Friday, February 28, 2014

Current Obsessions

Happy last day of February! As always it is time for us to share our most current obsessions. It was bound to happen eventually, this month we have a mutual obsession.


The Following - I was a Dexter and a Breaking Bad fan. With both shows off the air The Following has stepped in to fill a void for TV shows with action, suspense and surreal scenerios. This show takes cult culture to a whole new level. Who knew a network show could be this good? Plus, Kevin Bacon really delivers as the lead after so many years off the radar.

Loom Bracelets - My kid is a feign for loom bracelets. To think he found his first kit several months ago at a 99 cent store. We've watched hours of YouTube tutorials to make fun and intricate designs. On any given day he's wearing up to nine loom bracelets. It's so his thing and I love it. What I love most? It's hours of enjoyment without electronics and we can be hooked together!

Panera - I can eat there morning, noon and night. Monday I was there six hours (for breakfast and hogging the wifi for work). Then I actually went back for a late night coffee chat with the hubby. Now if that isn't obsessed I don't know what is. This place has it all... great food, good service and a comfy and productive ambience. If you've never been, try the Fontina Grilled Cheese Sandwich or the Chicken Cobb Avocado Salad. They're both delish!


Californication- I started watching this show way back when it started when we had Showtime. We eventually got rid of premium movie channels and I had to say good-bye to my crush Hank Moody. I am happy to say that thanks to on-line streaming I have spent the last 2 weeks catching up on the last 3 seasons of this amazing, dirty, sexy, hilarious show. Hank Moody, played by David Duchovny, is the epitome of the messed-up, alcoholic, sex crazed writer. He is the ultimate bad boy and I cannot get enough of him!

Rainbow Loom- Just like at Irene's house, the rainbow loom craze has hit full force in ours. And it's not just the kids who are hooked. (Haha get it... hooked!) I have spent way too many late nights on youtube attempting to master the "starburst" or the "rainbow ladder". What I love about these projects is that they are fun, relatively easy and can be done in just one sitting. My daughter has had a great time making bracelets for all her friends. The only bad side is all the tiny rubber bands that have ended up all over my house. 

Good Reads- I love to read, and this year I have challenged myself to read 75 books. (I am currently on #17!) I am always on the look out for the next book to read. The website "Good Reads" is perfect for anyone looking for a good book. It is like Facebook for book lovers. Here you can keep track of books you have read and even rate them. Good Reads will recommend books based on your ratings. You can also see real reviews on any book you may want to read. But my favorite part is the ability to keep a "Want-to-Read" book list. This way when I am at a book store or library and my mind is blank with ideas for a new book, I can open up the Good Reads app and there is my list of all the books I want to read! 

What are you currently obsessed with?  

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Handling Work Stressors

I love my job, but it doesn't mean my work is always easy. I've been through two upper level management transitions and both have led to high stress periods. To date, I have done everything to manage work stressors and remain as productive and fulfilled as possible, I'm not perfect at this, but I sure as heck try.

Firstly, I am not my job. My career is fulfilling, yes, but it doesn't define me. I can walk away from the day letting go of what I've given (granted I have to have giving my best). I leave the workday behind me until the next time I'm back in work mode. 

One true way to let work overly stress you is by replaying the work day, the needs, the tasks, and the shortfalls when we're not even at work. This is fruitless. An individual must disconnect to fully reengage. Don't take your work with you by replaying it in your mind. Over time that is stress-inducing and unhealthy, so leave the day truly behind you.

Next, I accept and welcome challenges. Sure there will be tough meetings, tough people, tough times, but I mentally prepare to perform at my best, most authentic self in spite of tough times. I've watched turnover impact my amazing workplace and team all because employees cracked under all the stress, or oddly, they cracked under the pressure to elevate and grow. Bottom line, don't bail on stress, rise in the face of it.

I have an anti-stress support system. Of course I can complain about work stressors and situations, but I'm also grateful for my opportunities. When work feels overwhelming and I need to be reassured that I am on the right track I turn to my mentor in business and my spouse. Two people that assure me I can do anything and remind me to remain present, centered and calm.

I switch off stress and switch on service. If you're busy bitching and moaning you're just adding to stressors, amplifying them and not solving a thing. I have a boss who knows I am 100% behind her. I don't always agree, but I'm a team player and I communicate that often. Now I get this doesn't work if a work environment or co-workers are toxic. In these cases one should outweigh how realistic long-term employment is in a toxic setting? Walking away for personal mental wellbeing is never wrong.

Finally, I don't beat myself up! Sometimes stress does get to me. Boom... suddenly, I'm venting and that's okay. I may throw my hands up or feel overworked. However, immediately, I refocus and get right back on task, letting go of any stressful episode that is holding me down. In these situations especially I turn to stress relief boosters like exercise, pampering myself and/or unwinding with friends. De-stressors get me right back on track!

How do you handle work stressors? 

Share your tips, too!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hosting a Welcome Shower

Who doesn't love babies? The way they smell, snuggle and sleep. My family recently welcomed a new addition to our already large tribe!  I immediately thought it would be great to host a spin on the old baby shower by organizing a welcome shower. A shower that would make our youngest family member, at three week's old, the guest of honor. 

I'm completely sold on welcome showers and here's why:

• The baby being celebrated is physically present at the shower. So many want to hang with the little baby. That alone reduces the pressure of having to entertain guests.

• Welcome Showers can be unique, casual and co-ed. You don't have to stick to traditional baby shower etiquette. Make a welcome shower as unique as you want.

• You can use photos of the newborn as decor. Play games such as baby quizzes with stats on the already born baby of honor. Plus, the new mommy gets to relax without the 7-9 month pregnancy belly hanging around.

Would you host a welcome shower in place of a baby shower, too? 
Tell us why or why not!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Telling the World "We're Expecting!"

After the initial shock of the finding out you are pregnant the next fun step is telling your friends and family you are expecting. Thanks to social media and sites like Pinterst people can get super cute and creative when making the big announcement.

When we were expecting our second kid we made the announcement with this picture and the caption "We have some new shoes to fill!"

You can find lots of great announcement ideas online. You can go the sweet route like this.....

 Or you can go the funny silly route like this......

Which ever route you choose you can make the most of your photo by having a copy blown up and framed with a large matting. Then you can have people sign the matting with messages to your new baby at the baby shower! Here is ours that hangs is our daughters room.

How did you / will you announce your pregnancy?
Leave us a comment!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Avoiding Intimacy

Ha! The hubby sent me this photo recently and I was completely tickled. We do spend a lot of time buried in our phones laying next to each other. Whether it's social media, email or the latest Netflix binge, if we're not careful, phone usage can become a barrier to intimacy.

Not all couples intentionally avoid intimacy but there are many who unconsciously find themselves "busy" with time wasters ultimately keeping an intimate connection at bay. 

A few years ago when my husband and I read Getting the Love You Want we became very aware of a long list of intimacy "avoiders":

- TV
- Internet Surfing 
- Addictions (drugs, porn, shopping, alcohol)
- Workholic Tendacies
- Video Games
- Excessive Childrearing Demands
- Fighting/Quarrels

... and so much more. 

The list was plentiful and it really got us thinking about all the times we've avoided intimacy by "busying" ourselves with tasks instead of connecting. This isn't to say couples can't spend time surfing the web, watching TV or browsing their smart phones, but if this takes the place of valuable time that couples could instead dialogue & simply be with each other, there could be a fundamental issue that derails couples from achieving true intimacy and connection.

A quick way to counter intimacy avoidance is by etching out time everyday to connect free of distractions, finding ways to be in-service to each other (i.e. cook together), or by setting weekly dates that do not include intimacy avoiding activities (i.e. watching a movie or double dates). Instead have intimacy-building date nights and have them often.

It's no mystery great relationships take work! None is without issues, but a great place to improve upon communication and bond-building is to analyze the intimacy avoidance tendencies in your relationship. Couples must work together to ensure these don't outweigh moments of intimacy and connection.

Have you experienced intimacy avoidance in your past or present relationship(s)? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hectic Mornings

This week we got a great message on our Facebook page from HerMama Liz. Shout-out Liz! She needed some advice with an issue many of us deal with almost everyday... getting out of the house on time. With two small children at home she found that she was consistently late to school. Her mornings were a daily hectic battle. Starting your day off in such a stressful way isn't good for anyone.

This is an issue that I am all too familiar with and I was happy to share some of our morning tips with Liz and now with all you.
  • Get clothes ready the night before. Let your little one help pick out something. This can help them get excited about getting dressed in the morning. 
  • Get breakfast as ready as you can the night before. You can also pack lunches the night before.
  • Have a spot near the door for purses, bags and keys. Then you can grab and go. 
  • Make a fun mini-poster with a list of all the things that need to get done in the morning. 
Liz used this last idea. Her son is a big Lego Movie fan so Liz made this adorable sign....

We love this sign! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. We hope that your mornings run smoothly and you leave for school so early you now have time to stop for a Starbucks treat!

Do you have any tips to help make mornings less hectic?
If you have a question for HerMamas leave us a comment, Facebook message or voicemail. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Be Sorry and Be Better - Admitting When You're Wrong

I grew up in a family of fearless fighters. We battled our points-of-views until the bitter end. There was no admitting defeat, failure, or worse, that we could actually be wrong. With my children, I'm striving to be different.

This better isn't automatic.

Just tonight I blew up at my son. I yelled like a madwoman and probably because I spent two plus hours dealing with three very non-cooperative children. It was just one of those nights where each of my children revolted at every possible option. 

"No, I refuse to wear blue socks." "No, I refuse to clean up my mess." No, I refuse your help getting dressed." On and on went the combative exchanges and then I snapped. My son managed to complain about 4 things in less than 60 seconds. So I was done. I yelled my lungs off and ranted about how all his whining and complaining was a waste of time, energy & positivity. I went overboard. His little eyes filled with tears and he said, "I want my loving mom back!"

That was my cue. Soon I apologized for my behaviors and reminded him that we are not our actions. This didn't mean he was off the hook (nor was I). He shouldn't have behaved  in a whining manner with chronic complaints and I shouldn't have erupted.

We were both wrong, and as the adult, I was most guilty. I reminded my son of my imperfections but also of my emotions. Bottom line, everyone's emotions matter and everyone can control their emotions. I was wrong and I told him I was.

By the end of the night we were actually both laughing at my yelling fit and he was "practicing his patience" (his words not mine). It is okay to admit you're human when dealing with your children. They learn just as much through our personal  victories as they do our failures.

Do you believe it's okay to admit your parental mistakes to your children? 
Tell us & share your comments.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Relationship Advice from the Pope?

Over the Valentine's Day weekend thousands of engaged couples gathered at the Vatican to hear Pope Francis speak about marriage and relationships. Now this new Pope has not been afraid to change things up, I mean this guy is on Twitter and takes selfies with the people.

The question is, can a man who has lived a life of celibacy give worthwhile advice on relationships? After reading about some of his advice, I think he does. And not just for Catholics, his advice rings true for anyone in a marriage or relationship.

  • Don't Be Afraid to Marry: Pope Francis recognizes that in this day and age things move so quickly and so many things are temporary until the next bigger and better replacement comes out. This mentality has many young people afraid to take the plunge into the commitment of marriage. Or they go into their marriage waiting for the next thing to come along which leads to divorce. His advice is to build your relationship on a solid foundation of true love, not on fleeting emotions. A solid foundation of true love, respect and faith in each other can make a life-long commitment seem like a prize and not a punishment. 
  • Don't Go to Bed Angry: I have never really agreed with this piece of advice. Sometimes I need to sleep on a problem and come back to it refreshed. I like what the Pope said about this, he said  "Never end a single day without being at peace with each other. This is the secret in order to preserve love.". I like this because the issue may not be resolved but if you can lay your heads down and be at peace with each other in your heart you are golden. I may still be angry that my husband bought a Landcruiser, but at night I am at peace knowing that the issue with be resolved somehow and we are both very much in love with each other. 
  • A Wedding is Not About the Flowers: Pope Francis reminds people who are planning a wedding to remember that it is not the dress, food or flowers that you should be celebrating, but instead your celebration should be about your spirit of love. 
  • Nobody is Perfect: "We all know there isn't a perfect family, neither a perfect husband nor a perfect wife. Of course, we are not talking about the perfect mother-in-law". This is advice that people in relationships should repeat to themselves everyday. We cannot be perfect nor can we expect our significant other to be perfect either. 

What do you think of Pope Francis' advice? 
What is the best relationship advice you have received? 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How Summer Bodies are Made in the Winter!

Lately when I've hung with HerMamas' co-created Elissa I've indulged. I follow up the indulging with a statement such as "the diet starts tomorrow." However, she's on to me because last time she replied, "you always say that!" Truth is, I've been loose about my diet & exercise goals last fall and part of winter. 

Then I remember that summer is just around the corner. For me, summer is the ultimate motivator and a great reason to focus on fitness. I believe the saying is true "summer bodies are made in winter" and here's how:

Exercise, Exercise, Exercise. Of course I was able to ditch a few workouts in the name of holidays and winter weather, but that excuse just doesn't fly when I think about dawning a summer dress or bathing suit. For this reason, I'm on a 4-times-per-week workout plan until summer rolls around. It's really not too difficult to get in a workout even if only 20 minutes though 40+ is ideal. Besides exercise is such a mood and energy booster. Once I'm in the swing of things physically my mind just sort of switches to a mindset of fitness and healthful food choices.

Which brings me to my second must do this winter! The best way to slim down (&/or tone) in time for summer is to eat in moderation. I know this isn't for everyone, but I personally thrive when making healthful meal choices and saying no to desserts! So I love bundt cakes, but I love my midsection more. 

Next, and this is by far key for me - an inspirational push. For fitness goals in particular I make sure to always have a great fitness read in rotation (Current read: Women, Food and God). Another great read though offensive to some is a book by Steve Siebold called, Get Tough of Die Fat: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fit People and Fat PeopleAnother effective motivator is having within daily view a few fitness photos or quotes that inspire focus and action. My husband has a great photo he looks at every morning that represents a fit male physique. These motivators keep us on track to ensure we're feeling as hot as summer once Memorial Day rolls around. 

What's your secret to getting or staying in shape for summer? 
We want to hear from you!

Monday, February 17, 2014

She is not Me

As a parent I have a very hard time remembering that my children are not me. I have a tendency to project my own experiences and emotions onto them. I mean I was an 8 year old girl once too so why wouldn't the now 8 year old that I birthed not be exactly like me.

Well there are lots and lots of reasons. My girls may have half my DNA, and they may share some physical and even personality quirks with me, but they are not me.

I got a big reminder of this fact recently. My oldest daughter is a first time girl scout and as many of you know, it's cookie season. Part of cookie season is cookie booths. This means 3 hour shifts in front of grocery stores hocking cookies. I imagined what 8 year old me would have felt about it. My stomach ached just imagining it. I was painfully shy. I once cried because I had to ask for my own ketchup. I never would have willingly asked strangers to buy cookies.

For a little while I contemplated skipping cookie sales all together. I didn't want that kind of anxiety on my kid. But before I bailed all together I asked my daughter how she felt. She told me she was excited and really looking foward to working a booth sale. So we did it and my daughter was fantastic. A natural born salesperson!

Are your kids just like you were at their age?
Or are they totally different? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

How Love Changes You (and other feel good feelings for a Happy Valentine's Day)

I have this habit of dreading holidays. I didn't know this about myself until today. As I drove to Costco to order a cake for my son's 7 1/2 birthday (yes, we celebrate halves) I was feeling overwhelmed by my list of to-dos which had to be accomplished before his after-school party with pals (about 50 pals!). Then my husband came to mind. He's reading a great book called the The Power of Now and as he's read I've learned so much. He's shared insights and lessons. One such lesson was how we have to love the now and how we have to "love the grind!"  The grind being anything we're doing in the moment. When I reflected on that moment in time, I realized there was nothing to be anxious or stressed about. My kid was feeling like a rock star in anticipation of his 7 & a 1/2 birthday. As a summer kid the last thing he gets in school is a big hoopla. But he deserves it! So I'm making it happen for him. I'm that mom. The cool mom who will shuffle large pizzas, birthday cake and lead 50 kids in a wonderfully loud happy birthday serenade! What's there not to look forward to and LOVE about that? Suddenly, my list of to-dos felt so minuscule. I loved the grind of being the mother I AM! Suddenly, I loved the grind of being married to the man I married. A man who learns and grows and in the process makes me BETTER! Love makes me better! 

I asked other readers to share with us how LOVE has made them better, too!  Here are a few of their beautifully thoughtful answers:

Love has made me a better person. I always thought that the old saying "first you must love yourself before you can love others" was just a tired cliche. But it's so true! It's sad to say that for the first time in my 30 something years, I've just now learned to love me for who and what I am. And boy does that change everything! My 19 year old step daughter just got married, something no one in her family wanted. Had this happened last year I would have never gone to her wedding. I would have been so upset and angry unable to see past it. I'm happy to say that even though I still think she should have waited, I joined her on her special day, helped her into her dress, I put flowers in her hair and watched my love walk her down the aisle. Where before my lack of knowing what TRUE LOVE is I would have missed out on all these special moments. Loving yourself TRULY does come first and it TRULY does change everything for the better. - Brenda, Van Nuys, CA.

Seeing the world through my daughter's eyes is happiness in it's finest form. The love shared between my husband and I brings me so much joy, comfort & friendship. It's simply a feeling that can't be described by words alone. The feeling of love is immeasurable.  Love is a gift. Experiencing love in it's purest & rawest form makes me a happier person, ready to give that same gift to others.  - Linda, Lakewood, CA.

I feel that love has made me become myself - the person I was meant to be. My early adult life I spent looking for companionship and the moment I found it it was like a slap in the face. I knew the moment I looked at my partner that he would be the father of my children. I felt an overwhelming joy to spend time with him and still do. When I became a mother I experienced a different kind of love - a love that is pure and selfless. It made me want to be a better person for my children and it made me want to be proud of myself so that my sons can also be proud to call me their mother.  - Regina, Hawthorne, CA.

"I've learned to love myself and everyone around me. Love is highly contagious! Like MLK said, 'Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.' Loving God and wanting to be loved by him also inspires me to be a better person with my words & actions throughout my daily encounters/experiences." - Maury, Inglewood, CA.

How Does Love (from a partner, child, parent, self, etc.) Make You Better?!?! 
Share your feel good thoughts and comment below.
Come on' it's Valentine's Day... Do share!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Last Minute Gifts for Him

You have less than 24 hours until Valentine's Day! Are you still stressing over what to get the man in your life? Don't fret we have some last minute gift ideas that are sure to make your man happy.

Bass Pro Shop Gift Card- a trip to your nearest Bass Pro Shop may be a trek, but a gift card is a promise for a trip to the ultimate man store. Boats, stuffed bears, a shooting range, a real pond with real fish and all the camping gear you can fit under one roof. Most grocery stores carry gift cards.

"The League" DVD Set- if your man likes raunchy comedies and sports this is the show for him. From the comedy genius Nick Kroll this show follows a fantasy football league and their road to the Super/Shiva Bowl.

Cologne: Yes it may be a cliche, but it's a nice cliche. Just like a nice suite, the right scent can be extremely sexy. My personal favorite is Acqua di Gio.

Funny T-shirts: Etsy is not just for homemade hairclips and stationary. You can find some great funny shirts for the man in your life. This ONE is my favorite.

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? 
Leave us a comment! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Getting Kids to Eat Their Fruits & Veggies

I wish kids came preprogrammed to love their veggies. Just the other day my kid nagged me because we "alwayyyyyyyys" eat chicken, yes always. I told him if it was up to him we'd only eat pizza and his response was "you're right!" This got me thinking about our everyday diet and I became acutely aware of all the fruits and vegetables my kids don't consume. This has to change now if I want them to lead long and healthful lives later. 

Here's how I've begun incorporating more fruits and vegetables into my children's lives....

  • A Fruitful Fruit Bowl: I have a huge fruit bowl easily accessible to my children that's routinely stocked full of bananas, apples, pears and/or oranges. I find that just having nature's goodies in plan sight allows my children to easily reach for and often crave fruits. 
  • Blend It Baby: My kid recently asked if he'd ever tried Jamba Juice. I answered no then rushed out to our local Jamba with him in tow. I wanted him to see how blending up a little something full of veggies and fruit was actually delicious. He also discovered that his momma could make anything Jamba Juice made at home. Smoothies are a great way to fill the whole family up on essential fruits and veggies!
  • Green Machine: I have introduced every green veggie under the sun to my kids and some have been a hit. Just today my daughter was devouring grilled zucchini. Spinach is well received as are snow peas. Needless to say we always have green veggies on hand. I do the same with other random vegetables my kids have embraced through the years such as mushrooms and mini-carrots. I'll do whatever it takes to fill them with wholesome goodness!
  • DIY: Another great way to get kids to try new fruits and veggies is to develop a green thumb with them. Plant what you can in your own garden and kids will literally enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Sure, not everyone can plant a garden but everyone can introduce kids to the wonders of varied vegetation. Another way to accomplish this is by touring farmers markets and having kids try all the yummy fruit and veggie samples. Kids are bound to stumble upon new and organic options they're sure to embrace for the long haul.
  • Presentation, Presentation, Presentation: This is the best recommendation I've got. Kids will eat anything that looks pretty, at least this is the case in my home. Since the advent of this task is so much easier. I recently made fruit-filled sugar cones for a family gathering and they were all devoured by the children in attendance. 
How do you get kids to eat more fruits and veggies?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Ideas

If you are anything like me, you just looked at your calendar and muttered a few choice works when you realized that Valentine's day is THIS Friday and you don't have anything made for your kid to pass out at school. So since I was frantically searching through Pinterest anyways, I thought I would share with you some ideas I found. 

A super cute play on words. How easy is it to stuff a bag with bubbles and a lollipop. Both things you can find at your local dollar store. 

Click to visit Little lds ideas for instructions. 
 A great craft that even a toddler can do. Did you know that you can create hidden messages with white crayon and water colors? Simply write your message with a white crayon and paint over it.
Click to visit Avinas and Nandini Blog for Instructions. 
 In our house minions are still wildly popular. With some construction paper and a googly eye your kid can pass out their own minion to their friends!

Click to visit Sassy Dealz for Instructions
 Valentine's tends to be on the girly side so these super hero ones really caught my eye.

Click to visit Zakka Life for templates and instructions.

I am a firm believer that you can never have too many books or bookmarks. I love this simple thumbprint heart idea!
Click here to visit Crafts for All Seasons for instructions

What are your kids passing out this year for Valentine's Day? 
Leave us a comment

Monday, February 10, 2014

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

"Everything is awesome!" That last sentence was meant to be sung annoyingly in your head, repeatedly. It's the hook for the main song in The LEGO Movie. This jingle really sticks with you and honestly, I don't mind.

This was the best "kids' movie" I've seen in a long while. This movie nailed it by incorporating laughs for kids and adults alike. Take your kids to see The LEGO Movie. Don't have kids? Go see it anyway. It's a movie for everyone.

Firstly, it's full of stars (star's voices). In fact, there's a few surprise voices that really added to the hilarity (i.e. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum). Funny to see these characters come to life as LEGO mini-figures. Truth be told I'll never look at my kid's Legos the same way again.

One star that stood out was Will Farrell. He's all over this film in a way that is funny for parents and kids. It's the Will Farrell I enjoy most. In fact, without spoiling it, I love the surprises that develop for Will Farrell's character, President Business. 

Next, the premise of this film is great for kids! Everything and everyONE is awesome. The way you come to this conclusion while watching is both hilarious and heartwarming. There was even a scene where I cried. Sure, I cry easily, but there's an exchange between father and son that really struck a chord: "everyone IS awesome!"

See this movie! You'll love it but make sure you have Legos handy. There's no way you'll leave this film without the urge to BUILD!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dresses for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner! Which means many of you are searching for the perfect Valentine's day dress. So we headed over to to see what is out there! Who doesn't love internet window shopping? 

There were so many dresses it was mind boggling, but I found a few that I think would be sweet and pretty for a romantic Valentine's day date.  Click on any dress to see it on the ModCloth site. 

You can go traditional and wear red....

Or soften it up with some pink and a bow....

You can go very untraditional and go for a different color altogether. This blue dress is super cute.

For a rock-a-billy look this dress is perfect

This may not be red but its still covered in hearts.

This dress is called "First Slow Dance" and it is romantic and beautiful.

If you want a more fun and cheeky vibe this dress is the winner.

What are your big plans for Valentine's Day? 
And more importantly.... what are you going to wear? 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Banning the WORK FROM HOME option!

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has issued a memo banning working from home, or telecommuting. From doing my research, I read Mrs. Mayer is filthy rich and just built a nursery next to her office. I take it this makes her working in the office quite doable. Though here she is quickly banning the work-from-home perk for other working moms at Yahoo. 

Now I get it, this isn't about moms. She's trying to turn things around at Yahoo so everyone is being asked to work in the office for the sake of "speed and productivity." However things still seem unfair.

I am a mother of three small children so I chose a flexible career path. I eventually worked my way into management where an obvious perk was added flexibility and the option to work-from-home. This option has been a heaven-sent, but here's the reality: productivity is a MUST. I couldn't work from home if I wasn't responsible, deligent and committed to productivity and progress for my agency as evidenced by my deliverables. 

I've earned the right to perks and as a mother I need them. My children and I benefit. I can do school drop-off, pick-ups, volunteer in class and so forth. I feel for the women at Yahoo who suddenly had their flexible schedules revoked. Quite honestly, I would quit my job if my next boss came in with the "Mrs. Mayer approach." My office allows for mothers to work part-time. We also provide part-time options for individuals still in college. It's really a win-win working environment. It's also a sign of the times since the traditional 9-5pm Monday thru Friday, only-in-the-office formula doesn't meet our changing times. 

Truth be told, I work well over 40 hours per week (where convienent) and I don't even feel it. I love what I do. I love it because of the actual work, but more so, because of the environment, the people and the perks. It saddens me that women and moms at Yahoo are having to give up on a much needed work-from-home option.

Do you believe working moms should be given the option to work from home or is productivity compromised? Chime in with a comment

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Pre-Natal Surfing

They say that your life changes the moment you find out you are pregnant. This is true and suddenly there are many things you love that you have to give up and cut out of your diet. No more sushi dinners or soft cheese with wine. But what if that love is not necessarily something pregnant women tend to do. We have recently seen very pregnant women doing ballet and even crossfit!

 A woman from Australia named Kristina Olivares decided that giving up her passion of surfing was not something she needed to do when she was pregnant with her son. Infact she surfed well into her 9th month, with her doctors approval. Of course she was smart about it, took precautions, and even learned to pop up from a kneeling position, but she never gave up something she truly loves.  

As you can imagine this surfing Momma has received many varied responses from people. There are those who are happy for her and excited that she can continue being active during her pregnancy. There are others who feel that she is reckless and putting her unborn baby at risk. Many people imagine her tackling huge waves like in the movies, but anyone who surfs knows that by taking into consideration the wave size and the water conditions surfing can be a relatively safe sport. Of course this doesn't mean that you should take up surfing when your pregnant!

How do you feel about women doing what some may consider extreme sports during pregnancy?
Leave a comment and share your opinion!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why My Little Boy is Often Mistaken for a Little Girl

My youngest son has the best hair! It's perfectly smooth with a slight curl at the end. I love the ever-changing color, too. Sometimes it seems brown, other times more blond, and then oddly, at times it even looks reddish. It's everything I wish I had for hair. His hair length reaches just below his shoulders so he's often mistaken for a girl.

It's starting to get a little ridiculous, but strangers chronically refer to him as a "pretty little girl" or better yet he receives compliments for what's referenced to as "her great hair!" I'll be honest, I don't care that this is happening, but I do wonder why it's assumed that long hair equates little girls and short hair equates little boys??? My goddaughter rocks short hair and it looks great on her... 

When my oldest was 2 years old I felt pressure to cut his hair before I really wanted to. Back then, he too had long locks. I really got tired of justifying why his hair wasn't shorter. In a traditional "macho" Mexican family my older siblings often ridiculed my hubby and I for choosing to go with long hair for our son. Eventually my son was even being teased and that's where we drew the line. 

Today, I'm resolved to be different. Hair length should be a non-issue regardless of folk's preconceived notion that long hair is only for little girls or vise versa. Other people's opinions shouldn't dictate what I decide appropriate for my own child. Besides, there's going to be plenty of years down the road where I won't get a say in my kids' personal style choices. So for today I'm milking it, and from here on out, it's long lovely locks for my little guy.

 Do you agree? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Winter Olympics 2014

This Friday the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia begin. Although most people are not as excited about the Winter Olympics as the Summer Olympics, I am not one of those people. Back when I was in 5th grade and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada were happening, my teacher split the class into groups. Each group was assigned a sport and my group was assigned figure skating. Every day we would read the newspaper (yes I am older than the internet) to see how our sport did. I can remember my team cheering when Brian Boitano brought home the gold medal. My 5th grade teacher made the winter Olympics exciting for us.

As you might imagine I am super excited about the games starting this week! Getting the rest of my family on board is not as easy. I  have a great website in my back pocket with worksheets and fun handouts for kids to get mine excited!

Like all Olympic events, there are so many sports happening and all in a different time zone. It can be overwhelming to follow. Instead you and your kids could follow along with one sport, or even one specific athlete. Here are some of my favorite Olympic athletes competing in Sochi this year.

  • The Jamaican Bobsled Team: We all loved the movie "Cool Runnings" and for the first time since 1988 the Jamaican's will be representing in the winter Olympics!  
  • Meryl Davis and Charlie White (Ice Dancing): This pair from the USA have been partners on the ice since they were little kids. They are currently the world champions and could be the ones to bring home gold for the USA ever in this event!
  • Maggie Voisin (Freestyle Skiing): This USA Olympic athlete is 15 years old. Yes 15! She is the youngest athlete at the games. She is no stranger to competition and has placed at the Winter X Games and more. 
  • Shaun White (Snowboarding): The Flying Tomato is back for his 3rd Winter Olympics Games. He is hoping to add 2 more gold medals to his collection. If you think you have seen everything Shaun has to offer think again, he had been working on a frontside double-cork 1440. Sounds awesome. 
So if you watch all the events of just pick your favorites, the XXII Winter Olympics can be fun for the whole family! 

What events are you looking forward to?
Leave is a comment!