a little bit easier and less sandy. I know that a lot of Mommy's are planning beach trips with their families this summer, so  I comprised a list of beach bag essentials for every Mama. Having these key items in your fabulous beach bag will make your beach time memorable (without worrying about the things that you forgot)! The Mommy Beach Bag Essentials: A Stellar Beach Bag- I think that it's most important to first start with the right beach bag. It doesn't need to be expensive, as long as it is over-sized and has some special compartments that you can use to hold the little things that you don't want to get misplaced. Towels- This is an obvious one, but not something that you want to forget! If you have a big family, bringing along a large beach blanket can also come in handy! Waterproof Wallet- Just in case there is something that you need to buy while at the … [Read more...]

The Attention Grabber!

It's no secret that women tend to be afraid of color, especially since we've been wearing 50 shades of grey and black for years now. Whenever we go shopping, 3/4 of the time we are left asking the sales associate, "Does this come in black?" Then, after you have a baby, you turn to black to help cover those oh so lovely areas that have been altered due to the pregnancy. Well ladies, I am here to rescue you from a drab life without color! I have comprised a list of the greatest, most affordable accessories for summer that can be worn with the colors that you feel the most comfortable in. (After all, comfort =confidence=sexy!) The Statement Necklace Every mamanista needs a great statement necklace that is bright, colorful, and attention grabbing, especially during the summer months. These types of pieces allow you to dress in basic colors and let the necklace give your ensemble all the pop of color that you need to be chic from head to toe. H&M never fails to create fashion forward accessories that don't break the bank, and this vibrant option will clearly stop everyone in their track! "LNB" Neon bags are so "in" this season. But not all are the best choice for a busy Mama, since they tend to be teeny tiny (ya know...no diaper pockets!). So I have found the perfect Little Neon Bag aka the "LNB" from none other than the great and wonderful Bloomingdale's. This option will give your outfit some "pop", has many colors to choose from, and is roomy enough that you … [Read more...]

Oooo La La!

  After you become a Mama, you realize just how important your lingerie drawer is, for so many reasons. The top 2 being: To keep things sexy in the bedroom! (You won't believe the wonderful effect a little bit of lace peeking out of your shirt whenever you bend forward to change a diaper can have, until you have experienced it...) To make sure that you are wearing the most becoming foundations underneath every outfit! Therefore, as I have transitioned into Mommyhood, my lingerie drawer has changed a bit. Things that seemed as if they were priorities before have kinda been shoved to the side (literally!), while my go-to lingerie staples have become pretty darn apparent, to me at least. Here are the items that have made my top list! The Top 10 Hot Mama Lingerie Essentials       1. No Show Thongs No matter which type of thongs you prefer (and I know everyone has a different preference), it's important to make sure that you have at least 5 pairs of thongs that are invisible whenever worn underneath clothing. My personal favorites are Hanky Panky...soo comfortable! And it's hard not to feel sexy when wearing thongs!       2. Cheekies! Cheekies are underwear that allow you to show off your ass-ets. They are a simply sexy piece to add your your lingerie drawer that are great to have handy when you feel like showing off a bit!       3.The Perfect Strapless Bra Every Mama needs to have a perfect strapless bra that allows them to wear skinny … [Read more...]

Natural vs. Organic

  Choosing the foods that we feed our families can get very complicated. And sometimes it is even more complicated than we realize. There are so many options on the market, especially whenever it comes to natural and organic. We want to choose what's best, but there are a lot of factors that come into play when making these choices. It can be very hard currently to differentiate between different food labels, properly understand their meaning, and then make the right food choices for you and your family. "Natural" and "organic" are two words that we hear all the time that can play a key role in how healthy the food is that you are purchasing. A lot of people assume that there is no difference at all in these two labels, or that they only differ slightly. The truth is: there is a huge difference. What exactly do they mean? Foods that bare the “natural” sticker at the grocery store are simply items that have not been altered chemically. Organic on the other hand, is defined as any type of food that has been produced without “pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones.” (2)  Simply speaking then, "natural" indicates no additives or alterations to the food itself, and "organic" refers to the growing and production techniques. What does the USDA Organic seal mean? The USDA Organic seal simply … [Read more...]

Fabulous Finds: Cristal Jewels

I'm not gonna lie... I love a good story! So, whenever I come across a product that has a great story behind it, I am instantaneously sucked in and yearning for more! (What Mama isn't? I know you all like to share stories about your fabulous finds with your gal pals!) Therefore, whenever the company Cristal Jewels (www.cristaljewels.com) was brought to my attention by an amazing connection that we have (my Father works with Noreen's hubby!), I knew that I needed to share the company plus the story behind the jewels with you all. Connected by a bond that is even stronger than their love for all things sparkly, business partners Cindy and Noreen met 10 years ago as mothers with children who both attended the same school--for children with special needs. Over the years, their friendship grew stronger, and they began to share business goals with one another. Cindy, who travels to Tel Aviv, Israel 2-3 times per month for work, had formed a bond with the amazing designers and artisans working along the Mediterranean Sea. She presented her ideas for a fabulous jewelry adventure with Noreen, and they never looked back! Together, they formed the company Cristal Jewels and have put together countless amazing pieces! All are constructed with the finest metals and made complete with the amazing Swarovski® crystals that we ALL know and love! The collections are separated into 3 main categories: Cosmopolitan, Mediterranean, and Metropolitan. Therefore, there is something for … [Read more...]

Spring Has Sprung!

  Spring has most definitely sprung here in the "Big Apple" and I am not complaining one bit! I am typically the kind of fashionista that leans more towards cold weather clothes and being bundled up in boots, the season's hottest coats, and cold weather accessories. But something has shifted inside of me this year. I don't know if it is all of this amazing warm weather fashion that I have been greatly anticipating (I've had color blocking pieces I'm in love with hanging in my closet since January!)  Or maybe it is something about how the sun hitting my skin has been making me feel inside. All fashion talk aside (I know, I know...is this possible?), all this sunshine is causing a motivation inside me that I haven't felt in a long time. I feel this constant yearning to be outside, active, and doing more. Overall, I feel excited for absolutely no reason! I suppose the experts would say that I was suffering from seasonal depression, and maybe there is a little truth to that for everyone, but something inside just feels different. WebMD describes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as " a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time." Since I'm not a doctor, and WebMD put great emphasis on NOT diagnosing yourself, I decided to do a little research of another kind. This change in my mood has kept this recurring questions running through my mind, (as I have been running after my very active toddler at the park) : What effect does the sun have on our … [Read more...]

How to Find Cute Maternity Clothes That Actually Fit

  Shopping for cute maternity clothes is much different in the year 2012 than it was when my mother was having children. Things have definitely gotten much cuter and more shapely than they were 25 years ago. Today, women want to show off the bump, as they embrace the pregnancy, rather than hiding the bump with a tent-like dress. And if you are an active mama, there are even countless cute maternity clothes in the athletic category so that you don't need to miss out on anything you love and that is part of your normal healthy life during your pregnancy.  Now, I'm not currently expecting, but the fashionista side of me took lots of mental notes when I was pregnant 3 years ago with my little man. So now I've decided that its finally time to put it all into a post. After all, I'm sure that there are plenty of Mamas out there battling with their new little bulge (psst, it keeps getting bigger!) as they try to figure out what will look fabulous on them during this amazing and emotional time while your body is changing on a daily basis. How to Find Cute Maternity Clothes Start with the basics. Some of my must-haves during my recent pregnancy with Blake are:  the Bella band, the ah-mazing BDA leggings from Belly Bandit, Ingrid and Isabels's Everyday Camis, and if you need them - work clothes. Otherwise, maternity yoga pants are awesome! Separates are a great way to go. Then, buy new pieces periodically as needed. With a few key purchases, like skinny pants with a … [Read more...]

How to Find Your Personal Style

  I'm not going to lie...SOMETIMES style can be a tricky thing. Let's be honest here, we spend our lives going back and forth between runway shows, fashion magazine, and fashion blogs, all to be left wondering: what about my personal style? How do I remain true to myself, while still being considered to be fashionable by today's standards? So, let's look at two scenarios - Scenario 1: Walking into a room with all eyes on you hearing a constant buzz of "Wow! You look great!" and "Where have you been shopping lately? I need to take you along with me as my personal stylist." vs.  Scenario #2: Walking into a room and noticing that people are whispering about you. We all know we want to fall into Scenario 1, but it can be hard, since we have so many opposing fashion rules being thrown at us at all times. Plus, we dress differently for a variety of situations and events. For example, you dress much differently for the office or business meeting than you would to a charity event, or even yoga for that matter. So, lets take it step by step and figure out what works best for us. How to Find Your Personal Style Step #1: Body Shape First, you must learn your body shape and what type of clothing works well on your body shape. There are pros and cons of every body shape in existence, and knowing what works for you is key to knowing and expressing your personal style. (Refer to "Being Fashion Conscious: Dressing For Your Body Type" for more details on this … [Read more...]