Things I Learned // What Busy Moms Don’t Talk About

Things I Learned // What Busy Moms Don’t Talk About

Women are busy these days. Sometimes too busy for their own good, particularly when you’re a Mom. I am one of those women. It seems that because we are so busy, we forget or ignore or just simply avoid taking the time to talk about some of the real issues we are faced with. Most importantly, I wanted to shed some light on what I believe all woman should feel comfortable sharing for the betterment of others.

We can’t do it all.

There. I said it. We really try to do it all. Partly because it feels good when we’ve accomplished something, we try our best to do just about everything. It’s not for not wanting to say ‘no’ as much as it is that our plates are full – home, kids, work, projects, meetings, after school activities, family gatherings, time with friends, planning for time away, actual time away, the unpacking and cleaning after coming back from being away – the cycle continues. I believe it’s time we feel okay with saying to someone – “We can’t do it all”, and we are still good mother’s! One way to manage what we to want to do is creating a time and task calendar. I use the Uncalendar for organizing my teaching schedule, and now also use one for my personal life! It is a true game changer! So even though we can’t do it all, we can at least have a place to manage all that we can do and want to do.

busy moms

We eat the burnt toast. (Sometime’s literally!)

That’s right, the burnt toast! How many of you make sure everything is great for everyone else before it’s great for yourself? We know we deserve better, but we seldom do it or too busy to do it. We let the coffee get cold, are too busy to indulge in the fancy and shiny things for ourselves, or don’t do date night as much as we would like (and probably need!) to. I am guilty of that more than I’d like to admit. We know we want the nice things, the good things, things that make us feel great. Moms also don’t talk about the changes in their bodies that keep them from feeling great. Not everyone tells a Mom that with a new baby also comes some things not as wonderful or precious – like bladder leaks! Exactly! I recently was invited to an event by the Always brand to discover one of their new products that help women feel their best. It had me thinking about what it meant for women who suffer from issues that they are too embarrassed to talk about, and how they let it go on without speaking to anyone about it. They feel forced to settle for the “burnt toast”.  I don’t personally suffer from incontinence, but as one of the most natural experiences a woman can have after childbirth or at an older age, no women should have to settle for uncomfortable and ugly underwear that denies her feeling good about herself.  

Did you know 1 in 3 women experience bladder leaks1? I had no idea. It’s not at all uncommon – so why aren’t more moms and women talking about it? The Always Discreet brand let us know that a common complaint from women who experience bladder leaks is there are no stylish options to help protect them. In fact, 2 in 3 women that have tried bladder leak underwear avoid wearing them all together, even when they know they need them2 (settling for that burnt toast!).  At the event, I learned that the Always Discreet brand decided to address the issue for women dealing with incontinence by creating the Always Discreet Boutique underwear, to restore their confidence and make sure woman are putting themselves first and not settling for the burnt toast when it comes to our health.  It’s time Mom’s put themselves first, feel good about doing it, and continue to do the things they love without fear of leaks!  To be able to wear pretty underwear that not only looks good, but solves all of those little problems some women never want to discuss. It’s time you put yourself first, feel feel good about doing it, and go out on date night without any worry! Hint, hint!

 This innovative new product was created after the Alway brand spoke to, and learned from, thousands of real women who experience bladder leaks and feel there shouldn’t have to be a tradeoff between maximum protection and a product that makes them feel beautiful. I also recently learned that 77% of women say the idea of wearing bladder leak underwear makes them feel older than they would like to feel. One of the Always Discreet Boutique scientist actually emptied an entire beaker’s worth of water onto the core of the product. While the core looks and felt very thin, it was able to hold to entire amount of liquid AND feel dry to the touch in seconds. The leading competitors on the market didn’t hold nearly as much liquid and certainly weren’t as dry. Check out the Always Discreet Boutique to see what I mean.

busy moms

busy moms

We deal with anxiety.

Recently, I have started to see an increase in Instagram posts from women that I admire and follow about their struggle with anxiety. I appreciate their candor, because if more of us share stories of what causes our anxiety, we’ll know there is a larger support system out there from women we admire. There are varying degrees of anxiety. And while I am no psychologist, I do know that anxiety can be triggered by stress, past experiences or other factors. For me, anxiety is something I only started to experience more after losing my daughter, just 3 years ago tomorrow. It creeps up when I am overwhelmed by too much to do and need a moment to stop myself. It’s those brief bursts of panic that many women deal with, and we don’t do enough of talking about it. We need to recognize it happens and that we are not alone. One way to deal with moments of overwhelmingness has been the Breathe app. I found it only after receiving the new Apple Watch 3 for my birthday. I love using it to help feel centered and to take a moment for myself without the rush of the day or the regret of taking a moment to pause the chaos around me!

busy moms

busy moms

busy moms

busy moms

Thank you so much for reading! And thank you to Always Discreet for partnering on this post!

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1Fem Care AI analysis – “Nielsen Homescan Panel ending March 2012 looking at Fem Care purchases in HH 50+ that have no teenagers at home.” 2The Always Discreet Boutique Online Study was conducted by MSLGROUP Research.

Remembering Ava // Love is why I am here

Remembering Ava // Love is why I am here

My heart is full this week. Thanksgiving has quickly come upon us, and while everyone is preparing for their feasts, I am preparing myself to remember why I am here. This entire journey online has been one of joy and hardship at times, and I am reminded everyday why I started. Three years ago, the weekend after Thanksgiving, I lost my daughter Ava. I was 33 weeks pregnant and I had just had the most wonderful Thanksgiving with my family that I worked so hard to host – from the food (my husband happily cooks!) to the decor, to the table setting and “What I am thankful for” place cards – I really went all out. I remember with distinct detail what we all did that day and who we all thanked while seated at the table.

why I am here

So what I thought was a day full of usual pregnancy pains from the hustle and bustle of the holiday dinner turned out quite differently. The last thing I ever thought was that I would be at a hospital hearing someone say “there’s no heartbeat”. While it was the calmest voice a person could possibly speak, all I heard was a loud siren go off in my head. “No!”, “check again!” , and “you’re wrong!” is all I remember saying, but I do remember the moment I accepted that the nurse was right. Time moved too quickly after that (while in the moment it felt painfully slow), but I count my blessings every day that I was able to hold my daughter and have one photo of us together that I will forever cherish. The details of recovering from such a devastating experience still haunt me, but I move on. I keep remembering why I am here. For Ava. For my son. For my family. 

why i am here

why I am here

This Season’s Gold is meant to honor the season Ava was born, still. Love is why I am here everyday sharing what it takes to move forward in life, what it takes to feel good on the inside and out after all of that, still. Raising a young boy, still. I am thankful to you for reading and always returning to see what is new, still. I can’t wait to share more.

why I am here

Something special is headed your way for all subscribers. Be sure and subscribe here if you haven’t had the chance! Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! 

Featured // Le Motto top | Loft jeans |Cardigan (old, similar) | Steve Madden heels (old, similar) | Pink & Blue Co. child name plate necklaces | MZ Wallace clutch | Beret (vintage, similar under $30) 

PC: Sony Rodriguez signature

Being Mommy // 5 Things I Learned About Motherhood

Being Mommy // 5 Things I Learned About Motherhood

Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful women of the world! No matter what form your motherhood may take, your role as a mother is most definitely the most important role of your life. I live and breathe being a mother to my son every day. It is my raison d’etre, if you will! Now, as most of you know, my role as a mother is unique in that I have a beautiful and precocious son and also had a daughter born still at 33 weeks old. This Mother’s Day, I wanted to share what I’ve learned  about motherhood, from being a mother to a joyful soul on earth and to my angel’s soul in heaven.

Motherhood means forgiveness.

I’ve learned that it takes a lot of soul searching to forgive myself when I feel like I’ve messed up as a Mom – whether I am being tough about homework or too much TV. I know that I am not perfect, but my perfectionist ways definitely take over sometimes. And when I am not at my best self (tired, overwhelmed), it comes through in my role as Mom. But I have to forgive myself. Forgive those moments and make the next moments good ones – for me and for him. As I continue to grow through the heartbreak of my daughter’s loss, I know somewhere deep inside, I need to forgive myself for blaming myself. Does that make sense? Any woman who has lost a child knows those quiet moments when they think it’s their own fault, but it’s not. Forgiving yourself for thinking that is key.

things I learned about motherhood

Motherhood means pure joy.

The day my son was born, it was truly the happiest day of my life. I could not contain the smile, even in the midst of physical pain while at the hospital and learning to breastfeed, while I looked at him in my arms. My cheeks hurt from so much joy. It was the purest form of emotion I have ever felt, and I knew that because the words would escape me when I would try to describe the feeling. Even today, watching him discover something new or solve a problem, make a joke, or peek in to watch him sleeping, I am overcome with the joy that his existence in my life brings. And while I wish every day that my daughter was here with me, there is a sense of joy that I feel knowing that I have a guiding angel in my corner. I have no choice but to feel that joy, for the sorrow sometimes can be too much.

things I learned about motherhood

things I learned about motherhood

Motherhood means staying young.

As a teacher, I am surrounded by young teens who are eager to grow up and get on with their lives outside of the world of their parents. They are so quick to want to stop being young. When you’re a mother, life can be so busy that it’s easy to only wear the “grown up” hat. You can forget to play and just be “young” with your kids or find joy in the silliest things. Whenever my son and I play, I make sure I make the corny jokes, laugh the big silly laughs and make battleships with the Legos on a “stay up late” night!

things I learned about motherhood

Motherhood means learning from others.

I don’t think that I could have gone through those early days of being a new mom without the posse of women I found in my weekly breastfeeding group (aka “boob group” – I know!). It took all my energy to make it to my first meeting, anxious that I was the only one worrying about ruining my chances at being a great mom. But we were all worried and we all had a million questions about the baby’s weight loss, no sleep, controlling our husbands who didn’t know what they were doing (p.s. they do!), and all the other things that come with being a new mom. Those friendships are still with me today, as we often compare notes of the current status of our kid’s sassiness and how we just want to tell them where to go with their new found attitudes! Ha! I learned to let myself learn from others, that I did not have all the answers and never will. So whether it’s a new baby or one lost, I’ve learned to let myself learn from other women to be a great mom.

Motherhood means not forgetting yourself.

Remember when you didn’t take that shower to get your child ready for school since you woke up late after staying up late so you could just have a moment to yourself? Or when you gave everyone else the pretty plate of food and you took what you had burnt? Yeah, those times. We all forget ourselves for the sake of others. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. What I learned, however, is that I don’t need to forget myself to be better for others. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I need to take care of my skin, my health, my mental happiness so that I can exist as a balanced whole and happy woman as a Mom, a wife, a teacher and every other role I have in my life. While I may not always find the time to remember myself (am I right?), I learned to make it a point to schedule myself into my own calendar more often. Everyone around me will be happier I did. (Trust me!)

Thank you so much for reading this far! I wish you all a lovely day, whether you are a Mom or are celebrating yours.  

It’s the Most Wonderful Time // Giveaway Day 3

It’s the Most Wonderful Time // Giveaway Day 3

We’re back with another fun It’s the Most Wonderful Time Giveaway! This time our giveaway is for 2 (TWO!) winners to receive a Worry Eaters plush toy of their choice! But it isn’t just any plush toy, and it actually means so much more than meets the eye. A few months back during the summer (ah, those warm days of summer!), I attended Blogger Bash in New York and was immediately drawn to the table with this odd but adorable plush today. The name Worry Eaters totally grabbed my attention, and by the end of talking to the representative, I was sold!

holiday giveaway

A finalist as the Top Toy of the Year for 2016 and awarded the Mom’s Choice Award plus many others, this toy is truly a creative outlet for children. Check out their parents guide for how this toy can relate to all ages! 

most wonderful time

most wonderful time

Why do I genuinely love it so much? My son had been experiencing a fear of the dark at the time, and when I brought Flamm (that’s this little guy’s name) home, my son was immediately attached to the fact that he could write his worry and place it in Flamm to “eat it up”. It may sound silly, but it wasn’t to my son. He soon asked if he could write other worries for Flamm to eat, and it really let him feel less afraid of the dark. (Clearly the dentist is not a fear of his!) To me, it’s similar to writing down your worries or fears in a journal and processing through them. That’s why I made Worry Eaters one of my top toys for our Little Ones gift guide this year and if you hoping to get one now, check out the guide! 

How to Enter and Rules

1) You’ll enter via the Rafflecopter image box below. Found it? Good! You’ll have to login using your email address or Facebook account. The more choices in the Rafflecopter you chose to complete, the more entries you will have towards your win!

2) This giveaway will run for 24 hours from December 20th at 9:30am and end by December 21st at 9:30pm.

3) The winners will be contacted by email within 48 hours about their win and their name will appear in the Rafflecopter below! 

4) If for any reason the winners cannot be contacted or do not respond within 5 days, an alternate prize winner(s) will be chosen at random.

5) The giveaway is open to US entrants only. No purchase of any kind is necessary to enter or win. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

6) This Season’s Gold is hosting this giveaway and a representative for Worry Eaters will be delivering the prize to our winners.

6) Each prize will be mailed to winners upon receipt of delivery name and address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for entering! Good luck! Be sure to keep checking back for more giveaways until Christmas! Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time // Giveaway Day 2

It’s the Most Wonderful Time // Giveaway Day 2

We’re in the home stretch of the the most wonderful time of the year, and the official winter season is set to come by mid-week. If you are a last minute shopper like me, you are feeling the stress of all of the shopping you still have to do, the wrapping that needs to get done, and all the who, what, where, when of planning us Mom’s tend to do! I don’t know about you, but whenever there is a moment for me to find a moment of peace from running around to get everything done, I like to enjoy a slightly longer shower, take my time pampering my skin, and ultimately just take in the warmth of a cozy robe and the intoxicating scent of some great smelling body products (and flowers!).

most wonderful time

So as a Mom, I am so thrilled to be able give away this amazing gift package from Aveda valued at over $150! One winner will receive Aveda’s Escape from Stress Collection, which includes a full size of of the Stress-Fix Body Creme, Hand Creme, Creme Cleansing Oil, and a Soy Wax Candle to enjoy on those days when a long relaxing bath is in order! In addition, the winner will receive a collection of 7 Balance oils, perfect for those days when you’re feeling a bit of balance from the long days and nights!

most wonderful time

most wonderful time

most wonderful time

How to Enter and Rules

1) You’ll enter via the Rafflecopter image box below. Found it? Good! You’ll have to login using your email address or Facebook account.

2) This giveaway will run from December 19th at 11:00am and end by December 24th at 9:00am. Yes, more time means more chances!

3) The winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours about their win and their name will appear in the Rafflecopter below! 

4) If for any reason the winner cannot be contacted or does not respond within 5 days, an alternate prize winner will be chosen at random.

5) The giveaway is open to US entrants only. No purchase of any kind is necessary to enter or win. Must be 18 years or older to enter.

6) This Season’s Gold is hosting this giveaway and delivering the package to our winner. Aveda is not a sponsor of this giveaway.

6) Prize will be mailed to winner upon receipt of delivery name and address.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for entering! Good luck! Be sure to keep checking back for more giveaways until Christmas! Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

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#PielSanaEsBella // Healthy Skin with Neutrogena

#PielSanaEsBella // Healthy Skin with Neutrogena

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of NEUTROGENA® and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

Happy Thursday! Who doesn’t want to have healthy skin? I just celebrated a birthday (thank you for all of your lovely messages on my social media!), and one of the keys to growing older and still feeling youthful is how I care for my skin. When I was younger, I was obsessed with finding the best products that would help me take care of my skin because as a Latina, my mother always stressed the importance of taking care of my skin. When I discovered Neutrogena®, my favorite product was a little tube of magic (I really believed it!) of an overnight cream that worked perfectly for my unexpected breakouts. And now, I am so excited to work with Neutrogena to try their Rapid Repair® line of products to discover ways to keep my skin looking healthy and youthful.

I’m definitely one who knows it’s what you put inside your body that is just as important as what you put on it, so I recommend drinking all the water you can in a day. Water alone for me is sometimes  a challenge, so I like adding a few lime or orange slices to make it easier to drink in large quantities throughout the day.
This Season's Gold // Healthy Skin and Neutrogena

However, having those few key products that improve the quality of my skin are important to me as well. Using Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair® for only a few days, I have actually started to notice some of my finer lines smooth out. I used a small amount in the morning to add sun protection before applying my foundation. I loved being in the sun as a teen and tanning my face for that extra glow, but now I know that’s the least healthy way to healthy skin. Finding a product that not only smooths my fine lines but protects against UVA/UVB rays actually makes me excited to get ready in the morning. (Don’t forget you need sun protection year round!)

This Season's Gold // Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair

This Season's Gold // Neutrogena and Healthy Skin

This Season's Gold // Neutrogena Hyalluronic skin creamWhile I always washed my make-up off before going to bed, I never did too much more to take advantage of the benefits of a night-time skincare routine. One ingredient I’ve begun to learn more about has been hyalluronic acid. And while it sounds pretty scary (trust me, I thought so too!), it actually is great in helping hydrate your skin. I began using Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost cream before going to sleep, and let me just say I am in love! It has changed my night-time skin care game! The gel cream is smooth and absorbed quickly into my skin without feeling sticky. In the morning, I notice my skin is significantly softer and my foundation easier to apply after the sunscreen. While the Tone Repair is also a great way to add sun protection to your skin care routine and provides the much needed vitamin C we all need to keep our skin youthful and radiant, I prefer using the Rapid Wrinkle Repair. I could easily use both, but I am particular happy to address smoothing out those fine lines.

This Season's Gold // Smoothing fine lines

This Season's Gold // Neutrogena Gel cream

Neutrogena® Rapid Tone Repair and Rapid Wrinkle Repair® are formulated with Retinol, which is the number one dermatologist recommended nonprescription anti-aging ingredient. And that also means no tanning my face anymore in the sun! I’ve learned my lesson! 

This Season's Gold // PielSanaesbella with Neutrogena

Thank you so much for reading! What products do you use to smooth fine lines and keep your skin hydrated? Comment below! I’d love to know!

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Nine Lives // Unplugged with Cheryl Hines

Nine Lives // Unplugged with Cheryl Hines

School for me has already begun with professional development and planning for the upcoming year, and all I can think about is how much more time I need to dedicate to getting my work done along with the myriad of other “to-do’s” to make it through any given week. It can be so easy to just send my son along to play on the iPad or to watch TV so I can get things done, but I genuinely try my best not to. (Not saying that I never have either.) But after recently being invited to see a screening of the Nine Lives, the premise of the movie only reaffirmed to me that we need to get unplugged in our lives and intentionally connect to our families more often than we probably do.

Nine Lives unplugged

Film Title: Nine Lives

Nine Lives, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and starring Kevin Spacey as the father Tom Firebrand, Jennifer Garner as his wife Lara and Cheryl Hines as his ex-wife, gives us a look into the life of a man so focused on his own success of building the tallest skyscraper he overlooks how his daughter Rebecca (Malina Weissman) and wife are missing connecting with him at home. After the screening, a group of us bloggers were able to talk with Cheryl Hines about the movie and her thoughts on its message to parents and children.

Take a look at the trailer…

NineLives-CherylHines-Group

Something that interested me was how she perceived the message of this movie would translate to the children who see it. So I decided to ask Cheryl, “From a kids perspective, what do you think is the message that they walk away from after watching the film?”

unplugged

I was in complete agreement with what she had to say. She shared, “I hope that kids walk away with the idea that if your parents aren’t paying enough attention to you, tell them it’s time to unplug.  But, what I do with my kids and my nieces and nephews when we go out to eat, we all stack our cell phones in the middle of the table.  And you’re not allowed to touch your cell phone during dinner….But, I think it’s important for people, families, friends, to just stop, you know, listen to each other, and hang out with each other, and enjoy each other while you can. Because kids are only kids once.”

As a mother, it made me stop to think how often I let the cellphones or iPad or the laptops interfere with family time – time where we can really be connecting with each other rather than disconnected from each other. In recent months, I have made progress with my son trying to find ways to reign in the amount of electronic use not only for him , but for my husband and I as well. So here are my 5 tips for getting the kids (and yourself!) unplugged!

  1. Set one day (or two!) aside every week to have activities away from the electronics. “Turn it off Tuesday” or “Wired-less Wednesday”.
  2. Declare a set amount of time when you and your kids will be allowed to be plugged in. I do most of my work after my son goes to be to avoid the amount of time he sees me on my phone or laptop, and I use a timer to let him know when he must shut it off.
  3. Play “smart” games at the dinner table that carry over to dessert and then another room without turning on the TV. We often talk about our day by asking a series of questions like “What was your high and low for the day”, or challenge each other about a topic that we love to talk about like dinosaurs, science or the most recent book we are reading.
  4. Assign a set of books to get through the week before being allowed to get plugged back in.
  5. If getting unplugged is a challenge, find a way to watch something together and ask questions along the way. “Why do you think that character did that?” What do you believe is the reason they made this show for us to watch?” or just about anything to create the family conversation beyond the TV.

Trust me when I say that not only will you enjoy the antics of the father turned cat in the movie, and even Christopher Walkin as the cat shop owner (he’s hilarious!), but also appreciate the clear message that parents need to take a moment to get unplugged just as much as our children do. 

Thank you for reading! Nine Lives is out in theatres now! Let me know if you go see it and what you think in the comments below!

Thank you to EuropaCorp and Cheryl Hines!

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