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Motherhood

Dear Mom, You Kept Us Close To Your Heart When You Did This

There is not a day that goes by without the thought that everything I do and feel for my children, my Mom most likely felt for me at some point.  It is such an overwhelming realization when you squeeze your child and smother them with kisses to know that the intensity of that moment was once felt towards me by my own mother.

A Photo of Us With Our Mom
A Photo of Us With Our Mom
Small Gestures and The Circle of Life

As I look back, and appreciate, all the “little things“ my mom did for my siblings and I, the one “thing” that stands out was when she would reach back and grab my hand while driving.  It was the smallest gesture that literally meant the world to me!  I am tearing up as I am writing this because I’ve carried this tradition on with my own children.  It wasn’t always fun and games with my Mom.  Just like most mothers, there were good days and there were bad bad days, but every time my mom would reach back for my hand, it was our reminder that she, and I, were going to be okay.  I can feel that same energy when I reach back for my own children’s hands.

Let’s be honest chicks, the reality is that one day our kids will grow up, go to school, get married and then settle into lives of their own.  With each stepping stone in life, a Mom begins to miss their child a just little more.  I recall how hard the first day of school was for me, I can only imagine what an emotional mess I will be when they move out.

Keep The Kids Close To Your Heart

For Mother’s Day I wanted to find a way to be with my kids all the time and I came across a personalized collection by Landon Lacey jewelry. I love the idea of keeping my kids close to my heart when they are away at school by wearing this adorable necklace.  The necklaces from Landon Lacey look good when layered or make a statement all by themselves.

The designers at Landon Lacey jewelry also use their pieces to inspire adventure by weaving travels of their own into each piece.  These Chicago based ladies hand make all their jewelry and are super affordable (the set I am wearing is on sale for less than $20 right now and it is 14k gold)!  They even use colors and stones from around the world to inspire their customers.  Their minimalist designs make the perfect addition to any event day or night. I am personally obsessing over my kids first initials on this necklace.

14k Gold and Dainty

To all the Mothers out there – you are amazing, you can do anything, and you will find a way to do it right.  Don’t second guess yourself, trust your instincts, and always believe that the glass is half full.  I’m hopeful that the little “things” that I have carried on from my Mom will be just as meaningful to my kids.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!  Keep your kids close to your heart this Mother’s Day with these adorable personalized pieces!

Your chick,

Sonia

 **Thank you Landon Lacey for this beautiful and heartfelt collaboration.**

Beat The Bloat With Spanx

Having spent the better part of my life dealing with the symptoms of Endometriosis, I am no stranger to the occasional bloat.  Even when having a low-sodium diet, doing abdominal exercises, and with normal healthy food intake, I tend to bloat without warning.  It’s fine when I’m sporting my go-to leggings, but not so much when I have to “dress-up.”  As some of you ladies know, there’s no warning to the occasional bloat so I always have to be prepared.  This is where my ever-trusty Spanx come in handy (they don’t call them essential for nothing)!  

There comes that moment after finishing my makeup and hair, I realize that my bloat may come in my way of what I wanted to wear out.  Sure, I could just wear whatever I want and not really care about what others’ say or speculate.  Sure, I could wear a big baggy shirt and head on out. Sure, I can painfully squeeze into whatever normally fits me.  But is this all worth the pain?  The bloat doesn’t just look like I’m 3 months pregnant, but it’s probably one of the most uncomfortable feelings out there.  Also, I’m definitely not a delicate eater when I’m out and about — I like my food and I like seconds!  

Tummy Control Faux Leather SpanxHigh Waisted Faux Leather Spanx

Rina (photographed) is 5’7” and 140 lbs and wears a Medium in Spanx Leggings

Knowing that I have Spanx to depend on during my desperate “I need to get into this dress or I’ll be staying home tonight” protest helps a ton.  I’ve also found that not only do Spanx offer shapewear to hide and tuck in, but also they offer a wide range of uses.  For instance, my favorite Spanx have a dual purpose — not only do they help me make sure I can squeeze into my favorite dress but also as a grown-up’s version of “bloomers.”  You know, the shorts you wear under a dress or skirt for extra coverage under there.  When my two children were toddlers, I had no issues wearing summer dresses — I could easily change their diapers, run around after them in the park, or sit down on the picnic blanket without hesitation!  

More Than Tummy Control — Underarms and Back Too!

Also…Spanx doesn’t just offer undergarments, but also some pretty fashion forward leggings! And of course — these tuck in, squeeze in, and are so comfortable all while looking as if this cardigan-wearing teacher mom knows how to go out in style!  I can style these with a casual white tee shirt or a lace blouse — with heels or flats…the possibilities are endless.  This is a huge, HUGE help when I’m trying to find something to wear in a hurry!

So go get out there mama’s — no reason to stay in because of the ever-so-common bloat issues! Spanx it and have a blast!

Cheers,

Your brainy chick, Komi

   

Life-Gramming with Snap Spectacles : To Buy or Not to Buy?

Come on ladies, we have all been there: whipping out our phones every second our children look cute at a party, school or on the playground. As fun as it is to capture these moments, tying up our hands and pointing a phone in their face can be a bittersweet experience. I have been waiting for an organic method to capturing memories in a real-time way for years and that moment is finally here, or so I thought!  

The Product: Snap Spectacles

Snap Inc. (formerly SnapChat) has come out with Spectacles. While other people have many reasons for wanting these (e.g. documenting intense adventures hiking on mountains or whitewater rafting), my purpose is singular: to find a more natural way to capture moments with my kids — not for social media, but for myself.  

The Spectacles have decent video and audio quality and a fairly minimal profile that makes it easy to use around the kids without ruining ‘the moment’. Although they only have sunglasses version out now, I suspect the next round of specs will have more nighttime and indoor friendly options.     

The glasses are really easy to use, it nice to not have to dig through your purse every time you want to capture something.  They stay paired with your phone at all time so you don’t need to wonder if you will get the shot when you hit the button on the frame (believe me I kept checking to see if it saved and it did every single time.) The shades run 90 minutes on a full charge (the minutes really stretch since it records 10-60 seconds at a time), which could be nice for adventures with the kids (like going to the the zoo, amusement parks, or even a walk at the park) except that ten seconds with kids on camera tends to feel like one, the ten second window seems to fly by.  Also, since the Snapchat app can take photos, I was disappointed that I could not take a picture with the specs, it only records videos. 

Check out more reviews and videos here:

I'm a Cool Mom - Right?!?!
I’m a Cool Mom – Right?!?!
Verdict

BUT, in the end, I ended up returning my Spectacles because I found it annoying to not be able to have a continuous shot, even with a 60 second setting, the video gets broken up into six ten second clips when saved to your story.  Ten seconds and no photo option is just not going to work for me!  This device is so close to something I could and would use.  Maybe when they expand the recording options and create a clear lens frame I may be interested in trying this out again but for now, I will probably spend more time fiddling around with the spectacles rather than with the kids which would defeat my original intent for buying the glasses all together!  

I hope I was able to ease your curiosity of this device I know that I needed to try it to know for myself.  Anything else you have your eye on? Let me know, I will review it and keep you posted.

XOXO,

Rina

Chicks Picks: 


Exchange Screen Time for Family Time with Teal Firefly

The other day I went into the kids playroom while they were at school and it dawned on me that the way I spend time with my kids has drastically changed over the last two years.  Two years ago, both started their journey in full day school which meant them spending more time out of the house than in it.  Gone were the days where every waking moment was spent trying to “pass the time” with the kids.  As I rummaged through the jumble of toys, I began to reminisce when the kids were babies. In those days, I remember looking at the clock and wondering how it was only 9 AM when it felt like I had already been up for 12 hours.  The toys and trinkets were my saving grace, and just what the kids needed to keep busy.  While those days were amazing, it didn’t require much more from me other than supervised self-play.

As I filled bags with toys that the kids no longer play with, I couldn’t fight the bittersweet feeling of having both kids gone all day.  On one end I was thrilled to have a little bit more time for myself, but on the other end, I was sad that our time together was reduced to just a few hours before bedtime.  With after school clubs and sports I’m finding that the time I spend with the kids is engrossed in “the grind.” It has become so much more important to make those short windows of time together meaningful in some way.  

Teal Firefly DIY Card Kit
Teal Firefly DIY Card Kit

My daughter, who is seven years old, loves to craft and do projects.  What I learned was that she not only has a genuine interest in doing it, but relishes in the face to face time she gets with just me when working on a project. Juggling time between making meals, picking up, going to activities, doing homework and dropping off….things get busy!  I try not to be hard on myself, but I too crave those moments… alone with each child, one-on-one.  

My husband and I are big travelers and especially love to travel with the kids.  It’s an opportunity to break from the grind and make time to do things together as a family.  We’ve had travel plans scheduled for the Thanksgiving holiday for some time.  Knowing we would have some down time, I wanted to do some fun crafty projects with my daughter, so I poked around the internet for some meaningful projects for us to do together.  

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I stumbled across Teal FireFly, whose DIY crafting kits have everything you need to make creative, embellished cards from start to finish.  And they are not overwhelming or messy.  The kit contained cards/envelopes, direction cards for 4 designs, tags, glue dots, embellishments (rhinestones, glitter confetti) and a glitter glue pen. These kits come in a small box, so are easy pack and do while at the airport.  Like most parents with little ones, we always give ourselves some extra time in case the kids walk at a snail’s pace or Chicago traffic does what it does best….take forever!

While sitting in the lounge I pulled out one of the cupcake card set and my daughter’s eyes lit up! She was excited to have a box of goodies with instructions toward a useful finished product!  I loved the simplified, full color direction cards, as the illustrations made it easy enough for Carina to follow on her own.   We made fun cupcake cards from the Celebration kit that we plan to distribute with gifts during the holiday season.  She, and I, loved the one-on-one and even shared the goodies for some quality father-son time for my husband and son.  It was such a great alternative to screen time as we had a chance to chat and be creative together!  These cards will make a thoughtful touch to holiday gifts that can seem so impersonal sometimes.  I know that family members and friends will appreciate the extra effort!

Founder, Laxmi Shah, breaks it down best, “When you make a card by hand, you pour your heart into it!! I have found that there’s immeasurable pleasure in that for both kids and adults alike.”

So even though one chapter of endless hours in a day are over, I am grateful for companies like Teal Firefly for making products that we can do ourselves while spending quality time together.  Bye Bye supervised self-play….Hello creative togetherness! 

Right now Teal Firefly is offering 10% off the entire store in honor of the shopping season!!  Check them out here: www.tealfirefly.com

Your Chick,

Sonia