Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TV Shows That Make Me Feel Like a Bad*%#

I watch very little television because my life doesn't have room for it. Then again, I do purge on television shows from time to time. See, I watch shows randomly and when it works for my hectic schedule. So when I finally squeeze in a show to purge on I somehow always land on some bad*** drama about drug lords and crime.  

This has got to be the oddest perk about me. I'm as straight-edged as it gets and while raising three children I'm more likely singing along to the Frozen soundtrack and finger painting than living vicariously through coppers on hit TV shows. 

Still, I just can't stay away from dramas that bring the suspense, show a side of life that is real and not just fictitious reality. To each their own, but I dislike reality TV. I am more of TV series fan looking out for great plot lines and the kind of show writing that evokes authentic suspense and a sense of rooting for the underdog even if the underdog is a bunch of oddball cops and the occasional criminal.

Now I know everyone has heard of Breaking Bad. That's a show that caught major steam so I wouldn't be the first housewife to watch. It was and is one of the best shows to watch on repeat and I mean repeat. With streaming TV it's as easy as pressing "next episode" all night long. Yes, and I really mean all night long because when I binge, I binge. 

Another great guilty pleasure that not many watched was The Wire. It's now streaming all five seasons on Amazon Instant Video. I'd heard about how great this show was and finally got around to pressing play when I read an article about how it really was the best show on television during its time. Too bad not many watched, but like me, many can watch now. This show is about Baltimore City cops working drug cases in the toughest parts of the city. It's all about wire taps and chasing crime. Picturing myself as some of these characters makes me feel like a bad*%#. I'm intrenched and barely one season in...

What are your favorite TV show guilty pleasures that might be considered out of character for you?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Actually Kept My Resolution!

Every year many of us start off with great intentions. We make all kinds of resolutions to go to the gym 5 days a week, or learn a new language. According to Forbes magazine out of the 40% of Americans who make resolutions only 8% keep it. I am proud to say that for 2014 I am part of that 8%! How did I do it?

I kept it simple. 

Yup I made a resolution that did not require a lot of money or time. I chose something that would help better take care of myself. To take better care of my teeth. Yup that's it. I stocked up on mouthwash, coconut oil and floss. At the beginning of the year I added oil pulling, a mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide rinse and flossing to my morning routine. Since I oil pull while in the shower I think the whole thing only added an extra 2 minutes to my morning routine. Before I knew it the whole process became habit and I didn't even think twice. My teeth and mouth have never felt better.

For 2015 I am once again keeping my resolution simple. I have always been awful when it comes to washing my face at night. I almost always go to sleep with my make-up still on. Of course this is awful for my face so my 2015 resolution is to wash my face before bed. Something nice and simple and will help me take better care of myself.

I knew I made the right decision when I was shopping at Target I wanted to find some make-up remover wipes.  I found these cleansing wipes normally retailing at almost $4.00 marked down to $0.53! That's right 53 cents. So I bought all the packets they had (10) and am all stocked up for the year.

Do you make resolutions? 
Do you keep them? 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Post-Holidays Detox

Overeating seems to go hand in hand with the holidays.  I for one enjoyed my fair share of seasonal dishes and delicious dinner spreads not to mention great wine and sweets. My guilty pleasure also included one too many "red-cup" lattes. With this abundance of treats and sweets my body is well overdue for a cleansing detox.

If you're also feeling the bloat and in need of "fat pants" (just like me) then how about trying the following detox tips to cleanse your body and get back on a healthy track...

Begin your day with a tall glass of water with lemon. In fact, spend the entire day chugging plenty of water. Water gets your digestive system going, minimizes the bloat and in a few days your energy levels begin to elevate. The boost in energy will do your body good. 

Eat plenty of leafy green veggies and minimize carbs. Greens with the high influx of water do the body great. They're also a great way to fill your body healthfully which at this point it's been used to being stuffed with indulgent treats. Greens combined with lean meats are a wonderful source of fuel as you cleanse your body.


Start moving! You don't have to get in marathon running shape, but activity works wonders on a detoxing body. This also elevates energy and other feel good endorphins.  When you feel good, you do good. Activity should breed more activity and keeps your healthy habits on track.

Stay away from excessive consumption of sugar, salt, and alcohol. This will keep your body in line while you're getting back to a healthy rhythm.  Plus, you'll likely lose a few pounds after eliminating junk food options from your daily meal plan.

Finally, keep matters consistent. This will allow your body to slowly adjust after the recent holiday splurge. Give this a-go for two weeks, ideally, three. After all, it's said that it takes 21-days to break any habit especially if that habit was a tendency to overindulge on holiday sweets and treats October through December.

Friday, December 26, 2014

'Twas the Day After Christmas

'Twas the Day After Christmas

'Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin', even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.
Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
I went into the kitchen and started to clean.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."
With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:
"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penny's and Sears
Here's Robinson's, Levitz's and Target and Mervyn's.
To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall,
Now charge away--charge away--charge away all!"
He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.
Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
"Enjoy what you got. . . . . .you'll be paying all year!"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

HerMamas is the Greatest Gift has been a true labor of love for over two years now! We're grateful for this gift that is a common passion and grateful to you, our valued readers! Whether 1 or 1000 of you, we're truly blessed to share a little of our world with everyone reading our blog... & with that...

And a happy new year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Traditions

Merry Christmas Eve!

This time of the year always tends to be chaotic and stressful. The lists, the drained bank accounts, all the wrapping paper, packed parking lots, and the long lines at the stores. For me it is easy to let the stress ruin my holiday spirit. I think that is why I love Christmas Eve so much! It means the rat race is done and it is time to really enjoy the holiday. 

My family I love that there are holiday traditions that I can count on. 

  • Annual Ornament: Every year we hang a new ornament on our tree. The ornament is something that represents a big event of the year. This one is from 2009, the year our oldest daughter started school!

  •  Every year my whole extended family gets together on Christmas Eve night. The house is packed with people and kids and love and laughter! Every year my Tia Angie brings a box full of sugar cookies, tubs and tubs of different colored frosting and lots and lots of toppings. The kids get to go crazy decorating cookies that they can leave out for Santa. 

  • One of my favorite family traditions is Santa's visit. Yes that's right, Santa shows up! Usually around 10pm we hear bells coming from outside. Then Santa comes in with his bag filled with gifts. Each kid gets one gift to open. Most of us have one picture like this one from a Christmas Eve past. 

I am so excited that Christmas Eve is here! 
Have a safe and fantastic celebration! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Last Minute Gift Ideas

I'm done shopping and did about 98% of it online. That means I didn't hassle with crowds, long lines and traffic chaos. However, there's always someone I forget.

When that happens I can't stand the idea of heading back into a crowd-infested mall. If you're also feeling the crunch with one day to go think about skipping the hustle and bustle and opt for one of these last minute gems....

1. DIY (crafts or baked goods)! Really, with Pinterest nowadays folks can make masterpieces with straw and glue or for baking just add sugar and lots n' lots of butter. Not really accurate, but homemade is still a pretty easy route so long as you've got all supplies on hand. This year my husband made the best homemade ornament wall hanging using Popsicle sticks, glue and spray paint. It was so fun and easy! Grandparents would love a gift like this from the kiddos!

2. Raid the convenience store! This day in age places like Walgreens and Rite Aid actually have awesome selections and way less crowds. We've snagged great toys for less. My son actually just nabbed a super holiday deal! He got a table top fuseball set for only $10! I also love makeup & perfume selections at these establishments. 

3. Desperate? If you really waited until the last minute and you're left with something as simple as 7/11 buy lottery tickets as gifts! My brother once did that and someone won over $100. Sure, it's a gamble that may lead to no money gained, but the group excitement of simultaneously revealing scratcher results is actually kind of fun! Plus, if someone really hits it big they owe you a definite CUT!

4. Avoid the stores all together and buy gift cards online. Sure, this route is pretty impersonal but you can add a sweet element with printable templates or certificates. For instance, a Barnes and Nobles gift card would go great with a lovely printout of your favorite poem. It brings the whole concept together without feeling so last minute! 

5. Choose Booze! With stores like BevMo and Total Wine selling such great wine, alcohol, and beer selections, this last minute grab works well. This is a gift I love to receive and wouldn't find it distasteful so long as quality wasn't compromised. I also love collecting great looking bottles and these stores have some pretty ones on hand!

6. Give cash! This is still a great go-to last minute plan. Gets pricy quickly, but if you're really in a last minute bind no one will ever turn away cold hard cash!

What are your last minute shopping solutions?

Monday, December 22, 2014

Is Jane the Virgin a Feminist?

I recently finished binge watching all 7 seasons of  "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix. (#teamluke) And since I have to wait until January to bigne watch Friends on Netflix I needed something to watch in the in-between time. Enter the CW show "Jane the Virgin". How did this show get past me? It is so good. I would describe it as part Ugly Betty, part Telenovela, part Dexter. Why Dexter? Well mostly because of the location and there are a few murders involved.

The story is about a girl named Jane. She is saving herself for marriage but a mix up at her gynocologist office finds Jane accidentally artificially inseminated. To make things more complicated the "donor" is her boss, who she had a brief romantic encounter with years ago. Throw in finding out that her biological father is a famous telenovela star. Of course a show centered around a Latino star with a Latino family is always a hit in our house.

The show has even nabbed a Golden Globe nomination. The star of the show is Gina Rodriguez and I kinda have a little girl crush on her. Recently her name came up on a few different blogs I read all about her exchange with a twitter follower/fan about feminism. A fan asked Gina is she was a feminist and she replied that she was not. When the fan responded by giving the definition of a feminist as "someone who wants equal rights for men and women", Gina was quick to apologize and change her answer. I love how Gina explained how she was not familiar with the definition and instead only knew the word by its negative connotation (man-haters etc..) and was thankful to get the real definition and to change her answer.

Are you watching Jane the Virgin?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Silly Work Party Ideas

Holiday time usually means company holiday party time! Depending on the energy and culture of your office some of the following might be a go or a complete no-no, so proceed with caution...

1. Pajama Party for the Holidays: This one reminds me of being a kid in school. Wear your bright PJs and robes, drink hot chocolate and possibly sit around telling ghost stories. Everyone's got great adult ghost stories. Try this out for an informal way to relax and celebrate going into VACATION mode! Plus, it feels like adults are back into sporting onesies...

2. Silly String Fight (after a white elephant gift exchange): Everyone does gift exchanges, but have you ever followed those up with a fight? Silly string is cheap (messy of course) but a load of fun! My agency just had a silly string fight with close to 70 people and it was a blast! Plus we sold the cans at a profit. That may or may not work for you, but for a youth-serving agency this was a fun, simple and crowd-pleasing way to fund & and "funraise".

3. Murder Mystery Dinner  (office luncheon style): Everyone knows this premise. Now just bring it into your office. Folks can dress the part and the mystery begins. I think of this as something set in the 50s like the movie or game "Clue!" Have fun and don't forget to incorporate the dressing up part!

4. Comic Book, Graphic or Erotic Novel Exchange: This is a hilarious twist on the classic gift exchange! Imagine the books people will pick? Now it isn't always PG-13 so exercise caution if your workplace is more censored!

Do you have a fun idea for a holiday party? 
 Comment and elaborate below!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Gotta Have that Starbucks Latte...." Mom Parody Nails It!

They hysterically funny Moms at "What Up Mom" have done it again. As a follow-up to their smash hit parody of "I'm So Pregnant" they have released a parody of Taylor Swift's new hit "Blank Space" that almost every Mom can relate to. 

I have to admit that I LOVE this Taylor Swift song and this video makes me pretty grateful that my kids are past this stage in life, but I still feel so "old and tired!" 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Be Cautious of the Upgrades in Your Life

Upgrading your life seems simple enough. Maybe you're in the market to upgrade a new smartphone, a gaming system, or perhaps it's a room remodel or a bigger home altogether, whatever the upgrade, be careful! Yes, caution is key when upgrading your life. 

We recently confirmed we'll be upgrading our home to its larger counterpart (unit B in a two unit complex). We can use the space. It's the easiest move proximity-wise and on and on are the list of pros, but there's also cons. As much as this might be exciting news, I'm actually making a very calculated move and here's why:

More space sometimes means collecting more STUFF and we don't need more stuff. When novelty wears off stuff usually equates to junk, and junk sometimes means things we didn't need to begin with. I much rather have more space to fill with love and memories then suddenly start raking in debt because ofcountless upgrades. That's the first reason to proceed with caution.

Next, I have to make sure my family is keeping things simple in the middle of a home upgrade. Thanks to this move, my oldest son will finally get his own room. Seems great, but suddenly he expects to fill that room with new stuff. His most recent requests include a new television and PS3 gaming system for his room. This coming from a kid who barely watches television or uses his existing Wii gaming console. There's no need for more stuff just because my child is upgrading to his own bedroom. In fact, I've already prepped him to expect the following when he transitions to own-room-status... 

a) larger more organized closet 
b) new bookshelf with new books 
c) new desk for homework and reading

Yeah, none of that sounds like he's getting a TV and PS3... now how to get him to scratch those off his list to "Santa?"  

Things meant to upgrade and simplify our lives could actually divide us. More stuff could very well result in less quality family time. Gadgets and gizmos take over and before we know it we've upgraded to new tablets and smart phones and we're surrounded by virtual worlds and exchanges instead of real-life connections and conversations. My hubby purchased a new iPhone 6 for me in order to upgrade my camera. However, I'm often drawn to it sending work-related texts and emails. This habit reminds me to exercise caution. If I don't practice restraint and remind myself to be present a smartphone upgrade could soon turn into a big fail and bad example for my children.   

Are you cautious when upgrading your life?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gift Ideas for Him

The guys on my Christmas shopping list are always the hardest people to shop for. Maybe because it's because I am not a dude, or because I don't have any brothers but when it comes to gift ideas for men I am always stumped.

Here are a few ideas for the men on your holiday list...
  • Beer Making Kit-  If the men in your life are anything like the men in mine they enjoy a nice cold beer. A home-made beer making kit is a cool gift for your favorite beer drinker. You can buy the full kits and even buy the ingredients to make whatever kind of beer they like. If they like an IPA or a nice hefeweizen there is a kit for that! 
  • Go-Pro Camera-  If you have a man with an active and adventurous lifestyle a go-pro camera is a great gift. These little cameras are a great way to document a race or a sweet skateboarding session. 
  • Tool Keys- I don't know how many times we have had to scramble looking for a flathead or phillips screwdriver. Or if we are out and about and have the need for a screwdriver and there is not one to be found. These tool keys are a lifesaver. They fit right on your keyring and are there whenever you need them! 
  • Beard Pack- We all know that beards are all the rage right now. And even though a man with facial hair is super manly looking, they still need to take care of their magnificent beards. Beards should be washed, oiled and waxed to keep them soft, clean and looking fantastic. 
  • Sirius Radio- The men in my family all listen to talk radio and podcasts. My husband in particular is a big fan of the Jason Ellis show. Satellite radio is a great gift for the man on your list who loves music and wants to be able to listen to it wherever he goes. 
What are you buying the men in your life?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Being CHEAP Gets Expensive!

I'm a self-proclaimed cheapskate. Regardless of increased earnings, I am ALWAYS looking for a deal. Maybe it's just something I inherited from my infamous father who preferred wearing holey shoes than invest in a new pair. Now, I'm not that extreme, but I am frugal. I often go on and on about my frugality on this very blog.

But not everything that's cheap, is worth it!

My mom has always had this spanish saying with the gist being: "what is cheap ends up being expensive!" The saying means to convey that buying cheap gets expensive in the long-run. Sure, you could nab $10 sneakers at Walmart, but you'll find kids wearing these "puppies" out in record time. If you end up having to buy $10 shoes on a quarterly basis than you might as well have spent the forty dollars to get a decent pair from the onset (for my kid that means Nike sneakers from the MALLLL!)!

Those .50 greeting cards don't always turn out!
Just today I was reminded how something cheap doesn't make for the best deal. Annually, I purchase our holiday photo greeting cards on You just can't beat their prices. Prices range from .28 to $1.00 per card and shipping is free or for about $2 you can pick up prints same-day, in store. This sounds like a great plan, until it's not. I spent over an hour trying to purchase this year's perfect personalized greeting cards on a faulty site thanks to all of us cheapies inundating it at once. That right there means I may be saving a few bucks, but I'm definitely not saving time! And I hate wasting my time. UGH!

I gave up on the site and when I came back to it hours later I was finally ready to check out. I jetted over to pick up my prints and sure enough I was underwhelmed. Sure, the 25 personalized holiday cards only came to 12 bucks but the print quality was not what I expected. The proof didn't match the final result and my husband's input was the following... they're not bad, they just look like they cost $12! So, I may have saved some cash not using other online hot spots like Vista Print or Shutterfly all for the sake of cheap & easy, but now I wish I hadn't. In fact, when I reorder a new, better batch than what was intended to be cheap... turned out to be EXPENSIVE!

There's a lot of things that turn out this way when seeking a deal. You may get that cheap outfit, but soon it falls apart. You may select the inexpensive no-name electronics, but those gadgets don't always end up lasting as long as their more expensive counterparts.  

The best way to avoid the pitfalls of "cheapdom" is to go with discount department stores that actually sell name brand high-quality items. My favorite is Nordstroms Rack. Now, if only they sold same-day personalized holiday greeting cards! 

What are your cheapskate horror stories? Come on... we all have at least ONE! 
Share yours in the comment section below!

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Money Than Beyonce

As 2014 comes to an end there are lots of different "top" and "best of" lists coming out. I recently looked over a list with a surprising #1! Forbes Magazine has just released "The Worlds Highest Paid Musicians of 2014" list and the top earner was a shock to me.

Lets take a look at some artists who are near the top....
  • Mikey Cyrus with $36 million
  • Katy Perry with $40 million
  • Taylor Swift with $64 million
  • One Direction with $75 million
  • Justin Bieber with $80 million
Some of the top earners are....
  • The Eagles with $100 million
  • Beyonce with $115 million
$115 million!! That is like Oprah rich. That is crazy but what's even crazier is that Beyonce was at the #2 spot and the #1 earner topped her by $505 million!! Yes you read that correctly. $505 million more than Beyonce. Even crazier is that this artist has not released a solo album since 2001!

The highest paid musician of 2014 with a grand total earning of $620 million is none other than...


Thanks to his deal with Apple, Dr.Dre tops the list. This year he sold his company Beats for $3 billion, yes with a 'b'.  This deal alone banked Dre $40 million.

I bet no one forgets about Dre now.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Setting The Holiday Mood

If you haven't jump started your holiday season by setting the mood at home, here are some quick and easy ways to get to it...

Streaming twinkle lights in your bedroom. Kids especially dig this one! My kid claims she's afraid of the dark though I think this is a tactic to sleep with mom and dad. Twinkle lights not only remove her excuse but get us all feeling festive! Plus, her room matches our tree and roof! Lights are pretty much... EVERYWHERE!!!!

Scented Candles. Pick the holiday scents, of course. Pine tree is my favorite. There's also fun scents like peppermint and holiday cookies/pie!

Serve traditional holiday meals EARLY. Why wait until Christmas dinner? Add the usual fixings to dinners leading up to the big day. Add stuffing or cranberry sauce to your usual meats and suddenly you're feeling in the holiday mood!

Holiday Art and Crafts (check out the before and after below). My sister did this with my kiddos and you better believe my tribe is in the holiday mood now. This was one of four holiday-inspired craft creations. Our Xmas tree is now full of homemade crafts! It's super sweet.

Give Early Xmas Presents. This is especially sweet as a way to show your children they've been extra nice! After all, Santa only comes early for the "non-naughty" ones! At least, that's one way to spin it. My early gift was a new iPhone! I must have been great wifey this last year ;)

How do you set the holiday mood in your home?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Teach Them Code Over Winter Break

With Winter Break right around the corner I am trying to find things that will keep my kids entertained. When it comes to my oldest daughter it is hard to pull her away from a computer screen. Instead of trying to fight the screen I have found something on-line that will keep her entertained and teach her what I think could be a useful skill.

She is going to learn code. Yes, by code I mean computer jargon to build websites and other stuff. is a great website that has a section called "One Hour of Code" where kids and people of all ages (AKA me) can spend an hour learning how to use blocks to create code. And yes there is a Frozen themed option. In 20 steps you can learn how to use code to help Anna and Elsa create a snowflake.

With bright graphics and simple instructions kids can really learn to code. How amazing is that? This website has lots of different "courses" that kids can do and each include fun themes like Angry Birds and even Flappy Bird.

I can tell you from experience that the courses are super fun and you will learn so much. I even got a certificate to add to my office wall!

Now lets hope my 9-year old masters code and develops the next million dollar app! 

How will you keep the kids (or yourself) entertained over break? 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Evolution of Friendship

Last weekend I spent time with women I've known for over 15 years. Funny how you can bring friends together and its like nothing has changed yet everything in your life really has changed. Life is no longer about boy drama and college papers and more about career moves and home purchases. 

Like life all friendships are in a constant state of evolution. People you thought would be your friends forever become strangers and those you never thought your "type of pal" become the friends you cannot live without. Doesn't matter the situation, friendships always evolve.

The secret to the best of the best evolutions:

Make the time and do the work! Friendships quite often dissolve because two or more people simply don't make the effort like they first did. Old friends become too consumed by daily routines  to continue evolving their friendships. Work, children, or spouses take over and once-close pals quickly hit the back burner. To avoid this friendship pitfall over time, remember to be an active participant in your friendship evolutions and actually remain in contact as frequently as possible. This day in age all it takes is a periodic text message to keep a sisterhood alive.

Be each other's biggest fan. Some of my closest friends are girls I actively keep up with. I make it a point to remember what milestones they're personally reaching and involve myself in their moments of triumph and struggle. I am their biggest cheerleader. It could be a new marriage, a breakup, lost jobs, or huge promotions, big moves or little victories, but I am constantly honoring and acknowledging the impact my friends' lives make on this earth.

Know when to let go. Not all friendships stand the test of time and that's okay. People change like seasons so don't force friendships that simply aren't naturally evolving. If you have to manipulate people or situations to maintain a friendship than it's likely met and exceeded its expiration date, and that's okay! It's okay to let go.

Be willing to be more than just a friend! Sometimes friendships require more than the basics. Be willing to be your friends' "therapist" "mover" "teacher" and/or "event planner" to name a few. It might just be what the friendship needs. A willingness to go above and beyond ensures your friend bond grows to new heights. Plus, one day you'll need the favor returned. 

Become superbly honest with each other! Real friendships are honest friendships. This is the biggest evolution in most friendships among adults. Teens and young adults often share superficial connections that lack true depth. Authentic relationships evolve and becomes more authentic than a facade of perfection. True friends dont have to worry about judgment or fake, shallo friendships. 

What are your best friendships all about?!?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mini Snow Globe Project

While at a museum last week the kids and I got to make and take a really cute holiday craft. We made these super cute mini-snow globes that we are all obsessed with. This project was really fun enough to keep my tweens interest, easy enough for my 4 year old to do, and interesting enough to get my husband involved.

You will need:

  • Mini jar with lid
  • water
  • glycerin 
  • glitter
  • confetti
  • hot glue
  • ribbon
  • Fill jar about 3/4 of the way with water.
  • Add 3-4 drops of glycerine
  • Tighten top and shake it up
  • Open top and add in any the fun stuff. We had snowflake confetti, little clear plastic snowflakes, and lots of different colors of glitter to add. 
  • Fill the jar the rest of the way with water. 
  • Add hot glue around the rim of the jar and tighten lid
  • Add ribbon 
  • Shake and enjoy!
This is such a cool project and there are lots of ways to build off it. I think it would be so cool to hot glue a little Christmas tree or even a cute deer to the lid so when you closed it up there would be a little deer or tree in the "snow". 

Friday, December 5, 2014

STOP doing everything for your kids!

I learned something invaluable some years ago when my oldest was about 5 years old. There I was sitting in a parenting class when the instructors went over a list of developmental stages and what tasks kids could do at what age. According to this list 6 & 7-year olds could do their own laundry (wash, fold and put away), take out trash cans, sweep AND mop, make their own beds and on and on. 

Do your 6-year olds do those chores and more?

I don't know that many 5, 6 and 7 year olds are given the power to do all that they can on their own. I suspect today's parents do WAY TOO MUCH for their children, and sure, they mean well. Who doesn't want to continue to be in service to their growing babies? I get that. Yet, this must stop if children are expected to head off to college by 17 & 18 yrs. old and independently thrive. 

There's a common trend today where many kids actually make it through college with parents still paying their bills, doing their laundry, and fixing their problems. Those same kids (now adults) are graduating college, yes, but are they ready for life? Some of these early 20-something college-grads come home disempowered and unable to do much for themselves because they've never really had to. Even worse, they aren't necessarily inspired to get after it, find work and thrive.

This is a very real issue. I recently met with a parenting coach who talked about how his client base was shifting. I figured his clientele was typically new parents with young kids. Turns out he's dealing more and more with a large sector of parents who have issues with their young-adult children coming back home after college, doing very little to find work and become truly self-sufficient. These parents are looking for guidance, frustrated, and hoping to mend an issue that started many years prior when their children were quite young.

If we want to raise successful, self-sufficient, independent adults we must begin when our children are YOUNG! Sometimes VERY young. I have a 4-year old who is the queen of "I have to do it by myself!" This natural desire in her is nurtured and never stifled. Sure, things aren't always easy when she insists on making her own bed, breakfast and dressing herself from a-z because this takes a lot of time and patience for me to not quickly jump in and do things for her. Often the result feels a little chaotic, but she's doing all that she can on her own. She's empowered to do for herself and learns not to use mom and dad as a crutch. She's learning at an early age to fend for HERSELF!  Now, our 7-year old is a different story. He'd love to NOT do his own laundry, take out the trash cans out before trash day, or make his own bed.... but he does... because he CAN and we LET HIM!

Besides, I sure as heck don't want our children back on our couch post-college graduation! In my book, these children of mine get to leave the "nest" once and only once (here's to hoping and praying that turns out).

We'd love to hear your opinion, so leave us a comment. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stop Trying to Make Colorful Pits a Thing!

Recently wrote all about the new hair trend. Yes we made it through big bangs, perms, The Rachel and 2015 will bring the craziest, weirdest hair trend yet. 

It has nothing to do with the hair on your head, or even your hair down there. It's all about your armpit hair. That's right ladies! Throw away your razors and let it grow out. And once it's grown out grab the bleach bottle and your favorite pastel colored hair dye!  That's right! The new hair trend is all about pastel pits! 

Let me let that sink in for a second.....

Don't believe that this could even be a think? Well let me give you some photographic evidence. 

This is a thing! All I can say is.....

NO! Just no. 

Please tell me that I am not just some untrendy old lady because I find this ridiculous!! 
Tell me you feel the same! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Naturally bounce back from fighting the flu!

I'm no expert, but probably like you, I surely can't be held down by a cold or flu during seasonal outbreaks. Nevertheless, like clockwork every fall or winter, my firstborn comes home sniffling and his bug knocks me out. In less than 24 hours I had a massive sore throat, headache, chills, body aches and a fever. To top it off I felt horribly during the rainiest day So. Cal has seen in ages. It was a perfect storm (pun intended).

However, as a busy working mom I cannot just stop for a nasty flu to take over my body. The show must go on and the sooner I'm back to 100%, the better. Here's a list of essentials I use to naturally bounce back or at least what I'm in the midst of incorporating as I type this:

1. H2O overload! Drink all of your meals if possible... tea, pho, water, chicken stew, etc.! As soon as I up the fluids my sluggish internal batteries begin to recharge. Plus there's nothing better for a sore throat than warm soothing & natural relief. One great remedy here is to warm up two lemon wedges in the microwave then drink the lemon juice as hot as you can possibly tolerate. Feel free to add a little honey. This whips a sore throat right into shape.

2. Stay warm, but not too warm if your fever is spiking. I make sure to bundle up and get comfy as soon as possible on sick days. Today I doubled up on socks, blankets and dressed in layers for bedtime. Another natural remedy to use at bedtime is rubbing alcohol! Spread the alcohol over your bare feet then place your socks over them. This alcohol effect works wonders and somehow boosts your energy.

3. Speaking of bed... Shut down and get to rest as soon as possible. I had a full day of work and family responsibilities to jungle while dealing with flu symptoms. However, as soon as I could afford to I was in bed (7:30pm to be precise)! Rest is obviously one of the best natural remedies for any flu or cold attacks. So never underestimate the importance and get plenty of shut-eye. A naturally soothing relaxation tip would be to play calm, relaxing music & light aromatic candles (light candles before actually getting to bed, then make sure to blow those out). This soothing mood enhancement is another great way to begin naturally recovering your body and soul.

What are your natural tips to bouncing back from a cold or flu?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Kids Dropping F-Bombs

Hearing a little sweet girl dropping an F bomb can be shocking and even funny. Unless it was coming out of my kids mouth then a major time-out would be involved.

An organization called recently released some videos about equality for women and the abuse against women. Both topics have shocking and ugly statistics and as a way to prove that FCKH8 is using the shock value of little girls cursing.

Here is a censored version of one of their current videos.

Be warned there are a lot of curse words.

Here is a uncensored version (HERE)

I have to admit that this campaign uses shock value to its advantage. These words really are more offensive than curse words.

But if my kid ever talked like that........

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Deals: Steal or Unreal? Plus a GREAT way to GIVE BACK once you're done shopping!

Black Friday is done, but like all other gimmicks Cyber Monday is upon us. There's also Small Business Saturday, but at this juncture there's just too many commercialized bandwagons to jump on. Now, I don't necessarily knock those who clammer at store-fronts by 3am Friday after Thanksgiving, but I do love myself a great online deal without all the hassle.

A little history lesson for you:  Cyber Monday was invented in 2005 according to It was created as nothing more than marketing hype by a.k.a. The National Retail Federation. Back then and for some years after, Cyber Monday wasn't actually the biggest online shopping day of the year, but now it is! Cyber Monday is a very real steal and it's now retail tradition.  

Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of Cyber Monday and all its glory. In fact, Cyber Monday is now a weekend-long event. So much so I spent the weekend after thanksgiving (and before Cyber Monday) completing all of my holiday shopping.  Yes, ALL OF IT! I purchased 36 unique gifts and it wasn't at all dreadful or costly.

My sites of choice include, (love Amazon Prime deals) and Other weekend-long Cyber Monday deals that were worth a peek included Khol's, JCPenny and Best Buy.

This is great time of year to get holiday shopping done. Plus, there's great sites like those we've blogged about years passed that offer points and perks for shopping online (e.g. not to mention standard perks that are hard to pass up such as free shipping and instant markdowns (Walmart lists their markdowns using the category "rollbacks" or "clearance").  

Cyber Monday is the real deal, so knock yourself out and get to shopping. Then when it's all said and done don't forget to do a little more than just shop. Donate, too! After all, what follows Cyber Monday? GIVING TUESDAY and here's one GREAT CAUSE worth donating to this holiday season!  

Friday, November 28, 2014

5 Things Better Than Black Friday

Today's one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Yes, Black Friday is upon us! I for one would rather do almost anything else than be anywhere near a mall today.

Here is our list of 5 things you can do instead of Black Friday shopping.
  1. Top of my list involves a roaring fire in the fireplace, a cup of hot coffee and a really good book. This is a great day to go off the grid for awhile and spend the day immersed in a good book. A great opportunity to 'chillax' before the chaos of the holidays really starts. 
  2. There's a good chance that even if you didn't host Thanksgiving dinner you were sent home with an outrageous amount of left-overs. Today is a great day to eat yourself into a coma, again, but this time in your pajamas. 
  3. Now that Thanksgiving is behind us it is a completely respectable time to let the holiday decorating begin! Get out the big tubs from the attic and start hanging up the tinsel, mistletoe and garland. Get the ladder out and hang up lights on the house. This will help you really get into the holiday spirit. 
  4. Head over to your home computer and spend some time backing up all your files and photos. You know you need to do it and have been putting it off for months. While files are being saved you can head to your iTunes account and organize your music. 
  5. Stay in bed...ALL...DAY! Have a good old-fashion sex-a-thon. Come up for air and food once in awhile and just enjoy some adult alone time with your significant other.
What would you rather do than shop on Black Friday? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!
 May the feast, love and togetherness be bountiful wherever you are.
Cheers to this holiday season and BEYOND!


Elissa and Irene, Co-Authors of

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


This year for me has been one of gratitude. When 2014 started I made a resolution to be consciously grateful for something every single day. I started an album on Facebook and every day I have added a picture of something that I am grateful for. It has been a humbling and rewarding project.

My life is most of the time chaotic and it feels like every minute of every day is accounted for. It is easy for me to rush through life as a big ball of stress. This project has forced me to STOP, and look back on my day and find something to be grateful for. I found that each day there were many little things and sometimes really big things to be thankful for.

My lists includes good meals, good friends, good music, good books
 and the beauty of nature and lots more. 

It is easy to get caught up in your life. To forget that there is always something to be thankful for. Even during the hard darker times. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Sure, all moms are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of their homes. Typically, that's the case at least. I always felt this was me then I became the actual CEO of my agency and realized I was capable of even more in motherhood.

If I once thought I was a resourceful, busy, multitasking queen well that "stock" just went up! I thought of myself as an efficient leader at home manning it all from birthday party schedules to soccer practices from grocery store shopping trips to mommy volunteering commitments. On top of that I am a social butterfly so along with running my home, I always ensured the hubby and I snuck in date nights for us or among friends. I'd operate a throughly executed plan for all things in our lives while working a FULL-TIME JOB! Yup, that's a mom CEO and mommies everywhere relate.

I was in a groove running my household while also being as present as possible with our three small children. I had my schedule and routine worked out fairly well day-to-day. Then I was promoted to the post of CEO professionally.

This career move was something I worked my tail off to achieve without always realizing I was achieving it. I was managing a career while running a household and sustaining a marriage. I was simply working so hard in all areas of my life that work responsibilities suddenly took me to a new level of career advancement. 

Today, I am in a new groove. I've elevated to a level of multitasking (and learning) I don't believe possible. In fact, I've likely never worked as efficiently as I have during my first month as CEO. Every minute of my work day is full with so much to manage. 

However career changes don't equate a break from being the CEO of my home. Other than my husband upping the help around everyday responsibilities, I have remained "Chief Executive Officer Mom!" No work promotion could ever change that.

Nonetheless, balance has shifted at home. I've had less free time to do motherhood with ease. Might think that's bad, but it's actually been good. Today, was the first day I've had to dedicate to errands in fours weeks and I got more done between 8am & 11am than I would have before with three or four monthly errand days. 

Truth be told I thought I'd spend today vegging-out and relaxing! WRONG! I naturally popped out of bed ready to conquer the day and fill it with necessary tasks. The old me would have taken it easy which was my norm before being promoted.

Having to be on point at work makes me even more on point at home. There's this internal need to max out always and let no productive moment waste away. It's truly next level parenting with very little idle time. My brain is almost unable to shut off from a new multitasking norm that is life within a demanding career, my marriage, three children and a desire to be social and active with family and friends.

Would a change in career change your personal life, too?!?   

Monday, November 24, 2014

Adding some Culture to your Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just a few days away. If you are still stressing over your menu and want to spice it up a little here are a few recipes to add some Mexican culture to your Thanksgiving meal.

Brussel Sprouts with Chorizo  : I am going to admit something here. I have never tasted a brussel sprout. It's reputation of being gross has left me less than excited about it. But this recipe adds onion and chorizo so it is sure to be a tasty side dish.

Pumpkin Empanadas : A tasty and different approach to the traditional pumpkin pie. I imagine these would be like individual pie pockets. Doesn't that sound fabulous! I bet some cool whip dipping sauce would be amazing.

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie : Again I have to confess I have never had pecan pie, but unlike the brussel sprouts I would like to try it! Now adding that chocolatey and cinnamony (Yes those are both words!) taste of mexican chocolate can only make it go from good to great.

Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan: It's like they mixed 3 amazing things and made one amazing dessert out of it! This is sure to be a group pleaser and became a staple of your annual meal.

If you get fancy or stick to the basics I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving meal! 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wine & Cheese Pairing

I am from the school of thought that cheese is a complete meal!  Last night our cheesy dinner spread was simple: blueberry goat cheese, Colby cheddar, water crackers, and peppered salami. Salami only landed on the cutting board because this was a shared meal. If the kids or hubby weren't around the cheese selection would have spiked to include Gouda, Blue Cheese, & Brie. I am a lover of all things cheese, for sure!

Plus, I love wine! Wine and cheese is a meal time win-win! It is great for a solo meal, a lovely picnic date or to host a wine and cheese gathering among friends. 

Check out these wine and cheese pairing ideas plus other w&c party tips: 

• Usually go with white wines. You might think heavier reds go with most cheeses but a light, delicious white wine is best. A chilled crisp white just gets all your taste buds engaged. This is especially true when combining whites with fresh cheeses: Chèvre, Feta, & Goat Cheese.
• If you're a lover of sweet wines try pairing yours with: Blue Cheese or Roquefort.
•Champagne goes great with Parmesan, Cheddar and Gouda.

Other yummy foods to incorporate into your w&c feast include fresh fruits such as mangos or pineapple. A delicious morsel of fruit combined with cheese, crackers and wine tastes divine. Flavorful spreads are also a must try. Layer preserves of any kind on a cracker with cheese and the result is so good! My favorites are apricot and fig spreads. Another delicious flavor plus would be to sprinkle fresh herbs over your cheese selection. I personally love a sprinkle of rosemary over mine. Finally, trying adding delicious meats for balance and to appease your meat-loving guests e.g. salami or prosciutto.

Then you're all set to sit back, relax & enjoy!

What are your favorite things to pair with wine?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sharing the Hermana Love on Instagram

With the HaU UCSB 15 year celebration just around the corner there has been so much Hermana love all over social media. My favorite has been the "sbhermanaalumni" Instagram account. They have been asking for specific pictures every few days and I love pouring over all the pictures that are submitted. They bring back fond memories and fill me with pride and love as we get to see what our alumni are up to these days. 

This photo is a classic! A shot from the first ever Hermanas Retreat. 

Of course here at HeMamas we loved seeing our alumni share pictures of their beautiful offspring. It is HaU: The Next Generation!

This topic may or may not have caused some happy tears. Alumni were asked to share who their Hermana Hero was. It was so amazing to see how all these women inspire each other.

The last prompt was all about HaU gear! That's right shirt, hats, and sweatshirts! This post really brought back some memories! That first shirt was from our first party ever!

You can follow "sbhermanaalumni" on Instagram HERE 

Don't forget you can still purchase tickets for the HaU UCSB Quinceanera Brunch HERE