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.  

 

Lent Meal Planning with Northgate Markets

 
Lent.Post.Blog_COVERPAGE..jpg

Hello sisters!  We are so excited to share with you all our latest collaboration with our favorite grocer, Northgate Markets.  We teamed up with them this season to bring you all a Lent meal plan  that will make your cooking life much more simple and put your mind at ease.  I remember how strict my grandma used to be about lent, she would always say "Los Viernes, no se come carne."  Although we are not catholic, we still observe 'no meat Fridays' during lent season in memory of our grandma.  

I hope you all enjoy the recipes we put together for you!  They are truly delicious and very easy to make. We know what a hassle grocery shopping can be, so we even went ahead and put together a grocery shopping list for you, just to make your life that much easier (you know, one less thing to think about). We hope you enjoy, and please, if you recreate any of these meals, don't forget to tag us and Northgate. We would love to see and know what you think of them.  Provecho!



Cooking Plan of Attack, Tips, and Planning Ahead

I know a lot of you may look at the name of of these recipes and think they are too hard to make, or that they probably take too much work.  Let me stop you right there; we created these recipes for moms just like us.  Moms who are too busy to even shave their legs at times, or for that mom who doesn't have a couple of hours to spare to get her nails done (yes, that is us, and we are not ashamed to admit it).  This section breaks everything down to show you how easy it is to not only make the meals, but get you in the habit of planning meals for your family, and to use any left-overs for lunches or dinners throughout the week. The best thing of all, these recipes are versatile and can be reheated very easily. 

  1. Aguachile Rojo - Save a tablespoon of the fresno chile sauce, and add about 1/2 cup of olive oil plus a squeeze of lime juice and salt to make a bright and delicious vinaigrette.  Use over any quinoa, bean and hardboiled egg salad.  Seriously, just having this vinaigrette laying around can make any salad (or hard boiled egg) taste fancy. 
  2. Tostadas de Atun - This is my favorite recipe because of how easy it is, and because it keeps forever.  This has always been my go-to meal when I feel overwhelmed and like theres nothing to eat on the fridge.  Aside from being simple, it is also very kid friendly with zero spice (that's if you omit the buffalo of course).  You can also always make tortitas de atun with any leftover tuna.  Or make a quick tuna salad sandwich for lunch the next day.  Also, the chips and tostadas from northgate are addictive and can eat them all day and all night. 
  3. Chiles Rellenos - ok, ok I know what you are thinking.  Even reading the words chiles rellenos together can make any cook nervous.  Listen, its like riding a bike, once you learn you will be a master in no time.  But even if the task seems daunting, take the filling recipe and make yourself tostadas with a drizzle of our Guelaguetza mole on top. Believe me, these will be a winner and maybe save this chile relleno dish for a special occasion, but please do make the filling! It pairs beautifully with our mole.  Promise you they will become one of your favorite tostadas recipes. 
  4. Sopa de Tortillas - Listen, you always need a nice soup in the fridge.  You can also always make extra and freeze it in small tubs.  To thaw it, all you have to do is pop it in the fridge before heading to work, and heat it up once you get back home.  You'll have dinner ready for your family in less than 10 minutes.  You'll thank us for this recipe.  It is finger-licking delicious. 
  5. Cheese Stuffed Zucchini - We made this for a group of friends who came over our home and these were a hit.  They made us look super fancy.  These also keep great in the fridge and are so easy to reheat when you have people over.  You can also prep everything ahead and assemble everything come dinner time.  Just prop them in the oven and you'll have a healthy and delicious meal in no time. 
  6. Fish Tacos - Who doesn't love themselves a good taco?  The great thing about this dish is that you could make them on a Tuesday for a Taco Tuesday and then repeat them on a Friday.  This recipe bakes the fish, so its a healthier choice for your family.  Also, the crema is to die for.  You can always make yourself extra for a great chip dip and pair it with a nice glass of wine later on the night.  
  7. Capirotada - I loved this one for so many reasons.  One, because we used Pan Bimbo and it brought back so many memories of our childhood.  Also, because the left over cream mixture we prepared was used for breakfast the next day on our french toast and as a strawberry dip for mom later that night (yes, there was wine involved in that one too).  This is a perfect dessert to take to any office pot luck, school gathering or just as a treat to keep around the house. 

ok, ok enough talking, lets get to the recipes! 



AGUACHILE ROJO


Ingredients:

  • 16 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
  • Juice of 8 limes
  • 4 red Fresno peppers, stems removed
  • 2 to 3 habanero peppers, stems removed
  • Juice of 4 limes
  •  2 tablespoons Pompeian grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup English cucumber, thinly sliced
  •  2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Tostadas.

Preparation:

  1. Peel and clean the shrimp. Using a small, sharp knife, butterfly the shrimp open by slicing almost all the way through the back side. This will help the shrimp lay more flat while marinating and cooking.
  2. Rinse the shrimp in cold water and pat dry with paper towels and transfer back to shallow glass dish.
  3. Add the juice of the 8 key limes, making sure the shrimp is covered with lime juice. Cover and chill while you prep the rest of ingredients.
  4. To a blender, add the red Fresno peppers, habaneros, juice of 4 key limes, grapeseed oil and salt to taste. Pulse or blend until desired consistency. Taste for salt.
  5. Pour this mixture over the shrimp/lime mixture making sure it’s mixed in evenly. Season with fresh cracked pepper.
  6. Layer the cucumbers, onions, and cilantro over the top. Chill for just 15 more minutes. make sure the shrimp has been chilling in the fridge for at least of a total of 30 minutes Before serving, mix all together. Serve with tostadas. 


TOSTADITAS DE ATÚN


Ingredients:

  • 4 cans of Tuny Jumbo light tuna in water
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped finely
  • 4 tbsp. McCormick mayonnaise with lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Avocado, diced
  • Classic Mexican Bufalo hot sauce
  • 4 tostadas

Preparation:

  1. Mix tuna and mayonnaise with fork and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado in a separate bowl and set aside.
  3. Spread tuna mixture on every tostada.
  4. Add a tablespoon of mixed vegetables on top of every tostada.
  5. Serve tuna tostadas topped with classic Mexican Bufalo hot sauce. 


Chiles Rellenos de Mole


Ingredients:

  • 6 pasilla peppers charred, peeled, and seedless
  • 1 cup Mole Guelaguetza
  • Filling:
  • ½ lb. imitation crab meat
  • 1 pear, diced
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Batter

  • 2 Hidden Villa Ranch eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Frying oil

Preparation:

  1. Char, peel, and remove seeds from pasilla peppers then set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and add imitation crab meat, pear, and raisins. Grind tomatoes with sugar and add to saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Fill each charred pasilla pepper with mixture from saucepan and then coat each pepper with flour. Set aside.
  4. Beat Hidden Villa Ranch egg whites until reaching a frim consistency, then mix in egg yolks gently.
  5. Dip the flour coated chiles into the batter and fry in abundant hot oil until golden on both sides. Drain excess oil on paper towels.
  6. Prepare mole sauce and serve chiles rellenos bathed in mole sauce. 



Sopa de Tortilla


Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Cacique Queso Fresco, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp. Cacique Crema Mexicana
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 husk tomatillos, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 chile guajillo, seeded and toasted
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chile canned in adobo, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • 1 cup of tortilla chips
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, both chiles, garlic, oregano and cumin to the heated oil. Sautee for 15 minutes.
  3. Add tortilla chips to the pot along with the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Blend the soup in the blender until very smooth. Add the soup back to the soup pot and bring back to a simmer and check seasonings. (you could also use an emulsion blender)
  6. Serve soup in bowl and garnish with tortilla chips, a drizzle of Cacique Crema Mexicana, crumbles of Cacique Queso Fresco, avocado and cilantro.


Fish Tacos


Ingredients:

Lime Crema:

  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • zest from half a lime
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Slaw

  • 2 cups cabbage, thinly chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ½ green onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Tacos:

  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. red pepper powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1-pound of tilapia
  • 8 (6-inch) soft taco tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced

Lime Crema:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the crema ingredients. Set aside.

Slaw

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the slaw ingredients. Set aside.

Tacos:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vegetable oil, lime juice, cumin, paprika, coriander, red pepper powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip the fish into the bowl and turn the fish until it is evenly coated with the marinade. Place the fish onto a lined baking tray and let it marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  3. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the fish is flaky when tested with a fork.
  4. Transfer the fish into a plate and break into smaller pieces using a fork.
  5. Heat the soft tortillas according to the directions on the package.
  6. Divide the fish evenly onto the tortillas.
  7. Top each taco with sliced avocados, lime cream, and ¼ cup of the slaw. 

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Calabacitas Rellenas de Queso


Ingredients

  • 4 zucchini
  • 1 cup of shredded El Mexicano mozzarella
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ½ tbsp. of onion, finely diced
  • ¼ cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Sauce

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ white onion
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Slice zucchini in half and use spoon to scoop out the flesh.  Set flesh from all zucchini aside.
  2. Boil water in a pot and throw in zucchinis for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove zucchini from boiling water and set them aside.
  4. Chop zucchini flesh you had set aside, and place in mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. Place saucepan with olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic and onion for 4 minutes, then add chopped zucchini flesh and cook 2 minutes.
  6. Remove mixture from heat and set aside.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  8. Stuff zucchini halves with sautéed mixture and top with cheese.
  9. Place zucchini in baking dish and bake for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and browned.
  10. Boil tomatoes, garlic, and onion for sauce. Once softened, blend tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  11. Serve stuffed zucchini with sauce. 

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CAPIROTADA


Preparation:

  • Prepare the cream for the bread pudding by mixing evaporated milk, condensed milk, milk, cornmeal, eggs, and vanilla.
  • Place cream mixture in a saucepan on medium heat. Continuously stir for 15 minutes, until cream slightly thickens. Be sure not to stop stirring to avoid mixture from burning and sticking. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a deep baking dish place a layer of bread, then pour some of the cream mixture that was set aside on top and add peanuts, walnuts, raisins, and shredded coconut. Repeat these steps in layers until ingredients are completely finished.
  • Bake for 15 -25 minutes. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • ½ can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsps. cornmeal
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 package of Bimbo
  • ½ cup peanuts
  • ½ cup of walnuts
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raisins

 

 

Exploring Disney California Adventure through my pre-schooler's eyes.

 

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Krista, I always dreamed of the day I would take her to Disneyland with me. I thought, if I have this much fun as an adult, I can only imagine how much fun she would have.  As soon as she turned one, I  took her on her first visit (I would have probably taken her sooner but my husband wouldn't let me).  From the moment she set foot in that magical place she became a Disney fan just like mommy, but I soon realized that visiting the park with a little one was  different. I had some figuring out to do!  I know some people might feel overwhelmed with the idea of taking a small child to Disneyland but trust me, once you overcome the fear and see that light in their eyes, you will not regret it.

Disney California Adventure has become my favorite park to visit with the little ones. Since it’s smaller, I can cover the whole park in one day and it has more rides and attractions for kids than I expected.  I recently visited with my daughters, Krista and Sabina who are 5 and 2, my nephew Eduardo who is 22 months old and my mom, the #QueenSuperMama for a “Pre-K Family Day”. I found some really great gems! 

We started our day with Disney Jr Live on Stage where they clapped and sang along. I was so happy to see how much all three enjoyed it and stayed entertained during the whole show while watching Mickey and his friends.   We then visited Bugs Land, which is Krista’s favorite area. We always have to ride every single ride or else she won’t let us leave. From Francis’ Ladybug Boogie (my personal favorite) to Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies, she can be there all day!

We then headed to Cars Land, since Eduardo is a HUGE fan. He got to say hello to Mater and Lighting McQueen at the Cozy Cone Motel  and  then rode Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. He couldn’t stop smiling, it was really cute. But his favorite moment was definitely meeting Nick Wilde from Zootopia.. He ran to him and kept telling him, “I love you buddy!" That moment made our whole day!

Sabina loves her babies and princesses so she loved visiting Boo at the Monster’s Inc ride, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure with the little Mermaid, and was delighted to meet Elsa and Ana in-person while visiting the Animation Academy. This is a must see on your visit to Disney's California Adventure! This place teaches children (and adults) how Disney movies are made through drawing and animation workshops. Sabina and Krista had their creative juices flowing.

One of my personal favorite things about visiting Disney are all the delicious treats. My favorites are the churros, popcorn and the corn dogs. They're my must-haves every visit. For the kids, I opt for the carts with fresh fruit and the kid-friendly options on all the restaurant menus.


"   You might still be telling yourself, 'they are too young to remember' maybe, but YOU will remember! That memory will live forever in your heart    "


We closed our visit with the new Frozen Live Show at the Hyperion.  It's the best way to introduce your kids to theater and musicals.  All three kids were mesmerized by everything that was going on on stage and around them. They sang, danced and laughed out loud! It was definitely Krista's favorite of the day- she has not stopped talking about it!

A trip to Disneyland can be exhausting! So if you need to take a break during middle of the day to nurse, feed your child or you just want to relax for a bit, visit the Baby Care Center. It's complimentary and they offer nursing rooms, changing rooms, a feeding area and they also offer different baby-need products for sale. Trust me, this place has saved me from breakdowns a few times.

You might still be telling yourself, "they are too young to remember," maybe, but YOU will remember! That memory will live forever in your heart. For me, every visit has been so special, always fun, and always different. Living the magic through their little eyes, seeing their smiles and now seeing them having fun together creating memories that I will be able to share with them in the future makes it all worth it.  

Don’t be scared Mama! If we survived with three small children, you can too!

Love ~ Paulina 

 
 

Additional Super Mama Tips:

 

- Children under 3 years old are free at the parks, and Southern California Residents are eligible for a great offer now- A 3 day ticket for $149.00, less than $50 a day. Get your tickets soon!

-Mark Your Stroller : There are tons of strollers at any given time at Disney, make sure yours is recognizable as sometimes the cast members re arrange them to make more space for others.

-Snacks, Snacks , Snacks! : Make sure you pack enough snacks for the day, these will keep your little ones entertained during wait times. I usually take fruit, crackers, yogurt and popcorn, sounds like a lot but they have helped me avoid meltdowns and tantrums.

-Stay hydrated: Pushing a stroller and keeping track of children is no joke! So make sure you stay hydrated through out the day, take a big bottle of water for yourself to refill as needed and take some for your children as well.

-Wear comfortable shoes:  Please! It's a day to have fun not to torture yourself.

-Map out the nearest restroom:  I mean, do you want to be running around trying to find the nearest bathroom with a crying child? Just be aware of your surroundings at all times to avoid any accidents

- Have Fun!  Just enjoy the day, become that kid you have inside, enjoy with your child just as much as they will, this will make your experience so much better! After all, Disney is the happiest place on earth.

 

 

5 Keys to Financial Success for Parents

 
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Being financially secure is the foundation for a successful life. Having your money matters in order, allows you to dream bigger, care for your family, and be prepared for unforeseen circumstances. Ramona Ortega, Founder of My Money, My Future gave us some great tips on how to go from surviving to thriving!

  1. Let’s Talk About It! - Many of us shy away from talking about money. Ramona suggests, removing the stigma from talking about money, and to be comfortable talking about it with friends, family and significant others. You need to be able to discuss debt, credit, savings and making difficult decisions around caring for elderly parents with people in your life. For example, if your significant other has student debt, or helps out his/her parents, or has credit card debt that will impact your ability to buy a home, or pay for daycare in the future. It is important to have a clear picture of your finances before having children or as you discuss adding more children to the family. Ramona also recommends having regular money meetings with yourself and your partner. Speaking freely about money will also ensure that your children will be more financially savvy adults.

  2. Have a Budget- If you don’t know where you money is going, it will be very hard to set goals, and have a good understanding of your money habits. Regardless of how much money you are making, it is important to put yourself on a budget. This is what will enable you to save for retirement and that vacation you have always wanted to take. You shouldn’t be in the dark about any aspect of your money. My Money, My Future created an awesome budget planning tool to help you get started.

  3. Your Credit Is Everything-Having bad credit or no credit makes it hard to rent an apartment, buy or lease a car, get a loan for your business, or purchase a home. But building good credit takes time and effort. As a general rule, a score of 700 above is considered excellent. While credit cards are one of the tools you use to build credit, you should avoid the trap of using them to sustain your lifestyle or pay for things you cannot afford. A great rule? Don’t charge any amount you can’t pay off at the end of the month. If you don’t know your current credit score you can download a free report here. If you are looking for a credit card to help build your credit, here are some things to consider

  4. Save and Prepare, and then Save Some More -Saving and preparing for the unforeseen is what will help you build wealth and go from living paycheck to paycheck to financial security. We should always be ready for a financial emergency, this means building up savings for unexpected expenses like car or home repair. This is how you avoid having to use your credit cards or having to take out high interest loans to pay for things. On the podcast, we also talked about how we avoid talking about things like life insurance and wills for fear that it means we are attracting death. But if we have children, it is important to have things in place in case of a financial or health emergency. You should also consider having a college savings plan for your child called a 529 plan. This is also why having a budget is important, as this is how you will know how much money you can set aside for insurance and savings. Ramona also encourages women to keep their own savings set aside even if they are married or in a relationship.

  5.  Don’t Be Afraid of Investing- Investing is a way of making money while you sleep. This is how 401k’s and many retirement plans grow over time. Becoming familiar with investing will give you access to another set of money making tools. Sites like Acorn help you invest minimal amounts to learn about the process of investing. Ramona recommends avoiding high brokerage fees to invest. Learn more about the basics of investing here.

For more great money tips check My Money, My Future.

 

 

SISTER SPOTLIGHT: VERONICA AREVALO, FOUNDER MERU COMPANY

 

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

Veronica and Juan Arevalo are the owners of a small, family-owned and operated clothing company called Meru. Raised in Venezuela, they were both raised with an entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic.

Since moving to the U.S. in 2010, they had a difficult time finding kids’ pajamas that met their quality, design, variety, convenience, and price point expectations. They found that other parents with kids in the same age range all struggled with the same problem. Given that they had more than 20 years of experience in the apparel industry they decided to take matters into their own hands to bridge this gap.

In addition to crafting great, high quality, comfy PJs to dress their kids (and yours), they are also on a mission. They want to help engage kids, in learning Science, Technology, Engineering, Math + Business (STEM+B).

Veronica believes, "Our kids are our future, so we want to “tickle” their brains, inspire them, and get them excited about science, technology, engineering, math, and business so that they can help society face the challenges that lie ahead."

This is why they practice what they preach at home too. Their kids have been participating in STEM activities since they were 3 and 5.

She added that we need to, “raise out-of-the-box thinkers, chess masters, and world-class leaders that can help us create effective and sustainable solutions for problems we face as a society.”

They are also cultivating their entrepreneurial spirits. Their daughter who is now 5 years old, has a recycling operation and their son who just turned 7 has been in business for about a year now with total sales of a little over $1,000.

Veronica explained that “one of the most important values we are instilling in our kids, is that in order to achieve one’s goals and dreams, we need to work hard and smart. “

Their strategy to accomplish their mission is to actively engage with the community around the business to create a collaborative platform to share STEM+B resources and activities and to promote this important movement.

They want to contribute to the discovery and the development of the next generation of movers and shakers! 

We want to thank Veronica for sharing her amazing Super Mama story with us! 

To learn more about Veronica and her amazing story visit MeruCompany.Com and don’t forget to keep up with their adventures on social media @merucompany!

We love our Meru PJ's and they are generously offering our sisters a 15% discount on the entire collection. Use discount code: SUPERMAMAS at checkout! 

* Offer valid for a limited time.