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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Second City Weekend

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Hi guys! We’ve been little tourists all over Chicago this past week! I really enjoy showing my boys everything including the Little Village block I grew up in (made a quick stop for pan dulce at La Espiga de Oro!) to the 10 year-old Millenium Park!  My sister-in-law and mom made the trip downtown with us to visit the Willis Tower (#SearsToMe!) and today we went to the Adler Planetarium. The boys are also enjoying time visiting great grandma and playing with all their cousins. They just happen to have so many BOY cousins, so of course, they have been totally psyched. My brother also treated all of us to an amazing BBQ dinner at a place called Lillie’s Q in Wicker Park. YUM!

It does seem like I have been eating and eating since arriving in Chicago! I have been meeting up with my sister and BFFs for various dinners too. Every time I visit here I must stop at my old time favorites such as Pequod’s on the North Side, Margarita’s and Maya del Sol in Oak Park, and for the first time, I tried a rico cafecito from Cafe Jumping Bean in Pilsen.  Lord. It’s all been soooo good.

Regardless of all the fun, I have continued to write late at night and every free moment I get. There has been lots of freelance work for me and my personal posts on this blog continue as usual. I even had an awesome photo shoot with the talented Nancy Huayek here in Chicago! I’m excited to share those pictures with you soon. Thank you for supporting my educational, parenting and lifestyle posts on other sites and for reading and engaging on brand sponsored posts that help support My Friend Betty Says. I really do appreciate it.

Enjoy!

How to Raise Kind Boys (I wrote it!)

5 Tips for the Hostess and Overnight Guest (I wrote this too!)

All about the new 9/11 Memorial and Museum (…and this one!)

Should playdates be banished?

Hilarious video (in Spanish) to watch!

This doggie video will melt your heart… (thanks, Lily!)

What I’m reading now.

While out shopping, my mom and I couldn’t decide on these trousers for me.

Did you enter the Fisher Price giveaway? Winner announced!

Have a great week! 

 

What I wore:
Madewell Popover
JCrew Toothpick Denim
TOMS Sunnies
Stella & Dot Chandeliers

Cloud Gate (“Bean”) and Jay Pritzker Pavilion Images by Tiz and My Friend Betty Says

Weekend Travels

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Hi there! Did you have a good weekend? We drove all day on Saturday and made it to Chicago safely! The boys are sooo excited! It always melts my heart to see them interact with my parents; they just all pick up right where they left off. They are also thrilled to play with Coco and have a lot of things planned while Hubby and I spend the week in Riviera Maya!

On Sunday, we were able to catch the World Cup final with the biggest soccer fan I know. At an early age, my father was the person who taught me to enjoy the beautiful game. In only one day,  my dad and the boys have already played so much futbol! We ate, checked Panini albums and played with Coco during the final and were all very sad for Argentina’s loss.  :-(

What will we do now that the World Cup is over? hee hee! No worries, I have a few more soccer related stories in the links below! Enjoy!

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Reading To Baby ( I wrote this!)

5 Reasons Modern-Day Parenting is in Crisis

Haha! Thank you, Latinaish!

I believe that we will…be trademarked?

No tattoos for Ronaldo.

Next time you are in NYC, visit this landmark! (I wrote this too!)

GlossyBox (Thank you, Maria!)

This sale is good!

For nails: Dubs

image: poster by idea storm

Have a great week!

Sparkling Weekend

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Did you have a nice 4th of July weekend? Who doesn’t LOVE long weekends? I have been so relaxed. I am getting really good at just putting work on the side when we are all on holiday and weekend mode. There’s always stuff to do (um, can you say laundry for 3 busy boys??). I never stop, but I am getting better at just enjoying the moment.

Our good friends, Vane and Luis are visiting from Chicago and we have been having so much fun with them. There has been a lot of pool time, eating yummy foods and drinking bubbly things. Vane and I snuck away for a massage, mani/pedis and a little shopping. And yes…we are still following the World Cup. It was heartbreaking for Costa Rica this weekend but thrilling for Argentina! Vamos todavia!

No one comes to visit without at least a quick trip to the city. We visited one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for Sunday brunch (El Centro!), strolled through Central Park and visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. If you are visiting New York City soon, you have to go to these places!

Nevertheless, one quiet morning I snuck away for a little reading. Here is what I found for you…enjoy!

New York Magazine: What do you really use your phone for?

Reinventing your life at 30, 40, 50…

Reading this.

This looks good too!

The ultimate makeup and beauty tutorial (thank you, Celeste!).

Oprah is on Instagram (!!!)

How to Motivate Yourself.

7 Things Every Woman Needs To Do for Her Skin!

What we wore:
Madewell Shiftdress
Tory Burch sandals
Madewell Tank
JCrew skirt (old but similar HERE)
Target sandals

Have a great week!

Simple Weekend

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Guys, I’ve been in pain for the last month. Nothing “major” but nevertheless, very annoying and uncomfortable. I am currenlty in physical therapy for a pain in my butt…literally. It started about five weeks ago and it has traveled to my left hip, lower back, and leg. After seeing two orthopedic doctors, it is confirmed that my scoliosis isn’t very “mild” anymore and is causing problems eveywhere. Sigh. After weeks of being in denial that my workout routine has got to change, I’m upset that I will no longer be able to run or do stairs. I can forget about burpees and jump squats too. I have to focus on stretching and trying to readjust my body. Isn’t that something?

So, because I can’t sit still, I went to yoga this Saturday. I haven’t been there for ages! Every single time I go, I am reminded to be conscious of my body, to do simple things and be aware. I’m trying to really work on changing my outlook on workouts that equal stress to me and my body. And I’m also going to focus on what my body needs right now. If you do yoga on a regular basis, do you think I can make it my only workout from now on? Is it possible? It’s also not going to be easy to change posture habits like shifting Jordi from my left hip to the right one when I carry him, or switching my heavy bag from my right shoulder to my left. I also wonder if I’ll miss pushing two little boys up the hills while running and if I’ll crave that elated feeling after an intense workout. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I hope YOU had a wonderful and relaxing weekend! Simple is good! Here is what I found in the last few days. Enjoy.

For your eyes only: Hottest World Cup Footballers.

Happy 32nd birthday, Prince William!

Happy 1st birthday, North West!

The songs of Summer 2014

The Best Instagram Fashion Moments of the Week

This book on my list.

Sometimes I Feel Trapped

I get it now.

7 Tips for Parents of Reluctant Readers

The sunnies above.

Have a great week!

Image: CR Photography

Worldly Weekend

DSC_0106Watching our kids at a NYC Lower East Side playground on Saturday.

It’s. Too. Much! We have been glued to our TV, radio (yes, in the car) and all over social media to see and hear what everyone has to say about the World Cup. A victory for Mexico (!), a loss for Japan (yikes) and USA plays today. Biting our fingernails down. jajaja! We are having a blast and the boys have been playing soccer indoors and outdoors…non-stop.

Hubby will say he had a great Father’s Day! He slept in, received some nice gifts from all of us and hung out in our backyard all day! He did have to work a little while out there. Poor guy. He cooked on the grill for us…twice! I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your loved ones!

Diego’s gift to Jose.

If you don’t know much about the World Cup, please watch this.

Japan has the best fans. Thank you, Lily!

Time for Kids.

My next read.

My beach read.

Do you love Instagram? Enter this giveaway!

Time to get back to yoga (on a regular basis this time).

 

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Blouse (old, similar here and LOVING it)
Shorts
Sandals
Ring

Have a great week!

End of the School Year Weekend

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Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend! I’m still on cloud nine after Thursday’s event at Bungalow! It was a great night! Thank you to all who came out and had a sip of champagne with me! Almost everyone shopped (they got 30% off their purchase!) and I was so happy to see really excited friends walk out with gifts and goody bags too!  A huge thank you to Eve at Bungalow and to her manager, Erika. Both are so, so great to work with. We hope to have another event in the near future and of course, the pictures will be up here soon!

The following day, Diego, my oldest little guy, had his second piano recital. Talk about still floating in the air. I am so proud of him! He started to play in Kindergarten and it has been such an honor to watch him grow as a little pianist and organ player. Fitting, his recital was on the last day of first grade and I was already imagining him ten years from now, playing some crazy complicated pieces. All I hoped for when I watched him perform was that he continues to love it. Playing a musical instrument is such an independent interest, with no competition with anyone except with oneself. Diego continues to challenge himself eveyday. And although some days frustration wins, it is all so worth it and such a great learning experience. If you are a non-musical parent (like us!!) who wants to support a musical child, read HERE!

When we got home for a little celebratory dinner, Diego was so pumped and proud of himself. He kept playing his three pieces over and over! jajaja! The rest of the weekend was about swimming, playing and eating ice cream–just like all first-graders should end a school year.  We were all very, very happy.

Here are your weekend links!

A smidget of Diego’s performance.

I’m a Ford Voces contributor!!! My first contribution was published last week! I wrote all about visiting the US men’s national soccer team!

7 Things Parents Should Tell their Children Everyday (thank you, Vane!).

Have you entered the Smiley Print Mini Instagram Album giveaway? You should! I love mine!

The First 2 Steps to Quitting Sugar (BTW, I do enjoy some sugar. Some days more than others!).

Just bought these wedges!

And these shorts!

The World Cup starts this week!!!! You can make it a learning experience for your child!

Have a great week!

Weekend Links Explained

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Ever wonder why I do this specific post on Mondays? This is the perfect time to explain. Last week, I did a lot of reading and only a little writing. True to my chosen “My Friend Betty Says…” blog name, I often start sentences with, “I read somewhere…” and ask, “Did you see what was going around Facebook this week?” Therefore, because I can not write an opinion on every article (over 20 this week),  magazine (2), and book (only finished) I read, I still want to share if I feel it might be useful to you.

I do make it a priority to tell you at least a little about each book I read. So here goes the latest: One month after my book club met, I finally finished The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I know! One month! Even though I told the girls to go ahead and discuss freely and I found out what happened at the end, I kept turning the pages slowly and finally finished. If you crave 500 pages that go back and forth between 1941 and 2011, go for it. Better yet, if you love historical fiction and don’t mind reading another novel that takes place during World War II,  pick it up! The Secret Keeper is about a young girl, Laurel, who witnesses a murder committed by her mother. She holds her mother’s secret all her life and never asks her why. When Laurel understands she might lose her mother soon, she realizes she does want to know. Between the mother’s few waking moments and intense research Laurel does on her own, a beautiful and shocking story of love, family, and war unfolds.

Enjoy these other suggestions!

Maya Angelou’s final tweet.

6 tips for cutting back on sugar.

Shooting victim’s father speaks.

10 Spanish Words That Have No English Translation

Another big reason to wean off sugar? Update: It’s a HOAX!!!!!!!!!! Argh!

I hope I can avoid sleep away camp for a long time…

8 Gift Ideas for Your Child’s Teacher.

A book to encourage kids to eat healthy.

These lip shades are back!

Shorts!

I can’t believe I didn’t share THIS with you last week!!

Start your Monday with THIS hilarious video. It’s a baby. Thank me later.

Have a great week!! P.s. If you are in the area, please attend MFBS and Bungalow event. Click HERE for details!! 

 image: CR Photography

 

Perfect Memorial Day Weekend

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How was your long weekend? We took a short road trip to Baltimore to visit our good friends. The weather was perfect and the boys spent a lot of time riding bikes and scooters, playing soccer and swimming.  Santi feels so happy and proud to visit his dear friend, Hudson. They are adorable and end up chasing Diego (because all big brothers are super cool). We met Hudson’s new baby brother, Cooper and I wanted to take him home! On Monday, we took our boys to our town’s pool and I feel confident that this year I’ll be able to take them all on my own. Yikes!

We can’t get over how awesome the weather has been. After such a long winter, it was about time. I started running outside and realized I really missed it. I also took advantage of the sales online! It was a lovely Memorial Day, and I did stop to reflect about how this isn’t just the unofficial start of summer, it is about the sacrifices so many have made for us and our country.

Here are your weekend links!

A military widow reflects on the meaning of Memorial Day.

Fed Up is out. Will you see it?

I like to follow this gossip! Looks like only one person missed the big wedding this weekend.

Live Colorful decorates her balcony and has a $50 Pier 1 Imports GC giveaway!!

Another Latina Blogger helping make #QuinceDreams come true.

It’s Never Success that Scares You.

How to Help Your Kid Stay in Bed All Night.

For healthy and younger-looking skin: 7 tips.

Now I know why I get headaches after I run!

7 awesome things about summer.

Have a great week!