CARS 3: If you want to Dream, DO IT! I will be there for you

 

By: Paulina Lopez @iampaulinalopez

Today was the official release of Cars 3, the latest addition to the Cars Franchise. I have enjoyed and loved all the Cars movies, but this one is by far my favorite!  It may be the fact that this time around there is such a strong female presence in the film. As a #Super Mama of two girls and a third one on the way, I was so happy to see a character that doesn’t have to be a princess, and that proves that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish anything you desire even in an environment that is considered “only for boys”, just as Cristela Alonzo has done.

The movie is still based on our beloved Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), and we see all the familiar characters from the previous films, but it’s amazing to see how they came out with a whole new story, a new perspective according to the “stage of life” he is going through.  That means that if your kids still haven’t seen the previous movies, they will understand and love the story just the same.  This time around we see McQueen struggling with the fact that he might no longer be the king of the race tracks, as a new generation of “younger” more advanced and modern race cars like Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) are ready to take his place. After a devastating accident, he is faced with the tough decision of giving up or proving himself once again to his fans. 

The movie takes us along on his journey as he decides to get his throne back, but we learn many lessons along the way, like the fact that a relationship between a boy and a girl doesn’t necessarily have to become romantic.  Cruz meets McQueen’s at the super modern and technologically advanced Rust-eze Racing Center, where she is assigned as his trainer. At the beginning he resists her,  but they eventually become friends and each other’s support and inspiration on the tracks.  While trying to find his way back, Mcqueen reflects on the ones that have come behind him, his teachers and mentors, and he knows that without their knowledge and advice he wouldn’t have gotten as far as he did

In the movie, we also see a hard reality that we confront every day, where women must work extra hard to prove themselves in a male dominant environment and though at times she doubts herself, Cruz finds out who she is meant to be and becomes an inspiration for McQueen himself.

Cruz Ramirez ends up showcasing her skills leaving everyone around astonished, including those of us watching the movie, I know I was surprised because I was not expecting this ending at all! It’s a huge deal for girls all over and for the Latino community that Pixar made Cruz Ramirez such an important part of this story. She's had a life long dream, and we learn that Dreaming might be uncomfortable to outsiders, but its something that we should all do! As parents it is important to know that we HAVE to support our children's dreams even if at times they sound crazy, because being there for them is the one thing they should alway count on.  

 

This is a movie you don’t want to miss, look for the nearest theater and check it out!

If you want to read a more about the people behind the movie, read the Movie Junket piece I wrote and check out this super cool trailer featuring Cruz and McQueen! 

 

SISTER SPOLIGHT: CARMEN LOPEZ, CURRENT BOUTIQUE

 

Current Boutique, is a shop for fashionistas with an eye for vintage gems.

Carmen Lopez founded her shop in 2007 with the notion that the modern woman’s busy life needs a revolving wardrobe that can keep up with that schedule. It began with her own love of designer pieces, that kept her fashionable, current and on trend. She also had a thirst for recycling her pre-loved designer gems.

Current Boutique operates by accepting lightly used women’s clothing, bags, shoes, jewelry and other accessories from people who want to sell. They take pieces they they can sell in stores and online and then split the proceeds with the seller if its purchased. But soon after starting the business she noticed that this could be something bigger! 

Current Boutique is known for innovative events and for making connections. They collaborate with the hottest influencers, up-and-coming fashionistas and style-novices alike. We browsed her site and instantly found some Vintage Valentino and Jimmy Choo we would love for our closets. (Wink, Wink) 

She soon saw an opportunity to develop a community for fashion lovers!

My goals was to create A community where women could bring their pre-loved designer gems and recycle them into, new-to-them designer outfits.

She started the business by pulling together her entire life's saving and investing it into her business. There were skeptics but she believed so firmly in her idea that she signed a ten-year lease on her first store in Alexandria, Virginia. Her business now generates million dollar profits each year and boasts thousands of devout sellers and buyers. 

She is also the mother of a 14 month old daughter, Annie who is named after her mom.  She told us that her husband and family are a tremendous support system, "I have a wonderful father who is the greatest babysitter on the planet and two older brothers who have always looked out for me.  Oh yes, don’t forget my nieces, nephew, aunts, uncles and my cousins (LOTS of cousins!). " Her husband also runs the business with her. 

 “My family is the heart of everything I do and I love them all.”

 One of the things she likes about being an entrepreneur is that she gets to create her own schedule and spend her mornings with her daughter Annie and she couldn’t image starting her day without the quality time they share.

 “I get to work with a sense of determination – knowing I need to work hard every day to keep the life that I’ve grown to love.”

 She is proud of  launching our e-commerce site and challenging herself to venture out of her comfort zone.  She told us that “moving into the online space was a whole different animal. I surrounded myself with great people that new the industry.  All I had to do was teach them about what made Current Boutique great.  From there, we built an amazing online experience.  It was my biggest challenge but my greatest reward!”

 She has been an entrepreneur since she was 28 years old and she likes that everyday is like an adventure.  

 “I am betting on myself and my team to get things done every day to keep the ball rolling and making new discoveries and improving processes as we go along"

 We asked her about her secret weapon and she noted that she can’t live without exercise.  

“Stamina is important for running your own business and chasing your little one - staying in shape is key.”  She also enjoy reading books about professional development. Her favorites are, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and “No Thanks, I’m Just Looking.”

We love that through her business she is also creating a more sustainable world. For over ten years, they have donated tons of clothes! They also donate to Suited for Change, a DC based charity that helps women in need of professional attire, mentoring, and job-readiness education.

They are also working on a functionality that allows consignors to donate a portion of their earnings to charities.  

Style with a conscience at the click of our fingers? We love it!

Learn more about Carmen and her boutique by visiting their social media @current_boutique or their website:www.currentboutique.com

 

Stop Feeling Sorry for me because I'm having another girl

 
Photo by: @Lilyro_ 

Photo by: @Lilyro_ 

By: Paulina Lopez-Velazquez   @iampaulinalopez

 
 

“Aaaaaww its ok, you can always try again”,  “Well, if the baby is healthy I guess it's ok” , “I can imagine how disappointed you must feel” or the worst one I have heard so far “I heard there is a treatment that can change the baby’s sex while still inside of you” Really?!?!?

 

These are some of the many lines I have heard from people when I tell them I’m having a girl for the third time.  Yes, I’m the first one to admit I was thrown off myself when I found out, and so was my husband, but it wasn’t because we didn’t want a girl. It was because long before I got pregnant my husband and I knew for sure next time we would have a baby it would be a boy.  The same way we knew for sure Krista & Sabina would be girls long before we conceived them. I got rid of all Sabina’s baby clothes because I wasn’t going to need them anymore.  I started buying items that were gender neutral so they could all share, and whenever we would see cute baby boy clothes we would get them. We even had a name picked out long before the pregnancy happened! So, from the moment we found out I was pregnant we never really considered the fact that we might have a girl, we immediately started referring to the baby as a him and by the name we had chosen. Even Krista, my oldest would say my baby brother, and that is not something we told her to say. 

 

 You can imagine our surprise when my brother popped up a princess lollypop and not a cars lollypop at our mini gender reveal over lunch at our family restaurant.   It’s a girl!! It took us some time to digest it, and to adjust to the idea.  I was already struggling with the idea of being pregnant at all, and this added to my confusion.  But it didn’t take us long and by the next day we were talking about all the wonderful things about having another girl. Girls stay closer to their parents we said, our grandkids will spend a lot more time with us.  

Photo by: @Lilyro_

Photo by: @Lilyro_

 

I don’t know what it is, I have heard it from Latinos, non-Latinos, man and women the same, but when we started telling people the news, I started getting so many negative comments from strangers, friends and even close family members.  They viewed it as a negative, they assumed we were sad, disappointed and that we would immediately start considering having another baby. We obviously had to keep trying for the boy!  I would say: “No, this is our last baby” and their face would look concerned for us " But you  have to try at least one more time" they would say. At first I thought it would be something occasional but it has been a continuous pattern. 

 

When they told me I should look into changing my baby’s sex within the womb I was baffled, did they really think I would consider something like that?  I went off on them, I tried to lecture them about being a girl nowadays but when someone has those kind of opinions, is there really a point on trying to argue with them?  I started realizing the kind of challenges my girls have even before being born.  A lot of people still view being female as a disadvantage, or an obstacle in their life. I know for a fact this is not the case. I am so thankful my parents never made any distinctions because I was a girl, they raised me without highlighting that fact, and that only encouraged me to prove those people wrong. It only made me happier to bring in another girl into this world. 

Photo by: @iampaulinalopez

Photo by: @iampaulinalopez

 

 My husband and I are determined to educate them, encourage and empower them as much as we possibly can so they can be part of the generation of women who are changing this archaic views.  It inspires me to keep working on myself so that I can be an example for them.  She chose us for a reason, she was meant to be part of our family long before we knew it and I finally know why. So, don’t you dare feel sorry for me, if anything I feel sorry for you, because you will have a very difficult time living in the future my girls will help construct, so get in with the program. And don’t you forget  "Who runs the world?  GIRLS!"

 

Bricia's Beauty Essentials

 

A few weeks ago I posted my nighttime routine on our @_supermamas instastory and so many of you wrote in with questions on all the products I used.  I will admit that when I put all my beauty essential products in one picture, I realized that it may seem a bit overwhelming.  In my defense, I don't use all of them at once.  I pace them out throughout the week, but I do use them all.  

Before I go into my routine, I want to mention that I have dry to normal skin and that I in no way, shape or form a beauty guru. I am a skin care junkie and as a lot of you may already know, a make up one as well.  I try to get facials at least once every 4-6 weeks. I always like to ask questions to my esthetician and have learned a lot from her.  These products listed below I have been using for the past couple of months and can personally vouch for them all. My face washing routine does change up throughout the year and I will list alternative products I use below as well.  Ok, lets get started! 


1. CLEANSE

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  1. Neutrogena Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover - I have been using this product for the past 7 years.  I have tried others and no other product comes close to this for me.  It removes even the toughest water-proof mascara.  The only other product I have tested that may be a tad better is Bobby Brown's eye make up remover, but it also costs a lot  more, so I just stick to Neutrogena's.  If you are a Target shopper, their Up & Up Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover works just as well and is just as amazing.  A great tip is to use cotton swabs to cleanse any left over make up residue under the eyes. 
  2. Facial Cleansing Oil - I love this particular oil from No-Tox life, in fact I love a lot of their products.  I am also a big fan of their deodorant collection.  (Both me and my husband use them, I particularly love the grapefruit mango scent). ok, back to the routine, I always begin my night time routine by taking my make up off with a great oil cleanser.  Since it's the first thing going on my face, I make sure they are organic and vegan.  Also, since my skin can get very dry, this helps.  Other oil cleansers I have used and like are DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and Mineral Fusion Cleanser
  3. Gaffer & Child Deep Cleanser - after using the oil cleanser, I follow with a deep cleanser.  I am currently using this refreshing Gaffer & Child face cleanser.  Other cleansers I love are: Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel Cleanser and Derma E Hydrating Gel Cleanser
  4. Face Wash Clothes- I don't use make up wipes, I instead opt to use terry towels to cleanse my face.  I find it that it's the only way for me to make sure all of my make up is total off my skin.  Also, I think its better for the environment.  I bought 12 from Ikea and wash them regularly with my laundry. 

2. MASKS & PEELS

  1. EmergenC's Triple Threat Mask- This is a pricey one, but very much worth it.  I have been using it for only a month or so, but my skin thanks me every time I use it and has quickly become a favorite.  Also, I only use once a week, so I know it will last me a very long time.  I make it point to use it on Sunday nights, this makes it easier for me to remember to use.  
  2. IS Clinical Coolmint Revitalizing mask -  This mask I use twice a week, generally on Saturday and Wednesday mornings before getting ready for the day.  Its a quick hydration boost that never hurts in the morning time.  I also always use it to prep my skin if I need to wear event or photo make-up. 

3. TREAT 

  1. Resurface Retinol Reform - I heard so many  great things from so many beauty bloggers about this, that I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did.  I only use this product 2-3 times a week at night time depending on the amount of sun I anticipate to get the following day.  you never want to apply retinol products if you expect to be out in the sun all day.  I've used other retinol products before and this one has been the least abrasive on my skin.  Also, I only use retinol on the days I don't do peels, or the day's I don't use my IS clinical active Serum. 
  2. IS Clinical Active Serum - This I use on the days I don't use Retinol to help prevent any breakouts and help with uneven skin tone.  I suggest you apply it with a cotton face pad.  Makes a huge difference than applying it with your fingers. 
  3. Emergin C Vitamin C Serum- This product I have begun to only use it in the daytime.  Helps fight and prevent free-radicals also helps in combating bacteria that causes breakouts and aids in skin texture and tone. 
  4. Revitalizing eye gel- I use this eye cream every day both day and night.  I must say that I am not a HUGE fan of this particular product.  But to be fair, I haven't found an eye cream that I just absolutely love and adore.  Maybe I just expect a lot out of an eye serum.  Because this product was pricey, I probably won't be buying again but do want to use every last drop before I buy switch to a different brand.  Until then, my search for the perfect eye cream will continue.  I will keep you all posted on any new finds!  Just as an FYI, the reason why I didn't return it was because  wanted to give it a fair chance and any cream is better than no cream.  

4. HYDRATE & PROTECT

  1. Eminence Herbal Facial Recovery Oil - I absolutely love this stuff.  It looks like a small bottle, but all you need are two drops to completely boost your face's hydration.  I add a couple of drops to any of my two favorite moisturizers.  I also always add a couple of drops to the ends of my hair after curling or when I get out of the shower.  This stuff is really amazing if you suffer from dry skin. 
  2. IS Clinical Reparative Moisture Emulsion- I use this moisturizer every other day and every time I use it, it feels like my skin drinks a gallon on water.  I usually use this on the days I don't wear my retinol, because I don't like to mix the retinol with any other ingredients other than natural ones and really sink into my skin. 
  3. Control Corrective Healing Lotion - This is a moisturizer I absolutely love to wear on the nights I use retinol.  It's a basic face cream that anyone can wear and should be in every women's beauty arsenal.  It's also very affordable.  
  4. PIXI Hydrating Milky Mist -  This is the first thing I spray on my face when I wake up.  Since I don't wash my face in the mornings, just a couple of spritz of this on your face feel so good in the mornings.  Always follow with a tall glass of water in the morning
  5. Trish McEvoy SPF 30 Primer - This product I wear every single day, rain or shine.  I wear it alone or under my make up.  I love it because it serves both as an SPF and as a make up primer.  There are a lot of great SPF's in the market that I have used and love as well such as DELTA MD and Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen.  I am almost out if this particular tube so I will be switching back my SPF this summer to either Delta or Supergoop!

5. Misc.

  1. Konjac Sponge- I don't have an exfoliator cleanser, but do use a konjac sponge a couple times a week with my face cleanser twice a week for deep cleansing of pores. 
  2. Rejuvenate Eye Mask -  I use these when traveling or after having a long night.  Makes a huge difference.  Feels even better when you've kept them cold in the fridge. 
  3. Lip Balm - I have so many laying around my house and wear a balm constantly throughout the day.  I can't say I have a favorite, but I am currently loving my lip butter from No-tox life in Rose Petals.

Thanks for reading my super long beauty regimen. I hope you find it helpful.  Please hit me up on my Instagram @bricialopez or in the comments below for any questions!

 

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: MARILYNN RENTERIA, MADRE TRIBE

 

Welcome to our 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

Marilynn is 21 years old and the Founder of Madre Tribe a community where mothers meet, connect, and inspire. Marilynn is a graphic design student at FIDM, a military wife and mother. 

"I am still a work in progress.  But motherhood turned me into the person that I always hoped to be."

Marylinn created the group after the birth of her daughter, April Renesme who is now 14 months old. She explains that, "Loneliness is often a feeling that is felt by first-time mothers, I experienced it first-hand, and I told myself that I did not want anyone else to feel like that."

She wanted to create a group of women, who could stand tall and deal with the challenges of motherhood together. Her mission was to create a safe community for mothers. A place where they could be honest about all aspects of motherhood. Specifically she wanted to talk about the side of motherhood that she feels is often not talked about like: loss, postpartum depression, and other topic that are often,  "thrown under the rug."

Marylinn also wanted to create the antidote to the Instagram version of motherhood, "I want women to stand up strong while accepting that they are not perfect and that there is way more going on behind the pretty photos on Instagram." 

But she wanted to create a space that demonstrated different perspectives about mothers too. This is why she regularly highlights other young, hip mothers on her site.  In her interviews, they talk about everything from dealing with the regular challenges of motherhood, to their favorite song lyrics and foods. 

She hopes that mothers will connect with each other and maybe develop friendships and networks of support. "Social media is amazing and if you use it wisely, you can meet great people," she says. 

Like many members of our sisterhood, she credits her daughter as the reason for her drive and motivation. "This whole project revolves around motherhood and because of her I get to be part of this amazing community."

She also shared with us how her daughter has allowed her to step out of her comfort zone.  

"Motherhood made me strong and emotionally raw. I was always being what others wanted me to be. That all changed once I had my daughter."

In fact, after having daughter she left community college and decided to go after art. She did it to be a strong role model for her daughter.   

We asked her how she starts her mornings. She likes to start with music and fresh air.  Her and her family spend their free time eating ice cream, hanging out with loved ones, or running errands.Her number one book would be: You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. 

She is currently working on arranging a small get together for the Los Angeles members of her tribe. 

"Motherhood gave me the confidence that I was missing my whole life. I realized I can do anything I want if I set my mind to it."

She is very excited about the future of her site! "I have so many visions and ideas that I want to bring to life and although it feels overwhelming at times, I know that it is possible. I already took the first leap of faith and now it is time to take ten more. "

We wish Marilynn much success in all of her endeavors! We can't wait to attend a Madre Tribe event ourselves! 

Keep up with her and her tribe of cool mom's on social: @madretribe / @marilynncristine

Visit her site: Madre Tribe

 

 

The Super Mamas Social presented by Target was a huge success! We were so thrilled to meet and re-connect with our Super Mama Sisters and their babies at La Plaza de Cultura Y Artes

The event began with a greeting from our fabulous volunteers!

A team of 18 volunteers helped us make this day extra special! They helped us staff the check-in area, and ensured everyone was having a great time! They even wore special buttons that said, "I speak mom." 

Guests then walked through our Super Mamas Marketplace! They were able to shop products many made by other Super Mamas and entrepreneurs! 

There was plenty of fun activities for the kids too! Including an activity corner by Target where kids created a keepsake with a powerful message #stronglikemom. They kids also enjoyed a reading of Roselyn Sanchez and Eric Winters' new book, "Sebi and the Land of Cha Cha Cha," a bubble and tent area and soccer by Super Soccer Stars! 

Meanwhile, moms were pampered by the Northgate Cabana and Target's Beauty Concierge's 

Of course, like any good party the food and drinks were amazing too. Thank you to Todo Verde, Love Swirls, Viva Los Cupcakes, Greenz on Wheelz and Food Truck Stop LA for the delicious eats! I Love Micheladas was a hit with dads, and mom's alike! Everyone got their caffeine fix thanks to Califia Farms. 

Mom's left feeling inspired by our amazing panelists! Hanna Lim, Natalie Alcala, Jacqui Saldana, and Melissa Fumero 

Munchkin dropped by to share with us all about their new and exciting grass-fed baby formula and our mom's walked away with samples too! 

We were excited to share this day with our friends from Northgate! During the event a few lucky mom's received a complimentary make-over and were invited on stage for a special surprise! This was followed an amazing serenade by an all female mariachi! 

Paulina surprised us all with a gender reveal at the end of the event! Surprise! It's a girl. We could not be more excited to bring another girl into our #Momboss tribe! 

 

This event was made possible thanks to all of you, our team and amazing sponsors! Don't forget to save the date for next year May 12th, 20181 

Photos by: Lily Ro Photography

 

 

 

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: IRMA VAZQUEZ, MY ESCUELITA

 

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

We are excited to highlight Irma Vazquez an educator, entrepreneur and Founder of  My Escuelita: Spanish for Kids.

Their mission is to teach Spanish to children through play and interaction, using activities like songs, stories, arts and crafts, in a fun, stimulating and encouraging environment that fosters fluency and language development and exposes children to traditional music, literature, games, themes and Latin American traditions.

Irma’s entire reason for becoming an entrepreneur was inspired by the fact that at a point she had three children under the age of 3 and one with special needs. In fact, her entire purpose was to be able to spend more time with her children. Her goal was to be present in their young lives as possible and model a positive and powerful version of what it means to be a working mother. She is proud that her three children. Monica (16), Ellis (14) and Carolina (12) have grown up seeing her build a successful business doing something she loves.

Her idea for a place where kids and families could learn Spanish and about Latino culture soon grew from a few classes to a much bigger venture. Spanish for Kids now offers Spanish enrichment programs, preschool classes, Saturday Spanish Institute, summer camps, cultural events and community networking events. They also provide students with Spanish materials curated to help parents teach Spanish at home. My Mochila: Spanish on the Go! is a monthly subscription program. Included in the back pack or Mochila are over 20 components to help parents explore and teach Spanish in a multicultural approach.

Irma explains, “We believe that families and children deserve quality instruction that is affordable and accessible. Every class is taught by bilingual credentialed teachers who are certified to teach children language, dance and yoga. The entire family is supported in the language learning process by way of classroom observation, participation and resources that are sent home or made accessible online. The goal is to engage everyone in learning!”

As an entrepreneur she has learned an entire different set of skills. As an entrepreneur she’s learned about marketing, finances,manufacturing, shipping and creating brands. All these lessons have enriched her life as a human and a mother.

She tells us, “I feel empowered to create and be able to help and guide others to do the same. Often I am asked for guidance on starting a small business and I feel honored that through my journey I am able to help someone else. And if that someone else is a mother even better!”

Last year, she designed a child’s backpack that contains materials and resources including 20 components to help parents teach their child Spanish. She writes lesson plans and curates the multicultural materials. She is re-launching the project with a Kickstarter in September and this Summer every My Escueilta: Spanish for Kids Summer camper will have a backpack!

She shared, “being a small business owner and doing what she adores each day teaching Spanish to children has been the best decision she has ever made.”

But like every entrepreneur Irma has her rituals and support to stay on track. Irma sets her intentions everyday by mediating. She also listens to music and eats breakfast everyday. She also credits her village that helps her each day with support, and advice.

Irma also understands the importance of giving back and finds time to serve on various boards too including: the Loyola Marymount University (LMU) School of Education Alumni Board, the LMU Schools of Education Alumni Board as well as the LMU School of Education School Counselor Advisory Board and Learning Rights Law Center Advisory Board. She is also an expert teacher advisor for Little Ripples a preschool my family has built in Darfur, Africa. www.littleripples.com.

Irma is Super Mama for sure and we are so excited to highlight outstanding mommy’s like her!

Learn more about My Escuelita by visiting their site. Learn more about Irma’s newest venture My Mochila here.

 

Quick Tips to Make the Most of the Super Mamas Social

 
  • Bring Your Squad but Make New Friends Too -We encourage you to come with your current friends but open up the circle to include others. You never know who you might meet! Don’t be shy! Venture on your own for a while and introduce yourself to a new friend! If you see a mom who is alone ask her to join in our conversation. Which reminds us...
  • Don’t be Afraid to Come Alone -This is the perfect place to meet your #Momsquad. Trust us when we say having a group of women to support you on your motherhood journey makes this adventure so much more fulfilling. Feeling shy about introducing yourself? Strike up a conversation by complimenting someone’s cute outfit or asking how old their baby is. Those are always great conversation starters for us.
  • If You See A Mom You Know From Social Media Do Say Hello-We all know that feeling, “I know her, but I don’t REALLY know her!” Go say hello to your online friend, who knows, you may become IRL friends too!
  • Make Sure You Visit Our Super Mama Marketplace-We have curated a great selection of vendors this year that have great things for your kids and for you too! Don’t forget to check it out! From Raggedy Tiff’s beautiful creations to books from bilingual booksellers there is something for everyone. If you still need a gift for mom you might just find the perfect gift at our marketplace.
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  • Make Sure the Kids Have Fun But Don’t Forget About Yourself-We have a variety of activities for the kids and a beautiful reading corner, but don’t forget to hit our Mom booths where you will get pampered by sponsors like Target, and Northgate. We encourage you to bring a friend or loved one who can watch the kids while you get pampered. Don’t forget tickets will available at the door.
  • Check the Map and Schedule When You Arrive-We will have activities happening throughout the day but we also have various panels you don’t want to miss. Check the main stage schedule to find out times and speakers.

We can't wait to see you tomorrow sisters! 

 

 

My last chance to make labor a good experience.

 

I can’t believe I’m almost half-way through my pregnancy already; it has been all so fast, it feels like a blur.  Someone brought it up recently, and when I checked the calendar, I started freaking out. 

I better start preparing for labor and I need to start now!

What I mean by preparing is not this: worrying about what I’m going to pack in my hospital bag, whether I should take candles or magazines or swimming trunks for my husband (Yes, I had all of this on my hospital bag with my first pregnancy). What I mean is; I need to mentally, physically and emotionally prepare my body for what it’s going to go through - whatever that might look like this time around.

My two labor experiences have been completely different from each another. The first time around, it was the hardest experience of my life; I had my perfect birth plan ready, I had gone to all the classes, checked all the boxes and made all the arrangements necessary. I knew how everything would go, easy peasy!  Everything I needed was in my hospital bag(s) after all. 

As soon as I stepped into the hospital, it all went out the door.

My water broke on a Friday night, but I had no contractions. By the time I got to the hospital, my amniotic liquid was running low and the baby needed to be closely monitored.  They started induction and after some hours (what seemed like forever) they increased the dosage of Pitocin and that is when things went from bad to worse.  The pain was increasing fast, so I asked to get an epidural and epidural it was not my friend. I started getting contractions from the waste up and it was unbearable. By that time, I had been in bed for almost 38 hours.  I was swollen, hungry and tired.  I finally dilated to 10 cm and I was ready to push.  I was extremely exhausted but I still managed to push for almost 4 hours. Toward the end of this ordeal, I was not all there - I was hallucinating and talking nonsense. I had an oxygen mask and was going in and out.  Thankfully, I had my husband, my sister, my mom and the best attending with me (she was a Midwife that was coming fresh into the shift and was so patient with me and my whole family).  I am so thankful for her - she was the one that got me through the hardest part and made us all feel at ease. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, after 42 hours, my beautiful Krista came into this world. We spent the next 4 days in the hospital; she in the NICU and I being monitored for all my labor complications. My recovery was long and painful, but it was worth it.

As you can imagine, I was not looking forward to labor, or post labor with my second daughter. I wrongfully did nothing beforehand to prepare. I was just too scared to relive my previous experience. My due date came and went and one afternoon after a long walk, I had a conversation with my baby and later that same night, I started feeling some discomfort. I took a nap and a couple of hours later I woke up again with some pain. As the pain increased slowly, I took a bath to get comfortable. To me, the pain wasn’t bad enough for me to think I was going into labor.  I thought it was the same Braxton hicks pain I had been feeling lately.  That whole night I walked back and forth in my apartment, sat on a yoga ball and did some stretching.

Around 5 am I told my husband, “I think I’m in labor.”

We drove to the hospital and when the nurse examined me, she told me I was 6 cm dilated. I was in shock and I immediately panicked. I asked for the epidural again and again. My doctors sensed the fear in me and tried to get it in me as soon as possible. 30 min went by and finally the anesthesiologist came in. Before he could start, they checked me again and I was 9 cm! Panic turned into horror.

“No epidural? I can’t, I won’t be able to do this, I am going to die,” I thought.

I started crying, yelling, cursing and refusing to cooperate. I even went as far as to hold back when I felt the urge to push. I was just not mentally ready. My entire birth plan spelled out: epidural, epidural, epidural. But Sabina was ready and there was no turning back. Within 40 minutes she was out and I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  I felt exhilarated and incredibly empowered. Within a few hours, I was taking a shower and hosting my visitors in the room. The very next morning I was on my way home and ready to celebrate my birthday.

So, just as my third pregnancy has been different, I know my labor will be as well.  But this time around, I will mentally prepare for whatever is destined to happen. I will go in with no expectations. I will read, train my body and my mind for that moment.

I’ve come to realize that my body knows exactly what to do, whether my mind wants to cooperate or not.  I now know that it can do incredible things. Like the time I ran a 10k after only 8 weeks of training, or the time I did cross fit for 6 weeks straight, or the time I went through a 42-hour labor, or the time I went through natural labor.

All of these experiences have one thing in common - I would constantly tell myself, “NO, I WILL BE NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THAT”.

I know I can now. 

It will not be perfect, but at least this time I want to own it. Whatever happens happens, however it may be. I want to know that I did it with intention and that I did the best I could.

My baby deserves a better experience, but most importantly, I deserve a better experience.

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: CAMAILLE VICTORIA TORRES, BOO BOO ROPA

 

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

Today we are excited to spotlight Camaille Victoria Torres, mother of 4 and founder of Boo Boo Ropa, an apparel & accessories brand focusing on the fun of being a kid (again for some) that is inspired by Latino heritage & family. Their mission is to introduce a little Latin culture to everyone using fun play on words that everyone can relate to with apparel for children and mothers.

Boo Boo Ropa is an homage to Camaille’s father who her older children affectionately called,  “Boo Boo.” But the idea for Boo Boo Ropa came during a time that Camaille describes as one of “loss and deep sorrow.” After her father, who she considered her best friend, died suddenly of cancer at the age of 64.

But life had another surprise in store for her as she found herself unexpectedly pregnant six months after his passing. It was during this time that she came up with the idea of a Spanish t-shirt line.

After becoming pregnant with her 4th child she reached out to a relative who works in product development who encouraged her to keep building on the concept. That is how Boo Boo Ropa was born and it gave Camaille an outlet for her creativity and grief.

Camaille describes that Boo Boo Ropa, “has brought her back to life and has been fulfilling in more ways than she could have imagined.” This is also a way for Camaille to teach her kids who are 4th generation Americans about who they are, and where they came from. In fact, her 4 children ages 19, 10, 5, and 2 and their unique personalities are an inspiration for her clothing line. They are also her greatest accomplishment.

But her years as an entrepreneur taught her a lot of important lessons that have helped her grow Boo Boo Ropa from a dream to a successful #sidehustle. But she is honest that mistakes have been made, and she has lost money. But she credits her fearlessness as a big factor in her success.

Camaille describes herself as an idea machine, and she gets her best ideas in her long morning showers. She even keeps a notebook nearby to write them all down. This time to herself is essential to accomplish all her family and business to do’s. She also relaxes watching her favorite TV show “Jane the Virgin,” and reading her favorite books like “Wishful Drinking,” by Carrie Fisher.

She encourages all moms to pursue their dreams, as entrepreneurship has given her, “strength, independence and lots of perspective.”It has also given her the flexibility to be there for her children. Entrepreneurship continues to make her hungry for growth.

Finally, she talked about the importance of having a supportive partner, she describes her own husband is, “the wind beneath her wings.

She hopes that maybe she can start a conversation about diversity and culture with her fun t-shirts.  

Boo Boo Ropa is offering all of our Super Mamas a special discount code! Enter SUPERMAMAS at checkout to save 15% on your order.

Check out their website boobooropa.com and follow them on Instagram @boobooropa or her personal space @camaille_victoria.

 

I'm Pregnant for the third time, and it hasn't been what I dreamed of

 

By: Paulina Lopez-Velazquez

If you know me at all, you know I always wanted to have three kids, I've dreamed about it for so long, told everyone that would hear me that my family wasn't complete. I even had a whole therapy session about it back when my husband wasn't completely on board, how could he not understand? I couldn't just erase this baby that already existed in my mind, but most importantly, it already existed in my heart. We had talked about timing, and said that when Sabina, our youngest turned two, we would start trying.

Sabina’s second birthday came and life was getting busier and busier, we slowly stopped talking about it, there was just too much going on. Working full time, the Podcast, two kids, new projects, life was busy!  We said, maybe next year, yes, next year we could take our time and plan it better. I was ok with that. I made peace with that decision and it sure felt like the right one for our family. When it was time to create my vision board for the year, I had some baby cut outs, but I decided to take them out because it wasn’t on “my plans “for this year.

You know that saying, “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans? “That’s kind of what happened to me, within a few weeks of the new year I started feeling off, I knew something was up but it never crossed my mind that I was pregnant, yes, I was not on any sort of birth control, but I haven’t been for the past 8 years, and things had worked out great so far.  I was in sync with my body (or so I thought) and we had it down! Well, one day, when I was feeling super sick, I got a notification from my period app saying, Hey, you are 6 days late! Could it be? No, I’m just too stressed, I should go get checked because stress is affecting my cycle I said. Obviously, I was still on denial. Pregnant? Not possible! No way! The next morning out of pure curiosity I took a pregnancy test while getting the kids ready for school, I honestly forgot about it then on my way out I came back into the bathroom to grab something and saw it, POSITIVE.  I literally sat down on the toilet and stared at the thing for a minute.  I called my husband immediately, he didn’t respond , instead he showed up at the house right away and gave me the biggest hug, he was so happy, I went to work, gathered my siblings, called my parents on facetime and gave everyone the news, they were all super excited.  But I was not.

Judge me if you want, I probably would too, but I was not happy, or excited, or looking forward to it. Why? I’m not sure to be honest with you, this is my last pregnancy, I always dreamed of enjoying every second of it, savoring every milestone, watching my belly grow for the last time, bonding with this baby inside of me in a totally different level.  But honestly it hasn’t happened quite that way, and I feel so guilty about it.  I cried so many days trying to understand my feelings, I had many conversations with God those few weeks.  I got into arguments with my husband for no apparent reason.  Hormones maybe? Guilt? I couldn’t really tell you.  What I do know is that I couldn’t voice my feelings.  You wanted this baby! You asked for this baby! You talked about this baby nonstop!

So, what now? I prayed so much, so hard, I meditated, I did everything, Then It came to me, Of course it was going to be different, I have 2 kids that require my full attention, a full-time job at the family restaurant and a Podcast that I love and enjoy, my schedule is full most of the time and things just keep coming my way, I realized my second pregnancy was so different from the first one, obviously, this was going to be much more different too.  I had to accept that life doesn’t come to you how and when you plan it but when it’s meant to happen, if it didn’t happen this way, it probably wouldn’t have happened, it would never be “the right time” for us.  

 

So, I am making the best of it, even if it doesn’t look like what it did in my dreams.  Sometimes I get so busy I forget that I am pregnant, and it’s not that I don’t care about my baby, I LOVE MY BABY, when I saw that ultrasound and I saw that little thing jumping up and down inside of me i knew that my family is finally complete.   I knew that what I always imagined will happen at the end of the day, even if the process of getting there was different.  

This baby is teaching me a great lesson, it is teaching me to be comfortable with change, with the unexpected, because some of the best things in life are often unplanned.

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: JAZMIN TURLEY, MY SPANISH SORPRESA

 

Our first Sister Spotlight for the month of April is “My Spanish Sorpresa” a bilingual monthly book subscription that sends beautiful authentic Spanish & Bilingual children’s books, worksheets and fun family activities for families. My Spanish Sorpresa is the easy and fun way to add to your children’s book collection!

The business began when Shawn and Jazmin Turley began looking for Spanish books while they were still expecting. They realized it was easy to find books written in English, translated into Spanish, but not to find something authentic. Jazmin told us, “we put a lot of time and energy creating a spreadsheet with titles, publishers, authors, and illustrators that created these authentic books we wanted.” As time went on, Jazmin thought, “ Why not automate this for other parents?!” She didn’t want other families to go through the same struggle of finding good bilingual literature. That’s when she decided she would source, and provide these books for families all over the United States.

What motivates them is to give Latino children an opportunity to finally have stories, and characters they can relate to. To also give Latino parents the opportunity to be a part of their children’s education by having the tools to teach their family Spanish in a fun creative way. Not only that, they were motivated by all the non-latino families who wanted to give their children a broader view of the world to learn and celebrate different cultures through fun story books.

Jazmin and her husband share a great passion for Spanish, education, entrepreneurship and most of all their heritage. Jazmin tells us, she spent endless hours dancing cumbia with her mama in the kitchen and visiting her home country of Costa Rica. While Shawn lived in Mexico City for two years, where he immersed himself in Spanish and Latino culture. 

They both currently work full time, go to school full time, and run a business while raising a beautiful baby boy. They are always looking for ways to find balance. They wake up at least two hours before their son does to make sure they have time to discuss the plan for the day and check in with each other. Their goal is to be done with their daily to-do’s by 5PM so they can focus on spending time as a family.

They are excited to provide a platform to promote Latino Authors, and creators to share their products with customers who want to have this experience with their children. Jazmin said, “We are eager to learn all the different ways we can teach Spanish to families all over the nation.”

To learn more about them visit Myspanishsorpresa.com

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: LEXIE GOMEZ, LOVE SWIRLS

 

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

This month we are excited to spotlight Lexie Gomez, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Love Swirls, a company that specializes in creating memorable parties with yummy vegan, kosher organic & non-organic cotton candy – freshly spun on site! They recently expanded their LOVE with other sweet treats that include popcorn & snow cones! They also capture memories with a recently added photo booth!

Love is the underlying value to everything they do!

Lexie is also a mother of 3 children. Victor, 21 a photographer, Natalie, 20 a baker & Joaquin, 4.  She told us, “it’s a huge gap between Natalie & Joaquin. It felt like a huge start over and made me feel like I have 9 lives! But Joaquin couldn’t have come at a better moment in my life.”

Love Swirls began 3 years ago, shortly after the birth of Joaquin, when Lexie had been once again bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and was considering starting a taco catering business. But then during a family trip to the beach she had a better idea when she noticed the excitement families had for cotton candy.  She loved how both kids and adults alike gravitated towards the sweet treats that reminded her of her childhood.

She knew then that she really wanted to start a cotton candy and sweet treats venture.  

But she needed money to get started.

Rather than letting this hold her back, she proposed to her teenage children that they invest their Christmas money to help start the business and help her operate it too! This was also her way of nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit, provide them with a small income, and allow her to continue to have a flexible schedule to care her youngest child. They loved the idea and the next day they took action and started Love Swirls!

They haven’t stopped since.

But Lexie’s mission goes far beyond sweet treats, she went into business to create more freedom for herself and her family that has lead to more peace, joy, happiness and travel.

Lexie is a serial entrepreneur and has a background in event coordination. She has built several businesses, some that have failed. These failures have left her with many valuable lessons. She told us, “I’ve learned not to give up. Sometimes it’s so hard to believe in yourself after feeling you’ve failed with everyone watching. I’ve learned to take risks, and not look back.”

Her hope is that her children learn the struggles that come with entrepreneurship but that they also learn to appreciate the sense of accomplishment that comes from doing something that you love. She says, “We as mamis are Do’ers and I do all this for my kids.”

But Lexie also believes that, “Life does not end when your working hours end.” She practices 7 daily habits to keep a balanced life. They include things like prayer, and one hour of exercise every day. She is also an avid reader of self-help books and listens to devotional and inspirational words from people like Joel Osteen and Dr. Ceser Lozano.

Her other must have? Coffee!

She also makes it a point to show gratitude by giving back to her community. She makes regular donations to Children’s Hospital LA.

Lexie isn’t afraid to dream big! Her ultimate goal is to create a legacy business that her children can continue to grow. She wants Love Swirls to be a brand that excites and the is a must have treat like Baskin Robbins. In the meantime, she is excited to keep growing, have a small shop and possibly expand to other cities and states.

She shared with us a core belief that guides her life,“time will pass and it doesn’t stop for anyone. I don’t think you should stop trying or taking risks just because someone’s opinion of you or your ideas is negative.”

Thank you Lexie for the inspiration and sweet treats!

Learn more about Love Swirls by visiting their site www.loveswirls.org you can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. 

 

Potty Training 101

 
 
 

Potty Training is an important milestone in the life of a toddler and in the lives of parents. But often times, it can be difficult to know how and where to start.

In episode 94, potty training expert Jenny Phelps from Oh Crap! Potty training talked with us about how to get started on potty training, potty training resistance and much more!

But there’s more than one method for potty training. Here’s just a small sample of what we found!

1) Oh Crap! Potty Training- This method encourages people to allow children at least 3 days of naked time in order to get them used to their bodily functions and it discourages the use of training diapers like Pull-Ups. However, it also means a parent or caregiver needs to clear their schedule and watch very closely to prevent accidents.

According to Lucy’s List, a researcher reported a 74% success rate for kids under 25 months and a 93% success rate for kids over 25 months. Eight weeks after training, kids averaged less than one accident per day (Butler, 1976).

Read about a mom’s first hand experience with this method on Mom.Me. Read more about this method here.

2) The Child Oriented Approach- This method takes more time and simply stated you let your child tell you when they are ready and you don’t eliminate diapers from one day to the next. It is based on a book by Dr. T. Berry Brazelton. He encourages that you wait until children show signs of readiness to start toilet training, and believes that parents should stop training if children are showing signs of resistance. You can read more about this method in his book. Lucy’s List states that a con of this method is that it can take a long time to train your child.

3) Potty Training in 24 Hours- This method uses a doll to help children learn about the how’s and why’s of going in the potty. While the training is one day, the prep time begins days and weeks before as parents introduce the doll and potty training concepts to children. Read more about it here.

4) Things to Keep in Mind- According to Jenny, you don’t need a lot of fancy gear to get started with potty training. Here are some recommendations that are Super Mamas approved!

Munchkin 3-In-1 Potty

Munchkin Grip Potty Seat

Munchkin Sturdy Potty Seat

Yellow Cup

Let us know what method worked for your children in the comments! Happy Training Day/s! 

 

5 Easy Ways to Get Involved in Your Community

 

Wendy Carrillo our guest on episode 96 talked about running for Congress in the neighborhood she grew up in. We often talk about the importance of registering to vote but before we vote it’s important to also be informed about how our government works. We know that some members of our community are not eligible to vote yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved.  Being a Supermama means speaking up for ourselves and our children, we encourage you to become an active member of your community. Regardless of your status in our country, you can make a difference!

If we want to change our communities and get more involved here are a few ways to start:

  1. Register to Vote and then vote in all elections: If you are eligible, make sure you register to vote. Voting matters because if we don’t vote, others will decide for us. We aren’t just talking about the Presidential election every four years, there’s local races at the city, school board, state levels and even judges that will impact us and our children for years to come. Register to vote and find out if you are eligible by visiting Voto Latino.Org. To learn more about the requirements to become a US citizen visit Naleo.Org.

  2. Learn Who Represents You: Whether you are eligible to vote or not, it’s important to know who is making decisions on your behalf. For example, did you know that the school board in most places is elected by voters and these individuals make decisions on how to use funding for kids with special needs, what to serve for lunch, and what courses to offer? In Los Angeles, where we live, the local school board manages a budget of billions of dollars! There’s several branches of government at the Federal, State and local levels. The federal government alone is made up of the 3 branches. Learn who your representatives are by visiting this site and learn about what the various parts of government do by visiting this site.  

  3. Get Involved: Now that you have more information, you can get more involved. Here’s a good way to start, sign up to receive e-mails and alerts from your representatives at the federal, state and local levels. This is a good way to know what issues they are working on and when they are having community meetings where you can actually come meet them. Most representatives also have local offices and staff that can speak to constituents on their behalf. Get to know them, watch the decisions they are making and always feel free to ask questions, remember they are public servants.

  4. Learn What You Care About: Many women who eventually run for office are mom’s and sometimes they run because they see that the issues that affect women and children are not a priority. While there’s a range of things to care about from: healthcare, to education, to public safety, to paid family leave don’t feel the need to get active in all of them. It’s ok to pick an issue that you care about and learn more about it. One way to know is to think about the issues that you are passionate, the ones you talk about with your family during dinner, the stories you see that really upset you or make you feel something. If you want to learn about issues that impact women and their families we highly suggest visiting MomsRising.Org to learn more about their campaigns.  

  5. Don’t Worry About What You Don’t Know: Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions about things you don’t know. Information is power and we are lifelong learners.

 

Woman of the Year

 

Happy International Women's Day Sisters! 

We are excited to announce that our very own Paulina Lopez-Velazquez was selected as the Woman of the Year by Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas of the 54th Assembly District for the state of California. Paulina was part of a distinct group of 80 women that were invited to attend a special ceremony in our state's capitol honoring them and all of the women in California. 

This is a great distinction that is awarded to women who are making significant contributions to their communities and who are making California a better place for women and their families. Paulina was recognized for her efforts as a partner at the award-winning restaurant her family owns, La Guelaguetza and for serving her community as Board Member for her daughters' school CLIC, and for being a host of the Super Mamas Podcast. 

Paulina was inspired to be in the presence of so many accomplished women, and she also had a chance to hear author Reina Grande an award-winning novelist, talk about her book called, "The Distance Between Us."

Paulina had this to say about her day at the Capitol, "I was able to see 80 women from across the state who are doing amazing things and as a result, my desire to help the community has become even greater. I also learned a lot about our state government. It was a pleasure to meet my representative and see what a great example he is to our community."  

Paulina shared with us the significance of this award,  "I realize there's so much more I want to do and accomplish. I feel so excited to be alive today in this moment, and I believe we are going through a huge shift in how people perceive women, and what we can make happen. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my daughters." 

On the podcast, Paulina has shared about her struggles with postpartum depression and feelings of low self-esteem. While she received this award she reflected on her journey. "I remember feeling at times like I couldn't deal with life like everyone else did, and it took a lot of internal work to battle things like depression. My life transformed when I made the conscious effort to work on myself and be aware of things I needed to change." 

She had these words of advice for us, "If I was able to overcome then you can too. Surround yourself with the right group of people. Find people who mentor you, and inspire you. This will make all the difference. Stop aspiring for perfection and you will be amazed by what you can do."

Paulina was excited to share this special day with her husband, Ramiro.  

We couldn't be more proud of our Super Mama!

Remember there is greatness in all of us and our potential is limitless.