Bilingual Parenting Journey: Meet The Saint-Lo’s

Bilingual Parenting - The Mother OverloadThis week, I’ve teamed up with my bilingual mamá friend Kris and her family of three. Kris shares with us a little about herself, family plus a great stress-free tip on how to teach kids a second language.

TMO: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

Kris: Hi, I’m Kris! I’m a stay-at-home mom from Montreal, where I share a home with my very free-spirited 5-year-old son, Jude and my fiancé, Erich. When we aren’t outside playing like monkeys at the park or exploring our city, we are home dancing to some tunes on the record player with the floors covered in Thomas the engine and his friends. Mom life, right!?

I also have a lifestyle blog called, Motherhood in Stilettos. What was once just a platform being used as form of self-expression, it quickly turned into a place where I help busy mamas cook up vegetarian recipes without breaking a sweat and I share some candid stories about motherhood. I also sneak in a bit of my favorite beauty products here in there.

TMO: What made you decide to teach your child a second language or multiple languages?

Kris: Being Haitian and Hungarian, I was raised in a multilingual family, but English and French were the dominant languages. Living in a French-speaking province and attending French school, I always knew that I was going to raise Jude with two languages like I was. I believe that by raising our child bilingual, will set him up for success. It will be helpful for his career, as well as traveling the world…If he decides to.

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TMO: Does your significant other also speak more than one language at home? If so, do you feel it has helped your child in learning another language?

Kris: My fiancé was also raised in a multilingual home, with German, English and French. Unfortunately, he doesn’t speak German (shh! Don’t tell him I said that), but he is bilingual like myself. We have always been on the same page when it came to raising Jude bilingual, so it’s great to have to the two of us teach him and help him along.

TMO:What are some roadblocks/struggles you’ve encountered along the way?

Kris: Jude isn’t your typical dude. A little after he turned one, we knew that he was a little different from most babies his age. He wasn’t responding to his name much and by 2 years old he regressed in his speech. Around this time last year, he was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Having a big speech delay, proved to be very difficult to teach him a second language when he already had a hard time learning his mother tongue. I thought it was going to be impossible to teach him French, but even though he isn’t exactly bilingual, we found a way to teach him that works.

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We don’t speak to him in full sentences in French, instead, we teach him key words in both languages. For example, when we ask him to sit down, we also say it in french “assieds-toi”. We built a habit of that and now he repeats it on his own and can pick up the word when someone else uses it. This will help him greatly for when he will attend a bilingual school, where they alternate between English and French.

TMO: What’s a tip you can give parents that are currently trying to teach their children more than one language but are finding it to be too difficult?

Kris: If your child can’t pick it up now and it’s become stressful, don’t give up! Find a fun way to teach them. One of the best ways is using your child’s interests. Jude LOVES trains! We’ve taught him almost everything that he knows by using them. He’s learned his colors, numbers, alphabet and shapes.

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Bilingual Parenting - The Mother Overload

TMO: Je vous remercie Kris for opening up about your bilingual parenting journey. Such a great idea to get kids interested in another language through their own interests. Absolutely love that Jude has learned so much via his train toys. That’s just brilliant! Way to go mom and dad.

Stop by Kris’ beautiful blog Motherhood in Stilettos to see her latest vegetarian recipes and candid stories about motherhood.

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

For The Love Of The Journey

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The following content is for readers 21+

Our love journey actually began 16 years ago while attending college. It was definitely love at first sight when we locked eyes. The whole butterflies in your stomach, harps playing in the background type of moment. I know, I know, cheesy right? But so memorable. I knew instantly he was ‘the one.’ And once I found out we had the same exact last name it was pretty much a done deal. No need to go through the hassle of changing my last name? Sold! I kid. Not about the last name though. And if you’re wondering, no relation whatsoever.

Fast forward to being married with two kids later; it’s certainly been quite the challenge. Because let’s be honest, it’s so hard to make time for one another post kids. For that very reason, we’ve made it a point to focus on our journey as a married couple. We love our children dearly but they too will one day grow, move out and possibly start a family of their own.

So here are our top three must-haves to keep ‘the happy’ in our marriage.

Short Weekend Getaways

Now that we have two little ones, we can’t be away for more than two days, tops. Leaving for just a couple of days every other month allows us to reconnect with each other. Not to mention, gives us some shut-eye. Our infant is still waking up every two hours on the dot at night. Help!

Do Something Nice For One Another

Whether it be cooking or picking up a favorite meal just because or watching one of his/her favorite movies for the 100th time, do it.  This will surely add happiness to your marriage cup.

Weekly Date Night

Easier said than done but it’s not impossible. If you have family nearby that can babysit your littles, consider yourself very lucky and pretty much set. Another option would be the close friend babysitting swap.  This is not only genius but also inexpensive.

Our date nights usually include trying out new local restaurants, checking out comedy acts or hanging out at our local wineries. Because you know, good food, laughter, and wine just go really well together. And we love wine so much so that we had our wedding reception on a mountain top overlooking a vineyard. Winery-wedding-temecula

So this summer, we’re celebrating our 6th wedding anniversary and our journey with Wente wine.Wente-Wine-Vineyards-Our Journey-Marriage

Wente Vineyards has been growing and producing premium California wines and along the way have influenced California viticulture through contributions such as the Wente clone of Chardonnay. It’s now estimated that over 80% of California Chardonnays are derived from this Wente clone. But all of this is simply a result of their continued pursuit of quality and excellence, and is what’s celebrated with “Love of the Journey”. As they say, “We don’t make wine because we have to, we do it because we love to.” — Wente Vineyards

Wente Vineyards produces a fine collection of Estate Grown, Small Lot, Single Vineyard, and Limited Edition wines. Click here to see the entire collection and pick one out that you’ll love.

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This guy always manages to crack me up. His facial expressions and movie quotes still get me every single time.

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Wente-Wine-Our Journey-Marriage

Abrazos (Hugs)– Gladys

Chile-lime Watermelon Popsicles

Tajin-Watermelon-pops-disneyWhat fruit comes to mind when you think about summer? Ok – aside from pineapple and perhaps coconut. Watermelon for sure, right? It’s so refreshingly good during hot summer days.

These watermelon popsicles are by far the easiest thing I’ve ever made in our kitchen. Not to mention, they’re on the healthy side. Your kiddos will surely love them too as the seasoning is not too spicy but rather adds just a hint of chile and combines sweet, sour, and salty taste elements all in one treat. 

Mia, our 4-year-old, doesn’t eat spicy foods but loves Tajin. As you’ll notice, she likes to eat the chile seasoning part first.

Tajin-Watermelon-pops-disneyOnly two ingredients are needed to make these tasty popsicles; a seedless watermelon and Tajin. Tajin is a seasoning that contains chile peppers, sea salt, and lime. I definitely can’t get enough of this stuff. We add it to fruit salads and even sprinkle it onto grilled corn-on-the-cobb. It takes me back to my childhood years when we would visit our family in Mexico during summer break and we’d eat or rather slurped down spicy Lucas candy and mangoneadas (traditional Mexican treat that combines mango sorbet with chamoy, lime, chile, and salt).

 

Chile-lime Watermelon Popsicles

Chile-lime Watermelon Popsicles

Ingredients

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Tajin

Instructions

  1. Slice watermelon into rectangles.
  2. Place popsicle sticks into each rectangle.
  3. Sprinkle Tajin seasoning at the ends of each popsicle.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
http://themotheroverload.com/chile-lime-watermelon-popsicles/

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Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

3 End of Summer Fashion Must-Haves

 

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Skirt: Banana Republic $14.99 | Heels: Steve Madden Nude Pumps $99 | Blouse: Chambray (old) | T-Shirt: TJ Maxx $9 | Sunnies: Forever21 $5.90

End of summer brings warm days and cooler nights which makes putting outfits together tons of fun. It also means that fall is fast approaching and layering will be my new best friend. Who’s ready for fall?

Bright Skirts

Love wearing bright airy skirts during the end of summer. It’s sorta my farewell to summer and hello to fall. I paired this Banana Republic skirt with a long sleeve button down chambray blouse and heels for a quick dinner date with mi amor. Oh and the skirt was less than $15 (an additional 50% off sale price online). Best find ever!

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End-of-summer-must-haves-banana-republicGingham Prints

Gingham prints are my absolute favorite to wear during fall. Perhaps it’s because it reminds me of picnics and having that perfect weather to be outdoors all day.  The print on this dress is perfect. Plus, the style is a great transition from summer to fall. Just add a blazer or leggings with booties for cooler days. And the button up part makes it a breeze to nurse my 7-month-old. I scored this one at TJ Maxx for less than $20. I also found a similar one at Macy’s for $69.99. Love wearing this casual dress with my red Converse. Definitely, an ideal outfit to chase after my soon-to-be kindergartener (sigh! they grow so fast) or in this case, carry around my monkeys at the zoo!

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Maxi Dress

And who doesn’t love a comfortable yet flattering maxi? They’re perfect to wear out during warm sunny days and brisk nights. This one is currently on repeat because navy and white stripes, hello! TJ Maxx for the win again!

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So there you have it. Three end of summer fashion must-haves. What are some of yours? 

Abrazos — Gladys


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Half-Year Birthday Celebration Giveaway

Half Birthday-Baby Bjorn-High ChairRemember our blog post about Alexia’s half birthday party? The rad party decor from Paperfox LA and neat products we received off of the Gugu Guru registry? Well, we’ve teamed up with Gugu Guru to give away some of those exact items.

Here is a list of the items you’ll be winning:

  1. $75.00 Finn + Emma gift card
  2. bambu kids feeding set
  3. ”60 garland from Paperfox LA
  4. Covered Goods Nursing Cover
  5. $50 Gift Certificate Milestone Baby Cards

Enter here to win these goodies for a 1/2 Year Celebration of your own!

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Bilingual Parenting Journey: Meet The Chacins

As you might have noticed, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted about our bilingual parenting journey. And although I took a hiatus, sorta speak, I’m happy to report that it will now be in rotation along with my other posts about fashion, food, and all things motherhood.

This new Bilingual Parenting Journey segment will feature real bilingual/multilingual families, their struggles, their wins and tips/suggestions for other bilingual parents. So to kick off the new segment, I’ve teamed up with my multilingual mamá friend Maca and her little family of four.IMG_5853 (1)

Meet Maca

TMO: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

Maca: Hi there! I’m Maca, a mama of 2 cute nuggets (Nicolas age 3 ½ and Olivia 5 1/2 months ) living in Montreal since 2010. Married to my best friend Esteban, we decided to move from our country Venezuela to Canada, quite different eh?

Summer-all year long to four very-defined seasons, poutine instead of my lovely fried plantains and lots (i kid you not, LOTS) of snow and crazy temperatures, were our welcome to this beautiful country.

I started blogging over at HeyMaca.ca 3 years ago about our little family living in the city, cool places and lots lots of eggs and bacon!. We love discovering new places together in this tiny corner of the world raising our two trilingual babies.unnamed-2

TMO: What made you decide to teach your child a second language or multiple languages?

Maca: When I was pregnant I knew and had all planned to raise my kids bilingually, teach them Spanish exclusively at home. Our first baby came, Nicolas age 3 and ½, and it happened.  We raise him trilingually with Spanish at home, English and living in Quebec gives you an extra one, French!.

unnamed-1I’ve always wanted to show him the beautiful culture I was raised to, and of course, being exposed to Spanish 24/7 with us it’s nothing but a huge advantage.

I consider his mother tongue will always be Spanish and I’m sure this will be a huge plus for him when he grows up as part of his career opportunities, travelling around the world and maybe who knows, finding his soulmate. Even though he’s been mixing spanish with french and now english a lot, Nico goes to a french daycare and has English speaking friends, woah little one, busy life already!

The beauty of Canada (and I didn’t think about this before being a parent) is the multiculturalism my kids are exposed to. Most of their friends, I’d say 80% of them are immigrants, coming from a fascinating country or speaking a total different language. And when it comes to Spanish, I mean, let’s be honest, It’s so important to have it nowadays, even more important than french, businesswise.

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TMO: Does your significant other also speak more than one language at home? If so, do you feel it has helped your child in learning another language?

Maca: We are both from the same city, so I guess I’m lucky that besides the language we share lots of common things and share the same values on how we want to raise our little ones together. He encourages Nico a lot to communicate in Spanish with him at home, with friends and family. My husband calls his parents every week and also involves Nico in the conversation so he can speak to them and tell them about his latest adventures.

IMG_5386TMO: What are some roadblocks/struggles you’ve encountered along the way?

Maca: I’ve been getting lots of “quiero un petit helado de chocolate!” #hardtimes for this mama! But besides these common struggles in trilingual kids, Nico knows when and where to speak each language. It’s impressive how he can switch from one to another, not perfectly yet but he’s getting there!. 

TMO: What’s a tip you can give parents that are currently trying to teach their children more than one language but are finding it to be too difficult?

Maca: I encourage him to speak more and more in Spanish at home with us with lots of open questions like what did you do today? What did you eat and did you like it? And what happened at daycare every time I pick him up.

We also teach him new vocabulary and translate new french phrases he doesn’t know how to say in Spanish,  read some books that are bilingual where he can learn both languages, sing together “los pollitos dicen” before bedtime and count from 1 to 20! This is part of our daily routine, which he totally loves! IMG_4381

TMO: Gracias Maca for opening up about your bilingual parenting journey. So impressed with Nicolas’ ability to juggle three languages at the early age of three! Way to go, mom and dad.

Stop by Maca’s beautiful blog HeyMaca.ca to see their latest adventures as a trilingual family.

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Twinning Tuesday: Indego Africa Romper

Indego Africa - Rompers - TargetI’m a huge supporter of companies that invest their profits back into the community. More so if it sells well-made products for my little ones. And these Indego Africa rompers are a perfect example of just that. They are made with high-quality fabrics and tons of love by moms in Rwanda.

Indego Africa invests 100% of their profits from product sales, with grants and donations, into education programs for the artisans who handcraft their products. They also provide them with courses from leadership and entrepreneurship to financial and business management to name a few.

“We believe that educating women is the key to long-term empowerment and social change. Through our education programs, our partners develop the knowledge and skills they need to grow their own enterprises, become entrepreneurs, and uplift entire communities—creating employment opportunities for others and setting new standards for what women can achieve.” — Indego Africa

Indego Africa - Rompers - TargetHow cute is this bright swirl pattern on the girls? The spaghetti ties and infant bottom snaps make it a cinch to get the girls dressed. And did you know Target carries them? Yes, Target for the win!

Indego Africa Toddler Romper

Indego Africa Baby Sun Suit

Indego Africa - Rompers - Target

Indego Africa - Rompers - Target

Indego Africa - Rompers - TargetAbrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

1/2 Birthday Essentials

DSC_2683-3Last week, our youngest little nugget turned 6 months. Being that she’s a December baby, we will more than likely not throw her a one-year-old birthday party. For one, it’s too close to the holidays. Second, the weather might be too chilly. So I came up with the grand idea to host a 1/2 birthday celebration instead. I figured summer weather would work better and the fact that Lexi’s our second and possibly our last kiddo was a good enough reason to just go for it.

But enough with the excuses, you know, this mama is really just milking every milestone she can. Funny thing is my husband thought I was nuts. What’s next, a 1 1/2 celebration? Hmm. Perhaps we should. No. I kid. But in all seriousness, I can’t believe she’s 6 months. Feels like just yesterday they plopped her onto my chest for the first time. And I’m overly emotional at the thought of our girls growing up and passing up milestone after milestone. I know it’s life. I just wish I could hit the pause button and keep them little forever.

In the meantime, I’ll just celebrate as many milestones as I can. So here’s a glimpse of our 1/2 birthday shindig as well as our top must-have items.

Birthday Suit

Oh you know, just another excuse to buy another cute little onesie for Lexi. We dig this one from Hair Bow Boulevard and the head band and ruffle bottoms from Couture Flower.

Baby Bjorn - High Chair

Apparently, I forgot how hot it gets in Southern California during summer. Mia’s face says it all. It was over 100 degrees!! Possibly the hottest day this year.

Reversible Bibs

Now that Lexi is teething and eating solids, we can not believe how many bibs we go through each day. These Finn+Emma reversible organic bibs are adorable and perfect for us to flip and reuse.
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High Chair

We needed a high chair for Lexi to sit in without her being able to wiggle around. She’s sitting now but still needs a little help at times. This BABYBJÖRN high chair  is perfect for Lexi. We also love that it’s a space saver and has a modern look. DSC_2824-1

Bowls & Spoons

These bambu home products for kids are made out of bamboo and are certified organic. Perfect first bowl and utensils for Lexi’s little hands. And how cute is big sis trying to feed Lexi beans for the first time?DSC_2818-1DSC_2816-1

Travel Crib

We are usually out-of-town on weekends so a light travel crib was a sure must have. This BABYBJÖRN travel crib is so light, easy to set up and close with one move. It also doesn’t take up much space and the material is removable and washable. We’re diggin’ the style and color too. Plus, it came in handy for the party as well.babybjörn-light-travel-crib babybjörn-light-travel-crib

Covered Goods

We’re still nursing so this Covered Goods multi-use four-in-one nursing cover was a stylish lifesaver. I love that it has two of my favorite patterns; Black and white stripes plus floral.
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Covered Goods-Nursing Cover-Multi-Use-Four in OneDecorations

These high-quality Paperfox LA decorations set the stage for our party theme. Definitely whimsy and fun with pink, white and gold. Absolutely perfect!
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Cake

What’s a birthday party without cake? Good thing abuelita Lulu makes beautiful and delicious cakes. I mean I seriously scored with my mom’s baking talent. ;) And apparently, we were so busy trying to cut the cake before it melted (100+ degree weather over here) that we forgot to add the 1/2 birthday gold glitter topper until the cake was almost all gone. DSC_2807-1
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How cute are these cookies made by my friend over at Dolce Cakes & Cookies?

6 Month Registry

Yes, a registry! Because let’s face it, baby shower gifts are great but there are plenty of items we received that we already outgrew.  Our personalized registry let our family know what items we needed or could really use at 6 months+. gugu guru registry

Gugu Guru is a new baby registry website that makes unbiased, highly personalized product recommendations based not only on unique lifestyle but also personal style. Just take a fun quiz and tell Gugu Guru about your lifestyle, the clothing and décor styles that appeal to you, along with your product preferences and Gugu Guru will deliver “perfect match” product recommendations so you can create your personalized registry. Their site now offers Gugu Concierge.  A new personal shopper service for baby registry. Professional baby planners and industry / retail experts do all the work and create a registry for you. One of the best perks is the fee you pay for the service can be applied as a credit toward your final purchases. Such a sweet deal!
Gugu Guru Registry
I love that Gugu Guru pared down the choices for me and gave me ideas as to what to register for. The best part of it all is that we’re currently using every single item we received from the registry.

Cheers to celebrating milestones!

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

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Disclosure: Some of the products listed on my personal registry were provided by Gugu Guru and respective brands but the content and opinions expressed here are completely my own.

 

3 Summer Activities Using Cheerios®


Petmoji-Secret Life of Pets-General Mills-CheeriosAs most of you know, our little rambunctious overly energetic 4-year-old, Mia, is an animal lover. And if she had it her way, we’d literally have a zoo inside our house. We’re talking reptiles, mammals, and pretty much any animal that has roamed the face of this Earth. So when we saw the trailer for The Secret Life of Pets, we immediately knew this was something we needed to add to our summer to-do list.

If you haven’t seen the trailer, The Secret Life of Pets is a comedy about the lives pets lead after their owners leave for work or school each day. The movie comes to theaters nationwide on July 8, 2016.

So what does the movie have to do with Cheerios®?  Well, starting in July, you can find 6 The Secret Life of Pets collectible character key chains inside specially marked boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios®, Multi-Grain Cheerios®, and Regular Cheerios®.

As you can see, this little love of mine was impatiently waiting to open the box of Cheerios® we received and see which key chain she got. Apparently it’s now her favorite bracelet and refuses to take it off. :)

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By the way, who doesn’t love Cheerios®? It’s a great low-carb cereal option for our family. But best of all, we love that the very first ingredient contains whole grain oats and it’s also gluten-free. Perfect for family members that are allergic to gluten. Not to mention, they’re ideal for little fingers to snack on and to use for kids arts and crafts.

Learning Letters

Cheerios are a perfect way to encourage learning letters. We found this neat print out of The Secret Life Of Pets and had Mia spell out the word Pets in Cheerios. We secured the Cheerios using glue dots. Glue dots are mess-free and instantly adhere to paper. But glue works just as good. Download The Secret Life Of Pets print out here.

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Arts & Crafts

We traced Max’s silhouette (as seen on the movie title) onto construction paper. Have your kiddo glue Cheerios to the silhouette to create a dog collar, spots, eyes, etc.. Paint over Cheerios. Let dry and hang up their work of art. Petmoji-Secret Life of Pets-General Mills-Cheerios Petmoji-Secret Life of Pets-General Mills-Cheerios

Pre-Movie Snack On

Cooking with kids is tons of fun. So naturally, we had to include a recipe on this summer activity list.

Peanut Butter Protein Cheerio Bars

Peanut Butter Protein Cheerio Bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup PB
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Organic Honey
  • 3 cups Cheerios
  • 1 tsp Flax Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  • *Hemp Seeds are a great addition as well

Instructions

  1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Parents, combine peanut butter & honey in a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Heat until mixture just starts to simmer, about 2-3 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat and stir until mixture is well-combined. Let it cool down. Have the kids add in chia and flax seeds to the PB/honey mix.
  3. Place cereal into bowl. Fold in the PB, honey and seeds mix until evenly coated. Pour mixture into prepared pan, cover with parchment, and press firmly. Note: A roller will help to firmly and evenly pack down the mixture so the bars hold their shape. Chill in the refrigerator for a min of 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve.
http://themotheroverload.com/3-summer-activities-using-cheerios/

Bonus Activity!

Create your very own Petmoji. And learn all about The Secret Life of Pets movie here.

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Happy Summer!

Abrazos — Gladys

 

Good Vibe Tribe

GoodVibeLately, I can’t help but feel saddened with all the bad news shown in the media. Is it me or is the negativity, hatred and freak accidents just too much to bear, bypass and just keep chugging along with our day-to-day? These unfortunate events make me hold my kids a bit tighter and make me realize that time is beyond precious. And more importantly, that we have to be the change, stay positive and raise our kids to be good humans. To uplift and give off nothing but good vibes all around. Hence why this tank is on repeat.

Good Vibe Tribe

| Good Vibes Tribe Tank, TJ Maxx $12.99 | Betsyville Cateye Animal Print, Target.com Clearance $7.48, | Red Chino Shorts, Banana Republic (Last Season Clearance) $14 |Sandals, Red Cutout, Forever21 $17.90 |

And by the way, this entire outfit was $52. Including accessories!Good Vibe Tribe

Good Vibe Tribe

Good Vibe Tribe

Good Vibe TribeThese cutout sandals are my go-to this summer. Loving the color and comfort. And for $17.90 you really can’t go wrong.

 

Cheers to spreading good vibes all around!

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys