Friday, August 10, 2018

Back To School Bash with MomTrends!

Just weeks away from school starting, and I am so happy to be semi-ready. I believe this year will be a great year, and what makes a great year is organization, and Mom Trends helped me focus on that importance by sharing with me some amazing back to school must-have companies to make my school prepping easy breezy. From help with lunch box ideas to awesome looking clothes for them to rock out in. I had such a great time at this event, but what I loved most was being able to meet with brands that I have been working with for quite some time, and putting a face to the name is always a great feeling. 

As a mom, we stress out so much about our kids going back to school. Partially awaiting the freedom, but at the same time not quite ready to fully let go. At least that's how I feel most of the time this time of year comes around. But when you have great products to look forward to using it always feels a lot better.

Here are some of my favorite moments from the Mom Trends Back to School Bash!

Mabels Labels is just always going to be an obsession for me. Honestly, I can't get enough of these labels. Absolutely everything around my home is labeled. EVERYTHING. It is something I just do now out of habit. We get a new water bottle, and I instantly go and grab the labels. We pack for a trip to the beach, I make sure every single thing is labeled. If you have more than one child then you understand why labeling is a huge deal for me. These kids will fight over everything and anything, so with labels, it's very obvious for them to notice what is who's, we even have them on their toothbrushes.

We got to try out some yummy grilled cheese sandwiches with a twist made by Chef  George Duran with Jarlsberg. I'm telling you it was the best grilled cheese, ever. And I got some pretty fun and interesting ideas for lunch box planning. I spinned the wheel the first time and I got the spicy tomato spread, it was like the wheel knew me, so well. I absolutely LOVE adding spice to my meals, hot sauce all the way. It was just a perfect combination. I won't even lie, I went for a 2nd try because one just wasn't enough. The second time around I got the apricot jam and I am so happy I did because I will be making it over and over. I truly believe it is something both of my boys would love too, so it will be added to my list of things to make for school lunch now!

Epson came out with a printer called Eason Eco Tank which should be on every mom's wishlist. It is a cartridge-free so you save time and money. It includes up to two years of ink in the box. So you no longer have to worry about running out of ink on the night before a big project is due. I am a full-on DIY mom, birthdays, holidays, you name it. I am always making something because I just love being extra like that, which is perfect for all my extra mommas who go above and beyond without any reasons. From lunch box notes to a chore chart.

And then, there were cocktails. And they were DELISH. Thanks to Natalie's Orchid Island Juice.  Natalie’s keeps it simple, which is why there are never more than five ingredients in each juice. No preservatives. No artificial ingredients. No GMOs. It was such a fruity and refreshing taste. I got to try the Orange Pineapple and the Blood Orange. I cant even pick a favorite because I genuinly loved them both so much. I brought home a couple of their small jugs of Orange juice, and my boys drank them up in minutes. Let me remind you how picky my little rugrats are about food and drinks too. I knew they would love it because it doesnt have that tardy acid taste like most orange juices, it's perfectly sweet, but without all the sugar artificial flavoring that is not good for them. It is a perfect morning go to to refresh them for a new day.

It wouldn't be a Mom Trends event without a little pampering for the mommas. They had ManiorPedi there to spoil us with a manicure which I needed badly. I loved how fast yet efficient they were. It was definitely the pick me up that I needed to feel a little more like myself again. As a mother of two boys, I feel like me time is so hard to get, so a manicure rarely ever happens because that means I have to actually get out of the house, without my children. I'm that mom who does just about everything with their kids attached to their hip, but having them hanging out at a nail salon I know would be a terrible idea. So I love that ManiorPedi comes to you, and help you get what you want done in the comfort of your own home, or even at work during your lunch break. Its a great service for on the go or working mommas who just want to feel like they have it all together still. I know that a manicure for me makes me feel like a brand new woman and not like the mom who wears sweats and a dad hat every day. So I was glad to learn more about them. 

We were also given a really cute fashion show by these little ones as they showed us all the fun and stylish Tea Collection back to school pieces that are out now. I loved it all, and I knew I wanted to get the boys a couple of things from the collection. I actually got home and instantly ordered them some bright and fun tee shirts that they chose themselves with me.  The clothing is also very comfortably made!

All in all, it was a perfect event, and they somehow hit the nail on all things back to school. I loved that it wasn't all just supplies, but things we didn't think we would need and now I can't picture going back to school without all these things. Big shout out and thanks to Mom Trends for this event, and to all the amazing sponsors. Below are all the sponsors that were there and helped make this event a great one.

Lastly, click on the link below to donate to the Kids in Need Foundation. 
Have you ever thought of what it’s like to go to school without the supplies you need? Children need these core school supplies to be successful in school. Now, think of the burden upon parents to make sure their child has the supplies they need in addition to providing food, clothes, and shoes.  It can be overwhelming especially when money is tight. More than 16 million kids live in poverty in the U.S. and arrive at school without the supplies they need to learn. We want to alleviate some of the burdens and help children be successful in the classroom. Help us level the playing field as students return to school.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Ready for School with PediPed + GIVEAWAY!

Schools right around the corner, and if you are like me than you understand all the worries that go through your mind two weeks before school. Im worrying about it all. Will they be happy? Will the kids all be nice to them? Will they like the school lunch? Will they feel comfortable through out the day? Comfort is huge to me, because it can literally make or break their school day. Just as an adult when I go to work I want to make sure I am wearing clothing and shoes that will keep me comfortable all day so that I can feel motivated and confident, kids are no different than us. They need shoes that will help them feel good about trying out something new in gym class, or moving from one class to another. Our little ones are extraordinary in plenty of ways, but mostly in the way that they can adapt to new surroundings. I can only imagine how it feels like as a five year old to enter a huge building filled with children and adults you have never met, and classrooms you have never even imagined. So what they are wearing can easily boost their confidence to help them get past the scary first time moments of the school world.

I have partnered with PediPed to share with you guys how much of a necessity a comfortable yet stylish shoe is when it comes to heading back to school, no matter what school you attend. 

My oldest will be starting 2nd grade at his elementary charter school, and I absolutely love the fact that school shopping isn't too stressful when it comes to charter school. We are given a uniform in which he has easily grown comfortable with, and all we must figure out is finding the perfect all black, no lace shoes. Now, like every seven year old on this universe you must know he is super particular, and does not like shoes that are too heavy, or hard soles, it has to feel perfect. Perfect enough to which he can get to school every morning, and then run around with them at the park after school. I have not had much luck, and lets just say this momma has been breaking the rules just a tad bit since it has been a hard find for us. 

But when we tried on the the Pediped Flex Alex Black shoes I was so happy to hear him not say one word about how uncomfortable they were. He said he really felt the difference between these and all the other ones we have tried before. You have no idea how ecstatic I was that I was not going to have to deal with the hunt for a perfect school shoe two days before the first day of school. They were very true to size, but also work with the flex fit system  which provides additional inserts that can be inserted for a snug fit then removed for room as your child's foot grows. These inserts can reduce shoe size by almost half a size, extending the life of the shoe. They also are very easy to clean. I loved the simpleness of them with the velcro straps. These shoes are made of premium, high quality, distressed leather and a flexible rubber sole.

As for my four year old he is starting Pre K in September and they just ask for them to be in comfortable running shoes, that are breathable for any season, as they do go outside in cold weather as long as its weather permitting. I know he loves bright colors, and I love them too so he can stand out and it really does show his colorful personality. He has such an outgoing spirit that bold shoes always catch his attention. So when we were looking on the website I had a feeling he was going to point to the Flex Squad Navy sneakers. They look sporty and simple for small hands to put on all on their own, with the velcro straps to give them full support. There is nothing more that my little one loves than running around all over the playground, and with a long day of school ahead of him and so much activities from dance, to dramatic play I know these shoes will keep him on his feet all day with no problem. With the Ultra Light Technology it is specially designed to support kids’ feet in all activities while remaining light as air. It has flex grooves for natural foot movement and maximum flexibility, heel cushioning that distributes pressure evenly, and a breathable mesh upper that allows airflow through the body shoe. Plus they are machine washable, whats better than that? Because we all know a four year old spills just about everything, everywhere so knowing they will last through everything is reassuring. 

The most amazing thing that I love about Pediped is that they are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development. So, whether your child is in public, private, charter, preschool, or daycare you can rely on Pediped to have an amazing selection of comfortable and stylish shoes for your little ones. After all, first impressions are important so lets make sure our little humans are able to fully enjoy their first days of school feeling trendy and comfortable. And this momma won't have to worry about a thing. Well, one less thing!

One of my lucky followers will be able to pick out their own pair of Pediped footwear for their little one! Just click below, and good luck!
The winner will be announced on Tuesday,August 21st at 3PM!

- This is a paid partnership with Pediped, but as always all opinions are of my own. I only work with companies I truly support, and believe in. 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Things we have been LOVING! (Kids Edition)

This summer we have been really enjoying ourselves, from vacation to adventures.  I wanted to share some of our favorite things as of lately ... from products, to games, to places!

We have been using our Babo Botanicals Sport Stick Sunblock in Summer Scent SPF 30. It is so convenient in so many ways. I love that I can apply it so easily all over the face, and then put it right in my purse for when I need to re apply it after a long day out in the sun. It goes on sheer, and is far from greasy. Most importantly though it’s chemical free and a hypoallergenic formula made with organic oils, and Jojoba so I don’t have to worry about it leaving any rashes or breakouts on their super sensitive skin! It is also so small in size that I believe it is perfect for kids who like to do things on their own, as they can roll it right on and there isn't much rubbing work needed after.

Q: Do you like putting on sunblock every day?
Jace: Yes, I think its safety so that you don't get burned.
Caleb: No because it gets in my nose when you spray it on.

Q: What do you like about the face sunblock?
Jace: Its very creamy, and soft.
Caleb: It doesn't keep you white, it goes on super fast.

Q: What has been your favorite Goliath Game to play this summer, and why?
Jace: Gnip Gnop because its fun to try and get all the balls in first to win!
Caleb: Domino Rally because if it goes all the way that means you set it up good!

Gaming has been huge this summer for us because for some odd reason we have had many rainy days that don't allow us to do too much outdoor activities. On those gloomy and rainy days making a fun domino pattern all around the house has been very exciting to do. They love that Goliath Games has a huge selection of toys that vary in teamwork and competition.

We have been asked so many times on social media and in person outside where we got our super cool graffiti scooters. Would you believe me if I told you they were only around 50 bucks on Amazon, by the company Ancheer. Plus the wheels light up while they scoot! We love them and take them on the go everywhere, and I am so happy to see them getting so good at them too, they are true New Yorker kids now scooting all over the big apple!

Q: What has been your favorite thing to do outside?
Jace: Ride my scooter because its fun going fast!
Caleb: Go to the whale park and get really wet in the sprinklers, and use water guns!

Summer has got to be the messiest season of all. From melted ice cream hands, to yummy cupcake
picnics( oh you didn’t know this was a thing?) the boys hands during the summer are always sticky and dirty. I am like every other mom in the world and I carry around wipes wherever I go! The boys have super sensitive skin so I know a more natural kind of wipe is necessary so they don't break out, and thats why we have been loving the Jackson Reece Kinder By Nature Natural Baby Wipes.

Q: What has been your favorite food/ or snack to eat this summer?
Jace: The mini rainbow cupcakes ( Baked By Melisa)
Caleb: I love Icepops!

Q: What has been your favorite thing to watch this summer?
Jace: Jurassic World because it had more action than the first one!
Caleb: The Teen Titans GO to the movies because it was so funny.

These two movies were such a huge hit for the boys. They love anything that is dinosaurs, and ever since we saw the first Jurassic movie they knew they couldn't wait to watch this one. Teen Titans is a show they always watch after school or during the summer now, and they laugh so much when they do. They love the comedy in it, and it is a show that as a parent I can actually sit and watch myself so thats a win win situation right there. We were so excited when we got invited to a Teen Titans GO to the movies early screening event, where we got to meet the super awesome villain in the movie Slade AKA Will Arnett. It was really fun getting to hear him do all his character voices, and of course watching the movie in advanced. You can now check out Teen Titans GO to the movies in theaters.

Q: What was your favorite part about summer vacation?
Jace: Going to Celebration Station
Caleb: Going to to the pool in Tampa, FL.

I believe Tampa was our biggest summer highlight. We truly didn't want to leave, ever. It was so much fun enjoying a different scenery and I am forever grateful that we have been allowed to take our kids on all these awesome adventures. Summer is about exploration, and though I can easily do a lot of exploring with them right here in NYC, I love taking them out of what they know so they can see the rest of the world... but we are taking baby steps at the moment and not going too far. Though I am excited for them to be ready for some 7+ hour rides to London.

Tampa was a big hit, and I was scared it wasn't going to add up to Orlando where most people take their children around this time. I just knew it wouldn't be the best time to take them to Disney, not just yet. So we settled for Tampa and it was amazing. We found this awesome little action packed amusement park where we got to do so much. I will be doing our top five favorite Tampa places on the blog soon, and it will go in depth on the locations, so this one will be on there for sure.

Summer is not over yet, so we are making the most of it right now from swimming lessons, to beach days, and just exploring different places of NYC that we have never been before. Hope you and your kiddos are doing the same. In the comments share with me your favorite childhood summer memory?

- Some products listed above were sent to us for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are our own and 100% honest.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I have it, and you might too!

After months of not wanting to talk about it, and making believe everything is okay I decided it was time, to let you guys into a very personal part of my life. I was scared to do this, because I didn’t want to deal with the negative or rude comments I might get. But if I’m struggling with it, then there has got to be someone else out there struggling just as I am, and I thought if I speak up on it, then it might give others the courage to as well. Writing is my passion, and I love all that comes with it. But most importantly I love that it gives me the platform to help others that might be going through the same exact life changes as I am. Sure. Sponsored post are cool, cus a girls gotta pay bills, and free awesome products are a fantastic plus to this blog hustle. But the friendships and connections this blogging community has given me is by far the biggest plus to this job. You guys trust me so much, and that’s why I need to get real raw about things, because I owe it to all my readers that have been here since the beginning. My life was turned upside down by three letters, HPV. I have HPV. Who knows how long I have had it, because I showed absolutely no signs of it, and nothing at all seemed different. When I was diagnosed with HPV though, I felt very unlike myself. I felt upset with myself, dirty, vulnerable, and un worthy. I was also worried, about all that can possibly go wrong from here on out. My mind was just spiraling with thoughts about who exactly gave me it, to what if it’s too late and now my chances of conceiving are at zero because of it. Mind you I have been saying for four years now that I no longer wanted to have more children. But this diagnosis brung out so many fears in me that I had no idea I was carrying deep in my soul. Ever since my diagnosis I have not been able to wake up and not let it be the first thought in my mind, or the last thought on my mind as well before going to bed. It has taken over in full, to where everything I do or eat I am doing with a purpose because I am reminded of what I have. I have to eat healthy because your immune can fight it off, I have to take folic acid and other vitamins/probiotics so that it can fight off the virus naturally. I felt like it was so unfair. I have always been very monogamous, and was not the kind of girl that slept around or had flings, so this feeling of unworthy ness really sucked. I didn't understand how I got it, and why I would get it now. To hear the word cancer, is terrifying. Its probably the worst word you could ever hear a doctor say to you. He told me how I had pre cancerous cells that need to be taken care of so they don't turn into anything worse. I was in the mood for nothing, not work, not writing, no socializing, and I was giving my partner the cold shoulder. I felt unattractive, and I just wanted to find a quiet place to cry, so thats what I did for weeks on in when I would get in the bath. 

It has been about two months since, and I feel a bit more reassured thanks to church, and great friends who I spoke to about it. 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, about 14 million people become newly infected each year. The numbers are just insane, I could not believe it when I read those numbers... but it also helped reassure me that I am not in this alone, and many monogamous people do get it as well. There is still a lot I want to know, and learn about when it comes to HPV, and I know this is just the beginning, and many more emotions will come through out this process but I will pour all my trust in God, and stay positive through out this trial in my life. I just felt it was necessary to share this part of my life with you guys to not only help others who are silently struggling with the same thing, but also to shed light on just how easy it is to get HPV, and you might just have it yourself without even knowing it. 

Though I do not believe the shot is the right way of prevention, I do recommend seeing a doctor to make sure you show no signs of HPV, and talk to them about all your options at preventing it. I will be sharing on my blog in the next months all that I have been doing different, and things I have been using since my diagnosis. I want to thank everyone who I have spoken to about this, and has given me so much love and support. Its definitely a scary time and I am grateful for all the amazing souls that listened without judgement. I hope this opened up the conversation for HPV awareness and helped someone out there feel less alone.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

My Journey to get back to Healthy.

2018 was approaching and I realized something big, something serious. I hadn’t been to the doctors in a really long time. When I mean really long, I mean 4 years long. I know, tsk tsk! I honestly couldn’t believe it myself and was very upset with myself. I noticed that the only reason it hadn’t been longer than that though was because I had gotten pregnant four years ago,  before my pregnancy I hadn’t been to the doctors either. I literally became an “adult” and had to start making all my health decisions on my own. My mother was no longer setting up my appointments, or filing for my health insurance- so let’s face it, at 21 going out to parties was higher on my priority list than setting up my health insurance.

So I never really stepped foot into a doctors office until I got pregnant with my first at 24 years old. After I had him I put my entire focus on him, and once again didn’t go until I got pregnant for the 2nd time 3 years later. I became very consumed with my two boys and all they needed done, to potty training and school registrations that I completely forgot I needed to stay healthy as well. It wasn’t until just recently that I decided it was time to make it a “ me- year” a year to work on myself fully- emotionally, mentally, physically.

I waited long enough, and I knew it was time to get into a doctors office for all of the things I had been pushing to the side. I had a bad case of vertigo that I felt was getting worse by the day. It has literally taken over my life- and functioning with vertigo is nearly impossible but I had to do it for my boys. Even when I wanted to just lay in bed all day to stop the dizzy spells. I have had really bad restless leg syndrome for years and the natural pills I was taking nightly were no longer doing it’s job. Then there were those pre cancerous cells they found in my cervix after my first pregnancy that I had to get a biopsy to remove, in which the doctor stated could possibly return at any given point. I know. I should have really stayed on top of that one, and I didn’t. I have no idea why I felt so invincible, as nothing bad could happen to me though. I would get by, and I would get over it. That was my mentality for so long. I used every excuse in the book to not worry myself about these terrible decisions I was making. Then I fully blacked out while sitting down in a crowded train cart and thats when I told myself I needed to cut it out and make every single appointment I have had to make for the past four years. It really is horrible that I waited for something that traumatic to occur for me to finally take the steps I needed to take. I was so consumed in making sure my boys were happy and healthy that I forgot about myself, and the importance of being happy and healthy so that they can be fully happy and healthy as well.

A lot has happened since I have decided to make a change for the better, and get more in touch with myself in all ways possible. Much good has come out of it, and then there is the ugly truth of it all. I found out many things I wouldn't have known had I not gone to a doctor. Its a scary feeling to find out you have something, and deep down you are wondering if you could have easily prevented it, or just how long you have had it. I went through a really bad month where I just couldn't be myself.... but at the same time that hard month broke me down so bad that it somehow formed something powerful in me to use it for better. I am not going to go in depth on this blog post of the results I got, because I feel thats a whole other kind of post where I would like to bring awareness to in a different way. But this post was more so to bring awareness of the importance of annual check ups, and going to the doctors when you know something is not feeling right. We are all very busy, and have list and list of things that need to get done.. but we MUST make time for ourselves too, whether its that dentist appointment you have been dreading or some quiet morning time to just breathe and say Thank you for a new day that awaits you.

I found many ways to stay healthy on this journey of mine. From appointments, to classes, books, and products and I will be sharing it all with you on the next couple of months. But please stop putting those doctors visits to the side, because they pile up, and though you may feel great most of the time there can be many underlying things you have no idea going on, Our bodies are amazing, and the things they can do is spectacular.. but ultimately it needs to be cared for correctly in order for it to stay as healthy as possible. You need to learn how to listen to your body as well when it is telling you it needs rest, because that is something I still struggle with as a mom. Be on the look out for the next part of this post to see what I did to be stronger, and happier.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Movie Night - HotelT Marathon! #HotelT3

Happy July guys! It’s officially starting to feel like summer, and the heat is making its presence known for sure almost hitting the 100s!! When it gets too hot out we decide it’s best to keep the fun indoors, and movie nights are always a good idea.

With the new anticipated Sony Pictures Animation film: Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation coming out on July 13th we felt it was necessary to have a HotelT Marathon and watch the first two movies just to refresh our minds before we see the newest one. So down below check out all the deets for our super fun movie night so you can also enjoy a HotelT Marathon yourself! 

Popcorn movie boxes w/ Popcorn 
Candy boxes 
Monster Juice: Lemonade mixed with two drops of green food coloring to give it a fun look. 
Bowl of your favorite chips 
Pizza - nothing is complete without it! 


When I saw this Now Showing Chalkboard sign on Amazon I knew I needed it for our Movie Night! Not only is it awesome for photos but to have up in your living room as decor it looks great. 

We were sent these really fun Hotel Transylvania Monster Mayhem Blind Collectibles Figures! They loved the suspense of not knowing who it would be, but the coolest thing is they come with keys for you to open the secret chests. These blind boxes are available on Amazon. 

Lastly, you will need the most important part of movie night. The DVDs. Hotel Transylvania & Hotel Transylvania 2 are available on Amazon for about 10 bucks together. Which is a great deal for both of them, lots of laughter and blah blah blahs!
Get your Marathon going so you can be ready to board the monster fun on July 13th, When you can join our favorite monster family as they embark on a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship so Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. It’s smooth sailing for Drac’s Pack as the monsters indulge in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to exotic excursions,  and catching up on their moon tans. But the dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes Drac has fallen for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who hides a dangerous secret that could destroy all of monster kind. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Current SkinCare with Dermae

Skin care is something I obsess over. Like I literally change it up 24.7 & I cant get enough of all the products that come out for it. I have a huge box filled with just face masks, and I can’t stop buying them no matter how full that box gets. It really is ridiculous, but sorry not sorry I won’t be stopping any time soon.

When I was younger my biggest skin care concern was acne, as my skin till this day is very acne prone. Lucky for me it’s not as bad as it was back in my middle school days, so I don’t worry too much about it. Now in my 30s I am ALL about anything and everything that is anti aging, because I absolutely love that nobody believes me when I say I am 31, so I would love to keep this going into my 50s! Feeling young is important but looking young can be just as impowering too. 

When I got into my 30s I had this break through discovery that I needed to take care of ME. Sounds so simple right? But for years I had been putting myself on the back burner and worrying about everyone else. It was okay that momma didn’t have health insurance, as long as they did. It wasn’t necessary for me to get my 3 meals of the day, I was too busy making sure their bellies were nice and full. I really couldn’t believe that I didn’t realize it earlier but it was definitely time to change that up. I started doing more for myself, my health, and my skin!

Dermae Advanced Peptide and Collagen line was exactly what I was looking for at just the right time. I have been using it consistently for the past three months, and I have already been able to see drastic results. When using the eye cream I have noticed that all the under eye wrinkles I accumulated in the past 8 years of motherhood have visibly reduced, a lot! It is the product that I most dearly cannot live without, because let’s face it motherhood is defined as bags under your eyes at all times. Now with Dermae Advanced Pepitide and Collagen line I know longer have to worry about extra baggage and I can feel a whole lot more youthful. What makes this skin care line even more perfect for me is that it’s 100% vegan, cruelty free, paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, lanolin free, gluten free, and GMO free! Which is a HUGE plus since my whole resolution this year was so be more aware of what I am putting into and onto my body to better care for myself! I am excited to keep on using these products to keep on seeing even bigger results. I know in my 50s I will be able to share that Dermae is my special solution to staying young and beautiful. 

- Dermae sent me these products for reviewing purposes, but as always all of my opinions are honest and of my own!