News

15 Simple Self-Care Ideas to Make You Feel Like a Pampered Mama

By Tammy Woeppel

15 Simple Self-Care Ideas to Make You Feel Like a Pampered Mama

One of the BIGGEST challenges that moms face is finding time for self-care. I can't count how many times I have heard something along the lines of "I haven't even eaten anything today because...xyz" from various friends in my circle. Part of it is all the 'stuff' that needs to get done in any given day, creating a feeling of running from one thing to another, but part of it is also not recognizing that we can only give what we have. There's no way around it; people who don't find ways to carve out time for themselves will eventually hit a breaking point, and mom's in particular are extremely susceptible.

I recently started following fellow Hey Mama member Tina Marie Clark and something she pointed out in a recent interview was so simple yet so symbolic of how we need to shift our mindset when we become moms:
"they don't tell you this on an airplane for nothing...secure your own mask first, before helping others.” Well, amen sistah! 

Read on to see a roundup of ideas that any mom  will be able to incorporate into their daily/weekly/monthly routine with minimal time/budget, starting from easiest to the most complex. These may seem redundant and obvious, but just because we KNOW we should do something doesn't mean that we always do it, and sometimes these things just need to be reiterated. 

1. Drink More Water

It's surprising how difficult it can be to get our daily recommended intake of water (after all, I need to get in about 4 cups of coffee before I can even think about making the switch). Obviously, water is life, so create a goal like refilling your S'well bottles 4x/day.

2. Light a Candle

Aromatherapy is a powerful thing and can really create a vibe. I had never thought about the deeper psychology behind what a candle represents until I saw this video from the Keap Candle founders. Creating a ritual around lighting a candle makes it more meaningful and is truly is a conscious choice to be done with everything that came before: all the smells, moments, and stress. 

3.  Meditate

Ok, hear me out on this one. This does not mean that you need to find an ashram, or devote an entire room to your practice, or be a new age tree-hugger. It can be as simple as attending yoga class as most, if not all, begin/end with a meditation. I became a believer during my 2nd pregnancy when I began to practice hypnobirthing techniques. Relying on the power of breathing (which I learned on Youtube, btw) I went my entire labor and delivery without any pain until the final 15 minutes. Powerful stuff! After a stressful day, I'll often throw on a guided meditation for sleep and even my husband finds it beneficial. I would say on average we make it through about 10 minutes before we both fall asleep. We keep it really simple and brief but the point is that any amount can have a postive impact on a person's overall well-being.

4. Go To Bed Earlier

For being such a simple concept, this is something that I've really struggled with in the past and only recently became more disciplined about. It's so easy, especially with all the screens and social media, to suddenly realize that a quick 2 minute Facebook check has somehow turned into 2 hours. Just like committing to an exercise routine, or maintaining a blog, it requires will, intention, and discipline to follow-through but eventually becomes a habit and therefore, easier to stick with. 

5. Read a Book

If you're in need of a good book recommendation, I always find the Skimm Reads full of really intriguing choices.

6. Apply a Facial mask

Be it an indulgent spa-quality formula, an easy bentonite clay/vinegar mixture, a homemade avocado concoction, or a pre-soaked kbeauty sheet mask, you can easily apply it and proceed to catch up on your latest Netflix guilty pleasure. 

7. Take a Bath

Turn your bathroom into a mini spa. Get some luxurious bath products, light a candle, and set aside 30 minutes to soak. I also add these magnesium salts to mine to do double duty. 

8. Buy Grocery Store/Farmer's Market Flowers

Having fresh flowers in the house feels like such an indulgence, but definitely doesn't have to come with that luxury price tag. Hydrangeas are so voluminous that you only need a few blooms (and they grow in most places, so plant your own to clip during summer months!). You can also pick an inexpensive flower such as a carnation but in a large quantity to make more of an impact. If you want to make an investment, companies like Melissa Andre or Venus et Fleur offer pricey arrangements, but they last for up to a year so it's an easy way to have low-maintenance florals year-round. 

9. Schedule a Hair Appointment

There is nothing like the luxury of having a great blow-out to make you feel like a new woman! 

10. Listen to a Podcast/Book on Audio While Commuting or Running Errands

Use your time stuck in the car to feed your soul with an audio book or podcast that really captures your attention and makes the most of your daily commute. Having wellness and motherhood on my mind so much, I have been listening to Kimberly Snyder and Birthful, but there are so many others that come highly-recommended with a variety of topics for everyone. 

11. Go To Sephora 

Something about a fresh tube of lipstick or a shimmery new eyeshadow provides such a little pick-me-up. Get a make-over while you're there to see what new products deserve to end up in your arsenal. 

 12. Call a Friend/Make Time for Adult Conversation

We may love our spouses and families, but there is just something about having adult interactions with the people we choose to spend our time with. Try to dedicate a chunk of time so you are not constantly interrupted by your little ones. 

13. Find the "Thing" That Makes You Feel Like Your Pre-mom Self

For some people, it's putting on those stiletto heels to go out to dinner. For others, it's getting their brows and eyelashes did. I always have fun with my nail art. Whatever it is that makes you feel like you again, just do it.

14. Do A Girls Trip/Weekend/Overnighter

Obviously, this one may not be realistic for everyone, but if you are able to get a girls trip on the books, it is SO worthwhile. Get creative- it can be within driving distance, or a short flight (I find that psychologically, I am much more calm about leaving my children if I know that they are a short commute away). Whether you need a weekend away to drink all the wine or you just want to sleep 8 consecutive hours, it is so valuable in giving you the opportunity to:

a) recharge
b) appreciate your family
c) actually miss them! 

15. When All Else Fails, Drink Wine!

 

 

 

Read more


Spotlight: Brands You NEED To Know About

By Tammy Woeppel

Spotlight: Brands You NEED To Know About

From time to time, we are going to be highlighting other brands/companies that we think deserve a shout out. Either we know them personally, they offer innovative products in the green space, or we just think they are downright rocking it. In our first installment, we are going to feature two amazing networking communities for working moms that we recently became a part of:

1) Hey Mama, www.heymama.co

This is a members-only lifestyle site/business platform designed to give working American moms a destination to seek out resources for their own business, as well as connect with other like-minded mamas. Co-founded by best friends Katya Libin and Amri Kibbler, they sought to create a system of support for working mothers and to empower women to realize their dreams with the help of the Hey Mama community. In a nutshell, we love their insightful articles, exclusive networking events, and special discounts to all the swoon-worthy brands that we covet: Varley Activewear, Mignonne Gavigan Jewelry (these earrings tho!!!!), Rebecca Minkoff, and Anine Bing among many others. As a member, you can also participate in killer giveaways as well as have the ability to contact any of the hundreds of members personally (their roster includes celebrity powerhouses such as: Anna Kaiser, Helena Glazer Hodne, Denise Vasi, Mandana Dayani, Emma Hemming Willis, and Haylie Duff, just to name a few). We were psyched to attend a panel lead by Rag & Bone to discuss Digital Marketing Trends and met so many other moms doing the same thing that we are. Mamas supporting mamas do bad ass things. We're all about it. 

Sidenote:  Membership is $350/year and most events are held in NYC, LA, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Portland, Salt Lake City, and the Hamptons with plans for expanding to other cities. 

2) Babyccinowww.babyccinokids.com

Another lifestyle parenting site but geared at the international community of working moms, Babyccino is a great one-stop-shop for all the latest parenting articles, must-have mama fashion, and the CUTEST collection of luxury online children's boutiques. We are kind of dying over Little Hipstar and Peter Jo Kids at the moment! The cool thing about Babyccino is that the benefits of joining are not strictly limited to the boutiques that pay for membership- anyone that signs up for a free account will gain access to their monthly discounts and be the first to know about their Shop Up's (basically a pop-up market version of their website) that are regularly held in London, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. Their boutique partners include Ace & Jig, Hatch, Artifact Uprising, and Ariel Gordon Jewelry. We definitely recommend checking back monthly as the deals change and I have seen discounts go as high as 40% off. So check them out if you're into that (unless of course, you enjoy paying full price, in which case, carry on!).

Sidenote: If you are a boutique interested in being a featured member of Babyccino, annual dues start at approximately $425/year. 

 

 

 

Read more


Never Need a Vacation From Your Vacation Again! 10 Creative Staycation Ideas

By Tammy Woeppel

Never Need a Vacation From Your Vacation Again! 10 Creative Staycation Ideas

School breaks are just around the corner and with that comes lots of family vacation plans. There is no doubt that traveling is great for the soul and creating a sense of open-mindedness, BUT, it's also a lot of work to research, plan, organize, coordinate, and pack not to mention the expense of it. Add little ones into the mix and your responsibilities/costs just multiply. For some families, a getaway during one of the peak travel times just isn't an option. We created a list of ideas to help keep you sane and your kids occupied during their school recess (without relying on screens), no matter what your budget constraints are. The upside to having a staycation is that you'll never get back to the grind thinking "I need a vacation from my vacation"!

 1) Go Camping In The Living Room Or Backyard

Have a tent/teepee? Set it up in the living room or backyard (weather permitting, of course). For some reason, children LOVE doing ordinary things out of context! Bonus points if you construct a fort using good ol' blankets/chairs/boxes etc. 

2) Set Up A Water Park In the Yard

If you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate, create a mini water park in your own yard. Set up a small pool, pull out the slip 'n slide, fill up a bunch of water balloons and make sure to create a lounge area for the adults complete with seating and beverages. 

3) Treat Yo' Self

If the in-house tent situation is not your idea of a good time, consider heading to a local hotel, or finding an amenity-filled rental (from airbnb, or choose a family-friendly option from kid & coe) for a night or weekend. You can take advantage of having an in-house spa, sauna, steam room, pool and of course room service or delivery! We stayed at a luxury hotel for a weekend while our floors were getting refinished and I have to say- it was amazing. I got the benefits of having a weekend away without the stress of packing every.single.little.thing since my house was 10 minutes away and I wasn't catching a flight, not to mention that I was already familiar with where to eat/what to do since it was in my hood.

4) Use It As An Excuse To Eat Out

You're already saving all that dinero on not paying for transportation or hotel. For me, the ultimate form of pampering is having someone else take over all the kitchen duties. Go out to that restaurant that you reserve for the most special of occasions or hit up a bunch of your favorite spots throughout the week so it feels like a special treat. 

5) Have A Playdate Rotation With Other Parents 

Find other parents who are also scrambling to keep their kids entertained for an ENTIRE week and take turns having playdates at someone's house so that all the parents get 1 shift with the kids and the rest of the time free.

6) Set Up A Babysitting Share

Go in on having a babysitter or 2 watch all the kids so parents can go out to a kid-free meal together (or go to work!). It'll be extra money for the babysitter plus the kids can all play together and keep themselves entertained.

7) Take The Time To Be A Tourist In Your Own City Or A Neighboring City

I lived in NYC for nearly 8 years. The list of places I never went to is endless- the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, countless museums, etc. I'm sure the same is for many others in their respective cities or cities within driving distance. This is a great opportunity to finally go on that hike you've been meaning too, go see a show at the local theater, hit up the botanical garden/planetarium/aquarium, whatever it is that has been on your list of to-see's.

8) Organize A "Give Back" Day

Let's face it. One of the best ways we can invest in our kids is teaching them to think beyond themselves and about the world around them. Whether it's organizing a litter clean-up day at the beach, dropping a meal off at an elderly neighbor's house, or walking dogs at the local shelter, instilling a sense of kindness and community at a young age will pay off in spades as they reach adulthood. 

9) Assign A Theme/Plan 1 Special Event Each Day

Give your kids something to look forward to the entire week by assigning different activities/themes each day, ie- day 1 is an ice cream social, day 2 is a special movie viewing, day 3 is a trip to the zoo, etc. 

10) Put Down The Phone And Really Engage

Not all parents will be able to take the week off, but you don't need to in order to have quality time with your children. Set aside a day, or at least a portion of it to really focus on being present. What they want most is your time and attention. Whether it's having a movie marathon, playing boardgames, doing crafts together, or having a dance party, these are THE moments that they will always remember and appreciate. 

Image source: Domino 

 

Read more


The Most Darling Valentine's Gifts For Your Littlest Darlings

By Tammy Woeppel

The Most Darling Valentine's Gifts For Your Littlest Darlings

Looking for something a little different than the normal chocolate-and-grocery-store-flowers for your littles this Valentine's Day? Here are my picks for some sweet treats that they will love receiving.

1. Timex Analog Youth Watch, $28.00- When they move beyond the plastic Disney-theme watches, this is a perfect next step and has so many cute changeable wristbands.

2. Uncommon Goods Personalized Mini Rolling Pin, $20.00- This would be perfect for my 4 year old who as of late, loves to help me cook and also just learned how to spell his own name! 

3. Everyone Says I Love You, $2.99- A book that is more appropriate for the nursery school set that introduces the concept of love.

4. Love Affair Lipstick Painting, $50.00- I have been such a longtime fan of Jen Ramos, the artist/blogger behind Made By Girl. Add a sophisticated-yet-whimiscal touch to their room with an original lipstick painting.

5. The Giving Tree, $11.39- This timeless tale of unconditional love is perfect for a slightly older child.

6. La La Love You Art, $14.00- You don't have to be a Pixies fan to appreciate this fun art print. 

7. Venus Et Fleur Eternity Roses, from $39.00- What Valentine's Day would be complete without flowers? Give the gift that keeps on giving- literally. These roses from Venus et Fleur last a full year!

8. Ultraviolet Kids Bomber Jacket, $115.00- A pink/red chevron faux fur bomber? I think this needs no further explanation!

9. Peaceable Kingdom Valentine Airplanes, $14.99- A Valentine's Day themed activity for those that prefer projects/crafts over toys. 

10. Tiffany Elsa Peretti Color By The Yard Ring, $200.00- Never too early to start building that jewelry wardrobe. Buy it now to wear on the index/middle finger and as they grow, it makes the cutest pinky ring.

11. Decoder Ring, $18.99- Leave mom sweet secret messages. 

12. Oeuf NYC Amour Sweater, $100.00- I am developing an Oeuf handknitted sweater obsession. Love that this is Valentine's Day appropriate, yet not too specific that it can't be worn year round.

13. Uncommon Goods Little Patient Doll, $55.00- For those little ones that love playing doctor.

14. June and January Striped Socks, $11.00- I tend to use holidays as a time to get my kids the cuter versions of their utilitarian items, like socks. These come in such fun colors and instantly up their wardrobe from baby to "little person".

15. Moonlight 3D Printed Lamp, $19.99- They'll constantly be reminded that you love them to the moon and back with this super cute lamp/nightlight.

16. Land of Nod Throw Pillow, $14.97- A gift that doubles as a sweet Vday message while also adding a pop of fun to their room.

 

 

 

Read more


9 Super Healthy and Delicious Recipes to Keep You On Track For 2018

By Tammy Woeppel

The biggest barrier to staying on top of those New Year's Resolutions and 'lifestyle changes' is getting caught unprepared. If I want to maintain any type of healthy eating routine, it is essential that I plan our meals in advance and have a good variety of dishes so that we don't end up with engagement chicken 3x/week (which I do highly recommend if you are actually trying to get engaged- it worked for me!). Organizing all the meals and grocery lists is fun for about 5 minutes before my creative energy has been sapped and I'm ready to order take-out. Scouring the web for new recipes always provides fresh inspiration and excitement to get back in the kitchen so this week I thought I'd share some of my latest finds plus my tried-and-true dishes to help keep you on track as well!

 

1) Spiralized Beet Noodles with Arugula Pesto from Brooklyn Blonde 
spiraled beet noodles
Having just purchased a KitchenAid Spiralizer attachment myself, I was excited to go beyond the normal zoodles dished AND to add another plant-based meal to the rolodex of recipe ideas. I served this on a bed of lettuce and added bell peppers, cucumbers, avocado, and sunflower seeds to make it a little more hearty. 

 

2) Stuffed Zucchini from Rachel Ray

stuffed zucchini recipeThis is an oldie-but-goodie that I had forgotten about until recently. I used to make this as a Thanksgiving side dish but after my kids devoured these the other night, I think this will be added to the weekly lineup. The recipe is vegetarian but can easily be made into a main dish with crumbled sausage, or ground meat of choice. For gluten/dairy free, you can sub gluten-free bread crumbs and nutritional yeast.

 

3) Shredded Brussel Sprout Salad from What's Gaby Cooking

shredded brussel sprout saladMinetta Tavern (of the $33 black label burger fame) used to have a raw brussel sprout salad on their menu complete with a poached egg that was basically life-changing and got me hooked  on any type of variation, including this one with gorgeous pomegranate and filling avocado. While I am normally all for the DIY route, in this case, I do recommend buying the brussel sprouts pre-shredded if possible to save time and your poor little digits.

 

4) Sheet Pan Honey Glazed Salmon from Laughing Spatula
honey glazed salmon recipeWhen all else fails, a sheet pan dinner is your best friend and a sweet honey glaze stops this salmon/veggie dish from feeling too light & healthy but still keeping you on the clean-eating train. 

 

5) Vegan Taco Salad from Kimberly Snyder

vegan taco salad recipeDon't knock it till you try it- spiced, chopped walnuts make a perfect vegetarian sub for ground meat in this flavorful salad. If you need something more filling, add in the protein of your choice.

 

6) 1-Pot Pumpkin Yellow Curry from Minimalist Baker

Pumpkin yellow curry recipeThe perfect antidote for those bomb cyclone temperatures. Be forewarned that this curry gets spicy super quickly if you're not paying attention to the heat level (as I learned when I almost choked and my eyes immediately watered after giving it a taste). I made my own curry paste (also from Minimalist Baker ) but you can just buy premade to save a few steps.  This was a hit not only with my kids, but with the neighbor's kids as well! 

  

 7) Baked Lemon Chicken from Because I'm Addicted

baked lemon chicken recipeAdding lemon zest and wine take this engagement-chicken variation to the next level. Also, so easy to make in larger batches for big groups and dinner parties. #winning!

 

8) Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole from Oh She Glows
cheesy bolognese casserole recipe
The words "casserole" and "clean eating" are not typically used in the same sentence but this one is packed with healthy ingredients and will surely fill that void that the truffled mac and cheese left behind. 

 

9) Whole 30 Super Bowl Pumpkin Chili from The Kitcheneer

pumpkin chili recipeI made this for the first time while on round 1 of Whole30 and I think I ended up eating it about 23 out of the 30 days (only because I discovered it a few days in). The addition of pumpkin puree sounds a little odd but it adds the most perfect creamy texture. The chili is amazing on its own, served over rice or quinoa, with a dash of buffalo wing sauce, over eggs, etc etc you get the idea. Make this now- you won't regret it!

 

Read more


The Coolest Sweaters to Keep You Warm This Winter

By Tammy Woeppel

If the temperature is going to remain in the single digits, at least we can rejoice that it is really truly sweater season! Knitwear is having a moment with all the statement lengths, sleeves, shoulders, and embellishments. We rounded up our dream shopping list of the coolest pieces to get you through a long, cold winter. 

1. Pixie Market, $108
The scallop detail plus the crop fit plus the flare sleeve. Love.It.All. 

 

2. Rag and Bone/JEAN, $250
Basic but not with the contrast stripe detail

 

3. I Love Mr. Mittens, $451

Throw it on over E'ERTHANG.

 

4. Free People, $128

This is the hero sweater that will instantly look adorable under any blazer or coat in your closet. 

 

5. Sezane, $135

Just enough frill but not trying too hard- Sezane always gets it so right! 

 

6. Vince, $185

Part-sweater, part-sweatshirt, this would be adorable paired with a patterned midi skirt and white boots

 

7. Chloe, $2150

 Uggghhhh Chloe, why do you always have to be so good?!

 

8. Self-Portrait, $340

A sleeve, shoulder, and stripe detail that somehow still looks basic enough for everyday wear. 

 

9. Monse, $850

LOVE the black colorblock back detail- great for someone who prefers neutrals but wants a little pop of color. 

 

10. Goodnight Macaroon, $89

 The piped ruffle detail and cable knit pattern make this sweater. Pair it with a cool, pleated maxi skirt or cropped wide-leg jeans.

 

11. Co, $775

 The pearl embellishment on this puff-sleeve sweater is just so sweet!

 

12. Tibi, $495

Tibi has the best ladylike pieces and her knitwear is no different

 

13. Everlane, $125

Everlane's wide selection of basic cashmere is wallet-friendly and totally wearable

 

14. Rag and Bone, $275

You'll live in this all winter 

 

15. Sonya Rykiel, $550

Love. Need. Now. Right? 

 

16. Stella McCartney, $960

Sleeve details are not going anywhere and this Stella piece is quite the statement.

 

17. Adam Lippes, $375

Super into the tonal pattern on this marled fair isle number.

 

18. Sandro Paris, $325

So simple, yet so amazing. The French brands just know how to dress a woman!

 

So if you've made it through that list without dying from the amazingness that is out there in the form of sweaters, show us your cold weather picks. We wanna see! Stay cool and keep warm Mamas!

xx. 

Read more


5 Easy Swaps to Green Your Life in 2018

By Tammy Woeppel

2018 is coming fast and you are probably thinking about your goal(s) for the new year. I have found that setting small, attainable milestones (ie, drink more water, meditate for 10 minutes) are much easier to follow-up on than setting a huge, vague goal like "learn a new language!". If upping your green factor is on your list of things to tackle (or even if it's not!), consider these 5 easy ways anyone can implement a cleaner lifestyle:

1) Switch from a conventional toothbrush to a bamboo one. This is an easy way to start reducing plastics in your life. 

2) Purchase glass, bamboo, or stainless steel straws to drink all those smoothies you'll be making in the New Year (bonus points if you keep one on hand for that 3pm ice coffee fix)- yet another super easy way to lessen your reliance on plastic. 

3) Swap out your regular pillows for these organic ones (and your mattress too if you're feeling ambitious!). We eat organic, non-GMO, and drink our green smoothies yet we snuggle up every night into a pile of chemicals. For more on why you should be making the switch, read about it here.

 

4) Start introducing cleaner toiletries/skincare products/makeup as you run out of your current products. Green beauty has really gone mainstream in the last few years and sites like: Cap Beauty, Meant, and Credo Beauty take all the guesswork out of having to read labels. I recently switched over to Poofy Organics nailpolish and am completely addicted!

5) Buy a stainless steel water bottle and get in the habit of taking it everywhere. You've heard it 1000x but with all the options available from S'well, Pura, Hydroflask, Kleen Kanteen, etc. it's never been easier to make the switch. 

 

Little by little, Mamas. Even little changes that don't require a total overhaul on your everyday life can make a big difference. So here's to a greener and cleaner 2018! And of course, if you have any go-green resolutions to share with us, please let us know in the comments! xx.

Read more


THESE Are the NYE Looks You're Going to Need to Ring in 2018!

By Tammy Woeppel

Everyone wants to start the New Year off on the right foot, and in my book, that means having the most perfect outfit. I can neither confirm nor deny that I will be in bed by approximately 9:30pm that night (and every other night for that matter), but a girl can dream, right? If YOU, however, have plans that do not include pizza and joggers, read on to gather inspiration for your next NYE ensemble.  

A super fresh take on the sequin mini (from Revolve)

 

With those arm slits and architectural shoulders, this is anything but your plain old party dress (from Barney's)

 

And....the more wallet friendly option (from Asos)

 

Lady-like in lace, but still edgy and party-ready with black contrast crochet panels (from Forward)

 

Layer a black turtleneck under for day or wear with your sparkliest chandelier earrings to watch the ball drop (from Nasty Gal

 


You can wear your mini and eat your cake too in this brilliant sweatshirt dress (from Caycee Black)

 

Modest yet sexy all at once (from Anine Bing)

 

Channel your inner 70's vibe in this gorgeous velvet number (from The Reformation)

 

A flirty little number versatile enough to wear long after the clock strikes midnight (from Intermix)

 

Leave it to Ray Ray to come up with the most perfect glam metallic jumpsuit (from Rachel Zoe)

 

A sweet-yet-sophisticated romper paired with a moto jacket is a great 

 alternative to your traditional mini dress (from Neiman Marcus)

 

The high neck countered by the high slit makes this super wearable yet still show-ey enough for a New Year's night out (from Fame and Partners)

 

A deconstructed take on the traditional allover sequin dress (from LULU the label)

 

The LBD gets a fresh twist with a subtle sequin detail (from ALC)

 

Such a pretty, feminine take on a jumpsuit silhouette (from Anthropologie)
If you don't want to commit to the full spangly look, pair this iridescent sequin turtleneck with black leather shorts (from Sammy B)
We're super psyched for 2018, so let's ring it in right! Here's to looking good on NYE and all. year. long! xx. 

Read more