Holiday Smiles


This post is one in a series of posts about Holiday Smiles, brought to you by Colgate.

Here is a sneak peek of our holiday photo shoot! These picture didn’t make the final cut to use for our holiday card but they really make me smile! Every year, we look forward to getting the boys together for a yearly photograph. This time, I decided Hubby and I needed to be in the photos with them. So I coordinated outfits for everyone and made sure they would be comfortable and cute. I even made Santi our little family representative by wearing the big “G” on his chest! Of all the photos we took, only TWO made the cut and I’m glad one of them was of our whole family.

But, I’m not going to lie. The process of having three little boys participate in an hour-long photo session together can be frustrating for Mami. They think it’s hilarious to make silly faces, demand lollies and even start playing soccer during the middle of the shoot. Jordi even played tricks with his ears! But you know what? It’s all so worth it. I love the idea of looking back years from now and having these photos to remind me just how amazingly fun my boys have been. No matter how much they drive me nuts, I can count on one of them making me smile and laugh out loud every single day.

Did you send out your holiday cards yet? We fight at our house to open the mail during this time of year! Receiving holiday cards from friends and family also makes me very happy. We tape them up in our living room so they can be part of our holiday décor. It’s really the most wonderful time of the year, and despite my super long list of things to still get to, I can’t stop smiling.

Wishing you a stress-free and joyous holiday season! Enjoy!



Images: CR Photography


Images: CR Photography

Mami’s Holiday Traditions


FullSizeRender (1)This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions and statements are my own.

We are getting ready to go home for the holidays and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! Sure, there is so much stress in planning just about anything around this time. Then there is the work of packing for a family of five and going on a 12 hour road trip with the three young boys! It’s never easy. But it’s so worth it.  The minute we arrive to my parents’ home, I feel the stress melt away. My mother is truly the hostess with the mostess and as you can see from the image above, she already has my Christmas dinner place setting ready!

We love to tease my mami’s obsession with decorating for Christmas (she starts the day after Halloween!). Once her house is done, she is willing to help anyone else put a tree up or hang lights outside. She has chipped in for our little family a few times! The most amazing thing is that she has always been this way. As you can see, even my holiday outfit was on point in the 80s! Mami has always been super organized, has always paid attention to detail and still has great style. How did she do it all? My mom has taught me not to sweat the small stuff, to make lists and to do as much shopping as I can in one place.

Sears has helped her by being the place where she can get it all done. Our gifts to others, decorations, home accessories and even our Christmas outfits were bought at Sears for many, many years. If you look at her table, some of her accessories were recently purchased there as well! No matter what my mom has in mind for her annual Christmas Eve party, she can do it all because Sears helps her shop her way. It’s tradition for Mami…and always new memories for us.

Have you finished your holiday shopping? Head over to Sears for your last minute gifts!  At Sears, you can always count on getting more – more value, more brands, more rewards and more ways to shop. And please check out fellow Latina Blogger, Vanessa Bell’s article, How My Latino Family Does Christmas Differently on The Huffington Post! So proud of her!

Nerium Gift Ideas and GIVEAWAY!


Isn’t this a great idea for a holiday gift?? If you are looking for the perfect present, place your orders with Kyle now until the 17th to receive your order in time for Christmas! I know a woman or two who would love Nerium products! The unique properties of the Nerium oleander plant provides remarkable age-defying results when applied to the skin. It carries powerful antioxidant properties and Nerium International is the first company with the exclusive capability to harness the power of the Nerium oleander plant in its skincare products. If you know someone who is worried about wrinkles, discoloration and texture, you have to gift this product. Nerium controls this main active ingredient from seed to bottle, making the Nerium skincare line both high-impact and innovative Please visit HERE to view more and to place your orders.

My Friend Betty Says readers, Kyle Harrow is also doing another giveaway with us…what a treat! Please fill out the Rafflecopter below for the chance to win your own Nerium Age-Defying Night Cream. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Another Busy Weekend


Hi! I hope you had a great weekend! Life does not slow down around here, does it? I’m dying for a movie night or a day where I can sit with a stack of magazines and just veg! Moms are busy all the time and honestly, I only wish for a bit of relaxation time around the holidays! I do try to pick up a novel when I go to bed (it helps settle my thoughts!) and if you see the image above, Loteria by Alberto Zambrano is must read. Please find the link below.

We spent another wonderful Saturday in NYC with our dear friends from Baltimore. My boys are finally recovered from bronchitis, annoying coughs and ear infections. So we took them to Central Park for some fresh air after being locked in the house all week. What a relief! That night, we really got into the spirit at a fun cocktail party with close friends. After the week I had, I was happy to speak to adults and be merry!

My holiday shopping is halfway done and I chipped away at my Christmas card list. I only have 10 days left!!!! No one is panicking. Yet!

Please check out these links and finds I collected throughout last week. Enjoy!

THIS book!!!

Mikifoto’s 13 days of GIVEAWAY!

Being an ‘Elephant Mom’ in the time of the Tiger Mother

Hardship on Mexico’s farms, a bounty for U.S tables. A must read.

28 “Gifts” Every Mom Wants for the Holidays.

Our Rockefeller Center ice skating pics!

How My Latino Family Does Christmas Differently.

See the new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Gorgeous coat to keep you warm!

And some sunnies. You always need sunnies.

Have a great week!

top image: CR Photograpy

10 Working Mom Wardrobe Essentials

Elaine Wu

by Elaine Yu

Is your work wardrobe a mix of clothes that blends your mom uniform with the outdated suits — complete with chunky shoulder pads — you wore to the office ten years ago? Do you need to retire your “mom look” and sharpen your appearance because you started a new job, created your own business, or are rejoining the work force?

Moms who are transitioning back into the workplace face unique style challenges. Our professional wardrobe requires key pieces that elevate our image but don’t break the bank. We need to look our best and the most efficient way to achieve this is by starting with basics to create a range of versatile work ensembles. Let’s face it: Personal appearances matter. It’s no secret that studies show that what you’re wearing can make or break a first impression. Whether you’re meeting new clients or interviewing for a new position, you need to look and feel your best. No matter where you’re headed, why not arrive in style?

Believe me, I know how challenging it is to reinvent your image. For ten years, I was a stay-at-home mom, raising my three kids. It’s a job I wouldn’t have traded for anything in the world, but when I started my styling business earlier this year, my wardrobe needs changed. My daily mom uniform of designer jeans, t shirt and accessories no longer matched the image I wanted to convey. I started attending networking events and meeting with clients, which meant I had to look both stylish and professional.

My wardrobe is still in transition but I am cultivating my professional look with the help of some key pieces. These are the 10 essential items every working mom should have in her closet:

1) A Black Blazer. Nothing says “I’m professional” like a blazer and gone are the days of the boring, boxy navy blue suit! Thank goodness. A black blazer is a must-have for your ward-robe because you can wear it with black pants as a suit or with jeans for a more casual but still put together look.

2) Great Fitting Black Pants. As moms, our bodies have been through significant changes. Putting on pants we wore pre-babies doesn’t quite work. So invest in a pair of great fitting black pants that you can wear with your blazer for a professional look or with a printed blouse for a business casual outfit.

3) Black Pumps. Every woman needs a great black pump. This pair by Ivanka Trump can be worn with your black suit, jeans for a night out, little black dress for fancy occasions and your versatile day dress for presentations.

4) Versatile Day Dress. A dress like this one can take you from the boardroom to the dining room of an upscale restaurant. Perfect for those days when you have an evening event right after work. I also love this dress for presentations. Wearing a dress is so easy and it’s a powerful statement piece as well – it says feminine and professional all at once. A dress is so easy to wear because there’s nothing to fuss with – no shirt to tuck in, belt to buckle, shirt to button – just put it on with a pair of tights and pumps and you’re ready to go.

5) Delicate Statement Necklace. Jewelry is the icing on the cake of a great outfit. A fun piece like this one adds just the right amount of polish – not too big, not too small – and adds a splash of color!

6) Printed Silk Blouse. The printed silk blouse is another must-have because when you’re unsure about what to wear, throw this on. You can wear this pretty print with a pair of jeans or with your suit.

7) Little Black Dress. When that party invitation arrives in the mail, do you panic because you have nothing to wear? Do you run out and buy the first dress you try on because you’re pressed for time? Avoid the frustration and stress that comes with not having the Little Black Dress. Including this classic piece in your wardrobe means that you always have something to wear for every event. Change up the look by wearing it with a dazzling statement necklace for evening cocktail parties or with a cardigan sweater and pearl necklace for your next business luncheon.

8) Leather Work Bag. Remember the brief case? I remember buying one for my first job out of college in ’95 and feeling very awkward carrying it around. Thankfully, the work bag has been transformed! This one by Diane Von Furstenburg will carry all your necessary paperwork and business cards while adding a punch to your outfit with the fun black and white design.

9) Printed Scarf. This is the easiest accessory to wear and it also keeps you warm! Scarves can liven up any outfit so have a good time and choose a great print.

10) Color Cardigan. For the days you just don’t feel like putting on a blazer, a colorful cardigan can also do the trick of helping you look more polished. For a pop of color, choose something bright that can be worn with your black pants and t shirt with your delicate statement necklace or printed scarf.

I put together all of the options above on a Pinterest board for you to view!  If you have questions about how to put your new work outfits together or need some help picking out professional basics for your wardrobe , let me know. I’d love to hear from you!


Elaine Yu, personal stylist, started Simply Chic Styling to share her love for fashion and, ultimately, help women look and feel their very best.

Connect with her:

image: mikifoto

5 Reasons to Start Your New Year’s Resolutions Now

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The new year is just around the corner. How are you feeling about welcoming 2015? Personally, I can’t believe how quickly 2014 has come to an end and honestly, I feel like I was started to lose focus on my health since October! The cold weather doesn’t agree with me and I start to crave major comfort foods and lots of sweets the minute I feel a chill in the air. Having three little boys to look after is also not an easy job! So when it comes to taking time for myself, I haven’t been choosing to spend my time in the gym. But I know what my goals are for 2015. In fact, so do most Americans. The number one New Year’s resolution has been “to lose weight” or “to get fit” for years!

So it’s time to think about starting my New Year’s resolution now. Why so early? When it’s time to make a change, there really isn’t a perfect time. Every morning is a good time to start fresh! Plus, you’ll be ahead of the game and feeling great during the holidays instead of dealing with a lingering guilt between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Here are my top 5 reasons why we all need to start setting New Year’s resolutions NOW:

1) Because your health should always be your priority. If you don’t start taking care of yourself right now (or yesterday) it’s going to be hard to do it on New Year’s Day just because it’s New Year’s Day. Staying healthy, however one chooses to do it, should be on everyone’s mind all the time. Less wine, eating better, drinking more water, working out 3x a week instead of two… it all starts somewhere. Pick one thing to focus on and make it today’s goal.

2) Because you should enjoy the holidays without guilt. I made all of Thanksgiving dinner and I was not going to miss it! I’m going to Chicago for the holidays and I WILL have deep dish pizza! I’ll definitely have less guilt knowing I practiced yoga one day, went out for a run another or did some strength training.  You have to enjoy life and keeping it well balanced (I mean equally balanced!) is super important.

3) Because you will be 3 weeks ahead of the game. Whether you believe it that it takes 21 days to create a new habit or not,  I’m giving you 23 days from now until New Year’s Day to test it out. If you only achieve your goals on 7 days, or 14, you are working towards something great! You can’t lose when you are already trying.

4) Because you should have been working out all year long. I have achieved the goal of continuously working out throughout the year in the past and I felt my best. Every year, thousands and thousands of people set out to start becoming healthier but give up around March! Everyone will have set backs, but should definitely start thinking about getting back on track before March is over and not waiting 9 months to start again. Once again, think daily goals instead of scary long term ones.

5) Because you know you want to wear your new workout clothes. These are not your momma’s yoga pants. The fitness apparel industry has never rocked this hard. Excuse my own basic workout gear in these pics (although I do recommend these winter leggings!). You don’t have an excuse to skip the gym when you are already wearing the right thing…all day long.

Are you setting fitness goals for 2015? Want to start now? Please share!

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Images: CR Photograpy

Celebratory Weekends


Hola! Did you have a good weekend? We celebrated Hubby’s birthday all weekend long! He helped our dear friend, K celebrate her birthday at Spice Market on Friday night and we ice skated with his company at Rockefeller Center on Saturday. We’re really good at celebrating around here. Last weekend it was Santi’s 4th birthday and my dad celebrated a big one too. I’m glad he was here over the Thanksgiving break so we could party with him.  The boys loved picking out gifts and of course, playing with all of Santi’s new toys! Thank you to our family and friends who were able to celebrate with us over the past two weekends.

I’m pooped. jajaja! But there’s no time for rest. I now have to  focus on everything and anything that has to do with Christmas.  Thank goodness for my mom who put up  the tree and decorations before they all left for Chicago. Even my sister helped stuff envelopes and now our holiday cards are ready to go out (but I haven’t had time to write the addresses on them)! I started shopping too but feel super overwhelmed. Question: do you ask people for ideas so your shopping is easier? I only ask those who ask us because we like to surprise the person receiving the gift. BUT our list is long! Hence, I worry I won’t finish my shopping on time.

Please don’t ask if I have bought myself anything from all these sales…because obviously, I have!! LOL!

Enjoy the weekend links! Lots of inspiring stuff on here today!

LOOK who has her first speaking gig!

The ULTIMATE gift guide for kids over at Mommy Maestra today!

THESE Lil’ Libros!


9 Things Successful People Won’t Do.

How 4 Mexican immigrant kids and their robot beat MIT.

Notable Children’s Books of 2014.

Emmy Award-winning preschool science and math series for 3-5 year olds! Please check out Peep and the Big Wide World!

Personalize anything with AdLipps.

Heart warming VIDEO. Please watch.

What Minecraft is doing to your kids… (Thanks, Liz!)

A Better Way to Introduce Your Friends at Parties.

This jumpsuit!

IMG_1402Urban Decay Illuminated Face/Body Powder

Urban Decay Black Magic 24/7 Glide On Double Ended Eye Pencil Set

Lips: Arbonne Jam


Top image: CR Photography

Have a great week!

Book Gift Idea: What I Know For Sure


My holiday gift giving list just got a little easier. As I finished Oprah’s What I Know For Sure, I knew I wanted to share her compilation of essays with all of my good friends and of course, with you!

Oprah has explored the question, “What do I know for sure?” in every issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. What I Know for Sure is actually the title of her monthly column. I have to confess, I have probably read her magazine once or twice, and watched a handful of her shows on TV, but this book, I couldn’t put down.

I can just imagine Oprah going through a stack of columns that took her fourteen years to write! She must have picked the best of the best in order to give us the most inspirational short vignettes. She takes us back to lessons and “aha” moments that stem from memories of growing up in rural Mississippi, to life-changing career decisions, to her current blissful and enlightened life.

Mrs. Winfrey ends every captivating chapter in her new book with a lesson learned. Here are some of my favorite “what I know for sure” passages:

“I know for sure that I don’t want to live a shut-down life-desensitized to feeling and seeing. I want every day to be a fresh start on expanding on what is possible. On experiencing joy on every level.”

“All these experiences are your life’s way of urging you to leave the past behind and make yourself whole. Pay attention. Every choice gives you a chance to pave your own road. Keep moving. Full speed ahead.”

“If life teaches you nothing else, know this: When you get the chance, go for it.”

What do you know for sure? I know that for me, dreaming big, working hard and giving back, is a great way to live.

I hope you pick up What I Know For Sure for a BFF. Please keep me posted!

image: CR Photography

Parenting by Design


Just recently, I noticed that Diego and I were constantly in disagreement. I kept thinking, “This can’t be it! It’s starting and he’s only 7!” How is it possible that I was constantly raising my voice to try to get my intelligent, mature and sweet boy to listen? It felt so odd to see him misbehave but I also knew that I had to get a grip and change the way I was reacting to his behavior…because yelling wasn’t working. Luckily, I have a good friend (who happens to be a family therapist and life coach), Jennifer Bronsnick, who told me to take some time to call her and discuss my latest parenting struggles. I’m so glad I did.

Jennifer had Diego’s energy blueprint and my own ready before our call. It amazed me to learn how our differences in personalities could be mapped out so clearly by submitting basic birth information and by Jennifer being very knowledgeable in Auras. After having worked at Deepak Chopra’s New York City center many years ago, I was not a stranger to energy work. I was happy for the reminder that not all humans are alike and that children often misbehave because they are trying to communicate something important. Jennifer described my Diego perfectly so I trusted her to guide me to parent him effectively and with an open heart.

Parenting is TOUGH.  Every time we think we get the hang of it, our kids throw us a curve ball.  Either they are going through a new developmental challenge, they push our buttons because they have a need that is not getting met, or things just get crazy. Even a difficult Monday morning can get wild while just trying to get my three boys to brush their teeth, get dressed and get to school on time!

I’m recommending all of MFBS mom readers to take a little chunk of time to hear Jennifer speak.  She is having a free tele-class called Parenting by Design.  During this 90 minute class on December 11th, she is going to teach parents how to understand their child’s unique energy blueprint to allow for greater ease, better communication and a happier family life.  I can’t wait to talk to Jennifer about Santi and Jordi. Right now I think I have them figured out but as I have learned with Diego, things change quickly and I want to be prepared with the tools to communicate with them a lot better.

Click HERE for the link to register!!

 Image: mikifoto

Ready, Set, SHOP!






I have my whole family here in NJ for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s snowing and we are super casual hanging out in the kitchen and in front of the fireplace. It’s the only time of the year that there is no rush and no stress for us. I look forward to this day all year long and I am so, so grateful.

Some will be very busy! As the holidays quickly approach, there is nothing more important than running errands around town in comfort! I’m loving my new sneakers, boyfriend jeans and cozy sweatshirts. Even the knit beanie helps me feel put together on a day my hair isn’t so great. If you are ready to beat the crowds in the next couple of days (and weeks) make sure you are ready to go in style.

MFBS readers, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Have an amazing time with your family and friends AND good luck if you are out shopping this weekend! ;-)

Más Sweatshirt
Denim Button Down
Broken-in boyfriend jeans
Double Knit Beanie
New Balance 620 Sneaker
Images: CR Photography