Top 10 Most-Read MomViews

Top 10 MomViews ListIt has been six months since I started the MomViews series and I love each segment so much that if I had to choose one it would be difficult. According to my website stats, the majority of the series made the top of my all-time most views, but I will be highlighting only the top 10 in this post.

The first half focus on the importance of family. From coming into a new family to starting your own, these women shared their insights on their daily lives. The remaining half shares insights on dealing with changes.

Top 10 MomViews List

1. Life As A ‘Bonus Mom’ 
2. Doing It On Your Own
3. Experiencing Childbirth After Your 20’s
4. Helping Other Families
5. How To Keep A Positive Mind When Moving To Another State
6. Coping With Autism
7. Raising A Healthy Family
8. Taking Time Out
9. Supporting His Passion
10. Becoming A Mompreneur

Understanding Family Roles
For Heather Wilson, a military wife who married into a beautiful family of girls, motherhood is all about enjoying her time as a bonus mom, because as Wilson says, “steps are for staircases.” She shared her thoughts in a recent post on this new journey in her life with no regrets.

But sometimes, you are on your own and being a single mother means you take on two roles. Blogger and consultant Natasha Peter knows the ins and outs of being a single parent, and how critical it is to have close family and friends.

Being a first-time mom can be tough. Regardless of age, it is a new experience with lots of lessons to be learned. Writer Carmen ShuGar discussed her thoughts on becoming a mother after your 20’s, and reminds moms everywhere not to forget about themselves. After all, “you existed before the baby and you still exist post-baby.”

Selfless Acts Of Kindness
Most moms come into the role of motherhood without experience, and even when you have helped raise other family members, having your own child is a different experience. One thing moms share is the need to help others.

When you can assist other families who have dealt with loss, it is very rewarding to see the smiles on their faces. Pamela Macdonald and her husband recently launched Project Lead Kindly to help make a difference in the lives of families who are victims of domestic violence and poverty.

Thinking about what is best for your family can sometimes feel like moms find themselves in second place, and at times, in last. One mom traveled the world with her husband and created family. She shared tips on to keep a positive mind through all this. Her thoughts hit close to home, because as most of you know I recently left my comfort zone to have a better life for my little family.

Expecting The Unexpected
Being pregnant is a scary stage, you never know what to expect. One of the moms I recently interviewed shared misconceptions of autism and how she and her family cope with it.

Hardships are always accompanied by good, at least that is one of the lessons I have learned in life. For some families good means giving someone else (or five) a chance to experience a new lifestyle. Allison Barberi and her husband have a total of 12 children, and have taught them the importance of healthy living.

Living The Dream
One of my high school friends even joined in and shared her experience with supporting her husband’s passion and how he has helped motivate her to start a business.

In a recent MomViews segment, I interviewed Ariana Monique Almonte, a mother who is in the beginning stages of becoming a mompreneur. She has since made progress and is working with 3BeesTV on a new series.

I am so proud of all the moms and their hard work!
Every mom (and dad!) deserves a great, big hug! <3 

Teachings Tuesday: Some Days Are Just Wacky

Sebastian and RockyWhen the weather is a bit wacky, you should expect your little one to be the same. At least that is our situation today.

On gloomy days, Sebastian likes to sleep in. Today is a gloomy day but Sebastian refuses to take his usual mid-morning/early-afternoon nap. The good news is I am able to clean while he is awake. This is usually a big no-no in his book. When he is up, he likes all the attention on him, and occasionally on Rocky. ;)

To keep my wild child calm, I like to read him a story. Sometimes he even walks up to the shelf a picks out a book. Although we have variety of books on our shelf, Sebastian seems to be drawn to Dr. Seuss & His Friends. I think it has to do with all the bold colors and hearing me read all the tongue twisters in Hop on Pop. Have you ever tried reading that one out loud to your child? It is quite entertaining, not only for your little one, but you definitely get a laugh.

Dr. Seuss and His Friends offer going on at Earlymoments.com:
You can order 5 books for the price of one and have it shipped to you for free!

Dr Seuss and His Friends MTME

Baby Registry Must-Haves

Baby Registry Items

Note: All items can be purchased through Amazon by simply clicking the product images. Happy shopping!

Finding the right items for your baby registry just got easy. I recently shared four things to keep in mind when setting up your baby registry. Today, I share the products that are not only useful to your newborn, but will grow with him/her every step of the way. Below are five essential items for your baby registry:

1. Graco SmartSeat All-in-One Seat

Graco SmartSeat All-in-One Car Seat

Yes, this one was a bit expensive, but it will be the only car seat your child will use. I chose it because it not only saved me money, but it comes from a trusted brand. Note: It does not have handle bars. Although I am perfectly fine with this, some parents like to carry the carseat everywhere. 

2. Graco DuoDiner Highchair

The one I chose works well for a little boy or little girl. It has multiple uses and is so easy to clean, that is a plus in my book! The back of the chair works as a storage space once your baby is old enough to properly sit up all the way.

3. Summer Infant Four Stage Deluxe Baby Bath & Shower

This item was purchased by his godmother, and I am so thankful for it! My son is one and I have been using this since he was born. I will admit that I have never used the shower piece.

4. Infantino Twist n’ Fold Gym

My son used this more as an infant. Now, he uses the pieces, i.e. the pillow and mat, to play. He loves to throw the pillow around. I love how this toy can be broken down into pieces and is easy to carry as well.

5. Arm & Hammer by Munchkin 3-in-1 Potty Seat

We are in the beginning stages of potty training and he is  so curious about this new toy we have placed in his bathroom. It can be broken into parts and be used on a regular toilet once he is old enough to sit himself. Also, it duals as a step.

Are there any other items you would add to this list? 

Motivation Monday: Remember How You Felt

How you feel

Every day gets a little bit easier. Sebastian is now a one-year-old, and is wilder than ever. Although he can be a handful, I always try to remember that he is just exploring the world around him.

As he continues to grow I think of the many things he has left behind, such as his swing, walker and more. His glass bottles are no longer a chore. Boiling them every single day to make sure he did not catch an infection, and I cannot forget the pump! Rushing home from work to pump breast milk during my lunch hour was not fun. Eventually I gave in and let my dad give him formula.

All this no longer matters. At least, it does not seem to matter to Sebastian. He has passed these stages. Slowly perfecting his walk, getting closer to a run and then he is off to more important things. Lately, climbing is one of his favorite things to do. Climbs on the couch, on the speakers, and as of late, the bed. The smile on his face once he reaches his destination is priceless, and very much inspiring. I hope to always have that same smile when the day ends. As tired as I am from chasing him around to make sure he does not upset the pup I have to smile at the little things because one day all these tired nights and all the madness will no longer matter. The things that will are his happiness, what he has learned, and most importantly, how much we have loved him. I know he is aware of how much we care about him — heck, I sometimes hold him a little too tight when we hug because he has completely changed my life. And for that, I am forever thankful.

I hope you and your little one(s) are having a wonderful Monday! <3

IMACS Giveaway: $25 Amazon eGift Card + Mathematics Enrichment Program Enrollment

IMACS Giveaway
Now that most school have an emphasis on teaching memorization of formulas and facts for standardized testing as opposed to teaching students how to think logically or creatively, it is nice to have a resource like, Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science, IMACS

IMACS offers a Mathematics Enrichment program (1st-6th), Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics (3rd-9th), University Computer Science (7th-12th), University Mathematics (8th-12th), Hi-Tech Summer Camp (entering 1st-12th), Homeschool Program (1st-9th; Logic Puzzles, Computer Programming & Virtual Robotics, Electronics, Beginning Chess, Serious Fun, Right-Brain Combo) which are all designed to expand your child’s mind through the development of critical thinking, logic and reasoning skills.

Unlike tutoring, IMACS doesn’t drill what your child is already learning in school. IMACS aims to take your child’s knowledge deeper and teach him or her how to develop critical thinking skills and a genuine understanding of the logical reasoning process required to solve real problems, math or otherwise. This is great because it teaches your child(ren) the skills needed to solve the kinds of complex problems found in virtually every career field.

IMACS challenges each student by ability level, not by age which is why they offer a FREE, one-hour placement class that is used to determine your child’s starting point (Don’t worry it’s not a test).

They don’t bore children with repetition and memorization, they make it fun by using a curriculum filled with games, puzzles, virtual robotics, and other engaging activities.

IMACS has locations in Aventura, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Weston.

They also offer pull-out or after-school classes for students who attend American Heritage (Plantation), Pine Crest (Boca Raton), Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale), The Sagemont School (Weston), University School (Davie), St. Mark’s Episcopal School (Fort Lauderdale), Hochberg Preparatory (Aventura) and Weston Christian Academy (Weston).

A schedule of their classes/programs can be found here: http://www.imacs.org/class-schedules/after-school/

Now on to the Giveaway…

IMACS is giving away a $25 Amazon.com eGift Card AND (1) enrollment in the second quarter of its Mathematics Enrichment program (this 8-week quarter starts the week of November 10th and has a prize value up to $575). The winner may choose to attend classes at any of IMACS’ five South Florida teaching centers and your child will need to attend a FREE placement class so that IMACS can place them in the correct level of instruction.

Disclaimer: No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for prize fulfillment. Teach Me 2 Save is NOT responsible for prize fulfillment. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. For questions or to see your product featured in an Event you can contact Leanette (at) TeachMe2Save (dot) com

Creating Your Baby Registry

Baby Registry
If you are like me, you typically buy anything and everything you need. So, maybe a baby registry is pointless, right? Wrong.

Yes, you can go ahead and save money to buy your own items, but it would be cheaper if your family and friends pitched in to purchase the items for you. People in your life are going to ask what items you will need for your little one. Sharing a link to a list of items is much easier than explaining to them that you want the Graco SmartSeat in Rosin, nothing else because it just won’t match your child’s theme. I know. I did that!

Everything that was in my registry I have used at least once with my son. But, there are items I regret adding to the list. To help you avoid these mistakes, I have put together a list of necessary baby items your little one will love as he/she continues to grow. But first, let us discuss setting up your baby registry.

Your Baby Registry Awaits!
If you no longer doubt that you need a registry, then you have come to the right place. I have seen baby registries with “useless” items that can easily be replaced with everyday items, e.g. the body pillow. You could use a bunch of pillows that you already own to do the same. When I finally convinced myself that a baby registry would be not only helpful for me but also for my baby shower guests, I did some research, consulted some friends and co-workers to see what retailers would be best. And yes, I did decide on more than one registry. I will explain why below.

Here are 4 tips to creating an awesome registry that saves you time and money:

1. Choose your retailer(s).
Just because I chose to have family and friends purchase items for my son’s arrival did not mean I wanted them to spend all their money. I chose Amazon, Babies ‘R’ Us and Target because they had the best prices, plus I frequently shop at these retailers. If you also choose more than one, I suggest doing a little price comparison to help your family and friends save. Hint: Babies ‘R’ Us and Target will give you discounts after your baby’s arrival date has passed for left-over items. 

2. Load up on items.
If you know the brand of diapers you want to use, ask for stacks of them! You can even sign up for freebies and trials:
Huggies (Free samples of diapers and wipes)
Honest (Free-trial)

3. Think of quality.
You want to best for your baby, and sometimes that means digging a little deeper into your savings. Before you make the purchase, ask other parents for their opinion on the brands and/or products.

4. Search for the best online reviews.
Although it may feel as though you are alone on this journey, remember there are thousands of moms who went through the same feelings. If you like a brand or product that your friends do not necessarily know much about or do not highly recommend, check out what other parents have to say about it.

I hope these tips help. Have fun setting up your baby registry! 

Motivational Blog Tools

Motivational blog toolsThere comes a time in your life when you do not feel motivated to write. It is no longer a writer’s block issue, it is simply lack of motivation to keep going. Whenever I am faced with these moments I like to think of new ways to rework my blog and think of new ways to engage my readers, and most importantly, keep myself entertained as well.

I am a visual person — always have been. So when it comes to reworking my blog, it usually means a new look and image ideas. When I first started this tips series it was focused on moms. I had introduced it at a time when people were posting on Instagram about “what so-and-so be like.” You know, “Dominicans be like…” or “Spanish people be like…” Being a first-time mom, I wanted to create content that would help other moms in my position. Someone I knew personally made a comment about how I had just given birth and “considered myself an expert.” Although I should not have let her ignorance get to me, it did.

I started this blog to document my personal experience, hence the name: “Motherhood Through My Eyes.” I learned a valuable lesson after removing the person from my Instagram page. The truth is, not everyone is going to be happy for you. There will be people who are miserable with their own lives and they want to bring down your shine. The best thing to do is dismiss negative people from your life and continue to do whatever it is that makes you smile. For me, it is working on my blog and connecting with the online mom community.

Keeping Up With Your Blog
To help keep me motivated during the week, I like to look at my blog stats and pay close attention to the types of posts that get the most views and where they come from. This helps me better understand my readers. Yes, this blog is about my life with my little family, but occasionally I will throw in some posts that benefit the reader, such as tips.

WordPress has pretty detailed stats, but I also like to look at clicks on my Facebook page and Twitter posts. On Facebook, I use the Facebook Insights tab and click on individual posts to see how many clicks they received. As for Twitter, I like to use custom links from bitly to track clicks and where these clicks occur.

Scheduling posts is always fun when you have so many ideas in mind. I originally started a spreadsheet on Google Drive to help track my MomViews series. With time, I began to miss writing things down on paper. I thought of my school years and how much I loved having a planner. So, I headed to Target and picked one up. I chose a small planner that I could take with me wherever I go. Although I do use my phone to “jot” down ideas, I like to brainstorm with future posts and upcoming events with my planner. Also, by having a planner I am a lot more organized.

Creating Images
I love to use images to accompany posts because it helps tell the story. They are typically photos I have taken with my iPhone and I add text with Keynote or PicLab. There are moments I create images from scratch, e.g. the image in this tips series. There is also Canva, another free option that can beautify your blog and even your social media sites.  Whatever image you decide to use, make sure it helps your post.

If you need expert advice contact a graphic designer. Since my brother is a graphic designer, I usually consult with him whenever I have a question.

Draft It Up
Whether you are at an event or conducting an interview, sometimes people speak faster than you are able to write. For these moments, I like to use the Evernote App. It is easy to use and integrates with your computer, mobile phone and tablet. The best part is you can record audio while typing away some notes. If you are at an event and would like to share the knowledge on social media, you can also try these tips I mentioned here.

With the Evernote App, you can send your notes (audio included) from your phone or tablet directly to your email. If you already have the app on your computer you can just open your account to access a previously recorded note.

If you need an extra set of eyes to review your draft, use the Hemingway App. The app helps clarify your points and makes it easier to read for your followers.

Do you have any tools that motivate you?