Win a Trip to #SMSocial18 with Delta

 
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Pack your bags ladies, one of you is coming to LA!  One lucky Super Mama will be joining us on May 12th for this years Social.  Seriously, can we just take a moment. This is pretty wild. Never in a million years did we ever think we would get here.   Dream and Believe sisters, one of you will be flying into LA pretty soon! 

To enter, we are asking you all to upload your favorite #SuperMamasMoment on your stories.  Now, they have to be 15 sec or less, because you know, we are all moms and we got sh*t to do.  Make it your own, make it funny, emotional, but most important, keep it real.  

Thank you to our wonderful partner Delta.   Now let’s get to posting sisters!

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THE PRIZE:

  • Two Delta Vouchers ($1,000 value)
  • Two night Hotel in Downtown LA
  • 1 Super Mama Swag Ticket
  • 1 Super Papa Ticket (or) 1 Super Mamas GA ticket

HOW TO ENTER:

  • Share a 15 sec #SuperMamasMoment on your IG Stories
  • Tag @_SuperMamas and @Delta

THE DETAILS

  • Contest is open to Super Mama podcast listeners and subscribers
  • You must be 18 years or older and a US resident to enter.
  • You must submit via Instagram Stories
  • Posts must be featured on your Instagram Stories for 24 hours.
  • Participants must tag @Delta, and @_SuperMamas
  • Participants must use these hashtags: #SuperMamasMoment #Contest.
  • You may enter up to five times per day with original posts.
  • All Entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. ET on April 20, 2018 to be considered.
 

This is My New Normal

 

Photo by @Lily_ro   Robe Kimono by @dmodamia  Krista 's top: @hm_kids    Skirt: @folklorebk   Sabina's Dress: @folklorebk    Zixta's Romper :@folklorebk  

By: Paulina Lopez-Velazquez @iampaulinalopez

A few days ago, i was looking through some pictures of me and the girls and it hit me, I am now the mother of THREE KIDS!! I know, what a breakthrough, right? But seriously, I think that everything has been so crazy after baby Zixta was born that I really haven’t stopped and take it all in.

The first few months are such a fog in my brain, i was so lost and broken that I just couldn’t or just didn’t even want to think about it.  i completely lost myself in the process of trying to hold on to my life before the baby. I wanted to be and feel “normal” again, I wanted control of my life. Get up and get going as it nothing had happened, after all I had been able to do it through my pregnancy. I had it all planned in my head, and nothing went according to plan. That drove me constantly crazy, I put so much stress on my body that I drove myself sick I retrieved from the world and increased my depression.

 photo by  @Lily_ro     Jacket by:  @dmodamia

photo by @Lily_ro    Jacket by: @dmodamia

 

Those days are fading away slowly and each day things get better, I think I was too afraid of not being able to handle everything at the same time, work, home, my social life, friends etc.  And you know what, the truth is that I can’t.  At least not yet, and I’m learning to be ok with it. I have a new baby that needs me (or maybe I need her more), I have had to slow down and let go of trying to achieve perfection.  Every day is very different, some days go by easy, everyone cooperates and we make it on time to school, work, church or whatever commitment we have without any tears or fights. I find time to pick everyone’s clothes and do everyone’s hair (including mine) make color pancakes and even leave the house behind looking decent.  I might even squeeze in doing our grocery shopping with all three, or a quick trip to whatever fun event is happening around town (like really quick trips).  Wow I am a Super Mama!

But for real, most days are NOT like that, they are actually super crazy, there are fights and tears happening as early as 7 am.  I’m scrambling to get everyone ready and out the door with at least shoes on and a clean face, we have to take whatever I manage to throw on a paper plate to eat on the way while I barely brushed my teeth and put up my hair up on a pony tail.  If we have a commitment there is a 99% chance that I’m going to be late or even have to cancel.  When I do show I’m probably going to show up looking like someone is chasing me down the street.  I usually have milk stains on my clothes and realize that I don’t remember when was the last time I washed my hair or find myself asking, have I eaten today? When I’m running late, Zixta most likely will have a diaper explosion (no joke) or Sabina will spill food on her clothes, Krista will decide she must take that one toy we haven’t seen in days or she can’t remember where she put her homework 5 minutes ago.  Those days are hard, at the end of the day I am so spent that I put my head down and I’m gone in less than 3 seconds, with a dirty face, clothes and glasses on.

And this is my new normal, this is what my life looks like right now, it’s not super glamorous, but it is beautiful, its messy its crazy and I’m in love with it.  I realized that while I might not be accomplishing as much on my “professional side” I am accomplishing beyond what I would imagine at home.  We are making it work, creating a life that is worth everything.   My kids only see the good side, they have often told me that they have had the “best days ever” lately (even in the middle of a chaos.  And that is what I want my new normal life to be all about.

 Photo by  @Lily_ro    Robe Kimono by  @dmodamia   Krista 's top:  @hm_kids     Skirt:  @folklorebk    Sabina's Dress:  @folklorebk     Zixta's Romper : @folklorebk   

Photo by @Lily_ro   Robe Kimono by @dmodamia  Krista 's top: @hm_kids    Skirt: @folklorebk   Sabina's Dress: @folklorebk    Zixta's Romper :@folklorebk  

 

Eduardo’s 3rd Bday

 
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Before you continue reading, let me first tell you that I am not big on kids bday parties.  So if you are here looking for Bday decor inspo or Bday themes, you can stop reading now. This post isn’t about how to go all out on your child’s 3rd Bday, but the complete opposite.  If you are the kind of mom who does a theme park every year to skip out on big bday parties, than this post is for you.

This year Eddie turned 3 and my husband and I had planned to spend the entire weekend at Disney.  We thought it would be a hassle free way to celebrate his bday. But after looking at our budget, we quickly realized spending the night at Disney’s California Grand hotel was out of the question.  We decided to do California Adventure for Saturday and invite my sisters, brother and my husbands moms for an impromptu get together.

I will say that my sons Bday was one of the most memorable days I’ve had with him.  I had so much fun with my siblings and the kids had a blast. The weather was beautiful, the food was great and everyone was chilled out.  I also loved having a photographer there, it allowed me to be more present and not worry so much about capturing that perfect Instagram moment.  It was the best decision ever! So what did I learn about this? I learned that all you need for a stress free Bday party are 5 things.

  1. Great Food - I Got party trays from Chichenitza and my sister brought cake from Paris Baguette

  2. Create a simple Photo Backdrop - I Bought Balloons and hero masks from Party City

  3. Be surrounded by the people you love talking to

  4. Have enough space for the kids to run around.

  5. Invest in a photographer - I had the fabulous Annie Vovan

Now, I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with doing the most for bday parties.  I wish I had more of that gene in me. But if the hosting thing doesn’t come naturally to you, don’t stress.  Don’t let the Instagram and Pinterest world get to you and your stress levels. Relax and know that there’s no greater gift than spending quality time with your child.  Don’t do it for others, do it for your babies.

And who knows, maybe I will eat all my words and next year host the grandest bday bash ever.  But for now, just having these memories stored in my hear (and my dropbox folder) will do :)

 

 

 

 

Vision Board Posada 2017: : Presented by Munchkin

 
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We have been making Vision boards for years now.  The concept was first introduced to us by non-other than the Queen her self, Oprah.  And of course, when Oprah shares knowledge, all you can do is listen, learn and execute.  We hosted vision board parties at our home every year, inviting only a few close friends.  Everyone would bring magazines, wine and a few bites to eat.  We’d sit around the house, cutting and glue-ing away.  There was no right or wrong way to create your vision board, but all we said to our friends was this:

“Let your inner voice guide you because deep inside you know what sort of things are meant to be yours. Be bold, allow yourself to trust your inner voice and don’t over think.  Let the images call out to you, cut them and place them on that board.”

We would then put that board anywhere we knew it would be visible to us every day.  The amount of visions that came true were magical.  And just like that, the idea of creating a Vision Board night for our Super Mamas sisters came to us the same way, like magic.  

Our first year, we presented the idea to Munchkin and they were absolutely ecstatic. They loved the idea and said YES right away.  We gathered 50 sisters and had the best of night.  This year, we knew we had to outdo ourselves.  We didn’t know how, but we did!  We called on our design hero @harlowplanning who created a design concept that we fell in love with.  We saw the night come together, again, like magic.

On December 14th 2017, the magic flowed through the Munchkin Headquarters with 75 of our sisters again.  All of us worked on our 2018 vision boards, enjoyed the best food, connected with other sisters and left inspired, charged and ready to take on the new year.  We also presented our first-ever Super Mamas Sister of the Year Award.  We honored Dulce Candy because she was a catalyst in giving us the courage to take on this Super Mamas journey.  We have watched her videos for years and witnessed her career take off right before our eyes while always encouraging others (and us) to follow our own dreams.  She received the award and of course, there wasn’t one dry eye in the room.

This time around, we had some of our sisters share their vision boards.  Every single person in the room was moved.  There was a spirit present that is hard to explain, but in our hearts we knew everyone walked out certain of themselves and of what 2018 is bound to bring them. 

Thank you all who joined us, the response was unbelievable.  The night sold out in less than three minutes!  If you couldn’t secure a spot, we encourage you to gather your friends and host your own vision board night. And please, keep us posted on visions that have come to fruition for you.  We love listening to your magic moments.  Here’s to a blessed 2018 sisters!!!

A few special shout outs to those who made this night a reality:

Presenting Sponsor : Munchkin

Sister Sponsor: Yoobi

Design/Planning @harlowplanning

Photography @lilyro_

Florals @floralsbyisabelle

Macrame design @theshiftcreative

Rentals @247events

Furniture @circarentals

 

 

 

CREATE OLD SCHOOL CRAFTS INTO HOLIDAY CARDS

 
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We are all guilty of keeping every art project our toddlers bring home from preschool/kinder right?  We feel guilty to throw them away, yet we have no use for them.  Well, I have been getting in the habit of making my own greeting cards this year using Eddie’s old artwork.  I don’t remember where I first read about this, but it stuck in my head.  So this Holiday season, I wanted to share with you all this little trick I have been doing this past year.  Works great for any celebration, but for Christmas specially, family loves it!

All you are going to need is some recycled holiday ribbon, scissors, glue, jumbo color pencils, markers and/or holiday stickers.  I used a few of Yoobi’s decals that I had in my arts and crafts box.  Eddie loves to color over them and it gives the card a bit more character.   Making them is super easy.  

Just cut out any old artwork made from construction paper, fold it in half, and glue some holiday ribbon around the edges.  You can write directly inside the card, or you can cut out a blank square and glue it on the inside where your message will go.  In the front, simply write out “Happy Holidays”, or in my case, “Feliz Navidad”.  Yes, its that easy!  And trust me, everyone loves them!   

So this holiday season, save yourself some money on greeting card by making your own all while getting rid some of those old craft preschool projects while you are at it!

 

Super Mamas 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

 
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The holiday season is here! This means it's also time for our Super Mamas Holiday Gift Guide! It's like Oprah's gift guide, except we want these things for ourselves too. Find something for everyone on your list in the suggestions we curated especially for our Super Mamas! We also took the time to highlight creations and suggestions by some of our favorite #mombosses.

Enjoy and don't forget to share with your friends and family. Don't forget to create your own wishlist too! Santa knows you were good this year. (wink, wink) 

1. Blankets from Sueño Shop - These blankets are a dream come true, warm, fuzzy and perfect to cuddle up with your babies and your honey after bedtime. Created by Natalia Koegen, these blankets pair authentic Mexican serapes with the softest sherpa. They are available and toddler and full size. Perfect gifts for the family. Purchase it here.

2. Hija de tu madre Bandera Jacket- Patty Delgado’s creations have been all over our Instagram feeds lately and we can’t get enough of them. We love this bandera jacket that is also available in kids size! But her shop Hija de Tu Madre features so many adorable items that celebrate the beauty of being immersed in two cultures. Find the jacket we love here.

3. Spanglish Threadz Bebe Pullover- This is the perfect shop for the kids in your life. These t-shirts will keep your childhood memories alive while promoting bilingualism. These bilingual bebe pullover is the perfect lightweight hoodie kids can wear alone or under a warmer jacket. Find it here and make sure to check out the rest of the selection.

4. Lil’Loteria from Lil' Libros- Our Super Mama faves Ariana Stein and Patty Rodriguez are at it again. This time with a new version of the game we all grew up with -Loteria. This bilingual game is child friendly, beautifully illustrated and will help you create new memories for years to come. Kids can play in English or in Spanish. This will be a hit at your family’s Christmas for sure! Get it here.

5. Sofia Boots from m4d3 Shoes - If shopping for a cause is your thing, look no further than the M4D3 shoe brand. For every pair of M4D3 Shoes purchased the company donates two books to underserved children. But you don’t have to compromise style either, we love the sofia boot which can be worn with your favorite jean, skirt or dress this winter. But you can also find shoes for every lifestyle from sneakers, to ballerina flats. Find our favorite boot here.

6. Yumi is a subscription based service that delivers 1000’s of fresh and organic fresh and organic baby meals to homes across the country. You can hear more of their story in one of our recent episodes. We tested the food ourselves and we actually couldn’t get enough! This is a perfect gift for an expectant or new mommy. They will be so grateful for you and Yumi. Learn more about their subscription delivery plans here.

7. Fuchila Fresheners- These fresheners tap into the nostalgia and icons of our culture through artwork and scents. Featuring conchas, luchadores, Frida and an array of cute designs we can’t get enough of these but our favorite “Viva Villa” was named after one of the most prominent figures of the Mexican revolution. Plus, the vanilla scent reminds us of the sweet deserts of our childhood. Perfect stocking stuffer!  Find it here

8. Westcoast Crewneck Sweater- Our girl Rachel Gomez the founder of Viva La Bonita wowed us with her story earlier this year. She is the epitome of #momboss. Her brand embodies her L.A style that is is also comfortable and easy to wear. Her collection of long sleeves, tees, and sweaters comes in sizes for every body type. She also carries a collection of bags, and accessories that will help you check off everyone on your list. Of course, we are Westcoast girls for life so this crewneck was our top pick.

9. Virgencita Crewneck Sweater- La virgen morena looks beautiful in a powder blue background in this Bella Dona crew neck sweater. You can also find cute Virgencita phone cases, t-shirts, and more great pieces from patches, to pins, to kids apparel. Style that makes a statement is just what we want from Santa Claus this year! Find our favorite sweater here.

10. Virgen Mexican Blanket- It rarely gets cold in L.A but that won’t stop anyone from rocking this Mexican sarape. Get this for those on your list who pull out their coats when it hits below 70 degrees. Find it here.

11. The Triangle Bralette from Wear Lively - We’ve told you how much we love these comfortable bralettes that you can wear under your favorite tank or tee. These bralettes will be your new go-to this Holiday season. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention you must get a few for yourself too! Check out our fave’s here

12. Oh so luxe Statement Earring gift set - For the fashionista in your life this box from Baublebar features two pairs of statement earrings in a ready to go gift box. All the thoughtfulness without the hassle. These will also pair well with all the comfy leggings you will wear while you chase your kids at the park. Find them here.

13. Tre Pink Studio Sweden Earbuds- Tired of your headphone cable getting tangled at the bottom of your purse? We have the perfect solution, these pink, wireless earbuds are cute, functional and are designed so you can still hear outside noises. Once you gift these to yourself and to all your mom friends there will be no reason to miss one single episode of the Super Mamas podcast! Get them here.

14. Red Roses Mesh Socks- Socks used to be considered a boring gift, but these red roses socks are the exception to the rule. These are cute, comfortable socks that will please everyone on your list. Pick from an assortment of designs. Find them here.

15. Mary Carillo is a Super Mama we met earlier this year who got us into Doterra oils that can be used for everything from preventing illnesses to calming fussy babies. We are obsessed! Great gift for your tia who is into remedios caseros! You can get started with the basic kit here.


16.Essential Oil Diffuser - Now that you have your oils you need a diffuser. We love to diffuse the scent of lavender after a long day. It comes with an LED light and is perfect for your nightstand. Get it here.

17. Wish by WeVibe - You all remember our sex-ed episode with Samara Fabrick right? In it, we spoke about sex toys and the importance of reaching sexual freedom.  Well, we couldn't close out our gift guide without adding our favorite toy of the year. Gift it to your bestie, she'll thank you.  Trust us.  

Happy Shopping!

Tell us what you loved in the comments! 

 

Celebrate Family this Thanksgiving with Disney-Pixar's COCO

 
 Photos by LilyRo

Photos by LilyRo

Earlier this month we had the opportunity to watch Disney-Pixar’s COCO along with a few very lucky Super Mamas! The film premiered in Mexico on the Day of the Dead to much acclaim and celebration. The film opens today in the United States and we give it enthusiastic Super Mama thumbs up! 

The movie has an amazing Latino cast that includes Gael-Garcia Bernal, Edward James Olmos, and Anthony Gonzalez. It is full of Mexican folklore and depicts the Day of the Dead a tradition that is very special to many of us in a beautiful way. Director Lee Unrich delivered a visual masterpiece of color and beauty that evokes memories of our childhood celebrating the day of the dead. The story written by Adrian Molina who was also a co-director tells a story that honors the history and importance of the holiday for families like ours.

The film tells the story of Miguel Rivera, a boy growing up in the town of Santa Cecilia, Mexico who wants to play the guitar and sing but is part of a family who has banned music. His ancestor Mama Imelda instituted a ban on music because of a great-great-grandfather who abandoned the family to be a musician. The name of the film “COCO” comes from Miguel’s great grandmother Coco who is elderly and increasingly losing her memory, except for when she speaks of her father.

But Miguel is keeping a secret from his family. Despite the family ban on music, he longs to sing and perform, he teaches himself with the music of deceased singer Ernesto de La Cruz and learns some of his greatest hits, including the song that frames the movie, “Remember Me.” He longs to be a musician like his idol despite his family's objections.

He develops a plan to sing at the plaza on the day of the dead but when his family finds out they destroy his guitar. It is then he sneaks into the mausoleum of his idol Ernesto and steals his guitar. On the day of the dead you are supposed to give to the dead not take away from them and so his actions set off a curse that sends him to the land of the dead.

This is when the movie gets even better. 

He takes us to the land of the dead where we are treated to a visual treat filled with color, animation and vivid imagery. Miguel is soon reunited with his deceased ancestors including the family matriarch Mama Imelda, it is here he learns more about the history of his family and the ban on music. 

Eventually, Miguel teams up with Hector a man who cannot cross over into the land of the living on the day of the dead because no one is displaying his photo. Hector pledges to help Miguel lift the curse so he can return to the land of the living and in exchange Miguel promises to bring his picture with him and display it in his altar. They set off on a musical adventure that will mesmerize kids and adults alike! The featured song, “Remember Me” ties together the central theme of the movie, that those who have left us live on in our memories. They even run into characters you might recognize like Frida Kahlo, Pedro Infante, and even Miguel’s idol Ernesto De La Cruz!

The original music and renditions of classics like La Llorona transported us back to our childhood’s in Oaxaca and we could not be more proud of this movie. Seeing our culture highlighted in this way was a moving experience for us and for the Super Mamas who joined us at our screening in Los Angeles.

Anyone will relate to the tale of piecing together their family history while trying to find their own way in the world. Bring tissues, bring abuelita and bring your kids. This has already sparked some beautiful conversations with our own family about love and honoring our ancestors.

Thank You Disney-Pixar for this film. We can’t think of a better way to spend Thanksgiving.

Thank you to all the Super Mamas who attended our special screening!

Tells us your favorite part of the movie in the comment section below!

 

Disney-Pixar's COCO: A Love Story to Mexico and Day of the Dead

 
 Getty's Images used with Permission from Disney-Pixar 

Getty's Images used with Permission from Disney-Pixar 

We were invited to attend the Global Press Conference for Disney-Pixar's 'Coco' at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. We were so blessed to be there and hear directly from the cast and makers including living legend, Edward James Olmos, and Super Papacitos Gael Garcia Bernal and Benjamin Bratt It was an emotional event that began with traditional folklorico dancers and a mariachi performance.

The film’s director Lee Unkrich called the movie “a love letter to Mexico.” He addressed the extensive research that went into making sure that they treated the film topic with respect by traveling to Mexico numerous times and spending time with families that celebrate the Day of the Dead. Care was taken into every element of the film from set designs, to the depiction of the Day of Dead celebrations and even the music that accompanies the film. Benjamin Bratt who lends his voice to one of the main characters of the film talked about referencing Mexican legends like Pedro Infante, and Jorge Negrete for his larger than life character Ernesto De La Cruz.

 Getty's Images used with Permission from Disney-Pixar

Getty's Images used with Permission from Disney-Pixar

Edward James Olmos expressed that when he first met with Unkrich,  Producer Darla Anderson, and writer Adrian Molina he wasn’t sure what to expect but that as a Mexican man he felt that they were treating the theme and culture with the respect it deserved. He added, “I could not be more proud of the film which I know is going to have impact around the world and make people of all cultures reflect on how they honor the memory of those who came before them.” Edward’s character (insert name) has a brief but important appearance as it is through him that we learn the true significance of “Dia de Muertos.” For Olmos he said this one scene is, “one of his proudest moments in the art form.”

Members of the press asked about what message they felt they wanted the film to give young kids. Alanna Ubach who plays the role of the matriarch, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother Mamá Imelda explained that she is so excited to share this film with her own child one day. (Her baby is just a few weeks old now) “I am excited to give my child this perspective on death that isn’t about sadness but about celebrating life and honoring our ancestors by keeping their memory alive.”

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Gael Garcia-Bernal who lent his voice to "Hector" chimed and mentioned that to him this is an important film for children growing up in a political climate where they can hear people in power say negative things about people who look like them and that he hopes this film “empowers them to see beyond that narrative and be proud of who they are.”

The film opens nationwide on November 21st. Check for theater times and purchase tickets here

 

8 Binge Worthy Television Shows To Watch this Holiday Season

 
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Now that the weather is a little cloudy, it’s the perfect time to cozy up with a blanket for some rest and relaxation and some good television! We encourage you to take advantage of the short days and put the kids to bed a little early to catch these binge worthy shows. Just remember don't stay up too late because the kids will get up early no matter what!  

There is something for everyone on this list.

Handmaid’s Tale: This one had us the edge of our seats the whole time! Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, this show has been one of Hulu’s biggest hits this year. It tells the story of a totalitarian society that takes over the United States through the eyes of a woman forced into living life as a “handmaid.” Season 2 is coming in the Spring of 2018 but you can catch Season 1 on Hulu.

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Game of Thrones: It might take you a while to watch all 7 seasons of this HBO medieval fantasy filled with intrigue, and drama but it is well worth your while. Sure there’s lots of names to remember but the story and cinematics will capture you immediately. The last season is coming sometime in 2018 so you have plenty of time to catch up!

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Pretty Little Lies: This show gives us a great glimpse of the life of some interesting Super Mamas but it also has a big mystery at the heart of it that comes with some surprising twists. We love seeing a show with so many cool women at the forefront. We love seeing complicated women trying to figure out motherhood, love and careers. Get ready for some playground drama with this one. Catch Season 1 on HBO

El Chapo: If you liked Narcos you will love this series which is dramatization of the real rise and fall of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord El Chapo Guzman. This biographical thriller co-produced by Univision released a second season earlier this year. You can catch it on Netlfix.

Club de Cuervos: This was Netflix’s first Spanish language show and it’s like the novelas we grew up watching except you can’t watch it with the kids are around. It tells the story of two siblings who inherit a soccer team after the death of their father. It has intrigue, soccer rivalries and so much more fun. Catch all 3 seasons on Netflix.

The Defiant Ones: If you need some inspiration to get out there and build your dreams this is for you! This HBO mini-series tells the series of the unexpected partnership between Dr. Dre and and Producer Jimmy Iovine. They take us from their beginnings with some of music legends like NWA, and Patty Smith to their ground breaking partnership with Apple. Seriously, this was one of our favorite things and we might just watch it again to get us pumped for 2018.

Veep: Politics lately can be quite depressing and so we like to balance our hard reality with some political fun courtesy of this HBO hit. The show tells the story of Selina Meyer who becomes VP and later the first female president of the United States. Her staff is hilarious and show us a side of politics we don’t often see. Get ready to LOL.

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This Is Us: Unless you have been living under a rock lately you have definitely heard of this show. We haven’t stopped crying since the show started. It’s just a perfect watch for those of us deep in the trenches of motherhood and life. It shows the up’s and down’s of the Pearson triplets as they go through various stages of their lives. We won’t tell you more because we really want you to watch it! The second season is currently airing weekly NBC and you can catch the replays on Hulu.

Tell us your favorite shows in the comment section!

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: MODERN FIESTA, THAISHA PEREZ

 
 Photos Courtesy of Thaisha Perez 

Photos Courtesy of Thaisha Perez 

Welcome to our monthly Sister Spotlight! We are excited to share with you the stories of the inspiring women who make up our Super Mama Squad! If you would like to be featured or would like to nominate someone to be featured please email us at hello@supermamas.com

Thaisha Perez is the founder of Modern Fiesta an online party supply store which features a curated selection of party decor. Thaisha is also a non-profit professional in the education field. She is raising her family in Oceanside, California. Her life is very busy these days as she works her job during the day, spends time with her daughter in the evenings and works on her business after her daughter falls asleep.

“I would listen to the Super Mamas podcast every morning and hearing from all these women who started their own business while being moms helped me know that I could do it too! “

Many great business begin when people find a gap in the market and this one is no exception. The shop was born when Thaisha started planning parties for her own baby girl. She found that stores were missing cute and curated pieces. She realized that many moms wanted unique decor that couldn’t be found in most online and brick and mortar shops.

Never underestimate the power of a Super Mama on a mission! She started her business with $1000.00. She bought her domain, set up a website, and bought products from all over the world to sell in her U.S based store.

She told us, "It’s important to celebrate, even if it’s only day, the memories are going to last forever. The person you are celebrating will appreciate that special day." 

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"With everything going on in the world it’s important that we carve out opportunities for joy."

Her goal is to open a brick and mortar shop and expand her online store in the near future.

Of course, we also had to talk about parties!

Her daughter’s birthday parties always inspire Thaisha to create beautiful things and purchase amazing party decor and supplies! For her daughter’s second birthday she chose a Safari Theme complete with pony rides, and reptiles! She’s already deep into planning her daughter’s 4th birthday next January. 

She shared with us her best tips for a successful birthday:

  1. Pick A Theme: Pick ideas from Pinterest but don’t feel like you have to do it all. Think about the child and their unique preferences. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

  2. Budget: Pick featured items to splurge on. Thaisha likes to splurge on cake and centerpieces and tables.

  3. Decor Trends: Unicorns are huge for children's birthdays, Boho theme is big for baby showers

  4. Use color. Purple and gold are huge, so you can make a theme out of colors too.

Check out Thaisha’s online store at ModernFiesta.Com and on social @modernfiesta. 

We are always so inspired by our amazing Super Mamas! Don't forget to nominate your favorite Super Mama to be featured by emailing us at hello@supermamas.com. 

 

Simple Emergency Preparedness

 
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Emergency preparedness has been on everyone’s minds lately. But it can be hard to know where to start. It’s essential that parents have emergency kits, and plans in place in case the worst occurs. We put together a list of quick tips to be ready in case of an earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster.

 We also want to incorporate our kiddos into our plans. Prioritize establishing a communication plan for your family. If you are not at home when the emergency hits where will you meet after? Explain to your kids what will happen if something happens while they are at school or with their babysitter. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends establishing a family communication plan and talk to your children about what will happen during an earthquake, or another disaster. You can download their kit here.

Once you have that out of the way, we recommend you put together an emergency kit, for your home and a portable one for your car.

Lucky for you, one of our amazing listeners, photographer Alejandra Rodriguez did all the hard work for you!

Here is her list of emergency kit essentials:

  • Water - Bottles, pouches of water, or gallons (3 gallons per person) and or a LifeStraw which is a purification straw you can drink water through.
  • Food - three days’ worth of nonperishable food: ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener, protein or fruit bars, dry cereal or granola, peanut butter, dried fruit, canned juices, non-perishable pasteurized milk, high energy foods, food for infants, more food tips here

  • Light - Wind-resistant matches, flashlight with extra batteries, tea candles, or Black Diamond Headlamp

  • Whistle - a basic whistle will do or this HEIMDALL Safety Whistle

  • Dust mask - you can buy a pack

  • First aid kit - this one is for 50 people

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities - something you can easily find in your garage

  • Moist towelettes

  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

  • Paper maps of your area

  • Scissors

  • Duct tape

  • Cash in all ones to easily pay for things since ATMs will not be working and people probably won't be able to make change

  • Jackets, ponchos, and blankets

  • Medications/ extra glasses or contact lenses/ Epi Pens for kids with allergies  

Tips:

  • Always keep shoes near your bed so you can put them on during an earthquake to avoid stepping on broken glass and other objects.

  • Have a pack in your homes and another in your cars.

  • Have copies of important documents in your emergency kit or other safe place.

  • Always have your car at at least half a tank. Gas stations shut down during these kind of emergencies.

  • Develop a map of resources around where you live and work.

  • Communicate with others about what you each will do to support one another in an emergency.

  • Make sure you have access to important documents and if you trust the cloud, store copies there.

  • Always keep your gas tank full in case you need to evacuate or if a long term emergency affects gasoline supplies. 

  • You can also just order emergency kit on Amazon or Costco!

Follow Alejandra on Instagram @junesoulbyali and check out her amazing photography here www.junesoulbyali.com

 

Tips for A Healthy Halloween from America's ToothFairy!

 
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Halloween is a time of fun and celebration but momma’s can get a little anxious about the amount of sweets that kids consume this time of year. And with good reason, did you know that children between the ages of 2-8 consume the most candy on Halloween? 

While we want to definitely enjoy the holiday with our kids, we want to make sure they have healthy teeth for years to come. Tooth decay affects many children in our community. Not only is this a painful condition, but in many cases, it also affects their lifestyle and school performance (children with poor oral health are 3 times more likely to miss school as a result of dental pain).

We reached out to America’s ToothFairy to get the scoop on how to set healthy boundaries with our kids. She wasn’t available, as she has a lot of children to visit, so we spoke with her official representative, Madeleine Ritchey, America's ToothFairy's spokesperson and dental hygienist. She has partnered with America's ToothFairy: National Children's Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) an organization that works to increase access to oral health care by supporting non-profit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention and treatment services for underserved children.  

She answered a few of parent's top concerns below! 

1. How can parents set healthy boundaries around Halloween candy consumption?

 

Balance is key! Instead of denying treats at Halloween, we recommend parents to teach their children about moderation. For example, parents can limit the consumption of candy to once a day during the Halloween season, as well as the number of sweets to one – instead of many at the same time.

2. How should we set limits at various ages?  The younger your children are, the more you should teach them about moderation and positive oral health behaviors for a lifetime healthy smile. We've found that the majority of parents (87%) do not limit candy consumption at home and, as a result, two-to eight-year old kids are the ones that consume most candies on Halloween.

3. The majority of our listeners have children who are in the toddler and preschool phase, how much candy should kids be allotted at this age?

For a healthy smile, I’d recommend replacing candy for sugar-free snacks, fruit, cheese or yogurt. For those parents that would like to treat their children with candies we suggest:

  • Choosing dark chocolate which contains less sugar than other candies and has health benefits - such as being a wonderful antioxidant.

  • Having their kids drink water while eating candy. Water will keep them hydrated and help remove food residues from the mouth, preventing the proliferation of bacteria that can cause cavities.

  • Encouraging their children to eat some cheese or drink milk after eating candy will help neutralize the acids left by food and prevent cavities and tooth erosion.

  • And of course brushing their teeth and flossing is the best advice.

4. How do we politely address friends/family on the subject of candy limits?

At America’s ToothFairy, we know that children want delicious, while parents want to provide what’s good for them. For that reason, we encourage them to promote moderation at home, regardless of their age.  Today, there are also many alternative, healthy options for our teeth that parents can choose to satisfy their kids preferences, such as sugar-free lollipops or gums, no sugar added applesauce, prepacked snacks, among others. Products made with natural sugar, such as Xylitol, are also good options for your children’s smiles.

Sharing this information with family and friends will be beneficial to our kids and will help creating more awareness about oral health in our community.

We are so grateful to America's ToothFairy for sharing her tips with us!

Below you can find more information about NCOHF! 

About the Organization: Founded in 2006, America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) Work hard to educate families about dental health and increase access to dental services. The America’s ToothFairy Southern California Oral Health Zone (SoCal OHZ) program focuses on improving children’s oral health outcomes through education and community engagement initiatives in Los Angeles and Orange County. The SoCal OHZ program supports more than 300,000 children and caregivers in the area with oral health education and resources every year.

Check out their websiteInstagram, and Facebook to learn more!

Photo: Shutterstock

 

How To Start A Podcast

 

The Super Mamas Guide to launching your own podcast in 8 easy steps. 

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When we started Super Mamas back in 2015, we didn’t know much about podcasting, but we loved the idea of being able to share our stories about parenting, and womanhood with people from all walks of life. Two years later, we are so happy we took on this adventure.  We've received many emails asking us for our own tips on how to start their one podcast.   We know it can seem overwhelming, so we put together our tips to how you too can create your own podcast.  So great ready to press record and begin this wonderful podcasting journey with us!

Prep Work-

Develop a concept for your show. What topics do you want to cover? Are you doing an interview show? Will you have local guests or remote guests? How often will you release an episode? What is the length of your show? We are big advocates of doing a weekly show since this helps you create rapport with your audience, and gets you into the groove of recording. This is like a new mini-job you are taking on so make sure that you adjust your schedule accordingly. We recommend you pick a day of the week to release your episodes and be consistent about that schedule. This is also a good time to find background, or theme music for your show. Here is a site where you can free music to download.

Step 1- Name & Artwork

Whatever image you choose needs to be about 1,400 x 1,400 pixels (3,000 x 3,000 pixels maximum). We suggest you find a local designer who could help you with the design and branding of your podcast. You can find helpful info regarding artwork here. We suggest is that you don’t use the word ‘podcast’ in your name. Like us, our show is called “Super Mamas” the word ‘podcast’ isn’t on the title.  It just seems a bit redundant given that it is already listed on a podcasting app. I mean, it’s not like Television shows have the word “show” at the end of every tittle, right?

Step 2- Equipment 

Sound quality is one of the most important elements of your podcast. Your content can be amazing but if your sound quality is poor, it makes it less likely that they will come back for more.

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Here are the essentials:

  • MICROPHONE: This is the one we like that is also affordable for most podcasters and is a great option that even major podcasters use. But you can also invest in other microphones like this one that we purchased for our guests.  The microphones we use for Super Mamas is this one

  • HEADPHONES: We highly recommend you invest in a good pair of headphones and don’t just use your regular Iphone buds. Why? Because these will help you listen to the quality of sound when you record. They will also help you listen any echo, or noise pollution that will affect your final product. They will also be useful for editing. These are the ones we use HD 280 Pro.

  • LAPTOP: You will need a computer to edit, and upload your episode to a host, and set up your podcast.

Things That Are Nice to Have But Not Required:

MIXER: A mixer is not required but this is how we combine audio when we are recording multiple people. Higher quality microphones can be plugged directly into your mixer. Here’s a site that explains other reasons to consider a mixer.

POP-FILTER -A pop filter is just as the name implies, something that you place in front of your microphone to prevent harsh sounds from penetrating your audio. Here is the one we use.

DIGITAL RECORDER-You can use this to record at events or to record guest when traveling. Here is the one we use.  

Here is a video where one of the experts we like talks about equipment: Watch here

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 Mixer and pop-filter seen here 

Mixer and pop-filter seen here 

Step 3- Record! 

If possible, choose a quiet environment to record. Large spaces and high ceilings can create an echo. Test your sound before doing a full recording. Be patient, you got this! 

We use garageband to record. We suggest you get a USB microphone that can plug directly into your computer or if you have a mixer your microphones will connect to your mixer, which you will then connect to your computer through the USB outlet. Think about the format of your show and how many microphones you will need. Here is a really good YouTube video that explains more about recording on Garageband and putting your show together:

How To Record TUTORIAL: Watch here

Step 4- Edit 

Garageband allows you to edit your recording and listen to any things you might want to erase. For example, long pauses, or background noises. You can also mix in music at this time and create your introduction. Again, don’t overthink this! It’s okay if your first episode isn’t perfect. In terms of editing and production. Be patient. It will take some time, but once you get the hang of it you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner. Here are some tips to get you started with editing.

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Step 5- Choose A Podcast Host

Think of this as the place where your podcast lives. From here it will stream on places like Apple Podcasts, Spotify and others. We chose to host ours with a Soundcloud account but you can choose other services like Podomatic. With Soundcloud we recommend you start with a free account and upgrade to “Pro” once you see a need for more stats and upload time. Remember that the most important piece of information here is the RSS Feed.  Don’t get scared by the name. It’s basically just a URL you need to copy and paste in iTunes. 

*EDIT* - Most recently, we have migrated our hosting to Libsyn. Their customer service is superb and they can help in getting your show published in Youtube, Spotify and even iHeartRadio! 

 This link is your RSS feed. Make sure to also check privacy settings to make sure your RSS is public that's how it will update with Itunes and other streaming services. 

This link is your RSS feed. Make sure to also check privacy settings to make sure your RSS is public that's how it will update with Itunes and other streaming services. 

Step 6- Open your account on iTunes

On the main Podcast iTunes page you will see a link that says “submit podcast”.  It will take you 3 minutes to do this.  It is so easy.  All it will ask you for is your Apple ID, some basic info about your show and the RSS feed code  (you will get this from Soundcloud).  However, it does take up to 7 days for iTunes to approve your podcast link.  But just be patient.  

 This is where you enter your RSS feed to have your podcast stream on Itunes. 

This is where you enter your RSS feed to have your podcast stream on Itunes. 

Step 7- Upload  

We suggest you upload your first episode on soundcloud prior to you getting your account approved on iTunes.  That way once it is approved, you already have an episode published.  BUT, don’t promote it until it is already on iTunes. it will just be easier for people to find you that way. You can stream it on various places like Spotify and Stitcher.

Step 8- Promote Your Episode

Tell your friends and family about your new project. Use your social media channels to promote. Encourage people who do listen to leave you a review and subscribe. Create social media channels for your podcast, and if you want to go the extra step, purchase the domain for it.

If you have more questions don’t hesitate to ask! We are always here to support our sisters in making their dreams come true.

 

Turn your Baby Food into your own Breakfast & Lunch

 

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When you have a baby at home, the last thing you may want to do is cook. The lack of sleep from a newborn makes it very hard to get creative in the kitchen. When I was at home with baby Eddie, I began to realize that I would make food for him and totally forget the fact that I needed to nourish myself as well.

One of my kitchen saviors quickly became avocados, since Eddie became obsessed with them at an early age. I always had them handy and they were a perfect food we both could share for breakfast and lunch. Actually, one of his first foods was a mix of avocados and bananas. Not only was it smooth and creamy, but extremely versatile.  I could serve it alone or mash it up with fruits like bananas or mangos.

Though Eddie is already 2½ years old, avocados are still one of his favorite foods (and mine too, I mean, who doesn’t like a good avocado toast?), but now I don’t have to mash them up. He loves to eat them in chunks over salads, pastas, tacos, dips or in a smoothie.

Being conscious of nourishing our babies and of course, ourselves, is a challenge any super mamá can overcome. With having high nutritional value and being super versatile, it’s easy to incorporate avocados into our everyday diets.

Here are three recipes in partnership with Aguacates Frescos – Saborea Uno Hoy® that can help you turn your baby’s food into your very own breakfast and lunch (so you don’t forget about yourself when prepping for your baby). And please remember to check your pediatrician before introducing any new foods.

This post sponsored by Aguacates Frescos – Saborea Uno Hoy®

AVOCADO MANGO BABY

Nutrition Tip: 

  • For infants: If desired, add breastmilk or formula to reach desired consistency based on age and caregiver’s comfort level. Nutritional information will vary.
  • For older babies and toddlers:
    • Mash ingredients with a fork instead of pureeing.
    • Serve in reusable baby food pouches for maximum portability, or freeze in ice pop trays to make homemade popsicles.
    • Add Greek yogurt and use as dip for your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Note: Speak to your child’s pediatrician before adding solid foods to your infant’s diet.

Ingredients: 

1 ripe, fresh avocado, cut in half, peeled and seeded

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced

Instructions 

  1. Puree avocado and mango in a blender or in a baby masher until desired consistency is reached.  
  2. Serve baby 1 to 2 tablespoons mixture. Freeze remainder in 1 ounce ice cube trays.

*Recipe adapted from SaboreaUnoHoy.com

AVOCADO AND MANGO KICK-STARTER SMOOTHIE

Instructions 

  1. In a blender, add avocado, mango, pineapple, pineapple juice, almond milk, and ice.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately. 

*Note: Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

*Recipe adapted from SaboreaUnoHoy.com

Ingredients 

1 ripe, fresh avocado*, halved, pitted, peeled and diced

1 large ripe mango (about 1 cup), pitted, peeled and cubed, or 1 cup frozen

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple, chopped

3 Tbsp.pineapple juice

1 cup almond milk

1 cup ice

MANGO AND AVOCADO SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 mangos, cubed

  • 2 avocados, diced

  • 1/2 small red onion, diced

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in oil. Toss in mangoes, avocado and red onion to coat. Serve immediately.

*Recipe adapted from SaboreaUnoHoy.com

 

The Baby Shower of my Dreams

 
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My mom is the go-to person whenever we plan parties in my family. With my previous baby showers, I would just decide on the theme, the food and she would do everything from start to finish. I didn't realize how much work it took until now.

This being my last baby, I decided to have a more hands-on approach and do it myself. Truth be told, I ended up needing lots of help. I couldn't have pulled it off without my mom, sisters, friends and it was just what I wanted. It was the perfect celebration for my baby with the people I love, my favorite food and in a beautiful setting that gave us beautiful pictures to share with her when she gets older.

We may make it look easy, but we all know it's not. I learned a few lessons from this experience and I decided to put some tips together, so you too can fully enjoy your celebration. Don’t feel guilty and just go for it. You deserve it, Super Mamá!

Ask for help

Yes! As much as you want to take over and do things yourself, you're growing a human inside of you. Enlist your family members and friends and give them a task.  My sister Elizabeth was in charge of all the games and activities, Bricia put together my vision and helped with final touches, and my mom helped with the flowers, decorations and dessert table. She also came with me on my multiple shopping trips (you know me). I had many other tasks that I spread around to a few family members and friends and they were so much help!

Don't get caught up with having the ‘perfect’ theme

Nowadays with the pressure of social media we all want the prettiest theme and believe me, I did too. I wanted a 'chic cacti and pastel colored Mexican baby fiesta' party. I know! It was complicated and it was born from a picture I saw a while ago on Pinterest. I was so stressed that I spent hours searching online for the prettiest things, but as time went by, I couldn't find anything. At the end, I let go of that idea and opened myself up to finding things I loved organically. So, start with a general idea and be open to change! It’s easier and stress-free.

Support small businesses

Every vendor at my baby shower were contacts from social media.  From my delicious cake, to my catering, to my deserts. There are so many growing small businesses and people with side hustles who are incredibly talented. You already follow these people, so why not support them in a real way? We also all have that one friend (or many) who loves baking, making flower arrangements or taking amazing pictures. I bet if you look closely in your address book you will find a lot of people that can make your life easier.  Plus, your budget will thank you! Also, don’t forget to visit your local dollar store. You will be surprised at all the things you will find for a super cheap price!

Choose what YOU like

Yes!! It's your party and you will cry if you want to. This party is about you! So what do YOU want to eat, drink, experience and take away from your party? You’re never going to make everyone happy, and haters will hate no matter what (so, don’t invite haters). What really matters is that you enjoy your own party! If you want to have a special food, dessert, music, or treat, go for it and have it! Believe me, the people who are really there for you will have a blast no matter what you give them and at the end of the day, you’ll be much more satisfied.

Rely on technology to make things easier

Its 2017 ladies! There are so many things we can take advantage of. Websites like Evite and Paperless Post will do most of the invitation and guest list work for you. People can RSVP, get up-to-date information, get maps, directions, etc. After many birthday parties for the kids, I’ve learned to rely on other people to do most of the ‘cute stuff’. I downloaded clip art from Etsy and designed my own invitations with the Over app. For my baby registry, BabyList was super helpful. I put all my favorite items from different stores in one place and people had the option of either buying straight from the website or purchasing on their own (Plus - you can link it to you invitation). And for music, I used Spotify to create my playlist. There is an app for everything nowadays!

Take lots of pictures

Taking photos is a way of putting special moments in a time bubble. It gives me a chance to see how blessed I am and how much we have changed and grown as a family. Your baby will look back and see how much she or he was loved before being born. My kids get super excited to see themselves inside of me.  Believe me, these are the best moments!

Have fun!

This is the most important tip of all. This is YOUR party. You are the queen, you are growing life inside of you and deserve to be celebrated and pampered. This is not the time to take care of others, it's about you!! Once your little baby is with you, you’ll have plenty to do. Things will not be 100% perfect, but if you enjoy yourself those little things won't matter.  

Go ahead! Give yourself permission to have fun and enjoy!

 

#TalkReadSing Moments

 
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During the month of August, we asked our Super Mamas to share with us their Talk.Read.Sing moments for our August campaign in partnership with First 5 California!

First 5 California is an organization that educates parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers about the critical role they play during a child’s first five years. Since their creation in 1998, they’ve supported millions of families with programs and services designed to help more California kids grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school – and in life!

We know that talking, reading, and singing with young children every day and throughout the day helps build important connections in the brain that can change their lives forever. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted a post using #talkreadsing. We enjoyed learning all about how you are nurturing your little ones’ minds in everyday life.

Below is a sample of some of the tips we loved! But really, we thought they were all fantastic.

 Image by: @raisinglilhumans 

Image by: @raisinglilhumans 

@Raisinglilhumans is a #supermama who makes amazing eats for her babies and she showed us how everyday activities can be a perfect time to engage with your kids. She said, "Homemade baby food at its finest. Get your kids involved. Talk to them about what they are eating. Have fun with it!" #talkreadsing

 Image by @capturingcultura 

Image by @capturingcultura 

Nadia Hernandez @capturingcultura. “It’s #Nationalbooklovers today and I just had to share this photo. If you’ve met my daughter, you will know that she loves books. This was my daughter’s genuine reaction when she saw these Lil Libros books. She’ll say wow to everything she likes so I knew that these will become some of her favorites. I have been reading to her since the womb. I have #talkreadsing to her I have seen how this has helped her development.”  Nadia even shared a blog post with helpful tips on how to start your reading journey with your children. Check that out here!

 Image by @lifeoftorres

Image by @lifeoftorres

Nessa from @lifeoftorres shared how they spent their time this summer singing along to their favorite Disney Jr. songs and listening to the storytelling of Snow White and Brave!

 Image by @veronica.rmrz 

Image by @veronica.rmrz 

Veronica @veronica.rmrz shared all about how her daughter Ximena is choosing her own books and they happen to include little books with cute images that teach her about accomplished women like Maya Angelou, Amelia Earhart and Frida Kahlo. What an amazing way to #talkreadsing and learn about #girlpower at the same time.  

 Image by: @brendah21_ 

Image by: @brendah21_ 

Brenda aka: @brendah21_ told us how she started to #talkreadsing to her son Elijah during her pregnancy. She says, “It feels good, when we get to witness Elijah responding or repeating something we have been teaching him.” Here he is practicing doodles while momma reads to him! 

During the month of August our Super Mama guests also shared with us their favorite #talkreadsing moments! You can visit our show notes to see more of their tips. Miriam Carrillo of Episode 115 shared how she sings to her infant during diaper changes, and other guests shared their favorite books or apps they use to encourage talking, reading, or singing. 

We were so happy to partner with First 5 California for this campaign! We hope you learned as much as we did. 

Visit www.first5california.com for more information! 

You can also find more tips and resources on First 5 California's social media channels: Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and listen to their Pandora station.

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: REDEFINING MODERN FATHERHOOD WI/ MICHELLE OLVERA

 
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LatinoDad.Co offering a special discount code for our Super Mama listeners. Enter Supermamas_Rock at checkout - 25% off the ticket price. They are also asking for donations -to pay the way for other fathers to attend, and exhibitor booths are still available. Visit Latinodad.co for more details! 

Michelle Olvera is the founder of LatinoDad.co a culturally-relevant, trusted source and digital media platform for Latino fathers that seeks to provide support to modern dad’s.

The idea for this platform started when Michelle realized that the Latinx/multicultural father was not being addressed at-all, especially the younger millennial father. She told us,

"Somehow the GQs, Esquires don’t cut it after you become a father, right? There is a lack of ‘modern’ parental resources that speak to Latino men/fathers. I did my due diligence, found an underserved market gap, surveyed about 50 fathers on their pains, problems and wishes, then built the minimum viable product platform myself using a simple Wordpress theme and my own design, technical skills and knowledge of lean startup application. It’s not perfect yet LatinoDad.co a parental resource and content platform was born and has been well-received so far."

In countless with conversations with young fathers Michelle realized that what they wanted was tips and knowledge on how to adapt fatherhood by breaking away from being generational, traditional father approaches that tend to emphasize a rigid father figure. This is why as part of their launch, they are putting on a first-ever LatinoDad Summit 2017 on September 9th in Los Angeles that will cover topics ranging from race, toxic masculinity to wellness. 

"Men as caregivers are the real game changers in our community.”

Michelle is a serial entrepreneur and this work is closely aligned to her path in life. She believes her mission on this earth is to solve problems in our community. She is also the founder of SupaDaily.com a site that celebrates the individual & collective power of Latinas and multicultural women as feminists & culture makers. They cover politics via commentary and journalism, race/identity, pop culture and personal ‘brown girl’ narratives from influential writers, to help readers make sense of the world around them. She believes that we cannot change conditions for women without including men and their role in the conversation. 

“if I can change hearts and minds through the power of storytelling, mind shifting content products and user experience - then I found the problem I was meant to solve.”

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One of Michelle’s main motivations is being a SuperTia to three Latino nephews. She helped raise two nephews, now young men 18 and 20 years old. She is now, helping to raise Joshua, the youngest at 8 months old. I have a small immediate family - so the nephews are the next generation - all boys!

She believes many factors indicate that the timing is here for LatinoDad.co. First, from a marketing perspective Latino male spending is increasing as dads become more hands on in their role as caregivers. She also alludes to an important crisis of masculinity. She explained:

 “Globally, there is a crisis of violence, manhood, gender politics - a renewed feminist movement for gender equality has triggered more men into growing in their capacity to support women, but there is still a lot of work to do with men of color.”   

She is excited about bringing the conversation to “real life" with their first offline event in Los Angeles next month, LatinoDAD Summit 2017. LatinoDad.co wants to give fathers the space to explore offline and online what it means to be a father today and of course, work in synergy with the trusted brands who align with LatinoDad.Co’s mission that want to reach them.

Michelle believes a paradigm shifting happening and that we can move the needle by supporting Latino men as fathers and caregivers to raise the next generation of children with gender quality. She believes if we do that, "we will see more liberation in them and therefore, in us as females." 

We couldn’t agree more!

You can follow the conversation on Latinx fatherhood on social media:

  • Twitter: @joinlatinodad
  • Facebook: LatinoDads
  • Insta: LatinoDad_Media
  • You can sign up for their newsletter 
 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: SARA QUINTANAR, MUSIC WITH SARA

 
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Welcome to our monthly Sister Spotlight! We are excited to share with you the stories of the inspiring women who make up our Super Mama Squad! If you would like to be featured or would like to nominate someone to be featured please email us at info@supermamas.la

Sara Quintanar is the founder of Music with Sara, her mission is to make early childhood music education accessible to more families and educators. She is a bilingual early childhood music educator based in Los Angeles, California. She teaches music in Spanish to hundreds of children each week. She is also a mother of 3 children ages 12,10 and 5. Her family comes from East Los Angeles, and from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, México. Her husband is from Zacatecas and Jalisco. 

Sara Quintanar started “Music With Sara” after her first child Celia was born. After trying various mommy and me classes around LA, she wanted to have a class with music in Spanish and music parents could really vibe to. So after attending a few, she decided to start “Music With Sara”, bilingual ‘grown up and me’ classes for children. She told us, “I saw a direct need for early childhood music classes AND music in Spanish.”

 
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When her oldest started school at a Dual Language Magnet, Sara started teaching in her classroom. By then she had a broad understanding of how music impacted learning, and how it facilitated learning a second language and improved fluency. A parent, who she now considers a great friend recorded her so the kids could practice, and that recording became her first album “Canciones en español”. She now has 4 albums of music in Spanish. Her latest collection of songs was published by Scholastic for First 5 CA as a bilingual songbook.

“Children learn through whole body activities how to move, make music, follow rhythm patterns, and explore. In my classes children learn to share, make friends, listen, and improvise. I had no idea what a huge impact these classes would have on the families or my own career. “

Currently, she teaches music in pre-schools, Head Start and Childcare Programs, and at the Elementary level. She has published 2 books for children and makes bilingual videos and music for children.

She wants parents to know how each rhyme they learned as a child helped them grow. She told us,“sometimes as parents we forget the simple things our parents and grandparents did for us, like sing those little songs, playing games like “A la riki ran”, or “papas papas para mamá” These are so important to a developing brain.”

In fact, she shared that children who enter kindergarten knowing at least 5 rhymes tend to have higher literacy levels. Those rhymes connect our children to their traditions and culture and are their first forms of storytelling. They build a child’s vocabulary and creativity.

Music has now become a family affair. Her children have been learning music along the way and her daughters play Latin Percussion. Her oldest learned to play violin, guitar, and drums but now plays mostly clarinet and vibraphone. She believes learning to play music is like learning a language. She shared, "It just takes practice but anyone can do it!"

While entrepreneurship found her, now she is grateful for the opportunity to know that she didn’t have to follow someone else’s footsteps. “My parents worked pretty much in the same jobs for their entire working careers. I look up to them. They showed me what it was to have a very strong work ethic and to work hard. But I wasn’t always that good at following rules, so doing my own thing suits me.” She wants to share with others now that you can make your own way too. She was candid in sharing that is still trying to figure things out too.

Since she is musician we asked her about her musical inspirations. Her favorites include René Colato Lainez, a children’s author from El Salvador that has inspired her to continue to create while continuing to teach. Other influences have been José Luis Orozco, whose music has been so influential in the world of bilingual music for kids, and Ella Jenkins. More than anything she is continually inspired by the children she teaches. “They push me to do better, be funnier, and keep going,” she added.  

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Sara is not done maximizing her impact! She is hoping to reach more people by creating more content and working with parents and teachers. She wants to empower parents and educators too.

“We ARE creating the future based on how we treat children in our society. So we have to give them our best.”

As her business has expanded Sara has also expanded her giving. In the Fall, Music With Sara classes will be part of family activities at Ascensia in Glendale, which offers transitional housing and homeless services. 

You can connect with Sara online and on her website. 

  • @musicwithsara – instagram
  • @itsmusictime – Twitter
  • facebook.com/musicwithsara
  • Musicwithsara.com 

Thank you for sharing your story with us! 

How To Get Stuff Done As A New Mom

 
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Life after a newborn can be filled with beautiful moments, and endless hours of taking in that new baby smell. But it also means learning a whole new way to balance our time.

We’ve often wondered what we used to do with our time before kids!

This week’s guest Rachel Gomez talked to us about how she managed to keep her business going after having a baby! She told us how she would work when the baby sleeps! She said,“You’ll be surprised how much you can get done during those one-hour spaces.”  

We know that staying active is another way to keep our brains sharp and focused, we still remember our previous guest Ana Guerrero’s tip, “I wake up early to work out. I teach a spin class at 5:30AM. If you get it done before the day starts you won’t have to worry about fitting it into your day.”

Here’a few things we recommend to make some time in your day:

Take In Inventory of Your Day: Often we will say that we don’t have time for something. But sometimes what it means is that we aren’t making it a priority. Think about how much time you spend scrolling social media or other ways in which you spend your time on things that are not of highest priority. It is definitely harder to get things done after a child but you can always carve out pockets if you set goals about what you want to prioritize. Don’t fixate on the limitations on your time but on how you can maximize 10 minute intervals.

Make “Me” Time A Part of Your Routine: Whether it’s waking up early or having time for yourself after the kids are asleep make time to decompress a part of your life. You’ll be surprised how much more you can accomplish if you give yourself time to refuel and be more relaxed. You can also use this time to nurture your next big idea!

Spend Time With Friends In a New Way: Another thing we like is the idea of having phone dates with friends if you need a session to vent, laugh or cry. (All normal emotions after having a baby). Just because you can’t meet for happy-hour like you used to ,doesn’t mean you can’t foster your friendships. These friendships are important for your mental health and will keep you emotionally strong for your kids and your life.

Encourage Your Kids to Play Independently: We are big proponents of teaching kids to play on their own and foster their imaginations. Recently, we talked about creating spaces for our kids to play. Paulina even created a space for the girls to play “dress up.”

Say No To Mom Guilt: One of the biggest reasons why we have a hard time getting things done after a baby is that we feel guilty to carve out time for ourselves or things we are passionate about. We believe that children are happy when mom is happy so our biggest tip is to always make time to keep your dreams going!

 

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: SONIA SMITH-KANG, MIXED UP CLOTHING

 

Sonia Smith-Kang is the founder of Mixed Up Clothing a line for kids that aims to build friendships through fabrics. They encourage the exploration of culture and family through fabrics from around the World! Her mission is to showcase and celebrate cultural diversity.

Her clothing has been seen on the Today show, The Real, NPR, Huff Post and the clothes have been worn by celeb children including Modern Family’s Lily, Zoey from The Little Couple, Tia and Tamera’s little ones and many others.”

Sonia was born to an Afican-American father, and Mexican-American mother in Puerto Rico, and spent much of her childhood in Hawaii.

The idea for her business stemmed from her own mixed-race background and her multicultural family. Her husband is Korean-American and together they have 4 children (2 boys & 2 girls) ages 9,11,18 and 25. She told us about how her clothing line started. 

“Clothes struck an emotional chord with people. There was a need for them to have a piece of their culture that they could wear daily and not just during cultural ceremonies or special occasions. They wanted to represent who they were in a mainstream way but didn’t know how?

She told us that she thinks of her kids as “mini global citizens” because they represent the changing face of America.

 

“We teach them that just like being ambidextrous is using both hands, they can be ambi-cultural in that they can straddle all of their cultures without having to assimilate or lose out on any one culture.”

Her children are being taught children English, Korean and Spanish. They eat all foods and listen to diverse music. They code switch like champs and they understand the benefits of being multi-cultural.

But her life could have gone a very different way. She went to the University of San Francisco and became a critical care registered nurse. Even then she used her multicultural background to become an RN that brought a holistic, cultural and family-centered philosophy to nursing and she made sure she took patients and their caregivers’ religion and cultural needs into account while patients were in her unit. For instance, she would move hospital beds toward Mecca, have prayer rugs available, bring in Chaplains, have translators on hand all in hopes of improving the family’s stay, "which (hopefully) in turn helped the patient get better care." 

Being a RN was stressful and a hobby was encouraged for self-care. This is how she started first sewing clothes for her children finding ethnic fabrics sourced from around the world that represented their cultures.Then she started mixing and matching prints and silhouettes in a fun way that would have folks stopping her on the streets to ask what culture was represented on the fabric and where they could buy the clothes.

She noticed that in their exchanges people loved sharing their cultural stories as well. She was fascinated listening to them and learning about other cultures.

She was also building friendships and using the clothing as a vehicle to teach about culture and diversity through the fabrics. It was a comfortable way to discuss topics that can be difficult to talk about, especially in our current climate.

Then the proverbial light bulb went off!

After 15 years as a RN, she took a leap of faith, resigned from nursing, borrowed and took out her savings, took an entrepreneurial business class, got all the necessary licenses and permits, made a payment on a downtown LA studio, sourced fabric and contractors to help get my clothes from idea to distribution and voilà, Mixed Up Clothing was born.

Her children are her motivation each day. She herself struggled with my identity and grew up feeling that she wasn’t Black enough, Latina enough or American enough.

She promised herself then that her children (and multicultural children like them) would not have the same experience. She works hard everyday to dispel the cultural myths and breakdown the barriers that prevent inclusion.

Her kids are not only her motivation; they help her package, sort, take inventory, and ship each clothing season. They make public appearances with her too!

“It’s all hands on deck and they know that they may not always want to but family jumps in and we are there to help each other succeed.  It’s a family thing!”

But her greatest success was leaving the comforts of a regular career as a RN in exchange for one that is unknown and she considers herself a small business owner living her dream.

Being an entrepreneur has allowed her to be the mama, wife, daughter, amiga, granddaughter, sister, tia, nina, etc. she wants to be.

With so many projects and things to keep track of she plans her day the night before so that when she starts the morning after morning kid/school drop-offs, she can just hop on the treadmill without wasting time looking over my calendar. While on the treadmill she listen to the news and read emails that have come in overnight and looks over social media accounts and puts out fires as needed.

But behind every great woman is another great woman! She counts her mom as one of her greatest inspiration. And her abuelos who taught her about her “Mexican cultura.” and to respect everyone whether they are a CEO or anyone else.

One of her tips is to “culture-proof” a home is by having toys/dolls/books/movies that LOOK like your kids and reflect their reality.

She lives and breathes diversity in her numerous projects aside from Mixed-Up Clothing that include: MultiCulti Corner: a community group that explores the ethnic enclaves here in Los Angeles to bring cultural awareness to children, Mixed Heritage Day: which a day (9/23/17) where she partners with the LA Dodgers to celebrate those of mixed heritage, in interracial relationships, or are transracially adopted.  This is a day of community and celebration held at Dodger Stadium. She also volunteers as Vice President of a non-profit organization called Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC). It is a 501c3 that advocates and educates for the multiracial community.

“I wanted to be the change that I wanted from this world.I needed to be a part of it. So I jumped without a parachute.”

Her commitment to shedding light on multiculturalism has led her to contribute to major websites like Babble, Huff Post, Medium, Mash Up Americans and The Mixed Up Blog and as a multicultural expert who has spoken on different panels about race and identity around the country. She also still uses her medical knowledge as an advisor to a non-profit organization called Mixed Marrow which helps encourage and sign up more bone marrow donors or color and multiracial heritage to become donors on the bone marrow registry.

We are in awe of Sonia and all that she is doing to create a better world for all children. You find her clothing on her website, www.mixedupclothing.com and on Amazon. You can learn more about Mixed Heritage Day on her site.

You find her on social media @mixedupclothing.