Movies

Captain Fantastic- Best Film this Year

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No doubt this movie will be nominated for a few Oscars. Probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. Not going to lie, it was a roller coaster of emotions. I cried, I laughed, I cringed, I thought, I felt.

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The movie starts Viggo Mortensen and is the story of Ben and his six- yes, you read that right, six kids. Ben and his wife decide to remove their kids from society and live in the woods. The kids have superb intelligence, as they read and are home schooled by their father. They also have amazing physical endurance.

The opening scene is by far the most gruesome scene, and I will not spoil it for you, but if you don’t like to see animals die, close your eyes. After opening scenes, we learn that the kids mother has been gone for 3 months but we don’t find out until later. The story of Captain Fantastic follows the family as they struggle to stay together and fight the outside society.

It’s hard to discuss this movie without giving anything away. I will say the story touches on mental illness and how it can gravely affect a family. It also speaks to parents as we struggle to decide what is best for our own kids. I was in no way, expecting to have the reaction I had to the movie. It really did put so many questions in my head about parenting and existing and just living.

After the movie screening we had a Q & A with Viggo. I was so very impressed. This man has a huge passion and this movie not only proved how good of an actor he is but also how smart he is. Honestly our hosts The Moms, Melissa and Denise, noticed how he was speaking and one of them said he should run for office.

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I know I give a lot of great reviews to movies. I love movies. But this one, seriously, the best movie. The acting was beyond superb and the story is unique and relevant to any parent at the same time. This is an independent film which makes it even more special, because what they accomplished was nothing short of extraordinary.

Here’s the trailer for the movie. Please go see it!

Thank you to The Moms for another great screening and to Viggo Mortensen for taking the time to talk to us moms about this film.

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 2

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Diaper Bag Essentials 6 to 12 months

(Post contains affliliate links)

At 6 months the needs of a baby change. We introduce solids and they start snack foods, therefore the needs and essentials in the diaper bag change as well. Here is the list for this time period.

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Diaper Cream (Again Honest Healing Balm or coconut oil work best)

-Outfit change (onsie, socks, pants, shirt)

-Bib. I loveeee loveeee the Bumkins bibs and reusable bags. We still use them daily.

-Spoon/fork for feeding baby (always carry your own!! We like the OXO Tot On-the-Go Feeding Spoon)

-Baby Food. If you make your own, like we did for the first couple of months, we love using the Bunky Bag to store the baby food. It also comes with a clip. Read the full review here.

Best babyfood storage

Best babyfood storage

-Blanket (moms favorite are aden + anais swaddle blankets)

-Teething toy

-Bottle/Formula/ Nursing Cover (Like I mentioned before, I don’t carry the nursing cover and just use a burp cloth instead)

-Burp Cloth

-First Aid Kit (In the first aid kit I now include Tylenol for teething pain)

-Hand Sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Toiletries

Diaper Bag Organization

Always keep the bib/spoon together in a zip lock bag.  If you choose now you can carry your own purse. I try to keep diaper bag and purse as one for as long as possible as it makes everything much easier. If you do leave the diaper bag in the car, like I do, don’t forget to take your wallet inside!

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 1

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Diaper Bag Essentials Newborns to 6 months

(Post contains affiliate links)

When you have a baby, the most important thing you carry is a diaper bag- well besides your baby! It should have everything you need. But, what exactly do you need? If you’ve been around moms and all of them will carry different things in their own diaper bags. Well, after three kids, I have come up with my own list. I hope it helps! I have split it into 4 parts.

PART I: Newborn to 6 months

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Changing Pad

-Onsies (2)

-Baby Hat

-Blanket

-Pajamas or outfit change

-Socks

-Diaper Cream (I like Honest Healing Balm or straight up coconut oil)

-Bottle, formula or Nursing cover (if you nurse and choose to use one). I skip the nursing cover and just use the burp cloth to cover me.

-Burp cloth

-Rattle/Toy/Theeting aid

-Hand sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Mini First Aid Kit (Make sure it has ointment like Neosporin, Band-aids, alcohol wipes & gauze)

-Travel size toiletries (Baby wash, lotion, powder, baby brush or comb, baby oil, and I carry Q-tips)

Diaper Bag

A couple of ideas when it comes to diaper bags:

1) Keep it in the car at ALL times. It makes going out much easier. If you are worried that you’ll run out of diapers, grab a couple of diapers, put them in your purse, then move them to the car diaper bag. I also keep a box of wipes in the car.

2) OR skip the purse altogether and only use the diaper bag as your carry-all.

3) Estimate how many diapers you need for the day. For the newborn, I usually carry about 10 diapers on normal outings, because they poop so much and the diapers are tiny, so they don’t take that much space.

4) Look for a lightweight diaper bag. Some bags because of the fabric, features, etc. can be heavy on their own, and will only get heavier with all the essentials in there.

5) Check for easy to clean fabrics. It’s only a matter of time before a food pouch or diaper cream will blow up in your bag.

In my next post I’ll do 6 to 12 months diaper bag essentials…

What is the most important item in your diaper bag? 

Fashion Just for Mom-Beauty

Summer Style: Maxi dress 2 ways

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My favorite item of clothing for the summer, besides my jeans, is a maxi dress. Maxi dresses can be super versatile and comfortable. Wear them with flats for a zoo outing with the kids or add some wedges for a date night. All you need is to change accessories around and you have a completely different look. Here I give you some ideas on how I like to style the dress.
For the day look I like to keep it simple with a big bag, that can also double as a super chic diaper or beach bag, a chunky necklace and bracelets but in the nude-brown color and leather sandals. I love these sandals in the summer because they look good with EVERYTHING.
For the night look I choose a small clutch bag (that is also cross body- perfect for dancing), the same chunky necklace and bracelet, except this time in black as well as the wedges for a more sultry vibe.
There are definitely a bunch of ways that you could style the dress. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep neutrals for the day and dark colors for night. As far a makeup and hair, I like the same rule- very neutral during the day. Think: BB cream, mascara, some bronzer and gloss with messy hair or a braid. For night-time, foundation, a smokey eye and rosy cheeks would work best. As for the hair, take the braid from day to-night by putting it up in a messy bun or letting it down into messy seductive waves and voila!
Have fun and remember just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice comfort for style- maxi dresses let us have it ALL!
Maxi Dress 2 ways

 

Tell me what’s your favorite summer style?
Want to get the look, here’s my top choices to recreate the look for less than $100! 
(There are affiliate links below)
Maxi Dress This blue one I loved and the price is pretty awesome $35.90. Best of all? It has pockets.
Day Look: Tote bag, necklace, cuff bracelet, sandals (I really do love these Billabong ones!)
Movies

Thanks to The Moms for giving me some much needed MOM TIME

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I love The Moms. They are a network of amazing moms and bloggers led by 2 super women. They host events and if it wasn’t for their events I have no idea if my blogging would have gone this far. They have hosted a couple of events that I have fallen behind on writing but still wanted to mention them because the movies we screened were awesome and just as a plain thank you for the nice mom alone time I’ve gotten to enjoy.

The first event was The Meddler. It was the screening of the Susan Sarandon movie. In the movie she is a mom, who’s a little bit too involved. Through the movie she learns to let go a little bit and start living her life instead of her daughter’s life. We also had a time to chat with Susan who was a delight. She was funny and made it to the event even though she had a bad foot.

This event was sponsored by Kmart and Peter Pan Peanut Butter. We got to check out the new clothes from Kmart and I was super impressed, the colors and styles look very trendy and the prices are beyond affordable. We also got to check out the new value box, where you get different items for $20. The first box I received had a pair of jeans, flats and earrings. Peter Pan Peanut Butter had delicious treats including peanut butter balls. This is the type of movie I will be enjoying for a while and I could probably watch it a bunch of times because I can see me being that mom in the future!

TheMeddler

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The second movie was Mother’s Day. This was a funny movie, it was perfect for Mother’s Day. The movie is about how different moms celebrate Mother’s Day. We had a laugh and a special chat with Garry Marshall and Kate Hudson. I loved when I asked her about her mom and which was her favorite movie from her moms work and she said Overboard, because it’s how her parents met. The sponsor for this event was Serta and they had a whole bed setup, that I NEED STAT in my house. Those mattresses were so soft but firm. I don’t even know how to explain it, except I WANT IT.

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The third movie was Love and Friendship. This movie starting Kate Beckinsale is beyond funny. I have never read Jane Austin so I wasn’t familiar with her work, which the movie is based on. The movie, a period piece (my favorite) is hilarious. It’s the story about a woman who just basically gets away with everything in order to get what she wants. She’s kind of evil but kind of justified. I don’t know how to explain it but yeah it was really really funny. I loved that the humor wasn’t lost in the costumes. We also had the opportunity to interview Kate Beckinsale who is a real stunning beauty. Like this woman is really gorgeous and she was talking about everything from being a mom to her work and how to balance it all out. She was very down to earth and just funny.

The event was also sponsored by Peter Pan Peanut Butter, who was promoting their new line of creamy but crunchy peanut butter. My favorite is the honey. It’s so delicious and you can pair it with anything.

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The last movie was Flower Shop Mystery:  Mum’s the Word. This movie was a bit different from the other two, not only is a Hallmark movie is also a different story. I was looking forward to his movie a lot but in all honesty it was a bit overreacted, which is expected from a tv movie and although the story was good (I love a good mystery murder case), it didn’t grab my attention. Brook Shields is the lead and to me she was too much for this movie. I did love her chemistry with her partner in the movie. It is clear there was a connection there.

This event was sponsored by KidBox. This is a new subscription box geared towards kids in mind. They pick the outfits and when they arrive home, they only keep the ones they like. All the clothes are brand name. The box is styled for each individual kid. With subscriptions boxes being all the rage these days this is sure to be a hit. After the movie Brook Shields came in for a Q&A. She is also a delight. She was just one of those happy people who makes you instantly happy out of just seeing her.

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So thank you Denise, Melissa and the rest of The Moms team. I definitely appreciate these mom mornings all to myself and can’t wait for the next event.

Events

Puerto Rican Day Parade Re-Cap

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So the Puerto Rican Day Parade passed and I was super honored to have been a part of the occasion.

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Let me refresh your memory. I hated the Puerto Rican Day Parade and wrote about it on my page, you can read all about it here. I pitched my essay to ¡Capicú Culture! who picked me to be part of their social media team during the parade. Let me start of by saving that the anxiety for what would happen the day of the parade was beyond crazy.

I arrived early and was amazed at the amount of people already there, at 8am the streets were covered with families! I saw so many families and people dressed up.

I check in at our float, that had the honor of hosting the beautiful Rosario Dawson aboard, and then I proceeded to check out the other floats. In all of my years in NYC, I had never seen this amount of decorated floats and closed streets, it was pretty cool. The amounts of color and music and just joy was very exciting.

I kept getting anxiety about the start of the parade and then Rosario Dawson came over. She was beyond lovely. Taking pictures with fans and so excited about being at the parade where she was Queen. When she arrived I noticed she came with her mom. My focus as part of the social media team was families and it was great that Rosario brought her mom with her. Growing up the Parade was part of their lives and they celebrated together, so it was a commemoration for their family tradition. But not only was her mom there, her grandmother also came. Three generations of women celebrating that day, to me is the definition of tradition. And I LOVE TRADITION. It’s really one of the reason we celebrate a lot of things like this Parade and even things like Thanksgiving.

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The Parade started and I have to be honest, I had never seen such sight. The avenue lined up with my flag. I don’t think one can really get an idea of the feeling of pride that burns inside when you see that many flags. When I see it on TV is so different than being there, present in the moment. The spirit of celebration, the atmosphere was definitely a happy and proud one.

I started seeing the families. I didn’t think the parade would be such a family event. I know, as a mom I’m always weary of where I take my kids because of crowds and such. The kids were waving flags and dressed up in the red, white and blue. Stars were everywhere. Kids, even babies are experiencing one of the most monumental events in the city of New York. I mean if this is not huge, I don’t know what is. I finally understood my friends who have celebrated the parade since children. It is pretty cool to be there and see that many flags and the Vejigantes, listen to the music, see the things that make us who we are. Even the batuteras (majorettes) de Guaynabo (the city I lived in for most of my life) were at the parade.

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On a personal level, I have to admit that I was beyond belief. I was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade for the first time- MARCHING IN THE PARADE. Going down 5th Ave, it was INSANE-in the good way. It was really special and I can’t believe I walked 30 blocks that were covered in Puerto Rican flag. I saw a different New York, for a day I only felt I was back in my Island with my people.

I was scared to ask kids about the parade out of respect to the their parents. But one kid, around 6 years old, was having the time of his life until I pointed the camera at him! I asked him what he was feeling being at the parade, he just smiled and waved the flag at me. I understood him.

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I noticed that there were kids of all ages and I was happy because it gave me a sense of security about bringing my kids in the future. When the parade was over I spoke to a woman named Olga Rodriguez and she told me that the reason she brought the kids to the parade. She said she wants her kids and grandkids to learn about Puerto Rican culture and history, and the parade was part of that culture and history.

I have to say walking the parade as part of the Parade and walking back through the crowds was very different. The view is different and the environment is different. I am not going to sugar-coated and say it was amazing. I was scared and had major anxiety, mostly because I have a lot of anxiety when there are large crowds gathered and I had to do it multiple times as a lot of the cross walks were closed. There were people selling food, like pasteles and icees. There was music and dancing and good times. Just too much for me. I am not a party girl a lot and rather be around small groups of people. So if you want to go to the parade and have more space to move around, park yourself around 70th street, which is almost the end.

So I am going to say that my view of the parade definitely changed.

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I really do have a whole new set of feelings towards the parade. I am proud to have been part of the parade, I love that the Puerto Rican community has this outlet to bring a message not only to NYC but to the whole country. It is a day where we are seen and heard and we celebrate our pride.

Parenting

Why this anti-Puerto Rican Day Parade Puerto Rican wants to go to the Parade

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A lot of people who know me in a personal level, knows I am a proud Puerto Rican. And they also know what I have been feeling about the Puerto Rican Day Parade since well EVER. But this year I am happy to be a family ambassador at the parade thanks to ¡Capicú! So what made me change my mind? I want to share with you my pitch to participate in the parade.

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I am Puerto Rican. I love my Island. I love my history and my heritage. I love that we come in all colors and shape. I love our language and our music. There is one thing I DON’T love and it is the way we are represented.

A bit of history: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. When I was growing up I fell in love with our history (even got the history medal at graduation). As I grew up the only image I had of the Puerto Rican day parade was of people dressed head to toe in a flag. Some of these people hadn’t even been to the island, some of them didn’t know Spanish- but I didn’t care about that. It hurt me that they didn’t know our history. They didn’t know about the Jones Act or didn’t know about el Grito de Lares, or didn’t know about the Taínos. That’s what hurt me. It offended me that they thought they were more proud to be Puerto Rican than me just because they covered themselves in a flag.

I soon discovered I was not the only one who felt this way. To this day, a lot of the people in the Island dislike the Puerto Rican Day Parade. When I moved to New York, I vowed to never partake in the festivities because I felt it didn’t represent my people or me. This also became a bigger concern in 2000 when there were reports of attacks and robbery during the parade.

And then I had kids and I want them to know where they come from. I want them to know my Puerto Rico.

Almost 16 years living in New York and now I want to be part of the celebration. Why? Recently, Puerto Rico has been in the news in the wake of the worst economic crisis the Island has ever experienced. Still, I didn’t think it was important for me to be part of the Parade, until I attended the Diaspora Summit at Centro PR. The summit took place a couple of weeks ago and I attended out of curiosity, since I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. YET, IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ME! It opened my eyes to the state of the Island. It shook me to the core. It touched my roots and made me question my purpose.

If there is one thing that stood out the most during the whole summit, was the importance of unity of Puerto Ricans in order to achieve ANYTHING. Even more important during these times of crisis. So, I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the parade. I did my research and the changes to the parade have been so great. The organizers are really working hard to change the old image of the parade and actually create consciousness of the issues in the Island.

I want to be part of the Parade because I have a different perspective. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is part of the Islands history and therefor is part of me. I hope I do get the chance to spend time at the parade for the first time in my life. I think it will have great impact on my life.

Parenting

Como pasar menos tiempo en la cocina y más tiempo con tú familia

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Cocinar, atender a los chicos, cocinar, limpiar, atender al esposo, lavar ropa, bañar a los chicos. La labor de madre no termina. Por eso dicen que es un trabajo de 24 horas 7 días a la semana. Entonces como podemos cortar el tiempo que pasamos haciendo los trabajos del día a día sin sacrificar eficiencia pero disfrutando más el tiempo con nuestra familia. Aquí algunos consejos que te pueden ayudar!

  1. Prepara las comidas antes de comenzar la semana o tan pronto llegues del supermercado. Yo no preparo comidas para todos los días, pero si limpio y corto los vegetales y las frutas. También los separa por porciones para las diferentes comidas. Por ejemplo, los martes siempre hacemos tacos y fajitas, pues domingo cuando llego del supermercado corto todos los pepinos y cebollas. Ya te ahorras varios minutos de preparación.

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  1. Planea las comidas con anticipación. Ya yo se lo que le gusta comer a mis hijos. Por lo tanto, para maximizar el tiempo y evitar peleas repito el mundo todas las semanas. Los lunes son pollitos con arroz, los martes son quesadillas, los miércoles macarrones con queso, los jueves es día libre y los viernes ordenamos pizza. Claro, aveces cambiamos y si mi esposo está aveces me pide un marisco o algo así, por lo tanto siempre tengo flexibilidad, pero por lo general es un menú fijo.
  2. Los desayunos son los mismo de lunes a viernes. Cereal o waffles con frutas. Los sábados hacemos panqueques y los domingos huevos. La mayoría de las veces yo estoy sola con los 3 chicos y la verdad que esto a sido salvavidas para mí. Ya no peleamos por el desayuno y no estamos tarde al colegio!
  3. Platos sanitarios. Yo se que los platos sanitarios son dañinos al ambiente, pero recuerden también la salud mental. No digo que solo usen platos de cartón todo el tiempo, pero por ejemplo para el almuerzo se pueden usar platos de cartón (y los puedes reciclar). Así te ahorras un poco de fregado de platos. Y también ahorras agua!
  4. Usa el mismo vaso para el agua todo el día. Los chicos piden agua miles de veces. Siempre tratan de usar vasos diferentes creando más cosas para fregar. Empezamos un sistema donde usamos el mismo vaso todo el día. Obviamente solo para agua.
  5. Ten meriendas que ellos mismos puedan coger de la nevera. Siempre tengo queso o frutas o yogurts accesibles para que ellos mismos los puedan coger cuando tienen un poco de hambre. Solo tengo que velar a mi chica que es media traviesa y siempre coge más de dos!
  6. No tengas miedo de usar comidas o vegetales congelados. Aveces pensamos en las comidas congeladas como lo peor del planeta, pero ahora hay mucha variedad que tienen vitaminas, nada de GMO y son orgánicas. A mis nenes les gustan mucho los “chicken nuggets”, trato de darles solo una vez a la semana. La realidad es que no tengo el tiempo de hacerlos yo misma compro los Kidfresh. Esta marca me gusta mucho por que tienen vegetales escondidos. Si quieres saber más sobre ella, tengo una entrada aquí.

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Espero que los consejos te ayudan a aprovechar más el día y pasar menos tiempo en la cocina! Tienes algún truquito? Compártelo con nosotros!

Fashion Just for Mom-Beauty

Summertime!

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Summertime!Kids are not the only ones who have fun during the summer months. I previously posted the essentials to keep kids safe during summertime, but what about mom. Let’s start with sunscreen is ALWAYS A MUST. But for moms is not all about safety, we also want to look stylish and be comfortable to run around with the kids. Here’s my favorite styles for the summer. The maxi dress and sandals work for every event in the summer, from running errands to friends bbq. The sandals have straps so easier to run around than with flip-flops. For the beach a classic black swimsuit will last and go with everything you pair it with.
As far as beauty, KISS, keep it simple silly! A cute lip crayon color- I really like these Neutrogena ones, a BB or CC cream  (make sure it has SPF), and mascara. Because mascara is a must and you want to make an impact without looking overdone, I would do the Younique 3D Fiber Lashes.
Keep accessories simple and one color so you can mix and match them with more prints and styles!
Hope you have an awesome summer! Show you me your style ladies!

 

Swim cover up
choies.com

Swimsuit swimwear
choies.com

Billabong brown shoes
billabong.com

Roxy shoes
$22 – surfstitch.com

Straw Studios man bag
jcpenney.com

Fossil watch
fossil.com

Long necklace
romwe.com

Floppy hat
luxurydivas.com

Lipsy aviator sunglasses
$26 – lipsy.co.uk

Hypoallergenic makeup
youniqueproducts.com

Sun care
zulily.com

Opi nail lacquer
$44 – very.co.uk

Bangle bracelet
burnsjewellersgroup.com