Smiling It Forward

I have received information about the TYLENOL® SMILING IT FORWARD™ program from McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL®. The opinions stated are my own. This is a sponsored post for Latina Bloggers Connect.

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I had the great pleasure to attend a brunch with fellow Latina Bloggers at the Nomad Hotel in New York City last Sunday. Tylenol invited us to meet Doctora Aliza for advice on our children’s health. She partnered with the makers of Tylenol to discuss with us how we can keep our families healthy and smiling through this cold and flu season.

It was a very emotional conversation for me as I shared my experience of watching my youngest, Jordi, suffer through febrile seizures. I thank my lucky stars he hasn’t suffered another one in over a year. Nevertheless, I keep Tylenol in my car, in the boys’ bathroom, in the kitchen and in his class at school. Because febrile seizures are caused by how fast the temperature rises in little bodies, I have to act by giving Jordi his dose of Tylenol the minute I detect a slight fever. Hubby and I both know that Jordi will outgrow febrile seizures. We are blessed with three healthy little boys. We are also fortunate for insurance, doctors and other medication when we need them.

Unfortunately, not every child in this country has what really should be basic medical care; thankfully, Tylenol is doing their part. We all can too. By supporting Children’s Health Fund, Tylenol can help bring smiles to the thousands of undeserved children who receive high-quality healthcare via their fleet of over 50 mobile medical units across the country. All of the Latina bloggers were given a tour of the medical unit parked right outside in Manhattan and we were blown away. It was really a medical office in a bus! The big blue doctor’s office on wheels is providing essential health care to children who need it most.

Everyone can help and here’s how: All mothers release a sigh of relief when we see our children smile after a bad cold, the flu or like me, something a little more scary. Join Tylenol by #SmilingItForward. By sharing a smiley picture HERE and a donation of $1 will be made by Tylenol to the Children’s Health Fund. It helps immensely when we do small things together. As we approach the season of thankfulness and gratitude, consider making this type of contribution. I’m off to share a picture of Jordi and I!

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Between June 23, 2014 and November 30, 2014, McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., the makers of TYLENOL® is inviting anyone 18 and older to upload a “smile” photo on the TYLENOL® Facebook page. Each approved “smile” will trigger a $1 donation from TYLENOL® to Children’s Health Fund, with a minimum donation of $75,000 and a maximum donation of $100,000. Review Terms and Conditions for complete program details. For information about Children’s Health Fund, visit www.childrenshealthfund.org.

Do Good Weekend

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What an inspirational weekend! I followed #LATISM14 since Friday and oh, how I wished I could have attended (next year, for sure). Although I didn’t win the Best Fashion Blog award, I am grateful to them for re-energizing me! The bloggers who were there seemed to have gained so much and they shared some things I knew I wanted to pass along to you today.

When I think of doing good through social media, I think about sharing positive messages, articles, and posts that I create. Sometimes those personal posts are sponsored but I am happy to promote brands on my social media channels that go above and beyond. For example, did you visit Target this weekend? If you did, you probably noticed that TOMS is collaborating with one of our favorite stores. The One for One campaign is bigger than ever. Any TOMS purchase you make at Target, in return they will give a pair of shoes, a blanket or a meal to a person in need. I loved what my Target had in stock yesterday, so let’s just say I already started my Christmas shopping!

On Sunday, I also attended a Tylenol #SmilingItForward brunch at The Nomad Hotel in New York City. I was so impressed with the conversation we had with Dr. Aliza of Vida y Salud, with the representative of Children’s Health Fund and with other smart moms/influential Latina Bloggers. Please stay tuned for a post on that! I can’t wait to give you all the details.

It feels good to be positive and spread it on social media! Here are my recent reads and finds…

Spicy jalapeno mac and cheese.

How Mexico inspires my style.

Did you see Solange’s wedding pictures? Stunning.

Our “Mommy” Problem.

“I feel like ‘Mexican’ is usually a dirty word…” Cultural anxieties and being Hispanic at Duke.

9 Pieces of Unfiltered Wisdom from Glamour’s Women of the Year

This made me so sad…The Rise of Extreme Daycare

“What is happening in Mexico is far more important than any movie.” -Gael Garcia Bernal

You take a photo, Johnson & Johnson makes it a way to do good.

And upload another picture HERE and Tylenol will be #SmilingItForward.

Where’s the party?

Have a great week!

7 Reasons Why I Nag My Boys

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Hubby and I were raised no different than the way we are bringing up our boys. We want them to be grateful and appreciative just like we were for the tiniest things our parents did for us. Looking back, I’m even grateful for the things I didn’t have. I have a lot of dreams for my sons; I want them to be good, happy men. It should be simple, right?

How do we accomplish this? Well, gosh. I think I nag a little. jaja! Most days, I find myself repeating the same thing over and over to my boys. When I take a step back to really think about the conversations or disagreements we had in the day and look at the BIG picture, I know they are learning every single day. Even when I hate myself for it, I have found that a little nagging goes a long way. I hope!

None of us are perfect. I’ll have to never get tired of showing them the way while learning a lot about myself too. Some days I’m a little more patient. Some days I do a lot of extra yelling. I’m conscious of it all and learning how each boy deals with my mothering (more on that later!). So I have a long list on why I’m always over my boys, their behavior, our expectations and everything else that goes along with being mami loca.  Let me know what you think…

1. I want them to be each other’s best friends. When they fight, it drives me nuts, but I understand it’s part of being a sibling. I let them have their moment and I always talk to them about what they each could have done to have avoided the confrontation. It’s awesome to see them laugh and love each other. I want them to feel that brotherly love all of their lives.

2. I want them to know it’s okay to be tough and empathetic. The boys should be able to stand up for themselves but also for others. I want them to never be afraid to speak up, yet be smart enough to know when to keep quiet (!!).  Brave guys with big hearts are needed in this world.

3. I want them to have faith and be positive. I want my boys to try to always look on the bright side…so negativity is usually not welcomed here at home. I don’t always feel my best when I gossip, blame others or am full of negativity. Everyone’s feelings are respected but we are conscious of how negative behavior makes others feel too. Of course they are allowed to feel what they want to feel! Nevertheless, we sneak a little positive advice on really bad days.

4. I want them to believe in more than themselves. Although it isn’t always easy to get to church, to remember to say grace, to be grateful to all who love us and help us, it’s important for me that the boys know that we are not alone in this world. Whatever religion they decide to practice when they are older, I want them to understand that the world will never revolve solely on them. I never get tired of reminding how everything from the leaves on the trees to the poor squirrel we ran over (yes, the other day) are important.

5. I want them to grow up to be gentlemen.  This is the toughest. Most of my days (and I know a lot of mothers who do the same), spend most of their energy trying to raise children with good manners. Please and thank you, holding doors open for people, using indoor voices, using tissues, the seat in the bathroom…the list goes on and on but darn it, so important! The reminders they need must drive them crazy (“Mom is always nagging!”) but I don’t care. jajaja! They’ll thank me later.

6. I want them to know it’s okay to make mistakes. I’m far from perfect and I’m okay with that. I want my boys to recognize when they make a mistake, they should either apologize or get right back up and try again.

7. I want them to dress the part.  I’m lucky that school (and special occasions!) calls for pants other than jeans/athletic wear and they have to wear a shirt with a collar. I don’t mind if they come home muddy from top to bottom and they are free to wear whatever they want after school and on the weekends. Just like adults, children feel great when they know they look good and when they have had the choice in selecting their clothing items and accessories, they feel important. I also think it starts teaching them early on that our appearance helps them make a good first impression.

Do you ever fell like you are a nagging mami? I really want you to say yes because I don’t want to be alone on this one! Joking aside, let’s remember that we are probably more encouraging, caring and loving on a daily basis than we are “awful.”  I also have my mom to help me see that although she was always on us for the same things as on this list, I thank her and still love her very, very much. Have a great weekend!

 

A big thank you to FabKids for Jordi’s outfit!

image: CR Photography

Cozy with CAbi

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Remember my friend Kanani? She recently introduced me to CAbi! What a great friend, right? CAbi is a fashion line for women of all ages who want to look and feel amazing. What I love about CAbi is that it gives women who are really into fashion and retail, the flexibility to earn an income on their own terms.

I met Jennifer McHenry, a CAbi consultant, when Kanani hosted a show at her house.  While we sipped and browsed, Jennifer was listening to us chat and was pulling articles off the racks like a pro! I saw how truly happy Jennifer was while helping women pick and choose outfits to fit their lifestyle. Her energy was contagious and she put everyone at ease. Of course, I had to book a show with her practically on the spot. I can tell when someone in the fashion industry really wants to help women feel confident with what they choose to wear.  Because I believe in that, I am hosting a little breakfast and shopping experience for my girlfriends tomorrow morning! I can’t wait for them to see the wonderful clothes!  CAbi carries everything from workout gear to fun datenight pieces. I know the ladies are going to love it all!

CAbi Joy Sweater
Anthropologie Lace Infinity Scarf
Hue Leggings
Sole Society Booties (similar HERE and HERE)
Link Bracelet

CR Photography

Good News Weekend

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Hi! I hope you had a good weekend! I had a fantastic last few days! On Friday, I heard that I was nominated for a Best Fashion Blogger LATISM award! Super exciting!!  LATISM stands for Latinos in Tech and Social Media and they are an amazing group doing inspirational work in the Latino community. They really empower our community in the areas of education, health, technology, and business through social media. For me, My Friend Betty Says is a little business and this platform along with my online presence, has allowed me to grow in so many ways. AND the work others have done to spread social good on these platforms shouldn’t be overlooked. I am honored to be nominated and I hope I have added a little positive contribution to this huge world that the internet has become.

If you can please take a minute to vote, I would be forever grateful! Also, one more favor, please note that Mommy Maestra and Latina Bloggers Connect are also nominated (a lot of you know I write for Mommy Maestra and work for LBC!!)! I would appreciate if you vote for them as well. Please click HERE  to cast your vote and don’t worry if you don’t vote in all the categories. Gracias!

I’m back with the weekend links!

I wrote this for LATISM last year.

A GIVEAWAY. Just in time for the holiday

18 Popular Children’s Books Translated in Spanish

I don’t mind people asking me if I’m going to try for  girl. Thanks, Caro!

Read this on Saturday night and already told my book club about it!

Limited edition lipstick.

Doesn’t this look cozy?

To keep you updated on the current situation in Mexico. So sad.

I leave you with these Wise Words, amigas.

Have a great week!

Now in November

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Hi there! I’ve been MIA! But everything is great, just playing catch up…as usual. I tell Hubby that my days FLY!! One minute I look at the clock and it’s 3pm, I glance again and it’s dinner time! I’m also going to bed earlier and earlier every day…because some days are just too much. Honestly, I can’t believe it will be the middle of November soon.

It’s great to be busy and rather than lament over the craziness of life, I’m going to stop and be more grateful for the ability to be able to do everything I want. As you can see, I have been posting less, but I’m not going anywhere. ;-)

Finding balance is my constant struggle. I also work so hard to remain positive and not be so hard on myself. Who else beats themselves up often? As I always say, we must be conscious of our strengths and weaknesses. It’s the only way to remain sane. To know one’s faults and to strive to become better (without so much pressure!) is already half the battle. Let’s continue to do our thing stylishly, smart mamis!

How are you feeling lately? In disbelief that the year is almost over? Please share!

Sweater
White shirt
Jeans
Pumps (sold out, but these are GREAT!)
Cross-body bag (sold out, but HERE is a new Rebecca Minkoff!)

images: CR Photography

Books: Big Little Lies

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Hi there! I met with my book club earlier this week (our hostess had creepy Halloween candy for us!) and I asked my bookworm amigas to share a sentence or two for MFBS readers!

My quick summary: The three Australian women in Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies might remind you of people you know in your town. A carefully plotted book about school gossip, strained family dynamics, new friendships and character’s private struggles. it is light and funny but quickly turns to serious matters that affect us all…all over the world.

Here’s what the ladies had to say…

PV said: “For me, the book was less about the murder mystery and more about the relationships in our lives. Friendships, mother-daughter relationships, exes…they were all so relatable.”

MZ said: “I kept waiting for the backstabbing to happen between the three main characters but I was surprised! I loved the story about friendship and the character development. It was honorable. It showed me that new friendships can be really strong.”

MM said: “It was so relatable and funny! So realistic.”

DP said: “It was a fun read! It kept me going. It was about real relationships, jealousy, admiration…”

Of course, we said so much more! Grab this book with your girls and be ready to talk all night long. We surely did over creepy chocolates and wine!

Let me know if you have read Big Little Lies or plan on picking it up! Enjoy!

Long Hair, Do Care

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When my first baby boy was born, I chopped my hair off! I had a short angled bob that was supposed to make my life easier, but after having my hair over my face during non-stop diaper changes, I was so frustrated about not being able to pull it back with a hair tie!

Growing up, I always heard my mom say that shorter hair cuts were better and easier for “aging mothers.” Although I love my mom and the years of advice she has given me, after that short bob experience,  I completely disregarded that piece!  I like to think that mothers are not “aging”  anymore either! I believe women should be able to feel and look stylish, beautiful and young with any outfit and with any hairstyle…at any age.

I am wearing my hair long (it hasn’t been this long in ages!) and I’m blowing it out smooth to wear it loose even when on mom duty. Thanks to products like the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil System, my hair is not weighted down despite the longer locks. My favorite of the hair line is the Dry Oil. I pump one or two drops of it to my palms and rub it in to my hair’s ends after I blow it out dry. It smells delicious too!

Dove Pure Care Dry Oil collection is ideal for all hair types and delivers five times silkier hair after just one wash. That’s 5x silkier hair when using the system of shampoo, conditioner and treatment vs. non-conditioning shampoo. It is also proven to absorb quickly. The dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil.

I’m challenging all madrecitas to wear your hair as you please and to take the Dove Silky Hair Dare! Dove Hair is daring women everywhere to try Dove Pure Care Dry Oil, risk-free now through December 31, 2014. My mom might think my hair length is too young, but I’m keeping it anyway and I’m keeping it smooth and healthy!

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*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit hairmoneyback.com for details.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

images: CR Photography

Ofrenda: Day of the Dead Altar

 

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Last week, I received a super care package from my great-aunt in Mexico! She is the sweetest tia who has known that I have been wanting to set up a proper Day of the Dead ofrenda for years!

My maternal grandmother passed away when my mom was a teenager. As a little girl, I would listen to stories of her on special days throughout the year. My aunts, uncles and mother would dedicate a mass for her on Mother’s Day and on her birthday and they honored, remembered, and spoke of her on those days. On el Día de los Muertos, a day that honors loved ones who have left this world, my mother would build an altar, an ofrenda, of fruit, pan de muerto (sweet bread), bright candles, a glass of water… and would place a framed picture of her in the middle of it all. The mood was always a little somber on every November 1st and 2nd and I remember lying in my room adjacent to the kitchen and watching the candles flicker in the night, wishing I would have met my beautiful grandmother.

Remembering loved ones who have died is always heartbreaking, but there is something so festive about this tradition many Mexicans practice. The preparation takes weeks!  Sugar skulls to create, bread to bake, tamales or other favorite foods to prepare…! My aunt sent me little sugar coffins and tiny Catrinas (with paper handbags and all!!), She also sent the pan de muerto you see here and jamoncillo candy (a pumpkin seed, milk and sugar bar).  I placed it all on the altar along with my Frida Kahlo Catrina from Puerto Vallarta, apples, tamales and candles.

We have been reading Day of the Dead for weeks and the boys were excited to see the contents of the special box from my Tia Lucina. They will hear stories of a special woman too but for them, it will be all about Aunt Liz. Gracias Tia Lucina in Cuernavaca and Mami in Chicago for instilling such beautiful Mexican traditions I can pass along to my Jersey boys. Las quiero.

If you have your ofrenda ready, take a picture and upload it to Mommy Maestra’s Facebook page for a chance to win a lovely prize! Click HERE for all the details! Good luck!

Images: CR Photography