Friday, September 28, 2012

Fish-tail Braid Tutorial

My girls have really long hair and the easiest way to keep it looking nice throughout the day is with braids. My favorite are the fish-tail braids. My girls call it the mermaid tail braid. I remember my Mom doing our hair in these braids and I always thought they were really hard and complicated so I stayed away from them. Until I watched a video and realized that this braid is quick and easy and only looks complicated. I always get compliments from people when the girls wear fish-tail braids.

Start with a ponytail....

Super cute and super easy. 

Tell us what are some of your favorite hair styles for your kids? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Introducing: Erik Emiliano Gonzalez

Q and A with our Hermana: Ester Dominguez-Gonzalez: 

Q: HaU chapter/graduation year?
A: I am a proud Alumni of HaU's UCLA class of 2006

Q: Where does your son's name come from?
A: Erik is my husband's name and we chose Emiliano because of our strong ties to the farm worker movements, starting with the campesino movement leader Emiliano Zapata. Both Erik and I volunteered, interned, and worked for the United Farm Workers Foundation through out college and a few years after. We are hoping it will be a great story to tell him.

Q: Best part of Labor? Worst Part of Labor? 
A: The best part of Labor I have to say was the epidural, lol!!! The worst part was the aftermath. I was so excited and prepared to do skin to skin with my newborn but after he came out he was cleaned up, checked by doctor, nurses and midwife then wheeled off to the NICU. After 28 hours of labor, Erik Emiliano had caught an infection from my water breaking and had to stay in the NICU for 7 days. LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE! 

Q: What's it like finally having him home?
A: It was overwhelming at first, both our parents live in Ventura County and my mom was only able to stay the first night baby was home so all Erik and I had was to rely on each other. The great thing is that after 10 years of being together we make an amazing team. Things are slowly starting to get easier!

Q: Biggest change since his birth?
A: I think the biggest change has been our schedule, we were so used to getting up and leaving when ever we wanted. Our baby has only been home for a week now and we already feel like hermits! Our sleeping patterns are wayyyy off too. I was excited on Thursday night for getting a total of 6 hours sleep but our son made up for it last night by hardly giving us any, lol. I remember the college days when it was no thing getting no sleep, now napping when ever I can is a must! 

Q: How's daddy holding up?
A: Erik is amazing and everyday shows me why I married him! I have to admit he was nervous even holding him at first. We now take turns feeding him (god bless the inventor of the pump) and putting him to sleep. I'm still working on getting him to change his diaper though.  

Q: Advice for other soon to be mommies?
A:  No matter how much planning, organizing and preparation you do, not everything will turn out perfect, but that little one will be perfect for you! I would love to hear from some wiser and more experienced Hermamas. 

Congratulations to the HAPPY family from
Feel free to share your well wishes in the comment section below

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kid-Friendly Hot Spots!

The husband wanted "mom and pop" Mexican this weekend and took us to a meat market that also serves warm food! So, yeah, we're never going back there! The whole situation was frustration central! Since seating was picnic style & outside, my 2 year old preferred the 25 cent rides instead of food while the 6 year old complained about how cold he was the entire time! With no server outside, I must have ran into the meat market about 5 times annoying the one person who was hostess, cook, & server! Okay, so that's one extreme, but it got me thinking about places I love to take my kiddos.

Check out some of my favorites:

#1 - Ikea - Ikea is already set up like you're heading into a theme park, but the fact that they supply childcare, I'm in! And even when the childcare is full, if you don't mind your little ones speeding around the showroom, it's got a pretty kid-friendly set-up!

#2 - Bobaloca Cafe - For a mom who is addicted to caffeine, I struck gold when I stumbled upon this franchise. Now, I don't know if all Bocaloca cafes are identical but the one we frequent has great comfy couches, books and board games for kids! I love the fact that my kids and I get to play a board game over coffee and hot chocolates while getting out of the house for a nice & simple afternoon!

#3 - Red Robin Restaurant - Now, you can substitute any kid-friendly restaurant here! But the reason we love it is that they have a great kids menu with healthy options and the seating is always perfect for a family of 5. Our local red robin has that wonderful indoor/outdoor seating where loud kids really fit in and messy floors just seem to make sense! At least the bubbly servers never make us feel bad when two half-eaten cheese pizzas end up on it!

#4 - 24 Hour Fitness - Again, just like Red Robin, your gym of choice can fit in here so long as it has a kids club/childcare! There is a small fee to use this kids club, but I love the idea that if moms are looking to workout THEY CAN, no excuses! Also, what a great EXAMPLE to set for your children who can be active while you do the same!

These are a few of my favorite kid-friendly places in my neighborhood.

Leave us a comment and tell us about the best kid-friendly places in your town! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Do you Pinterest?

As if there wasn't enough things on the internet to distract us, along comes Pinterest. A place where you can sign up and "pin" things you like on the internet onto "boards". You can follow people and then "repin" things you see on their boards.

I have to admit it I really love Pinterest. I have seen people "pin" ideas for their wedding and house decor.
Some of the things I pin are...

  • kids craft ideas
  • knitting and crocheting patterns
  • house decor
  • recipes
  • funny quotes and pictures
  • cleaning tips 
  • clothes I could never afford

When I go to a party and I see something from Pinterest I can look at the host and say "pinterest?" and they smile and nod. I have pinned 947 things and out of those things I have pinned, I probably actually tried to make or create 10 of those things. Yet I still  find myself scrolling through Pinterest often. It is a really great place to find creative inspiration.

Tell us, do you Pinterest?
Have you ever tried anything from your Pinterest boards?
Have you had an big success or failures?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Labor Pains: Prepping for Natural Childbirth!

Each of my 9+ lbs. children were delivered naturally. Friends often ask, "Why do that?" A good friend and epidural enthusiast put it this way, "Would you have major surgery without anesthesia?"

Quite honestly, the image of that large needle entering my spine just scared me. Sure, I have no problem with regular needles, say to draw blood, but a needle through my spine, just couldn't do it!

Epidural enthusiast or not, I'm sure we've all thought about the possibility of natural childbirth and for those expectant moms who will attempt a natural labor, here are some tips that might help when planning to give-it-a-go:
  • Work with a mid-wife. Mid-wives are available at most major hospitals and care providers! Book a routine prenatal visit with a mid-wife then decide on the medical professional you feel most comfortable with.  
  • Tell your doctor exactly what you want. Doctors may feel intimidating as they've done this so many times, but the more confident person always wins! Make it clear that you don't want to be pushed into using an epidural or other drugs unless there's valid reason and/or a true emergency. Sadly, I once had a doctor pushing to schedule a c-section/epidural because she had to "get back to her demanding afternoon patients on the west side." Ummm excuse me, wasn't I one of those patients?  FYI: West side moms rock!
  • Watch the Business of Being Born documentary: We forget that delivering babies is a business. Learn all you can about how it works before the big day! 
  • Be willing to adjust: If a natural labor turns out to feel too overwhelming, painful or dangerous do what is recommended by your physician. And don't feel bad about changing your mind! Natural birth or not, women are amazingly strong for simply going through the journey of pregnancy and labor! Our strength during this unique experience is powerful beyond words!

Share your childbirth experience/expectations in the comment section below!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sun Safety

So technically Autumn starts on Saturday, but the summer sun is still blazing. Sunlight is a great way to get yourself some Vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to help absorb calcium and maintain healthy bones. Too much sun can put you at risk for skin cancers. There are 2 main types of sun rays that you are exposed to:

  1. UVA- these rays cause skin aging and wrinkling and contribute to skin cancer. These type of rays pass easily through the ozone layer so you are exposed to UVA rays the most. 
  2. UVB- these rays not only contribute to skin cancer, but they cause sunburns, cataracts and even effect your immune system. Many believe that Melanoma (skin cancer) is associated with severe UVB sunburns that occur before the age of 20. 
Your skin has it's own way of protecting itself. Melanin can be found in your skin. The darker your skin tone the more melanin you have. As you are exposed to sun your melanin increases and your skin tans. As many of us know melanin is not enough and have suffered a sunburn when exposed to too much sun. 

Here are a few facts about our friend the sun:
  • the strongest rays of the day are between 10am- 4pm.
  • most skin sun damage is from everyday sun exposure, not those beach days. 
  • UV rays can travel through clouds, and be reflected off water, sand and even concrete. 
Sunscreen is your best line of defense. Now a days there are so many sunscreens to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips about sunscreen for the whole family:
  • look for SPF 30 or higher. (children under 6 months ask your doctor!)
  • look for broad spectrum sunscreen. This means it blocks UVB and UVA rays.
  • Apply 15-30 minutes before sun exposure
  • apply a generous amount of sunscreen.
  • don't forget to apply to lips, ears, hands, feet and hair parts.
  • reapply every 2 hours and after water activities. 
What are your tips when it comes to sun safety? 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Part 2 - Love At First Sight: Did you immediately fall in love with your child? This mom did!

When I laid eyes on my now 6 year old for the first time, I remember feeling such a relief that he was finally here and then the feeling of deep intense love rushed through my body like blood through my veins!

The instant happiness was a mix of Oprah Winfrey's ugly cry, saying "I love you" about a thousand times, and frantically kissing the cutest, chubbiest, yummiest baby cheeks I'd ever seen! I was overflowing with love! Emotions ran so high I was tuned in to TLC's "A Baby Story" (crying through every delivery) for at least a good two months. I just wanted to relive my son's beautiful birth in any way possible. I felt I could live in that memory forever!

Sure, I felt fear and doubt, but above all, I felt love. A sweet love mixed with the fears of probably every first time parent. Like that first drive home when I imagined every car plowing into us now that we had a baby on board! Or my son's first nap as I sat there counting every single breath to make sure he was still breathing! So there I was, deeply in love and feeling sure that motherhood was for me while also having horrible daydreams about everything that could go wrong! 

All in all, whether you fall in love instantly with your child or it takes some time to overcome you, love for your children is the most beautiful kind of love. Life feels fuller and you weirdly love your parents and spouse differently, you love nieces and nephews more deeply, and you hopefully make the decision to love yourself more intensely too!

Share your delivery room love stories with us and comment below!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Love At First Sight. Did you immediately fall in love with your child? This Mom didn't.

This is going to sound completely horrible. When my first child was born I did not immediately feel that crazy intense love people told me I would. When they handed me my daughter I had a lot of emotions. I was relieved that labor was over and my baby was healthy. I was confused by all the people talking at me about stitches and placentas. I was worried about getting the feeling back into my lower half. I was exhausted, my labor lasted over 19 hours and I had been awake for almost 24 hours.

The feeling that I most remember when I looked at my daughter for the first time was paralyzing fear. This tiny little human being was my responsibility. All of a sudden someone else's life was on my shoulders and in those first moments with my daughter that was what I was feeling. And I had never been so scared in my life. I had read the books and took the classes but I felt so unprepared for that moment when she looked at me and the reality of motherhood set in.

It took me a day or so to let go of those feelings of fear and when I did I was floored by the feeling of love I had for my daughter. You can't prepare for that rush either. And when my second daughter was born I had been a mother for 5 years and I knew exactly was I was getting into. I knew that I had what it takes to be a good Mom and when I held my second daughter for the first time that intense love was immediate.

What were those first moments as a parent like for you?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Latino Heritage Month - My Top 3 Children's Books

Did you know that September 15-October 15 was Hispanic Heritage Month?  To celebrate I want to share with you a few of my favorite "Hispanic" themed children's books.

Written by Jonah Winter
Illustrated by Ana Juna
Find it at Amazon HERE 

Yes I am one of "those" girls who loves Frida Kahlo. This book is like a dream. The pictures are just so colorful and full of life. Each page I want to frame and hang on my wall. The story is the sweet and simple story of Frida's life, complete with polio, trolley accidents, her paintings, and her death. I bought this book even before I had kids and it quickly became a bedtime favorite for me and my girls.

Rosita y Conchita A Rhyming Storybook in English and Spanish
Written and Illustrated by Eric Gonzalez & Erich Haeger
Find it at Amazon HERE 

We picked up this book at the authors booth at our local Art Walk. The cute story of 2 sisters, Rosita and Conchita. One is living and one is not. It is Dia De Los Muertos and Rosita and Conchita prepare to celebrate together. While making her way through the after life Rosita has some obstacles to overcome. Will Rosita make it to the beautiful alter that her sister Conchita has made for her? A great book to introduce your kids to the Dia De Los Muertos holiday. And bonus, it is written in English and Spanish!

Just in Case A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book
Written and Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Find it at Amazon HERE

First let me say that anything illustrated by Yuyi Morales is going to be amazing. Her characters remind me of a cartoon versions of a Diego Rivera painting. In this story Senor Calavera is stressing out because it is Grandma Beetle's birthday and he has no idea what to get her. While he makes his way to the party he goes through the entire Spanish alphabet trying to come up with the perfect gift.

Leave us a comment! Let us know about your favorite books to read to your kids! 

And don't forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Perks of Being a Tia- Guest Post by Elena Garcia

Hola Hermamas and the rest of my dedicated readers!

For those of you that just got on the bandwagon of Cost Effective Chica readership, let me update you to a bit of my background. I am a proud Gaucho alum of UC Santa Barbara. While I was a student, I joined Hermanas Unidas-a social organization that is based on the three pillars of community service, academics, and social networking. We were each other's support and guidance through the trials and tribulations of our undergraduate years. We laughed, cried, partied, and roomied. As the years progressed, our roles in each other's lives might have survived the harsh realities of post collegiate adult life, or faded to once in a while updates via facebook, personal blogs, or the occassional text message. Distance might separate us, complications further tear us apart, but the bonds of passion, youth, optimism, and family further connect us as we expand our lives.

This brings me to mention my once upon a time Hermanas' new blog. HerMamas! Any Mom can view this site and share the wonderful world of being a Mom.

So I am not a possible Mom or possible Step-Mom yet. Hey ladies, you never know who you end up with or don't end up with right? But there is one proud familial title that I share with a number of us fine females. And that is the Tia (Auntie). I love being an Auntie, Kim Kardashian is an Auntie. I don't know why I mentioned that but I think it is because I just want to have her money and blow this whole money saving blog thing and head out to the Bahamas with Kanye whenever. Well, I don't care too much for Kanye but you get my drift. Kim is an Auntie, I am an Auntie, and being an Auntie rules.

You get to love your sobrinos like they are your own. See how much they are like you or not like you. (We do share the same amount of DNA as the parents do to their kids). And you get just what might be a small taste of what you can have in the future.

-Elena Garcia is a HaU UCSB Alumni, a teacher, a blogger, an activist and an all around awesome person. You can find her and all her money saving tips, insights and opinions at The Adventures of the Cost Effective Chica. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Lunch Box

It sounds simple enough. Pack your kid a lunch. You want to pack your child something nutritious, and something they will like. All of a sudden this simple task is not so simple. My daughter is in 2nd grade and her school does not have a cafeteria. This means that I have no choice but to pack her lunch and her snack EVERY DAY! 

I try to follow this pattern:

  • a protein
  • a starch
  • a fruit
  • a vegetable
  • a treat
  • a drink
  • a love note ( this one is very important!) 

Let's look at an example:

By following a pattern I never question if she is getting enough food or if it's nutritious enough. As long as I get one of each categories I feel like I have packed her a good well-rounded lunch.

The love note is very important. It is an opportunity to let your child know that during those 6 hours you are apart you are thinking of them. I also use it as a reminder of what is coming up for the rest of the day. For example I may write "Hi! I love you and am thinking about you. Can't wait to take you to yoga class today! Love Mom". 

I will let you in on my secret. At the beginning of the year I did an image search for "printable lunch notes". I printed out a bunch of different ones I found, cut them out and put them in an envelope that I keep in the kitchen. Now all I have to do is grab one, write a quick note on the back and add it to her lunch.

Here are a few links to some printable notes:
Happy Home Fairy
Simply Family Magazine
Deal Wise Mommy
Rook #17 (These were my favorite!)

We all need inspiration when it comes to packing lunches, so over on the HerMamas Facebook page we have added a "The Lunch Box" photo album. We would love to see what you are packing for your kiddos! Head over and post your lunch pictures! Just CLICK HERE.

And don't forget tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a pair of tickets to Legoland, California!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Parenting Doubt: "Am I Doing Something Wrong?"

Some parents spank, some don't. Some use time-outs, so absolutely won't. Some yell, some listen. Some reward for good behaviors, and others withhold any and everything for bad ones. Your parenting philosophy is yours, but one thing I'm sure every parent can agree on is there are moments when we doubt ourselves.

I went crazy year zero through four asking myself, "Am I doing something wrong?" Instead of asking, "Am I doing something wrong." I now ask, "What more can I do?"  What every single person can control, parent or not, is how hard we work at anything! As a mom, there are days I give it my all and then there are days that I sadly "veg. out" and give parenting very little!  I shouldn't be surprised then if suddenly my kids seem different. Maybe they're acting out more than usual, fighting with each other or talking back.

When I ask myself, "what more can I do?" I find myself doing instead of doubting. I'll spend more one-on-one time with my daughter, do less talking and more listening to my son, or get down right goofy with all three kids! This way there's no time to "veg. out."

Sure, as parents we'll probably always feel little moments of doubt and that's normal! But let's agree to no longer BEAT ourselves up or disengage! When you ask, "what more can I do" solutions appear and empowerment results! And empowerment can come from anything, like turning to to VENT! We're hear to listen (read) anytime! Together we'll surely find ways to do more and doubt less!

Comment and share how you deal with moments of parental doubt?

And don't forget to LIKE us on Facebook!

Legoland tickets up for grabs this week at, enter to win TODAY!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Legoland contest just got easier! Check out NEW details on how to enter and win!

Thank you to everyone who has entered our Legoland, California Ticket Giveaway!

To show our appreciation for your support and participation, we'd like to give you ANOTHER chance to win!

Entering is simple:

  • Post a comment and share your happiest/favorite theme park memory and be entered to WIN! Comments can be entered below. Please include your name & email address with the comment for entry tracking purposes. Yup, it's that simple!
Prize: (2) Free Legoland California Park Hopper Passes ($178.00 value)

Contest Deadline: Saturday, Sept. 15th 8:00pm PST

For original contest rules and restrictions, please click here.

We are looking forward to reading all about your happiest/favorite theme park memories! And who knows, maybe YOUR story will be featured on an upcoming blog post!

Legoland California in sunny Carlsbad, CA.

Don't forget to like us on FACEBOOK.

Sugar and Spice or Snails and Puppy Dog Tails?

Back in the day a woman was always surprised in the delivery room when the doctor announced.

"It's a Boy!"
"It's a Girl!"

Here are a few old wives tales that was suppose to determine if it was sugar and spice or puppies and snails....
  • Carrying low you are having a boy. Carrying high you are having a girl.
  • Fetal heart rate above 140 is a girl and below is a boy.
  • If your husband gains weight, it's a girl. If he doesn't, it's a boy.
  • Craving sweets? It's a girl Craving savory and sour? It's a boy.
  • Pregnancy acne? It's a girl Clear skin? It's a boy.
  • Hang your wedding ring from a sting over your belly. If it moves in circles it's a boy. Side to side, it's a girl. 

Today an average pregnant woman has a few ultrasounds done by her doctor. They can also make appointments with places with names like "Baby's First Photos". A place where women can have ultrasounds done in 4-D, invite friends and family to watch, find out the gender and leave with a DVD of the entire thing complete with Celine Dion background music.

When I was pregnant with my oldest I really wanted to find out. My baby had other plans. Every ultra-sound we had my baby was very modest and keep the goods hidden with crossed legs. I even went to an ultra-sound tech school and let me practice on me. Even they couldn't tell. So even though most doctors were 60% sure she was a girl, it was still a surprise. For my second baby I also wanted to know. It just made room decor, baby gift registering, and name choosing so much easier! At my 19 week ultrasound they were able to tell, without a doubt that we were having another girl.

So now that we have the option to find out what did you choose? Did you have to know if you were having a boy or a girl? Or did you want to be surprised? 

Don't forget to like us on Facebook

Head over HERE to enter to win 2 free tickets to Legoland!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Legoland Giveaway by

Like building with Legos, we're building this virtual community one member at a time! Help spread the word about & enter for a chance to win two FREE tickets to Legoland, California!

What's up for grabs: (2) Legoland California Park Hoppers ($178.00 value).

When:  Contest running between Tuesday, Sept. 11th (8am, PST) and Saturday, Sept. 15th (8pm, PST). 

How To Enter: It's Simple! Spread the word about on your social networks: 
  • Share and LIKE an post from our Facebook fan page 
    • Contest update 9.11.12 - 7:41pm pst: please make sure to also LIKE the post you share! Likes are used for entry tracking purposes! Unfortunately, in some cases shares CANNOT be tracked!
  • And/or use the hashtag ( on Twitter; #HerMamas will also be accepted. 
Every mention equals one entry into a random drawing (a limit of (2) entries per participant). For instance, you may be entered to win two times when you share AND like the same post on your Facebook page AND  hashtag ( once on twitter!

Contest Deadline:  Contest ends Saturday, Sept 15th at 8pm, PST. Winner will be chosen by random drawing.

Winner Notification: Winner will be announced on Sunday, Sept 16th via

Best of luck to everyone entering for a chance to win! Legoland California is such a nice theme park and we bet it's even nicer when admission is absolutely FREE! Once again, good luck!

Don't forget to LIKE us on Facebook.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I have written about this before, but if anyone is going to really get this concept it's my Hermanas! 

As a Mom and an optimist, I make it a priority to teach my children how to look on the bright side. And as an Hermana I know the power of the "Props". For those that need a refresher "Props" are a part of an Hermanas Unidas meeting. At the end members are given the opportunity to give "props' or thanks to someone who helped them in anyway during the week. We all listen and then give one big clap in unison and yell "Props!". I always loved this part of our meetings. It was positive and uplifting.

As a way to keep my kids thinking positive, we now do our own daily version of "props". At the dinner table we each go around and say one good thing that happened to us that day. Then we give a big clap and say "PROPS!" Even my 2 year old joins in. She mostly like the clapping.

This simple little ritual helps to remind my kids (and myself) that there is good in everyday. Even when things seem down, you can always find some good in it. I think this is important for my children to learn because attitude can effect everything. If you are a happy person you can lead a happy life and make others around you happy. Remember "you bring the weather to the picnic".

Do you do anything to help your children stay optimistic? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Don't forget to like us on Facebook!

Come back tomorrow. We have a great give-away contest happening!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Launch Week is a WRAP... thank you!

Thank you to everyone who showed their support this week by visiting our blog and liking us on Facebook! Elissa and I have so many amazing things in store! Make sure to check back often and join us in the sharing of inspiring stories, tips and fun adventures! And as always, this is a space for all - moms, dads, aunties, children and yes, even dog-moms are welcomed!

Finally, would like to show its gratitude to each of you by hosting a GIVEAWAY! 

Stay connected to receive all the FUN details!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Need A Little Fit-spiration?

Recently, I lost 50+ lbs which took 9 months to accomplish! That’s 36 weeks or about 270 days! Wasn’t quick or easy, but it's DONE…

1st things 1st: Take it slow. I once heard it takes 9 months to develop a baby, so it’ll take 9 months to get your body “back!” After baby number 3 and having gained at least 40 lbs from all pregnancies combined, I decided to give myself 9 months to get fit! So take it slow! Eat a little less at dinner. Replace a burger with a salad. Start walking with the kids. Take up a new sport or hobby: swim, dance, train for a marathon! Initially, my slow meant walking on a treadmill for 20 minutes & cutting my meals in ½!

2nd: Be patient with yourself and set small goals! If you’re anything like me trying to lose 20 lbs in a month will probably leave you feeling like a failure while 5 lbs. heavier than when you started! Don’t let not meeting a daily or weekly goal discourage you. Did you ever hear the one about the guy who stopped digging when he was “three feet from gold?” Don’t quit digging! Your “gold” could be anything: losing a dress size, wearing an itsy-bitsy polka dot bikini, or simply not feeling winded after a few flights of stairs! Everyone’s fitness “gold” is different. Define yours and DON’T quit three feet from it! Persevere!

Lastly: Figure out how bad you want it? Sometimes we lose the weight loss battle because we really haven’t defined “the why!” Start by asking, “Why do I want to lose the weight in the first place?” Something like walking down the aisle might motivate you, but will it stir enough desire in you to make the CHANGE permanent (after the wedding)! The key here is permanence and losing any undesirable amount of weight once and for all! I’ll let you in on a little secret! One day, I looked around and checked out each one of my friends! And my dolls are HOT! I realized, I was quickly becoming the “funny fat friend” and boy did that give me the desire to change my eating and exercise habits for good! Maybe being the “funny fat friend” doesn’t stir the same emotions in you, but when you give yourself a hard long honest (and hopefully naked) look in the mirror, you’ll know why you want to be fit & healthy and you’ll stay on track as long as it takes to reach your “GOLD!”

Leave us a comment and let us know how do you stay motivated?

And don't forget to "like" us on Facebook!  

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Morning Routine

Most kids have just gone back to school. Those lazy summer days are gone and now its time for that frantic morning routine! It seems like no matter what time I wake up, I am always rushing. Last school year when my kid got her 5th tardy slip I knew I needed to find a way to make our morning routine run smoother. Here are a few great tips that have helped my kid get to school on time!

  • Lay out clothes the night before. Not just the kids clothes, but everyone’s clothes. Then there is no time wasted trying to figure out what to wear.

  • When it comes to breakfast, know what you are going to make beforehand. I save the things that take time to cook like french toast for the weekend. A bowl of yogurt with fruit or granola is quick and healthy! 

  • If your kids are big cereal eaters you can set up breakfast the night before. Leave a bowl of cereal on the table covered in plastic wrap. Then place a cup of milk in the fridge on a shelf you kid can reach. Then they can serve themselves cereal and you won’t have to worry about a mess.

  • Take showers and baths the night before.

  • Have your kids homework checked and backpack packed and waiting by the door.

  • Pack lunches the night before. You can save even more time by making a weekly lunch menu. I know for me, trying to put together a well-rounded lunch takes me so long. Having it all written out beforehand really saves time. 

  • Stick to a routine. This way you know everything that needs to get done is done. To help my daughter stick to this routine I made a reminder list for the bathroom.    

A smooth morning routine can give you a great start to your whole day! 

Leave us a comment and let us know your tips to a smooth morning routine! 

And don't forget to "like us" on Facebook!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hello and Welcome!

The support system that Hermanas Unidas gave me during my college years was a saving grace. In college, my days were filled with classes and meetings and my weekends were filled with night clubs and social events. Now things are much different. Why? Because I have kids. Being a parent can be tough and I found myself going to my fellow Momma Hermanas for advice, help, and tips. Along with my fellow Hermana Irene, the idea to put together a space for parents to come and be each others support system was born. This is a place set up especially for HaU members and alumni, but of course ALL are welcome. Here are some things you will find here at
  • Articles on a wide range of parenting topics
  • Announcing new HaU babies
  • A message board so we can all discuss anything from diaper rash to the best work-out plan.
  • HerMama Events! 
You can get to know us a little bit by heading over to out About Us page, and we would love to hear from you. 

You can find out contact info on out Contact Us page! 

Let us know what topics you would like to read about. If you are interested in submitting your own article let us know! 

Thanks for stopping by and we would appreciate it if you liked us on Facebook!

-Elissa L. 
Hau Alumni UCSB 2001
HaU UCSB chapter co-founder

Welcome to! Join the fun at a new kind of social mixer where we're raising babies more than raising the roof! I remember "raising that roof" in college and thinking, "this is it, life can't get any better!" I was wrong. I am mother now and even with everyday's little disasters and doubts, life is so much sweeter here! Visit our blog for tips, inspiration, virtual "props" and a sprinkle of chaos. After all, isn't that what motherhood is all about? 

-Irene Q.
HaU Alumni UCSB 2003

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