On Friendship and The Girls from Corona del Mar

coronadelmar-mfbs

This one my friends, was not a very upbeat, happy, summer read. That is not to say that The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe is not an eye opener, will pull at your heartstrings and will help you understand why some people who have the same upbringing as you, can take a very different life journey. It will also show you that the power of friendship can seriously make you or break you.

Today, I won’t fully review it because the brilliant people HERE are so much better at it. I haven’t written from the heart lately about what is really going on in my life and this beautifully written book about friendship has come at the right time. So as you know, it has been ten years since I left my city of Chicago, to be with the person who is clearly my best friend, Hubby. No matter how long I have been gone, I need my mother, my sister, my comadres, my aunts, my cousins and my childhood friends very much. And although Hubby tries really hard to fill in for all those women, sometimes it’s not enough (no offense, honey!). There is so much to be said about strong female relationships and the true support offered back and forth.  I am sorry that I haven’t had a chance to follow up with you with a personal call, email, text or visit. Life is super hectic with my three boys, with no extra pair of hands,  and with work…please forgive me. I think of you all the time…my heart aches from the void I sometimes feel.

My new friends here have been incredible to take on a family of 5 and consider us part of their own. My eyes fill with tears and a knot in my throat when I think of how welcoming and loving people can be when they have only known us for three years! Once again, when the schedule of three boys, work, and the piles of laundry and endless trips to the grocery store consume me, I feel bad that I haven’t replied to an invitation from neighboring moms to have coffee,  missed another meeting from my local entrepreneur network, or try to reschedule drinks with acquaintances. I keep thinking, “Betty, if you don’t want to feel so lonely…make it to all of that.” But what happens when everyone in the house has strep throat, I have a deadline to meet, my baby is STILL not on a normal 3 hour schedule at school (Monday can not get here fast enough!) and dinner to prepare? Does anyone feel like the kitchen ALWAYS has to be cleaned?? What happens is that I end up feeling really lonely, consumed by too much.

While reading this novel, and visualizing a friendship between two women who care so much about each other but are literally and figuratively a world apart, it made me remember that we all go through things like this and have these endless battles with the guilt (!!).  Even my friends who have never left the town they grew up in or are not too far from home, have found themselves so busy, overwhelmed and tired. Just tired.

The greatest thing about good female friends: they don’t judge, they ask about YOU first, they feel your pain, they offer to help, they genuinely show how much they have missed you.  If you happen to be a friend of a blogger (how lucky!), they make that declaration to you very publicly. I love you dear amigas, dear readers who come here to check in on me, and bloggy friends who know how lonely it can get to work from home, behind words and images every single day.

Ahora voy a llorar, and then I’m going to be okay. Mom from the Old Fashioned Candies store (my first job at 15!) would say, “It builds character.” Whenever I feel like I can’t anymore, I think about that. I’m proud of the role I have played for my family, and the years of stories and memories I have created with a fantastic group of women I call my BFFs. One more thing, at my very mature age of 36, I also know that this here, this love note isn’t enough. I have to try harder and I will. My friendship with these strong women are worth too much no to.

Now, got get yourself this great novel! xoxo

Image: CR Photography

One is Fun! Mi Primer Cumple! Birthday Party Theme

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Fisher-Price® and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs7
fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs10

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs11

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs8

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs1

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs2

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs5

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs3

fp-mis-primeras-mananitas-HM-mfbs4

Isn’t this a fantastic idea!? How I wish I had a special first birthday coming up so I can roll with the Fisher-Price® Mis Primeras Mañanitas birthday party theme! I love the recent Hostess with the Mostess and Fisher-Price® collaboration. It shows countless of ideas for a first birthday party theme.  All of these pics come from the partnership and I especially love the Fisher-Price® toys incorporated into every party idea!

The toys are super cute as party decorations and I love even more that Fisher-Price® is proudly announcing Mis Primeras Mañanitas, the first-ever fully integrated Hispanic dedicated program of its kind to connect directly with millennial moms. In its first year, the campaign will tap into the culturally relevant and emotional connection to “Las Mañanitas,” a song that highlights the love and optimism that a mom feels on her baby’s special day. Mis Primeras Mañanitas was developed to be a resource hub for moms to access unique and creative ideas for her baby’s first birthday party.

I have been all over social media using the #FPMiPrimerCumple hashtag telling everyone about Fisher-Price® and the Mis Primeras Mañanitas program! I wonder if you have had a chance to enter their sweepstakes?

Mis Primeras Mañanitas Sweepstakes  has monthly prizes for lucky winners! There are 12 Fisher-Price® toys included in the bundle. My favorites: Baby’s First Blocks, Rock-A-Stack®,  and Little People ® Fun Sounds Farm. Five winners will also receive a selection of birthday party items to help put together an awesome first birthday party! Some of the party items included are: party invites, party favors and decorations, a piñata, and a customized birthday cake!

Head over to the Hostess with the Mostess post on the Fisher-Price® website for more fun ideas for your first birthday party theme. And don’t forget to enter the Mis Primeras Mañanitas sweepstakes HERE. Gracias Fisher-Price® for your program dedicated to moms like me!

MPM-Logo

Fall Staple: The Denim Jacket

DSC_0173

DSC_0144

DSC_0145

Happy Friday! Are you ready for the weekend? Hubby and I are taking turns sleeping in! jajaja! The little things parents get to look forward to!

I probably will sneak away for a little shopping though! If you are, check out Target  on Sunday as they are partnering with Altuzarra to introduce a limited-edition collection of women’s ready-to-wear & accessories for fall 2014.  Or, start picking up some outerwear at your other favorite shops!

The denim jacket has been my favorite thing to wear these past few cool seasons. I bought the one you see now about a year ago and absolutely love how soft it has become.  It’s perfect for long road trips and planes too. I even bought my mom one and she insists to wear it on all her journeys (lucky gal!).

What is your go-to item for chilly weather?  Have a great weekend!

JCrew denim (last season, updated HERE) Another option HERE and HERE
Sam Edelman Pumps
Tiffany Daisy Ring
Nordstrom sunnies (under $30!)
JCrew shorts (on sale!)
Ella Moss top (sold out, but HERE same print with short sleeves!)

Fall Days and Nights

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs8

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs7

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs1

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs5

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs3

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs4

zara-jacket-jcrew-jeans-mfbs2

Hi there! Isn’t it fun trying to figure out what to wear this season? On Saturday it was over 90 degrees here in NJ and today was a chilly 65 or so! Right now, I like to be prepared with a light blazer that can take me from your day-to-day responsibilities to a great look for any night out.

There are so many ways to disguise a really fun top for the evening. This blouse is from Addison and I bought it last summer at Bungalow. Isn’t the back great? I have paired it with dark skinny pants for date night and now I am loving it under the blazer. During the day, no one can see the back and that’s what makes it perfect!

If you have a fun top that is a bit more revealing in the front, a great option for this crazy weather is to layer by wrapping a light scarf over it. Small and smart adjustments help you turn one outfit into two…in seconds.

Are you loving this cool weather? I’m ready for it!

P.s. Keep investing in key pieces! As you can see, I wore the blazer HERE, the Miche bag HERE and the TOMS sunglasses HERE! Smart and Stylish!

Zara blazer (last season, updated HERE)
Addison top (from Bungalow, love THIS top)
J.Crew Broken-in boyfriend jeans
Sam Edelman Opal pump
Charlotte Russe necklace (I got it at a 2 for $10 sale while in Chicago!)
Miche handbag
TOMS sunnies
Tiffany Daisy ring

Images: CR Photography

Official Soccer Mom Weekend

DSC_0194

Hi! How was your weekend? For us, it was two long days full of soccer! Diego played his first travel soccer tournament on Saturday and Sunday with his new team and they won all four matches! What a start! I actually cried when Diego scored his first goal. Does that happen to you? I wanted him to have a little moment so badly. I wanted him to feel what it’s like to contribute to a team’s effort, so when he did and I saw his reaction, my heart burst! He was so proud of himself and his team. Lots of great lessons were learned this weekend too.

We also had our awesome Baltimore buddies visit for some quality time and more soccer! We went to see the New York Red Bulls play and as always, it is so much fun (especially when they win!). I’m always so happy to see my friend Donna. We met ten years ago when we were both new to New York City. We have a solid and lovely friendship. So, 7 boys, Donna and I? These soccer moms have it covered. ;-)

Lots to share with you today!! Enjoy the interesting things I found this weekend!

Have an idea to make a difference in the Latino community…but need funding? Check THIS out. Thanks Heather R.!

I need an upgrade. Are you getting the iPhone 6?

Thank you Karina Dresses (they featured me!)!

5 Fashion Tips for Transitioning to Fall

A fun giveaway over at MommyMaestra!

Did you see the wedding pictures? (Thanks Lily!)

Why Making New Mom Friends is Exactly Like Dating

Quinoa Coconut Breakfast Pudding!

Diego reading THIS right now.

The Story of Frozen. I’m so sorry we missed this! If anyone knows if this complete video is out somewhere (not just clips), please share!

28 Brilliant Instagram Accounts That Will Expand Your Worldview

Avoid mosquito bites.

Fun: What Type of Parent Are You?

Have a great week!

Comfortable Never Looked Better

silktee-jcrew-mfbs4

silktee-jcrew-mfbs1

silktee-jcrew-mfbs7

silktee-jcrew-mfbs6

silktee-jcrew-mfbs2

I honestly don’t think I’ll buy jeans for the next few seasons! I’m kidding, but you know, these pants are SO comfy! Mami, you have no excuse to stop with the yoga pants and jeans and put together endless outfit options like this.

I know these pants would look super hot with high heels (I intend to do another post with them!) but I love that the jogger pants, also known as “cinched”, and even “sweatpants” (don’t sweat in these!) have replaced everything and all “comfy.” I decided to pair them up with pointy flats, the dressiest of all flats, and felt that the animal print makes them more interesting. The tee was too sweet to pass up! I love tees that are also more than just a plain old shirt. A graphic, embellished, and even feminine details like this silk detail makes it all go so well together.

What do you think of this look? I’ll wear these pants in heels next time but wondering about a top… Would love to see what you think! Please comment below! 

 

Silk-cutout tee
Turner Pant
Kayla flats
Medium MAB Tote (more colors!)
Chandelier earrings

Portia Bracelet
Stackable bands

images: CR Photography

Drifting Weekend

DSC_0077

That’s it! Summer has come to an end for us. I know my boys are ready for school to begin and honestly, so am I! This weekend we did our yearly Connecticut road trip to meet up with Hubby’s really good friends. It’s always a blast, the boys love the beach, and even though this is our fifth year going, I always find something gorgeous to admire at Kinsey’s beach house. Thank you, K & T!

Labor Day is also the unofficial/official (however you will like to see it!) end of summer. I have some great posts coming up on what to wear  as we head into fall. Some days are hot and some days are not! Please come back to look out for that.

We have one more celebratory summer dinner tonight and I should really start prepping. I just wanted to thank Hubby (he better be reading!) that I am so grateful and thankful to have had such an incredible summer with him and our boys. xoxo.

Enjoy your weekly links! But first…

DSC_0098

DSC_0106

…may they always be this close and happy.

Perfect end-of-summer song.

Your September horoscope.

Ronaldo, James and now Chicharito on the same team? LAWD! Be still my heart.

L.A friends say Jose Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros’ #ProfanityPop exhibition was a success! Thank you @raisedbyculture !

THIS nail polish is on backorder. Are you buying it?

THIS jumpsuit

Bullying begins even before kids start school

Technology in our schools.

18 Surprising Things About Parenting in Chile

Santi’s tee

Diego’s tee (sold out but similar HERE)

Jordi’s tee

Have a great week! 

More is More

zara-floral-pants-mfbs3

zara-floral-pants-mfbs2

zara-floral-pants-mfbs1

Most of us don’t like to see summer go…but we have to admit that fall fashion is a lot of fun. It’s nice to take advantage of the transition of the seasons to change it up a bit. For me, going back to pointy pumps and black (lots of black) is easy and very stylish. Floral pieces will remind me of our beautiful spring and summer memories, but something like this dark print says: It’s time to move on.

Fashion conscious moms will embrace the fall trends. This crop top is perfect for the mami who doesn’t want to show any skin but loves the effect it has on this look. I love the short kimono sleeves too! A great transitional piece as many will still experience some warm days in the next few weeks. Lucky gals! Are you looking forward to fall? I know some love it because it is layering season too. More is definitely more this fall. Enjoy!

Cropped Top with Kimono Sleeves
Flower print trousers
Christian Louboutin (new style HERE)
Kahlo Bib necklace
Kahlo bracelet
Avalon Bracelet Clutch
Ruby Woo lips

images: CR Photography

Part of Our Family

head-shoulders-cc-mfbs

I know a lot of moms understand that this happens a lot. Even though my three boys are no longer babies, it is hard for me to take a few minutes for myself in the morning unless I wake up at the crack of dawn! 6:30 is the earliest for me and I have mastered the ability to get ready super fast every single day.

To be honest, makeup is a must for me and I prefer to spend my precious minutes on concealer and mascara then on my hair. Every day I start off by wearing my hair down but halfway through the morning, I end up parting it and slicking it back into a tight ponytail. If I ever feel like I have to dress up my “updo”, I take a thin strand, wrap it around to hide the stretchy elastic and pin it under with a bobby pin! You can’t say that isn’t a brilliant for a busy mom.

head-shoulders-mfbs4a

head-shoulders-mfbs5

With my hair out of my face and a tight side part for instant glam, I’m confident my hair is always fresh too…and I never keep my favorite products a secret. I have used Head & Shoulders throughout the years, but now, beautiful hair has never smelled so good!

You all know Head & Shoulders Fresh Scent Technology is a breakthrough formula to leave you with 100% flake-free hair that smells amazing for an improved in-shower scent experience. But do you know which famous and busy mom uses Head & Shoulders too? Sofia Vergara!

Head & Shoulders has been part of the Vergara family for over 20 years because of the product’s surprising benefits. Today, Sofia has joined forces with Head & Shoulders and if you ever wondered if she is as gorgeous and funny as she seems, now’s your chance to meet Sofia Vergara and become #PartOfOurFamily! All you have to do is follow @HeadShoulders on Twitter and post a photo of your gorgeous, flake-free hair tagging #PartOfOurFamily #sweeps and @HeadShoulders. The winner will have the opportunity to meet Sofia at an upcoming Head & Shoulders advertising shoot! Wouldn’t that be fun? Hurry! The contest runs until September 1st!

Wishing you the best of luck and remember, whether you have a few minutes in the morning or oodles of time to get ready, let Head & Shoulders help you with your beauty routine! Everyone loves a confident mami!

head-shoulders-mfbs6

sofia-vergara-family-mfbs

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.