Mommy & Me Favorites
My 2 and a half year old daughter and I have been spending a lot of extra time together at home due to social distancing and COVID-19. All this extra free time has given me the opportunity to work on myself in many ways. I have been keeping up with my routine hair treatments and facial routine. I have been consistently working out for at least 30 minutes each day. I've been keeping up with taking all my vitamins as well as continuing to work on my eating habits in order to gain the weight I'd like. During this time, I have been trying to make sure I implement some form of learning and development with my daughter. At the same time, I've been trying different ways to try to keep her entertained and away from the television screen as much as possible. As you may understand, with a toddler at this stage, it can be quite a challenge to keep them entertained for long periods of time. They tend to want to move on from an activity rather quickly.
I wanted to share a list of products that both my daughter and I have been loving and enjoying during this time. Hopefully, it will inspire you to try something that will bring you or someone you know some sanity and fulfillment during this challenging time for all of us.
"Pete El Gato and his Four Groovy Buttons" by Eric Litwin- I've really been trying to take advantage of the time my daughter is spending with me at home to implement the Spanish language. When I saw our local library had this book in Spanish, I quickly requested it for loan. She has always loved Pete the Cat books and I think that stems from the fact that she would always get those books read to her at daycare during story-time. It's no wonder in the period that we have had this book loaned from the library, we have read it almost everyday! She has even learned to "read" (more like tell) the story all on her own. This is a fun and hilarious story with a great lesson for children at the preschool/toddler age. I just love that she is able to enjoy it both in English and Spanish.
"Becoming" by Michelle Obama- I have taken the opportunity, to finally go through my bucket list of must read books, which I made about a year ago. I had been wanting to read this book for a very long time now and I thought this was the perfect time to read it with the current climate of our society. I am not quite done with it yet however, I have been doing well with making sure I read for 30 minutes to one hour each day. I have to say, this book is magnificently written and has even opened my eyes to things I did not know about when it comes to politics in this nation. Not only that, the way Michelle opens up and shares her my mind, soul, dreams, emotions, and so much more has helped to bring me some kind of hope and faith. Hope and faith in the individuals who share this earth with me and in the future we shall restore for the generations to come. This book is inspiring and profoundly empowering not only for women of color, but ALL women.
TODDLER FUN & AT-HOME LEARNING
Polaroid Fun: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera-My little sister gifted Celine this really cool Frozen 2 Polaroid camera about a month ago. Coincidentally, she had already been asking me for a camera after she saw her favorite cartoon character, "Fancy Nancy" using one in an episode. It was a dream come true for her to be gifted this camera and literally at just the perfect timing. Since getting the camera, Celine has been enjoying taking it with her on trips to the beach or on our morning walks around the neighborhood. Most of all, she loves to simply take photos of everyone around the house, including our dog Bentley. The only downside is that I often have to store it in a place where she can't easily grab it or else she would go through all the packages of film within the blink of an eye! Amazon has a really nice bundle package of border stickers that comes along with a little photo album which I purchased for her. It's a nice way for her to build a keepsake album with all the polaroids she takes. (If you know me, then you know I'm crazy about keeping memories, most especially photographic memories.) Another thing I really love about her having this camera, is that it allows her the opportunity to explore the art of photography and her interests at a very young age. Also, I made sure to get her a clear plastic case with a neck strap to protect her little cam while still being able to show the cute Frozen 2 design! Thank you tia Carla!
This company offers a well-rounded monthly subscription of S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) craft project boxes for children ages 2-10+. Not only does this kit provide fundamental exploratory learning for children but, everything in the box is completely eco-friendly. Green Kids Crafts strives to raise the next generation of creative leaders by engaging kids with the planet in positive, hands-on, creative ways. Each box is geared to your child's specific age.
Celine was so excited when we first got the box delivered to our home. She didn't even know what was inside and immediately was begging for me to allow her to open it. The box included a total of 4 projects with all necessary materials to complete the projects inside. It also came with a booklet including instructions for each project and some reading material about the topic/subject of the projects. The booklet also included ideas for other related projects that could be done using materials from home.
I spread out the projects within a period of about 3 weeks. Leaving time in between each individual project, allowed for her to actually put to use the projects created thus, allowing her to learn more from them. Everyday we would look outside and use her weather station to mark the weather for the day. We both truly enjoyed this craft box. I could definitely notice how much she learned from it by the end of all four activities. What I really love about this is how it is so well organized with every material needed to create the projects. Especially for us moms, it just makes it that much easier for us to get our children working on a project and learning when all the preparation is already done for us. I would highly recommend trying out this company's craft kit boxes for your child especially now during this Summer where we are still combating a pandemic and sheltering at home.
*Disclosure: As an affiliate of Green Kids Crafts, this product was gifted in return for an honest review. Purchasing from this business using the link above, will earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. However, all opinions and ideas are based solely on my own experiences with the products.
Alani NU Products- I was first introduced to these products when my husband surprised me with the "Alani Nu Space Case". Once I recieved the beautiful package and researched who was behind the creation of it, I became even more excited about it. I had been following Instagram fitness model, Katy Hearn for many years and I always admired her. My husband, had no idea about this when he purchased it, of course. He just simply bought it for me to try it, based solely on it's excellent reviews. These are the products I have been using everyday for about 2 months:
Munchies Whey Protein Powder
Galaxy Lemonade Pre-Workout Powder
I like to keep myself physically active, doing workouts at least 5 days per week. I also try to consume enough nutrients to maintain or ideally gain some healthy muscle weight. Using whey protein powder to make shakes during the day or even mixing it in my morning oatmeal helps me to achieve my weight gain goals. This whey protein has a unique and perfectly sweet taste to it, which gives me incentive to keep using it especially, when I have a sweet tooth craving. The pre-workout also has a great taste to it and I love that it gives me just enough of an energy boost to get started on my morning workout yet, not too much where my hands are shaking for the next two hours.
I believe that when your body is healthy internally, it shines through on the outside, physically. I can really feel and see a difference in my body mentally and physically from taking these supplement pills as well. So much so, that I have already started on my 2nd round of all three pills (multi-vitamin, hormonal balance, and hair, skin, and nails). I highly recommend these products. When, I placed my replenishing order of pills, I did it on their direct website, alaninu.com because at that time I did not know that amazon sold these products as well. Being so, I have linked them all for you above in the case that you would like to check them out.
Caritas NYC-This beautiful small shop was started by my Fashion Institute of Technology colleague and long time friend, Kiara Javier. All her products are meticulously hand-made by her along with the help of her amazing sister. Every product is made with all natural, locally sourced ingredients. Yet, what's best about purchasing from this small, Bronx, New York based business is that a percentage of all purchases goes towards a specific fund or organization. Recently, she released a couple of new skincare products that I can vouch are a must-have in your vanity!
Rose Water Hair, Face, and Body Mist-I love that this product as opposed to other "rose water" sprays I had been using, is made up of solely all natural ingredients. There are absolutely no chemicals in this product. When you spray this on your face, you can feel the apple cider vinegar refreshing and cleansing your skin.
Botanic Rescue Lash & Brow Serum -This serum is made solely with all natural essential oils and is literally the holy grail for long, smooth, and fuller eyelashes and eyebrows. I have been using this product for about a month now every night before bed, after applying all my moisturizers and face serums. Below I share some before and after photos for you to see the amazing results that I've had in such a short period of time.
DAY 13-Wearing Mascara
When wearing mascara, you can really see the effects of using this serum. Before using the serum, my eyelashes would appear to be super dry, even with mascara. My lashes would tend to stick together when applying mascara. Now, my lashes are smooth and when applying mascara, the individual hairs do not stick together. Rather they are enhanced and lengthened to their full potential.
DAY 28-No Mascara
I cannot end this favorites list without mentioning Caritas' tea blends. Recently, I purchased their "Starry Nights" tea and I was not surprised when it became my favorite night-time tea. This organic, all natural tea is the perfect soother for a good night's rest. During this time in which my mind is constantly filled with concerns and thoughts, this tea blend has truly helped me to relax my body and release all those thoughts right before laying down for bed. I've tried other teas made by Caritas and I can guarantee they are all exceptional yet, this one I highly recommend during this season we are all in.
Hope you enjoyed learning about some of our current favorite products as much as I enjoyed writing about them...
...Sew This is Life!
*Disclosure: I am not an affiliate to any of the brands or businesses listed above, with the exception of Green Kids Crafts and Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases on the items listed at no additional cost to you. However, all opinions and ideas are based solely on my own experiences with the products.