Real Behind The Scenes of A Mom Blog

Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blogAs a stay-at-home mom of two little ones, I can tell you that it’s truly a blessing. But being a stay-at-home mom/lifestyle blogger, well that’s a whole other story. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my girls with every ounce in me and blogging is my outlet but it’s definitely hard work to do both. Yes, I get to stay home and be a boss mom; but imagine going to a 9-5 job with a little one still nursing around the clock, super attached, and another one tugging on your shirt because she just wants to play all day long? My oldest, Mia, definitely has the energy of a whole soccer team put together!

Because of this, I realize that I have to put all my work aside to parent and be present as that is what’s most important. However, what about brand collaboration deadlines? Photos that need to be taken and edited. Creative ideas that need to be pitched. And responding to emails and social media to name a few. Oh and all my mom duties. You know, washing last-minute laundry because I forgot Mia had a soccer game and her uniform still needed to be washed. And breakfast, lunch and dinner that needs to be made and served. You get the idea.

So when do I have time to work? And who takes my photos when I’m in them?

Well, the truth is I work around the clock. Lexi, our 11-month old is nocturnal and still wakes up every 3 hours and only takes cat naps during the day. So you can imagine. I just keep saying, “This to shall pass, this too shall pass.”

And as far as photo shoots go, I occasionally collaborate with a handful of photographers but 97% of the photos on this blog are taken either by myself or a family member. You know how they say “it takes a village to raise kids?” Well, my village is seriously the best and I owe everything to them. Without them, this little space of mine I call The Mother Overload, would not be possible. Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blog

Behind-The-Scenes-mom-blogAnd in case you missed it, we shared our photography secrets over on the very talented Nikki Andal’s Blog. I can tell you that I’ve used her awesome photography tips multiple times and in fact still do. Be sure to head on over to her site to read all about them. In the meantime, we’d love to share 2 additional tips on what we use to create our colorful and bright photos.

And if you’re wondering, we use a Nikkon D3300 camera with a handful of lenses but our photography tips can be used even on camera phone photos.

One of the tools I mentioned I use all the time is PicMonkey.com. Aside from it being user-friendly, it also has a photo editing option that lightens up all photos — Curve. Curve is hands down my favorite filter to use.

Behind-the-scenes-blog

Testing background for a flatlay pre-editing

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipe

After photo editing

But the best tip I can share is taking photos outside right before the sun goes down. Something about that time that’s just the perfect lighting. Although, with two little ones schedules, catching that perfect sunlight could be a bit of a challenge with feedings, bathroom breaks and nap times. But when we can make it happen, the photos turn out absolutely amazing.

So there you have it. A bit of what it’s like to be a stay-at-home mom blogger with two little ones. Hope you find some of our photography tips to be useful. And here’s to being boss moms regardless if you’re a SAHM, a work from home mom or a working mom. We got this mamás!

 

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

Behind-the-scenes-Mom blogger

 

 

 

 

Burgundy Love


Forever21-Dress-Burgundy-Sleeveless
Fall fashion is in full swing and I’m excited to share a color that’s currently on repeat over here. And when I say repeat, I mean it’s on myself, the girls and even our accessories. It’s the perfect shade for Fall and goes well with just about any other color — Burgundy.

This Forever21 burgundy mock neck dress is only $12. Love that it has a classic look to it with its short-sleeved silhouette and perfect Fall length. I paired it with some pointy leopard double strap flats (Target clearance score $14). But notice how I didn’t add tights or layers for that matter? Well, that’s due to our Southern California heat wave we’re experiencing at the moment. We’ve been back in the 90s post-Halloween. Yes! You read that correctly. Summer all over again. I can not wait to add a cozy vest, and fancy heels to this dress once the temperatures start to drop a bit.

Little-Miss-Dessa-Dress

Little-Miss-Dessa-Dress

 

And how cute are these ultra soft Little Miss Dessa jersey knit ruffle dresses? Love how they can also be used as tops with leggings as the girls grow.

Little-Miss-Dessa

What colors do you currently have on repeat for Fall?

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

 

DIY Art: Día de Muertos (Day Of The Dead)

dia de muertos-pan dulce-hot chocolate-Día de Los MuertosDía de Muertos (English: Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday observed mainly throughout Mexico. “The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico where the day is a holiday.” — Wikipedia

Interestingly enough, Día de Muertos is a multi-day holiday celebrated on October 31, November 1 and November 2. Per Wikipedia, It’s  “in connection with the triduum of AllhallowtideAll Hallows’ EveHallowmas, and All Souls’ Day.[1][2] Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars called ofrendas, honoring the deceased using sugar skullsmarigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.” 

So in honor of Dia de Muertos, my little one and I made this super easy piece of artwork using 3 inexpensive items. dia de muertos-DIY-Art-Día de Los Muertos

dia de muertos-DIY-Art-Día de Los Muertos

Items Used

  • Dollar Store Calavera paper plates. Yes, paper plates! 🙂
  • Old frame. We had one in our garage that just needed a little spray paint.
  • Piece of fabric. We used the left over material from a previous project as it just so happened to be black and white but you can also purchase material at your local fabric store.

Directions

Cut out the skulls from the paper plates. Cut your fabric to the size of your frame. Glue the fabric onto the back portion of frame (i.e. where you would place a photo instead). Glue your skulls in a decorative way directly onto the fabric. Mount the artwork using a mat board (our old frame already had one). Frame your piece of art and hang! All it takes is just a mere 10 minutes.

dia de muertos-DIY-Art-Día de Los Muertos

 

¡Feliz Día de Muertos!

Abrazos (hugs) — GladysDia De Los Muertos-Day of the Dead-DIY-ART

 

 

 

3 Ways to Wear Cuddl Duds This Fall


cuddl duds-Khols

I’m always on the hunt for wardrobe pieces that are versatile. More so in the fall and winter. Which is why I absolutely have to share my latest find, Cuddl Duds. These pieces are perfect for layering. I myself, have used them to walk Mia to school in the brisk mornings. Plus, I kid you not, even to a date night and to my husbands’ work function. Talk about versatility right?

Below are 3 ways I layered my Cuddl Duds for fall but I’m currently in the process of adding more ways since the material is extra comfortable and super soft. I could seriously wear them every single day.

Walking Our Oldest to School

cuddl duds-Khols

cuddl duds-Khols

Around The House

cuddl-duds-house

Date Night

cuddl-duds-kholsWhat I love about these pieces is the versatility they have. And I feel extra comfortable wearing them which is a must for this mamá. Because let’s face it, chasing around two littles is no easy task but when you’re wearing something that feels and looks great, that’s just a win-win!

Be sure to visit Kohls.com to find the latest Cuddl Duds styles and colors.

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

A New Comfort Food Recipe, Made with Simple, Local Ingredients

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipe

Cooler weather calls for comfort food. But when I think of comfort food I think of carbs, carbs, and extra carbs. It’s all the yummy food that’s certainly not on the healthy side and definitely not fresh. An overload of processed foods to be exact.

Recently, however, I accidentally created a healthier version of a comfort food recipe. It all started with the change in weather and the so-called Kinder bug. Mia’s kindergarten school bug for lack of a better word.

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipeIt seems that the Kinder bug made its way back into our home for the third time in just 3 months. And let me just say, I’ve made multiple batches of chicken soups and stews because of it. So it’s safe to say I’ve perfected a recipe that is not only delicious but also on the healthier side (less sodium,  antibiotic-free chicken, and local grown fresh ingredients).

Mexican Chicken Stew

Mexican Chicken Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs Foster Farms Simply Raised Fresh Chicken Breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup organic carrots, sliced
  • 1 cup organic lacinato kale, chopped
  • 1 cup organic red potatoes, diced
  • 2 corn on the cob, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups organic low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • *Garnish and extras: cilantro, red pepper flakes, chopped avocado

Instructions

  1. Add water, chicken stock, garlic, cumin, salt and flour into large pot.
  2. Stir and bring to a boil. Add in chicken and boil for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, corn on the cob and kale.
  4. Boil for 10 minutes. Serve and top with avocado, cilantro and red pepper flakes.
http://themotheroverload.com/a-new-comfort-food-recipe-made-with-simple-local-ingredients/

 

Foster Farms Simply Raised chicken is not only locally grown (i.e. California and Pacific Northwest) but also 100% antibiotic-free. For us, this is key when serving meals to my family as we try our best to only consume poultry that contains no antibiotics whatsoever.

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipeBe sure to visit the Foster Farms Simply Raised website to learn more about Simply Raised fresh chicken and to find additional delicious chicken recipes to try out! Including new comfort food recipes which have local natural ingredients (free of additives, preservatives, antibiotics and hormones), require minimal ingredients and are quick and easy to make.

 

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

fosterfarms-chicken-stew-recipe

How To Make Cleaning Fun For Kids

 

bob9When we were looking to purchase our first home, I immediately knew I wanted it to have an open concept living area. I also kept visualizing a color contrast. Black flooring and white walls to be exact. 

We searched and searched until we found one; however, it was a complete fixer upper. I remember my husband trying to convince me to look past all the things that needed to be fixed. He mentioned the words, “ we can add our personal touch to it”. Yet, even though it had so much potential, I simply couldn’t look past all the “ugly.” It could have been due to the fact that I was 8 months pregnant with our first and my pregnancy hormones were on point. But in retrospect, the house really did need a ton of work. 

bObi-bObsweep-review

Once our home was move-in ready, I couldn’t be happier. I realized we made the right choice in focusing on the layout of the house rather than the list of items we’d need to fix, clean or simply replace entirely. 

And although our dark floors are my favorite thing in our home, they’re also my least favorite to clean. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking about the fact that dark floors are hard to keep clean more so with kids. 

bObi-bObsweep-reviewThe food crumbs are obviously inevitable but what bugs me the most is the dust and hair. I can literally see dust the very next day we vacuum. And don’t get me started with the never-ending strands of hair. We don’t even have pets but I can assure you we probably shed more than cats and dogs do. It must be due to the girls and myself having tons of hair. It’s nearly impossible to keep these floors hair-free.bObi-bObsweep-review

Which is why I just had to share with you all our newest family member, bObsweep PetHair (a.k.a Bob). Bob is always there to pick up the food crumbs, the hair, and even mops and disinfects (via UV- light) our floors. Bob even comes with a remote control which Mia is obsessed with.

Once Mia gets home from school, she goes straight to pick up the remote to start cleaning our floors. Seriously, what 5-year-old wants to help clean floors? Ours does now. And she even plays with Bob as if it were her pet. Just the other day I heard her say, “Bob, fetch! Good job! Here’s some dinos so that you can play with them and give them a ride.” This kid cracks me up. Lexi, on the other hand, pauses everything she’s doing (even tantrums) and just gets excited to see Bob go.

bObi-bObsweep-review

bObi-bObsweep-review

Bob not only makes cleaning fun for the kids, but he can also get things done alone. Get this, you can even program him too! We have him programmed to start cleaning post breakfast around the kitchen and into the family room. And right around 10p, once everyone’s asleep, I go downstairs to tidy up the kitchen while my sidekick, Bob, jumps off his dock and cleans around our kitchen, family room, entrance and main living room. He navigates really well on and off our rugs and even our fireplace brick flooring.

But my absolute favorite thing Bob cleans is under our beds!! Since we have dark floors in our entire house (with the exception of our bathrooms) it’s super neat that Bob vacuums and even mops (by attaching a microfiber cloth) underneath them. I no longer have to crawl on the floor with multiple items just to get the bottom of our beds clean. Talk about best invention ever!bObi-bObsweep-review

Bob definitely has tons of pros; however, I bet you’re thinking what the cons are, right? Well, for us, it’s the staircase. We need to use our handheld vacuum and mop for that still but it’s a cinch to clean anyways.

And what about the best part about having Bob around? For us, it’s the fact that we have one less chore to do which means more time to spend with our girls. And you can’t put a price on that, right?

To find out more about the bObsweep options click here.

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

Disclosure: Bob from bObsweep was gifted for review purposes but all opinions are my own.

How To-Make Cleaning-Fun-For-Kids-bObi-bObsweep-Review

They Grow Up So Fast

Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Review-Baby-MomI’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “they grow up so fast” a billion times. I, myself, have said it repeatedly since we had our first born. But it wasn’t until recently that this statement really hit home.

While looking over a roll of photos from a recent trip to the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland; I stopped everything I was doing and stared at this photo for a good fifteen minutes. In complete disbelief, I began to question why our little kindergartner looked so grown up here. Isn’t it interesting that as parents we see our kids daily yet we can’t grasp just how fast they’re really growing physically?Kids-black-halloween-sweater-ghost-taty-kids

According to KidsHealth.org, children grow the fastest during their first year.  “After age 1, a baby’s growth in length slows considerably, and by 2 years, growth in height usually continues at a fairly steady rate of approximately 2½ inches (6 centimeters) per year until adolescence. Weeks or months of slightly slower growth alternate with mini “growth spurts.” And interestingly enough, “Kids actually tend to grow a bit faster in the spring than during other times of the year!” So I guess Mia had that growth spurt this past Spring.

I wish I could keep both of our little ones little forever. Perhaps we could somehow invent a way to just freeze time? In the meantime, we’ll just be trying our best to create as many memories with our girls as they grow up.             

And speaking of time, this Daniel Wellington watch will not be coming off of my hand anytime soon. It’s now one of my favorite timeless wardrobe pieces. This classic style is part of Daniel Wellington’s Sheffield Collection.Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Disneyland-Walt Disney-Mickey Mouse-castle

And today, I’m excited to share with you all that I’m not the only one who gets to have this cool well-made watch. Daniel Wellington is offering all The Mother Overload followers a discount! If you’d like to treat yourself and take advantage of this special offer simply enter MOTHEROVERLOAD code at www.danielwellington.com.



Daniel-Wellington-Watch-Disneyland-Walt Disney-Jack Skellington
Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Disclosure: I received a watch of choice from DW but all opinions expressed within are my own.

Lil’ Libros Interview & Giveaway

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-GiveawayWe’re all about supporting mamás that are entrepreneurs, hard workers, and go-getters. Which is why today, we’re ultra-excited to share our interview with Patty Rodriguez (Sr. Producer for On Air With Ryan Seacrest) and Ariana Stein. They are Latina entrepreneurs and co-creators of Lil’ Libros, a set of bilingual first concept books for babies and little ones.

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-Giveaway

TMO: How did Lil’ Libros come about?

Ariana: When Patty was pregnant with her first son, she wanted to make sure that he spoke her native language, Spanish.  She searched for bilingual books that not only presented her to a bilingual journey but that it had a purpose to introduce him to the Latino culture.  The idea was submitted to the largest publishers in the country. Unfortunately, many “no’s” were received, and one publisher expressed that Latinos did not read to their children.   That being said, the idea was shelved for a while.

Two years later, I had my first child and realized I shared many of the same feelings about child development and the benefits of bilingualism as Patty.  It was here that we decided to pursue bilingual children’s books and Lil’ Libros was born.

TMO: What prompted your decision to raise your children bilingually?

Patty: I think it is very important that my children know and understand who they are and where they come from. Though it is not a requirement to speak Spanish to identify as Latino, the language does go hand-in-hand with our cultural contributions. To me, it is most important that I raise my children in a bi-cultural environment. I don’t want to teach them per se about who we are, I want them to live it…I want it to be part of their identity and to me, Spanish is very much part of that identity.

Ariana: Aside from all the great benefits bilingualism has to offer such as improved cognitive function, I want to make sure that my son understood where he came from and who he is culturally.  Too many times people lose their identity when they assimilate and acculturate.  Being able to speak two languages has helped me in school and now professionally.  I want to ensure that he’ll grow up having a better understanding of the diverse world he lives in and being bilingual puts him on the right path.

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-GiveawayTMO: What positive growth or results have you witnessed in your children/family because of their bilingualism?

Patty: Nothing makes me more happy than hearing my son transitioning from Spanish to English and vice versa without even thinking.

Ariana: Being able to transition between English and Spanish as well as understanding what he’s doing at such a young age (3yrs), has been such a huge milestone in our bilingual world.  It makes me realize that I’m doing something right.

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

Patty: There are not enough tools for parents, but with Lil’ Libros we are hoping to change that. We are working on introducing other amazing products that will help parents raise a bi-cultural/bi-literate/bi-lingual child.

Ariana:  For Lil’ Libros, one of the roadblocks has been not having any mentors to go to for advice.  Patty and I have been on our own since day one.  We’ve made plenty of mistakes but have learned from them and continue to grow as a company and individuals.Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-Giveaway

TMO: What advice or encouragement can you share with other families raising their children bi-/multi- lingually?

Patty: It is not easy. But like everything in life that is worth doing and having, you have to work hard for it. Do not give up, our books are perfect little seeds to help introduce a second language at home. Our books have been created to inspire parents to read to their little ones in two languages.

Ariana: I agree with Patty. It’s definitely not an easy task, but don’t give up, and try as many methods as possible. Continue buying books or tools that will help you lead the way to bilingualism.  Your children will thank you later!

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-GiveawayA big thank you to Patty and Ariana for this interview and for partnering up with The Mother Overload to give one lucky winner 5 Lil’ Libros. Including their newest titles, Cuauhtémoc and Un Elefante. These books introduce shapes and numbers in both Spanish and English with amazing cultural illustrations. Mia and Lexi really enjoy reading them.

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-Giveaway

Patty Rodriguez-Ariana Stein-Lil' Libros-Interview-Giveaway
Follow us on Instagram and be on the lookout for the Lil’ Libros giveaway this week! Click HERE to follow. And stop by Target to check out all the Lil’ Libros books.

 

 

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

 

 

 

 

 

Apple Pumpkin Pie Spice Overnight Oats

 
Apple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-PickingA few weeks ago, we made our way out to the apple orchard. It’s now part our fall traditions along with going to a pumpkin patch. And although the weather in southern California never quite makes it feel like it’s truly fall, we were excited to hear that cooler temperatures were expected on our apple picking day. By cooler, I mean in the 70s (ha! I know not so cool in other parts of the states). But once we arrived up the mountain top, we realized that the weather channel must have been talking about another city. It was actually hot and that’s when I realized that wearing black might not have been such a great wardrobe choice after all.

But regardless, we all had a blast and more so as my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephews (the girls’ primos) joined us as well. And, seriously, how cute are these kiddos? Biased over here but love seeing how excited they get when they see each other and play together. #CousinLoveApple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-Picking

Apple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-PickingWhile most people would make an apple pie or high in calorie treat with their orchard apples, we made a healthier and delicious way to get our apple pie fix. It’s great for parents that are on-the-go as it’s made overnight and a perfectly sweet way to start your day. Enjoy!apple-pumpkin-spice-oat

Apple Pumpkin Pie Spice Overnight Oats

Apple Pumpkin Pie Spice Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup organic whole grain oats
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tbsp organic honey
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Instructions

  1. Chop apple and place into skillet. Add 1 tbsp of honey and dash of pumpkin pie spice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool off. Add milk, oats, pumpkin spice and honey into a bowl and mix. Add all ingredients from bowl into a container with a lid (I prefer using a mason jar). Fasten lid and shake until combined. Layer in pumpkin puree and then top off with chopped apples and sprinkle pepita seeds on top. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold or warm!
http://themotheroverload.com/apple-pumpkin-pie-overnight-oats/

And today I have a great collaboration to share with you all. Check out our Mom Tribe 8 Apple Recipes you need to try below!!

Easy-Apple-Recipes-Fall

3 Minute Apple Crumble Mug Cake –Lazy Moms Blog

Apple Dumplings – Honeysuckle Blog

Apple Cider Sangria– Mom Wife Foodie

Apple Brie Arugula Galette– Drafts and Crafts

Tahini Apple and Thyme Toast- Occasionally Perfect Style

Apple Cinnamon Rolls– Nikki Andal

Applesauce Greek Yogurt Parfaits Kristeena Michelle

 

Abrazos (hugs) — Gladys

Apple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-Picking

Apple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-Picking

Apple-Pumpkin-Overnight-Oats-Apple-Picking
apple-pumpkin-spice-oats-pinterest

apple-pumpkin-spice-oats-pinterest

 

Coffee is My Vice


nescafe-ricky-martin-concert


Many of you know by now that I’m all about my morning cafésito. It’s the one thing I crave and have to have the minute my alarm clock goes off in the morning (ahem! our 9-month-old). And if you follow on Instagram, you also know that we have a nocturnal baby that keeps us up through the night still. For that reason, coffee is an absolute must around here.

But my love for coffee didn’t just stem from parenthood and all of the sleepless nights it comes with. In fact, It’s always been there since I could remember. I know, sounds crazy but hear me out.

I remember as a kid, my father waking up around 4:30am-5am to prepare his morning coffee before heading out to work. Since he worked long hours, and usually six days a week, I rarely got to see him. Every morning, though,  I would wake up to the smell of his fresh cup of Nescafé coffee and would join him in the kitchen. It was our few minutes of bonding time before he headed off to work. He’d serve me a cup of warm milk and would add a few drops of his Nescafé coffee just to get the milk semi off-white and make it seem as if I too was having a cup of coffee with him. We chatted about school, his work, and our Sunday plans. Sunday being his only day off from work and would spend it taking us wherever we wanted to go.

Nescafé has always been a big part of our familia. And it’s safe to say we’re definitely NESCAFEteros.

Today, we’ve partnered up with Nescafé to invite you to take a chance and make a great moment happen. A private Ricky Martin concert to be exact!nescafé-ricky-martin-concert

Let’s make this concert a reality!! The promotion works by doing 3 easy steps:

Step 1:
Find the NESCAFÉ Clásico jar code.*

Step 2:
Enter the jar code on our NESCAFÉ Clásico website HERE

Step 3:
Finish the registration process and you’ll be joining forces with thousands of fans to make this concert a reality.

Nescafé-Ricky-Martin-Concert

Once we reach our goal, all who registered will immediately get an access to the live streaming concert on the day of the event. On top of that, all who participated gets a chance to go to the concert in person with a guest!
The more you participate, the more chances you have to win!

*The entry code is a ten-digit number located on the back or bottom of your NESCAFÉ Clásico jar. (see GIF demonstrating where to find the code)

 YOU have the power to make this concert a reality!

 

Abrazos (Hugs) — Gladys

This program is a sweepstakes. It runs from September 6th through November 14th. If the fans make the concert happen it will occur in 2017. Participants can enter once per day. If the concert happens all those who registered will receive a link via email to live stream the concert. 50 lucky winners will receive a pair of tickets each and travel expenses if necessary. Our agency will coordinate with the winners.