Here are some fun ideas to get the dad in your life what they truly want for being the Best father!
I had been looking for a place to whisk our little family away thanks to COVID-19 and all of its travel restrictions that came along with it. If you know anything about me, it’s that I love to travel and am always in search of a new adventure. Enter Margaritaville Cottages. It’s like a little slice of key lime pie smack dab in the middle of Orlando. An escape from the hustle and bustle if you will. Your daughter’s 5th birthday only comes along once and since we had to cancel our plans last year to the happiest place on earth, there was nothing coming in between my family and the mouse’s house this year! We packed up our stuff and went there just for the night and man do I wish we had stayed a week!
All of the cottages are just darling! We were in a 1/1 called “Twist of Lime,” this tiny, adorable lime green mini house decorated to the nines in a Key West vibe. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to stays for your entire crew! Whether you’re looking for a few bedrooms or just simply one, a pool or just a deck sitting atop shells (V was in absolute heaven), there are price ranges fit for every budget.
Most of the cottages come equipped with a Margarita maker and you betcha I took full advantage of it and all of the creature comforts like a dishwasher, washer/dryer and linens and place settings you need to feel like you’re at home. It’s a short walk to the little downtown area called The Promenade at Sunset Walk, so you won’t have to worry about blowing out your flip flop. See what I did there? lol With lots of shops and restaurants to choose from and even a live band and car show which we were lucky to catch, (I believe they’re on Saturday nights), it was literally the perfect little getaway for our family.
We made our way over to the hotel to walk around, smell the scent of coconut and feel like we were in the Keys (another one of my FAVES) and when the fireworks are back in business, I hear their top floor is the best seat in the house. We unfortunately weren’t able to catch any this round.
Will definitely make it a point to stay there again, especially because we want to check out Island H20 Live! A waterpark right on property, where you’ll most likely find me knee deep in the water somewhere once they open this summer! So the next time you shoot up to Orlando from South Florida or perhaps you’re making O-Town your home for the week, I would most definitely recommend Margaritaville Cottages, because after all, no passports are required!
“I’ve got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine!” Oh great another beauty product, I barely have the time to wash my face! Trust me, I get it and I hear ya sis! You HAVE to believe me when I say the Counter+ Brightening Serum is the number one product your face has been missing! With 2 forms of vitamin C, this sunshine in a bottle is the perfect punch needed to leave your skin glowing and radiant! Not only will you say bye bye to the appearance of dark spots, but the anti-oxidant rich turmeric and camu camu will shield your beautiful face against new spots popping up! Not only will you see an instant brightness to your skin, but your mug will be protected against daily skin agressors too! Can I get an AMEN?!
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Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract: The serum’s vibrant hue? That’s thanks to turmeric, an antioxidant superstar that helps even skin tone and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Myrciaria Dubia (Camu Camu) Fruit Extract: This powerful antioxidant helps reduce the appearance of dark spots while brightening, to visually improve signs of skin fatigue.
Tucked away all the way back in horse country in Wellington, Florida is a little slice of farmland home to some of the most exotic animals in the world. You’d never know it was there, unless you were looking for it and lucky for me and my family, I had my eye on the Wellington Conservation Center for quite some time now. I truly didn’t know what to expect and I can honestly say my family and I were blown away. It’s a place where rehabilitated animals go to get a second chance at life, a place where unwanted, abandoned and injured species find their second home and a sanctuary where each sweet soul has a truly unique story to be told. From orphaned birds, to mammals and everything in between their website says they “specialize in conservation of South American exotics who are endangered from habitat loss and poaching,” a truly commendable feat.
If you ask my 4-year-old daughter Vera, her favorite animal on property was the unnamed little kitty, the horse we were able to feed apples to and the little bunnies she was able to snuggle up with. My son was thrilled by the lemur who grabbed bananas off a stick with his lefty hand and my husband thought the pot belly pigs were a sight to see. I especially loved getting up close and personal with the Brazilian Porcupines named Bonnie and Clyde and the 2-toed sloth family, especially the momma and baby duo. Feeding the sloths lettuce was an incredible experience, we won’t ever forget! I still have fomo that we never were able to get a front row seat to see the sloths while on our honeymoon to Costa Rica ten years ago and now I can finally say I was able to interact with them right in our very own backyard! How cool is that?!
From wallabys to foxes and even a crab-eating raccoon that bunks up with a Patagonian Cavy, the amount of animals we encountered exceeded our family’s expectations and I’m sure won’t leave you on the side of disappointment! Cole was an exceptional and knowledgeable host on the farm and we can’t wait to come back soon!
Sloths and lemurs are one of the primary focuses of the center due to the fact that these animals are an endangered species. The Wellington Conservation Center is a non-profit organization and they receive all of their funding through donations from their tours, grants, trusts and local sponsors. Tours are by appointment only taking place Wednesday through Monday and offered three times daily. Adults are $20 and kids 6-10 are $15. Those 5 and under are only $5. To book a tour call 954.448.1044. For more information visit their website at wellingtonconservationcenter.org.
As I sit here and wait for the election results to come in and I’ve already bit a nail, removed the polish and ate some chips today, lol, I can’t help, but think of one thing. I’m fortunate to live in a nation where I have my freedom of speech and the ability to use my voice. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, since I could mutter my first words!
If you would have told me 10 years ago, that I would be working for myself, pushing cosmetic reform and leading a team of badass entrepreneurs, I would have laughed in your face! I always thought I would forever work long production hours, making not so great pay and finding someone to look after my children. I couldn’t be more proud of the company I work for, especially now. Beautycounter is affording men and women the opportunity to stay at home with their children during a worldwide pandemic, while fighting for #betterbeauty laws and making a significant income. It’s not lost on me that working in this sort of industry takes dedication, it takes grit and it takes so much confidence in yourself to continue to forge on. This year, Beautycounter’s CEO Gregg Renfrew was chosen to testify as an expert witness on Capitol Hill in a landmark cosmetic reform hearing. That is HUGE! So much so, because a federal law hasn’t been passed since 1938. Companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that make up a product and only 30 ingredients are banned from the list as it stands. Although The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee passed The Cosmetic Safety Enhancement Act and California has passed The Safer Fragrance Bill and Toxic Free Cosmetic Act, we still have a ton of work to do! For now take a look at all of the accolades Beautycounter has managed to get under our wings. Enjoy this little video put together by the #bcdolls.
Ok, I’ve gotta be honest. I’ve been a little quiet around here or at least it seems that way….Anyone else feel like they’re just going through the motions? Not sure if it’s because we have been in this COVID vortex for quite some time or maybe it’s, because I lost my best friend furry Sushi (our beloved pup of 17 years) and I can’t seem to quite bounce back from it just yet.
Sure, I have some good days and bad, but I’ve come to the realization that COVID is here to stay. So what does that mean? Also, why has it become SO politicized? I assume it’s because we’re in an election year.
Here’s the deal. We as parents thought we had it hard to begin with? Add a national pandemic to the mix and you’re in a for a real treat! It’s up to us to juggle all the things. I would be lying if I didn’t feel like I’ve lost myself some in the midst of all this. Whether you’re homeschooling and working full-time (there’s NO right or wrong answer), working from home or having to wear a mask and better yet work diligently to save lives all day…2020 is HARD. Now more than ever we HAVE got to set aside some time for what makes us, US. Ask yourself…is it reading a book? Watching some trash TV? Enjoying a quiet dinner after the kids are asleep? I’m telling you now that if don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. I’ve got to be honest, I’m pretty good about setting apart me time, but I would be lying to myself and all of you if I came off as someone who has it all together. I’m nearing my breaking point, pulling at straws to keep life as we know it normal. I’m also here to tell you that NOBODY is killing it! Everyone in their respective lanes is taking on this pandemic in different ways and suffering loss in more ways than one! Loss of a social life, loss of funds, loss of friends and even the loss of actual family members.
I think the first step is to realize that we are living in the new normal. That big parties and gatherings are a thing of the past. Although they might be in our future, it won’t be the same for awhile. Perhaps its ok to give someone a hug (masks on), but then keep your distance. Here’s the other thing, if the kids need to go to school for your own sanity, then send them! If you need to head to the gym to interact with others and work out…do it! The bottom line is mental health is just as important as physical. I’m learning this everyday. Give yourself permission to do what you feel is right and screw everyone else, because after all we only have one shot, one opportunity on this planet. Maybe instead of saying nobody is killing it, instead we should say you’re killing it! So in the words my old friend Teo, “Go Big or Go Home!”
So I wrote this article three months back for Aroundwellington.com, with every intention of posting it on my blog, but then of course “mom brain,” came in full force. What my old quarantine self didn’t know, is that if you doubled the amount of time we were “safe at home,” we would still be here. So much has changed since then. Our entire nation saw an immense tragedy of racial injustice and a social divide to boot, our family would embark on the road trip of a lifetime with stories to tell forever, Florida would open up just to close again, forcing us to going into fall learning digitally and I would lose my best friend of 17 years, my little pup sushi who first made me a momma. I’m not saying when I wrote this that I took anything for granted, but if I could go back and tell myself to hang on for the wild ride and that things were just getting started, it might have made things a little easier. The only thing that comes to mind is that the comeback is greater than the setback and here’s to our little silver linings.
There’s always a silver lining, you just have to look for it. We have been in quarantine for 72 days and counting. There have been some major wins and some major losses that’s for sure. Families torn apart, lives taken and lessons learned. We’ve stretched ourselves in ways we never thought possible. We took on roles we could never envision stepping in to. My heart truly goes out to all of the people greatly affected by Covid-19, but I’m here to share some of the positive perspectives, I for one have experienced, because if nothing else, it’s a therapeutic practice you should give a try.
The other day, I had a flashback about the time my son graduated from preschool and was off to grade school. I remember literally sitting in my bed crying and eating ice cream, thinking how fast time flew and that my first born baby was all grown up. How he won’t need his mama anymore. Of course looking back, it was probably a tad mellowdramatic and I did get past that phase. Fast-forward to present day, where I’ve had to put on a new hat of being his teacher among other things. The opportunity has given me a couple of moments I never thought I would be so fortunate to receive. When he has a math problem he comes to me, when he has a wifi problem…who does he go to? Me. When he simply wants to sneak in a hug? You betcha…me! While at times the idea of being all the things to my children has been nothing short of overwhelming, it also has been a time that I will forever cherish. The time I will look back on and say I got to sneak in those extra hours just us, when they could’ve been in school and I was out and about working and running errands.
I’ve learned who my true friends and people are in the midst of all this. Who is checking in on me and who is there for me no matter what. It almost helps to keep the good and weed out the bad in a more timely fashion, if you will. My marriage has stood the test of time, because god knows being stuck at home with anyone much less your significant other all day long, is a true test of your love. I’ve started a podcast called momgirlpod, dedicated to helping other moms become the best versions of themselves alongside my first passion project momgirlblog.com. I’ve binged watched shows (which I never used have the time to do), started a cookbook and have read and listened to countless books too. We’ve gone fishing, took beach had picnics, gone on bike rides, made tie dye t-shirts, baked, cooked, crafts, built forts, played video games and board games and drove countless hours exploring new areas we never knew about. My team has grown, my business has grown and my wallet has too (thanks to not eating out as much) and I’ve been able to take on more self-care than I really care to. Can anyone say at home mani/pedi?
Now don’t get me wrong, this time has been stressful, I’ve eaten more than I like to admit, but I’ve been working out way more than I had before. It does suck to not get dressed up and go out with friends, but we’ve been able to get creative with ways to stay in touch virtually. Date night could’ve been a thing of the past, but now my husband and I have a standing date every Tuesday night, which we never had! I’ve become a pro at charcuterie board making and have taken on a new hobby as bartender thanks to that! I’ve learned that going forward, I’m going to say no to more things and yes to only the things that really bring me pure joy! Plus, I’ve been able to watch my children learn right before my very eyes! I almost liken it to being there for their first word or their first step, much less their ability to read their first book! Motherhood is most definitely a blur of sorts, but if you step back and put on your glasses (lol), you most definitely will see that there is always a silver lining…what’s yours?
This mother’s day is most definitely unlike any other mother’s day anyone has ever experienced. When my husband asked me what I wanted this year my initial reaction was ALONE TIME! I know all of you #newhomeschoolmoms can feel me! Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful to be able to be safe at home with my family, but this mama won’t be getting her nails done, wont’t be going to the spa and won’t be on any kind of mall shopping spree. So this year, I put together my top 10 list of self-care things I’m loving from beauty to retail and even making your cooking a little more efficient! Enjoy and happy list making! Feel free to reach out with questions!
I’m so super stoked that Beautycounter brought back the Glow Getters Trio Set! It was a top seller over the holidays, with 3 gifts in one and the limited edition instant glow! Since we’re not doing much these days, this set is perfect for a treating your skin! The overnight resurfacing peel gives you an instant overnight facial, the instant glow is amazing for that natural glow we all crave and the illuminating cream highlighter in rose glow, gives you that natural color so you can feel somewhat like yourself!