Asking Your Child the Right Questions

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Hi! I’m over at Mommy Maestra today with a post I hope you will find useful. It’s there to help you strike up a conversation with your child after school. NO more open-ended questions!  Please head over to read about the 8 Questions to Ask Your Child After School. Enjoy!

What I wore here:
J.Crew exclamation sweater
J.Crew 4″ chino short
Tory Burch Sunglasses
Enzo Angiolini sandals (super old, similar HERE)

P.s Diego’s tee: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”-Benjamin Franklin

Images: CR Photography

Back-to-School with FabKids

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Hi! This is a HUGE week for many kids around the country and I know a lot of moms have started or have already done their back-to-school shopping. I just started BUT I’m not finished because…my boys still have a lot of summer left! Diego will be returning to school in two weeks and my little guys don’t start preschool for another 3 weeks! My summer has been long but a lot of fun and now it’s time for me to start thinking about their fall wardrobe and getting them back to school in style.

I just discovered FabKids for my boys and have to say I was intrigued! This is how it works: You first stake a style quiz for your child. Is he or she sporty? Really into music? Once you answer a few questions, the website will take you to a personalized FabShop (a handpicked selection!). All that’s left to do is shop! Filtering through the selections made my life easier and it became so much fun to browse and select.

My boys are really active and I consistently have to replace items…especially pants! Signing up for the monthly $29.95 VIP Membership with FabKids is smart as it allows you to receive your child’s first outfit for $15 plus FREE shipping, save up to 50% OFF retail prices, receive exclusive VIP pricing, skip any month and earn FabKids reward points. Just visit FabKids by the 5th of every month and shop or skip!

Let me know if you are going to give it a try! We loved the quality of Diego’s outfit, the design and colors. There’s something for every child! He’s ready for the fall! We hope you are too.

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images: CR Photography

Weekend: Hanging on to Summer

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Hi there! Guys, have you noticed it’s now cool in the morning and evenings? I can’t believe we are approaching the end of summer. We went out to dinner on Saturday with the boys and friends and I paired seersucker shorts with this long sleeve Zara top. You have seen it before HERE and HERE. I’m hanging on tight by mixing and matching summer pieces that can transition into fall without a hitch. I don’t want summer to end.

Although we have two more weekends before school starts, we did absolutely nothing this weekend! No trips to the city, no trips to the beach, not even a trip to a nearby playground! Oh, we also went out for dinner on Sunday. Just the five of us. I took advantage of our slow Saturday and Sunday and caught up with housework and we all hung out in our backyard for hours. We even shared mimosas with our neighbors by passing glass flutes over the fence!  Sometimes its good to just chill and have no plans.  I hope you had an easy and lovely weekend too.

Here are your weekend links! Enjoy!

Give someone Sugarwish! I loved mine!

A super sweet Frozen theme party!

I was interviewed! Please read about moving from state to state and out of the country…with kids!

Summer Baseball (I wrote this!)

Have you read about the secret treasure room? I want one!

The best tweets of the week.

30 Under- $50 Fall Shoes for Every Occasion

Spent the weekend flipping through THESE 708 pages.

10 Life Changing Travel Experiences (I’ve only done one!)

I think Nine West’s ad is brilliant! But others do not…

To light las veladoras!

Pop bottles! (Perfect hostess gift)

What I Wore:
Zara top (sold out, updated version HERE!)
JCrew seersucker shorts (colorblock HERE and cramberry punch HERE)
Sam Edelman pump
Banana Republic Cushion Necklace
Tory Burch York Tote (new fall colors HERE)
TOMS Sunnies
Lips: Speak Your Mind-bubble gum pink

Have a great week!

Perfect Read for Soccer Moms

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I have to admit, I picked up the fútbol legend’s autobiography only because I was done with all of my reading material while on our recent vacation. Hubby finished reading Pelé’s Why Soccer Matters while lounging poolside and he kept telling me, “You have to read this!”

The World Cup had just concluded a week before and our oldest, Diego, was recently notified of all his travel soccer team details. It really seems like soccer will take over our world soon (our middle guy, Santi, can’t wait to be part of a team too!) so I happily picked up this book while on vacay.

Written by both Pelé and Brian Winter, Why Soccer Matters was released right before the 2014 World Cup, and because Pelé was honored as the official ambassador of the tournament, the timing was perfect. No doubt, the book should still be read as Pelé shares countless stories of his childhood, his relationship with his fútbol-loving father, and his first experiences traveling the world.

Pelé grew up very poor, but very happy and his voice throughout the book is cheerful. I could imagine his beautiful smile while I flipped through the pages.  Pelé takes us back to the beginning of soccer history and provides insights into how soccer played a huge role in the politics of Brazil and other countries. He also explains the start of players jumping from country to country, playing for different teams and the demand of traveling the world as a fútbol athlete. As he shares both his personal story, we get a little history and a look at his personal life. Hard lessons were learned by Pelé throughout his long career (he lost his fortune twice!) and heartwarming stories he learned from fans that continued to keep him humble, hopeful and positive.

I recommend this book to all fútbol aficionados (Diego picked out this book as a Father’s Day gift for Hubby) and for all soccer moms who want to learn more about the legend, Pelé, and the history of the sport know as the beautiful game. Let me know if you have read it or plan to pick it up! 

P.s. Our boys LOVE the BILINGUAL picture book, Pelé, King of Soccer! Check it out!

Image: CR Photography

One Item, Instant Update

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Hi there! I hope you are having a great week! These are the last pictures from our trip to Chicago! Nancy and I headed to historical Oak Park, IL to meet our girlfriends and of course, a bunch of memories of my life as a single girl whirled me around. I lived with my BFF (now comadre) Tiz in  Oak Park and it was the last place I lived before moving to NYC…ten years ago! Crazy, huh?

Anywho, this post is about creating a complete new, updated and trendy look with just one new item.  Everything you will see on the shopping list below are goodies that have been hanging around my closet for a while. Perhaps this is why I gravitate towards classic pieces that will last and can be used for a few seasons. I have had these sandals, sunnies and top for quite some time now and thought they would all go perfect with my new print trousers from Topshop. These black and white print jersey pants were only $56! I also have a much more budget-friendly pair from Forever 21.

Print trousers are bold, fun and versatile. As  you start planning your fall wardrobe, pick up a few of these! You’ll transition easily into fall without spending all of your budget before the cold weather arrives. What do you think? Have you given print pants a try? P.s. They were super comfy too…so I ate my whole pasta dish that night!

Fifteen Twenty silk top
Topshop print trousers
Rebecca Minkoff clutch (no longer available but look at ALL these!)
Pelle Moda sandal
Pave Link bracelet (on sale!)
Daisy ring
Ray-Ban Sunglasses
Necklace (gift)

Ruby Woo lips

images: Nancy Huayek

36th Birthday Weekend

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I used to make sure I planned a whole week of celebrations for my birthday (doesn’t every Leo?)! Life is a little more busy now with three little guys! Thankfully, August is a slow month so I can narrow it down to a weekend. jajaja!

Hubby and I started on Friday night with a fabulous dinner with friends at Son Cubano. Mojitos, platanos maduros, chimichurri on skirt skirt and churros for dessert…PLUS we had a gorgeous view of the Manhattan skyline and you know I absolutely love that! On Saturday, we took the boys to our town’s pool and later to a minor league baseball game. It was one of those perfect summer days that end with sticky fingers and faces from too many ballpark treats; one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. As I counted my blessings during the colorful display, my boys gazed at the sky in awe but I couldn’t stop staring at them.

Yesterday, we met our Brooklyn BFF at Sarabeth’s in the city for brunch. Some of you may remember from previous posts that she is a childhood friend. This year will mark our 29th year of friendship. Amazing. Our birthdays are two weeks apart and we make sure to see each other to celebrate and toast with our favorite brunch drink.

So…today is my actual birthday!!!! I feel incredibly blessed and happy and bursting with crazy emotions. Life is never perfect for anyone, but I have learned that if you surround yourself with positive people who you truly love AND you live your life with purpose…it’s all good. Really. I really hope you find some of today’s links useful!

P.s. I made two looks of my Sunday brunch outfit. Notice that at the end of day in the city, I swapped my shoes for more comfy walking ones!

My 35th in Puerto Vallarta last year…

And remember when I received THIS on my 34th??

6 Back-to-School Tips for Parents (I wrote this!)

Let the kids eat a little junk food. Thank you, Caro!

Have you met my friend  (and recipe developer), Melissa? Check out her blog! You can thank me later.

Can I be a little girl again? Just look at these adorable outfits!

THIS pillow. Hola!

Making this champagne cocktail next!

What it means to be a little boy’s mama. Sob! Thank you again, Carol!

Comino Island: Heaven on Earth

Thinking about going back

3 Ways Parents Can Encourage Rigorous Learning

THESE shoes! Do I really need them? jajaja! 

Have a great week! 

Topshop overlay dress
Michael Kors Sandals
Earrings at Bungalow
Stella & Dot Portia bracelet
JCrew Marina mini wedge (almost gone!)

Are You Still Pinning?

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Sometimes I can’t believe how long I have been working on My Friend Betty Says. The blog is about 2 1/2 years old now and I have tried to post at least four times a week (notice it didn’t happen this week!). It really is my fourth child and it’s probably more exhausting than the other three! There is also the freelance writing for other sites and I must confess that at times, I don’t know what I am going to write until the absolute last minute on the night before the deadline!

Because I am so busy lately, inspiration has to come from the books I read and from tons of time on social media. I love Instagram, but follow a very specific bunch. Just this week, I came back to Pinterest (I was only pinning my own images! Tsk tsk!). I haven’t had a party to plan or a room to decorate and have been so consumed with just trying to finish work. This time when I stumbled on Pinterest again, I was automatically hooked again.

Whenever I am on Pinterest, I also like to guess what other users are trying to put together! “Oh! Celeste must be planning a birthday party!” and “Why is my sister pinning wedding dresses??? She better tell me first!” jajaja! Here are a few pins that I wouldn’t have been able to find anywhere else. Can you tell what I’m thinking about? Isn’t the internet so much fun sometimes? What social media outlet do you use for inspiration? 

Let’s follow each other! Here are some of my most recent pins. Enjoy!

 

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Midwest Jewel

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We are all so happy to be back home and have been laying low. I have been slowly checking things off my list, organizing and continue to think about our amazing time in the Midwest Jewel.

Last week, Nancy and I ran around scouting locations that scream “Chicago!” Nothing speaks louder in the city than the Willis Tower (formerly and forever in my heart-The Sears Tower). I put together this outfit that depicts this landmark: casual yet classic, strong and feminine. You see her there in the background? Isn’t she a beauty?!?

When I drive away from home, it is the last thing I look for. It is always gleaming against a beautiful blue summer sky. The Midwest Jewel is sorrounded by diamonds…and this one is the brightest of them all.

Do you feel a connection to a certain building? I also love the Chrysler Building here in NYC. Stunning.

Prima Jersey Tank (on sale!)
Destructed boyfriend jeans (on sale!)
Banana Republic wedges (old, similar and on sale HERE)
Sunglasses
Animal print clutch (old, similar and on sale HERE)

Images: Nancy Huayek 

Back to Reality Weekend

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Hi there! I’m back in NJ and starting a major effort to consciously eat better. I LOVE Chicago food and eat what I want when I travel anywhere. The pizza, Mexican food (including my mom’s!) and pan dulce are my favorite things to eat when visiting family, but now it’s time to focus on healthy eating and regular exercise again. I’m following THIS guideline for at least a week to jump start a healthy routine again (with the exception of Friday night because we are celebrating my birthday over a Cuban dinner!).  I can’t wait to start yoga tonight as well.

I forgot to include on last week’s weekend links the fantastic yoga studio my friend Vanessa recommended in Oak Park. I visited Ahimsa Yoga Studio as a promise to myself and I think many of you in that area of Illinois would love it. I have been feeling much better after stopping the running and all the jumping around. What a relief.

Feeling better=lots of fun times with my girls. As you can see, the ladies above are some of my closest Chicago amigas! I know Bertha, Heather and Caro since the 6th grade and sitting right next to me is Nancy, who I met on our last year of high school. These girls and their friendship mean the world and have been a great support to MFBS. You might recognize Bertha from THIS And Caro from THIS. Nancy, of course, has contributed her photography on this site many times…just click HERE  and HERE to see.  You will also notice that Heather is a big commentator on the blog too! Love them.

So many other girls are missing! My personal FB page was full of status updates of my whereabouts with my other girls, my mom and my sister (group selfies are the best!). Thank you to all of my BFFs for sharing your precious time with me. I know how busy life is and appreciate your stories, memories, laughter, friendship and love. I will miss you.

We arrived safely after 12 hours on the road! The boys did amazing on the ride! I think they are starting to get the hang of it all.  Until next time Chicago…

Please click on the links below! Enjoy!

10 Health Mistakes Busy Moms Make

Border Kids Relief

Stylish sneakers for moms on the go!

My Instagram pic was featured on Mashable! Look HERE!

The power of makeup. What do you think?

Top Ten Summer Sunsets  (have witnessed 3!)

One of Fall’s Most Anticipated Young Adult Books

These pants!

Thoughts? Feel free to comment below! Have a great week!

 

 

Kids Thinking with Annedroids

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Most of you know that when my kids ask for some screen time, I suggest (and sometimes beg) that they choose the most educational options. While on our third week of visiting family in Chicago, my oldest jumped at the chance for some downtime on my laptop to check out this Annedroids series I kept telling him about!

Annedroids is a science based-action adventure series that follows eleven-old genius and kid-scientist Anne, who has invented and built her own amazing androids, and her friends and kid assistants Nick and Shania. Together the kid trio make amazing scientific discoveries while undertaking the biggest experiment of all: growing up. I immediately noticed that Anne was the rock star, and I thought, “girl power!” Because I have three boys, I really appreciate when girls and women play the role of what is traditionally given to boys and men.

My son Diego, who is seven, didn’t even notice who was playing the lead scientist role because the show was so engaging! Annedroids, like all of Amazon’s children’s programs, is designed to develop creative thinking in children and has been tested to ensure they achieve this goal. Diego quickly asked to view the next episode and then the next…After watching three episodes with me, I asked him to get ready for our next Chicago tourist stop. Throughout the day, he continued to ask me about the science experiments Anne and her team created. I can tell he can’t wait to get back to New Jersey to try a few things on his own! That’s exactly what I want when my kids view something on TV or my laptop: I want them to enjoy their downtime with something witty, funny and smart like Annedroids!

Annedroids is Amazon Studios’ third original kids series, is aimed at children ages 4-7 and just made its debut on July 25th on Prime Instant Video. Have you had a chance to view Annedroids with your kids? Let me know if you do!

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