2020! New decade, new year, new YOU! I’ve put together my top 5 supplements I love and swear by. Whole Foods Market is having their annual supplement sale January 3rd-5th, but if you can’t make it to the store, feel free to shop through my Amazon links! Reach out if you have any questions and here’s to feeling and looking your best in 2020!!
I should start off by saying my husband and I have managed to stay at almost every. single. resort on Walt Disney World property! You name it, we’ve experienced it. Budget friendly, mid range and even the best of the best. As a little girl, I remember my first trip to Walt Disney World. I was in the third grade…8 years old. It literally changed my life. I know that may sound a tad overdramatic, but listen here. I grew up in Brooklyn, we played hopscotch on the sidewalk, played on the stairs inside when it snowed and were lucky to hit up a carnival every now and again with the fam. My kids are straight up spoiled! When we lived in O-town for a brief stint, I remember my then 4-year-old boy saying we’re going to Disney AGAIN?! I about chewed his head off and proceeded to tell him about how some people were lucky to visit Disney ONCE in their lifetime! I haven’t heard a word from the kid since.
I can remember it like yesterday…taking the monorail and seeing the double doors open up to an untouchable world of wonder. The Contemporary Resort, The Grand Floridian (which we have stayed at too and I feel is a completely different post) and The Polynesian. That feeling of being so enamored with what’s in front of you, that it takes over your entire body. I remember saying to myself, “Oh, I’ll be back some day!” So, for my 35th birthday, my son’s 6th and our 8th wedding anniversary, we finally made it happen! We literally picked our son & daughter up from school and booked it to the Mouse’s House!
Upon arrival, you’re greeted by an incredible waterfall and the smell of pineapple and coconut is all consuming. The lobby literally transports you to the South Pacific (a place my friend, we will too someday visit), complete with lush landscape, smooth island sounds and a vibe unlike any other hotel on property. P.s. According to Disney.com, it’s been a fan fave since the 70’s! You are then greeted by staff with a lei (a symbol of affection and warm welcome).
While the hubby was checking us in, a woman was walking around in search of the honorary family to be a part of their fire ceremony, to which I immediately volunteered! Bless the hubby for going along with my antics. He took his newly upgraded lei and waited for his cue alongside us! A quick conch shell blow and the ceremony was off to a start! We stood at the front of the lobby and we’re announced in front of everyone “Aloha, please help me welcome The D’Andrea family!” We proceeded out to the lawn) which by the way overlooks the Magic Kingdom and Bay Lake) and took our front row seats for an incredible fire dance put on by one of the infamous dancers known for the “Spirit of Aloha” lively luau, (which we did by the way for my birthday the year prior! Most definitely on my recommended to-do list!) We then were asked to come to the front and say “Aloha!” and pose for pictures! What an incredible way to start off quite the fantastic trip!
The rooms are nice and super chill and the hotel itself is a place where for once, we weren’t trying to rush off to the parks! Whether you get the opportunity to lounge by the amazing pools with the Magic Kingdom as a backdrop or you walk the grounds with your toes in the sand alongside the new villas representative of life in Bali (another bucket list item), there’s no shortage of fun to be had at The Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. I would have to say one of the best parts, besides being so close to the parks via monorail is the fact that you can treat yourself to a Dole Whip any time of day! (My absolute favorite treat, which can usually only be found in the Magic Kingdom!)
One of the mornings we did decide to splurge on a character breakfast with Mickey, Pluto and Lilo & Stitch at “Ohana” (translates to family), which was all worth it for the mouthwatering sticky buns they provide before your meal even starts! (I’ll have to look up a recipe for that one! Ha!)
All in all, the trip was absolutely memorable and one for the books! One that in fact couldn’t be topped! So much so, that we opted to put our passes on hold and venture out to D.C. this summer for the 4th! Full report upon return. Don’t worry though, come fall and less sticky weather you can find the D’Andrea’s back in the Disney saddle with the launch of Star Wars! Make sure to follow me on Instagram @brianadandrea for an inside look at my crazy family, fun recipes and all things wellness! Until then…ALOHA!
I did it! I worked up the nerve to step outside of my comfort zone and launch a podcast! Entitled “momgirlpod,” my mission is to grow the momgirlblog brand and inspire moms everywhere to be the best version of themselves! It’s been something I’ve been thinking about for quite sometime and when my mother in law bought me a microphone for my birthday back in October, I thought now I REALLY had to do it. Then the holidays happened and although it was still on my heart, life kept passing me by. Since being quarantined for the past almost two weeks, I’ve been working diligently to get this puppy up and running. While it is still a work in progress and a ton of trial and error, I welcome any and all suggestions. My hope is that this podcast inspires you to take this precious time we have been granted to work on something you’ve been thinking about.
The first episode is a piggyback off of my blog post “Never In a Million Years Did I Think I Would Be a Homeschool Mom.” I hope you enjoy it and it helps you navigate this unfamiliar territory, we as a nation are embarking on together. Please like, subscribe, comment and most importantly share with anyone you feel this may help! I want to thank every person who gave me advice, encouraged me and especially my husband who has inspired me to just keep swimming. xo
Okay you guys. I don’t have to say it, you already feel it. The struggle is REAL THIS TIME! I know we always laughed at that saying and touted it around like a cute little purse, but on the real, this is unlike any other struggle we as a nation have ever had to endure. Please don’t say I have a dog and know what it’s like, because I have that too and it AIN’T THE SAME. Ok…rant done. So let’s get up to speed here.
You’re home, having to work, to figure out your next meal, learning to embrace the unknown, not clear on if you are going to be able to cover your bills, HOMESCHOOL your kids and take it like a champ, all while praying to all things holy, you don’t contract some deadly disease that seems like that scary movie, “Parasite?!” Someone please pinch me and wake me up from this terrible dream!
I have always been the realest of the real when it comes to life (just ask my husband), but for the sake of having to keep my crown on as queen and not let my kingdom burn down, I’m going to share a few tips and tricks that have helped me thus far. No I am NOT AN EXPERT and on occasion I have been know to freak out (it’s the New Yorker in me), but let’s get something straight, I’m tenacious, head strong and am not known for going along with the status quo, plus in my home we have a motto that says “D’Andreas Don’t Quit!” So it’s time to put our big girl panties on, ride this wave out like all of the other waves we’ve rode and enjoy the ride, because when in our lifetime has the President of the United States ordered us to, “Stay home in your pjs and Netflix and chill for the time being?” Like for reals.
So there was a post circulating of a little schedule that I snagged from my sister in law on behalf of NESCA (Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents). I’ve got to admit, at first I snorted at the idea…me? Home School mom? Ha! I have friends who I would sit around and have lunch with, saying how I could NEVER do it, that I am totally not equipped and how I don’t even see how it’s even a possibility. Fast forward a week (joke’s on me) and here I am!
OK, so it’s been 3 days and I have to say so far so good. Have we had a few fights and tantrums? Uh duh! However, this thing has really kept us all on schedule and I hope this post can inspire you to do the same! I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old and obviously they are at different skill levels. So during academic time I am supplementing with workbooks I’ve gotten for preschoolers, for my little one and some books from school that I’ve saved and that we have for my bigger one. Reach out to your teachers for info on applications or computer programs you can use. I know Palm Beach County Schools recently released some resources to help us tackle this whole learning from home thing. Reach out to your school’s district or visit their website to learn more about what to do in your area. Our teacher recommended something called, “Brain Pop Junior.” My mother in law recently got the kids an OSMO. It’s super awesome for learning shapes, numbers, letters, etc. and you can make it as easy or hard as you like. (You will need a kindle for that).
Below is a great list of apps I found on my Pinterest for children of all ages, so you can avoid them binging on YouTube all day.
For those of us who are attempting a schedule while working from home, (this isn’t a new concept for myself since I have my daughter home part-time and I have a few businesses). I am still waking up early, getting dressed, and working for an hour before the kids wake up and during their “quiet rest times,” which is how I am able to write this blog post. I am going to consider more food prep (stay tuned for that in another blog post) and incorporate the kids somehow. For now, I am cooking while they soak in a pretty cool Netflix series called “Brainchild.” So far we’ve watched two episodes and they were on the topics of social media and germs (which I feel like is very fitting of the times). We have been getting up every morning to go for a bike ride and a run for mama to release those endorphins first thing in the a.m.!
Lastly, here are a few things I picked up on Amazon for some fun crafts. A sticker by numbers book, a jewelry box for little miss to paint, some sand art and window art (who remembers those beads, we used to bake?!)
Let’s band together and use this as an opportunity to help one another weather this storm. Think about all of the things in the past you were so afraid of and now are merely a blip on your radar. Jen Sincero said exactly that in her recent book, “You Are a Badass at Making Money.” Remember to re-organize your schedule and make time for the things you love most and most importantly self-care. We are all in this together. Please send me a message, a dm or just share this with someone who might need it. Make sure to follow me on Instagram @briandandrea. Virtual hugs to all! I want to leave you with a quote by Mister Rogers.
It’s the latest craze…”self-care ain’t selfish!” Everywhere you turn, every meme, every instagram post, people left and right are reading books on how to become them best versions of themselves! One of my all time favorite things to do is read…It’s always been something that has been attractive to me. The idea of being transported to another dimension, a sort of escape. Once I had children the idea of reading was a distant memory, however this past year I decided to get back to what I really and truly loved so much! 2019 was a year of transformation for me. I decided to dive in and join a book club (if you want to know which, you’ll have to message me) and these people are all about being the best version of themselves! My people! I always thought the self-help section meant there was something wrong with me, that I didn’t need any help with living my life. Now, it’s all the rage! Nowadays people are digesting self help books likes it’s off the dessert menu at The Cheesecake Factory! lol Below are my list of top 5 “self-care ain’t selfish books!” I hope you enjoy them as much as I have and here’s to a new you this 2020!
“Go for No”- Yes is the destination No is how you get there
“You Are A Badass”- How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life
“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”- A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
“No-Drama Discipline”- The Whole Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind
“Girl, Stop Apologizing”- A Shame-free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals
I have linked all the books to my AMAZON Associates account. Please shop through my link to show your support, so I can continue to deliver valuable content. Thanks a bunch!
FEAR! It’s almost like a swear word. We are so afraid these days of not measuring up to the Pinterest, Instagram worthy world. Afraid we don’t have enough followers. Afraid we’re not good enough. Good enough spouses, parents, moms, dads, entrepreneurs. What if I told you that your greatest success could be on the other side of that fear? What if you “acted” like you weren’t completely petrified of the unknown? I know it’s a far fetched idea and often times fear is what paralyzes us the most. However, that fear is exactly what your subconscious is telling you to do. Do you have something tugging at your heart strings? Something you keep pushing aside no matter how hard you try? To start losing that weight? To start that new business or side hustle? To start writing that book? For me it was to create this space. (I’ve got some others, but we will tackle those on another post) :). Although I had the foundation, I always felt like I was too busy or too out of the loop, or the best one…who made me an expert that people would want to hear what I had to say? I decided to look fear in the face and dive in anyway. I started this space almost 3 years ago out of the sheer purpose to bind other parents and moms going through what I had gone through. I told myself at the very least, I would have a journal, a space for my children to look back on as an archive. Fast forward 3 years later and no I am not the biggest blogger on the block, but I am now being recognized by my peers as a finalist in the Blogger Union at the South Florida Blogger Union Awards. I’m up for an award in the parenting, lifestyle, health and inspirational categories! Me? Inspirational? I chuckled…but then it dawned on me. I had done it. I faced fear head on and managed to come out on top. Now I don’t say this boast or to give myself a big high-five, I say this to inspire YOU! What speaks to YOU! What fuels YOU!
When I received the news of one of America’s greatest basketball players had passed away in a helicopter crash, I was sad. Sad for Kobe, sad for his his daughter who died too, sad for her sisters, sad for his wife and the mother of their daughters, Vanessa. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It snapped me back into shape to say, no matter how successful we are, we are not invincible. However, Kobe fought the good fight, he followed his passions and for what he believed in. At the end of the day, we all only have one life to live. I know that story made me feel grateful in this moment and I will be darned if I go down without a fight. I hope you won’t go down without a fight, with me.
If you enjoyed this article, please don’t forget to vote for me here, in the parenting, health, lifestyle and inspirational categories. I would love to be recognized in this space and continue to deliver content you all have been enjoying over the past 3 years. Thank you so much!
The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium strikes again! With some of the baddest and best superheroes of all time! Get up close and personal into the life of Batman, Superman and Iron Man to name a few. Test your strengths in mind, body and agility in the latest exhibit, “Hall of Heroes!” I took the kiddos on a rainy day over winter break to check it out and it was well received…especially by my 7-year-old son.
“In our mission to open every mind to science, we strive through our exhibits to make sure learning is fun,” said Kate Arrizza, CEO of the Science Center. “Hall of Heroes is the perfect way to get kids to find out more about the physics and chemistry behind superpowers like thermodynamics and X-ray vision, as well as the history behind the heroes. Science and imagination go together to help us advance and shape our future.”
The exhibit takes you through the history and evolution of superheroes dating back to the 1930’s, with a few interactive stations. The idea is to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills and to explore new concepts through discovery, as you are transported back to the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Modern Ages. When you walk in, you can test your knowledge and get a secret code to unlock a safe. See what it’s like to match up against major wind speeds and what it’s like to use a robotic hand. Are you as fast as a superhero? Test your running pace in a race against time. Do you think you have what it takes to hang from a building? Try to beat the top time and test your strength to hang on for dear life. My favorite part? Seeing the progression of all of the Bat Mobiles over the decades. From the first movie to today, I loved looking at the models of the iconic vehicle that shaped the career of one the most beloved superheroes. Learn the chemistry and physics behind superpowers like thermodynamics and x-ray vision and try to build your best superhero vehicle out of blocks. (I was not successful at this! lol)
The first Bat Mobile to ever fly from 1969 TV show will welcome guests at Palm Beach International Airport. While Wonder Woman, Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk will greet guests entering the Science Center.
My son’s favorite part of the exhibit was using an electronic hand. It takes great skill to move the arm back and forth and push buttons that controlled the movement of the robots fingers to pick up blocks and move them from place to place. Highly recommend catching the exhibit that runs through April 19th while you can.
Season’s greetings! I’ve narrowed down my top 10 holiday gifts for everyone on your list for under $50! Some of these sets can be broken up and used for significant others, teachers, parents, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teens, children, the list goes on! Hope you enjoy and happy shopping!!!
October is Breast Cancer Prevention/Awareness month! If you follow me on Instagram, I’ve been giving you daily tips with regards to safer switches. Below are my top 5 safer alternatives to limit your toxic intake!
Food Prep Containers with Lids: Research shows, plastic can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into your food and beverages and then into you! Using glass is a much safer alternative and helps with food prep for the week! Win-win!
S’well Water Bottle: Same goes for plastic water bottles! I always try to carry one around wherever I go! Keeps you hydrated and you’re not drinking any potential toxic ingredients seeping into your water!
Tulip Perfume: The word “fragrance,” is a cocktail of ingredients, masking countless carcinogens and hormone disrupting chemicals. Fragrance can be found in almost HALF of all personal care products! Be especially cautious when it comes to children’s products! Use the EWG app to scan products around your home to see its level of toxicity. If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me where I got this perfume! It’s the perfect blend of lemon and sugar, without being overpowering and minus the harsh fragrance!
Safer Makeup: It’s perfectly legal for companies to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive harm in cosmetics and personal care products. With Beautycounter’s makeup you don’t have to choose between safety and performance!
LODGE Cast Iron: Some toxic compounds are used in non-stick cookware. While they keep food and stains from sticking, they stick around your body for a very long time and have been linked to cancer. I absolutely LOVE my cast iron skillet! You can literally cook anything you want in it AND it’s oven safe! It’s time to ditch the teflon and non-stick pans!
Can you believe that summer is coming to a close and back to school is upon us? We’ve got a first grader and a preschooler on our hands and we couldn’t be more proud of them! Below is a list of my top 10 back to school must haves that you might have forgotten!
- Backup Polos: Most schools require a uniform and these Amazon Basics are comfy & affordable! Plus they come in an array of colors! Always get back ups!
2. Hershel Backpacks: These are the new age Jansports of our time! They are weather proof and come in a variety of sizes and styles! I have the army print and I love it!
3. Lunchbots are 2 legit!: They’re good for the environment and the ones we love, bc they skip the BPA with their metal packaging and the hassle it takes to pack everything up in the morning! Just enough space and at a great price point!
4. Simple Modern Insulated Water Bottles: Never got thirsty with these trusty insulated water bottles. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and lids.
5. Electric Pencil Sharpener: I don’t know about you, but we are always sharpening pencils in our home. Skip the fuss and add this to your back to school list this year, you’ll be glad you did!
6. Desktop Organizer: With the amount of paperwork, homework and back to school tasks, this desktop organizer, makes it easy to have a place for everything and put everything in its place.
7. Hand Sanitizing Wipes: Back to school means back to germs! Skip the stress and have these handy while on the go! Skip the harmful ingredients too!
8. Adidas Slides: I’ve linked these before and I’m linking them again, because they’re the best shoe for running to and from car pool and pick up line! Mine were pink with some palms, but I might have to snag these too!
9. Inside Out Umbrella: This umbrella is like literal magic. It flips inside out, so that you’re not stuck fighting to close it in the rain and getting soaking wet! My Floridians know what I’m talking about!
10. Everyone knows the minute you get the kids from school they’re hungry. Plus when you and your littles are in the car waiting to pick the big kids up you’ve got to curb your snacking, so this little trust container should help!
Hope you enjoyed my top 10 back to school must haves! Have suggestions? Drop them here!
What a treat to collaborate with Voyage Miami on their latest feature! When I was first approached by the internet magazine company that focuses on local entrepreneurs…I thought to myself…me? It’s quite the honor to use my platform to tell my story. Shoutout to Erica Bachelor for submitting me and Dani Napert Photography, for her amazing photog skills! Check out the article to read my story, my struggles and my triumphs. Appreciate those who have supported me from the jump! 🤩