So very grateful for everyone and their support! I always love putting together these lists, because not only does it help me to get organized, but it inspires all of you! Feel free to visit my Amazon or LTK storefront for all the inspo and don’t forget to shop all things Beautycounter! Enjoy the holiday season and make sure to add something special to your cart just for you! 🏼 *adds to cart 😉
Summer went by in a flash and back to school is here! We hope you had a fabulous summer packed with fun and memories to last a lifetime. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss the easy pace of slow summer, but we are excited for a new school year! There’s something to be said about fresh backpacks, new notebooks and pencils! As I kiss my kiddos and send them off to 1st and 4th grade, I couldn’t help but share our favorite finds! From clothes to supplies and everything in between, tax free is in full effect here in Florida and runs through August 3rd!
We partnered with WPTV NewsChannel 5, Wellington Green Mall, J.C. Penney’s, Francesca’s, Forever XXI and Abercrombie to give you all the back to school fashion you’ve been looking for in partnership with The Buzz Agency and sponsored by Cinnabon. Can you guess which color is this fall’s winner?
**This is a sponsored collab post with The Mall at Wellington Green and all opinions are that of
‘Merica! Land of the free and home of the brave! Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to bleed red, white and blue and celebrate what makes the U.S.A so spectacular! Here are 5 ways to show your patriotism this fourth!
- Sport your red, white and blue! Whether it’s a bathing suit, top or fun accessories you’re into…this list has everything you need to show your love for the U.S of A!
- Enjoy the fireworks! Every town has a free event where you can bring a blanket and enjoy the show! The Village of Wellington will host a free fireworks spectacular this 4th that’s sure to please! From food trucks to bounces houses and games, the event is from 12p to 7p and fireworks will start at 9:15p!
- Plan a bbq! Nothing screams the 4th of July like a good hot dog, some watermelon and corn on the cob! Gather your friends and family and enjoy some yummy food to celebrate America’s B-Day!
- Donate or fight for a good cause! No matter your stance or political party, it’s always a good time to show your love and support for the causes you believe in. Some of my favorites include Everytown (helping to prevent gun violence), text “BETTERBEAUTY” to 52886 to help fight for better beauty laws and more health protective legislation in America and sign a petition with change.org to continue the fight for women’s right to an abortion.
- Enjoy your freedoms and reflect on the fact that there are military who are protecting our rights as citizens to be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave! America the Beautiful is a great book to teach young children about our great country.
*I do receive a small commission for items purchased through 3rd party links. All opinions are that of Briana D’Andrea from momgirlblog and BD Media.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I break down my top 7 gifts for your favorite person!
- Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer: This hair dryer is the mother of all dryers! I have a TON of hair and it has cut my style time down in half! I’m talking 40 to 20 minutes out the door! The best part? It’s light weight and comes with a variety of add-ons to help curl, minimize frizz and so much more. No more going through blow dryers all the time. Dyson makes pretty great vacuums, so it only makes sense that they’re killing the blow dryer game! Hurry, because these sell out pretty quickly!
- Beautycounter’s Flawless in 5: Nothing says I love you like #cleanbeauty! Flawless in 5 takes you from drab to fab in just 5 short minutes! It includes your choice of a foundation (with or without spf), eyebrow pencil or gel, volumizing mascara, refillable creme blush and lip gloss. All of the shades are customizable to you and your skin tone. Need help? Just message me and I’d be happy to guide you in the right direction! New clients receive 30% off with the code “CLEANFORALL30” through the end of April. Shop now at Beautycounter.com/brianadandrea.
- You know I’m a #lillypulitzer gal and I just can’t get enough of the the new 2 piece Rosalie Skirt Set. The dainty shoulder ties and the periwinkle color is just so darling and the perfect Mother’s Day outfit. Nothing says Happy Mother’s Day like a floral Lilly set.
- Meet your new best friend: The Bogg Bag! This waterproof, functional bucket bag is waterproof and perfect for that beach or boat day! It comes with a variety of inserts and clip ons for you to mix and match for tip top organization! The best part? It comes in a variety of fashion forward styles. I of course chose the Palm Tree print, the leopard comes in a close second!
- It’s time to set those feet in motion and hit the pavement in my favorite Nike sneaks! The Metcon 6 Nikes allow your feet to get the oxygen they need to move at lightening speed! In the most breathable design yet, limit pressure and increases stability! Plus the variety of colors are fun!
- Get them hater blockers out! Diff Eyewear is a company with a purpose and their shade styles are quite the fashion forward piece! I opted for the “Vania.” Black and classic yet with a statement, these shades are the perfect “mom”-cessory. More than 2.7 million people have received eye care thanks to Diff’s program, “Gift of Sight.” Each purchase helps someone in need to see a bit clearer. Now if that isn’t a reason to sport these, I don’t know what is. #giveback
- With summer just around the bend or maybe a Mother’s Day getaway, Beautycounter’s Countertime travel kit is the gift you never knew you needed! It comes with the most adorable little mesh (TSA approved) bag and 5 products designed to keep your youth even while on the go. Featuring Countertime Anti-Aging Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil, Mineral Boost Hydrating Essence, Tripeptide Radiance Serum, Antioxident Soft Cream and Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream, the perfect recipe to minimize fine lines and wrinkles! What could be better?
You and your people in your favorite place…all smiles, hugs and good vibes.
Making memories that last you a lifetime.
Taking photos with your family should be a fun and engaging time.
If I’m being honest, I know it can be tough to rally the troops and get the look you were hoping for, but with these top 5 tips you’ll be sure to stay ahead of the game when it comes time to snapping those pics that leave lasting memories!
- Plan Ahead!
- Discuss with your photographer when and where you want to shoot!
- Golden hour (sunset) makes for the best pics, so keep that in mind.
- Remind your family of your expectations! Is it one location? 3? Map out your day so everyone is on the same page. Communication is key!
- Don’t make any other plans for the day. Coming straight from a birthday party or event can make for some overtired kiddos!
2. Simplicity is key!
- Don’t overcomplicate your outfits. Yes, you want to look fabulous, but let’s try to keep everyone comfortable too! Try to color coordinate…the less busy the better!
3. Come prepared!
- Snacks, iPads, perhaps or a special treat? Give the kids something to look forward to, so they know once they’re done they get to reward themselves for cooperating!
4. Learn to pivot!
- Yes, it might rain, kids might break down, but be open to shifting your expectations of what the perfect shoot should look like and manage your ability to realize there might be some obstacles and it will be just fine!
5. Have fun!
- You will look back at these precious photos for years to come and be so glad you took the time to make your family feel so important!
The next time you decide to book a family session you should totally consider working with Elina’s Dream Photography. Elina has an artistic passion for photos and snapping just the right one! Her mission is to let the love shine through every photo she takes.
We met via Instagram, had a brief phone conversation and I just knew we had to collaborate! From connecting as Wellington mamas by way of New York and a true love for doing all things creative, she was open, honest and totally flexible.
Our session started on Palm Beach Island where we snapped some pics on a dreamy winding road (kids decided to pass out on us, so we let them sleep and enjoyed was was almost like an engagement shoot! Lol) and of course it started to rain! So we ducked for cover and took some amazing photos at Bethesda by the Sea, made our way to the iconic Palm Beach clock tower and finished off the shoot, by the famous “blue doors.”
Our photos came back so fast and each one was more beautiful than the next.
Elina IS a dream and I would absolutely recommend her for your next family photo session.
You can get connected with her and see her incredible work here.
Since the holidays have come to a close, the curtains are up at the Kravis Center and the New Year calls for new shows, designed to both get you out of your seat and keep you mesmerized!
The family and I got the unique chance to get all dressed up to see “Rudolph the Musical,” just before closing out 2021. We put on our Christmas best and headed to the performing arts center in downtown West Palm Beach, to see one of only two exclusive shows of season. With strict COVID protocols in place, (*see below), we felt safe and at ease while singing along to everyone’s favorite reindeer tune! Upon being greeted by a giant red tree, grabbing a few tasty snacks, we found our seats and were ready to ride on Santa’s sleigh! The costumes, the set design and even the original score were incredible! Shockingly, I think my husband has been bit by the showbiz bug, because he thoroughly enjoyed it as well! It took me back to my high school days, performing on stage and feeling the rush of the curtain call. It was such an incredible time had by all and we cannot wait to go back soon!
Today marks the 2022 season at The Kravis Center, as they welcome their latest show “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” known as the girl from Boston with a voice from heaven in what is said to be a ‘moving tribute to the voice of a generation,’ with tickets starting at $33.
This weekend The Eisenhower Dance Troop invites patrons to experience an evening of exhilarating dance in a show called “F-E-E-L,” for $40 and a free drink. Cheers!
Then later this month Ledisi sings “Nina,” which is considered a beautifully orchestrated mixture of classical, jazz and rhythm & blues in honor of the great Nina Simone and if you can’t catch that show, then hopefully you can grab a ticket for Pink Martini and China Forbes, which will feature dozens of musicians singing songs in 25 languages. Both shows are offered at a starting price point of $29.
The month will close out with an “Ultimate Tribute to Tina Turner” in “PROUD Tina!” From a live band to vocalists and dancers, the show is guaranteed to be an electrifying showcase of The Queen of Rock and Roll’s greatest hits throughout the decades! From her smash hit ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?,’ to ‘Proud Mary,’ the show will certainly have you rolling on the river! Tickets start at just 25 bucks!
*Upon entry everyone is required to show their vaccination card or a negative COVID test result, no less than 3 days old. You’re welcome to arrive early on site to take a complimentary test if that works better for you. Children under 12 are not required to do so.
*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post and a partnership in conjunction with Kravis.org. Opinions mentioned are original and that of Briana D’Andrea and momgirlblog.com. Follow Briana D’Andrea for her latest updates!
If you’re looking for a fun-filled family vacation full of summer vibes then look no further.
I can almost hear the words in my ear. Billy Joel singing “Noreaster Alexa.” You know the part where he says he had chartered a course to the Vineyard, but tonight he is Nantucket bound? I can now really connect with that verse, after taking a visit to the Cape this summer with my family for the forth of July. It’s been a tradition of ours to explore a new destination and there’s something really special about that part of world. Perhaps it’s the easy breeze that hits your face coming off the coast, the back and forth rocking of sailboats on the docks or the sound of the seagulls chirping by, but one things for sure…no visit is complete without a trip to the cape’s neighboring islands…Nantucket, otherwise known as “The Grey Lady,” or The Vineyard you know…Martha’s?
I knew when I was doing my research and planing our vacation, a trip to the Cape’s sister islands was a MUST, but I just wasn’t sure how I would swing it, with the limited amount of time we had and two kids with such short attention spans, it didn’t seem like the stars would align. Between our trip to Portland and Acadia and a visit with the majestic whales (also a must and probably a separate blog post), I knew our trip had to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. That’s where Hy-Line Cruises came in to play. Their staff, especially Ruth were so incredibly helpful with customizing a perfect trip for our little family. With a fleet of ships and an array of excursions to choose from, you can’t go wrong with the adventures they offer. We settled on a trip “Around the Sound,” and what an adventure it was!
We departed Hyannis Port at 8:30a, quite literally ‘Nantucket bound,’ aboard the aptly named Grey Lady! The ship has sight seeing decks, a snack bar, bathrooms and plenty of room to stretch your legs both inside and outside on their rooftop decks. We made sure to arrive 45 minutes before departure and just before we loaded up, we grabbed a quick bite at their amazing on site restaurant, “The Landing Cafe.” Whether you’re a breakfast person or lunch is more your thing, there’s something for everyone! The kids split a bagel with cream cheese and a fresh fruit smoothie and the hubby and I had a quiche and an egg, cheese and bacon English muffin. Everything was fresh and the staff were super helpful and sweet. Highly recommend their grab and go section of salads and wraps too, in case you wanted to do a picnic on one of the islands. Next time I’m snagging a freshly baked popover! Yum!
ALL ABOARD! We were off! While the kids played patty cake (we had a nice chat about this trip being a little bit of work time for mommy, so they were on their best behavior! Lol) Michael and I honed in on exactly what we wanted to accomplish while on the islands. It took about an hour or so to get to our first destination and thanks to to all the health protocols put in place, it was a stress-free and relaxing little trip.
Once docked, it was like we were transported to another dimension. Don’t get me wrong the Cape is great, but Nantucket? It has just a je ne sais quoi. Think hydrangea blooms, cobblestoned streets, gray shingled little cottages dating back to the 19th century, yachts along the dock, a beach for the kids to play (aptly named “Children’s Beach”) and the list goes on. The town was founded in 1641 and while most of the island is accessible by bike or foot, you can ship your car over for a small fortune. From little boutiques to cafes and hidden vias, this island is much like Palm Beach (my favorite local place), only with a much richer history. The fact that Beautycounter and Lilly Pulitzer have some real estate on the island didn’t hurt either and the people who come to summer there year after year, are some of the friendliest you’ll ever meet.
After hitting up a couple of shops (The Nantucket Surf Club is super cute and worth checking out), a quick bite at The Nantucket Tavern and a dip of the toes in the sound at Children’s Beach, we were back on board for our next leg of the trip. Make sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before departure, so they can scan your tickets and get a seat in the best possible spot. Should you need any assistance, Hy-Line has an adorable little office right on the port.
On our way to the vineyard we had an incredible view of the famous Brant Point Lighthouse on the top deck of the ship and I happened to spot a pirate ship setting sail across the sound, which was pretty neat and made for a perfect photo op!
After some incredible seaside views and quick cat nap, we disembarked on to Martha’s Vineyard. The vibe there was a tad different than Nantucket, more of a laid back flip-flops and beer kind of energy versus the oysters and champagne. (Both great in my opinion).
We made our way over to a local ice cream shop where the hubby and I shared a coffee and Oreo ice cream and an iced coffee and the kids landed on rainbow sherbert and mint chocolate chip. We meandered our way over to the historic Gingerbread District, a real sight to see! Painted in shades of sky blue and peach cobbler, these whimsical homes stem back more than 150 years to 1826. Each one more darling than the next, in an array of colors with their own themes and names. Almost like a real life Disney World. We saw one for sale and just might make an offer! Lol
Once we snapped out of it, we skipped back down to the beach (where jaws was filmed), passing the world’s oldest carousel and let the kids take a quick dip to cool off. (We told them the Jaws tidbit after the fact! lol) They guzzled down some fresh fried cod, before boarding the ship back to our home base on the Cape at the Anchor In.
As I write this, it was such a dream come true to be able to make those memories with my family, an experience most definitely worth while and one I would highly recommend thanks to Hy-Line Cruises. Hy-Line makes it easy to travel with your family to create memories that will last a lifetime. We will definitely be back someday.
*This is a sponsored post with Hy-Line Cruises. All opinions are true and that of Briana D’Andrea from momgirlblog.com. The “Around the Sound” trip was sponsored and paid for by Hy-Line Cruises. For more information or to book a trip today visit hylinecruises.com. Follow Briana D’Andrea for more adventures with her family on her lifestyle blog momgirlblog.com. #thisishyline #momgirlblog
5 ways to protect our mother earth!
Happy Earth Day! Protecting mother earth is more than just tree hugging and riding your bike when you can. It’s about making small tweaks to your everyday routine! Here are the top 5 ways you can pitch in and play a part!
- Reusable Water Bottles: There are so many great options for reusable water bottles, not only is it more affordable for you, but according to plasticfreechallenge.org “We produce roughly 300 million tons of plastic each year and half of it is disposable!” Recent studies have shown an increase in toxic chemicals in our bloodstream, thanks to it seeping into our bloodstream causing cancer, infertility issues and birth defects to name a few! Imagine what an impact you canmake! These are my fave water bottles!
- Recycle: You know what to do renew, reuse, recycle! According to the University of Southern Indiana, recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees.
- Reusable Bags: There are so many cute reusable totes these days, you’re bound to find something you dig! Plus, how annoying are plastic bags piling up or even the paper ones you have to then fold up?! Come on people check some of these cute bags out and make the switch today!
- Plant a tree or just plant anything!: Trees give off oxygen and oxygen is LIFE! Why not grow a garden or if you’re like me and can’t keep anything alive, plant a tree in your backyard! Here are a few fun options for the kiddos!
- Coral Reef Safe Sunscreen: Not all sunscreens are created equal. It’s important to support companies who walk the walk. Lots of companies out there “greenwash,” a term used to bogusly convince consumers to buy their “safe” or “all-natural” products. Be your own advocate and do your research. Beautycounter’s Countersun Mineral Safe Sunscreen is not only good for your littles, but it’s also good for the coral reefs! Why is that important? Places like Hawaii have banned sunscreens deemed unsafe for our reefs, because it was not only killing the little fishes and our reefs.We recently launch our sustainability report and our blueprint for clean launched 12 safety standards for our manufacturers! Check them out here!
Our tiny humans are small. They are vulnerable. They simply don’t know any better. So it is up to us as parents, to always go with our gut and advocate for our children and the safety of their lives. I remember it like it was yesterday. Our family had recently moved to Orlando, because of a job opportunity presented to my husband. At the time, I remember how difficult it was to leave our family and friends behind for sure, but it was almost the most difficult to say goodbye to our pediatric doctor. I remember it like it was yesterday. We had interviewed him while pregnant with our first born, completely elated that we had found “the one.” It was almost as if he were a trusted member of our family, someone that would give us advice in good times and bad, when it came to the well-being of our little babies. When Reagan was first born, Dr. R (That’s what we will call him) saw us for his very first well-check, when he was running a high-fever, he was our trusted source, when it was time for vaccines, we drove a half an hour just to see our beloved doctor, because we didn’t think it would be possible to find anyone else who understood us…and then we moved.
I knew NOBODY. I couldn’t phone a girlfriend who had a baby, because well I had no friends. My bigger boy hadn’t started school yet, so it wasn’t like I could ask the others moms where they went and when he finally did start school, every doctor was more than 45 minutes away from where we lived and that was a no go with a 3 month baby in tow, who HATED the car and was already subjected to an hour and half commute daily. I remember scouring the mommy sites, local Facebook pages, doing research on every doctor in the area, when finally after countless reviews and numerous phone calls, we had decided on a practice. Upon arrival, I wanted to just curl up in a ball and cry. For whatever reason, it had this gloomy disposition in the waiting room…no one was friendly. Perhaps you could say it was the post pregnancy hormones that were kicking in, that contributed to my disappoint, but so be it. I know it didn’t do me any good to compare, but I just couldn’t help it. After going into what seemed like a weigh-in station at a vet clinic, we finally met with the doctor I had done countless amounts of research on. I wanted to like him. I really did. I try incredibly hard not to judge a book by its cover, but I just had this weird gut feeling about being there. My daughter Vera at the time suffered from a severe case of eczema on her face. I was nursing at the time and remember trying everything I could think of. Eliminating dairy, more water in my diet, lotions, body washes, keeping it dry, you name it, I did it! Dr. Y (we will call him) immediately saw little miss and said, “Oh, it’s just a simple case of baby eczema. Go to Target, get yourself some “xyz” cream and rub it on the area twice a day and it should go away (Not interested in degrading the company). I left that day sobbing in my car and oddly enough received a phone call from our previous doctor asking me how things were going and if we had managed to find a doctor. I remember in that moment wanting to head straight down I-95 and not look back, but that clearly wasn’t an option.
Our family is incredibly passionate about healthier alternatives. I wouldn’t call myself a crunchy mama, but if there is a healthier option for a lotion or a protein bar, you bet your bottom dollar I’m paying the extra 50 cents. I liken it to preventative medicine in an effort to not have to medicate an existing condition. I caved and bought the cream, because in all honesty I was DESPERATE! However, deep down in my heart, I knew that this lotion in particular was full of ingredients that I not only couldn’t read, but were potentially harmful to my little growing baby. I went home opened the bottle, put the cream on and by the next morning the situation had not gotten better, it got worse! Now while it could have been a number of contributing factors, in that moment I was mad at myself. Mad that I hadn’t said to that doctor that what he was “prescribing” was in fact no good and it didn’t take years of medical practice to recognize that, mad that I even gave it the slightest chance to help my poor daughter who was suffering from cracked, red skin on her precious milky face. I marched right back to the store, returned it and vowed that from that day forward, I would always be an advocate for my children. That mother’s know best. That I would be darned if some old school doctor who probably got his graduate degree long before studies were released about the harmful effects of products and foods currently on the market were no longer acceptable would tell me what my daughter needed most. That I would have a voice and the courage to say, “No Sir!” A month later, that said doctor wanted to prescribe yet another magic cream, that he thought would help my daughter with another skin issue she had. That my friends was the last time I went to his practice. I vowed to find another doctor that held on to the same values that my husband and I practiced. As luck would have it, we were able to move back home to our original doctor 7 months later. Now while maybe not everyone is so lucky, my advice is this. Don’t EVER let someone tell you their opinion doctor or otherwise and allow it be the end all be all. YOU have a voice, USE it! Whether that means getting a second opinion, changing doctors or just standing up for what’s right in the world. Our little ones rely on us to be their advocates in this life and that my friends, is something I will always do for my babies, no matter the circumstance.
You’ve heard this before while on an airplane. In the event of an emergency, place your oxygen masks on first and then your child’s…but have you really ever put those words into perspective before? Someone once mentioned that old adage to me before and that lesson really stuck with me. If I’m not right, then how can my children be? As parents it is within our natural instincts and DNA to take care of literally everyone else in our household (including our pets), before even worrying about ourselves. Making sure that all are fed, changed and happy, before taking a bite to eat, much less a shower. I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to do YOU. Have you ever heard the expression “Happy wife, happy life?” Well the same goes for happy moms and dads! If you are in this mindset that you must take care of every little thing your toddler or even spouse asks of you, without taking care of your basic necessities, then you WILL crash and burn.
I remember it all too well. I had my first born baby boy a little over 5 years ago. My world came to a screeching halt! I know I can say the same for my husband. We didn’t care about the things that made us, “us.” Was the baby sleeping? Was he breathing? Was he pooping? Well, what time did he poop? We were literally documenting when he ate, slept and passed a bowel on timers on our iPhones! All the while, a little piece of us were fading away. Now, I’m not saying it’s not important to put some things on the back burner to take care of this little human who needs you literally to sustain LIFE, but I think it was a breaking point for the both of us, when we started to lose sight of the last time WE ate or took 5. I don’t mean 5 minutes together (although that’s crucial), but completely alone! I remember my husband calling out to me saying, “Hey Bri? When was the last time you ate?” I honestly couldn’t remember? I was too sleep deprived, too obsessed with this new normal, that it didn’t really occur to me that if I wasn’t taking care of ME, how on earth would that baby be able to sustain without ME? Once I realized that…yes things started to shift, but still ‘til this day I need to constantly remind myself that it isn’t selfish to take 20 minutes to write, because that’s my passion and what makes me, ME. That if going for a bike ride makes me feel better than by golly, I had better start pedaling!
Even while I write this article, my five-year-old has interrupted me to ask me what’s for dessert, because he finished his soup! He can wait two more minutes for that cookie. He’ll live.
Again, while I reminisce of the craziest yet exciting time in our lives, it had been days, maybe even weeks since my husband and I had even noticed one another, because we were so focused on baby! I remember us both putting him down after a screaming, crying fit, 3 calls to the nurse asking why our baby was crying…only to get the response, “Well ma’am, all babies cry.” LOL She was right. We turned to one another and hugged. It was the first time since I didn’t have a big bump separating us and in that moment, I was instantly transported to that bright sunny day on 10.10.10 overlooking the ocean, when we said our “I Do’s”. It was in that moment, that I knew everything was going to be alright.
Ultimately, my children, husband and even my dog will always be first, but I’ve finally started to get back to being me. Even if that means having to schedule in a date night in advance (something to look forward to), starting my own blog (heck yes! One of the best decisions to take that leap!), starting my own business (Yes, it’s been quite the busy year and I’ve got enough bosses under one roof!), taking the time to give myself a little makeover and maybe someday writing that book I’ve always wanted to write. I’m slowly getting back to being me and I can’t encourage you enough to do the same…or at least try to, because there’s only one YOU in the world and you’ve got an army of people who depend on that!