Monday, April 20, 2015

Things to do for Mom: Mother's Day Gift Guide

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I've only been a mom for four years.  I can’t believe it myself.  There are days I look back to the times when my mom was raising me, and I’d think to myself, “How did my mom do it all?” It amazes me each time, and I’m ashamed to say that it took me becoming a mother myself to realize how much hard work it is being a mom – a good mom at that.  It’s during these times, especially on Mother’s Day we want to show our moms or those that are like moms to us, how much we appreciate all of their hard work in helping raise us.  That said, I’ve curated a list of things you can do for the mom in your life for Mother’s Day (and beyond).

Pamper her
Any mom can tell you that they’d love to have a spa day.  A gift card to their favorite spa for an hour massage, facial or both would be great.  But, if a spa day is not within your budget, you can give a gift basket that includes items that will make an at-home pampering session special and delightful.  Below are my top picks:

L’Occitane Almond Smooth Collection, which features two of my favorites, the Almond Milk Concentrate and Shower Oil, and more. 
L’Occitane  At-homeManicure Kit has everything mom needs for the perfect at-home manicure, from a hand scrub to cuticle oil - it's all there.
Kate Spade Saturday + Bliss Beauty on the Fly Gift Set

Give her some bling with meaning
I saw these cute Kate Spade charm bracelets. The bracelets can be customized with various charms.  You can even spell out the word ‘MOM’ using an initial charm ($18) with a Pearl Charm ($24) in the middle.

A nice bag, perhaps?
I love a nice bag.  Who doesn’t?  When you’re a mom, it’s essential to have a stylish bag that can also carry all of your mom things along with the random things your kids (or husband) may hand off to you.

Furla is one of my favorite brands; they have this beautiful Drawstring Bucket Bag.
Kate Spade has nice tote bag in a beautiful shade of pink, “Sweetheart pink” that’s perfect for both spring and summer.

A new spring/summer fragrance
Why not give mom something she can enjoy for many months? No, I’m not talking about fake flowers because that is just bad.  I’m talking about perfume. Whether mom likes florals or deeper fragrances, picking up a perfume is a sure bet your mom is getting something that will not wilt, and can be enjoyed anywhere.

Tom Ford White Patchouli is the perfect fragrance for the chic mom with its softly spice blended florals.

Kate Spade Walk on Air.  You can read why I love this fragrance. It’s fresh, feminine, and light on the florals, but overall beautiful, and makes the perfect fragrance for the more casual mom.   

Gift mom some wine instead of whine this Mother’s Day.  Right now, I love my ClubW wine subscription service.  ClubW is a wine subscription service that matches wine to your specific palate, and then [quickly] delivers the wine directly to your door.  Us moms know that after a long week of dealing with work, the kids, and our significant other’s, we sometimes need to have a glass of wine.  Send your mom a ClubW subscription, and share the love.

Cook for her
Finally, a nice way to include multiple moms, even your mom friends is to have a Mother’s Day brunch or dinner.  What better way to show the moms you love them, than with a home cooked meal, while chatting over fruity mimosas?  Remember, Mother’s Day is on May 10th so start getting your menu ready, and invites out now.

Check out the other ideas for things you can do for the mom(s) in your life on Mother’s Day (and beyond) from other members of the Brown Mom Bloggers Collective.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beauty Tips and Essentials for Long Flights

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Flying exposes you to hours of circulated air which can cause dehydration, dry skin, and puffiness.  I don’t know about you, but, I would prefer exiting my flight with beautiful glowing skin, looking well-rested, and ready to take on any new adventure my trip has in store.  Even though our family vacation to Abu Dhabi is well over a few months away, I thought I’d share some beauty tips for long flights.  Long flight as in 15-hours long like this Etihad flight we’re about to endure.  Keep reading as I share beauty tips for long flights along with product suggestions.

Any time I travel on a plane, I like to bring handsanitizer.  Traveling with my kid, I feel the need to sanitize everything! For me, it not only sanitizes our hands, but also the seats, and trays.  Plus, before touching your face, you’re going to want to make sure your hands are clean in order to prevent breakouts.

If you’re one of those people who can’t leave the house without makeup, your best bet is to remove the makeup once your flight has taken off.  Makeup can get ruddy, and can cause breakouts if left on during a flight or slept in. Plus, you’re going to want to walk off the plane with a fresh face. That said, you’re going to need a good cleansing/makeup remover wipe. 

One of favorite makeup removal wipe is the Neutrogena HydratingMakeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes (read review). They’re a cleansing and hydrating multitasking makeup remover wipe that both condition and soothe the skin.  I also love the CLEANSE by Lauren Napier wipes (read review). They’re perfect for travel since they’re packaged individually, and they remove everything!
Also, something about a long flight just makes me feel a bit dirty, so remember to freshen up with a cleansing cloth, and re-apply your deodorant, too.

Now that your skin is cleansed, it’s time to re-hydrate your skin, and ensure you’re walking off that plane red carpet ready.

Whether your flight is 3 hours or 15 hours, keeping hydrated is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself whenever you’re flying. Flights are just disrespectfully dehydrating. Of course, you can drink tons of water, or my favorite, coconut water, but, when there’s free alcoholic beverages offered sometimes drinking water takes the backseat. However, there are other things you can do to help your skin maintain hydration.

Facial Spray/hydrating mist
Spritz your face throughout the flight to maintain moisture on your skin.

My favorite facial spray is the refreshing and hydrating Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe and Rosewater (read review).

Hydrating Mask
For long flights, you want to pack into your skin as much moisture as possible. Sleep-in hydration masks work wonders
My favorite sleep-in hydrating mask is by Skin Inc.  Their Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask (read about it here) moisturizes, clarifies, and brightens the complexion. Great for use while traveling or on the go, as it seals in nutrients from other skincare products for maximum results. 

After spritzing your face with your favorite facial spray, and then applying the hydrating mask, it’s now time to seal it all in with a moisturizer. For long flights, you need something that is rich, and absorbs quickly.

My favorite moisturizer is the Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre (read review). It’s a makeup artist kit essential, and cult favorite because of its multi-tasking abilities (makeup remover, primer, moisturizer, etc.).   It’s available in travel-friendly packaging.

Let’s not forget your lips and hands because they get dehydrated, too.  Just because you’re tens of thousands of feet in the air does not mean you get to neglect them and people won’t notice. Guess what? There’s beauty people like myself who will. So be sure to moisturize your lips and apply your favorite hand cream, and cuticle oil.  My personal favorites are Carmex, the Mineral Fusion Limitless Beauty Cream, and Mavala Cuticle Cream.

At the end of your long flight, you can repeat these steps, and then apply your makeup for a fresh look.  Stay tuned for my post on the best makeup for travel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

VIP Treatment at the Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue Flagship Store

Credit: JC Photography
When was the last time you’ve played dress-up?  Well, this past Saturday, I met up with fellow mom and fashion bloggers at the Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue Flagship store to play dress-up over some champagne and cupcakes.

Credit: JC Photography

Before I get into the nitty gritty of the event, I would like to provide you with a little background information on the Kate Spade brand.  Kate Spade New York is an American fashion design house founded as Kate Spade Handbags in January 1993.  The brand eventually extended to include stationery, personal organizers, address books, shoes, beauty products, perfume, raincoats, pajamas, and eyewear. In 2004, "kate spade at home" was launched as a home collection brand. It features bedding, bath items, china, wallpaper and various items for the home.

Credit: JC Photography

During the event, one of the in-house stylists provided our group a tour of the 4-story Kate Spade New York Madison Avenue Flagship store townhouse.  The Flagship store is the home to everything Kate Spade has to offer, even their exclusive Madison Avenue Collection.  The main floor features, of course, the Kate Spade handbag collection, their trendy iPhone covers, clutches, watches and more.  Then there’s a floor dedicated to ready-to-wear items, a bridal suite showcasing all of the accessories and shoes that make a woman’s wedding day special (and glamorous), and a shoe mezzanine overlooking the ground floor.
Credit: JC Photography
The Kate Spade Madison Avenue Flagship store also has a VIP Salon area.  This room has a private dressing room, with a beautiful pink satin vintage sofa with which I fell in love.  In the VIP Salon we sipped champagne while Kate Spade clothes were pulled from the racks for us to try on.

Credit: JC Photography

There were a few items that I fell completely in love with. One was this beautiful white leather dress from The Madison Avenue Collection, unfortunately the $998 price tag kept me from purchasing it.  I also loved this green floral dress and pencil skirt of the same pattern.  Out of the three items, I did try on the white dress.  I loved it. It went perfectly with the sterling silver Tiffany pearl set I was wearing that day.
Even though the clothing items were a bit out of my price range – for now, I did see these cute charm bracelets that costs $48 each, and the charms are even more affordable at $15. I think they would make nice Mother's Day gifts.

Overall, this was a lovely event.  I enjoyed meeting up with my girlfriends in blogging, as well as meeting new bloggers. It was fun to try on Kate Spade fashions, and receive VIP treatment for a few hours.

Thank you Evelyn Amick of for putting together such a great event, and providing us with cute swag bags that contained items from Carmex and Chantilly Dallas.  Thank you thank Vive Mejor®  – a platform offering Latinas the opportunity to simplify and improve their lives via new enhanced recipes and up-to-date beauty and lifestyle solutions – for providing the Dove® Deodorant Advanced Care, and the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash.  And finally, a huge thanks to Kate Spade NY for allowing us to enjoy your space, try on clothes, and for providing the drinks and snacks.

What are your favorite Kate Spade New York items?

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