The BEST in Kids Fashion

By Tammy Woeppel

The BEST in Kids Fashion

Don't get me wrong- Target/Old Navy/Carter's can be life savers when dressing your kids. But sometimes, it's nice to switch it up and get a few more special pieces- especially when the holidays/family photo time rolls around, or you want to gift a new mom with something a bit more luxe. These independent boutiques are all great alternatives to shopping the mass retailers (although I love me some Nordstrom's here and there), and the best part is that you can find really different pieces that you definitely won't be seeing on every other child at school pickup.

1. Zimmerman Kids- Sheer Floral Ruffle heaven. Almost a reason to try again for a girl. ALMOST. gold paisley dress
Best For:If you spend your summers in the South of France and winters in St. Barths. Or, if you just love a bohemian, romantic vibe.
Sizes range from 1y-10y

2. Wee Mondine - When I found out that my sister was pregnant with a little girl, I immediately made a beeline to this site. 
Best For: If you go for a minimalist/Scandinavian vibe with lots of neutrals. You won't find any baby blue or pink here!
Sizes range from baby-6y 

3. Pink Chicken/Blue Rooster New York- Pink Chicken is the label for girls while Blue Rooster offers a boy's assortment. Admittedly, their boys selection is MUCH more limited than the girl's (sigh, #boymom)  
Best For: The most adorable preppy-yet-bohemian prints
Sizes range from 3m-12y

4. Harlow Jade- A bell-bottom plaid overall. Need I say more?
Best For: Vintage shopping addicts.
Sizes range from 6m-8y depending on the item

5. June and January- This boutique offers super fun/colorful basics with a twist for basically the same prices you would pay at Baby Gap. If I had known about this brand when I had my babies, I would have ordered their knotted hats in every color!
Best For: Kids that just want to have fun with their styling choices 
Sizes range from 0m-5y

6. Thumbeline- Part hipster, part fantasy (hello, prettiest organza fawn-printed tutu dress I have EVER laid eyes on), the assortment here is anything but ordinary.
Best For: A little of everything. Their styles range from geometric/hipster retro/whimsical prints to boho romantic cotton gauzes with embroidery- you definitely won't see these clothes on every child.
Sizes range from 2y-9y

7. Norman and Jules- Also a popular toyshop located in Brooklyn, this is a 1-stop shop for all things baby. 
Best For: Special pieces with unusual, whimsical prints and a huge selection of wooden toys in true Brooklyn hipster fashion
Sizes range from baby-4y

8. 1212-  Modern yet simple pieces that get also get a stamp of approval from Eva Chen and Brooklyn Blonde
Best For: When you want elevated basics in organic fabrics- perfect for gift-giving.
Sizes range from newborn-4T

9. Childhoods Clothing- The cutest and comfiest line of 'cozy' apparel. I'm in love with their raglan hooded striped sweatshirts! 
Best For: When you want your child to still look stylish in their playclothes
Sizes range from 0m-7y

10. Maisonette- Founded by 2 ex-Vogue alums, this is actually a boutique agregator which aims to find the best children's 'stuff' from boutiques that you may not have found otherwise. 
Best For: If you are a looking for elegant options with a slightly preppy aesthetic (think monogrammed pajamas)
Sizes range from baby- 0months all the way to 14y depending on the designer

11. Ultraviolet Kids- A girly line of basics done in super fun and playful prints, not to mention they utilize overruns of fabrics. Gotta love a brand with a green mission.
Best For:  If you love basics with a modern twist.
Sizes range from 3m-10y

12. Oeuf- Super sweet and whimsical pieces in a you'll-want-to-buy-everything kind of way. 
Best For: Those that love animal ears on all their hats and hooded sweaters (so basically, everyone)
Sizes range from 6m-6y

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Read This if You Are Serious About Creating a Non-Toxic Home

By Tammy Woeppel

Read This if You Are Serious About Creating a Non-Toxic Home

We have so much information about health all around us. We start our days with lemon water and green smoothies, we all know to exercise on a regular basis, we turn to yoga and acupuncture just as much as we turn to medical doctors. There are no shortage of restaurants where we can find an organic, non-gmo, seasonal farm-to-table menu sourced with local, fresh ingredients through small-farmer cooperatives. Skincare and toiletries have seen massive growth over the last several years with demand for clean, non-toxic ingredients skyrocketing as people realize that it's not just what we ingest, but what we slather on and absorb through our skin. But one thing people rarely think about is the toxicity of their actual homes and everything we put in it, from the materials used to construct it to the throw pillows we casually toss on the sofa.

I recently made the switch to organic pillows (I plan to purchase the mattresses for our family once we make our next move), and I also had our sofa upholstered in organic fabric, so I've initiated the process to 'green' up our house a bit more now that I have a good system in place with non-toxic cleaning products (vinegar and water on #repeat). However, after reading this series in the Chicago Tribune, it was really eye-opening (and downright alarming!) to realize how prevalent these heavy-duty chemicals are in our everyday lives and especially those of our little ones. 

So, how is a busy family with a budget supposed to combat this? Well, we can only do what we can do and it's definitely overwhelming to try and make every change at once. I'm a big fan of starting small and working your way up to bigger overhauls and that's what I'm currently working on.

For starters, you can shop for non-toxic products such as low VOC paints or sustainable wood furniture, but this is obviously very limiting. Without the demand though, companies won't produce it so it's good to always ask and put the request out there! Another tip is to purchase a floor model or vintage pieces that have already had the opportunity to offgas (ie, release a chemical gas that was dissolved, trapped, frozen, absorbed or adsorbed in some material)- in other words, it has already 'aired out'. Considering vintage dressers make the cutest changing tables, this is a great option when decorating that nursery for your little one. 

As I mentioned previously, one swap I made was our pillows. Around the same time that I started educating myself more on this subject, a friend and her husband happened to start a 'clean' mattress company, Avocado Green Mattress, and I'm seriously so proud of what they're doing. From their responsible sourcing of non-toxic raw materials like latex, wool, and organic cotton to their made-to-order model to their super-competitive pricing (their most expensive california king mattress is only $2199 including an additional pillow-top), they just and if you look at the reviews, you'll see that a LOT of their customers would agree. I highly recommend reading this for in-depth information on why it's so important to sleep on an eco-friendly mattress.

Another company that has become my first stop when looking for fabric is Two Sisters Eco-Textiles. I originally contacted them when we were sourcing for NONA but I ended up loving them for all my home fabrics (they sell apparel, drapery, and uphosltery fabrics as well as my new go-to housewarming gifts, these adorable napkins and tea towels)! Their customer service has been on point, and the owners are all about helping, even if it means sending you somewhere else to get what you want. They are clearly passionate about educating consumers and ultimately offering safe products with a transparent process. 

So, it's a start. I still have a long way to go- this is just the tip of the iceberg. But, knowledge is power and living clean isn't a trend that is going anywhere. I hope that green construction and home furnishings is a category that will continue to grown like the skincare industry has, giving us consumers an easier way to provide safe spaces for our families. 

Have you made any changes (big or small) to live a cleaner life? Would love to get inspired- leave us a comment below!

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The Most Useful Mompreneur Advice You'll Ever Get

By Tammy Woeppel

The Most Useful Mompreneur Advice You'll Ever Get

Sometimes we all need to shift our mindsets to view things from a different perspective and this is especially true when delving into the world of entrepreneurship. For some people, they inherently possess that entrepreneurial trait and make the transition into self-employment pretty seamlessly- it's not a matter of 'if' so much as 'when'. For others though, it can happen more unexpectedly. If anyone had told me 10 years ago that I would currently be living in South America with my husband and children while launching my own business with a former coworker, I could have NEVER believed it. I planned to graduate college, get a job with a major corporation, and stay put for as long as possible. Stability outweighed any need to chase my dreams and 'finding my passion' wasn't something I as a non-millenial had ever been preached. 

Fast forward and so many unexpected changes occurred that ultimately led to the creation of Nona. Along the way there have been many start/stops, bumps, obstacles, high-highs and low-lows and plenty of this-is-never-going-to-happen's. One thing I've realized as I've grown/evolved is how connected the mind-body is. Visualization of my dreams, focusing on putting positive energy out in the world, and constantly talking myself off the ledge are all habits that I've had to create in order to get this far. And sometimes it's just hearing a piece of advice that is so meaningful, it actually helps me change my perception of any given situation. In this post, I am sharing some pearls of wisdom that  have really stood out and truly helped me to keep my eyes on the prize.  

1) Will + Intention + Discipline 

I had the pleasure of working with Mona Bijoor at Ann Taylor LOFT before she  went on to create and head up JOOR, the largest online marketplace serving the wholesale industry, while raising 2 children. I recently read an interesting article Mona wrote on preparing the body and mind for entrepreneurship, and the idea of combining will+intention+discipline really stuck with me. 

"The mind is a better servant than a master. We need to train it to think a certain way, and if we don’t, our mind is left to its own devices. It can latch on to our insecurities, fears, and anxieties. So we actually have to provoke intention. Without this, our subconscious is left to think whatever it wants — positive OR negative. 

Intention — which is something you want to accomplish today or over a long period of time, alone is very powerful. It sends a message to your subconscious mind, a mantra that gets replayed even when you’re sleeping.

When we add will and discipline to the equation, we’re able to turn intention into a reality. If I set the intention to meditate every day for ten minutes, that may or may not happen. I need will and discipline to manifest my goal. Will is really just self belief. Without discipline, I won’t receive the full benefits of meditation unless I do it consistently. The discipline part is setting my alarm at 6 am, getting organized, putting my headphones near my bed, picking out my guided meditation, listening to it and then zoning in. Doing this over and over improves my subconscious to handle more difficult tasks in other areas of my life."

This is hardly rocket science. If you want to lose weight, you must set the goal, and then combine diet and exercise consistently in order to see it through. The same goes for starting up a business. Social media posts don't just happen by themselves. Neither does bookkeeping, factory visits, website copy, photoshoots, packing and shipping orders, etc. It's a very easy trap to fall into the 'tomorrow' game and at moments when I've been exhausted putting the kids to bed, this has been a great reminder to revisit my to-do list. 

2) Planning & Priorities

While we definitely DO NOT support the scandal that erupted around her these last few weeks, one thing that we cannot take away from digital fashion entrepreneur Miroslava Duma is her ambition and drive in building her empire. The founder of digital company Buro24/7, it's luxury lifestyle and fashion platform, and now the head of Future Tech Lab- a sustainable fashion incubator and VC, clearly knows a thing or 2 about priorities as she balances everything on her plate in addition to raising 3 small children. 

“I believe that the more you do the more you can manage,” says Mira. “The most important thing is planning and prioritization: I always have my top five priorities and say no to everything that doesn’t get me closer to one of them.”

When you take away all the noise of daily life and think of things this way, it does truly break everything down into manageable actions because there is more space around them. In the past, I have had a tendency to do things out of obligation or because I would feel bad if I didn't agree with someone else's idea. One of the advantages to maturing is the ability to feel your best being your authentic self and that means practicing the word no, which in turn, frees you up to focus on your priorities. 

 3) Progress Not Perfection

This has maybe been the biggest learning lesson for me as I am a perfectionist, but to the point of paralysis and inaction. Starting a business is like having a child. There will never be a perfect time, where everything is in alignment and  progresses perfectly without any hiccups, or unforeseen costs. I am deathly afraid of overpromising and underdelivering but in the business world, sometimes you just have to put that target out there in the universe and do everything you can to meet it. If that's not possible, beg for a little forgiveness, then keep on trucking. Once I stopped and looked around, I saw that I am hardly the only one that may be guilty of this- think about how many Kickstarter's you have backed that promised deliveries by a certain timeframe. I would say that in my experience, every project has ended up an average of 4 months behind schedule. 

This article from Entrepreneur magazine highlights Ashley Lucas, the current director of the Babson College Women Innovating Lab program, and she had this advice to offer:

Accelerate progress by letting go of perfection: treat incremental progress as the only pathway to innovation. “At the WINLab, we teach our entrepreneurs to use a Babson pedagogy called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action. The approach prescribes experiments, prototypes, and gathering feedback to continuously build a better version based on what their customers want,” she says.

There's a reason that companies like Apple release updated, improved versions of their products every year. If they waited until they created the most perfect product, we'd never know the iPhone. While you always want to put your absolute best foot forward, at the end of the day, progress not perfection.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and strategies you use to stay sane in the crazy world of working, parenthood, or running your own business! 



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15 Sweet Ideas for a Healthier Easter Basket!

By Tammy Woeppel

15 Sweet Ideas for a Healthier Easter Basket!

This is the first year that I'll be putting together an Easter Basket for my kids. Up until now, they've been too young to really grasp holidays, gift-giving, birthday parties, etc. I am the FURTHEST thing from a pinterest mom. My mantra is more like "how little can I get away with", especially since my business and normal daily life with 2 super active toddlers needs the majority of my focus. However, I think 4 years is a sufficient amount of time to milk their lack of understanding so this year I am getting in the spirit! While we definitely have our share of junk food, pizza, and french fries, I am not interested in handing them giant piles of high-fructose corn syrup colored by artificial dyes. Not to mention all those plastic eggs that wind up in landfills every year. We'll definitely be ditching those and trying this adorable alternative to the plastic easter egg or these too cute papier mache ones! I've also looked for some healthier sweet options-- It's important to note that they are still not 'health' foods and therefore should be an occasional treat. I also included plenty of activity/craft-based toys, Easter-appropriate books ideas, as well as the obligatory-yet-much-cuter-than-the-average stuffed bunny doll. All packaged up in a basket that gets a serious style upgrade. Read ahead to see what's going in my Easter baskets this year and get some inspo for your little ones:

1. Egg sidewalk chalk from Crayola.

2. Farmer's market kit from Acorn Toy Shop.

3. Organic jelly beans from Surf Sweets Candies. More sweet options here and here. We also love this adorable Swedish-inspired candy shop and their use of clean ingredients.

4. Organic cocoa butter lip balms from Badger.

5. Octopus kite from Nature Baby

6. Charlotte's Web Book

7. Stop-motion claymation kit from Uncommon Goods.

8. Organic seed packet from Grow Organic.

9. Non-toxic bubble bath from Gryph and Ivy Rose.

10. Farmer's market basket from Rue Des Petits. Super cute options that also double as storage/home decor from Petit Pehr and Blessing Basket.

11. Denim bunny rattle from Norman and Jules.

12. Organic Bunny Grahams from Annie's. I'm also going to try making a substitute of my absolute favorite Easter treat, the good ol' Reese's Peanut Butter Egg with this recipe.

13. Mater and the Easter Buggy Book.

14. Dancing Eggs Game from HABA.

15. Rabbit & Possum Book.

We'd love to know what other items your kids will be receiving from The Easter Bunny this year- leave a comment below!




















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13 Cool, Sweet and Very Enviable Nurseries to Inspire You

By Tammy Woeppel

13 Cool, Sweet and Very Enviable Nurseries to Inspire You

One of the most fun parts about becoming a parent is getting to design and decorate a nursery. Creating a room for a little bundle of joy used to entail choosing a generic crib + glider + changing table with either pink or blue accents and calling it a day. Now, more often than not, nurseries are an extension of the rest of the house with modern design sensibilities. There are endless inspiration ideas, especially with the return of the wallpaper trend (which I am personally such a fan of!). Read on for our chic nursery picks that any adult would be lucky enough to call home:

1) Source: Domino
Nona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home Lifestyle

Equal parts clean, fresh, minimal, and stylish, this scandinavian-inspired room is sophisticated enough to easily transition from baby-child-adult space. 


2) Source: Boho Baby Heaven via Paul & Paula Nona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home Lifestyle
Love that this blue color palette is still gender-neutral.


3) Source: Ruffled BlogNona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home Lifestyle

Everything about this nursery is chic-yet-whimsical and totally appropriate for baby. I love how the space is grounded with that amazing wallpaper from Chasing Paper

4) Source: Geri Hirsch
Geri Hirsch Because I'm Addicted Luxury Lifestyle Mom Blogger Gender Neutral Minimalist Monochromatic Cool Stylish Modern Nursery
This super stylish lifestyle blogger has yet to do the full reveal and we cannot wait to see the rest of the space! Talk about a palette cleanser, and she was also adamant that it was as non-toxic as possible- a girl after our own hearts!


5) Source: Crystal Sinclair Designs
Nona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home Lifestyle
Finding a boy nursery that isn't too theme-ey can be a challenge. This one strikes all the right notes with the masculine touches that are not too over-the-top. And can we talk about that wallpapered ceiling?! As a sidenote, Crystal Sinclair's gorgeous Instagram feed is a design-lover's heaven, so reader beware!


6) Source: Sarah Sherman Samuel 
Nona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home LifestyleIn general, I'm obsessed with all things Sarah Sherman Samuel and this nursery 'nook' just knocked it out of the ballpark. I might be biased as I happened to choose the same wallpaper for my son's room, but I just think this is genius and the most creative use of a small space.


7) Source: The Brooklyn Home Company via Brownstoner.comBrooklyn Home Company Lyndsay Caleo Luxury Interior Design Boy Graphic Colorful Yellow Black Combo Nursery Cool Trendy Modern Stylish Space

Once again, utilizing that '5th wall' aka the ceiling is such a great, yet often overlooked, idea!  The Brooklyn Home Company is seriously creative on another level, perfectly pulling together all these prints/patterns without overwhelming this space. My dream is to work with their creative director, Lyndsay Caleo, on a house project someday!


8) Source: Sarah Sherman SamuelNona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home LifestyleThis nursery has everything- it's dramatic yet somehow clean at the same time. That wallpaper, the emerald green glider, the vintage rocker, the classic stripe rug- simply perfection!


9) Source: Foxy OxieNona Roundup Blog Cutest Coolest Modern Nursery Luxury Spaces Decor Home Lifestyle

That statement floral wallpaper turns this space into a little jewel-box of a room. The simple color palette of black/white/gold is so incredibly sophisticated but this room feels anything but simple.


10) Source: Boho Baby Heaven via Paul & PaulaNursery Roundup Blog Luxury Cool Stylish Trendy Modern Nursery Spaces

It's really difficult to find a boho-esque nursery that is gender-neutral and this one is so dreamy and perfectly-layered with all those natural textures. I realized that I must also have a thing for that IKEA light fixture!


Emily Henderson just gets it right every.single.time and for her daughter's first room, she nailed it. The blush/white/green palette is such a fresh take on a feminine space. 


12) Source: Made By Girl 
made by girl noah nursery jen ramos

Another creative that provides never-ending inspiration, I always check in on Jen Ramos to get her take on all things style. That neon sign is everything!


13. Source: The GlowViolet Gaynor The Glow Luxury Parenting Mom Blog Plum's Girl Nursery Cool Modern Trendy Stylish Space

I could sift through all the ethereal images on The Glow all day long. Of course, co-founder Violet Gaynor's nursery would be the epitome of effortless sophistication and cool, like everything else in her life. 


Tell us in the comments which one is your favorite! 



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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" 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 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!




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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,

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. 


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. 




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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 


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