Tearful Weekend

woman_looking_out_MFBS

Our weekend wasn’t the best. There is nothing worse than seeing one of your babies suffer without being able to help. This weekend, Jordi had to go to the ER for stitches after he fell in the bathtub while simply enjoying a nighttime routine. He opened the skin under his chin after landing hard on the bathtub ledge. It all happened so fast as he simply got up to reach a toy.

We have the non-slip pad on the bottom of the tub so we can’t really explain what happened! You just never know with kids, right? The worst was having to watch the doctor go through the process of stitching Jordi’s chin and not being allowed to pick him up when he screamed for me. The worst. When it was over, I quickly unwrapped him from the blankets that held him tight, lifted him and couldn’t stop my own tears from flowing.

When we got home late at night, we let him have all the chocolate ice cream he desired + chocolate Munchkins. He also slept in our bed that night and it was the best cuddle we’ve had in a long time. I didn’t want to let him go. We have been in the ER with Jordi before and this experience really put things into perspective…again.

I have to forget the pain. Jordi’s pain and ours.  I only want to remember the moments I looked around and watched my little family while we all waited in the room for the doctor to arrive. I want to remember that we shared stories and that I was simply present. I want to remember the gratitude I felt because I know it could have been worse.  I want to remember the feeling of  my heart bursting with love while watching my oldest two plant kisses on Jordi’s cheeks.  It’s over now. It is all going to be okay.

Whew! I hope you had a better weekend! Wishing you all the best this week. Here are your weekend links:

Where Have All the Teachers Gone?

My next book club read is a classic!

Can you please send some love to my friend’s Someone Special Uniquely Personalized Books site? Someone Special provides personalized children’s books for kids with special needs. Their unique books help schools, parents, families, and all children. Please visit and “like” this great page!

strawberries_MFBS

This spicy shrimp recipe for Good Friday! Mouth. Watering.

Or this Cast Iron Sea Bass from my friends SolGaby!

A lean chile relleno. Yum!

How about Raspberry Butter Cream Brownies for dessert?

I need to ask Hubby to make me THIS margarita!

rack_of_clothes_MFBS

Obsessed with mules since I saw Erika style them.

Brighten up your spring workouts.

A fun cross body bag!

I have cocktail dresses on my mind! What do you think of this crisscross band trend? Yay or nay?

Have a great week!

Images: Unsplash

7 Must Haves for Your Guy’s Closet

JHilburn_MFBS

jhilburn_logoWeek after week we read about what we should be buying and wearing to look our best. So now that we look incredibly good, let’s make sure the man standing next to us matches our chic self.  As a Personal Stylist with custom men’s clothing company, J. Hilburn, I help men dress for success.  I would love to share with you my men’s wardrobe essentials, because once a guy is dressed well in clothes that fit, he exudes more confidence and stands a bit taller.

If you want to help your guy dress his best please read on to see what every man should have in his closet. I’m sharing 7 must-have essentials.

1- Suits – navy blue and gray.  Whether or not your guy has to dress up for work or not, he should have at least one or two nice suits that fit well.

2- Jackets/blazer – invest in a few good ones that can be worn with nice trousers or jeans. You can’t go wrong with a blue blazer which goes with almost anything, but patterned blazers can look very stylish, too.

3- Shirts – He should have at least 5 dress shirts, one for every day of the work week. Every guy should own one crisp, white shirt.  Most guys tend to only have solid white and blue shirts in their closet since these colors are the easiest to pair with his navy and gray suits.  But don’t be afraid to try stripes or checks. These patterns can help your man stand out amongst the sea of solid white shirts.  Also, guys should have a few casual sport shirts to wear on the weekends.  Denim and chambray are good options as well as more bold and patterned shirts to wear with his casual bottoms.

4- Dark jeans – Pick a straight leg fit, and your man can dress up the jeans with a blazer to look sharp on date night.  Or he can wear them with a t-shirt and sneakers for casual weekend wear.

5- Chinos – Every guy should own at least one good pair of chinos – khaki is a good color option.

6- Fitted t-shirts or polos – crew neck t-shirts are great to wear under v-neck sweaters.

7- Sweater – stick with a neutral color that will go well with everything.

I hope you found this wardrobe essentials guide helpful in assisting your guy in dressing well. If your man is too busy to think about his wardrobe or hates to shop feel free to reach out to me as I would be happy to help him!

profile pic - web friendly

Joy Chang

email: joy.chang@jhilburnpartner.com

phone: 973.652.6971

www.joychang.jhilburn.com

Easy Spring Wardrobe Update

DSC_4816

I got a little excited a few weeks ago when the temperature almost hit 60! ha! But at least I have my spring wardrobe ready and it’s looking very bright.

Take this gorgeous CAbi Cocoon Sweater in vibrant grenadine red for example…it is perfect for spring days when all we want is too see lots of color. It’s also super comfy and I love the short sleeves. Not your regular cardi either! It has a little edge with its zip up or zip down detail. How clever! Notice my right pocket? It’s always open for the quick iPhone grab!

If all you need is one piece to warm up your winter gear, here you have it! This sweater will also look great with white skinny jeans on a cool summer night. Enjoy!

DSC_4826

DSC_4822

DSC_4824

CAbi Cocoon Sweater
Michael Kors Skinny Jeans
Pumps
Nordstrom Sunnies
Origami Owl Locket
JCrew Ring
Ann Taylor Link Bracelet
White House Black Market Bracelet
Forever 21 Clutch

Images: CR Photography

Weekend Links in Pics

IMG_3077

Hi there! How are you?!  I’m doing great! We had another jam packed weekend full of preparation, activities and fun with friends. On Saturday, Diego and I spent the morning at our church. He was able to prepare a lot of important details for his First Communion. The big day will be here before we know it. The kids were so focused on our priest when he spoke…and I was so moved.  They all looked like perfect little angels on the altar. Children don’t get to do this often and I bet it was exciting for them. I had to share the image above on Instagram, of course! Can you spot my Diego?

On another note, I have been trying to focus on more than a couple of days a week on exercise. It’s been so hard to stay motivated. I blame the weather. But three of my local BFFs and I have found that checking in on each other and sharing our workout schedules has been a fantastic push. Do you have a small group of women or a gym partner you can count on for motivation? I also recommend a circle of friends to help you read more. #SmartandFitMoms. Just sayin’!

We also had our first New York Red Bulls match of the season yesterday!! Hurray for MLS! I’m excited for the Women’s World Cup to start this summer too. I know my boys are going to follow FIFA’s tournament and it will be a perfect time for me to push the “girl power” talk around here.

Here are your weekend links! I added some pics this time! Enjoy…

IMG_3022

Urban Decay announced the launch of The Ultraviolet Edge, their global initiative to empower women. By helping to fund organizations that fight for the rights of women everywhere, UD encourages all women to embrace their individuality in everything they do. They are donating $500,000 in their first year and will be recognizing women who are an inspiration to so many. When you buy this Enigma Eyeshadow Primer Potion, 100% of your purchase price funds the Ultraviolet Edge. I tried it and it’s awesome.

IMG_2964

Have you heard of Rocksbox? LOVE it! It’s the premium jewelry monthly subscription service that is too good to pass up. MFBS readers have a lucky code to use for ONE MONTH free subscription. Staring now! Use: friendbettyxoxo during checkout. Thanks, Rocksbox!

BLACK AND WHITE AND SPRING ALL OVER

I also wanted to share this awesome info with you. Local MFBS readers, The Women’s Connection of Temple Har Shalom in Warren, NJ is having a cocktail reception with renowned photographer Anne Geddes! Click HERE to register.

And more…

3 Reasons Why Kids Should Learn to Code (Thank you, Helena!)

The Core Beliefs of the Delightfully Successful (Thank you, Ana!)

How To Change Your Attitude When You Can’t Change Your Situation (Thanks, Telma!)

Love these floral dress sandals! And these nude ones!

Have a great week!

Surviving Winter with ANDREA

DSC_4790This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with ANDREA® and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all statements and opinions are my own.

Just when the snow started to melt, the temperatures gave us a hint of spring, and my boys were finally outside for more than 20 minutes…we get the news that it’s supposed to snow tomorrow morning. Two to four inches. The day before the official date for spring. I just can’t. Ugh!!! But growing up in Chicago taught me to keep my summer clothes in one closet and my winter ones in another. I’m an expert and understand what it’s like to live in places with only two seasons. I am going to remain hopeful and pray that next year, NJ climate also remembers where it came from. Hint: We want our four seasons back.

In the mean time, I’ll continue to grab my black puffy coat, my hot coffee and my new ANDREA tall wedge boots when I run out the door. Yes! New boots! I got them in early February and thought I would only get to wear them a couple of times. I have now been wearing them for a month straight. Not only are they super comfy, but they work well with this crazy weather. I’ve been sticking to skinny jeans and leggings and the non-slip wedge heel is just the right height for everyday use. Also, because I just learned all about Andrea and their Estrella program arriving to the U.S., I want my boots to be conversation starters!

ANDREA has been empowering women to start their own fashion businesses for more than 40 years. While Hubby’s niece visited with us last weekend, she shared with me that her mom sold ANDREA in Mexico for a while! ANDREA is a Mexican company with more than 130 branches in Mexico and in the United States. They offer shoes, clothes, and lingerie through catalogs, which can be purchased through an affiliate or by becoming an Estrella affiliate yourself. I see the value of having programs like this for women who want to start their own business. Selling ANDREA is a great, easy way to generate income, socialize and purchase products at a discounted price.

To learn more on how you can become an Estrella, visit ANDREA online and follow them on Facebook. I have a feeling it will be a snow day tomorrow, so I’ll be browsing ANDREA’s catalogs con un cafécito! Stay safe!

DSC_4761

DSC_4773 (1)

DSC_4803

This is compensated collaboration between ANDREA and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


Images: CR Photography

Spark & Spark in Your Life

DSC_0203

DSC_0207

DSC_0209

DSC_0208

I had the pleasure of meeting Jessica of Spark & Spark at the #WeAllGrow Summit in LA a few weeks ago. Look what she took for my boys! So SO sweet!

These personalized plates and bowls are adorable and the boys have requested every meal to be served on them. They represent their passions, their curiosities and their dreams. When I pulled them out of my suitcase, they were not disappointed with the different design they each received. They were thrilled and I knew that no one could go wrong with a gift like this. I was happy to read that the Mealtime Line is BPA free and super durable.

Jessica and Belina started Spark & Spark in 2011. It’s a gorgeous go-to site for personalized gifts and modern stationery. I spent a lot of time on their website, loving everything I saw…especially these Spanish Language Series Writing Tablets that you can personalize! You can choose everything down to the hair and skin color of the little child on the cover. Cosita!

There are plenty of products for adults as well. I always struggle to find a perfect hostess gift. Spark & Spark has gorgeous lifestyle products anyone can put to good use. I’m loving the personalized note cards, luggage tags and wine carriers (!).

If you are starting to think about Easter, consider Spark & Spark for ideas and products to make your entertaining super stylish. Or for little gifts to go in your baskets (like my favorite below!!). Enjoy browsing! Oh! And please tell all your girls that your friend Betty’s new favorite online shop is Spark & Spark! Gracias!

Writing_Practice_Books_For_Black_Hair_Girls__87981_1426173132_1280_1280

When I Grow Up

15-15-DSC_3898
Santi received a complimentary FabKids outfit. However, all opinions and statements are my own.

Gosh. If there is such a thing as severe “mom guilt” when it comes to the middle child…I have a bad, bad case. I joke that my Santi is being raised by Diego! While my time is mostly devoted to Jordi and his cute demands, our very confident Santi runs right after Diego…his hero, his everything.

I asked him the other day, “Santi, what do you want to be when you grow up?” He answered quickly and without a second thought, “I want to be just like Diego.” Be still my heart! I know they will be so different and so unique (because they already are) but Diego is a great example for his brothers and I couldn’t be more proud that both Jordi and Santi want to be just like their older brother.

Even when it comes down to strengths and interests…they are all different but still want to model their big brother’s behavior. Santi often goes to the piano wanting to strike the keys as swiftly as Diego. I make sure to nurture and have them explore new things and ideas. Even when it comes down to their interest in clothes!  For example, when I saw this FabKids outfit, I knew I had to get it for Santi. He LOVES music! I’m not sure if he’ll play the piano…but he’ll definitely dance or pick up another type of instrument.

FabKids is excellent at really focusing on clothes that appeal to both children and parents. My boys want their clothes to represent who they are and because they are still developing their own interests and wanting to emulate their older brother’s, there needs to be a variety of choices! Also, to really express their individuality, they need to be free to just be.  Give FabKids a try! My boys break all stereotypes about what little guys should be wearing. An awesome company like FabKids is a great example of grown ups who get it. Trust me, your kiddies will thank you for it!

18-DSC_3456

Images: CR Photography

A Peek at My #WeAllGrow Weekend

WeAllGrow_10_MFBS

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend! It has been really busy around here. But busy is good, right?

My mom just left yesterday and I have to say…omaiga. I could NOT have done all the things I wanted to do without her help. She flew in three weeks ago to help me with the boys while I traveled to Los Angeles for the #WeAllGrow Summit for four days. It was the first conference Latina Bloggers Connect hosted and the brilliant and kind Ana Flores and the WAG team who put it together did a phenomenal job. Outstanding! And my mom too…sigh. She held it down in NJ! I’m lucky to be surrounded by amazing, hard-working, big-hearted women…with passion.

WeAllGrow_11_MFBS

The conference was held at The Line Hotel in Koreatown in LA and the views were breathtaking. What do you think about waking up every morning and looking out to the Hollywood sign and a gorgeous blue sky backdrop? Or having the best coffee (Lamill!) with a scrumptious buttery egg sandwich in the hippest of hotel cafes? My room was modern, clean and someone clearly paid attention to details. The sarape custom chair made me feel giddy and so close to home.

This boutique hotel also made me feel special in a very laid-back and cool kinda way. I ate out on the terrace of Commissary restaurant right by the pool as soon as I checked in.  Craving a cold drink and sunshine on my face, I had my first French Dip sandwich that certainly won’t be my last and a few nights later, an amazing introduction to LA Korean food at Roy Choi’s famous Pot. I shared and devoured the Old School (marinated ribeye bulgogi-spicy!!) and Kimchi fried rice. I was so sad that Hubby wasn’t experiencing this meal with me. I missed him more while sipping on a cold Tiger beer that reminded me so much of him.

WeAllGrow_7_MFBS

But even all that fantastic food, comfy room arrangements, missing my boys, and celebrity sightings could not distract me from all the learning I was there to do. I also had my very first speaking panel with a group of experienced mom bloggers to prepare for. I was there as a blogger, as a speaker, and also representing Latina Bloggers Connect. I had meetings set up with clients, met my teammate and new boss, Roxanna and for the first time, met some LBC teammates I have only spoken to on the phone for the past seven months!

WeAllGrow_9_MFBS

To say that we immediately clicked and what felt more like a family reunion is an understatement. I could not wait for the YouTube pre-treat trip, the visit to the Natural History Museum, the Vive Mejor welcome cocktail party…there was lots to experience with these fabulous mujeres.

WeAllGrow_Team_Pic

I’ve been home for a week and can’t stop looking at pics like this! #LoveMyLBCTeam! This team knows what standing tall and helping other women means. These women believe in personal growth and a collective growth. LBC and #WeAllGrow founder, Ana Flores, has been leading and carving this digital space for Latina bloggers and influencers to be heard. Guess what? It worked! It has been working and it will continue to grow. Stay tuned for more!

All images by Robson Muzel for #WeAllGrow Summit by Latina Bloggers Connect. Thank you!!!

Beating the Winter Blues

27-35-DSC_3947

 

There is no doubt that in the tri-state area, we are ready for spring. Unfortunately, this bitter cold winter and snow did not get the memo. It is officially March and more snow is in the forecast! I don’t know about you, but I am in wardrobe funk. I can not wear dark colors anymore. No mas! As I can only imagine, many of you are ready to brighten up your wardrobe too.

There is always a fashion solution to lift your spirits without breaking the bank or spending at all. Here are 5 tips on how to put the spring back in your step and wardrobe while we wait for the temperature to climb!

READ MORE…  (Thank you for supporting sites that help support MFBS!)

Sweater
Top
Skinnies
Necklace (sold out but LOVE this one)
Shades (Kate Spade c/o Simply Chic Styling)
Clutch
Pumps

Images: CR Photography

chloe + isabel GIVEAWAY

25-25-DSC_3922

Did you catch the stunning chloe + isabel earrings I wore for THIS post? I loved the “dramatic Rococo-inspired earrings, featuring hand-cut asymmetric glass in emerald and aqua hues. The clear crystal pave accents highlight the ornate fan-shaped petals.” Although they are clip-ons, I was surprised at how comfortable they are! I’ll never shy from this choice again.

The colors are perfect for spring and one lucky MFBS will win a pair of vintage chloe + Isabel Le Rococo Clip-On earrings. I’m so thankful to Tiffany, my chloe +isabel merchandiser, for being so generous with this giveaway!

P.s. When you enter the Rafflecopter below, it will ask you to visit Tiffany’s FB page. Please make sure to follow her (and MFBS too!) for the first 2 entries to count. You can earn up to 10 entries! GOOD LUCK!! xoxo

**BONUS ENTRY** What’s your favorite chloe + isabel piece from Tiffany’s boutique? Please share in the comments below!

IMG_2553

a Rafflecopter giveaway