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It’s been almost 6 years since I have given birth to my twins and the day is still quite fresh in my mind.  All of my pregnancies were difficult and this particular one was no exception – but more so because it was VERY high risk and I was carrying two instead of one.  About four months into my pregnancy a family friend gave me a bunch of books about twins (since she had just delivered her own about 6 months prior) and mixed in the bunch was the book What to Expect® When You’re Expecting.  During the remainder of my pregnancy, I read through all of the books, but carried this particular book with me and read it consistently.  To say it was a lifesaver, is an understatement.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

While I’m not expecting any children in the immediate future, I keep these books on hand because they contain a wealth of information for both myself and my husband and they are a great reference for friends, family and ourselves to turn to when we have questions.  There is a reason why they are the #1 Bestselling Pregnancy Book – it’s one of those books that you just can’t donate or pass on because it’s that valuable.  Have you ever read a book that referenced anything, especially pregnancy and felt like you were reading something written in Greek?  Well, that is why Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazel’s What to Expect® When You’re Expecting, What To Expect® the First Year, and Eating Well When You’re Expecting have in common?  They are easy to read and literally lay everything out in easy terms that make it simplified for you to understand.  It’s a timeless book series that I love, will reference during each of my pregnancies in the future and suggest to any mother or father expecting their own child.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

I really enjoy that this series of books offers you not only a wealth of information, but it is something that you can pass down for generations, sharing with your own children.  The books offer everything from the beginning through the first weeks after pregnancy and well into your child’s second year (What to Expect® the Second Year) making it a hub of information.  The books were my guide in Postpartum where I struggled and continue to struggle today and have been such help in combating an issue that many women experience.  After having my twins, I experienced major depression and my hands were so busy with my sons, I didn’t realize what was happening to me.  A quick glance at the book and I was able to determine that it was time to visit my doctor and I’m glad I did because I was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression.  Without a little push from the book, I may have allowed such a big deal to take over and I may have not realized what was happening.  I still deal with my depression today as a result of postpartum, but thankful it was caught in time before anything drastic occurred.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

It’s amazing that with a plethora of information on the internet, I still found that a book would be my number one reference – till this day.  The What to Expect® When You’re Expecting series is based around the main book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting which has been the Bestseller Pregnancy book for over 600 weeks.  It’s a definite necessity in my book and America’s Bestselling Parenting Series for a reason.  As a mother who experienced some of the most difficult pregnancies, I am thankful that I have the books to fall back on for information.  There is a wealth of information and covers everything you can think of.  No question is odd, weird or embarrassing and sitting down with this book is like chatting with your best friend.

What To Expect When You're Expecting - The Perfect Mommy Guide

What to Expect® When You’re Expecting is the long-running book on the New York Times Bestseller list and recommended by moms (myself included) and doctors alike.  In fact, my OBGYN hands this book to her patients that are expecting and makes it a point to keep them well informed with a great read.  This book is definitely “mommy survival guide” status for me!

Have you read this series of books from Workman Publishing?  If not, is this something you’ll be adding to your must-have list when you are expecting?

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

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I’m not normally a late shopper when it comes to the Holiday months and try to get all my Christmas shopping done in a timely manner to beat the crowds and the mail man.  But, I know that life happens sometimes and it can be a difficult thing to get your shopping done in time to make the Christmas rush.  While we are less than a week away from Santa stopping by our houses, I wanted to share with you a few quick buys for those on your shopping list.  While presents to open under the tree or gift cards and money are great, let’s not forget the people in our lives that love to read.  What’s so awesome is that the Kindle books offers so many gift giving ideas… simply at the click of a button.  The receiver can easily download their selection and enjoy their read on the go or at the comforts of their own homes.  Here are a few books that I have added to my reading list for myself and my husband as well as my boys.

Clean Food Diet

What better way to start the new year with some clean eating.  This book includes 50+ natural recipes for healthy living.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m not turning Vegan on you… I love my animal friends but giving up my carnivore ways are just impossible, but at least I can incorporate some of these healthy recipes into my diet. The Clean Food Diet by Jonathan Vine offers a variety of recipes for your heart’s desire.

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Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg is the perfect adventure and educational book for your child(ren) between the ages of 2 and 6.  This book is about a little boy with red hair and freckles who loves to climb trees.  He goes on a little adventure and takes your children along with him.  Filled with photos and stories, this is the perfect book for your preschooler and includes rhyming text as well.

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Have you heard of Ally Nathaniel?  Ally is a children’s author who has published 10 books via Amazon (ebooks).  Her books include a wide range of subjects for Toddlers and Preschoolers as well as elementary school children.  Some of her books talk about Self-esteem and self empowerment as well which makes it great reading for your littles.  The selection she has is great and I highly recommend checking out what she has available.

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If you have been a reader of my blog for a while now, you know that my husband experiences severe back pain after an injury.  To try to help with the pain so that he doesn’t have to have surgery on his spine, we are always looking for alternative solutions and the Low Back Pain Program by Sherwin Nicholson offers some techniques that can be used to help relieve pain.  In this book you can learn how to self treat chronic lower back pain easily and safely.  This guide is designed to carefully teach you the correct methods to move, train and strengthen your body to properly relieve your back pain.  While I suggest that you first discuss with your physician before any treatment, I definitely think giving this a look see will be beneficial – especially at its price point.

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The Paleo Kid is one of my absolute favorite ebooks, offering 26 easy recipes that I can incorporate into my families diet and making the transition easy peezy for the children. This book includes Gluten Free recipes which make it great for those that are on a Gluten Free diet and the recipes are easy to make.  Kid Tested Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snack meals that are not only great for your kids but the entire family.

The list on my kindle is ever growing but I wanted to share a few books that I have recently added to my reading list and a few that I have loved this past year.  While this list is small, I wanted to offer ebooks that I know would be great for families alike.  I will be sure to share more of these in the coming months but for now, if you are looking for some ideas for last minute Christmas / Holiday gifts, give these a try and see if they are something you’ll enjoy.  Happy Holidays!

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Some of the books discussed in this review were provided to me for free download for review and consideration via Tomoson.  While some of them may be free, my opinions are 100% honest and my own.

It’s no secret that the Holiday season is surely my favorite time of year.  As a child, even if we grew up with little money, my parents always made this time of year special and I’m thankful that I got my creative sense and fun swagger from them.  Lots happened this week, busy busy busy!  So, here is a quick weekly wrap up.

This year, Halloween came and went faster than I could ever imagine and before I realized it, Halloween crept up on us and we were all getting dressed to trick-or-treat.  My husband and I took the boys to the Pumpkin Patch earlier in the week which was fun, they had a blast (vlog coming soon) and while we were a bit late to get up there, we still found us some fun pumpkins to carve and draw on.  Since this has been a yearly tradition for us to go, everyone was excited and we were so thrilled to see the boys have a blast.Pumpkin patch 2014

I’m also happy to say that we are hitting cooler weather, woohoo.  While we don’t really have snow here with exception to the summit of our dormant volcano, it’s still nice to know that I might be able to rock out some warmer threads this season.  We are all looking forward to cuddle weather.  We also had Parent Teacher Conference for all three boys this week too… I’m proud to say that all three of them are excelling wonderfully.  To say we are proud parents would be an understatement.

pumpkin patch 2014

While my husband had to work on Halloween night, my sister and I took the boys out to Trick-or-Treat in a neighborhood we were quite familiar with, we go there each year.  Expecting to hit the mother load of candy this year, we were a bit bummed that half of the houses were not giving out candy.  I think we may need to find a new location.  It was a bummer, but nonetheless, we got some goodies anyway and it was about having fun – not the candy.

Halloween 2014

This year the boys picked out their costumes to wear instead of Mommy painting their faces.  Kevin (Ka’eo) was a ghoul… the one from the Scream movies.  The cool thing was that his mask dripped blood and everyone really got a kick out of it.  Luke was Captain America, Isaiah Superman and I decided I wanted to really embrace my tomboy-ishness and painted a skull mask on with some face paint and makeup.  I did the top half of my face (my eyes) using makeup to give it a sultry sexy tomboy appeal. lol Details for my makeup are posted below.  My sister Harmony did a mask out of makeup – I loved it, reminds me of like a Dark Angel look.

Halloween 2014

We were quite happy to see a few commercials the last week and wanted to take advantage of the deal.  It was FREE Spooky Face Pancake night at IHOP, so the boys, my sissy Harmony and I enjoyed breakfast for dinner.  Yay us!

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014

Overall this past week was quite a blast.  It went by much too quick for my liking, but what is most important to me is spending this time with my family.  Sometimes during the holidays we forget to stop and think about what is most important… we are either too busy shopping, cooking or working to blink and it is too often that we forget to soak in all the awesome memories.  I can admit – I’m surely guilty of that.  So make sure to stop and make a memory of what you’re experiencing… the work, the food, everything in between will still be there when you are done making memories. xo

Halloween Skull Makeup

As promised, here is my makeup from Halloween.  Everything was super simple to create and this was a great choice for me since I needed to be done and ready to go to catch all the good candy. lol  For my eye makeup I am using a combination of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Tamanna and Amrezy Palettes.  Both have been favorites of mine all month and I really loved that it gave me a great fall smoky look. I know I promised to have a review up for Tamanna, so I hope to do that soon.  I am using Ardell 120 Whispies, Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, Paula Dorf 2+1 For Brows, Tarte Smoldereyes Pencil in Fig and Mally Evercolor Liner in Midnight and L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara.

Halloween Skull Makeup

For my skull part of my face, I am using White Halloween Cream Makeup, Milani Bella Eyes Shadow in Bella Black, Mia Mariu black eyeliner, a blending brush, a pencil brush and an angled eyeliner brush.

Halloween Skull Makeup

I opted for a pair of jeans, flip flops and a black t-shirt since I wanted to be comfortable, a little warm since it has been chilly out and I wanted to have mobility.  My shirt is a custom shirt and I’ll be posting about that soon.  I hope you all had a fabulous week and a fun Halloween.  While I know some people do not celebrate the holiday – I totally understand that, I hope you had a wonderful day nonetheless.  My feet hurt, I’m a bit tired but at the end of the day, I surely had a great one.

Did you have fun this Halloween?  What were your highlights from this week?  Wishing you all a fabulous weekend. ~xo

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This is a Sponsored Post thanks to U by Kotex – Save The Undies

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What makes me feel confident?

As much as I try to exude confidence in myself, sometimes I know deep down in my heart I need a little push and shove to bring out the best in me.  I’m not gonna lie, there are days that I just want to crawl into a dark hole and hide out, but I’m lucky that I have a handful of confidence boosters to get me through it all.  To me, feeling confident in myself is much easier when I have these little things that make the negatives of the World disappear, if only for a second.  Everything you’ll see in this post are just a few of my favorite confidence boosters.  While colors may vary, shades, scents or even the accessory of choice may change, there is one thing that I keep handy dandy for always… and that’s my U by Kotex (definite lifesaver) and of course, My Family.  Every woman has a list of Confidence Boosters in their life, products or people that make them feel like they can rule the World… and here are mine.

Family is my biggest confidence booster

My Family (my husband and sons) are my biggest confidence booster.  Come on… look at those smiles, they melt hearts and bring sunshine to my cloudy days.  I never knew True Love until I met my husband and then had my children and because of this – I consider them to be my biggest support system and they make me feel confident in who I am as a Woman, a Wife and a Mother.

Confidence Boosters

Like all women, handbags and shoes are an addiction and for me… a great handbag and a gorgeous pair of stiletto heels help to put a little pep in my step.  Since I’m a very busy mom, a larger tote that can carry all of my essentials (as well as my confidence boosters for the day), is a must.  The bigger the better.

confidence boosters

I think a sweet and sultry perfume and a signature red or nude lipstick definitely adds to my feeling confident.  And, since I am also a huge Gold color addict,  Cosmetics that are in gold packaging tend to be what I like to pull for when I’m looking for a little extra somethin somethin for the day.  Gold screams luxury to me so it doesn’t matter if it’s a high end brand or drugstore buy – if it is in gorgeous gold packaging, I will rock it out to give me a little swagger.

A gorgeous golden highlight graced across my cheekbones, the perfect contour and gorgeous fluttery lashes are a go-to and probably the one thing I rock out often if I’m looking to wear makeup.  These essential are what keep me feeling great about myself, giving me the tools to be comfortable in my own skin with a little bit of sparkle.

U by KotexLast but not least and one of the most important things to have for any time of the year are the Girly Essentials or feminine products.  The new U by Kotex® Ultra Thin Pads with 3D Capture Core, has a one-of-a-kind center that locks away wetness to help stop leaks. These thin little products keep my monthly friend at bay and I can go about my days confident in knowing I have saved my undies.  Visit the U by Kotex Landing page and find the samples that best fit your mission to save the undies. Click on the “Get Sample” button and enter your mailing information if you are interested in giving these a test drive for yourself for free.

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As a mother of three very active boys, I do everything in my power to ensure that they are consuming the right foods to ensure they’re growing and thriving.  But, I can definitely admit that it can be a daunting task sometimes, not so much for me – but I know that there are parents that have difficulty getting their children to eat right.  When I was a kid, there was really no such thing as sweets and my candy was cherry tomatoes… so it is something I have worked on incorporating in my household.  Here are a few tips I have on how to get your kids to eat their veggies.003 copy

Incorporate veggies in your daily meals…

Everything a child knows is a learned behavior for the most part and that includes what they eat.  By incorporating some sort of vegetable into your daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), your child becomes familiar with having it a part of their plate and therefore will want to eat it.  Now, sometimes children have a very picky palette and it can be a challenge to include all types of veggies into their daily meals, but remember that fruits are also a great source of vitamins and sometimes telling them that they can have an awesome fruit snack after they complete their meal will work wonders.

Incorporate vegetables in their favorite foods and drinks…

I am a huge Green Juice and Smoothie lover and while the boys are not too fond of the green look, they love the taste because I include fruits in the drink that help to mask the vegetable flavor.  One of my favorite combinations includes:  Kale, Chard, Spinach, Mango and Banana with Coconut water or coconut oil and cold pure water.  The boys love the flavor because they taste the mango and banana but not the greens and they are getting their daily intake of vegetables and vitamins.  While this is not my favorite solution, I don’t necessarily hide them in the juice, because I show them the process of how it all comes together and since they love the taste, they are much more willing to try the vegetables on their own.  Also, include vegetables in your kids’ favorite meals.  My boys love pasta and I incorporate spinach or squash in my pasta as well as other veggies like tomatoes, broccoli and mushrooms – you name it, I have put it in pasta or stir fry.  When they are chopped and tossed with the meal that they enjoy, they will love the color as well as the taste.

Be Creative… 

Popeye the Sailor Man is not exactly popular now a days so using the “eat your spinach so you can have muscles like Popeye” doesn’t exactly work if they don’t know who Popeye is.  While that can be a challenge, I like to use references to their favorite cartoon characters and story books when giving my boys vegetables.  For example:  “Sponge Bob loves to eat Yellow Zucchini because it is yellow like he is”, or placing sliced vegetables like cucumbers on a plate in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.  But my all time favorite is when my eldest (now 10 years old) was 2 and seen a baby carrot for the first time.  He wasn’t very interested in it at first but realized that it looked just like a Cheeto that he seen on the commercial and wanted to eat it because it was cool.  Needless to say, it is one of his favorite vegetables now and because of him, his brothers love them too.

Color your world with veggies…

Vegetables come in so many awesome colors.  My sons absolutely love going through the Produce department at my local grocery store and naming the colors of each vegetable as well as learning the names of each one too.  As we go through the vegetable department, I ask my sons to each pick out a vegetable that they think looks cool and that they would like to try.  Getting them interested in both the colors as well as getting excited to be able to pick out their own makes it easier for them when it is time to eat it.  When it’s time to cook it, engage them with what the vegetable looks like on the inside, how it smells and offer it to them raw too, because raw veggies taste great and look better than when they are cooked.  Keeping them involved in the cooking process – even if it is to just show them the difference between cooked and raw vegetables will make a huge difference in how excited they will be when it’s time to eat.  Of course, if you can include them in the cooking process – it makes a huge difference as well… our favorite is making homemade pizza where the boys can select their own vegetables and toppings to put on their pizza and then they watch it bake.  It makes eating anything much more fun and exciting and therefore, delicious.  Also – a vegetable garden is a great idea to include your child in learning more about vegetables and fruits.  Remember me mentioning in the beginning that I ate my vegetables like it was candy?  Well, as a child my parents would grow their own vegetables and because of this as kids we were busy eating them fresh from the garden any time we wanted to, Organic with no pesticides and delicious.

At the end of the day each child is different and it can definitely be a challenge to get any child to eat vegetables.  I think that making it fun and exciting in any aspect will surely entice them to eat vegetables daily.  Remember that as you include vegetables in your meals and snacks and your children start to like it, they will gravitate more towards vegetables then bad sweets that are no good for them.  It’s a process… and once they love them, they will want them consistently and there will no longer be a need to convince them to eat it.  Encourage your children to love vegetables by making it a part of your daily food selection and make sure to do this at a young age so they learn to love vegetables and will eat them willingly and enjoy it.  This is just a few of my tips that I wanted to share with all of my mommies and daddies or aunts and uncles, so I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to customize any of these tips to fit your lifestyle and family.  Happy Veggie Eating!

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