The Moms Magazine, Winter 2015

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the

moms moms keeping you current with all things mom

MAGAZINE MAGAZINE

Stephanie Wentworth

10

positive parenting tips

Beauty Trends

Winter 2015

to follow in 2015

m

Subscribe online at www.TheMomsMagazine.com

on balancing family and the blogging lifestyle

5K

Race Day Essentials mommy bag

MUSTHAVES for 2015

thinner arms slimmer waist

IN ONLY 15 MINUTES??? our pediatrician’s perspective on Infant Swim Lessons


Relax

$50 Massages 60 Minute, Full Body Swedish Massage

In Style Hair

www.InStyleHairOrlando.com

NAILS & DAY SPA



Red Velvet Cake

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the

moms winter 2015

Special Features

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8 – 5k Race Day Essentials – Be prepared for race day 12 – Ten Simple Tips for Positive Parenting in 2015

5K Race Day Essentials

Stop making year-long resolutions

14 – Mom Bag Must Haves – Keep your mom bag stocked with the right essentials

16 – What’s IN and Out in 2015 – Stay current with style and fashion

18 – Juggling it all – Blogger Stephanie Wentworth

shares how she manages a popular blog and two children

22 – When Love is More than Butterflies – Choosing to love

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24 – Red Velvet Cake – Sweet treat for your Valentine

14 Mom Bag Must-Haves

26 – Make the Most of a Bargain Buy – One thrift shop dress, four different styles

29 – DIY – Keep your beverage warm this winter with a sweater cozy

Expert Advice

10 – Move of the Month – 15 minutes a day

for thinner arms and a slimmer waist

20 – Beauty Trends to Follow in 2015

New makeup trends to keep current

30 – Ask the Pediatrician – Dr.

Gordon shares his experience with infant swim lessons

What’s IN & OUT in 2015

ON THE COVER Blogger Stephanie Wentworth is one busy momma! This stylish and trendy mom loves all things monogrammed, but on a “mom budget.” Her blog, The Happening Housewife shows how to keep up with fashion trends on a Stay-at-Home Mom’s salary. You’ll see how she handles a full schedule and still makes time for fun, and how to keep it together with both an infant and a toddler with special needs.

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Central Florida photographer specializing in children, families, maternity, newborn, engagement, and birth photography www.SaraKearneyPhotography.com 386.960.3551 • SarakKearneyPhotography@gmail.com

Sara Kearney Photography


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

What if I fail? We’re already well into 2015, and I’ve heard many people say, “I’m not making any resolutions this year. Exercise more ... lose weight ... read more ... argue less. Blah, blah, blah.” I get it. I’m right there with you. I’m too busy to add a resolution to my schedule. Besides, what if I fail? What if I fail? Let’s pause there. Failure. As moms, we compare ourselves to others. All. The. Time. We look at each other’s Facebook wall; we look at another mom’s blog; we read about her half-marathon personal record; we look at their vacation photos or we look at her model-esque body, and we conclude that we’ve failed.

the

moms Volume 6, Issue 1 ~

Winter 2015

www.TheMomsMagazine.com www.OrlandoMomsBlog.com www.facebook.com/TheMomsMagazine

EDITOR IN CHIEF kristi corley

EDITOR shirley neff

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS mindy black kirsten evans gregory gordon, m.d. heather iseminger kristin koldenhoven heather murphy heather naples joanna pluszcz kristen scruggs

Failed.

stephanie wentworth

But really, have we failed, or are we setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves? Let’s pause for a moment to consider what areas in your life you’d like to see improvements. Ask yourself, “I would be ... less stressed if ... more available for my family if ... a happier momma if ...”

PHOTOGRAPHY sara kearney

WEB AND DESIGN andy corley

Then jot down one single, simple step to make that a reality. It’s not that you’ve failed in that area, but rather taking a step to say, “I want to improve.” And on that note of comparison ... let’s stop again. Let’s stop comparing our lives to other mommas. It’s exhausting! I truly hope that 2015 is a year filled with sweet momma moments, less stress, and plenty of happy memories to swell your heart!

Kristi Corley

editor in chief kristi@TheMomsMagazine.com

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Our Contributors Answer... “What is your favorite product, going into 2015?“

Mindy Black

Kirsten Evans

Gregory Gordon, M.D.

Cleansing oil and of course, SPF (I couldn’t leave that out!). Cleansing oil sounds scary, but is oh-so effective.

Big Jambox, great for wagon rides, beach, park, family outings and to get pumped to knock out a quick workout. Music is good for the soul.

My Asics running shoes (I’m planning to run the Gainesville Marathon in February!).

Heather Iseminger

Kristen Koldenhoven

The basic Mary Kay lipstick. It wears beautifully without drying out or flaking, often lasting me five or more hours. It’s been my favorite ... for like my entire life!

Favorite product for 2015: boyfriend shorts!

Heather Murphy

Heather Naples

Joanna Pluszcz

My iPhone. I have a love/hate relationship with it; I love it & use it for everything, but I also hate that I use it so much.

Our new favorite company is called "Fetch", a pet-sitting service who comes to our home and walks our dogs, feeds them, socializes with them, and sends pictures, videos and text updates!

My favorites are They’re Real! Push-Up Liner, clip-in hair extensions, and Wet n Wild Mega Slicks Balm Stain

Kristen Scruggs

Stephanie Wentworth

Garmin Vivosmart (it's Garmin's version of a smart watch/Fitbit)

I'm admittedly terrible at staying hydrated. My glittery, monogrammed water bottle from forposhsake.com makes it easy to keep up with my daily 8 cups a day!


2015K

Race Day Essentials

Racing season here in Florida is usually mid-September through the end of April. There are lots of distances to choose from, ranging from the 5k (3.1 miles) to the marathon (26.2 miles). But there are also many “fun runs” that are introducing running as sport to all kinds of new people! If you’re just getting into running and plan to run a 5k or two, there are just a few essentials you need before you make a full commitment to running. Because once that happens, the accessories and “needs” are endless (in a good way)! Some even say that running is the most expensive free sport! But please don’t let that deter you – running IS my favorite sport and does wonders for your health, both mentally and physically! Before your first race, I suggest training for at least a month, starting with a C25k training plan (search your app store for “C25k” – or “couch to 5k”), to work on your form and endurance.

By Kristen Scruggs Chapter Leader for the East Orlando Chapter of Moms RUN This Town www.momsrunthistown.com/EastOrlando

shorts/top

A pair of “gym” shorts that are comfortable – and please, no cotton shirts! They don’t wick sweat, so you’ll want a comfortable technical shirt, generally 100% polyester. Don’t forget a supportive sports bra.

shoes

You’ll need a good pair of “running” shoes. You can get fitted properly at a running specialty store or even at a chain, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods or Sports Authority (although I recommend a specialty store). It’s important to be fitted properly so you don’t get injured.

GPS Watch or free phone app, such as RunKeeper, C25k or MapMyFitness

socks

Any socks will do, but eventually you’ll want to get some running socks.

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fuel

for longer distances like GU Energy Gel


headband

or visor, hat and sunglasses

Feb. 16 School Break Camp - Going Wild! Feb. 18 Homeschool Family Workshop Weekly NEW! Sprouts and Seedlings Nature Play Parent and Child Programs Monthly NEW! Family Nature Club Registration and information available online at www.centralfloridazoo.org or call 407.323.4450 ext. 123. Celebrating

headphones

40Years

hydration fuel belt, simple hydration bottle or camelbak

3755 NW Hwy 17/92, Sanford, FL • I-4 Exit 104 407.323.4450 • www.centralfloridazoo.org

spi-belt or similar

belt with pouches to hold your phone and miscellaneous items while running

Running is FUN! And to be sure you enjoy your 5k, please have breakfast before the race – at least an hour ahead of time. Keep it simple: oatmeal or a granola bar with a banana. After the race, if you enjoyed the training and overall experience, find a running group! There are people with all paces, and networking in this way will help you stay motivated for future races! Enjoy!

Learn more at:

myshakeology.com/JustAddApples

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15 by Kirsten Evans

MINUTES A DAY for and a

thinner arms slimmer waist

Baby Boot Camp® Orlando Owner & ACE® Certified Fitness Instructor Specializing in Pre & Postnatal Fitness Photography by Sarah Barry Photography

ily a D e: n i ut o R

Push Ups: 15 reps

Plank Jacks: 60 sec (shoulders and core) Side Plank Hip Dips: 15 reps (right side only) Mountain Climbers: 60 sec Side Plank Hip Dips: 15 reps (left side only) Plank: 60 sec Push Ups: 15 reps Plank Jacks: 60 sec (shoulders and core)

Push Ups: With hands slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders, create a long spine, with your neck, spine and gluteus in straight line. Keeping feet close together and bend elbows toward your feet to lower your torso almost to the ground, keeping everything in line, hips tucked and core braced. Down and up is one rep. Plank Jacks: Go back to the pushup starting position. Once your feet are tight and behind you, hop them out to be wider than shoulder width apart, and then hop back in, using your legs to perform a jumping jack while in the plank position.

Push Ups

Side Plank Hips Dips: Lie on your right side with your knees straight. Prop your upper body up Plank Jacks on your right elbow and forearm; be sure the shoulder is directly over the elbow. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Extend your left hand straight up toward the sky for balance. Once up, you will then lower your hips toward the ground and back up again. Down and up is one rep for that side. Later in the routine, turn around so you’re lying on your left side and repeat. Mountain Climbers: Start in the pushup/plank position, lift your hips up off the ground, curling your toes so that you are on the balls of your feet. Drive your right knee up Side Plank Hips Dips towards your chest, lifting your hips slightly and getting the knee as tucked as possible, either hop or step back to starting position and alternate with the left leg. The additional hop adds the challenge, so drive each knee toward your chest as quickly as possible with a nice, tight core. Plank (not pictured): Starte in a pushup position, but Mountain Climbers bend your elbows and rest weight on your forearms instead of your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core and maintain your hip placement, parallel to the ground and tucked for 60 seconds. Trio Bicep Curls: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, or use a resistance tube (pictured), standing on the center of the tube for resistance. Pull your shoulders back and down, tighten your core and stand tall. Bending your elbows, bringing hands all the way up towards your shoulders. Try not to rest elbows against your body; use your bicep strength for full curl extension. Slowly lower and repeat 5 times. Then lower only half way and curl all the way up for 5, and lastly lower all the way back down to your hips and back up to a 90° angle 5 times.

Trio Bicep Curls: 15 reps Mountain Climbers: 60 sec Tricep Dips: 15 reps

Trio Bicep Curls

IMPORTANT: Do not perform workout unless your physician clears you for fitness and 6 weeks post vaginal delivery or 8 weeks post cesarean delivery. All exercises are safe for prenatal mothers.

Tricep Dips: Sit down on your mat and position hands shoulder-width apart, just behind your gluteus, fingers pointed toward you. Bend your knees and slightly raise your bottom off the ground. Slowly bend at the elbows, pressing backward. Return by pressing up with your tricep muscles, back to straight arms and repeat. If you have wrist issues, you can go on your fists for a neutral wrist position.

Tricep Dips


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10 Simple Tips for Positive Parenting in 2015 by HEATHER MURPHY

My social media feeds and magazine covers are already flooded with the latest and greatest New Year’s resolutions. Lose those pounds you’ve been hanging onto! Stop being late! Get out of debt! If you are like me, resolutions are not a good fit. I have never been one to choose one BIG thing to announce that I am doing in January, and then possibly beat myself up later on, because I didn’t accomplish it. I prefer to set smaller goals for myself that are more synonymous with everyday living, and not necessarily a once-a-year resolution.

1 2 3 4 5 12

So let’s STOP making year-long resolutions! Here are some tips I will be following to help me – and I hope they may help you too, if you find yourself struggling in the trenches of parenthood as I do!

rush my child because of this. It’s not his fault. There are things I can do to fix our time problem instead of constantly telling him to, “hurry up.” Plus, time is precious. I don’t want to hurry through these years, rushing us both, and not enjoying and soaking up every second with him.

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Be Honest

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Patience

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Respect

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Ask For Help

Keep Cool

If you feel yourself getting upset, take a time-out – even if it’s just taking a few deep breaths and counting to ten. Our children need to see that things turn out better when we keep our cool and keep our tempers under control.

Give Praise When Deserved

Let your child know when they did something good – and be specific.

Discipline When Needed

Children also thrive best with structure. So they need this balance of being reigned in when they misbehave. In our house, we use time-outs for our little guy.

Walk the Talk

I have found that my son is a great imitator. Thus, I don’t want to tell him to do or say something that I, myself, am not, or would not do. He is observing my every move and definitely remembers all that I say. I want to be a good example for him.

Slow Down

I am always running late. It’s literally a running joke in my family. However, I have to fight with myself to not

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This can be a hard one for the little ones, because they may not always understand the answers to the questions they ask. However, for the thousands of “why” questions I get asked on a daily basis, I try to give real answers instead of a more simple (for me) “because I told you so” answer. It can be hard to have patience when your child doesn’t have any either, but this is an area where I believe the imitating behavior can definitely help. I also feel that we need to teach our little ones that it’s okay, and necessary at times, to wait their turn or finish one task before moving onto something else. This is going to be a hard one for me to work on. If you give respect, then you get respect. I firmly believe this. I think that this can hold true whether you have a 3-year-old or a 13-year-old. Yes, we may be the parents and have the authority, but I think we need to be careful to not discredit the ideas and opinions of our little ones. Listen to them and let them know they are heard. We may not always agree, but their voices are important. Likewise, they need to know that our voices are important too, and should always be listened to. We are not in this alone, my friends! Sometimes we don’t have all the answers we need, or we just need a break or a comforting ear to listen to us. Call on your trusted family members and friends. They will be there!

Love Your Child

Quite simply, show affection. Give a hug, and make sure you tell your kiddos that you love them. There is nothing better than that! It will make you both feel good.

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe



Mommy Bag Must Haves for 2015 By Stephanie Wentworth thehappeninghousewife.com Monogram Nylon Bag from LL Monograms on Etsy Simple, chic, and totally mom worthy! The lightweight, versatile material of this bag makes it easy to pack all of your essentials while staying trendy! Choose from 12 colors and personalize with your monogram to fit your style. Neat Cheeks These little wipes get the clean-up done after every meal! They’re all natural, sweetened with Stevia, and don’t leave those little cheeks dried out or feeling sticky! neatcheeks.com Hand Sanitizer from Kosmatology This goody-goody grapefruit hand sanitizer is a must-have in any mommy bag! Its all-natural list of ingredients keeps hands clean and refreshed while serving a greater good! This product is paraben free and non-animal tested. shop.kosmatology.com

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Personalized Planner Is your 2015 New Year’s resolution to get more organized? Grab one of these completely customized planners from personal-planner. com! Choose your planner size, cover photo, layout, and more! You can even choose what month you want your planner to start. You will be sure to stay organized and on the right track this year! personal-planner.com Touch Up Kit Cosmetic bags can take up so much room in our mommy bag, but this small, fully-loaded set comes with everything you need on the go! With six color combination choices, you’re sure to find something that fits your look! Each kit includes three eye shadows, blush, blush glow powder, face powder, and a pencil – all in a sleek, mirrored compact case! paintedearthskincare.com

Brain Dump Notepad from Idieh Shop on Etsy Does your brain run a mile a minute, full of Pinterest crafts, recipes, and momtographer photo sessions that you don’t want to forget? Is your mommy bag full of old receipts that you can’t throw out because of all your scribbled notes that are on the back of them? This Brain Dump pad is the perfect solution to your scrambled mind! Keep it tucked in the side pocket of your mommy bag for those pencilworthy ideas and inspirations you have this year! Wet Bag from For Keeps Amanda on Etsy Juggling your mommy bag along with the little ones is enough, but add a lunch tote full of snacks and a spare clothes bag and you have yourself a disaster waiting to happen. These zippered bags are perfect for so many reasons. Toss

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an ice pack into one of these little guys for a snack sack that easily fits into your bag. Or fold it up and keep it empty for those trips to the water park this summer! Need more reasons to reserve room in your mommy bag for one of these? Keep them handy for those baby bottom blow-outs, or use one to store that extra change of clothes that constantly clutters your bag! Talaria Folding Ballet Flats Going out for that one date night that you’ve been waiting all month long for isn’t the same in a pair of sneakers or those broken-in flats that you’ve worn all week. So, take a stand! Rock those 3 inch pumps during dinner, but keep a pair of these foldable flats in your bag for the movie! No one will notice that you’ve changed in between, and those who do will likely be wishing they had a pair! shoptalariaflats.com


It’s Central Florida’s Largest

“PLAY-date!”

August 29-30, 2015 Orange County Convention Center 9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 Parking fees will be charged.

Sat: 10 AM – 5 PM and Sun: 11 AM – 5 PM Family Fun | Giveaways & Prizes | 150+ Exhibit Booths | New Ideas Character & Celebrity Meet & Greets | Interactive Activities for All Ages | Live Entertainment

www.FloridaKidsandFamilyExpo.com Go online and purchase your tickets in advance and save! (3-17) (0-2) $5 (3 17) $8 (18+) Free (0 2)

A portion of the proceeds will go to:


What’s

IN & OUT

Coin Medallion Necklace "Stacked Medallion Necklace" ($14.99) sophieandtrey.com

in 2015

by KRISTIN KOLDENHOVEN owner of Sophie&Trey www.sophieandtrey.com Suede "Suede Mini Dress Navy" ($38.99) sophieandtrey.com

Big Floral Prints "Quilted Floral Dress" ($34.99) sophieandtrey.com

Color of the Year: Marsala "Off Shoulder Crochet Top Wine" ($29.99) sophieandtrey. com

Midi Skirts "damask midi skirt" ($38.99) sophieandtrey.com

Fringe Details "Studded Fringe Heels" ($29.99) sophieandtrey.com

OUT:

Bucket Handbags "blue&pink bucket tote" ($38.99) sophieandtrey.com Gingham "Navy Gingham Blouse" ($24.99) sophieandtrey.com

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Slouchy Bohemian Outfits "Daycream Crochet Dress" ($32.99), "Crochet Back Cardigan" ($32.99), "Brown Paisley Scarf " ($9.99) sophieandtrey.com

1. Color of the Year '14: Radiant Orchid 2. Leather 3. Plaid 4. Ditzy Wallpaper Floral Prints 5. Menswear 6. Pop-Art Clutches 7. Mini Skirts 8. Lucite Jewelry 9. Faux Fur

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe


e th momsDIRECTORY The Moms Directory is your guide to businesses, events and products for mommas! What started out as an Orlando directory is quickly growing city by city. The list will continue to grow as we partner with you and other readers! So no matter where you go in the United States, The Moms Directory is your guide to finding current information, events, and businesses especially for moms!

www.TheMomsMagazine.com/DIRECTORY

BIRTHDAY PARTIES

CHILD CARE

PHOTOGRAPHY

SPAS & SALONS

SHOPPING

KIDS INDOOR PLAY

EDUCATION

DANCE

HEALTH

MOMMY & ME

FITNESS & SPORTS

PROFESSIONAL

Are you a business looking for a fresh way to grow? Your FREE listing in The Moms Directory will put you in front of those who make the purchasing decisions for the family - moms! Just list your business’s physical address, website, contact info and social media handles - you can even choose to be featured at the top of each category listing!

www.TheMomsMagazine.com/LISTINGS The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

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PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY SARA KEARNEY PHOTOGRAPHY

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Juggling it all as... The Moms Magazine interviews Stephanie Wentworth about balancing family and her blog thehappeninghousewife.com

“I am always in a blogging state of mind,” Stephanie laughs, as we sit and watch Colin play with his toy fishing pole. “I see an old bench in someone’s trash, and the vision of a restoration project appears in a bubble above my head. I would say most of my waking hours are consumed by my blog, whether it be mentally or physically.” In early 2014, Stephanie started blogging. She’s a go-getter. The type of momma who gets wrapped into something and goes at it full speed. So as a mom to two kids, including a son with special needs, Stephanie weighed the commitment. “My boys are my world!” Stephanie beams. “Kenedy is 10 months old. I honestly can’t believe he’s almost one! He is the sweetest, most patient little person. He’s free of words for now, but his love for us is clear. Colin, 3 years, is full of imagination. He plays in a way that I’ve never seen from another child his age. His creativity and exceptional playing skills amaze me every day.” Colin was recently diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. He needs special care and loads of patience when it comes to sensory processing, behavior and speech. They work hard every single day to make his struggles just a small bump in his life of long lasting happiness. Stephanie’s soon-to-be husband and loving daddy James is a caring and loving father to their boys and keeps Stephanie’s feet on the ground, head on her shoulders, and brain unscrambled. “I don’t know that I could ever do this thing called life without him.” “I wanted to be able to pour my heart and soul into a blog once I created it, with minimal chaos in the background behind me. I wanted it to be more than just a hobby. I wanted share-worthy posts, real advice, and personal stories that would help other moms. So after researching for weeks, I finally decided on a name, website host, and blogging category that was perfect for my vision. And so, The Happening Housewife was created.” “My first priority will always be my boys and their daddy. Colin has therapy three days a week, so a typical therapy day for us includes a battle to clothe my three year old, eventually ending in a win for me, a planner full of scribbles, crayon marks and phone numbers with genetics information, side notes to remember, and dinner ideas, and a blog post written in a quiet home at midnight with one eye open. The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

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Beauty Trends to Follow in 2015

2014 was certainly the year of innovation in the beauty industry, and we’re predicting even bigger and better trends for 2015. From non-invasive treatments to stem cell centered products and makeup that’s more nude than made up, here are six trends we are following closely this year! By Mindy Black Licensed Esthetician and CEO of Inner Beauty Skin Care

Natural Products

The beauty industry has made great strides in natural, chemical-free products, and they’re lining the shelves of every beauty and health food store. The demand for green and safe products greatly expanded in 2014, and this year brings promise of even more.

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Nude Face

This year brings a focus to your natural flushed look, aka the all over nude makeup trend! This no-makeup, makeup trend started on the runway in 2014 and was quickly adapted for normal, everyday wear. The key to perfecting this look requires the use of neutral toned makeup products. Try one of our favorites, Glo Minerals base that camouflages flaws with a sheer coverage.

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe


Fresh, Dewy Skin Fresh, dewy skin will be a staple look for 2015. You know it’s what you’ve always wanted! This fresh-faced look is all about the right mix of highlighting and mattifying. Use a lightweight foundation, followed with the dusting of a light translucent powder all over. For cheeks, start with a powder blush and sparingly apply a highlighter on top of the cheekbone to enhance your look! A bright pink blush will be very flattering against your dewy skin. Skin gym tip: Mist rose water over your makeup as a setting spray for a healthy glow and an amazing, dewy finish.

Nail art is taking a backseat to nearlynaked nails this year! Get the milky white look by wearing sheer polish underneath a matte top coat. Stick to sheer nudes and barely-there pinks as your base color for this manicure trend!

Bold Lips

Naked Nails

Bright pinks and bold reds will dominate this year’s lips. Adding a pop of color will create a bright contrast against your nude face. For long wear, go for a vibrant shade in a lip stain or matte lipstick. We dare you get bold with your lips in 2015!

Confidence never goes out of style! No matter how much money you spend on your beauty routine or how many layers of makeup you apply, never ever mask your inner beauty or take your gifts for granted. In 2015 we’re challenging you to take the Feisty Girl™ pledge and choose to love yourself, which starts with confidence! After all, happiness is the best face lift.

Be Confident

Feisty Girl™ focuses on inner beauty first, building up to the outer beauty layer so she can become a complete Feisty Girl, both inside and out. For more information, visit thefeistygirl.com.

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

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When Love is More Than Butterflies

by HEATHER B. ISEMINGER blogger at www.petalsofjoy.org

I’m not sure when it happened. When I realized this deep knowing of my husband was like a soft blanket wrapped around my soul – more comforting than the tight stilettos of early dating butterflies. But it happened. Don't get me wrong. There are moments. Moments when I see the way he fathers our children or whispers in my ear words meant for my heart, and I’m filled with butterflies. But butterflies are not love. Because there have been days in the last few years that have stretched and beaten our marriage flat and lifeless. Days when we wonder if we really know each other. Weeks when we forget to connect, when the silence of our hearts deafens the room.

A

bout once a year, my husband and I take the time to ask the hard questions: What can I do better in this relationship? How can I be better? Where can I improve? And then we listen as we each take turns sharing areas of weakness. This is not a time of accusations. It is not a time of rebuttal. We do not sling harsh and biting words at one another. We openly accept the feelings of the one we love. It is a time for each of us to understand how we can be a better partner, a better lover. Because marriage is hard. I wore my aunt’s veil as I walked down the church aisle at a tender twenty-two. I stared

into the eyes of a man who took my face in his gentle hands as he kissed his bride. My husband is Prince Charming. He is. But he’s not perfect. Neither am I. While he does bring me my cream-no-sugar coffee every morning, our relationship is not without its struggles. After 16 years of marriage, I’m learning that I have a lot to learn. I’m learning that romance has less to do with a dozen long-stemmed roses and more to do with the way my feet still find his under the sheets. Every night. It has less to do with gorgeous jewels for gifts and more to do with knowing he is a husband that isn’t a babysitter, but a parent – a daddy. And it has less to do with poetic words of new lovers and more to do with the authenticity of our love deepened over time.

Date Night Jar

If I had relied on delicate wings to flutter in my stomach as an indication of love for my husband, our marriage may not have survived. The crazy? I don’t know a marriage that doesn’t lay itself out against the rocks to be leveled as the waves of life pound again and again and again. Not every relationship can endure the pulverizing. And no one should ever have to stand under abuses – those disfigured façades of love. And sometimes the choice to stay is stripped away. But for most of us? For the relationships we’re in now? What do we do in the days and weeks of silent hearts? How do we survive the mundane hand-in-hand with our loves?

It’s easy for your relationship to get in rut. Dinner is mundane, meals are shared in front of the TV. You casually learn about your spouse’s day from their Facebook status updates. Takeout receipts are all from the same restaurant. You scroll through Netflix for a movie. Again. UGH! Add some variety back into your relationship! Create a Date Night Jar, to be filled with notes and possible activities. You add yours; he adds his – and then draw one for your next date night!


It’s easy to say love is a verb. But to be love? To live out the truly selfless love? That’s the hard. The painful. The roll-up-your-sleeves-and-getdirty difficult.

We asked our readers for their best affordable, easy, but romantic date ideas. Here’s what they said!

Love is a self-sacrificing act over and over and over. Choosing love is never easy. It doesn’t guarantee wedded bliss into our sunset years. But we have to begin somewhere. Love reminds us to choose. To choose patience when his idea of organization is straightening and moving a stack of papers from the counter to the table. To choose kindness when he tickles and wrestles with the kids – right before bed.

Choosing love is never easy. It doesn’t guarantee wedded bliss into our sunset years.

To choose generosity as you remember how much he gives your family so you can rid your hairs of their gray. To choose forgiveness when words have been biting. To choose encouraging words instead of a nagging “I told you so.”

To choose perseverance even if it will continue to be difficult. I have witnessed this love. Over eight years ago a dear friend experienced a traumatic brain injury. While he is, by all-accounts, “normal” to most, to those closest to him he’s never been the same.

One canvas, Pinterest DIY picture, paint, and brushes! Take turns painting a masterpiece together! – Jennifer Bickley

Find local gardens to have a nice, intimate picnic with your hubby. Make it a day trip, and spend quality time holding hands, strolling down pathways. – Kayla Durias

Candlelight, Music, Dinner and Dancing ... all on our back patio. Party for two. – Dana Alderman

He needed countless hours, days, months, years of rehabilitation. Part of his personality has been lost forever. But his wife? She has never wavered. She is still his and he is hers. While it isn’t easy, she chooses to love him – every day.

Romantic picnic breakfast or picnic dinner, watching the sun rise or set with your love. – Wendy Berry

This has been a powerful example to my husband and me. Because there have been stretches of time in our marriage when, to stay in love, we’ve had to choose love. And so now, my heart still skips a beat and butterflies flutter as I look in the eyes of my Prince Charming and know that we’ve done just that.

TheMomsMagazine.com/datenightjar

for a printable PDF.

Discover a local observatory to visit, and food truck events are always fun to go to. – Emily Anderson

Hiking! And we also love sending the kids away and having a dinner/ movie night at home alone. – Charlene Degroot

To choose honesty even when you know you must gulp down pride to do so.

Need some date night ideas? Visit:

Sitting on our back patio, talking, enjoying a glass of wine after the kids have gone to sleep. – Heather Hohman

Geocaching allows you to spend quality time together, travel and see parts of your city you may never have seen before, and you may even find fun treasures ... best of all, it's FREE! – Lindsay Green

I would say dinner and mini golfing! – Amy Reed We make a dice by writing out our ideas for the date and roll it ... whatever it lands on, we go out and do! – Michelle Hornung Grabbing a red umbrella on a rainy night and going out to an Italian restaurant for spaghetti! We did this many, many years ago and it still remains a romantic memory today. – Carol Costley Go to the library & find poems to read to each other! Go to the mall with $5 each and find the silliest gift for the other person. – Marissa Hovendon

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

23


Red Velvet Cake by HEATHER NAPLES

Recipe:

et Cake

Red Velv

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Cream

rosting: Cheese F

cheese 8 oz. cream er ftened butt so f 1 stick o ar g su ed er owd 1 ½ cups p 1 tsp vanilla

all dry e bowl, mix at ar p se a In mbine n to 325. rge bowl, co la a Preheat ove In . illa and ar g ermilk, van except su tt ts u n b ie s, d g re eg g d in ell. . Ad ture. Mix w il and sugar e sugar mix vegetable o th to g n ri colo dry red gel food egar. Add d white vin an ee ff co t o ir in h owly. Gradually st mixture, combining sl et w to mixture uare pan th the 8x8 sq e). Divide o b ll fi l il shap e pans (w r the heart Grease cak und pan fo ro ch n -i 8 and the een pans. . Allow evenly betw es out clean m co k ic p oth g. . or until to efore frostin Bake 35 min an. Cool completely b ep to cool in th

th. Add until smoo l w o b g in sugar mix cheese in a d powdered ad ly al u d ra Beat cream G sp at a time. oth. butter 1 Tb o sm l ti n u ix .M and vanilla


What says "Valentine's Day" more than hearts and chocolate? This heartshaped, chocolatey Red Velvet Cake covered with delicious cream cheese frosting should be a winner! To make this cake, you will need one 8x8 square cake pan and one 8-inch round cake pan. To decorate the cake with icing roses, you will need a 1M frosting tip and a pastry bag. All of these items can be purchased from your local craft store.

BOXED CAKE MIX "HACK": If using a boxed mix of Red Velvet cake, substitute 1 cup of hot coffee for the 1 cup of water that the box recommends. The coffee will bring out the chocolate taste in the cake! Heart Shaped Cake Instructions: 1. Cook both cakes according to the recipe and allow to cool. 2. With a knife, cut the circle cake equally in half. 3. Rotate the square cake to a diamond shape. 4.

Place the flat edges of the two halves of the circle cake against two edges of the diamond shaped cake.

5. Ice the entire cake once, creating what is called a “crumb coat.” This traps the crumbs and allows your next layer of icing to go on smoothly. 6. Next you can either frost the cake with another layer of icing or use the 1M frosting tip to create small frosting roses across the surface. 7. To create the roses, simply swirl the icing in small circles going clockwise starting from a small dot you create with the 1M tip. Download the app and watch the video featured here to see this technique in action, or head to the The Moms Magazine Instagram page (@themomsmagazine) to see another clip of this technique! The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015

25


Make the most of a bargain buy! by JOANNA PLUSZCZ follow Joanna’s tips at facebook.com/threekidsmamafashiondrama

For a sexy, edgy look,

pair with a leather jacket, heels & highly contrasting tights. 26

A big, plaid blanket scarf

will keep you warm while on the go.

On a budg et? One dr e s s, fou differe nt style r s. T base - m y barga he in buy - a polk a dot d res only $4 .99 from s my local G oodwil l.

A statement necklace

adds drama to a simple look.

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

Pearls and lace

will keep you feeling feminine and sophisticated during a date night.


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You probably have more than one sweater lying around the house that nobody uses anymore. Here is a simple project on how to upcycle that old piece of clothing into something fun and useful! 1. Sweaters with bold, funny prints work best. For this particular project, I found a sweater with a print located directly on the sleeve. 2. Once you’ve found an interesting pattern, cut it to the desired length. The cozy can either cover a whole mug or just a portion of it. For this project, I created one that covers the entire length.

DIY

3. Next, you want to pull out the left-over cut thread, which will give you a nice clean edge. There will be many little cut pieces hanging out. Gently pull them until you get to one long thread that goes all the way around.

Coffee Mug Cozy

4. Once you have cleaned up the edge, use the same thread and a big-eye plastic needle to finish the edge by threading through each of the left-over loops. Once all the way around, tie a knot and tuck in the ends. You can also use a decorative ribbon or a contrasting colored thread!

by JOANNA PLUSZCZ follow Joanna’s tips at facebook.com/threekidsmamafashiondrama

And voila, you have yourself a cute mug cover – all while the kids were napping.

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The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe

29


the

moms ASK THE PEDIATRICIAN

Infant Sw im Lesson s By Dr. Gregory Gordon gregorygordonmd.com Author of Raising Good Parents – A Guide to Your Baby’s First Year

My children have all had swim lessons. Amazingly, all eight Gordons were taught by the same swim instructor. We started each child in infant swim lessons shortly after they learned to crawl. They learned to float as infants and then swim-float-swim as toddlers. When our oldest children first began infant swim lessons, both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Orlando medical community were against the idea. The AAP felt there wasn’t good scientific support, and they believed that lessons gave parents a false sense of security. While I was initially uncertain, my wife was determined to provide our children with water safety skills. I quickly became a fan as our children’s abilities and confidence in the water blossomed. In 2010, the AAP finally changed its stance on infant swim lessons after two studies demonstrated that early swim lessons did in fact protect children from drowning. While the AAP does not go so far as to endorse infant swim lessons, it now states:

“A parent’s decision about starting swimming lessons or watersurvival skills training at an early age must be individualized on the basis of the child’s 30

frequency of exposure to water, emotional maturity, physical limitations, and health concerns ...” Here in central Florida, there are multiple pools, lakes and retention ponds within walking distance. I would feel negligent as a parent if I did not enroll my children in early swim lessons. However, I do not consider my children drownproof at any age. For instance, we still rely on a pool fence and close parental supervision. But I also believe that swim lessons are an important component of keeping our kids safe. Early in the year is a great time to seek out the right swim program for your child. We like to sign up in February, since by early spring our local program is packed. Here are some guidelines to help you find the right program for your child: • Always visit lessons before you enroll, to educate yourself on the method and goals of the instructor. • Be sure that the instructor is skilled with babies and young children. • Ask what skill level you can expect once the child has completed lessons. • Get referrals from your friends, physicians and neighbors.

I prefer programs that make a direct connection between the infant swim lessons (floating/survival) and strokeswimming lessons. Toddlers should learn to “swim-float-swim” where they swim, flip over and float, then flip over and swim again. Typically it takes four to five

weeks to develop a happy, competent swimmer. The swim-float-swim ability helps children make a smooth transition to “standard” swim lessons, too. Some children may cry or burp up (after swallowing air or pool water). I’ve heard mothers say they tried lessons but could not make it through the whole course. Some have complained that their traumatized child “won’t go near water.” And I think that is good, too. Clearly, these toddlers have acquired a healthy respect for water. What you don’t want is a mobile toddler who loves the water and thinks she can swim.

Dr. Gordon is the proud father of eight children. He is the Vice President of “The Gift of Swimming” (a local charity that provides swim lessons to Orlando’s needy children). In early 2010 Dr. Gordon started gregorygordonmd.com to share his pediatric and parenting experience.

The MOMS Magazine • Winter 2015 • Subscribe for FREE at www.TheMomsMagazine.com/subscribe


It’s a Book! Dr Gregory Gordon is proud to announce the completion of:

Raising Good Parents (A Guide to Your Baby’s First Year)

Length: 143 pages Weight: 11 ounces Available on Amazon or gregorygordonmd.com

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