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Mom’s Advice A parenting magazine by moms & for moms

UP & Coming Moms! Checa Chic Boutique & Raquel Castillo Design

Is Your Home Toxic ? FROM BOO-HOO, TO THE AH-HA The Year Autism Kidnapped Me

Featuring 1


Checa Chic Boutique & Raquel Castillo Design- page 21 Hot Tot- page 42 SoCal’s Natural Beauty Pageant- pg 45

Our Picks:

Publisher Shea Anne

For Breast Feeding- page 24 Scarlet Samples- page 53 Joah Love- page 38

Photographer Shea Anne Claudia Goodman

Be Green:

Is Your Home Toxic -page.8 Cleaning Your Home Naturally- pg. 12

Beauty Tips- page 15 Fitness

Editor/ Intern Teri Marie

Open Your Shoulders & Strengthen your Spine -page 16


Cleaning 101 For New Moms page- 29 Nurturing Your Soul- page 30 We Found The Perfect Nanny, Now What?- page 33

Community Support: Are You Supporting Our Communities? Page 58 2

On the Cover! Model’s Mya & Sofia Wearing: Our Safety Approved badge means we KNOW the business and we recommend their products to any mom. We want all mom’s to feel safe!

Photography by: Claudia Goodman

We Make Perfect Scents™

Genia Albright Independent Scentsy Director 909-289-3905 Genia Albright Cnsultant 909-289-3905






About Us

Danelle Marie Hairston, owner of Sugar & Spice Event Design (SASED. She has had the opportunity to work as a teacher for her local school district, which helped to sharpen her skills as an event planner. Now, she thrives to flourish as an entrepreneur by continuing to add a sweet and charismatic touch to the Los Angeles event industry.

Giselle Baturay is the owner of Granola Babies retail and online store in Southern California. Giselle, along with Granola Babies has been featured in Mothering Magazine, Coastal Kids Magazine, Green Child Magazine and her Facebook Page Nurture Baby Naturally was awarded Top 50 Parenting Pages in 2010. As a leader in Green Baby education, Giselle has helped parents worldwide in learning to raise their children eco-friendly and naturally. Giselle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and is a Certified Lactation Educator, Baby wearing Educator and Green Baby Educator. She resides in Costa Mesa, CA with her husband and three granola babies.

Rebecca Stewart, is the owner and founder of VIP Nannies Inc., Household Staffing, the premier household staffing agency located in Los Angeles,CA. VIP Nannies has placed nannies, baby nurse’s, housekeepers, chefs and personal assistants with some of Hollywood’s hottest parents. Rebecca is an expert in the field of Nanny Match making. She is a former celebrity nanny and soon-to-be mother. Rebecca is passionate about finding each family the ideal nanny that fits their lifestyle.For more information about VIP Nannies Inc., Household Staffing visit, Become a Fan on Facebook: Follow them on Twitter:

I am a Christian, Wife, Mother of Three, Professional Makeup Artist and Inspirational Ambassador. I hope you receive my inspirational writings with open hearts and minds. Thank you, Love, and God Bless.


Rachel is a mom, blogger, full-time career woman, and founder and owner of Eco-licious Mama. Eco-licious Mama was created to educate and raise awareness of the harmful health effects of toxic chemicals and to empower moms, families and communities to get rid of chemicals in the home. Rachel studied Business Management at Cal State Long Beach and is currently campaigning for the use of safe and non-toxic cleaning products in schools. Rachel’s passion is connecting with other moms, moms groups, schools and communities, ready to make a change to a healthier clean. She regularly conducts workshops and in-home consultations to help moms “Go Green and Get Clean” and help them generate income by helping others Get Clean. To follow Rachel’s Eco-licious Mama blog, go to: For non-toxic cleaning product information, visit Rachel’s website at: www.embraceyourlife.myshaklee.

K Kelly Roberts is a BASI Certified Pilates Instructor and teaches at Peninsula Pilates and Wellness. When Kelly isn’t teaching she is writing, she just finished her first novel. She is also finishing her certification to become a Holistic Health Coach. Cameron Long-Tel is the founder of Kiss & Tel Beauty and Events, a unique extravaganza of make-up artistry, events, and e-boutiques; along with a blog about running a beauty business at home with her 4 boys (2 of which are twins). She created it as an outlet to journal about down and dirty motherhood, beauty/fashion and also to brag about her creative friends and what they are doing. After working in public relations in Los Angeles, she soon found her calling as a make-up artist and quickly filled her portfolio with editorial from Los Angeles Magazine, People, Maxim, and Italian Vogue. In 2006, Cameron moved to New York City and became a direct selling expert, creating financial success working from home while raising her family. Long-Tel is well-respected as a make-up artist, entrepreneur and an overall “Fashionista.” If you are looking for a voice that is modern, fresh and inspiring follow her journey running a handful-of-a-household and a beauty business.

Queenie Johnson, is an educator and the owner of Distinguished Learning Group, LLC. She empowers children to develop their creative power, through academic tutoring and curious minds workshops. Each year she host Design N’ Innovation Science and Technology Summer Camp. She can be reached at or you can find more information on her website:


Leah Stewart is the founder and owner of LiveLife Pilates™ in Costa Mesa, California. Leah is also Senior Faculty and Lecturer for BASI Pilates®. Leah holds a Masters of Science in Human Movement from A.T. Still University. Prior to embarking on her current career, Leah graduated from Chapman University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a Minor in Art History. Leah works as a freelance writer and regularly writes for various fitness and Pilates blogs, newsletters and publications. Leah is currently co-producing a Pilates for Moms DVD that is scheduled to be released in early Fall. Leah has been seen on the cover of the Body Mind Spirit conference catalog and has been featured in Pilates Style Magazine. Leah resides in Costa Mesa with her husband, Jason, infant son, Turner and Miniature Schnauzer, Diesel.

Shanon Pruden CLD(CBI) is a Certified Labor Doula through Childbirth International. As mother of two little boys and the wife of one awesome hunk, she leads a pretty busy lifestyle. Homemaker by day and doula by night (well… sometimes by day!) usually has a way of working itself out. She loves supporting pregnant families through their childbirth years. Follow her blog, if you’d like at www.shanondadoula.!

Erica Long Cooking Tips Erica Long lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young children. She is proud to spend most of her time as a minivan-driving soccer mom. In 2009, her passion for cooking and need for a creative outlet led her to writing her blog “Foodism Mom”. It is a journal of her food escapades. She hopes that her recipes will inspire and provide others with some new meal ideas for their families. Erica also has a strong love for fashion.

Lisa Keating, Lifestyle & Travel Editor Fifth generation Californian, wife, mom, sister, daughter, singer, friend and producer at EncinoMom.TV, Lisa Keating lives in Encino with her very own Encino Man, artist Warren Keating, and their mini-me. Before becoming a mom in 2001, Keating was an actor and singer, traveling the world, performing and perfecting her craft. With the birth of her daughter came changes; expected and un. Join Keating as she travels near and far bringing the very best family travel tips to you, where ever you are, whenever you need them! Visit http://



be green

Is Your Home Toxic?

Written by Ra chel

Terracino – Family Health Are the househ Editor old products you are using cleaning prod at home makin ucts like oven g your family cleaner, wind have toxic ch sick? Many ho ow cleaner, tu emicals in them usehold b and tile clea that are asso chological issu ner, and man ciated with al es, and canc y more lergies, asthm er. Household kerosene, lye, a, birth defec cleaners cont formaldehyde, ts , psyai n chemicals lik and sulfuric ac introduced in e, butane, pro id. More than the last 30 ye p ane, ars and less th 80,000 new ch human health an 20% of them emicals have ! Once you b een eliminate chem tested for toxi how your bod city or the effe ical cleaners y reacts if you cts on in your home, are around th in the throat or you will be su em again. Man chest, watery rprised y people notic eyes and othe around. You w e allergies, tig r ad verse effects ill view cleani htness of the chemic ng in a whole als they grew new light and up have a new lo ve for cleaning !


What To Do and Where To Start

cal free products into your home. You shouldn’t have allergies, tightness in your throat or chest, burning or itchiness while cleaning your home! Look for these Clean Credentials when choosing your products: • Non-toxic • Hypo allergenic • No VOC’s (Volatile organic cleaning compounds) • No harmful fumes (as opposed to low fumes) • Organic • Be cautious when you see “green” or “natural”, this does not mean it is non-toxic so always make sure it also says “non-toxic”

1. Clean out your cabinets and box up every household cleaner in your home. Unless it is labeled “non-toxic”, it needs to go! If you aren’t ready to get rid of the cleaners altogether, store them outside or in the garage for now so they aren’t emitting chemicals into your home while they are stored. 2. Say goodbye to those chemical cleaners and contact your local hazardous waste collection service to find out where you can responsibly get rid of your chemical cleaners. Once you part ways with these chemicals and notice a difference in your home and your health, I promise you won’t go back!

4. It’s that simple! Say goodbye to chemicals, say hello to natural, healthy cleaning and promise to never let another chemical cleaner into your home! You’re on your way to a healthier home and healthier family!

3. Invite only non-toxic and truly


party tips 5 Tips for a Top Notch Kid’s Themed Party

By: Danelle Marie Hairston, Party Planner

Your pride and joy’s birthday is coming around, and this year you want to take it up a notch with a kid’s themed celebration. Whether it is Disney whimsy or a safari retreat, a great themed party can be yours if you add these five tips to your party 2. Signature item – Kids are very 4. Less is More – Small details are revocal on the items and small piecally what kids pick out. Though parents es that set their character in a box have a need to go overboard, it is the of their own. Whether it’s a cowsmall details and great activities that the boy hat for Andy or a special tiara kids truly gravitate towards. Having a for Tinker Bell, small details really Toy Story themed kid celebration? Have add to the fun of a themed party. a lasso competition with fake horses, or Carry out these items througha magic potions mixing station for a fairy out the party, allow them to play tale fun time. All these activities make the games centered on the theme and party’s events more memorable for kids. use the signature item, creatively.

1. Let the Kids Chime In - When doing a themed party, let the kids chime in their favorite theme and items. Kids know their characters the best. Ask them what are the tiny details and nuances that are unique to the character in order to bring out the best in party. 10

3. Dress Up – The best part of adoring a character is becoming that character. Have an exclusive area set aside to dress up just like the character. Have simple items such as hats, wands, face paint and tools that are signature to the themed party you are having. Allow the kids to really get into all the action!

5. Party To-Go - After all the fun has been played, send the kids home with a lasting memory of the party. Fun bags are great, yet take home crafts at the party are even more memorable. Personalize each bag with the name of the guest. It will make them feel special and recall the fun time at your great shindig!


be green Cleaning Your Home Naturally By :Giselle Baturay, Green Editor

One day when my first baby was about one month old, I put her in a baby carrier and went to wipe down the bathroom counter with our usual commercially available bathroom spray cleaner. And for the first time, I became aware of the toxins that I had just sprayed in the same room as my baby girl. Ingredients such as butyl cellosolve, triethanolamine , and fragrances are found on many household cleaners and all of these are known to cause health issues. Some of the health hazards are short term such as watery eyes and respiratory irritation and some long term effects such as cancer. I knew immediately, while looking at my baby girl that I needed to find alternatives to our cleaning products. Most of the cleaning products can be easily replaced with simple household ingredients such as vinegar. Here are some recipes that are eco-friendly, saf12

er and better for you and your family.. All Purpose Spray: 1 part water 1 part vinegar Drops of tea tree essential oil and/or lavender essential oil (optional)

Ditch the Fabric Softener Use 1/2 cup vinegar in your rinse cycle to rid of static.

Floor Cleaner 1 gallon water 1 cup of vinegar Mix to clean hardwood and vinyl flooring. Furniture Polish Mix 1/4 cup olive oil with 4 Tbls. White distilled vinegar and 2tsp lemon juice in a spray bottle and use for polishing your furniture. You’ll need to refrigerate it between uses, but if you use 20 drops of lemon essential oil instead of lemon juice then you don’t need refrigerate. Cut the Grease Use your dish soap and water to cut grease in the kitchen. Works like a charm!


gear picks

Baby Cargo

Series 300 Lightweight Stroller • Natural color on color tones: Blacktop, Eclipse, Simply Taupe • Tailored, luxury design • Padded seat and guards • Large “sleek” elongated back pocket with two pleats • Adjustable multi- position back and leg rests • 15.8 lbs., 42.5” tall

Series 100 Lightweight “Cargo” Travel Stroller • Trendsetting color ways: Army/ Taffy, Steel/ Sky, Sun/Night • Two interior side zipper pockets • Tailored “Cargo” back pocket with drawstring detail • Perfect second stroller for travel and city moms-on-the-go • Weighs 12.4 lbs., 42” tall 14

Series 200 Lightweight Stroller • Natural color tones: Ocean/Stone, Smoke/Mirror, Pomegranate/Cherry • Large “clutch” pocket with interior magnetic closure • Adjustable multi-position back and leg rests • Canopy window • Weighs 14 lbs., 42” tall

beauty tips Normal To Oily Skin By: Cameron Long-Tel, Beauty Editor

Many beauty products can be made in your own kitchen and this is one of my favorites! I always find it crazy how much facial scrubs are running these days. So, I have found a recipe that is quick, easy and works to sluff away dead skin cells. Did you know that papaya is full of wonderful enzymes that can beautify the skin? Below is my recipe for my favorite face scrub that is great for :

Normal to oily skin 1/2 Papaya 1 Egg 1/2 tsp. lemon juice Mix ingredients together, apply and sit for about 10 minutes! Make sure that you have a nice tea or glass of wine in hand and relish in the fact that you are sexy and savvy!


fitness OPEN UP YOUR SHOULDERS AND STRENGTHEN YOUR SPINE Leah Stewart is the creator of LiveLife Pilates for New Mothers, a postnatal Pilates DVD with four progressive Pilates sessions that will guide a woman through her first 6 months postpartum and beyond. Visit for additional information.

Postnatal exercise programs are synonymous with abdominal and pelvic floor reconditioning, emphasizing abs, abs, abs and kegel, kegel, kegel. Now, don’t get me wrong, these are two very important aspects of a safe, effective postnatal exercise program. Pregnancy and childbirth often leave women feeling like a deflated balloon through the mid-section and the pelvis, and well thought out abdominal and pelvic floor exercises can be extremely beneficial. However, they are only a part of the full picture, which must include exercises for the entire body. Without a full body exercise program, especially for women recovering from pregnancy, labor and childbirth, the door is left wide open for muscle imbalances, poor posture, discomfort, pain and that undesired “I still look pregnant” look. 16

Pregnancy and then the demands of caring for a child can create havoc on a woman’s body - particularly her posture. Two areas that often get overlooked and under-treated in a postnatal exercise program are the chest and the upper back. During pregnancy, due to a growing belly and growing breasts, the shoulders tend to roll forward while the upper back rounds into a “slumped” position. The activities of childcare including nursing, changing diapers, rocking, picking up, and holding are all positions that encourage this forward, rounded position of the upper back, making it extremely difficult for new mothers to avoid. Anatomically, this incorrect posture is called kyphosis. Often when kyphosis is present, the muscles of the chest are tight (pulling the shoulders and back

forward) while the muscles of the upper back are weak (unable to pull the spine into an upright position). This incorrect positioning of the spine not only makes for not-so-pretty posture, it can also lead to inco rect body mechanics, upper back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder injuries. So, in spite of a woman’s best efforts to “get her body back” with a lot of abdominal and pelvic floor exercises she will be missing out on an extremely vital aspect of her postnatal exercise program - an aspect that will enhance all those abdominal and pelvic floor exercises by helping her to open her chest and strengthen her spine. Try these four simple chest opening and upper back strengthening exercises in addition to your other exercise routines.

Seated Chest Opener Sit comfortably on a mat with your legs crossed and your shoulders placed directly over your hips. 1.Inhale: Interlace your fingers behind your back with your palms facing up. 2.Exhale: Gently pull your hands down toward the floor, while you lift your chest and face up toward the ceiling, allowing the shoulder blades to draw together and arms to roll back. 3.Hold this position for 5 big, full breaths and then slowly release. 4.Repeat twice

TIPS: Think of only lifting your upper back, chest and face to the ceiling. Keep your abdominal muscles drawn in so that you do not over arch in your lower back.

Goal Post Sit comfortably on a mat with your legs crossed and your shoulders placed directly over your hips. Hold your arms directly in front of you parallel to the floor, with your elbows bent at a 90 degrees angle and your palms facing in toward your face. 1.Inhale: No movement 2.Exhale: Using the back of your shoulders, open your arms to the sides until the elbows are in line with the shoulders, allowing your shoulder blades to pull together and your chest to widen (pictured). 3.Inhale: Return to the starting position 4.Repeat 10 times

TIPS: Think of only moving at the arms and shoulders. Do not open or “pop� your rib cage or arch in your lower back while moving your arms. Keep your abdominal muscles drawn in and your back strong to maintain a straight position while the arms move. 17

Swimming Lie face down on a mat, with your arms extended out in front of you with your palms facing down. Gently draw your abdominal muscles in while you softly press your pubic bone down into the mat (this will help keep your lower back protected during the exercise). 1.Inhale: No movement 2.Exhale: Lift your right arm, head, neck and chest, and left leg off the mat while you firmly press your left arm down into the mat (pictured) 3.Inhale: Lower to the starting position 4.Exhale: Alternate sides and lift your left arm, head, neck and chest, and your right leg

TIPS: Think of lifting your arm from the back of your shoulder and your leg from your gluteal (bottom) muscle. Keep your elbows and knees very straight. Maintain a slight engagement of the abdominals through out the exercise. Keep your eyes on the mat (our toward the front of the mat) while you lift your spine.

Pressing Upper Back Extension Lie face down on a mat, with one hand over the other, elbows out to the side and the forehead resting on the hands. Gently draw your abdominal muscles in while you softly press your pubic bone down into the mat (this will help keep your lower back protected during the exercise) 1.Inhale: No movement 2.Exhale: Lift your head, then neck and then chest sequentially off the mat while you press your elbows, forearms and hands down into the mat (pictured). 3.Inhale: Return to starting position 4.Repeat 10 times 18

TIPS: Keep your eyes on the mat (out toward the front of the mat) while you lift your spine. Do not lift too high, as this exercise is intended to engage the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. As you lift imagine your chest being very open and wide. Maintain a slight engagement of the abdominals through out the exercise.

inspire to hope “Don’t Be Scared!” By Equalla Foster

Growing older each year, I have learned to embrace the beauty and mystery of aging. I remember when approaching 25, I was somewhat intimidated by the thought of being a quarter of a century old. All I could think about was “in five more years the big 3-0 would be knocking on my door, and then I will really be old!” Hilarious, I know. It is interesting how our minds can turn such a special occasion that should be pure joy, and celebrated with gratitude into a miniature horror flick. Being a mother, I love and enjoy watching my children grow right before my eyes. Childhood blossoming is a beautiful thing. The different stages of observation: cooing, babbling, crawling, learning how to walk, exploring, talking non-stop, and feeding curiosity, to name a few are all timeless, priceless, and irreplaceable moments in life. I am thankful that I get to witness and experience “life” with my children. Life is something that we should not take for granted. Marriage and motherhood with a little bit of maturing made my entrance into my thirties

an easier transition. With the gifts of being a wife and a mother I have found God-given strength, endurance, unlimited love, forgiveness, and willingness to make sacrifices for my family’s gain, to be far more rewarding and satisfying than any bonus, benefits package, or promotion that the corporate world could give me.

are better than the year before. Challenge yourself to embrace the entire package of YOU in your life. Let aging be one of your top picks of life’s courses 101. I have noticed that I feel younger and happier when I am not fighting against what is meant to occur. Embrace aging with grace. God has granted us with life. Life is a beautiful gift. I have learned to praise God EVERYDAY, and let His LOVE shine from within me. That is true beauty and the secret to aging gracefully: L-O-V-E.

Each second, minute, or hour that passes cannot be regained. Once time has expired it is gone forever forcing us to only move forward. With that being said, I have discovered to try not to waste any time on unnecessary things and people that could possibly destroy me or place me in an unmotivated and defeated state. Love yourself enough to remove them from your life. Celebrate your life. Age without terror! Do not put yourself in a box and do not allow others to label you. If I gave others permission to dictate my life I am confident that I would be in some serious trouble. Thank God for granting me wisdom and discernment in my life. We all have a PURPOSE in life. Each year, I pray your experiences

Thank you for reading and please do not let another moment go by without realizing you ought to be thankful and humbled by the wonderful opportunity to be “you in your life.” I hope you are recharged for your next adventure in your journey as a superb human called “woman.” Love and God Bless. 19


up and coming moms Checa Chic Boutique & Raquel Castillo Design My Name is Patty C heca Own Checa ch er of ic boutiqu e .I and have 2 Kids, An am Married, ais 15, & tian 10. I’v Sebase had my store for a 3 1/2 yea bout rs. Prior to my store “Boutique I did Parties” a nd sold in My Dream Salons. since I wa s a little g to always irl was own my o wn boutiq Store hold ue. My s many fu n events li “Girls Nig ke ht out”, N etworking Beauty ev e v ents, ents, Soc ial Media & more! I training, offer serv ices like P Styling, P ersonal ersonal S hopping, Make ove & Closet rs. Follow us on Fac & Twitter. e book, Website is coming!! X Patty oxo


n designCastillo bega l ue aq R , 08 In 20 tirely from n of jewelry en io ct lle co r he ing been dings that have to in rare vintage fin ed bl d re-assem jewelry re-imagined an er H t. orks of ar w d in -k -a of onees studio her Los Angel in e ad -m nd signs. is ha rse range of de ve di a rs fe of and striking n for creating ow kn is l ue Raq themes. s with original ce la ck ne r te clus ning coming and combi pp la er ov n Ofte therefore, different era’s, om fr s nt ne po e unique hed piece mor is fin e th g in mak es are . Raquel’s piec ng lli pe m co d an stalgia and bination of no m co a ly on t no an amazing t are bold with bu , ty ni er od m color sense. www.raquelcas



our picks For The Breast Feeding Mother

Undercover Mama tank tops

KoalaKin - Hands F ree Nursing P ouch

The versatile, reversible, shoulder strap free Bahboo Baby Wrap is a baby wrap, a nursing cover, and a baby blanket all in one!


KoalaKin is a soft carrier created to help moms nurse their infants hands-free. With its patented pouch and ergonomic shoulder straps, KoalaKin holds the baby’s weight, keeps her snug against moms chest, and helps moms relax and bond with their babies. Products Website

Undercover Mama tank tops are constructed of quality material and are made to last. Your Undercover won’t bunch up, slide around, or ball up after washing.They fit where you need them to while keeping you covered in style. The generous length allows you to tuck it in or go for a layered look. Why Moms Love Them: Super affordable compared to buying an entire nursing wardrobe! Easy to use and easy to clean! Keeps your belly and back covered in style while nursing your baby They add a slimming effect as undershirts (bonus!) Website:


pregnancy/ childbirth

Spring Cleaning 101 for the Expecting and New Moms! By: Shanon, Pregnancy/Childbirth Editor

As a mother, spring-cleaning has to be both one of my favorite things to do and one of my least favorite activities. I love it because it frees my mind up a little for the summer if I can get the house clean and organized. My brain somehow works better with organization! Are you like that too? I feel like it is a common thing among mothers… chaos breeds more chaos, am I right?

At the same time as loving regaining control of my house, I also loath springcleaning. The workload in front of me can seem enormous! “I have to get this whole house organized! I need to do this, and this, and this!” When you look at the big picture as whole, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed! The first step to any successful springcleaning operation, whether you are pregnant or not or whether you have a brand new bundle of baby to love on, is 26

to visualize the job in smaller tasks. Planning and taking things one step at a time will help you move along at a comfortable pace. If you are pregnant, and close to your estimated due date, in can be easy to jump from planned spring cleaning to nesting! Watch out for this! Nesting is something many women experience towards the ends of their pregnancies and if not harnessed in a healthy way, nesting can make for one tired mama! Planning ahead for these things can help you tremendously when it comes to sanely approaching spring-cleaning!

Product Recommendations: If you love natural cleaning products, that would be safe for both pregnant you and new babies then I have some unique and meaningful recommendations for you.

I love the Peaceful Housewife! If you go to you can find some one of a kind, awesome cleaning products made by a truly awesome lady! You can check the reviews section of her website and find numerous positive reviews on her products! Everyone loves her homemade laundry soap! She can whip her products for you with or without scents (close to 100!) to make them your own. Her products are also relatively inexpensive and can fit the budget of a new mama for sure If you like store bought products then you must check out Seventh Generation at www.seventhgeneration. From this mom to you‌ I have used these veggie products to get out some really tough set in stains from my carpet before, some too gross to talk about. If these products can clean up the toddler stains in my house, then you are sure to love them also. You can find these products at most grocery and department store across the US and Canada. Their mission is creating products that are both safe for the environment and safe for humans!

List O’ Saf ety Tips: -Pace your self -Rest often -No heavy liftin -No high clim g bing -Ask for h elp if you n eed it -Eat and st ay hydrate -Ventilate y d our cleaning -Use gloves sp ace and masks with chemic -Do not tou als ch your litt er box -Minimal to NO painting -Delegate y our oven cle aning Make sure to ask you r care prov questions or ider if you concerns be have any fore embar cleaning fest king on a sp ival! Remem ringber while cle portant to aning that stay health it y and feelin is imfeel, the m g good! The ore positive better you and product ive your ad venture will be!


up and coming

maman jolie

Maman Jolie is a maternity lifestyle brand. We create endless possibilities for women who want to embrace their curvy and sexy new silhouettes. Encouraging pregnant mommies and soon-to-bes to show off their baby bumps with confidence and poise, MJ crafts clothes for all occasions and particularly for the multitasking mom. Clever dress-up or -down essentials, thoughtful tailoring, luxurious fabrics, an eye for the most versatile prints, and comfort (above all!) is what defines Maman Jolie. Designed for chic mamans by a stylin’ momma out of Long Beach, California, Maman Jolie will stick by your side through pregnancy and beyond—and wants to help you make all the non-preggos covet your style. Sincerely, Melissa Botten Hickok (Wife, Mother, and Founder/CEO of Maman Jolie)



MAM product pick BabyBindle

we just LOVE the babybindle! Its great because you can attach it to your car seat and take it anywhere you need. We recommend this product to any new moms! I even use it when I take my toddler places and carry it on my wrist. 30


our inspiration Nurturing Your Soul Give Yourself At least 15 Minutes a Day: Some days 15 minutes seems like the unthinkable! We can barely get everything done in a day’s time, how can we possibly sacrifice 15 minutes for ourselves? Think of it as recharging time! Go for a walk, take a bath, or even just close your eyes and enjoy the silence. Any of these once a day and you’re guaranteed to be a lot happier, healthier, and more productive. Exercise/Meditation: Exercise is hard when you’re not feeling up to working out or your mind is racing with a mile long to do list, then meditation is most likely out of the question. But if you give yourself at least 10 minutes of movement or exercise each day, you will induce endorphins, boost your mood, and reduce stress. And who knows maybe you’ll find more time to workout longer since 32

you feel so great! Also don’t forget to breathe deeply! Sleep: Sleep is probably the number one thing mothers miss, crave, and want the most. Most of us can’t even remember the last time we had a night of uninterrupted sleep. Just the thought of eight hours of sleep would be a dream come true. Sleep is the most detrimental to our emotional, mental, and physical health and well being, without it, it can lead to weight gain, depression, memory loss, and low self-esteem. Why not try going to bed early tonight! Eating Well: Eating well is almost as important as sleeping. Fast food, high sugary and fatty foods can lead to weight gain, chronic illness, and disease. Focus on all the delicious and good for you foods for lifelong health and to stabilize energy.

Drink Plenty of Water: Drinking lots of water helps to flush your system of unwanted toxins and helps your body fight any illnesses lurking around the corner. Drinking 8-10 glasses a day will leave you focused, clear headed, and your skin beautiful and glowing. It will also help you to feel fuller throughout the day, making it easier to avoid over eating and snacking. Think drinking that much water is boring or tasteless? Try adding fresh strawberries, blueberries or slices of lemon or cucumber for taste. Connect with Friends & Family: Everyone needs a support system to be successful in life. Close friends and family give us love, a sense of meaning, and understanding. Without them there really is no meaning to life, nothing is more worthy than our loved ones. A person can not be truly successful and happy with out a root system beneath them to help guide them, share their tries and tribulations, and successes.

Search Your Soul: And lastly search you soul, really dig deep to find what you need for yourself. Do you really want that high paying, fast paced career or is staying home and raising your babies all you need? What makes you truly happy? What have you always wanted to try or pursue? What are you most passionate about? What do you need to accomplish to feel successful? Write down your short and long term goals. Now go out and conquer them! Make time for yourself and to nurture your soul, these seven ideas are bound to help rediscover, renew, and redefine you as a mother and a woman. Even if you only get to one or two a day, make a valiant effort to try to reach all seven every day and you and your family will be more grateful, happy, and successful. Eileen Caddy said, “All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself. All you have to do is be still and take time to seek for what is within, and you will surely find it.�


Betsy Rodriguez 949-633-6979

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nanny tips We Found the Perfect Nanny. Now What? By:Rebecca Stewart

Run a background check. I’m not referring to an “online, $10, background check.” I suggest hiring a professional background check company - where the checks are much more thorough and the cost is higher (hundreds of dollars typically). A reputable background check company I recommend is: PFC Information Services, •

paying weekly or bi-weekly? If your nanny stays overnight and/or travels with you, how will she be compensated? 3. Duties. What will be the nanny’s duties while on the job? Will you ask her to do laundry, dishes, cooking, grocery shopping, errands, etc.)? Be specific and come to an agreement with your nanny

Create a Work Agreement. Also known as a Nanny/Family Agreement. Included in this agreement should be:

on what her responsibilities will be. 4. Health and Emergencies. What to do and whom to call in regards to health and emergencies. 5. Holidays and Vacation time. Industry standard is 1-2 weeks paid vacation after the nanny has worked for the family for at least 1 year. 6. Mileage reimbursement. If the nanny is required to use her own car while on the job how will she be reimbursed? 7. Termination/Renewal. How much notice will be given by either party upon termination of the agreement, or upon renewing or changing the agreement in terms of salary, job description, or schedule.

1. The Nanny’s Work Schedule. The days and hours she will work and how she will be compensated if she works overtime. 2. Nanny’s Compensation. Are you



How To Choose A Summer Camp

Summer camp is an awesome time for kids to meet new friends, gain confidence and engage in new and exciting learning experiences. But, choosing one for your child is not easy. I am a big advocate for summer camp especially since I own one, but choosing one is not easy, especially since nowadays there are so many to choose from. Here are some things to think about and questions to ask, when choosing a summer camp for your child. Think about the type of experiences and skills you want your child to develop this summer. Many parents forget to think about the type of experiences that they would like for their child to have. But, summer camp is a great time to expand your child’s thinking, social skills, world knowledge, independence and self esteem. Don’t simply choose a summer camp out of convenience, choose one because of the impact that it will have on your child’s overall social, development. Below is the abbreviated list of the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary skills; these are known as SCAN 36

Skills. SCAN skills have been identified as necessary and critical for children to develop, so that they will thrive in an ever changing and complex world.

Ask yourself, “Where is the camp located, and what type of facility is the camp hosted in?”

Each summer camp is located in a unique location. Nowadays, you can find a summer camps hosted in art studios, at the beach, schools, ranches, and museums. Think about this when

choosing a summer camp. Has your child ever been to an art studio? If not, this summer would be a great time for you to give your child that experience. I’m certain that they will love it.

What level of engagement will my child experience? After you read each of the summer camp descriptions think about and ask yourself this question. What level of engagement will my child have if he or she attends this camp? Why is this question important? Simply stated, some camps are glorified baby sitting. You want your child’s sum-

mer to be filled with wonder, intrigue and creativity not with someone putting them in front of a movie, or a quick arts and crafts activity. What you really want to know is what will my child do at the camp? Who will be working with them? What will they learn, or produce at the camp? What is the ratio of campers to camp counselors? These are important questions to ask when deciding on the type of camp you will send your child to.

Decide with your child about the summer camp they are going to attend

If you have a younger child, choosing two or three camps that you feel comfortable with and then asking your child to pick one from the group is the best strategy. I would sit with them and go over the brochure or look at each website together. Tell them about the skills that you want them to work on. I will say that again; tell them about the skills that you want them to work on.

Fund Look at the list above amen tal Sk Basic ills: and think about 2 or Skills: metic Reads , a 3 skills that you want and s nd mathe writes, pe rf peaks matic al ope orms arit to work on with your h ration s, liste Perso nal Q ns child this summer. ualitie esteem s: Then, choose a integr , sociability Displays re s , ity a nd ho self-man ponsibility, agem nesty selfcamp whose ent, Think a n d in curriculum cisions g Skills: Th , solve inks c s to lea reativ matches with rn, a problems, nd re visua ely, make lizes, s asons your child’s know deFive s how Work place •Resou needs. Comp rce s: Id ete es re entifies, or ncies sourc ganiz es es, pla ns, an interp ersona d •Infor l: Wor matio k s w n: Ac quires ith others and u Syste ses in m forma tionsh s: Unders tands tion ips comple x inte Techn r-rela ology: Work nologie s with s a var iety o f tec hallocat


Children are thoughtful enough to make decisions based on what they need. But, if you don’t tell them what they are working on your child will make an arbitrary decision based on the look of the website, or maybe the name of the camp. Empower your child to be a decision maker who thinks things through and carefully arrives at a decision. Remember, sitting with your child, and collectively making a decision about summer camp is such a powerful experience for not only you, but for your child as well. When children choose, they have buyin, personal ownership and are inherently motivated to pursue the goal that they have set for themselves.



Our Mission: Our mission is for every Woman to be inspired from each other's past experiences both good and bad; encouraging them to exercise Self-Awareness & being open to receive wisdom & truth. Ultimately, empowering Women to Flourishe Emotionally, Spiritually and Physically. We look to create Stronger Women... Stronger Communities.... One Group at a time.

It’s time to Exhale! Now Booking for Southern California locations! Call for your free Consultation today: 818.392.4771


Our Spring pick for child Ouisr J rens clothin Spr oain h gLpiov g cke for child rens clothin is Joah Lov g e



food is mom

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

think a bad reputation. I Brussel sprouts have into ed ok co er s of being ov this stems from year ly, er op pr ed ok ss. When co a stinky, mushy me . they are quite divine them. orite ways to prepare This is one of my fav save to t firs ve microwa I par-cook them in the the in m the e. Finishing on overall cooking tim t! ee sw d an d all carmelize oven makes them ar ye of e tim y side dish an They make a fantastic . tive of holiday meals ica ind but are especially ted so good.

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megan gage A new baby often brings a lot of change. I knew this as I anxiously awaited the birth of my second child, a son, in 2009. Like many moms, I was fully prepared and had purchased every gadget and gizmo “needed” to properly care for an infant. Among my favorite things was the tiny wardrobe complete with matching everything. Within a few months, I began mixing a small amount of lotion with a drop of a pomade to create a simple curl on top of my son’s handsome little head. The 44

Hot Tot

classic look completed his perfectly planned outfits and attracted a lot of unexpected attention. Any time my family was in public, strangers would approach. It seemed that everyone related to my son’s timeless baby curl and I was constantly advising other moms on how to duplicate the style on their own baby. After six months of ongoing attention, I jokingly told my husband that someone should create a product to style infant hair. While I never anticipated being that someone, my husband was intrigued by the idea. The ever-thinking businessman and entrepeneur, he encouraged me to explore product development after each interaction with an interested stranger; this happened several times a week and became a constant topic of conversation. I was intimidated by the idea of starting a business, as my background

and heart had always been in social work. I was the primary caregiver to two children and was enjoying my time as a stay-at-home-mom. I didn’t know the first thing about running a business and certainly didn’t fancy myself an expert on children’s hair care. To appease my persistent husband, however, I began to research the idea. I stumbled upon some information that detailed the dangerous toxins found in common children’s personal care products. Outraged and completely shocked, I felt inspired to do better than some of the big companies that had mislead trusting moms for so long. Suddenly passion and motivation outweighed my fear and doubt and Hot Tot, my specialized hair styling line for children, was born.

I am not a branding guru or PR wiz. I created my company based on things that were important to me as a mom and hoped that others would respond. A Hot Tot is defined as a “confident and stylish youngster that gives to their neighbor and cares for our planet”. I hired the nation’s leading organic chemist to formulate safe, fabulous and effective styling products for children but also wanted my company to help make the world a better place. This concept had always been in the forefront of my professional pursuits and felt like a natural component of anything I was going to be involved with.

improve the health, safety, happiness or self-esteem of their little one.

Since launching my line in April 2011 I have learned many valuable lessons. All too often I hear other moms talk about their ideas but verbalize that they don’t know how to pursue them. I humbly offer the following advice:

- To actually do something is far more exciting than to just dream it. There is much satisfaction to be found in pursing something, regardless of the result. What better way to teach our tots to follow their dreams than to follow our own!?!

- When something is important, people will pay attention. Moms are experts on their kids and will respond if you offer them something that will

- Passion is a powerful motivator and can lead to things once believed to be impossible. A willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone can lead to wonderful opportunity and satisfaction. - Women support other women. Despite all the negative stereotypes, I have found tremendous support and encouragement from women. There is an unspoken circle of support available to anyone who seeks it out. Moms are rooting for other moms to succeed!


KK’s Infused

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Krystal Weishaup




SoCal’s Natural Beauty Pageant

How did So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant come about?

Some of my passions in life are: Music, Dance, Fashion & Entertainment. What some don’t know about me is previous to Flourishe I was designing lingerie, and producing exotic lingerie shows in premiere Hollywood & Beverly Hills venues with a company I ran called Lure Lingerie. I had SO MUCH FUN with that job...Building relationships with models and putting together shows that people loved watching was so invigorating to me! Things have definitely took a turn with this new transition in my life with creating and managing Flourishe. I remember sitting and trying to come up with an idea for an event to host and my main focus was to stick within the lines of everything Flourishe stands for: Empowerment, Inspiration and Community Service; and all I could think about was the excitement I had with my experiences with Lure Lingerie. Creating an opportunity for those girls to express themselves on stage, having fun being dolled up and fabulous....and DING....for some reason beauty pageants came to my mind. But the funny thing is...I never really liked pageants! I thought they were too primadonna, prissy and didn’t come off genuine to me. So off my mind went with creating something that i felt I would actually see myself participating in and others relating to. I’d like to say I created something like a “Beauty Pageant on muscle relaxers” yet one that is very Chic, Classy & most of all Entertaining! So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant is well-rounded in it’s presentations as it Empowers & Inspires not only our participants but our audience as well! -Cortney Ren’ae Producer/Director So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant You’ve never seen a Beauty Pageant Like ours! Check us out at


About our Pageant

natural development.

The beauty pageant market is growing exp onentially with annual numbers of 3 million for children alone. Th e numbers continue to increase. One ma jor concern is that the traditional beauty pageants breed narcis sism while others fee l it cultivates insecurity Critics feel that page . ants tip the scale of what is healthy for on e’s

Unlike many tradition al pageants, “So. Ca l’s Natural Beauty Pa emphasizes the imp geant” has a meaning ortance on key aspect ful purpose & s in life: Self-Love, Co beauty, Natural Beau nfidence & Acceptan ty. ce of our true Sadly, in today’s soc iety we are exposed to a great deal of info “Looks” to be HOT & rmation including ima what’ NOT. So. Cal’s ges of what Natural Beauty Page ant feels EVERYONE is HOT! “So. Cal’s Natural Be auty Pageant” is also very passionate abou porting Non-Profit Or t Community Service ganizations! We are and Supproud to say that all involved in various fun our participants agree draisers or events we to be actively choose to support thr oughout the year. The purpose of “So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant” is to promo tance for our “Natural te Self-Love, Confiden Beauty”. At the same ce & Acceptime we want to do ou munity and actively he r part in giving back lping to be of service to the comto improve our commu nities!

We have interviewed the girls and their mothers ; here are the questions we asked the girls: What is the Best Advice your Mom has given you to help you become the person you are today? How has being a 2011 titleholder for So. Cal’s Natural beauty Pageant made you a better person? What special message do you say to your Mom right now?

Mom Talk How did you feel watching your daughter participate in So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant, a pageant that stands for Selflove, Confidence, Acceptance for our natural beauty and service to our communities? What advice do you want your daughter to always remember?


Queen Dani Walker The best advice my mother has ever given me is to finish what I started. I truly believe that this value has contributed to my perseverance in life. I have set and accomplished many goals for myself and I have done so because I was able to work around obstacles that I faced. If it were not for my mom encouraging me to stick it out when things became difficult, then I would not be proud of the person I am today. I have been blessed with so many wonderful opportunities through out my year of reign, largely thanks to my wonderful pageant director Cortney Ren’ae. The way that I have grown over the past year, as a result of this experience is a significant one. With the support of Cortney, I have become grounded in the fact that I will become a singer. Singing is my passion and it takes confidence to be successful in the music industry. The best part of this experience was learning to love the person that I am and also to genuinely believe in my talents. I feel that my mom has given me all the tools and advice that I need to live a successful and purposeful life. I know how much she cares and loves me. So mom, I just want you to know that I got it from here. Thank you for everything you have done. I know you are so proud of me, support my ambitions, and you have done everything in your power to ensure my success.

Mom Talk I get excited because I get to watch her talents. Not only can she speak in front of large audiences but she sings, and models. I just love watching her perform. My advice to her is to always be kind and sensitive to other people’s needs.


Princess Christine Evans The best advice my mother ever gave me was that I should never let anyone tell me that I am not capable of anything I want to do. Always follow my heart and to work hard doing it because at the end of the day I am in control of my happiness and success. This has truly helped me through many of my obstacles in life. Becoming the 2011 Princess for So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant has really made me a better person all around. I don’t even know how to put it in words. It has given me a wealth of confidence that I am no longer shy to be outgoing and just be me. It opened my eyes to opportunities and reminded me that doing something small for the greater good is always a great outcome and amazing feeling. I no longer say something is impossible, but that I can make anything possible. I want to thank her for always keeping it real with me. I just want to thank her for always speaking her mind because that taught me to always be open to express my feelings.

Mom Talk It was so precious to me because as she walked the stage and I saw the crown placed on her head, I saw my little girl and thought about how she has always wondered what the world is really like, and my heart was just touched. It made me feel like I was going a great job She is beautiful and has a good heart. If a man truly cares about you, he will wait because she deserves the best.


Miss Walnut Rilesha

The best advice my mother has given me that has helped me to become the person I am today is to simply be myself. She empathized that being truthful, honest, and using realism is a true reflection of who I am as a person and people perceive me. Participating in the pageant has made me a better person by encouraging me to get actively involved in things I have a passion for. Gods blessed me with a voice to speak, educate, and communicate so I’ll plan to continue using it. What message I’d say to mother is that I’m so grateful and blessed to have her in my life as a mentor and role model. Words simply couldn’t express my appreciation and admiration for her. I hope that one day I will be able to provide the foundation my mother has given me to my children as well.

Mom Talk Very proud. Rilesha has always had vision and kind heart and passion for people and what she believes. The advice I want my daughter to always remember is that there are no limitation to her abilities and that the only inability would be the result of the possibility she never took advantage of. Be true to yourself, and for that she’s blessed and highly favored, for God is good.


Miss Orange Jenn The good you do for others will double fold for you. Traveling the country from California to New York and wearing my sash in other states and having children and adults ask me about my title, I was able to let them know that I was part of So Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant and telling them that all the Pageant title holder’s represent Self-Love, Confidence and Acceptance for Our Natural Beauty. I also told them that by being proud of who you are and always helping others will help in accomplishing their dreams. It was an awesome feeling to inspire others to believe in themselves. Thank you for being a huge part of my life and always believing in me.

Mom Talk Very proud, excited that her beauty was able to shine both inside and out, and grateful that she’s able to be a part of an empowering event. To Always be proud of who you are, stay genuine and sincere.


Miss Riverside Niya I am blessed to have a mother who has supported me in anything I have decided to do. There is not a day that went by that My mom has not made me feel loved. She has always told and showed me that you must love yourself, and with that, anything is possible! Knowing who you are, and Who’s you are (The Lords) makes it less likely you will fall for anything. So if you want to do something, DO IT, and have no regrets!! Being in this Awesome Pageant has opened opportunities for me to be a mentor to other young ladies. Teach them that Self-love is an Amazing feeling to possess that can not be bought or sold. It is an epic turning stone in your life when you realize it doesn’t matter what others might say, what matters most is what you think of yourself! You are unique and beautifully made just the way you are! To my beautiful, courageous, wonderful, loving, caring, gorgeous, hard-working, lovely, and God-Fearing Mother of Mine. I am truly honored to be your daughter. You have not only been an Amazing mother, but also an Awesome Mentor and Leader. I would not be the great woman I am if God did not send you here to guide me with your passionate and protecting love. As I grow and mature in life applying your words of wisdom, I pray to come close to being the remarkable woman you are! I love you dearly, you are my Angel on Earth!!

Mom Talk

I felt Godly proud of my lovely daughter who stands for being true to one’s self. She displayed confidence in who she is and who’s she is (a woman of God). She embraced her individuality and yet showed class and had fun throughout the pageant. With her life before and since the pageant,She still remains true to one’s self. I taught her humility and strength so I was so proud to watch her stand with so much dignity and confidence in herself. For Niya and every other young woman it is to Love God, love yourself and love your family. God said the greatest gift is love. True to God, true to yourself and true to everyone else. Forgive, let go and let God. Be that godly example and God will take care of you and everything else. Our family Motto has always been: Proverb ch. 3 verse 5 & 6. Trust in the Lord with your whole heart and lean not unto your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.

For more info go to



Our Jewlery Pick’s: Scarlet Samples


FROM BOO-HOO, TO THE AH-HA The Year Autism Kidnapped Me April is Autism Awareness Month. Let’s take a peek at this developmental disorder, through the journey of one mom’s personal story. BOO-HOO A is for Autism. Leaving the Regional Center with a diagnosis, given the signs this past year,was still a pill I couldn’t seem to swallow. I was alone on this one. Husband - not answering the phone. Called Mom, uttering what I heard from the Psychologist – HE HAS AUTISM.Driving down the 110 Freeway, no familiar destination, entering a fog, just as intense as our three year old D’Angelo is experiencing. It’s a surreal release, to finally get an answer. My husband didn’t want to believe there was anything wrong; sister kept pushing me to seek help. Both grandmothers knowing ‘something’ wasn’t right, hoping that I would listen to my motherly instincts and seek help. It wasn’t fair. “What’s your name, cutie?”, a stranger would ask…NOTHING. And if God doesn’t have a sense of humor – skip ahead one year, our younger daughter, Adalina, was also diagnosed with Autism. I knew what to look for, “the signs”, and found them in her! I’ve entered a 56

TORNADO! It’s swirling around me, I knew it would becoming, but thought I could just outrun the Autistic storm. Just take me, up, up and away. It will be a ride, and will I land safely, or will this twister just twist my brain into delirium. I’m somehow calm, sad, in shock, no time for rest. What NOW?! What can a mom do but seek advice. AH-HA

B is for Breakthrough. They will recover, will speak, will come out of the fog. I have Jenny McCarthy and Generation Rescue to thank for this, and a friend who posted on my Facebook page, a video of Esther Hicks speaking about autism in children. I didn’t reply to the post, because I didn’t want my friends and family to see that I acknowledged the video and relate it to/label our kids somehow. Simply ridiculous. I discovered, there are DAN! Doctors who advocate ways to recover our children. The Defeat Autism Now (DAN!) project, created by the Autism Research Institute, created an approach to autism treatment called the “DAN! protocol”based on the biomedical theory of autism. Many parents believe that DAN! doctors are the best doctors often prescribe

treatments/diets that mainstream doctors question. With nothing to lose, my husband and I changed their diet, went gluten and dairy free - WHALLAHH: both children displayed signs of recovery within a couple weeks. More eye contact, calmer, and repeating words: “Oh My God”, says D’Angelo, one night. This would normally be rowned upon coming from a three year old, but, it was a blessing, after he heard me say it reacting the “lake” on the bathroom floor,

caused by his overflowing bathtub fun. “Oh My God” – THANK YOU for opening our eyes, and leading us on this path of healing and recovery.


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This Mom’s Advice…

Divine Spirit will never give us anything for which we cannot handle. Listen to your ‘motherly instinct’ – it provides all the answers you need. Leanna Rodgers is a Wife, Mother of 3, Author of The Year Autism Kidnapped Me, Owner of PregoArt – an interactive art experience for pregnant women, Actress/Vocalist, Managing Partner of – offering custom wine tasting tours/events, and Consultant in international tours with the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. She is also a health proponent and Consultant with Isagenix – world leader in wholebody nutritional cleaning,cellular replenishing & youthful aging. For More Info, visit:

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community support ARE YOU SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES?? By: So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant “It’s such a pleasure and an honor to be a new editor for Mom’s Advice Magazine!! You might be wondering what a “Natural Beauty Pageant” would be writing about in a Mom’s Magazine right? Well it’s definitely NOT about pageantry….HAHA. So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant stands strong & committed to being of service to our communities! We are proud to say that all our participants in our pageant agree to actively be involved with supporting Non-Profit & Community Organizations through out their reigning year. Supporting So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant means supporting our Communities!

In our articles we aim to inform you on the organizations providing NECESSARY services to our communities that NEED YOUR SUPPORT! “ ---> In 2011 alone our pageant supported the following causes:

1.Education Crisis: Entered & Won a Giveaway from CNN Hero Bruno Serato worth $4k for our 2011 Charity Group Bright Path Children’s Center. Bright Path Children’s Center offers programs designed to increase youth performance and behavior socially and academically. Bright Path Children’s Center is a 501 (c)(3) organization. How can you support them? Visit them at to find services/programs you can support & to make your tax-deductible donation.

2. Lupus Awareness: We supported the Purple Rose Foundation at the Walk for Lupus 2011. The Purple Rose Foundation is committed to spreading awareness about Lupus disease and providing support to those who have it. How can you support them? Visit them at for scholarship information to make a donation.


3. Breast Cancer Awareness: We attended the Susan G. Komen “Circle of Promise” event at Long Beach City College in support of Changing Shoes. Changing Shoes is dedicated to serving women in underserved areas in Southern California. They aim to help women educate and empower themselves through workshops on breast cancer, domestic violence, financial literacy, and other women’s issues. How can you support Changing Shoes? Visit them at to stay informed on their events & to make your donations. 4. Empowering Youth through Performing Arts: We sponsored Jouissance of Expression’s “Christmas with Class” 2011. Jouissance of Expression’s mission is to create an avenue for freedom of all types of expression while offering mentorship through workshops designed to help the our Youth “open up”. How can you support them? Visit them at to keep up with their events and to make your donation.

--> Another great opportunity to showcase some beneficial organizations… making a difference in the communities was offered by Flourishe –A Women’s Empowerment Organization; in what they like to call the “Empowerment Lane. The Empowerment Lane is dedicated to supporting Non-Profit & Community Organizations by featuring them in various Flourishe events as Vendors. Because you don’t usually see informative tables amongst the featured “shops, boutiques & businesses.” “We believe that supporting our Community Organizations that are Empowering our communities is just as important, if not MORE important than simply shopping. So now we can do all this at once and make it a FULL & complete experience.” –Flourishe Here are some of the organization featured in the Empowerment Lane Feb.12th at Family Fun Day! My Genesis Kit : Preparing young girls & their parents for the inevitable… their menstrual cycle! The “My Genesis Kit” for girls is a beautiful, discreet and compact bag equipped with information, tips and supplies for girls beginning their journey into womanhood! This kit contains information & tips, a calendar tracker, a little pink panty bag (to keep an extra pair…just in case), two regular pads, two thin pads, two feminine wipes, a “my beginning” bracelet towear with pride, and a beautiful, compact bag to carry it all. For more info and to get your kit visit:


C.U.S.P.: Committed to Uplifting Single Parents: C.U.S.P.’s mission is to empower and assist single parents with the difficult challenges of parenthood through a range of financial and social services which will allow them to provide safe and loving homes for their children. C.U.S.P. (Committed to Uplifting Single Parents) is a nonprofit organization providing a range of social and financial programs for single parent families in the Greater Los Angeles area and its surrounding communities. For more info visit them at: Package of Prevention: Educating people about the importance of cancer prevention and early detection. Package of Prevention’s mission is to increase the number of individuals being regularly screened for cancer each year by encouraging them to be proactive and educated when it comes to their health. For more info visit them at: Until next time folks….we look forward to sharing more of the greatness happening in our communities with you! For more info on “So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant” visit

Flourishe -A Women’s Empowerment Organization is a social enterprise working to Empower Women to be their very best. We want to see Women Flourishe not only for themselves but for our children & our Communities! One of our Social Empowerment events is So. Cal’s Natural Beauty Pageant. The purpose of our pageant is to promote Self-Love, Confidence & Acceptance for our true beauty, “Natural Beauty”. At the same time we do our part in giving back by supporting Non-Profit & Community Organizations while actively helping to improve our communities through service! Visit us at

Visit us at: “Like” us at: “Follow” us at: Watch our Videos at: 60

events Family Fun Day


events Family Fun Day Lisa Keating demonstrates how to cook a crock of oatmeal for California Living on This tip is super easy and tastes amazing. To keep calories down omit the whipping cream and replace with water. You’ll get all of the heart healthy benefits of oatmeal and it will still taste great. Your family will love it, too! This recipe for oatmeal transforms overnight from water and oats to a warm, filling, heart healthy breakfast your whole family will love. I embellish the recipe by substituting heavy cream for 1/4 cup of the water. The cream definitely reduces the heart healthy aspect of eating oatmeal – so please omit this step or use non-fat, almond or soy milk if heart health is a concern. I’m not a doctor, so please talk to yours if you are looking for medical advice! (end of disclaimer). I use pure, natural vanilla – a cap full, real cinnamon sticks, organic, Blue Agave syrup (feel free to replace with your favorite sweetner) and McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal. 62

Photo of McCanns OatmealI’ve included links for your convenience. These are the actual brands that I use. I’m loving the versatility of the Agave syrup/nectar. You can use it on pancakes, in a pinch and it works well as a sub for honey. It’s a lot like corn syrup in consistency and comes in flavors, too. You may have noticed in the video, C & H (famous for their sugar) is even offering organic agave syrup. The link takes you to a special on Wholesome brand Organic Raw Blue Agave, which is what I usually buy, but Smart & Final didn’t carry it and I was shocked (and grateful because I didn’t want to make another trip to the store) to find that C & H had an agave sweetener on the shelf!

Oh, and the Rum Pot! Well, it’s just amazing and is often served over ice cream around this time of year. I first tasted this in Switzerland after a dinner of traditional cheese fondue at a restaurant slash farm in the coutryside. Ever since then, I dreamed of making this for myself. It only took about 20 years or so! Anyway, you have to start it in the summer. The batch that we are enjoying now started with homegrown and farmer’s market fruit a year and a half ago. It’s finally fit for consumption and it turns my oatmeal into something you could almost serve for desert! Think bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Remind me and I’ll share the how to next summer.



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