personal growth

Love is…

By: Crystal Alba

A lot has happened in the month of February. From Black History month, Presidents’ Day, Valentine’s Day, even snow days.  

I’ve reflected a lot on Valentine’s Day this time around, however. What the day celebrates or what it should celebrate- love!

I told myself that I wanted to talk about this topic in a deeper sense as a mother but the truth is that “love” is so broad. There is love for everyone around me. That’s what I want my daughters to know, that love isn’t just for a selective person. 

My daughter made the comment on valentines day as she said, “Mommy, I don’t have a valentine.”

“But you are my valentine!” I said.

“No, Daddy is your valentine!” She argued.

“I can have more than one valentine. Valentine’s day is about celebrating love for everyone in your life. Not just about one person.” I explained. 

“What is love?” She asked.

So I decided to bring this as a valuable lesson as I replied “Love is everywhere around you!”

Showing your true colors

I used to think that love was all about a relationship but just as we live life, 

love is….about everything. The comforting moments when all you need is a hug and a bowl of soup,  blissful moments where you feel comforted just with listening to the birds chirp outside, the glamorous moments where you feel like you’re on top of the world when you get a bouquet of roses, the heart breaking points. Ya know- moments that made you cry your eyes out and listen to old R&B songs to get you through the day. 

The point is, love isn’t just about having someone to come home to. 

Love is within you. And it’s up to you on how you show it and how you receive it. 

What you compose will be seen and heard by everyone that is in your life.

I know that sounds cheesy but it’s true! How can we love someone else if we don’t have love for ourselves first? Getting into a relationship should make you feel happy and allow you to show our true colors to someone. Loving yourself makes you feel confident knowing that the person you are with has accepted you inside and out. 

And if they don’t, who cares! As long as you love yourself, that is the greatest love out there- you’re letting your colors shine!

How do we let our true colors shine though? Practice self-love. 

Yeah, in many ways that could mean to go get a pedicure (or soaking yourself in a bathtub while you binge watch Euphoria), but I’m talking about knowing when to show up for yourself, knowing when to step out of a lifestyle or relationship that is no longer serving you!

Showing my daughter the concept of having love and respect for yourself is important to me because when you put yourself first,  there is a  high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Of course I will always be her number one fan and her forever valentine. But I don’t want her to depend on someone for love. I want her to be confident that she already has it within her!

Putting Yourself First

I am a strong advocate for women empowerment and self-love ( if you haven’t noticed on our instagram.) but what does it mean exactly to have self-care/ self-love? 

Well, in hindsight, it means to put yourself first and not worry about pleasing others. So if you’re in a relationship and you’re constantly feeling like you’re under their control- it’s time to ask yourself what do you want! 

That moment where I had to show up for myself wasn’t in a relationship, it was my job! When I realized that I was constantly feeling depleted, starting to get depressed, anxious about meeting my supervisors needs, my clients needs, guilty for missing out on family events- I took a pause and asked myself “What do I really want?”. I was always seeking validation, but for what? I didn’t get that feeling of fulfillment in return. So, I took action and filled my own cup! I decided to cut down my hours and just live in the present moment with my daughters. It took time to get used to, of course. But like any relationship, you have to get to know each other to start accepting what their true colors are. 

Love is unconditional! 

Hear me out. 

You’ll find that there are moments where you just want to run away from the hard times that a relationship will throw at you. You will want to call it quits after an argument that just rips you at the core. However, when we claim love we are accepting that flaw or mistake. We confront it. No matter how bad it may be. 

When you say you “love” something or someone, there is no thought on caring for the person/ thing. That person/ thing becomes part of your priority. 

So what I’m saying is- no matter how shitty your day can get, show up for yourself! Loving yourself should have no second thoughts. You should become part of your priorities!

Cheers to that!

So this life lesson for my five year old may have gotten a little deep but she understood that love starts with her. After explaining what love may look like to me, she took out her paint brushes and paints. She said, “I like to paint. So I’m going to paint myself a valentine.”

*spoiler alert*- I got one too!

I made this post a little shorter than others because it was intended to be  reflection for myself. 

I want to hear from you! Were there times where you had to show up for yourself? 

personal growth

Judgement

By: Crystal Alba

When you hear someone is judging you, negative emotions start to arise within you. 

I know it did for me, at least.  

It was hard for me to hear what others thought of me. I would have so much anxiety when it came to meeting someone new for the first time because my first thought was “What will they think of me?”. 

I also went through a phase of validation. 

I was alive but I wasn’t really living my life. Read that again.

I was living a life to please those around me. 

But in reality, I created a concept in my head about opinions that didn’t really exist

Recently, I’ve connected with myself in a way that allows me to let go to things that no longer serve me. One of those things? Judgement

Caring for the opinions of others turns into taking the perspective of someone else as judgement. It is entirely up to us to take that opinion negatively or simply allow it to pass by you, like a moving car. 

Initially, the more that we engage in the opinions of others, the more energy we are exerting. We could be conserving that energy and using it to create something for ourselves or within ourselves. Thus, creating has become a challenge in today’s society as judgement is everywhere- social media, the news, radio, etc. 

It creates fear to be our true, authentic selves because we fear what someone may think of us or whether we are accepted in someone’s circle. We have created our reality based on others’ opinions. 

Perspective

Most of my anxiety stemmed from being unable to accept someone else’s opinion of me. Such as “You should change your hair.” or “You seem intimidating”. I would focus so hard on what someone might or might not think of me when in reality, it’s just someone else’s perspective. 

As I connected within myself, in recent years, a little lightbulb lit up as I realized: they are not living my life! They are simply experiencing my life through their standpoint. Like I said before. We choose whether we see their perspective as a negative opinion or you can alter it as simply being “They haven’t been in my shoes”. And walk on. 

Vice versa

We are all living a different life. Much like someone may judge our life from their standpoint, we may do the same about their life. In my soul search, I’ve accepted that we are human and we may form misconceptions about someone else’s life.

Letting go of judgement means to be mindful and compassionate for others rather than judging them. For instance, at the preschool my daughter went to, I once perceived one of the other parents to be “rude” or “have an attitude” because of their short responses. As it turned out, they are a very caring individual. Once I approached her and invited her to have coffee while waiting for our kids to come out of class, I’d learned more about their life. I learned how her life was also created based on fear and opinions of others. As she could confide in me, she opened up about fleeing from her country and her life here in the U.S. – it was beautiful! Much like a butterfly, her soul changed itself once it felt free. Free from pressure, free to be her authentic self and free from the limitations. It’s just about perspective and allowing the opportunity of metamorphosis.

Reflection

Judgement takes a form of reflection upon yourself. Often, a trait that we criticize of someone is actually a trait that is within ourselves. We have to start accepting the trait to let go and accept what is in front of us. When we start to realize that the negative opinion is upon themselves, we start to let go of their judgement. We can stop taking things personally and live free without limitation!

Why I Decided To Soul Search On Judgement

I realized that my daughter was interested in Youtube videos about novelty toys. As we watch them together, she often assumes certain parts of the Youtubers life such as “They must have a lot of toys” or “They must have a huge house”. Granted, they probably do. However, as a five year old, her innocence is still pure. As her parent, I have a job to guide her or misguide her. Do we let her assume someone’s life based off of appearances or continue to guide her as she changes a judgement to perspective? Remember- metamorphosis!

So I had to sit her down and show her a ripped up book from my childhood. I asked her “What do you think of the book?”

“It looks old and boring.” she said as she handed it back to me.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because it’s ripped up!” she said.

As I read it, she laughed and enjoyed the pictures. 

I asked her again, after reading the book, what she thought. She stared at the book for a while then replied, “It’s a funny book”.

“We shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover,” I said as I officially passed the book down to her. 

My daughter’s first lesson on judgement. 

Cheers to that!

LET IT GO! ( I may or may not have started singing the Frozen version)

So you heard someone was talking a little smack about you?

Let that shit go!
Your energy should not be wasted on trying to manipulate someone’s perspective, experience, or opinion. It is your life and living in limitation or bound to someone’s opinion is not living life to your fullest, friends!

motherhood

Your Kids Aren’t Little Forever

By: Crystal Alba

“Hold them tight. They grow in a blink of an eye.”

I’ve heard it many times when I first had my oldest daughter. After venting about being tired or wanting more alone time, I would get the phrase thrown at me (or at least it felt like it). I would get annoyed hearing it, especially from my own mother. I took it in a way that made me feel judged for venting on stressful moments. I felt misunderstood, but the phrase didn’t really hit me until later.

Snapchat and their memories

I swear social media platforms invented this feature to mess with you. Especially moms. Like I was doing just fine going about my day. Drinking my coffee, hair semi- done, managed to get some mascara on- when I get a notification that I have a memory from 4 years ago. 

*opens snapchat*

*immediately cries streaks of mascara from watching a video of my now 5 year old taking her first steps and saying “mama”.

What does she call me now you ask? MOM. not mommy, not mama, not mami.- just mom.

She gets embarrassed of me now! When did that happen? I used to be the grand prize at show and tell.

After I collect myself (and send my husband the same memory to crush his heart too), I asked myself, “How TF did this happen so fast?”

It felt like just yesterday we were pushing a stroller in the park as a fresh new family.

You know the feeling? You stroll down the street with your baby and you spot another family with a baby, make eye contact and feel an instant bond so you exchange a smile. BECAUSE WE ARE PART OF THE SAME CLUB NOW!

 Unfortunately, the parts of the club that they don’t mention is that you spend most of your time raising your child that you don’t realize your child is growing up. 

Let’s digest this, shall we?

We have to feed them, bathe them, discipline them, show them right from wrong, play with them. It becomes routine. Then we find that we need our own routine. We start to look for things that will help US wind down and reach our goals/ aspirations because damn it, we deserve things too! Oh yeah, then if we pile in the stress of work, personal life- voila, before you know it, time flew because you were keeping yourself busy! 

Congratulations, you now have a child who can do everything on their own, or so they say.

If we could find a way to keep our children little forever, trust me, I’d do it (maybe).

Why Snapchat came in as a wakeup call

My kids are young, COVID has made me stay home, we are ALL home. I took time for myself but have I really made time for my daughter?

Not cook for her. Not clean for her. Not go to work to make money and support her.

Have I sat down to just see her play? Run around and get dirty, jump on the trampoline, bury a time capsule and just be a kid with her?

Sure, the house may not look organized and perfect all the time, this isn’t instagram land. Let’s be honest, I have kids that like to play with their toys.

I’ll admit, I used to be the one that wanted everything picked up and cleaned up after “Playtime”. 

But I soon realized that getting on my daughter to clean up was:

1) making her not want to play with her toys. 

2) causing stress for myself

3) wasting time for the both of us

So what did I do instead?

I lived life with her!

I played WITH her. Once she saw that I could get down with Anna and Elsa too, I instantly became part of the cool club again, Her cool club. And honestly? It’s the only club I ever want to be a part of. 

Spending time with her one on one vs. me telling her to do things has made our bond stronger. She understands me, I understand her.

What once drove my anxiety, now calms my nerves. To see her play or her ask me to play means I’m soaking up all the time I can with her.

Kids don’t know how to communicate just yet. (Heck, some adults don’t know either) Most of the time, playtime with you is their innocent way of communicating .

Cheers To That!

I guess the fact of the matter is that life just happens. 

The mess? It can get picked up. You can get new toys if they break or get lost.

Time with your kids? That can’t be replaced. Time is precious, my friends!

Thanks for tuning in! Comment below on your fond memories with your little ones!

If this article resonates with you, please share and hit that follow button!

personal growth

That time that I went M.I.A.

Mommy In Action.

By: Crystal Alba

The holidays this year gave my family and I a whole new perspective on social distancing as COVID hit our household. and it was unpleasant to say the least. We may have missed out on holiday fun but at least we were together and no one had to be admitted to the hospital.

I advocate a lot for self care and mental health but after tending to my family, I realized that I could not advocate for anyone when I needed to prioritize myself and my family. Sometimes self-care is taking a break from social media. 

It was hard to tend to everyone who was sick while tending to my younger children. But somehow I did it. I was an on call nurse at home. Despite how grateful I felt to be able to take care of my family, I had my days where I would lose myself.  There were days where I was so mad at others that don’t care about this virus and go to gatherings. I judged them in silence for being selfish. I would get jealous of those who didn’t have to go through sleepless nights with their sick children. I would get depressed because I wanted to hug my husband who had to self isolate in his office. I was desperate to help my mother who was also self isolating in her room. I would say nasty things about people who would complain about wearing a mask to gatherings while I had to live in my own house with one on. But I told myself that my situation wasn’t going to get better with a negative attitude. 

I had to “declutter” my mind and focus on myself, my family and a positive outcome. So- I deleted instagram off my phone. 

Things that helped me regain my strength:

Meditation-

When I talk about meditation to others, I hear a lot of “Oh that’s for the woo woo’s”. I can’t help but laugh when I hear the misconception. In reality, meditation helps restore your mind. It seems hard for people to meditate because it requires concentration as you allow yourself to be still. The daily life in the US is filled with stress because of X,Y and Z. I’ll admit it was hard for me too because I was so used to being on the go or multitasking. One affirmation, quote, saying- whatever you want to call it- that has helped me throughout my meditation journey is telling myself “The Universe will continue on without me”. Saying this to myself helps me understand that I cannot control those around me. I can only acknowledge myself. 

Deep Breathing exercises-

So I learned about deep breathing exercises when I was pregnant with my second child. It helped me so much that I recommend it to anyone that is planning to have kids. Deep breathing is like a natural pain killer. Deep breaths release endorphins in your body which leads to produce serotonin- the happy drug that our body produces. The more deep breaths you take the better you feel. Not only does it act as a pain killer but it also increases your energy level. The best time for me to do these exercises is in the morning while I work on my yoga or while I meditate right before I sleep.

Yoga-

Following guided yoga sessions in my living room was a definite energy boost. Since most of the rooms in the house were being used for self isolation, I had to sleep on the pullout bed with both of the kids. My back was not having it. But after allowing myself to become grounded with yoga, my back has never felt better. If you’re looking for someone on youtube, I recommend Yoga with Adrienne! I felt a strong connection with her and learned so much!

Accepting help:

I’ve been known to decline help in the past because the idea of being dependent on others just makes me cringe. I’ve always been independent so when it comes time for me to actually ask for help, it’s uncomfortable. This time around has made me step out of my comfort zone as I had to ask for favors such as grocery store runs or running errands outside the home. Most of the time, the help is there. You just have to ask.

Cheers to that:

This new year is filled with a ton of hope. The moment I went through was a moment for me to reflect on what truly matters- health and family. 

I hope you all have a promising future ahead of you!

Uncategorized

Count Your Blessings

By: Crystal Alba

This month has felt like riding a roller coaster. The buildup with returning to school in person, the election, the cancelation on Thanksgiving, businesses closing…

Okay- it’s more of a drop zone kind of ride…. BUT I choose to look at the pros over the cons. This year has been full of enough greif for us not to look at the positive. 

It’s been a busy month for us so we wanted to take the time to mention what we are truly grateful for as Thanksgiving or should I say-Zoomsgiving, is creeping up.

A breath of fresh air

I’m not a political person in any way but I do believe that my children deserve a better future. I was scared from November 2016 until November 2020. Scared- about what the future would look like for my family with the soon to be former President Trump. I will not say that I supported the man, nor will I say I hate him. I choose to agree to disagree because that is the example that I hope my daughters will follow. 

 I am a firm believer that kindness wins over any hate. My fear, however, was negative energies resonating with many people in the country. I didn’t want my kids to see the ugly truth on how people behave towards others because they choose not to accept differences – sexuality, color, race, social class… 

My heart broke hearing about families being broken up on the border. My stomach churned with anger every time I heard about another life lost to police brutality. My anxiety grew as I saw wildfires growing in the area where my family resides while climate control isn’t being taken seriously. There’s so much I wish I could do for those that are hurting but yet, I hear everyone say “I have my own problems”. I soon started to say the same thing while swallowing guilt for turning my cheek. 

I am a spiritual person- so I chose my faith in seeing a new change for this country, for people who suffer without their family, for my own family. I prayed that the virus wasn’t here to punish us, I prayed that this virus was a wakeup call. 

We were biting our nails for days for the verdict on the presidential election. I celebrated with my husband and daughter as I felt hope for change. We cried tears of joy, tears of hope, tears of release as we heard Kamala Harris’ say, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last — because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”

As my 5 year old daughter heard the speech with us, she whispered “Mommy, I think I want to be like her when I grow up”.

Hope. That’s what I’m thankful for this month. Hope that change will happen for our children.

New Friendships

COVID started out as a dwelling pain. However, many have found that time off from their previous life encountered a new beginning this year. At least that is the case for Yesenia Rodriguez, who wrote a children’s book in the beginning of quarantine. We are so grateful to have found her through instagram and found that her success is an inspiration. 

Yesenia was inspired by her own daughter. Lani Rae, at age 6, selflessly made the decision to cut her hair. She wanted to donate it to her friend, diagnosed with cancer. We were so touched by this story that we backed her project on Kickstarter.

In just a short amount of time, Yesenia was successful in self-publishing her heartwarming book, Lani Rae’s Marvelous Hair. 

She was also able to donate her books to hospitals around her area in Riverside, CA. 

We are much obliged that she humbly took the time to talk to us about herself and her journey while creating her story.

Health

As we have established, this year has been full of surprises. Even for me personally. After having my daughter back in April, I started to feel a lot more drained than the normal post-partum. I decided to go in for a check up to see if there were any red flags that we should be concerned about. I was expecting to hear it was postpartum depression and that I should go speak with a therapist, which I am in full support of by the way, but come to my surprise- the doctor found that my thyroid gland was swollen along with my lymph nodes. Anytime someone mentions lymph nodes, we think ‘CANCER’.

Gratefully enough, that was not the case. However, I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Thyroiditis-otherwise known as “Hashimotos”. When I told the doctor that I wanted to take as little medication as possible and be holistic with my journey, he was in full support of my decision. Rather than pushing medication on me, he suggested a plant based diet to see if that would regulate my hormone levels.

Thus began my journey as a vegan. I promise I won’t try to convert you! But I will be sharing my journey as we go along.

So far I am on week three and I already feel more energized, crave less junk, have a healthy bathroom routine and I sleep better, despite having a 7 month old that likes to party at 4 AM. 

Family

Of course, we have to mention our family! This year has been full of let downs but we have decided to turn those let downs into as we say -“Get ups”. I joke around with my husband-how I always wanted to be a stay at home mom. And now that we have been “forced” into that lifestyle, we are always looking for a night off. Fortunately, the little balls of stressful moments are moments that I will cherish forever. 

I am grateful for the pitter patter of little feet running into our room in the morning. I am grateful that I have proclaimed myself as a stay at home mom, full time chef, cleaning crew, nurse, and teacher. Crazy enough, I’ll miss these moments when they need me once they’re older. 

I am grateful that my husband is working from home-even though we can get on each other’s last plucking nerve. I am grateful that we are allowed to annoy each other at home and I’m not worried or wondering if he’s okay working away from home. I am grateful that he’s in the room next to me and I can just pop in to ask how he’s feeling or just to randomly hug him. 

I am grateful that my job has been flexible and understanding enough for me to drop down to a part time job on the weekends just so I can tend to my family during these stressful times. 

I am grateful that I am able to hold my family’s well being together, even though it may not seem like it. But the reminders that I get are when my daughter calls out for me and says “Mommy, I need your help”.

Cheers to that

We have said it before, and we will say it again! When life hands ya lemons, MAKE LEMONADE!

Thanks for tuning in this week! 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Uncategorized

Fall Activities

By: Crystal Alba

These past couple of weeks have been busy for us as we came up with a fun way to make our pumpkins come to life! We also figured out an innovative way to keep the fun behind “Trick or treat” with our mystery punch board!

Finally, we made a scarecrow! We may not have an instagram- worthy-decorated-porch, but hey, at least the kids are having fun, right?

We hope one of these activities sparks your creativity for the season with your little ones!

Erupting Pumpkins!

We love science experiments in our house! We played “evil scientist” and brought our pumpkins to life in our “lab”. If you haven’t tried making “elephant toothpaste” before, you’re going to love doing it now! Look for the chemical reaction below!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A pumpkin carved into a Jack O’ Lantern
  • A cylinder cup of some sort that will fit in your pumpkin
  • Two tablespoons of dish soap
  • 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide
  • About 6 tbspoons of warm water
  • 2 packets of dry yeast
  • Food coloring
  • Safety goggles
  • Mixing utensil

Note: Hydrogen Peroxide that is higher than 3% can irritate the skin, please have an adult handle this substance.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Make sure you have your Jack O’ Lantern set up. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
  2. Set your cylinder cup in your pumpkin.
  3. Add soap in the cup
  4. Add several drops of food coloring to the soap (any color)
  5. Have a separate bowl (or mug in our case) and add warm water
  6. Add two packets of yeast to the warm water and mix thoroughly for 30 seconds
  7. Pour the yeast mixture into the cylinder and…. IT’S ALIVEEEE!!!

**DO NOT TOUCH THE FOAM if you are using higher than 3% hydrogen peroxide. The chemical reaction makes the foam hot. Wait at least 5-10 minutes for it to cool down.

Trick or Treat Board!

Halloween being cancelled doesn’t mean that you can’t find another way to have the fun! We got creative with some of the kids in our family and threw a costume party! They loved the nuance of a different way to trick or treat since they were anticipating candy! But this activity allows suspense to factor in since you don’t know what cup you’re getting- A Trick or A Treat!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Candy
  • Creepy crawlers
  • Slime
  • Tissue paper
  • Tape
  • Hot glue
  • Styrofoam poster board
  • Paint
  • Solo cups

Here’s what to do:

  1. Fill some of your solo cups with candy and some with creepy crawlers and slime to make the trick or treat cups
  2. Cut squares of tissue paper big enough to cover the top of your cup
  3. Tape on tissue paper to the top of the cup (tape it all around, we don’t want any peekers)
  4. Decorate with paint
  5. Hot glue your cups onto the poster board
  6. Set aside to dry
  7. Grab some kids
  8. Let them test their luck!

DIY scarecrow!

Yes, I know Walmart and Target are selling scarecrows, but we took the opportunity to make a scarecrow as a fall activity and got creative! We loved every second of it especially because we made this guy all under $20!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An old flannel shirt
  • Jeans
  • Shoes
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Hot glue or super glue
  • 6-7 pool noodles
  • A pumpkin treat bucket
  • clothes hanger (optional)

Here’s what to do:

  1. Start by taping two pool noodles together for one leg
  2. Repeat for the other side
  3. Measure out the hip length of the pants with a pool noodle and cut the measurement you need
  4. Put the cut pool noodle at the waist line of the pants. This will allow your scarecrow to have form.
  5. Tape another pool noodle, standing vertically, in the center of the waist pool noodle. Leave aside.
  6. Cut another pool noodle in half. Use each half for an arm. You want the arms to be mobile.
  7. Tape the inside of the sleeve to the noodle
  8. Wrap the shirt around the other half of the body
  9. Optional: Using a metal hanger, un- wrap it so that it is a metal rod. Then pierce it through the noodle in the middle of the body so that it can connect to the arms. This allows more stability
  10. Tape the inside of the shirt to the pants
  11. Make a hole in the bottom of the bucket big enough for the noodle to go in
  12. Use hot glue or super glue to bind the hat to the bucket
  13. Once dry, insert your head onto the noodle
  14. Add your gloves by gluing or taping
  15. Sit your scarecrow on the porch
  16. Watch your neighbors get freaked out!

This activity was a little more complicated but I think we enjoyed the result of our hard work in the end! We got our clothes from goodwill and had fun picking out the “wardrobe” for the scarecrow. We bought our head and pool noodles from the dollar store. Shoes, gloves, tape and glue we had at home. The best part? This project was under $20!

Cheers to that!

We hope you enjoyed our activities that we have stored up for you!

Let us know which one you may try with your little ones at home this fall.

Thanks for tuning in!

Uncategorized

Here’s Anotha One

By: Crystal Alba

Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carvings and HALLOWEEN! We are all so excited that fall has finally arrived. It may look a little different this year but who’s to say we can’t have fun while we endure these crazy times?

We have been baking and mixing up new recipes and our new favorite muffin recipe is dangerously yummy! So as DJ Khalid said, “here’s anotha’ one.” I end up having to hide or make double amount because we somehow can’t just have one.

Let us know what you think! Send us your pictures!

BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 salt
  • 4-5 overripe bananas
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of unsalted butter (1.5 sticks of butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F
  2. Grease two muffin tin
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt-set it aside.
  4. Mash your bananas with fork (you want them a bit lumpy, pureeing will not give you the same consistency)
  5. Add brown sugar to mashed bananas and mix by hand until sugar has dissolved
  6. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla to mashed bananas and mix(by hand) well
  7. Mix in dry ingredients
  8. Put your batter into the muffin tins, about halfway each.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let cool, pop em out then dig in!!!

Cheers to that!

Let’s see those muffins! If you’re using our recipes, send us your pictures! And let us know what you rate our recipe. We love seeing your feedback!

Thanks for tuning in this week!

Uncategorized

We Are All in This Together!

By: Crystal Alba

We are all in this together!

Turns out that High school Musical may have been ahead of its time?

We took this month to get to know some of our followers and some inspirational moms that are all experiencing Back-to-School differently. Some mamas have been taking their lemons during these uncertain times and making lemonade. Others need the extra encouragement, AND THAT IS MORE THAN OKAY! We strive to make others feel empowered with their little ones in tow!

We engaged with three moms this month virtually via google meet, text or email and we are so grateful for their personal back to school moments they were willing to share!

Virtual Learning:

It can be frustrating and it can be energy-draining to be in front of a computer all day every day. It’s hard to see our kids upset about going to school in person to see friends. Others become unmotivated to sit in front of the screen. It can be hard but we are all in this uncertain time together. Teachers have been amazing with being understanding that not all children want to be behind a screen all day. There has been a great collaboration of parent involvement and emotional check-in from the schools. Thankfully, most schools have included a break system for children.

Jen Kathrina- Anne
Founder/ Creator-The Haute Mommy Handbook

As we focused on learning different experiences from others, we got to meet and talk (virtually) with Jen, digital creator of The Haute Mommy Handbook. She’s a great-spirited mama from the Bay Area in California. She is a mom of two and finds herself getting along with the virtual learning system set in place by the state. She has organized her children’s learning to include many breaks and limit screen time when they are out of class. Incorporating family time is important to her and her husband so they take the time to cook together and be outside. When virtual learning was first implemented, she felt skeptical about her daughters being in front of a screen but fortunately the school system in their San Francisco area has shown an effort to give their students enough breaks throughout the day to avoid a burnout!

As parents are helping their children with what they can academically, all children really just need a support system.

While virtual learning can be frustrating, Jen has kept her head high and has been a great support system for her children as she makes herself available for her children’s needs. She finds herself making her living room the “virtual learning room” while she “tip toes” around them to be there for moral support and being an emotional check-in. Her attitude on quarantine and the new virtual learning system is very much positive, so much that it inspired me to look at virtual learning differently.
“You can either make it work and find a way to spend quality time or you just end up resenting eachother” – Jen

Speaking to Jen was so insightful as she finds the fruit in what most people have been finding “the worst of times”. Despite the wildfires, quarantine, and a new learning system, she has flipped the coin to see that spending time with her family is a good thing!

Homeschooling:

As 2020 gave all parents a glimpse of what homeschooling can be like, it’s fair to say that all teachers, including homeschool, deserve a holiday and raise! 

During quarantine, many parents were given a different perspective pertaining to homeschool.  Homeschool raised many questions regarding socializing and parents being able to tailor to their children’s needs.

We spoke to one of our fellow moms and got a delightful insight on homeschooling! Jessica, wears many hats when it comes to her family- being a mom first, wife, Freelance editor, owner of her own proofreading company and homeschool teacher! She is enjoying her homeschool experience as she tailors to her daughters learning, “My daughter can learn at her own learning level which is not limited by grade level or any other students. She also gets to explore topics that are of interest to her.”

Jessica Berry
Owner of J. Berry Proofreading

Jessica enjoys reading with her daughters which has become a huge part of her daughters learning experience. Her knowledge on homeschooling has inspired me so much that I picked up a couple of helpful resources that she uses. These resources have been so helpful when teaching my own daughter how to read. 

When she’s not homeschooling, she enjoys time with her daughters out in nature. Each of her daughters enjoys being outdoors and journaling what they see! While both of her daughters are home with her, she has been open to guide her daughters to make their own choices. As she leaves room for their independence to thrive, her oldest daughter has chosen to continue school virtually with her peers. While she supports the choices her daughter makes, the only challenge she faces is “waking up earlier than what it felt like normally.” Jessica is the epitome of patient and adaptable when it comes to homeschooling and any learning experience. She’s also allowing her little girls to make their own choices which makes room for strong, and independent women! This super mom is making these learning experiences happen despite social distancing, moving and renovating their house! Kudos to you mama! 

Have a piece you’re working on and need some proofreading? Check her out here!

Changing the perspective:

While these uncertain times can be hard, looking at the positive outcomes can lift us up. We love hearing the experiences that these uncertain times have given us! 

Yesenia Rodriguez
Author of Lani Rae’s Marvelous Hair

We are signing off with one humbling mama that has created a positive experience during quarantine and virtual learning! Her name is Yesenia Rodriguez from Riverside, CA. Due to the pandemic, Yesenia stopped working but she persevered! With inspiration from her daughter and work as a cosmetologist, Yesenia wrote and self-published her first children’s book called, Lani Rae’s Marvelous Hair. Her book is such a whole-hearted story that raises awareness of childhood cancer as she writes about a little girl who decided to cut her hair and give it to her friend who becomes ill and loses her hair. Not only did she take the time during quarantine to bond with her daughter but she showed her how to stay positive during uncertain times and rise above it all!

California has been going through a rough time aside from COVID-19 with wildfires and dangerous air qualities. However, that hasn’t stopped Yesenia to continue activities with her daughter which includes hiking, trying new restaurants and playing board games. While her daughter stayed independent during virtual learning, she continues to provide the support she needs.

Yesenia’s positive vibes were so warm and contagious. Things happen for a reason and we truly believe our meeting was not a coincidence, we engaged on social media at the right time. As we engaged on social media and email, we asked what changes have been made for her if any? Her response was so modest as she wrote, “I worked as an educator at a local community college and I had just recently begun substitute teaching at 2 different school districts. I also worked some weekends doing special occasion hairstyling. Now I am at home a lot more often than I used to be. I recently found my daily planner and it was so notable, the contrast between what my days looked like in January and February to the rest of the year. Now,  I do not even need to use the daily planner. It is nice though, the time we get as a family. It really is a blessing amongst the uncertainty. I have found many silver linings throughout this pandemic. There have been many more good things than bad when you really look at it. Not to take away from the fact that people are struggling, I feel for all those who have lost but I think many of us can look at the blessings.”  

We are so glad that social media introduced us during these times because we all need some positivity in our lives! 

Check her book out on Kickstarter.com!

Cheers to that!

Making changes is not easy but knowing you’re not alone makes your experience a little more manageable. We got this!

We love supporting all moms! As we continue to thrive in empowerment together, we invite you to reach out to a fellow mama and/or teacher to see how their experiences with school have been lately. A simple question can dive into a sea of positivity! 

Thanks for tuning in this week!

Have a story? We’d love to hear it!

Uncategorized

Treat Yo’ Shelf!

By: Crystal Alba

It’s happening! The virtual learning, the homework, the chaos!

It doesn’t have to be chaos though! Most schools are implementing reading time as a way for kids to disengage from technology and we think it is absolutely AMAZING to see kids reading.

As we are affiliated with Usborne Books & more, here are a few picks that M.O.M.’s think will be a great add for your kids!

Nibbles The Book Monster

Such a great book for the little ones if they like interactive and funny stories. This book gives a new, creative twist on fairy tales with its outstanding details!

Beast Feast

The cutest story about how a tough dinner decision turned into a friendship between a monster and a little one.

*spoiler alert: One of them is the dinner!

Secrets of the Rain Forest

Have you ever read a shine-a- light book??

This fun book will make you want to turn out all the lights in the house with the magical secrets hidden in every page. Don’t forget to bring your flashlight!

All Better!

A fun way for your kids to learn about the importance of cleaning their wounds! Best part- they get to play Dr. and heal the characters!

Bee makes tea

Any mamas with first time readers? This book is perfect for them with the simple phrases and CVC words that are implemented and aimed just for a rising reader! Aside from the phonics, the story is engaging and simple for little ones to follow and want to know more!

Spanish Titles!

Spanish speakers?

These interactive titles will be sure to have you kids engaged and learning! Each of these titles are not only fun packed with flap-tabs, but they’re non-fiction books that will even have YOU learning something new with your kids.

Qué es la caca?- What is poop?

Mares y Océanos- Seas and Oceans

Qué es la Luna?- What is the moon?


Ready to get yours?

Click the link below and you’ll be able to see all these titles plus more!

https://m10089.myubam.com/1795265

How about some free books?

Sign up for an email with more information

Uncategorized

Back to School Breakfast that will be a HIT!

By: Crystal Alba

If your kids are anything like mine, breakfast is always a debate in the morning. She’s either too tired or just unmotivated to eat. We have been sticking to our routine of getting ready for school but I noticed that including her input and her cooperation to making breakfast in the morning can be a change of course for us. A positive start to the morning calls for a positive day right?

Here’s a favorite breakfast that is M.O.M.’s and KID APPROVED!

CINNAMON TOAST MUFFINS!

INGREDIENTS:

For the muffins:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter- melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

To make the muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Measure all dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  2. Stir together the wet ingredients- milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate small bowl until combined.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients and the melted butter into the dry ingredients and stir until batter is smooth
  4. Evenly pour batter in prepared muffin tin
  5. Bake muffins for 15-18 minutes until centers have risen
  6. Allow muffins to cool 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan then make your topping!

To top the muffins:

  • Place melted butter in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
  • Dunk warm muffin tops into melted butter, allowing any excess to drip off, and then roll the muffin tops in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Repeat process for all remaining muffins. Once each has been coated, dunk them one last time in JUST the cinnamon sugar to add a second layer of topping.
  • Serve warm and enjoy with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa

As we indulge in our yummy breakfast treat, leave us some of your favorite breakfast treats for your kiddos!

Thanks for tuning into our short blog post this week. Back to school has been a nuance for us this year! But we survived!

Cheers!